Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Women: Jewel by Rose Montague.

You might remember Rose from the action-packed paranormal novel Jade that kicked off the series. Now, meet Jewel from the Norma Jean's School of Witchery series, a Young Adult-spin off. And thanks Rose for bringing Jewel to the Wednesday Women table!

(graphic provided by author)

Meet My Main Character: Jewel

I love reading Young Adult books, particularly ones in the genre I enjoy, urban fantasy. Vampires, shifters, witches, & Fae in any and all combinations are prevalent in the stories I read.  My only complaint with Young Adult books is that sometimes the main characters are overly emotional, indecisive, and weak at the wrong times. 

So when I decided to write a Young Adult series I decided on a Main Character that is the opposite of what frustrates me in many Young Adult books.  Jewel is a strong female character that knows what she wants and is confident enough to go after it.  She is a leader and takes responsibility for others. She is not afraid make hard decisions or take chances when the situation dictates. She respects similar qualities in others and she is fiercely loyal to her friends.  She is not adverse to a little payback if she is wronged.

Jewel has secrets, some she keeps out of necessity and safety and some she just doesn't want to share. She keeps secrets from her parents, friends, and love interests.  Most of her secrets revolve around her developing powers, powers that would make her a target if they were known.

I developed the Norma Jean's School of Witchery series as a spin-off from my first series which is an adult series (but suitable for an older teen), the first two books are titled Jade and Jane.  Jewel is a character in Jane that plays a minor but important role.  My beta reader, Hans Markus, asked me to write more about Jewel and the idea of a spin-off was born.  Jewel loses her parents in a car wreck and is adopted by Jade and Jane.  Because enemies of Jade and Jane might seek to do harm to Jewel or use her as a bargaining chip, she is trained by a vampire assassin and a shifter enforcer before she starts witch school.  That training as well as her burgeoning magic talents will be needed at Norma Jean's School of Witchery.

There is a lot of action, some humor, and a little romance. I would recommend it for older teens, High School age and beyond.  Adults have loved it as well.  


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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wedndesday Women: Sofia Salgado by Rebecca Cantrell

I'm excited to have New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Cantrell introduce her new series (with Sean Black) this week in the Wednesday Women. For the occasion, we have an interview with Sofia Salgado, the actress who played the starring role in the TV series Half Pint Detective and has now become a PI for real. Thanks Rebecca & Sofia for visiting!

(graphic provided by author)

Sofia Salgado, former child star who was making a solid transition to dramatic, grownup roles, suddenly dropped out of the film industry, setting the town abuzz. Word Affair has managed to get an exclusive interview!

Sofia arrives at our meeting on time, which is unusual for an actress of her stature. She seems to have dressed down for the occasion in jeans, sneakers, and a red silk tank top. Even with minimal makeup, she’s still a formidably attractive young woman.

She’s just ordered an espresso and settled into an overstuffed leather chair when people start to notice her. She takes pictures with a few, signs a few autographs, and then turns to me to apologize for the interruptions. She is anything but a diva.

“The question on everyone’s minds is when we’re going to see you in a new film,” I ask.

“Maybe never,” she says. “I had a wonderful time in the industry, but I’m move on to something else now.”

“What could possibly tempt a star like you away? A new boyfriend? A singing career?” I sneak a glance at her flat stomach. No sign of a baby bump there.

She laughs. “No new boyfriend, and I can’t sing worth beans. I just wanted a change. I wanted to do a job where I could help people every day.”

She can sign quite well, but I can see this isn’t the time to mention that. “So it’s some kind of charity venture?”
“Not exactly.” She looks into her coffee cup for a second. “I’ve joined a private investigation company called Maloney Investigations, and I’m training as a private detective.”

“In real life?” It squeaks out. I can’t help it. She was the most famous private eye in the world on her TV series, Half Pint Detective. Who can forget the opening credits with her with a trench coat and hat and adorable 10 year old smile? “Not on TV?”

“In real life.”

“Wow,” I say. “That’s an unexpected change. Do you like it?”

“I do.” She leans back in her chair. “I’m learning all the time, and I get to help people with real problems, make a difference in their lives.”

“What’s your most interesting case? Murder? Blackmail? Lost dogs?”

“I’ve dealt with all three,” she says. “But I can’t give you any details. It’s confidential.”

“Does your TV background help?” After all, we watched her learn how to lift fingerprints, eavesdrop on conversations, and trail bad guys on the show.

“Sometimes it helps. I once trained as a stunt driver, and I’ve used that.” She grins. “And some of the self-defense moves have come in handy.”

“So, when you stopped that bank robbery with a thrown shoe, that was work?” The video is still on YouTube. It’s hard to believe it wasn’t staged.

“I can’t say. It’s confidential.” She says this so seriously that I almost believe her.

“Will we be seeing this experience in a movie soon?”

“It’s not research.” She puts down her cup and leans toward me. “It’s just a job. Like journalism is a job. It’s something I do every day. I get up early. I go into the office, and I help our clients. That’s all of it. It’s not for a movie role. It’s not for a hobby. It’s a job.”

Now I do believe her, and I know exactly who I’d want to hire if I needed a movie star turned detective. Looks like the half pint detective is all grown up!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wednesday Women: Cantor Gold by Ann Aptaker

Something new in the Wednesday Women feature--we will see some familiar names in the future! In order to celebrate the next book in her series, Ann Aptaker returns with her leading lady Cantor Gold. Welcome!

(Graphic provided by author)

For WEDNESDAY WOMEN, October 7, 2015


by Ann Aptaker

Getting a new book into the public consciousness is now part of an author’s job, a job not every author is particularly good at, or even wants to do. Writing that novel/short story/play/poem is a quiet endeavor performed alone (unless you count the noisy crowd of characters in the author’s head). Marketing, on the other hand, is a very public endeavor. An author has to put herself out there, either in person at readings and other events, or through electronic or print media: writing social media and blog posts, doing interviews, writing articles, submitting the book to reviewers, among other pushy activities. And I don’t like being pushy.

Oh, I will fight to the death to keep a word or sentence in my manuscript an editor wants to change or toss (and I win some and lose some; my editor, the brilliant Ruth Sternglantz at Bold Strokes Books, is often right), so I’m not exactly a pushover. But there’s a difference between holding your ground for something you believe in and hogging the ground to claim it for a billboard. In today’s publishing world, though, the latter must be done. Gone are the days when a publisher built and financed a PR campaign around an emerging author: buying ads, setting up a book tour, paying for the flights and hotels, and so on, unless said author writes the popular blockbuster sort of fare, and even then a publisher may not want to spend the money. Though publishers do have marketing strategies, these days those strategies require authors to carry a lot of the load.

So here I am, grateful down to my socks to Barbara Winkes for allowing me the opportunity to guest blog on her site to pitch my new release, TARNISHED GOLD, Book Two in the Cantor Gold Crime Series. But before I get to the actual pitching, a serious question must be addressed: to scream or to whisper? In a marketing environment crowded with countless other authors all vying for readers’ attention, should I simply scream louder than everyone else? Or should I talk under them, betting that a whisper will effectively drift like a wraith into readers’ consciousness. Frankly, I don’t know.

So I’m going to hedge my bets and not waste this opportunity to get TARNISHED GOLD into your consciousness and hence into your hands. Since I’m unable to decide between screaming or whispering, I will do both and trust that one or the other finds its way into your thinking and inspires you to part with your coin and buy the print edition or e-book. Here goes:

NEW YORK CITY, 1950. CANTOR GOLD, art SMUGGLER and UNDERWORLD DYKE-ABOUT-TOWN, hunts for a missing MASTERPIECE she’s RISKED HER LIFE to bring through the port of New York. She must OUTSMART the LAW that wants to JAIL her, OUTRUN the DOCKSIDE GANGSTERS who would let her take the fall for MURDER, and outplay a SHADY ART DEALER, his LOVER, and a BEAUTIFUL CURATOR who TOYS with CANTOR’S PASSION. Through it all, CANTOR must stay out of the GUN SIGHTS of a KILLER who’s KNOCKING OFF RIVALS for the missing MASTERPIECEand STAY ALIVE to solve the MYSTERY of her STOLEN LOVE.

So, be part of the OUTLAW adventure. BUY the PRINT or E-BOOK of TARNISHED GOLD!

Thank you.

About Ann:

Ann Aptaker’s debut novel CRIMINAL GOLD, was a 2015 Goldie Award nominee. In addition to writing crime and mystery fiction, Ann also writes art related articles, is an independent curator, and an adjunct Professor of Art and Art History at New York Institute of Technology. She lives in her hometown of New York City. TARNISHED GOLD is the second book in the Cantor Gold Crime series, published by Bold Strokes Books.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Summer Wine - it's coming.

Since I have a book coming with Eternal Press (Amber Alert) and another in the Carpenter/Harding series, I thought it would be time to give you a little update on Callie and Rebecca. I'm sorry the wait is so long for all of you who discovered Autumn Leaves and then followed them through Winter Storm and Spring Fever, but there is some movement now:

Summer Wine, the 4th and last in the series, has been assigned an editor, and so it will be the next Eternal Press release after Amber Alert. Thank you so much for your continued patience!

Meanwhile, you can find the series so far and my other books here on Amazon. For the Eternal Press titles, you can save 50% off the list price until the end of this year if you go directly to the site and use the promo code 61NF17DV2LEX at checkout. It's good for all EP titles.

Happy browsing!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Taking responsibility for your vision

Between the Emmys and the fall season starting, I thought it's a good time for this blog, and before I start--Congratulations to Viola Davis for making TV history. #TGIT can't come back soon enough!

* * * *

I love the work of Shonda Rhimes, because she’s a fearless writer who got into a position where she’s able to make her point, through hard work and perseverance. Would she be here if she’d faltered and hesitated every time a critic said her stories had too much of something (gay people, messed up people, sometimes messed up gay people, cheating, trauma, character death…)?

Maybe not.

Maybe part of that hard work and perseverance is to teach and convey that stories are stories, and if they hit us hard, that’s when they work. A couple of years back, I still would have said, no, I’m not into medical shows. I’m not going to start watching one because it had a lesbian couple in it. I did love Olivia Pope pretty much from the beginning though, and Scandal just keeps getting better and crazier. Then, along came How To Get Away With Murder, taking the concept of messed up (and somehow, still relatable) characters to new heights. Who doesn’t want to shake these entitled kids? Who doesn’t simultaneously feel for Annalise and is a bit scared of her at the same time?

I learned that likeability of a character isn’t all there is. A smart story and layered personality in a setting that doesn’t let you lean back and be comfortable for a moment can be an amazing experience for a viewer/reader. Eventually, Geena Davis guest-starred on Grey’s Anatomy, and that storyline was part of what drew me in. I’m still not a big fan of medical shows, but I’ve learned to look past the fake blood and gore too.

Women are often socialized to be pleasant, not to make waves or cause controversy. For women writers, it’s important to get past that if we want to tell authentic stories. Keeping that in mind, Ms. Rhimes is the hero I need to remember when I’m tempted to cut down a storyline for no reason other than it might affect someone emotionally.

That, and I can’t wait for the Badass Women of #TGIT to return. Who’s watching with me, popcorn and red wine ready?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Blog Tour: Covet by Tina Traverse

Hiding in an isolated Newfoundland outport, Scarlett Winters is the living bearer of the secret of immortality. Sebastian Sinclair, vampire and stealer of souls, might be her only hope to escape a deadly power struggle. But can she trust him? Caught between sacrificing her morals and betrayal by those she trusted, Scarlett will risk everything to escape...unless she dies trying.

Tina Traverse fell in love with writing at the age of eight when she wrote her version of the bible story, The Good Samaritan, for a homework assignment.
This love grew into a passionate affair and has been ongoing for thirty years; and there are no signs of it waning.
Though, she admits, when she was pregnant with her son Christian, the affair cooled.
Tina’s desire to write came calling once again when she needed to find a way to cope with heartbreaking news.
Christian was diagnosed with autism in 2010.
Her method of coping was to write a story about his journey called Forever, Christian.
Tina likes to joke that a girl can only write about real life for so long without jumping back into the world of make believe.
She loves to venture into the world of the supernatural; vampires and witches are her favourite!
Tina enjoys all sorts of vampires but admits that she is fascinated with the modern romantic vampire (think Twilight and The Vampire Diaries).
She is currently working on a vampire series based on her first published book, Destiny of The Vampire and has other projects in the works.
When Tina is not at the computer creating her exciting, magical worlds, she is kept on her toes by her two sons, Christian and Brandon.

Sometimes the author manages to curl up in her favourite chair with a good book.



Follow the tour crew and tour by clicking on any of these tour buttons from participating blogs!