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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Mary Caelsto 
More choices for authors means more ways to publish and more
publishers. Having a completed, polished manuscript is only part of the work of
getting published. The next step is to find a publisher. With so many companies
arriving on the scene and going out of business, it can be difficult–maddening
even–to find a publisher. So what’s an author to do?
The very first thing I suggest to authors is to leverage the
power of a favorite search engine. This shouldn’t be the only criteria an author
uses to choose a publisher. It can, however, provide a good start. The best way
to search is to use proper terms. The publisher’s full name should be searched with
quotation marks around it to ensure that the name as an entire phrase comes up.
For example, searching “ABC Books” without the quotes will bring up results
with “books” in it, but not the ABC. That probably won’t be very helpful.
Even if the publisher has a unique name, use the quotes. What you feel is unique
may not be when searched against the entirety of the internet.
Next add a modifier. I use a word like problems or issues. The
way this looks in a search engine is like this:
“Publisher full name” + problems
Then, look at the results that come up. Newer dates are bigger
issues, as are venues. Let’s take a moment for some honesty. No publisher will make
every author happy. This means that there is a good chance that some result will
come up. A story in Publisher’s Weekly or other high visibility blog will raise
more alarm bells than a single result from one author.
It is the author’s job to determine which issues, if any, aren’t
deal breakers. Personally and for many authors, any issues make the publisher a
non-starter. There are too many good publishers out there to get caught with the
bad ones.
Beyond a search engine, the next step in smart publisher research
is doing some good old-fashioned leg work. Visit the publisher’s website. Look at
their covers. See if they lean heavily to a specific genre or subset of books. An
author should make sure that his or her books will fit in well with the publisher’s
literary culture (or lack thereof). A sweet romance author in a sea of erotic books
where it’s obvious the website and publisher caters toward the steamier books wouldn’t
be a good fit, for example.
Yet, there’s one more tool for smart publisher research: reading
the books. Yes, this takes time. Yes, this may be an investment. However, the prettiest
cover and best laid out website could conceal books with poor editing. If an author
absolutely cannot find time to read books, then check reviews. Many good review
sites will mention issues with editing or storyline problems.
There’s more to publisher research than these three steps; however,
by starting with these processes, the author will have a good feeling which publishers
will do right by them and whose books the author will feel proud about being among.
Taking some time in publisher research will prevent trouble and heartbreak down
the road. And, there’s a good chance it will lead to better sales.

More Resources

If you’re interested in learning more, join Mary starting August
20, 2014 for Smart Publisher Evaluation for Career-Minded Authors. This week-long
course will dive deep into the art of evaluating publishers so authors can avoid
trouble, find the best fit for them, and know that they, and their work, will be
supported. Learn more and register here: http://musecharmer.com/musestore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=75&products_id=212
Daily Writing Inspiration: http://www.dailywritinginspiration.com
Visit her website at www.musecharmer.com
to get her free video presentation Tap Into Your Muse Power to learn exactly how
an author’s muse is the most important tool for today’s working author.

Author Bio

Mary lives in the Ozarks with her husband, three spoiled horses,
an office rabbit, an opinionated parrot, a not-so-itty-bitty kitty committee, and
a charmed chicken (rooster). She’s been published since 2002, working for some of
the biggest and best digital-first publishers. Three years ago, she began The Muse
Charmer to share her insights from being in the publishing industry for so long
with authors. Her belief: it can be easy to be an author today. To that end, she
offers classes, news, and information authors can use to navigate today’s ever-changing
publishing industry.

Author Social Media

Business or Pleasure 
5 Easy Questions is an interview is designed to be quick, easy,
and fun. Today’s guest is Ashley Ladd.
What is your go-to meal to order when you dine out? Your favorite
“I know it will hit the spot” item.
Tijuana Flats salad with black beans and lots of salsa. Either
that or Tijuana Flats chicken chimichanga wet with verde sauce.
What were you like when you were in school?
Pretty shy and introverted. At least I thought so then, but looking
back, although I wasn’t in the In Crowd, I had a lot of friends. Still, I was the
high school newsletter co-editor, media news reporter, and 2nd lieutenant on our
Flag Corps squad. I was an A-B student without trying too hard. When I got into
college and actually tried, I was almost a straight A student.
Would you rather stay inside and watch snow falling, or get
out in it and build a snowman?
I love to go outside and build snowmen. Sadly, I live in South
Florida (which I just saw termed as “America’s wang”). I’m from Cincinnati,
Ohio, and about ten years ago when I went home to visit my Dad in February,
there was a pitiful snowfall. However, it was the best I’d seen in years, so I went
outside and built this pathetic little snowman. Before I knew it, Dad was outside
helping me. I haven’t had so much fun in ages. I really wish I could find the pictures
we took of our snowman building adventure.
What is your favorite quote?
Live long and prosper (Spock – I’m a huge Trekkie)
What was your favorite book as a child?
I loved Nancy Drew mysteries. When I was about 12 I discovered
Harlequin romances and loved those, too. I can’t recall the name of any one particular
book.

About the Book

Title: Business or Pleasure
Genre: Contemporary erotic male-male romance
Author: Ashley Ladd
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
Guy Rogers is extremely attracted to his new realtor, Tom Beaudreaux.
As a passionate vegetarian and animal activist, he’s ecstatic that Tom is a kindred
soul. In fact, Tommy’s family owns the most popular barbecue restaurant in town
and if his family has their way, he’ll manage the new location.
When Guy finds out that Tommy eats meat and his family owns a
restaurant that is a monument to eating meat, he’s livid and doesn’t know if he
wants anything else to do with Tommy.
But then Guy’s life gets crazy –his dad’s paranoia blossoms into
violent dementia, he gets arrested for picketing a doggy mill, and then he winds
up in even more legal trouble. When Tommy sticks by him through all his trouble
and does everything he can to help him, Guy wonders if he’s been too narrow-minded.
Perhaps he can learn to live with people who have opposite views.

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Finding the Dream 
Genre Contemporary romance
Author Name Jennifer Britt
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
Jessica James had her dream—a career on Broadway as a successful
actress—until one night when it was taken all away. Forced to move back to Lincoln Falls
and live with her parents, Jessica’s only goal is to regain her career and go back
to New York. She
doesn’t count on a honeysuckle hating man standing in her way or the town of Lincoln Falls itself. Now everything
she thought she ever wanted may not be her dream at all.
Eric Mason and his daughter have quietly lived next door to Jessica’s
parents. That all changes when he meets Jessica. She is overly dramatic and the
most annoying person he’s ever met. Yet, he can’t get her off his mind.
Will they find a new dream together?

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Wolf Who Played With Fire 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a
book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the
author. Today’s featured book is The Wolf Who Played With Fire by Sarah Mäkelä.
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R

Blurb

Some magic can’t be unspun…
Meddling in magic…
If Mia Brooks could turn back time, it would be to when she used
her fledgling magic to craft a potion for an injured werewolf. It nearly killed
the Pack Alpha, and now the lives of her witch mentor, Jessa, and her soldier boyfriend,
Ethan Parker, have been changed forever. Jessa is in hospital after a vicious werewolf
attack. And, Ethan, having being bitten, is becoming a werewolf himself.
A wolf at the door…
Mia can’t turn back time, but she can try to make things right
with the two people she cares about most. She’s keeping Jessa’s shop, Eternally
Magick, open, and she’s there for Ethan as his inner wolf grows. But, by the next
full moon, his transformation will be complete. Can she really be the mate of a
half-man-half-wolf, living within the law of the Pack?
Under his spell…
Struggling to contain his new lupine senses, Ethan goes missing
on active duty. When Mia realizes her werewolf lover has been abducted, she knows
must harness every magic power she possesses to get him safely back…

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Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1rdcUa6
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1pNS57R

Author Social Media

About the Author:

Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate.
She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum
with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy…even a sweet contemporary romance!

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light.
In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures),
and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling
the world too.
Blind Sight 

About the Book

Title Blind Sight (PSI Sentinels: Guardians of the Psychic Realm)
Genre Paranormal/Romantic Suspense
Author Pamela Moran
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
Gabe Nicholetti, reclusive PSI agent, would rather stay on his
sailboat, surrounded by water – moored off a remote island in the British Virgin
Islands – than deal with the ramifications of the dead woman in his visions.
That woman, Rily Carrigan – a very much alive, for the moment,
police detective in Eagle Crest, Oregon – makes it clear she has less than the time
of day for the likes of him. Not that it matters.
He has only one purpose.
Bring her murderer to justice.
Rily has neither time nor patience for what she calls the woo-woo.
But she’s about to tumble neck deep into that waiting chasm as a murky past she
thought long buried rises up to swamp her present life.
Will Gabe, PSI agent with a dark secret, be able to keep her
alive? Or does his own past condemn Rily to a death she can’t avoid?

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Interview with Gabriel Nicholetti

Tell us about yourself,
please.
What’s to tell?
I’m in my mid-thirties. Single and going to stay that way for
the foreseeable future.
My earliest memories are of the Institute. That’s the Institute
of Psychic Studies (IPS), where I was raised. The Agency is what you might call
an offshoot organization of IPS, and is where I’ve worked my entire adult life.
Sailing is my passion, my salvation. I’d rather be on my boat
than just about anywhere.
What is it that you want,
but cannot have? Authors call this the conflict of the story.
Peace.
A way to stop the visions.
That’s why I spend so much time on my boat. Water is supposed
to offer relief, form a barrier. Usually it does. But with these last visions, all
that Caribbean water hasn’t done a damn bit of good.
I still see her, the green-eyed blonde, staring at me from dead
eyes.
These visions are always of murdered people whose deaths I can’t
prevent. No matter how hard I try.
Maybe that’s what I want more than peace – to be able to stop
the murder from happening. To actually save a life.
What inner doubt causes
you the most difficulty?
 I started to say I don’t
have time for doubts. But then I thought more about the question.
Some call psychic abilities a gift. I call it a curse.
To see someone dead, to know, at that moment, the person is still
alive and there’s not a damn thing I can do to prevent the murder, how is that anything
but a curse?
So, yeah, I have doubts. Doubts about why the hell I’ve been
saddled with this curse.
What’s your external complication?
In the story world your author created, explain what it is you fear most.
Finding the blonde in my vision, having to watch her die and
not being able to bring her killer to justice. That’s my fear.
If I can’t find justice for the dead, then what’s the damn purpose
of the visions?
Tell us about your significant
other, that person who makes living worthwhile.
I don’t have a significant anything. Been there, still have the
literal scars to prove it.
Alone suits me fine. I don’t play well with others. Life is better
that way.
What is your family like?
Never knew my father. My mother left me at the Institute when
I was young. Ben Garrett, head of both the Institute and the Agency, took me in,
raised me. While he’s the closest thing I have to family, right now our relationship
is a bit strained.
If someone from your past
showed up, who would you NOT want it to be, and why?
Talia Garrett. She’s Ben’s daughter and the reason he and I have
that strained relationship.
I get it. She’s his daughter. He loves her in spite of the past.
Hell, at one time I thought I loved her myself. That delusion ended when she tried
to kill me.
So yeah, her showing up would be bad. For her.
What special skills do
you rely on?
I see Spirit Totems. You might be surprised at how useful that
can be. Every person has one, a mammal that is right at a person’s spiritual core.
A person whose totem is a Wolf is a lot different than say a
rabbit.
Or a jackal.
Being able to see the totem is like having a short hand to the
inner workings of their mind.
I’m also good at blocking, which comes in handy for turning the
tables on a stalker, even if she happens to be an ex-lover.

About the Writer

Why did you choose to
write about this character?
Gabe appeared on his boat, so resigned to the fact of his visions,
knowing he couldn’t save the beautiful blonde but determined to try. How could I
not fall in love with him?
Was there anything you
discovered about this character that was a surprise to you?
What surprised me most was how grounded he was, especially with
what he has to deal with. Then there’s his sense of humor. Although his thoughts
might be dark, he kept his tone on the lighter side and avoided that pit of negativity.
When you wrote about this
character, what made you the most happy? What made you the most sad?
I’m thrilled I was able to translate Gabe to the page – he’s
a man with a huge weight on his shoulders but he approaches his world in a balanced
way, with humor and understanding. He doesn’t like his lot but takes life head on,
accepting it for what it is and what it means.
All that said, I am sad about the conviction he can’t save Rily.
That she’s destined to die. It’s heartbreaking to watch him struggle with all of
that.
Why do you write?
So many stories to tell – so many voices in my head!
What do you want to write
next?
Right now I’m working on Gavin’s Woman and after that the edits
for Darkwater Echoes. I don’t have a title yet for Ramon Ortega’s story, but his
will be the next one.
What other character from
this book do you want to write about? Care to tell us why?
Ramon Ortega. He first appeared in Stolen Spirit and has been
pushing for his own story ever since. He tries to take over every scene he’s in
and believes he can keep a lid on his burgeoning psychic abilities. Essentially
he’s disavowing their existence.
I’ve got news for him. He wanted his own story and I’ll give
him that, just not sure he realizes how much I love to torture my heroes!
Are any sequels planned
for this book?
Lots of them! The series is called PSI Sentinels: Guardians of
the Psychic Realm, but each is written as a stand-alone story and can be read separately.

Author Bio

Whether painting, out on a photo shoot or writing, Pam has always
had a bend toward the creative side of life. Her favorite is when she can combine
any of those with travel! Places get into her blood and she loves to explore the
possibilities, always with characters and a story in mind.
An astrologer for most of her adult life, Pam has been known
to see auras and the occasional ghost. Considering she lives in a haunted house
in the mountains of Southern California, this keeps life interesting.

Author Social Media

A Marquis
For All Seasons 
5 Easy Questions is an interview
is designed to be quick, easy, and fun. Today’s guest is Renée Reynolds.
Who is your “book
boyfriend”? You know, that hottie you read about and drool over.
I should answer something classical and literary like Mr. Darcy
or Dr. Zhivago, but I’ll take any one of the Mackenzie brothers from Jennifer Ashley’s
series – especially mad Lord Ian. Dear good lord, how I could love that kilted man.
Would you rather stay
inside and watch snow falling, or get out in it and build a snowman?
I live in Texas. When it snows, you bundle up, go outside, and
play until it’s all melted. You build the world’s tiniest snowman, slide down your
driveway on trash can lids, and eat the stuff when it piles on your car bumper.
We don’t waste those rare treats of snowfall around these parts!
What is your favorite
quote?
This one is a bit of a toss-up. I love to quote Shelby Eatenton
Latcherie from Steel Magnolias: “Remember what Daddy always says – an ounce
of pretension is worth a pound of manure!” That’s Biblical truth right there.
The other quote that rattles around in my brain comes from my sweet grandmother
(although I think she stole it from someone else): “Begin as you mean to go
on.” Making that choice at the start directs your path pretty well in a variety
of situations.
What was your favorite
book as a child?
I reread Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink so much that I
wore the binding out my paperback copy, and left permanent smudges in the cover
ink where my fingers dug in while reading. Caddie was a tomboy allowed to run wild
with her brothers, and I loved living their adventures as they explored the woods,
creeks, and neighbors around their farm. It’s a timeless story about practical jokes,
family, and growing up.
What was the last movie
you watched (home or theater)?
I watched The Awakening on Netflix just last weekend. It was
a terrific little horror flick set in post-WWI England about a published author
who exposes charlatans who claim to commune with the dead. She’s called to investigate
supposed supernatural phenomena at a boarding school, and is shocked to discover
things that cannot be explained. She begins to question everything she thought was
rational about the world. I love period pieces, England, and a good scare. Two thumbs
up!

About the Book

Title A Marquis For All Seasons
Genre Historical Romance
Author Renée Reynolds
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG
She wants one more season to pass without acquiring a husband.
Lady Miranda Leighton accepts she will have to marry someday,
but she wants one last season to be mistress of her own life – to go where she wants,
when she wants, with whomever she wants. The lure of one more adventure is nearly
irresistible. Unfortunately, her family has run out of patience as she unintentionally
loosely courts scandal. She needs a plan, and needs it quickly.
He wants one more season to pass without his mother nagging,
debutantes stalking, or sanity deserting him.
Roman de Courtenay, Marquis of Stafford, accepts he will have
to marry someday, but his immediate focus is set on managing his estates, pacifying
his family, and being otherwise left alone. The lure of saddling his horse and fleeing
to the country is nearly irresistible. Unfortunately, his mother wants him to find
his marchioness, produce an heir, and let her settle into an anticipated and comfortable
life as a dowager. He needs a plan, and needs it quickly.
Thus a lady and a lord with a similar problem hatch a mischievous
scheme: to use each other as shields against marriage and the plans of their families,
with a dance here and a meaningful look there. All goes well – for a time – until
the constant company and camaraderie of their ruse give rise to some very real feelings.
What happens when you set out to fool society, but only end up
fooling yourselves?

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