Saturday, October 26, 2013

Excerpt From The Wizard's Shield by Karen McCullough



BLURB:

A powerful wizard with a physics degree and a checkered past invents a shield to ensure he'll never again be tortured almost to death. The wizarding powers-that-be fear the repercussions of such a device and send his former girlfriend, an accomplished wizard herself, to retrieve the device or destroy it. When the shield is stolen by the magical mafia, Ilene McConnell and Michael Morgan have to set aside their differences and work together to recover it. Michael claims he needs the device as insurance against the kind of injury and injustice he suffered once before. Ilene maintains its potential to upset the delicate balance of power makes it too dangerous and that it needs to be destroyed. But none of that will matter if they can’t retrieve it before a ruthless, powerful wizard learns how to use it for his own ends.



EXCERPT:

The rush of a sudden, fierce wind outside drew Ilene to a window to watch the shrubs and palm trees flapping wildly. Sand blew over the pavement and splattered against walls and trees. Dead leaves, loose papers, and other debris danced in the air. A livid, purple-tinged darkness turned the day grotesque. Tendrils of indigo-shaded power floated along with the dark storm clouds.

A flash of lightning seared its way from sky to ground just beyond a row of houses across the street, followed closely by a crack of thunder that rattled the windows.

A man and woman hurried three small children along the boardwalk that led over the dune from the beach to the street. They toted coolers, bags, boogie boards, and buckets. The youngest trailed a towel flapping behind him in the wind. More lightning zig-zagged from sky to ground, not far away. Ilene sucked in a sharp breath.

The father looked up and flinched. Fear tightened his muscles as he dropped a cooler and turned around to snatch up the straggling toddler. His voice carried over the rushing wind. "Get to the van. Quick!"

He nodded toward a vehicle parked down the street. His wife and two older children raced on ahead.

Ilene’s hands clenched into fists. Too much energy crackled in the air. It wasn’t directed at the family, but that didn’t guarantee they wouldn’t get hurt by it. Collateral damage. Some of the more ruthless mages cared little for who else was affected by their activities.

Two flashes hit nearby, one right after the other. The child let out a frightened wail as his father, bent low over him, dashed off the wooden walkway and down the street. Even they could sense the danger building.

Ilene couldn’t trust their fate to chance. She roused her own power, feeling for charged particles in the area. Gathering them in, she rolled and pushed them into position, building a lattice of force around the family. It wouldn’t keep out the wind or the rain—she could have done that with air, too, if she’d had time—but it should keep the lightning from reaching them. For the moment, that mattered most.

Even at a distance, the rush of oppositely charged particles prickled in her brain. The growing polarization signaled an impending strike.

What formed out there made her gut clench in fear. It was so close to the father and child the hair on their bodies must have been standing on end. The man looked around wildly, searching for shelter. The panic in his eyes radiated across the fifty feet or so that separated them.

Would her barrier be enough to protect them? The ground charge was forming so close it could jump right through it if she’d left even a small opening. Ilene reached out toward the building charge differential. Playing with lightning was tricky business. Choosing her positions carefully, she pushed in various weak spots to move the polarizing field.

It sucked a lot of energy out of her to divert its course. Her ribs and head ached as she herded protons in a subatomic cattle drive to get the charge well away from the family. Those minuscule bits of potential energy were every bit as ornery and uncooperative as cows were reputed to be.

Even as the bolt formed, she didn’t know if she’d succeeded. Her breath stopped in her throat for a long, long moment as she waited.

The streak of lightning followed the diverted path to the beach, a safe distance away.

The man ran to the van, getting there just moments behind his wife and older children. He pushed the toddler into the back seat and ran around to the other side, while his wife slammed the rear door and got into the front. Ilene didn’t let out the breath she held until they were all safely inside the vehicle. She released the protective field. The van’s headlights flicked on and moments later it chugged off down the street.

More lightning singed the sky. An inflatable ring rolled down the street like a runaway tire. Ilene shuddered, though it wasn’t entirely the weather that set it off. The storm was a natural thing, but someone—a powerful wizard—was using it.

Using it to attack. The island or the house or its occupants. Brilliant, livid streaks of orange and red mixed with violet and deep blue swirls riding with the clouds. The smells of ammonia and ozone and peppers burned her nostrils.

Lightning flashed brighter and closer. Dangerously closer.

The grumble of thunder grew almost constant. The rushing downpour of rain added to the chaos and noise. Driven by the wind to blow almost horizontally, it splattered against the window in big drops that spread out, then slid down the glass like groping hands trying to claw their way in.

Something was out there. The swirls of lividly hued power grew deeper and more intense. It rode on the storm in frightening concentrations. Why here, though?  

BUY LINKS:

Trade Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/The-Wizards-Shield-Karen-McCullough/dp/148118296X

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0060Y5IQ6

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wizard-x2019-s-shield-karen-mccullough/1045768171?ean=2940015953275

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/281723

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-wizards-shield/id600165431?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-wizard-s-shield




 BIO:

Karen McCullough is a web designer by profession, and the author of a dozen published novels and novellas in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres as well. She has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy, and has also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She has three children, four grandchildren and lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.

Website: http://www.kmccullough.com

Blog: http://kmccullough.com/kblog/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kgmccullough


Friday, October 25, 2013

Last Friday of the Month Recipe~White Delight by Elaine Cantrell & Excerpt from The Enchanted

Just the ingredients make my mouth water. Can't wait to try this.


White Delight

1 8oz. pack cream cheese
½ cup lemon juice
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 large can fruit cocktail (about 20oz. well drained)
1 cup pecans
8 oz. cool whip
shredded coconut

 


Mix everything together and sprinkle the coconut on top


 

BLURB:

Forced by his father into a marriage he didn’t want, Prince Alan soon finds that his bride isn’t the sweet, submissive creature he expected. Morgane has the heart of a dragon and beauty beyond compare, but she isn’t thrilled about the marriage either. When black treachery threatens the kingdom, Morgane and Alan embark on a perilous journey that has an excellent chance of ending in failure and death for them and all their people.


EXCERPT:

Prologue

King Bowdyn sprang from his throne and paced around the room like a crazed tiger. ʺPerhaps you did not understand me, Alan,ʺ he snarled. His hands clenched into fists held rigidly to his sides. ʺThis is not a request, but a command. You will marry Lady Maybina before the next full moon has passed."

Alan dared not raise his eyes from the floor. ʺFather, I do not…ʺ"

ʺSilence!" the king roared. ʺI have respected your wishes for three years now, but my patience is at an end. You will wed Lady Maybina as I have commanded.

ʺFather, having married once for love, I have no desire to marry a woman whom I have never met! Can you not understand? Think of the love you share with my mother. Is it so bad that I desire the same kind of relationship?"

The king's face turned purple, but he took a deep breath and returned to sit upon his huge jewel-encrusted throne. He wiped his face with a lace-trimmed handkerchief. "I have never understood you. You insisted on marrying a commoner —a nobody —and now that death has released you from your vows, you refuse to marry a woman of your own station."

Alan's heart thudded in his chest. How far could he push his father? With Bowdyn, one could never be sure. "I am sorry to disappoint you.

"The kingdom needs heirs. The wedding will proceed as I have planned."

"Father..."

ʺEnough!" Bowdyn's eyes bulged with the force of his scream.

"But…"

ʺGuards!"

Four men dressed in the family's red red-and-white livery rushed from their places against the rough stone wall. ʺBind him!" the king cried.

The guards hauled Alan to his feet and fastened his hands behind his back with a silken cord —a privilege extended only to those of royal birth. ʺI have tolerated your disrespect and rebellious attitude long enough." The king's voice dripped with icicles now. ʺAs much as it pains me to admit it, you are nothing like your brother. If Nealon had lived, I would have the option of letting you spend the rest of your life painting pictures or grieving for your dead wife. Unhappily for us both, your brother died defending the kingdom, and you are all that I have left.

"Therefore, for your disobedient and disrespectful ways, I sentence you to one year in the prison of Malville.ʺ A grim smile crossed the king's face. ʺKeeper Kynthelig has a way with men. When you return, I expect you will know your duty and see your way clear to do it."

He turned to the guards. "Confine him in his room for the moment. Tonight I will write a letter to Keeper Kynthelig, and tomorrow you shall cross the Leptan Desert and deliver my son to him."ʺ




BIO:

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She holds a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University. She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators and is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments







LINKS:
http://www.elainecantrell.com
http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/elainepcantrell
http://www.twitter.com/elainecantrell


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Meet Karen McCullough ~ Winner of an Eppie Award for Fantasy, and Four-Time Eppie Finalist

 
Please welcome Karen McCullough, both traditionally and indie published with her back list and new works.   

LA: Hi Karen, please tell us about your current series.
 
KMc: Thanks for having me L.A., it is an exciting time for authors. So far there’s only one book available in my “Market Center Mysteries” series, A Gift for Murder, but I’m working on writing the second book now. My tentative title is Wired for Murder. I have ideas for two more stories as well.
 
LA: What’s next for you?
 
KMc: I’m currently releasing backlist stories as ebooks, and I still have a few more to go. I’ll have a spooky Halloween story available soon, and a Christmas story in early November. These were originally titled Heart of the Night and Blue December, but I don’t really like either title and plan to change them.
 
LA: How much time do you spend promoting your books? What works best for you?
 
KMc: Not as much as I probably should. I’d rather spend my time writing than promoting, but I do try to do regular blog posts, both on my own blog and guest posts on others. One thing I want to investigate further is doing more with Pinterest. I have some ideas for putting up pictures related to my books and writing.
 
LA: How has your experience with self-publishing been?
 
KMc: So far, so good. I can’t say I’m making a fortune, but whatever I do get is more than I was earning with those books sitting on my shelf looking pretty. I recently self-published my first story that wasn’t a backlist re-release – The Wizard’s Shield. That book got a lot of nice comments from agents and editors, but ultimately all passed because they didn’t know how to categorize or market it. So now it’s published and available to readers who care less about genre category than about reading a good story.
 
LA: When your published rights reverted to you, did you change the book(s) much before you self-published?
 
KMc: It’s actually varied with the book. The first backlist book I self-published (A Question of Fire) had originally been written in 1986 and I chose to leave it as it was, since updating it would likely change significant parts of the plot.  
I was surprised to discover that The Night Prowlers didn’t really require much updating, but when I got to Programmed for Danger, which was first published in 1990 and was written around a heroine who is a computer analyst, I realized it would have to be pretty much completely re-written if it was to remain contemporary. So I did. 

The situation was a bit different with my current release, which is due just about the time this should go online. It wasn’t written long ago, but I was never happy with the way it was edited, so I did a complete overhaul of it as well.
 
LA: Which aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
 
KMc: I love the writing itself and planning a story in my head. What do I hate the most? Promoting! I’m not good at it and I’d really rather be writing.
 
LA: Any advice you want to offer our readers about the dreaded Blurb writing ?
 
KMc: The blurb needs to focus tightly on the major conflict(s) of the story. What does the protagonist want and why can’t she have it? At the same time it has to convey enough of the specifics of the situation to make it sound interesting. The way I approach doing a blurb is to try to boil the story down to three to five sentences.
 
For instance this is my blurb for The Wizard’s Shield:

“A powerful wizard with a physics degree and a checkered past invents a shield to ensure he'll never again be tortured almost to death. The wizarding powers-that-be fear the repercussions of such a device and send his former girlfriend, an accomplished wizard herself, to retrieve the device or destroy it.

When the shield is stolen by the magical mafia, Ilene McConnell and Michael Morgan have to set aside their differences and work together to recover it. Michael claims he needs the device as insurance against the kind of injury and injustice he suffered once before. Ilene maintains its potential to upset the delicate balance of power makes it too dangerous and that it needs to be destroyed. But none of that will matter if they can’t retrieve it before a ruthless, powerful wizard learns how to use it for his own ends.” 
 
 I tried to make sure I conveyed the multiple levels of conflict in the story as well as the unusual elements that made it unique – both hero and heroine are wizards; the hero is a scientist; there’s a magical underworld as well as some level of authority in their world; and the mcguffin itself, the shield.
 
LA: Grammatical pet peeve … sound off.
 
KMc: Oh boy… I spent almost ten years as an editor at two trade publishing companies. I’m a bit of grammar purist, so mistakes, especially patterns of mistakes in any published story drive me crazy. Misplaced commas, run-on sentences and misused words make me grind my teeth. One I’ve been seeing a lot of lately that really annoys me is the confusion of “lose” and “loose.” I don’t understand why it’s so hard to know which one to use.
 
Okay, here are some fun social questions I love to ask my guests.
 
LA: Someone has cut you off in the checkout line. How do you handle it?
 
KMc: I give them the Karen McCullough death glare. It’s impressive, believe me, even though I stand all of five foot one. Depending on my mood, I might even say something of the pseudo-pleasant variety: “I’m sure you have a good reason for your rudeness. I just hope it’s not lack of education.”
 
LA: Coffee, tea or other?
 
KMc: Coffee, all the way. I’m a bit of a snob about it. I love really good coffee and I’m willing to spend a bit more to get the best I can.

LA: Do you have a day job, too? 

KMc: I’m a web designer/developer, specializing in websites for authors and small businesses. My web design site is at http://www.karenswebworks.com.
 
LA: When writing, do you listen to music?
 
KMc: No. I can’t. I love music, but it’s too distracting to listen to. I need to sink into the world of the story I’m writing, and music will pull me out of it.
 
LA: Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?
 
KMc: My favorite writing-related quote is the well-known one from Elmore Leonard: “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” I use this quote in the self-editing process. For each scene, even each paragraph, I’m asking myself: will readers skip this part? Does something interesting or important happen here?
 
But then my favorite general inspirational quote is this one from James Russell Lowell: “Be noble! And the nobleness that lies in other men, sleeping, but never dead, will rise in majesty to meet thine own.”
 

 
 
BLURB ~THE WIZARD’S SHIELD:
 
A powerful wizard with a physics degree and a checkered past invents a shield to ensure he'll never again be tortured almost to death. The wizarding powers-that-be fear the repercussions of such a device and send his former girlfriend, an accomplished wizard herself, to retrieve the device or destroy it. When the shield is stolen by the magical mafia, Ilene McConnell and Michael Morgan have to set aside their differences and work together to recover it.
 
Michael claims he needs the device as insurance against the kind of injury and injustice he suffered once before. Ilene maintains its potential to upset the delicate balance of power makes it too dangerous and that it needs to be destroyed. But none of that will matter if they can’t retrieve it before a ruthless, powerful wizard learns how to use it for his own ends.
 
BUY LINKS:
 


 
BIO:
 
Karen McCullough is a web designer by profession, and the author of a dozen published novels and novellas in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres as well. She has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy, and has also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She has three children, four grandchildren and lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Excerpt From The Rosetti Curse by Tina Russo


A Romantic Comedy of Italian Proportions...

"The Sopranos Meets Fried Green Tomatoes. Loved this book!" - Sharon Sala, author of Going Once--Mira Books--October 2013




BLURB:
She may look good in black, but Tessa Rosetti is not testing the family curse again. Three generations of women buried the men they love and confirmed Tessa’s belief in the Rosetti Curse.

Los Angeles cop, Thomas Riley, arrives back home in Silver Ridge, Colorado, to settle his grandmother’s estate, but while he's there he stumbles into trouble in the night. If his suspicions are correct, someone's cooking up more than biscotti at the local cookie factory.

Together, Riley and Tessa renew their old bond and battle a curse that leads them on a journey of destiny to the love of a lifetime.






EXCERPT: Chapter 1

“Mrs. Riley?”

Tessa Rosetti glanced around the empty hospital corridor. The nurse was speaking to her?

“I’m not—”

“Dear, you can go in now.”

She tossed the dregs of her coffee and followed the nurse’s squeaky footsteps down the hall.

An IV pump winked, its green light pulsing as Tessa entered the dimly lit room. She sank into a chair at the foot of the bed and watched him sleep. Dark and tan against white sheets, he rested on his back. A butterfly bandage stood out above his right brow, and most of his right cheekbone was puffed, sporting a violet bruise. Abrasions decorated both arms. His hands were folded as if in prayer.

Behind her, the wall clock ticked a solemn accompaniment to the background noise of a hospital room at four in the morning.

Tessa inhaled. The familiar perfume of antiseptic mingled with disinfectant tickled her nose. Sometimes she thought the scent was infused permanently into her skin. She released a small smile at the bitter irony. Two months ago she had come home to Silver Ridge, Colorado to escape hospitals.

He shifted, drawing her attention back to him.

“It’s not polite to stare,” he said. His eyelids flickered open to reveal the intense green eyes of Thomas Joseph Riley. With one cocky grin, the years melted away.

“I was not staring.” She stood and crossed her arms, the only defense against the confusing tumble of emotions.

“Tessa.”

Nothing had changed. All he had to do was utter her name and she was lost. “Riley, what happened?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Doesn’t matter? Of course it matters. And why does the hospital think I’m your wife?”

He released a half laugh, raising his head enough to assess her from head to toe. “You look good, Tessa. Really good. I like the dress.” With a grimace, he fell back against the pillows.

Tessa glanced down at the rumpled coral linen. The sheath had been crisply pressed for her mother’s wedding yesterday afternoon, but by the time the reception had wound down, the fabric looked as limp as she felt.

She inched toward the head of the bed, reining in her irritation. After all these years, why did Riley’s opinion still matter?

“Look, I’ve been up for nearly twenty-four hours,” Tessa said. “Perhaps you could humor me and tell me what’s going on.”

“Cranky, huh?”

“Cranky?” She sucked in her breath. “That’s it, pal. This marriage is over.”

No sooner had she turned from the bed than she was tugged back by his hand on her wrist. Solid strength from a man who looked like he’d been kicked into next Tuesday. “Hey, hey. Not so fast. I’m sorry.”

Tessa softened a fraction. “Riley, what happened to you? Is this another one of your escapades gone wrong?”

“No. This time it wasn’t my fault.”

She narrowed her eyes.

“Honest.” He paused. “I need your help to get discharged.”

“Discharged? What are you thinking? I mean look at you.”

“Hey, I only look half-dead.”

Tessa slipped her wrist from his grip, unable to concentrate while his thumb made slow forays across her skin. “I haven’t talked to you in what, twelve years? Suddenly, you show up on a gurney in the middle of the night, and I’m the gal you pick to get you discharged?” She stood back, distancing herself from his touch.

“Come on, Tess. Please. I hate hospitals. Nothing good ever happens in a hospital.”

“Stop that.”

“Stop what?” he asked.

“You know what. Do not flash those puppy dog eyes at me. It didn’t work when we were sixteen, and it’s not going to work now.”

He chuckled. “Oh, it worked when we were sixteen.”

Tessa could only glare in response. His teasing smile didn’t fool her.

They’d known each other most of their lives, but Tessa Rosetti would always be the girl across the street to Riley. There had never been anything but friendship between them.

She had never forgiven him for that.

“How about we start at the beginning?”

“Sure, but hurry. The leg’s starting to throb.”

Tessa assessed the cast peeking out from under the covers. Without thinking she shifted the ice pack and rearranged the pillows beneath his right leg.

“Thanks,” Riley said.

“Maybe you could tell me what you’re doing in town?”

“I was invited to the wedding.”

“You’re late.”

“Fuel pump issues.” He shook his head. “Anyhow, I figured as long as I’m in town I’ll take care of my grandmother’s house.”

Tessa cringed, immediately repentant. After all, she had been nearly as close to Nana Marconi as he was. Her sudden death six months ago took them all by surprise. “Oh, Riley. I’m so sorry about your grandmother.”

“She got to see the old country. We talked the day she died.” He stared at the ceiling, avoiding eye contact. “Never heard her so happy.”

“You should be proud. It was your grandmother’s dream to go to back to Sicily, and you made it happen.”

He shrugged off the compliment. “You know, I did tell Grandma Rosetti I was going to be late.”

“You spoke with my grandmother?”

“Well, yeah. She didn’t tell you?” Shifting in the bed again, Riley winced.

“No, she didn’t.” Tessa paused. “So are you going to tell me what happened?”

“I got into town around midnight and drove out by that new biscotti factory. There was an explosion.” He cleared his throat. “I got in the way.”

“An explosion?” Tessa finally got the words out. Her stomach took an immediate hit, and her legs began to buckle. She reached out to grab the bed rail.

The curse.

Only twelve hours ago her mother had married Frank Lorenza, the biscotti king of Silver Ridge. The man who owned that factory.

Riley turned his head a fraction and frowned. “I can’t believe you didn’t hear the explosion.”

“The reception was at the Knights of Columbus, between Silver Ridge and Fairville. It was the only place large enough to hold most of the town.”

“The entire town was there?”

“Our bakery has been in Silver Ridge for over seventy years. We pretty much had to invite the whole town to the reception.” She glanced at the clock on the wall. “Around midnight we were singing and dancing the Tarantella to a stirring performance by Joey and the Dough Boys.”

“Some party.”

“You have no idea. The champagne fountain was sucked completely dry, and we went through fifty-four of my grandmother’s cheesecakes.”

He released a mournful sigh. “I missed cheesecake.”

“I’ll get you a cheesecake. Just tell me how you ended up in the middle of an explosion.”

“That part is still sort of fuzzy.”

Tessa nibbled her lip as she tried to put the pieces of what he’d told her together. She walked to the window and back, and then looked up.

Riley raised a brow.

“We’ve got to notify the police,” Tessa said.

“They were here. Apparently this is the most excitement the Silver Ridge Police Department has had in years.”

“Chickie was here?” She tried to focus, her mind still reeling. “I didn’t see him in the waiting room.”

“He came right into x-ray. Said he’d be back for an official report tomorrow.” Riley shook his head. “I’ve spent the last few hours trying to understand how Chick Pollero could have ended up as sheriff.”

“He’s not really sheriff,” she said.

“I’m not following.”

“We’re temporarily without a sheriff. Chickie happens to be senior deputy.”

“Does he always wear those goofy suspenders with his uniform?”

“Good old Chick.” Tessa gave a weak laugh. “Always on the cutting edge.”

“The guys back at the precinct are not going to believe this one.”

Tessa tried to keep up with the thread of the conversation while her mind remained fixed on the factory. “That’s right. You’re a cop now.”

“Detective. I’m a detective. Big surprise, huh?”

“Well, I...” Heat infused her face.

“It’s okay,” Riley said. “You aren’t the first person to guess I’d be on the other side of the bars.”

“It’s not like I thought you were going to end up a career criminal.”

“No?”

“You’re so wrong. I believed in you, Riley.”

“That makes two of you.”

“Two of us?”

“Yeah, you and my grandmother.”


Buy Link: http://amzn.to/17jGRNj



Tina Russo Radcliffe writes inspirational romance for Harlequin Love Inspired and writes sweet romantic comedy as an indie author under her other persona, Tina Russo.

Do stop by her new Tina Russo website and look around, sign up for her newsletter to enter in a drawing for a 25$ Amazon gift card each month, beginning November 1.

You can also “Like” her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tinarussobooks

















Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Meet Tina Russo Radcliffe & Her 6 Qualities of an Indie Author

It is my pleasure to bring you Tina Radcliffe, a friend and awesome fellow author.
Traditionally published by Harlequin, Tina is also joining the Indie ranks with her latest book, The Rosetti Curse.
Please join me in welcoming Tina.
FLASH: Leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle copy of The Rosetti Curse

The 6 Qualities of an Indie Author

This year marks my journey into indie publishing.  

I’m a rules person. Former Army and a long time medical professional, I function well with a rule book surgically implanted in my brain.  

But indie publishing isn’t about rules. It is about is change, growth and discovery. That can
be pretty scary to a rules person.


The Tony Robbins quote couldn’t be truer. “If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."


Indie publishing isn’t about following a roadmap. It’s about being an entrepreneur and creating your own roadmap and being brave enough to accept detours as the path to endless possibilities. It might even be an opportunity to rewrite the journey, and maybe the entire map.

I believe it takes a unique individual to embrace this philosophy. I’ve been following countless indie authors on blogs and in non-fiction books and I’ve discovered that they all share the same qualities.

Qualities of indie authors:

1. They focus on the writing- The writing comes first.  Period. They produce good books not good talk.

2. They are forward thinkers- Forward thinkers see beyond today and strategize for tomorrow. 

3. Envelope pushers- “To extend the current limits of performance. To innovate, or go beyond commonly accepted boundaries.” (Phrase finder)

4. Indefatigable-Tireless in the pursuit of their goals and visions.

5. Entrepreneurial spirit-“…people that challenge the norm, have original opinions that move a discussion forward, and act with tenacity and determination.” (Harvard Business Review)

6. Self-motivated-The ability to motivate themselves to move toward self-actualization. (Or in layman’s terms, a butt-kicking gene.) 

Any qualities I missed?

The indie authors I’ve met, followed in social media and read about have all of the above, plus, the courage of their convictions. Courage to realize that if the journey you are on today isn’t working for you, then for goodness-sake, make a U-turn or get off at the next exit!

So where does that leave me, the rule follower? Well, I’m learning to allow that courage, buried deep inside of me by the status quo of my own rules, to come out and play.  And that’s an amazing thing.
“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” –Steve Jobs
Tina Russo Radcliffe writes inspirational romance for Harlequin Love Inspired and writes sweet romantic comedy as an indie author under her other persona, Tina Russo. Do stop by her new Tina Russo website and look around, sign up for her newsletter to enter in a drawing for a 25$ Amazon gift card each month, beginning November 1. You can also “Like” her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tinarussobooks 


The Rosetti Curse 
"The Sopranos Meets Fried Green Tomatoes. Loved this book!"
- Sharon Sala, author of Going Once--Mira Books--October 2013

A Romantic Comedy of Italian Proportions...

She may look good in black, but Tessa Rosetti is not testing the family curse again. Three generations of women buried the men they love and confirmed Tessa’s belief in the Rosetti Curse.

Los Angeles cop, Thomas Riley, arrives back home in Silver Ridge, Colorado, to settle his grandmother’s estate, but while he's there he stumbles into trouble in the night. If his suspicions are correct, someone's cooking up more than biscotti at the local cookie factory.

Together, Riley and Tessa renew their old bond and battle a curse that leads them on a journey of destiny to the love of a lifetime.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Indie Film Maker Lyn Morgan And Her Movie Skookum


Finally, I get an indie film maker on my blog. I'm so pleased to bring you Screenwriter Lyn Morgan as she tells us a bit her journey.

This is how Lyn describes her role in the process

"I am not the tech person. I am not the money person. I am not even the producer or the one who has to handle those tiresome details. I am just the writer, the creative one who begins the project and as it goes along, knits the whole thing together. I was known on the set as Ma Lyn and regarded as the mother of all the crew and cast. For the film we made and for the future films we are going to make, that will be my role. How cool is that?  It makes me feel very proud."

Making an Indie Movie 

About the middle of January of this year, it became apparent to me this would be the year we, Debi McMartin, co-writer and head of the production company, would actually get our independent movie, SKOOKUM, THE HUNT FOR BIG FOOT, in the can.
 
The  project became more and more immediate to me as the days passed  My special tasks during our pre-production phase were to work on the bigfoot costume ... a large task as the monster is six foot six inches tall. I had a jumpsuit that fit the man who would play Skookum and I sewed line after line of human hair on by hand because I couldn't get the legs or arms of the suit on my machine.  Also I was afraid the hair would come off as the "creature" ran through the woods and did other stunts. I have to say from all the film I have seen of it, it looks quite real.

I also was in charge of preparing food to be served to the movie crew as we began filming on the second week of April.  I cooked and froze many meals.  I begged local restaurants to donate a meal or two. Never has the time sped faster than the days leading up to April 8, 2013 when filming was to start. 

During the actual filming, I was continually on the go. Always near tears. I watched the filming and heard actors say the words I had written, but I still had to be ready to get their meals on the table so the tears had to dry up in a hurry at times. 

Sometimes I listened to our cast go through their lines. Sometimes I watched them practice the choreography of the fight scenes and the stunts.  That was when I decided I would write more carefully next time.  Not as many hard scenes for the cast was my promise to myself. 

LA: Did you hire a stunt coordinator?

LM: No.  For the stunts, we had a man of all skills, Shane Dzicek who is an actor, costume designer in his own right, ingenious inventor of things we had to make for the movie like a bridge to haul the equipment onto a small island where some of our scenes were shot. 

The man who choreographed the fight scene was Paul Logan, a one time soap star on Days of Our Lives. He was amazing and I hope you get to see that action scene.  He had a few other fights besides the bar scene, but that was the major one.

Many, many times I put in the longest days I have ever worked. One such day was almost around the clock and it included the climax of the movie, a most emotional scene.  I sometimes fell into bed in the clothes I had worn all day and night.  Call sheets giving the place and time for our next day’s shoot were there waiting on my computer whenever I woke.

LA: Did you film out of state?  

LM: We filmed close to home.  Friends of mine had a house, another a cabin, and a third, a fishing shack. 
 
They were way deep in the swamp and filming in such a remote location was quite scary. Debi and I were the location scouts.  She did most of the work, but it was quite fascinating to find the places.  After one of the directors arrived about a week before filming was to begin, he and I found the last few locations.  Director Jack Skyyler is a name that will be well known in days to come. I think he has four movies to be released before the end of this year.

We had a few set backs.  We fired our first director of photography.  We made trips to the airport to fetch new actors coming in for cameos. We made trips to the airport to get them to their return flights.

LA: Lyn, how did you find a new DP so quickly? 

LM: I think I have to say that it had to be God who helped. He was a local man who owned a RED camera, when we had been told there were none in the area.  He is originally from Australia and his name is Bob Foster.

Making an indie film is the experience of my lifetime.  My writing partner, Debi McMartin, and I often swore we would never do it again until that last day of filming when we both felt the absolute joy of our accomplishment, and we knew we would. I am currently writing the sequel to our first movie and the title of this script  is SKOOKUM, TOO.
 
Our completed movie, SKOOKUM, THE HUNT FOR BIGFOOT, will have test screenings late in October.  One will be in Ennis, Texas, at The Galaxy Drive-in on the Sunday before Halloween.  One will be that same day in Chicago at The B-Movie Celebration on Hollywood and Vine. Check out my pages on Face Book and Skookumthemovie Face Book page if you are interested in either of these show times.

LA: What's the plan after that?
 
LM: Several distributors are looking at our trailer.  We should know sometime next month if one of them wants to make an offer.  That would be the  best thing or maybe not.  And then of course a festival has already asked to screen the movie.  Who knows what might come from that exposure?  The film is gorgeous, at least the rushes I have seen.  It was filmed in its entirety on a RED Epic with the aerial shots done by a drone with the latest technology.  We have been told it looks like a million dollar studio film.

My advice to any wannabe indie film makers is to do their research.  Find a plan to get your money. In fact, you may need more than one plan.  We also had a local fund raiser in one of the towns we filmed in.  That town has one point on the back end.  It will benefit their town coffers for many years to come.


Trailer for Skookum, click here.


BIO:

Evelyn “Lyn” Morgan is a member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America and Christian Fiction Writers. She is an active member of the RWA screenwriting chapter, Scriptscene and spoke at the national mini-conference of that organization this past summer.

Teaching piano for fifty years and retiring from that in 2006, Lyn writes music as well. One  of her songs, THIS ROAD, is featured in the indie film, SKOOKUM, THE HUNT FOR BIGFOOT which she co-wrote.

Lyn’s fiction works tend to have a touch of paranormal in them. You will always find at least one dead body plus a spooky happening or two. Her books and her scripts, sometimes her songs, follow this trend.

She teaches screenwriting classes in the Shreveport area where she lives with her two canine companions, Little Girl and Daisy.
 
LINKS: 

 
 
 

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