Lower Education by A.M. Leibowitz – Cover Reveal

Lower EducationWriting Room 101 would like to share with you a cover reveal and details of the following upcoming release:

Lower Education

By A. M. Leibowitz

Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC

Publication date: November 1, 2014

Synopsis:

Phin Patterson is an educational consultant dissatisfied with his job and his life. On a mission to complete one last assignment before escaping his unfulfilling career and figure out what he wants, he accepts a commission from Donald Murdock at the New York State Education Department. Suddenly, he finds himself on his way to evaluate a tiny school in New York’s Southern Tier, not far from the town where he grew up. Now his only goal is to get in, do his job, and get out before anyone from his past remembers him.

That turns out to be easier said than done. Dani Sloane, the sharp-witted administrative assistant to the principal, learns the truth about why Phin is really there. With the help of her friends, she sets out to unmask him and force the local board of education to stop the plans that could ruin their school. Discovering that her sometime-lover is an old business associate of Phin’s only complicates both the situation and their relationship.

Meanwhile, Phin, who has committed himself to keeping his emotional distance, can’t resist the charm of the town and its residents—especially the school psychologist, who turns out to be an old friend he hasn’t seen in over twenty years. While Dani works to take him down and save her school, Phin wrestles with learning how to do the right thing, including telling the truth to the man with whom he’s already falling in love.

Excerpt:

Alex spun around and threw his hands in the air. “Why are you still here? Go find someone else

to bother.”

“What if I think the information you have is more valuable?” Phin crossed his arms and tilted his

head, jutting out his chin.

 “And what if I think you’re wasting your time? I have nothing here that would be of interest to you

 The corner of Phin’s mouth curled upward. “I would say you’re mistaken. There’s plenty here for

me to take interest in.” His gaze traveled downward slowly, making Alex feel exposed.

Heat spread across his face, followed by a surge of anger. Placing his hands on the table and

leaning toward Phin, Alex replied, “I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but it won’t

work on me. Is this how you’ve handled your other clients?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Yes, you do.”

“All right, you got me.” Phin chuckled softly. He moved in closer and lowered his voice. “I once

signed an entire multi-year textbook contract on my appeal alone.” His smile faltered, and he

looked away briefly. He snapped his attention back to Alex and narrowed his eyes. “You’re not

the most difficult client I’ve ever worked with, though it’s close.”

“I’m not your client. There’s no reason for your behavior.”

Phin licked his lips. “I didn’t make a mistake in the bar the other night.”

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lower-Education-M-Leibowitz-ebook/dp/B00NCA48TE/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/473664

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lower-education-a-m-leibowitz/1120325979?ean=2940046149760

Author bio:

A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family.

Find me on the Internet:

Web site: http://amleibowitz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amymitchell29 (personal profile); https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith (author page)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyunchained (@amyunchained)

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Release week adventures – Desert Sunrise by Gina Briganti

Desert Sunrise 2

 

Desert Sunrise Review

Desert Sunrise is like a big book of sunshine. Seriously, it’s a volume of feel-good. The magic, the joy of the characters, and their development is inspiring. I was warmed by the friendships, the love and the romance.

There’s a strong sense of family throughout; the big, happy unconventional kind. The kind I wanted to be a part of and, for a while at least, I guess I was. I certainly enjoyed spending time with them.

The paranormal element is intriguing, especially the Dreaming, and I was thrilled to discover Joe and Dana are a big part of  the story. Their connection is heart-warming, and influential in terms of those around them.

Joe’s son, Carter, undergoes a major transition and his scenes are memorable. I was thrilled to discover he plays the main role in book three of the Natural Gifts series.

But, going back to the stars of Desert Sunrise, I loved Stan and Lucy. Their romance is beautifully written. Individually they are dynamic, completely entertaining, but together they are truly memorable. I know this is going to sound trite, but it has to be said, ‘Stan is the man!’ He charmed me from the beginning and had me rooting for him until the end.

Gina has a way of showing her readers the journey from differing points of view, and this added something for me. It’s a style I particularly like. Though the book can be read independently, I would recommend beginning the series with The Dreaming and discovering the beginning of this magical adventure.


Here are the links for Amazon – The Dreaming and Desert Sunrise – Books one and two of the Natural Gifts Series by Gina Briganti.

Pro-Week Blitz Tour (#2) – Shadow Stalker: Episode 2

Marketing Kit

It’s the second stop for Renee here at Writing Room 101 on her Pro-Week Blitz Tour. The second episode of Shadow Stalker (The Delohi-Saque’ Fate) will be released on Saturday, and I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy.

Here’s my review of the episode.

Shadow Stalker: Episode 2

First off, the prologue started with a bang! It was the perfect hook and left me wanting more. The ensuing chapters were full of tension, excitement, and mystery. The main focus of episode two is a series of trials. It begins with the resolution of Auren’s earlier plight, highlighting the dangers she must face during her rite of passage.

A few well-guarded secrets were revealed in the episode too, which added to the intrigue and progressed the story forward nicely. It ended on a cliff-hanger, but one I could live with, which added a layer of anticipation.

One of my favourite things about the episode is the transition Auren goes through, especially in terms of her relationship with Kado. He is a complex man and I sensed his pain, his indecision and the fact his loyalties are divided. There’s always one character in a series who frustrates you one minute and then earns your respect the next. Kado is that character for me. I know there’s more to him, that he has Auren’s best interests at heart, but it was easy to get caught in the moment!

For the most part, Auren is completely out of her element and you can’t help empathising with her. There are some emotionally charged scenes, which deal with a number of dilemmas for the central characters. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

I can’t really say any more that that without giving too much away. Oh, but I loved the introduction of the wolf. I’m hoping he makes another ‘guest appearance!’


You can find more details about the book and future episodes by visiting Renee’s site here.

Join us again on Saturday – release day, and the conclusion of the tour.

Thanks for reading

Mel

Pro-Week Blitz Tour (#1) – Shadow Stalker: Episode 2

Marketing Kit

Writing Room 101 is delighted to take part in Renee’s latest tour to promote Shadow Stalker: Episode 2. This will be the first of three posts. Today I will be sharing a special interview and an excerpt from episode 2. On Wednesday I will post a review for you and Saturday will be helping to bring the event to a close.
Interview with Renee Scattergood
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think it was when I first decided that I wanted to write for a living. I was in my late 20’s. I’ll admit it was a bit difficult calling myself a writer at first. There seems to be this unfounded stigma against calling yourself a writer or author unless you’ve had something published. But someone told me that if I love to write then I’m a writer. Even if I don’t do it professionally.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve actually written a couple of manuscripts before Shadow Stalker, but they weren’t very good. I may or may not try to improve on them and rewrite them later. Shadow Stalker is the first story that I came up with that I absolutely loved from the start. I was inspired to write it after reading The Celestine Prophecy. The two stories have absolutely nothing in common, so it probably seems unlikely, but my character, Kado, was born as a result of reading that book.Do you have a specific writing style?I actually prefer to write a story from one character’s point of view, as if they are the one telling the story. I think it really allows me to get into that character’s head and write as though I am that character. It’s a lot of fun.

  How did you come up with the title?

I wanted to do something related to shamanism. Shadow Walkers are people who are able to walk between worlds. The world of the living and whatever other world is out there that we can’t see. I didn’t want the to be too closely tied in to Native American Shamanism, though, because it’s only loosely based on “real” shamanism. I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea, so I decided to use the word “stalker” in the title instead. Stalking is a shamanic technique (which is a bit difficult to explain), but I liked the way Shadow Stalker sounded.

What books have most influenced you?

Well as I said before, The Celestine Prophecy is what inspired me to create the character, Kado. My love of telling stories was influenced by George Lucas. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and my first real writing experiences was writing for a Star Wars based online simulation role playing game. That is what got me out of my shell and over my fear of sharing what I wrote. It was a great experience for me. My biggest writing influence in recent years has been Terry Goodkind, the author of the Sword of Truth series. And more recently, I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from Lindsay Buroker, author of The Emperor’s Edge series.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Wow, that’s hard. I think it would have to be George Lucas more for his multi-business experience. He’s definitely a man who has benefited from risk taking. It would be great to learn from him.

What book are you reading now?

I am reading Call of the Herald by Brian Rathbone.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Writing the action can often be really difficult for me. I see the story play out in my head as I’m writing and sometimes it sorta goes too fast for me to keep up. I usually need to do a lot of rewriting to get the action exactly how I want it.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part was when I decided to write it in parts that are similar to a tv series. Learning how to do that effectively has been quite a challenge because from what I can tell, no one has done it before. It’s not the same as publishing a novel one chapter at a time. Each episode has to contain its own story while still being part of a larger story. I also have to end each one with a hook, but without being too annoying about it. It’s quite the balancing act.

Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?

I just hope you enjoy my stories, and if you do, leave me a review or rate it at the retailer where you purchased it, and/or on Goodreads! That will help me out a lot!

How long does it take you to write a book?

In the past it has taken me about 2 or 3 months to write a full novel, but I’m working on techniques to shorten my writing time. It takes me about 4 to 6 days to write one episode of Shadow Stalker.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

The only thing I can think of is that I usually need to multitask when I’m writing. I can’t focus on just one thing at a time, except when I’m editing. Then I have a hard time focusing when there are other distractions. It’s a bit odd when I think about it.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live in Australia with my husband and daughter. I was born in the U.S. and came out here about 10 years ago to meet my husband in person. We met online and were friends for about a year. When I got out here we decided that we never wanted to be apart again. I’ve been in Australia since and I love it here. And yes, we are still very happily married. 😀

Outside of writing, I don’t really have much time. My daughter is autistic and ADHD, so she takes up a lot of my time, but she is awesome. I wouldn’t change anything about her (except maybe her insomnia issues…I think we could both live without that). We love watching movies and reading together. She also wants to write some children’s stories. She’s a pretty good artist for her age.

Do you use an outline or just write?

Up until now I have always just written. I mean, I would have the story planned out in my head, but I didn’t really write anything down, except little facts that I needed to maintain consistency. I recently read something about how having a loose outline, like maybe a paragraph per chapter, can help increase your daily word count and stay on track with the story. So I’m giving it a try.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given by another writer?

Write/publish consistently to keep your reader’s happy, build your mailing list and keep in touch with your readers regularly so they don’t lose interest.

Is there any advice you’d like to share?

Write/publish consistently to keep your reader’s happy, build your mailing list and keep in touch with your readers regularly so they don’t lose interest. 😉


SSE2 Cover 3 JPGI have a special sneak peak available for you, and have conveniently added it to a separate page so as not to overwhelm you with text. Please click here for an excerpt from Shadow Stalker: The Delohi-Saqu’s Fate (Episode 2).
 

New Release – Desert Sunrise by Gina Briganti

Desert SunriseI’m thrilled to announce the new release, Desert Sunrise, book two of the Natural Gifts series by Gina Briganti. Today begins a week long journey into the lives of Lucy Shannon and Stan Spellman, with guest appearances from Joe Jacobs and Dana Carapelli from The Dreaming.

Today I’ll be sharing a special interview, and will be following the fun throughout the week. On Saturday the 27 September I’ll provide a review and summary of the launch for your to enjoy.

First, here is a trailer for Desert Sunrise.

Character Q & A

Several of the characters in the Natural Gifts series are learning more about their gifts, and the way they work.  Melissa and I were wondering how they feel about their budding abilities, so we gathered them up to ask them a question we are curious about; would they give their ability back, or erase it, and go back to their lives without their gifts if they could?

Here’s what Carter, Dana, Joe, Lucy, and Stan shared with us.

Carter:  (Tapped the microphone and said “Is this thing working?  He chuckled nervously, and then we decided to let him tell us his answer without a camera or audio recording, which set the tone for the rest of the Q & A.)

I’m getting used to what is happening to me.  A lot of the time I try to ignore it, and it’s not too bad if I’m at home.  I’m glad about that.  The day it started was overwhelming, and I would have given anything to make it stop.  Now, I don’t know if I would erase it or give it back.  I guess I’m getting used to it.

Dana:  (Dana is used to being on camera, but we thought it made more sense to have everyone’s answer appear the same way.  Perhaps you will get to see the lovely Dana another time.)

Would I give it back or erase it?  No way!  Being able to research the future in The Dreaming has added an amazing dimension to my life.  (Dana laughed at her corny joke).  The depth of the connection I have with Joe because of my gift is too good to pass up.  Like a stunningly delicious healthy meal.  You know, the kind where when you’re eating it, you think it has to be bad for you because it taste so good?  Telepathy is so practical, I wish more people could do it.  

Joe:  (Sigh.  Joe is too handsome for words, and he couldn’t be any more charming.  You know what’s great about Joe?  It’s not a façade.  This is the real Joe.  Joe took a few moments to think about the question before he answered.)

I’ve been living this way for more than thirty years, and I honestly can’t remember what life was like before I started waking up into The Dreaming every time I fell asleep.  Factoring everything in, especially the connection I share with Dana there and in The World now that we’re learning more about our abilities, I think that I would keep it if given the chance to give it back.  Before I met Dana, I might have been more willing to give it up.  My divorce was a direct result of information I learned in The Dreaming, and the way I’ve lived since then hasn’t always been easy.  Yes, before Dana it’s possible that I would have given it up.  I definitely would not give it back now.

Lucy:  Discovering how my special relationships with animals, bugs, and so on, works, has added too much to my life experience for me to want to go back.  I’ve been able to help with it, too, which thrills me.  I call it a gift, and I’m interested in exploring it.  I don’t see any reason to give it back or erase it.

I know this is off topic, but where did you buy your genie pants, Gina?  I love them!  And Mel, you have an amazing smile!

Stan:  (Stan has more sex appeal than anything walking; even Joe.  No wonder it took a fireball like Lucy to tame him.  Yowza!)

Do you know of a way to give it back, or go back?  Lucy might not like that I would give the ability back, but I don’t begrudge her the right to have it and use it.  She’s developing it.  She’s comfortable with it.  I don’t consider it a gift the way she does, either.  Talking to Rain about it in the barn is a good case in point of why I’d rather not go down that road.  I would definitely give it back, even if I do think it’s interesting in other people.  Joe and Dana’s abilities are interesting, too.  I think having this ability is not for me.

Lucy: (Lucy and Stan sat down with Melissa and I together.  When she heard Stan’s answer, it definitely gave her pause.)  Really, Stan?  I thought you were becoming more comfortable with it.

Stan:  A little more comfortable, especially since we found out about Joe and Dana, but the question was would I give it back or erase it and my answer is yes I would.  I don’t want to erase it for anyone else, only myself.

Lucy:   (Shrugs) To each his own.

Stan:  That’s my Lucy.  (They shared a private look and a hug that showed Melissa and I how much they understand and respect one another.)

We hope you enjoyed reading their answers, and we encourage you to ask them a question if you have one for them.  They’re a friendly bunch.      


Desert Sunrise 2

Desert Sunrise is available now in paperback and Kindle from Amazon.com

About the author: Gina Briganti is an author, Holistic Health Consultant, and Reiki Teacher, currently in private practice. She lives with her family which will include her first grandchild next spring, a special soul who masquerades as a dog, another who masquerades as a cat, and the beautiful desert.  She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to connect with her on her website, sign up for her newsletter, check out her Amazon author central page, her Goodreads page, and Facebook.


Thanks for reading.

Mel

Reunion of the Heart by Elaine Jeremiah

Reunion of the HeartThis book has been on my list since Elaine generously gave me a copy in exchange for an honest review. It’s taken longer than I would like, but I wanted to give it my undivided attention and actually started reading it yesterday.

Before we get to the review, here’s the blurb.

After a messy breakup with her boyfriend, Anna is feeling fragile. So when her best friend Melissa suggests the two of them go to their school reunion, she’s reluctant as Anna’s school days weren’t her happiest. The evening is going well until she meets the boy who made her school life hell. But the grown up Will is different and Anna is surprised by the direction her life takes. The reunion sets in motion a series of events that lead Anna to realise things will never be the same again. ‘Reunion of the Heart’ is a romance that will lead you to ponder whether love can atone for past mistakes.

I read Reunion of the Heart in two days. It held my attention throughout. The story is primarily about love and friendship and I was caught up in the lives of the characters. It’s a relatable book, fraught with loss and heartache, but also with hope and new opportunities.

The main protagonist (Anna) is likeable; her neurosis adds an engaging element so the reader cares what happens to her and the friendships she relies on.

I enjoyed the scenes with Anna and her friends. The dialogue was genuine and made me feel like a part of the group.

The building romance between Anna and Will is well paced, which adds tension and allows the reader to understand the difficulties they have both overcome, in order to get where they are.

I liked the connections between the characters too. They all go on a journey of discovery, where past mistakes no longer haunt them and they can finally forgive.

It is an uplifting tale and, as I said, a relatable one. I enjoyed spending time with the group and I’m sure you will too.



Thanks for reading

Mel

Poem: It Would Never Be Enough

I love this contribution to the 30 Days of September (prompt from 11/9/14). Thanks, Cassie – for sharing it with us. It’s a wonderful use of the prompt.

My Etch-A-Sketch Life

It Would Never Be Enoughturbulence
By Cassie Newell

It would never be enough
to only call you my friend

It would never be enough
to walk hand in hand

It would never be enough
to slip on a wedding band

It would never be enough
to start and raise a family

It would never be enough
to dance, to sing, to laugh with you

It would never be enough
to have a few years left

It would never be enough
to say goodbye in a short breath

It would never be enough

        *     *     *

All rights reserved by the author.
This poem was inspired by 30 Days of September writing prompts (11Sep2014).

If you enjoyed please show by “Liking”, “Sharing” or “Commenting” below.

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Guest Article by Kathryn Jenkins

Kathryn Jenkins from Dragon Knight Chronicles has kindly shared the following article.

Two Marketing Methods all Authors must Master

There are more authors choosing to self-publish every year. The one thing they always seem to have difficulty with is how to market their books. This can be a difficult task for those authors that have no idea where to begin.

The first step is to figure out the two different styles of promoting your work and yourself as an author. The first style is the easiest for every author to do. This style is the passive marketing method. The passive method is simple, because all you have to do is set up your personal advertisements for free one time.

You’re probably wondering what free advertisements you could use to promote your book. Well, here are a few:

1) make sure in the back of all your books to have links directing your readers to the rest of your published works. This is also a good place to put all your social links to direct them to your websites.

2) All authors should have a special email for their author business to separate from their personal email. If you don’t have one you should get one. The key element of any signature you give to your emails should include the following links: to your websites/blogs, author page, Facebook page, twitter, google plus, and most importantly include links to your purchase pages for your books.

Now doesn’t these steps sound easy? The nice thing about these little steps is all you have to do is create it, make sure it is updated, and guess what you’re done.

The second method deals with more hard work for you. But, if you’re willing to put the effort into writing your book you must also put the time into marketing it.

The active method is a more hands on approach. You have to get your name out their. Which is hard for a new writer. But, the first thing you must always do is build your author platform.

Many young writers wonder, do I need to have a website or blog. Yes, you do…this helps draw readers attention to you as a writer. If you’re making posts every week on your blog, then they know you are taking your career seriously. A website is a must also since this would be where you would have all your books featured along with information on yourself.

The easy thing that is a part of these two is that they can be connected. Have your website feature and show off your published works. Then let your readers be directed to your blog, where they can get to know the person writing their favorite novels.

The website and blog usually should be created before you even go on your journey to publication. But, if you have already published your work it is never too late to get these two essential pieces up and going.

Now, you’re probably asking yourself, what do I do once I have my novel published. The hard part for everyone is how do I market my book. But, ask yourself do I have the funds to put into marketing? Well, many indie authors put so much money into the editing and designing of their book they forget about the marketing too.

Well here are a few easy ways to help promote your book. First, find fellow bloggers that have similar interests in the topic of your book. Then contact them about doing some guest posts on their sites. This will get you in front of your readers and will draw them to your work.

Another, big one that is going on now is featuring a blog tour. Many of you probably think yeah these don’t work. There are circumstances that can make them not work for you. This mainly being that you’re not participating to your fullest extent. With blog tours you have to give a 110 percent. You can’t dilly dally around and expect to have a great outcome at the end.

Yes, there is even the chance that working at a 110 percent might only get you one reader. But, in the long run it can help build a following. You won’t have complete success on your first tour you have to keep going beyond the first to fight for attention. The simple thing is to give up, but if you can get one reader to pick up your book that is a victory in its self.

The next best thing to a tour is to find bloggers, friends, publishers anyone pretty much that has a following that would like to interview you. Always make sure to do the research on the site first though. It would be a waste of your time along with the one interviewing you if your novel doesn’t fit into the targeted audience.

Once you get started it becomes a never-ending process. Your first book is your baby. You nurtured it from the moment it was in your head. Now you will have to nurture it in the eyes of every reader in the world. Be proud show off your novel and never stop pushing to get a new reader. You might not become a best-selling author that spends months on the best seller list. But, if you are in it to inspire young readers and to influence one person then you are on the right track.

Promoting is an ongoing basis…it will never end. Even when that second book hits the shelves. You might not be directly promoting your first book as much but in a passive way you will be.

I hope everyone has great success with their promoting and to help you further along…I plan on writing another article on the basis of promoting to help you. Also, I found a very interesting site that I believe you all should have access to. This site has all kinds of suggestions and helpful tips on promoting your books, and here it is…

Book Marketing Tools
 

Article provided by: Kathryn Jenkins


 

Thank you, Kathryn. The point about nurturing your work in the eyes of a reader is an important one. We write for so many different reasons, and I think everyone has a desire to share their characters. Even if we build worlds and populate them for the simple joy of it, there is a part of us that thrives by touching the lives of another – through the simple connection of words.

Thanks for reading

Mel