Wednesday, December 7, 2011

London Broil

The sequel to Wendy and the Lost Boys was released on December 6th.
             Thank you to all my fans and friends! The response has been wonderful.


A little excerpt:


I had no idea how long I’d been unconscious, but when I awoke I really had to pee. My wrists were bound in front of me with plastic strips cutting into my flesh. The strips weren’t real Flex-Cuffs. They were more like flimsy garbage bag ties. The room was moving round me. When it finally slowed, I focused on the face of Dame Judi Dench and then a second Dame Judi. It was enough to make me forget about my bladder. There were two kidnappers with me, both wearing masks. One Judi wore a pinstripe brown suit and was at least fifty pounds overweight; the other wore khaki shorts and had skinny knees like a baby elephant and ears to match.
I jumped to my feet shrieking at them. “Algy Green, I’d recognize you anywhere! And Nobby Seemore? Idiots! Take off the masks! Let me go you fools.” I was looking at a matched set of morons. I rubbed my face. “I must have ‘kidnap me’ stamped on my forehead, or are you all members of some eccentric kidnappers’ cult?”
Algy walked toward me with his hands on his hips. “Keep it down. Nobby may look like a side of beef, but he can be lethal. So just watch your mouth, missy!”
They took off their masks, powder fluming from both heads.
“Is that hair thing genetic?” I asked as I nodded at the clouds around their noggins.
“No… it’s just talcum powder.”
Nobby grabbed me and pushed me back into the wooden kitchen chair.
“We’re experienced at interrogation and will torture you if we have to. If you want to leave here with all your fingernails, you’ll tell us what you know about the Lost Boy.
“My fingernails are acrylic. They pop off.”
The kidnappers looked at each other. “We’ll think of something else. I’m warning you Nobby’s a sociopath.” Algy nodded his head at the tub of lard trying to look dangerous.
“How do you even know what a sociopath is?”
“Psychology is my hobby. I took a correspondence course. I’m rather good at it. Like I could tell from our first meeting you were attracted to me.”
If my hands had been free, I’d have wrung my face, but I smiled on the inside. This was going to be easy-peasy. I checked out the surroundings. We were in a seedy flat with a pull-down bed and a tin kitchen table with three mismatched chairs. A roach scrambled across the floor.
“If you don’t talk, we’ll hold you hostage until that archaeologist brings us the thirteenth Boy.”
“This dump is unacceptable! Couldn’t you find a nicer place to hold me hostage? You’re in violation of the Geneva Convention.”
Nobby looked around as if seeing the place for the first time. “Sorry. We rented it by the day. It was all we could afford.”
“I’ve been held hostage for weeks on a super-yacht with gourmet food. This slum is the best you can do? Untie me or I’ll … well it won’t be pleasant. I have friends in high places.” I struggled with the plastic bindings that held my wrists together.
The room was hot, airless, and aromatic “Wait! I smell fish ‘n’ chips!” I said jumping from my seat.
Nobby snapped, “Shut up, Goldilocks, or I’ll stuff a sock in your mouth.”
Algy and I both did a double take as Nobby tried to talk thug.
I laughed. “I’ll bet you don’t own a sock.” I managed to poke his chest with one finger. “And don’t you touch me again, you bloody ape.”
“That’s not very nice. You don’t know me well enough to call me names,” Nobby said.
Algy’s ears flapped as he forced me back onto the chair.
“You forgot to superglue your ears.” He pushed my chair over, and my head hit the slimy floor. I scrambled to stand up.
I was so woozy, I almost passed out – not just from hitting my head and whatever they used to knock me out, but it was oven-hot in the tiny room. Not a fan or an open window. If it was over one hundred degrees on the street, it had to be twenty more in the flat. I took a deep breath to clear the cobwebs. “Look guys… I don’t know where the Lost Boy is. But I’m to check in with Roger at exactly… what time is it?”
Nobby looked at his watch. “Ten minutes after twelve.”
“Thanks. At exactly ten minutes after twelve. He is going to tell me where the Lost Boy is. Hand me my purse. I’ll call him.”
They looked at each other and shrugged. Algy lifted my purse from the floor and handed it to me.
“How about cutting these bracelets off so I can reach my phone?”
“Nope.” Algy gave his head a quick shake, causing his ears to flap. “I’ll get your phone out.”
I tugged the bag away. “Get your germy hands off!”

~


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Indie Chick - Heather Marie Adkins

It is with great delight that I introduce a fellow Indie Chick. 

Heather Marie Adkins shares her personal story that led her to become an amazing author. It's an inspiring tale of recognizing the opportunities life hands you... frequently disguised as problems.






Heather Marie Adkins


Latchkey Kid


It isn’t easy being the daughter of a police officer, but it’s even more difficult to be the daughter of a female police officer. I would come to understand this early, and often, in my life.

My mom’s career has always been the whirling force of my existence.

She was sworn into the Louisville Police Department on September 10, 1990. I was five years old. For the majority of my developmental years, I bounced through a succession of caretakers—my grandmother, my father and stepmother, and a kind woman I called ‘Mama Lo’—while my mom was forging her way through her early years as a rookie officer.

I remember late nights—my mom in her uniform, her gun belt digging into my side as she bundled me into a blanket to carry me to the car. I remember mornings getting on the school bus, knowing Mom would be coming home from work just in time for me to leave. But when I remember these things, they are snippets: Only bits and pieces of the woman who is my mother. Her job was demanding and sometimes, you just have to sacrifice to make your dreams come true.

When I was ten, Mom aced the Detective test and was granted her first promotion. Suddenly, we were buying a new house in a nice neighborhood. I was in middle school, which was awkward enough, and Mom began working 4 pm to midnight.

Thus began my time as a Latchkey Kid.

I rode the bus home from school and let myself into the house around 4:30 every afternoon. Under Mom’s strict instructions, I would check to make sure all three doors of the house were locked and then I would set the alarm.

Until bedtime, I was on lockdown. No going outside—not even to the backyard. No answering the door, no looking out the windows. Just me and the dog: A tiny Shih-Tzu named Cinnamon.

I was kind of an odd child. I didn’t care much for television, though I did love to play Nintendo. I could rock on some Mario Bros. I also absolutely loved to read, particularly R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps and Ann M. Martin’s The Babysitter’s Club.

There is really only so much video gaming and reading a girl can do before she wishes she had another hobby. At least, that’s how it was for me. I was lonely. Monday through Friday, every evening alone…it sucked.

It was around this time that my daddy shared with me a novel he was writing. Daddy is a computer guru who does freelance work, but he writes for fun on the side. “Demigod” was one of the most amazing things I had ever read. Not only was I astounded that my dad had such talent, but for the first time I realized there were people behind the books I liked to read.

Armed with nothing more than spiral-bound notebooks and pencils, I began writing.

Between 10 and 16, I wrote seven full-length novels. Today, I suppose they would be considered Young Adult. Some of them were murder mysteries with strong heroines. Many of them had elements of what today is considered Paranormal Romance. Most of my early influences were from authors I enjoyed: Stine, as well as Richie Tankersley Cusick and Christopher Pike. Somewhere in the midst of all this, my mom bought me a laptop and I transferred everything to digital.

I continued to write during high school, though significantly less once I got my driver’s license. I focused mainly on short stories and built up a vast collection that I ended up losing to the nightmare of an erased floppy disk. I majored in English in high school. Earned a couple college credits. And was told multiple times by various English teachers that I had talent.

After graduation, I went away to college at Western Kentucky University. My mother had married a great man who was also a police officer. Between the two of them, I was able to go away to school and thus started several years of BAD DECISIONS. I kicked it off right, as most first-time college teens do. I drank too much and partied too hard, not making it to class, much less spending my time writing. Two years later, I came home to Louisville with my tail between my legs, no smarter than I was before.

Back at my mother and stepfather’s home, I found the situation to be stifling for the girl who had done what she wanted, when she wanted for so long. I was already rebelling—not phoning, disappearing all night—when a chance encounter on the banks of the Ohio River brought a man into my life who was not right for me in more ways than one.

Jason was an ex-con and felon. I was the daughter of two police officers. Cue ominous music.

Let’s skip the dirty parts and go to the section where I pack my things and flee into the night like a bat out of Hades. My parents change the locks, I cut off all contact, and hole up in a hovel on 3rd Street with my friend, Brent. Oh, and in the meantime, my convict boyfriend ends up back in the Slammer.

I bounced around for some time. To an apartment with my cousin, Ryan. Then to a big, fancy house outside of Nashville, Tennessee with Jason’s family. After severing ties with them, I rented a tiny studio apartment downtown. I moved a couple more times, losing money (and myself) in the process.

Not once in the years I spent chasing something, anything in Tennessee did I sit down to write.

In January 2008, I was in debt and barely hanging on to the apartment I was renting. My good-for-nothing, pot-smoking boyfriend-of-the-moment wasn’t helping with the bills because he couldn’t hold a job. My car was on the verge of repossession. I was going nowhere; the only positive thing I did have was that I was talking with my parents again.

Then the life-shattering, earth-moving event. In North Carolina, January 31st, my cousin Cory—a Marine, a firefighter, one of my best friends—was killed in a car accident. He was 25 years old.

My mom drove from Louisville to Nashville the minute she heard. She told me it was because she didn’t want me to be alone, nor did she want to tell me something so sensitive over the phone. That’s just how she is; no matter how terrible a daughter I could be, she always put me first.

Later that same night after she left, I was alone. My deadhead boyfriend wasn’t home, neither was our equally stoned roommate. I was sitting on our single mattress on the floor, looking around our bare room with its one dresser and a floor strewn with clothes. It hit me.

What are you doing? Really?

Was I just trying to prove I could do it on my own? Because I couldn’t. Obviously.

In a flash of grief and pain, I realized my life had spiraled out of control simply because I was too stubborn to admit my parents were right.

I packed my things. My dog and I climbed in the old Jeep. And we came home to Louisville.

During the upheaval of moving back, I also found something I hadn’t yet realized I had lost—my writing. Whether it was my grief over Cory or simply returning home, I don’t know—but I started writing again.

Even better…I finished the novels I had started years before and I have started (and finished) even more in the time since.

I’ve been through a lot in my life. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as some, maybe it wasn’t as rough…but it shows that a girl can make bad decisions, life-changing mistakes, and still bounce back.

My mom is a Major with the Louisville Metro Police force—the third highest ranking female on the department. She just celebrated her 21st anniversary this month. I am in a stable, committed relationship with a man who will one day be my husband. We live in a small but nice home—I’m a police dispatcher. He’s a police officer.

I was a latchkey kid and because of it, I am now a writer. I am the daughter of a female police officer, and because of that, I’m a stronger, better woman.

***

This is one story from Indie Chicks: 25 Women 25 Personal Stories available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To read all of the stories, buy your copy today.

Also included are sneak peeks into 25 novels!

My paranormal romance novel, Abigail, is one of the novels featured.

All proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer.


 

Abigail





Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Planet or Yours? by LC Evans


Our much loved Moosette, good friend, and super-author Linda Evans is battling cancer. She remains positive, and I can see no other outcome than her total cure.
Please join our chorus of prayers for her quick recovery. Despite the illness, Linda has managed to release her new romantic comedy, My Planet or Yours? I know that she’s hoping the sales will alleviate the burden of her medical expenses. This delightful romantic romp is well worth the .99 cents.
I love you Linda,
Barbara

Nora Bryant is a single Earth woman out to ban men from her life after a recent breakup. Triskam is a strikingly handsome extraterrestrial, who crash lands near her remote Arizona home. Add to this mix, a couple of misguided thugs looking for a gold rush, an overly friendly, not-so-guard dog, and a communications device that thinks it's a nanny, and you have My Planet or Yours?, a delightful new romantic comedy by LC Evans, author of the Kindle bestseller, We Interrupt This Date.
My Planet or Yours?   Kindle version   

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1107216735    Nook version

Keep up the great work Linda!



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Is Your Life Whispering to You?

By Cheryl Shireman   
I believe life whispers to you and provides direction. I call that life force God. You can call it whatever you want, but there is no escaping it. If we are open, and brave enough to say yes, life will take us in directions we never expected, and you will live a life beyond your wildest dreams.
Those whisperings often come in the form of a “crazy” idea or a nudge to move into a certain direction that seems odd or silly or daring. Then there is that moment when you think, Well, that’s weird. Where in the world did that come from?
And then there’s the second moment, when you have to make a choice. You can dismiss the crazy notion, and probably even come up with a dozen reasons why it’s a bad idea. You don’t have the time, the money, or the resources. Besides, who are you to do such a thing? What in the world were you thinking? So, you dismiss the idea. We always have that option - to say No.
But it comes back - that whisper. Sometimes again and again. But if we are practical, and safe, we can squash the notion until it is almost forgotten. Almost.
Such a notion came to me a couple of months ago. I began to think of an anthology composed of women writers. An anthology that would be published before the rapidly approaching holiday season. The title came to me almost immediately - Indie Chicks. It was a crazy notion. I was working with an editor who was editing my first two novels, and was also in the middle of writing a third novel. Working on three books seemed to be a pretty full plate. Adding a fourth was insane.
But the crazy notion kept coming back to me. It simply refused to be dismissed. So I sent out a “feeler” email to another writer, Michelle Muto. She loved the idea. I sent out another email to my writing buddy, J. Carson Black. She loved the idea, too, but couldn’t make the time commitment. She had just signed with Thomas & Mercer and was knee deep in writing. I took it as a sign. I didn’t have the time for the project either. Perhaps after the first of the year, when final edits were done on my own novels. I dismissed it, at least for the present time. I’d think about it again in another couple of months, when the timing made more sense.
A week later I surrendered, started developing a marketing plan for Indie Chicks, and began sending out emails to various indie writers - some I knew, but most were strangers. I contacted a little over thirty women. Every one of them responded with enthusiasm. Most said yes immediately, and those who could not, due to time commitments, wished us well and asked me to let them know when the book when the book was published so they could be part of promoting it.
One of the first writers I contacted was Heather Marie Adkins. Earlier this year, while I was browsing the internet, I came across an interview with Heather. The interviewer (oddly enough, Michelle Muto) asked Heather, When did you decide to become an indie author? Heather’s answer was:  About a month ago. My dad had been trying to talk me into self-publishing for some time, but I was hesitant. One night, I sat down and ran a Google search. I discovered Amanda Hocking, JA Konrath, Victorine Lieski; but it was Cheryl Shireman that convinced me. This is the field to be in. I was shocked (Astonished! Flabbergasted!). I had no idea that I had ever inspired anyone! To be honest, it was a bit humbling. And,okay, yes - it made me cry. So, of course, I had to invite Heather to be a part of the anthology. Heather not only said yes, but she also volunteered to format the project - a task I was dreading.
As Heather and I exchanged emails, I told her about how I had been similarly inspired to become an indie writer by Karen McQuestion. My husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas of 2010. Honestly, the present angered me. I didn’t want a Kindle. I wanted nothing to do with reading a book on an electronic device! I love books; the feel of them, the smell of them. But, very quickly, I started filling up that Kindle with novels.
One day, while looking for a new book on Amazon, I came across a title by Karen McQuestion. I learned that McQuestion had published her novels through Amazon straight to Kindle. Immediately, I began doing research on her and how to publish through Kindle. I had just completed a novel and was ready to submit it through traditional routes. Within 48 hours of first reading about McQuestion, I submitted my novel, Life Is But A Dream: On The Lake. Twenty four hours later, it was published as an eBook on Amazon. Within another couple of weeks it was available as a paperback and through Nook. Did I jump into this venture fearlessly? No! I was scared to death, and I almost talked myself out of it. Almost. The novel went on to sell over 10,000 copies within the first seven months of release.
As I shared that story with Heather, another crazy notion whispered in my ear - Ask Karen McQuestion to write the foreword for Indie Chicks. Of course, I dismissed it. We had exchanged a couple of tweets on Twitter, but other than that, I had never corresponded with McQuestion. It was nonsense to think she would write the foreword. I was embarrassed to even ask her. Surely, she would think I was some sort of nut. But, the idea kept whispering to me and, with great trepidation, I emailed her. She said yes! Kindly, enthusiastically, and whole-heartedly, she said yes. Karen McQuestion had inspired me to try indie publishing. I had inspired Heather Adkins. And now the three of us were participating in Indie Chicks, that crazy whisper I had been unable to dismiss.
The book began to develop, and as it did, a theme began to form. This was to be a book full of personal stories from women. As women, one of our most powerful gifts is our ability to encourage one another. This book became our effort to encourage women across the world. Twenty-five women sharing stories that will make you laugh, inspire you, and maybe even make you cry. We began to dream that these stories would inspire other women to live the life they were meant to live.
From the beginning, I knew I wanted the proceeds of this charity to go to some sort of charity that would benefit other women. While we were in the process of compiling the anthology, the mother of one of the women was diagnosed with breast cancer. Almost immediately upon learning that, Michelle Muto sent me an email. Hey, in light of *****’s mother having an aggressive form of breast cancer, can I nominate The Susan G. Komen foundation for breast cancer? I mean, one of our own is affected here, and other than heart disease (which took my own mother’s life), I can’t think of anything more worthy than to honor our sister in words and what she’s going through. A daughter’s love knows no bounds for her mother. Trust me. I know it’s a charity that already gets attention on its own. But, that’s not the point, is it? The point is there are 25 ‘sisters’ sticking together and supporting each other for this anthology. I say we put the money where the heart is. We had our inspiration. All proceeds would go to the Susan G. Komen foundation for breast cancer research.
The stories started coming in. Some were light hearted and fun to read. But others were gut-wrenching and inspiring - stories of how women dealt with physical abuse, overwhelming grief, and a host of bad choices. It was clear; these women were not just sharing a story, but a piece of their heart. I felt as if I were no longer “organizing” this anthology, but just getting out of the way so that it could morph and evolve into its truest form.
Fast forward to just a few days before publication. Heather was almost done with the enormous task of formatting a book with twenty-five authors. We were very close to publishing and were on the homestretch. That’s when I received an email. An unlikely email from someone I didn’t really know. Beth Elisa Harris and I were involved in another indie project and Beth sent an email to all of the authors in that project, including me. She attached a journal to that email. For whatever reason, Beth had been inspired to share a journal she wrote a few years ago. She cautioned us to keep her confidence and not share the journal with anyone else. I tend toward privacy and don't tend to trust easily. This is a HUGE step for me. I've only read it once since I wrote it. Intrigued, I opened the journal and began reading. It dealt with her diagnosis, a few years back, with breast cancer! Before I was even one third of the way through the journal, I felt I should ask Beth to include this journal in the Indie Chicks anthology. It was a crazy notion, especially when considering her words about privacy and trust. We didn’t even know each other, how could I ask her to go public with something so personal? I tried to dismiss the notion (are you noticing a pattern here?), but could not. I wrote the email, took a deep breath, and hit send. She answered immediately. Yes. Most definitely, yes.
Indie Chicks: 25 Women 25 Personal Stories, with foreword by Karen McQuestion and afterword by Beth Elise Harris, is now available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon. The book includes personal stories from each of the women, as well as excerpts from our novels. And it began as a whisper. A whisper I did my best to ignore.
What whisper are you ignoring? What crazy notion haunts you? What dream merely awaits your response? I urge you, say Yes. Live the life you were meant to live. Say yes today.

Stories included in Indie Chicks:
Foreword by Karen McQuestion
Knight in Shining Armor by Shea MacLeod
Latchkey Kid by Heather Marie Adkins
Write or Die by Danielle Blanchard
The Phoenix and The Darkness by Lizzy Ford
Never Too Late by Linda Welch
Stepping Into the Light by Donna Fasano
One Fictionista’s Literary Bliss by Katherine Owen
I Burned My Bra For This? by Cheryl Shireman
Mrs. So Got It Wrong Agent by Prue Battten
Holes by Suzanne Tyrpak
Turning Medieval by Sarah Woodbury
A Kinky Adventure in Anglophilia by Anne R. Allen
Writing From a Flour Sack by Dani Amore
Just Me and James Dean by Cheryl Bradshaw
How a Big Yellow Truck Changed My Life by Christine DeMaio-Rice
From 200 Rejections to Amazon Top 200! by Sibel Hodge
Have You Ever Lost a Hat? by Barbara Silkstone
French Fancies! by Mel Comley
Life’s Little Gifts by Melissa Foster
Never Give Up On Your Dream by Christine Kersey
Self-taught Late Bloomer by Carol Davis Luce
Moving to The Middle East by Julia Crane
Paper, Pen, and Chocolate by Talia Jager
The Magic Within and The Little Book That Could by Michelle Muto
Write Out of Grief by Melissa Smith
Afterword by Beth Elisa Harris
Indie Chicks is available for your Kindle on Amazon and your Nook on Barnes and Noble. You may also read it on your computer or most mobile devices by downloading a free reader from those sites.
Stop by our Facebook page -  http://www.facebook.com/IndieChicksAnthology
Follow our Indie Chicks hash tag on Twitter!  #IndieChicksAnthology


Monday, October 24, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Author Bumping - John Locke and Winslow Eliot

Virtual Bump – by Winslow Eliot
What’s it like to bump into a famous author in the air?
My own experience was like a fairy-tale. At the time of my first encounter with John Locke, I was lost in a strange, dark forest.  He was a knight in shining armor, who greeted me with a chivalrous smile and gentle greeting.
The gentle greeting was, of course, spoken in a strange language of 140 characters that I barely knew. Still, we understood each other. It was as though I patted his steed’s friendly nose, and picked up my dew-drenched skirts, and realized that now everything would be okay. Right from the start I felt we were kindred spirits in a world that was crazy, upsidedown, no-one-understands-me…
At the time, my agent was sending out A Perfect Gem to all the remaining traditional publishers, while bemoaning the fact of the hopelessness and strangeness of what was happening in the publishing world. She described editors and publicists being fired daily; she’d see them walking along the New York sidewalks, clutching their briefcases, their faces shell-shocked. Discouraging, as usual. She’d always been discouraging. She had a lot of confidence in my books though, and even after this one was rejected six times, she valiantly persisted.
By fall I’d had my twelfth rejection and I wrote my most-read-post ever: “Waiting for the Call that Never Comes…”
John read it too.
He told me my book was beautiful, which of course is enough to turn any girl’s head. He reminded me of my talent; he gave me courage.
Throughout the winter of my discontent, my brave knight gently removed my hands from the bloody brambles I was trying to climb through, and led me toward a sunny clearing: he showed me I could be independent of the messy, dark, and thorny old publishing world. He forged a path for me toward light and pleasure in creating the writing world I had been seeking all my life.
In a shimmery forest of virtual encounters, our fairy-tale-like bumps came and went, regardless of time of day, or weather, or the real distance between us. Our conversations, although spoken in Twitterese, were like two people bumping in a story and getting to know each other.
And so I followed my knight into the land of self-publishing. I’ve already published four gorgeous, exciting, romantic tales and, thanks to Good Knight John, I’ve found not just success but happiness in being in control of my writing destiny.
John stands for courage, truth, integrity, and has led so many of us – not just me – into a new land, and a new era.
It was a good bump, friend.

Winslow Eliot

Winslow Eliot is the author of (among others) Pursued, Heaven Falls, A Perfect Gem, and Bright Face of Danger (originally published by St. Martin’s Press 1993). Her WriteSpa - An Oasis for Writers welcomes visitors from all over the world and offers rejuvenating practices and virtual encouragement. She also teaches      high school, writes poetry, and loves belly-dancing,singing and playing guitar, Tarot, sacred places, reading, and people.

A Perfect Gem


                   

Friday, September 30, 2011

Author Bumping in Australia by Prue Batten

Is author bumping the same as stalking? Depends on the POV I suppose. But if I want to see a favourite author, of course I’m stalking, no doubt!

That said, did I stalk Irish writer, Cathy Kelly when I bought a ticket to ‘Afternoon Tea with Cathy Kelly’ from my local bookshop?

She was publicizing Once in a Lifetime and I excitedly turned up at the venue, a large reception room in a gracious hotel in Hobart (Australia). It was hot, the room stacked to the brim with women who buzzed like bees in a bottle, drinking tea, eating the sumptuous spread on each table and anticipating seeing a star from the writing world. Cathy bounced into the room, all blonde Irish vivacity, and began to talk about life for an hour with barely a breath, taking questions from the floor and walking and speaking the whole time. A whirlwind in motion.

I remember I wore an orange silk knit cardigan, a tiny thing, very sweet… loved it. I also remember that I had just had my first book published in the UK – a fantasy called The Stumpwork Robe. And being gauche and green, I took a copy of my book along with Cathy’s latest in my handbag. My idea was to shanghai her in a corner, get her to sign her book and then give her a copy of mine to read!

I had no need to shanghai her. As she went to sit at the table in order to sign books, she said to me as she passed, ‘I LOVE the colour of your cardigan, it caught my eye through the whole afternoon.’ We chatted about colours that we liked and both being blonde, what suited us and then I held out her book for her to sign. I passed my own book over in a brown paper bag and doesn’t that smack of something tacky! I whispered that I was a new writer and she tipped the book out of the bag and said in a loud Irish brogue, ‘Be proud of this and sign it for me!’ in front of the line of readers waiting for their turn with her. I flushed red with embarrassment, not a good look with orange, and sweat trickled under my arms as I walked past them all later, my eyes downcast, their whispers reaching my ears. ‘Who is she? What’s she written?’ Gaaah!

The other bump was at another author talk – Australian writer Posie Graeme Evans after her historical fiction The Dressmaker was published. A gregarious woman, she talked spontaneously and with great charm for ages and then sat to sign. When I reached the table, she said ‘I know you! I worked with you!’

I thought Crumbs, did you? And madly trawled back through my working life to think when and where?

‘You were at the ABC,’ she said. (Think Australia’s version of the BBC)

It was true… I had worked as a researcher/journalist years before, a lifetime before. And what frustrated me but made me realise what a memory for faces she has, is that she remembered me but (absolutely no offence to her at all) I could not remember her. She had meanwhile become a famous TV producer responsible for the globally popular Mcleod’s Daughters and the author of four best-selling hist.fict novels and yet she still recalled my face after all that time… 20 to 30 years ago!

My response in the queue? I flushed red with embarrassment (not so bad this time because there was no orange cardigan to clash with) and sweat trickled under my arms. I turned away at the end of our chat, eyes downcast, aware of the whispers. ‘Who is she? What’s she done?’ Double gaaah!

Despite me having another book published for print and both that title and the previous one released as e-books, the flush factor, let alone the confidence factor, doesn’t appear to get any better as I get older. Ah well, as they say, that’s life!

Prue just released a wonderful new book, a fantasy called A Thousand Glass Flowers as an e-book in the first week of September with the print version following later in the year.   
                       
A Thousand Glass Flowers UK               A Thousand Glass Flowers US

Side note:
I LOVE this book!
Barb


Prue on Prue ~

The best way to describe myself would be to use a quote written about me on a recent blog (http://markwilliamsinternational.com/)

Here it is: ‘I live in Tasmania, have a pet Tasmanian Devil called Gisborne, eat kangaroos’ testicles, have the most ridiculous one-star ever awarded on Amazon, and wrote a novel on Twitter…’

Believe it or not, most of it is true. My husband and I own a farm so we do have lots of kangaroos around, but the testicles? Ugh! As to the Tasmanian Devil? I wish I did have one for a pet, but as recently reported in the Huffington Post, http://huff.to/f3zxSd the poor little things are suffering the ravaging effects of a disease that is bringing them to the edge of extinction. Better the scientists and conservation zoos look after them than me. And I do have a one star on Amazon… a woman bought my first book thinking it was an embroidery book despite the blurb and then gave ME a one star despite her mistake. And yes, myself and 50 others wrote a Jane Austen style novel on twitter which was mentioned by The Times (UK) no less. Me in a nutshell!
Thank you, Prue! This has been a real delight!

Prue can be reached at Mesmered's Blog and at Prue Batten.com







Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Author Bumping with D.D. Scott

D.D. Does Duncan
Author Bumping with D. D. Scott 

Author Bumping is a talent I come by naturally. I have literally fallen into a full body bump with some pretty big name writers. These unplanned slams usually occur with hilarious results. That being said… I’ve decided to open the gates of Barb’s Wire and let other fledgling authors share their encounters with big name authors or celebrities.

First up from the Indie Authors scene is the sweetly modest and soft-spoken DeeDee Scott. I’ve invited her here today to… Omph! That hurt.

DD..:  Hmmmppphhh…”sweetly modest and soft-spoken”, my arss!  How many sweetly modest and soft-spoken chicks would agree to be buckled into this damn harness, and then, on command, jump-off a gigantic ladder?!

B… What the heck? Is that you up there, DeeDee?

DD…:  I thought you wanted me to re-live my Peter Pan’s Wendy glory days?!  That’s what you said...c’mon D. D., it will be fun.  Just put-on that harness one more time.  Yes, I know it hurts.  But think of all the fun you’ll have, provided your rigging peeps don’t once again slam you into a set-piece.  So yeah...once upon a time, I was Wendy in a huge stage production of Peter Pan.  Sorry about slamming into you, Barb. I thought you wanted a full body bump.  Here, let me help you up.  Yeah, watch out for my flying wire.  I wouldn’t want you to choke yourself on it.  That would be a real shame.

B… DeeDee! my foot’s caught in your harness. Gosh darn. Whoa... you’re pulling me up with you.

DD…:  Hell, I can’t believe you can still get your feet up that high!  Actually, I’m impressed.  But anyhoo…oh boy...shit...hang on tight, Girlfriend.  You’re about to see the world from my perspective.  Can u believe little Sandy Duncan flew in a harness just like this one?  ‘Course she was and I am actually in the damn harness.  I’m not sure how you’re gonna fair just hangin’ on to it!  Sucks to be you!  Kinda puts a new twist, though, on your WENDY AND THE LOST BOYS UpUGo, doesn’t it?!  Sorry…bad joke, given your current height from the ground and all.  And trust me, just like your Charlie Hook, I doubt an Ace bandage or duct tape are gonna save ya now!  Up…Up…Up we go!!!

B: My Wendy flies in a helicopter, but this isn’t bad. It’s sorta like a hot air balloon but painful … oops my butt is slipping. I’m falling!

Plop!

B… *waves*  Off she goes like a rough diamond in the sky. “Bye, DeeDee! Thanks for stopping by to launch WENDY AND THE LOST BOYS.

This wasn’t exactly what I envisioned for my first Invitational Author Bumping.



D. D. Scott is a Bestselling Romantic Comedy and Comedic Caper, Humorous Mystery Author and a Writer’s Go-To-Gal for Muse Therapy,  plus the #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of MUSE THERAPY: UNLEASHING YOUR INNER SYBIL and the co-founder of The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing, your destination site for Everything E-Publishing.  You can get all the scoop on her, her books, her Muse Therapy Online Classes and Live Workshops, plus juicy tidbits from her fabulous grog The Naked Hero at http://www.DDScott.com.














                                                 Ouch! My tushie!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Robert B. Parker

Robert B. Parker Author Bumping

Author Bumping is a talent I come by naturally. I have literally fallen into a full body bump with some pretty big name writers. These unplanned slams usually occur with hilarious results.

Robert B. Parker, was a lovely man. He was the Dean of American Crime Fiction and the creator of the wise-cracking, street smart Boston private eye, Spenser.  The New York Times said of the Spenser novels “ We are witness to one of the great series in the history of the American Detective Story.”

My first meeting with Robert B. Parker was not the auspicious event I would have preferred.  I slammed into him as if he were home base. All one hundred and twenty pounds of me hitting his chubby frame with an “umph!”  But let me back up and get a running start into this story.

I was attending a writer’s workshop in London. It was comprised of a small group of dedicated hopefuls who were there to hone their craft with instructors, Bob Parker, Stephen King and PD James. The event was quarterbacked by Gary Goshgarian, an amazing writer and professor of English Literature at Northeastern University.  Gary writes powerful crime thrillers under the pen name of Gary Braver. 

The workshop took place at the London Polytechnic  University campus located on  Marleybone Road across from Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and near White Chapel, home of Jack the Ripper.  It was summer and the inner city buildings were deserted. Red graffiti  decorated the walls, and swore at us in terms I’d never heard before. The buildings have since been renovated but at the time, the setting was pretty eerie.
I took a seat in the old lecture theater, laying my knapsack and duffle bag on the floor at my feet. I was pleased I had traveled light and finally got the hang of looking like a writer. I had dropped the sissy pink dresses and kitten heels after the last writers’ conference. I was determined to look like what I thought writers looked like.  Tough and ready to rock ‘n roll.

Someone spoke from the stage – can’t remember who – telling us where and how to find our room assignments in the dorms and that someone would be addressing the group, shortly. I settled back and admired the carved wood paneling and Phantom of the Opera ambience.

A professor-like woman turned to me in the dimly lit room. “Hi. My name is Shirley. I have really got to find a ladies room. Would you mind my bags for me?” 

“Sure.”  But even as I spoke I knew … I needed a loo trip, too. Now was as good a time as any. The lady on Shirley’s far side agreed to stand sentry over our bags .  My new buddy and I set out in search of a potty. The halls outside the auditorium were silent.  Slippery  polished marble floor, stone walls and dim lights but no restrooms. “Maybe they’re on the second floor.”

We walked up a level. Nothing. And the lights were dimmer.  Shirley and I agreed to take this up one more floor.  I was mentally kicking myself for not using the loo at the airport.  With the school abandoned for the summer, someone had taken to making a career out of polishing the marble floors. They were as slippery as ice.

No potty. No loo. “One more floor?” I asked. Shirley nodded, her eyes like two giant robin’s eggs behind her thick glasses.  It was awfully quiet. We made our way to the fourth floor clinging to the banister to steady ourselves.  A good tinkle was now at the top of my list of most desirable things to do in London.

On the fourth floor we finally found a ladies loo. We entered in the harsh light. The room felt like the men’s room scene in the Shining.  Jack Nicholson meets the long dead manager of the Overlook Hotel. The guy who slaughtered in family with an ax. Okay… my nerves were a bit prickly.

Shirley grabbed one stall and I hit another. I’d clicked the door shut and was in bladder emptying ecstasy when the door shook. “Open up or I’ll break the door down!” said a male voice with a cockney accent.

  Knowing it would do no good to scream, I said… “Absolutely not!”  (I’m notoriously polite.)

 “If you don’t open this bloody door I’m going to put it under the door.”  

I knew what he meant by “it.” Ick!  I said the first thing that came to mind. “You do and I’ll step on it!” Eww…

“Barbara! What’s going on?”

“Dumb question, Shirley!”

Then there was silence.  Not a word. Not a footstep.  Only the sound of Shirley whimpering from her position two stalls down.  More silence. He was either waiting outside the door with a Jack the Ripper Knife or he had run away.

I made an executive decision. “Shirley… at the count of three - let’s make a run for it. One…”

“Barbara, I can’t. I can’t get my girdle up. I’m too scared!”

Girdle? Who wears a girdle?  I was trapped in a farce with a woman in a girdle, and a guy who might be very large in certain bodily areas. “Shirley… ditch your girdle. We’re running for it! 2-3”

We broke out of our stalls like two race horses out for the Triple Crown. We hit the marble floor with Flintstone feet flying. Funny thing about running on slippery surfaces … you can build up some real speed.
At the second level… Shirley went reeling. “Turn into the skid!” I yelled at her as I grabbed the railing. She squealed and then righted herself.  By the time we hit the ground floor we must have been going a hundred miles an hour.

A group of people stood at the entrance to the auditorium. Robert B. Parker was among them. I lost control and went into a slide. I bumped into his portly belly.  Slam!

Bob and the others were concerned. Security came running. Shirley blubbered – I recounted what had happened. “What did this bloke look like?” asked the guard.  “I didn’t get a look at him. But he had a cockney accent and he must have a penis as big as a horse! The words were out before the Catholic girl in me could censor them.  I’ll never forget the look on Bob’s face.  He burst into a hearty laugh.  “He was going to put it under the door.” That made Bob laugh even harder. “I told him if he did, I would step on it.” I tried to sound rational, but it was too late. The laughter echoed off the stone and marble.

Bob Parker wasn’t my first Author Bump but he was one of my more memorable.
          

Author Bumping to be continued…   

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sample Sunday.... Wow! What a Week!

Sample Sunday

Wendy and the Lost Boys had some special first week!            

* She was published on Kindle on Tuesday.

* On Wednesday Wendy and the Lost Boys was featured on  Daily Cheap Reads 

* Big Red Chair featured Barbara Silkstone on Wednesday  Mesmered's The Big Red Chair

* Wendy made the top 100 Kindle books in humor and women sleuths on Thursday.

* Wendy made the Hot New Releases List in humor on Thursday.

And
Wendy's big sister Alice is about to release her new book cover.

For all those fans who were slightly freaked out by the Thugs Bunny, you'll be happy to see him modified and mollified... but still threatening. Now Alice and Wendy are a matched set in the Fractured Fairy Tales by Silkstone series.

But enough prattling. Let's get onto the excerpt from  

                                                    Wendy and the Lost Boys

It started almost two years ago as what had become a normal poison-ivy-like night for me. Standing at the window of our suite at The Plaza, I gazed out over the pink and white blossoms of June in Central Park wondering when I would learn to say “no.” It was a hellacious sacrifice to drop what I was doing, leave my clients in Miami and haul up to New York to be at my husband Croc’s side as he pursued investors for his hedge fund Privateer, LLC.
I thought I’d finally found a good man when I first met James Crocowski at a fundraiser for hurricane victims. We continued to bump into each other at a series of charity events over the next few weeks. After a few months of frantic dating, I woke up in the bridal suite at the Luxor Hotel in Vegas. I was Mrs. Crocowski, the thirty-nine year-old wife of a hedge fund manager. I was ready to admit I’d made a mistake.
“How do I look?” Croc did a spin in his tux.
I turned from the window to study him. The man was an optical illusion. He looked intelligent, hardly the picture of a guy who’d just lost triple-digit millions. And obviously to him he looked primo. I bit off a really nasty comment and settled for, “Stop panting. You sound like a dog.”
“Yeah, but how great do I look? We’re going to a Charlie Hook party. It’s important.”
The name meant nothing to me. This was not a charity event, despite the embossed wording on the invitations. Croc, aka the Crocodile, was set to snare a new pool of investors with his welcoming grin and promises of extraordinary returns. I was sick to my stomach with what I suspected were his less than honest guarantees. I regretted my last minute decision to join him, torn between wifely loyalty and rat-sniffing instincts.
Dressed in my size-six little black dress that screamed designer original, while I screamed inside my head, I grabbed my velvet coat and struggled into it. My highlighted hair swung loose on my shoulders. “You look fine.”
“Didn’t I buy you some bling to wear to these events?”
I shot him my dirtiest look, feeling unclean being in the same room with him.
The doorman helped us into the hired limo, and we headed to a private party in Montclair, a city in northern New Jersey. I settled back and watched the cars rat race along.
Somewhere on the Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge we were sideswiped by another vehicle. First there was a thump and then a shattering crunch.” What was that?” I yelled to our driver. The limo bounced over rough pavement, hit gravel, and came to rest against the guardrail.
Crack! A gun shot and then another ricocheted off the front right fender in a splash of sparks.
Croc threw his weight against the limo door but it didn’t open. I yanked his sleeve. “Don’t leave me here, you chicken-shit!”
We were still struggling when a tall thin man reeking of cologne and cigars got into the front passenger seat. He aimed a large gun at my husband. “Don’t move or I’ll blow your head off.”
I pegged his accent as Russian.
My precious mate tried for the door again, knocking me in the ribs with his right elbow.
The Russian flashed me a quizzical look. “You married this coward?”
“I was drunk at the time.”
He smirked. “I could never get that drunk.”
“Nobody asked you,” Croc snapped. His smart mouth was about to get us both killed.
I put my hands in the air and slid into the far corner of the car trying to fold into the upholstery.
The limo driver sat stone still, almost blasé.
“We told you three weeks. You have until Monday. Ninety-three million dollars,” the Russian said.
“I promise 18% on your money if you wait until Thursday!”
Had my husband lost his mind? Facing a gun he negotiates interest rates?
The Russian cut his eyes to me and left the car.
Croc exhaled in a whoosh. “I guess they want their money back.”
“Give it to them.”
“I don’t have it. We had operating expenses.”
It dawned on me. “Are you involved in a Ponzi?”
“No, it’s a creative new-age investment opportunity and my tireless efforts are under appreciated.” He avoided eye contact and stepped out of the car.
“Doesn’t this shake you up?” I asked the driver as I dialed 911 on the car phone. “By the way, shut off the engine.”
“Lady, welcome to the new Wall Street. You get used to it after a while.” He yawned.
Outside the limo, Croc puffed on a cigarette. I’d never seen him smoke before. There was a lot I didn’t know about this man I married after I’d downed three bottles of champagne. Drink in haste. Repent in leisure. I put my head back and closed my eyes. It was time to see a lawyer.
The police arrived in less than ten minutes. By then Croc had disappeared. Maybe he walked off into the night or maybe the Russians decided not to wait until Monday. Either way, my wish had been granted. I was Croc-less.
Along with the details of the mugging, I filed a missing person’s report then went back to the Plaza and did a happy dance in our suite. My husband had abandoned me. Confirming my morning flight back to Miami, I changed rooms and for safety’s sake registered under my maiden name… Wendy Darlin. 
                                                           ~

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wendy and the Lost Boys... Now live on Kindle!


Pirates, and Ponzi's, and ex-husbands at sea.
Special agents with Johnny Depp eyes.
Captain Hook overdosing on UpUGo
As Wendy tracks a murderer... or two.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Coming August 2011 on Kindle

Sneak Preview of Wendy & the Lost Boys



When a deathbed promise leaves Wendy trapped on a super-yacht with Ponzi-king,Charlie Hook, she's forced to join the pirate on a quest to recover his hidden treasure. Along for the adventure are SEC Investigator, Roger Jolley who kindles a spark in Wendy with his ‘Johnny Depp’ eyes, and Jaxbee a mysterious golden haired young woman. Milton the dog and Stillpork the pig add their passionate cross-species love affair to this tale of outrageous plot twists and over-the-top characters.

This is a modern morality tale that takes the reader on an action-filled ride with memorable characters and lots of laughs along the way. It’s Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone while still remaining faithful to the original Peter Pan and Wendy... Consuelo Saah Baehr