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:

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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:

Suicide Kills More than One

Last February marked 12 years of living with being the mother of a child no longer on this earth. You somehow get used to living with this pain. I imagine it’s somewhat similar to becoming disabled in some way that will never heal, but you learn to work around it. I still don’t know how to answer when asked how many children I have. I say five, but feel like I’m lying. But if I said anything else I’d be damned by the pity. So I say five.
  I try to believe that Jason is still with me like they say, but that seems poor compensation. What is a relationship without interaction? He may be at my side all the time, watching and listening, maybe trying to comfort me. But this scenario would only be frustrating to us both in my mind. He could be screaming and I’d never hear a sound. I could scream at him and never really know if he could hear it.
The senselessness of it never goes away. You can never forget – the most mundane things pop him right back into my head.
The guilt is the worst part I think. I am wrapped up in a cocoon of it. I am the judge and the jury and have sentenced myself to life.
  Not that I haven’t wanted to die many times. But 12 years ago when my oldest son took his life I still had had his sisters and brother aged 19,16,13, and 8. But I don’t think I did them any favors because my whole world was shattered, my spirituality was in tatters, and for a very long time the mother who was always there for them might as well have been dead.
  I had been a single mom for two years, going to college to become a nurse. After 20 years of being married to a jerk I finally felt happy and in control of my life.
  Most of the guilt I feel is from emotionally abandoning the rest of my kids. But if one of them could actually die, then couldn’t any of them? I could feel that truth so deeply that my formerly deeply felt connection with them snapped. I grieved that and felt the guilt eating at me from the inside out. I was completely alone. No one understood. I didn’t want them to anyway. It would hurt them too much.
  My memories are scrambled. I am a whole other woman from the naive one before 12 years ago. I barely remember her now. My kids unfortunately don’t remember her either. They only remember the one they met after.      When I was finally able to work on getting that precious connection back, the one that had previously meant the most in the world to me, it was too little too late. My oldest daughter doesn’t tolerate me. Although we live in the same town we don’t see each other much. She’s too busy. This year she was even too busy to do anything but text me on my birthday. No gift, no card. Just a text on my phone saying happy birthday. She won’t tell me why she wants nothing to do with me. But I know.
  My second daughter lives 6 hours away. She doesn’t speak to me anymore. I call her now and then to leave a message on her phone that I love her, but her heart has turned to ice. And not just towards me. The coldness she showed her two little ones broke my heart. Of course I feel responsible. I showed her the way. She also stopped speaking to her younger sister, her closest friend, because the man she lives with is a pathological rager who can only feel relief through control of everyone in his environment, especially my daughter and grandchildren.
  My youngest daughter talks to me on a regular basis. We are pretty close. But she suffers from acute anxiety. But I do too, so we have a lot in common. She came back home last summer, but I couldn’t make her and my two grandchildren stay. She moved back where her estranged sister lives only a few miles away. Their children, who were once very close don’t see each other. Her older sister’s husband has done what his kind do and isolated their family from anyone close enough to upset his home where there are holes in the wall from his outbursts and doors ripped from their hinges. Both of their children are on anxiety medications. 
  One Halloween I was walking a step behind this person and my grandson when out of the blue he pushed him down to the ground. I was so shocked I couldn’t speak until I brought it up to my daughter later. She tried to cover it up saying that’s how they played. Normally I’m pretty good at letting things go and not interfering, but not this time. I told her that was NOT playing. When I returned home from that visit she didn’t speak to me for months. I had gotten too close to the truth. I worked hard to get back into her good graces somehow and we were close once again for a while. But it didn’t last and I don’t know how to get there again with him still in the picture.
  My youngest son was still pretty young 12 years ago and very easy going. But he kept me grounded by getting into mischief constantly. He never speed moving when he was awake and I could never take my eyes off of him for a minute. It was a blessing that he seemed so unaffected by our family tragedy and brought life and light to us all with all his craziness.
  As he grew up he kept his sweet disposition, even through his teens. I could always trust him and he made great friends in high school, who always ended up at our house. None of them got into drinking or drugs, and I became their second mom. They’re awesome kids!
  But I had to quit the nursing program. Couldn’t do it. Couldn’t take care of myself or my kids properly, much less other people. Something good inside me was gone. I’d had depression my whole life, but kept it in check until that one day when the police officer called me and said the unthinkable. My son? Suicide? A garbage bag? Suffocated? No! Impossible! We just got back from visiting him. He was fine. I thought. Better than ever, or so he led me to believe. But before I drove away from him for the last time, something whispered in my ear. The other kids were eager to go, but I made time to sit in his room with him before I would leave so we could talk alone. It was my final gift from Jason.
  As I was about to pull out of the drive, I jumped out of the car and hugged and kissed him a second time. He knew I loved him. He was 23 years old and we understood each other like no one else. He took what I had taught him and flew so high with it. He amazed me. He was the most beautiful soul.
  I’ve been working so hard on myself lately. If I’m not gonna die then I need to live. The thought crossed my mind recently that I got to live 41 years before this changed everything. That’s something I want to be thankful for. A lot of people don’t even live that long. Jason didn’t.
  I used to feel guilty for any happiness I felt after he passed. It felt horribly wrong. But I can’t really live if I’m feeling sorry all the time. I have to change my way of looking at things. If he is around me I’m only making him miserable being sad. I just wish it hadn’t taken me so long to figure that out.

LeAnn Rimes – Amazing Grace (Acapella)

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!!!

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