Saturday, 17 December 2011

Six Sentence Sunday
I am delighted to host Sherry Gloag as my guest this week at http://www.meganjohnsinvites.blogspot.com/
Looking for a Christmas gift?
Sherry's latest novel From Now Until Forever has just been awarded 5 strong stars.

Another cause for celebration is that Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road has been reviewed at The Deepening http://tinyurl.com/clatkko.
QUOTE: "the best works in this anthology truly set the bar for greatness in speculative fiction."
Follow the link for a story by story breakdown.
Best Wishes
Megan Johns

Thursday, 8 December 2011

SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY

Multi-published author Jane Toombs is my guest at http://meganjohnsinvites.blogspot.com/ this week.

Currently, Jane is promoting Taken In, Book 1 of the Dagon House Trilogy from Champagne books.

Her next book - Christmas Catalyst, one of the Twelve Days Of Christmas stories, will be available from Red Rose on Sat 31 Dec.

With over 80 published books to her name, check out Jane's website at http://www.janetoombs.com/ to get a flavour of her vast range.

HOT NEWS Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road has just been released in print as well as ebook BUY NOW link

Anybody wishing to book a feature blog at MeganJohnsInvites for 2012, email meganjohns12@gmail.com with 'blog booking' in the subject line.

Best wishes
Megan Johns

Friday, 2 December 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Hurray! The rule-wrecking anthology Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road is out BUY link
Read what the editors say at http://tinyurl.com/cj3ywpk and meet the authors at http://tinyurl.com/bnluvdf

To celebrate the launch, we’re offering a KINDLE and other prizes.
Follow the Treasure Hunt at http://bit.ly/sQJeig
Please join in the fun
Best wishes
Megan Johns

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Six Sentence Sunday
Nancy Bell, writer, poet and editor at MuseItUp, is my guest at http://www.meganjohnsinvites.blogspot.com/
In her interview, she describes the world as ‘ a multi-layered experience. Like peeling an onion and revealing layers upon layers, hidden until we uncover them.’

Her YA fantasy ‘Laurel's Miracle’ is a captivating story and an ideal Christmas gift.
Here’s the buy link http://tinyurl.com/3pvrzf4 where you’ll find a great review, and check out Nancy’s website http://www.nancymbell.ca/

PLUS Writers on the Wrong side of the Road, the rule wrecking anthology from Alternative Read.com is launching this weekend - check it out at http://shop.claytonbye.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=66

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Don’t you just love the name Rachel Dahlrumple?
Join romance author SHEA McMASTER to find out about her latest release at http://www.meganjohnsinvites.blogspot.com/
'Rachel's humiliation over the discovery of her late husband's affairs turns to fear when one of his mistresses sends her a poisoned bouquet.'

Plus check out my October guests: romance authors DAVID RUSSELL, CHERIE MARKS AND ROZ LEE at http://meganjohnsinvites.blogspot.com/2011_10_01_archive.html

Megan Johns The Path of Innocence BUY MeganJohnsInvites
PRE-ORDER Writers on The Wrong Side of The Road OUT SOON!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Six Sentence Sunday
Singer/ song-writer and romance author David Russell is at my blog this week. Please drop by at http://www.meganjohnsinvites.blogspot.com to say hi.
David says the best writing advice he has ever received is to always be receptive to criticism, but never accept the judgement of one individual as final. Sounds like good advice to me!
Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of 'Self’s Blossom' and check out the great reviews.
Megan Johns Coming 21 Nov Writers on the Wrong side of the Road - MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Romance author Cherie Marks is my guest this week at http://www.meganjohnsinvites.blogspot.com .
Cherie say of herself: ‘Always a hint humorous and honest to a fault, I love to make people laugh and smile’.
Here’s the trailer to her latest release http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXrDrRC1daM&feature=youtu.be
Drop by to read more about INTO THE FIRE Two top chefs meet head-to-head on a TV cooking show, but can they resist each other as they move out of the pan and into the fire?
Leave a comment for the chance to win a $10 GC
Megan Johns http://www.megan-johns.com/

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Erotic romance author Roz Lee is my guest at MeganJohnsInvites promoting her latest release: 'Still Taking Chances’

Blurb: Mary Beth Winters packed away her toys and put the BDSM lifestyle behind her years ago when she realized the men she dominated didn’t need her as much as she needed them. But when a troubled bad-boy, Elgin ‘Hud’ Huddleston, moves in across the street, she dusts off her toy box and risks her heart to help him heal http://www.eredsage.com/store/StillTakingChances.html

Find out why Roz has Shaggy Dog Syndrome and win a copy of ‘Kinky Cupcakes’

Also, I’m blogging on themes at http://www.meganjohns.blogspot.com/. What’s your take?

Megan Johns The Path of Innocence BUY MeganJohnsInvites MeganJohnsblogspot Coming soon The AR rule-wrecking Anthology

Thursday, 6 October 2011

In response to the AR bloghop question: Theme is a scary word for most writers. What is your take?

When I first pick up my pen (yes, I’m a longhand writer!) predominant in my head is a mental picture of a location with which I have some sort of attachment. I then put my characters in it and let them respond to each other and the environment.
Of course, I have a good idea of my characters and what makes them tick, which in turn gives me clues as to possible themes. However, most themes will evolve as a result of the way they interact i.e. the plot.
I will have a general idea of the direction I want to head and I invariably know the end result, but not necessarily how to get there. Perhaps themes are operating at some subliminal level of my consciousness from the outset, but they might only become evident later when they emerge as a natural development of the plot.
For example, in my wip a pertinent theme emerged quite late in the novel but, on looking back, the seeds were sown from an early stage.
Of course, there isn’t just one theme at work and in The Path of Innocence I included various themes including:
Complex women with contradictory needs
Love and friendship
Jealousy and hate
The lust for power
Suffering
Inner isolation
It’s easy to pick these out with hindsight, but if I’m honest the only one that I was absolutely clear about from the outset was the first.
So, do themes really matter? Well, yes, I think they do. A book with a message is more likely to strike a chord with readers.
Broad themes, in particular, enable us to explore issues in depth and lend more meat to our writing. For blogs, however, narrow themes work very well.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Six Sentence Sunday blog

Are the benefits of ebook giveaways lost in view of the sheer number on offer?
Also, does giving away our prized possession devalue its intrinsic worth and how do we avoid this pitfall?
I believe it is important that we are excited about the book in question and that we convey our enthusiasm by talking it up through sms sites like facebook and twitter. We need to make readers feel that the prize is something ‘special’ by posting review quotes or short extracts to help enhance the worth of the prize.

There is no doubt that giveaways are a much used marketing tool – some might say overused – yet I believe there is still mileage in them providing they themselves are marketed effectively.
Read more at http://www.meganjohns.blogspot.com

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Giveaways as marketing tools

Ebooks are still in the process of gaining ground in the UK, but of course they have been around on the internet a long time.
So what has changed since their inception? Well, price for one. Free offers abound. Yet does this stimulate sales or simply devalue the worth of the book? It’s a tricky one.
As a general marketing strategy, one of the easiest ways to turn people on to your product is to give it to them. This is a proven tactic for products that people are likely to get hooked on and come back to buy more and more. Clearly, the same person is not going to come back time and time again to purchase the same copy of our book.
So what are the benefits of giveaways for ebook authors?
They include:
- generating reviews/ positive feedback that helps us to create a buzz about our book
- stimulating word of mouth recommendation
- creating goodwill
- reaching a new audience: people love getting something for nothing and the freebie deal will attract an audience you might not otherwise reach
- they can help us to build our mailing lists
But are these benefits lost in view of the sheer number of free giveaways on offer?
Also, does giving away our prized possession devalue its intrinsic worth? And how do we avoid this pitfall?
I believe it is important that we are excited about the book that we are giving away and that we convey our enthusiam by talking it up through sms sites like facebook and twitter. We need to make readers feel that the prize is something ‘special’. Posting review quotes or short extracts will help enhance the worth of the prize. Another tactic is to engage their competitive spirit and make them ‘work’ for the prize through events like scavenger hunts. Will they value the prize more if they have won it through some effort on their part over and above other entrants? I think so.
Of course giveaways are not limited to books – they can be trinkets, fridge magnets, pens or ‘bigger’ prizes like gift tokens or even a Kindle. Generally, larger sites can afford bigger prizes. It is a question of cost vs benefit and, of course, affordability.
'Buy one get one free' is a useful form of giveaway for authors with backlists i.e. buy the latest release and get a free backlist book.
For blog hosts, giveaways can also be considered a marketing tool in that they build awareness about your blog and gain new readers as well as rewarding regular ones
There is no doubt that giveaways are a much used marketing tool – some might say overused – yet I believe there is still mileage in them providing they themselves are marketed effectively.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Six Sentence Sunday blog - In the Name of Research

Research is essential if we want to give our work teeth. There will always be readers who are well versed in subjects we touch on and we have to be careful to ensure accuracy.
So how far would we go? There are times when we all have to step out of our comfort zone in the name of research. The most uncomfortable thing I have done is to visit a funeral parlour. To read more go to
http://www.meganjohns.blogspot.com

Thursday, 22 September 2011

In the Name of Research

Maeve Binchy, oft described as the mother of chick-lit, bases her writing in her native Ireland and her work is distinguished by the depth of her understanding of the social structure of small Irish communities. It raises the question, however, of how effectively we can base our own novels in settings where we do not have firsthand experience.
I use a range of settings in my work, but they are always places I have stayed, if only for a holiday. Indeed,in the past, I have frequently booked family holidays to places off most people’s radar with the express intent of doing research. Of course, this was never declared as an overt motive and my then teenage daughter’s protestations about the obscurity of destinations chosen were, mercifully, always overridden by the end result.
For my part, I would not feel confident relying purely on the internet to research settings as I feel it cannot possibly give the same level of insight to the nuances of a society, or indeed replicate one’s own unique angle of perception.
Research is essential if we want to give our work teeth. There will always be readers who are versed in the topic under discussion and one has to be careful to ensure accuracy.
So how far would we go? There are times when we all have to step out of our comfort zone in the name of research.
For example Joanna Trollope, now a refined, sixty something grandmother, describes how she donned black jeans and dark glasses to go night clubbing in London. That takes courage. She must have stood out like a sore thumb and she tells how she attracted much attention as she lurked with her notepad. It was a worthwhile pursuit, however, and her great observational skills ensured the authenticity of her novel ‘Friday Nights’.
So what is the most uncomfortable thing I have done in the name of research? That’s easy. Whilst writing the Path of Innocence, I had a scene when the hero visited his mother’s grave, but I needed to check the length of time required for soil to settle before a headstone can be laid. I walked up and down the street outside our local funeral parlour many times before I finally found the moment and plucked the courage to walk inside. Even as I walked through the door, I agonized over how to make the initial approach. Should I be bright and breezy? Would that be considered disrespectful of the setting? And I admit the first few moments were tricky. However, once I had convinced the undertaker of my authenticity, he went into raptures and there was no holding him back. The result: I left with reams of information on graves, far more than I needed, and my scene was sorted.
We have to ensure we do research, no matter how uncomfortable it may be at times; otherwise it is a disservice to our readers and we should not fool ourselves that inaccuracies will escape their collective radar.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Six Sentence Sunday blog - Memoirs

Would I spill out my personal thoughts, feelings and actions in a memoir? The short answer is not for publication purposes - I am too private a person for that, but I may well write my memoirs at some future stage for the eyes of family and friends.

I am inspired by my late father who, in the later years of his life, incapacitated by strokes, spent much of his time revisiting his youth and writing his own memoirs. In them, he does not spill out feelings explicitly, but the story of a working class lad who defies all the odds through sheer determination and hard work carries a subliminal message of hope that if we believe in ourselves we can succeed. The result is a treasured legacy of stories which form a wonderful source of comfort, joy and pride to the family. Moreover, memoirs of this nature can be passed down to future generations so that our grandchildren and their children can gain an understanding from whence they came.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Memoirs

In answer to the Alternative Read blog question: Would you be honest enough to write your personal thoughts, feelings and actions in a memoir?

Memoirs, unlike an autobiography, are not necessarily a person's life story, but snapshots of selected aspects. They usually carry a theme or common threads which are woven through it and which carry a message, perhaps for the greater good.

Ideally, they should be as true to life as possible, but the vagaries of memory, as we all know, can play tricks. Does it matter if they are not totally accurate? No, I don't believe so. It is the communication of the core theme that is most important.

We generally associate memoir writing with people of advanced years, yet they are not age dependent. A person of any age, particularly if they have a powerful message to convey, can write their memoirs. For example, a child who has lived through abuse, a young person who has conquered drug/alcohol addiction, someone living and coping with a disability.

Writing about one's innermost thoughts and feelings, however, although a purgative, may also be extremely painful. So why do people do it?

In the case of victims, it may be altruistic, a desire to help others in similar situations, but many memoirs, as we know, focus on celebrities whose stories might carry little depth. So why do they sell?

Our obsession with looking into other people's lives is a type of voyeurism; some argue it is due to the fragmentation of cohesive family interactions, a substitute for the lack of a 'real' life of our own. Nor is this obsession limited to memoirs. Magazines pay dividends for people's anecdotal stories - and the more shocking, the better. TV soaps, confessional chat shows and fly-on-the-wall shows like Big Brother all exploit our seemingly insatiable curiosity about other people's lives.

But I digress. Back to the question, would I spill out my personal thoughts, feelings and actions in a memoir? The short answer is not for publication purposes - I am too private a person for that. However, I may well write my memoirs at some future stage for the eyes of family and friends.

Why? I am inspired by my late father who, in the later years of his life, incapacitated by strokes, spent much of his time revisiting his youth and writing his own memoirs. In them, he does not spill out feelings explicitly, but the story of a working class lad who defies all the odds through sheer determination and hard work carries a subliminal message of hope that if we believe in ourselves we can succeed. The result is a treasured legacy of stories which form a wonderful source of comfort, joy and pride to the family. Moreover, memoirs of this nature can be passed down to future generations so that our grandchildren and their children can gain an understanding from whence they came.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Who are the best and worst authors?

In answer to the Alternative Read blog hop question, 'In your opinion, who are the best bestselling and worst authors out there?'

I'll start with the worst (that way I can end on a positive - lol!). My current grouse is against anyone who writes self-help books on 'how to get fit in two days and lose half your body weight' Are they sanctimonious or is it me who is tetchy? The latter, probably.
However, I am a little peeved to have accumulated more extra pounds in weight than I care to admit at a time of year when I should be shedding it. So what should I do? Not lie down and read a book, that's for sure.
In fact, perhaps that is how it all started. Holiday reading this year has been a delight and I have immersed myself in novels by such authors as Wendy Holden, Catherine Alliott , Maeve Binchy and Bill Bryson to name but a few. So are they the best authors ever? No. But they are all light and entertaining - ideal holiday reading - even if they have a lot to answer for (Yes, I'm back to the weight issue! Well, I can't blame myself for inactivity, can I?)
So to answer the question and name the best bestselling author. Oh dear, I'm afraid I can't. There are just so many great authors out there. Sorry!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Scavenger Hunts

Internet Scavenger Hunts for readers are one of my favourite types of contests.
Whereas they do not generally challenge participants intellectually, they are fun and playful. Also they have an element of competition which engenders a sense of achievement at having collected all the required information. Competition is a fundamental human drive and, in my opinion, the satisfaction at having ‘won’ something through effort, no matter how minimal, is likely to be greater than if a gift is simply given away.
Giveaways have their place in anybody’s marketing arsenal, of course, and the strategy of free downloads being pursued on Kindle would indicate that this is a valid ploy. On an individual level, it seems to me, however, that it is more valid for authors with an existing backlist. For newer authors, like me, although giveaways might generate goodwill and hopefully reviews, hunts actively direct traffic to one’s site that might not otherwise visit.
Do they increase sales?
As with any marketing activity, it is difficult to quantify, but they certainly raise your profile with a potentially new audience.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

What's in a Name?

When we hear a name do we automatically make assumptions about the person behind it based on our own stereotypical prejudices?
I know I am guilty.
For instance, there are some names for which I have an inherent aversion based on my previous experience of people of said name (Deirdre does it for me!) Conversely, there are other names which always rouse a positive response (Liz, for example). There is no logic in this as individuals have no control over their birth names and to attribute personality characteristics on the basis of a name is unsound. Yet many of us tend to do just that, especially on first encounters.

Fortunately, as authors we have the option to influence our image by adopting a nom de plume, but how does one choose a pen name?

It is interesting to look at some of the pseudonyms adopted by famous personalities:
Elkie Brooks = Elaine Bookbinder
Michael Crawford = Michael Dumbell-Smith
Doris Day = Doris Mary Ann van Kappelhoff
Bob Dylan = Robert Zimmerman
Judy Garland = Frances Ethel Gum
Cary Grant = Archibald Alexander leach
Elton John = Reginald Dwight

So what images do the names convey? For me, an old sounding name like Ethel conjures an image of a granny knitting socks (sorry Judy Garland) whereas Elkie conjures an image of an outgoing, carefree individual. The surnames Bookbinder and Zimmerman strike me as honourable rather than dynamic and as for Reginald Dwight... is this really the rock star to have rocked the world?

Clearly image has played an important part in the decisions of these personalities to adopt stage names and as writers we must be equally conscious of the impact of our names on our target market, too.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Characters

In answer to the Alternative Read Blog Hop question:
When creating a main character, is it better to start with a good girl/guy with a drop of bad or vice versa?


When devising a fictional character, we should choose their unique set of characteristics with care to ensure they are believable.

One technique to avoid stereotypes and clich├ęs is to mix and match attributes so that characters take on a distinct personality, but credibility is still key.

For my part, I tend to draw on the real world - people I know (or know of), personal experiences etc.

Characters should be complex, not one dimensional i.e. like people in the real world. Certain characteristics may dominate, but generally people are a mix of a range of characteristics, and which ones come to the fore will vary in different situations. A well-drawn character will have positive and negative aspects and the mix of good/bad will change during the course of a novel as characters respond to the dynamic circumstances of the plot.

If we regard characters as being on a journey where conflict plays a pivotal role, it figures that the early stages of a novel where conflict is rife will be more likely to bring out the 'bad'side of a character than the later stages when the conflict has beeen resolved.

In my writing, I find that my characters grow almost organically so they develop and change throughout the course of a novel anyway.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

CLIFFHANGERS

A cliffhanger might be defined as a moment of suspense that leaves a reader on tenterhooks waiting to find out what happens next.
One might argue that the greater the tension, the greater the impact, but how much drama can a book take? Cliffhangers are useful devices on which to end chapters, but used too often they might become repetitive and rather predictable (the antithesis of what they should be) thus losing impact. Also, they must fit naturally into the plot and fit with the overall flow of the book. Forced cliffhangers that are largely irrelevant are likely to be transparent to a reader and a turn-off. There should be some future response to the cliffhanger which moves the plot forwards.
There is a clear argument for cliffhangers in serials, but as a reader I feel there has to be a balance. Sometimes I prefer a chapter to end with a resolution and the new one to start with a teaser introducing a new problem. If the book has succeeded in hooking me already, this isn't a deterrent to continue reading and may even provide a welcome natural break for sleep and other mundane necessities!
Finally, what about genres? Clearly, cliffhangers have an important role in suspense/crime novels, but there is plenty of scope in romance, too. A romance promises to deliver love and the more precarious the path towards it, the more the tension heightens and the sweeter the final reward.
What I don't like, however, are books that end on a cliffhanger. Open endings I can deal with, but cliffhanger endings definitely not!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Getting Noticed (Not!)

Marketing and promotion are clearly essential for any author. So, what lengths would I go to, to get noticed? Hmm.
Obviously, like all authors, I want my work to get noticed, but as for me as an individual... It might be more appropriate for me to rephrase the question and ask what lengths would I go to, not to get noticed!
For example, my first foray into marketing was as a children’s author promoting a book based loosely on my own daughter’s first year at school. Naturally, I took all the steps to ensure characters and names did not correspond to individuals and I adopted a pseudonym, Anne Pugh, which was my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. However, what I didn’t anticipate was the level of interest from the local press when the (paperback) book was published. Indeed, I was quickly propelled into panic mode at the prospect of photographers trooping to the house.
My daughter was, by then, a teenager and I was eager to avoid the risk of embarrassment. Moreover, I am essentially a private person and I simply didn’t want the world at large to know my personal identity.
So what did I do? Well, my first port of call was a wig shop. However, the cost of a real hair wig was prohibitive and I ended up in a fancy dress outfitters. The resultant mass of red curls would have done Red Riding Hood justice, but in the cold light of day I had to concede it looked hideous. A trip to the pharmacy was more productive and a spray-on hair colour proved a much better solution. Also, I was able to procure an old pair of oversized glasses (Deirdre Barlow style) which all but covered my face, and then I sat in front of a mirror and practised arranging my lips into a smile which was nothing like my normal facial expression.
Did I pull it off? Not quite. The resultant photographs looked a reasonable camouflage, but not sufficient to fool those who knew me well. My hopes were quickly shattered by a call from a neighbour who had been examining one of the photographs carefully and could not make up her mind. I could hardly tell a bare-faced lie. Then a few friends phoned...
I really don’t know how successful I was in escaping the radar of the majority. And was the whole pursuit of anonymity folly, anyway? To that, I will say a categorical NO.
It is my contention that a professional writer adopting a pen name is creating a brand, a product. We cease to be ourselves as individuals and become a marketing entity.
Writers may have many perfectly valid reasons for wishing to protect their identity. I know that my pursuit of anonymity is not exclusive from the number of websites to omit author photographs. Thankfully, epublishing has made life much easier in this respect and has facilitated the ability to divorce one’s personal persona from a professional identity/ brand.
After all, it is our work that we want to get noticed!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Some short excerpts from
Sherry Gloag

~ Duty Calls“Only Daniel Kinsale and his solicitors knew I’d arranged to meet him. No one knew I changed my schedule and arrived in England a week earlier than expected, and yet Denny Cadmore somehow discovered both my plans and identity.”
Rafe glared at his parent. “Given those facts, tell me why I should stake a claim on a god-forsaken English estate, when everything and everyone who means anything to me is here in Boston?”
The drone of the old-fashioned overhead fan broke the ensuing silence. The oppressive heat stalked through the room sapping the energy from anyone or anything in its path.
“Rafe you’re making me dizzy, sit down and stop prowling round the room.” His mother patted the cushions beside her. “How many times do I have to tell you, you were born from love, not lust? Whether you like it or not, you are the legitimate heir to your father’s estates.”
A shaft of sunlight caught a few silvery streaks in her blonde hair.
“But born out of wedlock,” Rafe snapped, before realizing the words queued up for release.
“Yes, out of wedlock,” she sighed. “I’ve never denied it, nor have I stolen your entitlement to your birth name. Your birth father…” she paused for a few seconds, “…Daniel, loved me.”
She continued on a wistful note, “I knew he couldn’t divorce his wife and accepted we had no future together, only the present. I’ve explained why he felt duty bound to uphold his family’s expectations. Nor that you were unintended. Having you gave me reason to survive without Daniel. You are from the man of my heart.”
Rafe’s free hand crashed down on the table sending the letter floating to the floor. “If he loved you so much, how come another of his bastards crawled out of the woodwork? One whose birth certificate proves he’s ten days younger than me? How come that same bastard damn near sent me to my grave?
Explain that if you can!”
Duty Calls Book Trailer = http://tinyurl.com/6fo3tt6

~ The Wrong Target“Goddamit,” he exploded, “Can’t you stand still for one second? I have something to say, but I can’t while you’re jogging round the room.”
She halted toe to toe in front of him. “You have me dismissed from a job I loved, because I upheld the safety of my pupils, and still have the audacity to stalk me to my holiday destination and demand I listen to you because you have something to say?” Flapping her hands at her sides, she spun away and back again, planting her hands on the chair arms, she pinned him in his place and snarled, “Let me tell you something. I’ve come here to enjoy myself and your presence isn’t part of my plan.”
“What is your plan?” he demanded.
“To get laid!” Astonishment pushed her away from the chair, her eyes wide, her lips curved up in a defiant sneer. “I intend to find myself a man and screw the living daylights out of him. And,” she paused deliberately, “I don’t need you for that.”
The Wrong Target Book Trailer = http://tinyurl.com/675d638


~ The Brat“You’re no better than your mother. I was a child when your mother ordered my life, but I’m a grown woman now and won’t be ordered around by you or anyone else. So don’t stand there sanctimoniously telling me it is your right to control my life for the next ten months. And when they end, what then? You drop your control, just like that? I doubt it. There’s not a Kouvaris on this planet that isn’t a control freak.”
She drew in a deep breath, glared at him when she came to a brief stop in front of him. “You’ll keep tabs on me, tell me what to do and when…”
“Why would I do that?” Cold as steel, Ben’s voice cut across her tirade, but it didn’t stop her.
“Because you’ll tell me it will impact on your reputation, or the company profile, or the value of the shares. How would I know? You’ll have a reason and expect me to abide by your ruling.” She spun away from him and back again. “Oh, I nearly forgot. As your ex-wife, someone may use me to get to you. Wasn’t that how you put it when we arrived in Greece?”
Hands fisted on her hips, her hair plastered against her fiery cheeks, she watched the colour climb up his neck and into his face. Until she heard the words hang in the air, she hadn’t known they were there. But she knew they’d hit their target head on.
The Brat Book Trailer = http://bit.ly/9O6j6C

BUY

http://www.sherrygloag.com/
Many thanks Sherry - it's been great having you here

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Interview with

Sherry Gloag

What inspired you to write Duty Calls?
I’d been away from writing for quite a long time and one day I sat down to ‘have a go’. Being a ‘pantser’ I had no idea what would turn up. I became so involved in my characters I had to complete their story. Eventually, I cut the original opening scene of Duty Calls and replaced it in another mode further into the book.

In a sentence, describe the hero’s character.
Rafe Hawk’s attitude to life is coloured by what he sees as his birth father’s desertion, he has lesson’s to learn and decisions to make. But can he let go of the past enough to move forward?

And the heroine’s?

Trudi has no reason to trust in her past, so when a stranger’s arrival threatens her future can she risk her family with the unknown?

Who controls the story – you or your characters?
The characters – every time, and nearly all the time.

What do you enjoy about writing romance?
Knowing my characters trust me enough to bring their story alive beneath my fingers.

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Believe in yourself. And keep your butt on the chair.

How do you like to spend your free time?
Other than my writing, I enjoy gardening, walking, reading and crystal craft work. I can get lost in any and all of those pass-times, and am amazed when I discover how long I’ve spent with them.
When walking I often find my characters have come along too and we thrash out some possible plot options. It does mean I have to constantly keep a wary eye out for other people while I am busy chatting to invisible companions. LOL

Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions you wish to accomplish?
To many to mention, they simply become goals to work towards :-)


Learn more about Sherry on:
Her Website = http://www.sherrygloag.com/
Her blog = http://bit.ly/bnuELA
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=689789287
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4277928.Sherry_Gloag
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SherryGloag

Buy The Brat here = http://bit.ly/d5nVDC
And at Amazon = http://amzn.to/bclDhY

Buy The Brat, Duty Calls and the Wrong Target here = allromanceebooks

Buy Duty Calls at Amazon = http://tinyurl.com/4mo8swu

and Wrong Target at Amazon = http://tinyurl.com/4jl4syb

Hogmanay = LASR January 6th Free Story
The Brat Book Trailer = http://bit.ly/9O6j6C
Duty Calls Book Trailer = http://tinyurl.com/6fo3tt6
The Wrong Target Book Trailer = http://tinyurl.com/675d638

Join Sherry tomorrow for some great excerpts

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

A warm welcome to romance author Sherry Gloag

Sherry's debut novel, The Brat,
was highly acclaimed and her new releases
promise to be equally compelling.


First, Sherry shares with us how she got started as a writer:"Why don't you try writing a book?" The oft' asked question hit the air again."Who would read it if I did?" I asked my innocent looking husband. He'd learned my secret many years ago, and sporadically 'poked' at my lack of self belief."You won't know until you try!" He dropped his bait into the air between us, and for some reason, a few years ago now, I decided to bite.
And am I glad I did?
Not only do I enjoy meeting the characters who demand their stories are told, I have also met and made many wonderful friends, both on line and elsewhere, in the process.
~ ~ ~
One day my work-in-progress stalled over a stubborn scene that refused to come right, so in frustration I tried turning it into a stand alone short story in an attempt to find the flaws.
That scene eventually honed down satisfactorily, but left me with an insatiable desire to venture into the world of short story writing.
How could I know, at the time, that the truculent scene would send me off on a new and exciting writing path?
I wrote my first stand-alone short story in July 2009 which, with several others, is now published in LASR ~~~
More recently I have discovered the challenging world of reviewing.
For as long as I can remember I've read romances, and am proud to be part of the 48% of readers who enjoy romances.
My first attempt at writing one, was confiscated by my teacher when they realised I was ignoring my homework for my 'great masterpiece'! Sadly I never saw it again! And so my teacher saved the great reading population from what was surely a great master-disaster.
Now I'm back... and delighted with the growing success of my short stories and full length novels. 2011 opens with the release of my sixth short story, Hogmanay, at LASR, and the release, on February 11th, of my second novel, Duty Calls. Also my fist venture into a 'longer-short-story of approximately 14k words, The Wrong Target, which is part of the 'Cupid Goes Wild' anthology, released by eTreasures and comes out in early February.

Sherry Gloag writes stories that zero into 'The Heart of Romance'.
And here are the BLURBS:

Duty Calls:-She’d saved his life
Rafe Hawk refuses to accept the inheritance, of a large English estate, and the title that goes with it, after his birth father’s death because the man chose duty over the woman he loved and their son.
So when he finds himself temporarily living at Kinsale Hall, he’s not prepared to trust anyone associated with the place, including Trudi Delaney and her daughter.
So why, when he looks into their eyes, does he suddenly remember a woman who vanished without a trace after saving his life one stormy night ten years earlier?
Now he could destroy hers.
Instinct warns Trudi Delaney the arrival of the contemptuous American architect at Kinsale Hall will change her life forever. Especially when she discovers he spends so much of his time in areas of Kinsale Hall off-limits to visitors.
Eleven years after escaping from her psychotic husband with a stranger, she’s still plagued by nightmares of events she can’t remember. Events such as, who fathered her beautiful daughter?
Now, more than a decade later, she is confronted by another stranger. Will this one destroy everything she holds dear?
Duty Calls Book Trailer = http://tinyurl.com/6fo3tt6


The Wrong Target:-
Headmistress, Tina Blackberry and Ryan Thomas can't control events after Ryan's daughter steals his coveted golden arrow and takes it to school, But put Cupid on the job and nothing can go wrong, or can it?
The Wrong Target Book Trailer = http://tinyurl.com/675d638

and The Brat: -

Gina Williams has a secret and prays it is buried with her childhood persecutor, Anna Kouvaris, as discovery will ruin her reputation as a famous children’s author. She soon discovers the son, Ben Kouvaris, new owner of her publishing company, has uncovered her past and is making demands. Will he ruin her career if she doesn’t comply?
Ben kouvaris is blown away by the unknown beauty at his estranged mother's funeral, and when his father demands he marry, immediately, to secure the family business, he knows just who he wants as his temporary bride. But can Ben persuade Gina to trust him?
The Brat Book Trailer = http://bit.ly/9O6j6C

BUY
Don't miss tomorrow's interview with Sherry!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Keep Fit for Writers

Anybody in a sedentary occupation should consider exercise options for a healthy lifestyle. For writers, however, I would suggest that it is even more important.
Why?
How many of us get so immersed in our writing that time passes without us noticing and we can be sitting at a desk/ computer for hours without even moving? I know I can.
At least in an office environment, one is more likely to take regular breaks, but often we have to consciously remind ourselves to do so. It is not always an easy feat, particularly when we are ‘in the zone’ and just want to carry on.
Routine is clearly the answer. Yet, although I have a writing routine, everything else comes second and I might set a target for exercise, but I am neglectful of keeping to it.
Motivation and discipline are key. If one cannot stick to a routine, perhaps a class or a gym is the answer. The downside, however, is that it is likely to eat into one’s precious time even more.
I am a lapsed Pilates class attendee, yet I used to go regularly one evening every week. Initially, it suited my routine well and the fact that most of the exercises were lying down was heaven! However, things started to go wrong for me when an ultra fit ex Forces couple joined the class and the tempo upped several notches. Competitive Pilates is a contradiction of everything it should be, yet this couple switched a button in the instructor and she seemed compelled to show them what she was made of. I groaned valiantly through the exercises, suffered weeks of backlash in the form of aching limbs, then finally conceded defeat. Surely I could do the exercises at home...
In theory, this is quite possible. However, at the time, my dog was still a puppy and seeing me lying on the floor was a cue for playtime, so I ended up with it jumping all over me, weaving in and out of my legs and... well, I suppose playtime was more appealing to me, too.
I subsequently retrieved my exercise bike from the garage. After all, I reasoned, cardio vascular exercise is probably more beneficial to me. Having dusted it down, I placed it in a discreet corner, dusted it again and generally cast it admiring glances, as if its very presence was an act of virtue. When I finally ventured on board, it took some time to establish a daily routine, but I did succeed. I set aside an exercise half hour at 3.30pm and I developed quite an effective technique of cycling to music. I found the music enabled me to focus on something pleasurable, lifting me to a higher plane where I could ignore the physical discomfort. The bike is situated by a large window with views over the garden, so that I can visualise myself cycling along country lanes with the wind blowing through my hair. An added benefit was that I found it conducive to creative thinking in that, by clearing my head of all the clutter, spontaneous ideas would occur without any conscious effort.
So why did I lapse?
Excuses:
Pre Christmas preparations are very time consuming
Post Christmas lethargy takes its toll and who feels like exercising in January, anyway?
I am preoccupied by writing etc etc

Currently, the bike has resumed furniture status, although I am gazing at it guiltily as I type.
Even the newspapers, which are full of ‘get fit’ tips at the moment, have not swayed me. It’s like having someone nagging in your ear - the more they persist, the more you switch off.
Yet,one should make attempts to keep fit and there are alternatives to formal exercise. A dog, for example, is a perfect reason for taking short walks , even walking up and down stairs is helpful and (wait for it) I have read that a half hour of strenuous housework can be as beneficial as formal exercise. Housework? The very word is enough to propel me towards the exercise bike.
Phew! That spark of enthusiasm died as quickly as it ignited. I am logging on to Amazon now ... hmm... perhaps I should get a Pilates dvd instead...

So, what do you do to keep fit?
Megan Johns
The Path of Innocence BUY'
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