Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mike Hartner on Being Social, Not Spamming and Book Marketing @MHartnerAuthor #AmWriting #HistFic

at 8:30 AM 0 comments
How To Network Online to Sell Your Book

First, I must print this disclaimer. I’m not a marketing individual. And I, James, the second book of The Eternity Series which will be released in September 2014, is only the second book that I’ve tried to market. So, everything has been trial and error. But, I will borrow heavily from badredheadmedia.com’s Rachel Thompson, and several others, and the lessons they have taught me.
  1. You need an Online Presence. Gmail+, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest…. They all have their uses. Personally, I’m on FaceBook, and Twitter.
  2. Facebook has my personal page, where my family and friends reside, and then a Corporate page which is where I try to publicize The Eternity Series. And other projects that I have. BcBaldEagles.com also comes to mind. It’s also a separate corporate page. And the three pages share posts from each other.
  3. Twitter is my second social media channel. @MHartnerAuthor is my identity, since Rachel once said, it’s better to publicize yourself as an author than to publicize individual books, and keep changing the identity. Son’t confuse people. Publicize yourself as an author.
  4. First Rule of Social Media: It’s Social. Don’t Spam. Don’t spill every word saying ‘Buy my book’. Build relationships, show people your interests outside of writing. If you’re interested in Nutella, and Alaskam wilderness cabins, show that. If it’s quilting, crocheting and flowers you’re interested in, show that. Let people meet the REAL you.
  5. Pluggio and hootsuite are great tools. Pluggio allows you to ‘drip’ every few hours news topics of your interest. Hootsuite allows you to post on more than one site from a consolidated dashboard. Both are useful.
  6. Don’t expect everyone who follows you to remain. But help them by not including expletives in every second post, or every third word. Show them that you can enjoy life as much as it can frustrate you.
Social Networks allow you to reach out to a lot of other people. AS much as you want others to follow you, follow them. Find others with your interest. Other authors, other Nutella aficionados, other quilters, whatever… By following a wide range of others, a wide range of them will follow you.

BLOG, or get blog tours. Blog tours are GREAT exposure for your book. They usually have a wide and diverse cross section of reviewers, who are all interested, to some extent, in your writing.

HELP OTHERS. If you can help others with your lessons, do. If you can Share other’s posts, announcements, etc… chances are they’ll share yours. And your messages will get out to people you never expected.

90/10 Rule. At least 90 percent of your posts and blogs should be focused on things OTHER THAN selling your book. Great reviews are one thing you can announce more often. Share Reviews of books you’ve read. Even better if they’re current books (last five years). Even Better if you’re following the author when you post the review.

ENGAGE your audience. Snippets, comments, and reviews of everyone’s work are great things to post. Top Ten lists about your life, about your hobbies… all of these build audience.

And while you’re building audience, but not screaming BUY MY BOOK, chances are some people will buy it.

And that’s what makes social media so great. Being Social.

IJames

James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11. 
Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land. 
Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires? 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Mike Hartner on Facebook & Twitter

Saturday, October 25, 2014

#Excerpt from The Seer’s Lover by Kat de Falla @KatDeFalla #GoodReads #Fantasy #BookClub

at 11:30 AM 1 comments
She traced a circle in the sand with her finger.

Why would she disclose her whole existence to someone she’d just met? Someone who talked so little about himself that she found herself talking to fill the void. Saying things she could barely admit in her own head.

His hand covered hers. “I’m lonely, too. Getting to know you this week has been the brightest point in my life and I don’t want you to leave, but I know the only place you’ll be safe is far away from me.”

She swallowed. He had read her mind.

He lay down on his back and closed his eyes. “Cali, you know when you hear a song for the first time and you kind of ingest it? You can’t possibly know right away that it will be one of your favorite songs for the rest of your life. A classic.”

“Yeah.” She hoped he was going somewhere good with this.

“That first listen,” he continued, “you pick up a little of the melody and some lyrics that catch you. But when the song ends, you have to hear it again because you want to memorize all the words and sing along. After you hear it a few times and learn the words inside and out, then you begin to let the melody seep inside you. Next thing you know, you’ve completely digested the song and find yourself humming it while you are doing nothing, like shaving or driving your car. Finally, the song becomes so ingrained it becomes a part of you. Forever. You can recall it and it’s with you whenever you need it. Am I making any sense?”

She nodded, blinking back the tears fighting to fall.

“Cali, I don’t want you to go back because you’re my favorite song.”

The Seer's Lover

For years, Calise Rowe has been able to sense unusual energy from people, making her believe she is different. Pulled into an ancient war raging for centuries between demon hunters and seers, she's about to find out she's right.

Her search for the truth leads her to Lucas Rojas, a seer of angels and demons who walk the earth shrouded from normal human eyes. He's hidden his gift for years and refuses to endanger Calise by sharing it with her.

In the sultry Costa Rican Jungles, their worlds collide. As their passion and desire ignite, so does the ancient war between demons and seers. Will their combined efforts be enough to save themselves and the entire human world, or will their new found love be their downfall?

**Download free music for The Seer's Lover at http://www.bayafaya.com/

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Dark Fantasy
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Kat de Falla through Facebook & Twitter

Friday, October 17, 2014

DARK CHEMISTRY - #Excerpt from Chapter 5 - by Kirsten Mortensen @KirstenWriter #Romance #Suspense

at 8:00 AM 0 comments
*****In this excerpt, the novel’s fifth chapter, we catch our first hint of the powers of the story’s villain, Gerad Picket.

One of the plot elements in Dark Chemistry is that a brilliant but odd research chemist has learned how to create powerful, synthetic pheromones—odorless, undetectable chemicals that can exert strong subjective effects on people exposed to them. These chemicals can influence peoples’ moods, for example, or cause them to feel aroused.

The two characters we visit in this scene are Donavon Todde, the man who will soon fall in love with the protagonist. He’s known the other character in the scene, Jessica Thomas, since they were kids. Here, they learn that Gerad seduced an RMB intern. What they don’t know—yet—is that he used synthetic phermones to do it. Hopefully they’ll figure it out in time!

As soon as they were wheels down, he turned his phone back on.

It began to vibrate almost immediately: three texts, all from Jessica, all time-stamped from about an hour ago.

Donnyboy, you back in town?

Something’s happened.

Ellyn. shitshitshitshit

Oh, boy. Donavon considered whether or not to text back. He liked Jessica okay—he’d known her for years, first as the older sister of one of his high school buddies, now because they worked for the same company—but ugh. The way women can turn the most inane crap into giant freaking soap operas ... And this Ellyn. Some intern working in R&D. Cute, but she’d turned out to be a bit of a flake. Crying jags at work—that sort of thing. Trouble at home or something, must be.

And of course, Jess had adopted her.

He peered out of his window. They were nearly at the gate. And all his stuff was in his carry-on, so once he deplaned he just needed to get his car. It wouldn’t take long. He’d be home in an hour ...

His phone buzzed again.

she screwed Gerad!!!!!!! dying here

Whoa!

Gerad?

He tapped a message back: just landed. what happened?

The airplane turned, slowed, eased into position near the jetway.

meet me at screechers. hour?

Eh, fine. Another beer or two wouldn’t hurt. And it beat going home and ... thinking too much.

k. cu there

The passengers in the row ahead of Donavon stood up, and he did too—rather, he stood partway, his head bent at an angle to avoid the low ceiling over his seat.

An older guy with a paunch wrested his bag from the overhead bin.

Finally there was room in the aisle for Donavon to step out and reach his duffel, and a few minutes later he was striding through the near-empty airport terminal.

He remembered the blond, then, but he gave an inner shrug. SU student, most likely. Just like a million others.

He’d never see her again.

Screechers looked its age. Built originally as an Inn, it had never been anything fancy: a big, no-nonsense block of a structure set perpendicular to the road. A hundred-plus years of wear and tear had left the building shabby and humbled, and the quarter acre or so of land around it—long since paved over—was broken only by an enormous sign in the front of the building, mounted on two 4x4s of unpainted, treated lumber that were set in a crumbling concrete footer.

“Screechers,” the sign read in fading paint, and then below that, in smaller lettering: “Lunch Served Daily.”

No outsider would be tempted to stop.

But to the locals from Amesbury, New York, Screechers was as good a gathering spot as any.

Donavon left his car next to Jessica’s—he didn’t bother locking it—and climbed the steps to Screechers’ main entrance, which faced the parking lot and was framed by a wide porch.

A couple pairs of splintery Adirondack chairs served as an outdoor smoking section in the winter, and an outdoor smoking and drinking section in the summer. They were empty, tonight.

He pushed the old wooden door open and stepped into the bar, a big, dingy room that smelled of pine-scented cleaner and rancid fryer grease and stale beer.

He spotted Jessica, sitting alone, still dressed in her work duds: blue jean coveralls and wool knit cap.

She didn’t speak when he walked up to her. But her face told him everything he needed to know: that she was mightily indignant.

“Table?” he said as he paid Thomas, the bartender, for his beer, and she nodded.

They sat down at one of the cheap Formica-topped tables along the wall of the main barroom.

Donavon took a sip of beer. “Okay. What happened?”

“I shoulda let you have at her,” said Jessica. She looked at him glumly.

“Hah,” said Donavon. “I told you. So she really screwed the guy?”

“Yup.” The expression of Jessica’s face morphed from gloom to disgust. “An’ now she’s quit, I guess. She came in this morning, went straight to HR, and gave her notice.” Jessica was drinking a Bud from the bottle. She set it down now and shrugged out of her jacket. “Damnit, Don, what was she thinking?”

“You’re asking me?” Donavon’s smile was bitter. “I’m a guy, remember? You can’t expect me to understand what the fuck you women are thinking.” He took another drink. “So what happened, exactly?”

Jessica sighed. “Well, you know I kinda took her under my wing—”

“Yeah, I know.” Although the metaphor Donavon would have chosen was more along the lines of Jessica-as-mama-bear. Right after Ellyn was hired, he’d mounted a charm offensive—and could you blame him? She had quite the body and he was a single man. But Jessica was having none of it. She jumped all over him. Told him to back off. Ellyn was fragile, is how she’d put it. Leave her alone.

Jessica guessed what he was thinking. “Hey, you can’t blame me.” She gestured at him, palms up in a show of innocence. “She was an intern. And she was fragile. And you weren’t into her for the right reasons.”

“There’s nothing wrong with having a good time.” He smiled, teasing her.

Jessica’s eyes narrowed in an expression of pretend accusation. “Don’t give me shit, Donnyboy.”

“Hey,” Donavon said. “There’s not a lot else to do in Amesbury.”

“Right. Anyway, we were out last night after work—me, an’ Kim, an’ Ellyn—and Ellyn’s been acting really weird lately, so we were asking her what’s the matter—and then she finally came out with it, man—”

“That she’d screwed Gerad?”

Jessica nodded. “I lost it,” she said. “I totally lost my shit, Donnyboy.”

“Well, I can see why,” said Donavon, although he wasn’t being entirely truthful.

“I mean, of all people—shit. Anybody else but Ger-fucking-AD.”

“Maybe she’s a gold-digger.”

Jessica checked his face quickly to see if he was joking. “Nah,” she said. “Seriously. I can’t figure it out. I mean—Donny. The guy’s gross. Gross.”

Donavon considered her words a moment, trying to figure out how women might filter Gerad Picket. As the CEO of RMB—at least temporarily, since Richard Molnare had ejected from the earthly coil—Gerad was more or less king of Amesbury. Top dog of the county’s biggest employer, the biggest suit in a pond too small to hold more than a handful of suits. And gals like that kind of thing, right? Power’s the big aphrodisiac ... plus his salary was probably three times the county average. So what if he was a bit ... dumpy-looking. And that strip of a moustache over his upper lip, didn’t that look go out of style with Clark Gable?

And yet, apparently, gals don’t mind that kind of stuff. Donavon had seen enough to know.

“Well,” he said. “Maybe the guy’s got a way with the ladies.”

Jessica scrunched her nose and shook her head in violent disgust. “No,” she said. “Trust me on this, Donny. The man is gross. And he’s a sucky boss.” She looked at Donavon again. “She might have been just an intern, but she knew he was a sucky boss. She knew. I think that’s one reason it pissed me off so much. She let me down. She let us all down.”

The bar door banged and they looked over and nodded in unison at the newcomer—Wayne Peters, a local who ran a little auto repair shop out of his house. A bit of a drunk.

They sat in silence another moment while Wayne took a seat at the bar, and Tom emerged from the kitchen, and Wayne ordered a draft Miller Lite.

“Anyway,” Jessica said, and sighed, and seemed to lose herself in her thoughts again.

Donavon sipped his beer.

The lights flickered. The wiring at Screechers acted a bit funky at times. But neither Donavon nor Jessica really noticed, they were used to it. All of the regulars were, except once in a while someone would joke that the place was a firetrap.

“Donny, I lost my shit,” Jessica started talking again. “I told her it was a violation of RMB policy for managers to have sex with employees and we’d get his ass fired, and she—my God, Donny. She was like crying and all ‘no, no, no, you promised you wouldn’t tell anybody.’ Goddamnit, I just lost my shit. I told her she was a fucking dumbass and would probably get herpes or something from that creep. An’ I left.”

“Harsh,” said Donavon.

Jessica nodded. “You know me. I was kind of looking after her, Donny! She’s so... ... young.”

Yeah. Young. And pretty too—at least a 7. Dark, with a pointed chin and small high breasts. Yeah. He’d checked her out. Not every day they hired someone that cute at RMB. But Jessica had told him “no” and he’d held off ... hah. So old Gerad had—

He realized that Jessica was watching his face. “Hey,” he said. “She’s cute.”

She sighed again, heavily this time. “I should call her up, apologize for yelling at her. But every time I think about it, I get pissed off again. An’ you know me.”

He did. Jessica was not the sort of gal who could be coaxed, easily, out of a temper.

“So what’s next?”

“I dunno.” Jessica shook her head. “Do you think I should report it?”

“Hmmmm.” Donavon looked at his beer. On the one hand, he was no big fan of Gerad. The guy was a douche—the sort of executive who thinks that if he exhorts staff with half-assed platitudes he’s being a visionary leader. On the other hand, he was a man, and he’d bedded a cute girl. Donavon couldn’t quite help feeling a bit of solidarity with him on that. Like he should be on Gerad’s side, kinda.

Fortunately, Jessica didn’t really seem interested in Donavon’s opinion. “Maybe I’ll just go to Ellyn’s and apologize in person for losing my shit like that. I mean, she says she’s into him—and once you got that situation, there’s not much anybody can do.”

“His days at RMB might be numbered anyways,” said Donavon. “Depending on what happens with Richard’s daughter.”

“Yeah. She’s supposed to be at the plant tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow? I thought it was next week sometime.”

“You think she might fire him?” Jessica finished the last of her beer and began picking at the label on the bottle.

“Depends. If she has more sense than her father, she will.”

“I never understood why he hired Gerad. Richard was a good guy.”

“Who knows? Gerad was supposed to be this hotshot business transformation guru. Maybe Richard thought he needed to burnish RMB’s management team a bit. Maybe he was planning to take us public or sell us or something.”

“Shame he passed like he did.”

Donavon didn’t answer. Richard Molnare’s death had been sudden, and RMB was a small company. They’d all felt the shock.

“Well.” Jessica stood up, pulling her jacket from the back of her seat. “Guess I’ll go see if Ellyn’s home.”

Donavon couldn’t resist. “If she’s not,” he said, “check Gerad’s.” He grinned and sure enough, he was rewarded for his teasing. Jessica’s mouth and nose crinkled immediately in horror.

“Oh GAWD,” she said. “Seriously. Gerad? GERad? Of all the people in this town ... I wouldn’t fuck that disgusting slug of a piece of human crap if he was the last hard dick on Earth.”

darkChemistry

A woman's worst nightmare

Drugged by something...that makes her think she's fallen in love.

All Haley Dubose has ever known is beaches and malls, clubs and cocktail dresses.

But now her father is dead.

And if she wants to inherit her father's fortune, she has to leave sunny Southern California
for a backwater little town near Syracuse, New York. She has to run RMB, the multimillion dollar
chemical company her father founded. And she has to run it well.


Keep RMB on track, and she'll be rich. Grow it, and she'll be even richer. But mess it up, and her inheritance will shrink away before she gets a chance to spend a dime.

Donavon Todde is her true love. But is it too late?

He's RMB's head of sales – and the more Donavon sees of Haley, the more he's smitten.
Sure, she comes across at first as naïve and superficial. But Donavon knew Haley's father. He can see the man's better qualities stirring to life in her eyes. And Donavon senses something else: Haley's father left her a legacy more important than money. He left her the chance to discover her true self.

Donavon has demons of his own.
 
He's reeling from a heartbreak that's taking far too long to heal. But he's captivated by this blond Californian, and not only because of her beauty. It's chemistry. They're right for each other. But has Donavon waited too long to woo this woman of his dreams? Because to his horror, his beautiful Haley falls under another spell. Gerad's spell.

A web of evil.

Gerad Picket was second-in-command at RMB when Haley's father was alive. And with Haley on the scene, he's in charge of her training. But there are things about RMB that Gerad doesn't want Haley to know.

And he must control her. Any way he can.

Romantic suspense for your Kindle

Will Haley realize that her feelings are not her TRUE feelings?
Does Donavon have the strength left to fight for the woman he loves?
Will the two of them uncover Gerad's plot to use RMB pheromones to enslave the world?
And even if they do – can they stop it?

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Romantic suspense
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kirsten Mortensen through Facebook Twitter

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#Excerpt from SCHOOL OF DEATHS by Christopher Mannino @Ctmannino #AmReading #YA #Fantasy

at 8:30 AM 0 comments
“Suzie, my gawd, you look like death.”

Crystal hadn’t changed. The smiling redhead with large blue glasses and the ever-present smell of cherry bubblegum was her best friend. She was grateful Crystal had spent the summer away. “Did you have a nice summer? How was Colorado?”

“My summer was great. Colorado’s cold. Geesh, what happened to you, Suzie?”

“I’ve been sick,” said Suzie. Not a complete lie, obviously something was wrong with her, but she didn’t know what.

“Sick?” Her voice lowered to a whisper. “You look like you’re dying.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Crystaaal. Suzieee,” shouted a voice from across the parking lot.

“Oh gawd, it’s Monica,” said Crystal. “Let’s go inside quick.”

Suzie and her friend started to walk away, but the tall, lanky girl with small eyes caught up to them. Monica. She wasn’t too bad, if you ignored her whiny voice and her inane stories.

“Hiii guys,” said Monica. “I missed youuu this summer. Did you lose weight? The funniest thing happened the other day…”

Suzie realized the worst of the day was over. She got teasing looks from the kids and concerned frowns from the teachers, but like Monica, most people were too wrapped up in their own little world to pay any attention to her. Even Crystal eventually stopped asking questions.

“Tell me again, do you like the way you look?”

“I’m sorry, what?” she asked.

Suzie snapped to attention. The day had blurred by, and she was sitting in Dr. Fox’s office, wearing a hospital gown.

“Suzie, I asked if you like the way you look?”

Suzie was cold and annoyed. The office smelled of bleach, and the fluorescent light overhead hummed like a dying fly. Dr. Fox glanced up from her notes and smiled a dry, lifeless smile she probably practiced in front of a mirror.

“No, Doctor.” She repeated the same answers she had given last time, and the time before. “I despise the way I look. I’m a damned skeleton. You can see every bone. I love to eat, I don’t purge, I hardly exercise, and I actually feel fine.”

“Yes, that’s the strangest part,” interrupted Dr. Fox. “Every test seems to indicate that you’re at the peak of health. No lanugo, no joint issues, no skin problems, and your stomach and the rest of you are actually functioning fine. I’ve almost completely ruled out anorexia, but your weight is still drastically low. It’s like your calories are vanishing into some other dimension.” She laughed. “My husband wishes that would happen with me.”

“May I get dressed now?”

School of Deaths

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths, Suzie must uncover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - YA Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Christopher Mannino through Facebook & Twitter

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Friday, October 10, 2014

#Excerpt from "Across Worlds: Collision" by S. A. Snow @BooksBySnow #AmReading #Erotica #SciFi

at 10:30 AM 0 comments
She reached behind her and made sure he door was securely locked. The benefit of the unisex bathroom was that there was almost always a chair or something for parents to sit on as they waited for children. This particular bathroom had a long, low wooden bench against one wall. Perfect.

Her mind made up, Jane unbuttoned three buttons on her shirt and took her pants off, draping them neatly over the paper towel dispenser so that they were easily accessible. She sat down on the bench, jumping when the cold wood hit her bare ass. She giggled at her nerves and eased back onto her elbows. There was nothing comfortable about a wooden slab, but it was long enough to kind of lay down on—if she let her legs hang off the sides, and it was sturdy enough to hold her, which made it good enough for her needs.

She tugged the lace cup of her bra down so that she could rub her fingers over her nipple. It stiffened and pressed into her palm, aching to be touched. She pulled on it gently, moaning softly at the burst of desire that erupted deep within her. She spread her legs farther and let one hand drift between them, finding wetness there. Stroking herself gently, her hips rocking against her hand, she found her clit with her middle finger and pressed against it firmly while rubbing. She tugged her nipple harder, rubbing it with her fingertips at the same time.

Pleasure speared through her body, and she sighed contentedly. She would feel better in just a few minutes. Already she could feel tension seeping from her body as she got closer to orgasm. Anxious to get there, she slid one finger inside herself, moving it back and forth quickly as she pressed her palm against her own flesh.

Almost there. The orgasm built up quickly, and Jane moved her hands harder and faster. She was almost there. Release was within her grasp.

The knocking on the door was sudden and violent.

“Hey! Whoever’s in there, you’ve been in there fifteen minutes!”

Frustrated, Jane moved her fingers faster, trying to finish while she shouted back. “I’ll be out in a minute!”

“I’ve got three kids that need to pee and a diaper explosion. I don’t got a minute, lady!”

“There are other bathrooms!” She pinched her nipple, desperately trying to keep going.

“Finish the hell up and come out! This is the family bathroom! You got kids in there?”

“No, but—”

“No buts about it. Get your ass out!”

Family friendly my ass, Jane thought as the moment was gone. Her orgasm slipped out of reach yet again, and she threw her head back against the bench in irritation.

She sat up slowly and reached for her pants, growling, “I’m comin’.”

AcrossWorldsCollision

Jane expected six months undercover to be hard; she expected it to be lonely and bleak. She didn’t expect to find love. 

Jane Butler, a CIA operative, is assigned the task of infiltrating the Xanthians and determining if they’re a threat to humanity. Going undercover as a Xanthian mate, she boards the transport ship and meets Usnavi—her new mate. After spending six days traveling through space, Jane is ecstatic to explore the Xanthian station and soon sets out to complete her mission. The only problem? Usnavi—and the feelings she is quickly developing. 

Fumbling their way through varying sexual expectations, cooking catastrophes, and cultural differences, they soon discover life together is never boring. As Jane and Usnavi careen into a relationship neither of them expected, Jane uncovers dark secrets about the Xanthians and realizes she may no longer be safe. When it becomes clear she’s on her own, Jane is forced to trust and rely on Usnavi. Simultaneously struggling with her mission, her feelings for Usnavi, and homesickness, Jane faces questions she never imagined she would have to answer.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Blended Science Fiction, Erotica
Rating – NC17
More details about the author
Connect with S. A. Snow on Facebook

Thursday, October 9, 2014

#Excerpt from THE DUNES by Erin Sands @TheDunesBook #AmReading #NonFiction #SelfHelp

at 12:00 PM 0 comments
The Dunes

In the heart of the universe, in a land not so far away, exists a place of imminent transformation. It is a place undiscovered by most, and sought out by a daring few, a place where the best and the worst are revealed without filter, and the quest, though formidable, begets a masterpiece of the soul. In this place, a war is waged against the stagnant heart that seeks to cling to what was and cripple new life with old fears. And so it has been that only the brave in spirit venture upon it, content to reap its end result as their reward. Thus believing in change, they call this place “The Dunes”.

Not for the delicate, The Dunes is a glorious 300-foot-high, 75-degree incline of soft sand that has been bleached by the blazing sun. At first glance, it is awe-inspiring. Its beauty is evident, yet uncompromising, in its call. It is a majestic uphill sand climb resolutely postured as the menacing hurdle to divine destiny. Yet, still they come to answer its call. Still they arrive consumed by the desire to be more than they were when they began, hoping that what lies inside of them is the fullness of life available beyond The Dunes.

Our story begins on a very beautiful and very hot day at The Dunes. It is 105 degrees outside and we find a man and a woman baking in the afternoon sun. One stands at the top of the 300-foot mound, the other, at the bottom.

The One: I love you.

The Other: And I love you.

The One: I want you with me. Take this journey, meet me at the top and trust that everything will be all right.

The Other slowly considered the request and believing that their love was heaven sent elected to rise to the challenge. But wait…

5DmkII_2226
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California, Erin grew up with an innate love for dance, theatre and the written word. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Erin began her career in the arts as an actress and choreographer. After booking several notable roles in television and film, Erin began to use her gift of writing in blogs featuring political and social commentary, as well as developing content for theatrical use.

Although The Dunes, is a divine departure from Erin’s previous writings it is by far her most cherished work to date. “I wrote The Dunes initially as self therapy because I needed to release some painful experiences and disappointments from my past. I had this thirst to walk in the complete fullness of life with joy as my constant companion. I had no idea what effect it would have on other people. But when I saw people read it and be released from fears that had held them back for years…when I saw people forgive and be able to walk in the freedom forgiveness brings…when I saw people commit and serve and how those things opened up new opportunities in their life, I was just humbled. Humbled by the awesome power of God and humbled that I had been allowed to go along for the ride”.

When asked why she writes, Erin pauses and reflects on the truth of her heart. “I write because although I am only now beginning to truly love the process, I have always loved the outcome. Like a composer, words become my notes. I string them together in song eliciting the response of my reader, grafting a picture of my soul. Where besides the written word can you effect change so utterly and so succinctly? What besides the written word can pierce the universal collective mind? Everything begins with a thought, but it isn’t until that thought is articulated in written word and those words passed down can life changing movement happen. It must be written, it must be expressed on tablet, and when it is, we all become greater, whether the writing be genius or fatuity, it has evoked thought and debate. Why wouldn’t I want to be apart of that phenomenon? Why wouldn’t I want to share my story, give my testimony…add my paradigm to the mix? Whether it is a novel, a poem, an essay or an article, it is humanity visited. An insight into a new or sometimes shared truth. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. And with that I live my life”.



Dune

If there was a journey that could masterfully change your life in seven revelations...would you take it? 

In life, sometimes the kernels of wisdom and the richness of revelation can be found in the most innocent of stories; and so it is with The Dunes. Join one man and one woman in an exquisitely simple yet remarkably profound journey as you discover with them that the mountain you must climb in order to live the abundant life of your dreams is located squarely within your heart. 

Illuminated in seven revelations; The Dunes carries the reader on a journey to not only examine the obstacles that are holding them back in life but to conquer and over come them as well. With each revelation The Dunes intimately calls on the reader as the journey companion to face a challenge…a dare if you will that requires an uncompromising commitment to change. In the family of faith-based self help books, The Dunes stands alone, simultaneously taking the reader from fiction to life and back again, equipped with a tailor made journal for the readers inner most secrets and reflections. The Dunes is part allegory, part testimony and part journal, but the best part is the healing it offers your heart. When you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone and step into the miracle of your life…The Dunes awaits. 

CAUTION: Readers of this book are subject to significant changes for the better. Side effects may include frequent smiling and enjoying life in every season.

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Genre – Non-fiction
Rating – G
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Amy Lewis on Changing & Evolving as a Writer @AmyLewisAuthor #AmWriting #AmReading #Memoir

at 10:30 AM 0 comments

Where do you get your inspiration from?

The answer to this question changes and evolves. Lately, I am inspired to use writing as a creative, spiritual healing act - an inner revolution of sorts.  I do the same thing with dance. The idea is to allow what is present to come forward and reveal itself. The intention is not to create something that looks pretty or commercial but to allow what is to be expressed, loved, healed and celebrated.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

Embarking on the publicity for my first published book right now, I would definitely say marketing is the hardest (and also the least fun for me). I think it’s an age-old dilemma for all artists – the challenge of putting on a different hat to get out and sell your work. I understand from the writer friends I know that are good at marketing, they get that it’s just about letting people get to know you and it’s not at all about “selling” anything.

Do you find it hard to share your work?

I’ve never found it hard to share my work. I love sharing my work. But somehow selling my work is a different story. Perhaps I’ve got some unresolved money issues. I’m sure I do.

Do you plan to publish more books?

Yes. Both non-fiction and fiction.  Right now, I’m working on a novel but it’s too new to talk about.

What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…

I have a full-time job as a training manager for a software company. I actually very much like my job and I have a great deal of autonomy and work from home but it can be very stressful and busy at times. Finding time to write is a huge challenge. I know many artist friends who refuse to get a “real” job and work small jobs to get by so they can focus on their craft. I’ve always split the fence between secure, mainstream work and being an artist. I always wanted to have money coming in from somewhere else, so I could feel free to do whatever I wanted in my creative life regardless of the commercial viability. The trade off is that I have a lot less time to do what I love.

If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?

Astrophysics. I’m not a math/science kind of girl but if could pick my talents that would be it. The discoveries they are making these days are mind-blowing and profound. It feels like spiritually and science are finally converging.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

Right now, I’m living exactly where I want to be – New Orleans. But if I was insanely wealthy and could have three houses, I’d have one in New Orleans, one somewhere in France and one in Topanga, California.

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?

I write on a Macbook and also on pen and paper. I actually get a lot of ideas from my dreams, so I keep paper and pen by my bed at night. I don’t even bother to turn on the light; I just scribble in the dark and hope that the next morning I can make it out. Sometimes it’s shocking to read what I write in the dark; it doesn’t even sound like me.

Where do you get support from? Do you have friends in the industry?

I have tons of creative artist friends of all types – actors, writers, painters, dancers, musicians, composers. To me, it’s all the same life. You want to make your living by creating art in a world where everyone else wants to do the same thing. The intersection of art and business and how each person traverses that territory is a subject that fascinates me. Do we have to struggle? Do we have to starve to be good artists? If we create something just to pay the bills are we still artists?

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?

It means having a body of work that I’m proud of. And it means finding an audience for my work. It does not necessarily mean commercial success although I would certainly not say no to that.

whatFreedomSmellsLike

Diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, Amy struggled with depression and an addiction to sharp objects. Even hospitalization didn't help to heal her destructive tendencies. It took a tumultuous relationship with a man named Truth to bring her back from the depths of her own self-made hell.Amy's marriage to dark, intriguing Truth was both passionate and stormy. She was a fair-skinned southern girl from New Orleans. 

He was a charming black man with tribal tattoos, piercings, and a mysterious past. They made an unlikely pair, but something clicked. During their early marriage, they pulled themselves out of abject poverty into wealth and financial security practically overnight. Then things began to fall apart.

 Passionate and protective, Truth also proved violent and abusive. Amy’s own self-destructive tendencies created a powerful symmetry. His sudden death left Amy with an intense and warring set of emotions: grief for the loss of the man she loved, relief she was no longer a target for his aggression.

Conflicted and grieving, Amy found herself at a spiritual and emotional crossroads, only to receive help from an unlikely source: Truth himself. Feeling his otherworldly presence in her dreams, Amy seeks help from a famous medium.

Her spiritual encounters change Amy forever. Through Truth, she learns her soul is eternal and indestructible, a knowledge that gives Amy the courage to pursue her own dreams and transform herself both physically and emotionally. Her supernatural encounters help Amy resolve the internal anger and self-destructive tendencies standing between her and happiness, culminating in a sense of spiritual fulfillment she never dreamed possible.

An amazing true story, What Freedom Smells Like is told with courage, honesty, and a devilishly dark sense of humor.

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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
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