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Friday, March 27, 2015

Hannah Rides Pegasus on a Race Track - #Excerpt by Marilyn Holdsworth @M_Holdsworth #WomensFic

***excerpt from the novel PEGASUS by Marilyn Holdsworth

Hannah slowed Pegasus to a walk as they entered the gate of the ranch's old training track at the far end of the paddock. Once inside the ring, Pegasus pawed the dirt eagerly, flicked his ears forward looking down the long stretch toward the first turn.

“Think you’ve seen somethin’ like this before, fella? I just bet you have.” She leaned forward to smooth his arched neck, tightened her grip on the rope and wound her fingers more firmly into his mane. “Okay boy. Let’s see what you remember.” Hannah crouched low on the horse, speaking softly as he pawed and pranced impatiently. Then suddenly she dug her heels sharply into his sides. “Go,” she yelled. “Go boy, go.” Her heels pummeled him and she slapped the rope against his neck.
Pegasus responded instantly, lunging beneath her into a full gallop, he bolted down the track. 

Thundering toward the first turn, he hugged the rail, his powerful stride lengthening as he rocketed on toward the backstretch. Hannah held on, hair streaming in the wind , her chanting words, “Go, boy go,” drown out by his pounding hooves. She clung to his neck , girl and horse melded into one as they streaked around the course.

 She caught a blurred glimpse of two figures standing by the rail as she flashed past. And when at last Pegasus slowed and she was finally able to pull him up, she saw Win vault over the fence. He reached her just in time to catch her as she slid to the ground.

“My God, Hannah, you could have been killed. What the hell did you think you were doing?  It’s a wonder you weren’t thrown and trampled. And Pegasus, you could have lamed him,” Win seethed.

You can read more about Pegasus at:

As a novelist, I draw on many real life experiences to provide background for my books. After completing studies in Literature and History at Occidental College, I became a staff writer on a travel magazine, and throughout my career I have traveled extensively all over the world. Because I love horses, I owned and trained them. I support horse rescue and wild mustang preservation. Based on my experience with horses and my research on abuse issues, I wrote Pegasus.

As a descendant of James Monroe, I did extensive research at the James Monroe Museum in Virginia about him and his wife Elizabeth Kortright Monroe. I also visited their home, Ashlawn/Highland in Albemarle County. This resulted in my novel, The Beautiful American. Making Wishes, was based partly on my experiences as creator, owner and operator of a greeting card company.

Making Wishes

Elloree Prince is an attractive, creative young woman who marries a wealthy businessman, Tom Randall. After courting his bride with unrelenting determination, Tom moves her into old-moneyed Oak View, where generations of Randalls have lived for years. Outwardly, Elloree appears to settle into raising their two sons within Oak View's stifling social structure, but inwardly, she yearns for her artistic work. 

An unexpected phone call from Mark Williams, her former employer, offers her the career opportunity of a lifetime, and she must make a choice. She is torn between her devotion to her sons and her love for her work. Her decision to return to Wishes, Inc. brings dramatic life changes to her and the people she loves.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Women's fiction
Rating – PG-13


"Abby Long is thrilled when she offers the winning bid for an antique desk at an auction. With its intricately inlaid woods and elegant style, the desk is perfect for Abby; it is the gift she promised herself to finally celebrate her thriving antique business. She has no idea that the antique desk holds a secret that will lead her on a fascinating, life-changing journey back in time.
When Abby discovers a hidden diary stuffed inside a secret compartment in the desk, she can hardly wait to read the spidery, faded script. As she carefully turns the tattered pages, she reads the captivating story of two remarkable women from opposite backgrounds who somehow manage to form an unforgettable bond against the backdrop of a fledgling America struggling to find its place in the world. Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, the wife of James Monroe, and Jasmine, a young slave girl, develop an extraordinary relationship as they are united by pivotal historic events, political intrigues, and personal tragedies.
 From a bucolic Virginia plantation to the bloodied, starving streets of post-revolutionary Paris, this powerful tale follows the lives of two courageous women from the past as they quietly influence—and inspire—a woman of today’s world."

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Historical fiction
Rating – G


Widowed at thirty, Hannah Bradley is a successful journalist focusing on animal abuse issues. An accidental meeting introduces her to lawyer, Winston Caughfield III. Drawn to Hannah’s gentle beauty and fierce commitment to her work, Win joins her in a fight to save wild mustangs from slaughter. Together they rescue a badly injured horse with a mysterious background. Hannah’s search to discover the animal’s true identity leads them into a web of black marketeering and international intrigue. 
Action packed with crisp colorful dialogue the story propels the reader to a race against time conclusion. Marilyn Holdsworth delivers a gripping tale of mystery, adventure and romance guaranteed to hold the interest and capture the heart. She brings true-life characters together with real-life issues to create a fast-paced irresistible story.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Contemporary fiction
Rating – PG
More details about the author
 Connect with Marilyn Holdsworth on Facebook & Twitter

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mike Hartner Discusses #SocialMedia Tools for an #Author @MHartnerAuthor #AmWriting #WriteTip

How To Network Online to Sell Your Book

First, I must print this disclaimer. I’m not a marketing individual. And I, James, the second book of The Eternity Series which will be released in September 2014, is only the second book that I’ve tried to market. So, everything has been trial and error. But, I will borrow heavily from’s Rachel Thompson, and several others, and the lessons they have taught me.
  1. You need an Online Presence. Gmail+, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest…. They all have their uses. Personally, I’m on FaceBook, and Twitter.
  2. Facebook has my personal page, where my family and friends reside, and then a Corporate page which is where I try to publicize The Eternity Series. And other projects that I have. also comes to mind. It’s also a separate corporate page. And the three pages share posts from each other.
  3. Twitter is my second social media channel. @MHartnerAuthor is my identity, since Rachel once said, it’s better to publicize yourself as an author than to publicize individual books, and keep changing the identity. Son’t confuse people. Publicize yourself as an author.
  4. First Rule of Social Media: It’s Social. Don’t Spam. Don’t spill every word saying ‘Buy my book’. Build relationships, show people your interests outside of writing. If you’re interested in Nutella, and Alaskam wilderness cabins, show that. If it’s quilting, crocheting and flowers you’re interested in, show that. Let people meet the REAL you.
  5. Pluggio and hootsuite are great tools. Pluggio allows you to ‘drip’ every few hours news topics of your interest. Hootsuite allows you to post on more than one site from a consolidated dashboard. Both are useful.
  6. Don’t expect everyone who follows you to remain. But help them by not including expletives in every second post, or every third word. Show them that you can enjoy life as much as it can frustrate you.
Social Networks allow you to reach out to a lot of other people. AS much as you want others to follow you, follow them. Find others with your interest. Other authors, other Nutella aficionados, other quilters, whatever… By following a wide range of others, a wide range of them will follow you.

BLOG, or get blog tours. Blog tours are GREAT exposure for your book. They usually have a wide and diverse cross section of reviewers, who are all interested, to some extent, in your writing.

HELP OTHERS. If you can help others with your lessons, do. If you can Share other’s posts, announcements, etc… chances are they’ll share yours. And your messages will get out to people you never expected.

90/10 Rule. At least 90 percent of your posts and blogs should be focused on things OTHER THAN selling your book. Great reviews are one thing you can announce more often. Share Reviews of books you’ve read. Even better if they’re current books (last five years). Even Better if you’re following the author when you post the review.

ENGAGE your audience. Snippets, comments, and reviews of everyone’s work are great things to post. Top Ten lists about your life, about your hobbies… all of these build audience.

And while you’re building audience, but not screaming BUY MY BOOK, chances are some people will buy it.

And that’s what makes social media so great. Being Social.


James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11. 
Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land. 
Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires? 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Mike Hartner on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

#Excerpt from A LIFE LESS ORDINARY by Victoria Bernadine @VicBernadine #AmReading #ChickLit

Leah watched with amusement as Zeke paced around her boardroom.
“I’m telling you, she won’t last a week! A more…prudish, repressed woman I have yet to meet! I doubt she’s done anything just for fun in her life!”
“Doesn’t mean she won’t go the full six months,” Leah replied mildly.
“Oh, please! She wears her hair in a bun! A bun! And if her face has seen makeup in the last ten years, I’ll eat my socks! She’ll get scared at the first loud noise and skitter home to safety.” He shook his head. “This is a non-story. Trust me.”
“Well, I think you should still take the trip. You can write this blog you’re currently working on if you want to–but you’ll probably be wrong.” She frowned thoughtfully. “You know…I wonder if she’d be interested in writing a guest blog.”
Zeke stopped in his tracks. “What?
“Sure,” Leah said, gaining enthusiasm. “That’s not a bad plan B. She could write updates of her journey–I mean, my subscribers are absolutely rabid about this–and absolutely passionate about you going with her if the poll results and the comments are anything to go by. Half want you to expose her as pathetic; the other half want you to be surprised and humbled and knocked off your high horse.”
“Some love you; some love to hate you–but they all want you to document this woman’s adventure–no matter how long it lasts, or what you learn.”
“Well, it’s a non-story–I’m telling you. She probably won’t even make it out of town. I doubt she’s ever been anywhere!”
“That’s…actually kinda sad.”
Zeke shrugged. “Yeah, well–those were the choices she made.”
Leah frowned at him. “You don’t know what she’s faced in her life. You shouldn’t be so judgmental.”
Zeke grinned at her. “Hey, that’s why you pay me the big bucks, you know–because I’m so judgmental.”
“You know, if I didn’t know that sometimes you can actually be a really nice, understanding guy, I’d think you were the biggest jerk that ever walked the planet.”
He shrugged again. “People don’t want to read the blog of a nice guy.”
“But they would love to see you taken down a peg or two.”
“Oh, like any tightly wound old lady could do that!” he scoffed.
Leah gave him a reproving look as she stood and walked over to him, a hand cupped around her ear. “Do you hear that? That’s the sound of fate taking aim right–” she poked him hard in the middle of the forehead–“there.”

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – ChickLit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with Victoria Bernadine on Twitter

GLIMPSES OF HEAVEN ON EARTH #Excerpt by John E. Wade II #AmReading #Motivation #NonFiction

From the chapter on freedom by co-author Charlotte Piotrowski:

“Until such time as we achieve heaven on earth, we must enjoy our freedoms responsibly. Our speech should not be harmful. Our religious practice should welcome those of all faiths (and those without religious faith). Our media should present unbiased truth and facts, rather than one-sided opinion. We must not abuse our freedoms, but rather enjoy them from a perspective of gratitude and wisdom. In doing so, we allow others to enjoy their right to freedom.

While Americans and those of many other nations, especially other democracies, already enjoy basic freedoms, many people around the globe are not equally blessed. Through peaceful means, we must support our worldwide brothers and sisters, as they work to achieve freedom from oppressive governments. We can do this by encouraging the education of all citizens. With knowledge comes power. And with power comes the strength and ability to change. In a heaven on earth, every person will enjoy freedom; and each person’s enjoyment of freedom will only serve for the betterment of the whole, and never to the detraction of anyone else.”

Glimpses of Heaven on Earth

Editor and author John E. Wade II has compiled a spiritual guide of invaluable insight for finding peace and meaning in life while making the world a better place for all. Along with co-authors Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, and Martin Rutte, this collection of enlightening essays and inspirational quotes from renowned thinkers and leaders throughout history provides the intellectual tools needed to live a more harmonious life.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Inspirational
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with John E. Wade II on Facebook

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

@GayleTrent on Listening to How People Actually Speak to do Dialogue #SelfPub #AmWriting #WriteTip

1)      Read, read, read.
Reading within your genre as well as within other genres will make you a better writer. See what works for you as a reader and what doesn’t. Incorporate the good traits and resolve to eliminate any bad habits you observe.
2)      Study writing blogs, books, and sites.
You might feel like you’re an expert once you’ve gotten your book published, but there’s always more that you can learn. Writer’s Digest, other authors’ websites, genre-specific magazines, and writing newsletters can help you understand what mistakes other authors are making and how to avoid those mistakes. For instance, one writing ezine often discusses disreputable publishers and agents, warning other writers to say away.
3)      Watch TV and movies.
Yep, you read that right. Watching television and movies helps you to understand what’s popular and can help you to see issues in ways you might never have considered. Let’s say you watch a detective program. It could give you insight into why your villain behaves as she does. Granted, your villain might not be a murderer, but her long history of abuse could explain her actions.
4)      Subscribe to agents’ and editors’ blogs.
They know the industry like no one else. If you want to know what’s going on in the publishing world, this is an excellent place to start.
5)      Follow Publisher’s Weekly on Facebook ( and Twitter (
6)      Learn to proofread.
In order to properly proofread your own work, you might have to read the story backward or in some other order to truly see the words. When we’re proofing our stories, we tend to see what we believe is there.  If our intention was to write, “We took the dog to the groomer,” then we’ll see that even if we’ve actually typed, “We too the dog to the groomer.” The eye skims right over that missing k, and the mistake isn’t highlighted as such by my word processing software.
7)      Learn to self-edit.
Self-editing differs somewhat from proofreading because it is more involved than correcting typos. Self-editing includes fixing flaws. Did your character say something that doesn’t ring true? Have you used the word jump ten times on the same page? Does your character behave in a way that isn’t faithful to her personality for no apparent reason? Once you’ve had your work edited by a professional, you’ll be more aware of what to look for. In the meantime, do a search for some helpful articles.
8)       Listen to how people actually speak.
To do dialogue well, you need to truly listen to people talking. This is another good thing about watching movies. The first time I picked up an Elmore Leonard novel, I thought, “Huh? This guy doesn’t follow the rules.” But his dialogue rings so true! He uses dialogue to create characters that are realistic.
9)      Experiment.
Write outside your comfort zone. If you don’t write poetry, try a poem to see what you can come up with. I took a creative writing class where students had to read a short story in a particular genre and then write a story in that genre. We had to write western, science fiction, romance, horror, mystery, and even how-to instructions. Stretch your limits—you might be surprised at what you can do.
10)   Write.
All the study in the world won’t make you a better writer if you don’t simply put your butt in the chair and write.
Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer is about to have the rug pulled out from under her….

Marcy can’t wait to see the new exhibit at the Tallulah Falls museum on antique tapestries and textiles, including beautiful kilim rugs. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to terror when, the day after the exhibition opens, she discovers a dead body behind her store, the Seven-Year Stitch, wrapped up in a most unusual fashion.

The victim appears to be a visiting art professor in town for the exhibit. Did someone decide to teach the professor a lesson, then attempt to sweep the evidence under the rug? Along with her boyfriend, Detective Ted Nash, Marcy must unravel an intricate tapestry of deception to find a desperate killer.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Cozy Mystery
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Amanda Lee on Facebook

"As Free as the Dolphin" - LUCIFER & THE INDIGO KIDS by @Lord_Ra_Krishna #Poetry #Philosophy


Soon I will be free...
As free as the dolphin

That swims in the Sea...
As free as a feather

That blows in the wind...
Sitting on the beach

Sipping coffee once again
With long
dread loc's...
And new tattoo's...

Smoking with Bob Marley
As my words help heal the earth...
My music playing around the world

Performing in front of thousand's...
Sharing my art with the planet

And speaking in the language
of the dolphins...

"This “new age” book of poetry reflects the diverse views and philosophies of it’s author Ra Krishna EL. It’s an intimate, humorous and thought provoking group of poems intended to evoke strong emotion. To quote the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, this style of poetry can be called “Zukunfts poesie“ which translates into “Poetry of the future”, where truly original ideas are presented thru poetry. Also known as post Nietzschean poetry.

It’s subjects include society, pop culture, love, religious dogma, God and the new age of Aquarius. This book was written and published during the false incarceration of its author in Chicago’s notorious Cook County Jail, the largest jail in the country."

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Poetry, Philosophy
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lord Ra Krishna EL on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Kirsten Mortensen on Reading Books Out of Curiosity @KirstenWriter #AmReading #Romance #Suspense

In the Mood: What Book Do You Want to Read Right Now?
By Kirsten Mortensen

Oh, how I envy people who know exactly what kind of book they like to read!

Because if you asked me what books I like, I’m not sure how I’d answer.

The problem is, my “taste” changes from day to day—even hour to hour—depending on all kinds of factors. The mood I’m in. What books I’ve been discussing lately with my friends. How my day went, even!

Because I’m a writer, I read some books out of curiosity. Although I enjoyed science fiction when I was in high school, for example, I didn’t touch it at all for many years. Now I’ve met some sci-fi fans and I’ve become curious about the genre. I’m reading a sci-fi book now by the novelist Sarah Hoyt, and I’ve picked up some classic sci-fi titles for my TBR pile. I love how it’s expanded my reading world!

Another type of book I enjoy is classic literature, but I have to be in just the right frame of mind to tackle it. So often, classics are denser and longer than genre or “poplit” books. I think of it like the difference between stopping at taco stand and booking a reservation at a 5-star restaurant. Both meals can be fun and satisfying, but one demands a bit more of a commitment. The next classic I plan to read: Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas.

Sometimes all I want is to escape. You know that feeling? I want to read something that just takes me away from day-to-day life—something that gives me a rest from the hassles of paying the bills, getting over a head cold, or whatever other little problems are bothering me at the time. For this, the prescription is a fast-paced, plot-driven book. When Elmore Leonard passed away, for example, I bought a couple of his novels, and wow, I enjoyed them. Fun, fast-paced, and often laugh-out-loud humorous. Perfect escapist books!

A related feeling I have, sometimes, is the desire to become aware of the reality of the non-physical or spiritual dimensions of life. I satisfy this by reading non-fiction books on spiritual topics or first-person accounts of spiritual experiences. I recently read a book by Mason Winfield on supernatural phenomenon in Upstate New York, and I loved how it made me slow down and think about the impressions the past leaves on the present.

I find reading non-fiction to be very settling, so I gravitate toward books about history as a way to feel calm.

So how about you? Do you look for different kinds of books depending on your mood?


A woman's worst nightmare

Drugged by something...that makes her think she's fallen in love.

All Haley Dubose has ever known is beaches and malls, clubs and cocktail dresses.

But now her father is dead.

And if she wants to inherit her father's fortune, she has to leave sunny Southern California
for a backwater little town near Syracuse, New York. She has to run RMB, the multimillion dollar
chemical company her father founded. And she has to run it well.

Keep RMB on track, and she'll be rich. Grow it, and she'll be even richer. But mess it up, and her inheritance will shrink away before she gets a chance to spend a dime.

Donavon Todde is her true love. But is it too late?

He's RMB's head of sales – and the more Donavon sees of Haley, the more he's smitten.
Sure, she comes across at first as naïve and superficial. But Donavon knew Haley's father. He can see the man's better qualities stirring to life in her eyes. And Donavon senses something else: Haley's father left her a legacy more important than money. He left her the chance to discover her true self.

Donavon has demons of his own.
He's reeling from a heartbreak that's taking far too long to heal. But he's captivated by this blond Californian, and not only because of her beauty. It's chemistry. They're right for each other. But has Donavon waited too long to woo this woman of his dreams? Because to his horror, his beautiful Haley falls under another spell. Gerad's spell.

A web of evil.

Gerad Picket was second-in-command at RMB when Haley's father was alive. And with Haley on the scene, he's in charge of her training. But there are things about RMB that Gerad doesn't want Haley to know.

And he must control her. Any way he can.

Romantic suspense for your Kindle

Will Haley realize that her feelings are not her TRUE feelings?
Does Donavon have the strength left to fight for the woman he loves?
Will the two of them uncover Gerad's plot to use RMB pheromones to enslave the world?
And even if they do – can they stop it?

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Romantic suspense
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kirsten Mortensen through Facebook Twitter