Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Winner of the Woodcutter's Series on this blog is...

The winners of the Woodcutter's Series by Karen Wiesner


Visit http://www.marianl.com and leave a comment to become eligible to win a copy of Bewitched, Book 5 of the Woodcutter’s Grim Series


Mary Preston


Visit http://www.marian-l.blogspot.com and leave a comment to become eligible to win a copy of One Night of Eternity, Book 6 of the Woodcutter’s Grim Series



Visit http://www.nightsofpassion.wordpress.comand leave a comment to become eligible to win a copy of Woodcutter’s Grim Series, Volume I with Books 1-3 and The Final Chapter.


Saturday, September 15, 2012


Visit http://www.marianl.com and leave a comment to become eligible to win a copy of Bewitched, Book 5 of the Woodcutter’s Grim Series


Visit http://www.marian-l.blogspot.com and leave a comment to become eligible to win a copy of One Night of Eternity, Book 6 of the Woodcutter’s Grim Series


Visit http://www.nightsofpassion.wordpress.com and leave a comment to become eligible to win a copy of Woodcutter’s Grim Series, Volume I with Books 1-3 and The Final Chapter.



Classic Tales of Horror Retold, Volume II

by Karen Wiesner

Romantic Paranormal Novella Collection

978-1-105-20066-3 (trade paperback) from

978-1-61160-275-3 (electronic)


For the ten generations since the evil first came to Woodcutter's Grim, the Guardians have sworn an oath to protect the town from the childhood horrors that lurk in the black woods. Without them, the town would be defenseless…and the terrors would escape to the world at large.

Award-winning author Karen Wiesner is the founder of Jewels of the Quill, an award-winning group of authors in all genres banded together to promote their books. The group also does anthologies together. WOODCUTTER'S GRIM SERIES, Volume II contains the first novella in the series that Karen contributed to a Jewels of the Quill anthology, plus three bonus stories!

A four-book miniseries within the Woodcutter’s Grim Series, dealing with the curse on the Shaussegeny family. Includes “Moonlight Becomes You” (Book 4), “Bewitched” (Book 5), “One Night of Eternity” (Book 6), and “Beauty is the Beast” (Book 7).

5 Stars and Top Pick! “WOODCUTTER’S GRIM SERIES is collection of short stories about the inhabitants of Woodcutter’s Grim who are anything but ordinary. These hauntingly romantic tales will give you the chills and have you swooning within the same sentence. In Volume II, the author focuses on the Shaussegeny family, who has a terrible curse placed upon them. Moonlight Becomes You, Book 4 is about Heather Rowe discovers she’s pregnant with Lance Shaussegeny’s child—who displays some curious symptoms. Her son is sick, and Lance may be the only one who knows how to cure him. Many relive past wrongs over in their mind, but nothing could be worse than reliving them in the flesh. Bewitched, Book 5, is not your ordinary fairytale. This story is an amazingly dark fairy tale laced with some romance, making for a very intriguing story. The descriptive imagery helped me to imagine just what this world must be like for these characters and grow to love them for it. The characters are very well written, easily luring readers into this fantastic new world full of secrets, curses, and love. Glynnis is part of a family that is plagued with a curse and because of this, she has to go through plenty of problems in order to make things right. Aric was a mysterious character who I enjoyed figuring out along with Glynnis. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good dark fairytale. One Night of Eternity, Book 6, was by far one of the most emotion-packed stories in this series yet. Much of it is bittersweet and the mixed emotions and fears of the characters practically ooze off the page. It was very easy to become engrossed in Gavin and Marnie's story, and I couldn't help but feel empathy and even joy at times. Marnie and Gavin both have scars because of their actions, but throughout the book they get a chance to finally accept them and possibly have a happy ending of their own. The scenery and descriptive language in the story helps set the mood for this haunting tale. The imagery used was beautiful and creative. I enjoyed every minute of this story and couldn't put it down. I recommend this story to those who love a romance with some relatable characters and tons of emotion-packed scenes. Beauty is the Beast comes with a new twist. I love fairy tales and I am always happy to check out new retellings. This one is definitely one of the best. I love the dark romance and the twists and turns that are added into this story. Ransom brings some real depth to the beast character which I love because not all retellings of this story have very much depth to the beast's character. This story is so much more than a retelling, though as it brings in a magic of its own and drew me in, keeping me glued to the pages for hours. I highly recommend Beauty is the Beast not only to fans of fairytales, but anyone who loves a good paranormal romance.” ~The Romance Reviews http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooksreview.php?bookid=5933

“Moonlight Becomes You: Enthralling. Bewitched: Exciting. One Night of Eternity: Creative and poignant. Beauty is the Beast: Heartwarming. The second Woodcutter’s Grim anthology contains four excellent paranormal romances in which members of the cursed Shaussegeny family meet their beloved mates. Each tale is loosely based on a fairy tale as Karen Wiesner provides fresh, adult renditions in a fabulous collection.” ~Harriet Klausner for Alternative Worlds http://www.alternative-worlds.com/2012/08/11/woodcutters-grim-series-volume-ii-karen-wiesner/  

“Moonlight Becomes You”:

Very loosely based on The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. When her child becomes deathly ill and none of the doctors and specialists can help him, Heather Rowe rushes to Woodcutter's Grim, hoping the boy's father can explain what's happening. But Lance Shaussegeny both intrigues and terrifies Heather as much as what he's told her of his hometown does. She soon learns that nothing in Woodcutter's Grim--including Lance--is what it seems.

5 Stars! “This first story takes place thirty years after the curse was cast. For those with a soft heart, rest assured that the infant, Gavin, never comes to harm. So there is no need to fear or avoid this awesome tale. I could not stop reading until the very end and am about to submerge myself into the next Shaussegeny story.” ~Huntress Reviews http://www.huntressreviews.com 

“The premise of this story is very original and I am interested to see how each member of the family will eventually find their chosen mate.” ~Bridget for The Romance Reviews http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooksreview.php?bookid=835

“A wonderful story. These are very imaginative, refreshing romantic fantasies. Well written and entertaining…, readers will enjoy finding true love in the Jewel of the Quill realms.” ~Harriet Klausner for The Merry Genre Go Round Reviews http://harstan.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/tales-from-the-treasure-trove-volume-vii-carrie-s-masek-jane-toombs-janet-lane-walters-karen-wiesner/

4 Stars! “I admire Heather so much. Not only is she a woman struggling to understand the changes that came over her after making love to Lance, but she's also a new mother with a very sick child. My heart ached as she held her son and tried to understand what was wrong with him. She's terrified of going to Woodcutter’s Grim, but Heather is willing to face her own fears if it means saving her son. I became so wrapped up in Heather and her son’s struggle that I turned each page hoping they would find some peace. I do have to say that I found Lance and his family a little creepy… I know they meant well, but…I kept hoping Lance or someone in his family would sit down with Heather and have an open, honest discussion with her. On the other hand, I have to wonder if Heather, who's very stubborn, would have listened to what they had to say. It's clear the love Lance and his family show Heather and her son is genuine and unconditional. I enjoyed reading Moonlight Becomes You. Woodcutter’s Grim is certainly scary, but also is an intriguing place filled with interesting characters. I recommend it to anyone looking for a frightening fairytale.” ~Long and Short Reviews http://www.longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2012/04/moonlight-becomes-you-by-karen-wiesner.html

4 ½ Stars! “As a story, this forms a part of her long-running Woodcutter’s Grim Series of novels appearing in a compilation of stories. Since the evil had laid its grip on Woodcutter’s Grim the Defenders have had to make sure their children can grow up in a safer place that it would have been, or the horrors that lurked around there could have picked them off one by one. This story, like her other novels is loosely based on the fairy tale of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Heather Rowe is at a loss as to what is happening to her child, and when she can’t get any answers from the doctors who look at the child, she has to return to Woodcutters Grim, where her man, Lance lives to find out what is going on. From the first three pages Karen has the reader find out more about the characters than if she had waited. She wants the reader to know of the characters first before she sets the action off in this story. Heather wants to know what is going on with the child, and only he has the answers, but she has only heard a little about Woodcutters Grim and the rumours of the curse, and nothing more. Heather can’t understand why he knows so much about her and her him, but when he answers all her questions, she finally comes to terms with what she has to do to save herself and her child.” ~Love Romance Passion http://www.loveromancepassion.com/review-tales-from-the-treasure-trove-vol-vii/ 


Very loosely based on The Little Mermaid. Glynnis Shaussegeny becomes bewitched by the mystery man who appears out of nowhere on the abandoned property across the lake from her family’s estate. But does Aric Sayer have even more dark secrets than she does?

4 ½ Stars! “Has Glynnis betrayed her chosen mate before she’s even met him? Glynnis is a werewolf who has made a huge mistake. She was sure that she’d already met the man destined for her. When that man walks away from her, she is devastated. Even worse, this means that she has been unfaithful to her true mate. I could practically feel her pain and loneliness as she howled her anguish at the moon. It isn’t long before Glynnis becomes aware that she’s not alone. Aric Sayer has been watching her. From the moment they meet, Glynnis and Aric are drawn to each other, but Aric isn’t an ordinary man, and his past is a mystery, even to himself. Is Aric her true mate, or is Glynnis making another mistake? I’m glad I got to know a bit more about Glynnis. In the first story [in this “miniseries” within the Woodcutter’s Grim Series, Moonlight Becomes You, she seemed carefree and at peace with the family curse. However, this tale showed Glynnis in a much different light. She is a woman with a broken heart who longs for the peace she can only attain when she unites with her true mate. To make matters worse, her brother Lance has recently connected with his mate and they have a beautiful baby. While Glynnis is happy for her brother, she can’t help but feel a bit jealous. I think her mixed emotions add a very human element to this supernatural tale. Glynnis is also very honest and straightforward, traits which made her even more endearing. When she and Aric meet, the connection between them is powerful, but Glynnis holds back. I was very pleased that she resisted rushing into a serious relationship until he knew about her curse as well as her previous relationship. She is never cryptic with him, but she also never bombards him with too much information. Her patience allows him to freely choose whether to join her or not. I admire her courage at telling the truth even though it might mean she loses Aric forever. Aric’s history is definitely interesting. I can’t say much about his true nature without spoiling the story, but I will say that he isn’t a werewolf. He’s a unique supernatural creature that adds an interesting dimension to the magic surrounding Glynnis and her family. Ms. Wiesner has packed a lot of information about Aric and his history into this short story, but it all fit together well and never felt rushed or overwhelming. I really enjoyed watching Glynnis and Aric discover the truth of his origins. This buildup of information also led to a very exciting climax that had me speeding through the pages. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read Bewitched. Readers wanting to enjoy this great addition to the Woodcutter’s Grim Series should definitely read the first four stories in the series in order to better understand the Shaussegeny family. Once readers visit Woodcutter’s Grim, I have no doubt they’ll want to come back. I will certainly be reading the other stories in this series soon.” ~Long and Short Reviews http://www.longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2012/05/bewitched-by-karen-wiesner.html 

4 Stars! “Not your ordinary fairytale. Loosely based on The Little Mermaid, Bewitched is about Glynnis, who is instantly drawn to the mysterious man that appears out of nowhere across the lake from her family's home. She knows about curses all too well since her own family is plagued by one, but she may find out that Aric has an even darker secret. This story is an amazingly dark fairy tale laced with some romance, making for a very intriguing story. The descriptive imagery helped me to imagine just what this world must be like for these characters and grow to love them for it. The characters are very well written, easily luring readers into this fantastic new world full of secrets, curses, and love. Glynnis is part of a family that is plagued with a curse and because of this, she has to go through plenty of problems in order to make things right. Aric was a mysterious character I enjoyed figuring out along with Glynnis. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good dark fairytale.” ~The Romance Review http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooksreview.php?bookid=4900

4 Stars! “This is the second in a four-book miniseries within the Woodcutter's Grim Series involving the curse of the Shaussegeny family. The story is loosely based on the tale of "The Little Mermaid". I have come to realize that this author, Karen Wiesner, has a manipulative side. She takes an innocent fairy tale, rips apart all but the main meat of it, and then inserts her own darker magic while captivating the reader with her awesome storytelling skills. As with the previous novellas, the main characters have well developed backgrounds and the curse causes the Shaussegeny family a plethora of problems in which they must deal with in a timely manner. It all adds up to give the reader one heck of a wild ride.” ~Huntress Reviews http://www.huntressreviews.com

4 Stars! “Readers will like what Karen Wiesner has made Glynnis into, as it fits into the whole fantasy/fairy tale story idea nicely. It is the story of two people who have been apart all their lives but who need to be together, and Aric doesn’t know who that one woman is until he meets her purely by chance one day. It is then he feels that she has been the one who can fill his heart with love-she is the one part of him that can make him whole again. So far he has been living alone and has felt so empty.” ~Love Romance Passion http://www.loveromancepassion.com/review-bewitched-woodcutters-grim-series-book-5-by-karen-wiesner/ 

“One Night of Eternity”:

Loosely based on The House That Jack Built. The curse pronounced on the Shaussegeny clan for all time was very clear: "Because the Shaussegeny name has long been synonymous with faithlessness, even unto your own chosen mates, only one chosen mate will be allotted to each of your kin henceforth. These chosen mates must also fall under the family curse, but these pairs will know true peace when they become one. Herein lays your salvation—and your damnation. Only if each of your clan remains faithful to their chosen mates in word and deed for all of their days will they have blissful contentment. Apart, mates shall be restless and forever unsettled, gripped by a sadness and despair unlike any other. A terrible fate will come upon the one who breaks the mate covenant." Gavin Shaussegeny has broken the covenant with his wife, Marnie, by cheating on her, and the betrayal carries a harsh penalty and punishment. Although Gavin regrets his faithlessness and loves his wife more than anyone or anything else, the house that he's built for himself is rapidly beginning to tumble down around him. There is only one chance for salvation for him now: Only his mate's undeserved forgiveness will free him from his punishment to re-live his betrayal over and over for all time.

4 Stars! “This is the third in a four-book novella miniseries within the Woodcutter's Grim series. Each story can stand alone, but by reading them in order you will get the full gut-punch. In the first story, Lance returned to Woodcutter's Grim because his father, Gav, had disappeared in the woods. In the second story, Gav's disappearance is remarked on also. The family has figured out that Gav must have cheated on Marnie again and that the covenant part of the curse is at work, and they suspect (correctly) that Marnie knows exactly where Gav is and what is happening to him, but Marnie will not speak about her husband. The character of Marnie is very strong. Family means everything to her. I was impressed by her character during the first two stories. After this tale, I like her even more.” ~Huntress Reviews http://www.huntressreviews.com

4 Stars! “Can Marnie let go of her hate before it kills her? Marnie thought she’d put Gavin’s unfaithfulness behind her. After they were cursed into becoming werewolves, Marnie thought the new mate bond would allow her to forget all about Gavin’s previous indiscretions. She was dreadfully mistaken. Since Marnie and Gavin never truly dealt with the pain his affairs caused, the injury festered and rotted their marriage from the inside out. Each exchange between them was laced with bitterness and pulled me further and further into the dark mood of the story. As Marnie and Gavin reach the breaking point, they have to ask themselves one question. Is their marriage worth saving? Marnie’s pain practically drips from each page. My heart ached as she fought to control equal parts love and hate for Gavin. I couldn’t believe she’d lived with the pain year after year rather than having an open honest discussion with Gavin. Instead, in her stubbornness, she hurls insults at him. Even though Gavin deserves every harsh word, the arguing only serves to make the situation worse. I cringed each time Gavin and Marnie inflicted new and deeper wounds on each other and I honestly began to doubt they were ever going to reconcile. Gavin is a man who just doesn’t get it... I couldn’t tell if he genuinely didn’t know that Marnie needed him to apologize for the past, or if his misunderstanding was deliberate…when it was obvious she needed something much more meaningful. I found Gavin’s punishment for infidelity to be truly terrifying, and yet it seemed to be the only thing that was going to get through to him. Not only did he relive the absolute worst moment of his life over and over, but Marnie experienced the betrayal as well. Marnie and Gavin are literally dying without each other. The tension mounted as the story reached its climax. I held my breath and crossed my fingers hoping for a happy ending. One Night of Eternity may be a short story, but the emotions contained within its pages are powerful, and I couldn’t put the book down until I’d finished reading it. Anyone looking for a tale filled with real and raw emotions and an ultimately happy ending should consider reading One Night of Eternity.” ~Poinsetta for Long and Short Reviews http://www.longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2012/05/one-night-of-eternity-by-karen-wiesner.html

“Karen Wiesner has been very busy of late with her new and intriguing novels which are based on certain old fairy tales and nursery rhymes. She has of course, rewritten them for a more modern audience. Karen has the reader really getting into the minds of the characters, and finding out what makes them tick, but also what can make them tolerant of others. She normally likes putting tragic characters together where the both of them can find peace of mind with each other and sort out their life problems, but in this one in the series, it is less about self-harm or self-punishment, and more of what others have done to them, for example, the curse on their family. It is interesting to see how these two characters will work out their differences and become one.” ~Love Romance Passion http://www.loveromancepassion.com/review-one-night-of-eternity-woodcutter%e2%80%99s-grim-series-book-6-by-karen-wiesner/

“Beauty is the Beast”:

Very loosely based on Beauty and the Beast. The Shaussegeny family curse came with one final pronouncement: “And now there is but one manner in which this curse can be broken and obliterated entirely: That beauty falls in love with the beast and vice versa, that evil loves good and good loves evil. If this should happen, your family shall be released from each aspect of my curse and your alliance with evil shall be ended.”

When Ransom Shaussegeny attempts to cure the family of the curse they live under, he becomes a werewolf trapped in his beast form and isolates himself inside the family fortress. When he meets Tess Moore, a beautiful enchantress, and falls under her spell, Ransom no longer knows who or what is real—or whether the evil in Woodcutter’s Grim is about to have the last laugh by dooming him, the woman he loves, and his family for all time...

5 Stars! “I admit that Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite fairy tale and Wiesner's story is loosely based on it; however, that is not why I am giving this story such a high rating. This story deserves every star. Instead of accepting his fate and grieving, this hero is trying hard to lift the curse or find a cure. As for the heroine, she is not perfect. Her secret is worse than his. I find that fact to be a refreshing change. It is a gentle twist to make the tale even more interesting. Karen Wiesner knows what readers want in their stories and she delivers.” ~Huntress Reviews http://www.huntressreviews.com

About the Author:

Creating realistic, unforgettable characters one story at a time…


Karen Wiesner is an accomplished author with 90 books published in the past 14 years, which have been nominated for and/or won 124 awards, and has 32 more titles under contract. Karen’s books cover such genres as women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense, paranormal, futuristic, gothic, inspirational, thriller, horror, chick-lit, and action/adventure. She also writes children’s books, poetry, and writing reference titles such as her bestsellers, First Draft in 30 Days and From First Draft to Finished Novel {A Writer’s Guide to Cohesive Story Building}, available from Writer’s Digest Books. Look for Writing the Series, her next offering from Writer’s Digest Books, in May 2013. Her previous writing reference titles focused on non-subsidy, royalty-paying electronic publishing, author promotion, and setting up a promotional group like her own, the award-winning Jewels of the Quill, which she founded in 2003. Jewels of the Quill produced two award-winning group anthologies per year published by Whiskey Creek Press from 2005-2011. All were edited by Karen and others. Additionally, Karen is a member of Infinite Worlds of Fantasy Authors and World Romance Writers. Along with her writing, Karen enjoys designing Web sites, graphics, and cover art.

For more information about Karen and her work, visit her Web sites at http://www.karenwiesner.com, http://www.firstdraftin30days.com, http://www.falconsbend.com and http://www.JewelsoftheQuill.com. If you would like to receive Karen’s free e-mail newsletter, Karen’s Quill, and become eligible to win her monthly book giveaways, send a blank e-mail to


Woodcutter’s Grim Series Backlist and What’s Coming Up:

“Papa”, Book 1 in SHADOWS IN THE HEART, A Jewels of the Quill Halloween Anthology
“Blood of Amethyst”, Book 2 in TALES FROM THE TREASURE TROVE, Volume IV, A Jewels of the Quill Anthology
WOODCUTTER’S GRIM SERIES, Volume I with Books 1-2 and bonus stories “Dancing to the Grave”, Book 3 and “The Amethyst Tower”, The Final Chapter

“Moonlight Becomes You”, Book 4 in TALES FROM THE TREASURE TROVE, Volume VII, A Jewels of the Quill Anthology

“Bewitched”, Book 5

“One Night of Eternity”, Book 6

WOODCUTTER’S GRIM SERIES, Volume II with Books 4-6 and bonus story “Beauty is the Beast” (Book 7)

THE DEEP, Book 8, A Woodcutter’s Grim Series Short Novel 

Inspirational Romantic Paranormal Horror

Download from Whiskey Creek Press http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com
Coming October 2013

Very loosely based on “Metamorphoses: The Story of Pygmalion and the Statue” by Ovid. Cheyenne Welsh can’t forget her past and the disappearance of her younger sister. When she returns to Woodcutter’s Grim to sell the family property she grew up on, she’s confronted with all the nightmare-realities of her childhood, still alive and well, still right where she left them—down in the darkness the Deep dwells inside. Her home...

HUNTER’S BLUES, A Woodcutter's Grim Series Novel

Futuristic Paranormal Romance
Trade paperback from http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/karenwiesner

Download from Whiskey Creek Press http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com
Coming October 2015

Note: This story will fit into the Woodcutter’s Grim Series after THE DEEP, Book 8, and before “The Amethyst Tower”, the Final Chapter.

Very loosely based on “The Evil Mother-in-Law” by the Brothers Grimm. The year is 2040. When the evil in Woodcutter’s Grim unleashed ten years earlier, humans turned into spooks who avoided the sun and had a taste for human flesh…along with the innate instinct to contaminate others with their evil. In no time at all, the evil spread and wiped out half of the town’s population before the Protectorate—the Guardians sworn to protect Woodcutter’s Grim and those outside against the evil pervading it—came up with a way to hold the threat at bay, not completely but enough to save those left. In these years, everything has changed, from occupations to entertainment. A curfew has been imposed, and few are stupid enough to break it. Protectorate bounty hunters patrol the cities in the daylight. Humans live in fortress-like homes that aren’t always capable of keeping the ghouls out. Guardian bounty hunter and ex-Marine, Reece Pallaton, wonders what it’s all for and whether he’ll lose everyone he cares about in this endless battle. Fellow Guardian, Michell “Shell” Jones insists that they can find a cure, that life will someday go back to normal. But Reece is beginning to believe that the battle he’s waging can never be won…until he discovers the source of the evil and his own, terrifying connection to it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sharon Buchbinder--Never Grow Up...

Never Grow Up and Other Contrarian Advice

By Sharon Buchbinder


Marian, thank you for having as a guest on your blog today. I thought it might be useful to share my thoughts about getting published with you and your readers.


As a relatively recent arrival to the realm of “Published Full Length Fiction Author,” I am here to provide the contrarian’s guide to achieving this status. There truly is no one route to publication. You really don’t need an MFA. You don’t even have to have majored in English, although being able to use the language correctly is a plus. You don’t have to starve in an attic writing timeless prose or poetry. You don’t have to have lived in the belly of the underworld and struggled with alcoholism and addiction, although that has worked for others. You don’t even have to have designated office space. What do you need? Here are my top ten tips of for becoming a published author.

1.      Never grow up. Be curious about the world around you and wonder, “What if?” Grownups (i.e., anyone who is done growing) are boring. Childlike curiosity is not childish. It enables you to see the world with fresh eyes and to bring a new perspective to a story. Look at F. Paul Wilson’s The Keep. Paul is a physician who started writing medical thrillers. Then he had a wild idea: what if Nazi’s encountered vampires in World War II? The result is a cult classic. Keep saying, “What if?”

2.      Be yourself. There is only one you and you have your own voice. Don’t try to be a clone of another author. And don’t promote yourself that way. Do not say, “Oh, my work is just like Nora Roberts.” Um, no it isn’t. You will only be a pale imitation of that author--but you are unique.

3.      Get a job that pays. Money. Preferably with benefits. Because you have to live. Another contrarian posted that the worst career advice is to do what you love. While this flies into the face of common platitudes, her comments make sense. Seriously, do you want to live in your parents’ home forever?

4.      Seize the moment. You can write in 15 minute blocks, at lunch, on break, in a fast food restaurant, on a napkin (yes, I’ve outlined entire books on a napkin), before the kids are conscious, in the bathroom, in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep. If you are passionate about writing, if it is an obsession, you will be unable to resist the urge to write. Where ever you go, have a notepad or phone and jot or text your ideas to yourself. I used the notepad app in my phone and made a list of story ideas. When I looked at it 3 years later, I had written all those stories. Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe wheneverem.

5.      Get rejected. Yes, get rejected. You will learn from those rejections what works and what doesn’t. I was rejected by 82 (no, that is not a typo) agents. That experience taught me to look at other avenues to publication.  Paper your office with your rejections. And, yes, I'm still submitting to agents, because I believe the right agent can be an author's best advocate in the competitive publishing world.

6.      Have trusted readers. When I started writing my first novel, I needed a cheering section to keep me going, to give me the courage to keep writing. That first stage should not last more than a year--at most. The next step is to put your work out there for others to read and critique. No smoke blowing allowed. Regardless of what path you go--paid editor, critique group, critique partner--you must have other readers. Otherwise, it’s like well, dare I say it? Masturbation. It feels good for you, but it wasn’t good for the other person. Be brave, get alpha and beta readers and listen to their constructive criticisms.

7.      Be persistent. Did I mention I received 82 rejections from agents? If I hadn’t been persistent, I would have never had the courage to send my work to contests, I would have never won writing awards, I would have never had the chutzpah to send my little story to a small electronic publisher and gotten it published. You must press on.

8.      Do not whine. No one, and I do mean no one, likes a whiner. If you get rejected, allow yourself no more than 24 hours to cry, stomp your feet, and have a pity party. After 24 hours, STOP. Be child like, but not childish.

9.      Don’t take it personally. While the story of your heart is your baby and you know this is the best (fill in the blank) story ever told, publishing is a business. The publisher is not going to take a story that doesn’t fit with their lines or needs. They are in business to make money.

10.  And finally, if it doesn’t fit, find another publisher--or publish it yourself.  Right now, we have a lot of choices as authors. Agents, editors and publishers are feeling the pressure to perform. Some are responding to the sea change and stepping up to the plate to market and promote our stories. This year I chose to obtain my rights back for seven of my short stories and novellas so I could package them together in an anthology. KILLER KISSES, available in Kindle or Paperback, is a collection of all my short romance stories. Now my readers can have all of my babies in one package for a very good price. Will I continue to pursue publication with other publishers? Yes. I believe there are many great opportunities with traditional publishers.  I don't think this is an either or proposition. I see it as a great prospect (with some caveats) to connect with our readers and do what we do best: tell a story.


If you'd like more of my contrarian advice, or to find my books, KILLER KISSES and DESIRE AND DECEPTION (Erotic thriller), I can be found all over the web, but usually hang out at these places:


Snap, Crackle and Popping Blog http://www.sharonbuchbinder.com/blog

Sexy Romance Stories http://sexyromancestories.com/

Twitter @sbuchbinder

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Marian Lanouette, Author of If I Fail, A Jake Carrington Mystery |

Marian Lanouette, Author of If I Fail, A Jake Carrington Mystery |


The winners of my release day giveaway. Congratulations, Lyn and MarySue. I've sent you both an email. Please contact me off loop. And thank you everyone who participated and made my release day special.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012



After much anticipation on my part, the day has arrived. If I Fail, A Jake Carrington Mystery hit the Amazon shelves this week.

To celebrate I'm giving away two Barnes and Noble Gift Cards, to two lucky winners. Just click the contest buttons below for your chance to win. The more you share this post the more entries you receive.

I can't describe what it felt like when I clicked on Amazon.Com and saw my book. That's right my book!

Two years ago when I set out to write--seriously that is--because I've written my whole life. But this time, my goal while writing was to be published.

A childish dream at this age. Some thought so, but those close to me encouraged and supported me. As I learned the craft and the business, I got more excited about my novels and where they were taking me.

It's been a wonderful journey and I know it's not over yet.

Website: www.marianl.com
Blog: www.marian-l.blogspot.com

View the book trailer: http://youtu.be/DnmqRl-J0co

BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Fail-Carrington-Mystery-Series-ebook/dp/B0095GCVX4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346948115&sr=8-1&keywords=Marian+Lanouette

Like my author page: www.amazon.com/author/marianlanouette

Author Bio:
Marian born and raised in Brooklyn, New York is the seventh child of ten. At the age of sixteen her family moved from New York to New England. As a typical teenager, she felt her life was ruined and took to journalizing her feeling and this new life. The journal helped her realize how easily she had adapted to the change. Although, she did miss her cherished friends terribly; she's thankful, they are still friends today. The four of them refer to each other as the cradle to the grave friends.

Unbeknown to her parents, at the age of five she started reading the New York Daily News story about the murdered nurses in Chicago and the investigation. Marian followed the story every day as authorities rushed to solve the brutal crime. It had caught her attention and her imagination. To this day she stills checks her closet before going to sleep. Marian thinks it was on that day the mystery lover was created.

At the age of eight she wrote every day, whether it be a poem, a short story or in her journal. An eighth grade assignment got her published. Though she failed the assignment, the nun was impressed with her poem. It was supposed to be a four line poem, but she couldn't still her pen. The Beach her first official published work is still her favorite though much longer than four lines. It was the nun who submitted the poem for her to the local paper. Thus, the writer was born.


Marian's first book If I Fail, A Jake Carrington Mystery will be released on September 7, 2012; and will be followed up in January 2013 with the second book in the series, Burn in Hell, A Jake Carrington Mystery. Each book's a mystery with romantic elements, because to quote Marian, "Life is both mysterious and romantic."

Marian resides in New England with her husband.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Author Katie Carroll talks about Elixir Bound

Today I welcome YA fantasy author Katie Carroll. I can’t wait to read the book I loved the excerpt and the concept.  You grabbed me from the first line.

    1.)    Is this your debut novel?
Elixir Bound is my debut novel. It has been a very long journey from when I first started writing the story to its publication, but I’ve learned so, so, so much along the way. I’m very happy to have landed at the Muse with it. 

    2.)    What kind of Elixir is it?
The Elixir is a healing potion. Its potency comes from the nectar of tiny flowers that grow on vines in one particular spot on The Sleeping Giant mountain range. The Elixir is not an immortality potion, but it very powerful. From the mouth of Katora’s father, “The Elixir is quite remarkable, but it won’t keep those alive who are meant to die. I’m afraid death comes even to those who may not deserve it, and I’ve not way of stopping it.” 

3.)    Why does it have to be protected?
Like any powerful tool, the Elixir must be protected from falling into the clutches of evil beings. The guardian of the Elixir is bound to it, but anyone else who gains control of it is not bound by the same rules as the guardian. They can choose to manipulate it to serve evil purposes. 

4.)    Does it give special powers to the guardian?
Alas, the Elixir does not grant the guardian any special powers. At times, it does put the guardian in situations that exposes he or she to extraordinary occurrences—like having the greater beings communicate with the guardian through the weather—that most ordinary people would not have the pleasure of experiencing.
5.)    Is the guardian chosen by the people or is it like royalty, where the guardian is born into it?
Katora is born into the role of guardian. It is a role that is presented to her, in part because of her pedigree and in part because of who she is as a person. However, she does not have to become guardian if she chooses not to. 

6.)    Once she’s bound to the Elixir, is Katora bound to it for life?
If Katora chooses to be the new guardian, she will not be bound for life. Guardianship is more of a generational thing. Pop, Katora’s father, is the guardian at the beginning of the story.
7.)    Is there a sequel planned?
Yes! There is a new Elixir story in the works. I’m tentatively calling it Elixir Saved, and it’s told from a different character’s point of view.
8.)    My last question, why did you chose to write YA and fantasy?
I’m going to say YA and fantasy chose me to write it. When I first started Elixir Bound all those years ago, I wanted to give my sister Kylene—who passed away at the age of 16—a fantasy adventure. I had no idea that I was writing a YA story. It wasn’t until I wrote many words that I knew the story was for teens.

Excerpt from Elixir Bound
Katora remained perfectly still; her father’s words deflated the balloon of anger building inside her and filled the hole with cold shock.

Pop stood and began to pace while he explained. “Deep in Faway grows the plant that gives the Elixir its potency. The Kase family and our ancestors have harvested this plant and acted as guardians of the Elixir for hundreds of years. We developed methods for increasing its potency and have passed these secrets down for generations. I am the current guardian.”

Pop the guardian of the greatest healing Elixir ever available to humans? Could it be true? As he stood in front of Katora, his eyes betrayed no hint of a lie. How did she fail to notice this all her life? And what did it mean for her.

Thank you, Katie. I liked getting to know Katora before I read the book this weekend.

Author’s  Bio:
Katie Carroll began writing after her 16-year-old sister unexpectedly passed away. Writing was a way for Katie to help her sister live on in the pages of a story. It also made her realize that she wanted to pursue writing as a career. In addition to penning novels for teens and kids, she edits puzzle magazines, plays soccer, and collects signed copies of books. Katie lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.

Buy links here: