Thursday, November 20, 2014

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU TO READERS!


This is the time of year people start mentioning those things for which they’re thankful—not that this is the only time of year we have those thoughts. I’m especially happy because this last release means I have twenty-five titles for download. Some are books, some novellas, and some boxed sets that duplicate some of the first two. This might not sound like a big deal to readers, but this is an accomplishment  that reassures me I won’t run out of ideas—or readers.

I love, love, love readers. If I could, I’d thank each person who’s ever bought one of my books. I can’t, so please know that I appreciate each time you read one of my books. You give meaning to my job. There are millions of books online. Thank you for choosing one of mine. Bless you!

Although my pocketbook doesn’t show I’m a success by any means, at least I know I can produce titles that some readers enjoy. Writers want readers to love our books. Yes, we crave your approval. We want you to buy title after title and prove you enjoy our writing. That’s certainly true for me. And if you leave a review, that’s even better!

Most of us sit alone at a desktop or laptop for countless hours creating our stories. Then we pay someone to edit them, someone else to create the cover, and some people pay another person to format and upload their books. I’m fortunate that my husband formats and uploads my books for me, and that reduces a part of my cost. Kim Killion does my covers now and she is a very creative professional.

Some authors may have a thousand dollars or more and hundreds of hours invested before their book ever becomes available online. And then there are the ads and marketing costs, prizes, and the investment of time in social media or cost of paying an assistant and/or promotion person. Hear the costs rising? See me cringe and shiver? Decidedly, I’m a low budget operation, but I do have my share of expenses.

Honestly, all I wanted to do was write my stories for readers. And I do, day after day. I love my job. After all, I can come to work in sweats and no makeup and still travel to other places and times. What a job!

But here’s the thing, some readers expect that work for free or 99 cents every time. Authors might experiment with those prices to promote a series or for a special promotion, but you can see that we can’t stick with those prices for the long haul. Nope, can’t do it. Have to recoup some of our time and expenses. Writers have to pay bills, too.

Still, I’m not complaining. I love what I do and hope readers love my writing. I want to entertain readers. I don’t resent people accusing me of writing mind candy. Since most of my books are historical, I intend that taking you to another time removed from ours will amuse you and provide an escape from whatever is troubling you or making you weary. Everyone deserves a happily-ever-after, even if it’s only for a few hours.

I intend to continue writing stories involving characters I love. Right now, I have two releases about which I’ve told you recently:



STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS is my first Christmas novella. Christmas is my favorite time of year. Not the day, but the anticipation leading up to the day. I love shopping for the perfect gifts to please those on my list, the decorations, the carols, the festive spirit of the season. Buy links for this novella are:



WILD WESTERN WOMEN is the other recent release. Kirsten Osbourne, Callie Hutton, Sylvia McDaniel, Merry Farmer, and I each have a novella in this boxed set plus two short stories. My book is SAVE YOUR HEART FOR ME and my short story is "Stone Mountain Reunion".Buy links for this boxed set are: 

Now I’m at work on WINTER BRIDE, but don’t yet have the cover back from Kim Killion. It’s one of the Stone Mountain series and features Sheriff Butch Parrish as the hero. What a guy! I can’t decide when to release this book. Probably I’ll wait until the middle of January. What do you think?

If you want to be kept up to date about new releases and contests and giveaways and launches, please subscribe to my newsletter. You’ll find the entry if you click on the envelope at the top of the blog's right sidebar. I don’t send frequent newsletters, just when I have a release or contest. No salesman will call. Really.


In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A SPY UNMASKED - BY TINA GABRIELLE



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win $15 Amazon gift card and ebook of A SPY UNMASKED. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.




The mission did not go quite as Robert Ware--known in society as the new Earl of Kirkland--planned. A spy in the service of His Majesty, Robert is a "guest" at a masquerade party as he retrieves vital information for a murder investigation. Until he's quite unexpectedly interrupted by an exquisite, masked woman with glittering green eyes. And a pistol she has cocked and aimed right at him...

Lady Sophia Merrill has defiantly taken up justice's shining sword, determined to expose the brigand who murdered her eccentric but brilliant father, and stole his latest invention. Now she must masquerade as Robert's betrothed in order to infiltrate the Inventor's Society and find the killer. But the undeniable potent attraction between them not only imperils the investigation, but Sophia's reputation... and both of their lives.


Enjoy an excerpt of A SPY UNMASKED:

Robert’s touch upset Sophia’s balance, and she inhaled sharply. He was purposefully trying to unnerve her. “Deception comes that easy to you?” she asked.

“It’s a requirement of my job.”

“I must keep that in mind when dealing with you, my lord.”

He stopped dancing, but his hand remained around her waist. “We are entering the enemy’s lair. I need to be certain you won’t panic.”

Her chin rose a notch. “I never panic.”

His voice was cold and exact. “Dispassionate control is required, or else dangerous mistakes can occur.”

“If you’re trying to intimidate me into backing out of the house party, then you’re failing. I have mettle, my lord. Your seductive tactics won’t work on me.”

He arched an eyebrow. “What do you know of seduction?”

“I’m not completely ignorant. I’m twenty-four years old, and despite what you’ve heard, I’ve attended numerous balls, danced with plenty of gentlemen, and strolled through moonlit mazes. I’ve been kissed before.”

Ocean-blue eyes studied her mouth. “Where?”

She frowned. “My lips and even once on my neck.” She pointed to a spot just beneath her chin.

His gaze dropped to where her finger pointed, then slowly lowered to the skin just above her bodice. Her pulse skittered.

“Then you won’t mind if I test your mettle?”

She stood frozen.

Looking into her eyes once again, he came close, moving slowly. He mouth brushed across hers, once, twice, a featherweight touch before she stepped back. Her fingers flew up to cover her lips.

“Just as I thought,” he drawled. “You lack experience. A few stolen kisses inside a dim maze are not sufficient.”

She bristled with indignation. “Not sufficient? Whatever else do you have in mind?”

“This.” Pulling her close, he swooped down and kissed her.


Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.




Author Tina Gabrielle


Award-winning author Tina Gabrielle is an attorney and former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She often picked up a romance and let her fantasies of knights in shining armor and lords and ladies carry her away. After multi-publishing for a prestigious law journal, she fulfilled her dream of writing fiction. A Spy Unmasked is the first book In The Crown’s Secret Service series. The second book in the series, At The Spy’s Pleasure, is coming in April 2015 from Entangled Publishing. She is also the author of adventurous Regency historical romances, In The Barrister’s Bed, In The Barrister’s Chambers, Lady Of Scandal, and A Perfect Scandal from Kensington Books.

Publisher’s Weekly calls her Regency Barrister’s series, “Well-matched lovers…witty comradely repartee.” Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and her first book, Lady Of Scandal, was nominated as best first historical by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

Website: www.tinagabrielle.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tinagabrielle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TinaGabrielle

Blog: http://thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com/


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 17, 2014

SOUTHERN NOVELS FROM AWARD WINNING AUTHOR LAUREN CLARK


Please help me welcome Lauren Clark to the blog. She is an award winning author who's agreed to share with us today.

CC: Tell us about growing up.

LC: I grew up in Akron, New York, a tiny suburb outside of Buffalo, NY. It’s a town of about 3,000 people and I attended a K-12 school. We were quite close to Canada and I spent a lot of time in Ontario when I was a child. I have two brothers, who are both now married. Each child in the family has two children, so my parents have 6 grandchildren.

I’m single and have two boys, 17 and 9. They are awesome and keep me grounded.

I was both a bookworm and a jock – Lol.  I played field hockey beginning in the 8th grade through my senior year. I also participated in soccer, swim team, softball (1 year) and cheerleading. I was also in the honor society, took as many AP courses as possible, and graduated in the top of my class.

CC:Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

LC: Right now, Sue Monk Kidd, JoJo Moyes, Chris Bohjalian, Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin, and Jennifer Weiner top the list. I also adore Rainbow Rowell, Veronica Roth, and Suzanne Collins. My tastes are so varied. One week it’s thrillers, the next week, sweet romance, the next dystopian.

CC: A lovely mix. Have you also read Sarah Addison Allen? What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?

LC: I work full time, write, and go to graduate school these days, so anytime I’m not in front of a laptop or computer screen “doing work” I feel like it’s a little bit of an escape. That said, I do read on my iPhone, so I’m still relying on technology to “get away.”

My hobbies …. Running, wine night with girlfriends, reading. Collecting story ideas while I travel and visit friends and family.

CC: Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

LC: “Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft


“And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing


CC: How long have you been writing?

LC: I’ve been writing in my current career (public relations, television reporter and anchor, web content manager) for almost 15 years. I’ve been writing fiction since 2009.

CC: Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

LC: I prefer to write in the morning, in the solitude of my office, before everyone wakes up. I generally get up between 5 and 5:30 am, grab coffee, and write or edit for two hours. Of course, that continually makes me a few minutes late for work, but I think my boss has gotten used to the idea that he’s not dealing with a run of the mill employee. My goal is always better time management!

CC: Are you a plotter or a panzer?

LC: Definitely a plotter. I need a plan, and often write a few sentences on every chapter, mapping out the entire book before I begin writing the first word. Plotting everything, to the best of my ability, saves me time in the end. Certainly, there are times that the characters veer off and do their own thing, but I always come back to the main plan and stay relatively on course.

CC: Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

LC: I use real situations in my stories, does that count? It seems that I have all sorts of crazy things that happen to me on a daily basis (i.e. A greeter in Wal-Mart who wanted to buy my brand new iPhone. A grocery store check-out clerk who insisted that I buy Blue Bell vanilla ice cream instead of Breyers). I’ve used quite a few of those strange, but funny, incidences in Pie Girls and Dancing Naked in Dixie.

CC: Do you set daily writing goals?

LC: As far as writing goals, 2,000 words is a good day. I’m usually happy with 1,500, but it all depends on the chapter I’m working on. I love to complete a chapter in a sitting, so if it takes 1,650 words, I’m done! I try to write every day, Monday through Friday. Some weekends are too full of kids’ activities and social events, so it’s tough to squeeze in a few hours, but I try.

If I’m on deadline to revise a book, I’m very structured and methodical. I work out the number of pages to complete per day and pin the calendar to the fridge and set up reminders in Gmail.

CC: What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

LC: It’s my hope that my stories might give my readers a bit of escape from normal, every day life. I hope that they read my stories, lose themselves a little bit in the setting and characters, and laugh out loud at some of the funny situations my characters find themselves in.

CC: What long-term plans do you have for your career?

LC: I’m all about improving my skills as a writer. I’m a voracious reader of writing craft books – and adore James Scott Bell, Donald Maas, and other experts in the field. 

CC: Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

LC: In September, I landed a two-book deal with Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson. I couldn’t be more thrilled, and I have met a wonderful team of talented women who will be bringing my new suspense novel, “Center of Gravity,” to market in July 2015! Another novel will follow, and involves a sister betrayal storyline.  The books will be published under LAURA MCNEILL (my real name), as they wanted to reserve Lauren Clark for RomCom Fiction.

CC: Congratulations! What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

LC: Persevere. Don’t give up. Finish that “terrible, awful” first manuscript, even if you think it’s the worst piece of fiction you’ve ever read. There’s something completely satisfying in finishing an 80,000 word manuscript, and it teaches discipline and follow-through, which are necessary for a lengthy, successful writing career. 

CC: Share a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.

LC: I have an unrequited love affair with caramel desserts. For my birthday, my boys bought me a 7-layer caramel cake. It was divine. (And I did share with a dozen of my closest friends).

CC: Yum! I love caramel. Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.

Surprise or shock?  Hmmm.  I have a tendency to lose things. My keys. My car in a gigantic parking lot. Today, it’s my wallet. Sigh. I need to invent an invisible tether to all things important to functioning as a person.

CC: Is your book a series?

LC: Nope. Not this one.

CC: Can you give readers a blurb about your book PIE GIRLS?

Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style.

But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man.

Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s is thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever.

Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls.


CC: How about an excerpt:

Thirty minutes later, I am decked from head to toe in the finest lingerie Saks Fifth Avenue has to offer. Wrapped in a lovely camel Armani overcoat, belted securely, I smooth the deep red cashmere scarf against my neck.

The sensation of wearing barely anything gives me a heady rush of power. The garter belt, slung low around my hips, allows a satisfying tug when I take a step. Silken stockings caress my legs, and Lucinda opted for a buttery-soft pair of black thigh-high boots to finish the outfit.

After smoothing and coaxing my hair into submission, Lucinda talks me into some lotion, and then a dusting of sparkly powder to highlight my décolletage. She wields a huge brush and swishes the iridescent flecks onto my skin with expert precision. The result is amazing.

“Perfect.” I blink at my reflection. My skin appears softer and luminous, almost flawless. The glow makes my eyes seem brighter, even in department store lighting.

“You look fabulous,” my personal shopper agrees. She steps back to survey her work and gives me a satisfied nod. “He won’t be able to help himself once he sees what’s under that overcoat.”

Lucinda squeezes my hand. “Good luck with everything. I think Alton will come to his senses.” She pauses and frowns. “He’d better.”

As for Pamela Pryor, she’d better watch out.

This is war. No price is too high.

I am going to win my husband back.

Where can readers find your books? (buy link)

 Kindle: http://amzn.to/X8rCq1
Nook: http://bit.ly/1pHBVuo
iBooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pie-girls/id906182442?mt=11

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

Thank you to the lovely readers who’ve championed my books, suggested them to friends, and gifted them to loved ones. I offer my sincere appreciation.


About Lauren Clark:
                                            
Lauren Clark writes contemporary Southern novels sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets. A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends.

She is the author of four award-winning novels, Dancing Naked in Dixie, Stay Tuned, Stardust Summer, and Pie Girls, as well as a short story, A Very Dixie Christmas, published in the Merry & Bright holiday collection. Lauren is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association and the Mobile Writers Guild. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.

Website – http://www.laurenclarkbooks.com
Blog – http://www.laurenclarkbooks.com/blog
 Twitter - @LaurenClark_Bks
 Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lauren-Clark/235315706518284
 Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/laurenclarkbks/



Friday, November 14, 2014

CHASING THE DEAD BY KETA DIABLO


Title – Chasing the Dead, Book 1
Series – Bannister Brothers
Author – Keta Diablo
Genre – Western Romance (Paranormal)
Publication Date – October 20, 2014
Publisher – Keta Diablo
Cover Artist – Willsin Rowe

~*~
About the Book
The Apache kidnapped me to dispel an evil ghost from their village. If I tell them I don't possess the same skills my madre did, they'll cut my throat and feed me to the dogs. Celesta was the best spirit chaser in all of New Mexico before she died.

The most I can hope for is that Emmett, my fiancé, will rescue me. Is he capable of such a thing? Poppy must not have thought so because he sent Deacon Bannister to save me. Deacon…the man who walked away days before our wedding a year ago. The man who still melts my bones after one look.

We're running for our lives from Uday, the vaporous ghoul tracking us. He wants Sacheen, the beautiful maiden banished from the Apache village who travels with us. The warrior killed her father when Sacheen refused to marry him, and then Sacheen's brother killed Uday.

The ghost's powers grow stronger every minute on our journey back to El Vaquero...and so does my love for Deacon.
Madrid Arrende



~*~
Excerpt
A shadow hovered near the fires, ducking in between stalks of cacti and other scrub brush. Maddie drew a deep breath and ambled forward with Elan beside her. Amid the dissonant chants and prayers, warriors brandishing spears and shields hollered into the gray mist. Maddie squinted, hoping to catch sight of the ghoul the others couldn't see. Only powerful shamans and spirit chasers had trained themselves to look upon the face of a dead spirit. A ripple of fear spread through her limbs and shivered down her spine when la fantasma appeared before her.
A mass of black patterns and swirls marred his enraged face. His eyes were hollow and black until a den of serpents slithered from the sockets–a deception the spirit had learned in his brief time in the underworld.
Maddie swallowed hard and sneaked a glance at Elan. Standing tall and looking formidable, she had to admire the man's courage. "It is you he seeks to destroy, Elan, to forge a path to Sacheen. I will go forth on my own now."
Elan shook his head, his expression one of disbelief. "Why would you put yourself in such danger? We wait and see what the dead man will do."
"No. It is what he wants, for all in the village to fear him. Only then does his true power unfold. I will meet his challenge; let him know I am here to banish him back to the dead." "Although I cannot", she whispered under her breath.
The ghost twisted and turned, retreating back from the fire, only to appear seconds later at another location in camp. He screamed and howled, the otherworldly sounds rumbling through the village like a murderous dust storm.
 Maddie shrugged aside Elan's grip on her elbow and walked forward. "Madre, be with me," she said to the ground. The moon had not shown its face this night but a smattering of a million stars gave enough light for Maddie to focus on the grim outline of the wretch. "Lift up your eyes dead spirit and hear my words."
An inhuman screech sent a blast of wind in her direction. It lashed her face and whipped her long hair into a frenzy.
"You are small and weak. I do not fear you!" she screamed, bewildered by the words spewing from her mouth. "The wolf has sung your passing and the bear has grumbled low. Sing your death song and return to the underworld."
The wailing chants of the shamans echoed behind her.
Ignoring her warning, Elan suddenly appeared beside her, only to be struck to the ground when the ghoul unleashed a stream of lightning spikes from the sky. Elan moaned, clutched his broken arm and attempted to rise.
"Stay down!" Maddie ground out between clenched teeth.
Her mother's voice rode the crest of her fear. Be strong, Madrid, try again.
Her knees shook and her spine curled, but she took another step forward. "Your breath has moved to another world. You must remain with it. Do you hear me, dead spirit? You are no longer welcome here. Your relatives have said farewell and so must you, never to return."
A refrain from the Apache against her back bolstered her courage—a roar of cheers and the synchronized trampling of moccasins beating the ground.
 Torrents of rain fell from the sky, pounding Maddie into the earth beneath her feet. Wet dirt spiraled up her nose and debilitating pain wracked her body. A hand clamped over her arm. When Maddie realized it belonged to Elan, a sigh of relief mingled with the cold blast of air surrounding them. Sacheen's brother pulled her against his wet body and crawled toward camp, dragging her with him.
A triumphant scream from the ghost rent the air, pitching the warriors into a cowering retreat. The cold, gray dawn swept over camp. Shivering with despair, Maddie turned to Elan. "His power is great."
Out of breath and still clutching his arm, he nodded.
"Maddie raised a fist to the sky. "We have failed this night, dead spirit, but we will not the next time we meet."

~*~

Buy Chasing the Dead
KINDLE                NOOK           APPLE



Keta Diablo, Author

 Keta Diablo lives in the Midwest part of the United States on six acres of woodland. When she isn't writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature.

Keta is a multi-published author in both erotic romance and gay fiction. Her erotica novel, Decadent Deceptions was a finalist in the MOLLY contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America and has been nominated for a Red Carpet Award in 2014. Her paranormal novel, Where the Rain Is Made has been nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark. Her historical novel, Sky Tinted Water, has been nominated for a RONE Award by Ind’Tale Magazine. Keta's books have received numerous Top Pick, Book of the Month, and Recommended Read awards from the top professional review sites.

You can find her on the net at the following places:
Keta's Keep Romance Blog


 Connect with Keta Diablo:



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

#INTERVIEW WITH DEAN C. MOORE AND PREVIEW OF LOVE ON THE RUN


Readers, today Dean Moore has agreed to give an interview in combination with his current book tour to promote LOVE ON THE RUN via Goddess Fish Tours.

**Dean will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. You must leave a comment to be eligible for the prize. 

Now, on with the interview.

Caroline: Share with readers something about growing up and your life today.

Dean: As a kid, I grew up in Trinidad.  My body is still hard wired to start boogieing the second I hear calypso on the radio or playing on CD in the background.  Steel drum music drives more epiphanies than Moses coming off the mountain.  And the endless island sea breezes I became accustomed to means I come most alive in regions which have this feature.  I spent some time in New Tampa, Florida and fell in love with it for this reason.

The teens were spent in the Bay Area, where I quickly fell in love with San Francisco.  San Francisco remains my favorite city for a balance between aesthetics and colorful people.  I guess I celebrate human diversity as much as I do biodiversity, and you couldn’t do better than the Bay Area for that.  When I was going to Cal Berkeley, every day walking up and down Telegraph Avenue was like attending carnival in Trinidad.  Okay, maybe not quite so colorful, but not toned down by much either.

I’m a naturalist, and eco-travel nut, so camping and backpacking along the West Coast from Northern California up through Washington, and the Rocky Mountains spanning the distance, was my idea of paradise.  It was rare to let a weekend go by without losing myself in one or another of the countless micro-habitats along the mountain range.  The really cool thing about California is that the beauty is so diverse; you can drive anywhere from fifteen minutes to two hours to feel like you’re on an entirely different planet, which, as you can imagine, for someone who writes as much paranormal fantasy and sci-fi as I do, is quite the head rush.

In high school I was definitely “the brain.”  I had plenty of jocks as friends, who ordinarily picked on what we today would call “geeks.”  I imagine my getting up from my desk and leaving my test answers visible for all to see may have played some small part in my popularity amongst all groups. 

Married, no.  Children, no.  But I do have a dream to start a sanctuary for writers now that I’m living out in the country on twenty or so acres.  I have this Christian Brothers inspired vision of making our own dandelion wine, selling dried shitake mushrooms, being self-sufficient with the organic garden and building tree houses in the forest outback.  We’d communally share all the duties so everyone feels like they’re just getting a healthy break from the writing as opposed to having to give hours of their day to support “cult-like” endeavors.  Alas, I might have to be radically successful as a writer to finance those dreams, so please do your part to help one visionary’s take on the future come through and buy absolutely all of my books, preferably several times over.  The audiobooks when they become available might be great for the dogs and cats.  Hey, my reader’s voice, I hear is up there with Mozart’s music for both its liveliness and its soothing qualities, so you never know, your pets may love you for it. 

Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

Dean: I’m more high-concept than genre driven with my reading.  If it’s an exciting idea, I’m all over it.  That’s my way of saying I read positively everything, including a lot of genres that scare me personally, such as historical fiction or “period pieces” because of the years of research that go into writing one book.  My imagination is just too prolific for that kind of long-term commitment.  I have enough books piling up in back of my head as it is. 

Among the big name authors who are household names, I’m a Michael Crichton fan first and foremost.  I’ve modeled much of my writing after him and would love to be known one day as “the next Michael Crichton.”  Needless to say, I miss him terribly.  I’m also a huge Clive Cussler fan.  He’s such an institution that he’ll be publishing long after he’s dead.  It takes a lot of time and effort to establish a brand name that people trust, and once you’re there, no one will let you die.  So the corporations come in and “Clive Cussler” lives forever, just with someone else writing the books.

Among indie authors, who I read more heavily these days, as I’m an indie author myself, and it’s a way to pay it forward, my latest discovery is a man called Alex Grove who penned a near-future sci-fi thriller trilogy.  The first installment is called False Idols, and for now can only be found on wattpad.  I’ve been helping him clean up an early draft.  But look for this exciting author when he goes live on Goodreads and Amazon.  Other favorite indie authors whose writing style echoes my own works are people like Ken Magee, who penned the Dark Tidings trilogy, and R. D. Hale who penned Sky City: The Rise of an Orphan, a near-future cyberpunk tale.  Angela Stevens, has a Sleeping with the Enemy style romance slash thriller out now called Lemon Drops and Love.  And she also writes paranormal fantasy (of the skinwalker and shapeshifter variety).  That trilogy starts with The Wolf You Feed.  The three books should be available within a few months. 

Happy to give the above authors a shout out, moreover, as I don’t think Michael Crichton and Clive Cussler and their ilk need me to help them sell any more books.  But in indie land it’s a bit more of a struggle to get people to realize your books are even out there.  Initially I was quite naïve about that.  I just put the books on Amazon and said a silent prayer.  That turned out to be the worst marketing plan in the history of the world.  Now that I’m saner and wiser, I’ve embarked on the book tour circuit, which as it turns out is a whole lot of fun. 

Caroline: I’ve been with a major publisher and am now an indie writer. While the two are different, I prefer being self-published. What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?

Dean: I love all kinds of travel.  I’ve had my sights on an Alaskan cruise for some time.  For more land-based things, there are some eco-travel packages I’ve been drooling over, one in Costa Rica, where they have the most colorful assortment of colorful songbirds in the world.  I’m a bit of a bird enthusiast.  I miss my pet Macaws and parrots from when I was a kid in Trinidad!  Now it strikes me as too politically incorrect to keep these endangered animals, so I have to go to where they are, assuming there are any left in the wilds to go chasing after. 

I’ve been contemplating some spiritual retreats in the desert too like I used to do when I was younger.  I found, when spending a couple of weeks in Monument Valley, that the desert tranquilizes my mind like nothing else; I feel infinitely expansive, and I lose all sense of self, melting into the landscapes.  Perhaps I spent a lot of past lives in the desert, who knows?

Caroline: Hero and I have wanted to take an Alaskan cruise on one of the smaller ships. Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

I have several favorite chestnuts from Albert Einstein on my Goodreads page.  He may have been a physicist, but he was also one heck of a philosopher king, and his spiritual insights move me to tears.  Here’s one of his gems:  “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”  That’s the best explanation I’ve read for why I write novels right there.  I do it to grow my own mind, so that at the end of my travels, I’m smarter, wiser, bigger-hearted, and my vision is broader; I can see into the future better and make more sense of the present as well.  It’s how I make sense of my world.  And if I want to leave the world a more enlightened place than how I found it, then I have to first make myself more enlightened, and that’s what storytelling does for me.  It engages not just my rational mind but my whole mind, my left and right hemispheres get in sync, as do my superconscious, conscious, and unconscious minds.  With that much mind power and the spell casting magic of the story itself I have a way of transforming myself and the reader for the better. 

Caroline: Wonderful insight and fits in with my favorite quote from Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” How long have you been writing?

Dean: Since my twenties.  That’s more than a couple decades ago for anyone who’s counting.  Back then I wrote as the spirit moved me, that is to say, not very consistently.  I would also leave a lot of rough drafts laying around unattended because it was just more fun to chase down the next wild idea.  With an ounce more discipline and focus I could have been pelting out books through my twenties and thirties and early forties.  Alas, enlightenment for some of us comes more slowly than it does for others.  Now, I’m like Morgan Freeman who no one saw in movies when he was younger and now is suddenly everywhere.  I feel like I have to make up for lost time, so I write books like a thoroughbred horse runs a track, under a whip of self-guilt if I set the pen down for a second.  Alas, I guess every age gives us something to work on; with this one, it’s how to go easier on myself.

Caroline: Don’t all of us over forty share that sentiment? Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

Dean: I’m lucky enough for now to have a rather ideal situation writing in the peace and quiet of a rural country setting.  More urban areas, especially exciting cities like San Francisco and Berkeley, where I spent much of my formative years, can be a little too stimulating to get much work done.  That said, I’ve trained myself to write anywhere under any conditions, because we don’t always have the luxury of an ideal setting.  The house can be ravaged by a tornado, the body can take ill, I may develop carpal tunnel syndrome (especially at the rate I’m going) and will have to learn to dictate my books into a recorder.  So the name of the game for me is flexibility.  And not getting too comfortable with having the perfect conditions in which to write.  Ask Venus Williams if she should cancel her next tennis match because she’s feeling “less than ideal.”

Caroline: Exactly! Louis L’Amour is supposed to have said he could write at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine while sitting on a folding chair with a portable typewriter balanced on his knees. Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Dean: I skew a little more to the panzer side of things.  If I know too much about where I’m headed, I lose the sense of adventure and so will not bother to embark into the highlands of my imagination.  On the other hand, with the passage of much time, I’ve learned to impose a lot of structure on my writing to keep it from being a rambling mess.  For me the “freestyle” part reflects the right-brained dominance which I’m prone to.  And the structure, the discipline in the editing, comes from the left-brain.  Over the years, instead of alternating back and forth between the two, I’ve learned to stay right in the middle.  But that balance was a long time coming.  They say it takes a minimum of ten years to make a writer.  I’d say in my case it was more like twenty.

Caroline: I believe that’s called being a plotzer. Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

Dean: I think the troupe of clowns up in my head would get jealous if I did.  I’ve always taken them to be a cross between my guardian angels and souls I’ve befriended in past lives who still fancy having a voice in this world.  Diehard actors themselves who love the idea of having a stage and an audience to play to through me, serving as their trance channel.  As to why so many of them have such a biting sense of humor, I imagine that’s their effort to get me to lighten up.  But every once in a while someone in my real life world finds his or her way into my stories, but usually not entire, just some traits of them make it across the barrier and get attached to other characters.  Usually because they’ve so traumatized me that I need to heal the wounds through my own personal form of drama therapy. 

Caroline: Well said! Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?

Dean: No, I just get lost in the writing and surface when I’m too exhausted to continue.  I imagine the daily word count varies wildly.  But I imagine if I set goals for myself then some part of my mind would rebel.  That’s going from experience with my exercise goals and my New Year’s Eve resolutions.  I look at and celebrate milestones after the fact, but getting there, not so much.  I just have an aim and a direction and intent, and I trust my higher power to get me there.  

I do write every day.  That much is vital.  It’s what separates the pros from the amateurs in my mind.  Without the discipline, nothing gets finished.  That said, even if you only have a half hour a day after the kids are in bed, the laundry’s done, and all the chores are behind you, then that’s what you have.  I know plenty of writers who manage a book a year or every two years with little more than that to work with.  With that in mind, I guess I’m not half as prolific as I think I am, because for right now at least, I’m writing full time.  

Caroline: What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Dean: I write to entertain first and foremost, and if I give someone a few hours or a few days of reprieve from the high pressure situation that is their life—who’s life isn’t that way anymore?—then I consider that a job well done.  That said, a part of me hopes, obviously, that you will be changed forever for the better after reading the story, if only in some small way.  That my hero’s and heroine’s heroism will have rubbed off on you, or their ability to be brilliant under pressure, or to transform themselves and others around them through love… 

Caroline: Admirable goals, Dean. What long-term plans do you have for your career?

Dean: To succeed commercially and artistically no matter what genre I tackle.  While I’m known primarily for sci-fi and paranormal fantasy, Love on the Run is a clear departure from that.  It’s an action adventure and romantic comedy as is Strays, which will be coming out some time in 2015, along with some hi-tech paranoid conspiracy thrillers.  I’d like my readers to dig what I do enough to follow me anywhere, to command that loyal of a fan base.  That’s the best way I can see to be truly free.  If I’m accepted in one or more genres at the expense of others, then that becomes a limiting factor I’d as soon not have to contend with.   

Caroline: Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

Dean: I’m usually always working on several things at once.  I edit the novels in parallel so I always have something to look at with fresh eyes the instant I finish a draft of another one.  You can find the titles in the works and the concepts behind them under my Books section on my website, particularly under Hi-tech thrillers, but there’s a new one on the drawing board in most every genre I write in. 

Of the lot, the one that’s most like Love on the Run, is Strays, as I mentioned above.  It’s a retelling of the Oliver Twist tale for the 21st century.  An out of work teacher takes in street urchins (kids in their late teens) and rehabilitates them, rebuilding their confidence and helping them to be all they can be.  Regrettably, to pay the bills to fund his social work project requires teaching them to steal from those who have to give to those who haven’t.  So I guess you could say it’s more accurately described as an urban version of Robin Hood and his Merry Men meets Oliver Twist.

Caroline: What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Take everything I did and do the opposite, lol.  My writing method is great for maximizing output without sacrificing quality, as it eliminates virtually all downtime.  Editing multiple novels in parallel, as I say, keeps my eyes fresh and detached for each one so I don’t have to endure a “cooling down period” of weeks or months before starting again.  But for marketing, it’s a bit of a disaster.  As now you have not one book to bring to people’s attention (which is hard enough) but several.  And that’s that many more books to collect reviews on, you get the idea.  But it’s how I work.  It’s more like harvesting the low hanging fruit in a basket when they become due, and leaving the rest on the branches to mature a little longer.  Again, a wonderful marketing method for farmers, for writers, not so much. 

They say once you have the concept and the cover, start getting the word out then.  That’s actually fairly brilliant advice.  And start auditioning readers for now for those audiobooks!  My print books are very ego-gratifying; there’s a lot to be said for having tangible evidence of where all your time has been going for the last few months or years.  When your books just exist in cyberspace, when you go to talk about them to people they still have no way of knowing if you’re not merely delusional.  But audio books and e-books are where the real sales are at.  Better yet, start doing some public readings of your work.  If it turns out you’re good at reading your own stuff, think of how much money you’ll save doing your own audiobooks!  Or, how much more money you’ll make not having to profit-share when you instead split the difference with the narrator.  Some people get so good at doing audiobooks it turns into a secondary income doing them for other people. 

Caroline: Share a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.

Dean: I have a big-face watch fetish.  Luckily I can’t afford most of the ones I drool over, which keeps the craziness in check.  Don’t ask me why or where this comes from.  Though, admittedly, every other piece of jewelry I’ve ever tried to wear never lasts.  Rings annoy the heck out of me; I end up fidgeting with them until I can’t take it anymore, and they’re gone.  Back when I was into photography more, I had a camera equipment fetish.  Maybe it’s just “boys with toys.”  Or maybe it speaks to something far more terrifying and unresolved that has morphed into a monster locked inside my Id.

Caroline: Obviously, you have things under control, so there’s no need for concern. ☺ Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.

Dean: Back when I had a day job they used to call me “the doctor.”  Because I’d walk in with this giant suitcase that was ten to twelve inches wide, more like carry-on luggage, really.  And inside was every herbal supplement for every possible stressor, illness or imbalance.  I guess the whole “wage slave” thing got to me worse than it gets to most people.  In retrospect, looking back, it was a little goofy, and probably read like a neon sign flashing “pending mental breakdown.  Steer a wide berth.”  I was well liked though, because my free samples fixed whatever was going on with whomever.  I’m surprised they didn’t think I was dealing more conventional drugs out of there, considering my popularity.  Now that I write full time, a lonely occupation that would drive most people insane, I’m far more stable, lol, and haven’t had any regression episodes in which “the doctor” alter surfaces again.  Maybe I should have just gotten a day job as a naturopath, and have been done with it. 

Caroline: Nope, sounds as if you’ve found your true calling. Is your book a series? If so, how long?
                                                     
Dean: I would love, love, love for Love on the Run to be successful enough to justify doing a series.  I’m sort of testing the waters with my various franchises.  I already have a second installment in mind where the couple does the Caribbean circuit, taking me back to my roots (as I mentioned earlier, I grew up in Trinidad.)  It would add an entire travel-literature dimension to the story that I think would be fun for readers.  So, please, read it, enjoy it, and use my “contact me” form on my website to tell me that of all my series, you want me to concentrate on that one next.  Instead of crowd-sourced editing, which is so en vogue these days, we’d be pioneering crowd-sourcing management of Dean’s time.

Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

Dean: I love hearing from fans and readers.  So please do use that “contact me” form on my website to chat with me, tell me what you loved, hated about your favorite characters, and like I said, what you’d like to see in a second installment of any of my series, or which of my series you’d like for me to concentrate on next.  Or feel free to talk about whatever moved you in the story, which might well take me by complete surprise.  Most gratifying of all would be if you asked to get on an email list to be alerted when another installment in your favorite series comes out, or simply when my next book will be available. 



Love on the Run
by Dean C. Moore


LOVE ON THE RUN Blurb:

Husband and wife thieves are on a mission. Just not the same one. He’s out to pay for her cancer therapy–at any costs. She’s out to humanize him, and make him less of a self-absorbed jerk.

The fast-talking, fast-acting, adrenaline seeking duo pick up a few on-again off-again sidekicks along their way, despite staunch protests from Zinio. But with all they’re up against–not the least of which being one smart, hound-dog of a lady detective–the question is: Can love conquer all?

“The story is smart and funny.”  R. D. Hale, Sky City: The Rise of an Orphan

“For the booklover that doesn’t like having his or her time wasted.”  Jack Heath, Remote Control

“This would make a brilliant movie or TV series.” Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift

“Reminded me of The Thomas Crown Affair, down to the whip-cracking humor, the snazzy plot turns, and the character dynamics between the leads and the hotshot female detective on their tales.” Rhys Jones, The Whispering Void

“Only if you want an action packed read with fully developed and interesting characters.”  Victor Longshanks, One Big Problem




Excerpt from LOVE ON THE RUN:

Zinio pointed to the underwater sewer line emptying into the ocean.  Delaney nodded and swam up it ahead of him.

Each time she saw a vertical shaft leading up to street level, Zinio shook his head no, and pointed to further down the tunnel, or left here, right there.

They were nearly out of air when Zinio grabbed her and pointed upward.

Changing into street clothes that didn’t really look anything like their style—down to the funky hats to frustrate overhead surveillance cameras—they emerged out of the manhole.

Sauntering down the street a ways, he walked them inside a motorcycle shop, and bought them a pair of racing bikes.  

Outside the shop, the street racers were zooming by them on their motorcycles.  Zinio handed her a number, printed out in the store.

“How did…?”

“I didn’t really.  But when I told you to lose the tail, I had to account for the fact that it might take a while.  This race is West coast to East coast.  Perfect camouflage.  Beats the hell out of any other form of travel they’re likely to be tracking.”

“And if we’d landed in San Francisco?”

“There’s a cruise ship that gets us back to New York.”

“How could…?”

“You watch QVC late at night to clear your mind.”

“They have great deals on diamonds!  Okay, not as good as your after hour specials, but…”

“I watch Johnny Mnemonic.  The memory guy?”

“Unbelievable.”

“What?”

“That you’d pass up the shopping channel for that.”

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Author Dean C. Moore

I write sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventures and thrillers, or some combination thereof—usually with a strong vein of dark humor.  Though, my works are dramas first; the humor is there to take the edge off as with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Transformers, and Jurassic Park franchises.

I wrote screenplays for a while, and while enjoying them, I found them a bit confining.  After a while you just need the extra page count to flesh out characters better and do additional world building, especially when considering doing anything epic in scope.  I also took a run at future forecasting and trend tracking, being as I always had my head in the future, things like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock.  I also relished this, and can certainly see myself releasing a few titles accordingly in the nonfiction area.  But since delving into novels, short and long, I’ve definitely found my home and my voice. 

For the first time I feel the restraints have been taken off of my imagination.  I suppose all mediums have their limits, so I may end up doing a mix of things, but I suspect I will continue to spend most of my time with novels.  Series add an additional dimension, allowing for even more depth and development both in the character and world building departments.  But I remain at heart a divergent thinker, so, no surprise, I seem to have more series going than follow up installments at this point.  That too may change over time; we’ll see.  Until then, it may be best to just think of these books as one-offs if you’re fond of my writing style and some of the themes I work with.

My current catalog of twelve books represents a little over five years' worth of work.  I'm currently averaging a couple books annually.  Of my existing franchises with multiple installments, The Hundred Year Clone books can be read in any order, while the 5 books of Renaissance 2.0 must be read in sequence as they form part of a singular story arc (much as with A Game of Thrones.)

I live in the country where I breed bluebirds, which are endangered in these parts, as my small contribution to restoring nature's balance.  When I'm not writing, or researching my next book, I may also be found socializing with friends, or working in my organic garden.









 


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