Ina Carter

Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Ina Carter. I was born in Europe and moved to the US in my early twenties. I live in California with my husband, two kids, and one rescue cat named Rose. I graduated from college with a degree in Psychology and Social Studies, and later when my kids were born, I went back to school to study Graphic Design. I always had a creative side, and writing was part of it. I started writing as a teenager, but for many years it was just a hobby. This year I finally made the decision to share two of my novels with the world. Both Crimson Snow and my romantic comedy Big Gray were released in May 2020 through Amazon KDP publishing. I am still finding my way as an independent author and trying to navigate the marketing side of promoting my books.  

When did you know you wanted to be an author? 

My first published work was a love poem I wrote when I was eleven. My sixth-grade teacher caught me scribbling verses in class and not paying attention to his lecture. He “confiscated” my notebook, and the next day told me I had a talent, based on the creative essays I wrote for his class and the poems in my journal. He encouraged me to submit my work to a young writer’s magazine, but I was too shy to give it a try. He submitted one of my poems behind my back, and to my shock, the magazine published it. It didn’t go well with my parents, who were strict and conservative, and didn’t think writing about my first crush was an age-appropriate subject. Even though I didn’t follow my dream when I was a teenager, I collected ideas that I wanted to put on paper one day. I write in multiple genres, but to this day, romance is my favorite. To me, Love is the strongest force in the Universe.  

What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in? 

I’ve always been an avid reader, and I read books in all genres. As a kid, I devoured all of Mark Twain’s and Alexandre Duma’s books and spend hours in the library engrossed in the fantasy worlds created by Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, and Alexander Belyayev. I still enjoy a good fantasy and paranormal story and read the whole “Game of Thrones” series, as well as all Charlaine Harris and J.R. Ward’s books. I also love comedy, and to this day, my favorite authors are P. G Wodehouse and Kurt Vonnegut. I discovered my love for romance through the novels of Nicholas Sparks and Nora Roberts. Those are epic love stories, centered on the premise of long-lasting love, and are not about relationships based purely on physical attraction.  

I try not to read too much in the genre I am writing because you can always tell if an author reads too much romance. My book ideas come from personal experiences, and I don’t follow the market trends. Staying somewhat detached from the popular books in my genre is a way to maintain certain originality to my plotlines and stick to my own writing style without unintentionally copying some fellow author’s ideas.   

Is your book for adults, young adults or children? 

Crimson Snow is a New Adult novel, but it’s not typical for the genre. Adults would love it too, considering it has a literary feel, and my two young protagonists are intelligent and mature for being in their early twenties.  

What is your current release or project? 

I am currently in the editing stages of my next novel, “The roots of Love.” It’s a follow up on “Crimson Snow,” and it tells the story of one of my secondary characters from the first book – Liam Tanner. I am also half-way through the rough draft of the second book from my romantic comedy “In the dark.” My next release is coming in early 2021 and is a new paranormal romance series. The first book is called “The Sodalis Prince” and is in the final editing stages.  

Tell us about the key characters  

The main characters in Crimson Snow are Lauren Wilcox (who used to be Julie when she was a missing child) and Kevin Tanner.  

Julie grew up in a trailer park in rural Texas, and when she was eight years old discovered that her mother stole her from the hospital as a baby, and she was returned to her biological parents. They were rich but cold and distant people and never accepted her as part of their family. They changed her name to Lauren, which was the name they gave her when she was born. Lauren became a rebellious teenager and ran away from home when she was sixteen. For years she suffered from PTSD because of the trauma she experienced as a child, and her only mission in life was to find the little boy from her childhood – Kevin, who she believed then was her half-brother. Kevin disappeared without a trace, and twelve years later, Lauren found him by pure coincidence, only to realize that he is now a popular athlete in the college he went to.  

Kevin also had a painful childhood. His mother abandoned him when he was only one year old, and he was raised by his abusive alcoholic father. When he met his half-sister Julie, she became his best friend and the center of his small world. The two of them hid from their miserable life in the library, and from the books they read, they found out what lies outside their small town. When Julie was taken away, Kevin’s life changed when he was adopted by his high-school baseball coach at age fifteen. He took his adoptive family last name Tanner, and this is why Lauren never found him.  

             Crimson Snow wove together the past and the present of the two heroes and follows the development of their relationship after they are reunited twelve years later. It’s a story about the many forms of love you can feel for one person and how the two heroes overcome their painful past.  

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book? 

The Greeks had seven words for LOVE. I felt all of them for ONE MAN… 

 
My name is Lauren, and I was a stolen baby. 
They found me in a trailer park in rural Texas when I was eight years old. My childhood wasn’t perfect, but then I had Kevin. He was my everything… 

 
When they returned me to my biological parents, we were torn apart. My new family desperately tried to fix me, make me forget him… My father kept me on a short leash and controlled every aspect of my life. The one thought keeping me afloat was to find Kevin, but he vanished without a trace. 

 
I searched for him for twelve years, but the man I found was not the boy I lost. He is a college baseball star, tattooed, moody, and dark… And he hates me. 

 
Can Kevin help me defeat my demons, or does he have too many of his own? 

Share an excerpt (up to 800 words). 

“The Greeks had seven words for Love, Laurie. And somehow, I know I’ll experience all of them with you… Philautia is the only selfish love and for a long time I didn’t love myself. When I doubted myself, I remembered you, and how you used to look at me. To you, I was a giant, someone who could move mountains and conquer dragons. Even now, you look at me the same way, and I feel stronger in your hands, and want to be a better man…” 

He was telling me things that were making my heart hammer in my chest, but at the same time, his fingers were burning fire on my skin, because with every button he undid, he caressed the skin underneath. Kevin was seducing me with his words, and I was melting under his fingers. 

“When we were kids, my love for you was Philia – a brotherly love, that innocent feeling you have for a friend. It might have been platonic, but just because you are small doesn’t mean your capacity to love is less. In fact, a child’s love is unbridled, unconditional, the purest form of emotion I can think of… And you and I will always have that… To this day, I feel Philia for you, and I always will.”  

Kevin then leaned and placed a kiss over his name on my chest, leaving an imprint more permanent than the engraving on my skin.  

Philia, baby, is also the love of the mind, and it is what makes us feel safe in each other’s presence. With you, I am not afraid to share any of my struggles, and you freed me. I carried so much pain internally, but you took it away…” 

….. He moved away to look at me, and his nostrils flared with the big intake of breath he took. The way he looked at me was like a physical touch, like a scorching caress of fingers leaving marks everywhere. I saw myself through Kevin’s eyes, and there was no doubt in my mind that at this moment, I was beautiful. I understood what gave confidence to a woman – it was the man who looked at her like Kevin was looking at me.  

“What I am feeling right now, babe. This is called Eros. You have always been the most beautiful girl I’ve seen, but now… This is how I want to remember you the day I have to leave this world. Because you are exquisite. I wish I had flirted with you, experienced Ludus – that easy playful love when you slowly fall for someone, but like everything with you, it was intense and not easy. Ludus is fun love, and maybe we can do that later, when I don’t want you so desperately that I hurt. On that day when I saw you dancing in the kitchen, I felt not Thunder, Lauren. It was like a meteor that struck the earth and shattered me. I wanted to kiss you so badly, to consume you… Maybe that’s why I didn’t talk to you for a while because I needed time to sort my feelings. It was never innocent for me. When I touched you – I burned, when I held you to me, I had to cover the fact that I was hard as a rock. After the first night I laid with you in your bed, I had to stay away because I was not able to control myself. Right now, I am at the end of my wits, prolonging the torture because I am afraid, I’ll frighten you with my need and the thing I want to do to you…”  

At the end of the book, when he proposes to Lauren, Kevin elaborates further on the same concept, and speaks of the other types of love that the Greeks described, which he wishes to experience with her as they grow old together.  

…..  “See, I tried to write something down because I knew I would choke, but then it was all too simple, and I have to say something more… I’ll try not to mess this up, so bear with me, okay!… Lauren, I love you in so many ways. As my friend, my lover, my love, but the truth is, nothing seems to satisfy my need for you. I want to experience Pragma with you – the mature love that comes after years of relationship, that is about companionship and deep understanding. I want to share with you Storge – the love for our children, that is unconditional and giving. I want to be your little birdies’ father, and love and cherish our ugly sparrows before we send them strong and free into the world. You make me so happy like a kid on Christmas, babe. So, what’s Christmas without snow?”  

Kevin threw the paper shreds above me, and they fluttered in the air, glittering like real clear frozen snowflakes. Beautiful and pure. I grabbed one and held it between my trembling fingers. I looked at the words, and my heart expanded. “Will you marry me?” it read.  

“It’s magic, remember?” Kevin smiled, but his hand holding mine was shaking.      

Do you have a favorite scene? 

Even though the book is a heavy emotional journey, one of my favorite scenes is lighter and funnier. It is the moment Lauren realizes she might have feelings for her best friend. They are on their way to the library, and the topic of conversation is not helping Lauren’s predicament not to show her attraction to Kevin. His speculations about women’s preferences in books and the conclusions he draws about their sexuality are hilarious.  

…. We got in his car, but there was silence between us. Kevin broke it, and his voice sounded light, completely at peace.  

“You know I always loved libraries…” He said matter of fact. I exhaled the breath I was holding because this was something we had always shared, and it was good to bring the conversation back to normal friend stuff.  

“Me too, Kev. I could stay for days in a library if I had the option. It’s so quiet, especially when you find an empty room where no one can disturb you, and get lost in a book…” I said wistfully.  

“Really, Lauren? In the library? I know some people totally do it, but you?” He smirked.  

Jesus! I was about to kill him. I reached over the dash and slapped his chest, not finding this funny.  

“Shut up, Kevin. I don’t masturbate in libraries. Books are not a fetish for me.” I fumed. He was leading my mind in the exact direction I was trying to avoid. I was totally overreacting because, in the last few weeks, I discovered that Kevin had a dirty mouth, and said provoking things all the time. Just a few weeks ago, I wasn’t reading anything into them, it was simply a friendly banter between us.   

He was totally enjoying watching me this flustered, and his grin widened. “I personally like to watch… People in the library, I mean.” He kept going with the innuendo, “You can tell a lot about a person by their reading choices.”  

“Really, like what? Avoid every girl who reads Jane Austen and drools over the book since she is obviously a clinger?” I hit back because this was a game two could play.  

“Why not? If the girl likes Darcy, it means she might be into the silent type, so it works for me,” he countered me.  

“You are not always the silent type, Kevin. And honesty, I am not a big fan of Austen.” I lied, “The way she sees love is too trivial. Human relationships are a bit more complicated than suddenly have a change of heart and fall for a man you hated a few pages ago. Elizabeth Bennet is a total gold digger if you ask me. Bookcase, in fact.” I was totally projecting my feelings into Austen, who I didn’t hate at all. I think she captured the history of her time perfectly and was a social critic of the English higher class, but I was trying to prove a point to Kevin.    

Kevin started laughing, giving me a side glance. “You want to hear my theory behind people’s reading choices and sexuality?” he asked.  

“Okay, go ahead. Enlighten me.” I waved a hand, wondering what other buttons he might push.  

“So, here is my theory – if a girl reads nonfiction – she is totally grounded in reality and curious about the world, but still not my type because she might lack imagination in bed. Whimsy is like a big checkbox on my list. If she is into a murder mystery, possibly means she has a boring life and is looking for a thrill, which can be a fun wish to fulfill. I still won’t risk it though. There is always the possibility she might be plotting an actual murder and is reading the book as a reference.” He paused because I couldn’t help it and started laughing. His speculations about people’s choices in literature were actually hilarious and typical Kevin.  

“Keep going. I need to hear about horrors?” I urged him.  

“Oh, that girl I might like a lot. If she is not afraid of monsters, I won’t scare her when she sees my…” He grinned, not finishing his sentence, totally leaving it to interpretation. And considering where my mind went, a sound between a growl and a moan escaped my lips.  

“You are either bragging about your dick or overcompensating, so either way, it explains why you won’t do underwear ads.” I did go there, and this time he squirmed, his hand tightening on the steering wheel.  

“Keep on going, Kevin. Why did you stop?” I kept pushing him; this was not innocent whatsoever, but totally entertaining.  

“You want to hear what I think of a girl who reads romance novels? If she reads those books in a public library, she is totally into smut in private, and I am all in,” he blurted.  

“What happened to being a relationship guy?” I teased him.  

“I didn’t say I was a good boy. Those are not mutually exclusive things,” he said quietly.  

“Oh, and there you go, movie Mr. Darcy. I hope your quirky Bridget Jones is waiting for you in the library.” I nodded towards the building in front of which we had just parked.  

“I’ll make sure to be on the lookout,” he joked. “How about you? What books are you picking up today?” He turned the table on me.  

“Oh, you know me. Whatever falls off the shelf. I am totally indiscriminate towards books because there is something valuable in each one. As I was telling you earlier – people are more complicated than being put in a box, and you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. In your case, literally.” I said in a bit more serious tone because the question of what books I liked after the sexual innuendo was dangerous territory.   

“If we leave the jokes aside, I can tell you one thing I do notice about a person. The book in their hands doesn’t matter. It matters if they smile, or cry, or feel anything while reading it. People show their true emotions when they are engrossed in a story. Books reveal a lot about who we are inside, especially when we think we are not being observed.”   

He was saying this to me since I noticed he’d been watching me when I read a book. His admission tugged a string in my heart that sang a familiar melody. Kevin saw under the surface, cared for my emotions, and wanted to know who I was deep down.”  

What advice would you give a beginner? 

  1. The advice I would give to a beginner is to write stories that you emotionally connect to. Emotions bleed through the pages. When readers reached out to me and shared what scene in my books made them laugh or cry, I realized those were the exact scenes that made me chuckle or bawl my eyes out while I wrote them.  
  1. Once you feel like you have a complete manuscript, hire an editorEven if you an English major and trust your editing skills, having a professional editor is a must! I had good and bad experiences with editors, and it takes time to find the right people you trust with your work. It’s not about cost – I didn’t spare expenses, but the quality of the edit was not always the best. If you don’t know where to start, join a writer’s group and ask fellow writers for personal references. For one of my novels, I found my editor on Reedsy. On their website, you can find professionals that edit novels in your genre and read reviews about their work. Most offer a sample edit, so you can get a good idea of their editing style.   

Personally, I realized that the best editors are the tough ones. It’s great when you get compliments, but it is so much better if they offer constructive criticism and improve your writing.  

  1. Another piece of advice is that after a developmental and copy edit, hire at least two independent proofreaders. When you and your editor have read your manuscript multiple times, you become somewhat “blind” to some typos or mistakes. The proofreaders should be able to take a fresh look at the book and fine-tooth comb through the issues.  
  1. When you have an edited manuscript, the decision of whether to go with a traditional publisher or self-publish your novel is up to you. Just keep in mind that even if you are querying agents with your manuscript, don’t submit unedited material. Impressions matter, and if you already have a good professional edit, your chances to secure a good book deal a much higher.  

Self-publishing gives you more creative control, and this is why I chose that route for my novels, but you need to understand the demands of self-promoting your books and spending a lot of money not just on editing but marketing and advertisement.  

For me, it was a bit easy because I have a second college degree in Graphic Design and didn’t have to spend money on book cover design, websites, or marketing materials.  

Good luck on your journey, and be yourself!  

Ina Carter will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

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Twitter :@inacarterbooks 

FB: https://www.facebook.com/ina.carter.3591 

Amozon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088KQKNZJ 

T Melissa Madian

AUTHOR BIO:

T. Melissa Madian is the Chief Fabulous Officer at TMM Enablement Services Inc. As a mechanical engineer, she loves taking the science of what is possible and imagining stories around the impossible. She is a storyteller, mom to a precocious cat, and auntie to her human nephew. She hopes that this book serves as a reminder to people – adults and children – that even the weirdest and most unusual creature just wants and deserves to be loved.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a Mechanical Engineer by background and have spent the past 25 years in the corporate world. I am currently Founder and Chief Fabulous Officer at TMM Enablement Services Inc. I was one of the first people to pioneer the “sales enablement” role within an enterprise corporate structure and am maniacal about championing a positive sales and customer experience; so much so, that I wrote a book about it: Enabler? I Hardly Know Her! How to Make the Sales Experience Not Suck. When I’m not focused on my consulting firm, I love to write and tell stories; It came from the SCIENCE LAB!!! is my first children’s book! I love cats, champagne, wine and my husband (in that order). I’m reasonably active on Instagram, if anyone wants to follow my shenanigans!

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Some of my earliest memories as a child were writing poems or stories about silly characters getting into far-fetched adventures. When I was in grade school, I wrote and illustrated a series of comics about a sardonic mouse… so I guess that means I have always been a writer! When I entered the corporate world, most of my writing was focused on business. I decided to write this children’s book when I found my old story notes during a basement clean-up and my passion for fiction writing was reignited… now it’s all I want to do!

What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?

I am a fan of science-fiction, adventure and fantasy novels; especially ones that have a humorous angle to them. It came from the SCIENCE LAB!!! is a little bit of science-adventure, but I wouldn’t say that I write exclusively in the genres I enjoy reading. I do write for business, and have just released a book related to my consulting firm’s expertise; but my plan is to continue to write adventure books for children and young adults.


Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
It’s for children, or for adults who would like to read to their kids (or grandkids!) My hope is that the tale of Bartholomew Blob will inspire children to get excited about STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) as a place to explore their creativity. And to appreciate that even if someone is odd or weird, that they have a place in this world. Any profit I make from this book will be donated to STEM charities.


What is your current release or project?

In addition to It came from the SCIENCE LAB!!! I have published a book related to my consulting business: Enabler? I Hardly Know Her! How to Make the Sales Experience Not Suck. It’s a fun read for anyone who is interested in how to make their sales teams more effective in their role. Next up: My husband and I have a 1-year old cat named Pickle who is a furry little hooligan. We think he’d make a fantastic character for a children’s book, so that is my current project in development.

Tell us about the key characters

Bartholomew Blob turns the concept of a “monster” on its head – he is a character born of a scientific mistake who is curious, innocent, and thoughtful. A character who is interested in learning and exploring, not destroying. He changes color when he feels or touches things, which motivates him to investigate using his senses. He has no gender or specifically human features, which makes him different from those around him. He really just wants to fit in and be accepted for who he is. As humans, our instinct might be to fear or to ostracize Bartholomew; but this book shows that with a bit of compassion and interest, anyone can make friends.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

It was business as usual at the Acme Science Lab, until one day a massive explosion sent the scientists fleeing for safety.

But out of the smoke and chemicals emerged an amazing new creature… Bartholomew Blob!

With the lab destroyed, Bartholomew leaves the comforts of the only home he has ever known in search of new friends and a place to live.

As he travels through golden fields his body changes color with every emotion he feels.

Life can be lonely for a blob, but Bartholomew discovers there’s kindness and love to be found in every adventure.

Share an excerpt

Smoke and chemicals mixed, and strange sounds came from the now empty lab. Sounds like… gurgling and burping? The door of the lab smashed open and out came…

… a small, roundish shape! It was midnight black and had the size and form of an upside-down cereal bowl. It slithered instead of rolled. It looked like melted dark chocolate but had a perfume like smell.

Suddenly, two roundish holes opened and turned pale blue. It had eyes! It could see! What in the world could this creature be?

Why… it’s Bartholomew Blob!


Do you have a favorite scene?
My favorite scene is when Bartholomew is created from a science experiment gone wrong. Typically in fiction, when science experiments are performed, disaster happens. The explosion of colors and his confusion is so bright and wonderful that it makes me happy Bartholomew was created.


What advice would you give a beginner?
Create a plan. A plan of who and what your story is about. Who is the protagonist? What journey do you want the protagonist to experience? Do they come out better or worse at the end of that journey? Is there an overall theme, or are you just having fun with the story? A plan will help you to shape your story and set a course for you to write it, so you don’t end up with nowhere to go.

CONNECT WITH MELISSA:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20605306.T_Melissa_Madian

Twitter: https://twitter.com/melissamadian?lang=en

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissamadian/?originalSubdomain=ca

Website: https://melissamadian.com/buy-my-books

BUY LINKS:  

AMAZON.COM: https://amazon.com/dp/0228835186

AMAZON.CA: https://amazon.ca/dp/0228835186

KINDLE: https://amazon.com/dp/B08DJBG3M3

BOOKSHOP: https://bookshop.org/books/it-came-from-the-science-lab-9780228835202/9780228835189

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/it-came-from-the-science-lab-t-melissa-madian/1137396719

BOOK DEPOSITORY: https://www.bookdepository.com/It-Came-From-the-Science-Lab-T-Melissa-Madian-Lan-Nguyen/9780228835189

INDIGO CHAPTERS

Paperback edition

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/it-came-from-the-science/9780228835189-item.html

INDIGO CHAPTERS

Hardcover edition

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/it-came-from-the-science/9780228835202-item.html

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

T. Melissa Madian will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Jamie Krakover

Author bio

Growing up with a fascination for space and things that fly, Jamie turned that love into a career as an Aerospace Engineer. Combining her natural enthusiasm for Science Fiction and her love of reading, she now spends a lot of her time writing Middle Grade and Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Jamie lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband, Andrew, their son, and their dog Rogue (after the X-men not Star Wars although she loves both). When she isn’t being a Rocket Scientist by day and a writer by night, she can be found catching up on the latest sci fi TV, books, and movies as well as spending time on Twitter (maybe a little too much time :-P). And no, the rocket science jokes never get old!

Through Snowy Wings Publishing, Jamie is the author of Tracker220 (October 2020). She also has two female in STEM short stories published in the Brave New Girls anthologies and two engineering-centered nonfiction pieces that published in Writer’s Digest’s Putting the Science in Fiction.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m an Aerospace Engineer by day and a writer by night. I’m a sci fi and fantasy nerd. I love to watch it on tv, read it in books, see the latest movies, and even cosplay at cons. I’m an active volunteer and participant in the Society of Women Engineers and do whatever I can to support women in STEM. And I spend entirely too much time on Twitter so don’t hesitate to reach out there.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I think a lot of people knew from childhood they wanted to be an author, but I am not that person. I actually hated to write growing up. I used to sit at the kitchen table and cry because my ideas were dumb and spent entirely too much time fretting over what to write for assignments in school that were likely supposed to be fun. I didn’t start seriously writing until I was well into my 20’s. And it as only after reading a lot that the ideas started flowing. After finding some critique partners and joining some writing organizations I finally decided I wanted to publish. And here I am about 10 years down that road.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

Yes I pretty much read what I write. MG and YA sci fi and fantasy as well as paranormal and the occasional adventure book.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Young Adults. The recommended age range is 13-18 but other than some mild swearing and some light romance (kissing only) there’s no explicit content.

What is your current release or project?

I just released my first YA sci fi TRACKER220. I’m also in the middle of a MG STEM sci fi book.

Tell us about the key characters

Kaya Weiss – 16 year old artist in a world where paper is disappearing due to tracking chips in everyone’s heads that allows you to communicate and look things up in the blink of an eye. She’s strong, she knows what she wants, but she’s struggling to find her Jewish Identity especially when it conflicts with her tracker.

Harlow Green – Kaya’s boyfriend. He’s a tall, muscular soccer player, who goes along with the gang.

Bailen Overland – 17 year old techie nerd. He is part of the Ghosts, a rebel organization that opposes the tracker technology

Peyton Overland – a literal female badass who doesn’t take any shit from anyone. She fixes flying motorbikes and could make you question the things you are most sure about with a single look.  

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

When everyone has a brain-interfacing tracking chip, one glitch threatens the entire network. Kaya Weiss is that glitch.

Through thoughts and blinks, Kaya can access anyone or anything on the tracker network. But the authorities monitor everything—where Kaya goes, who she talks to, and what she searches. And without the ability to turn it off, Kaya and her family can’t observe a tech-free Shabbat. To fix the glitch, the authorities slice into her skull to reset her tracker, leaving Kaya to question more than the system’s invasion into her faith.

Kaya won’t be a lab rat again.

Evading the authorities requires some serious tech skills the rogue underground Ghosts can offer. But Kaya’s not sure she can trust them—even if their top tech wiz, Bailen, has interest in her running deeper than her bum tracker. Kaya must decide if gaining freedom is worth losing her tracker’s infinite knowledge—because to take down the tracker network, she must betray the only tech she’s ever known.

Share an excerpt

“Come on, Kaya. You know you want to.” The black box in Troy Ackerman’s hand flirted with me like a bad boy. Half thrill ride, half arrest warrant.

We were going to get caught. No question about it.

Masking your tracker signal got you a date with the authorities at best, and at worst… I didn’t want to think about it. I wasn’t lucky enough to stay out of trouble. I was never that lucky.

Troy held the radio wave generator between his thumb and index finger as if he were expecting me to take it at any moment. While his bulky torso was slightly intimidating, his height wasn’t.

The buzz from falling off the tracker grid—pure silence and vision devoid of popups and apps—wasn’t worth the risk of losing control, losing the connection and security of the network. If the authorities showed up, brain probing us to check for tracker glitches would be the least of our problems.

Troy waved the box in my face. “You sure? It’s such a rush!”

I shivered despite the bonfire blazing in front of us. “I’m good. I don’t need a record.”

“Wasn’t it just Yom Kippur or something? You should be good on the sin front for a while.” He thrust his hips toward the box and my best friend Lydia let out a quick giggle, batting her long lashes at him.

Ugh! Of all the boys why did she have to be into him? “You know that’s not how it works.”

That little box was trouble. Worse than Pandora’s. My muscles tensed at the thought of all the chaos about to be unleashed. At least if I refused to disrupt my tracker signal, I wouldn’t have to lie about breaking the law.

Trekking into the woods to watch everyone attempt to beat the record for longest signal disruption was insanity. Why couldn’t we hang out at the fly-in theater instead? Anything other than pursuing a one-way ticket to tracker juvie.

But the guys loved the thrill of tempting fate—the ultimate game of chicken. At best, they had about five minutes of interrupted tracker signals before the network alerted the authorities.

I leaned into my boyfriend, and he put his arm around me wafting the comforting sea breeze scent of his aftershave in my direction. Harlow would never ditch me. But most of his friends wouldn’t hesitate to use me as authority bait if the agents showed up. Not if—when.

“Looks like your girlfriend’s afraid of getting caught.” Troy should have known by now his taunts wouldn’t work.

And yet, my insides warred. I twisted my hair back into a stubby ponytail wishing I hadn’t recently chopped off ten inches. By the time I let my hair go, the rule-follower piece of me prevailed like always. “I’ll watch for now.”

“Maybe after you see how it’s done?” Harlow squeezed my shoulder, making my muscles tense more. Their stunts were dangerous enough without him dragging me into it. Last time, we’d spent an hour trying to evade the authorities and nearly missed curfew.

I shook my head.

“She’s a wuss.”

“Stuff it, Troy. If you want to scramble your brains, fine. I’m out.” It shouldn’t be a fight to do the right thing.

“It’s just a little signal interruption. But if you want to be a wimp about it…”

A blinking chat bubble appeared in the lower left-hand corner of my vision with the initials H.G. for “Harlow Green.” I thought about the message and blinked twice in rapid succession to open it.

H.G.: You don’t have to if you don’t want to.

There wasn’t a chance Troy could talk me into it. But Harlow’s support gave me extra confidence, even if it only came through private chat. He cared too much about his image to say anything in front of the guys.

As I minimized the message to save it for later, a second icon appeared to the left of Harlow’s message, with the initials T.A.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, then let the message enter my mind. As the message opened in my line of sight, an image of a chicken emerged. It flapped its wings and ran in circles.

Instead of collapsing and disappearing like normal, the image of a bomb exploded, obliterating the circling chicken. When the fake dust cleared, the picture was nowhere to be seen.

Laughter drew my attention to the crowd.

Great. That wasn’t so private.

Do you have a favorite scene?

Definitely the flying motorbike chase underneath the St. Louis arch. It’s fast passed, has some great tension, and it’s explosive (literally).

What advice would you give a beginner?

Write something that you’re excited about. Just put your butt in the chair and write until you finish it. Don’t worry if it’s good or not just finish it. Then find some critique partner to help you polish it up.

Social media links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rockets2Writing

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

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jamie-krakover?list=about

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16483406.Jamie_Krakover

Blog link: https://jamiekrakover.blogspot.com/

Purchasing links:

Main Street Books – if you buy from Main Street books I will sign your copy. 

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Kobo

Apple Books

Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)

IndieBound (find a local independent bookstore near you) 

L D Wosar

LD and I met through mutual friends.

Author Bio

My name is LD Wosar – Fraud Investigator by day- fledgling author by the afternoon! I live in Sin City – I don’t sin only my characters do. I love love love to write PNR – though a bit naughty – not too naughty! I am a mother of three adult children, grandmother to my lovely girls, Sophie and Emilie. I don’t have the most exciting life – I work, I write, I am a streaming junkie. In addition to my family life, I am a vinyl junkie and love music too much. Music and writing, it sums up me- attitude with a dash of fantasy.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is L.D. Wosar, or Lorinda Wosar. I live in Vegas and work as a Fraud Investigator for the Gaming Industry.  I published my first book last June of 2019 after years of writing, it is my second love to my family – 3 kids, 2 granddaughters (7 & 9) and my beloved pit bull.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been writing, but had no idea how to go about publishing my books until last year. Needless to say, it was a hot mess as I knew nothing about editing, formatting, etc.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I love Crime Thrillers, total James Patterson junkie. I definitely do not write in that genre-I prefer to stick with the PNR genre, mostly in the fantasy aspect.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

None of my books are meant for children, mostly adults because I tend to lean on brutal violence (thanks to my love of Quentin Tarantino movies). Not only that, a few of my books do have graphic sex.

What is your current release or project?

I my current release was Jagged Little Hood: Capot Adventure Series 3. However, my super fun time travel adventure book Relic will go live on December 1.  Currently, my next book Jaded Vamp is in the editing process. That one is an erotic horror-comedy.

Tell us about the key characters

In Relic, Margaret ‘Mags’ Graham is a thousand year old sorceress; however, she is more comparable to Agent Carter in Captain America. Smart, tough, unwavering.

Gareth Hastings, a Royal Army Lieutenant (with a secret) is believed to be the chosen one to make the relic work in order to complete Mags’s mission.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book? 

I want to concentrate more on Relic, since that is the most current release. 

I desire peace, everyone desires peace. No one wants to live in a dystopia, it is the utopia they desire. Well, guess what humans? A perfect world doesn’t exist, I don’t want perfection, I want it to be bearable and liveable. Please tell me that is a suitable solution for you. Well, it has to be; because I refuse to give any human empty promises, for it all ends up ugly if you don’t follow through.

My name is Margaret ‘Mags’ Graham,  I am a gun-toting, sharp-shooting warrior. I am a legacy. A relic and I’m on a mission to bring peace not just for myself but for all of civilization in the form of an onyx heart-shaped talisman. All I need is some guidance, the right damned puzzle pieces, a chosen one and to get this monkey in the form of a smarmy Brazilian warlock off my back! Will I find peace? Let’s hope or these companions of mine will send us all to hell.

Share an excerpt

Mags smirked when his gun and the guns of five other Nazis were pointed in her direction. “You are British, so your fake German accent never fooled me. You ask too many questions and seek too much information. So, I have reason to believe, Fraulein Becker, that you are a British spy.”

“Merely an assumption on your part, asshole.” She lit the parchment on fire and quickly tossed it next to the drapery surrounding the entire room. “I will not allow you to live long enough to tell your fuhrer about what was discussed here.”

One bullet was in Helmut’s head and she removed his two guns from his holster. Relentlessly, she fired at the men who’d been watching the two since they’d walked into the nightclub. Fire raged around them as she continuously fired. Mags prided herself at being a sharpshooter, when she had clarity. For every three Nazis she’d killed, there seemed to be another three to take their place. She thought, “These buggers are like ants – you kill one – another ten show.”

Mags was out of bullets, but the joint wasn’t out of Nazis and even the wall of fire didn’t keep them from chasing after her. Crawling on the floor to gather more guns from the deceased Nazis, a feeling of being closed in shadowed her. Jumping to her feet, she paid no mind that her dress ripped, making the slit even larger. This was not one of those times to be vain and she aimed the guns, hitting every other Nazi that charged her.

The guns were empty once more, and finding more at this inopportune time was pointless. She cursed, having to resort to using magic. At this point, it was the only thing that would save her life and Mags was out of options.

Holding her hands out, she watched as the flames danced and doubled, swallowing the approaching assailants. With their bodies ablaze; their screams resonated.

Gripping her large topaz pendant in her hand after tossing her satchel, Mags prayed to get the hell out of there as the fire inched closer to her. She had no destination in mind, all she knew is she needed to get the hell out of Berlin 1944.

Do you have a favorite scene?

In 1944, in a cave near Normandy. When Mags and Gareth are surrounded by Nazi Zombies, she summons the ghosts of fallen soldiers from different eras to destroy the zombies.

What advice would you give a beginner?

It is so imperative to edit and format your book. Don’t let anyone dictate what to write to appease to the masses. You write what you want, what your heart tells you.

Social media links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/woziesoutlaws

Twitter – no longer have.

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

Other  – Newsletter:  https://bit.ly/2SYBWiM

Blog link

Purchasing links   https://books2read.com/u/boDaZZ

Joanne Guidoccio

AUTHOR Bio: 

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio took advantage of early retirement and launched a second act as a writer. Her articles and book reviews have been published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Joanne writes paranormal romances, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario. 

Tell us about yourself. 

Reinvention is a recurring theme in my life and in my written work. Twelve years ago, I retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act as a writer. I have written over 500 articles and book reviews and six novels that have been traditionally published. I have also contributed to several anthologies. 

My primary goal—you might even call it my mission—is to feature more boomers and their older siblings. To that end, I have introduced an eclectic group of female protagonists, among them a middle-aged, ex-mermaid who has been abandoned on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England, a 50something lottery winner who is the primary suspect in a murder investigation involving four dead blondes, and an octogenarian who continues to inspire her family and friends. 

When did you know you wanted to be an author? 

While sitting in high school English class (circa 1973), I dreamed of writing the great Canadian novel. I even considered taking a gap year or two (unheard of during that time) and actually writing the novel. My parents and teachers were relieved when I decided to pursue a career in mathematics education. But in my heart of hearts, I knew that someday I would resurrect that writing dream.  

What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in? 

I have eclectic tastes and love to curl up with women’s fiction, cozy mysteries, historical fiction, memoirs, psychological thrillers, and self-help books. My favorite authors include Louise Penny, Ann Patchett, Maeve Binchy, Julia Cameron, Joanna Trollope, Anna Quindlen, and Adriana Trigiani. I’ve just finished reading and highly recommend The End of Her by Shari Lapena. 

I’ve written in four of my favorite genres: women’s fiction, cozy mysteries, historical fiction, and memoirs. 

Is your book for adults, young adults or children? 

I would classify No More Secrets as women’s fiction with historical elements. 

What is your current release or project? 

No More Secrets—A tale of forbidden love, tragic losses, and reinvention. 

Tell us about the key characters. 

Angelica Delfino – Protagonist. Angelica is determined to help her three nieces, whom she affectionately calls the daughters of her heart. She senses that each woman is at crossroads and uncertain how to move forward. Hoping that the younger women will be more forthcoming, Angelica plans an all-girls weekend where she will share her own secrets, secrets she had planned to take to the grave.  

Bellastrega – Angelica’s psychic companion. Attached to her employer, Bellastrega, aka Lynn Miller, has misgivings about this all-girls weekend. Bellastrega doesn’t want the nieces (or anyone else for that matter) to create unnecessary stress for Angelica.  

Father Antonio – A charismatic, gladiator-priest who has a profound influence on Angelica’s life trajectory. 

Excerpt

Tupperware in all the pastel shades. Head-to-toe clothing and accessories in the same hues. Who does that? Bellastrega shook her head at the avalanche of plastic that accompanied Velia Russo into the kitchen. She was already on her third trip back from the car, puffing and panting as she placed her food gifts on the kitchen table. Bellastrega could feel her jaw clenching at the thought of all those white devils—heavy sauces and creams and pounds of sugar—contaminating the kitchen.  

Velia held one finger. “One more trip,” and then she was gone. 

Bellastrega turned her attention back to the hearty vegetable stew that had been simmering on the stove. She sighed contentedly as she breathed in the aroma of the rosemary and Italian seasonings. Angelica’s favorite. As she glanced at the appetizing array of vegetables, she mentally calculated how long it would take to finish cooking. Everything was on schedule, and dinner would be on the table at six o’clock. Why had Velia decided to arrive three hours early? 

From the start, Bellastrega had her misgivings about this all-girls weekend. She had listened while Angelica lovingly described each niece and shared her concerns regarding their unhappy lives. At first, Bellastrega had humored her, not realizing Angelica was intending to help her nieces get back on track. Her duty as aunt, she had explained. 

Bellastrega had formed her own judgments regarding the three younger women. Usually right on target, Bellastrega had been surprised when this particular incarnation of Velia Russo arrived, laden with her food gifts. From Angelica’s descriptions, Bellastrega had expected a younger version of her mother, Rosetta, a heavy-set hausfrau and gossip, not this glamour-puss who could pass for a younger Martha Stewart. But first impressions could be deceiving. 

“Help. I need your help.” The whiny voice interrupted Bellastrega’s thoughts. Sighing, she lowered the heat and made her way to the living room.  

Bellastrega resisted the urge to laugh as she took in the comical sight before her. To save herself another trip, Velia had decided to lug in a large Pullman using her left hand, carry a pastry box in her right hand, and use her teeth to hold on to her purse.  

All this for a weekend get-together? What would she have packed for a longer trip? Bellastrega forced a smile as she took the pastry box from Velia.  

Do you have a favorite scene? 

I took extra care with the chapters surrounding Angelica’s arrival at Pier 21 in Canada. I tried to incorporate the feelings experienced by my parents and grandmother as they prepared for their own transatlantic journeys in the early 1950s. Starting a new life in another country takes courage, and I hoped to convey some of that grit and determination to the readers. Whenever I reread those chapters, goosebumps rise on my arms.  

What advice would you give a beginner? 

Use your “waiting time” effectively. While waiting to hear from agents, editors and publishers, start writing the next book in the series or an entirely new project. Alternatively, you could take an online course, attend workshops, or enter contests. Keep your skills sharp! 

Social Media Links

Website – https://joanneguidoccio.com 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio 

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.ca/jguidoccio/ 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanneguidoccio  

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio/ 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Joanne-Guidoccio/e/B00FAWJGCG/ 

Buy links: 

Amazon (US) –  https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX 

Amazon (Canada) – https://www.amazon.ca/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX 

Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX 

Amazon (Australia) – https://www.amazon.com.au/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX/ 

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Sharon Geltner

Sharon and I connected through social media. I love how her cover has a rescued dog on it.

Author Bio

Sharon Geltner was a Washington D. C. reporter, wrote for celebrity authors and traveled to exotic places on assignment, including Israel, Egypt, Lapland and Singapore. 
 
Geltner came to Boca Raton, Florida to write for a national newspaper chain. She was briefly a war correspondent in the Mideast. When she revealed that the town’s biggest philanthropist, who claimed to be a “countess,” had bought her illegitimate title, from a con man, there was a battle royal. 
 
The “countess” announced she would cut local charities out of her $22 million will, unless Geltner and her editor left town. This high society “banned from Boca” edict appeared as far away as Frankfurt and Paris. Geltner won a national award for “Outstanding News Reporting” from the Society of Professional Journalists. 
 
Later, Geltner publicized nonprofits with national coverage in the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, etc. One client was a Top 10 CNN Hero, honored by the Obama White House and Oprah Winfrey, who received a free, $9 million Super Bowl ad from Microsoft. Geltner also raised money at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach, with televised fashion shows, including door prizes drummed up from the Worth Avenue Ferragamo. 
 
Today, Geltner teaches, consults and owns the award-winning, multimedia agency, Froogle PR. She is also a multimedia freelancer and professional book reviewer.  

Tell us about yourself. 

My career has spanned social work, social climbing, social media and more recently, social distancing. Many of my strange and varied experiences have provided fodder for writing novels.

When did you know you wanted to be an author? 

I loved reading as a child and thought it would be a huge accomplishment to write, then publish a book. Then have actual people read it and enjoy it! That would be remarkable. 

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in? 

I love to read twisty thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction, humor as well as nonfiction, such as biographies, journalism etc.   

I find myself writing in a blend of genres. I think novels are best if there is something unexpected happening. It doesn’t have to be a murder mystery for that to happen. I also like to step out of the confines of any single formula, if I can. 

I also enjoy reading comedy, which is a lot harder to pull off successfully than drama.  (Any actor will tell you the same, it’s much harder to perform and make people laugh, than cry.)  

Is your book for adults, young adults or children? 

Adults 

What is your current release or project?  

My current book is CHARITY BASHED, a fun, humorous cozy mystery and satire set amongst the elite in Palm Beach, Florida. (Available digital and paperback.) 

 I am at work on another novel, historical fiction, RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE. It takes place over 60 years and three continents, much of it in Washington, D. C. 

Tell us about the key characters. 

We have Justine Romanoff, a frustrated reporter who now must flatter the 1% in order to make a living (although she enjoys being on the fringes of the opulence of Palm Beach, Florida.) We also have a cute boyfriend, fun friends (who are reporters but still frustrated!) and lots of frenemies at the office. We also have many characters who may be a tad hypocritical; professing to dedicating their lives (or at least some petty cash) to the vulnerable poor, but are hiding some deep, dark secrets! 

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?  

Ever wonder what REALLY goes on at secretive and posh enclaves such as the Palm Beach Country Club, which was ground zero for the Madoff scandal? The customs, the culture, the back stabbing? 
 
Publishers Weekly, bookstagrammers, book bloggers, Facebook and Instagram book club members, newspapers, magazines and a Top Amazon Reviewer highly recommend this fictional account of the restless and the ruthless. Go behind closed doors and gated communities to find out why. 
 
The plot: after a $10 million donor is found dead in an oceanfront pool; a charity fund raiser stops panhandling amongst the elite, and begins investigating fraud, mayhem, murder and relentless social climbing. In that order.  

Share an excerpt

“My tiara’s too tight.” 

It wasn’t the first time I heard that. I raise money for a charity, the Palm Beach Crisis Center. As chief panhandler for a nonprofit next to the richest island in the world, it’s my job to help when jewelry weighs too much. 

Mrs. Benjamin R. Ecklund’s soft blond bangs were indeed flattened by her 140-carat gold and diamond coronet. I should have such problems. 

“Mrs. Ecklund, you look magnificent,” I said reassuringly. It was the truth. The Palm Beach socialite, who was going to host our charity gala tomorrow at her oceanfront estate, was a stunner. Tiaras on women are like tuxedos on men. Anyone who donned one acquired a sudden regal elegance, often undeserved. Mrs. Ecklund had coronated herself. 

Whoever said you can’t buy class was wrong, especially here in south Florida. Not long ago, Brenda was a $23,000-a-year receptionist married to a mechanic at Tombstone Motorcycles in West Palm Beach. She ditched him to marry her elderly, yet frisky boss, one of the richest men in Palm Beach.  

Sadly, my powers of persuasion had fallen as flat as Mrs. Ecklund’s hair.  “The weight of all these jewels could crush my coiffure and ruin tomorrow night’s publicity photos,” she said.    

I tried to look sweet and sincere. “You don’t give yourself enough credit, Mrs. Ecklund. I guarantee in every shot, your updo will look fabulous.” 

Brenda Ecklund began to sparkle as brightly as her diadem. When she smiled, she seemed likeable. But the things that made her happy were sometimes a little scary, such as when Mrs. Ecklund got her hubby to cut his children from his previous marriages out of the will.  

The jumior Ecklunds’ loss could be my employer’s gain. Brenda wanted to be THE society matron of the island of Palm Beach and step number one, after snagging the spouse and bagging the house, was to host charity galas. That’s why I as here begging for a cut of her dough. We sat in her tangerine velvet-covered dressing room. It wasn’t to my taste, but maybe the Bordello Tropicana stimulated her husband. 

How could I flatter Brenda into not making me run to Worth Avenue to borrow a new tiara at this late date? I had a million things to do before Brenda’s shindig tomorrow night to honor Vincent Paul Louis, a Palm Beach VIP. He had pledged a huge donation to the Crisis Center to feed the poor, heal the sick, rehab his sleazy reputation, etc.  

Brenda had cause to be nervous about her image. She’d donated a few hundred grand, money from her recent matrimony, or rather, matrimoney, to get the honor of hostessing our ball that required black tie and tiaras.  

Brenda peered into the mirror. “Is there a scratch on this tiara?” 

I went over for a closer look. “No, I don’t think so.” 

Mrs. Ecklund asked, “Do you think my hair looks better up or down in my photos?” 

“Hmmmm,” I said. “Well, down really shows off your eyes, but I think I prefer it up.” 

“Why?” 

“Because it looks more queenly and you’re going to be chairing the event, after all.” 

I checked my agenda. I was supposed to suggest that Brenda get temporary lowlights to show off her gleaming gems and then segue into accessories. This could take another 45 minutes at least, but before I could get started on earrings, we were interrupted by her social secretary. She ran  in, panting. 

“I wanted to tell you before the police came in.” Her face was flushed, her eyes bulging. This could well be a “shoot the messenger” kind of situation. 

“Tell me what? Didn’t I already give to the annual Policeman’s Fund?” Brenda sounded annoyed. “Show them around to the servants’ entrance.”  

“The police aren’t here to collect money,” the staffer said. “They’re here to collect evidence.” 

“Evidence? For what?” Mrs. Ecklund said. “What are they doing here?” 

“Oh, Mrs. Ecklund,” the secretary said tearfully. She gathered her courage.  

“They found a dead man floating in your swimming pool!” 
 

Do you have a favorite scene? 

My favorite scenes are the one that readers say are outrageous and make them laugh out loud. I also get a lot of laughs and some disbelief from the chapters describing the lavish parties for society pets, dogs with their own private chefs and diamond leashes. 

But one of the scenes I replay most in my mind is when our hero, Justine Romanoff, is busted in church at a society funeral for wearing castoffs from the deceased (who donated them to a consignment shop while still alive.) 

Yep, I had something similar happen, only the guilty object was a Burberry knockoff purse—from Target.  

I’m still paying the therapy bills.  

What advice would you give a beginner?   

If you are an independent author: great, tell your story! But remember that you will have a higher hurdle of proving your professionalism and the inherent worth of your book. Hire a professional editor to improve your manuscript and pay a professional artist to design your cover.  Writing is an avocation, but it is also a business. (It takes money to make money.)  

Social Media

www.facebook.com/sharongeltnerportfolio 

www.facebook.com/charitybashed 

www.twitter.com/charitybashed 

www.instagram.com/sharongeltner 

Other:  

www.amazon.com/author/sharongeltner 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharongeltner

www.muckrack.com/sharon-geltner 

Purchasing links 

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Charity-Bashed-Sharon-Geltner/dp/0991401344 

Digital: https://www.amazon.com/Charity-Bashed-Sharon-Geltner-ebook/dp/B0046A9OA2/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= 

Mary Helen Sheriff

Mary and I met online and I’ve learned a lot about her. Her book sounds interesting and I can’t wait to read it.

Author Bio

Mary Helen Sheriff is the author of the award-winning coming-of-age novel Boop and Eve’s Road Trip.  She spent fourteen years in classrooms  teaching elementary school, middle school, college, and professionals. During that time, she also had the pleasure of 

dabbling in writing for children, teenagers, and adults in a variety of forms including fiction, poetry, blogs, and nonfiction. She spent several summers immersed in an MFA program in children’s literature at Hollins University. Currently, she lives and writes in Richmond, Virginia, with her two kids, two cats, and husband. 

Tell us about yourself.

I loved my job as a teacher for many years, but all along I nursed the dream of becoming a published novelist.  A year ago, I resigned from teaching to dedicate myself full-time to this dream. I’m so excited to have my first novel finally out!  

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Even as a kid I played with creative writing. Serious aspirations came along 21 years ago when I was in graduate school for teaching. In my Teaching Middle School Social Studies class, the professor suggested a geography project for our students and asked us to complete the project so we’d have a sample to show our students when we assigned it.  Somehow my sample became a novella.  The professor loved it and suggested I get it published and a dream was born.  Twenty one years…it’s been a long road.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I read a little of everything, except westerns, comic books, and graphic novels. 

Boop and Eve’s Road Trip is women’s fiction.  I’ve written three other unpublished novels that are middle grade and YA.  I have an interest in writing science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction, so you may see those in the future.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Boop and Eve’s Road Trip is for adults.

What is your current release or project? 

Boop and Eve’s Road Trip

Tell us about the key characters.

Eighty year old Boop lives alone in a condo near her granddaughter Eve’s college in Florida. Boop’s southern charm and quirky sense of humor hide that she’s lonely. She wishes her relationship with her daughter was better and feels responsible for her daughter’s dysfunctional parenting of Eve. Boop doesn’t allow herself to think of it often, but she still has unresolved feeling of guilt and shame around a secret she’s kept for decades. 

Eve has always been shy and a loner. Her mother dominates her life and for the most part Eve goes along with her mother’s plans. When Eve goes away to college, she’s on her own for the first time and has little experience or resilience to deal with even the small issues that arise. As the school year goes on she spirals into a depression.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

Eve Prince is done with college, with her mom, with guys, and with her dream of fashion design. But when her best friend goes MIA, Eve must gather the broken threads of her life to search for her. 

Desperate to visit her sister, Boop, a retiree dripping with Southern charm, hijacks her granddaughter Eve’s road trip. 

Along the way, Boop hopes to alleviate Eve’s growing depression—which, she knows from experience, will require more than flirting lessons 

and a Garlic Festival makeover. Nevertheless, she is frustrated when her feeble efforts yield the same failures that the sulfur-laced sip from the Fountain of Youth wrought on her age. 

The one thing that might help is a secret that’s haunted Boop for sixty years. But in revealing it, Boop would risk losing her family and her own hard-won happiness. 

Their journey through the heart of Dixie is an unforgettable love story between a grandmother and her granddaughter. 

Share an excerpt

“Then the telephone rang. It was only seven in the morning. No one rang with good news at that time of day. 

Boop dodged around towers of boxes to answer the phone. She was worried the call had something to do with Eve. Girl hadn’t seemed at all right yesterday. 

“Hello?” 

“Betty . . . how are you?” Only one person called her Betty. Boop’s good day was shot to hell in a handbasket. 

“In the feather, Vicky. In the feather.” Boop’s sister fancied herself a lady and insisted that she be addressed as Victoria by her intimates and Mrs. Victoria to the rest of the world. Boop was of the opinion that her sister was too big for her crisp linen britches and reminded her of this by persistently calling her Vicky. 

“Mmhmm . . . yes,” Vicky said. 

Boop could practically hear her biting her tongue. Was she a terrible person for wishing she’d draw blood? 

Vicky continued, “I haven’t seen you and your sweet granddaughter in a month of Sundays. I’d hoped that Eve might drive you up to Savannah to visit me occasionally.” 

“Those college kids are busier than mustard trying to ketchup.” 

“I suppose. However, the semester is ending, and my guest bedrooms are aching for some company. Might y’all come for a spell soon?” Boop took a deep breath, attempting to inhale calm but really just inhaling the aroma of her coffee. She massaged the handle of her red coffee cup.
“I don’t reckon so. Thank you kindly.” The grits were getting 

cold, so Boop took a bite, making sure to smack her lips. Listening to her eat was sure to drive Vicky batty, but that was just a bonus. Boop was hungry, or at least that was what she told herself. 

“Now then, what’s more important than family?” 

“Really, Vicky—” Boop felt a headache coming on, so she yanked the plastic rollers from her hair, hoping to relieve the pressure a bit. Only their absence didn’t do anything to quell Vicky’s nagging voice. Her dulcet tone was like an electric drill grinding in Boop’s ear. 

“Really, nothing. We aren’t getting any younger,” Vicky said. 

Boop glared at her knobby hands with their protruding blue veins, liver spots, and wrinkles. Oh, the wrinkles! Boop sometimes imagined she even smelled of decay, or maybe it wasn’t her imagination. She wasn’t sure she wanted to know. “Maybe you ain’t, but I’m right spritely.” Spritely like swamp mud. 

“Mmhmm. I’m not sure your shoulder would agree.”
“Aw, now.” Boop stuck her tongue out at the phone.

Do you have a favorite scene?

I have a favorite moment.  It’s toward the end of the book. I’ll have to be a bit vague to avoid spoilers. Eve’s father sends her a gift that’s loaded an unspoken message.  I’m a sucker for grand gestures.  They always make me cry.

What advice would you give a beginner?

Connect with the writing community. By their very nature, writers tend to be smart and generous.  No matter the stage of your journey, the support of other writers will be invaluable.  It can be especially helpful to connect with writers in the same genre.

Social media links:

Facebook @maryhelensheriff

Twitter @maryhsheriff

Instagram @maryhelensheriff

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/maryhelensheriff/

Blog link https://maryhelensheriff.com/blog/

Purchasing links https://www.amazon.com/Boop-Eves-Road-Trip-Novel/dp/1631527630/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Barb Jones

Barb Jones came to my through Goddess Fish Promotions.

Bio

AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

I was born in Hawaii, a place rich with culture and storytellers. As a little girl, scary tales about vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, and witches were my favorite kind — much to my mother’s dismay.  

The scarier, the better.  

My love for the supernatural never went away, even after moving to Seattle, far from Hawaii’s majestic beaches with unusual colors. Nothing compares to the landscapes of Maui, Lanai, or Oahu. But somehow, Seattle stole my heart anyway. It became the place where my love for stories took on a new form, in a book of my own: The Adventures of Little Arthur and Merlin the Magnificent. This book is for kids who love stories, just like I did.  

Then I had an idea while sleeping.   

One night, my mind began to work overtime. In a dream, I saw a unique storyline involving all the races and an epic battle of good versus evil. It was a modern day plot with a three thousand year old prophecy, The Blood Prophecy. I finished the first book in 2014, The Queen’s Destiny. Two years later, I released The Queen’s Enemy. The last book in the series, The Queen’s Ascension, released on August 17, 2020. 

Today, I live in Florida with its beaches and sunshine. But I’m still a Seattle girl at heart. And so all my stories take place in the Northwest.  

I always keep to my roots when I write. 

Tell us about yourself. 

I tend to call myself a “closet nerd.” It’s a term I came up with because well, I am nerdy but I don’t always show it.  It really comes out though, when I talk about random, out of the ordinary facts.  I’m also an adrenaline junkie, fitness fanatic.   But probably the number one thing about me is being a mother.  I have two fantastic teens, ages 19 and 15.  I have never experienced some of the challenges that parents face – my kids don’t party, don’t get into trouble, you name it.  Both are so studious that no matter how much I begged her to go, my 19 year old chose to miss Prom and study for an AP exam.  She graduated high school at age 15 and did the whole 4 year course study in 2.  Other than that, I am part Hawaiian, Filipino, German, Jewish and a few other things.  The Hawaiian part is what I am truly studying right now in greater detail than ever before.  But seriously, I am a Senior Executive IT Consultant, a fitness trainer, nutrition coach, master life coach, event planner and an author all in one.   

When did you know you wanted to be an author? 

I would have to say when I was 9 and a teacher, along with my parents, encouraged me to write down my stories.  I would always tell stories but the minute I put it to paper, a new world opened to me.  I also wanted to be a mom and an astronaut, but story telling has always been a big part of my life. 

What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?  

I love to read historical fiction, history, action, thrillers, some paranormal/horror but mostly, it will be either action or historical. 

Is your book for adults, young adults or children? 

The Blood Prophecy series is for Young Adults and up.  But I do have a children’s series on King Arthur and Merlin as five year old boys. 

What is your current release or project? 

My heart goes into the Blood Prophecy series and I am currently working on Book Four: Rise of the Hunter. 
 
Tell us about the key characters 

Amber is the Vampire Queen and the main character of the series.  She is a fiery red head with a passion for learning, being in control.   

Chloe is her best friend and the most powerful witch in the world.  She is married to Marcus, another vampire.   

Michael, a vampire, was once known as Machiel. He is the vessel of the prophecy and he turned Amber.  They are in love but that love will be tested in the series. 

Marcus, a vampire, is bound by his emotions and honor to always do the right thing.   

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book? 

Bloodshed. Heartbreak. Revelation. When the darkness was compelling and the heart knew no bounds, was there really a right choice? With Michael’s life hanging in the balance, Amber had a choice: save her star-fated love or keep on the crusade to unite the magical community. For Amber, her fate was sealed even before her birth and it was her destiny to fight the great battle ahead of her. But, when it came to her heart — her friends, her great love — Amber’s torn. Not only was she the Queen, but she was a human in every sense of the word. She was vulnerable. And so the very people — Chloe and Michael — that gave her strength, quickly became her weakness. It wasn’t her fault she loved too much, was it? Nevertheless, the Tall Dark Man had set a plan in motion that could threaten the very existence of the Blood Prophecy. Would he gather his dark forces and succeed in destroying Amber once and for all? Or, would she assemble her powerful friends and save the world? 
 
Share an excerpt  

Amber, Seattle, Present Day  

With the power to control objects with her mind, Amber distracted herself by practicing and preparing for the ultimate battle, as was predicted in the prophecy. She stood outside, surrounded by different obstacles displayed on the grounds. There were bows and arrows set at varying distances in front of their respective targets, scraps of metal from a junkyard, as well as a vast array of weapons to measure her adroitness.  

As she lifted a car door from the ground, she could feel her blood pumping, her heart racing. Amber pushed her body and her mind to the limit. She moved her hands as if she were stretching some invisible fabric. Right before her eyes, the car was pulled apart slowly—she heard the crunch and crackle of the metal. The anger of the past day and the overall frustration of her situation culminated into a heart-searing scream as she shattered the car door. The pieces were vaporized into tiny fragments that floated across the air. She placed her hands at her sides, and the steel fragments fell like hail.  

Her surge in power emulated how she felt. How could Michael abandon her when she had fought incredibly hard to get him back? She felt just like the bits of ore that fell upon her, shattered. Amber couldn’t wrap her brain around why he was acting the way he was. Her mind was riddled with unsettling thoughts.  

I love him. Why’d he disappear? Did I do something wrong? I mean, how could I have done something? He literally just woke up. I don’t understand what’s going on. The situation with Rae and Zaraquel fulfilling her part of the prophecy—it’s just too much. I don’t know how to handle it.  

Her hands trembled as the anxiety inched down her throat and into her stomach. With her stress at an all-time high, the objects around her—the weapons and equipment, the fallen leaves, her hair—all levitated.  

She heard him before she saw him. “Am I interrupting something?”  

Amber turned to see Michael with a smirk on his face. 

Do you have a favorite scene? 

I really poured my heart into the battle.  That battle was the one that the prophecy foretold and the destiny of Amber’s purpose.  It wasn’t an easy battle to be fought so I really took my time in this.  In fact, the battle took place in Seattle and let’s just say, there was a lot of destruction. 
 
What advice would you give a beginner? 

No matter if you may doubt your writing or your ability to create a world for readers to escape in, just write.  Write from the heart, write from what you imagine is happening.  The words will come.   

Website: https://www.thebloodprophecy.com/ 

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Blood_Prophecy1 

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

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Queens-Ascension-Prophecy-Barb-Jones-ebook/dp/B08DKK66PM 

Barnes and Noble Buy Link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/queens-ascension-barb-jones/1137386713?ean=2940162985693 

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Dimitrius Jones

Dimitrius Jones and I came together through Goddess Fish Promotions.

Author Bio

Dimitrius Jones was born and raised in West Texas, much to his eternal annoyance. Despite this, he first picked up the pen at the tender age of six. His first masterpiece was a page-turner about dolphins that used eye lasers to kill a hurricane. From there, his life took a few twists and turns, but he always found his way back to his trusty notepad. 

His next few projects include a self-help book for those who suffer from low self-esteem as well as a full-length fantasy/romance novel to be released sometime in the future. Dimitrius has always, perhaps unsurprisingly, been inspired by the mystery, tragedy, and wonder of fairy tales. 

His goal in life is to constantly inspire, amuse, and shed light into the corners of life we didn’t know were right in front of us. 

Tell us about yourself. 

My mom would tell you that I’ve always been a writer in some capacity, and I think she’s right. Even in my earliest memories, I can’t recall a time where I wasn’t trying to come up with a story in some way, whether it was playing with toys or scribbling on my dad’s notepad. It was always meant to be.  

I’m also a person who is determined to succeed and help others succeed. I believe in being a positive influence and encouraging the people I care about to do their best. 

When did you know you wanted to be an author? 

I believe I was twelve years old  when I started my first book. It was all handwritten, and I kept it in a binder at the time. I knew once I had finished it that I wanted to see my work on a bookshelf someday. I ended up going through different paths in life from there, but I always returned to writing as an outlet.  

Now, I’m more ready than ever to start publishing books and sharing the stories I’ve got brewing in my mind.  

What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in? 

I typically read fantasy and horror. I love fantasy for its escapism factor, and I’m always thrilled to learn about the mechanics of each world, its mythology, and its characters.  

I love reading horror as opposed to watching scary movies. I feel like our imagination is far scarier than what we see on the big screen these days. I’m always in search of a new creepypasta to consume. Many of those are very well-written and more frightening than anything I’ve ever read before.  

Is your book for adults, young adults or children? 

Doorway to Scorn is for young adults and adults. There’s some scary imagery that might not be suitable for children, and some of the story beats can get pretty intense.  

What is your current release or project?  

My current release is Doorway to Scorn, and I am also finishing up an LGBT teen fantasy romance novel. I’d love to release several more sequels to Doorway to Scorn, and beyond that I have many more stories to tell.  

Tell us about the key characters 

Lex and Bibi are the two main characters of this installment. They are both adopted by the Branderfords and live in Hollo village, which is terrorized by a malevolent doorway known as the Gate. Lex is highly intelligent but loses his temper frequently. Bibi is a capable fighter and much more mature and level-headed than her foster brother.  

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book? 

Many in the world of Austyria dream of becoming heroes, gaining classes like Mage, Knight, and Beastmaster. With the power granted to them by the powerful Alrelics, they can level up and accomplish extraordinary feats. 
 
The citizens of Hollo village long for a hero to save them from the malevolent Gate, which disfigures all who see or try to enter it. Lex dreams of becoming a Soldier and leaving his cursed village with his friends, Bibi and Ariel, but his class designation ceremony devolves into absolute disaster. Within days, he’s forced to embark on a journey that will change his destiny forever. 
 
To save his friends, Lex must uncover the mysteries of this mysterious doorway, while keeping his scornful heart in check before it consumes him utterly. 

Share an excerpt  

“Lex. You need to run.”  

Bibi’s voice is low, just above a whisper. She flips her daggers in her hands until they’re pointing away from her body, something I’ve never seen done before. They’re normally used for stabbing – usually in the most treacherous manner possible – and held with the blade facing up, not down.  

“I’m not leaving you here to fight that alone.”  

“Then you’re a fool. You can’t help me here, and that cursed weapon you have won’t save you. I don’t even know why you’re still holding onto it.”  

“I have potions. If you get hurt, I can at least heal you.” 

Bibi doesn’t respond, but I can see the muscles in her shoulders and arms tensing as the shadow man regains his composure and goes completely still. She doesn’t sound like herself. It’s as if she’s a completely different person.  

The shadow man points his blade high into the sky, and a strange, smoke-like energy begins to wisp around him. Soon, he is joined by two identical shadow men, each taking a battle stance with swords of their own.  

“This is not a fight I plan to win,” Bibi says, and that’s when it dawns on me. She’s trying to buy everyone else time to escape from these things. 

“Lex. You need to run.”  

Bibi’s voice is low, just above a whisper. She flips her daggers in her hands until they’re pointing away from her body, something I’ve never seen done before. They’re normally used for stabbing – usually in the most treacherous manner possible – and held with the blade facing up, not down.  

“I’m not leaving you here to fight that alone.”  

“Then you’re a fool. You can’t help me here, and that cursed weapon you have won’t save you. I don’t even know why you’re still holding onto it.”  

“I have potions. If you get hurt, I can at least heal you.” 

Bibi doesn’t respond, but I can see the muscles in her shoulders and arms tensing as the shadow man regains his composure and goes completely still. She doesn’t sound like herself. It’s as if she’s a completely different person.  

The shadow man points his blade high into the sky, and a strange, smoke-like energy begins to wisp around him. Soon, he is joined by two identical shadow men, each taking a battle stance with swords of their own.  

“This is not a fight I plan to win,” Bibi says, and that’s when it dawns on me. She’s trying to buy everyone else time to escape from these things. 

Do you have a favorite scene? 

One of my favorite scenes is when one of the main characters get a new ability, but it’s not the ability they were hoping for. However, he’s reminded that he is still useful and can still be of assistance to those he cares about. It’s a moment of character growth for this person because they quickly learn that sometimes we have to do the best with the tools we are given rather than the tools we want.  

What advice would you give a beginner? 

Your first novel is going to feel overwhelming somedays. You’re going to finish a writing session and wonder if you’re doing the right thing. You’ll consider never opening up your draft ever again.  

Just finish it.  

Finish that novel, article, blog post, and set it free. Put it out there, be open to feedback, and learn. Every successful writer before you had to start somewhere, so it’s no use expecting perfection at first. Don’t do that to yourself. You still have a lot to learn, and you are more than capable of getting it down.  

Social Media

Website: http://dimitriusjones.com/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/idimitriusjones?lang=en 

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/idimitriusjones/?hl=en 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Doorway-Scorn-Novella-1-Austyria-ebook/dp/B081XJC13P 

The book will be $0.99 during the tour. 

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Leon Acord

Leon Acord came to my attention through Goddess Fish Promotions.

Author Bio

Leon Acord is an award-winning actor and writer who has appeared in over 35 films you’ve never seen and 30 plays you’ve never heard of. Possible exceptions include the digital TV series Old Dogs & New Tricks on Amazon Prime Video (which he created, wrote & co-produced), and the stage hit Carved in Stone (in which he played Quentin Crisp in both SF and LA productions). His memoir, SUB-LEBRITY: The Queer Life of a Show-Biz Footnote, is now available in paperback & e-book on Amazon. He wrote his one-man show Last Sunday in June (1996) and co-authored the 2014 play Setting the Record Gay. He was a “Take Five” columnist for Back Stage West throughout 2009 and a former contributor to Huffington Post. He has also written for San Francisco Examiner and the journal Human Prospect. He currently lives in West LA with husband Laurence Whiting & their cat Toby.  Learn more at www.LeonAcord.com  

 Tell us about yourself. 

I’m out-and-loud middle-aged gay actor who, after 30 years in the business, remains remarkably under-exposed! I grew up very gay in rural Indiana in the ‘60s and ‘70s, moved to San Francisco where I worked constantly as an actor in the ‘80s and ‘90s. But after I moved to LA in 2004, my career lost a lot of steam. So, I created and wrote and acted in the web series Old Dogs & New Tricks [2011-2016, Amazon Prime] and my acting career, as well as my life, found its second wind. 

And then, there’s my “feud” with Susan Olsen, who played “Cindy” in The Brady Bunch. We had a very public and very publicized blow-up after I guested on her political radio talk show, and she called me the “f word,” back in 2016. It was a media firestorm for about three days back then. It’s all but forgotten now, as we’ve been bashed by scandals on the daily. But folks can read all the details about that in my book, too. 

 
When did you know you wanted to be an author? 

I knew I always wanted to be an actor, since very early on. As for writing, well, writing was something I’d always done, always enjoyed, and always took for granted. I dabbled in it, off and on. I actually got paid as a reporter on my hometown daily newspaper, the Kokomo Tribune, when I was a teenager. Then, during a break in college, when I thought I’d give up acting, I wrote a very trashy novel that I never tried to get published because it was instantly dated the moment it was completed. Ahh, the ‘80s! I still have it stashed around here somewhere! 

Off and on, I toyed with writing a book. But it wasn’t until after I created and wrote my series Old Dogs & New Tricks [2011-2016, Amazon Prime] that I truly felt I earned the right to call myself a writer. I then had the confidence to try writing something else. 

 
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in? 

My favorite genre, yes, is show-business biographies and memoirs. It doesn’t matter if its an actor or actress I admire, or writer, or whatever. I’ll want to read them! I found they really helped keep me inspired when I was a young actor starting out. It helped to read about the set-backs actors I admired had suffered through as I was suffering through them myself the first time.  

And because SUB-LEBRITY* is also a show-biz memoir, albeit written by a non-famous actor, all those books inspired me all over again.  

 
Is your book for adults, young adults or children? 

Oh, SUB-LEBRITY* is most definitely not for children. Young adults? I don’t know, I read Valley of the Dolls when I was 12, and that was a century ago. So perhaps for the precocious young adult reader, it’s okay. I mean, its titillating but not terribly explicit, really. I could be wrong, though! 

 
What is your current release or project?  

SUB-LEBRITY* is out now. It’s my first book. It’s what I call, with tongue-in-cheek, a “comic Hollywood memoir by a non-famous actor.”  

 
Tell us about the key characters 

Well, SUB-LEBRITY* is my memoir, so the main character is me (he said, egotistically). An assortment of high school chums, a lot of ex-boyfriends and one terrific husband. Lots of show-biz colleagues, some of them famous, most of them nice, some of them not. The cast and folks behind the camera on Old Dogs feature heavily, as does my good friend Jeffrey Hartgraves, who gave me my best stage role ever, as Quentin Crisp in Carved in Stone, and who passed away tragically. But from the feedback I’m getting, the favorite “supporting characters” of readers have been my parents. All my friends loved them when I was a kid. And it hasn’t changed. Now, even I love them even more than before. If that’s possible! Writing the book really showed me the absolutely wonderful parents I have. 

 
What is your blurb or synopsis of the book? 

A droll, oddly inspirational memoir from the actor Breitbart called “a gay leftist activist,” SUB-LEBRITY* The Queer Life of a Show-Biz Footnote by Leon Acord (Old Dogs & New Tricks) is an honest, sometimes bitchy but always sincere story about growing up (very) gay in rural Indiana, achieving acting success outside the closet, and generating headlines with his very-public smackdown with Trump-loving Susan Olsen (Cindy, The Brady Bunch). 

“A life in the arts is richly rewarding, even if it doesn’t reward one with riches.” 

From Indiana farm boy to San Francisco queer-theatre veteran… 

From creator/star of the seminal gay web TV series Old Dogs & New Tricks  

to his infamous role as Cindy Brady’s political archenemy… 

Actor Leon Acord’s story, told in his singular, cheeky voice, is “like any other Hollywood memoir, with affairs, feuds, flops & triumphs. The only difference is, I’m not famous!” 

With photos & stories from dozens of film & theatre roles, plus tales of bad auditions and a sampling of his hate mail, you’ll learn exactly why Acord never became a star! 

 
Share an excerpt 

(Here’s a bit, about my “Ah Ha!” moment on a high-school stage.) 

I didn’t bother auditioning for the school musical that year.  There was no point.  The new plug-up-her-butt choir teacher was in charge of casting – and earlier that year, she’d slapped me in front of the entire choir after she heard me call her a “grumpy bitch” to another student. That kind of thing sorta kills your chances. (I took the slap like a man. I’d earned it, after all!) 

I was now taking drama with Miss Patsie Ronk, another remarkable teacher who became an inspiration.  She recognized my driving interest in acting and my wildly unexplored, undeveloped talent, and encouraged me to pursue my theatrical aspirations.  

She suggested I check Pasadena Playhouse’s training program in LA as a higher-learning option.   For the first time, a grown-up was encouraging me to pursue acting!    

She was in charge of the school’s junior and senior class plays, so I knew I had a chance.  I auditioned for Arsenic & Old Lace, and was cast in the lead, Mortimer Brewster. 

After how Harry Beaton screamingly made his presence known, I had trouble at first finding nervous, neurotic Mortimer. 

“I can’t find this character!” I cried to Dibble at rehearsal one after-noon. 

“Stop trying,” he advised.  “You are this character!” 

I was so busy at school, so focused on so many things I loved, I stopped noticing if or when bully-boy classmates said hateful remarks.  Were they still carrying on with that nonsense? 

Oh, they were.  In fact, the bullies were quietly plotting their biggest stunt yet. 

One of my nemeses from the jock clique, Rick Sisson, was slumming, playing the bit part of an “Old Man” about to be poisoned by two murderous old ladies in Arsenic & Old Lace.   

As Mortimer, I was to rush on stage, see the Old Man about to drink a glass of poisoned elderberry wine, grab him by the jacket, and shove him out of my crazy aunts’ house. 

That was how we’d been playing it. 

For closing night, he and his jock buddies thought of a hilarious prank.  Instead of setting his glass of fake wine on the table before I grabbed him, he’d throw the full glass of Hawaiian Punch into my face!  It was closing night, why not?  Smear the queer! 

The sizable high-school auditorium was packed with a rowdy closing-night crowd of parents, faculty and friends, unaware they were about to witness my humiliation.   

The moment arrived.  I entered, rushed to the Old Man with the glass near his lips, and SPLASH!   

I was stunned.  Rick rushed through the door and off stage before I could do a thing.  

The audience erupted with laughter.  Erupted!  And didn’t stop!   

I’d seen it on sitcoms all my short life.  Actors forced to hold for a laugh.  I lived for the moments on the Carol Burnett Show when something went wrong or when the actors tried not to laugh.  And now, I was experiencing that myself.  It felt wonderful!  

Rick wanted me to feel like Carrie White.  Instead, I felt like Cary Grant. 

The two teenaged actresses playing my aunts just watched, trying not to laugh themselves.   

I felt myself about to smile.  I turned my back to the audience and fumbled through a desk on stage, pretending to blindly look for a handkerchief – a cover until I could wipe the now-gigantic smile off my face.  The audience found this hilarious and continued howling. 

Back in character, I gave up at the desk and turned to face the audience just as the laugh was softening.  I instinctively yanked off my clip-on tie and began dabbing my wet face with it. 

The audience screamed with laughter again – this time, the laughter morphed into applause.   

The song from the Broadway musical Applause is right – it’s better than pot, it’s better than booze.  Waiting out a long laugh break, instinctively finding ways to prolong it, riding it like a surfer on a wave, then crashing against the shore in a loud burst of applause, is the best feeling in the world. 

I had flirted with the idea of being an actor, among other creative pursuits, all though childhood.   

But in this moment, I knew. I’d spend the rest of my life chasing that feeling.  

 
Do you have a favorite scene? 

Ha! My favorite scene was always the last scene I’d just finished. Since the book came out, I haven’t really thought about it. Let’s see. There’s the time the famous San Francisco casting director told me I was “too gay” to ever find acting success! It was also fun to write the chapter “Kissing the Frogs,” about all the awful guys I’d dated before I met my wonderful husband, Laurence Whiting. 

I suppose the most emotional part of the book is the section about Jeffrey Hartgraves’ fight against cancer, and our race against time to produce Carved in Stone a second time. I thought that would be the hardest part of the book to write, so I saved it until last. Surprisingly, it turned out to be the easiest part of the book to write. 

 
What advice would you give a beginner? 
 

Just write. Keep a journal, write in it every day. Read as much as you can get your hands on. Be involved in current events. And slowly find your groove. Do you prefer writing by hand or by computer? Do you write better late at night, first thing in the morning? Play around. Have fun while you find your “voice.” And know that your voice can and will change project to project.  

And, oh yeah, vote, please!  

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