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BARNES & NOBLE…UPCOMING BOOK SIGNING EVENT!

Exciting news! Barnes & Noble is now carrying a number of Solstice print titles, including my two (THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND AND OTHER UNEXPECTED TALES, and ENCOUNTERS TALES RECOUNTED AND REBORN). What your local B&N outlet has on the shelf will vary, but you can find them in the bookstore’s online catalog. And as always, they are available through amazon.com.

In other news, I will be taking part in a Solstice authors book signing event at the Barnes & Noble store in Federal Way, Washington on Oct. 22nd.  We are all Pacific Northwest authors, most hailing from Washington (I’m representing Portland!). Here’s the line-up:

KateMarie Collins – Fantasy

David P. Fisher – Westerns

Cyn Ley – Paranormal Short Stories

Mel Massey – Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

Raegyn Perry – Paranormal Romance

Eddie Edwards – Scifi/Speculative Fiction

It promises to be a fun event! Many thanks to Kate for arranging it. 🙂

Watch this blog for more details as they come in!

 

 

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Another Great Review for The Ossuary Playground!

THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND received this glowing review on Sunday!

From my Amazon.com page:

5.0 out of 5 stars

Come play with the Ossuary
By Wanda L. Pease on September 10, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Wow! I don’t normally care for short stories but I was bowled over by these. They are crafted like jewels. The language is polished and flows effortlessly across the pages sweeping you along through a series of bright mind pictures to satisfying conclusions. A girl ghost of a war past; a mature ghost named Gerald who is slightly crochety, but forgiving enough to those who are polite; a house high on the face of a hill where a spirit grieves; a battle to confuse. All are clear as gems, but flow like water.
Highly Recommended!

The Ossuary-001


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Meet Award Winning Author Marie Lavender!

 

Marie Facebook cover1

 

Today bestselling author Marie Lavender is taking some time away from her busy writing schedule to share some thoughts with us. Marie is a multi-genre author of numerous bestsellers and the winner of a wide variety of writing contests.

Thank you for joining us!

 

WHAT DREW YOU INTO WRITING?

I’ve been writing fiction since I was nine years old. I guess you could say the muse never shut up! I always loved reading books, and immersing myself in my own fictional worlds just seemed natural.

WHY MULTI-GENRE? WHAT IS THE APPEAL OF THAT, AND WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE GENRE WHEN IT COMES TO WRITING?

A couple years ago, I switched gears and wrote a children’s book. After that, I realized I needed to take a hard look at my published books and my works in progress. It wasn’t difficult to notice a big trend was happening. I was all over the place with my creative avenues! And I began to accept that I really didn’t like to be boxed in either. The challenge that most multi-genre authors face, I think, is that a lot of publishers won’t take that kind of writer seriously. I guess they’re scared of those who are bit different from the norm! I’m just lucky that my publisher, Solstice Publishing, has no issues with writers who try out different genres.

Do I have a favorite genre? Well…yeah. You could say that I lean towards romance at times, but I don’t mind experimenting either. Heck, I even wrote a horror story recently! Weird, right?

WHAT KIND OF WRITER ARE YOU—ORGANIZED OR INTUITIVE?

I assume you mean, am I pantster or a plotter? I’m actually a hybrid, so I dabble in both worlds. Surprise! I let the muse guide me as far as possible, without limits, and then when I start to falter, I create an outline to bring myself some stability. This helps me get focused and guides me to complete the book faster.

DO YOU SET TIME OUT OF YOUR DAY FOR WRITING, OR JUST WRITE WHEN THE MUSE TAKES YOU?

For the most part, I write randomly, but when I am really focused on a project, I try to work a little on the book each day, even if it’s just researching or editing.

DO YOU SOMETIMES ENCOUNTER WRITER’S BLOCK? HOW DO YOU GET THROUGH IT?

Yeah, it happens now and then. Mostly, I have to walk away from the problem for a while. I need distance to see the project in a new way.

DOES ANYTHING SURPRISE OR CHALLENGE YOU ABOUT THE PROCESS OF GETTING PUBLISHED?

I think being an indie author is a crazy battle. Sure, you have the reigns for the most part, but there are all of these elements that you, as the author, are responsible for. It’s a lot of work! And if you’re a hybrid author – dabbling in self-publishing and traditional – then there is more pressure involved.

DO YOU THINK IT’S GETTING EASIER TO MARKET BOOKS? WHAT WAS THAT LIKE WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED? DO YOU FIND IT CHALLENGING TO MARKET YOURSELF AS AN AUTHOR? WHAT VENUES DO YOU FIND BEST?

It seems like it’s getting more difficult. Authors have to constantly change their marketing approach, and it can be a juggling act, trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. When I first started out, in some ways it was easier to get the word out. Now? I think there are so many methods to spread the word about your books that it’s easy to get lost in the chaos. Plus, I can’t say I’m all that great with newer technology as it comes out. Maybe I’m too old school. LOL!

Right now, I’m finding that Google+, Facebook and Twitter are the most effective tools for marketing. It doesn’t hurt to have a major web presence either, and a monthly newsletter.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL OUR READERS ABOUT ENTERING WRITING CONTESTS? HOW DOES ONE FIND INFORMATION ON THEM?

Believe it or not, I stumbled into most of the ones for which I earned achievements. But I think the best way is to simply look them up online. Though I believe you can find a pretty legit list on Poets & Writers. The key is to have your antennae up just in case you come across one while you’re surfing. My next piece of advice would be to stay wary of the contests that require an investment. Sure, there are fairly authentic ones that do ask for a small entry fee. However, just as many exist that could be scams, so definitely do your due diligence beforehand.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL ASPIRING WRITERS?

Be patient with the process, but don’t be afraid to try something new either. You never know where the journey will take you!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE AUTHOR-AT-WORK STORY? PLEASE SHARE.

Actually, I do! The one I can think of right now off the top of my head brings home the fact that inspiration can come from anywhere. As writers, we are inspired by the outside world, by the people we meet, our own experiences, and sometimes the mysterious muse transmits ideas.

A follower and loyal reader commented on one of my Facebook posts about two years ago. It was a joke concerning how she couldn’t attract a good man. To make a long story short, her hilarious comment gave me the idea for my current work in progress, a romantic comedy. Later, I told her how helpful she was, that she moved me to write a farfetched tale about a miracle drug. She loved the idea! I won’t go into the details just now; you’ll have to wait to find out. It was just a seed at the time, but I’ll always be grateful to her for the inspiration! We just can’t predict when or where we’ll find our next book idea.

WHAT ARE YOUR MOST RECENT BOOKS?

My latest book release is a modern romantic drama collection titled Directions of the Heart. It released on July 25th. And before that, Upon Your Love, a historical romance/family saga, was released, as well as a new adult romance story called The Missing Piece.

PLEASE LIST YOUR BOOKS, WHERE WE CAN FIND THEM, SOCIAL MEDIA, BLOGS, ETC. (I’m including my bio and links)

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. DIRECTIONS OF THE HEART placed in the TOP 10 Books of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. TOP 20 Authors of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Links:

​http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

​​http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

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Thank you so much, Marie! We wish you continued success!

 

 


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THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND AND OTHER UNEXPECTED TALES – tantalizing teasers for all new stories by bestselling author Cyn Ley

All tales are built from bones: old, new, remembered, forgotten. Four stories of lives, present and past. Four stories of lives, walking the edge between this world and the ones beyond.

“Remains” – The Civil War has long since come and gone on a lonely and forgotten battlefield. What of those who linger there?

“Calling You Out” – Many a historic house has its ghosts, and the Miller mansion is no exception. For one of them, all he yearns to hear is his own name.

“Stilts” – A house up in Portland’s West Hills bears a terrible stain and a terrifying manifestation to those who live therein. What will bring peace and solace to them all?

“The Ossuary Playground” – It remains to children to recall the past, as only children can.

PRAISE FOR THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND AND OTHER UNEXPECTED TALES:

“Delightful, creative stories!”

“The first two stories were superb. They are well written, with a lovely cadence. The characters are vibrant and real, and you care about them. I love the author’s unique take on life after death. The third is good, and the fourth is playful. I am not a fan of horror/ghost stories in general, but I highly recommend this book!”

THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND AND OTHER UNEXPECTED TALES is available in print and Kindle editions from amazon.com.


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ENCOUNTERS: TALES RECOUNTED AND REBORN – Story Teasers to Whet Your Reading Appetite!

From bestselling author Cyn Ley…

These are the best of the published tales from 2014  – 2016, some as they were originally published, some expanded and reimagined. Ranging from social satire to the paranormal, from fight to flight to friendship, these stories touch base on the encounters of the human experience.

“Benefits” – A new home development is all about location. And what you dig up.

“Food Chain” – Wildlife documentarians Owen and Nate are in search of a new challenge. But sometimes the largest challenges turn out to be very small.

“The Logo Men” – What if the Seven Deadly Sins walked into a bar, and nobody noticed?

“Rinse, Repeat” – All the days are the same now. All because of one date.

“Perfect” – Sometimes life is as transformative, and as simple, as a holiday gingerbread cookie.

“The Tin Foil Hat Society” – It’s time for the millennial alien visitation! What could possibly go wrong?

…and other tales of wonder and terror.

 

PRAISE FOR “ENCOUNTERS”

“Magical, charming, and original”

“Thought-provoking and soul-searching”

“A satisfying and interesting reading experience”

“I thoroughly enjoyed ENCOUNTERS! Somehow, things rarely go were one thinks they are headed.”

Available in print and Kindle editions on amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 


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Meet Solstice Author Debbie DeLouise

Cobble Cove Mysteriese3booksbanner

Hi Debbie, and welcome! Thank you for spending some time with us today! Debbie is the author of the fun and thrilling Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, among her many other writings.

I had never bumped into the term “cozy mysteries” until I read your delightful stories. What makes a cozy mystery different from other mysteries?

DEBBIE: People ask me this question a lot. Cozy mysteries are mysteries with a minimum of violence (even though there are murders); clean language; quirky characters usually in a small town; and no explicit sex scenes. They are character driven stories often with an amateur sleuth. For example, Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.

CYN: What got you into writing?

DEBBIE: I’ve enjoyed reading since I was a child and always admired authors who could transport me to another place and time and introduce me to so many wonderful characters as I felt I knew them myself. It was my dream to be able to give this type of experience to readers, and I hope I am doing that.

CYN: What are your genres, and what led you to choose them?

DEBBIE: For my series, I write cozy mysteries, but I have written regular mysteries that I hope to publish in the future. I’ve also written short stories of various genres including fantasy, science fiction, romance, and even horror. I like to experiment with different types of writing and particularly enjoy adding twists and/or paranormal, twilight-zone themes to my works.

CYN: What would you like to tell us about your books and stories? How can we find them?

DEBBIE: Basically what I said above. While I vary my genre, I usually always try to include a cat or pet of some type in the story. My short stories that are published by Solstice Publishing are available within paperback anthologies and can be ordered on Amazon.com and other online sellers and also ordered through bookstores. The individual stories are also sold as eBooks for 99 cents only through Amazon.com. The books are available in both eBook and paperback editions. They are free for Kindle Unlimited members. I’ve included a universal link to my author page on Amazon where all my titles can be purchased. Author.to/DebbieDeLouiseD

CYN: Did you find writing a challenge at first? Do you still, or not?

DEBBIE: Writing can be somewhat challenging, but the editing and marketing are the real challenges. The most challenging part of writing is finding the time to do it especially as you publish more works and need to promote them at the same time you are working on something else. Even though I’ve set a routine for myself, it’s still difficult.

CYN: How would you classify yourself—as an organized writer, or an intuitive one, or a mix of both? Why?

DEBBIE: I’m organized in that I have a routine of morning writing, but I’m more intuitive in that I don’t outline my plots in much detail. I prefer to sit down and write and let the words take me where they lead. Afterwards, I spend more time editing my rough drafts, but I find that it’s best to let my imagination run free for the first draft and then worry about the details later.

CYN: Has there been anything about getting published that surprised you? Or anything about the process?

DEBBIE: That’s a loaded question. Everything about publishing and the process surprised me. I’m actually teaching a continuing education class on the subject this October at my local high school. It’s a one-night class, and I doubt I can cover everything in an hour and a half. I’ve learned so much and still feel there’s more to discover. When I do my author talks, the majority of the questions afterward involve the publishing process. There’s so much interest and so much people don’t realize.

CYN: Do you have anything you would like to share with aspiring writers?

DEBBIE: The main thing aspiring writers need to know is that although there is so much competition today, there’s also many more opportunities to see your writing in print. Don’t give up. It isn’t easy, and it won’t happen overnight. You may never make a fortune or become a James Patterson, but if you enjoy writing and wish to share it with others, you need to keep trying, keep writing, and keep learning. Also, network with others. Take writing courses. Create a social media presence, and blog. Everything helps, but it takes time. You need to be patient and believe in yourself.

CYN: How can readers find your your books and stories carried by Solstice, their links, and how can they connect with you via social media?

BOOKS

A Stone’s Throw (Book 1 of the Cobble Cove mystery series)

Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Book 2 of the Cobble Cove mystery series)

Written in Stone (Book 3 of the Cobble Cove mystery series)

When Jack Trumps Ace (romantic comedy novella)

STORIES

  1. “The Path to Rainbow Bridge” – (Fantasy story – 2016, Solstice Publishing)
  2. “Deadline” – (Science Fiction story – 2016, Solstice Publishing)
  3. “Knowledge is Power” – (Horror story – 2016, Solstice Publishing)
  4. “Celebrating Christmas with my Characters” (Holiday story – 2016, Solstice Publishing)
  5. “The Seashell and the Stone” (Romance story – 2017, Solstice Publishing)
  6. “Dying for a Vacation” (Mystery story – to be published, Solstice Publishing, 8/22/17)
  7. “Saving Snow White” (Romance story – to be published, Solstice Publishing, 8/22/17)
  8. “The Last Librarian” (Science Fiction story – to be published, Solstice Publishing, 9/17)
  9. “Haunted Honeymoon” (Horror story – to be published, Solstice Publishing, 10/17)

 

My universal booklinks on Amazon (for eBooks. My paperbacks are available from all online sellers and through bookstore orders):

 

A Stone’s Throw: myBook.to/Stonesthrow2

 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: myBook.to/CobbleCove2

 

Written in Stone:  myBook.to/CC3ebook

 

When Jack Trumps Ace: myBook.to/Jackebook

 

The Path to Rainbow Bridge: myBook.to/RainbowBridge

 

Deadline: myBook.to/Deadline

 

Knowledge is Power: getBook.at/Knowledge

 

Celebrating Christmas with my Characters: myBook.to/XmasCharacters

 

The Seashell and the Stone: myBook.to/Seashell

 

My social media links are:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DebbieDeLouise

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.com

The cat character (Sneaky) in my mystery series also has his own blog at:

https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com

The Cobble Cove Character Facebook chat group is located at https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

Many thanks, Debbie, and give that wonderful sleuth Sneaky a scritch behind the ears for me! 😀

 

 

 


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Sell It, Don’t Tell It!

Your story is done. You have a happy sense of achievement. You think about how cool the front cover is going to look.

And then you think about the back cover, and break into a sweat.

OMG. You need to write a blurb. You kind of know what they are. You’ve read your share. But how in heck do you write one?

Let’s start with what blurbs aren’t.

They aren’t summaries of the story.

They aren’t abstracts.

They aren’t spoilers.

They aren’t story excerpts.

They aren’t comparisons with other books (that’s the purvue of readers and reviewers).

 

Blurbs are:

A hook, something to catch the potential reader’s interest. Start with the problem, dilemma, or central idea of the story.  Give them the basic beginnings of the plot. Tell them the name of your protagonist, so should they crack the cover, they know who they should be watching for. Give your potential reader a case of wanting to know more, and do it in one or two paragraphs.

NEVER exaggerate or mislead in a blurb. It’s great to leave people hanging where you left off with the start of the plot, as it gets their “What happens next?” juices flowing. But if your blurb states or implies something that isn’t in your story, it doesn’t belong in your blurb either.

It may take several drafts to get your blurb exactly where you want it. Write it, set it aside for a while. Come back to it with the mindset of a person just browsing, looking for something good to read. They know nothing about you or your books. Does the blurb leave you flat, or are you already reaching for your wallet?

Which is not to say that a good blurb will always assure good sales. Readers are by nature a profoundly diverse group of folks. But a tight, well-written blurb can go a long way towards arousing interest in your books.