Like political fiction? Check out this #newrelease

Every game has its rules… and everyone who plays has to admit they want to win  David Hwang was idealistic, smart, and hard-working—and he wanted to help. Powerful Lucy Bartolome recognized his talent right away, but first he needed to … Continue reading

Author in the chair – Serena Fairfax

Where the Bulbul Sings
by
Serena Fairfax

Buy NOW!

In this atmospheric, passionate and poignant
account of a clash of cultures, caste and creed, divided family loyalties,
wealthy heartthrobs and the power of love, the story is told through three
women whose lives entwine.

Hermie – a headstrong and bewitching Anglo-Indian –
turns her back on the Anglo-Indian community and reinvents herself only to find
that a dark secret threatens to send her life spiralling out of control and
cost her everything.
Sharp-witted Edith, exiled in India from her native
Germany by Nazi persecution, faces stark choices in a future very different
from that she envisaged.
Enchanting Kay, separated by more than a generation
from Hermie and Edith, is haunted by a family mystery and risks her prospects
in London to pursue a quest for roots in India where fate hurtles her in an
unexpected direction. Can they confront the storms or are their dreams destined
to shatter?
 website         blog
Author in the chair – Serena Fairfax
What inspired you to write WHERE THE BULBUL
SINGS?

I’ve always been interested in minority communities
and exiled people so thought I’d combine the two in a sprawling time-zone saga.
What does the title mean?
Well, a bulbul is an Indian songbird with a long
tale (no pun intended) and short, rounded wings with plumage that ranges from
drab to colourful. I chose the title before I embarked on the novel and it
wasn’t until I reached the end that I realised the title bore a double-edged
meaning! I leave that to the reader to figure out.
What is it about?
It’s a time zone saga spanning the dying days of
the British Raj – i.e. the end of British colonial rule in India – to the
present day.
Hermie’s the engine of the story and her early life
was far from easy. Although she’s scheming and manipulative- indeed your
average sort of girl! one’s always rooting for her. Will she, won’t she? She
takes a lot of emotional punches and never wavers. I hope the novel’s
appeal will extend to both genders from age 16 to 99 (the latter’s the age
Indian Railways records you as being when it doesn’t know your date of birth.)
It’s a satisfying happy- ever- after but in very different ways for Hermie,
Edith and Kay.
Was there a character you struggled with?
I struggled with Kay because I didn’t want her to
come across either as submissive or aggressive.
It has a powerful opening where a character commits
suicide; did you find such scenes difficult to write?
Oddly enough, no! I wrote it with clinical
detachment.
Going by the reviews, which say WHERE THE BULBUL
SINGS is rich in nostalgia your love of India shines. How did you distance
yourself from the nostalgia to “real” research?
A reader who has experienced life in India would
probably feel nostalgic – a sentimental longing for past times. But the
characters are living and breathing in an era that for them is the present .
Research  was the horrendous part. It was hard graft but unavoidable and
for me completely devoid of nostalgia.
Are you living in India at present?
I’m living in England although I’ve just returned
from a holiday in India visiting the exotic,  erotic 10th and
11th century temples of Khajuraho  followed by
 trekking in the Himalayas with views of the snow-capped mountain Nanda
Devi (elevation 25,643 feet and twin peaked – that’s probably why it was named
after the big breasted goddess Nanda Devi who’s both benevolent and wrathful –
not unlike Hermie). Interestingly, the CIA planted  a telemetry relay
listening device on the mountain in the late 1960s  in order to eavesdrop
on China but an avalanche consigned it to oblivion.
The main characters are Hermie, Edith and Kay. Did
you base any of these on real-life people?
Hermie, Edith and Kay are products of the
imagination. I don’t know anyone remotely like them!
If you knew them in real life, what would you say
to them?  
Good on you Hermie, you wouldn’t take what life
dished out. Edith, you’d have made it wherever you lived. Kay, you can never
tell what’s round the corner and you followed your instincts.
WHERE THE BULBUL SINGS is described at a Literary
Romance. Is this your niche? Or have you written other genres?
“Literary romance”? Ooh, that sounds very
grand! Bulbul has strong elements of romance but I’m reluctant to categorise it
as literary. I started writing category romances and I still enjoy doing that.
Didn’t the poet Gibran say that life without love is like a tree without
blossoms or fruit? There are hugely successful category romance writers whose
skills surpass anything I’ve produced so far. 
IN THE PINK is a
completely different genre (I like experimenting with styles and would be
interested to hear what readers think!) My short story
THE BOARDROOM is another departure as is THE SIX JUDGES  and THE FEARLESS CHATTEE-MAKER which are short
stories for children.
How long does it take you to write a short compared
to a novel?
A short (50,000) would take about 4 months
(including “distance time”) and a longer one (80,000 to 100,000 words) probably
about 9 nine months.  
Are you an indie/self-published writer or do you
have a publisher/agent?
STRANGE INHERITANCE and PAINT ME A DREAM were
published by UK publisher Robert Hale Ltd. The rest are indie-published. Thank
goodness for that opportunity.
Why have you gone the “indie route” when you had a
publisher? 
Robert Hale Ltd ceased its Rainbow Romance imprint
(STRANGE INHERITANCE  and PAINT ME A DREAM were published
under that). Then 
WHERE THE BULBUL SINGS didn’t appeal to it. I found an agent who liked BULBUL but
couldn’t match it to a publisher. It languished on my pc for ages after that
until in 2011 I stumbled across self-publishing with Amazon and Smashwords. I
submitted  it to a third party professional editor who  made some
very helpful and insightful  editorial suggestions  that had me
gnashing  my teeth but after I’d thrown some crockery, I  revised it
and voila posted it on both sites.
How do your juggle a writing schedule?
I’m still in the day job but I write every day,
even for a short while, to keep the momentum going. Often it’s just rubbish but
that’s better than nothing!
Does your day job help with your writing?
Yes, because I don’t give writing a thought during
the champagne of the day job and I resume the art of a wordsmith thereafter
entirely refreshed and intoxicated.
If you became world-known for your writing, would
you give it up?  
Not unless my earnings from writing trumped those
of JK Rowling.
What’s the worst part of being a writer?
Research is difficult because for me it’s hit and
miss  as I  find myself unable to identify the  keyword that
will instantly reveal all I need. A lot of research is computer based but
there’s nothing like the British Library for the meat. Also, when  researching
I find myself wasting a lot of time being lured  off the beaten track
 by interesting snippets that would make an interesting theme for another
story.
I was once Googling when my golden retriever,
Inspector Morse (IM) leapt up on to the keyboard – thump- the result being
wacky tips about listening carefully to your inner quadratic equation. Hmm…
Will that win me the lottery?
And the best?
Telling a story and making characters come alive.
What is the most productive time of the day for you
to write
?
My pc rests on an oak Victorian bureau/bookcase.
In front of it, there’s just room for a crystal pen and ink
stand that I bought at an antiques fair. (A contrast between now and then). In
the upper part (bookcase) are a dictionary, Roget’s Thesaurus and Brewer’s
Dictionary of Phrase and Fable and a well-thumbed Dummies manual
on computers. In the bureau drawers are hard copies of my books and CDs of
films I missed when they were on general release and which I want to catch up
with. At my feet lies IM and through the study window I have a bird’s eye
view of the pretty garden that’s a joy in all seasons.
The only sound I can tolerate when writing is IM
slurping water, snoring and snuffling and drubbing his tail on the floorboards.
The chair is black leather, rather like that in Mastermind (the
popular British TV quiz programme that features a black chair where contestants
sit facing the Quizmaster). Oh, and the walls are covered with prints of
pictures by Picasso.
Do you start your projects writing with paper and
pen or is it all on the computer?
 It used to be scribble, scribble, scribble
but I use a pc now.
What/who do you draw inspiration from?
Funnily enough, biographies and autobiographies are
very inspiring and set the imagination alight.
Whose biographies do you like? Which one has given
you the most inspiration?
 Bill Clinton’s is riveting. Then there’s Ava
Gardner by Lee Server – she was a Hollywood legend. Love them or hate them,
both sprang from an ordinary background and ended up holding a stellar
place in world history. I would’ve  loved to have met them , although
 I must confess that Ava’s ability to engage  the most amazing
 admirers is nothing less than  inspiring! I suppose the same could
be said of Bill but Ava had more jewellery and I’m a sucker for that.
Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to
write such as word count?
I write something every day. I make myself sit down
for at least three quarters of an hour, and five minutes before that’s
elapsed I find I’ve actually written a sentence. That prompts me to carry on.
Do you find that once you get working, it’s hard to
stop?  
I get to what’s a natural break and stop there.
Sometimes the natural break is reached in two hours; at other times it’s a
longer process rather like a Trans-Siberian journey.
How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
Bin them.
Are you submitting to agencies/publishers? Or are
you happy being an indie author?
Currently, I’m happy being an indie author,
although I consider all options and never say never.
What do you think of the (sometimes) bad press
indie authors get?
 It depends what the bad press is about. If it
relates to poor grammar, spelling, punctuation, proofreading or research, then
that’s justified. If it’s about  a poor plot, excessive narrative, poor
 dialogue or  wooden characters  the bad press  is unfair
and disproportionate  given  there are heaps of books out there,
 equally wanting in that respect that shouldn’t have seen the light of day
(published by  mainstream publishers) that don’t get  undermined or
humiliated.
Do you have a critique partner? Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates
you?
Friends and family are too nice to be genuine
critique partners and I don’t inflict my writing on other writers. I paid for BULBUL
to be critiqued by a professional third party editor and found her insights and
comments very useful. Inspiration just pops into my head! As for motivation,
writing’s a challenge and I can’t resist that.
Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a
by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?
Oh, definitely the latter. Obviously that’s not to
be recommended but it works for me in a disorganised, rambling sort of way.
What do you enjoy the most about writing?
Telling a story and making characters come alive.
Is there any part of writing that you don’t enjoy? Research and, because I’m an indie writer, promotion and marketing
is like wading through treacle.
Do you have any tips on marketing that you can
share?
 I’m happy to share my experiences. A website
and blog is pretty much expected. My eBooks are on Kindle and Smashwords. I’ve
joined and posted on forums run by Amazon, Kindle, Goodreads and Mobilereads.
I’m on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to LinkedIn. Scribd is a great place
to air the first chapter of one’s novel (a taster) and then there’s Pinterest
(although I don’t really have to grips with that).  
What would you say to a new writer starting out
today?  
Write what you know. Show don’t tell. Genius begins
great works, labour alone finishes them.
  
Serena Fairfax spent her childhood in India,
qualified as a Lawyer in England and joined a large London law
firm.   Her first romantic novel STRANGE INHERITANCE (published
by Robert Hale Ltd in 1990) went into UK and USA large print editions in 2004
(published by BBC Audio Books Ltd and Thorndike Press) and is a Kindle and
Smashwords eBook. The second romantic novel PAINT ME A DREAM (published by
Robert Hale Ltd in 1991) went into UK and USA large print editions in 2004
(published by BBC Audio Books Ltd and Thorndike Press) and is likewise a Kindle
and Smashwords eBook.

Fast forward to a sabbatical from the day job when Serena  traded in
bricks and mortar for  a houseboat  and embarked on WHERE THE BULBUL
SINGS a time-zone saga set in India spanning the last days of the Raj to the
present day. After a long gestation, this saw the light of day in 2011 as a
Kindle and Smashwords eBook as well as a printed version.  Then, wanting
to experiment, she burst out of the romance bubble with IN THE PINK (Kindle and
Smashwords eBook)   a quirky departure in style and content.

But romance is hard-wired in her DNA so there’s GOLDEN GROVE, another romantic novel (Kindle and Smashwords eBook).  WILFUL
FATE is the latest release, a romantic story with a horse riding background.
(Kindle and Smashwords eBook). THE BOARDROOM, a short story with a twist,
features on Serena’s blog as does THE SIX JUDGES where animals get in a few
light jabs at humans and THE FEARLESS CHATTEE-MAKER.


 The saying age cannot wither
her, nor custom stale her infinite variety 
aptly describes the tug of law so Serena
still enjoys the day job, although she has plunged into drafting a new
time-zone saga with an exotic backdrop. A long standing member of the Romantic
Novelists Association, Serena  is convinced  there’s not a more
wonderful, supportive organisation. She and her golden retriever, Inspector
Morse, who can’t wait to unleash his own Facebook and Twitter page, divide
their time between London and glorious rural Kent. (Charles Dickens said: Kent,
sir. Everybody knows Kent. Apples, cherries, hops and women
).
  
Amazon
links


Sock Puppets: No Strings Attached

by  
Keira Michelle Telford

In 1873, a British puppeteer called John Carpenter
created the largest sock puppet the world had ever seen. It measured 18.7
inches long, and required both hands to operate. It was … oh, wait. I think I
might’ve gotten the wrong end of the stick with this guest post … o.O
Let’s try again …
Sockpuppet [sok-puhp-it]
An online identity used for the purposes of deception.
Part One of the Silver Series
In this case, we’re talking about authors who pose as
unbiased third parties to post glowing reviews of their own work. In the UK, we
might call that ‘bigging themselves up’. What I learned recently, is that there
are also sub-categories of sock puppetry.
A Strawman Sockpuppet, for example, would be an author
posing as someone else for the express purpose of attacking negative reviewers.
There are also Meatpuppets, who have been recruited by the original Sockpuppet
to support the false claims that have already been made by the Sockpuppet
against others.
I never knew this. I never knew that sock puppetry had
become so endemic in the indie publishing world. But then, I’m still fairly new
to this. It just wouldn’t have occurred to me to fake a different identity in
order to promote myself on forums, or to post glowing reviews of my own work. I
mean, it’s fraud. Isn’t it? We’re talking about authors making false
representations of themselves and conning readers into buying their work.
That’s no different than a shop owner deliberately misrepresenting a product in
their store just to get a sale.
Part Two of the Silver Series
It’s a dodgy business. If you sell a five-star rated
product that fails to live up to the hype, your buyers are going to feel ripped
off. In terms of the book market, the author’s name will be on a permanent
blacklist for that reader, and the reader will undoubtedly share their negative
experience with others. Given that, why would any self-respecting author want
to risk it? Here’s my take on it all:
We’re all stuck in a never-ending auditions round of
Indies’ Got Talent. And in every talent show, there are the contestants who
insist on embarrassing themselves on stage. You know the ones. They’re the
contestants you pity when they walk on stage dressed in clothing that’s meant
to be ‘sexy’ and proceed to wail a Britney Spears song off-key while attempting
to shake their booty at the audience. They’re desperate, and they’re trying to
get noticed.
Part Three of the Silver Series
Unfortunately, they’re getting noticed for all the
wrong reasons. Perhaps even more unfortunately, they don’t seem to care. I
guess, for the Sockpuppets, it’s all about sales. The fake reviews keep
bringing in downloads, so they’ve got no reason to stop. At least, not in the
short term. I do question what their long-term plans are, though. By the time
their current titles have run their course, their brand (their name) will be
trashed.
So I’m left wondering: what’s the point? As someone
who’s had a book out since last November, and only has a grand total of 5
reviews on the .com site, I know how hard it is to come by the panty-dropping
five-star reviews that all indie authors are drooling over. It sucks to have a
book sitting on a (virtual) shelf with no reviews for months on end. People are
buying it, but nobody’s vouching for it. It’s hellishly frustrating, and I can
see how very tempting it could be to take a short cut. But…

I’d rather sell to ten readers and have them keep
coming back to read the other books in my series, than sell to a hundred
readers who will dump my book in the virtual trash can and never read anything
else with my name attached to it. In other words, I’m hoping to build a
long-term readership. I want people to trust me, so that they know exactly what
they’re getting when they choose to download one of my books.
Coming Soon!
Put quite simply: I’d rather spend the effort to make
my work worth five-stars, rather than to make five-stars for my work.







   




Reader reviews or high profile reviews from ‘professional critics,’ which do you prefer?

How do you feel about ‘Sock Puppet Reviews?’
article by Deidre Havrelock

Of course, I’ve dreamed about getting those coveted high profile reviews like the ones found in The New York Times. What writer doesn’t dream about a glowing report filled with fancy adjectives, telling us our book was “nothing short of spectacular,” “a monument to literary genius,” “spellbinding and flawless,” “compulsively readable,”  “jaw-droppingly brazen.” A great review from a professional critic is marketing gold and an ego booster. But a bad review…eeek! (Let’s not go there.)

But really, when it comes to reviews what matters most to me are the ordinary readers—readers who know and like my particular genre. And I think most authors would agree. After all, if a romance reader doesn’t get my sci-fi dystopian adventure, then really who cares? I can’t go around worrying that I’ve missed a potential market. Make sci-fi readers happy and they’ll tell more sci-fi readers about the great book. (Throw a little romance in, though, and you might make everyone happy.) Ultimately, I think most readers know what they like and they know when a book works. So even if I receive a review (of my creepy spiritual journeySaving Mary) that goes, “Gr8t to red…liked it lots!” I go to bed with a smile on my face because what I really hear is, “Mesmerizing journey …unequivocally fabulous.”


As far as ‘sock puppets’ go, I first had to take a few moments to figure out what the heck the term meant. I mean, apparently a sock puppet is no longer a quirky character made from your brother’s white sport sock. It’s an insidious little thing, a mask of mis-representation that authors place on Amazon in order to stimulate sales. It’s a desperate act of a starving author (or a quirky one, I’m not sure).

When I was first invited to write this post regarding reviews and sock puppets (after I figured out what a sock puppet was) I thought I was being asked to write my own sock-puppet review for Amazon. 

My initial response was, “I can’t do that!” (It’s soooo wrong!) But as I poured through the bloggers and writers discussing the term and its definition, I realized that some people considered even a review by your mother as hideously unscrupulous—“Well, of course your mother is going to praise your book…sock puppet!!” 

Personally, I don’t care if your mother writes a review for your book on Amazon—she has a right to. And I certainly don’t care if your best friend since grade two writes you a glowing review, praising your literary genius. I also couldn’t care less if the guy you gave a kidney to last summer decides to post a spectacular assessment of your work on Amazon. They all have the right to do that…and, eventually, as authors gain more readers (and reviewers) everything will work out (and readers will see that Mom really was right).

However, I have to vehemently oppose the devious act of authors giving their own reviews. Authors CANNOT give their own reviews…reviews MUST come from other people who aren’t socks! Such as mine … A SOCK PUPPET REVIEW

Deidre D Havrelock grew up in Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada where she eventually met her husband to be, DJ. It was DJ who
initially noticed Deidre’s dark state and worked to seek out someone willing to
perform her exorcism. Eventually, the newlyweds found their way to the southern
hot spot of Brooks, AB where Deidre began writing. From there the family
trekked across eastern Canada to Moncton, NB where they learned to love French
fries with cheese curds and gravy. Currently nestled in the hills of Kennewick,
Washington, Deidre has two horses, one dog, three cats and too many rabbits…and
let’s not forget her wonderful husband and three energetic daughters. Her
memoir, Saving Mary: The Possession chronicles her dark childhood and
the path that led to her demonic possession. She is currently working to finish
book two of her spiritual memoir, Saving
Mary: The Deliverance
. You can find her at
http://deidrehavrelock.wordpress.com/


Excerpt from chapter four – Curses
Me and Kelly, we
make plans for sleepovers all the time. We don’t ever sleep at my house. We
sleep at her house. I sleep over at Kelly’s a lot ‘cause I know there’s no
little eyes or ghosts creepin’ around at her house.
At Kelly’s house we play in her playhouse. We sit on neatly stacked
bricks, pretending they’re chairs. She’s writing the rules for our new club.
I’m colorin’ the membership cards, tellin’ her about the little eyes in my
house. She calls me a freak. I then decide to tell her about a dream I had. The
one she was in.
“It’s dark outside. And quiet. The leaves in the trees aren’t
moving, that ugly ol’ Fort Road is empty and the street lights—they’re dim.
Only the moon gives light. It all looks like one of those old pictures, you
know, shadowy and still. The only sound comes from Angie’s shiny black tap
shoes as she moves down the sidewalk. They’re all, clippity-clop, clippity-clop, CLIPpITY-CLOP, clippity-clop ’cause of the echo. Angie isn’t dancing
though. She’s just walking, wishin’ her shoes would shut up. We’re all wishin’
her stupid shoes would shut up. You turn to Angie with your eyebrows pointing
to your nose. The way you do when you’re mad … ”
I tell Kelly about the church and about the robbers and about how
she hid and how I didn’t hide very good. She says, “That figures.” And we
laugh. Then I say how I was pulled to the altar, how I was made to get married and
how I was kicking and screamin’. 

Coming Soon – Book Two – Saving Mary: The Deliverance

If you’re a fan of supernatural fiction then you will be captivated
by the continuing true story about a demonically possessed girl and the path
that led to her
deliverance. Part two
of a two-part series,
Saving Mary: The
Deliverance
is the story of a modern-day Mary Magdalene—the woman from whom
Jesus cast out seven demons.



At seventeen, Deidre Daily finds herself oddly altered. Recently kicked out of
her New Age channeling group for having bad karma, she slowly draws within
herself, spiraling deeper into the darkness that has taken up residence inside
her body. Now bulimic, depressed and harassed by spirits nightly, Deidre waits
for the God who once spoke to her as a child.  


Deidre’s fascinating spiritual memoir relays her story from adolescence to
marriage. It is a candid account of possession and exorcism from a first-person
perspective.


Blog Hop begins April 2012! Get your name down NOW!

The blogging A-Z challenge begins April 1st. What’s it about? Well, I’ll tell you. Follow this blog and use your own, at the start of April, by writing an article beginning with the letter of the alphabet starting with A through to Z. It can be silly, informative, a one-liner, a ditty – anything! 


The aim is to make friends with other bloggers and gain followers.I love looking at other bloggers; I’m one of those sad individuals who enjoy looking around show homes – this is a blog equivalent for me!

To keep up with other announcement regarding the Challenge, please follow the A to Z Challenge Blog. Now we are gearing up for the April 2012 A to Z Challenge and signups have already started.



Introducing the blog hosts: 

Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs
Jenny Pearson at Pearson Report
Matthew McNish at The QQQE
Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie
Tina Downey at Life is Good
DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude
Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse
Elizabeth Mueller
Damyanti Biswas at AmlokiBlogs
Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small

Let’s go!

BOGOF offer on Aaron Drew’s novel Light Under the House

For TODAY ONLY, when you purchase Light Under the House by Aaron Drew for just $.99 on Amazon.com, with your proof of purchase, Aaron will gift you another book of your choice valued at the same price of $.99, (exluding Erotica). That’s 2 books for the price of 1! So jump on the bandwagon and go get yourself some awesome books!
Send Proof of Purchase to bkwalkerbooks@comcast.net with your Amazon receipt number, and the book of your choice (title and link) and preferred email. Once it’s been verified, Aaron will gift you your book and send you a personal note of thanks.

Picture
Available at Amazon for $.99 

The Levi family has a
secret lying just beneath their house that could potentially ruin them. Light Under the House by Aaron L. and Donna
Dawson
, a story-telling duo that readers are certain to come to love,
chronicles the lives of the Levi family for a generation, taking readers on an
exciting and thought-provoking journey that is certain to leave them with
profound lessons and meaning. This page-turning story is set in the late 1960s
during a period of cultural rebellion, with a flashback to biblical times, as
well as a flash-forward to the 1980s and the present (2005). There is an
ancient evil that will stop at nothing to uncover the secret that the Levi
family is hiding.


The events of this
allegoric novel are interwoven within several themes that create cohesion for
the story. Messages of courage, forgiveness, faith, the power of consequence,
and the hope of redemption are all found within the pages of Light Under the House.

Light Under the House stands out
from other novels of its genre, establishing Aaron L. and Donna Dawson as true
masters of their craft. The fusion of a riveting plot with compelling characters
and deep thematic elements takes this novel out of the sphere of the ordinary,
catapulting it into the sphere of the true literature. The story found within
its pages is certain to leave a lasting impression on readers, as it is simply
unforgettable.


Night Secrets by BK Walker will also be given for
FREE with proof of each purchase of Light Under The House.

PictureAaron L might be a newcomer
to the creation of fiction but is not one when it comes to the arts and all
things creative. Growing up in places from Seattle to South Africa, he spent a
lot of his time drawing. Aaron always knew that his future lay in a creative
field. In 2010, he graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in
graphic design. Although the usual application of this degree is in the
creation of different types of art and design, Aaron chose instead to focus his
creative skills on the task of storytelling. He lives near Chicago,
Illinois. 
See his website at www.lightunderthehouse.com 

Letter of complaint to guest bloggers

I don’t ask for much; a follow, a tweet or two. I don’t even
mind if the article has already been published (if copyright is your own) but I
am SO wound up by badly written, poorly edited posts, so much so that if I get one more I’ll pull out my own eyes, and stick them in the shredder!

I’m not perfect, my blog’s not perfect either, and mistakes
will probably be found if you look hard enough, but I do my utmost to keep it
mistake and typo free.

I receive nicely written emails from people requesting
exposure, I give them a topic and leave them to get on with it. Back it comes.
The topic, well, it’s SO off-topic I don’t recognise it anymore! It’s all about
THEM and their BRILLIANT book and the usual sign-off is “Enjoy”.  

Ewwwwk!

This is how they start (topic should be Marketing):

Dear Lewis (who?)
My book is called Vampires and Cowboys. I wrote it when I
was in Middle Grade and my Teachers thought it was Wonderfull, and had it not
been for there support I would never of fiinished it. I finished my education
at Disney University and from their went on to fullfill my dream of being an Doctor. Due to a accidant I had to give up my Career and my Family
reminded me of my book. I published it last weak. Your readers’ will love it.
Enjoy.

Please, edit your post. Write on topic, or if you don’t like
the topic supplied ask for another one (I usually give a selection though). And for frigging sake, blogging works both ways. Link, Tweet, FB and blog the post URL.

Guys, together we are a force, on our own we’re pitiful!



Our Mother’s Recipes – Jewish Cookbook.

Easy Jewish Recipes:
Bringing Tradition to Your Kitchen
Everyone loves traditional Jewish cooking.
The problem is, not everyone has the time to prepare their favorite Jewish
meals.  Let’s face it, not many of us can
spend all day in the kitchen like our mothers used to do.  Fortunately it is possible to enjoy your
favorite Jewish dishes without breaking a sweat.  It’s just a matter of finding easy Jewish
recipes that fit your tastes and schedule. 
Have no experience whatsoever with Jewish cooking?  Don’t sweat it!  There are great Jewish recipes that don’t
take a lot of time.
Yummy
and Easy
Whether you want comfort food like Jewish
chicken soup or a filling meal with brisket as the main course, there are many
easy Jewish recipes to try out in the kitchen. Yummy potato latkes, delectable
blintz dishes and satisfying beef briskets can often be prepared with little
time and effort.  Don’t let the taste
fool you.  The best Jewish dishes can be
prepared quickly, so there is no reason you and your family can’t enjoy them
every day of the week.

Easy Jewish recipes aren’t just a great
resource for experienced cooks who are just looking to save time in the
kitchen.  Easy Jewish recipes are also a
great way to prepare a delicious meal and to break into the tradition of
cooking Jewish cuisine.  If you’ve never
tried Jewish cooking before and you don’t want to start out with the most
complicated dishes, then easy Jewish recipes is a great way to break into the
Jewish cooking experience.
Satisfy
Your Cravings
Now, you may be
asking yourself, can easy Jewish recipes really satisfy your cravings for the
best Jewish foods?  Don’t be fooled into
thinking that dishes prepared from easy Jewish recipes don’t taste as good as
the more complicated ones.  Some of the
best Jewish dishes are very simple and easy to prepare. Our Mother’s Recipes cookbook is filled with fantastic recipes that
even people with the most discerning tastes can enjoy.  You’ll find easy recipes not contained in the
cookbook by roaming around our Web site. 
There is no reason to avoid your favorite
Jewish meals due to a hectic schedule or a lack of advanced cooking skills.  Not all good meals take hours to prepare or a
degree in the culinary arts.  Easy Jewish
recipes can fill your kitchen and your life with the Jewish food you’ve been
longing for, without the hours of effort that you just don’t have the time to
put in.  If you’re not familiar with
Jewish cuisine then use our recipes to start your own family traditions.  

Armin Feldman and Dorene SagerBio: 

Dorene Sager and Armin Feldman are sister and
brother.  The idea for the cookbook
sprang from the discovery of a treasure trove of their mother’s recipes after
she passed away. Now Our Mother’s Recipes, Carrying On a Jewish Tradition is a website, a cookbook, a TV show and a place to learn about what the best Jewish
cuisine has to offer.
 Dorene
Sager
: Dorene
represents the best of so many different things. Dorene is a cookbook author, a
wife and mother, a commercial real estate broker, a devoted family member, a
true friend and so much more.
 Dorene is a fantastic cook in her own right.
She learned a lot about cooking from her mother, Helen Feldman.  Dorene is married and has three children and
6 grandchildren.  Dorene and her husband just
celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Dorene enjoys reading, movies,
playing canasta, and of course cooking.
 Dorene
says, 
 I had so much fun working with my brother
putting together all of the different ways to showcase our mother’s recipes.
Armin
Feldman:
Armin wears a number of hats too. Armin is a
cookbook author, husband, dog lover, supporter of friends and family, medical
doctor and a lot more.
Armin is also a wonderful
cook.  From the time they could reach the
kitchen counter, their mother taught Dorene and Armin how to make traditional
Jewish recipes. If you watch the videos on their website, http://www.ourmothersrecipesonline.com
, you can feel the joy these siblings radiate while cooking their mother’s
recipes.  You can also sign up for the
recipe of the week sent right to your email address.

Armin says, What
a treat to work with the best sister ever in creating all of these venues to
showcase our mother’s remarkable culinary skills.

Description:
Add a wonderful cuisine to your everyday meals
and special gatherings. Traditional Jewish cooking is flavorful, fun and hearty
particularly with Our Mother’s Recipes, Carrying on a Jewish Tradition. These
recipes have been handed down through many generations influenced by Middle
Eastern, Mediterranean, Spanish, German and Eastern European styles of cooking.
In our family all of these cultural influences were combined, synthesized and
affected by local ingredients through the years resulting in sumptuous, rich
and wonderfully fulfilling traditional Jewish dishes. Try our mother’s farfel
instead of noodles. Replace that tired chocolate cake with some really yummy
Helen Feldman brownies or warm fruit compote. You will have the secret to
Jewish penicillin, chicken soup with matzo balls. There’s enough here to keep
you going for years of great food, family, friends and memories to enjoy.

There will be a virtual book tour starting on
December 15th. See the vtb banner, or full schedule here 

The Book Launch will be on February 1.  Anyone who buys the book from Amazon on
Fe
bruary 1 will get 25 entries into the Book Launch Contest.  There are other ways to get entries.  One is to comment on three of the blogs on
the tour days.
  See the schedule.

Contest
To get your entries and to find out how to get
more entries visit http://www.ourmothersrecipesonline.com to access the contest
form.
The prizes:
$100.00 Amazon Gift Certificate for a Kindle
Two $50.00 Amazon Gift Certifcates
Authors can choose a video book trailer or
Facebook Welcome Page instead of the Kindle.

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href=”http://rafl.es/enable-js”&amp;amp;gt;You need javascript enabled to see
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Film Director, Guy Magar, shares his behind the scenes moments of Hollywood!

Front CoverKiss Me Quick Before I Shoot
is an unconventional memoir because it deals with diverse topics such as the
magic of making movies and the magic of finding true love. I’ve been blessed to
have had such a kaleidoscope of experiences starting as a child in Egypt and
immigrating to America, growing up in New York and learning to speak English,
going to college at an incendiary political time in the country (late ‘60s),
and then setting myself on such an unlikely journey to become a film director
in Hollywood. That career adventure was a story I always wished to share
because it’s been rich with wild and crazy experiences such as my first
producer turning out to be a real Mafia assassin, almost decapitating Drew
Barrymore right after ET, and coming
close to derailing James Cameron’s career though he is so talented I doubt
anyone could have altered his storied destiny. Everyone loves to look behind
the curtain of the movie world and this memoir takes you there on a very
personal experience like no other.

Regarding the title, “Kiss me quick before
I shoot”
was my welcoming catchphrase to my wife Jacqui whenever she
visited on-set, seemingly always just before I rolled cameras. And so this book
is also about a deeper magic, the magic of finding your soulmate, your life
partner.
Finding true love for me is all about falling in love
with Jacqui, and having a costumed Camelot wedding where I got to duel for her
hand (a la Errol Flynn) in a romantic
Renaissance celebration that has blossomed to this day, twenty-nine years
later. This journey was also worthy of telling due to the extreme dramatic turn
of Jacqui suddenly being diagnosed with leukemia three years ago.

That unique medical journey to heal her through a cutting-edge clinical trial
was a triumphant story of the human spirit – of her great courage – that deserved
to be shared with the world. Everyone knows someone with cancer, and so I
wanted to write a book about our experience that would inspire folks to get
through their illness. For me, the grateful feedback from caregivers and cancer
patients has been the most emotionally satisfying response to this memoir and
the 18-month writing journey it required. It took me longer to write this book
than any movie I ever made.


I wanted this memoir to be a good friend with which you curl up with while
sipping a hot chocolate because writing this memoir was a celebration of life. For
me, it’s about following your dreams and making them come true. And that’s
magical, as it is for all of us, and I wished to share that universal
commonality. I encourage my readers to be inspired to celebrate their own
unique life experiences. It was my desire and hope that by sharing my magic it
would inspire folks to reflect, to take the time to appreciate their own great
life journeys. We are all so busy living life and dealing with our daily
challenges that most of the time we don’t take a time out to celebrate our own
magic of being alive. This is why the last parting line in my book is “Dare to
dream…I did. From one magician to another: Peace.”
I
invite you to http://www.kissmequickbeforeishoot.com/media/book-excerpts/
and enter our weekly contest – just pick your favorite book excerpt short – and
win a signed paperback mailed to you. Pe
ace to all fellow writers and visitors.


Guy Magar was nine years
old when he left Egypt in 1958. His family immigrated to the U.S., where he
grew up in Middletown, NY. Graduating from Rutgers University, Guy began his
film career at the London Film School. Soup Run, his first short won a
Special Jury Prize at the 1974 San Francisco Film Festival.

In 1978, Guy relocated to Los Angeles to attend the American Film
Institute.  His first short, Once Upon an Evening (made for $500)
got him a 7-year deal at Universal Studios. Guy went on to earn over 100
film production credits including episodes of La Femme Nikita, Sliders, The
A-Team, Blue Thunder, Fortune Hunter, The Young Riders
, Lawless, Our Family Honor, Hunter, and the
CBS pilot/MOW Dark Avenger. He also directed 35 shows of the
daytime drama Capitol      

Guy’s feature
film credits include Lookin’ Italian (starring
“Friends” Matt LeBlanc and singer Lou Rawls in their first film); Stepfather
3
which launched HBO’s World Premiere Series; and the cult thriller Retribution
which will be released for the first time on DVD on its 25th anniversary in
summer 2012. His recent feature is Children of the Corn: Revelation
based on Stephen King’s original story.       

Guy is
founder of the Action/Cut Filmmaking Seminars, which for the last ten years,
has provided the acclaimed “page to screen” 2-day educational
industry workshop. Action/Cut has taught thousands of filmmakers
during seminar tours which include most major USA cities. His seminar
is available as the acclaimed Action/Cut Home Film Course 12-hour DVD Collection.

Guy is the founder
of the annual Action/Cut Short Film Competition, which provides an opportunity
for young filmmakers to showcase their talents. Action/Cut was one of the
first to stream films on the Internet, which can be viewed year-round on its
website. MovieMaker reviewed Action/Cut as one of the “Top 10
Shorts Festival in the World for Filmmakers!”          

           
Guy has launched the
marketing of his Hollywood memoir Kiss me
Quick Before I Shoot
and looks forward to promoting it throughout 2012. Guy
writes a popular blog at the book’s website and welcomes visitors to share it,
and where there are links to purchase the memoir in various formats. He lives
in the Hollywood Hills with Jacqui, his beautiful wife of 28 years. 



Website: www.kissmequickbeforeishoot.com
Competition website: www.actioncut.com

America’s Most Disillusioned Generation

Generation X is all grown up, but with one hell of an inferiority
complex.
by 
Phil Stern

We were supposed to conquer the world, our first million in the bank by age 25.
At worst, we’d live in plush homes, firmly established within lucrative,
interesting, stable careers. Anything less was unthinkable.  
Of course, running companies was more our thing. Hey, the corner office was
already picked out. A couple of years of business school, a few boring years
paying our dues…and then our inner genius would take care of the rest. No
problem.

Divorce? Screaming and yelling over the dinner table? That was our parent’s
scene. We knew better, had a far greater understanding of human nature. We’d
all be in stable marriages with loving, supportive spouses, our children
paragons of health and well-being.

Not so long ago, say back in the 1980s and 1990s, fame and fortune was our
birthright. Now, we’re all just struggling to pay the mortgage.


With The Bull Years, I
wanted to write a novel for us, for everyone who thought they had the world at
their feet, but instead, often found themselves kicked to the ground. It’s
harder now than for most other generations, because our expectations were never
managed. We were supposed to be kings and queens, always in control of our own
fate. Instead, so many of us are just scrambling to get by.

At times, the self-alienation is almost overwhelming. Sophia Danton, one of
the main characters in The Bull Years, says it best:

“I’ve come to realize we’re all two different people. Our younger,
innocent self that’s inevitably mangled along the highway of life, and our
tougher adult persona that evolves from the wreckage. Happiness comes from
juxtaposing the two, nurturing the maimed spirit within you, welcoming it into
your adult life and giving it the time and understanding you never received as
a child, no matter how sane and loving your parents tried to be.”

It’s my hope that The Bull Years can help provide both the
perspective, and the voice, that our generation needs. I think everyone will
find something of themselves in the struggles of Steve, Sophia, Dave, and
Hayley. Nothing’s held back. It’s all there, raw and uncensored.

We can all reconnect with that maimed spirit within ourselves, welcoming it
to the here and now. It’s there. You may just not have seen it for awhile. Because to that younger, innocent version of yourself, the future remains as
bright and glorious as it ever was.

Phil Stern is the author of both Contemporary and Science
Fiction.
His début novel, The Bull Years, was published in 2011. A hard-hitting
commentary on both the frustrations and ultimate validation of modern-day life.
“I wanted to write about characters everyone could relate to,” Stern says. 

Stern now lives in Florida, and is working on his next novel.