Guest Post by Dane Cobain

This is a guest post written by author Dane Cobain.

Eleven Easy Author Blog Post Ideas

Blogging is a lot of fun, and many authors find it hugely rewarding. But it can also be a pain in the backside when you’re busy working on a new release and you’re out of ideas for things to write about.

Luckily, even when it feels like you’ve covered everything there are plenty of things for you to write about. Here are eleven of my favourites.

Interview yourself
Draft up a list of questions that you’d like to ask your favourite author, and then ask yourself those same questions. If you draft up a Q&A post and write a short intro and outro, you’ve got yourself a blog post. You can even deliberately ask questions that you want to answer so that you can release information to your followers.

Interview a character
Sometimes it’s best to let your characters do the talking. A character interview follows much the same format as a regular interview, except that you – as the author and the characters’ creator – get to respond to the questions in a different ‘voice’, potentially revealing backstory in a way that’s not otherwise possible.

Write about your writing
Be sure to post regular updates to keep your followers up to date with what you’re working on. This can include the word counts of your works in progress, the estimated release dates of upcoming releases, and information about any physical events that you’ll be appearing at.

Post a bonus scene
If you have any bonus material that didn’t make it into a book, posting it on your website can be a great way of stopping it from going to waste. If not, you can still consider posting excerpts of your books to drum up excitement and to give readers a free sample before they make a purchase.

Run a competition
Running a competition on your blog can have a dramatic effect on the number of visits that your site receives, and combining this tactic with tools like Rafflecopter can help to boost your social media following at the same time. Gift vouchers make a good prize and tend to pick up plenty of entries, but if money is tight then you can still give away e-copies of your published works.

Post a teaser
Readers love to see what you’re working on, so it can be a good idea to share a teaser from your current work in progress. This also has the advantage of opening your work up to reader feedback, which you can use to improve it before it goes through proper editing.

Review a book
By sharing your take on the books that you read, you can catch the eyes of mainstream authors by talking about their work while inviting readers to come and see what you’re into. Bonus points if you share your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!

Introduce your workspace
Take a few photos of your office or workspace and share them with a blog post that talks about why you chose to set it up like that. Be sure to include fun facts about your writing that you haven’t mentioned elsewhere and to take individual photographs of any particular points of interest.

A day in the life
Share a post that takes your readers through a typical day in your life as an author. Be sure to include the times that you do things, such as editing in the morning, working on a new novel in the afternoon and catching up with emails in the evening.

Do a little travel writing
Next time you take a holiday or a short trip for work, keep notes about where you go and what you do and turn it into a blog post on your return. Share photos and videos if you have them, and tag any relevant businesses and organisations when you share the link.

Just write
Sometimes the best work comes from just letting yourself go and jotting down whatever comes to mind. Using this stream-of-consciousness approach to write a blog post tends to either work well or not at all, but even if you don’t end up publishing it, at least it’ll get you thinking and start the words flowing.

Your Turn
What do you do when you can’t think of what to blog about? Do you have any tips of your own to share with us? Let us know what you think!

About the author

This post is written by Dane Cobain and sponsored by Publishing Addict, an organisation that specialises in building websites for authors to help them to establish a brand, connect with their readers and to sell more books.

Book Tours: Guest Post for Twice Lost


I’m hosting a guest post today for the book tour for “Twice Lost”. I hope you enjoy the post.

Character Guest Post: Jenna Thanatos

Hey, my name is Jenna and up until a few weeks ago I thought I was just like you. Going through life trying to make the most of it. I enjoyed adventure and I would consider myself an all-around fun kind of woman. I had packed up my bags and moved up to Maine with my boyfriend Kyle about a year ago. Well let me tell you he really opened up my kinky side, not that it was ever hidden very far under the surface.

Then, he was murdered, and my entire life was turned upside down. See as it turned out, the men who killed him, were actually looking for me. Apparently I’m part of some prophecy foretelling the coming of a female Harbinger of Death. Me! A Harbinger of Death, I cried for three hours once when I hit a squirrel with my car, how is it that I’m now someone who takes a soul to hell.

So there I was stranded in the woods with a dead boyfriend and two men still hunting me. And as if my night couldn’t get any worse, I end up changing into some ghoulish monster, getting tranquilized and stuffed into a concrete box to be transported to go god only knows where. I’ll tell you, I’ve had some bad dates before but this one really tops the charts.

Anyway, Tim who also happens to be a Harbinger of Death had been staking out the place and rescued me from a fate I don’t even want to think about. He got the lovely job of explaining to me that my life was never going to be the same form that point on. I was what those men were looking for a myth, a legend the only female Harbinger to ever exist. No pressure right.

How does that happen? One day you’re human and the next you’re some immortal monster who takes the souls of the most evil and despicable humans to hell. Frankly I’m still trying to adjust, unfortunately without my knight in shiny black wings, who ended up trading his safety for mine. Who could fault a guy for that right?

But lucky for me I’m not exactly alone. Turns out Harbingers have friends, who would have guessed. So right now with the help of Tye who is… well, I’m not actually sure what Tye is. Aside from a six foot five pain in my ass. We don’t always see eye to eye on my training, he tends to treat me somewhere between the baby sister her never had and the dog he couldn’t get to obey him. It’s really a love hate type of relationship we have. Don’t get me wrong he would lay down his life to protect me, even if it’s from myself.

But he’s teaching me how to adjust to my new body, which now consists of wings, claws and horns. My fighting skills which I desperately need if I’m going to join these boys on a rescue mission to get Tim has been left in the very capable hands of Gabriel.

When I first met Gabe he was an arrogant playboy who thought that he was God’s gift to women kind, okay so he sort of is. Six foot six, cocoa skin and eyes the color of the Caribbean Sea. Who could blame me for falling head over wings for him? He’s…he’s something I never expected to find. Sure he’s an amazing lover who I’m pretty sure gets more turned on when I’m in total monster mode but he’s also my biggest protector. They say you never find love if you’re looking for it. Then it walks in to door and you’re just done for. I wasn’t looking for him but now that I have him, I’m never letting go.

Now… well now the three of us are going to go rescue Tim, save the world. You know, all in a day’s work.

Guest Post: Jennifer Field

Thank you for joining me on this Blog Tour. The entire experience of writing Twice Lost has been a complete whirlwind journey. About two years ago I basically woke up one morning after having a crazy dream and decided to start to write a book. I know, crazy.

It wasn’t one of these lifelong dreams that I needed to fulfill. It was something I wanted to do to really see if I could. I’m like that with a lot of things. I’d say the journey really started about five years ago in the beginning of 2010. I decided that I wanted to read a hundred books in one year. Now for me, that’s a lot of books. I also needed to find the time to read. So I read nightly on my elliptical as I worked out. I found that my favorite books where Paranormal and if they had sex in them, even better. They made working out go by quick.

So there I was, reading books and getting into shape and by December of 2010 I had 104 books under my belt. I guess like so many people I said. “I could do this, I could write a book.” Now don’t get me wrong. Twice Lost wasn’t my first attempt at writing a book. NO, far from it. I attempted to write romance, thriller, steampunk. You name it, I bet I have a partial story written in that genre.

Then I figured, why not write what I like to read. Essentially writing the book not for an audience, but for me. So I started telling the story of my crazy dream. Which by the way, is nothing like the final story, but it gave me a start. First there was one word then a thousand then five-thousand. But even more important than my word cound, I found that I loved creating a story. It was like wondering what my favorite characters were going to do next, and then being able to make it happen.

One of the struggles I’ve had with writing is that I am hands down the worst speller on the face of the planet and my grammar and punctuation aren’t far behind. But I figured those things shouldn’t stop me from writing. It just meant that I needed to find an amazing editor. Which by the way I did. Everyone should send her flowers and thank her.

I like to share those facts with people who love books because like me I think if you love to read at some point you’re going to say…”I should write a book.” And you shouldn’t feel that something like poor spelling should hold you back. If you want to write, by all means do it. You’ll just need to accept that your spelling is poor and know that spell-check will make it worse. But an editor, is worth their weight in gold. It’s like safe sex, don’t have sex without a condom. Safe writing, don’t publish without an editor.

So, now I have the first book in what will be the Harbinger Series written and published. I am about a quarter of the way done with book two Twice Visited which is going to continue the journey of the characters you’re going to come to love and some you will grow to hate. We are hoping to have a release date of September 2015 for book two and in-between I’ll be putting out three novella length stories within the Harbinger Series.

About Twice Lost

Twice-Lost-21-200x300Title: Twice Lost
Author: Jennifer Field
Publisher: Forever Red Publishing, LLC
Pages: 379
Genre: Paranormal Erotica
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Jenna Thanatos is discovering that life isn’t what it always seems. Just an ordinary girl with a healthy sexual appetite, she soon learns there are such things that “go bump in the night” and she’s one of them. Can she accept who she really is? Can she save the sexy men in her life and herself before it’s too late? Join Jenna on her life altering journey and learn what it’s like to be a Harbinger.

For More Information

About the Author

Jennifer FieldJennifer lives in Massachusetts and works full-time in the Bridal Industry. With a daytime job surrounded by simple romance, it is her love for adventure that makes her who she is. She has a love for all things 80’s and has a very mild Diet Coke addiction. As an avid mountain climber, it is not unusual for Jennifer to be hanging off a 5.9 in the Adirondacks or the Shawangunk Mountain ranges. During the off season of climbing, also known as winter, she attends the New England Center for Circus Arts where she studies static trapeze (think Cirque rather than circus). She is an only child so she has her mother to thank for her over active imagination and knack for storytelling. Over the years she has written several short stories of the “naughty” nature for friends but  never had envisioned herself as a writer; Just someone who enjoyed telling a steamy story from time to time. Throughout school she had difficulty with spelling and English, but it never stopped her love for reading, especially a good romance, horror or mystery! To this day she still spells so poorly that even spell check has to ask what the heck she is trying to spell.

Her latest book is the paranormal erotica, Twice Lost.

For More Information

Book Tours: Guest Post for Four Corners

Four Corners banner 2

I’m hosting a guest post for the book tour for “Four Corners” today. Enjoy the guest post!


  1. At the risk of being crass, it’s all about ass-in-chair.  We all know that.  But it really is that simple.  It’s boring to stare at a blank screen, so at some point, words will appear.  It doesn’t matter whether they’re any good – at least not at first.  It just matters that they’re words.  After a while, they’ll take on their own momentum (we hope).
  2. This is a corollary of Tip #1.  Don’t wait for inspiration.  Inspiration is fickle.  It’s a gift when it arrives, but it can also come wrapped in desperation or frustration or all manner of misery, so don’t wait for it to appear in shiny paper tied up with a satin ribbon.  Just tear away at the desperation or the frustration or the misery and hope you find inspiration tucked away in there instead of a lump of coal.
  3. Don’t overwork adjectives or adverbs.  It’s tempting to let all those colorful words do the heavy lifting, but there’s a lot of power in a well-chosen noun and, of course, the forward motion of the sentence resides in a mighty verb.
  4. Vary the length of your sentences.  That makes for interesting reading because reading is very much about rhythm, even if subconsciously, and the brain enjoys variation in rhythm.  It’s a bit high-falootin’ to think about words as musical notes, but there is some validity to that.
  5.  Read dialogue out loud.  Words that a character speaks should sound like spoken words, not read like the written word.  Dialogue is not essay writing.  Often, the only way to hear dialogue properly is to actually hear it.  Read it out loud and see if the inflection and emphasis that best carries your meaning demand to be spoken as that meaning requires.
  6. Think cinematically.  Maybe that’s important to me because I worked as a screenwriter for so many years.  But I think the concept of thinking visually and thinking in scenes can only be helpful to any kind of writing. Cinematic thinking also provides a set of terms that can offer a new way of looking at your story: subtext, motivation, action of the scene and the conflict between any of those forces, all suggest a certain energy percolating under the plot.  When listened to, it can be brought to a decent simmer that is exciting and compelling.
  7. Don’t be afraid to break any rules you may have learned about structure.  Especially in your first draft.  Let the story – and more particularly, the characters – lead you where they want to go.  That’s what our asses are in their chairs for in the first place: that moment when the characters take on lives of their own and we’re just along for the ride.  That’s the fun that keeps us coming back for more punishment.
  8. Tell the truth.  The simple truth of the human heart regardless of the circumstances if finds itself in.
  9. Don’t be afraid to overwrite in the first draft.  That’s what first drafts are for.  They are meant to be vomit drafts.
  10. Writing is rewriting.  Sad but true.  And even worse – re-reading.


About the Author

Cary SmithCary Smith, the nom de plume of Greg Hawkins, lives in San Jose, CA. He became interested in books and writing because of a teacher. His favorite book is “Hocus Pocus,” by Kurt Vonnegut or “100 Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He is currently either going to finish his collection of short stories next or turn one of his short stories into a novel, which would be a new take on the ghost genre.

His latest book is Four Corners, Or a Book That Will Tickle Your Intellectual Nipple.

 Visit him on Facebook at

About the Book

Four CornersHigh school. Those two words, for some, instill fear and loathing and vivid memories of sadistic teachers, bullies, and bad lunches. For some happy few, however, high school remains a misty paradise, where a student’s budding dreams and aspirations were nurtured by brilliant, sympathetic teachers, guidance counselors and peers.

Cary Smith, the nom de plume of Greg Hawkins, clearly falls into the first group, as he describes in his hilarious new book, FOUR CORNERS, OR A BOOK THAT WILL TICKLE YOUR INTELLECTUAL NIPPLE.  With a keen sense of the absurd, Smith thrusts his satirical sword straight at the jugular vein of all things pretentious and pedantic that haunt the halls of the educational world. Nothing is spared as Smith takes on the institution of secondary education. Readers will wince in recognition at the cast of characters Smith has created – the brains, jocks, bullies, cliques, incompetent teachers and pompous administrators – who all take a good drubbing from the flat side of Smith’s sword.

“I don’t know why I thought that when middle school was over that high school would be a brand new place, a fresh start,” Smith writes. “Maybe it was because all my teachers in middle school were implanting their lectures about how in high school the teachers wouldn’t let you get away with this and that and that it would be a very different place. Well, as usual, the teachers of the system lied to me …”

For good measure, Smith creates another archetypal character – Brad Cruise, a symbol of the pseudo-intellectual critics and pedagogues who inhabit academia. If you spotted Cruise’s name as a mash-up of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, that’s what the author intended.

Hawkins also points out that, while Cary Smith is the “satirical narrator” of FOUR CORNERS, “what we come to find out is that not only does he have a humorous side, he has a serious side, and he does, in fact, care, despite what he may say.”

Although much of Smith’s writing is clearly based in personal experience, Hawkins says the book is satirical fiction. The book’s style is steeped in hyperbolic language and literary hi-jinx that hark back to the 18th-century comic classic TRISTRAM SHANDY.

“I wrote FOUR CORNERS to entertain people,” Hawkins says, “not only to help people get through the turbulent time that is high school in America, but to make people feel OK about the time they spent during those years.” He adds:  “There is no one, to my knowledge, writing with this type of narrator, about this subject matter, in such a style and manner, and writing humorously. It is very hard to find a good book with a blend of the serious and comedic.”

Purchase your copy:


Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Book Tours: Guest Post Broken Family

Broken Family banner 2

I’m hosting a guest post today for “Broken Family”, a crime / mystery novel by Kevin Hopson. Enjoy!

An interview with the cast of Broken Family

Interviewer: We’re here today with three of the main characters from Broken Family, a short story that was written by Kevin Hopson and released by MuseItUp Publishing on March 21. Welcome to all of you. I’d like to start with you, Joe. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Joe Mauro: I’m the Sheriff of Stone County, North Carolina, which is a position I’ve held for nearly nine years now. We’re elected to four-year terms, and I’m closing in on the first year of my third term.

Interviewer: Is there much crime in Stone County?

Joe Mauro: We get our fair share of misdemeanors and even some felonies every now and then, but murder cases tend to be rare. That’s what drew me to Kevin’s story. Not only are we given a murder case to solve, but the facts of the case are somewhat unusual, too.

Interviewer: Can you discuss specifics?

Joe Mauro: I’m afraid not (laughs). I don’t want to give too much away.

Interviewer: Fair enough. Let me shift my focus to your two full-time deputies. Ms. Bowden, how long have you worked with Sheriff Mauro?

Janelle Bowden: Five years.

Interviewer: So it’s safe to say you have some valuable experience under your belt, no pun intended?

Janelle Bowden: Certainly (nods).

Interviewer: Have you ever thought about running for Sheriff yourself?

Janelle Bowden: Of course, but I’ll only consider pursuing this position when Joe decides to step away from it. I still have a lot to learn. Plus, being a female African-American has its challenges, so I want to make sure I’m ready when the time comes.

Interviewer: I understand. Ms. Batista, you’re the youngest of the group. In fact, you’re still in your probationary period as a deputy. Correct?

Ira Batista: Yes (nods). I’m just about done. I’ll receive my certification in a few weeks.

Interviewer: Congratulations. Despite your lack of time on the job, what do you feel you bring to the table?

Ira Batista: An eagerness to learn and a strong work ethic. I obviously don’t have the experience that Sheriff Mauro and Deputy Bowden both possess. That’s why I focus on things I can control, such as working hard and gaining as much knowledge as I can.

Interviewer: That’s very admirable. I can’t help but ask Sheriff Mauro something, though (turns attention to Joe). You have two female deputies, both of whom are minorities. I have to commend you for that, but do you ever feel any pressure for the decisions you make?

Joe Mauro: Sure. I face pressure in all aspects of the job, including the deputies I hire. However, I don’t let people sway me. I take on the most qualified candidates regardless of race or gender. Getting the job done, which Ira and Janelle both do, is all that matters to me.

Interviewer: A great answer. I’ll leave all of you with one last question. If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be? You first, Joe.

Joe Mauro: Understanding.

Interviewer: Ms. Bowden?

Janelle Bowden: Aggressive (laughs).

Interviewer: And you, Ms. Batista?

Ira Batista: Energetic.

Interviewer: Excellent (smiles). Thanks again for dropping by (turns attention to audience). I hope you’ll check out Broken Family by Kevin Hopson to learn more about my three guests. See you next time.

About the Author

Kevin HopsonPrior to hitting the fiction scene in 2009, Kevin Hopson was a freelance writer for several years, covering everything from finance to sports. His debut work, World of Ash, was released by MuseItUp Publishing in the fall of 2010. Kevin has released several other books through MuseItUp since then, and he has also been published in various magazines and anthology books. Kevin’s writing covers many genres, including dark fiction and horror, science fiction, and crime fiction.

 His latest book is the crime/mystery, Broken Family.

 You can visit Kevin’s blog at


Connect & Socialize!


About the Book

Broken Family 7Sheriff Joseph Mauro is summoned to a local lake in Stone County, having received a report of a dead woman along the water’s shore. With foul play a possibility, he utilizes the help of his two female deputies in questioning family members and friends. As the three of them search for clues and possible motives, the case takes an unexpected turn, and Sheriff Mauro must rely on his instincts if he is going to weed out the killer.

Purchase your copy:


Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Book Tours: Guest Post Southern Heat

Southern Heat banner

I’m hosting a guest post today for the book tour for “Southern Heat” about the story behind the book. Enjoy!

The Story Behind Southern Heat

What inspired me to write Southern Heat was really a collection of details.  I lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for almost five years. That alone gave me the setting. My landlord had a large second row house with apartments on the back side. Second row, for those who don’t know, and I didn’t until I lived there, means the house was in a line of homes across the street from the beach front homes.  He gave his tenants a lot of liberties, including allowing us to head to the unoccupied second floor with an ocean view patio.  In Charleston, homes built after hurricane Hugo had to be elevated. The ground level was a concrete slab that a lot of people turned into an above ground basement. The first floor was really the second floor and the second floor was really the third floor.  Confused yet?  So, the house was really three levels.  One fourth of July, I climbed onto the roof and had a 360 degree view of the Charleston harbor and fireworks in at least five different directions.

Why did I spend so much time talking about the house?  Because I learned the island way of life there—laid back.  The first rule, and there weren’t really many others, was when you crossed the Ben Sawyer Memorial Bridge onto the island, your problems stayed on the mainland.

The city of Charleston is such a gem.  It is like no place on earth, with its palmetto tree lined Meeting Street, premier shops on King Street, and historic homes on the Battery.  As a single man at the time, I also enjoyed the night scene.  Great bars and clubs within close proximity meant my friends and I could walk and hit three different locations on a Friday night.

I tried to capture the healing magic of the city in my book.  Just as I am not the same person I was when I first moved there, I wanted my protagonist to be changed.  Brack Pelton came into being after several failed attempts, the first being a close carbon copy of Mike Hammer with an office on King Street.  That character and the next one didn’t ring true, and members of the South Carolina Writers Workshop critique group I belong to let me know as much.

I wish I could stay the story just wrote itself, but that would be a false statement.  It took a lot of rewriting, and I mean a lot.  I heard that Robert B. Parker could write a first draft and only have to change a few words to make it his final.  Well, I am not Robert B. Parker.  And my first manuscript took six drafts.  Writing is work.  Fun work, but work nonetheless.

What motivated me to finally put fingers to the keyboard was a feeling that I had for most of my twenties that I was wasting time.  I’d come home from work and park in front of the TV for hours.  Looking back, the shows I watched helped develop my imagination, but I knew I was frying my brain.  My soon-to-be wife could tell I was unhappy and urged me to find my passion.  As I was walking back from the exercise room in the apartment complex I was living in at the time, it hit me that I wanted to write a novel. I’d always liked writing.  The “mistake” I made was mentioning this to my fiancé.  Once we were married and living under the same roof, she took every opportunity to remind me what I told her I wanted to do.  Six years later, I had a contract for Southern Heat and I owe a lot to her.

Author Bio

David BurnsworthDavid Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. Southern Heat is his first mystery. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife along with their dog call South Carolina home.

His latest book is the southern noir/mystery, Southern Heat.

Visit his website at

Connect & Socialize with David!


About the Book

Southern Heat 7Gunshots echo down an antebellum Charleston alley. Brack Pelton, an ex-racecar driver and Afghanistan War veteran, witnesses the murder of his uncle, Reggie Sails. Darcy Wells, the pretty Palmetto Pulse reporter, investigates Reggie’s murder and targets Brack.

The sole heir of his uncle’s estate, Brack receives a rundown bar called the Pirate’s Cove, a rotting beach house, and one hundred acres of preserved and valuable wetland along the Ashley River. A member of Charleston’s wealthiest and oldest families offers Brack four million dollars for the land. All Brack wants is his uncle’s killer.

From the sandy beaches of Isle of Palms, through the nineteenth-century mansions lining the historic Battery, to the marshlands surrounding the county, Southern Heat is drenched in the humidity of the lowcountry.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Book Tours: Guest Post for Fog City Strangler

Fog City Strangler banner

I’m hosting a guest post today for the tour for “Fog City Strangler” by Greg Messel. Enjoy the guest post, and I’ll leave the word to the author now.

Tis the Season

I live in Seattle, which is a beautiful, wonderful place to live. I live two blocks from the beach of the Puget Sound and I love to be outside enjoying it all.

However, we are now in the dead of winter and most days it’s rainy, blustery and cool. This is why cups of coffee are very important to Seattlelites. It’s that kind of vibe and that kind of weather. Put on your sweater, grab a good cup of coffee.

Maybe go cozy up to a good book or go see a movie–two other favorite past times of people who live in Seattle.

As the leaves turn in the fall and the rains move in, that’s when I get some serious writing done. I usually spend the summer contemplating and planning my next novel.

Then as the weather turns cool and rainy, I become immersed in the new world I’m creating in my new novel. This is my favorite part of the entire journey as an author.

Marketing not so much, but when I’m creating a new world and new characters it is a magical high. I can live in a time and place where I’ve never been.

The world which now exists in my mind is 1958 in San Francisco. As I research what life was like in that time and place,it’s amazing to realize how much the world has changed.

I did live in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1958 but I was eight years old.

I’m currently working on my new mystery novel “Shadows in the Fog” which is a sequel to my current book “Fog City Strangler.”

“Shadows in the Fog” will be the fifth novel in the Sam Slater Mystery series.

I’m about halfway through the first draft. I expect to spend the rest of the winter finishing it and polishing the story. I love that process, especially where the story starts evolving and starts writing itself.

I’ve heard writers describe the development of their book as somewhat “organic.”  I was always a little puzzled by that term in regards to writing but I have discovered what that means.

I start with a basic outline of where I thought I wanted to go with the story and characters. However, at some point you depart from the outline and the chapters are tumbling out. The story and characters are going places I did not imagine.

It is hard to describe how that happens to someone who is not a writer. I heard a story about a wood carver. He was asked by an admirer how he made these wonderful carvings. The wood carver simply explained, “I take a piece of wood and just start making some chips.”

I’m at the point where the chips are flying on my new novel. Ultimately, I hope it will be the best thing I’ve ever written. Next year, I hope it’s finds an audience and readers enjoy it.

However, for now, it’s that wonderful time when I’m promoting my new book “Fog City Strangler” and I’m in the process of writing my new novel, where, when the characters live only in my imagination. They are my private property for a few months this winter. Then they will become public and everyone will start giving their opinion of my story and the characters.

This process is what keeps urging me on to write on these rainy fall and winter days in Seattle. It’s magic.

Author Bio

Greg MesselGreg Messel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound with his wife, Carol.  Fog City Strangler is his seventh novel and is the fourth in a new series of Sam Slater mystery novels. Greg has lived in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Utah and has always loved writing, including stints as a reporter, columnist and news editor for a daily newspaper.

Follow news about Messel’s writings and books at

Connect & Socialize with Greg!


About The Book

FogCityStrangler_3DGroupAs 1958 nears an end San Francisco is being terrorized by a man who calls himself the “Fog City Strangler,” who preys on pretty young blonde women.  The strangler announces each murder by sending a note and piece of cloth from the victim’s dresses to the local newspapers.

Private eye Sam Slater is worried that the Fog City Strangler may be eyeing his beautiful blonde wife, stewardess Amelia Ryan. Sam’s angst mounts as the strangler continues to claim more victims. His anxiety is further fueled when TWA launches an advertising campaign with Amelia’s picture on a series of billboards plastered all over the city. Sam fears the billboards may attract too much attention–the wrong kind of attention.

Meanwhile, Sam and Amelia are hired to try to find the missing daughter of a wealthy dowager who fears she has lost her only child. The missing woman went for a walk with her dog on Stinson Beach, near San Francisco, and seemingly vanished into thin air. The woman’s husband arrived at their beach house and found the dog running loose but there was no trace of his wife. The police are stumped in their investigation.

As Sam and Amelia look into the disappearance of the woman on the beach they discover that nothing is as it seems at first glance. On a stormy night a shadowy figure sets fire to the beach house where the couple is staying–hoping to stop their investigation.

Fog City Strangler is a stand-alone thriller but is part of the Sam Slater Mystery Series–Last of the Seals, Deadly Plunge and San Francisco Secrets.

Purchase your copy:


Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE.

Book Tours: Guest Post Serendipidus


I’m hosting a guest post today for the book tour for fantasy satire novel “Serendipidus”. The guest post talks about fashion. Without further ado, I’ll leave the word to the author!

Forever Fashion

Fashion is more than just beautiful clothes and gorgeous models. It demonstrates present day society, and it predicts the future. In my book Serendipidus, fashion plays a small role. I introduce a fictional designer, Milo Chagrin and his Forever Fashion—plastic bustiers, Styrofoam brassieres and cellophane dresses—clothing that will last until the next millennium.

This fashion displays a society so disconnected with nature; it will litter future generations. As the story continues into the despair of a decaying world, Chagrin adorns gowns with charred rubble studs and shattered glass beads. The face of fashion mirrors the conditions of the world and its people.

Fashion can take on a new fever of natural fabrics and adornments. Fashion, like the men who create it can reconnect with earth. Instead of designing fashion for models, imagine Mother Nature a fashionable icon.

Beautiful natural adornments are abundant—flowers, crystals, and shells. Who needs plastics and polymers? The true beauty of Mother Nature’s designs is many are degradable and renewable. Perhaps instead of looking for our fashion to last forever, maybe we can find ways for Mother Nature’s beauty to last.

About the Book

Serendipidus2Title: Serendipidus

Author: Jennifer Ott

Genre: Fantasy Satire

“Maybe it’s time to set aside intellectualism and experience the wonders of thngs that can’t be explained.”

The Earth has stopped rotating and no one seems to notice or care, except for bleeding-heart supermodel Venetia DeMille. While Mother Earth begins to fade into a silent death, Venetia clings to hope. She solicits the help of a scientist to help, but no avail.

Not to be hindered in her quest to save the Earth, Venetia sets out on a journey around the world to find like-minded people and caring souls – an exuberant youth, a magical healer and a man of God. Although together they are able to rekindle faith, their effort still does not provide results. It is a mysterious meeting of four horsemen that carry them to the east where they experience a connection to the earth and each other.

Could the forces that gather with their united efforts prove to be the remedy to save the planet?

Author Bio

Bio PicsmInspiration comes from watching way too much Monty Python. The abstract and the absurd way of looking at normal life, not only offers humor, but questions many problems in society in a light-hearted manner. If we can laugh at ourselves, if we can laugh at life, problems do not seem quite so difficult to tackle.  In fact, problems are not as complicated as they seem; everything is very simple. If you can laugh at it, write about it and read about it, most likely one would think about it.

Author Jennifer Ott has written several satire fiction, Wild Horses, The Tourist and two non-fiction books Love and Handicapping and Ooh Baby Compound Me! Her latest book about the homecoming of a Vietnam Veteran, Edge of Civilization will be released soon.

Jennifer Ott lives in Long Beach, California, enjoys the sun, the sand, the surf and lots of Mexican food.




Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card during the tour by entering the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Tours: Guest Post for Burn


I’m hosting a guest post by Danae Samson, author of horror / thriller “Burn”. Thanks for writing a guest post for my blog, Danae, and welcome to my website.

Guest Blog Post

Writing has always been a part of my life in one way or another.  I began keeping a diary when I was seven years old and by the time I was eleven, I felt the need to expand my effort and thus started my first novel.  I believe it is the consistency with which I have pursued writing that has aided my development as a writer.  However, that is not to say that I have never experienced a lull in creativity.  As with any art form, writing is sensitive to the happenings of my life and often suffers neglect when I am consumed with other things.  Time passes and the work goes unattended.  A sense of guilt develops every time I open my laptop to do something other than write.  I should always find the time, I scold myself.  Writing has been good to me.  It has given me voice to my imagination, enriched my life creatively, and fed me in a way unparalleled by anything.  Then one morning, for no reason predetermined or obvious, I start a new line.  Then another, and another.  I am writing again.  One day turns into two, then into a week, month, and suddenly the rhythm is back, charged and ready.  I am reminded, once again, that writing is never truly absent, but rather always waiting, hoping to be pursued and ignited.

About Burn

Burn Front CoverTitle: Burn

Author: Danae Samson

Genre: Thriller, Horror

From the pen of Danae Samson, author of the terrifying debut, LAMENT HILL, comes her follow-up novel, BURN: The Casual Slaughters of Simon Green.

Violence comes to the small Californian college community of Riverhearst as a group of students and teachers are forced to confront a sociopathic killer targeting students.  But what is more frightening is that this killer appears to be one of their own…

Prepare to experience the neuroses and the casual slaughters of Simon Green.

Prepare to experience the horror of a town BURN!

Author Bio

DANAE SAMSON - AUTHOR OF BURN & LAMENT HILLBorn in Southern California and educated in Portland, Oregon, Danae Samson’s debut novel, Lament Hill, is a testament to her life on the west coast. Samson received her Bachelors and Masters degree from Portland State University and went on to teach English at four colleges in California and Washington. In 2011, Samson decided to pursue her writing full time and signed with Media Aria CDM in the spring of that year. In addition to the release of Lament Hill, Media Aria CDM will publish Samson’s second novel, Burn: The Casual Slaughters of Simon Green in 2013. Samson has recently finished her third novel, also a work of fiction, and has begun the construction of a fourth manuscript. Samson currently lives in Carlsbad, California.


MediaAria CDM’s website:

MediaAria CDM’s profile on Goodreads:

Danae Samson’s profile on MediaAria CDM:

Danae Samson’s profile on Goodreads:

 Buy your copy:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)  | The Book Depository | B&NFlipkart  | Fishpond

Guest Post: Lynda M. Martin

10386945Lynda M. Martin
This Bird Flew Away | Read my Review
Author Website | Goodreads

What is real love? The whole world wants to know. They should ask Bria Jean, because she has it all figured out. Opinionated, stubborn and full of woe, Bria would tell you real love is having one person you can always count on through thick and thin. For her, that’s Jack. And it doesn’t matter to her that she’s nine and he’s twenty-three-not one bit.

When, at the age of twelve, Bria disappears, he and his Aunt Mary search for her, and when she surfaces, injured, abused and traumatized, Jack fights to become her guardian with no idea of the trials ahead of him. By then, Bria is thirteen going on thirty, full of her own ideas on how her life should run and with some very fixed notions about who is in charge.

This Bird Flew Away – The reality behind the fiction

I’m honored to be writing here, discussing my novel This Bird Flew Away and the true life experiences behind the fiction. Thank you, Majanka,  for inviting me to your blog.

Let me begin by introducing myself. Yes, I’m an author, a writer, an editor and a teacher, but that’s only my present life. For thirty years I was an outreach worker in child protection.

So what’s an outreach worker, you ask.

Until the late 1990’s an outreach worker was a usually a volunteer who used a combination of training, natural ability with children, and personal experience with the issues to act as a first contact with victims of crimes against children. Ideally, this person had no concrete connection to law-enforcement, or any social agencies, therefore had no agenda other than the welfare of the victim. Lately, this role has been ‘professionalized’ to a degree, and may often be a police officer or social worker with special training.

Law enforcement, including police and prosecutors are primarily concerned with ‘making a case’ against the perpetrators of these crimes, and are not always inclined to view the welfare of the child to be of first importance. Social agencies have a mandated policy of preserving the family unit, decisions to make as to whether or not to apprehend the child, and all the politics involved in these bureaucratic organizations, and as such, may not be able to consider the short-term best interest of the child. Parents, particularly those dealing with incestual abuse, are often emotionally charged, in denial, enraged, and therefore ill equipped to assist the child. In most cases of familial abuse, the child has kept this terrible secret for so long a parent is the last person he/she will be comfortable confiding in.

An outreach worker comes into the situation as a stranger, but a stranger who understands, with many similar stories to share and most importantly, someone uninvolved in the situation. They do not carry the authority of the law that the child fears may break up the family, or put a loved one in jail. They are there only for that child.

An outreach worker is often the first person who hears the child’s story, and having gained her trust, must now stand between her and those who, however much they sympathize, do have their own professional needs of her.

Ideally, once the situation has normalized, inasmuch as it ever will, the outreach worker disappears. I say ideally, but in the latter half of my thirty-year career, I fostered some of these children in my own home, some for a few weeks, and a few for several years.

This was very unprofessional, and a great weakness in an otherwise very professional career. I couldn’t maintain the required distance from some of the victims, particularly those victims of child trafficking, or the ‘throwaway’ children, unwanted, neglected and abused. They became part of my family. I’m still in contact with some past clients. Some are friends; some are closer; some of their children call me Nana.

I no longer do this work. One day, not too many years ago, I woke up and started crying. I entered a profound depression that lasted for many months, during which I lived with a terrible fantasy in my head. I wanted to get my hands on some automatic weapon, line up all the child molesters and shoot them dead. It was time to stop.

Today, I use the knowledge I gained from these years in my writing. This Bird Flew Away is the first in a series of three novels centered on these issues, in the hope that fiction may reach those that another dry sociology paper will not. My novels concentrate on healing, on the whole personalities of those I came to know, not the dark, and twisted ‘survivor’ tales of the mainstream media (which drives me crazy, by the way. I’d like to see Law & Order, Special Victims Unit off the air for the distorted, destructive portrait of sexual crimes and the victims they present.)

When I first presented This Bird Flew Away to agents, hoping for representation, several agents told me that the public doesn’t want to read about this. “They want feel-good stuff and fantasy,” said one.

“Nonsense,” I replied. I know something those agents do not.

The scope of sexual crimes against children is far wider than the public is led to believe, or the statistics presented by law enforcement state, which are 10% of boys and 22% of girls. These represent only reported cases, and as all workers in the field know, those are but a chip off the tip of the iceberg.

Some years ago, I attended an international conference on crimes against children and the best information these experts put together suggest at least 4 of every 10 boys and 7 of every 10 girls, worldwide, have been sexually exploited before the age of sixteen. That’s 70% of women! Does that seem unreal? It isn’t. In the United States alone, an estimated one in three households is the scene of familial sex abuse. 100,000 children are trafficked within the U.S. every year. At any given time, somewhere between 240,000 and 300,000 children are bought and sold on American streets. Did you know?

But what this does mean is at least two thirds of survivors receive no help, no counseling, nothing to help them reconcile their traumatic past. I hope the story of Bria, full of optimism, courage and humor, as indeed are most of the girls I’ve worked with, will help them learn that they are not alone. Quite the contrary, they are the majority.

For those who’d like to know more about my career in child protection, or of the issues involved, here is a link to my article, ’The Rape of the Innocents’, which receives more views than all my other articles put together. Doesn’t that say something?

Guest Post: Raven Corrin Carluk and Giveaway

Raven Corrin Carluk


Website | Goodreads

Mourning her mother on Halloween,Keila O’Broin,m psychic warrior and last of her line,isn’t prepared for dead teenagers to ask her to avenge them.Compelled by her family creed,Keila combats the vampiric serial killer, despite her atrophied powers.
But defeating one killer is only the start of her adventure. Into her life walks Varick Eitenhauer, centuries old undead master of Portland.The vampire tells her she will now help him defeat his rivals in a battle to control the city, and he will accept no refusals.Surrounded by her desire and danger, the only way to succeed is to rise from her past like a phoenix from its ashes.

The Benign Deity

Everyone handles the power of a god differently. Dictators go mad with power. Scientists experiment rampantly. Doctors will not be contradicted. Writers stay quiet and behind the scenes.

Funny how that works out.

Being in control of an entire universe is a heady tonic. Yet, for the most part, it doesn’t go to our heads. We just have so much fun crafting these worlds to show off. It’s more like a playground than a throne.

Therein lies the difference. Others use their powers to rule people; we use them to create. They require praise and adulation; we require only that you’re entertained. While it’s all about the, it’s all about our art.

In the end, we’re really no different. Writers kill and control, create and protect, love and lust. We just do so with our words, making us benign deities.


Two lucky commenters will receive an e-copy of each of my Keila novels, All Hallows Blood and Saint Valentine’s Clash. If you could have a divine power, what would it be?

Just leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway. Your comment can be an answer to the question asked by the author, it can be about the books, or about this guest post in general. Please leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you are one of the lucky winners!

The contest is open internationally and runs from April 8th till April 12th, midnight.

Raven Corinn Carluk writes about vampires and dark fantasy. She is author of All Hallows Blood, Saint Valentine’s Clash, and stories with bite o,.,o. A little dark, a little crazy, a little fun, she’ll weave you unforgettable tales. Visit for more information.