April 2014


#Mystery #Excerpt from Murder Strikes a Pose by @TracyWeberTypes #AmReading

Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In this excerpt, Kate has been forced to take Bella back to her original owner, who she suspects has abused the dog in the past.
I turned off the car and confirmed the address. Bella’s Dash Point home was, as George described it, gorgeous. Most of my Ballard bungalow would easily fit in its three-car garage. The front of the house faced a large, open yard, and its abundant west-facing windows opened to a stunning Puget Sound view. For a moment, I allowed myself to rekindle a spark of hope. Maybe Betty was right; maybe Bella belonged here. I got out of the car and prepared to put on Bella’s leash.
A low, menacing rumble froze me in my tracks. I noticed the stake first, then ran my eyes up the chain. It ended in the spiked leather collar of a large, muscle-bound rottweiler. A rottweiler with big teeth. Big, pointy teeth. The kind of teeth that would thoroughly enjoy sharpening themselves on the femur bone of a trespassing yoga teacher. The term “junkyard dog” suddenly sounded cute and cuddly. Somehow I doubted Bella would like her new brother.
“Wait here, Bella. I’ll be right back.”
Bella cowered, hiding in the back seat’s far corner. Frankly, I wished I could hide back there with her. Instead, I stood frozen in the driveway, debating the wisdom of entering that Rottie’s coveted yard.
Finally, the front door opened, and a short, dark-haired man swaggered out, closely followed by a timid-looking blonde. He wore black ostrich skin cowboy boots and the facial expression of a mean-spirited long-haul trucker. She wore a tentative smile and expertly applied makeup that couldn’t completely hide the greenish-yellow bruise underneath her right eye. I had a terrible feeling that Bella wasn’t the only one this Trucker Man liked to kick around. My earlier spark of hope fizzled, replaced by a slow, burning rage.
Trucker Man turned to the woman. “Go back inside. I’ll take care of this.” He scowled as the door closed softly behind her. “You the woman who stole my dog?”
I glared right back at him. “I told you on the phone last night. I didn’t steal her. I’ve just been taking care of her since my friend passed away.” I nodded toward the still-growling Rottie. “I see you’ve already got another dog.”
“Yeah, a good one this time.”
“I don’t think you should take the shepherd back then. She doesn’t like other dogs.”
“That’s none of your concern. Give me the dog and get on your way.”
I stood there a full minute, staring him down, willing my eyes to turn him to stone. I didn’t want to give Bella back to this jerk. In fact, I would have preferred to dance barefoot through a football field covered in broken glass. But Betty’s orders were unequivocal: unless I had proof of abuse, I had to surrender Bella to her original owner, no matter how odious he might be. So I forced myself back to the car, hooked on Bella’s lead, and tried to coax her out of the back seat.
Tried, to no avail. Bella dug her paws into the upholstery and leaned away from me, transforming herself from an eighteen-month-old dog to a stubborn eighty-pound pack mule. I pulled with all my might. She refused to budge.
“Come on, Bella! You’re home now. Everything’s going to be fine.” She looked at me with large, frightened, eyes. We both knew I was lying.
About Murder Strikes a Pose:
Seattle yoga instructor Kate Davidson has unusually tight hamstrings encased in Miss Piggy-like thighs, and she often acts more like a champion fighting rooster than the Dalai Lama. When she’s not teaching yoga, she spends her time hiding from her creepy landlord and dodging her best friend’s relentless matchmaking attempts. Even though her father was a cop, Kate has zero crime fighting aspirations. She has enough trouble keeping her struggling yoga business afloat while trying to live up to yoga’s Zen-like expectations.
Then she stumbles over a body in the studio’s parking lot.
The police dismiss the murder as drug-related street crime, but Kate knows that George—a homeless alcoholic she had befriended—was no drug dealer. And if the police won’t take his murder seriously, she’ll just have to solve the crime herself. After all, “Drunk Dies in Drug Deal Gone Bad at Yoga Studio” isn’t exactly the free publicity she’s been hoping for.
Kate stretches herself and takes on two new challenges. First, solve George’s murder. Second, find someone—anyone—willing to adopt his intimidating, horse-sized German shepherd, Bella, before Animal Control sends her to the big dog park in the sky.
But with Bella’s time almost up and the murderer hot on her trail, Kate will have to work fast. Or the next time she practices Corpse Pose, it may be for real.
“Weber’s debut, which launches the Downward Dog series, should appeal to anyone who likes canines, yoga, and a determined sleuth. … Cozy fans will eagerly await the next installment.”
 Publishers Weekly
“What a treat! A charming heroine, a cantankerous pooch, and a clever page-turner of a mystery make for delightfully original entertainment. You don’t need to love yoga to love this series–its good karma makes it an instant winner.”
Hank Phillippi Ryan

When George and Bella—a homeless alcoholic and his intimidating German shepherd—disturb the peace outside her studio, yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s Zen-like calm is stretched to the breaking point. Kate tries to get rid of them before Bella scares the yoga pants off her students. Instead, the three form an unlikely friendship.
One night Kate finds George’s body behind her studio. The police dismiss his murder as a drug-related street crime, but she knows George wasn’t a dealer. So Kate starts digging into George’s past while also looking for someone to adopt Bella before she’s sent to the big dog park in the sky. With the murderer nipping at her heels, Kate has to work fast or her next Corpse Pose may be for real.
Cozy fans will eagerly await the next installment.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Murder Strikes a Pose, by Tracy Weber, is a delightful debut novel featuring Kate Davidson, a caring but feist yoga teacher . . . Namaste to Weber and her fresh, new heroine!” PENNY WARNER,AUTHOR OFHOW TO DINE ON KILLER WINE
“[T]his charming debut mystery . . . pieces together a skillful collage of mystery, yoga, and plenty of dog stories against the unique backdrop of Seattle characters and neighborhoods. The delightful start of a promising new series. I couldn’t put it down!” WAVERLY FITZGERALD, AUTHOR OF DIAL C FOR CHIHUAHUA
“Three woofs for Tracy Weber’s first Downward Dog Mystery, Murder STrikes a Pose. Great characters, keep-you-guessing plot, plenty of laughs, and dogswhat more could we want? Ah, yesthe next book!” SHEILA WEBSTER BONEHAM, AUTHOR OF DROP DEAD ON RECALL
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Cozy Mystery
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Tracy Weber on Facebook & Twitter


@GeorgiaLeCarre's #Excerpt from #Romance Novel FORTY 2 DAYS (#AmReading)

I hear the soft, thick click of the door behind me, and turn around to face him.  He stands there, tall, dark and throbbing with sexual tension.  God!  How I want this man.  A rough sound rumbles in his throat.  I recognize it.  Blind, earth-shattering desire.  It has been a long time since I heard it.  Makes me rock on my feet.  He shoots out a hand and pulls me hard towards him.  My body slams into his.
I have the impression of stone—unmoving.  It will break, but it will never bend.  But I can bend.  I mold my hips into his.   His erection is thick and hot against my stomach.  The rawness of it awakens that great beast inside me.  Greedy, relentless thing.  It wants more, it wants it all, and it wants it right now.  Intoxicated by the smoldering fire in his eyes my hands snake up his chest and twine around his neck, but his strong hands come up and untangle mine.  He catches them in his and takes them behind my back.  His clasp is a firm handcuff.
Very deliberately he holds me away from him and lets his half-lidded eyes rove my parted mouth, my breasts—thrust out towards him and heaving, down my body, to my legs.  His eyes lift again to meet mine.  I am impossibly aroused.
‘I had half a dozen fantasies of what I wanted to do to you when I got you naked.  Tame sex is not one of them,’ he says, as he plucks out the pins in my hair and flings them away.  Released, my hair falls all around my face and shoulders.
‘My beautiful whore.  Once I was good to you and you kicked me when I was down; now you get what you deserve.’
Without warning he grips the two sides of the high collar of my lovely dress and rips it into two.  I clutch the torn ends of my ruined dress together and stare at him in shock.
He looks down at me, breathing hard.  Strangely, he is as cold as ice.  My mind is in unbelievable chaos.  I have misjudged the extent of his fury.  Underneath the façade of calm he is seething with anger at what he perceives to be my duplicity.  I want to cry at the wanton destruction of something so beautiful, but in fact I am too shocked to cry.
‘Dress only in what’s in the box and meet me in the bedroom,’ he commands curtly, and walks away from me.

Beyond the seductive power of immense wealth lies… Dark Secrets
Devastatingly handsome billionaire, Blake Law Barrington was Lana Blooms first and only love. From the moment they touched his power was overwhelming. Their arrangement quickly developed into a passionate romance that captivated her heart and took her on an incredible sexual journey she never wanted to end.
The future together looked bright until Lana made a terrible mistake. So, she did the only thing she could… she ran.
Away from her incredible life, away from the man of her dreams, but she should have known a man such as Blake Law Barrington was impossible to escape. Now, he’s back in her life and determined that she should taste the bitterness of his pain.
Shocked at how rough the sex has become and humiliated that she is actually participating so willingly in her punishment, she despairs if she will ever feel the warmth of his touch–the solidity of his trust again? And even if she can win his trust, loyalties are yet to be decided, and secrets to be revealed–secrets that will test them both to their limits.
Will Lana be able to tear down the walls that surround Blake’s heart, and break him free of the brutal power of immense wealth?
Can Blake hold on to Lana’s heart when she discovers the enormity of the dark secrets that inhabit the Barrington family?
Lana has always believed that love conquers all. She is about to test that belief…
Buy @ Amazon
Genre – Erotic Romance
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author
Connect with Georgia Le Carre on Facebook & Twitter


INCITEMENT by David Graham @DavidANGraham #GoodReads #Thriller #JohnMurray

Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2014

Chapter 2

Early next morning, a tired Diane Mesi looked around Campas’s cramped hotel room. Pairs of bleary, sleep-deprived eyes belonging to the other team members stared back. Everyone had worked through the night, trying to reconstruct the attack. The meeting was so they could share findings and decide the next steps. Through local intelligence they’d known for months that the Madrigal-Zaragosa Alliance maintained a significant heroin refinery in the region but had never managed to locate it. 

When they’d received news of the explosion there had been no doubt of the target. Before they arrived there had been conjecture that some opportunist, drawn by the large quantities of drugs, had carried out the raid. But once on site, questions started to crop up. Campas had remarked to Mesi that they could be looking at something new. The way he had said it left no doubt that he considered anything “new” in their business to be distinctly unwelcome.

Once the last team members had filed in, Campas stood up. He was not a physically imposing man–small, with thinning hair and a hawkish nose–but everyone’s attention was immediately focused on him.

“Antonio, the perimeter guards?” the enquiry was directed at a tall man leaning against the wardrobe.

“Both killed by shots to the head,” said Antonio Guzman, a pathologist attached to the team. “We’re doing some further work on the shell fragments, but I’d say we’re dealing with subsonic rounds fired over distance. Cause of death would have been a complete shut-down of the nervous system, almost certainly instantaneous.”

“The nearest suitable cover to the compound is at least eighty meters, so we’re dealing with a reasonably skilled sniper,” somebody said.

“Snipers,” interjected Ruben, a SWAT officer newly assigned to Campas’s team.

“Why more than one?” asked Mesi. Although she was there as a courtesy, Campas had encouraged her to participate.

Ruben turned to a plan of the compound that had been stuck on the wall and indicated locations on opposite sides of the area. “Both guards were shot while they were the maximum distance apart. For one man to do this, he’d have had to kill the first guard, then move at least two to three hundred meters across the hill behind to get into position for the second shot. It doesn’t seem that the building guards raised the alarm or left their posts, which indicates the attackers using rifles equipped with suppressors, consistent with the subsonic rounds mentioned. To be confident of a headshot with a suppressor, an experienced shooter would have preferred to be within a certain minimum distance. 

Stealth appears to have been a main objective of the initial phase of the attack, so I’m assuming speed was also important. The time between the first and last exterior guard being killed would ideally have been as brief as possible.”

“Makes sense: the longer they took, the more chance of detection,” Campas said.

“Yes and why take the risk of one man moving at speed across the hill to take the second shot?” Ruben asked. “It’s not an easy thing to do: shoot, run over uneven terrain, and then quickly shoot again with confidence. Also, while he’s moving there’s a chance he’d attract attention.”

“I’ll go with that,” said Campas, nodding. “So, two snipers killing at a synchronized time?”

“Or at a signal, perhaps from a third party. Good shooting regardless: a head shot downhill from at least eighty meters with a suppressor.”

Mesi sensed some uneasiness creeping into the room.

“It strikes me detailed reconnaissance would’ve been required for this kind of attack,” Campas said, looking at the plan of the compound. “Familiarity with the workings of the guards could only have come from time spent observing the site, possibly over a number of days. Ruben, when we’re finished here start scouting the surrounding area to see if you can find any evidence of their presence. There’s a lot of ground to cover. Will you need me to draft in more manpower?”

“I’d prefer to limit the number, at least initially, to minimize the chance of destroying evidence. If we could spare two or three people, I can give them a quick run-through on how to proceed.”

“Okay. Oscar, Carlos, and …,” Campas turned to look at Mesi, smiling. “How about it Diane? Would you be willing to help Ruben with what’s likely to be pain-in-the-ass drudge work?”

“Absolutely,” she answered.

“Great, now what about the guards killed closer to the building?”

“One shot through the head at close range with a 9 mm,” Guzman resumed. “The other had his throat cut. The killer struck him with tremendous force just above the clavicle using a heavy blade. The blow went through the carotid artery and was so severe that the spinal cord between the C5 and C6 vertebrae at the rear of his neck was severed. No defence wounds or signs of struggle. Total surprise, I’d say.”

“Combined with what we know about the attacks on the exterior guards, anyone want to say out loud what I’m guessing we’re thinking?” Campas asked the room.

“Military training. I know the cartels have used mercenaries in the past, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” said one of the older team members.

“I’m sorry, this may be a stupid question,” Mesi said, “but what do we think was the motive? Robbery? How much heroin could they have taken with them?”

“We hear of soldiers carrying twenty to fifty kilo packs while force-marching over long distances,” Guzman offered. “Even with only three or four men, twenty kilos a man is a substantial haul. Most likely they had transport standing close by, ready for an all-clear once they’d executed the attack.”

“True, but if you have this capability in planning and firepower, is this the obvious place to strike? Once you have the heroin, you still have the risks associated with transporting it,” said Mesi.

“Maybe they only had intelligence about this location, or perhaps the fact that it is an unlikely target was why they picked it,” Guzman countered.

“Perhaps, but I have to admit that, like Diane, I have some misgivings,” Campas said. “The tactics and professionalism involved here are without precedent. There was only one notable thing about the refinery: the amount of heroin on site at any one time, both raw and refined. We’re guessing at least 2,000 kilos. To execute the attack and remove that much heroin would’ve taken time. It’s very risky. So we can probably assume some of the heroin may have been destroyed, and if that’s the case, then outlandish as it seems: why not all of it?”

It was clear to Diane that while some of the agents had considered this already, others hadn’t. From the disbelieving expressions on some faces, it was not difficult to distinguish the two.

“So,” Campas concluded. “We need to pursue both robbery and destruction as motives.”

“Sal, do you think we might be dealing with a state-sponsored action here?” one of the younger agents asked.

“You mean, has the U.S. initiated something along the lines of Plan Coca without telling us?”

Plan Coca was a recently launched, joint Colombian-U.S. initiative to bring the drug war to the doorstep of the main producers in Colombia. The strategy involved applying military resources, in the form of fumigation runs from the air and troop movements on the ground, to forcibly eject the growers from their territorial strongholds. Unsurprisingly, it had no shortage of opponents, including some of Colombia’s neighbors, who had complained that the Plan would push the struggle into their territories.

The agent glanced at Mesi momentarily before nodding.

“I very much doubt it. Plan Coca’s a highly politicized operation in a welcoming sovereign state. What do you think, Diane?” asked Campas.

“No, there’s absolutely no way military action in Mexico would ever be countenanced, not even a covert attack like this,” she said. “We’ve supported Colombia with military aid for years, so our involvement’s in the public domain. No one would even dream of risking the blowback of unsanctioned action in Mexico.”

“Until we know more, let’s hold off with further speculation on motive; we need to concentrate on the work we have in front of us.” Campas checked his notes. “I think we’ve covered everything; here’s how I suggest we proceed.”



A brutal conflict unleashed.
Who stands to win?

A bloody massacre at a Mexican heroin refinery; a Miami-bound freight ship hijacked for its cargo of illegal narcotics; the ruthless assassination of a Kosovar drug lord – a war has erupted between two drugs superpowers.

As DEA Agent Diane Mesi investigates she becomes convinced that the conflict is being orchestrated by an unknown third party. But she is marginalised by her colleagues and her judgement is challenged at every turn. Only if she can expose the truth will she be able to stop the violence and save her career.

Michael Larsen is an ex-soldier and hired mercenary who has been contracted to fuel the conflict at every opportunity until it destroys both sides. As he battles his own demons, he hopes that by directing the violence he will attain some measure of redemption.

But neither Mesi nor Larsen know the full extent of the forces at play or of what is truly at stake. As they each pursue their own resolution, the violence escalates and they become increasingly vulnerable to the dangers that stalk them.

Incitement won the John Murray Show / RTE Guide / Kazoo Competition from over 500 entries.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with David Graham on Facebook & Twitter


@JR_Tague on 5 Things She Had Known Before Her First Book #YA #BookMarketing #PubTip

Posted on Friday, April 25, 2014

1) You always re-write the beginning pages.
Before I even had a plot for Leveling Up, I wrote the first two pages. They were basically Max introducing himself and telling the reader what he was about. When I finally had a story to go with those pages, I got a lot of positive feedback on them.
Then I went to a writer’s conference and learned in one of my first workshops that the first pages always get scrapped or re-written. I thought I’d be the exception. I’m a painfully slow, careful writer, which certainly has its drawbacks. But the positive of that is that I usually have a lot less editing to do later.
When I finished my first draft, I hired a developmental editor to help me get my story in shape for querying. And guess where we focused the majority of our efforts? ON THE OPENING. It was hard to admit that I wasn’t special. But it made sense. When you write the first few pages of your novel, you’re just starting to feel out your characters and settings. You’re just finding the story’s narrative voice. That makes those pages very important. And very special. But, as my editor pointed out, they were just for me. Once I had my narrator’s voice, I had it. I could use it to craft an opening that set up the proper expectations for the novel, and the work would be stronger for it.
2) Writing the middle is the hardest part and you’ll feel like giving up.
I was at about 30k words when I ran out of outline for my first novel. I knew from the beginning that Leveling Up was going to be a series, so I’d envisioned the first book as an introduction to my character and the issues he’d be struggling with throughout the series. Thing is, that’s not enough plot for an entire novel—even a shorter YA novel. I only had half a book and felt completely lost and discouraged. It was such a relief later when I learned that it’s a common problem amongst writers. Middles are just hard. But once you get past them, it gets easier again.
3) Trust your characters
I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about my characters and getting a vague, misty idea of what their stories are, before I ever start writing. So by the time I’m into the plot, I expect to have a good idea of who they are and what they’re all about. But often they surprise me. They want to do things I don’t expect from them. They have reactions and emotions I didn’t think they would. It almost feels like a betrayal at first. But I think it’s actually a great sign. It means they’re realistic.
4) Nobody wants to hear about your book while you’re writing it. But everyone wants to hear about how it’s doing once you’ve published it.
Hearing about another person’s work in progress, unless you’re an extremely good friend (which I’m fortunate enough to have), is super painful. Maybe not as bad as listening to someone’s weird-ass dream, but similar. Even once we’ve completed a draft, it’s difficult for most of us to come up with tag lines and an “elevator pitch” (one-sentence summation of the book). When we’re in the middle of a novel, it’s very hard to narrow it down. We’re too embroiled in the intricacies of the plot. Therefore I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to hear me yammer on about it.
It’s just that for me, that’s the exciting part—getting the story down. But once it’s published, it’s a real thing to other people. They are excited for you, and proud, and happy, and so supportive. And that’s when they want to know how it’s doing. Are sales good? Is feedback positive? What are you doing to promote it? Those are all extremely valid questions and they are coming from a good place. Buuuuut, I always want to answer that the book is done. I finished it years ago, in fact. I still love it and care about it and yes, of course I am trying to make sure it does well. But my head’s already in book two.
5) That it’s like having homework. Forever.
Writing isn’t a hobby; it’s a job. It was easier to lie about that when I was writing my first novel. Because any aspirations I had for it were kept secret, even from myself, for a long time. It was just something I was kind of working on, and I’d just see how it went.
But once I got serious about it, once I started thinking about the sequels and signing book deals, and coming up with other, unrelated series to write as well, that’s when I knew it had me. I was committed. There wouldn’t be just this one trilogy, there’d be other stories. There’d be other multi-book sagas to write. And before I knew it, it wasn’t a choice anymore. The stories had found me and I had to write them.

Max McKay gets a second chance at life when, after a bizarre accident on his sixteenth birthday, he is reanimated as a new breed of thinking, feeling zombie. To secure a spot for his eternal soul, Max must use his video game prowess as well as the guidance of Steve the Death God to make friends and grow up. As if all that weren’t hard enough, Max discovers that he’s not the only zombie in town. As he enlists the help of his new friends, Adam and Penny, to solve the mystery of their un-dead classmate, Max discovers that he must level up his life experience in order to survive the trials and terrors of the upcoming zombie apocalypse. And, even worse, high school.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – YA
Rating – PG
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Dream Caster (The Dream Cycle) #Fantasy #MustRead by Najeev Raj Nadarajah (#AmReading)

Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Haunted by memories of his massacred settlement, sixteen-year-old Weaver seeks cover in a hidden refuge among the remains of a ruined city. In the midst of building a new life, Weaver discovers that he has the amazing power to cast his dreams into reality. Convinced it’s just an anomaly, Weaver ignores it. 

That is until he learns of a mysterious man who shares the ability, and uses his power to bring nightmares into existence and wage war on the world. The peaceful life Weaver hoped for begins to unravel as waves of chaos begin to break loose about him. In a race against time, Weaver must learn to accept his role as a dream caster and master his new power, before his new home is destroyed and humanity is pushed to the brink of extinction.

Buy @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG
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A Day in the Life of Belinda Vasquez Garcia #AmWriting #AmReading #BookMarketing

Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2014

It’s midnight. I wish there was time to be more social, but I’ve just finished up the 2nd draft of the final book of my Land of Enchantment trilogy. There are two blog tours coming up, and a book festival 2400 miles away, all within a two month period. I have a short piece of fiction to edit, which I plan to publish in the next 3 weeks. And there’s a new novel that needs editing, which I hope to publish in 7 weeks.

After seven hours sleep, I walk the dog so my husband can sleep late. I feed my cat, Shakespeare, and then take 10 minutes for breakfast.

I drive to my Zumba class. I’m shaking my hips, moving my feet, loving the music, feeling relaxed and BAM! My brain decides to start writing one of three other books I’m hoping to do this year. My characters speak, or scream, or narration spills out of my head. They’re sentences, paragraphs, plot, or characters that will vanish forever if not put on paper. So, I leave the exercise line and look for paper in my purse. I walk out to the YMCA lobby, grab an exercise schedule and scribble on the back the gold my mind has just mined. I grab a few extra sheets, just in case. I run back to class.

I get home and throw the piece of new writing on top of a pile of others. I shower, and I’m back at it on the computer.

I stop for a 15 minute lunch during which time I watch Netflix streaming or Reign, which I’ve taped, or I watch The Bates Motel, or Once Upon a Time on Demand.

I clean up my dishes and make any pressing phone calls that can’t wait until evening.

I go back to the computer and write again, or damn myself for surfing the web and wasting time.

I go to dinner with my husband. Quick, I grab a napkin and scribble. We drive home and the new piece of writing on the napkin goes in the pile.

I get on the computer and do any personal stuff, like pay bills.

I start writing again.

I’ve promised myself that I’ll watch a movie at 8:00 or 9:00. I tell myself to only do non-writing book stuff, such as marketing, on Tuesdays, but some things can’t wait until Tuesday, such as that audio book and Best Historical Fiction award that came out four months ago which I’ve been meaning to email people about or post on Facebook. I manage an email to another group of mine and check it off my list.

I draft an email about my Books into Movies Award I received ten months ago for the first book of my trilogy, and about the Best Fantasy Finalist award I got for the second book three months ago. I hit the save button. I’m waiting a couple of weeks until the last book of my trilogy comes out to make all announcements together.

For the umpteenth time, I tell myself that I should faithfully post to my blog every week.
It is 10:00 now. I still haven’t gotten off the computer to watch that movie. I’m lost in my new novel, and that’s really the best place to be.


The last thing Miranda ever expected was to see her brother's ghost at the fallen Twin Towers.

It's bad enough survivor Christopher Michaels scares her with claims that if one dies violently, his ghost will haunt the place that holds his name. And to top it all, one of those thousands of ghosts follows Miranda to her hotel. The only certainty is the ghost grabbing her under the covers is not Jake.

Their parents' deaths separated Miranda from Jake when they were kids. Michaels insists Jake brought them together and it's no coincidence that of thousands mourning at Ground Zero, it's his best friend she bumps into. Some best friend. Michaels is more like a moocher. The cheapskate never has money, just a blood-stained wallet he broods over. Miranda has no choice but to hang out with the weird Michaels in order to unravel her brother's past.

As Miranda spends time with Michaels, she begins to wonder who he really is. Against her better judgment, Miranda becomes emotionally entangled with Michaels, a bitter alcoholic with a secret linked to her brother and that blood-stained wallet.

I Will Always Love You is part mystery, suspense and romance, a novel that will keep the reader turning the pages!

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Suspense, Mystery, Romance
Rating – PG
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Connect with Belinda Vasquez Garcia on Facebook & Twitter


Josh VanBrakle Says Read Your Writing Aloud #WriteTip #AmWriting #Fantasy

Make Your Editing Sing: Read Your Writing Aloud

You’ve spent weeks, months, maybe even years drafting your novel. That’s great! You’ve overcome one of the biggest hurdles to publishing – getting your thoughts on paper. Now you’re faced with an even more immense task. You have to turn those raw thoughts into a cohesive narrative, a strong story that propels readers from one sentence to another with such force that they can’t stop. It’s time to edit.

If you’re like a lot of writers, the very idea of editing makes you cringe. You put your thoughts down the first time. Why go back and mess with that artistic expression? Like it or not, though, writing is about communicating, and odds are, your first draft won’t communicate your ideas as well as it could. Good authors follow the mantra of William Zinsser, one of America’s preeminent writing instructors: rewriting is the essence of writing.

But how do you do that? Part of it, of course, is knowing the rules of grammar and applying them to your manuscript. Search out those incorrect “theirs” and misplaced commas.

Those rules, however, are only part of the task. Correct grammar is vital, but it won’t make your book a page-turner. For that, you need flow. You need to turn your writing into music.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to become a composer to write a novel. Still, it helps to think of your writing like a piece of music. Music has a rhythm, a cadence that draws in the listener and propels them through the piece. Good conversation also has this quality. If you want readers to keep reading, your writing needs it too.

When we pick up a piece of writing, even if we read silently, we still “hear” the words in our head. If you want to know how readers will hear your writing, read your work aloud.

Reading aloud during editing gains you some key advantages over reading silently. First, reading aloud forces you to slow down, so you’re better able to spot misspelled words and other typos. Second, you’ll be able to see if the pauses you’ve built in through punctuation make sense. Third, and most important, if your writing has any awkward sentences or poor transitions, you’ll pick up on them. They’ll sound wrong, like a missing note in a symphony.

Don’t just whisper your words either. Say them like you were talking to someone on the other side of the room. If you’re embarrassed that others might hear you, go to a room by yourself and shut the door, or read at night when everyone’s asleep. Whatever you have to do, find a way to hear your words, and then edit them relentlessly. You’ll know you’re done when you forget that the writing is yours and when, like your readers, you’re swept along on the music of your words.

The Wings of Dragons

From fantasy author Josh VanBrakle comes an epic new trilogy of friendship, betrayal, and explosive magic. Lefthanded teenager Iren Saitosan must uncover a forgotten history, confront monsters inspired by Japanese mythology, and master a serpentine dragon imprisoned inside a katana to stop a revenge one thousand years in the making.

Lodian culture declares lefthanded people dangerous and devil-spawned, and for Iren, the kingdom's only known Left, that's meant a life of social isolation. To pass the time and get a little attention, he plays pranks on the residents of Haldessa Castle. It's harmless fun, until one of his stunts nearly kills Lodia's charismatic heir to the throne. Now to avoid execution for his crime, Iren must join a covert team and assassinate a bandit lord. It's a suicide mission, and Iren's chances aren't helped when he learns that his new katana contains a dragon's spirit, one with a magic so powerful it can sink continents and transform Iren into a raging beast.

Adding to his problems, someone on Iren's team is plotting treason. When a former ally launches a brutal plan to avenge the Lefts, Iren finds himself trapped between competing loyalties. He needs to figure out who - and how - to trust, and the fates of two nations depend on his choice.

"A fast-paced adventure...led by a compelling cast of characters. Josh VanBrakle keeps the mysteries going." - ForeWord Reviews

Buy @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – YA epic fantasy
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Josh VanBrakle on Twitter


Social Media, #BookMarketing & Writing Thoughts from C.A. Szarek #Romance #Suspense #TBR

Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014

How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
I feel like they’re necessary for success. The era where the writer sits in the dark and churns out the books is long gone. Readers are voracious, not only for the product, but for the composer—if you will. Readers want to connect with authors. Get to know them, interact with them, share their love for the stories they can’t put down. So I feel like social media sites like FB and twitter offer a venue where readers CAN connect with authors. From the comfort of home—or cellphone. It’s a constant basis, not a once-in-a-while signing.
P.S. I LIVE on Facebook.

If you could do any job in the world what would you do?
I’m already doing it. No, really. All I want to do is write. I have the best job EVER.

How do you feel about self-publishing?
 Proponent. I myself self-publish my fantasy romance series, The King’s Riders. There are many many quality self-published books out there, that the authors did just as well—if not better—than any publishing company, and I am really glad that the stigma of being self-published is receding. It’s not so much “Oh, no publisher would take your work” like it used to be. But I also feel that authors NEED to put into their self-published books THE SAME as most publishing companies do. They need to spend $ on a GREAT cover, they need to get a PROFESSIONAL editor. This gets very expensive. So, for every AWESOME self-published book, unfortunately, there is a crap book out there, too. THESE books are the ones that carry on the negative opinion of self-published works.

It can happen for any reason. The author is new and doesn’t do research. They in either jump the gun before their ready, or they don’t care. I hope this isn’t the case most of the time.

Books, and writing are a business. Everyone sees it differently, so you never know.

Do you know your neighbors?
Yes. Our next door neighbors are friends of mine and my husband’s and we double date from time to time. Super fun!

What does love mean to you?
Everything. People are designed to love, crave to give and receive love. I believe there are different kinds of love, but it’s a universal thing that all of us want, whether people admit it or not.

Love to me means that I am cared for, cherished, protected. Always on someone’s mind, in someone’s heart.

It gives me meaning as a person to love and be loved.

Do you find the time to read?
Actually I make time to read. I have been reading books as long as I have been writing, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE to read, when I get time to relax. I think writers should ALWAYS read. As much I love the stories in my head, I love other people’s stories just as much!

What is your favorite quality about yourself?
Perseverance. When I want something I work hard to get it. I keep working hard until I have gotten it. Not afraid of the hard work to get what I want.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
“Who wills
Who tries
Who loves
Anne McCaffrey, one of my fave authors of all time had this as a chapter header in one of the Dragonriders of Pern series. It has always hit home for me. Frankly, it’s how I live my life.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Stating I was going to become published. Gaining that first contract and selling a book to a publisher. It was—and still is—awesome.

What is your favorite color?
Blue. I’m all about blue!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Not really. LOL! It’s just something I have always done. I started when I was seven or eight with poetry and moved on to novels as a young teen.


Crossing Forces series:

Small Town Texas doesn't always mean small time crime.
Welcome to Antioch, population fifty thousand.
With a police department full of detectives and officers who are good at what they do, throw in the occasional FBI agent, and the bad guy doesn't have a shot, no matter how big the crime.
They work together and fight together. Relationships will be forged and changed along the twists and turns.
When fate intervenes, love and happiness can be found in unlikely places.

Crossing Forces by C.A. Szarek

This is book two in the Crossing Forces series

Vowing to protect her had nothing to do with feelings.

Detective Pete Crane catches a new shooting case and considers it business-as-usual. But when the lead witness is the Chief of Police’s fiery assistant, he never anticipated she’d challenge him—personally and professionally. Especially while under his protection.
Little do they know, the shooting she and her grandmother witnessed was anything but random.

Thrown together, their attraction sizzles, even though she’s squarely in the no-fly zone. She makes him break every rule in his little black book.

Nikki Harper has been attracted to Pete since they met two years ago. Witnessing a brutal shooting throws her into a stigma that’s always been her greatest fear—a victim. She has no choice but to accept his protective custody and let him help save her and her beloved grandmother.

Can Pete protect his witness and solve the case, while fighting the intense heat with Nikki?

Buy Now @ Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Totally Bound | ARe | Sony | Kobo | Barnes&Noble
Genre – Romantic Suspense
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with C.A. Szarek on Facebook & Twitter