Monday, June 18, 2018

Should You Or Shouldn't You Self-Publish? l Lydia & Santina Casablanca @TDawsons #vbt #fantasy #romance #puyb

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Every writer that has a dream to be published think about what they’re going to do and how they’re going to go about it, when their manuscript is complete. They think about how they want to publish and who they want to publish with. Now we thought about it for years, wondering how it would happen and what would happen once it was done. We somehow always knew that we were going to need money to fulfil our dreams, even before we decided to sign up with a self-publishing company. We wanted to work with a mainstreaming publisher. Of course we did, but we always had concerns when it came to giving the rights to our work to a publisher. We were worried that they would change everything, like the name of the book, the characters names, their features, personalities, the places they went to, the powers they possessed. We were worried that so much would be changed and we refused to let that happen. It wasn’t an option because we loved everything just the way it was.

Finally, when the manuscript for The Dawsons was almost complete and we were thinking about which option we would go with, either it be the mainstreaming route or the self-publishing one, our best friend tagged us in a post on Facebook where Xlibris Publishing was advertising their company and what they offer. We took it as a sign that self-publishing was the way to go. We filled out a form on Xlibris’s website and the next day we got a call. Of course we were really excited, and new nothing when it came to the publishing industry. We spoke to them for hours, sussing them out and finding out what was involved. At the end of the conversation we told them that we would think about it. Our story is precious to us and we wanted to make sure that it was in safe hands so we did our research. We did see some bad reviews about the company but we decided not to think much of them at the time because we were impatient, we really wanted to publish our book and we saw it as every company has bad reviews. Other than the reviews everything seemed good. Xlibris gave us a call the next day and we decided to go ahead with them. Xlibris was also offering discounted prices with publishing packages and we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity, so the pressure was on. Self-publishing companies offer you deals and marketing options at a high price when you can find the same options somewhere else that are a lot cheaper. You can even do some of the stuff yourself for nothing. Unfortunately we didn’t know this at the time.

Since then we have spent over $27.000 on The Dawsons and continue to do so today because the success of our book means so much to us. But that is how these companies suck you in. They know how badly you want it. From word go Xlibris has continued to ask us for money. We think that they even added an error in the final draft of our manuscript just so we would pay more money to get it fixed. We didn’t. We are still signed up with Xlibris but refuse to give them any more money. This has been our mistake.

We were told recently by an award winning author that if you publish with a mainstreaming publisher they are unlikely to make many changes. They just make suggestions to improve your work and make it make sense. If we had been told this earlier we probably would have gone down another route. We were in the dark when we decided to self-publish. We have since then learnt so much. Every dream is hard and takes great dedication. With self-publishing you need to make all the decisions and do all the hard work. So much more than if you were to publish with a mainstreaming publisher. The only hard part would be getting awareness for our book. But it’s hard enough getting the attention of people when you self-publish, definitely so much more expensive. If we went the other way and got picked up by a mainstreaming publisher we would have spent hardly anything, if anything at all.

We are sending cover letters to mainstreaming publishers anyway, hoping to catch a break. Save yourself a lot of time and just get an agent who will only get paid when you do. Keep sending cover letters to mainstreaming publishers and if you’re manuscript is good and you’ve worked hard for it you’re bound to be noticed and get signed. Don’t waste your time and money on self-publishing. They are all scam artists. Do it the old fashioned way. It’s got to be worth it in the end.

If you self-publish your work you get to keep all the rights but you spend a hell of a lot of money and time on the marketing of your book. You barely get time to write which is what you really want to be doing. If you go with a mainstreaming publisher they might change a few things but it will still be your story, your work. And the great part is they do mostly everything for you. You get better marketing and you don’t have to pay for anything. So, should you or shouldn’t you self-publish? We wouldn’t, if we had known what we know now. If you don’t want any surprises learn the game before you enter into it. You want to know what you’re getting involved in. If you do know everything that is involved and you decide to self-publish we admire you tremendously. It is a lot, and I mean a lot of hard work and time. We’ll let you know if it’s worth it in the end. If it is your dream to be a successfully published author then never give up. We know we won’t, not even after all this hard work. Thank you for reading! We hope it helps. God bless. Love from Lydia and Santina Casablanca. The authors of The Dawsons.


Lydia and Santina Casablanca are twin sisters who were born in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. They grew up mostly in New South Wales, moving around all the time and never staying in one place for more than three years. Growing up, Lydia and Santina were left at home a lot with nothing to do while their mother worked to provide for them. The twins had wild imaginations and would often play make believe where they lived in this world where only the supernatural inhabited it. They made up all kinds of characters and story lines, and in doing so they did not realize that they were creating magic.

When Lydia and Santina were 14 years old they noticed they were starting to forget the stories, the characters and the families they had made up and they didn’t want to forget, they wanted to always remember the adventures they went on when they played, pretending they were witches who lived in a magical place. The twins decided to put down all their adventures they had had, all the characters and the families they had made up on paper so they would always remember them.
While writing their book they were suddenly aware that they had a passion for it, and realized they didn’t want their stories to be hidden, to just be shared between themselves. They wanted to share the families they had created, the adventures, the characters with the world. The twins wanted to share their love of writing, their magic and write for a living.

Lydia and Santina worked on their first novel (The Dawsons) for ten years, adding to the story, maturing and professionalizing it, editing it and trying their best to make it as perfect as a manuscript can be before they approached the self-publishing company Xlibris in October 2016. The twins knew that self-publishing a book is not cheap so they saved up for years, working at Gloss Cosmetics, Coles, etc. to earn the money that would help them to publish their first novel.

Lydia and Santina’s book The Dawsons was finally self-published with Xlibris Publishing in April 2017. The twins went through a crazy, exhilarating ride making their book a reality, and haven’t regretted taking all the nerve-racking risks in the hopes of being successful. They have been trying to get as many people as possible to know about their book, contacting radio and television stations, bookstores, newspapers and social media in the hopes that their dreams will come true.
The twins are now 24 years old and are living on the Central Coast, New South Wales. Lydia is currently working on the second installment to The Dawsons. She is also working on the first novel by contacting anyone she can to popularize their book. Santina helps Lydia with the marketing of The Dawsons whenever she can.



About the Book:

Author: Lydia and Santina Casablanca
Publisher: Xlibris
Pages: 432
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Witnessing the horrific demise of everyone he knew and loved has made Derrick Dawson strong, but it has also made him cold and broken. Tormented by his past and fears for the future, Derrick drowns himself in alcohol and drugs to dull the pain he can’t seem to escape. When Rose, the granddaughter of his sworn enemy, suddenly appears in his life, his world turns upside down. The wall he has built to protect his heart is crumbling. Will Derrick ignore what he feels or will he let the wall fall?
Francesco has felt alone and miserable all his life. The loss of his family and the harshness he receives from his constantly intoxicated older brother has left a void inside him that he thought he would never fill. Until a young princess named Rosa stumbles into him and changes his life forever. There’s only one thing that stands in his way—King Antonio has forbidden Rosa to have anything to do with a Dawson.


The Magical World of the Sunwrights l Kevin M. Villegas @sunwrightcron

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The Magical World of the Sunwrights

Hello Everyone! Thank you for taking time to read my guest post! Today I would like to tackle the interesting way I have approached magic in my novel, “The Sunwright Chronicles: A New World.” We all know that every book is different with their magical approaches, in my novel you won’t find wands, staves, or staffs. The mages of the Sunwright family draw magic from the very world itself. For the Sunwrights worlds are classified as no magic, low magic, medium magic, or high magic. Depending on the strength of the magical aura of the world it will decide how powerful the Sunwrights themselves are.

When we get to their new homeworld of Alavar it is a high magic world, allowing for example Paris Sunwright the patriarch of the Sunwright family to draw in power from the essence of Alavar and create and cast his most powerful spells. Mages in my world work in the exact same way as I just described above except for one type of mage. That would be the necromancer.

The Necromancer is the most powerful type of spell caster, their power is innate, it is wild, and it is dangerous if the necromancer is not taught to control their power at a young age. Young Jaedus Sunwright is born a necromancer, in the book you will see what it is like to have a necromancer in the family, it is not a good proposition.

I know my blog is a little short, but I don’t want to give too much away, the book will spell out the rest of the magical system. I hope you have enjoyed the blog and it has given you some insight to the novel itself. Thank you for your time.
About the Author

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. My ongoing series The Sunwright Chronicles is a culmination of fifteen years of creating a unique living world with a rich history. I am currently writing the third book in the series. Besides writing I enjoy computer gaming, reading, playing the guitar and watching the history and science channels. My favorite activity though, is hanging out with my awesome family.
My latest book is the fantasy, The Sunwright Chronicles: A New World.



About the Book:

Author: Kevin M. Villegas
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 120
Genre: Fantasy

The Sunwright Chronicles : A New World, takes place in the world called Alavar, the Sunwrights a mostly Magical family made up of Paris Sunwright, Suadela Sunwright, Calia Sunwright, Tobias & Jaedus Sunwright and last but not least Pershing Sunwright, have all arrived from a long but bitter stay from modern earth. Alavar is a fresh new world, so the Sunwrights are directed to stay away from the "creators as they work" young Jaedus Sunwright is discovered to be a "necromancer" the most powerful type of mage.
Paris Sunwright the patriarch of the family takes it upon himself to train her before she accidentally kills anyone in the family with her wild powers. Conflict ensues between Suadela, Paris's wife and young Jaedus before Paris can take Jaedus away to be trained. We skip ahead in time and Jaedus is trained properly, The "Creators" are long done with their work and the Sunwrights decide to reside with the elves of the world. The Sunwrights help teach the Elves many things. It is not long before it is discovered there is a sickness amongst the elves, called the soul disease. Because of her special powers Jaedus Sunwright is the best fitted to help combat this disease, only a few elves succumb to the disease, one being the wife of the second most prominent Elf in the land.
Now we move forward, the Elves are prospering the soul disease is gone, the population boom for the Elves has produced several distinct tribes amongst them. A power struggle ensues, in which the first murder occurs in the land, leading to the breakup of the tribes into separate nations and the very real possibility of war.



Friday, June 15, 2018

20 Questions with Women's Fiction Author Maureen Brady #20Questions

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Though Maureen Brady wrote the humor column of her junior high school newspaper, she didn’t actually comprehend that she was a writer until after she had moved to New York City in her twenties, where she began taking writing workshops at The New School and then fell headlong into the consciousness raising groups of the early 1970’s.

She published her first novel, Give Me Your Good Ear, in 1979, and it was published by The Women’s Press in England in 1981. Her novel, Folly, was excerpted in Southern Exposure, received wide critical acclaim, was nominated by Adrienne Rich for an ALA Gay Book Award and was reprinted as a classic by The Feminist Press. She published a collection of short stories, The Question She Put to Herself, in 1987, then turned to writing nonfiction in the ’90’s, publishing Daybreak: Meditations for Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Midlife: Meditations for Women. She returned to fiction with the novel, Ginger’s Fire, and her most recent novel, Getaway.

Her recent work has appeared in Sinister Wisdom, Bellevue Literary Review; Just Like A Girl; Cabbage and Bones: Irish American Women’s Fiction, Mom, In the Family, and Intersections: An Anthology of Banff Writers. Brady’s essays and stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and were finalists for the Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize and the Nelsen Algren Short Story contest.

An Adjunct Assistant Professor, she teaches creative writing at New York University and New York Writers Workshop @ the Jewish Community Center, and works as a free-lance editor and tutor, helping writers across the spectrum take their writing to the next stage.

A co-founder of Spinsters Ink, Brady edited such books as The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde and The Woman Who Breathes Fire by Kitty Tsui. She also served as a panelist for The New York State Council on the Arts Literature Program and as a fiction judge for Oregon Literary Arts. She is a founding member of The New York Writers Workshop and has long served as Board President of Money for Women Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

She has received grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts Writer-in-Residence; New York State Council on the Arts CAPS grant; Holding Our Own; Briarcombe Foundation; and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland. She was the winner of the Saints and Sinners short story contest for 2015 and is also a Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame winner.

She lives in New York City and Woodstock with her long term partner, Martha, and their joy dog, Bessie.

Visit Maureen’s website at

1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer? Morning almost always

2. Do you outline or are you a pantster?  No outlining. I work my way through a novel, starting with an idea I want to explore and peering ahead into darkness.

3. Which comes first – plot or character?   Character, almost always, but it’s best if I have an idea that something crucial is going to happen to that character.

4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?  Definitely quiet. I work in a small out-building that looks upon a meadow and has no phone service in it.

5. Favorite TV show? Right now in this horrible country-wide drama, Rachel Maddow and PBS news.

6. Favorite type of music? Classical

7. Favorite craft besides writing? Gardening
8. Do you play a musical instrument? Played drums as a kid

9. Single or married? Live with my domestic partner of 23 years and a sweet dog.

10. Children or no?  No

11. Pets? Bessie, Cairn terrier

12. Favorite place to write? Either my studio, an artist’s colony, or The Writers Room in NYC.

13. Favorite restaurant? Locally, The Red Onion or Cucina

14. Do you work outside the home? Yes, teach creative writing at NYU, New York Writers Workshop and Peripatetic Writing Workshop, and do private editing (but that I can do at home.)

15. What was the name of the last movie you saw? Three Bulletin Boards

16. Favorite outdoor activity? Gardening, tennis, walking

17. Pet peeve? Lack of courtesy in the publishing world, where editors and agents don’t even feel the need to write you a response.

18. Your goal in life? Sustainable good heath, time to write more books, amicable relationships with family and friends.

19. Your most exciting moment? Winning a writing contest, receiving a positive response from an agent.

20. The love of your life? My long term partner who makes much possible.

Author: Maureen Brady
Publisher: Bacon Press Books
Pages: 230
Genre: Women’s Fiction


After stabbing her abusive husband and leaving him dying on the kitchen floor, Cookie Wagner flees to remote Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. For a moment, she seems to have gotten away with murder. But, consigned to a secretive life with a new name and the need to be on constant alert, she faces all she has not gotten away with. She is helped by the recently widowed Mrs. Biddle, who offers her a place to stay, and the lobster fisherman Butch, who gives her a job and later falls in love with her. Walking the cliffs and beaches, taking in the scruffy windblown plants that survive the buffeting wind by growing at an angle, she begins to heal.

Yet, there is no leaving behind the notion that Warren is dead as the result of her action.
Or is he? And if not, will he one day come to find her?

Sexual harassment and abuse are all over the news these days, often involving celebrites and other well-known figures, but Cookie, the protagonist of Getaway, is no celebrity. She’s an ordinary woman married to a working class guy who drinks too much and resorts to violence. Their story reveals how endemic the phenomenon of abuse is, and the quandary Cookie lands in when she fights back.

Praise for Getaway:

“Sensitive, sensual, and stirring. “Getaway” is a true page-turner, but one with heart and with context. I couldn’t put it down until I got to the end, not just to find out what happened, but also to discover who these intriguing and complex characters would develop into. An extremely satisfying read!”
Danielle Ofri, author of What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, Editor-in-Chief, Bellevue Literary Review.

Getaway is available at Amazon.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Book Teaser: White Witch by Larry D. Thompson @ldtauthor #bookteaser #thriller #whitewitch

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Author: Larry D. Thompson
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Pages: 291
Genre: Thriller


Jamaica is a place where the surreal is simply everyday reality. When a ruthless American aluminum company plans to strip mine the Jamaican rainforest, they send former Navy SEAL Will Taylor to Montego Bay to deal with local resistance on their behalf. But he’s unaware that the British had signed a treaty deeding the rainforest to the Jamaican Maroons, descendants of escaped slaves, over 300 years ago. The Maroons fought and died for their land then, and are more than willing to do so now, whether it’s the British or the Americans who threaten them this time around.
Upon Will’s arrival, a series of inexplicable murders begin, some carried out with deadly snake daggers that were owned and used by Annie Palmer, a voodoo priestess better known as the White Witch. She was killed 200 years prior, but is said to still haunt the island at night, and the local Jamaicans are certain she’s responsible for the gruesome murders, her form of retaliation against the new turmoil taking place in the rainforest.

And Will has been forced directly into the middle of it. After a few close calls, he’s finally convinced to leave his company and join forces with the Maroons, headed by Vertise Broderick, a Maroon who resigned from her position at the New York Times to return to Jamaica to stop the mining. Together they hire a Jamaican attorney to prove that the Maroon/British treaty is still valid to stop the mining, and they take it upon themselves to solve the White Witch murders, because the legend of the White Witch can’t possibly be true…

White Witch is available at: 
You can also watch the book teaser at :

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

My Publishing Journey l Karen Arnpriester @karenarnprieste #writing #publishing

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My Publishing Journey

Writing is a treasure I never expected to find. I was a story-teller for my children and grandchildren, and they loved my attempts. I also must admit that I was a good liar when I thought I had to be. Very believable. Even with these reinforcements, I never considered writing a book, let alone seven. It was a fluke really that got the whole thing started.

My women’s group at church was putting together a fund-raising book and asked us to submit testimonials for consideration. I had experienced incredible miracles in my life and decided to share. All of my submittals were accepted for content. After the book was completed and printed, multiple people asked me if I was a writer. I was flattered but said no. They said I should be. It’s interesting how encouraging comments can inspire someone. These brief comments planted a seed that truly began to grow.

I asked myself what I would even write about and came up with a beginning and an end, nothing in between.  So often, people complain about their lives, their family, and their trials. I’ve always wondered how we could react if we found out at the end, that we had known, that we had agreed, seeing the bigger picture. This was my beginning and end.

I just started writing, whatever came to me. I wasn’t taking it seriously, so I picked it up and set it down many times. I do have a spiritual element to my writing, since it’s part of who I am, and I truly felt led in certain parts of the story. As if a scene was downloaded. I have to admit, I struggled with self-doubt, who did I think I was, writing a novel? Luckily, I had dear friends that pressed me for the next chapter. They had to know what happened next. Within six months, I had a finished book, not the final version, but the story was complete.

I didn’t know what to do next. Everything I read about agents was discouraging. Many publishers wanted a huge amount of money to print my book and supposedly market it for me. I did my research and decided that was not within my budget or a direction I wanted to go. The sales needed to recapture four thousand dollars through royalties would be incredibly difficult to accomplish. I figured I’d run off a few copies and share with friends and family. My daughter, Jenn, called one day asking me if I had heard about Amazon’s self-publishing plan through CreateSpace. I hadn’t and checked in to it. It was perfect for me. My book would get on Amazon and I could purchase reasonably priced copies of my book to give away or sell at events.

With the help of brutally honest test readers and assistance from an editor, the book was finished. I remember crying when I received the first proof copy in the mail. I worked hard at marketing and acquiring reviews for my book, Anessia’s Quest. I am so proud to have received sixty reviews at a 4.4 star rating.

I cried as I read the reviews as they came in. Lives were profoundly touched in ways I hadn’t even considered. I received calls, emails and conversations that confirmed my destiny as an author. I encourage you to write that book that lurks in your brain, or whatever else your creative mind teases you with. You never know who’s life you will touch and how it will enrich your own.

 About the Author
Karen Slimick Arnpriester (October 1953) was born in Alton, Illinois and moved to California when she was eight. Karen has owned her own graphic art business for thirty years. Anessia’s Quest is her first book. Her second book is titled Raider’s Vendetta. Slimy and Miraculous Relationship are non-fiction books that share Karen's years as a bullied child and real-life miracles. The first two books of the Dream Realm trilogy, her newest endeavor, are now available. Awakening: Dream Realm One and Deception: Dream Realm Two are available as paperback and e-books through Amazon.
Author: Karen Arnpriester
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 344
Genre: Christian Fantasy

The horror of her sister's abduction and Lucinda’s guilt manifest into years of acute insomnia. She appears to be miraculously healed when she participates in a test program that provides restful sleep but awakens a new dream realm … an alternative existence where Lucinda can create and manipulate any fantasy inspired by her imagination. Lucinda’s new realm is shattered by a dark evil that lurks there. Evil that is not confined to nightmares, but a sinister foe that also hunts for victims in the real world. Lucinda's discarded spiritual beliefs resurface and prompt her to begin a perilous journey against this very real threat; a heartless creature that destroys innocent lives. The dream realm, spiritual domain and Lucinda’s physical reality integrate and twist together as Lucinda rediscovers her faith and confronts the monster that threatens her very life and those she loves.



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

20 Questions with Mystery Author S.K. Derban @skderban #20Questions

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Born in the United States, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her mother was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, S.K. Derban’s life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries.

Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe. S.K. Derban has smuggled Bibles into China, and has been to Israel on seven missionary trips. When writing, she relies on all aspects of her life, from a strong faith in the Lord, to her unique combination of professional experience. The many personal adventures of S.K. Derban are readily apparent as they shine through into her characters. Circumvent is the third mystery novel for writer S.K. Derban.


1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
Morning, noon and night! I write whenever I can find an extra moment.

2. Do you outline or are you a pantster? 
Both. I first use a mind map, which is similar to an outline. But then – watch out! I rapidly become a pantster. 

3. Which comes first – plot or character?
Plot, plot, and plot, unless I am writing a sequel. 

4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?
Definitely quiet. I like it very quiet. Shhh.

5. Favorite TV show?
Downton Abbey remains one of my favorites, and I am still sad the drama is over. Typically I search for murder mysteries! (Is that wrong?) 

6. Favorite type of music?
All! Not really, but almost. I grew up listening to the Great American Songbook as that was my Mum’s favorite. My beach playlist features songs from that genre, while my workout playlist is mostly R and B. Speaking of music, I recently received a fun tweet from singer Gloria Estefan!
7. Favorite craft besides writing?
Painting. I enjoy beginning on a new white canvas as I enjoy beginning a new manuscript.

8. Do you play a musical instrument?
That would be a sad no. My sister has all of the musical talent. I only dream of playing!

9. Single or married?
Married for years and years to a wonderful husband.

10. Children or no?
Since we were never blessed with children of our own my husband and I get to spoil our many nieces and nephews!

11. Pets?
No pets either.

12. Favorite place to write?
At a large desk in my home office. I like to get dressed and feel as if I am going to work. It makes me more productive.  

13. Favorite restaurant?
My absolute favorite is Emeril’s New Orleans located at 800 Tchoupitoulas Street in NOLA.

14. Do you work outside the home?
At present, yes. I am currently making the transition to writing full time.

15. What was the name of the last movie you saw?
Black Panther.

16. Favorite outdoor activity?
That is such a tough question as I love sports! Please forgive me for selecting three. I cannot decide between tennis, golf or SUP boarding.

17. Pet peeve?
Hearing ladies talk on their mobile phones while in the bathroom stall next to me! Arrggh!

18. Your goal in life?
To love the Lord with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength.

19. Your most exciting moment?
Successfully clearing customs in China with over fifty Bibles hidden in our suitcases.

20. The love of your life?
My husband, who is also my best friend.
Great questions! Thank you!

Author: S.K. Derban
Publisher: Touchpoint Press
Genre: Mystery


Imagine living in a quaint, beach front cottage on the Hawaiian island of Maui. You have an amazing job, combined with the pleasure of working from home. Lunch breaks become a daily picnic on the sand. Dessert is always included because of your marriage to a famous pastry chef. Life could not be any better. Or so it seems… When French born, Nikki Sabine Moueix travels to Hawaii for a special work assignment, her job of writing an article about a famous Swiss pastry chef generates more than a magazine piece. They fall in love, get married, and Nikki becomes Mrs. Ruggiero Delémont.

When another assignment calls for Nikki to spend three weeks in France, Ruggiero’s schedule prevents him from joining her. She travels alone, advancing straight into danger. After a threatening confrontation, Nikki wakes up in a French hospital with no knowledge of her past. When she fails to check in, Ruggiero panics and pushes for an immediate investigation. But as he closes in, Nikki’s new found friend moves her to another city. It becomes a game of hide and seek with Nikki as the prize.

CIRCUMVENT allows readers to form a bond with Nikki as they yearn for her to remember. They will cheer for Ruggiero and his relentless determination to locate his beloved wife. This is a story about two people who never lose their faith in God, and find amazing friends to help them along the way.



Monday, May 14, 2018

What Changed Everything For Me As An Author l Benjamin Mester #writing #getpublished #books

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What Changed Everything For Me As An Author

Every writer starts their first book with stars in their eyes.  I'm actually going to become a published author!!  That high will drive you for awhile.  But then comes the work.  When I first started writing, I gobbled up every book I could find on writing as a craft.  And I came across something by the poet, Mary Oliver.  In teaching poetry workshops, she noted that for every ten students attending her courses, nine of them were in love with the idea of being published and only one out of ten was actually in love with writing.

That hit me like a ton of bricks.  I realized for the first time that I was more in love with the idea of being published than I was with actual writing.  I knew if I didn't develop a love for writing I'd never make it as an author in such a competitive market.  So I took a step back.  I put my dreams of being published aside and I just wrote.  I wrote backstories for my world, little snippets of witty dialog, character sketches, emotional scenes and outlines galore.  I kept the ten percent I liked and started over with the rest, honing my story into a work I could genuinely be proud of.  I wrote and rewrote until something amazing happened.  I started to fall in love with the world I was building and actually began to care about what would happen to the characters.

To me, writing seems a lot like wedding planning.  I had a friend who started planning her wedding at five years old – the scenes, the people, the magic of it all.  That's just how it is for an author when they first get their big idea for a book.  But when the wedding day approaches and the work begins, the magic can quickly fade.  That's how writing is.  We all dream the big dream.  But the dream of finishing a book and being a published author isn't enough to motivate you during the real work.  You need to fall in love with your story and the beauty of writing as a craft.  Then the magic really happens, the marriage of a skillful writer with something genuine to share.  That sort of marriage can change the world.

About the Author
Benjamin Mester is native of San Diego but can often be found wandering the woods of northern Minnesota.  He fell in love with language at an early age – the eloquence of poetry or the grandeur of an epic story.  Fantasy is his favorite genre, crafting new and magical places of heroism and adventure.  When he isn't writing, he's often taking long walks through nature or wondering about his place in the wide world.
Benjamin is the author of The Banished Lands series.
You can visit him on Goodreads.

About the Book:

Author: Benjamin Mester
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 384
Genre: Fantasy

A kingdom in danger. A prophecy that will change everything. But will they understand it in time? The old world is gone, and barely even histories remain. But something from that time is returning. The closing lines of a farewell poem, written centuries ago by the last great king of the age to his slain wife, might be more than just a poem:

The world and all its light shall fade,
I'll stay with her beneath the shade
And wait until the world's remade...

Join us in this epic fantasy adventure as three friends plunge into the great mystery of their age, twelve centuries in the making. A mysterious fog blankets the forest just outside the sleepy town of Suriya. A dark plot unfolds as Durian and his friends discover ties between a strange wanderer and the warlike barbarian kingdom far to the north. Are the mysterious things happening in the forest a prelude to invasion? What happens next will propel Durian and his curious friends into the middle of the oldest riddle in the history of their kingdom, a dozen centuries old.



Other Books in The Banished Lands Series

The Banished Lands series

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