Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What is on Lilly Gayle's Holiday "To Be Read" Pile?

Happy Holidays!
It's the holiday season and the start of The Wild Rose Press authors' Holiday Blog Tour! I'm so pleased to have Lilly Gayle as my first guest author. She and I are old and dear friends, having met at a local writers group and struggled through years of writing, editing and polishing manuscripts. Lilly is an incredibly talented, multi-faceted woman and a terrific author, so I hope you'll welcome her and enjoy hearing about her "To Be Read" pile of books.

Lilly Gayle's TBR Books
Man, I can remember a time when I used to read one or two books a week. That was before I left the State system and went back to working ten hour shifts in a hospital. It was also before I became a published author.

I still love to read but most of my “free” time—I know what a joke!—is spent writing blogs, doing promo, editing, or working on my WIP. When I do read, it’s usually unpublished work from one of my two critique partners. But despite the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I plan to get in some reading time. It’s part of my holiday tradition.

I’m currently reading Joan Beth Erickson’s Rainbow’s End, a romantic suspense set in Hawaii. I’ve never read a book set in Hawaii or one where the main character was Polynesian. And I’m loving it. This is a unique, well written story, and Ms. Erickson has done a fabulous job describing Hawaii. So well in fact, I can actually visualize the scenery in my head as I read.

And that’s what makes a good story for me. If the author can transport me to another time or place and I can “see” the story in my head, then I’m hooked. There are a lot of authors who do that for me, so I have a very long TBR list.

I know you’ve released your first paranormal, Amy, and although Vampire Protector is one of those unpublished books I read in the past, I’m dying to read the finished product. I can’t wait to see what you and your editor have done with it.

I’d also like to start Virginia Kantra’s Children of the Sea series. I love Ms. Kantra’s romantic suspense novels and can’t wait to read one of her paranormals. Then there’s Beth Trissel, an author I met in cyber space through The Wild Rose Press. She has a list of historical romances I’m dying to read. Caroline Clemmons’ The Texan’s Irish Bride is on my list too and after seeing all the wonderful releases the authors of this tour have out, I’m going to be adding a lot more to my TBR list.

My biggest problem is finding time to read and then deciding what to read. I have eclectic taste and read everything from paranormal to inspirational. And since becoming a Wild Rose Press author, I’m constantly finding new stories and new authors.

So, this holiday season, I plan to load up my Nook and sit under the Christmas tree reading as many books as I can.

Anyone have any suggestions for some sensational books I can add to my list? It’s always growing!

The Skinny on Lilly
Lilly's Book: Out of the Darkness

Lilly Gayle’s bio:

Lilly Gayle lives in North Carolina with her husband of thirty years, her youngest daughter who's still in college, a dog, a cat, and various critters both dead and alive the cat occasionally drags through the doggie door. When not writing or working as a mammogapher, she spends time with her husband at the beach. Out of the Darkness, a paranormal romance is her first published novel. A historical, Slightly Tarnished should be released sometime next year.

Blurb for Out of the Darkness:
Out of the Darkness- a paranormal vampire romance.

Here research could cure his dark hunger if a covert government agent doesn't get to her first.

Vincent Maxwell is a vampire with a conscience seeking a cure to his dark hunger. But when a scientist looking to create vampire soldiers captures and kills a fellow vampire, Vincent seeks out Dr. Megan Harper, a research scientist who discovered a link between a genetic light sensitivity disorder and vampirism. Dr. Harper could hold a key to a cure and the answers to Gerard’s death. But getting close to the beautiful scientist could endanger both their lives.

When Megan meets Vincent she believes he suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum, the genetic disease that killed her sister. Sensing a deep loneliness within the handsome man, she offers friendship and access to her research files. But she and Vincent soon become more than friends and Megan learns the horrifying truth. She's entered the dark and unseen world of vampires and Vincent is her only hope of survival.

Excerpt for Out of the Darkness:

Vincent didn’t spare her a second glance as he opened the basement door and stepped down.

The sound of his boot heel striking wood echoed up the steps as he disappeared into the darkness.

“But—” Megan switched on the light and hurried after him.

“The first thing you need down here is a table and some chairs,” he said when he saw the stacks of unorganized data and reams of paper scattered across the floor. “Do you mind if I bring the ones down from the kitchen?”

“No.” She turned back toward the stairs. “I’ll help you bring them down.” It would give her something to do while she sorted through the confused thoughts and emotions tumbling around inside her head.

Vincent touched her arm and heat shot straight to her belly, turning her insides all warm and fuzzy.

Warm and fuzzy was not good.

Warm and fuzzy made her think of more than just heated sex. It made her think of cozy evenings snuggled up under a blanket and shared feelings. It made her long for an emotional connection she couldn’t risk. Not with Vincent.

Not with a man who could potentially die a slow, lingering death.

“I’ll get it.” He let go of her arm and stepped back. “You start going through those papers and find that report you wrote comparing XP to vampire myths and legends. I’d be interested in seeing if you still have it.”

He turned to go back up the stairs and Megan shivered. Why had Steve mentioned the vampire report to Vincent? And why was Vincent so interested in seeing it?

Vincent the Vampire.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Make Me Buy Your Book

Make Me Buy Your Book

Starting Jan 20, 2011, I’ll be posting a blog challenging ebook authors to make me buy your book. I’ll post a general description for the kind of books I’m looking for, and you can comment with 500 words or less of information about your book, geared toward making me (and other readers) buy it.

It’s a free form of advertising for you, the author. More importantly, I’m hoping it will let me find the kinds of books I love to read and which are sometimes difficult to locate. Oddly enough, I’ve noticed that the stories I like best are those by new authors or at least authors who are not the ones who pop up on bestseller lists or suggested lists from Amazon. So finding them can be a challenge.

I’m also hoping that other readers who hanker for the same kinds of books will find this to be a valuable resource, as well, if for no other reason than to browse through what I’m sure will be interesting blurbs and descriptions.

The blogs will run on the 20th of every month, and I’ll publish a schedule so you know what’s coming up. If you really think you’re special and want me to include your book cover in the body of that month’s blog as an extra enticement for readers, then you can drop me a line at Please note, however, that I’m really not interested in extremely sensual or erotic material. Besides, there are so many promo opportunities for very spicy books that I feel I can suit my own more conventional tastes in this area.

When I describe the categories in the blogs themselves, I’ll include even more detail on what I like/don’t like to help “shape the comments” and get me to my goal of finding those books I really do want to buy. Keep in mind that this helps other potential readers, as well, because they’ll also be able to determine if these books are their cup-o-tea or material for the compost heap (figuratively speaking since we’re talking strictly ebooks).

As a “heads up,” here is the initial list. Be sure to bookmark this blog so you can participate and add your blurbs, teeny-tiny excerpts, or anything else that floats your boat and you believe will make potential readers buy your ebook.

Jan 20 - Ghosts & shivery horror (No Gore Fests, please)

Feb 20 – Historical Mysteries

March 20 – Contemporary Mysteries

April 20 – Paranormal Mysteries/Suspense

May 20 – Suspense

June 20 – Historicals & Regencies

July 20 – Crime & Crime Noir

Aug 20 – Humor & Satire

Sep 20 – Science Fiction & Fantasy

Oct 20 – Cozy Mysteries

Nov 20 – Chick Lit, Hen Lit & their Red-Headed Step-Children

Dec 20 – Paranormal (Romance, suspense, etc)

That's it! Be thinking about it and prepare your comments. I'll be waiting to hear from you with my Kindle turned on and in my hand!
Amy Corwin

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Just Chatting

Today's blog is more of a "Chatty Cathy" item about all the news that's fit (or unfit) to print! There's a heck of a lot going on, too!

While I'm awaiting word from the Acquisitions Committee about my cozy mystery, Whacked!, (and please make it good news!) I'm frantically writing another mystery as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In order to win, I only have to write 50,000 words during the month of November (are you completely insane?) which will nicely finish off the first draft of the book. Assuming I can do that.

Not only am I writing serious chunks of new material each evening, I'm also a sponsoring author for Night Owl's Autumn Harvest Web Hunt. I'm giving away a gorgeous heart necklace to one lucky entrant, but there are dozens of other great prizes so be sure to join the hunt!

And if you need more contests to enter and blogs to read, you can join me and my fellow Wild Rose Press Authors for our Wilder Roses blog tour. We will be blogging on holiday themes starting November 24. Each Wednesday, we'll post new blogs with participating authors, for the following dates and themes:
November 24 ~ Our holiday "To Be Read" Books
December 1 ~ Favorite holiday recipes
December 8 ~ Favorite holiday stories or movies
December 15 ~ Favorite holiday tradition

I'm giving away a soothing herbal bath kit to a randomly selected person who leaves comments on my blog, so be sure to stay tuned! The more comments you make, the more "entries" this will make to the bucket of names and the higher your chances are of winning. The runners-up will also be randomly selected and will receive my ebook, I Bid One American.

And speaking of ebooks, for the holiday season, I'm offering a free traditional ghost story. It's a short story I wrote on Halloween to limber up for NaNoWriMo and if you like spooky short stories, you may enjoy it. It's called Silence is Concurrence and you can click on the previous link or download it from the freebies section on my website.

My paranormal romance, Vampire Protector, is already available as a paperback from my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, or as a pre-order from The ebook version will be available soon, including on the Kindle. I'm really excited about this book and hope folks enjoy it. There's nothing like a good vampire story, complete with a haunted house and a mystery that may claim the lives of Gwen and her vampire protector.

I don't have a release date, yet, for the next historical romantic mystery in the Archer family series, The Necklace. However, I'm hoping it will be released in late November or December. The cover is already up on Highland Press's Coming Soon page, so it shouldn't be too long to wait! They did an absolutely fabulous job on the cover. I really love it.

Finally, I wanted to mention that I've started another brief series of blogs on my favorite topic of characterization. The blogs are featured on ...Voices of the Heart, which is another blog I participate in. In addition, I'm being featured on a variety of other blogs and book review sites, so be sure to watch the calendar of events on the right side of this blog. Busy, busy, busy.

On my blog, interspersed with interviews from other interesting authors and information about what I'm up to, I plan to begin a small series on tips for authors who are just starting out. I'll include things I've learned along the way, grammar, the mechanics of writing, links to other Internet sources of information on writing, and I'll bust a few common myths. With luck, writers and readers alike will find things of interest to them.

So sit back and enjoy the holiday season...and grab a good spooky story to read in front of the fire! You deserve a few harmless shivers!