Category Archives: Industry News

RWA Golden Heart Finalist Valerie Bowman: No one said it would be easy

Valerie Bowman, a 2011 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist, will reveal her path to publishing her debut novel Secrets Of A Wedding Night this Saturday, June 30.

The New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Kleypas described the novel as being “the most charming and clever debut I’ve read in years.”

Sadly, Secrets Of A Wedding Night is not to be released until Sept. 25, which probably means it is in the early stages of promotion.  Looking on the positive side, for all you reviewers out there you can hit up NetGalley to see if you can score a review copy from St. Martin’s Press.

For everyone else, we get to ease the anticipation by asking ourselves how did Miss. Bowman reach such success?

Well for one she did not rush the process.

Starting the draft of her debut novel July 2010, during the creative process of creating the draft, she spent ample amount of time conducting the necessary research to create a believable world.

Miss. Bowman will describe more about her writing process, but I am warning you, it is structured. Having plot, characterization, and GMC is a must before she ever places pen to paper or finger to keyboard.

Just to give you a quick lesson, GMC stands for goals, motivation, and conflict. It requires the author to answer some questions for each of the main characters such as: what do they want, what is keeping them from getting it, and why? By the end of the analysis process, one has a chart.

Such research can take several days, but as Miss. Bowman will disclose in her Saturday Interview, no one said it would be easy. Come back to see what keeps her motivated to achieve success in the publishing industry this Saturday.

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New release: Wings of Hope

Title: Wings of Hope

Author: Hillary Peak

Genre: Literary Fiction

The letter said he was dying, that’s all Jules Weinstein knows when she leaves her life in San Francisco and moves to New York City to be with her father.  She goes for the remarkable opportunity to really know her father. She never dreamed he had liberated a concentration camp, dealt cards to Bugsy Siegel or saved the life of a Black Panther. Wings of Hope is a road trip through the memories of a man making peace with his life.  Little does she know that by getting to know her father, she will find herself.  While her father struggles with whether his life was meaningful, Jules discovers that her father’s last gift to her is the ability to reach for her dreams.  Her journey teaches her that “the goodbye” is sometimes the most heartbreakingly beautiful part of life.

Author Bio

Hillary Peak is a recovering idealist. She became a lawyer to change the world and is still somewhat shocked that didn’t occur. Now, her goal is to retire from practicing law and write novels that people love. She is currently a practicing attorney in the District of Columbia. She lives with her family in Alexandria, VA.


Book Excerpts

Excerpt 1:

Gingerly, without spilling my tea or setting it down, I reached over and pulled the envelope from the stack.  I tried to open it without letting go of my tea, but that proved impossible.  Setting the tea down, I ran my finger along the edge and pulled out the letter within.

Daughter, I’ve had some bad news–it seems I have an inoperable brain tumor.  I’ve been seeing six specialists.  They all had the same thing to say, “You’re dying.”  So, it seems I’m dying.  They are saying I have three months to live.

This is hard for me to ask, but I would like you to come and stay with me to the end.  There are things I’ve always wanted to tell, but never got around to it.  Seems if I don’t do it now, I’m never going to have the chance.   I’ve spent a lifetime trying to make my mark on the world, but as I look back now, I missed out on you.

I know it is a lot to ask, but please, come.

Love, Dad

My hands began to tremble; my chest tightened.  Dying?  That couldn’t be right.

Excerpt 2:

As we sat at the table sipping coffee, I ventured my first question, “Dad, what were your parents like?  You haven’t told me much about them, except that your mother had more brains in her pinkie than you’ve ever had.”  I worried I wouldn’t have time to find out all I wanted to know.

He looked up, surprised.  “Haven’t I told you about them?”

I shook my head.  “But I’d really like to know more about them–especially what they were like.”

A smile spread across his face, “Really?  I can’t believe that.  My mother would have loved you–eaten you with a spoon.  Remember when I took you to Fiddler on the Roof?”

I nodded, not wanting to break the spell by speaking.

“You were horrified that Golda hadn’t even met Tevya before they were married?”

I nodded again.  That had horrified me, I couldn’t imagine not falling in love, courting, all that comes with the fun of meeting someone special, dressing up to go out, etc.  The coffee mug warmed my hands, as I listened enraptured.

“Well, my parents were married like that.”

Rather than actually seeing it, I felt my jaw hit the floor.  “You’re kidding!”  I exclaimed without thinking.

“Nope.”  He shook his head, watching me with amusement.“They’d never even seen one another.  Married in a little village in Poland called Tarnapole.  It is gone now–burned to the ground by the Nazis, I think.”  His eyes misted over, but continued anyway.  “My mother got pregnant with your Aunt Rebecca almost immediately.  My dad was a barrel maker–and a fine woodworker.  He made furniture for people as well.  Six months after Rebecca was born, my mother got pregnant again–with Aunt Rachel.  The pogroms went on at that time, and getting worse every day from what I gathered from my parents.  Money and food were running out.  It was quite desperate.  My father decided to come to America, make some money with my mother’s brother who already lived here in New York, then send for my mother and the two girls.  He left taking nearly two months to get to New York.  It was barely three weeks after he stepped onto Ellis Island when World War One started.  My mother and your aunts were trapped for the next three years.  For a while, my dad could get in touch with them.  He sent money, but after about a year, the lines were totally cut off.  He didn’t know where they were, if they were even alive.  As far as I know, he kept working, saving money.  My mother on the other hand, was starving.  The pogroms were continuing.  The Cossacks were riding through villages, raping women and running everything that moved through with a sword.”  He licked his lips, concentrating, clearly thinking about what it must have been like for his mother.  My hair stood on end.

“One day, my mother was in the town rather than at their farm when the Cossacks came riding in.  One grabbed my mother around the waist and lifted her onto the horse while he was moving.  He intended to rape her in the saddle and kill her.  She grabbed his pistol from out of the holster around his waist.  She shot him dead as they rode.”

My mouth was open and my eyes were far bigger than saucers.  My dad laughed at my expression.  “I know.  Totally amazing–she was an amazing woman.  She never told me that story.  Her brother told me after she died.  I remember saying to him, ‘My Mother?’  I couldn’t believe it.”

“What happened?”  I asked mesmerized.  “How did she get away with it?”

He nodded solemnly.  “I asked the same question.  She rode back to the farm.  Her brothers buried the body.  They slaughtered the horse and ate the meat—they couldn’t keep it, even though it would have been great for the farm, because it would have aroused suspicion and questions–but it was no longer safe for her or your aunts.  People had seen it happen.  They knew it wasn’t long before someone turned her in for a loaf of bread.”  He bit the inside of his cheek, just a bit; frightened for them even though he knew it turned out alright.

“So she took what she could carry, along with my sisters and started walking to America.”

“Walking?  Are you serious?”  I literally could not imagine walking thousands of miles.

“Yep.  She and my sisters hid in the woods during the day and walked at night for months.  Eventually, she joined a refugee line.”

“How long did it take?”  I couldn’t imagine.  The fear I felt hearing about it was palpable–what must it have been like to go through something like that?

“Two years.”

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Book reviewers needed? Connect with Summer Lane

 Summer Lane, Author of  Snappy Social Networking: How to Dominate the Blogosphere & Everything in Betweenwill divulge tips and tricks authors should use when writing for a blog this Saturday, June 16.

Not only do you want to check out Lane’s book on Amazon, but you definitely want to add Miss. Lane to your list of free book reviewers.

Aimed at giving independent and self-published authors a presence on the web, Lane hosts Indie Mondays on her blog, Writing Belle.

“I spend a lot time reading indie books,” Lane said in her interview. “And I think self-publishing is well on its way to becoming the way for an established author.”

Lane reviews young adult and new adult genres. For all you memoir and biography writers, you can think, ‘Finally!’ Yes, Miss. Lane is also the answer to your book reviewing needs.

Do not be afraid to connect with Lane while waiting for Saturday to roll around. Time is of the essence and Writing Belle will provide you much needed inspiration from successful self published authors in the meantime.

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Release day party for Want by Stephanie Lawton!

Forbidden fruit can be the sweetest—or the most dangerous.

Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her.

She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.

Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

Early Praise:

“A heart-rending, romantic, and compulsively readable debut. You will remember Juli and Isaac for a long time to come!” –R.A. Nelson, author of Teach Me and Throat

“A powerful masterpiece, exploring tough issues, sweet love, and high stakes…”– Aubrie Dionne, Author of “Paradise 21”

“This story opened my eyes to how exciting contemporary YA romance can be” – Lisa Voisin, Author of “The Watcher”


Buy the book now at Inkspell Publishing Store and enjoy a special EXCLUSIVE 30% discount! Offer valid only till 14th June!

Curious about some “behind-the-curtain” scenes? Read her short story “Aftertaste” for free!

Maryann Reid: guerrilla marketing book strategies to catapult your career

When one thinks, “how to market my book,” they should think Maryann Reid.

When Reid released her third novel Marry Your Baby Daddy, she used event marketing to catapult her book into the limelight with a grassroots movement centered around social issues her readers could identify with.

Marry Your Baby Daddy Day was “a group wedding specifically for unmarried couples with children” that took place September 29, 2005, John Stossel and Eric Hanan wrote in an article named after the event for  ABC 20/20.

It is just one of the things Reid has done to establish herself as a brand and a publishing powerhouse.

If one wants to sell books, they have to get out there and connect with their readers.

How are you going to do this?

On Saturday, June 9, Maryann will be featured on my blog. Because she has made appearances on CNN, The CBS Early Show, and The Wendy Williams Experience,  she will give tips on how to create a video presence and a market for your novel.

Reid coaches writers and entrepreneurs in her Sell It Before You Write It Bootcamp, equipping those serious about a successful career on creating a market that will attract agents and publicity.   Please check out her website, connect with her through social media, and read her biography to learn more.

Maryann Reid BIO

Award-winning author (St. Martins Press) and social entrepreneur Maryann Reid has been featured by countless media outlets including USA Today, Essence, Glamour, The CBS Early Show, and The Wendy Williams Experience.

Maryann’s first book Sex and the Single Sister: 5 Novellas was published by St. Martins Press when she was just 25 years old. At that time, Maryann had no idea that her journal entries would become characters and later become a book. But she quickly learned the power of the media and pop culture influence on publishers and their decision-making. Because of the popularity of HBO’s Sex and The City, she hit the zeitgeist and signed her first book deal with St. Martins and the strong support of a stellar agent. Several books later, Maryann coaches others on how they can sell their own books, attract agents and publicity in half the time they would on their own.

When her third novel Marry Your Baby Daddy was published, Maryann was able to address a social issue that she cared deeply about and rally a new movement. As a result, she and her books have been profiled in The New Yorker, Newsweek,, NBC Nightly News, etc. for her innovative approach to life and solving its complex issues. Later, Marry Your Baby Daddy was optioned by Hollywood actress Holly Robinson-Peete and Dolores Robinson and is still a part of Maryann’s growing platform as social entrepreneur.

As a business coach and professional speaker, Maryann has gathered a diverse roster of credentials and affiliations:

  • · Author of 5 novels and several short stories by St Martins Press and Penguin Putnam
  • · Lecturer at various universities including St John’s University and Fordham University in NYC in Creative Writing and Business Communications
  • · Referred to as the “Oprah of Brooklyn” for her work with women and philanthropic efforts like Marry Your Baby Daddy Day
  • · Guest expert and social commentator on top-rated nationally syndicated radio shows like NPR’s Fresh Air, The Michael Baisden Show, Fox News Radio, CBS Radio, The Gayle King Show on Oprah Radio, etc
  • ·Invited by USATODAY to write a novella, Single Black Female, for the acclaimed Open Book section
  • Lifestyle expert at

Maryann has been invited to speak to some of the most innovative groups all over the country and has received over 20 million media impressions worldwide via major news outlets like ABC News 20/20, NBC Nightly News and CNN. She is a popular guest lecturer at colleges, where she has taught her publishing and media techniques to influential groups and thought leaders.

Maryann received her BA in Journalism from Fordham and developed her writing and love for news at Random House and CNN. She later received her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Miami.

Maryann has taught creative writing and nonfiction courses at major universities in NYC and Miami, FL.

She is also a certified scuba diver.

Maryann Reid: Faking It Till You Make It To A Publishing Contract

Maryann Reid believes, you should never write a book before you sell it.

This philosophy she teaches in her 4 week boot camp, Sell It Before You Write It.

This workshop begins June 6 and runs through June 27.

Reid has applied the same techniques she teaches in her boot camp to her life, allowing her to put her own spin on the term go getter.

Beginning her publishing career at age 25, she is the author of several successful novels: Mrs. Big, Marry Your Baby Daddy, Use me Or Lose me, and more.

A  professional speaker and publishing consultant, she has been seen on CNN, Oprah, Wendy Williams, and NBC.

She is more than an author, she is an entrepreneur.

That is essentially what an author, whether traditionally published or self published,  becomes as they head down the path to becoming full time writers.

There are those who believe in hard work, and then there are those who believe in working smart.

After researching and taking in all that Reid has accomplished, Reid seems to be of the latter.

Wanting to recruit others into the “working smart” club, Reid teaches how to “create influence and “pull” in the marketplace to draw publishers and agents.”

I am so excited Reid has agreed to be featured on my blog in the month of June.

To feature such a power house is an honor.

In the meantime, I invite all who are serious about learning what it takes to become a powerhouse in the publishing industry to check out Reid’s boot camp, Sell It Before You Write It.

Also connect with Reid on:

The Light-Bearer Series: When love overcomes good and evil

Title: Charmeine

Author: Emily Guido

Series: The Light-Bearer Series

Genre(s): Paranormal Romance>Angels and Vampires

Published: 2012

Format: Ebook

Book Synopsis:  Can romance develop between a heavenly Light-Bearer and a hellish vampire Blood-Hunter?

Tabbruis is a Blood-Hunter, he drinks blood to survive. Over millennia Tabbruis has wondered the Earth alone aimlessly living through many historical events.

Charmeine just came to the Earth in 1997. Little did she know her destiny was to be Queen of all the Light-Bearers?

When Tabbruis meets Charmeine the attraction is immediate and passionate. They are polar opposites and clash together in a strongly romantic and dramatic way. When she meets Tabbruis, Charmeine’s powers as a Light-Bearer, one who throws lightning, is triggered and grows exponentially.

Charmeine and Tabbruis soon find out they were made by God for each other; however, on the day God cast Lucifer out of Heaven, they were split up by some mistake. Charmeine sacrificed herself to save her Tabbruis but they were sent to Earth as total opposites and in different times. Tabbruis never remembered Heaven, Charmeine or their child. Until he met Charmeine, he did not know he was the King of Darkness and destined to be her Husband on Earth as he was in Heaven.

Once Tabbruis and Charmeine proclaim their love for one another, they have to battle their way to freedom from the evil forces on Earth.


About the Author:

Emily Guido is a new Paranormal Romance Author. She was inspired to start writing “Charmeine” because one day she got an idea of two characters that needed to have their story told. Not ever dreaming a week later she would have over a 100,000 words written. When Emily writes, it is similar to you or I watching a movie. She pictures the characters in her head going through vivid descriptions of each scene. There are so many nuances going through her mind that she cannot type fast enough.

Emily is currently editing the second novel, in “The Light-Bearer Series,” Ransom, soon to be published in May 2012. She is currently working at a College full time, and pursuing her Master of Business Administration.


Where to find/follow Emily:

Where to find/buy the Book:

Jocelyn Adams: The Glass Man

When a book trailer gives you chills, you know you have stumbled upon a read with great potential.

Jocelyn Adams has penned The Glass Man, her very first published novel.

Published by J. Taylor Publishing, an independent publisher with with a broad reach, it was released October 15, 2011.

The Glass Man tells the story of Lila Gray, a woman with telepathic abilities who soon becomes entangled in a dark romance with the beautiful creature that hunts her.

Hunted by The Glass Man, “a supernatural weapon prepared to annihilate the humans he loathes,” as is described on the website, Lila must face a secret birthright and a forbidden romance.

The book summary reads so intensely, one has to wonder where such a deep and intricate story idea came from.

“It came from a dream of a man with ice blue eyes,” Adams wrote in an interview.  

A 12-page sample of this story can be read on Adams website.

As I was reading the sample, I noticed that one of Adams strengths is her dialogue.

Her characters actually sound like real people, an achievement many writers struggle with.

Having success with The Glass Man, a book that has received great reviews on Goodreads, she is ready for more.

Adams said, her next big release, Crossing Hathaway, has just been accepted for publication with Liquid Silver Books for August 6, 2012.

When asked about Crossing Hathaway, Adams admitted that this book was not her typical genre to write.

“Crossing Hathaway is steeped with humor, and is about an I.T. girl, Evangeline Ross, who’s sworn off men,” Adams wrote. “She comes up against the big cheese of her company, Ben Hathaway, who is reclusive, charming and gorgeous, and doesn’t usually allow women into his office.  Let the sparks of sexual tension fly!”

If anyone is thinking Fifty Shades Of Grey, we are of one mind.

I love when I am able to finish a series by one author, find books that are similar by other authors, and continue my little fantasy.

I look forward to featuring this newly published author on my website on May 5.

Come by then to read about this author’s journey.

In the meantime connect with the author and check out her sample of The Glass Man on her website.

Blogger Roxie Hanna: Building a following

Roxie Hanna’s blog is a pit stop for “no fee” writing opportunities, quirky tidbits and writers’ resources.

On Sunday, May 6, Roxie will reveal her vision, journey, and blogging tips to building a following.

When scanning the homepage of Roxie’s blog, Sunday Funnies will welcome you into the warm atmosphere of Roxie.

Once you have your “funny bone” tickled, you will not want to leave.

Soon you will be scanning through the motivating author spotlights and reading up on industry news as if it is the one thing keeping the lights on at home and your family at the dinner table.

The blog began way back in 2009, Roxie Hanna told me in an interview.

“I watched my stats like a hawk and soon found out this was like waiting for water to boil!” Hanna said.

Learning she had to take a step back and reexamine why she began the blog in the first place, it led her to creating the best blog she could.

“I’m not in it to win a popularity race,” Hanna said.

Her new philosophy has paid off.

Seeing that blogging is one of the tools authors use to get their work out there, I wanted to provide some useful links on blogging.

Visit Hanna’s blog as well, for her website is a great example on how blogs can be structured.

Also do not forget to check back for her interview this Friday, May 4, and connect with Hanna via her:

Useful links

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Rebecca Hamilton: From self-published to represented

Rebecca Hamilton, author of The Forever Girl, will be featured on my blog this Saturday, Apr. 28.

Having recently garnered attention from an agent in Italy, she will share a glimpse into what she did to make her dreams come true.

The Forever Girl has shown great success, selling 2600 copies as of February and March, as said on her publisher’s website, Immortal Ink Publishing.

The story tells of how a young girl’s life changes when she messes up a spell. What was once a simple life waiting tables now becomes filled with vampires, witches, black magic, and a particular century-old shape-shifter.

The book has received a big following on the internet, convincing me to rush out and spend my 2.99 for a copy.

If I read it, a review will soon follow.

In the meantime, check out Hamilton’s interview this Saturday.