Archive for July, 2010

New Interview With Julie by Mike Angley


1) Brief bio

Julie Achterhoff has enjoyed writing since early childhood. She impressed her teachers with her stories written in many genres. One teacher in the eighth grade told her that after reading one of her scary stories she couldn’t sleep all night! Julie didn’t start writing seriously until after raising her five children on her own. During this time she worked as a homebirth midwife. Her first published work was a novella titled Native Vengeance. This was followed by her fictional thriller, Quantum Earth. Deadly Lucidity is her most recent thriller.

1. Please tell me a little bit about your professional or personal background…the prequel if you would to your writing career.

I have always loved reading, especially horror and thriller type books. They scared me to death as a kid, but I read whatever my mother handed down to me, so I was kind of forced into it! I read a lot of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and I’ll never forget Tales of the Cthulu Mythos. I guess I figured that it was fun to scare people with your writing. My first major writing, though, was a play I wrote for a women’s lit class I took a few years ago, which wasn’t horrific in the least. It was about three women in three different centuries, and the struggles each of them had being women writers. It’s called Angel In The House. Before my writing career began I delivered babies at home, something completely different from writing!

2. Why did you choose to write novels?

I think it’s because I feel like writers can have such a huge impact on people if they write well enough. I started writing a few novels over the years, but never had the extra time until recently to actually finish one. Whenever I was writing, I just got the greatest feeling! It made me feel excited and important. I could just imagine other people reading my words and maybe really liking what they read. It was a thrill just thinking about it.

3. Tell me about your story.

Since this interview is focusing on Deadly Lucidity, I’ll talk about that one. Marie is kind of an eccentric woman who has learned to stay lucid during her dreams. That means she is totally conscious when in the dream state. She can go where she wants to and do anything. But she suddenly starts dreaming about a crazed psychopath who is trying to kill her. Then, her dreams become so real that she becomes trapped in them. They are becoming more and more bizarre, too. She meets a man named Murphy, who ends up helping her try to escape this nightmare. They journey together towards a place they’ve been told is a way out, while trying to stay one step ahead of the psychopath, among other strange beings and situations. Marie’s growing passion for Murphy causes her to have to make some tough choices, though. How can she leave her “dream man” behind?

4. How did you develop the character of your protagonist?

Marie starts off being in therapy, relying on medication to prevent recurring panic attacks and general anxiety. She is basically alone in the world. Her only “real” friends are in her dreams. She is also a writer. I kind of modeled her after myself, only more of a caricature of me. Through her dream experiences she is pretty much forced to come into her own power. She doesn’t have much choice but to become stronger and grow. There are some weak moments for her, of course, but she overcomes the obstacles that come her way to save her own life.

5. What are your hero’s strengths and weaknesses?

Marie is very fearful. She doesn’t want to go on. She hides in her own little world, writing day after day. She doesn’t realize her true strengths until she is faced with people and situations that will make or break her. Her whole world is turned upside down, which presents challenges she has never even considered before this. All she can do is pull herself out of the way she was, and on the way changes from a caterpillar into a butterfly.

6. What about an antagonist…is there a unique “bad guy” or a recurring nemesis of any kind?

Oh, yes. This crazy lunatic that is chasing her down is a real weirdo! He has somehow fixated on her, and his only goal is to torture and kill Marie. He also has some really interesting idiosyncrasies. All I’ll say is that she gets into some very tight spots with this guy!

7. Did any of your real-life experiences factor in to the plot at all?

Yes. I’ve had some very lucid dreams myself. Some of them have been nightmares that I’ve had a tough time getting out of. This book was actually inspired by one of them. I thought I woke up from a perfectly nice dream, when in reality I went straight into the realest nightmare I’ve ever had! I actually thought it was really happening. Luckily, I was finally able to really wake myself up, but I was practically hysterical. It took quite a while to calm myself down.

8. Beyond this novel what are your future writing plans?

I’m almost finished with my third book titled Earthwalker. It takes a completely fresh approach to the world of vampires. In it, vampires originated from another planet, and have a common ancestry with humans. It’s only when they live on Earth for too long that they get a taste for human blood. On their own planet they only drink animal blood, and are even more civilized and advanced technologically than humans. One of them crashes his spaceship in the wilderness near where a young woman named Willa is camping. He is severely burned, and she nurses him back to health. His English name is Paul, and the two fall in love. But that’s just the beginning. They must go through many terrible situations together before their story is told. Both of them are stretched to their very limits.

9. Will you continue to feature the same protagonist in future stories? Will any other characters migrate over to future books?

I’m not sure about that yet. Probably not. I like to write books that are completely different from each other or anything I’ve ever read before.

10. Anything else you might want to add?

I had a video trailer made for Deadly Lucidity, which can be found at: http://www.associatedcontent.com/video/687534/book_video_trailer_deadly_lucidity.html?cat=38

Readers can also read part of the book at: http://www.freado.com/book/6046/Deadly-Lucidity

It can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0984421904?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1

It’s now on sale on Kindle for $3.19

Here is a review:

4.0 out of 5 stars An Engaging Suspense Thriller, June 16, 2010
By Apex Reviews (Durham, NC USA)
(VINE VOICE)

This review is from: Deadly Lucidity (Paperback)
Caught in a dream world from which she can’t escape, Marie finds herself hunted by a dangerous psychopath. Her situation is far from hopeless, though, as a handsome Ranger named Murphy vows both to protect her and help her find a way back to the real world. Over the course of their shared adventures, Marie looks very much forward to getting her life back to normal – but her growing passion for Murphy makes the prospect of leaving him behind an increasingly difficult choice to make…

Skillfully crafted by author Julie Achterhoff, Deadly Lucidity is an engaging suspense thriller. In it, Achterhoff has crafted a compelling alternate nether world straight out of the darkest regions of any imagination. In addition, as Marie wends her way through a series of increasingly perilous events, you find yourself rooting not-so-silently on her behalf, turning each fresh page in rapt anticipation of precisely what fate awaits her as the story progresses. Furthermore, the genuine affection that she and Murphy feel for one another adds a layer of palpable tension to the overall tale, drawing the reader in even more as this modern twist on the age-old tale of good vs. evil plays itself out in fantastical fashion.

A dynamic, riveting thriller with a host of intriguing twists, Deadly Lucidity is a recommended read for lovers of well crafted fantasy suspense tales.

Chelsea Perry
Apex Reviews

Earthwalker Excerpt


That night, as they slept, Paul twisted and turned in the sheets. He saw a young boy; another student of his: Damien. They were feasting on rat’s blood together. Paul loathed rats. They didn’t even have that much blood in their veins. Besides, they gave him the creeps. Yet the two of them were bloodthirsty. Paul couldn’t remember ever having felt so unquenchable in his life. He’d no sooner finish with one rat than grab another from the filthy floor, piercing it with his sharp canines and sucking it dry. He glanced over at Damien, who was covered with rat blood. Paul felt the warm, sticky liquid run down his own chin, and all over his clothes. He suddenly felt disgusted with himself, and threw down the rat he was drinking from. Damien was still gorging. The air was stale and smelled of all that carnage. Paul felt his bile rise. He thought he was going to vomit.
At that moment, Willa walked into the room wearing a gown in the fashion of his people. She came to him and pressed her lips against his own. He was partly disgusted, but partly aroused. He knew she must be tasting the blood in his mouth. Then she looked down at the boy. He held a rat up as if for her inspection. She nodded, and took the vile creature from him. Smiling at Paul, she put the rat to her lips and opened her mouth…
Paul woke up shivering. He’d tossed the sheets completely off himself.
“Paul? Honey? Are you okay?” Willa asked as she sat up in bed.
“Yeah,” he said, “I’ll be fine. Just had a nightmare, that’s all.”
“Really? What was it about?”
He told her about it.
“Eww, that’s pretty gross! I bet I know why you had that dream. We were just talking about humans who become vampires. It was just lying there in your subconscious and came through in your dreams.”
“Yeah, I know, but it seemed so real. We believe dreams can be very powerful messengers. It worries me.”
Indeed, he had a deep frown on his face, and had started sweating. Willa put her arms around him, but he didn’t hug her back.
“What’s wrong?’
“Nothing. I just have a sick feeling in my gut about this one. Something about Damien. I think I’ll meditate and try to reach him telepathically. He wasn’t my best student, but maybe I need to watch him anyway.”
“I trust your gut, honey. You do what you need to do.”
She kissed his cheek and lay back down. But she couldn’t stop thinking about her own interpretation of Paul’s dream. She did not share it with him because it would only upset him. Besides, nothing was ever written in stone. Despite her dismissal of the dream, Willa was too keyed up to sleep, and stared at nothingness for an hour before her own dreams took her away.
Meanwhile, the disgusting images played over and over again in Paul’s mind. He couldn’t stop trying to find the true meaning of it all. He didn’t fall back asleep until dawn.
Paul was only slightly groggy over coffee the next morning. He felt as though he didn’t need sleep here on Earth anymore. His teeth ached. He needed to hunt. He loped out the back door and into the deep woods without a word. Willa tried to be understanding, but after all, it was just a dream. It could just be Paul’s subconscious conjuring up a concoction of meaningless drivel. But Paul was taking it very seriously, too seriously for her liking.
When he returned, she decided to face him with her doubts.
“Paul, I think you might be putting too much weight on this dream of yours. Couldn’t it mean nothing at all? I’ve had a lot of dreams that seemed so real, but ended up being just my imagination gone wild.”
He looked down at her with his unshaven face and mussed up hair.
“Willa, you have to understand there are differences between our races. One of the things we have developed to a higher level is our dream lives. We don’t normally even have dreams, but when we do they have great meaning. The tough part is figuring out the interpretation of the dream. I have to do some thinking about the meaning of my dream last night. I might even need help from a dream looker. Those are people from my planet who can link up with one’s mind and see the visions from a dream. I believe what I saw last night means that we’re in danger, especially you. Please try and open your mind, and realize that it wasn’t any ordinary human dream. For me, it was real, and could have an impact on our lives.”
Willa felt her hand tingle, as she had been holding the arm of the chair so tightly as he spoke these words. Perspiration broke out on her forehead. A slight panic arose inside her.
“So your dreams are sometimes prophetic?”
“Almost always.”
“Okay then, we definitely have a problem.”
“Exactly.”
Willa’s fear escalated as she went over Paul’s dream in her mind once more. What could munching on rats possibly mean? She shivered at the thought of putting one anywhere near her mouth. Paul was going to have to interpret this dream. She had no idea what the heck it might mean. But she had a pretty good idea it wasn’t good.
“I’m going to the bedroom to meditate on it. Try not to make any loud noises, okay?”
“I won’t,” she said, and reached up to kiss him on the cheek. He smiled, but it quickly faded. Apparently he wasn’t feeling terribly positive about the dream, either. Nevertheless, he went into the bedroom, closing the door behind him, to see if he could garner anything substantial from his midnight vision.
Meanwhile, Willa decided to take care of some mundane chores she’d been putting off. When Paul still hadn’t come out she went into the garden. She was happy to see that it had started flourishing again after having been neglected for the past couple weeks. Some of the plants had tiny buds on them, promising flowers. She sat down on the warm earth. It was a good feeling. She let the sun shine on her upturned face. Soon Paul’s lips touched hers. At first it startled her, but then she leaned into his kiss. Finally pulling away, he sat down next to her.
“I think I know what it means. Part of it, anyway,” he told her. “Some very lean times are coming for us. Rats symbolize scarcity. Vampires wouldn’t touch them unless they were desperate. I also got that somehow someone’s going to try and turn you. Don’t be scared, though. I would never let that happen. I just have to be on guard. The only part that still mystifies me is where Damien fits into it all. He seemed like a nice kid. As I recall, he did well in our classes, but didn’t excel. I think I’ll listen in on the radio transmissions and see if I can find out anything from that.”
“You mean a vampire is going to try and turn me into one of you?” Willa’s voice quivered.
“I do. But please don’t forget that that’s just my interpretation of the dream. I’m afraid, though, that seeing you in those clothes and holding a rat to your mouth seems pretty clear. In my dream you were definitely a vampire.”
Willa’s stomach knotted up.
“Paul? You never told me if it’s true that vampires live a long time. Is it?”
“Yeah. Why do you ask?”
“Well, actually I was wondering how old you are.” There. It was out. Willa dreaded the answer.
“I’m only twenty-six. You see, I was born a vampire. But my parents are well over two hundred years old. They were around during the dark times when Panterra was controlled by a clan of vampires known as the Mankyries. Those were bad times from what I know about it.”
Willa was relieved. She’s half expected to find out Paul was much older than she was. Now she knew he was only a year older. Thank goodness, she thought. She couldn’t have stood it if he were really an old man deep down inside. It would have changed the way she saw him, she knew. She smiled and kissed him.
“What was that for? Not that I mind.”
“I’m just glad you’re not really old or something. I couldn’t take that.”
He looked serious for a moment. “But you do realize I’ll get older, don’t you?”
She looked at him quizzically. “Of course, silly. And so will I. We’ll grow old together.”
His face grew sad. “The life span of a human female is eighty-two years as of now. But Willa, the lifespan of a vampire can be hundreds of years.”
Her smile faded. “I’m an idiot,” she said. “I should have realized. I’ll be gone long before you then.”
She put her head in her hands. Paul stroked her hair.
“And you’ll never even look much older than you do now, will you?” she asked, looking up at him.
“That’s right. Willa, I’m sorry.” He brought her into his arms and held her. “I feel as bad about this as you do, honey. In fact, probably worse knowing that I’ll lose you one day. I’ll have to spend the rest of my life without you. I haven’t even wanted to think about it. That’s why I never brought it up.”
Depression fell over her like a veil. This was so unfair. When she was an old lady, people would think Paul was her grandson or something! And how disgusting she would eventually be to him!
“Honey, please don’t be upset. It’ll all work out somehow. I’ve heard your people are making huge advances in how long you’ll be able to live. Hell, some of you live to be a hundred and thirty something even these days. And by the time you’re forty our people will have been able to share our technological advances with Earth, too.” He was pleading with her, but her face said it all.
“But Paul, I’ll look older no matter what. What am I going to do about that? Keep getting plastic surgery so I can look twenty-five forever? I can’t deal with this,” she said, and ran into the bedroom, closing the door behind her, blocking Paul out.
Tears of pain and frustration fell down her cheeks. Why hadn’t she thought of this before? She wondered what else she was blocking out or missing. She supposed she had just not thought Paul was like vampires in the movies or books. He seemed so normal to her except for his diet requirements; so much like a human. Now she was forced to see him as an alien being and she didn’t like it one bit. She realized that he must have thought about all this before now. Yet he had never said a word. He’d kept it from her. She felt a flare of anger towards him, but the feeling left as quickly as it had appeared. He was only trying to make her happy, yet he had been suffering, knowing all along that their time together was short-lived by his time standards. She kept trying to think of something that could be done, but it was like a cat and mouse chase in her head. One thought led to another, which led nowhere.
Paul knocked on the door. “Can I come in?” he asked quietly.
Willa wiped her tears away. She felt so naïve.
“Yeah.”
Paul slipped into the room and sat down by her side.
“There is an answer, you know. I could turn you myself.”
He said it so matter-of-factly that she almost laughed. He couldn’t be serious. But the look on his face told her otherwise. He was quite serious.
“You don’t have to decide right away,” he said quickly. “We’ve got plenty of time. But I want you to know I’ve given this a lot of thought. It’s not just a whim. I didn’t want it to have to come to this, but you’re so upset that I thought this might be the time to bring it up.”
He took her hand in his, and bent down to kiss it. Then he slowly kissed his way up her arm to her shoulder. Willa began to relax at his touch. He kissed the hollow of her throat. They made love almost frantically then, clutching each other as if they were lost at sea, stranded in a lifeboat. Afterwards, they lay exhausted on top of the covers, sweat pouring off their bodies.

Luciano Santini 7/28/2010


Hello my friends how are you doing on this beautiful day?
Wow when someone asks you this question how do you react? These are simple questions that can either make you feel good or ruined your day depending on the answer I suppose. Well you see the goal here is to get your body and mind motivated to think in a positive way from the beginning.
I know times are hard believe me I know, I see it every day. You hear all the networkers how they are making millions and millions and they show us their fake reports and well, I hope they feel good about themselves. I believe some people believe they can make others feel the same way by teaching and showing false feeling and playing on peoples’ emotions.
I am just a regular guy who believes in core values as a human being and business man. I am someone who believes that whatever I offer will help you or your business if implemented correctly. I am not going to show you fake documents showing false pie graphs and bar graphs or numbers showing revenue but certain things blocked out hmmmmmm I would question that too.
You see, my friends, in life there is only integrity and belief. If you have integrity and you believe that what you offer in services and in motivation will truly benefit people then you have what it takes to get someone to the next level.
Sometime life can creep up on you or your business and can be difficult. The thing to do is to hold on to what you have and to what you truly believe in and move forward perhaps with a little help from someone who has an open mind and can teach some core lessons in business or in life.
I believe in reality and teaching and coaching real issues never theoretical always keep it real.
We as individuals can sometimes get caught up in the mixture of life and fall short of our beliefs and sometimes get stuck there and stay there. Ohhh, bad place to be my friends. I know I have been there.
Life is sometimes crazy when you sit down and really think about what it is we are looking for. Is it true success or is it a phase that we are trying to consider only? You see my friends, in business we need to really believe in
what our mission statement is and what does it stand for not just for the company, but for your customers.
To understand all this we need a good solid open-minded business coach. One that believes in reality and not theory.

‘We See What We Want To See And Believe What We Want To Believe And Sometimes We Will See A Glimpse Of Reality Then We Become Afraid And Return To Theoretical Thinking”
Luciano Santini

Professional Motivational Speaker

Business Consultant

Writer/Author

http://motivationkey.blogspot.com/

http://www.themotivationkey.com

Thank you
Luciano Santini MBA
All Content in this email is Copyright
© Luciano Santini and may not be republished
in any format without express permission.

Remember that life begins when you decide to make a small change.

Fairy Tales by Cindy Lynn Speer


But Can You Let Him Go?

In this collection, Cindy Lynn Speer, author of The Chocolatier’s Wife and
editor of StereoOpticon, a collection of re-told fairy tales, gives us several
new stories and an interesting look at the classic ‘Cinderella’ as well. Cindy’s
stories examine the roles of women, our expectations, and the aftermath of the
classic happily ever after in interesting, sometimes disturbing, ways.
Every Word I Speak: Most of us know the fairy tale of the girl who, because of
her kindness, was given the gift of gems and flowers that fell from her mouth
with every word she spoke, but what happens afterward? Who can she trust and
what will they want from her? This version of the story is a dark and troubling
tale, and absolutely delicious for those of us who like our fairy tales unmarred
by a Disney ending.
What Will I Do When This Dream is Over?: Matilda is a unicorn, calmly cropping
the grass in Emmy’s front yard. Hank is her ex-boyfriend, who can’t see her
anymore because, she’s afraid, he’s angry with her for not putting out. Emmy’s
been preparing for the day Matilda would show up all her life. It’s been like a
dream, always there. She’s been called upon to do a job, to save the world, and
now it’s time. Emmy’s off on an adventure. She hopes she’ll win, beat the bad
guys, save the day, but if she does, what happens after?
The Fortunate Ones: Once upon a time, there lived a people who were always
fortunate. And then they discovered that their fortune resided in their women,
so they turned them into a commodity to be bought and sold. Annabelle is living
the dream with her very successful husband, except he beats her sometimes, when
he’s angry, when things don’t go right. She doesn’t like knowing she’s a
commodity. She doesn’t like thinking like that. But she has to, and it’s up to
her to save herself. If she can. If she can take her fortune back into her own
hands.
But Can You Let Him Go?:The fairy godmother who provides Cinderella with her
pretty clothes and shoes and the ride to the ball is paying penance for her
mistakes. When she’s not passing judgement on foolish and avaricious humans,
she’s hunting for Cinderella, the Cinderella in this tale, at this time, and the
handsome prince who will give Cinderella her happily ever after. She needs to
get it right. She needs to save them both. If she doesn’t, she’ll never see her
people again. Her sister, however, is determined to see her fail, and she’ll do
all in her power to make that come to pass.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I have way too many…I sew, garden, obsess over home improvement, read
constantly…but my primary hobby is learning how to fence the way that they did
in the time of Elizabeth I, through the Society for Creative Anachronism. I
have a true passion for the blade…I love trying to push myself to become a
better fencer.

THE BLOODGATE GUARDIAN by Joely Sue Burkhart


Worlds within worlds await through the Maya Bloodgate….

Dr. Jaid Merritt doesn’t do digs. The last time she ventured into the
jungle, someone died. Now she’s content to decipher Maya glyphs from
pictures sent to her by her famous archaeologist father. But when he
goes missing while trying to perform a ritual based on her
translations of an ancient codex, Jaid must put aside her fears and
travel to Guatemala to find him.

After misusing the Bloodgates to bring his twin brother back from the
afterlife, the Maya priest known as Ruin was cursed by the gods to
stand as the guardian for all time. He was unable to stop Dr. Charles
Merritt from opening the gates, and now demons roam this world. The
last thing he wants to do is hurt the beautiful woman who is somehow
infused with his magic, but if she uses the codex to retrieve her
father, Ruin must do his duty. And this time, he won’t fail. Even if
it kills him. Again.

~ * ~

I’ve always loved the idea of blood sacrifice. From vampires to the
symbology of communion, I’m fascinated by the inherent power in this
essence of life. Add mythology to the mix, and I’m one happy camper,
so of course, the Maya have always been one of my favorites
mythologies. Bonus: pyramids!

One of my inspirations for THE BLOODGATE GUARDIAN is a demotivator
poster (link http://www.despair.com/sacrifice1.html) that shows the
famous El Castillo pyramid of Chich’en Itza that says “All we ask here
is that you give us your heart.” While there’s no archeological
evidence that the Maya sacrificed hundreds or thousands of victims
until the pyramid steps ran red with blood as in Mel Gibson’s
Apocalytpo, they did practice blood sacrifice. Most of the time, they
cut their ears or (men, avert your eyes and cover yourself) penis,
caught blood on special paper, and then burned it with incense to
honor the gods.

And yes, occasionally people were sacrificed, especially the losers of
the famous ballgame or captured kings from other villages. Sometimes
people were simply tossed into the cenote—large sinkholes that form
over thousands of years in the limestone, often with an extensive
network of caves. If they were still alive hours later…or possibly
the next day…then they might be rescued to see if they bore any
messages from the gods. Sadly, children were often the victims of
this type of sacrifice, inspiring a short story that I’m offering for
free on my website Well of Sky, link

http://joelysueburkhart.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Burkhart.Well_.of_.Sky_.pdf).

Most of the time, it was the willing sacrifice—of his own blood—that
imbued so much power into the priest’s prayers and rituals. Ruin, the
hero in THE BLOODGATE GUARDIAN, has paid that price numerous times
himself. In fact, he’s died many times in service to the Bloodgates.
He willingly pays the ultimate price over and over to protect that
sacred magic.

When this man falls in love, he falls hard. How many times will he
die to keep her alive?

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:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/video/687534/book_video_trailer_deadly_lucidity.html?cat=38

Link to Blog:

http://earthwalkr.wordpress.com

Link to buy Deadly Lucidity:

or

http://allthingsthatmatterpress.com

Link to BookBuzzr preview of Deadly Lucidity:

http://www.freado.com/book/6046/Deadly-Lucidity

Look me up on Facebook!

DON’T WORRY, I’M YOURS by Jason Mraz vs. Bobby McFerrin vs. Israel K… – relax playlist – stereomood – music for moods and activities


DON’T WORRY, I’M YOURS by Jason Mraz vs. Bobby McFerrin vs. Israel K… – relax playlist – stereomood – music for moods and activities.

Click on this link


Say yes to powerful living!

desc

via Click on this link.

Golden Slumbers


This is Golden Slumbers from The Beatles’ Abbey Road album. Enjoy!

Golden Slumbers, posted with vodpod

How Amazon Kills Books and Makes Us Stupid | | AlterNet


This is an extremely important article for authors and publishers alike.

How Amazon Kills Books and Makes Us Stupid | | AlterNet.

Angels


This is so special…

Angels, posted with vodpod

Luciano Santini On Business


Hello everyone, how are we doing today on this fine day? Well, some will read it on Monday night but most on Tuesday morning. Last night I went for my daily two-mile run and as I was running I saw the newspaper front page through the stand glass and it read “Is Your Restaurant an A B or a C?”
I continued on my run and, well, it inspired what I am about to write.

You see, businesses do not seem to get it. Just because your business seems to be thriving today does not mean that it will thrive tomorrow. There is a science to success in business. There are laws that need to be followed to be successful in business as there are in how to follow in life.

We meet head to head every day with these laws. We just do not see them. Why? Well, because we do not know how to implement or what to make of them. I have stated that when I did my thesis for my masters degree. I did it on The Allegory of The Cave by Plato. If we read it it states the following, and it is from here that I have compiled not only education but years and knowledge on business and life;

Plato was teaching the future king Alexander the great a math problem and Alexander pushed away the paper and stated to Plato, “I am the to be king. Just give me the answer!” Plato stated back to Alexander, “There is no royal shortcut to learning.” This is especially true in business.

Plato, the most creative and influential of Socrates’ disciples, wrote dialogues in which he often used the figure of Socrates to espouse his own (Plato’s) full-fledged philosophy. In “The Republic,” Plato sums up his views in an image of ignorant humanity, trapped in the depths and not even aware of its own limited perspective. The rare individual escapes the limitations of that cave and, through a long, tortuous intellectual journey, discovers a higher realm, a true reality with a final, almost mystical awareness of Goodness as the origin of everything that exists. Such a person is then the best equipped to govern in society, having knowledge of what is ultimately most worthwhile in life and not just knowledge of techniques; but that person will frequently be misunderstood by those ordinary folks back in the cave who haven’t shared in the intellectual insight.

Here you see that we must find what it means and be able to understand and then decipher it break it down into steps for both life and business.

Nothing lasts forever unless we know how to make it work in the everyday life and chaos that face us each day with our employees and our customers, who are the blood for the business.

“Our Life Is Nothing Than A Map We Must Follow To Find Our Purpose.
But People Are Needed In Both Business And Life To Find Success And To Either One There Is A Science We Must Learn”

Luciano Santini

Professional Motivational Speaker

Business Consultant

Writer/Author

http://motivationkey.blogspot.com/

http://www.themotivationkey.com

Thank you
Luciano Santini MBA
All Content in this email is Copyright
© Luciano Santini and may not be republished
in any format without express permission.

Remember that life begins when you decide to make a small change.

Why Book Promotion Takes Patience By Patricia Fry


Why must authors have patience? Because it takes time to go from exposure to sales. Exposure is necessary in order to alert potential customers to your book-let them know that it exists. People have to know about your book before they will purchase it. News flash: Just having it sitting on a shelf in a bookstore, doesn’t necessarily mean that people will be inclined to purchase it.

They need to hear about it, read about it, hear others talk about it, see it reviewed in their favorite related publications, handle it a few (or many) times, have it recommended and learn more about it. Not only do they need to know about it, they must be convinced that this is something they want to read-that they will enjoy it or benefit from it or that someone they know will. Handpicked books make great gifts.

So how do you get this sort of exposure for your amazing book? You must establish a website and, perhaps, a blog site. Go out and speak. Get your book reviewed many times over. Arrange for book signings. Rent booths at book festivals. Join organizations and groups that can help you get exposure for your book (those related to the theme or genre of your book as well as those that can help with marketing, offer resources, etc). Where appropriate, teach courses and/or give workshops related to your book. Speak at conferences related to your book. Talk about it everywhere you go. Submit articles to appropriate magazines/newsletters/sites. And make sure you are listed in Books in Print (so booksellers can special order your book for customers).

Currently, I am testing new waters while getting exposure for my latest book, Catscapades, True Cat Tales. And I am reminded how time-consuming book promotion can be, especially just coming out of the publishing gate. How much time is it taking? LOTS of it. Getting exposure in all the right places is my full time job at the moment. And it takes patience, because reviewers don’t always respond as quickly as you would like. Booksellers can drag their feet about scheduling your signings. Potential customers who may really want a copy of your book put off purchasing it.

How long does it take to get the results you want through exposure? Do you want me to be candid? This is an ongoing activity for as long as you want your book to sell.

Until you have major name recognition as the author of mysteries, true crime books, children’s or young adult books, fantasies, science fiction or books on finance, for example, you will need to practically hand sell each and every book you produce. As authors in this publishing climate, the best that we can do is to consider authorship a serious business, not a privilege that will result in instant fame and fortune.

Sure, you’ll get a flurry of sales after a positive review is published by a reviewer of some credibility and with a large following. You may sell a box or a handful of books at a book festival or a large conference where you speak. You will surely sell a dozen or so books at a well-publicized book signing. And some of those customers will tell others about your book and you’ll get some residual sales. But then, you’re back to the drawing board reminding potential customers about your book on a regular basis while attempting to find new ways to get exposure.

Does it sound like a dismal reward for writing a marvelous book-to have to promote for evermore? It depends on how you look at it. I suggest shifting a measure of your creativity over from your writing efforts to the process of promotion and look at it as a creative challenge.

Here’s another tip. Don’t ever allow yourself to be discouraged when your sales, during a particular event or after a great review, fall below your expectations. Exposure doesn’t always lead to immediate gratification (sales). In fact, I like to tell the story of a SPAWN member who shared in our SPAWN booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books one year. He didn’t sell very many books that year, but he made some amazing contacts that led to him being involved in a documentary featuring the topic of his book. It airs frequently on the Military channel.

If you are currently or will soon be promoting a book, keep things in perspective. Understand the concept of book promotion.

· Book promotion is not a one-time shot. It is ongoing for as long as you want to sell copies of your book.

· Book promotion is not a passive process. It takes serious planning and assertive action.

· Book promotion efforts do not usually result in high sales right off the bat.

· Book promotion takes time, effort, energy and creative thinking.

If you have a good product, your next obligation is to be proactive in promoting it and be patient.

———

Patricia Fry has been promoting her books for over 30 years. She is the Executive Director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) and the author of 31 published books, including “The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book,” and her newest book, “Catscapades, True Cat Tales.” See her books here: http://www.matilijapress.com. Patricia has just added two new courses to her array of online courses for writers and authors-check out the Self-Editing Course and the Memoir Course here: http://www.matilijapress.com/courses.htm

Phyllis Schieber Tour – Sinners Guide to Confession and Willing Spirits


As the child of parents who survived the Holocaust, the notion of loss was integral to our family dynamic. I grew up without ever seeing a photograph of my maternal grandparents or of my mother’s oldest brother. After they survived the Transnistria Death March, they were taken to Obadovka, a ghetto in the Ukraine. Two-thirds of the Jews died en route. Most of those who survived ultimately died of disease and starvation; brutality was a constant presence. Early on, I knew that my mother’s losses defined her. My late father, a German Jew, lost his connection to the country and the culture he had loved and was forced to flee Leipzig, together with the rest of his family. His oldest brother died in concentration camp, unable to slip through the Nazi machine. My father managed to escape and fought with two different armies, Romania and Russia, eager to defeat the Nazis. My parents’ story is not uncommon among those who survived the Holocaust. However, what always caused me to marvel at them and at the countless other survivors was their will to live and their ability to still love and know joy. In many ways, I am also a survivor, a Second Generation survivor. It has shaped how I understand and handle loss.
Learning how to live with the absence of much loved people is analogous to a gaping hole that you learn to walk around, ever careful not to fall in and be swept away by the grief. I continue to be mindful of that hole when I miss the people I have lost. From time-to-time, that hole beckons, but I force myself not to yield. Everyone knows what happens if you are stranded in a snowstorm and fall asleep. We have to push on. Still, I hold the people I have lost close to my heart and speak of them often. I strive to keep them alive by recounting stories and sharing memories. As the years pass, I do not miss any of them any less, but I do not allow myself to fall asleep in a snowdrift.
Loss is invariably synonymous with death. We euphemistically murmur, “I’m so sorry for your loss” countless times as the years pass. And undoubtedly, death is always a loss even when the death is a blessing. I have known much loss through death, and even when I finally welcomed its arrival after my mother’s protracted illness, the loss was, and continues to be, profound. My father died when I was twenty-six. His death was sudden and traumatic. My family was irrevocably devastated, and almost thirty years later, we continue to recover. I have also lost dear friends, most notably my friend Bette. I dedicated my novel Willing Spirits to her, as well as to her daughter Polly, who died several years later at the impossibly young age of twenty-three when she succumbed to an asthma attack. These losses were particularly hard for me. Bette was only fifty when she died. She was my self-appointed older sister. I was sixteen to her thirty when we met, and I consistently deferred to her wisdom without question. Of course, as the years passed and the age difference narrowed, I periodically doubted her, but invariably she was always right. The loss of her presence in my life left me adrift for a long while. Polly’s death was unspeakably tragic, one that continues to plague me, making me wonder if there was anything I could have done to prevent her untimely end. That loss was especially life altering, as it always is when someone so young dies.

There are, however, other losses that can be as harrowing as death—betrayal and divorce come to mind, though there are others. I have written a great deal about the consequences of betrayal. In the aftermath of a betrayal, the sense of loss can be overwhelming. When the person we love and trust betrays us, the grief is incomprehensible. Some of the characters in my novels, Willing Spirits and The Sinner’s Guide to Confession have been betrayed by men they loved, and others have betrayed men they loved. Some of these women have gone through the anguish that comes with a divorce.
The losses incurred by divorce and betrayal are not easily surmountable, but I believe that the way we meet the challenges of these losses shapes how we move through the rest of our lives.
Loss and change—we can count on both. They are certainties that demand our attention, but not our preoccupation. And while there is no right way to grieve, and no time limit on how long we should grieve after the loss of a loved one or the humiliation of a betrayal, the key is to move on. The women in my novels know many types of losses. Some have been widowed; others abandoned, and still others have lost parents. However, perhaps the most overwhelming loss belongs to Ellen in A Sinner’s Guide to Confession. At fifteen, she is forced to give up her baby girl. Ellen spends her entire life grieving the loss of her baby, a loss that is compounded by her inability to conceive again and her beloved husband’s betrayal. Yet, Ellen moves forward, and the novel’s conclusion reaffirms that nothing is stronger than the human spirit, not even loss.

Sinners Guide to Confession – Kaye and Barbara are longtime friends, now in their fifties. Ellen, who is several years younger, develops a friendship with the other two women years later, solidifying this close-knit group. The three women are inseparable, yet each nurtures a secret that she keeps from the others.
Willing Spirits – Jane Hoffman and Gwen Baker, both teachers and in their forties, have a friendship that helps them endure. Years after Gwen is abandoned and left to raise two sons alone, she finds herself in love with a married man. After Jane is humiliated by her husband’s infidelity and Gwen must face her own uncertain path, the two women turn to each other. Now, as each is tested by personal crisis; Jane and Gwen face new challenges—as mothers, as daughters, as lovers. And in the process, they will learn unexpected truths about their friendship—and themselves.
Phyllis Schieber The first great irony of my life was that I was born in a Catholic hospital. My parents, survivors of the Holocaust, had settled in the South Bronx among other new immigrants. .In the mid-fifties, my family moved to Washington Heights. The area offered scenic views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, as well as access to Fort Tryon Park and the mysteries of the Cloisters. Her first novel, Strictly Personal, for young adults, was published by Fawcett-Juniper. The Sinner’s Guide to Confession, was released by Berkley Putnam and in March 2008, Berkley Putnam issued the first paperback publication of Willing Spirits.

Join us on the Sinners Guide to Confession and Willing Spirits virtual tour. To learn more about the tour, visit http://bookpromotionservices.com/2010/05/04/phyllis-schieber-blog-outreach/. You can also learn more about Phyllis Schieber and her books at http://www.phyllisschieber.wordpress.com.

An Amazing sand painting video


Watch this beautiful story unfold with the help of sand!

Luciano Santini’s Words of Wisdom


Hello my friends. it has been a couple of days, but here I am again.
I had a wonderful day today! Why do you think I had such a great day? Well where can I start?

Today I worked, and helped a few people find what they were looking for. Then I came home and played with my boys, which is always the highlight of my day.

I had a meeting with a great company, and the owners, well, were the most humble and real people I have ever known. I expected something else walking into their building, and I have to say I was truly pleased with the way the meeting started and ended.

You see, sometimes we think of people as being so different than ourselves, and because we believe and think a certain way we end up alone, and sometimes with no friends.
I believe in one thing and that is that as long as people in general believe
that they are different then they are, we will continue to fail in life as human beings.

As business owners start their dreams and goals something happens along the way, and that is that they forget their dreams once they start the journey, and only those that remember and stay with their end result in mind will succeed.

The human rain is the undiscovered world. It cannot be tamed by anyone but you, and that is because you are the only one that can control your thoughts that come into your mind.
We need to somehow believe that we can reach our dreams and goals no matter how difficult they may seem.

In my meeting today this successful man tells something that I already knew, but to hear it from someone like him, well, it just strengthened my beliefs.
You see, as a human being we have no limits. The only limits we have are the ones we set ourselves in our own minds.

We must look into the future and believe that you as an individual can accomplish your dreams because you as an individual have that right to prosperity and happiness.

‘Life is sometimes worth a minute to stop and take a good look at your surroundings
and there you might find the sunshine of your life’
Luciano Santini

Professional Motivational Speaker

Business Consultant

Writer/Author

http://www.thoughts.com/lucianosantini/blog

Thank you
Luciano Santini MBA
All Content in this email is Copyright
© Luciano Santini and may not be republished
in any format without express permission.

Remember that life begins when you decide to make a small change.

An Interview With Author Paul Hayden



Here is a recent interview I did with up and coming author, Paul Hayden. He is gifted with amazing talent, whether in the form of poetry or prose. He has just begun this journey we authors face, trying to get a book published. He is currently working on a book of poetry. I hope you all enjoy the interview.

1. When did you first get the writing bug?

To be honest I first became interested by way of punishment, I was a smart mouthed little sod at school and my English teacher decided detention was the best way to deal with me.
I had to write a story about regret then a poem…….it became my favourite subject and needless to say I behaved from then on!

2. What authors and books did you like while growing up and how did they influence you?

Believe it or not I’m not a big reader, I’ve always been a comic book fan and now own over 6,000 which I understand makes me a geek. I did like reading Roald Dahl as a child though.

3. Who do you like to read now?

Lots and lots of comic books!

4. What inspires you to write and why?

My children and wife most certainly do, they’re fantastic!
I do listen to various music while I write, depending on what I’m writing depends on the music……classical to thrash metal!!
5. Do you belong to any writing groups?

I belong to online groups through Facebook and other sites like Triond……a great community out there.

6. What kind of things do you like to write about?

Whatever’s in my head comes out, I don’t really have a “genre.”
If it comes out funny or sad or poo your pants scary then its supposed too.

7. What kind of support do you have in your life that helps you keep writing?

Goes back to my family and friends, have made some amazing friends around the world through writing.

8. What do you do when or if you get writers’ block?

Either walk away from my writing for a day or get really really frustrated……grrrrrrr!!

9. Have you taken any classes in writing?

I was doing a course from home but due to the reality that is the day job I struggled to keep up with that as well as write my book…….I decided to concentrate on my book and online work, I stand by my decision. :)

10. Where can readers read some of your work?

Well they can either contact me on Facebook and check my group “The Life and Mind of ME” or on Twitter.

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=1131902410

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=112733982080910

WriterPHayden on Twitter

Just A Taste of Earthwalker


He stared right through her. Then he saw the blood dripping down her leg. For the first time since she’d gotten to know him, she felt fear. Willa looked down at the glass on the floor. There was a good sized piece she could use to defend herself if she could get it in time. But Paul was next to her in an instant. He looked into her eyes as he bent over. Then he put a finger to the blood on her leg and lifted it to his lips.
“Just one taste,” he said. He put the finger to his tongue and closed his eyes. Willa held as still as she could. Paul seemed to savor the taste. After moments had passed he opened his eyes. They glowed red again.

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