Monday, August 31, 2009

Ups and Downs of publishing

Recently I've had many ups.

My YA short story in the anthology is receiving great reviews and I'm working on my next YA book. So things are looking good.

Then the down side roared its ugly head.

My publisher is closing the YA line.

But the upside is that they will continue to keep the books on their distribution list until the contract is up. The downside is that's only until March 2010.

The upside, I can try to go with another publisher. The downside, that might not happen.

I told myself it's not the end of the world, even if for the day it seems like it is.

So, whichever way things go, up or down, writers have to do what writers do. We pull up our bootstraps and keep going. And that's what I'm going to do.

Have a great day,

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Community Service

Sorry about the late post today, but my hubby and I were out and about this morning doing something really quite fun.

Every year our church has an outdoor service. We block off the street, set up chairs, and worship under a wide-blue sky. Today was the perfect day for being outdoors. Plenty of sunshine, blue sky, and puffy white clouds. Our theme this year was "The Church has Left the Building".

After the service our church memebers went out into the community to help in places where there was need. My hubby and I joined five others to do some weeding, minor landscaping, and window washing at a retired pastor's house. Other groups did yard work, minor repairs, and even some painting at other houses. One group handed out free water at our local Farmer's Market and at the train station. Another group stayed in-doors and put labels on items for an upcoming event while still others packed backpacks for underpriviliged children. A group took hats to the pediatric unit at our local hospital to be distributed to young cancer patients, another visited with residents at a local nursing home.

All in all, it was a fabulous day being out and about and serving others. What a wonderful reminder that a church isn't a bricks and mortar structure, but people who have come together: the Church has indeed left the building.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Killer Nashville by Margot Justes

The weekend of August 14th I attended the Killer Nashville, a small intimate writer/reader conference and I can’t wait to go back next year.

From the very beginning it became an exceptional experience, the personal attention to detail was unexpected. I was worried I’d miss my first panel Friday morning, but since I was picked up at the airport, it was a non issue, made it in plenty of time, and even had time for an espresso; it should have been a double.

It’s that type of attention to detail and care that made me feel very welcome, and the conference a total delight.

The panels were good and informative, among them, one exceptional panel where agents, editors, a publicist, an Ingram Representative and a Barnes & Noble Manager discussed the future of books, from the finished manuscript to the reader buying the book. I hope the panel will be back next year; I’ll be prepared to take notes.

I took an opportunity to sneak away and visit downtown Franklin, an historic main street not to be missed, little boutiques, restaurants, and old buildings well preserved and lovingly cared for. There was an old church dating back to the early 1800’s with beautiful stained glass windows, but the doors were locked and I couldn’t get in.

It was hot and I do mean hot, the air shimmered in the heat and the humidity stuck to you like second skin. After a couple of hours walking, I was ready to go back to the hotel to cool off. Starbucks iced coffees did the trick, but only for a while.

As the saying goes, I’ll be back.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3
Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger’s death changes her life.
available on

Friday, August 28, 2009

Get Away by Robert W. Walker

Sometimes you are damed -- as in blocked, damed up...and the creative flow is gone or off somewhere else; at such times stop belaboring the muse and go off someplace yourself to allow your subconsicous to do its work on its own time clock.

This may seem a simple answer to a terribly complext problem -- Writer's Block -- but sometimes it takes a vacation, a trip, a conference, or going to your kid's soccer game, or some recital you'd have missed had you been feverishly writing. Sometimes stop and breath and smell the oleander bushes.

Sometimes it takes far less than getting on a plane to make a trip of it to find that thing we call our muse--the elusive one. Sometimes it just requires a few hours off and working in the dirt, say your garden or cutting your lawn. OR simply taking a relaxing moment in a pool or hot tub or shower. Amzing as it seems, such "get aways" can evoke the muse as she is a jealous wench to be sure.

Serendipity happens when our minds are at peace with what we are doing in the moment, and if you are at odds with your writing at the moment, you must need step back and get off stage and get your fevered mind in check!

Sorry...didn't mean to raise my voice there. But you get the point. I have had some of my best "stuff" come to me while raking leaves.

Besides, we don't do our BEST work until we turn at least fifty anyhow. Now for me that number is long past but for you kids out there, cool it and enjoy it or else stop doing it! If it hurts in the joints, stay out of them joints.

Rob Walker
"Dead On takes the reader's capacity for the imagination of horror to stomach turning depths, and then gives it more twists than a Georgia backroad that paves an Indian trail." - Nash Black

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Illinois Library Grant Money is Gone! by DL Larson

For many years Illinois has supported a grant system for public and school libraries. Each library has had the opportunity to apply for the various grants offered depending on the personal needs for their library. Other states do not do this, the money is allotted or handed down, with many of the "big" libraries receiving a priority. Illinois was unique in distributing tax money, local libraries could apply for grants under construction grants or to more traditional "book and programming" grants. This produced imaginative ways for libraries to expand, offer better programs for their patrons, plus fill their shelves with updated books, etc. It was a system that stimulated progress and kept Illionois libraries growing and being in the lead with technology and services.

Last fall a list of available grants were posted. The one that caught my eye was the READ: reading for education and development grant. Illinois was offering this grant for many reasons, the most significant were due to the findings of the National Endowment for the Arts report, "Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America." The report stated there is a criticial decline in reading among all Americans. The study stated:
* "Less than half of the adult American population now reads ..."
* "The percentage of the U.S. adult population reading any book had declined by 7% over the last decade."
* "Literary reading is declining among all ages, but the steepest decline is in the youngest age groups."

As a librarian, I've noticed a decline in beginner readers coming in to check out books. I've chalked it up as more working moms not having time to stop by the library. But the READ grant was just what we needed at our library and so my colleague and I spent numerous hours coming up with a plan, a strategy on how to implement this grant. Filling out a grant takes time with no guarantee of being awarded the funds.

Illinois has been very gracious to small libraries and are extremely fair in distributing money. Our request was for $7,000.00; the range was up to $25,000.00. Our letter of intent had to be in the office of the Secretary of State by March 31, 2009. Our application, plus 15 copies had to arrive at the LSTA Grant office, Illinois State Library, Springfield, by 4:30 p.m. on May 1, 2009. We sighed in relief when we met all deadlines and our proposal was received intact. We were excited about our tentative new programs, especially the one we designated for reluctant readers: "ABC, Read with Me," a program where children would read to dogs, said to be very productive in exciting kids to read.

On August 13, our library received a letter from the Office of the Secretary of State. No, it was not a letter of congratulations, your grant has been chosen. This was a letter to all LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) Grant Applicants. All grants have been withdrawn. The money will be used to pay bills, and to continue paying for book deliveries from libraries borrowing from other libraries. No one will receive financial help. Illinois is facing a multi-billion dollar budget deficit, no one is immune to suffering from this debt.

So as good little librarians, we are expected to sit back and say nothing. Well, sorry, I can't be quiet about this. If libraries don't receive sufficient funds to stay up with technology and education, we have little chance of thriving. Libraries are supposed to offer and provide for people in their communities, especially for those who are not financially solvent. We will continue to serve our patrons as best we can; just don't expect too much. We're doing this on our own now.

Til next time ~

DL Larson

PS: If this worries you, share your concerns with state legislators.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Signing Stock for Killer Career At Barnes and Noble - Oh, My!! By Morgan Mandel

As soon as I opened the letter on Saturday telling me that Killer Career would be carried at Barnes & Noble stores, I cheered, then made a few phone calls to nearby stores. Was my book in stock or on the database yet? Yes, to both!
Sunday the DH and I happened to go out to lunch at Maggiano's in Schaumburg and just happened to stop by Barnes & Noble at 590 E. Golf Road in Schaumburg. Okay, I confess, it was a planned outing.
I was at Barnes & Noble to sign stock! Here's a photo from the momentous occasion.
While I was there, I met the new CRM, Dana Campbell. We spoke about a book signing in early November and will be firming up the date soon.
Also in the works are booksignings at the Arlington Heights, IL Barnes and Noble on October 17, and at the Deer Park, IL Barnes and Noble between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In January, a book signing will happen at Barnes & Noble DePaul Center in Chicago.
Before those book signings take place, you can bet I'll be slipping over to each store to sign stock. I'm hoping the stock will be gone before the book signings. That way the stores will need to order more!
For my complete book signing schedule, check
Morgan Mandel

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Publishers Weekly Morning Report

Two things caught my attention today on the PW morning report:

- What President Obama took on vacation to read

- The announcement of Oprah’s pending announcement via twitter of her next pick for her book club.

What author wouldn’t love to be on either one of these two’s reading list!

Most of us aren’t so lucky as to be in the situation of having one of these two famous individuals pick up our work and instantly provide international attention. So, how do the rest of us get noticed? How do we get the word out on our own works of fiction or non-fiction so that lots of people will notice.

Well, that’s always been a struggle for most authors and lately it’s not limited to the less published authors. I know writers with more than a dozen books published that still have to go out and pound the pavement at bookstores, conferences, libraries, and just about any venue where they think their book will find an audience, especially a paying one.

Other things we do for exposure - mostly with our clothes on - is to participate in blogs, leave comments at blogs, conduct interviews, be interviewed, hand out free bookmarks, talk to book clubs, participate in panels at conferences, and so much more. Anyone who has been to some of the larger writers conferences know that there is a wide range of promotional items that authors have to chose from but often at great expense and not necessarily with a great return on the investment.

So, let’s see how creative writers can be without losing their financial shirt. I’d love to see what others are doing to expose themselves - legally - to expand their readership.

In the meantime, for more information on how to access or sign up for Publishers Weekly reports visit the following website:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Personal Shopper

Lately I've been told that I'm dressing better. Not, mind you, that I dressed bad before, now it's just better. Well, along with my new PR person, Miss Emily, whom you all met in an earlier blog, I now have a personal shopper.

Miss Casey.

Miss Casey picked out these two new tops for me from Kohl's.

And I received more compliments in one day than I've received in a long time.
I think she's getting me ready to have some book signings. She hopes I will be on Oprah. She has such ambition. I'm not sure if I can live up to her expectations, but at least I will look good!
Next she is planning my outfits for Spring Fling 2010. I told her I don't need that many outfits, she just shook her head and rolled her eyes.
I think she told me!
Happy Monday

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Football Season!

I'll admit it. I like football. There's something terribly cozy about curling up on the couch under a mound of blankets and watching the game unfold on a chilly, fall day.

Last night (I missed the one last week) I watched my first Bears pre-season game. It was the perfect night for it. The slight chill in the air really did make it seem like fall. So I pulled on my Urlacher jersey and curled up on the couch. And I have to tell you, Da Bears are looking good. I think it might be their year...(if you're from Chicago you'll get that joke!)

As I watched Jay Cutler (our new QB) do his thing on the field, it occurred to me that football (well, a football team) is a lot like writing.

First you have the main offense (the quarterback and the receivers) or in the case of a book, your characters and the plot (including the all important goal, motivation, and conflict). Let's face it...without these elements there is no team, there is no story.

Next you have the backfield (the running backs) and the offensive line or in the case of a book, your setting, secondary characters, and backstory. These work with the offense and/or characters to get the job done or the story told.

Then you have the defense. On a football team these guys make sure nothing gets in the way of winning the game. In a book, I like to think of editing, revising, rewriting, etc. as the defense. These things make sure that nothing gets in the way of the story being told.

The offense, backfield, and defense work together to make a winning team. The characters, plot, setting, and backstory work together to make a compelling story. The end product of both: satisfaction. A job well done. If a team plays well, they tend to accrue a lot of fans. Fans that will stick with them while they wait for the next playoff berth, however long that may take...(really, here in Chicago, we've learned to be very patient). If a book is written well and tells a memorable story, an author tends to garner fans as well. Hopefully fans that will stick with him or her until the next book comes out, maybe the one that will finally hit the besteller list...(again, patience is a virtue!).

So hopefully the near future will hold a Superbowl trophy for the Bears and a bestseller for me. All it takes is a little team-work.

Ah, a girl can dream, can't she?

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Brief Blog by Margot Justes

This will be short, I returned from Nashville Monday afternoon and the rest of the week got away from me.

Met my friend Miriam last night for coffee-what else-to share information about Venice, the next time I will be seeing her will be September 2nd in Venice.

It is bright and early and I'm on my way to Galena for a Missing signing, along with fellow authors Luisa Buehler, Joe Konrath, Mary Welk, Amy Alessio, Norm Cowie, Joe Konrath and local Galena author Barbra Annino , she did a terrific job organizing the two events.

Forgive me if I've missed anyone, it's early, I mean really early, as in 4: 30, at any rate, if you're in the area please stop by, all the information is on my website

Till next time,

Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris

Friday, August 21, 2009

What Makes a Good Book GREAT & Read, Read, Read to Your Kids! by Robert W. Walker

Not a week ago this question came up on Facebook—“What makes a book a great read for you? What makes a book not just good but GREAT? My reply on Facebook got a lot of interest and add on responses, so I then took it to KindleKorner, and as I got more and more folks responding extremely positively to my response, I placed it elsewhere, and one such place was DorothyL where I hang out a lot. I thought that was that as days passed by but then I heard from Cathy Strasser, who wrote me the response this blog will end with. Here is my post and Cathy’s responses – as she responded twice with moving emotion and a great story.

My definition of a truly great book may also be the same definition as what constitutes a classic--hold on, stay with me now. It's like this. A book or story is only as good as the lasting effect it has on a reader's mind--for instance, I can visualize in my mind’s eye just about every scene in To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and many of the most powerful and poignant moments in James Herriots' All Creatuers Great and Small, and all his works. In fact, Herriot, for my money is the closest thing we have in literature to Mark Twain since Twain, a writer who can move you to tears and laughter within the space of a single heart beat. When James Clavell was opened up to me--King Rat was my first Clavell and onward to Shogun, I was swept away by the compelling storytelling of this master. Anything by Leon Uris as well. But in effect that is what is for me great reading, when the images an author posits in the mind have a powerful and lasting effect, so strong as to leave an indelible imprint in the mind. I can see Ahab as he strides the deck in Moby Dick any time I wish to conjure him up, and I can hear Huck's voice in my head any time I choose to hear him speak. In the final analysis, a story is only as great as the level of impact it makes on a reader.
Cathy’s response to this:

I was in 7th grade social studies (as they called it then) and reading gothic romance under the desk. Mr. Athanis (the teacher and I'll never forget his name) discovered me and told me that if I was going to read in his class, I should read something worthwhile and he gave me Battle Cry by Leon Uris. From there I went on to read everything Uris wrote then moved on to Clavell. They are still some of my favorite reads. Talk about immediately catapulted into the story! I went on to read extensively on the Holocaust and Asian cultures - inspired by the need to learn more about the worlds I'd read about.

Additionally, Cathy added:
I'm a huge believer in reading to children from an early age - any language exposure from a human voice will improve a child's auditory comprehension level, an essential tool in our mainly verbal school systems. And the really interesting fact is that it needs to be a human voice - a TV/tape recorder doesn't stimulate the brain in the right pattern for improved comprehension. Go for the rhyme-y /sing-song-y books - there's a reason "Jack be nimble" has been around so long!

I might add to that to look at the success, popularity, and timelessness of Dr. Zeuss’ books. With my son, his mother and I read to him before we left the hospital with him and every day when he was an infant in the cradle and knew naught language a word! Today he is a voracious reader and operates his own business and is a world traveler and is fascinated with all cultures of the world; and has a huge library; he is in fact a “citizen of the world” and does not limit himself in any way, shape, or form. He called me out of the blue one evening and over the phone said, “Dad, I just want to thank you and mom for not raising me in any strict form of organized or petrified or codified manner. You gave me the gift of freedom of thought.” I thanked him for saying so and we hung up. I was at a party with friends in some Chicago spot that night—with Joe Konrath in fact, and I could tell that Stephen was in a restaurant, probably his favorite—The Five Seasons in Atlanta where he lives—and it occurred to me that he’d just gotten away from a heated debate, one in which he had faced off against someone with a turgid mindset. At any rate, the value of young people reading early pays great dividends for a healthy and happy future. What always scared me in my creative writing classes were the rare students who proudly announced, “Reading (or substitute History or Psychology or Sociology or Science)…Reading? I don’t read. I just want to write (or substitute spout off).”

Rob d'Author Walker
"Dead On takes the reader's capacity for the imagination of horror to stomach turning depths, and then gives it more twists than a Georgia backroad that paves an Indian trail." - Nash Black, Bird’s Eye Views

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Guest Blogger, Children's Author, Julie Durango! by DL Larson

Imagine two children's librarians sitting in the kiddie department of your local library. The lights are bright, the walls colorful, and in my scenario, larger than life Zoo animals are painted Jan Brett style on the walls. The animals wear playful looks and have a come-to-life realness. The women are perched on miniature animal chairs, one a giraffe, the other a lion with a baby zebra table between them. Talking about children's books comes naturally to these two women, but the topic is not about the Monarch Award selections or even the latest Newberry Awards. They are discussing the publishing world as a children's author. And the inevitable question is asked, "What does it take to become a published author?"

Julie Durango, children's librarian, published children's author, had this to share:

Hello, fellow writers!

First of all, I’d like to thank Deb Larson for inviting me to be your guest blogger for the day. It’s always fun to talk shop with other writers.

Like many of you, I wear a lot of hats. On any given day, I am an elementary school librarian, a children’s book author, a blogger, and the mother of two boys ages 8 and 13. I’ve lived all over the U.S. from Rhode Island to California and two different countries (Costa Rica and Colombia), but for the past 11 years I’ve lived in Ottawa, Illinois, which is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. And I love it here, so I’m happy to call myself an Ottawan.

Regarding the question, "How did you first get published?” I thought I’d offer a To Do list, based on my personal journey from aspiring writer to published author.

• Read widely and voraciously in the genre in which you hope to write. If you want to write for children, make sure you know the difference between picture books, early readers, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, etc. Become an expert in the field!

• Take time to focus on the craft of writing before you start worrying about publication. (I know it’s hard to do, but it will pay off in the end.) I think all writers should read The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. A few other favorites are Story by Robert McKee and The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler.

• Research publishers and their submission policies. For aspiring children’s book authors, I recommend reading the latest Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market and joining SCBWI, the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. • Find a local or online critique group of writers in your genre. If you can’t find one, form your own! Professional organizations like SCBWI can often help you locate like-minded writers who are interested in manuscript exchanges. I’ve found the support and feedback of my critique partners to be invaluable over the years.

• Set realistic publication goals. I wrote a children’s book review column for the Ottawa Times and wrote several pieces for the Cricket Magazine Group before I ever had a book published. This experience was an important stepping stone in my career, as I gained a lot of confidence as a writer in addition to a great list of writing credits.

• If you decide to look for an agent (optional for children’s book authors), make sure you do your homework first. Find one who specializes in your genre. Good agents won’t charge you upfront fees; they take a percentage of your earnings after they make a sale for you. Beware of scam artists!

• Resist the temptation to submit your work before it’s ready. Give your first draft time to “rest” before you begin the revision process. Then polish it until it shines! The publishing industry is highly competitive and swamped with submissions. Make sure your manuscript stands out in the crowd!

While other people’s writing paths may vary, I think mine is fairly typical of what it takes to break into the business. Is it easy? No. Is it worthwhile? Definitely!

THANK YOU, JULIE!! Stop by and visit Julie at or at her home page at

We at Acme Authors value our readers comments, and I'm sure Julie would enjoy hearing from you as well. Please take a moment to say hello, ask a question, or share your experience. Or perhaps you have a bit of advice to offer. We welcome your input!

Til next time ~

DL Larson

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Come on over

Hi Gang,
I'm doing my Killer Career Blog Book Tour this week and the next. In deference to my hosts, I'm sending people over there to my stops.

Today, I'm at A Writer's Words, an Editor's Eye, hosted by Editor, Lillie Ammann.

If you have time, stop by at . She asked some great questions in her interview.

I know you can't go everywhere, but here are a few others you may be interested in visiting from earlier this week: - about Libaries and Library Events - do they help or hinder sales - Host Jeffrey Marks - learn how I named my baby. Hint, it has something to do with Rob Walker, but he's not the father of my child. (g)

Tomorrow's an excerpt from Killer Career over at L.Diane Wolfe's blog,

The entire list of the tour is at by clicking the left column link.

Thanks a bunch.
Hope some of you can make it to the tour.

Morgan Mandel

Monday, August 17, 2009

Special Days

Last Thursday was a really special day.
It was International Left Handers Day. Read about it here: Left-Handers Day 2009
And, yes, I’m left handed. But that is not unusual as left handers tend to be creative and at least I think I am, creative that is, cause I know I’m left handed.

Some famous lefties, like President Obama and one of my favorite authors, Meg Cabot I knew about, but I didn’t know that Hans Christian Anderson, Mark Twain, and H.G. Wells were also lefties.

When I found this site I joined the Left-Handers club and now I get a newsletter with some really cool information in it. There’s also a store where you can order special items just for lefties. I like it!

So, even though I’m a little late, I hope all you lefties had a great International Left-Handers Day, I know I did!

I also received some awesome reviews for Summer Lovin'. You can read them here:
Long and Short of It Reviews
The Romance Studio

Happy Monday,


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Decorating Sense?

My husband and I own a 1920's bungalow style house we've been updating and renovating (inside and out) since we bought it almost eight years ago. We've taken one project at a time doing everything from gutting two bathrooms and the kitchen and completely re-doing them to tearing down ceiling tiles to repainting from top to bottom. It's truly been a labor of love and we've put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (literally) into it.

Most of the time we are on the same wave-length decorating wise. He is a painting contractor by trade, so he's usually in charge of choosing the colors for the rooms, then I add the finishing touches. Our house is by no means fancy-schmancy, but I like to think it's cozy and tastefully decorated. We use a lot of earthy, natural colors for the most part.

A recent foray into decorating resulted in the purchase of new bedding for our master bedroom. We'd had the old stuff since we'd been married, and it was time for a change. The walls in the room are a wonderful yellow-gold, so we went with a burgundy comforter with gold accents. Everything was fine until my husband realized that the new window coverings didn't have side panels, but consisted of a valance across the top. He complained that the sun came in too brightly in the morning (our bedroom does fast east, I'll give him that) and woke him up earlier than he wanted to be awake. (Poor baby.) So, since I was disinclined to add side panels, he threatened to put cardboard over the window to block the sun. I laughed, thinking, yeah right, whatever.

I should know better by now. I came home from my local RWA meeting the other night to a paint spattered drop cloth nailed (yes nailed) to the window frame. Lovely.

I was good. I didn't say a word...although that probably spoiled his fun a little bit. But I did retaliate. Since we were changing the decor, I thought it was only fair that I had my say, too. So I added a life-sized cardboard cutout of my favorite vampire. (Thanks, Barb, for letting Edward visit.)

So, we went from tasteful and understated to dorm room decor in the space of twenty-four hours. Oh well, what can you do?!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

I would like to introduce Terry Kate from Romance in the Backseat. I spent a bit of time with Terry on the phone,and received some great advice on internet marketing, and quickly asked Terry to share. She graciously accepted. Thank you Terry,
Margot Justes

I want to thank Margot so much for having me on this fabulous blog!
I'm going to tell all you fabulous authors out there a little story, readers please chime in and tell me if you agree. My accidental fall into the area of PR consulting.
I started my site" with the idea that the more video interviews I did, literally in the backseat - think Taxicab Confessions - the more readers would discover the site. Each author would bring in their viewers and the site would grow and grow and I would be a fabulous success.
It didn't work.
In order for it to work authors would need to be in touch with their fans. Some are, most... are not. So I had to take on the duty of reaching out to readers and not only that often tell the occasionally clueless how to reach out to their own readers!
I know you took the time to write the book, but guess what? The job ain't done. Great book... sitting there... collecting dust... You can write something 10x as excellent, funny, suspenseful, as the next person and not sell as well. Why?
Readers did not know to pick your most excellent book up!
So here are a few tips - and just a few - Like I said I consult, you want more - email me.
1- Please, Please, PLEASE , look at your site statistics. If you are not looking at them you are running blind. What are you doing online that is working? What is a wast of your time? Readers where do you find out about new authors? That is the type of thing you NEED to know.
If you are an author or aspiring author you are not allowed to lurk online. What good is that for getting your name out there? Even if you are not yet published there are a TON of things you can be doing that will put you in a position of power next time you sit down with an editor or agent.
3- Leave an ACTIVE link when you comment under your name. I know I know this often means you have to write out some code, but too bad, suck it up, it is one line of code you need to learn once. DO IT!
So does that help? Are you already doing all of the above? If the answer is yes then awesome! If not, please start. Help yourself get the word out, I do not care WHO your publisher is or HOW much attention you think your House is giving you. YOU always have to do it for yourself. I have worked with very high profile NYT Bestsellers with direct phone calls from the head publicists from the biggest name houses and it did diddly. People who put in the leg work get thousands of hits a day!
I know it can stink that once you finish a great book there is still tons more work to do, but it is sadly true. If anyone has any questions about the article please leave a comment and I will check in and answer on the blog here.
Feel free to email me at romanceinthebackseat @

Thank you again for having me here,
Terry Kate

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ye Old Wicked on the Web Scavenger Hunt – brought ye by Rob d’Author Walker

Today on ACME AUTHORS LINK, I’m doing something new, FRESH, unusual, UNIQUE…okay bizarre in offering up the first ever Rob d’Author Challenge – a Virtual Scavenger Hunt.

First one to get back to me with ten of thirteen answers (thirteen questions posed) wins a FREE autographed copy of DEAD ON – a Kat Holley, Marcus Rydell PI Mystery from award-winning Five Star Books – a $25.95 value that features lovely and gripping cover art and a pretty good story as well, my lords and ladies.

The answers need to come in as a complete comment at Acme, not direct to me or at my website or elsewhere but at ACME. Second, leave your email address with the comment at Acme, so I can later get a mailing address where to send the book. Third, not restricted to continental USA.

Within this scroll are the starting points for what ye seek:

1. Find What 11-book series features Dr. Jessica Coran?
2. Locate the number of genres that Rob has written in (Horror being only one)?
3. Discover and list 3 of eight writers who share rotation with me at Acme.
4. Determine Name of Rob’s wife’s mystery novel (title)
5. Reveal title and full name of Rob’s main character in City for Ransom.
6. Uncover the mystery of the SETTING in Rob’s novel Dead On.
7. Disclose the name of the dog in Rob’s novel Dead On.
8. Seek Out Rob’s middle name. Robert W. Walker and one of his four pen names.
9. Follow the trail to Rob’s ebooks – name his single nonfiction work, a how-to at the Kindle Store.
10. Unmask the name of Rob’s collaborator on his kindle title Cuba Blue.
11. Check Out Rob and Miranda’s His & Her blog tour and bring back one Question posed anywhere.
12. Disclose In whose backyard was the photo of Pongo and Rob taken (photo used extensively on books and blogs of Rob and Dalmatian)
13. Reveal the favorite drink of one Dr. Jessica Coran, ME FBI, Rob’s most memorable character.

Hear ye, hear ye…. For ye who take this formidable challenge to unearth the truth, to find that which is beneath the rock or entombed in mausoleums of this virtual world, using steeds and unicorns to traverse blogs, websites, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, url’s and dark forests, I commend the thy bravery and expect chivalry in the games from one and all. Good luck ye knights, knaves, and damsels one and all; take all due care, but let it be known—anyone with good body armor can win! Only but need answer ten of thirteen.

Rob d’Author Walker


"Dead On takes the reader's capacity for the imagination of horror to stomach turning depths, and then gives it more twists than a Georgia backroad that paves an Indian trail." - Nash Black

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Funny Books for Kids? Or Educational Books That Are Fun? Getting To Know Children's Author, Julie Durango! by DL Larson


Dancing animals are an adventurous way to learn to count in Julie Durango's children's picture book, Cha-Cha- Chimps, an exciting story that kids will want to read over and over and over.

Pest Fest, is a talent show for bugs. Little ones will cheer for their favorite to win. Will it be the butterfly? The bee? Or the firefly? The School Library Journal stated, "Young entomologists will go buggy for this book."

These are just a few of Julie's picture books; others include Angels Watching Over Me, Dream Hop, and Yum Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds, co-authored by Newberry Award winner Linda Sue Parks.

Julie Durango also has two middle-grade adventure novels, The Wall of Cartagena and Sea of the Dead, published by Simon and Schuster. Both are Junior Library Guild selections.

Ms. Durango will be joining us at Acme Authors next week as a guest blogger, Thursday, August 20th, so please mark your calendar to stop by and visit.

To learn more about Julie and her love of books, visit her book review site at She is a founding member along with book authors Andrea Beaty (When Giants Come To Play) and Carolyn Crimi, (Boris & Bella.)

To check out Julie's other books, visit her website at:
Julie will be sharing her experience with us about the publishing world, how she got noticed, and some of the differences between publishing picture books versus middle reader books. Her insight is sure to be a good one.


Post any questions here and I'll be sure to pass them on!!

Til next time ~

DL Larson

PS: Julie is also a children's librarian! Don't ya just love it!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What’s the Point… of View? By Austin S. Camacho

Recently a new writer hit me with a very good question. She said that every class she had taken and every book she had read about fiction writing cautioned authors to choose the point of view of their book with care, because it should stay the same throughout the story. Switching point of view is often pointed out as one of those errors that marks a writer as an amateur. Generally I agree. But she pointed out that more and more often she was seeing very successful writers changing points of view in their books. She wanted to know if the traditional wisdom was wrong, or if the rules had changed.

I would submit that most editors and agents you would send your manuscripts to would still consider POV hopping a pet peeve and a sign that they’re dealing with an untrained newbie. They would say, and I agree, that it's best to pick a POV and stick to it. But I can’t deny that many bestselling authors ignore this rule on a regular basis and still sell lots of books. Should we learn from this and follow their lead into a new set of fiction-writing rules?

I say no. First, pick any big name who changes POV and check out his earlier works. I think you’ll find that at the beginning of their writing careers, people don't violate POV rules. I think you have to obey the rules to GET published. But once you’ve got a couple best-sellers under your belt, the universe grants you a bit more latitude. For example, James Patterson seems to give almost every character in a novel some POV time, and worse, they’re all in third person except his protagonist who gets to be in first person! I can’t explain how he gets away with it, I just know he does.

On the other hand, Michael Connelly’s just that good. After several Harry Bosch books he began switching to the criminal’s POV, maybe just to keep things interesting. He’s just so good at what he does that he can make it work. Another writer might look like he was just making it up as he went along. But when Connelly does it, we trust that he knows what he's doing and we’re willing to go along for the ride. I know I’m revealing my blatant hero worship here, but I’d say if you think you’re as good as Connelly, go for it. Me, I’ll stick to one POV… most of the time.There are times that even we mere mortals can get away with going from first person to third person POV or having multiple POVs. For instance, what someone is telling a long story to your protagonist? That’s a reasonable time to switch POV to that of the storyteller.

Or, what if your detective is reading someone else’s letters? You could write a chapter that was the content of the letters, and put that chapter in the voice of the letter writer.

I’m sure there are other possibilities I can’t think of right now. The important thing is that it is very clear to a reader (an agent or an editor) that you did it on purpose with a clear plan, not just because you didn’t know any better. I think it’s always safer to play by the accepted rules – at least until you’re as big as James Patterson.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The romance genre thrives in bad economic times

Everybody seems to be suffering during these tough economic times. Everyone except the romance publishing industry. Giants of the romance publishing industry like Harlequin and Silhouette - Torstar is the parent company of both with - are doing very well.

For more information on the company go to:

Publishers Weekly has routinely covered the romance publishing world including Harlequin’s 60th year celebration:

There’s even a national organization that represents the romance writing industry - Romance Writers of America (RWA) of which I am a member. This organization tracks statistics to include sales, number of titles, market share compared to other genres and more. One statistic is “Of those who read books in 2007, one in five read romance novels. (AP-Ipsos Poll).”

For more information on RWA and the market research conducted go to:

So, what does this really tell us? The romance genre of publishing has always enjoyed strong sells. Oh, sure, there have been the subgenres that have boomed then struggled such as Chick lit, and the action/adventure romances, but even those have not completely gone away. They still have enough of an audience to keep them around. But it’s the more traditional romance that has endured. Whether you weave it into a paranormal, a historical, a futuristic/fantasy, or anything else, we all seem to crave that traditional romance where one man and one woman find each other and just know that being together will make their lives richer.

We like to escape, especially when times are tough. Romance offers an emotionally rewarding way to escape and there’s something for everyone. From inspirational to paranormal to erotic the many flavors of romance can delight any reader; and despite its critics, romance opens doors to more than escapism. Readers often comment on the richness of the writing when the story is set in another place and/or time.

So, forget the bad times - grab a romance and enjoy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lovin’ the Library

As Debra St. John pointed out, this weekend was REALLY hot, so I headed off to the library, which thankfully had air conditioning.

Not that I don’t have air conditioning at home, cause I do, but what I don’t have is TONS of books. Oh, and movies.

You all know I like librarians, my wonderful friend Miss. Riley, and my friends at the college library, Trisha and Gretchen (hello guys!)

So, I took my eldest daughter to the library. And lost her. Literally. I wasn’t too worried. She has a cell phone. Which she constantly texts on, but that is another blog.

It didn’t take long to find her. I just had to head to the YA sci fi section, and there she was. She has an insatiable appetite for reading, which she totally inherited from me, and I couldn’t be happier. Actually all my girls are big readers, but my eldest tops the list in reading. But the sci fi thing, so not me. Which is why she won’t read my book. Yeah, I know. Of course when I told her the idea I had for another book that had a little paranormal element in it, well hey, she was all over that one.

Anyway, I am grateful for the libraries and the librarians, and now I must go watch the DVD I borrowed from the library. The title? Why, The Librarian, of course.

Have a great Monday.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer Daze

First, for the summer part...

Ah, bliss. Here in the Midwest, summer has finally arrived. And it's about time. I mean, really, we had to wait until mid-August to hit the 90s? Now I'll be the first to admit that a whole summer of 90s would be a lot. But for now, I'm not complaining.

My hubby and I were headed out yesterday and he put the air conditioning on in the car. (In our old car the air hadn't worked for years, so this is a treat for us.) Problem is, we drive a convertible. The perfect summer car. We made it less than a mile down the road before I said, "You know, we really should put the top down." He agreed. So we pulled into the next parking lot, cranked that top down, and hit the open road: the sun pouring down, the wind blowing, the stereo cranking (our favorite Kenny Chesney CD)....again, bliss. Now that's the way to do summer.

Now, for the daze part...

My mind is spinning. Have I told you before how much I love my publisher, The Wild Rose Press? Well I do. A lot. The people there are fabulous. I escpecially love my editor. (Hi Kat!) Here's what happened on Thursday this week.

I finally finished my WIP, "This Can't be Love". (It's a spin-off of my first book, for those of you familiar, and features Zach as the hero.) I've been working on it for a while. One of my goals was to finish it this summer. I've worked on it here and there, but it never really seemed to go anywhere. Then, last week I got inspired. My fingers were literally flying over the keys. And I got it done! Talk about being thrilled.

As soon as I finished, I sent off my query and synopsis to my editor, figuring I'd get the ball rolling in that direction. This was around 12:30 in the afternoon. I fiddled around after that, tweaking some spots of the story, realigning chapters, etc. Later I went back inside (I'd been working on the patio table under the umbrella all day.) and checked e-mail to see if there was anything new in the world.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a reply from Kat already. With a flutter in my stomach, this part always makes me nervous, I clicked open her e-mail, which had been sent at 4:00. She asked for the full! Talk about your fast turn-around.

Talk about having a spinning head. I really was in a daze. In the space of a couple hours, I'd completed a manuscript, queried my editor, and was asked to submit. What a crazy business this publishing world is. I can barely keep up.

And, not only was my editor quick, she was kind enough to let me know that she'd be on vacation for a while and asked if I could send the mss in a couple of weeks so that it would be on the top of her e-mail pile instead of burried amongst a ton of vacation e-mail. (So now I have more time to tweak and polish before sending it off.)

It doesn't get any better than that. Really, this is a crazy business. But I love it!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Saturday, August 8, 2009

What Margot Justes

Periodically I watch a commercial and the products aimed at the normal everyday person-aren’t they all-pitched by an entertainer-the one who looks like no improvement is ever necessary and is pitching a cream or perfume. Just think, if you use that product you’ll look just like Nicole Kidman, or somehow there will be an association. Never mind that they are paid to sell the product; it is a business, after all and rightfully so, they are there to make money.

But what if a company went to the everyday person and actually asked them to pitch a product and I don’t mean laundry detergents or toilet cleaners. I mean the ‘glam’ products like Lancôme. I’m using Lancôme as an example because I’ve used the product for many years (can I say decades).

I believe it to be an excellent product and I do not use anything else on my face. Lancôme has recognized the aging population and has provided products for all. I’m assuming they all do it to grow the business. However, I would love to see the product pitched by normal everyday people.

I realize that as I have aged, gravity has taken and will continue to take its place where it rightfully thinks it belongs-like an unwelcome guest-it arrives for a visit and stays no matter the prodding. Until death do us part...

My personal preference is to age gracefully, I’ve earned every wrinkle, and will keep same, I use products I think help my skin age well, I can’t ask for more. So I can honestly say that for me the product works, in fact works very well.

My point is, I don’t see Lancôme beating down a path to my door and asking me to be a spokesperson for them. I love the product, yet there is one thing missing-I’m not a celebrity and therefore will not have the appeal that is generated by entertainers and I include sports personalities here as well-and it is after all a business intent on selling their products. How many of us would buy a ‘glam’ product pitched by an every day person?

Ah, well back to reality-my type of reality as a writer-a world of my own making, where I decide what happens.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3
Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger’s death changes her life.
available on

Friday, August 7, 2009

A His & Her Crime: Taking on Blog Tours in Tag-Team Approach by Rob & Miranda Walker

As we both had books appear on our doorstep and were faced with promoting not just my book but our books, The Well Meaning Killer for Miranda, Dead On for moi, we asked how we might pool our resources. This after we had both launched efforts to get word out on our separate titles. But it seemed just about every time I posted something online about my book or spoke to anyone about my book, I slipped into talking about Miranda’s book, and then I noticed she was doing the same.

Each time Miranda posted about her own book, she was getting a tangled up with talking about herself in terms of being Mrs. Walker, Rob’s wife--quite often to her chagrin as she wants to make or break on the merits of her own writing and her own book. Quite under-standable for sure. But there was this joint-account, joint-custody thing happening all over anyway, so I suggested that we do a tag-team book signing or two, and so we began setting up local book signings as a His & Her book signing. We pitched it this way to the bookstores and the local press, and we got a great article in the Charleston Gazette with a half page and a large photo which we’ve been using ever since every chance.

This notion of His and Her signings I asked why not take it to the web? It seemed the logical step that Miranda and I do a series of blogs on blogtour to introduce her and her first book and my lastest at once rather than going off in separate searches for outlets. To this end, I put out a request on a number of forums for invites for a His and Her blogtour, pushing the fact you get two authors for the space of one…LOL. The camaraderie of working as partners in crime, a duo, a tag-team is great, and I have done this at signings with other authors but this is a first to do it with a family member, but why not? If your biggest fan is mom, the brother, the sister, the wife, who better to smooze the public into giving your book a reading, a try? Some authors do this as a routine, knowing that their fourteen year old daughter is their best salesman in the family for the book and it’s done with gusto and love and admiration. It also means you have someone to go to dinner with after the event is over!

The pitfalls are many, especially if you are as disorganized as I am with record-keeping and dates, or as busy with life as Miranda and I are, what with four children, jobs, housekeeping, motorcar pooling, and the like. So one major pitfall is keeping one’s head together, but as they say two heads are better than one. The pitfalls of pairing up on a blogtour can be even more difficult if you and your partner (not necessarily a wife or husband) live in separate houses. With Miranda and I, well our computers sit across from one another and we can check up on one another and save one another from some foolish misstep right then and there. If you are remote from your partner, it may have some advantages--absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that--but it can also be frustrating when you can’t get the answer you need NOW. There is an absolute necessity in keeping tabs on where you are expected to be, whose blog you were on yesterday, whose today, whose next week, etc. With Miranda and I, in so many ways, we are too much alike, and in the disorganized department--yeah, we both write reams of notes to ourselves but do we ever look at our notes? Hopefully, you or your partner will be more organized in this regard because you will get invites that will not fit into your tour schedule but are “put off” invites to blogs that are busy until Christmas or whatever, and so it goes. I never say no to any invite, but such invites have to be squirreled away and hopefully recalled when the time comes. There is nothing more embarrassing than missing a curtain call, and I have done this but usually some horrendous cause-effect, say one’s health has been the culprit. With a pairing, perhaps the partner can step in.

PAIRING at book signings in the stores can be a real boon as well - two authors for the price of one, in which case most of the time, each author promotes the other. This happens too in the virtual book tour.

The advantages of a tag-team are many, but most of all the blog reader does not have to listen to the sound of my voice alone for the duration of the blog, as you are getting here. By mixing it up, you get our voices--sometimes in harmony, sometimes in a bit of disharmony should we disagree or see things differently, depending of course, on the questions raised by an interviewer or the blog question at hand. We have tried to mix up the format as well. We’ve used straight Q&A format, switching off between his and her answers, we’ve set up in advance blog questions we both attack such as a marketing question or posture at a book signing (M’s always telling me to stand up straight! LOL), or we have done the “storied” interview, something I discovered while conducting interviews of JA Konrath, Jeff Cohen, and that cowboy author out in Missouri with the big white hat. Most recently, Miranda and I were “story” interviewed by Kaye Barley at Meanderings and Muses ( wherein she “met” us while on holiday and research assignment in Kill Devil Hills, Outer Banks. The story interview takes on a life of its own and involves “dialogue”. So we have tried to make the tag-team interview fun and fresh with each blog we act as guests on.

Is it hard work and time consuming? You bet. Beth Groundwater gave us a lot of advice right here on ACME but it came too late for us and we made a lot of mistakes, and I see that Morgan Mandel is jumping off a tour, so I wanted to pass along what we have learned. I wish I’d done a lot more pre-planning, and I wish I had approached more blog owners for more invites, but we learn as we go, and I’m one of those guys who never, ever reads the directions before leaping into putting the toy or shelves or computer together. I pay the price, too!

Meantime, find me on Facebook, Twitter, Crimespace, Myspace (blog), and at my website, and most recently at the Kindle Store where I have put up original, never before seen in print novels of intrigue, romance, suspense, and awesome characters with twisted minds. Find Miranda at the usual places where crime writers hang out as well and look for The Well Meaning Killer, a book that will slay you.
Miranda’s website is

Chow for now -- meaning I gotta get lunch!
Rob d’Author

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tutors needed! by DL Larson

I-READ is an Illinois funded literacy grant program offered through the Secretary of State's office. They offer one-on-one training to adults who want to learn better reading skills, etc. Many of these trainers are ordinary folks like you and me who simply want to help others become readers.

As a writer, this might interest you to help promote literacy in your area. It's a simple process to become a volunteer. Most public libraries have brochures giving the major details of when and where to sign up to become a tutor. Each spring, summer and fall new programs begin, so there is still time to make a call to your library or community college to get the details to become a volunteer tutor. The start-up time is usually the first of September.

Training to become a volunteer is pretty simple. An orientation session schedule is usually offered a few times throughout the week, then classroom observation time is given before anyone is set up with their learners. After that, the volunteer tutor is paired with one person neededing and wanting further education in reading. Class time is held at local libraries or community colleges, usually once a week.

I-READ stands for Illinois Reading Education for Adult Development. I bet other states offer similar opportunities to help educate adults with reading skills. If you're looking for a worthwhile way to become involved with your community and gain a bit of good feelings by helping another, please check into being a volunteer tutor.

As writers, kicking illiteracy to the curb should be a big priority of ours. And what a rewarding way to see this problem eliminated!!

What kind of literacy program is in your area? Share with us.

Til next time ~

DL Larson

Blog Book Tour and the Awesome Internet

Killer Career is kind of out now, because it's in stock at and available for download at Other sites, like and are waiting until August 15.

While in this semi-limbo state of my new book being out and not being out, I've kept busy sending in for reviews and lining up my Blog Book Tour spots.

For a complete list of stops, the first of which starts August 12, please check my daily blog at

I chose these stops, some because I've met the hosts in person, others because I've met them through social networks, egroups, blogs or people I already know.

The web is such a great place to meet people and become friends with them. I've had wonderful opportunities to get to know people I never would have know before in not only the US, but many other countries.

I'm not much of a traveler. I live in Illinois. Usually the furthest I go on vacation is Wisconsin. The great thing about a Blog Book Tour is I can stop and visit lots of farflung places through the miracle of the Internet. The Net constantly makes the world grow smaller. No matter how often I connect with people from almost everywhere there is, I still can't help but feel in awe.

What about you? Do you feel the same, or are you so used to the Internet it doesn't amaze you?
Please share.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A day off

I took the day off from work today to get caught up on so many tasks that have been on my to-do-list for way too long. I've come to the conclusion that there will always be more items to add to the list than those that will be scratched off as completed. Sigh.

So, one of the items on my list lately has been time for myself. I've unexpectedly come to a point in my life where I'm now on my own - almost divorced and a daughter who has her own life. At first I was afraid - the unexpected breakup of my marriage, and to an extent my life - had me walking numbly through my life wondering what I was going to do and even how I was going to be able to make it on my own.

Then something wonderful happened. I survived. I survived first one day and then another, then a week, then a month. I've come to appreciate having time now to explore my life and work on those aspects of my life that I want to enhance or improve. As I said to a friend today, the only person I'm responsible for now is myself and when I do something it's because I want to do it and not because I'm trying to make someone else happy, something which is usually an uphill climb, especially when that other person is comfortable being unhappy.

Another item on my to-do-list is to figure out which writing project I want to embrace next. My first romantic suspense novel was rejected and I've put it aside for now to give me some distance and time to rethink my approach to this novel. I've written a few shorter pieces but not sure if they're ready for submission right now or not. I've outlined another novel and am actually quite excited about one in particular. So, lots of possibilities, and that's what's so exciting right now for me. Lots of possibilities.

Faced with traumas in life such as divorce, death, loss - especially when they are unexpected - usually results in most of us shutting down, giving up, becoming depressed. Well, I was depressed but now I'm embracing all the possibilities that have now come my way - possibilities that I don't believe would have been as available to me had certain changes in my life not taken place.

Life can be hard, scary, even ugly, but it can also be beautiful and right now - despite lots of shared turmoil due to the world's economy, job losses and overall uncertainty - I'm seeing and experiencing the beauty of life. It's what I'm choosing to do. I could lose everything tomorrow, but today I'm feeling pretty good about my life.

I'm glad I took the day off to enjoy it, even if my to-do-list has grown.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I want to use my blog time today to say congratulations to everyone who has a book coming out. I am always excited to hear about a fellow writer releasing their book, whether it's their first or their 50th book. The feeling of getting the offer, signing the contract, and holding that book never gets old (I’m guessing!)

So all you new releases, new contracts, etc, give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy it, because tomorrow it will be…so what is the next book about??

Have a great Monday,


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mark Your Calendars

Well, the time has finally come. I have a release date for WILD WEDDING WEEKEND! Mark your calendars for May 14, 2010. The book will be available in e-format and print on that date. (I'm sure y'all are not as excited as I am, but I know the next nine-and-a-half months will be excruciatingly slow on my end.)

So to whet your appetite, for today I have a blurb and an excerpt for you.

All Abby Walker ever wanted was to live a normal life in her small suburban-Chicago house. After traveling around the world in her youth, staying put in one spot is a dream come true. But when she winds up on a game show as a favor to a friend, her life takes an adventurous turn she isn’t at all prepared for.

Noah Grant has put his small-town Indiana roots behind him. He travels all over the world, enjoying the freedom and adventure. He has no intention of settling down anytime soon, if ever. But then he finds himself married to Abby in a bizarre quirk of fate, and he realizes his life will never be the same.

Their passion flares as hot as the sultry Caribbean air. But is passion enough to turn their Wild Wedding Weekend into a lifetime of love?

“I really am sorry.” Abby's mind whirled. The thoughts tangled. The Noah she’d spent the last couple of days with wasn’t anything like the man she’d imagined him to be. The man even he claimed to be. Who was the real Noah?

She didn’t have time to ponder the question, because he took both her hands in his, drawing her attention back to him. “Know this. While we’re married. For this week, this trip, this asinine show, I am committed to you.” He paused and raised one hand to tuck a wisp of hair behind her ear. “Totally. Completely. Committed. To you.” With each word his voice and head lowered, until the last was a whisper against her lips.

His hand slid around to the back of her neck, then up into her hair, unfastening the clip and tossing it aside. He tangled his fingers in the strands that fell free, using enough force to keep her from pulling away as he deepened the kiss.

Abby had no thoughts of moving even the slightest bit away. She wrapped her arms around him as the tip of his tongue teased the fullness of her bottom lip. When she opened to him and he dipped inside, she almost melted from the instant flood of liquid heat that suffused her body. The warmth spread to her limbs and made her pliant as, his mouth never leaving hers, Noah lowered them both to the bed.

Happy Reading!

Until next time,


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Taking Time Out by Margot Justes

Working, writing, marketing what has already been published are all full time jobs. Trying to tie up loose ends in A Hotel in Bath, (which by the way will be done this weekend) I have been working non-stop and came to the realization I need time out.

And that is precisely what I have done, every Friday evening, I go to the Glen-our own version of a bit of urban paradise, I exaggerate about the urban paradise, but I can sit outside at Starbucks and sip a cup of coffee, keep in mind, I order just a regular cup of coffee, if I want a latte or a cappuccino, I make my own, I have a Nespresso machine that nicely does the job to perfection.

I sit and I watch people stroll by, young, old, middle aged, everyone walks down the main street that is filled with boutiques, restaurants and cafes; it is a grand promenade.

Well maybe not a grand promenade, but enchanting nevertheless. It is relaxing; a breath of air where I don’t worry about what has to be finished or started, or completed. For that one night my computer does not get turned on, and you know what, it is terrific and rejuvenating.

On Fridays, after work I run my errands, so I won’t have to on the weekend, and I look forward to my cup of coffee. I may even venture beyond Starbucks next Friday and try a little intimate gelato place right down the street from Starbucks, they have outside seating with lit candles at each table, and at dusk it looks lovely and romantic; the ambiance just perfect, now all I need is the romance.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3
Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger’s death changes her life.
available on