Thursday, December 29, 2011


With the New Year, I have a need to get organized. I know...I know it will pass. I used to be organized. I have always been a person that has to be busy to be happy. Well, I should be ecstatic at the moment. All good...have my new release with Whiskey Creek Press- THE JUDAS KISS- set to be released this January. Under my pen name, Carrie James Haynes, WHISPERS OF A LEGEND series has become my biggest seller to date. If I could only get Amazon to go free with the first installment, SHADOWS OF THE PAST...I digress (focus Jerri)...I'm working diligently on revisions for my next Indie venture, DAUGHTER OF DECEIT. I have even tried creating my own cover. I love the picture, but my creative skills well- I'll let you tell me what you think later in the blog. I have to edit Part Three of Whispers, VISION OF DESTINY by the end of the month. Then the little annoyance of my full time job. Writing the next best seller couldn't come too soon for me...

But the reason for my blog today. New Year- New Releases. Mainly this is just a reminder about Novel Works. For anyone that doesn't realize or forgot, I do post new releases for any author that requests. I have really only one requirement, the cover needs to be decent enough to post to anyone of my fans and/or friends. The best way to do so is send me an email at with Novel Works- new release in the subject heading. Usually I post the new release once a week for a month on either Wednesday or Saturday.

This is free. I don't ask for anything in return. Well, occasionally I'll announce one of my releases. It would be nice to have it reciprocated in some manner. A simple Tweet or post would be excellent. For those that do reciprocate, you may notice their books posted quite often on Novel Works.

If I notice a new release on an author I have spotlighted in the past, I will post for them. Case in point, Teresa Medeiros' new release, THE PLEASURE OF YOUR KISS. I'm a huge Teresa Medeiros fan. Love her books. Have The Pleasure of Your Kiss first on my list to read as soon as I finish edits on Daughter of Deceit.
Another author you will see a lot of is Brenda Novak.

I do have my favorites. Can't help it. You will see anything from S. G. Rogers, any of the Roses of Prose authors (which by the way my last chapter of a Holiday to Remember posted today- only two more days until the conclusion of the story!). Back to my favs- Lyndsay Townsend, Ruth Cardello...see I get started and I won't be able to stop. I have so many, but you can tell by my post at times.

Over the last couple of years I've had Novel Works, I have met so many great people, authors and readers alike. I have not intended to leave anyone out. If I have it wasn't intentional...I want to continue to make friends. The more friends...the merrier. With the New Year, I want Novel Works to grow and grow. I love books!  

Don't forget if you have a new release and would like it posted email me at the address above. If you're an avid reader, like myself, its a great way to discover a great read.

Oh! I almost forgot. Here's the tentative cover for Daughter of Deceit. Tell me what you think. Daughter of Deceit -historical/paranormal suspense romance- Really, I need your feedback.

Happy New Year! May 2012 hold all your dreams!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Holidays are Here...

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. These haven't been the best of holidays yet for me. Busy...yes. I love being busy, but I lost my little doggie the other day, Max. Fourteen and a half years old. Broke my heart. Can't talk too much about it yet, but I don't have my writing buddy anymore...

But...the holidays happen whether I'm ready or not for them. The Christmas tree is finally up and my edits are done on The Judas Kiss. I'm not certain when it's suppose to be released, either January 1st or the 15th. You'll know. I love the cover and I'm excited about the series.

On my other blog, Castles in the Air, I'm holding a contest until the end of the month. Check it out if you get the chance. I'll be hold a contest again in January with the release of The Judas Kiss.

On Novel Works, I'm posting random books this week. When I say random, I don't mean the books are random, but I don't have a theme or schedule. I'm posting books or blogs I think people might enjoy.

Shadows of the Past
Happy with my Indie venture also. So much so, I'm thinking about releasing more than just the Whispers of a Legend series. Everything has been so positive with Whispers. The reviews have been great. The only negative comments have been the books are too short. If someone was going to say something negative, I'll take that. One commentator said that the author must be putting them all together for one book. They're right. After Vision of Destiny is released, I am going to put the first three together for Whispers of a Legend, Volume One. There will be more.

Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past is doing great over on Barnes and Noble. I'm thrilled to have the support from Barnes and Noble. They have even mentioned Whispers in their press releases. Check it out here. (#15 on the list)

I've never been mentioned before. A step up. Did I say I love BARNES AND NOBLE!!!! Amazon...not so much until Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past goes free. Then they'll feel my love again.

Whispers of a Legend, Part Two-The Path Now Turned is climbing up the rankings also over on Barnes and Noble.

The Path Now Turned
Roses of Prose
I probably won't blog again until after Christmas. Happy Holidays everyone. Oh...and don't forget over on the Roses of Prose the progressive story continues. If you're in the mood for some romance stop by.

Friday, December 16, 2011


THE JUDAS KISS. It's the title to my next release set hopefully for January-the first book in the Tides of Charleston Series with Whiskey Creek Press. It's my first historical romance since Patriot Secrets although in truth Patriot Secrets is historical fiction with strong romantic elements.

I'm excited about the Tides of Charleston Series for a few reasons. When I was doing research on Patriot Secrets, I had focused on the American Revolution in the North. Williamsburg, the setting of Patriot Secrets, had been a hot bed for the Call for Independence. At the beginning of the war, most of the action took place up in the Northern colonies from Massachusetts down to Virginia. I found the whole of the American Revolution both fascinating and intriguing. I discovered the Culper Spy ring and I was hooked.

Now, I have my reasons why the rest of the Winds of Betrayal Series hasn't been published as of yet. However, it doesn't mean I haven't continued on with my interest in the American Revolution. I have a story to complete and I have every intention of doing so. I haven't stopped writing about the American Revolution. Following Patriot Secrets, the sequel will take Dr Jonathan Corbett south to Charles Town, South Carolina. That is the reason I began doing research on the Southern Campaign. The more research I did on the Southern Campaign, the more confused I became. How is it that more hasn't been written about this piece in history?

The people of Charles Town (Charleston) lived captivating lives. On one side you had the harbor; the other the wilderness. The elite society considered themselves on the same lines as the aristocrats in England. They lived life in extravagant luxury, educated at the best schools and traveled extensively. Then you have the mountain men to the west. The men and women who carved out a frontier before anyone went West. Loyalists. Patriots. Men that lived by their own rules. Violence was common place. Common sense...well?

Can you get the sense of why I found all so intriguing? I have my theory on why more hasn't been written in historical romance. I believe it has a lot to do with slavery. Most of the romance books I have read pertaining to the Southern Campaign or even the South itself before the Civil War try to have the hero/heroine strive against slavery. There is one problem with that picture. It goes against the historical accuracy of the times. Back during the American Revolution, slavery was an accepted practice. You had your sympathizers, but if you're writing about that era in the South, you can't simply dismiss the practice or turn a blind eye to what was going on. You can't rewrite history. It has to be included in your writing.

Who watched the movie The Patriot? Did anyone find it slightly over the top when Mel Gibson's character  didn't have slaves. He had freed slaves working for him. Was that Hollywood stepping in to make the movie politically correct? I know they rolled Gibson's character from a few Southern hero's at the time into one person, but none of the heroes from the war that I know of had freed slaves working for them. George Washington owned slaves. Yes, he freed them, but it was in his will. Does a good deed count after one's dead? And everyone knows about Thomas Jefferson. These were our Founding Fathers. The only well-known Patriot I know that took a stand against slavery was John Laurens from Charles Town, South Carolina. (I may love history, but I'm not an expert historian there may have been others I'm not aware of.)

Yes, slavery was an abomination- without question- inexcusable to the extreme, but it shouldn't stop one from writing about the era. It only means when you do write about it, don't ignore that piece. It is history. As I said you can't rewrite history, but you can learn from it.

I fell in love with Charleston when I did my research. I love its rich history, the good, the bad and the really bad. So much to write about and explore. With The Judas Kiss, the Tides of Charleston series will be launched. The series follows two siblings. Cathryn Blankenship, the only daughter of the former Governor of Antigua who settled in Charles Town, and Sumner Meador, her half-brother, the bastard son. One will stay true to the crown; the other will answer the Call for Liberty.

The Promise, The Judas Kiss sequel, will be released in May. In September, Another Night Falls will follow. Action, suspense, and romance!

And I will let you in on a little secret. Before Another Night Falls is released, I'm planning on releasing the second in the line with Patriot Secrets. I say this for a reason. Yes, it's set too in Charleston and you may recognize some of the characters as their lives may intersect with each other.

So much going on. So much to do. But it's all good! Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 12, 2011


The Path Now Turned
The Last Great Wizard of Yden
Oh, what to do for Christmas. I can't believe how far behind I am with everything. I love this time of year. A time of giving. So what am I giving. For the next couple of weeks, I'm hosting Christmas Binge With Books. Novel Works is open to anyone and everyone who wants me to post their book. I will be posting friends' books, blogs, websites. Hopefully giving everyone great ides for books as gifts or even keeping some for yourself.

Together Christmas
Nothing will be organized around here for the next couple of weeks. I am, really, behind in my house. I haven't even decorated. Today! I've promised the family. So, enjoy all the books I'm going to post. My wish is for everyone to have a safe and Happy Holiday Season.

The Judas Kiss
I have the cover to my new release with Whiskey Creek Press. THE JUDAS KISS! I'm so excited. It's release is coming up soon. I love the cover. Gemini Judson did a wonderful job. The next two in the series, The Promise and Another Night Falls, have release dates. May and September! Looks like I'm going to be a busy girl.

Beyond the Highland Whisper
Books...books...books make me happy. Truly everyone have a great Christmas season!
Immortal Hope
Just one little thing I want to mention. Until further notice, I won't be linking up anymore books to Amazon. Just my little protest because Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past isn't free yet on Amazon. Once Shadows of the Past is free on Amazon, I will begin again with linkage, but until that time, I will be linking to the sites where you can find, Whispers of a Legend, Part One-Shadows of the Past, free such as Barnes and Noble, Diesel ebooks, Smashwords, and Freeebooks.

Shadows of the Past

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Guest for the Day- Brenda Whiteside talks about HONEY ON WHITE BREAD

Honey of White Bread

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers tap across the stage, her glittery dress flows around her ankles, and he bends her backwards in a graceful maneuver that nets him a kiss. I sigh at the black and white images.

Saturday morning, I carry my cup of hot cocoa and my white bread toast dripping with butter to the blanket spread in front of the television to watch an old movie starring Shirley Temple.

The actor with the funny nose makes cracks and the pretty redhead bats her eyelashes. I laugh at an old black and white Bob Hope and Lucille Ball movie on television while curled up with my little sister in a corner of the sofa.

I watched a lot of old movies on television when I was a kid. They were reruns to my mom but delightful first runs for me. Between the old movies and my mom’s tales of growing up in the 1940’s, I fell totally in love with that decade. So romantic, so colorful.

Honey On White Bread is the result of my infatuation with an era and is truly the book of my heart.
When seventeen-year-old Claire Flanagan is wrenched from her father and deposited at the Good Shepherd’s Home for Wayward Girls, all dreams for Hollywood stardom are lost. But when twenty-year-old Benjamin Russell helps secure her release, she starts to believe in a happy future with him…until she discovers his ex-girlfriend is pregnant.

In this post WWII coming of age novel, Claire discovers the silver screen can’t compare with the fight she takes on for the leading role in her own life.

When girls were girls and men were men. The time period following World War II is the setting for Honey On White Bread. The two families, the Russells and the Flanagans are the people who move through the novel. Both families are poor but rich with love and family. I had so much fun writing this book, doing the research and using some of the stories my mom told me about her childhood.

“I’ve never snuck into a theater before. Sneaking into a dark theater with Arnold …” Paulie laughed. “Are you sure this isn’t supposed to be a date?” Paulie appeared at once timid and suspicious.
“I’m sure. He’s getting me … us in to see a movie for free. Dick Hames! He’s so dreamy.”
Arnold’s dreamy.”
“You know, Paulie, Arnold is a dear friend …”
“Oh, pooh, Claire.” Paulie batted at my skirt.
“Okay, okay, a special friend. We haven’t made any promises to each other or anything. He’s cute, he’s fun … but …”
“But what?”
“Oh, I don’t know.” A hint of guilt over the difference between how I felt about Arnold compared to how he felt about me passed like the breeze drifting over the porch boards. His were childish whims of infatuation, pushy, uninvited. “It’s kind of hard to explain…” I toyed with the folds of my skirt. If most of the girls at North High were stuck on Arnold, a great catch I didn’t appreciate, then I wished my best friend could change places with me. If only …
“Hey, ladies.” The blur of a male figure in jeans had ascended the porch steps, not pausing to pass pleasantries.
He opened the screen door and stepped into the house. Benjamin. My second encounter brought on an unexplained reaction; my heart pattered even though I’d barely caught a glimpse.
“Oh, hey, Ben,” Paulie said. “You look tired, big brother.”
Her words stopped him. “Little bit.” He paused behind the screen door.
“This is Claire.”
He tipped his head to me. “Nice to meet you, Claire.” He continued on into the house.
 “Same here,” I muttered as the screen door shut.
“Now, where were we?” Paulie put a finger to her mouth.
I looped an arm through my friend’s. “We were going to see if your momma could use some help. Come on.” I pulled her from the seat. “Let’s help then freshen up before dinner.”
We let the screen door slam behind us and turned into the kitchen in time to see Benjamin lift his mother from the floor and spin around twice.
“You stop that, Benjamin Willis. Man or no, I can take a hand to your hide, if I need to.” Her hands flailed gently at his chest.
He laughed as he set her down, steadying her before letting go. Taut muscles on the back of his arms flexed with the effort; his deep laugh filled the kitchen. I couldn’t help being drawn into this entirely pleasant scene, comical and radiating warmth, inviting me to take part in their joy. His mother snatched a dishtowel from the counter and swiped at his legs.
“Hold off now. I give, I give.” He withdrew what appeared to be a check from his back pocket.
Mrs. Russell accepted the paper without comment and stuffed it into the frayed pocket of her red checked apron. He kissed her on the forehead, took the bottle of beer she offered him, and leaving the kitchen, nodded in my direction.
I sniffed the sweat of hard work and the yeasty smell of beer as he passed by. My head reeled for a moment with the warmth of the kitchen and the people within, combined with the essence of what I labeled man.

Brenda Whiteside
Do you have a favorite time period outside the present? How did you come to be interested in your favorite era and why? I’d love to hear. Leave me a comment and I’ll draw one commenter to receive an e-copy of Honey On White Bread. Be sure to leave your email address so I can reach you.

Brenda loves to hear from readers and can be reached at
For information on her other December releases and her latest contest news, visit
You’ll find her most days on Facebook at

Warm Christmas Wishes
Other new releases by Brenda Whiteside.
Tattoos, Leather & Studs

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Holiday Story

Holiday to Remember
Today on Roses of Prose, my first section is posted to A Holiday to Remember. Go by and check out the story. Love the cover to the story. Don't you?

Been so busy. The Holidays are here. I haven't done a thing. Have to make a start today and pull myself away from my computer.

So much to do. If you get the chance, I have the cover to The Judas Kiss. Look under Tides of Charleston Series. I'm so happy with the cover and excited. I love this series!

Shadows of the Past
Don't forget my fantasy series,Whispers of a Legend! Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past is FREE on Barnes and Noble if you haven't gotten your copy. The reviews have come back- all good! Love good reviews.

The Path Now Turned
Starting next week, I'll be holding a contest on my Castles in the Air blog for the release of Whispers of a Legend, Part Two- The Path Now Turned. Have so much fun with contests. Going to make this one quite simple. It's Christmas you know. You can even buy The Path Now Turned on Amazon for the same price its sold elsewhere.

So much going on. I have to find time to write. But everything's good. Can't complain. Hope everyone's Holidays are going well. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


What’s the secret to making it as an Indie writer?

Successful self-publication is not a race where you win by beating the others to the top; it is a community where cooperation and collaboration increase everyone’s profits.   If you want to be a part of that community, ask yourself one simple question every time you meet a writer online or in person:  How can I help this person with their goals? Many times it is as simple as tweeting about one of their projects or mentioning them to your circle of friends. 

You might be thinking: Wait!  I thought this was about me and my book?  It is and it isn’t. If you genuinely care about how your fellow writers do, you’ll soon find that they begin to care about you.

Sound too simple?  Don’t underestimate the power of being good to people in the writing community.  Yes, there will be those who will not appreciate your efforts, but over time you’ll find that many more will…especially if you pick people who also share the collaborative spirit.

Where to start?

Let me introduce you to some of the nicest people I’ve come across in my promotional adventures this year.  Get to know them.  Some are authors.  Some are entrepreneurs.  Support them and you’ll find yourself welcome among some of the best and brightest in the Indie community.  Promote them and you just might find your projects being mentioned all over the internet. 

Monique is not a writer.  She is an avid reader who supports new Indie romance writers via her FB page and websites and will let you promote your books on her site for free.  She’s incredibly helpful and welcoming to new writers.  Her FB community is about 900+ and growing everyday.  Check out some of the people there.  Many will be on my list.  She’s not only a wonderful woman, but she is also surrounding herself with some of the nicest and most talented people I’ve come across.  Join the action there and start making connections.  How to help her out?  Mention her sites.  Encourage your friends to join the community.  Oh, and tell her I sent you.  She’ll get a kick out of that.

An author out of Africa who writes fantasy/adventure.  Her first book, The Eyes That See, is still free on Smashwords.  She is a talented writer who will take the time to write a review for your book if she likes it and those are like gold when you’re starting out.  Like so many of us, she’s at the beginning of her career, but I’m sure she’ll be a name people know in the future.  Give her free book a plug and you just might find your work being discussed on a whole other continent.

She is a new Harlequin Kimani Romance Author whose debut novel, These Arms of Mine, will be released on January 24, 2012.  Sure, she’s not an Indie writer, but you’d never know it by how supportive she is of self-published authors.  She’s active on Twitter and Facebook.  I’d friend her at both and help her make her first novel a hit.  Why?  Because in my experience, Judy is the type to repay your efforts by mentioning your projects…and she’s just a wonderful new friend to make.

Her Never Too Late series are making name for her in the Indie community.  Dating the Cougar is FREE on Amazon.  I met Donna online earlier this year when I put my own book up for free and am so glad I did.  She has a wealth of information about  the ins and outs of self-publication and she is another supporter of new writers.  When we first started to collaborate, she wrote to me about her realization – that my readers were also her readers.  So, when we promoted each other, we doubled our audience.  Isn’t that what all this networking is all about?  The readers we want to attract don’t read one book a year (ours).  They love to read.  Helping them find other great authors endears our readers to us more. 

Won’t this take up all my writing time?
It takes only a second to RT something an author mentions on Twitter or to share one of thier projects with my Facebook friends.  None of these connections detract from my writing time, but they add so much to my enjoyment of the process.

Annette Blair is a National Bestselling, award-winning author. In her thirty plus books, she’s explored nineteenth-century Amish Country; Regency and Victorian Britain; and madcap, modern Salem Mass, where bold women follow the Celtic faith with heart. There, she fought dragons, and fell in love with an angel. More recently, she’s solved mysteries beside Connecticut’s Mystic River.  She has a strong Facebook and twitter following and is cutting edge when it comes marketing.  Her background in traditional  publishing is a real asset as she moves into the self-pubbing arena.

Karen is retired teacher in Ohio who is an avid supporter of new writers.  She’s also an example of how good networking can lead to real friendships. I met her when I put Maid for the Billionaire up for free and she wrote to me with a list of errors she’d found in it.  She knew I was just starting out and wanted to help me fix them before too many people saw them.  I’ve come to value her opinion and her eye for mistakes.  I wouldn’t put a book up without hiring her to look it over first.  How grateful am I to her and her book group, Brainless Bargain eBooks Book Club? – I dedicated one of my books to her.  No, she’s not a professional editor, but if you can’t afford one, she’s a skilled second set of eyes.  Check out her website for prices or just to say hello.

She has an amazing number of venues to promote Indie authors and does so for FREE.  She’s definitely knowledgeable to make it into a business, but for now she does it for the joy of getting to know new writers and knowing that she makes a difference in their lives.  She sure made a difference in mine.  How to help her?  Well, first and most importantly her series, Safe with Me, has two FREE  parts.  Check out her writing.  Recommend her to your friends if you enjoy her writing.  Check out her many websites.  Tweet about them.  Mention them in your blogs. 

Cali is a steampunk Indie author who has her first novel, Viridis, on Amazon for FREE.  Her second book, Devil on a Sparrow’s Wing, is holding its own on the charts.  She designs ebook covers and is a wonderful resource for how to use Twitter effectively. Ask her about designing your next ebook cover or just tweet about her free book.  She’s a good friend to have and is connected to many other up and coming authors. 

She writes romance novels with a twist, many have a lesbian theme, but not all. She rejoices in the many variations of humans in this world. She also writes sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy, etc.  If you want a free taste, check out her Novan Witch, (5 star rating). It’s free.  But don’t stop there.  She writes in such a variety of genres.  I admire her range.  We met via Twitter while discussing promotional contests. 

Elementary teacher by day, romance author by night, Christine absolutely loves to talk about writing and reading. She is willing to recommend any book she's thoroughly enjoyed reading. She firmly believes a good story is a good story no matter how it's published and that writers need to help each other reach the next level of success. She promotes on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, various email loops where readers hang out, and the faculty lunch room where she teaches. "Hey, don't underestimate the power of a quick book suggestion over a ham and cheese sandwich." She writes a variety of adult romance, and her newest release, ABRA CADAVER, a dark paranormal, is coming in January 2012 from The Wild Rose Press.  

Writer and avid reader.  She writes reviews on her blog and is a wonderful source of information about the self-pubbing industry. 

Heather Peters is a Native New Yorker, an erotic romance e-book author of 6 books; loves writing alpha males, her latest SECRET DREAMS, finds an 80's rock star falling in love for the first time. Collaborating on her first erotic romantic fantasy with her writing partner, Angela Aaron. She's an avid reader, and she and Angela share a blog at http// where they've been known to promote new authors. You can find Heather's books at,

There were a couple people I wanted to mention that I couldn’t easily find information to post.  That is the second most important thing to remember.  Time is a precious commodity to writers.  If I can’t quickly discern what it is you want me to promote or easily locate information about one of your projects, chances are that I won’t mention you – no matter how much I like you.  For me, networking has to fit into quick slots during my day.  It can’t take away from my work, family or writing time.  Keep that in mind when you market yourself.  Make it easy for people to find you by putting your links everywhere and don’t be afraid to create an elevator pitch for yourself as a writer.

Oh, and me?  I’m saving the world one billionaire a time with my Legacy Series: sexy, alpha men and the strong women who tame them.  Book 1: Maid for the Billionaire is FREE on Amazon.  Book 2: For Love or Legacy is holding its own on Amazon and iTunes.  Any mention of my free book would be appreciated. 

Let’s not end this here.  Who has impressed you along your way?  Showcase them below and include their urls. Let's celebrate those who have been kind to us.

So join Ruth this week on Novel Works!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for and I am thankful. I have a wonderful husband, loving children, a job, awesome doggies... So why am I in such a grumpy mood. Oh, daughter just woke me up to get dismissed from school. Doesn't feel good. Means another trip to the doctor. Do you have a child like this? I mean I would ignore it, but the last time I tried to ignore it and tell her just to take some Tylenol, she really was sick. I would call it a hypochondriac. My sister is like that. She's a doctor with a lawyer's degree. She's always diagnosing herself with one ailment or another. So it means my daughter is coming home from school. Just like to understand why she couldn't survive another hour?

Then last night at work, I didn't stop. One machine was down (the backbone of the department). When I came in, they were sending out a lot of stat tests. Fixed the machine. At least so that we could run through the night. What did we get when day shift came in this morning, kinda just ignored. I tried to tell them what we did to get it up. They said they 'already knew'. I didn't even have time to write an email about the issues. So now day shift has psychic powers? No, they didn't even notice the machine was up and running. I could tell by their looks that if the night shift fixed it, the machine must not have been broken to start with. You know night shift only breaks things...

I'm not daughter from college is coming home for Thanksgiving! I'm so happy except for some reason or other her brother who has the whole of the basement to live in has moved into her room while she's been gone to school. Says he'll be out when she comes home. Do you think she'll notice he's been living in her room? Anticipating that one. Then the car...there'll be a fight for who gets the car. I can't wait.

Shadows of the Past
Writing. I'm on pins and needles. I'm releasing the second in my series, Whispers of a Legend, Part Two-The Path Now Turned next Monday. I'm happy with my numbers for Shadows of the Past and the reviews that are coming back. I couldn't be happier with my numbers at Barnes and Noble. Fell under #3000 in rankings. Although some of my co-workers gave me funny looks when I expressed how happy I was with the rankings. To their eyes #2824 is high (guess they haven't seen my rankings for my other books published by a publishing house). I mean in my genre( Sci-Fi/fantasy) at Barnes and Noble it's #265!  Right behind Alterant by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Diane Love and right in front of The Final Warning by James Patterson. That makes me would make me happier if Amazon had gone free.

What is with Amazon? How come my book hasn't gone free? I emailed them asking how does one go free on Amazon. They said it's their discretion which is fine. Others I talked to said it would come, but it hasn't. There is a tremendous difference with it going free and even selling it at $.99. People are so willing to give a relatively unknown author a chance for free it seems. Then over at Diesel ebooks it has an issue and even though Shadows is listed, you can't download it. Ahhhh!

Instead of letting Smashwords send it to Barnes and Noble, this time I'm going to do it myself. It took over 2 weeks for it to go up on Barnes and Noble when Smashwords sent it out. That was fine last time, but since this is where Shadows has done the best, I would like to release directly to Barnes and Noble.

Oh, almost forgot another reason I'm grumpy. I have to work Thanksgiving. Bummer!!!

You know I'm feeling better. Releasing a little pint up frustration. A glass of diet Coke to wake up. You know the world's not that bad. Strange, I guess I'm thankful I'm able to complain...

The Path Now Turned
Have a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Welcome Toni V. Sweeney

Today's a first for me. Should have been doing this for awhile. I've had a couple special bloggers, but never a guest blogger. Today I'm welcoming Toni V. Sweeney.

Blood Bay

On November 15 and again on December 15, two of my “lost” novels will find their way to publication.

I call them my lost novels because they were exactly that…for all intents and purposes lost, deleted, thrown away, and gone for good.

Almost twenty years ago, in what I can only describe as a fit of undiagnosed menopausal depression in which I decided I was about to die, I threw away the only copies of several of my manuscripts and deleted the originals from my computer.  Crazy, huh? Even I admit it was somewhat…rash.  Later, I regretted it, but by then, it was too late, of course.  Not only were the hardcopies gone, but the computer on which they had been written was on its last electronic legs and was in storage where I couldn’t get to it without a struggle. 

I thought about those stories often, remembered enough of a couple to actually rewrite them and get them published, but the others…only a chapter or two or a mere set of fragments, a few sentences at most, and the glimmer of the idea.  Believe me, I found myself wishing more than once that I could go back and undo what I’d done but as we all know, that’s impossible. They were gone.  If I went any further with them, I’d have to rewrite those first, precious pages, and as everyone knows, you can rewrite something but you can never recapture exactly the way you originally said it.

Ten years passed, and then…one of those minor miraculous moments happened.  Someone I’d once known, and lost track of, sent me an e-mail.  He was deleting files from his computer and had come upon a folder with my name on it.  In it were copies of some early novels I’d written and sent him to read.  Would I like to have to have them back?

Are you kidding? Yes!

Most of the manuscripts I received were some I had copies of and I’d gone on to polish and edit.  They had actually been published, but tucked in among them were a partial chapter and two very small fragments…of something called Blood Bay…and For the Love in Adler’s Brain.

Blood Bay is my version of Cape Fear. Set on an island off the coast of Georgia, a young woman, agoraphobic after an assault ten years before, is brought out of her shell by a young man determined to show her that love is neither demented nor violent.  Their budding affair is interrupted by the escape from prison of the man who assaulted her and left her for dead, and he’s heading to the island, to finish what he started ten years before. That’s the premise of Blood Bay, told from the viewpoint of Connell Ambers, the victim, Tucker MacKenzie, her would-be lover, and Benjamin Reed, the escaped rapist.  It’s a thriller, like nothing I’d ever written before, and very graphic, and after I finished, I wondered if it was too different for me to submit anywhere.

For the Love in Adler's Brain
The other story was also outside the box.  For the Love in Adler’s Brain is a science fiction romance, light on the science, heavy on the romance.  Adler is a government assassin, an android, the most perfect human replicant ever created.  When he falls in love and decides to take his services and his secrets and retire, he’s destroyed instead.  Though his body is gone, his still-sentient brain continues to hold enough love for his human sweetheart to communicate with her, so she hires a private detective to finds its whereabouts with the idea of building him a new body in which to house it.  Unfortunately, the detective falls in love with her, also, and thereby hangs the tale…

Is that one also too different? I wondered. Finally, after much consideration, I submitted both books to Class Act Books;  Blood Bay was released November 15; For the Love in Adler’s Brain will follow on December 15.

What’s the moral of this story?  No matter if you’re certain you aren’t going to live another day, don’t ever throw away any manuscript without keeping at least one copy, tucked away somewhere.  The sun may come up tomorrow and you’ll still be here and wanting that story!

Excerpt from Blood Bay:

She brought the bowl to the table, setting it down, then reached for the saucer holding the toast. It joined the bowl on the table.
“That’s a lot of toast. Where are you going to put it?”
“It’s not for me.” She pulled another saucer from the cabinet, placed three of the slices on it and set it before him. “Enjoy.”
“I’ve already eaten,” he reminded her.
“My Mama taught me never to eat in front of anyone unless you offered him some. Eat.” While she was talking, she took a small jar from the refrigerator, placing it and a little knife beside the toast.
He inspected the jar. It was decorated with a raised design of apples and berries, was open-mouthed with paraffin poured thickly across the top.
“This looks home-made.” He used the knife to remove the paraffin, balancing it sticky-side up on the edge of the saucer. Tuck plunged the knife into the jam, scooped out a red mass--Plums? Raspberries?--then began to spread it evenly over the first slice of toast. He raised it, took a tentative bite. “This is good. Delicious, in fact.”
“Thank you.”
He looked up at her. She retrieved utensils from a drawer and sat down.
“You made this?”
“Don’t look so surprised. I don’t just sit around here and paint all day. I’m not just a pretty face. I’ve other talents.” She studied the bowl.
“Indeed you do.” He probably sounded more enthusiastic than he should but he couldn’t help it. No other young woman of his acquaintance could make jam. If any of them wanted jam, jelly, or preserves, she just drove to the nearest supermarket. “Artistic, beautiful, and she can cook. Ms. Ambers, marry me.”
She seemed to freeze but when she looked up at him, there was an odd glint in her eyes. “I don’t know you well enough to marry you, Mr. MacKenzie. No. Sorry.”
“Perhaps after I’ve been around a while?”
“Are you going to be around a while?”
“I hope so. Truthfully, I make a better second impression than a first. I kind of grow on people.”
“Like mold.” She made it a statement, studying her spoon. “Actually, this is your third impression. We’ll see.” She got up, going back to the refrigerator. This time when she returned, she held a tub of margarine. Opening it, she set it before Tuck. “Butter your toast before it gets cold.”
Obediently, he took the tub.  “Hey, this is real butter.”
“Nothing gets past you, does it?” Her observation was dry.
“Well, I am a college man.”
“And a comedian. Tell me, Mr. MacKenzie, how many times did you make the Dean’s List?”
“I quit counting after the third semester. Say, would it be too much to ask you to call me Tucker? Or Tuck, if you’d like.”
That made her look up at him again. Frowning. Thinking. He could see the wheels turning. The spoon fell from her fingers, sinking into the grits. “Oh God, you’re Friar Tuck!”
He wasn’t certain which shocked him more, the expletive or the nickname.
“Now I know why you thought I should know who you are. Jess talked about you all the time.”
“Not all of it was true,” he said it only half jokingly.
“No?” She looked thoughtful, obviously remembering things her brother had said. He hoped it wasn’t some of the more scandalous stuff. No such luck. “Not even that bit about the Farraday twins?”
“Oh. That.” Tuck had the grace to look away and was startled to feel his face getting hot. “Grossly exaggerated, I assure you.”
“As I remember, Jess sounded envious whenever he spoke of it, which was very often for nearly three months.” She plunged the spoon into the grits, blew on them slightly, then tasted and swallowed. “You know, I always envisioned you as a short, plump guy with a tonsure.”
“Wrong all around. Neither short, nor plump, and I have all my hair, as you can see.”
Presently, the toast was gone and the last spoonful eaten. She stood up abruptly, reaching for his saucer. “I’ll just wash these…”
“Let me help.” He caught at the saucer, tugging on it and after a moment, she let it go.
“That’s not necess--”
“Mother always told me a man who gets dishes dirty should be prepared to help clean them.”
“How’d your Daddy feel about that?”
“He bought her a dishwasher.”
She was laughing as she allowed him to carry the dishes to the sink. Not loud, more a soft breathy sound, but a laugh nevertheless. It sounded oddly sexy. Tuck forced that thought out of his mind.
The sink was a large single one, no compartments for washing and then rinsing. Connell splashed liquid soap onto the porcelain surface, turned the hot water on full blast and watched the suds rise. Taking the saucer and bowl from Tuck, she placed them on the surface of the bubbles. Together they watched the china sink through the suds. She was reaching for a plastic net scrubber as he turned back to get their cups.
“I’ll dry.” He dropped them into the water.
“Sorry. Around here, we don’t dry.” She gestured at a plastic-coated wire contraption resting on a white Rubbermaid drain mat to one side of the sink.
“Then I’ll drain.” He took the first washed-and-rinsed saucer from her and set it in the rack. She reached for another.

You can find Toni V. Sweeney on her blog Welcome to Toniverse. 

Monday, November 14, 2011


Tattoos, Leather & Studs

Went out to eat lunch on Saturday. The restaurant was already decked out in  Christmas decorations. Turned on the radio and there's a station already playing Christmas music. A little too soon. Probably. I've always liked to decorate after Thanksgiving, but Christmas is just around the corner. It's not too soon to start making your Christmas gift list. What do I recommend? Do you have to ask? Simply- Books!

Shadows of the Past
Books have always been a great idea for gifts, but now a days it's quick, easy and thoughtful, especially ebooks. Today the hottest gadget are Iphones, Ipads, NookTablets, and the Amazon Fire. What better way to give a gift than instantly? There are a couple of ways to give an ebook. You can always give a gift certificate to the book's website. These are easy and quick to do, but some book websites have ebook gift giving. Amazon does. Just be careful with Amazon ebook giving. It is extremely easy. All you need is your recipient's email address, but if they don't have an account with Amazon for some reason Amazon doesn't deliver the ebook. This happened to me last year. I didn't notice it to after Christmas.   There are other places though that have the same gift giving of ebooks like All Romance Books. I'm sure Barnes and Noble has something on that line that makes giving books easy also.

Warm Christmas Wishes
Think how easy it would be to give your friend a copy of her favorite book, your child's teacher a thoughtful gift, your niece or nephew a book they have been wanting. You can even give children's books! I know I have my mother on my list. I gave her a kindle for Mother's Day. She will be getting a nice gift certificate to add to her collection of books. Or you can simply give yourself a good book. Take a break from your hectic  holiday activity.

So what am I doing? Giving you ideas for your list. This week on Novel Works I'm starting GIVE A GIFT, GIVE A BOOK campaign for Christmas. Starting with New Release Week. I have authors coming in with recent relelases or soon to be released books. I'm throwing in a couple of others that I noticed on Barnes and Noble's new release list that I found of interest.

One of my fellow authors, Brenda Whiteside, on Roses of Prose blog has a few releases coming up, two in December and one in January. Busy lady. I'm also releasing my second installment under my pen name Carrie James Haynes. Whispers of a Legend, Part Two, The Path Now Turned, will be releases on November 28. Whispers of a Legend, Part One, Shadows of the Past was released in October. It's FREE! Excited. The numbers look good. It's # 4,578 at Barnes and Noble. Not as well on Amazon, but it's not free yet. Waiting patiently...

The Path Now Turned
Coming Soon!
So join me this week on Novel Works. A lot of great books and a lot of great gift ideas!