Monday, September 28, 2015

Death of a Foe


Death of a Foe, The Incomplete Story

We are all touched by death. Our friends. Our family members. Celebrities we've followed for years. And we grieve for them, remember their part in our lives and move on. But what happens when a foe dies? 

This past week I had that experience. I didn't just hear they had died; I learned of their dying and was kept up-to-date on their condition until their death, so I had a week to reflect on a period in my life that was, to say the very least, miserable. And a lot of that misery stemmed from what this person did.

At one time I'd considered this person a friend, so when I discovered they'd been telling half-truths to me and to colleagues, I was devastated. 

"Why are they doing this?" I remember asking. 

They wanted my job. That was the answer. 

Very simple, isn't it? And not uncommon. This sort of thing is what some great stories have been crafted around. It's just not so great when you're the dupe.

But here's why I'm writing this down. This person has been in my head for a week, and not because I've thought of vilifying them, but because I've been saddened during their dying and at their death. And this sadness is more complicated than I imagined. You see, I thought this would be my chance to gloat. Human nature, right? I couldn't. All I could do was feel a sense of loss and incompletion. We should have had one last talk to set things right, to restore a balance in our tiny universe of a relationship. 

Someday I'll write about the death of a foe, and I'll dredge up these feelings. This story about two former friends will never have a satisfying ending for me. If I write it, I may be able to give myself one. 

Quote for the Week: "When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate--the genetic and neural fate--of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death." Oliver Sacks, Author, Neurologist

Monday, September 21, 2015

Why Blog and Hats Off Corner Welcomes Stephen Tremp

Why I Blog
C. Lee McKenzie

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I started blogging because my publisher told me to, and back then I did everything my publisher told me to do. The interesting thing that happened is this: I liked it. So why?

I learned a lot of new stuff for one thing, and that's always a motivator for me. I had to figure out which program to set my blog up on, and then how to use it. Blogger worked for me because it didn't have a long learning curve. I quickly     learned where the undo button was, so what could go wrong?

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I quickly learned that, too. A lot could go wrong if I didn't have content that was of value. What was valuable content anyway? I wasn't a marketing guru. I didn't have hot tips for writers. What was my platform? What was a platform? See? I had a lot to learn, so I kept going.

Then I discovered things like Awards and Hops and Groups. Yay! Now I was on a roll because more than the family cat was reading what I posted.

Then just as I had this blogging thing down, I burned out. Yep. Dry as a summer hill in California, and it happened overnight. I was quitting. I was burrowing into my writer's cave and blowing off all this blogging business.

So why didn't I? Why did I take a break and return? Here's one reason: I missed the contact with the people I'd connected with. I missed knowing when they had new releases or rejections or a great new WIP. 

Was there any other reason? I thought about that and decided that without blogging I might have continued to read within my preferred genres. I wouldn't have sampled books that I usually passed up. Because I was curious about what writer friends had created and I wanted to support their work, I found myself reading much more widely. 

And that thing about showing up to the blank page? Well, blogging taught me a lot about doing that every single day.   

So why blog? I guess those are three compelling reasons for me. 


Here are the followers who won books in this month's Back to School Special Offer. 

I had this idea to share books I'd read, enjoyed and reviewed with people on my Mailing List. I love to recycle, but reuse is even better. So congrats to: 
  • Bish Denham gets my ARC of The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow
  • Beverly Stowe McClure gets my signed copy of Woven
  • L.L. gets my signed copy of Shooting Kabul

I'll need your snail mail people, so email me that and I'll send your books on their way!  I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I did.


Hats Off Corner Welcomes Stephen Tremp

Stephen Tremp writes speculative fiction and his fourth novel, 
Salem’s Daughters, 
is supernatural thriller. 

A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when souls of the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast.

For a full synopsis and to pre-order a copy of Salem’s Daughters for $2.99 (price goes up to $4.99 soon after release) 
Click Here.

Visit Stephen at his BLOG.


Quote for the Day: "The different and the novel are sweet, but regularity and repetition are also teachers." Poet Mary Oliver

Why do you blog? Ever think of giving up? Does Salem's Daughters look interesting?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hats Off Corner Welcomes Tara Tyler

My Special Offers Mailing goes out Wednesday. 

It's Back to School for a lot of kids and parents and teachers! This is my way to celebrate the fall and the new school year. 


Hats Off Corner Welcomes Tara Tyler

A couple of weeks ago, I asked another writer these questions, and so I thought it might be fun compare answers. Tara said she was game, so here are her answers.

Me: As a writer I look to others whom I enjoy reading for inspiration. Do you have a writer or writers you read for inspiration?

TT: I've always been inspired by the writers of books I enjoy. Isaac Asimov, Michael Crichton, Piers Anthony, Janet Evanovich, George RR Martin. And many of my writer friends!

Me: Can you talk a bit about your experience with rejection, how you handled it, what you learned from it? Any “advice” to those who are still getting the “Thank you, but no thank you” letters?

TT: Rejection stinks. Especially when I slave over a query and rewrite it a million times... But once I hit send, I try to forget about it by working on other things. My advice is to expect rejection. It's part of the process. And when the positive responses come, they make the rejections worth it!! Don't fret, the positives will come - keep working, the right fit will present itself.

Me: Is there a story behind the story of this latest book that you wish to share? The ah-ha or lightning moment where the story inspiration struck?

TT: There's always a story behind the story, right? After Pop Travel, I had requests for more. I picked up a trail I left with one of the characters. Hasan loves to create and experiment. In Simulation, he wanted to improve on his guard droids - and he did, but someone stole his work and tainted it... In Book Three: Disposal, Hasan will be working on the garbage/recycling problem and help Cooper and Geri bust some drug dealers making a highly addictive drug from recycled waste... Though he's not the main character, he's a driving force and hilarious to boot.

Me: What’s the hardest part of being a successful, published author? (i.e. finding time to write, creating new books that are of the same caliber as your other successes).

TT: Successful? Ha haha. My sales would disagree, but at least I'm published, right? The hardest part is the marketing. Authors are pretty much on their own these days unless they become a big huge deal with one of the big publishers. Finding a balance between home, work, and writing projects is high on the hard things to do list too! My days seem shorter and shorter all the time.

Thanks for hosting me, Lee! Great questions!

After Pop Travel, Geri convinced Cooper to move back to Atlanta, but for familiar reasons, things didn't work out... In Simulation, Geri is fighting her way back to full-fledged, solo agent status, but first has to deal with one more annoying sidekick on an equally annoying case. Meanwhile, Cooper takes his mind off Geri leaving him by throwing himself into his work, investigating an illegal clone android simulation operation. Sparks fly when Cooper and Geri's cases lead them down the same path. Of course Hasan wants to help them with their cases, and connives a plan to get them back together in the niddle of all the chaos!

SIMULATION delivers more technology, more intense action, more humor, and more exciting new characters. Come along for the ride.

by Tara Tyler
Release Date: Sept 14, 2015

In 2082, androids are an essential part of daily life. Some are helpful, some would make better toasters, and some are so human-like they're creepy. Back in Atlanta, Detective Cooper's latest client has him searching for her boyfriend who she thinks was replaced by a simulation, an illegal clone android. The guy also happens to be a popular new congressman.

As if the case wasn't frustrating enough, Cooper keeps crossing paths with his ex, FBI Agent Geri Harper who's looking for the same guy. As Cooper closes in, Geri is kidnapped. But when she resurfaces in Washington and goes on a killing spree, he knows it isn't her. Now under suspicion himself, Cooper must find the real Geri to prove her innocence, not to mention hunt down the powerful villain behind it all. Never a dull moment.

Available Now!
Amazon ~~ Barnes and Noble
Goodreads giveaway!

Tara Tyler writes sci fi and fantasy action-adventures from her little corner of the world in Ohio as she tries to keep up with her three boys and coach husband. Always making time to write, she sometimes puts off chores and lets laundry pile up... hence, she's also the Lazy Housewife, offering advice and tips to other gals out there trying to do it all without going crazy. She and her housewife friends blog at The Really Real Housewives of America.

And don't forget the Rafflecopter!  


Quote for the Day: "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Benjamin Franklin

Are you ready for the fall? Does Tara's newest sound exciting to you? It does to me. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hats Off Corner Welcomes Melissa Maygrove

Hats Off Corner Welcomes Melissa Maygrove


Precious Atonement, a companion novel to the highly rated western historical romance Come Back is now available!

Ruined women don’t hope, killers don’t dream, and the dead don’t feel pain.

Ruined by a brutal attack, Rachel Emerson is resigned to live as a spinster. Grieving widower Jacob Evans convinces Rachel to marry him, but giving his precious new wife the life she deserves might cost him the very thing he values most—her.

AVAILABLE NOW ON Kindle and Nook

Last Day at .99

To be notified of giveaways, sales, and future new releases by Melissa, sign up for her NEWSLETTER.

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I screwed up this month on my calendar, and posted another author in Melissa's place last Monday. I've apologized, but I still feel like a goose. I hate messing up, and it happens when I've got my plate overloaded. I'm scaling back a bit more and hoping I can keep things straight.

Quote for the Week: 

So there you have it. Melissa's new book. My screw up and a quote that fit me perfectly. Ever had life pile up around your head? Every screw up? 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group Wed

Alex Cavanaugh

 Your Hosts Today:
Julie Flanders, Murees DupĂ©, Dolorah at Book Lover, Christine Rains, and Heather Gardner! 

Let me count the Insecurities this month. 

1) I finished that manuscript I've been wrestling with for weeks, months--let's be honest--years. It went to my all time favorite editor. She liked it. Then I sent it to an author who asked to read it. I'm still chewing my nails about that. Maybe there are really 3 Insecurities in this one paragraph, but I'll bundle them into a unit. 

2) I set up a Special Offers Mailing List and that was a huge Insecurity Issue for me, but I have a good start on my list of people who are willing to let me invade their inboxes once a month and offer them books or other rewards for taking up their time. 

Denise Covey, Yolanda Renee

3) I entered the WEP August Challenge and posted a bit of description. There were some excellent entries in this HOP, so I had every right to be Insecure.

4) My WIP is at 26,000 words and I'm terribly Insecure about it because I'm experimenting with it, so I'm either going to make something good or something really bad. 

5) I was hugely Insecure when I invited Barry Lyga to be a guest on my site. I'm still experiencing fan-girl symptoms. He's a super writer.

Well, that's enough about my Insecurities. Now I'm off to see what others have to say about theirs this first Wednesday of September.

Here's to fall!