Books, cats and fine wine are the best things in life.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sue Parritt Shares a Day in Her Life @OdysseyBooks #SannahAndThePilgrim #AmWriting #SciFi #Dystopian

10:00 AM Posted by Quality Reads UK , , , No comments
A day in the life of Sue Parritt

The day begins around 7.15 when my husband, an early riser, brings me a cup of tea in bed and slips back in beside me. I savour each sip; this first cup somehow superior to all those that follow, ponder between brief conversation yesterday’s paragraphs awaiting attention. Out of bed no later than 7.45, lingering, daydreaming or staring into space isn’t an option for this well-organised writer. Breakfast a brief affair: muesli, toast, and another cup of tea. Next item on the agenda is the morning walk along the cliff top. I walk at a reasonable pace for half an hour, one day one direction, next day other direction. Where tangled trees give way to coastal shrubs or grassy banks the view is magnificent and ever-changing. Mirror-smooth or white-capped, I never tire of Port Philip Bay. Then it’s back home to domestic deeds or a quick trip to the shops, cursing long queues in the bank and post office, toddlers running riot in the supermarket, the spiralling cost of household necessities. Like the late Elisabeth Jolley, I can’t settle to writing until these chores have been completed.

Mid-morning I begin the key business of the day, the pursuing of a long-held dream, reward for long years supplying others’needs. In order to focus my mind, particularly if writing a first draft, I return to the previous day’s work, rereading and editing obvious errors. Major edits are generally postponed for the second and subsequent drafts but as a reminder I insert directions such as ‘extend para’ or ‘rewrite whole chapter’ into the text in upper case. When ideas pertinent to a different part of the narrative surface, I scribble them on paper, adding them later to a file of notes on the computer. A cataloguer in my former life, I am meticulous about organising my files in an easily retrievable form. Atypically, my desk is often a mess with pieces of paper scattered around, and by the end of the day, numerous empty teacups, plates and here I confess to a bad habit, crumbs caught in the keyboard!

Writing is a lonely business and occasionally a phone call or knock at the door can be a welcome intrusion (as any writer will attest) when staring at a problem paragraph threatens to cause meltdown or migraine. However, the longer I spend writing, the more I resent intrusions and am considering having a studio built in the garden (no phones, no temptation to run and answer the door) in order to achieve the desired peace and quiet.

Around five or six, depending on whether I’m on a roll or literally stuck for words, I save my document to a USB despite the fact I have a Seagate backup plus drive and venture into the kitchen to prepare the evening meal. Sometimes, in an attempt to ignore my secondary role, I set the oven timer for an hour or so and settle back down in front of the computer. Oh, for a string of servants to perform those boring but essential domestic tasks!

Sue Parritt author pic

About the Author:
Sue Parritt is an Australian writer, originally from England. Her poetry and short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies in Australia, Britain and the USA. After graduating BA University of Queensland 1982 (majors: English Literature, Drama and French), Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to pursue her long-held dream of becoming a professional writer.  Since then she has written Sannah and the Pilgrim, numerous short stories and poems andFeed Thy Enemy, a feature film script set in Naples in 1944 and 1974 and based on a true story (Sue is currently seeking a producer). She recently completed a second novel Safety Zone and is now writing a sequel to Sannah and the Pilgrim  the working title is Pia and the Skyman.

Sannah and the Pilgrim by Sure Parritt

General Information - Sannah and the Pilgrim by Sue Parritt
ISBN: 978-1-922200-14-3
Genre: Speculative Fiction / Sci-fi / Dystopian
Release Date: 26 April 2014 (Paperback and ebook)
Publisher: Odyssey Books (


When Sannah the Storyteller, a descendant of environmental refugees from drowned Pacific islands, finds a White stranger on her domestep, she presumes he’s a political prisoner on the run seeking safe passage to egalitarian Aotearoa. However, Kaire’s unusual appearance, bizarre behaviour, and insistence he’s a pilgrim suggest otherwise.

Appalled by apartheid Australia, Kaire uses his White privileges to procure vital information for Sannah and her group of activists regarding new desert prisons that are to be built to house all political prisoners. The group plans sabotage but needs help, and Kaire is a willing accomplice. But when Sannah turns Truthteller and threatens to reveal the country’s true history, even Kaire’s White privilege and advanced technology cannot save Sannah and her daughter from retribution.

About Sannah and the Pilgrim:

Sannah and the Pilgrim is a tale of courage, defiance and deceit that asks the reader, ‘Would you risk death by telling the truth about your country, or would you play it safe and spend your life as a storyteller?’

Are you concerned about our governments’ (both past and present) failure to act on climate change and the detention and inhumane treatment of refugees? I am, so I have drawn on contemporary conservative attitudes to present a dystopian view of a future Australia in my speculative fiction novel Sannah and the Pilgrim. Read it and discover what could happen to our‘lucky’ country.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Promote Your Book Online by @DPDenman #WriteTip #AmWriting

The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Promote Your Book Online

There is a marketing tradition created by master salesmen that says if you want to sell a product you need to make sure everyone knows it exists and you need to be aggressive in your promotion. Think Tony Robbins.

Some authors adopt that attitude without realizing you can’t use that method to sell books. Maybe juicers and spot removers but not fiction.

Most authors know better than to go to people who follow them on social media and pitch their book. Some still haven’t gotten the message. You don’t approach friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter with private messages asking them to read your latest story. It’s the equivalent of walking up to a stranger on the street and shoving a pamphlet in their face. It makes an incredibly bad impression and most people will just throw it in the trash without giving it any real consideration.

Successful authors don’t promote their books. They promote their brand and there is a big difference. When people learn who you are and what you do, curiosity will lead them that last step to looking at your books. In other words, authors need to act more like politicians than car salesmen. Meet some people. Shake some hands. Get involved in a few discussions. If people like the interactions and comments, they will want to know more. Then you can lead them to your website and tell them about your books. That’s also why behavior online is so important. If readers (and other authors, who are also readers) are offended by what you post or turned off by your attitude, that moment of curiosity will never happen and you’ve lost a sale.


Buried lies never die.

Liam has a new career, a new condo, a newfound sense of control and none of it is quite right. Shadows drift behind the bright sparkle of his life; things he's determined to ignore until a shocking revelation makes it impossible. With the help of Justin and a new friend, Liam must face the life he's buried.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Contemporary Gay Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with DP Denman through Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#ReviewShare #BookReview #Mystery - Steps Into Darkness (Shakertown Adventure) by @BenSWoodard

Steps Into Darkness (Shakertown Adventure #2)Steps Into Darkness by Ben Woodard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book started off slow for me but I recommend that you stick with it. As the mystery develops, the plot becomes tighter and you breeze by the pages as quickly as you can. One of the downfalls of teen mysteries is that sometimes authors are unable to create natural dialogue or settings. This book wasn’t like that.

I enjoyed the story, the editing was close to perfect and the cover was perfect for the title. Simple, to the point and it automatically evoked “mystery” in a reader’s mind. The character interactions were important to me because it was this way that I connected most with the plot and overall story.

For parents or schools looking at setting up book clubs for younger folk, this is a book that must be included. A truly, marvelous read.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 10, 2014

Seven Things You Don’t Know About "Moxie’s Problems" by Hank Quense @hanque99 #Fantasy #SciFi

8:00 AM Posted by Quality Reads UK , , , 1 comment
Seven things you don’t know about Moxie’s Problems

The original Moxie story was a short story that I couldn't sell. I loved Moxie’s character and I was determined to put her into her own novel.

I was half-way through Moxie’s Problems when I put it on the side to write a series of non-fiction books called Self-publishing Guides. I did that because I got angry at all the misinformation floating around the internet on self-publishing.

I was able to return to the Moxie novel fairly easily because I always develop a series of mind-maps for my novels before I start to write the first draft. I had maps for the major characters, the plots and subplots and a third which is a graphical synopsis. These mind-maps allowed me to get back into the novel very quickly.

Some of the adventures in the novel, especially for King Artie were originally short stories I wrote a long time ago, but were never published. The Dogs of War and the Isolde adventure are two such short stores. The initial football game between the Knights and the Saxons was a short story I sold four or five times.

Originally, the novel was set in a fantasy land and Moxie was a dwarf. Her three knightly companions were a dwarf, an elf and a human. The fantasy setting conflicted with my plan to use Camelot as a backdrop so I had to change it.

The Camelot background bothered me for a while. The problem was my story bashed against the traditional Camelot legends and not in a small way. My Camelot was radically different and I felt it would annoy reads who hoped for a retelling of the traditional legends. My solution to this problem came with a sprinkling of scifi dust. Once I realized my Camelot took place in a parallel universe, I had my justification and it even encouraged me to develop more non-traditional aspects of Camelot.

One character I really enjoyed writing about was Tristan. In the story he is Camelot’s Bard and the world’s worst poet. I wrote a number of doggerel poems for him. I also made him a schizophrenic. His warrior self and his poet self are in a constant battle for supremacy of his mind. His poet self wants to soothe enemies with words, while his warrior self wants to attack audiences with his sword.

Moxie's Problem

Do you enjoy untypical coming-of-age stories? Well, you won’t find one more untypical that Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outsider her father’s castle. Until now. The real world is quite different and she struggles to come to grips with reality. The story take space against a backdrop of Camelot. But it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe. So, all bets are off!

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy, Sci-fi
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Hank Quense through Facebook & Twitter

Friday, October 3, 2014

@KatDeFalla Shares 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming a Published Author #WriteTip #SelfPub

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming a Published Author

The work has only just begun! Start marketing right away. Don’t wait until you “get the call” to set up your website, FB Author Wall, and Twitter accounts. Start a blog and get a following.

People will surprise you. Family members you think will for sure read and love your book won’t open it and people you NEVER thought would read it, do and write a fabulous review.

Ah yes, reviews. Grow some thick skin. You can’t make everyone happy and aren’t expected to. Revel in the great reviews and try to find the constructive criticism in the negative ones. Then move on.

Expect to spend more money than you make at first. This is a business and an investment. You have to spend money to help spread the word. The rewards will be worth it – I promise!

Your publisher needs you to help solicit reviews. Even if your publisher makes your book available to review sites, you still need to do legwork on your own and go out there and ask for reviews yourself.

Every step of this journey is fun! Most writers like writing more than editing, but this whole process has so many aspects. Go ahead, and enjoy all of them!

Publishers have others authors. It’s true, even after you sell the book that your publisher has fallen in love with, they really are quite busy people that have also fallen in love with other authors. This doesn’t mean they have forgotten about you! Don’t feel bad emailing them whenever you have questions or concerns. They are there to help. I’d had the privilege of being published with both The Wild Rose Press and Crescent Moon Press (as Kat Green). Both publishers are top notch!

The publisher is expecting your second book to be done and polished the day your first book comes out, so get writing!

Other authors are in your same situation. Network, network, network. You will love having these friends as sounding boards as your career progresses.

People will come you know you in your public circles as “the author” – Wow! Embrace this new title, you deserve it!


Calise Rowe's question of who walks among us leads her into an ancient war between seers and demons.
For years, Calise Rowe has been able to sense unusual energy from people, making her believe she is different. Pulled into an ancient war raging for centuries between demon hunters and seers, she's about to find out she's right.

Her search for the truth leads her to Lucas Rojas, a seer of angels and demons who walk the earth shrouded from normal human eyes. He's hidden his gift for years and refuses to endanger Calise by sharing it with her.

In the sultry Costa Rican Jungles, their worlds collide. As their passion and desire ignite, so does the ancient war between demons and seers. Will their combined efforts be enough to save themselves and the entire human world, or will their new found love be their downfall?

2nd Place Winner in the LuckyCinda Book Contest 2014 for Paranormal
Semi-Finalist in the KBR’s Best Kindle Book Awards 2014
Indie Book of the Day Award Winner July 25, 2014
Genre:  Mainstream Paranormal/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Link to Book Trailer:
kat head-shot
Author Kat de Falla was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she learned to roller skate, ride a banana seat bike, and love Shakespeare thanks to her high school English teacher.

Four years at the UW-Madison wasn’t enough, so she returned to her beloved college town for her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and is happily employed as a retail pharmacist where she fills prescriptions and chats with her patients.

She is married to her soul mate, classical guitarist, Lee de Falla and raising four kids together ala the Brady Bunch.

Kat’s Links:
Author Website:
Twitter: (message me to join my street team!)
Lee’s Bio/Info:

Composer Lee de Falla, a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was raised in a family of professional musicians. He picked up his father's guitar at age eight and hasn't put one down since. Although well versed at playing all genres of music, his love is composition for modern classical guitar and instrumental orchestrations. He is finishing work on two CD's which will be available later this year.
Composer Website: where FREE music requests are available that accompany THE SEER’S LOVER:
  1. Anna’s Dance is a jazzy bossa nova meant to accompany chapter two.
  2. Shane's Torment is a churning soundscape of despair meant to accompany chapter six.
  3. Cali and Lucas First Dance is a Latin fusion instrumental love song meant to accompany chapter twelve.
As I touch on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) in this book, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to

 Buy Links:


She traced a circle in the sand with her finger.

Why would she disclose her whole existence to someone she’d just met? Someone who talked so little about himself that she found herself talking to fill the void. Saying things she could barely admit in her own head.

His hand covered hers. “I’m lonely, too. Getting to know you this week has been the brightest point in my life and I don’t want you to leave, but I know the only place you’ll be safe is far away from me.”

She swallowed. He had read her mind.

He lay down on his back and closed his eyes. “Cali, you know when you hear a song for the first time and you kind of ingest it? You can’t possibly know right away that it will be one of your favorite songs for the rest of your life. A classic.”

“Yeah.” She hoped he was going somewhere good with this.

“That first listen,” he continued, “you pick up a little of the melody and some lyrics that catch you. But when the song ends, you have to hear it again because you want to memorize all the words and sing along. After you hear it a few times and learn the words inside and out, then you begin to let the melody seep inside you. Next thing you know, you’ve completely digested the song and find yourself humming it while you are doing nothing, like shaving or driving your car. Finally, the song becomes so ingrained it becomes a part of you. Forever. You can recall it and it’s with you whenever you need it. Am I making any sense?”

She nodded, blinking back the tears fighting to fall.

“Cali, I don’t want you to go back because you’re my favorite song.”
Acclaim for THE SEER’S LOVER:
“Distinctly haunting and deliciously dark, The Seer's Lover is the debut novel from author Kat De Falla and it’s one to be read with the light on! A paranormal romance, it may not howl originality as the age old forces of Angels and Demons muster for yet another face off, but De Falla certainly distinguishes herself with the quality of her writing and the ability to weave a riveting and intriguing plot. With a meticulous eye for detail her characters are skillfully drawn, shunning the genre tendency towards stoic stereotypes to deliver flawed real world personas that quickly feel familiar and are ultimately endearing. The action is generous and well described, the twists served with perfect timing, it has all the elements readers expect from the best in genre and they are sure to keep the pages turning at a frantic pace.”
The Seer's Lover is truly an unusual creation in the e-world: it comes with musical interludes (which can be downloaded for free) and it tells of Calise, who has long known she has different abilities than most. What she hasn't realized is that her powers will draw her into an ancient conflict between good and evil, pitting her against some of the strongest adversaries in the universe.
If all this sounds familiar, it's because the classic 'good-versus-evil' plot has been done time and again: but as with any good book, it's not just the plot that makes for an exceptional read, but how it's done.
Kat de Falla places her main protagonist on a journey of discovery that leads to the Costa Rican forest, there to encounter a man who (much like herself) has hidden his abilities. Lucas can actually see the demons and angels who walk the earth; but not only has he concealed his abilities; he doesn't want to endanger her by sharing his gift.
What evolves is paranormal romance fiction at its best: a story steeped in passion with the overlay of deadly dangers and powerful talents woven into an ever-changing plot.
Now, the genre of paranormal romance has rapidly expanded. Over the last ten years romance writers have added a variety of elements to spice their creations, and entry into paranormal realms is just one of these newer devices. Another device used here is that of music which runs through the story line as a theme so that musical passages accompany the story.
The Seer's Lover is all about building atmosphere, from its eye-catching cover of a man and a woman on an island facing down blazing red eyes in the sky to these musical interludes that reinforce action.
And this atmosphere is created right from the start, where Calise is already involved with Lucas: "Why would she disclose her whole existence to someone she’d just met? Someone who talked so little about himself that she found herself talking to fill the void. Saying things she could barely admit in her own head."
There are no pat answers here; no formula approaches that would lend too much predictability to events. Calise is alternately brave and terrified, as her abilities are yet untested but her adversaries are seasoned and powerful: "This is not going so well. I’m turning out to be a pretty shitty Buffy the Demon Slayer."
And there are surprises peppered throughout: in the form of a mother whom Calise comes to realize as the wellspring of her powers, and in the guise of a romances past and present which rise up to haunt her. There are unexpected religious experiences, there's a search to find self, and there are elements of suspense tying all of these events together.
In the end Calise faces the greatest challenge of her life - and with prior events having helped her grow, she's in the strongest position ever to find peace in her life.
The open-ended conclusion leaves room for a possible sequel but in the true style of a superior read, it's not essential that more be written: The Seer's Lover is a self-contained novel that properly wraps up its story, and will satisfy any reader of paranormal or romance fiction.
Highly entertaining by anyone’s reckoning, The Seer's Lover from author Kat De Falla is an exciting debut novel and certainly one that deserves a place on your reading shelf. It is strongly recommended.
--D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, MBR

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kelly Wilson's Thoughts on When Should You Start #BookMarketing @LiveCheap #Memoir #AmReading

11:00 AM Posted by Quality Reads UK , , , No comments
When Should You Start Marketing Your Book?

Writers no longer have the luxury of writing a great piece of fiction or nonfiction and sending it off to an editor to be made into a book. Even for those with traditional publishing contracts, the book marketing responsibilities are placed squarely on the author’s shoulders.

It took me about ten years to finish Caskets From Costco, my funny book about grief. And by the time I submitted it for publishing, I had been marketing the book for easily two years. When Caskets From Costco was finally released, people were ready to buy it.

How did I know? From an exchange on Facebook, in which I asked for people’s opinions about the book cover design and one person commented, “Quit playing with the cover already - when can I buy the book???"

That’s when I knew that I had been doing a good job marketing my book. Regardless of whatever stage you find yourself in writing or publishing your book, it’s never too late – or too early – to put effective book marketing strategies in place.

Write a Good Book

Marketing comes second only to writing a really good book. Even though book marketing wants to suck the time, life and creativity from writers, it is essential to prioritize the craft of writing. Take classes and workshops, read books about writing, read for enjoyment, write every day, join a critique group, and make the most of your writing skills and talent. No amount of publicity can replace writing a book of which you are extremely proud.

Build a Website

When it comes to effective marketing efforts, start by building a foundation through creating and maintaining and quality website that belongs to you. Consider your website the home of your marketing efforts, building a place for readers and writers to come back to time and time again to connect with you.

Websites can range from expensive and complicated to cheap and simple. Decide what you want to spend on hosting and the initial set up, and then ask for help from people you know. Chances are good that a friend of yours has already gone through the process and will help you out at little to no cost. Include information about you, your books, and how to connect with you through social media to create a solid online presence.

Produce a Consistent Blog

If your website is the home of your marketing efforts, the blog is the d├ęcor. A blog needs to change often – at least once a week – so that search engines take your online presence seriously and readers come back to your writing again and again. Writing blog posts is also an excellent way to keep learning more about and practicing the craft of writing on a regular basis. Build in an email-capture system on your website so that you can gather email addresses of people who visit. You can then target your blog posts toward your consistent readers.

Maintain a Social Media Presence

Social media isn’t just about viral videos and selfies. There are actually very effective ways to connect with fellow readers and writers using social media outlets, and each one has their advantages.

A Google+ page is important to Google, so it needs to be important for book marketing.

Facebook makes it easy to build an author page.

Twitter makes it easy to connect with fellow writers, and writers seem to prefer it.

LinkedIn has a great group function and a lot of writing groups to choose from.

The trick is finding which one really works for your needs. Start with one and get to know it, then move on to another social media outlet from there to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

So when should you start marketing your book?

Is the book finished?

It doesn't matter.

Is the book published?

This also doesn't matter.

The answer is to start marketing your book NOW.

Caskets From Costco
For twenty years, Kelly Wilson thought that she had been marching through the stages of grief in a straight line. She had been following the formula, crossing each processed grief experience off her list.

Except that Kelly was totally deluded. And she didn’t discover that until Jim, her beloved father-in-law, died. She found herself drying off from her shower the morning after his death, really hoping that he couldn’t see her naked. Or, if he could, that he was averting his eyes.

From that moment, Kelly's path through grief resembled a roller coaster, spiraling and twisting and turning, circling back around. Echoes of past trauma, including childhood abuse and cheating death, would no longer be ignored. She somehow needed to get from the beginning to the end of this grief adventure, and she doesn't have a good sense of direction.

But what is always present during a journey through grief, regardless of the path chosen?


Caskets From Costco is a funny book about grief that demonstrates the certainty of hope and healing in an uncertain and painful world.

Kelly Wilson is a Portland, Oregon author and comedian who continues to sweat through writing conferences of all kinds. She is the author of Live Cheap & Free, Don’t Punch People in the Junk, and Caskets From Costco, along with numerous articles and short stories for children and adults. Kelly Wilson currently writes for a living and lives with her Magically Delicious husband, junk-punching children, dog, and cat, with a stereotypical minivan in the garage. Read more about her at

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Memoir, Humor
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kelly Wilson on Facebook & Twitter

Monday, September 29, 2014

#ReviewShare #BookReview #Horror - Imaginary Friend by Troy McCombs @sonne3

Imaginary FriendImaginary Friend by Troy McCombs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you love being surprised, this is a book for you. I must mention that despite the fact that this touches on child abuse, it is no way meant to be read by anyone who is younger than 18. There are some very strong themes of violence, bloody scenes and some younger readers may find this too much to digest.

To start, you have the old cat man’s usual rant. Guessed it yet? Sure, you have. The book cover. It’s black. It’s tacky and it despite its best effort to create an imagery of Max, all I got was, no. Knocking three images together does not make a good cover. I like the idea of it but presentation did nothing for me. Would I pick up this book based on the cover alone? No. Which is a pity because this was a fantastic read.

The mystery of Nathan’s imaginary friend and the way it was unfolded really appealed to me. The author’s writing style was easy to connect with. Overall story progression and plot was good, made more interesting by side characters Nathan meets along the way.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Amanda Lee on Querying Publishers & Mistakes to Stay Away From @GayleTrent #AmWriting #WriteTip

8:00 AM Posted by Quality Reads UK , , No comments
1)      Don’t study your markets.
You wouldn’t choose a babysitter you know nothing about. You wouldn’t choose a bank that was housed in a tent on the side of the road. Why would you throw your manuscript to every publisher you can find without first knowing that publisher’s reputation, contract terms, and specialty?

2)      Once you know your markets, ignore the rules.
Go ahead and submit your horror novel to Harlequin. There’s no romantic subplot at all, but, hey, they need to learn to branch out, right? Your book is so good that it transcends things like genre.

3)      Begin your query letter with, “I know this isn’t the type of stuff you usually publish, but—“
When I was acquiring manuscripts for a small press, I actually got a query letter that began with those very words. When, out of the goodness of my heart, I wrote the writer a very nice letter explaining why he should only submit his manuscripts to editors whose houses do publish the type of work he was trying to sell, he wrote me a scathing reply. Even if he’d later written something that we’d have loved, I wouldn’t have considered it because he’d burned his bridge.

4)      Burn bridges.
Only be nice to important people, because no one will ever get promoted or demoted in this business. Besides, it takes so much effort to be nice! When someone gives you helpful advice, throw it back in their faces, especially editors. How dare they criticize an expert like you? They’re not really trying to help you make your manuscript better anyway; they just like being mean.

5)      Follow up…every few hours.
What parent hasn’t ridden in a car with a child and delighted in hearing Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Editors feel an affectionate glee for writers who constantly ask, “Did you get my manuscript? Have you had time to look it over yet? Do you like it? Are you considering it for publication?” Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? If said editor finally does get back to you with suggested revisions, see Number 4.


Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer is about to have the rug pulled out from under her....

Marcy can’t wait to see the new exhibit at the Tallulah Falls museum on antique tapestries and textiles, including beautiful kilim rugs. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to terror when, the day after the exhibition opens, she discovers a dead body behind her store, the Seven-Year Stitch, wrapped up in a most unusual fashion.

The victim appears to be a visiting art professor in town for the exhibit. Did someone decide to teach the professor a lesson, then attempt to sweep the evidence under the rug? Along with her boyfriend, Detective Ted Nash, Marcy must unravel an intricate tapestry of deception to find a desperate killer.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Cozy Mystery
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Amanda Lee on Facebook

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Christopher Mannino on What Inspired "School of Deaths" @Ctmannino #YA #Fantasy #GoodReads

8:00 AM Posted by Quality Reads UK , , , No comments
What Inspired Me to Write My Book

The idea for SCHOOL OF DEATHS emerged when I was finishing my graduate degree at Oxford University. I spent four months abroad, far from everyone I knew. Every week, I traveled somewhere I had never been before. I would climb castle ruins in Wales and visit cathedrals in England. One of my favorite trips was to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall. After misjudging the time it’d take to get there, I became stranded. The tourist office was closed, and I couldn’t find a hostel. I walked from pub to pub asking if I could sleep above their bar.

The next morning, having slept none, since I’d found a room over a noisy pub, I crept to Barras Nose before dawn. Barras Nose is a stone peninsula, or rocky outcropping jutting into the Celtic Sea, just north of Tintagel. Tintagel itself is a small island with castle ruins on its cliffs. Some believe it to be the birthplace of King Arthur. When I reached Barras Nose, the winds howled so fiercely that I had to crawl on all fours to keep from being blown into the ocean below. Then dawn broke. No other humans were in sight. I struggled to keep my balance, but watched the sun rise on the ruins of the ancient castle, listening to the thunder of waves pounding the fifty foot cliffs I clung to. Wind battered me with ferocity, and I imagined a character being buffeted by winds, completely alone. I envisioned Suzie, alone in a world of men, buffeted by sexism.

School of Deaths

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths, Suzie must uncover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - YA Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Christopher Mannino through Facebook & Twitter