Wednesday, April 23, 2014

First Chapter Review: The Hybrid Author by Dianne G. Sagan



Dianne G. Sagan recently released The Hybrid Author. I downloaded a sample of the book to my Kindle Fire.


BLURB: A publishing industry in constant change, authors find themselves trying to make decisions about whether or not to self-publish or traditionally publish. Now you have a book that explains the Hybrid Author path.
• What it is.
• What the options are.
• How to decide.
Including interviews with C. J. Lyons, Joanna Penn, J. A. Konrath, Hugh C. Howey, Barbara Freethy, Marie Force, Barbara Morgenroth and Jennifer Archer. The Hybrid Author is "a treasure house of useful suggestions and resources for any writer."

COVER: This cover is a great choice. It's simple. It's uncluttered. The laptop makes you think of writing. Though I'm not always a fan of the title being blocked off, the color scheme along with the border make it stand out. Nice job.

FIRST CHAPTER:  Sagan starts off by giving an overview of the various publishing paths--traditional publishing, subsidy publishing, self-publishing, and vanity publishing. The hybrid author is someone using more than one path to publication. Cited surveys and statistics support what Sagan says is the biggest challenge for authors--keeping up with voracious readers.

KEEP READING: Definitely. As an author, I've found publishing requires a ton of patience. There are days I wish my books could make it to market sooner. This is part of why I've considered self-publishing, even though I enjoy working with both my publishers. Even just the first chapter of Sagan's book has given me food for thought. The cited surveys and statistics indicate hybrid authors are finding success by boldly embracing multiple paths to publication, giving readers more of what they want--books.

Sagan's conversational style encourages readers to continue, while her experience gained from more than a decade in the industry provides the security and comfort that she can speak on such topics. I'm eager to learn more about what she has to say on the topic of hybrid authors. I also want to read all the interviews included.

File Size: 562 KB
Print Length: 158 pages
Publisher: Sagan & Associates, LLC (April 11, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00JNC4KL6


To learn more about award-winning author Dianne G. Sagan, please visit http://thehybridauthor.com/ and http://diannesagan.wordpress.com/

This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensate for in any way.

Book Spotlight: The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran


When Olivia Berrington gets the call to tell her that her best friend from college has been killed in a car crash in New York, her life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Sally was an exhilarating roller coaster, until a shocking betrayal drove them apart. But if Sally really had turned her back, why is her little girl named after Olivia?

As questions mount about the fatal accident, Olivia is forced to go back and unravel their tangled history. But as Sally’s secrets start to spill out, Olivia’s left asking herself if the past is best kept buried.

“Gripping, emotional – shows how losing a best friend can be worse than losing a lover."
—Daisy Goodwin, author of My Last Duchess on The Last Time I Saw You


"Defiantly superior women's fiction . . . “
—Independent on Breakfast in Bed

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Quercus; Reprint edition (April 22, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623651336
ISBN-13: 978-1623651336

Read a Q and A with the author at http://www.eleanormoran.co.uk/author/#.U1dPvvldUvk

Eleanor Moran is the author of three previous novels: Stick or Twist, Mr Almost Right and Breakfast in Bed, which is currently being developed for television. Eleanor also works as a television drama executive and her TV credits include Rome, MI5, Spooks, Being Human and a biopic of Enid Blyton, Enid, starring Helena Bonham Carter. Eleanor grew up in North London, where she still lives.

Visit Eleanor Moran’s Website: http://www.eleanormoran.co.uk/
Follow Eleanor Moran on Twitter: https://twitter.com/eleanorkmoran

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Interview with Susan Israel, Author of Over My Live Body


Susan Israel lives in Connecticut with her beloved dog, but New York City lives in her heart and mind. A graduate of Yale College, her fiction has been published in Other Voices, Hawaii Review and Vignette and she has written for magazines, websites and newspapers, including Glamour, Girls Life, Ladies Home Journal and The Washington Post. She’s currently at work on the second book in the Delilah Price series, Student Bodies.

Visit Susan online at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-Israel-books/1422085928004817 or https://twitter.com/Sqrlmom

When did you begin writing?

I was in grade school, I think, making up stories to cope with being
bullied. That continued into junior high school and high school. I got
some encouragement from one (just one!) teacher in high school, but my earlier efforts weren't very good. I was trying to be someone else. It wasn't until I went to college that I felt my talent was appreciated and I grew as a writer and took greater leaps. My suggestion to anyone who has been afflicted with the "writing bug" is if you are not being encouraged by the people you know, find people who will encourage you, even if it means getting a ton of criticism (as long as it's meant to build you up, not tear you down) Read as much as you can and at the same time find your own voice.

Do you write during the day, at night, or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I used to write in a computer cluster during the day, between say, 10 a.m. and noon, after which I'd go for coffee to reboot. I wrote all of Over My Live Body that way. After the cluster was removed, I started
writing at home, after dark, when it was quieter and I still do. But I also take my work in progress and a composition notebook with me when I go out for coffee and work there, whichever cafe I happen to go to.

What is this book about?

My main character, Delilah Price, is being stalked by a stranger who is obsessed with her, a situation not uncommon to actresses and rock stars, only Delilah is an artist who happens to work as an art model to
help make ends meet, not exactly a household name (yet). She doesn't know how she happened to attract his attention and doesn't know why horrible things are happening to people close to her as a result of the
attraction. The police only get involved when a murder is committed.

What inspired you to write it?


I was modeling for art classes and in a perfectly safe environment, but I conjured a situation where somebody would not be as safe,as sheltered, I and plopped my main character, Delilah, in the center of that.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Over My Live Body is available for purchase through:
Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Over-Live-Body-Susan-Israel/dp/1611881188
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/over-my-live-body-susan-israel/1116303576
Kobo - http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/over-my-live-body/book-VXQg7Qgvi0ee2HTgOnN02A/page1.html
iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/over-my-live-body/id755632984?mt=11
IndieBound - http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781611881189?aff=BookDivasReads

What's up next for you?

My next novel, Student Bodies, is the second in the Delilah Price saga. In this, Delilah is still modeling but also working as a substitute art teacher in a girls' middle school, dealing with teenage angst (and her own feelings of inadequacy) and the threat of a serial rapist and sexual predator posing a real danger to those she is close to - and herself. After that will be a third, yet untitled, involving a human trafficking ring and an intriguing foreign suitor with a questionable past and present.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Interview with Emily Sue Harvey, Author of Cocoon


New York Times bestselling author Jill Marie Landis called Song of Renewal “An uplifting, heartwarming story of forgiveness, commitment, and love, and Kay Allenbaugh, bestselling author of Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul says “Emily Sue Harvey’s work will linger in the memory long after readers put it aside.” National bestselling author Harvey, who has written numerous inspiring works of nonfiction, writes intensely romantic novels that thrill the heart as they inspire the soul. Her stories have something to say to every family.

Visit the author at http://emilysueharvey.com

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a mill village in South Carolina named Tucapau, which is the setting for my National Bestseller, UNTO THESE HILLS. The name was later changed to Startex, over which I grieve till this day.. I loved the old Indian name better.

When did you begin writing

I began writing in college, where I majored in English Education and discovered I had a gift for it. I planned to teach but when my eleven-year-old daughter, Angie, died in a tragic accident, my plans changed. My goals evolved into writing to make a difference in lives.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

All of the above.

What is this book about?

COCOON is about a widowed woman, Seana, who, against her family’s wishes, elopes with Barth, a man with a mystifying past. She’s happier than she’s been in years. Then her happiness shatters when a mysterious illness suddenly befalls her, exiling her once brilliant mind to a dark nightmare from which she may never return. The eclipse is startling and complete. Will Barth, with such a short history with Seana, love her enough to endure the trials of caring for someone under such dire circumstances? Can her family get past their suspicions and trust his motives and love for their mother? Will Seana ever escape her dark cocoon and reclaim her very purpose for living? Will life give her a second chance to spread her wings, like a beautiful butterfly? Cocoon is a life-affirming story of travail, obstacles, and the extraordinary lengths undying love will travel.

What inspired you to write it?

Everybody has a story. I look for stories all about me in everyday life. Occasionally, I find exceptional ones to build upon. COCOON is one of those. I saw two old high school classmates, Kay and Gerald Turner, at a restaurant one day and knew something was terribly wrong with Kay. She was not the person I’d known in school. I went over to speak to them and Kay avoided me like the plague, refusing to make eye contact or acknowledge me as Gerald and I chatted. I later learned from another classmate, Kay’s sister-in-law, that Kay was experiencing a psychosis, one from which she would,never, according to doctors, return. Years later, I saw Kay again at another restaurant, laughing and engaging with others and it smote me, the difference. I went to her and asked, “what happened?” She laughed and said, “it was a miracle. A true miracle.” I said, “I want to hear your story.” We met later and spent time together and when I asked to base a book on her medical history, she agreed. “If my story will help one person, it will be worth it,” she said. So, the inspiration came from those two wonderful people who are willing to be transparent and generous. They, along with Billie McGregor, another real life muse for the character Billie Jean, in COCOON, who, like the character, battles bone cancer, are my heroes!

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Let’s just put it this way: I paid my dues. After several years of submissions and rejections, I began publishing in short stories, I was ecstatic and soon, I’d accumulated dozens of credits. But I decided to add fiction to my repertoire because I love happy endings and that was a way to ensure them. Getting published in novel was a whole different story. I received more than my share of rejections and bad critiques and then, one day, I found my voice! It was first person and the story was HOMEFIRES, which I submitted to the Peter Miller Literary and Film Agency in NY. Lo and behold, Peter and his entire staff loved the story and now, years later, it is a National Bestseller.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Readers may purchase a copy of COCOON from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, or any online bookstore. They may even order it through their local bookstores.

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

The best investment is using social media. Social networking is a wonderful venue to get your name and books out there.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Keep on writing! Don’t let the first bad critiques get you down. Learn from them and keep sharpening your writing tools. Get in a good writers workshop, like Southeastern Writers Association. That’s where I learned the ins and outs of writing and marketing. And in the words of my mentor, bestselling author Cec Murphey, “Look in the mirror everyday and say to yourself, ‘I AM A WRITER!’” It works!!

What is up next for you?

I’m doing final formatting to my latest book, TWILIGHT TIME, as you read this. The story chronicles the odyssey of a couple simultaneously battling near-death trauma (the wife) and early stage Alzheimer’s (the husband). It captures the tragic, the funny, the heartwarming, the gut-wrenching ups and downs of a couple over which Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling. It’s their Twilight Time. Where, in the afterglow of day, they keep their rendezvous beneath the blue…and in the sweet and same old way, they fall in love again as they did then. Amid the most chaotic time of their lives, they still hear each other’s voices calling from the mist. They struggle through betrayal, forgiveness and on to redemption, where deepening shadows gather splendor as day is done, and know that they can conquer anything as long as they’re together.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!



Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter. Thank you for your readership.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

First Chapter Review: Hair of the Corn Dog by A. K. Turner



A.K. Turner is on tour with Pump Up Your Book to talk about her humor book, Hair of the Corn Dog

A.K. Turner is the author of This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store, Mommy Had a Little Flask, and Hair of the Corn Dog, as well as a co-author of Drinking with Dead Women Writers and Drinking with Dead Drunks. Her work has been featured in various publications and anthologies, including Folio Literary Magazine, Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, and I Just Want to Be Alone. A former writer-in-residence and creator of "The Writers' Block" on Radio Boise, she lives in Idaho with her exceedingly tolerant husband and two daughters.

Learn more at AKTurner.com.


BLURB:  In the latest laugh-out-loud confessional from A.K. Turner's "Tales of Imperfection" series, the author of This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store and Mommy Had a Little Flask relates her adventures on the Jersey Shore, at an Idaho drag show with her in-laws, and surviving the perils of an elementary school ice-cream social with equal parts wit and heart. The laughter pairs well with two parts cocktail.

COVER: This one is a riot. Don't you expect a corn dog to be paired with a beer or a soda? I wasn't expecting a Bloody Mary. The color scheme catches the eye. Between the look of the cover and the title you're bound to pick this one up to glance at it.

FIRST CHAPTER: The author relays a story of visiting a local dive with her husband and his former college buddy. There's lots of drinking, some storytelling from a cab driver, and a next day regret.

KEEP READING:  All I can say is that if this is the opening chapter, you're in for one heck of a ride. I had not expected a chapter titled "Humpin' Hannah's," and I don't drink, so going out to the bar to tie one on means nothing to me--except horrible memories of pretending to fit in and faking it. But I have to tell you, this is a funny chapter. If nothing else, it made me feel so much better about some of the exploits of my youth. Actually, it made me realize that had it not been for some of the wonderful people in my life, I might have been  one of those people the cab driver told the author and her husband about on their ride home from that dive.

Turner is funny. In some parts she seems almost vulnerable or too innocent for her own good. The cab driver's stories are outrageous, making me glad I don't live somewhere like New York City where cabs are the regular mode of transportation. The one thing I could really relate to was how Kelly (the former college buddy) learned keeping up with his college-age tenants wasn't as easy as it seemed. Getting old stinks.

The content isn't my usual style, but I had to admit I snickered and chuckled more than once. If you enjoy edgy, sometimes bawdy humor, this is a book you'll get a kick out of.

Series: The Tales of Imperfection Series
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Fever Streak Press (February 8, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0991375920
ISBN-13: 978-0991375929

I received the first chapter only of this book from Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Interview: Peter Murphy, Author of Born & Bred


Peter Murphy was born in Killarney where he spent his first three years before his family was deported to Dublin, the Strumpet City.

Growing up in the verdant braes of Templeogue, Peter was schooled by the De La Salle brothers in Churchtown where he played rugby for ‘The Wine and Gold’. He also played football (soccer) in secret!

After that, he graduated and studied the Humanities in Grogan’s under the guidance of Scot’s corner and the bar staff; Paddy, Tommy and Sean.

Murphy financed his education by working summers on the building sites of London in such places as Cricklewood, Camden Town and Kilburn.

Murphy also tramped the roads of Europe playing music and living without a care in the world. But his move to Canada changed all of that. He only came over for a while – thirty years ago. He took a day job and played music in the bars at night until the demands of family life intervened. Having raised his children and packed them off to University, Murphy answered the long ignored internal voice and began to write.

He has no plans to make plans for the future and is happy to let things unfold as they do anyway.


Visit Peter online at www.peterdamienmurphy.com

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a nice respectable suburb on the south side of Dublin, Ireland. It was the type of place you would imagine that children would be happy in but in my late teens, I wandered downtown in search of the places where my literary heroes had roamed. I found them and spent the next few years absorbing the atmosphere that still lingers.

When did you begin writing?

Growing up, I was strongly encouraged to read and write. As a lovelorn teen I wrote poetry and songs and became a bit of a troubadour for a while. Later, after I moved to Canada and became busy raising a family, I stole a few hours, here and there, to write short stories—some of which were not too bad. A few years back I got cashed-out of a job that I had grown very tired of and decided to start doing what really made me happy—writing.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I find the evenings are best for writing and I spend the day editing and reworking the previous day’s work. Reshaping it always gets me in the mood to take another plunge forward.

What is this book about?

It is the story of Danny Boyle, a pious and innocent child who gets waylaid by the storms of the world around him. His granny, a formidable and influential dowager, raised him to be good but when she dies, all of her secrets come tumbling out and shatter everything Danny believed in. Lost and confused, he gets involved with the drug scene and gets duped into leaving his fingerprints on a murder weapon. But his family still has powerful friends who are prepared to move Heaven and Earth to save him, only, even that might not be enough.

What inspired you to write it?


A few years ago, I was having dinner with family in Dublin when the talk turned to the recent murder of an alleged drug-dealer. Everyone voiced reasonable and insightful opinions and it set the wheels in motion. Even the greatest villains among us begin life as babies and I wanted to explore what might have happened along the way.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

Danny Boyle’s grandmother, Nora. She seems so self-assured at first and doesn’t hesitate to put everyone in their place. She does what she believes has to be done and pays her penance forward. But, as the story unfolds, her certainty is tested and Nora is forced to look at things differently.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Notwithstanding that the whole process can feel like it moves at glacial pace, I have been very fortunate. I found someone, my editor Lou Aronica, who saw something in my writing and has spared no effort to coax me along. Initially, some of his opinions ruffled my feathers but he has been proven right. Because of that I get to do my part—write—and trust that the rest will be well taken care of. Writing, publishing and reader’s reactions all make for a bit of a rollercoaster ride but what part of life isn’t?

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

No because all of that led to this. I spent over 3 years working on my first novel, Lagan Love, and have managed to produce the first 2 books of Life & Times; Born & Bred and Wandering in Exile in 2. What I am learning along the way is to avoid filling pages with anything that is not central to the story—a practice that can only be improved by making mistakes along the way.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.ca/Born-Bred-Peter-Murphy/dp/1611881161

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/born-bred-peter-murphy/1116303578

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/born-bred/id755632981

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/born-bred

Local Bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781611881165

Chapters/Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/born-bred/9781611881165-item.html?ikwid=peter+murphy+born+%26+bred

Ben McNally Books: http://www.benmcnallybooks.com/?q=events/fine_print_presents_born_and_bred_peter_murphy

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Write, write, and write. Like anything else, it gets easier with practice.

What is up next for you?

I have been working 10 to 12 hours a day for 3 years and when the 3rd book, All Roads, is done, I need to take some time to attend to the rest of my life. I need a haircut and I need to get organized for my move to Portugal. I tell myself I must take a few months off but, already, I’m playing with a few new ideas!

Is there anything you would like to add?

Yes, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to talk about my work.