Tuesday, October 30, 2018

JoAnn Ross and Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane #giveaway/

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with No comments
Snowfall On Lighthouse Land comes out today! And I have a paperback to give away. Small Town Christmas read, anyone? Second Chance Romance? The Gorgeous Olympic Penninsula? And one great ghost? If you love any of these things, this is a book for you.

Blurb: Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Jolene Harper is forever indebted to the mother who encouraged her to fly—all the way to sunny LA and a world away from Honeymoon Harbor. Although Jolene vowed never to look back, returning home isn’t even a question when her mom faces a cancer scare. Which means running into Aiden Mannion all over town, the first boy she ever loved—and lost—and whom she can barely look in the eye.
Aiden’s black-sheep reputation may have diminished when he joined the marines, but everything he’s endured since has left him haunted. Back in Honeymoon Harbor to heal, he’s talked into the interim role of police chief, and the irony isn’t lost on the locals, least of all Aiden. But seeing Jolene after all these years is the unexpected breath of fresh air he’s been missing. He’s never forgotten her through all his tours, but he’s not sure anymore that he’s the man she deserves.
Despite the secret they left between them all those years ago, snow is starting to fall on their picturesque little town, making anything seem possible…maybe even a second chance at first love

When Little Bird Publicity asked me if I would like to feature JoAnn Ross on my blog, I had never heard of her. So I looked her up. Her website immediately endeared her to me.
Meet JoAnn Ross.
When New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross was seven-years-old, she had no doubt whatsoever that she’d grow up to play center field for the New York Yankees. Writing would be her backup occupation, something she planned to do after retiring from baseball. Those were, in her mind, her only options. While waiting for the Yankees management to call, she wrote her first novella — a tragic romance about two star-crossed mallard ducks — for a second grade writing assignment.
The paper earned a gold star. And JoAnn kept writing.
She’s now written over one hundred novels and has been published in twenty-six countries. Two of her titles have been excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine and her books have also been published by the DoubledayRhapsodyLiterary Guild, and Mystery Guild book clubs. A member of the Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll of best-selling authors, she’s won several awards, including RT Reviews’ Career Achievement Awards in both category romance and contemporary single title. In addition, she received RWA’s national service award and was named RWA Pro-Mentor of the Year.
Although the Yankees have yet to call her to New York to platoon center field, JoAnn figures making one out of two life goals isn’t bad.
Currently writing her Honeymoon Harbor series for HQN, JoAnn lives with her high school sweetheart, whom she married twice, in her beloved Pacific Northwest.

Honeymoon Harbor, set in a small harbor town on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula,  is about love, life, and family. 
I'm going to link you to the series through JoAnn's Website because it's available in so many formats.
If you already love Joann or would like to discover Joann in a Christmassy way. Enter Below. Happy heading.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Meet Christiana Miller, Witchy-wonderful Writer and Self Publishing Maven. #Free Book plus #99-cent Book

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with No comments

Meet Christiana Miller, single mom, weirdly wonderful paranormal author, and independent publisher expert. I've heard her speak about publishing (an action-packed lecture. I am still reeling), and I've read Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead. By the way, Aunt Tilly #1 is Free right now. I loved it. It has 1,188 reviews/ 55% are five star. I am one of the 5 stars.

Christiana, I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you decided to self-publish.

I had been laid off from my day job, and then the TV show I was writing for, General Hospital: Night Shift, got canceled, at the same time that the economy tanked. I couldn’t find work anywhere. While I was pregnant, I had started writing a novel, Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead, mostly for my own amusement (since Janet Evanovich hadn’t released a new Stephanie Plum in a while) and to teach myself how to write novels. (I’ve been obsessed with books, my entire life). And that was about to save my life.

After I finished it, I started sending it out, and the feedback was uniformly positive and uniformly “I have no idea how to sell this, so we’re passing on it.” At the time, I was producing and moderating a panel on self-publishing for the Writers Guild of America, so I thought, why don’t I go ahead and self-publish? That way, if nothing else, I would at least know what questions to ask the panelists. Six months later, I was making a living as an indie author.

Did you hire an editor?
At the time, I was so broke, I didn’t have any money left to hire an editor. So, friends with English degrees contributed free editing for the book. At the time, the conversion software for ebooks wasn’t great, and it would turn words with accents into gibberish. So, when readers started emailing me with a conversion glitch, I let them know that if they caught any errors, and they let me know about it, I would fix it, add their name to the acknowledgment page, and republish. And the readers took that to heart. So, even though I was flat broke at the time, Tillie wound up going through two editors and a huge number of volunteer proofreaders.

How did you choose the cover?
The first thing I did was create my own cover and then I had the good sense to realize
that my cover, as proud as I was of it, was atrocious. I found a freelance cover designer who was having a sale, and I hired her. And then I went on stock art sites, and sent her all of the images I wanted on my cover, or that I thought would fit. I really had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully, she was able to take the images I sent, pare them down and create a really amazing cover. Much, much better than anything I could have done on my own.

What advice do you have for other authors who are considering self-publishing?
There’s a learning curve, which seems daunting at first, but it’s not that bad. However, you have to remember to split your time between being a writer and being a publisher. It’s too easy to spend all your time writing and forget you also need to market. On the flip side, it’s even easier to spend all your time on the publishing side, especially as you watch your numbers climb, and forget you still need to write another book.

And the best piece of advice I can give…I know, for newer writers, it’s tempting to write stand-alone novellas and short stories because novels are daunting. But a novel series will sell much better, and be a better investment for you, than stand-alones or shorts. It can mean the difference between making a living or making Starbucks money.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
Meeting Janet Evanovich and Deborah Harkness. Meeting and working with other indie authors, whose work I totally fan-girl. And finding new authors. I just found one, who I think is going to be the Janet Evanovich of zombie hunters. H.R. Boldwood’s book, The Corpse Whisperer, is one of best manuscripts I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It’s on preorder now. And last, but not least, the day I realized that I could make a living as an author. That was pretty awesome.

 What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
Hanging out with my kids. Hands-down favorite. Being a mom is my absolute favorite thing in the world.

How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
The rent being due really motivates me. Rent, utilities, groceries, and knowing I have a kid who still depends on me, is huge motivation. The lack of someone to share the financial burden with is really the sucky part of being a single mom. That’s when it really does become publish or perish since you’re completely responsible for whether you and your kid are living in an apartment or out on the streets.

Tell us about your latest book
I just released a new one, The Thief Who Stole Midnight, which is 99-cents for this week only. So, I’ll tell you a little bit about that one, as well as Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead since that one’s free right now.
99-cents??!!!When I read this, I flew over to Amazon by link and one-click purchased my copy of The Thief Who Stole Midnight. I'm looking forward to the read. You always make me laugh.

In The Thief Who Stole Midnight, Mike and Maddie, a young couple with a new baby, are rushing home to prepare for their first New Year’s Eve party as a family. When they arrive, however, they’re shocked to find their condo has been burgled. Even worse, the burglar is still there—passed out on their bed! But New Year’s Eve in Chicago means they’re on a wait list for the cops. With Maddie’s anti-city, pro-suburb Greek family due to arrive at any minute, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Which means this night is about to go from wacky to worse.

The inspiration for that book was my own experience, being locked in a bank after closing hours, and not being able to convince the cops that I wanted to break out of a bank. I always wanted to use that type of humor response to a 9-1-1 call in a story.

In Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead, Mara is having the worst month of her life. At least, that's what her tarot cards tell her and they've never been wrong. Before she knows it, she's evicted from her apartment, fired from her job and banned from Beverly Hills. But when the cards start predicting her imminent demise, she uses a little magic to make her world right. Suddenly, an aunt she's never met dies, leaving Mara as her sole heir. When Mara moves into her inherited home, she discovers Aunt Tillie never moved out. She's still one pissed-off old lady--even post-mortem--and she blames Mara's magical meddling for her untimely death.

 And finally, where can we find you?
You can find me online at:
Or drop me an email at: christiana@christianamiller.com

Christina, Thanks for being here.
Thank you for this opportunity to chat with you and your readers!

Look at that cover! It's 99 cents for a limited time. What a nice holiday gift.
Have a wonderful week.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Guest Book tomorrow on TBS

Posted by Susan B James on 12:40:00 PM with No comments

Greg Garcia's anthology comedy series The Guest Book, which premiered as 2017's #1 new cable comedy, returns to TBS on Tuesday, October 23 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) with back-to-back new episodes. Subsequent episodes will air on Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
And I am on episode 2, tra la!
As planned with every new season of The Guest Book, season two features a new town, new series regulars, and new guest stars. In the small oceanside community of Mabel Beach, vacationers who stay at the Bare Feet Retreat record their confessions, alibis, and farewells in the cottage's guest book. They are hosted by town locals Bodhi, Nikki and Tommy, played by series regulars Jimmy Tatro (American Vandal), Kimiko Glenn (Orange Is the New Black), and Dan Beirne (Fargo).
Tommy and Nikki are a couple that manage Emmy Lou's Grill and Bare Feet Retreat. Bodhi is a handyman who often helps out at the grill and vacation home. Previously announced series regulars Carly Jibson (One Mississippi) and Eddie Steeples (My Name Is Earl) also star in season two. Jibson returns as Vivian, the scheming bikini bar owner, who accompanies Eddie (played by Eddie Steeples) from Mount Trace to the beach IN SEARCH OF a fresh start.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Kicking Cancer's Ass with Beverly Diehl. #Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James 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.
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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Travels Through Time and Space

Posted by Susan B James 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 B James 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.