What I have learned as a writer-

Deadly Lucidity by Julie Achterhoff

Caught in a tangled web of dreams and nightmares, Marie Reilly is being
hunted by a psychopath in the dream world she can’t escape. Her single ally,
a Ranger named Murphy, may be her only hope. He must help her reach the
Great Fortress, where they’ve been told there is a way back to her reality.
Together, they fight their way through the twists and turns of Marie’s mind
so she can have her life back. But what of their growing passion for each
other? How can Marie leave the man she has come to love behind in this
nightmarish world he has called home as far back as he can remember?

What have you learned about being an author since you started writing
professionally, Julie?

Gosh, I’ve learned so much! I started out reading a couple of books on
how to write and taking a women’s literature class at the local community
college. That was ten years ago. I started writing professionally three
years ago, starting with a novella titled Native Vengeance, which was
published on the Demon Minds website for their Halloween edition that year.
That experience taught me that I might have what it took to write a full
length novel. I started out small because I thought I’d test the waters and
see if anyone thought I could write well. I was pleased to get my first
acceptance letter, as well as recognition for my writing skills. Learning
that someone else enjoys what you’ve written is one of the biggest thrills
I’ve ever experienced!
I had some idea because I got an “A” on my class final, which was to
write something. I went way overboard and wrote an entire three-act play
titled Angel in the House! I wrote that in six weeks, too! So that gave me
some validation about my writing. That’s when I also found out there just
wasn’t enough time to write anything and homeschool my five children at the
same time
So I waited until most of them were out on their own to start writing
my first novel, Quantum Earth. While writing this book, I learned all about
the predictions for the year 2012 from the Mayan calendar. I also learned
that I could create characters and scenes that would last through to the
very end. It took me several months to write Quantum Earth. It takes up a
lot of your day to day thinking to write a book. It keeps you up late at
night, too.
Then I learned about writing query letters and synopsises to send out
to publishers and agents. They have to really hook them from the very start.
I learned that different publishers require different things from a
potential author. Some want just a query at first, some want a query and a
synopsis, and some want these plus some pages from your manuscript. You
absolutely have to follow what they want exactly. If you don’t do this part
just right, that alone will cause them to say no. I found out that some
publishers are very nice, sometimes even giving you advice, but some of them
aren’t very nice, and can say some rude things to you.
I had to find sources for publishers. I used Writer’s Market and
Duotrope mostly. I learned to keep track of whom I sent out to so I wouldn’t
duplicate my efforts. Then I learned the pretty painful feeling of being
rejected over and over again. That was very hard for me because I don’t take
rejection well! Those were a tough few months of sending out my work very
carefully, and getting nothing back but negative replies.
I had already learned that there were people who liked my writing, so I
tried not to give up hope. I tried to see every no as one step closer to
that magical word, “yes.” Finally, after sending out at least fifty
queries, synopsises, and/or pages, I got a very big yes from an e-book
publisher. She said Quantum Earth was exactly what she was interested in and
loved it from start to finish. But one thing I had learned was that e-books
were just sent by email. They are not really a solid book you can hold in
your hand. This put me off a bit, so I contacted one of the publishers who
said they wanted more about Quantum Earth and asked them if they were
interested in publishing it. They said yes, too! Now I had a decision to
make, and not much information about the pros and cons. But I knew I wanted
to see my book in print as a real book, so I ended up having to be the one
to say no to the first publisher. That was a twist. She was very
disappointed, but understood.
So it happened that All Things That Matter Press was the one to publish
my first real book. A year later they published my second book, Deadly
Lucidity. For this book I learned all about lucid dreaming, among other
things. During the time I’ve been with ATTM Press I’ve learned so much from
Deb and Phil Harris. They run this small press, and I couldn’t be happier
with them. Deb has taught me everything I could possibly want to know about
editing, and Phil has taught me all about promoting books and creating a
name for yourself. They are experts at what they do. An author has to learn
how to sell their own books by doing interviews, blogging, publicity,
creating an author platform, and many other ways to get people to buy their
books. It’s not an easy process. I work on this almost every day.
I’ve also learned so much from other authors, especially the ones that
are also published at ATTM Press. We have a yahoo group where we keep in
close touch, sharing ideas and supporting one another. Another source for my
education is my friends on facebook who are also writers. I have learned a
lot from these and other sources, and continue to learn what it takes to be
a writer. Now I’m at the point where I am starting to do some teaching,
myself. I recently got an offer to teach at a writer’s retreat next January
in Georgia. I’m very excited about that, and hope that I can help others on
the path to writing.
As of this writing I am finishing up my next book, Earthwalker, which
will be available by Christmas.

Link to video trailer for Deadly Lucidity:


Link to Blog:


Link to buy Deadly Lucidity:



Link to BookBuzzr preview of Deadly Lucidity:


Look me up on Facebook!

The Greer Agency Blog Tour

An exciting new approach to detective novels, 15 interconnected short stories
involving a different kind of private eye.

The Greer Agency is 75k words of gritty detective fiction presented in 15
separate but connected stories. The reader follows the development of private
detective Mike Greer, the only PI in the Altoona, PA phone book. It’s tough to
make a living in a decaying old railroad town, but with the help of an
anonymous benefactor, Greer lands some interesting cases—cases that he
solves with guts and determination. Throughout the stories, his budding
romance with Susan grows. Eventually they realize they are right for each

Readers will find Mike Greer an accessible everyman with luck, pluck, smarts
and a host of interesting friends. He finds his way into and out of problems
large and small. Greer narrates the stories in a refreshing and original voice.
Each story has its own plot and can stand on its own but, as the book
progresses, the mysteries pile up and the plots get more complex until the
explosive last story.

Mike Greer is a protagonist with a low tolerance for bullshit and an easy
touch for the emotional pleas of the downtrodden. He works alone and
struggles against an uncaring world. But throw no pity party for the man, he
will have none of it. His melancholy is tightly wrapped inside his tough guy
exterior, and pity just bounces off as he walks away, down the dark sidewalks
of Altoona into the next story.

Now available in print and e-book format from All Things That matter Press:


or from from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Greer-Agency-Harris-

The Swindler Blog Tour

“The Swindler” by Michelle Kaye Malsbury
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press
ISBN 978-0-9844219-4-7
Genre: suspense, thriller, mystery, fiction
How easy is it for an investment broker to deceive clients? Very, particularly if his personal hero is Bernie Madoff. Skip Horowitz, along with his old pal A.J., has created what they believe is a foolproof scheme using commodities trading, bookmaking, and various other businesses as covers. Their plan has served them well for decades, surviving the scrutiny of government agencies lacking solid proof to support any allegations of wrongdoing. But luck can’t hold forever…or can it? Catherine O’Reilley, newly sponsored in the high-risk world of investment strategy by Skip Horowitz, is about to find out.
About the Author
Michelle Malsbury was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois. Currently she resides in Florida. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Management and a Masters Degree in Business Management. She has just completed her first year of doctoral studies in the discipline of Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies with high hopes of helping to build nations and sustain peaceful interactions around the globe.

Here’s What Others Are Saying About “The Swindler”:
1.Judy Ramsook from the Austin News Service, Austin, TX 4/9/10 Review for “The Swindler”:
In The Swindler, by Michelle Malsbury, you will find yourself being pulled in to a fictional tale of romance and a lot commodities swindling through the eyes of a third person narrator.

So come along and meet true to life and memorable characters such as: Catherine, The Realtor/Commodities Broker, Connie, Catherine’s best friend, Shamus, Real Estate Broker and the man who thinks he is the right man for Catherine and last but not least, Skip Horowitz, a ruthless Ponzi Schemer who is being investigated by the Feds.
It’s a gripping tale that will make you want to keep turning those pages to see what happens next.

Set in Key West, Florida, the author displays her vast love for and knowledge of the area so well, that if you have not been there and know nothing about Key West, perusing The Swindler by Michelle Malsbury will indeed give you a rich education into that paradise.
So come on and enjoy this well written and detailed tale and see if Catherine really thinks Shamus is the right man for her, and if the elusive Skip Horowitz gets the justice he so deserves.
I enjoyed it and I think you will too.
2.Mike Fentem, longtime friend of Michelle Kaye Malsbury, review for The Swindler on 5/21/10:

I’ve known Michelle since she was fifteen or sixteen years old. We grew up in the same small town in Illinois and went to the same schools, pools, and parks. She was always fun and had a good imagination. I’ll be the first to admit that back then who would have thunk that she would become a author? However, I have had the pleasure of reading both of her books and have found them to be well written and fun reading! The characters are inventive and interesting. The stories take places in fun and exotic locales. The plot builds from chapter to chapter keeping the reader engaged in what may occur next and how it will all end. The main character, Skip, is a enigma himself with a ego larger than life. His thirst for money and fast women was second to none, but I liked getting to know him while reading this book. Besides having little, to no, scruples, he does manage to keep his ponzi scheme and other illigitimate business endeavors pretty secret for a number of years while he rakes in oodles of cash and stashes it all around the globe. However, can he outlast the SEC and other regulatory agencies, who is hot on his tail or is his time up? I truly enjoyed The Swindler and I believe you will too!
3.Thomas Keyes Review for The Swindler by Michelle Kaye Malsbury, 5/14/2010:

The Swindler is a fast-moving, hard-hitting account of a swindler who, with his batch of subalterns, ran a Ponzi scheme in Key West and elsewhere. The tale is so realistic and convincing that you can hardly believe that it didn’t really happen and that the authoress is not in there somewhere, perhaps as Catherine, the honest realtor who gets embroiled in the mess.

The racket consisted of selling counterfeit commodities futures mostly to fairly well-heeled middle class types, and following up by generating bogus statements showing earnings. It may be difficult to feel overly compassionate for someone worth several hundred thousand dollars who gets stung for fifty, but there are a lot of smaller victims too.

The most touching was a young girl in Central America whom Skip, the swindler, got pregnant.  She was hoping this pregnancy would bind them together and enable them to live a beautiful life.  Then the blow fell.  Skip was arrested and prosecuted, and the girl’s dreams flowed away in tears.

The pages are full of unsavory characters, and the action moves from Florida to the Bahamas to Costa Rica to Las Vegas.

The language is earthy. Read it, you’ll like it.

4.Billy O’Toole Pre-review for The Swindler by Michelle Kaye Malsbury, BSBM, MM
All Things That Matter’s Press, ISBN 978-0-9844219-4-7: 2/22/10
Hi Michelle,
During a long and successful career in the trucking business, I always carried a stack of books to entertain myself and hopefully learn a little something also.  One of my favorites was Steven Frey because he always had some insights into the dark side of finance along with great characters.  Move over Frey and make room for Michelle Malsbury!
The Swindler has great characters, some lovable, and some not, but all believable.  Indeed, I felt like I already knew many and were acquainted with several others.  There were the obvious evil ones but the mindset of good ones being led along and seduced by money and the good life was particularly poignant. 
When my business blew up because I had no customers anymore, I began to study finance moved to being a Senior Financial Consultant.  In the process of interviews and study I felt like I met many of her characters, things just didn’t feel right, but oh so seductive!
All this set in quirky and sultry southern Florida, I could feel the humidity, see the pastels, and revel in the ambience.  What more could anyone want in book?
Bill O’Toole 
Senior Financial Consultant
Southern Commercial Corp 
Columbia, Mo.
573 808 2122
5.Marilou Trask-Curtin Review for TheSwindler:

Michelle:  First of all, congrats on an absolutely incredible book!!! Have you also written this as a screenplay????!!!! Would be amazing to watch and the timing seems right as well. 
I only found a couple of blips but after I wrote them down lost the note where I had written the page numbers. The  main one: There was mention of the basketball team the KNICKS…you had it written as the NICKS…that would need to be corrected as we New Yorker’s who are KNICKS fans would probably retaliate by throwing soggy basketballs your way–LOL…otherwise, an incredible story…!!!
The Review:  “The Swindler”  – an incredibly fast-paced roller-coaster ride through the world of illegal commodities trading with enough sun and sin to heat up every reader’s day (and night.)  Michelle Malsbury at her finest!  A definite must read!
                                           Marilou Trask-Curtin, Author of “In My Grandfather’s House:
                                        A Catskill Journal”
Thanks again for the opportunity to read “The Swindler” and I wish you all the best with it.  Also, sorry it took so long….
Take care,
PS: I love the way you got MJ into the story with the crotch grabbing episode  :-]

Purchase Information:
http://www.amazon.com link for The Swindler and Kindle Reader orders (see above)

Author Links:

LeAnn Rimes – Amazing Grace (Acapella)

As you watch this performance think about what grace does for you in your own life.


The sacred prophecies of the Hopi people have been kept in secret for many generations- until now, when these wise ones share what is to come for the people of the Earth.

Kiler Davenport’s Original Digital Art – squirmypantsproduction’s posterous

This is some killer art from my dear friend, Kiler Davenport. Please consider supporting his work by buying something.


Here’s the link:


Kiler Davenport’s Original Digital Art – squirmypantsproduction’s posterous.

Mary Youngblood – “Above the Mother Earth”

This series of beautiful art of the Earth are mesmerizing and enchanting. Art like this is rare.

Gregg Braden on Curing Cancer using our own Technology of Emotion

This is an amazing video with Gregg Braden, who shows a video of a woman being cured of bladder cancer right in front of your eyes!

11 Questions About Self-Publishing

Hello my dear friends and associates- I thought you might like to read my interview on self-publishing at http://selfpublishingresources.com/blog/. It was crazy fun!!!

Preventing Hard Drive Failure

evolution of hard disk drive PCBs

Have you ever had your hard drive crash? Have you remembered to back everything up? Did you safely stow away your holiday photos from last
Thanksgiving to your flash drive? How about important financial documents? All your e-mails? That’s a lot to lose! We keep much of our entire lives on our computers these days. You’d be awfully angry with yourself, especially if you had two-thirds of your first novel finally written if you’re an author like me. Of course my writing is one thing I always make sure to have copied off-computer!

It’s wise to take precautions to avoid unnecessary disasters.

S.M.A.R.T Technology

Most hard drives come equipped with what’s referred to as S.M.A.R.T, an acronym that stands for Self-monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. Thanks to this self-monitoring mechanism built into your hard drive, your hard drive has the capability to alert you to any symptoms
(suspicious patterns, disk errors, et al.) that might portend a digital catastrophe, helping you to prepare or possibly avoid a major headache before it occurs. It would be great if you take advantage of your hard drive’s “smarts”- you just need the right utility to work with the S.M.A.R.T technology inside of it.

Active@ Hard Disk Monitor

This intelligent utility communicates with your drive’s S.M.A.R.T hardware, reporting its findings in an intuitive GUI, and it’s easy for any user to understand. No piece of hardware or software is 100% flawless, but a healthy report doesn’t necessarily ensure a hard drive working in perfect
condition, but it can warn you if a hard drive issue is on the horizon so you can be ready for anything.

Various methods and metrics are employed to monitor the health of your hard drive, and you get to control the frequency at which Active checks your drive’s state. Active resides in your system tray with a fly-by that conveys your PC’s current internal temperature as well as its health status
in a simple percentage value. Double-clicking Active’s tray icon will materialize a handsome GUI displaying an analysis of your hard drive’s S.M.A.R.T’s statistics.

If you don’t understand a piece of information, you can highlight a definition and Active will amplify upon it to give you a more concise look at it. Designed to notify you before a hard drive problem arises, Active Smart will tell you certain bits of information, such as “spin up retry count”,
which basically translates to a possible mechanical malfunction within your hard drive. Like any good hard drive utility, you can scan your hard disks for bad blocks and sectors and it even lets you find information that’s hard to get from Windows alone. Download the basic version, take it for a test drive, and if you decide you like it, purchase the Pro version for $24 USD for even more features and options.

They even have a couple of options for getting a free key free! This is definitely a good deal that compliments the inner workings of your computer.


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