Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Kicking Cancer's Ass with Beverly Diehl. #Giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with No comments

When I first met Beverly Diehl at LARA, the Los Angeles chapter of The Romance Writers of America, she was our Treasurer and busy kicking cancer's ass. She posted pictures of herself on Facebook wearing her signature tiara to every radiation session. I wish I'd thought of that. I also wish her memoir had been around back when my sister Kelly and I had breast cancer in 2001.
I read her short stories in the LARA romance anthologies, Holiday Ever After, Five Minute Love Stories and Summer Sizzle and loved her work. Researching the inntro, I found another anthology she's in, Rejoice and Resist The logline is Follow the cat through time and space. I bought it.
I am delighted to welcome Bev to the blog. She's giving away one copy  of her memoir Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n Roll, and a Tiara / How I Celebrated Kicking Cancer’s Ass- eBook or Paperback -(Paperback is US Only)
Welcome, Beverly Diehl

Hi folks! Susan, thanks so much for having me.
I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you decided to self-publish Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n Roll, and a Tiara / How I Celebrated Kicking Cancer’s Ass.
This one’s kind of a two-parter.
1) I decided to write this memoir because, as I began this breast cancer journey and sharing my feelings and processes on social media, people were telling me, “Wow, this is so inspirational!” I looked around to see who on earth they were talking to, and then realized, “Well, shit! Why can’t I be inspirational? Why not share the journey and the lessons I learned?” Like, because tiaras make everything better, I wore one through all my medical treatments – which made my doctors, nurses, and medical staff smile, which made me smile, and created a more positive vibe which just might have helped me kick cancer’s ass. I thought I could help others, even if I am not a celebrity or rock star.”
2) As far as self-publishing, see “not a celebrity or rock star,” above. The chances of a traditional publishing house being interested in a memoir from a non-celebrity is always slim, but also, there’s a lot of stories in this work that are unconventional. Where would they shelve it? I write about my polyamorous relationships (threesome during radiation!), and my musical soundtrack for cancer. I put a clickable Spotify playlist at the start of each chapter, and I also write about my experiments with medicinal marijuana. Then there are lots and lots of boob pictures: some artistic, some a little scary.

Did you hire an editor?
I did. You know the saying, Only a fool represents themselves (in court)? No matter how skilled a writer we might be, we need someone to tell us, “This chapter bored the snot out of me; cut it. This one is good, but needs to be further back; or closer to the beginning. Also, catching all those little times you write pubic when you mean public – or vice versa.

How did you choose the cover?

I decided to get a set of before-and-after boudoir pictures by skilled photographer (and gorgeous hottie) Nick Holmes. I’d never thought I was particularly photogenic, but he was amazing, and I felt so beautiful in his pictures. So I had lots of pictures to choose from. Then I was lucky enough to connect with a very talented young woman from my LARA (Los Angeles Romance Authors) chapter who was looking to get more experience creating covers. I love what she did for me!

What advice do you have for other authors who are considering self publishing? Beware of premature publishing syndrome! This was my first full-length published work, but I’ve been writing for a few decades, and my first finished books? I had the equivalent of beer goggles in the first few months after I finished them, I thought they were terrific. Horrific, more like, and I am so grateful now they are not “out there.” If self-publishing had been as easy then as it is now, they would be part of my awful, I mean, author brand. Take your time and let your finished work “rest” for a bit before deciding to put it into the world. If you can’t afford to do all the things – write the best content you can, professional editing, the best cover, then hold it back and finish those things a little at a time. Don’t put out substandard work. I plan to take your advice. 

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
Looking for Big Ben in London
I think getting reviews and messages, from strangers as well as family and friends, that this book actually helped them. Mission accomplished. Even when there’s cancer, death of loved ones, or other challenging situations to deal with, I refuse to let myself be robbed of joy, no matter what. One person told me it made him laugh, cry, and want to masturbate, and who can ask for a better review than that? No one!

And finally, where can we find you?
I’m on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and have the obligatory blog and newsletter. (Can I bribe you to sign up for my newsletter? I only send it out a couple times a year, I promise. I’ll let you wear my tiara!) ALSO, I’m doing a FaceBook takeover party in Christine’s Book Love Reader Group, tomorrow night (7 pm October 17). Come by for some fun games and prizes! Check it our, friends.
I signed up for your newsletter. I won't hold you to your promise on the tiara because I have a snazzy one of my own. 
I hate to miss Christine Ashworth's Book Lovers Readers Group because it's always so much fun but I've got tickets for Dear Evan Hansen that night.,   Thanks for being here Beverly and for the inspiration of your journey.
Contest is below. Happy reading.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Travels Through Time and Space

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with No comments
Kailua Beach, HI and the Crab festival in Port Angeles WA. Yum!
Walter appreciated the Leis

In the past three weeks I traveled from the glorious beaches in Hawaii to the snow-topped Olympic Mountains in Port Angeles Washington. Between trips I stopped home in Los Angeles, played with my grandson and spent a day at the 2018 InDScribed conference. That's what my physical body did.

My mental travels were more extensive. I flashed between 1840  Victorian London and a country manor 1940 World War II England rereading the third draft of Lord Bryon's Daughter before I write the last part of the story.
I thought I had finished the story before my critique partners unanimously said "No." I have to take Ada back to 1840 and show how the time travel affected her life in a Victorian Society.
In 1840 Augusta Ada Bryron chafed against the restrictions of Victorian Society. The real Ada was so far ahead of her time that she invented the first computer language more than a century before there was a machine that could use it. Alan Turing, the hero of the film The Imitation Game, used Ada's work to further his own.
A main theme in my novel is how much women as a sex are underrated, So Ada has to go back and change because of what she experienced in 1940. Ada changed the world during her lifetime. But no one knew she had done it until the mid twentieth century.
The battle for a woman to be accepted as an intelligent being worthy of equal treatment isn't new. If you'd like to read a fictional account of Ada's journey, here's a link to the first chapter. https://susanbjames.blogspot.com/p/lord-byrons-daughter.html
Happy Reading

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Book News for You. Plus # Giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 1 comment
This is from Little Bird Publicity.
They are going to send me a copy of Virgin River which is already on my bookshelf. I am giving away my copy to one of you. It really is a lovely series. If you haven't read it, this is your chance to read the first one. I own them all. The Giveaway is open for US readers only. Sorry. Postage.
Little Bird:
We're excited to share this special breaking news announcement with a select group of our favorite bloggers and influencers:
Netflix has ordered 10 episodes of Virgin River, a contemporary romance based on the beloved, 20-book Harlequin series from #1 New York Times bestseller Robyn Carr. The series has sold more than 13 million copies worldwide.
Reel World Management and Roma Roth are producing the series; Sue Tenney will serve as showrunner and executive producer; and Roma Roth and Chris Perry will executive produce. The series will start production later this year.
About the series:
Melinda Monroe answers an ad to work as a nurse practitioner in the remote California town of Virgin River thinking it will be the perfect place to start fresh and leave her painful memories behind. But she soon discovers that small-town living isn't quite as simple as she expected and that she must learn to heal herself before she can truly make Virgin River her home.

Robyn Carr is the author of more than 50 novels, which have sold over 28 million copies worldwide. She has written 11 #1 New York Times bestsellers. Her upcoming novel, The Best of Us, will be released on January 8th, 2019.


News from my friend and former critique partner, Allison Morse. Her new YA book, Dragon's Shadow is now available on NetGalley. A thrilling rollercoaster ride, Dragon’s Shadow is a fun read that delivers.
I bought the book when it came out. You can read it at NetGalley for free. Why? Because Dragon's Shadow needs more reviews.

My five-star review: Twins separated by a curse and magic. Kylie lives in our world. Jarlon lives in a world ruled by magic. A world where three races - Human, Cortali, and Shinwar are ruled by one King. The twin’s destinies are intertwined and unless they can defeat the great dragon, they have no future.
I loved the way this story played out. A beautifully built world and a well-written story.
I just finished The Other Lady Vanishes by Amanda Quick (Jayne Anne Krentz) 
After escaping from a private sanitarium, Adelaide Blake arrives in Burning Cove, California, desperate to start over.
Working at an herbal tea shop puts her on the radar of those who frequent the seaside resort town: Hollywood movers and shakers always in need of hangover cures and tonics. One such customer is Jake Truett, a recently widowed businessman in town for a therapeutic rest. But unbeknownst to Adelaide, his exhaustion is just a cover.
In Burning Cove, no one is who they seem. Behind facades of glamour and power hide drug dealers, gangsters, and grifters. Into this make-believe world comes psychic to the stars Madame Zolanda. Adelaide and Jake know better than to fall for her kind of con. But when the medium becomes a victim of her own dire prediction and is killed, they'll be drawn into a murky world of duplicity and misdirection.
Neither Adelaide or Jake can predict that in the shadowy underground they'll find connections to the woman Adelaide used to be--and uncover the specter of a killer who's been real all along.

My review: Yay! Another mystery set in the 1930's in Burning Cove. This is a stand-alone novel But the setting is Burning Cove - a 1940's Hollywood getaway playground for the very rich and or famous. I love the time, the place and the characters. Amanda Quick in a new and rare form.
That's it.  Right now I'm reading Penny Reid's Grin and Beard It.
What are you reading? Leave me a comment giving me a book recommendation and your email address 
Blessings all.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

3 Tips for a Cheaper Hawaiian Vacation

Posted by Susan J Berger on 1:12:00 AM with 3 comments

Full Harvest Moon from our vacation rental

Tip #1
Our Hawaii home. Two blocks from Kailua Beach on Oahu
 Kay's vacation Rentals https://www.kaysaliivacationrental.com/alii.html

Tip# 2 Kailua Beach has shade trees, soft sand and the occasional turtle. It;s not on the tour bus route.
Tip frrom the local residents: never leave anything valuable in your car interior or in your trunk. That makes me sad, but it's still a beautiful local beach. Kailua is where Presisent Obama and his family used to come visit. One of the  great local places is Island Snow. A snow cone delight.
 Kailua has a Thursday evening Farmers Market in the parking lot behind Long's drugs. Wonderful food there. I have to go to buy my favorite specialty jams. Best cheap local plate lunch is Oneava Market. https://www.yelp.com/biz/oneawa-market-kailua
Then there's Zippys for a traditional Hawaian plate lunch, or Portugese bean soup or some fun pastrys, http://zippys.com/kailua/

Tip#3 If you want to find great cheap Hawaiian clothes, try Savers Thrift shop. You can go there right after you pick up your rental car. Last time I was here my wasband, Barry Corbin was working on Anger Management with Charlie Sheen. He asked me to bring him back a couple of Hawaiian shirts to out-shine Charlie's. I found them at Savers. I love that place. there were racks of Hawaiian shirts - color coded. https://stores.savers.com/hi/honolulu/savers-thrift-store-1046.html
I'm going back to what I do best. Lying in the shade of an ironwood tree. In a minute I'll get out a book. Happy reading.

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