Tag Archives: authors

Historical inspirations behind SHANNON’S LAW – a very special ring

Thank you so much for letting me showcase my forthcoming steamy action-romance novel SHANNON’S LAW. It’s the second in my PASSION PATROL series – stories where sassy female cops lock up the criminals and always get their man.

Photo_A_Shannon's_Law_Tour_-_print_and_digital

February marks the start of my “Pinterest Reveal Virtual Book Tour” in the run-up to the launch on the 28th February 2014.

Every day there are feature posts on topics relating to SHANNON’S LAW on blogs all around the world. They’re all linked together on one big Pinterest Board. Each post replaces a ‘mystery’ silhouette that was posted in January. I saved all my notes and photos as I was writing, on a private Pinterest Board and now I can share them with you.

Today’s subject is: Inspirational Jewellery – A very special ring sold in 2013

Shannon's_Law_Post_21_Inspired_by_a_ring
Empress Joséphine’s engagement ring… just about 1 carat each stone. Sold in 2013 by Joséphine’s family in Fontainbleau, Paris. THE most romantic ring in history?

There is a fair bit of jewellery in Shannon’s Law. Some of it is new but some of it is pre-owned. Lovers of baubles will probably be aware that the price of new jewellery does not indicate its cost in terms of metal and gems. Anyone who has ever sold an item will know that the secondhand price is often a fraction of the original tag in the jewellers store.  There are some fabulous bargains to be had if you are prepared to consider something previously loved.

The above applies to most transactions. If the item was previously loved by someone famous all bets are off. During the writing of the story I was looking for a ring. There was already a Napoléon and Joséphine flavour to the narrative. While looking for a suitable object, the engagement ring given to Joséphine came up for sale at auction. Of course I had to step in and try to  buy it. It was a snip at $ one million. Sadly I didn’t have quite enough cash. Despite my personal  disappointment, one of the characters in the book did manage to make the winning bid. This is why I find fiction so appealing.

Looking at the ring I can imagine it on Joséphine’s finger. Napoléon was only a soldier in 1796 and it would have melted his credit card in the way that she had melted his heart. Somehow he got the cash. My theory is that it was in order to find the money that he went to war with half the world. The ring itself is beautiful. It is called a “toi et moi” style (“you and me”). The gold has aged to a gorgeous rose patina. It has a tear shaped sapphire alongside an inverted diamond of the same size and shape. It is a true work of beauty. It remained in Joséphine’s family until it was sold in March 2013 – the anniversary of two hundred and fifty years after her birth.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/napoleon-josephines-engagement-ring-sells-949000/story?id=18802074

BOOK BLURB

Shannon's LawWild child inner-city cop Shannon Aguerri walks a dangerous line between her methods and justice. When the bosses lose their nerve, after yet another maverick mission, she is transferred to green pastures to play out the role of a routine village cop. When she encounters signs of slave and drug trafficking she homes in on serious millionaire criminals.

As a loner she has attracted men but nothing has stuck. When she meets Spencer, the hunky and widowed Earl of Bloxington, there is an immediate rapport between them. Their social differences mean nothing to their passion and need.

Already in the mix is an upper class female rival – who has long plotted her way into the Earl’s bed. The jealousy is an evil shade of green and the anger is a violent scarlet.

Often inhibited by a sense of duty and honour, Spencer is slow to reveal his feelings. When Shannon confronts him with the need to choose between her word and that of her rival, he does not immediately support her.

All issues are set aside, when they are forced together to carry out a desperate rescue mission. Their love is stronger than everything ranged against them.

SHANNON’S LAW comes out on February 28th 2014 in print and digital formats for all e-readers.

Amazon are offering some great discounts for pre-orders of the paperback version
(29% off in USA, 12% off in the UK).

You can pre-order the digital version at a pre-launch special price from Nook, Kobo, and iTunes. It will also be available in all digital formats on Smashwords.

See this post and others from my tour as they go live on Pinterest.

Follow Shannon’s Law on Facebook.

Visit the Shannon’s Law Website for book details and pre-order information.

RAFFLECOPTER DRAW
Win Amazon vouchers, copies of the book PLUS a free gift for every entrant (see prizes below).

ENTER DRAW HERE: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/Mjg1OTEwYzI5YjYwMjA3ZWY2Y2EzZDEzODljNmNjOjE5/

The draw will be made at random, by Rafflecopter on the 7th March 2013.

Companion Cook-Book

In addition to SHANNON’S LAW, I’m launching a companion digital cook-book with illustrated recipes for all the meals from the novel.

It’s called COP’S KITCHEN – Read the love story and taste the romance!

To celebrate the launch of SHANNON’S LAW, there is a special FREE gift for you in my RAFFLECOPTER draw. As well as great, unique prizes to win, EVERY ENTRANT will get their own digital copy of – COP’S KITCHEN. There are many ways to get bonus chances – by commenting on this post, liking Facebook Pages etc.

ENTER DRAW HERE: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/Mjg1OTEwYzI5YjYwMjA3ZWY2Y2EzZDEzODljNmNjOjE5/

Photo_C_Shannon's_Law_Cop's_Kitchen_art_

Main Prizes in the Draw:

$30/£20/€25 Amazon Gift Voucher, 2 paperback copies of Shannon’s Law, 3 digital copies of Shannon’s Law.

Shannon’s Law comes out in paperback and digital formats for all e-readers
on February 28th 2014.

Photo_D_-_Shannon's_Law_all_Emma_Calin's_booksEmma Calin’s Website

Emma Calin’s Twitter

Emma Calin’s Facebook

About.me page: http://about.me/emmacalin

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4915751.Emma_Calin

*****************************

This post is part of the

“SHANNON’S LAW PRE-LAUNCH PINTEREST REVEAL VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR”

Follow the other posts in February to see the background to the story unfold.

 via the PINTEREST BOARD for Shannon’s Law

 or via the individual blogs around the world here.

Anneli Purchase talks about her novel Orion’s Gift

Anneli_Purchase
Anneli_Purchase

Authors are often asked what inspired them to write. For my novel “Orion’s Gift,” the answer is easy.

One winter, I was on vacation in Baja California, a state of Mexico, living in a travel trailer for three months. The sun and sea were glorious, and on days I didn’t feel like fishing, swimming, or snorkeling, I could go hiking in the desert. Life was easy and fun at this small beach where only about six other campers stayed.

One day an elderly woman arrived in a camper van with San Diego plates. She parked by the beach and never got out of her vehicle for the whole three days that she stayed there, preferring to sit in her van, smoking cigarettes and listening to audio tapes.

I wondered at her strange behaviour. Why would she drive all the way from San Diego and not get out of her van at this beautiful beach? Why was she inhaling that thick cigarette smoke when she had the cleanest air in the world right outside her door? What was she listening to? Maybe it was one of my novels on the audio tape and she just had to hear what happened next. I wish!

I had no answers and it bothered me that I couldn’t figure it out. I decided then, that hers would make a good story, if only I knew what it was. I imagined all kinds of scenarios and Orion’s Gift began to take shape.

Instead of this poor old strange woman, I created Sylvia, a young and beautiful California girl in her thirties. I gave her a reason for suddenly leaving her seemingly perfect life in Chula Vista, near San Diego. I couldn’t have her be without a romantic interest, so I created a man for her. While Sylvia and Kevin spent time star-gazing, watching the constellation of Orion, each kept a secret from the other. When the spouses they had deserted come looking for them, the young couple’s new love is tested and their lives are turned upside down

I still wonder about the woman from San Diego though. What was the real story? Probably, I’ll never know.

Orions's_Gift

Orion’s Gift is available at all amazon outlets and at Smashwords.com.

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de

Amazon.fr

Smashwords.com

 Anneli Purchase has written two other books, “The Wind Weeps” and “Julia’s Violinist,” which are also available on amazon and smashwords. You can find out more about them by visiting Anneli’s webpage at http://www.anneli-purchase.com

 

The Wind Weeps

 

Julia's Violinist

My Writing Process #mywritingprocess

a shadow in the past cover 500x773I’d like to thank my good friend, Scottish crime writer, Chris Longmuir for tagging me to take part in the #mywritingprocess blog post. I don’t have as impressive intro to my post as Chris does, but without further ado, I’ll tell you about my writing process.

You can read about Chris and her writing process at http://chrislongmuir.blogspot.co.uk/

What am I working on?

I have a few projects on the go at the moment. One is a time-travel romance which is the sequel to my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past. The other is a contemporary romance which I started a few years ago but put it on the back burner when events I had included in my book started happening. It was purely coincidence but it freaked me out so I’ve had to let it sit. What events were these you ask? I started writing this book shortly before the first helicopter ditched in the North Sea in the spring of 2009. Writing of such a thing, then it happening rattled me to know end, but at the same time it’s made the research on the subject much easier since it’s almost always in the news – especially when there have been other ditchings.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Imitation is a form of flattery but when it comes to writing, imitating someone else’s style and voice isn’t something I do. I think it’s my voice and the direction I come at things from that makes my writing unique. I live in Canada but write books set in Scotland – Aberdeenshire where my father was born. I think my love of the country and its people comes through in my writing.

Why do I write what I do?

Reading in any genre is an escape from the real world. I like to read romance in any form so that’s why I write it. It’s also a genre I feel comfortable writing. Although I like to read crime fiction, I know I could never carry off a full-length novel successfully.

How does your writing process work?

I’m what you call a plantster. I need to know the ending before I begin but otherwise, I don’t know where I’m going or how I’ll get there. I like the surprises that come from the unexpected directions I end up going in.

I don’t write every day and really should. I’m hoping to get back into that routine now that the New Year is here but so far it’s not gone quite according to plan. However, as an idea comes to me or I come across something in the news that will work in one of my works-in-progress, I jot it down in an email along with any pertinent links so that when I am ready to sit and write, I have my notes readily available.

~~~~~

In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to read these authors’ writing processes:

Gina Dickerson – Gina writes Young Adult and New Adult fantasy romance swirled with a huge dollop of adventure. She also writes romantic suspense, horror, short stories, and is a columnist for her local newspaper. http://ginadickerson.blogspot.com

Beverly Stowe McClure – Sometimes known as the “bug” lady, she is a former teacher who now writes stories for children and teens. http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal ~ SHANNON’S LAW by Emma Calin

SHANNON’S LAW – cover reveal

Shannon's LawThanks so much for hosting the Cover Reveal for my forthcoming contemporary romance SHANNON’S LAW. This is the second in my ‘Passion Patrol Series’ – steamy action-romances that feature sassy female cops who solve crimes, catch crooks and always get their man.

Blurb

Wild child inner city cop Shannon Aguerri walks a dangerous line between her methods and justice. When the bosses lose their nerve, after yet another maverick mission, she is transferred to green pastures to play out the role of a routine village cop. When she encounters signs of people and drug trafficking she homes in on serious millionaire criminals.  As a loner she has attracted men but nothing has stuck. When she meets Spencer, the hunky and widowed Earl of Bloxington, there is an immediate rapport between them. Their social differences mean nothing to their passion and need.  Already in the mix is an upper class female rival – who has long plotted her way into the Earl’s bed. The jealousy is an evil shade of green and the anger is a violent scarlet.  Often inhibited by a sense of duty and honour, Spencer is slow to reveal his feelings. When Shannon confronts him with the need to choose between her word and that of her rival, he does not immediately support her. All the same, when they are forced together to carry out a desperate rescue mission, their love is stronger than everything ranged against them.

Shannon’s Law USA | Shannon’s Law UK

(Pre-order paperback only at this stage)

I will be revealing snippets from the story, photos of places and people that inspired the venues and characters on Pinterest during my pre-launch book tour.  There are already some scrap-book cuttings posted:

http://www.pinterest.com/emmacalin/shannons-law-launch-reveal-on-pinterest/

 There is also news about the book on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/ShannonsLaw

(‘Likes’ are always appreciated…..)

I’m having two launch parties “Afternoon Tea At Bloxington Manor”. The first is online on the 28th February on Facebook and the second is LIVE at the English stately home that inspired the home of my hero on Sunday 2nd March.  A local favourite venue for me, Avington Park in Hampshire is steeped in history and tradition. (Think genuine Palladian style rather than Downton Abbey neo-Jacobean). The private owners have kindly agreed to open up for us with a tour of the house and then tea and cake – oh and launch the book of course!

Shannon’s Law Cover Reveal Draw

$30/£20 Amazon voucher

A pair of tickets to my Avington Park Launch Party 2nd March (UK only)

3 Advanced Review Copies of Shannon’s Law

EVERY entrant will receive a FREE gift of an audiobook of my short story Escape to Love.

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/Mjg1OTEwYzI5YjYwMjA3ZWY2Y2EzZDEzODljNmNjOjE4/

About Emma Calin
Emma CalinEmma Calin was born in London in 1962. She currently lives in France and the UK.
She has been writing since childhood and has won numerous local, national and international prizes for poetry and short stories.

“Knockout!” is the first of the “Passion Patrol Series” a stand-alone love story set against a backdrop of international gambling corruption and deception. Interpol cop Anna Leyton finds herself torn between love and duty when her professional and private life intersects. This book is now available in both paperback and Kindle formats.

“The Love in a Hopeless Place Collection” is a bargain anthology of 5 short stories and novelettes, available in paperback and digital formats.

“Sub-Prime” is a prize-winning hard hitting short story about courage, exploitation and love. It is a raw and brutal exposé of life at the bottom in the aftermath of recession.

“The Chosen” is also a short story, set in modern times where working people struggle to keep their dreams alive. A world where the promise of love motivates desperate measures.

“Escape To Love” is a ‘novelette’ (longer than a short story but shorter than a novella), a gritty urban romance with suspense and mystery but a love story at it’s core.

“Angela” a short story about a late-night taxi journey.

“Love in a Hopeless Place” a novelette about a middle-aged woman striving to find her true identity.

Emma Calin's booksAmazon links to books by Emma Calin

 Shannon’s Law USA  Shannon’s Law UK

(Pre-order paperback only at this stage)

Knockout! (Passion Patrol Series)

The Love in a Hopeless Place Collection

Sub-Prime

The Chosen

Escape To Love

Angela

Love in a Hopeless Place

 About.me page: http://about.me/emmacalin

Emma Calin Blog: http://www.emmacalin.blogspot.com

Emma Calin Website:  http://www.emmacalin.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emma.calin

and book page: http://www.facebook.com/ShannonsLaw

 Twitter:https://twitter.com/EmmaCalin

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/emmacalin/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4915751.Emma_Calin

The SHINE ON Award: 7 Random Things About Me

Melanie Robertson-King is the proud recipient of the prestigious SHINE ON Award in the ‘books involving her Celtic connections’ category.

Shine On AwardI’ve been nominated for the SHINE ON award! In order to accept the honour bestowed upon me by fellow Ottawa Romance Writer, Maureen Fisher, I have to share seven random bits of information about me with you – my readers.

So without further ado,

  1. Like my nominator, I’m an only child but both my parents came from large families. My mother was one of eight children and my father was one of twenty (his father was married twice and had 10 children with each wife).
  2. I’m a first generation Canadian. My father came to Canada as a Home Child through the Orphan Homes of Scotland.
  3. Not much of a surprise, but I love Scotland and all things Scottish and travel to the ‘auld country’ as often as possible, most recently this past August. I’m rather partial to a certain 18 year old Glenlivet single malt whisky and love haggis.
  4. I’ve never lived any further away from Brockville than 15 miles. Before I started school, I lived in a winterized cottage on the shore of the St. Lawrence River.
  5. I have a background in Computer Programming and work in payroll for an Eastern Ontario trucking company.
  6. I’ve been a story-teller since I was a kid. My cousins and I would gather in the woodshed at my grandmother’s in the dark and scare each other silly with ghost stories.
  7. I can live without chocolate. Yup, you read that right. If I have it fine and if I don’t, well that’s fine, too. Doesn’t say much for someone who writes romance.

The SHINE ON award is one that keeps on giving, so now it’s my turn to nominate the following worthy authors:

Nicky Wells – the ultimate Rock Star author who writes Romance that Rocks Your World

Janice Horton – Scottish Author who writes Contemporary fiction with humour and heart

Joanna Lambert – who writes Stories Written with Passion & Inspired by Music

And, you can read Maureen’s SHINE ON post here.

 

 

Lyndhurst Turkey Fair

Yup, you read that properly. A turkey fair.

I’ve never been before so this will be a totally new experience for me. There’s lots going on and not just turkey stuff, although there is a lot of that, too.

I’ll be at the library with some other authors selling my novel, A Shadow in the Past.

a shadow in the past cover 500x773Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages, powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

So, if you’re near Lyndhurst, Ontario this Saturday (Sept 21st) why not come to the turkey fair?


View Larger Map

And stop in at the library. I’d love to see you.

COVER REVEAL – Sophie’s Encore by Nicky Wells

COVER REVEAL FOR SOPHIE’S ENCORE PLUS EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY!!!

Hooray! Nicky Wells is here today to celebrate the cover reveal for her third book, Sophie’s Encore. Read on for:

The BLURB

The COVER

The EXCERPT

The GIVEAWAY

Here’s your chance to win an advance review copy of Sophie’s Encore or Rock Star Romance SWAG!

*****

Sophie’s Encore

Her rock star is waiting in the wings, but will he get a second chance?

It’s all change for Sophie Jones—only this time, there is more at stake than just her happiness.

Rock star extraordinaire, Dan Hunter, has been her patient and caring friend through the highs and lows since her wedding day, but now he figures it is time for her to start over. By stealth, the rock singer draws Sophie into the behind-the-scenes work for his band’s latest album. Through the days and weeks spent together at the mixing desk, Sophie discovers whole new horizons for her life, yet before she can even begin to explore them, she faces the very real threat of losing her rock star for good.

Join Sophie and Dan in Sophie’s Encore to find out how their journey will end…

Sophies_Encore
Cover design: Nicky Wells and Chad Lichtenhan
Cover image: Singer in the darkness © Dmytro Konstantynov | Dreamstime.com

Whoa! What do you make of this? And to intrigue you further, Nicky has shared this excerpt of Sophie’s Encore:

 Sophie’s Encore: Excerpt

My bedroom door opened slowly and Dan crept in. All thought of sleep forgotten, I flicked the light back on and was met by an astonishing sight. There was Dan, the rock star, legend for his antics on and off stage, clad in a demure pair of checked pajamas with a button-up top and a mismatched, stripy dressing gown. His feet were stuffed into fluffy slippers, and he clutched a bottle and two glasses in his hands.

“Come on,” he whispered. “Dinner is served.”

I giggled and left my bed, grabbing my own stripy dressing gown and a pair of thick socks.

“What are you doing?” I breathed into his ear, but he simply took my hand and pulled me down the dark corridor toward the open-plan lounge.

“Have a seat,” he invited me and gestured at the dining table, which was once again laid, although only for two, complete with candles and napkins.

He set down the bottle and glasses and scurried off to shut the lounge door. While he busied himself in the kitchen, I basked in the heat from the fire which Dan had re-stoked, and observed my rock star with some degree of amusement.

Within a few minutes, he brought a dish of smoked salmon bites to the table, followed by olive bread, a cheese board, various cold meats, olives, pickled anchovies, and prawns with some sort of aioli dip. He popped the cork on the bottle of champagne, poured two glasses, and sat down, satisfied at last.

“Now we can eat,” he announced. “Tapas. What do you think?”

I raised my glass. “Cheers,” I giggled. “So that’s what you meant earlier. I think it’s amazing. It’s like a midnight feast. I’m just waiting for matron to discover us and give us detention. Why all the secrecy?”

Dan speared a prawn and pointed it at me. “Well, for one, as you say, matron will certainly come and give us detention. Peter is very strict on my sleep regimen, you see.” He dipped the prawn into the aioli before popping it into his mouth. The beatific look on his face and his scrunched up eyes suggested he was enjoying this humble treat far more than was warranted.

He swallowed and cleared his throat. “And for another, I’m on a strict diet. Every last bit of cheese gets weighed, the carbohydrates counted, the sugar added up. It’s really tedious.” He grimaced.

I helped myself to some bread and salmon. “Tedious indeed, I can see that. But why? I thought you were supposed to eat lots and get better.” I chewed greedily, my tummy having given an impressive rumble.

Dan speared another prawn and added a mountain of cheese and bread to his place. “Bliss,” he murmured before explaining further. “I’m supposed to eat healthy, not lots. So Peter has taken it upon himself to reform the bad eating habits of a lifetime. Bless him, it’s what he’s paid to do. I’ve been going along with it, and I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty good. But…”

He grinned his school-boy grin, took a big mouthful of food, washed it down with a large gulp of champagne, and finished his thought. “Well, it gets boring. And I wanted to do something special with you. On my own.”

I burst out laughing, but quieted down when I saw the alarm on Dan’s face.

“Sorry,” I whispered.

“Peter’s bedroom is right next door there,” Dan whispered back. “And he’s a light sleeper.” He pointed his finger, and we sat in silence for a minute, straining to hear.

“I think we’re okay,” Dan finally concluded and resumed eating.

I giggled softly. “Naughty, naughty, us.”

“Ha, we’re not naughty yet,” Dan shot back, speaking softly as well. “I was working up to that part.”

He winked, and my heart skipped and jumped. He didn’t mean—he couldn’t mean what I thought he meant?

“What do you mean?” I bumbled, hoping for clarification, but Dan was enjoying himself.

“All in good time,” he teased. “Let’s finish our meal first.”

The Giveaway

Nicky wants to share her excitement about this cover reveal and upcoming release with you! She’s offering a giveaway — Enter for your chance to win:

One of TWO Sophie’s ENCORE Advance Review e-Copies

or

One Sophie’s RUN Mug

or

One Rock Star Romance Trilogy SWAG Pack featuring postcards and bookmarks

ENTER HERE:

Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY CLOSES 15 AUGUST AT MIDNIGHT BST.

The small print! Entrants must be aged 18 or over. Giveaway is open internationally. Winners will be drawn via Rafflecopter.

GOOD LUCK!

****STOP PRESS: Nicky’s just told me that her first two books, Sophie’s Turn and Sophie’s Run, are now available for only $0.99 (or equivalent) each to celebrate the cover reveal! Hurry ~ limited time only!! Book details below!!!*****

SOPHIE’S ENCORE: coming your way in e-book and paperback editions on 5 SEPTEMBER 2013!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About Nicky Wells

Nicky_NEWAuthorPic_April12_useforwebsiteNicky Wells is your ultimate rock chick author. Signed to US Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky writes Romance That Rocks Your World, featuring the rock star and the girl next door. Nicky’s books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill!

Like Sophie, her leading lady, Nicky loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s a wife, mother, occasional knitter, and regular contributor to The Midweek Drive show on Lincoln’s Siren 107.3 FM. Rock on!

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Loveahappyending.com Lifestyle | Romantic Novelists’ Association | Sapphire Star Publishing | Amazon | Goodreads

Find Nicky’s Rock Star Romance Trilogy here:

Part 1~Sophie’s Turn: So the rock star wants to marry her, but she’s already engaged…

AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.COM| BARNES & NOBLE

Part 2~Sophie’s Run: Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…

AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.COM | BARNES & NOBLE

 

 

Interview with Vivian Zabel, Founder/Owner of 4RV Publishing

Fellow 4RV author, Holly Jahangiri, recently interviewed Vivian Zabel. They chatted about the company and the exciting PUSH It Forward Contest that Staples is running in support of small business.

You can read Holly’s interview below, or on her blog at this link.

Interview with Vivian Zabel by Holly Jahangiri. (reprinted with kind permission)

I recently chatted with my friend Vivian Zabel, founder of 4RV Publishing, the company that published my first two children’s books, Trockle and A Puppy, Not a Guppy.

“Tell me a little bit about 4RV Publishing,” I asked.

“4RV Publishing came into being when as an author I realized that writing had few choices: a major publisher through an agent, subsidy publishing, self-publishing, or vanity presses. I wanted the opportunity for good writers to be able to have quality books published, traditionally. Authors also deserved to have a personal connection to the company that adopted their ‘babies.’” Vivian smiled, knowing that’s the number one reason I chose 4RV Publishing for Trockle, a story which I had written for my son and one that I did not want to sell all rights to or lose all creative say over.

“How many books do you publish each year?”

“How many we publish each year depends on several conditions: staff availability, funding needed, and what submissions are worth producing. In the less than six years we’ve been in existence, we have published a total of 101 books, some of which are no longer under contract (we put a limit on the number of years we have publication rights). We have 26 more titles to prepare and publish this year. We’ve had to close submissions for children’s picture books until 2015, except for authors under contract or invited to submit, because our illustrators can only do so many books during a year.”

Staples is celebrating small businesses in May and they are awarding digital marketing prize packages each worth $50,000 to three small businesses as part of the Staples PUSH It Forward Contest. 4RV Publishing has entered this contest, and you can help! By voting every day for your favorite small business, you increase your odds of being randomly selected to win a $1,500 Staples Voter Prize Package.

Voting ends May 31.

Link to vote for 4RV Publishing: http://tinyurl.com/a7hrdmv

“What awards has 4RV Publishing or its books won?”

“We have received a number of awards and honors the past few years,” said Vivian. Asking her to talk about the accolades earned by books her company has published seems to give her almost as much pleasure as asking her to talk about her grandchildren’s accomplishments. “The most recent were two books which received the Children’s Classical Literature Choice Award: Life on Hold by Beverly Stowe McClure – a book is now in the running for another CCL award – and Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi, illustrated by Aidana WillowRaven, which won a CCL silver medal also. Viji Chary’s Porcupine Seeds, illustrated by Bridget McKenna, received the Mom’s Choice Award for Excellence.

“The 2009 Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction went to Kirk Bjornsgarrd for Confessions of a Former Rock Queen.

“We had a number of books place in the Homeland New Day book competition: your book, Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard, took 1st in Children’s Books, and A Puppy, not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw, received 2nd in Tween books. Another author’s books took 1st in Novel and in Young Adult. One book received 2nd place at the North Texas Book Festival. Aldric & Anneliese, by Harry E. Gilleland, received honors from the Military Writers organization. Time Pullers, by Horton Deakins, placed in the top five for the USA Book Awards for Science Fiction. We have books entered in other competitions that haven’t released the winners list yet.”

“‘Another author’s books’? Don’t you remember the titles and who wrote them?” I pressed. I know Vivian doesn’t forget the names of the authors who’ve written award-winning books published by 4RV Publishing. It turns out, they were hers.

“Sure, I remember the titles: 1st in Novel was Midnight Hours by…me. 1st in Young Adult was Prairie Dog Cowboy by…me; 2nd at North Texas was Base Stealers Club by…me.”

I laughed. Vivian is a retired teacher, a mom, and a grandmother. She’s proud of her own books, but would rather shine the spotlight on others’ accomplishments. As the owner of 4RV Publishing, those are the kudos she’d rather promote. Next, I asked the million-dollar question: “Do you charge authors anything to publish their books?”

Vivian shook her head. “No, we do not charge authors anything to publish their books, or for any of the services needed to prepare their books once under contract.”

“I hear things are kind of rough in the publishing industry, these days – even some of the big publishing houses are opening subsidy imprints.”

“One reason publishers get in financial difficulties is the return policy. If a bookstore orders many more copies than they know they will sell, they can return left over copies years and years later and have their money returned. Publishers have to pay that money back, either through Ingram or their own distribution system. 4RV finally did away with returns after being hit with a huge bill for books returned that we could find no record of being bought, much less when they were bought. Major publishers pay millions every year for returned books. Of course that hurts. People aren’t buying books as much as they once did, and it has nothing to do with eBooks being available. It’s the economy. So many Big Guys are opening subsidy imprints. They need the income.”

“So why don’t you do the same?”

“Yes, we need the income, too, but we want the best books possible to be under our imprint. Once we accept payment for doing our job, putting out quality books, we lose at least some control over what is published under our name. We want the authors who deserve to be published to have their books in print and then in electronic format without a black mark against their names, which, no matter what some people say, still exists for self-published books. We try to give our authors the best chance to be successful we can.”

“Is it true that even the editors and illustrators work for royalties? So if books don’t sell well, they don’t get paid, either?”

“True and true. However, the owner of the company doesn’t even take royalties, nor does the head of the editorial department. We believe in the company enough that we leave what earnings we have in 4RV. What staff we have are dedicated to our cause. Of course we lose people quite often. They use 4RV to build a good resume and go on to bigger and better things. I can’t blame them, just ask they leave nicely without putting the company in a bind with unfinished projects. However, some stay even when they get positions elsewhere and do a few projects a year.”

“You’re an author, too – does owning the publishing house mean automatic acceptance and fast-track to print for your books?”

“Excuse me as I laugh. All submissions are sent to acquisition editors anonymously, no identification anywhere on the manuscript. One of my submissions was rejected — yep, rejected with malice. The head of the editorial department asked if the manuscript should be sent to a different acquisition editor, and I said, “No, she had valid reasons, and when I have time, I’ll revise and resubmit.” I’ve never had time. In fact, since 4RV was created, I have had only five books published by the company, and they were back when we had few submissions. I will have the first book come out later this summer, the first since early 2010, and it was in the works for three years.”

“So, 4RV is entered into the Staples PUSH It Forward Contest – what would you do with the prize money if you win?” Personally, I can’t think of many businesses that are more deserving of this “push” from Staples.

Vivian has big ideas on a shoestring budget. $50,000 lets her dream bigger – and lesser-known authors stand to benefit, too. “We need to upgrade all our technology and use digital accounting and record keeping. We would be able to create more eBooks. We need to hire people trained in digital marketing and promote our books even more effectively. The prize money from Staples would give us the “push” we need to compete in today’s publishing world.”

Help 4RV Publishing Win Staples’ PUSH It Forward Contest

You can help a deserving small business win $50,000 – and maybe win $1500 for yourself, while you’re at it! Voting is easy:

  1. Go to http://tinyurl.com/a7hrdmv – this is Staples’ Facebook page already set up for you to vote for 4RV Publishing. If you have not already “Liked” Staples’ page on Facebook, that’s the first step; please click the Like button:

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  1. Next, you’ll be taken to this page, where you can Vote for 4RV Publishing – just click Vote now > :4rv-staples-2-300x169You will be asked to give Staples’ app some permissions (Might as well – you can always revoke them later, but they ask only for access to your public profile data – something everyone can see, already – and to your friends’ list, presumably so that you can share this with them and promote the contest via Facebook. I have plenty of friends participating and have not seen any of them “spamming” me in the name of Staples, so I feel pretty confident in granting the requested permissions.)

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  1. Last, but not least, when you vote, you’ll have a chance to enter to win $1500 for yourself – how cool is that? Just for helping a small business achieve more. We could all use this kind of “push,” right?

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Want Some Good Books?

Shop direct from the 4RV Publishing book store from the comfort of  home at http://4rvpublishingcatalog.com (many of these titles can also be found on Amazon and BN.com, as well, though I prefer to shop direct when possible).

Submissions guidelines can be found at http://www.4rvpublishing.com/manuscript-art-submissions.php

Questions?

I’ll bet Vivian Zabel pops over here from time to time, and would be happy to answer them! You might also enjoy reading her blogs: 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News or Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap.

 

 

REVIEWS – authors love to get them

There’s nothing like basking in the glory of a 5-star review of your novel. Even if it’s a 1-star stinker, at least you’ve moved someone to write why they didn’t care for your book. I’ve been told, too, you haven’t arrived until you’ve received one of these unpleasantly aromatic odorous reviews.

I’ve been approached by people in the supermarket who have bought my book and told me in the middle of the canned veg aisle how much they loved it, how I twisted the plot and kept them turning the pages so they couldn’t put the book down.

As authors these are the things we truly love to hear or read. It reinforces our belief that we’ve written a quality piece of work that resonated with that particular reader.

But when you don’t get that feedback – whether it be a written review, or a reader makes a point of telling you face-to-face how much they enjoyed your book – you don’t know.

When you read a book (especially if it’s a new-to-you author), do you take the time to write a review and post it on amazon, Goodreads or other sites?

 

COVER REVEAL – The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

“Imaginative and fast-paced. Couldn’t put it down!” – E.G. Foley, New York Times Bestselling author of The Gryphon Chronicles

“This well-written and intriguing fantasy was a delight to read. I can’t wait to read the second novel in this series!” – Linn B. Halton, author Never Alone on The Star Child by Stephanie Keyes

When all is lost, he will have to make the ultimate decision.

Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to a Celtic goddess. Now everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when Calienta, Kellen, and friend, Gabriel Stewart, find themselves on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why.

Suddenly, Kellen finds himself stuck in the middle of another prophecy that questions everything about him including where his loyalties lie. Plus, Calienta’s more than a bit different; she’s making choices that he doesn’t understand. And Gabe, his best friend? He’s started doing all sorts of freaky things that make Kellen question who he really is.
Kellen and Calienta will fight to stay together and keep the hidden part of the prophecy from becoming reality.

When the ultimate power is within reach, which side will he choose?

Release Date: 12-April-2013, Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Sounds good? If you liked Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, Need by Carrie Jones, or Fallen by Lauren Kate, you will love this book!

Stephanie KeyesAbout the author:
Stephanie Keyes has been addicted to Fantasy since she discovered T.H. White as a child and started drumming up incredible journeys in her head. Today, she’s still doing the same thing, except now she puts those ideas down on paper.

When she’s not writing Stephanie is also a graphic designer, presenter, teacher, musician, avid reader, and Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she’s best friend to her incredible husband of eleven years.

TheStarChild200x300Keyes is the author of The Star Child YA Fantasy series, which currently includes The Star Child and The Fallen Stars. She is currently hard at work on the third book in the trilogy.

Interested in joining the blog tour from 6-Apr? Click here to register!

Blog Tour Registration Link

 

Giveaway (Open to US, UK and Canada)

Giveaway
1 wired star bookmark, 3 Star Child (Book 1) ebooks and 5 The Fallen Stars eBooks

Rafflecopter Link