CJ’s Author Guest Blogger Tour: K.A. Meng

Hey Readers,

It’s new week for a new author coming by and introducing themselves. I would like everyone to give a warm welcome to K. A. Meng, Author of Superior Species available on Amazon. K.A. Take it away!

Finding the Time to Write with a Busy Schedule.

Thank you for letting me take over your blog today. It’s been a great pleasure to be a part of the Solstice Author Winter Blog Tour. I want to talk today about finding the time to write with a busy schedule, but I’ll start by telling everyone about myself first. You profile1can see how crazy my schedule it.

My name is K. A. Meng. I live in the frozen tundra of North Dakota with my teenage son and our two cats and two dogs. I write paranormal, urban fantasy, mysteries, and sci fi. Sometimes I add in a hint of romance to the stories. I work full time as an administrative assistant.

My job is from Monday thru Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. When I get off work, I have (if I’m lucky) thirty minutes to myself before my son is demanding food or the dogs want to go for a walk. Yes, my shelties want to walk until it reaches a certain temperature then they stop whining, usually way under zero degrees F. Between working, having a son, pets, owning a home, and trying to market my book, I don’t have a lot of time to write.

The first thing you need to do is squeeze your writing in whenever you can. One of the first books I wrote took me ten months to write. I won’t speak to much about it since I need to edit it. I’ll jump into my third novel, I’ve written which took about six months. It happens to be published.

My first published novel, Superior Species is through Solstice Publishing – Solstice superior-species-001Shadows. You can find it here:

Amazon: http://getbook.at/SuperiorSpecies

Superior Species is about a girl named Ivory Ames. She has caught the attention of four gorgeous guys. At Los Roshano University this isn’t normal, even when all the upperclassmen have perfect physiques, flawless complexions, and hypnotic looks. That’s not even the weirdest part. The town has a strict sunset curfew because of wild animals attacking.

To keep her friends and herself safe, Ivory must figure out the truth behind the town’s mysteries before it’s too late.

To find the time to write, you need to want to write. Find your motivation. The Superior Species book series sprang to life after I asked myself, “What would I do if I met a monster?” I asked this question after the sudden rise in popular vampire and werewolf novels in which they made the monsters into something not scary at all. I do enjoy those type of novels, but I grew up on where you shouldn’t befriend the beasts. They are scary and want to kill you. You should run away. Of course, I’m asked this a lot:

But the monsters are still good-looking in your novel how can they be scary?

My character Ivory Ames will explain it soon best. A white tiger is beautiful, but that doesn’t mean she wants to for a pet. They are dangerous and could kill you without warning.

I’m pleased to announce my second novel in the Superior Species world will be released this year by Solstice Publishing – Solstice Shadows. I wrote it in four months. I don’t have a release date since it is under editing. If you want to know when it will be released keep checking out my website, www.kamengauthor.com, and scroll down to the Books section where I’ll post anything coming out soon. I plan for a lot this year.

The third novel in Superior Species, I wrote it in two and a half months. As you can see, I’ve been getting faster and faster at completing novels sooner. I wrote this one during NaNoWriMo in November 2016. For those who don’t know, its National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month. You should check it out. I pushed myself to write 60,000 words this time and will from now on. My novels tend to be longer so I set a bigger goal. You should join and find people on there to talk to. Support helps when you want to write. I tell everyone I am not available for the month of November. If I’m lucky, people will listen.

Another good way to gain words is doing word sprints. They are easy to do. Set a time frame with someone and write. It’s a good way to challenge yourself to get more words done. You can find people on twitter under #wordsprints. You can ask your writing friends or find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012856366750&fref=ts and send me a message. I’ll let you know if I can or not. I will be on in November to write again. July is camp NaNoWriMo. I may be writing then I don’ know. My plan is to be on for June doing my own NaNoWriMo.

One big thing that has helped me write more is set a goal. My current one is small, 1,000 words a day. I do this by writing at my break for work, one hour a day Monday thru Friday. And at night. I write in 250 word sprints. I start supper or help my kid by telling him what to cook while I write. Eat. Write. Do a chore. Write. Do another chore. Write. And before I know it my goal is met. Most nights I write more and on the weekends a heck of a lot more. Think of it like this in 20 days, I have a short story done.

I hope some of these tips will help you. If you want to know more about me, you can find me on here:

Website – www.kamengauthor.com

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/KAMengAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KAMengAuthor

Blog – https://kamengauthor.com/blog

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kamengauthor/

Thank you for having me. -K.A.

 

Thank you, K.A. for being here and sharing with us.

And Thanks you all for coming. I hope you have a great week.

Smoochesth-1

CJ

Author on the Couch

Hey Readers,

Today, is a short blog post. I want to let you all know that I’m on the Author on the Couch by Abbie Roads. Come by and say hello. I will be gifting a free copy of my dark romantic thriller, Forgetting Jane.

Forgetting Jane-002-2

Hope to see you there!

Smoochesth-1

CJ

CJ’s Guest Blogger Tour: Geoff Nelder

Hey Readers,

Since I unabashedly took over Geoff Nelder’s Blog a few weeks back and chased him around his desk with utmost glee, he graciously decided retribution are in order. He rips the keyboard from my hands, and begins typing furiously like a mad man. 😉

Let us see what he has to say.

 

Oops, there I go again, barging in on someone else’s blog, grasping for an unsuspecting new audience. No one is more demanding than Mrs N in more ways than two and this piece is inspired by one of her more painful questions.

Writers’ Delusions by Geoff Nelder

This is the question Mrs Nelder stabbed me with when she once peeped over my shoulder at my list of story rejections being three times longer than the acceptances.

“What on Earth made you think you could be a writer?”

Answer: I didn’t know I was okay at writing until a teacher made me stand in front of the class and stumble through an essay I’d scribbled. A silly tale about a red squirrel scrambling on the gnarled boughs of the village’s oldest oak tree, stealing an acorn from a tree spirit to bury under a pupil’s desk. Imagine my surprise when every kid sneaked a peep under their desk.

Yes, those words held power and I liked it. Through my teens I wrote jokes. Sold some to British comedians and my first was published in a magazine in 1969. At university I became a co-editor of the rag-mag, a dreadful collection of very funny, awful smutty and politically-incorrect gags. We’d gather in the bar and brainstorm until the beer ran out. That was nearly half a century ago and I still see those jokes. Uncredited, no royalties. It was for charities then, still is. During that time I studied geography, mathematics and literature. Struck dumb, me, when the lecturer read out loud William Langland’s Vision of a Fair Field full of Folk. This is a wondrous sample of that early medieval poem:

‘In a somer sesoun, whan softe was the sonne,malverns2
I shope me into shroudes, as I a shep were,
In abite as an heremite, unholy of werkes,
Wente forth in the world wondres to here,
And saw many selles and selcouthe thynges.
Ac on a May mornyng on Malverne hulles
Me biful for to slepe, for werynesse of walkyng;’

I learnt it by heart, while hiking on those actual Malvern Hills, a short bike ride from my house. I took my son on those hills a few years ago and the ‘sonne’ softly warmed our backs. I learnt the energy in words of sensual Show. Engaging the reader via all their five senses in every story. I read the great writers and they all do it. Even those science fiction and thriller books that the literati often overlook. Consider these two words from Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle: ‘She gave him a perfumed hug.’ You know which two words. Did you experience that hug? You were there, right?

After graduating, twice, I taught high school where writing lies takes over. Not really, but all teachers have to write masses of words. We talk about a target of 2000 words a day on our novels but teachers often achieve that when writing lesson notes, worksheets and above all, end-of-term reports. Most teachers hate that but writerly ones love it. It gives us the opportunity to be creative with an otherwise tedious activity. (assuming the school isn’t using computerized multi-guess reporting). One of my favourites: ‘The dawn of legibility in John’s writing revealed his utter incapacity to spell.’ Such chores honed my writing decades ago.

Not that I’ve stopped learning the craft. I’m with Pablo Casals – the famous cellist on why he continued to practise at 90: ‘Because I think I’m making progress.’

I remain fascinated enough by gnarled oak trees and squirrels to write them into my stories. This 2017 year sees publication of my ‘Girl in a Wandering Wood’ in The Horror Zine. I’d overheard the phrase wandering wood and thought what if a wood actually wandered? So, a botanist is trapped in a copse, animated by a spirit trying to stop her escaping. A squirrel helps her out, kind of. The same squirrel I wrote about in 1957.

A sample flash story. First published in Bobbing Around: (2004)Vol 3 No.6 A newsletter by psychiatrist Dr Bob Rich.

Nothing Upstairs By Geoff Nelder           

He should take advantage of the perspective from the top floor of a bus. Forrister’s car lingered in Foley’s Vehicular Care Centre for its annual medical but he had to put in a work appearance.

Green vinyl seats as opposed to his red leather but not bad. His nose expected sour milk odours—a foolish bias, so his eyebrows arched with surprise as fresh air slapped his face from the open top windows. Even so, those reasons for individual travel, cocooned in his Ford, came to him—personal space, sublime solitude listening to opera. He sought the least offensive fellow traveller. The beard looked normal enough: its owner gazing through a demisted circle on the window as London glided past.

An uncomfortable moment passed as Forrister obliged the window-side occupant to move a corner of his coat and shuffle up. In his car, Forrister would by now have tuned in to Classic FM talking back, unheard, to the presenter, so he turned to his companion.

“Cold, today.”

No response. Could be his new friend had defective hearing but more likely incredulous anyone had the temerity to strike up a conversation. Twenty minutes before disembarking—he had to give it another shot.

“Hey, there’s Putney Cinema. Don’t go in Screen Three, it’s squeezed in between One and Two—you only hear the other two films and at the same time!”

“Grooten!”

“Pardon?”

“For—is that all?” Beard conversed all right but in gibberish and to the window. Suddenly, Forrister’s head received a blow from behind as a robust woman thrust her elbow over the seat.

She treated Forrister to a cloud of gardenia fragrance.

“Grooten?” She barked. Beard turned, looked at her and nodded.

What? He hadn’t appreciated the rapidity of language development since he last used public transport. Contorted out of recognition. Forrister couldn’t participate. The woman had slumped back into her seat and the beard brushed again at the condensation. Forrister had to try again.

“Full today then,” Forrister said, sketching a wave at the one empty seat.

Nothing.

Then: “Jaffa. Man…”

“I have an orange. Would you like a piece?”

Before the Beard could reply, the elbow dented Forrister’s head again.

“Grooten?” she asked. He shook. She re-slumped.

Dejected, Forrister re-bagged the orange, stood and weaved his way to the winding stairs, three stops early. Before the descent he glanced back.

The woman took Forrister’s seat. Beard took an ear-piece out of his left ear.

And shared the cricket.

About the Author

Geoff Nelder is a professional liar, badass editor, and fiction competition judge. He was awarded Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society for his research into air pollution and microclimates and used his students as unpaid researchers to discover urban heat islands in Yorkshire towns and villages. He taught now-out-of-date Geography and IT to the ungrateful alive but escaped on his bike to write.

His publications include science fiction novels Exit, Pursued by Bee and the ARIA trilogy; and thrillers: Escaping Reality, and Hot Air. Many of his short stories have found homes in mags such as The Horror Zine, Perihelion, Ether Books, Encounters, Jimston Journal, Delivered, Screaming Dreams and many anthologies such as Monk Punk, Science Fiction Writers’ Sampler (with Gregory Benford and David Brin), Twisted Tails, and Zombified.

His non-fiction include books on climate and he co-wrote How to Win Short Story Competitions.

chaosofmokiiLatest is an experimental science fiction short story, The Chaos of Mokii, published as an ebook by Solstice Publishing at http://mybook.to/ChaosOM

Links:

Where can we buy the books?

Geoff’s UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

How can we follow you on Facebook?

http://www.facebook.com/geoffnelder

http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy

Twitter Handle? @geoffnelder

GoodReads? As Geoff Nelder

Website: http://geoffnelder.com

Are there any other sites we should know about?

http://nelderaria.wikia.com/wiki/NelderAria_Wiki

http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/nelder_geoff

That’s it, thanks for reaching this far, if you did. May the rest of your life be deliriously wicked in the best possible way.

 

Thank you, Geoff…hmm…For stopping by. Mrs. Nelder called and she wants you to go straight home.

Now give me back my keyboard!!

And thank you all for coming. Have a great week!

Smooches th-1

CJ

CJ’s Author Guest Blogger: Christopher Davis

Hey There!

It’s another week for a guest author to surprise us. Today, I have Christopher Davis with us. He latest novel, Walking to Babylon is available.41oqgurj9ql-2

So I’ll let Mr. Davis take it away.

 

Good Morning and thank you for having me.

I’ve two novels on tap so far for 2017—one short and one full length—and both will be published by the good folks at Solstice publishing.

Walking to Babylon—the first up and released February 2nd—is the longer version of a story that I wrote for the Multiple Myeloma Research charity anthology Paladins. My story in the anthology was titled Low and Outside and as you could guess takes both its title and story line from the game of baseball, as the story is told over a couple of beers at a farm team game in Las Vegas.

The collection was published in England and is stocked with some of the best indie crime writers on the scene today from both sides of the pond. Paladins was put together for a crime writer friend—Craig Furchtenicht and his wife—Henrietta—who at the time—was fighting a valiant battle against Multiple Myeloma. She has since lost that battle and writing the longer story was my way of remembering the smiles posted from a hospital room on Facebook as she struggled to keep those of us writers participating, in the game.

Walking to Babylon is not for the faint of heart as it follows a pair of unlikely Vegas mob types—Sammy Soriano and Tommy Two Guns Viglierchio—as they grow up busting balls for the old man.

 Vigleirchio has cancer and Soriano knows it, but there is really nothing that he can do except be a friend. After a hard life of drug use, fast living and even faster women, Viglierchio chooses to end it all one night in the desert outside of Las Vegas under a silver summer moon.

15380474_992590437512238_5384982518763232614_nAin’t No Law in California is a much longer post-apocalyptic, western that has lived on the hard drive of my computer for six or seven years. The original story was slated to be a traditional western and written as three stories, in the hope of gaining the attention of the shorter e-book publishers of the time.

After two complete re-writes and another in first person, I scrapped the idea and the story took on a more SCI-FI, Steam-Punk, Dystopian feel. A couple of folks read through it—after having read the original version—and it seemed that the Dan Bardwell series of odd westerns would get off the ground.

An untitled follow up is nearly complete and both are written as traditional as can be with the exception that they take place a hundred and fifty years in the future after a nuclear war has nearly wiped humanity out.

Walking to Babylon was just released on the 2nd of February and Ain’t No Law in California is making the various rounds of editing and should be out before spring and available through Amazon or Solstice Publishing?

Christopher Davis is a central California native and grandfather of three rambunctious little ones. When not tending herd, he can be found trying his hand at writing Crime, Western and Horror fiction. Chris lives with his wife and a little dog that has nearly lost his mind.

Find out more at www.christopherdaviswrites.com

 

Thanks Christopher for stopping by!

And thank you to all the readers out there for coming by!

Happy Valentines Day!

Smooches! th-1

CJ

Just a Little Fun

As a writer, we all have a tendency to fall in deep with our writing that we sometimes forget the world outside of our writing cave. Either from a deadline, or the story is so gripping that the only way to not drown in your own head, you have to write it out.

I have been in the grips of two of my stories. One I just finished editing and the second, a erotic suspense that has me tied up (hehe) that I don’t even know what day it is. So much so that my poor family has to fend for themselves.

Though, as a writer, we do need a break, and come out of our cave once in a while and have a little fun.

img_2919For example, I was a part of a writers forum at the La Grange Public Library, where we read our stories that was set in the City of Chicago. We also talked with the audience about our experiences and life as a writer. I have to say, the audience was engaging, which added to the excitement of the night.

51fohvmwzklI read an excerpt of Sweet Cupids, a short story from the Windy City Anthology A Lovely Meal. And just a note, Sweet Cupids is expanding into a novella, which will be a part of a duet later this spring.

 

Anyway, I had a terrific time. Not only with the event, but I was in great company with four fabulous authors from the Windy City RWA chapter.

 

J. Leigh Bailey, who writes Young Adult and New Adult LGBT Romance. She read her latest book, Guyliner, which I have to say is Awesome!

 

Nicole Leiren is a USA Today best selling author who writes Sweet Contemporary Romance and Mysteries. She read her first book of the Heroes of the Night series, More Than One Night, which started the evening with a bang!

 

Measha Stone, who write steamy Erotic Romance. She read her first book in the Windy City series, Hidden Heart. All I have to say is…HOT!!

 

Pauline Gruber, who is a Indie author who writes Young Adult Paranormal Romance. She read her first book in her series, The Girl and the Raven. It was spellbinding!

 

Well, as you can see, it was a magnificent night with these wonderful talented women. And I can’t wait to do it again.

I hope to see you next time!

Thanks for coming by!

Smoochesth-1

CJ

CJ’s Author Guest Blogger: Rachael Tamayo

Hey All!

First, A little bit of news. I want to let all my readers know my audiobook for Forgetting Jane will be out very soon. So stay tuned for that debut and surprises.

img_7380-1So, this is week Three of my Solstice Author Guest bloggers.

I want to introduce Rachael Tamayo, author of the Friend-Zone series. Her latest book, Claim Me will be available on February 14th.

Please take it away, Rachael!

When Writing: All Those little details

 

As a reader, or a writer, have you ever read something that just seemed to be….missing something? Can’t put your finger on it? Grammar looks good, plot seems okay….but…..just not quite feeling it?

This has happened to me when I’m working on my own books, or reading the unfinished manuscripts of others. Occasionally I’ll see it happen in published works as well. So, what on earth am I talking about?

Those missing details. That’s what I’m talking about. The things that give the scene life. They make the blood flow in the veins of your characters and the heart beat in your plot. Don’t ever underestimate a well placed little nugget, even something simple.

Example one: He swerved to avoid the car that veered into his lane.

OK, it’s to the point. Nothing really wrong here, tells us what is happening, right? But does it draw you in? Does it make you feel what the driver is feeling? If you can make you reader feel what the character does…you’ve succeeded. You will have a reader that will turn the page to see what happens.

Example two: The headlights shone into his face on the too dark country road. Is this car in my lane? Gripping the wheel with two large hands, his knuckles went white as he swallowed and jerked his car to the left. Gravel flying as his heart slammed into his ribs. The vehicle speed by, oblivious to the fact that they were in the wrong lane. Picking up the phone, he dialed 911.

See the difference? Details. Add a couple of sentences and suddenly you are there, in the car. Your heart is pounding and your mouth is dry. The detail of the headlights, his internal thought coupled with the action puts you in the scene, in his head.

This is where you want your reader.

I’ve heard writers say that they have trouble with this. Personally, this is what I do. I sit and imagine myself watching this happen…or maybe it’s happening to me. What’s the first thing you might notice? How is your body reacting? What is your thought? What sounds do you hear? Is there a smell?

Of course, then there is the issue of character development. The same method applies. In order to create people that are real living breathing beings in your books, you have to think this way. What kind of personality does he have? How does he react in an emergency, or when he’s angry? How does this play off of the other characters? What flaws does he have? Writing the perfect man or woman won’t get you far. People want to read about people that make mistakes, because they are real. They want to relate to your story. They want to see themselves in your characters.

However, remember one thing. Don’t take it to far. Being overly descriptive of every little nuance gets old. Page after page of little details just won’t due. You must trust your reader to use their imagination. Be descriptive, but vague. Let them carry themselves there in their minds, TRUST THEM! Otherwise, they will find themselves skimming and flipping pages to get past this never-ending description of a bedroom and back to the plot.

And there you have it. Now that you know what’s missing…take a breath and open that laptop.

Rachael Tamayo is the author of the Friend-Zone series and several short stories all available on Amazon. Her Newest release, Claim me (Finale to the Friend-Zone trilogy) will be available February 14th.

Website: www.Rachaeltamayowrites.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RachaelTamayo

Twitter https://twitter.com/rtamayo2004

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tamayorachael

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Rachael-Tamayo

 

Thanks Rachael for stopping by!

And thank you to my readers! Have a great week!

Smooches! th-1

CJ

CJ’s Guest Blogger: Debbie De Louise

Greeting to all!

I hope everyone’s weekend is going well! It has been crazy busy for me. Working on three stories–dark romantic thrillers series, and doing edits on another while healing from a very bad sprained ankle. Though some good news, I have an audio in the works for  Forgetting Jane, my dark paranormal thriller. But enough said about me.

51lykuky7-l-_sx331_bo1204203200_

For this week, I have another guest blogger from Solstice Publishing. Debbie De Louise. Her latest book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place is available on Amazon. So without further ado.

Debbie De Louise

It’s my pleasure to participate in the Solstice Publishing author’s group winter blog tour by sharing a post about myself, my books, and my feelings about writing.

As a librarian, reader, and author, books and the written word have been very important indebbiehicksvillenews my life. I can’t imagine a world without them. Writing transports people to places they’ve never visited within as well as outside of themselves. It entertains, teaches, amuses, and sometimes saddens. The saying “The pen is mightier than the sword” is true. Even before paper was invented or languages defined, storytellers played an important role in communities. They still do despite the fact there are so many forms of communication today. A good story has value whether it is read off a screen, through the pages of an “old-fashioned” book, or listened to on audio CD’s or digital files.

Books have healing properties. It’s been proven that reading has many emotional benefits, and what benefits your mind also positively affects your body. Have you ever found yourself so immersed in a book that you felt like you were one of the characters? Have you traveled in time with a historical novel? Been frightened by a horror story? Fallen in love with a romance? Surprised by the twist in a mystery? Excited by a scene in a thriller? Books can stir your emotions and stimulate your mind. Who needs drugs or other addictive agents when a story can relax or energize you? There are no limits to where your imagination can lead you with the pages of a book as your guide.

I remember when I first started reading in second grade. It was more fun to me than any of the games I played. I felt like I’d discovered a wonderful secret or found a magic spell. As I grew older, my love of books increased. I admired the authors who were able to make me visualize the worlds they created. Then I began writing my own stories to entertain myself. But I also had a dream that one day, like my favorite authors, I would also be able to reach people around the world and give them the gift of my words.

Publishing my own books today feels just as magical and not a little unreal. Seeing my books listed online or occupying a spot on my library or bookstore’s shelf seems incredible. When people review my books or personally give me feedback, knowing that my words are being read through their eyes is nothing short of miraculous. Still, I know that there are millions of books out there and more being published every minute. How can I hope to compete? How can I make my dream come true and reach all the people who would enjoy my stories? That’s the lament of new authors as well as old. I don’t have the answers. The best advice I can give myself as well as other writers who want to stand out from the crowd is to write what comes from their heart. Readers identify with real feelings, and most fiction is based on reality. You’re the only one who can write your book. Tell the story you’d like to read, and chances are others will be interested, too.

For more information about me and my books and stories including my Cobble Cove mystery series, connect with me through the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2bIHdaQ

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.com

Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog: (blog hosted by the cat character from my Cobble Cove mysteries who interviews other animal characters and some real-life author’s pets) https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com

Cobble Cove Character Chat (Facebook page where you can interact with the characters from my mysteries): https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

I will be hosting an author hour on Monday, February 20 from 3-4 pm during Mystery Thriller week https://mysterythrillerweek.com/

Some of the characters from my mysteries will be helping me post information about their books and offer some giveaways. For more information, visit the event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1244007262287370/

when-jack-trumps-ace-001

Also, look for my romantic comedy Novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, coming this February from Solstice Publishing.

 

 

 

Thank you, Debbie for coming! It’s been a pleasure to have you stopped by!

And thank you to my readers. Have a great coming week!

Smoochesth-1

CJ