Tuesday, January 24, 2012



My guest today is Shawna Thomas, the fabulous author of Altered Destiny. So HERE'S SHAWNA.



What sells a book? Is it a gorgeous cover? Word of mouth? A fantastic blurb or back cover copy? Hours spent in various forms of social media?
As a writer, we consider this question quite seriously. Writing books, putting words on paper, is a passion, but if those books don't sell, well, you know that starving writer stereotype? Yeah, that doesn't work so well when you have a mortgage and children.
We have no control over some of these factors. Unless you're self-published, the publishers choose the cover. Word of mouth? You can tweet and facebook yourself silly and, let's face it, just annoy people. So what do you do?
Want to know my advice?
Write the best damn book you can and when you're done, write the next one. I know it sounds simplistic, and no one can buy your book unless they know it exists, but if you write a good book, readers will talk about it. Even though I'm a writer, ultimately, I'm also a reader. I write what I want to read. I read what I wish I'd written, and when I get excited about a book I've read, I tell my friends.
So what gets you excited about a book? What causes you to buy it in the first place? Let me know in the comments. On January 31st, I'll randomly select one of you to receive an Altered Destiny magnet.
ALTERED DESTINY BLURB: Selia has run her family's tavern since she was fifteen and can hunt and fight the equal of any man. When she rescues a badly wounded man and nurses him back to health, she has no idea she's about to change not only her life, but also the destinies of two peoples...
The battered warrior is Svistra—a race of bloodthirsty savages determined to destroy her homeland. Or so the stories claim. Jaden reveals a different truth: how his ancestors were driven into the barren northern mountains. Now they are strong and war parties are pushing south wanting their land back.
The son of a Svistra Commander, Jaden is looking for a way to bring peace to both humans and Svistrans. He tries to ignore his growing passion for Selia, but when she is captured he has to decide what he would be willing to sacrifice to save the woman he loves.
*Shawna's eBook is available at Amazon, Carina Press, Barnes& Noble and wherever eBooks are sold.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Reginald Hill

We lost one of the most prolific and best crime writers. Reginald Hill who wrote 24 novels featuring Superintendent Andy Dalziel and his Sergeant, Peter Pascoe passed away on January 17. They were quite a team. In reading his obit, I learned that there are several books in the series that I haven't read as yet. I will soon be ordering them. Hill also wrote more than 30 non-series novels under pseudonyms and espionage novels using the name Patrick Ruell. I shall put them on my TBR list.

Hill received Britain's' Crime Writers Association's lifetime achievement award, the Diamond Dagger in 1995. Well deserved. He will be missed.

Have you read his books?


My eBook cozy mystery titled Scene Stealer is available through Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Carina Press and wherever eBooks arre sold. An audio version ahs been produced by

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Saturday, January 21, 2012


Jerome, an opossum, made yesterday's New York Times. It seems Jerome decided to try out New York's subway system. He boarded in Brooklyn and traveled the rails all the way to the Bronx on the D train. Managed to get a car all to himself by simply baring his teeth--he is one smart possum. Hmm...I wonder if I could get more space by baring my teeth. Jerome was locked into the car for nine hours waiting to be released. Though hungry, I'm sure, and cold, he achieved his objective--finally being released at 205th street in the Bronx. He was named for Jerome Avenue--the Avenue close to the rail yard where trees and shrubs can be found. Perhaps he's an Anglophile hooked as most Americans are on the television series, "Downton Abbey," and set off to find a bit of history at the end of the line. Perhaps he thought Jerome Avenue was named after Jenny Jerome-the American heiress-- who married Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill and gave the world Winston.

I hope Jerome found what he was looking for and wish him every happiness.


Elise Whose cozy mystery titled Scene Stealer is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Carina Press and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version has been produced by

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Why do shivers rubdown the backs of many people on Friday the 13th? The phobia is called friggatriskaphobia. Frigga is the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named. Triskaphobia means fear of the number thirteen. The fear dates to times long past. The 14th century's Canterbury Tales speaks of unluckyFridays and many people won't drive or fly or begin a new undertaking. Some stay at home all day--often in bed. Then--since the 1800s--there are the Black Friday's of stock market crashes when investors lost everything. Some sources claim that in the United States there are 21 million people with that fear.

But today, Thursday the 12th is considered by numerologists to be a complete number--twelve months in a year, the twelve tribes of Israel, twelve hours of the clock. I remember passing a math test on a Friday the 13th--not my best subject and so no fear of the day after that. No fear of black cats, or spilling salt--just spit over your left shoulder--but I won't walk under a ladder.

How about you? Any superstitions?



My cozy mystery eBook is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Carina Press and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version has been released by

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Friday, January 6, 2012


A new year and I woke up and thought about how lucky I am--actually how lucky every person that chooses a career he or she loves will be. Most authors will never make a financil killing but we're happy to make a living. I know we all remember the first short story or article we've had published and the first one we received a check for. I ran around my apartment yelling, "I'm a writer. Someone actually paid for my writing." Buried in a box of momentos is a magazine with my first story published (a fictionalized story about memories and my family) and a photocopy of the first check I received (for an article on tent theatre in Pennsylvania.) A supportive rejection from the editor of a well-known theatre magazine--who took the time to write me--encouraged me to send the article to another magazine. Blessings on his head, I think of him often. I offer a cyber-toast to all writers. A prolific and happy 2012 to all. Do you remember your first published piece?



My first cozy mystery titled, Scene Stealer is available at Barnes&Noble, Amazon, Carina Press and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version has been produced by

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Monday, January 2, 2012


Cheetah, who appeared in Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan has left this world. There's a disagreement about when and where he passed on. A refuge in Florida claims he was eighty and came from the Weissmuller estate while others say he passed on many years ago. It doesn't matter because many people mourned the passing of the chimp who had given them happiness and came to the service to pay their respects. Cheetah brought back memories of wonder and childhood fun. What child hasn't wanted to swing through the trees with Tarzan and make friends with a chimp? Who hasn't thought about communicating with another species?

At the zoo in Albuquerque, I stopped before the glassed in enclosure of a charming ape. A docent, who passed by, told me the ape was extremely curious and would love to know what was in my handbag. I opened it and showed her a notebook and my cosmetics--a brush, lipstick, mirror--I had a most enjoyable time and I think she did too. Then I became aware of a crowd surrounding us--our private time was over.

I became distressed at the zoo in San Diego. My eyes and the eyes of a gorilla holding her baby met and as fine as her enclosure was, it was tight. Not as large as you might think at first and no enclosure could be large enough when your freedom to roam is restricted and I suddenly realized how unhappy she was.

So Cheetah and all the Cheetahs who have left our world. rest in peace and Thank you for all the laughter and love you have given us.


Elise whose cozy mystery eBook titled Scene Stealer is available at Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes&Noble and wherver eBooks are sold. An audio version has been produced by

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!