Monday, 31 January 2011

New Book Release Coming Soon!

'Mum on the Run'
by Fiona Gibson



Release date: 17th February 2011
Published by Avon Harper Collins

The dreaded mums’ race at school sports day – every mother’s worst nightmare!
Laura Swan hopes to wriggle out of it – but her daughter’s not taking ‘no’ for an answer. Racing against the super-fit mums is bad enough. What Laura hadn’t bargained for was spotting her husband Jed, smirking on the sidelines with his delectable colleague Celeste…Laura decides it’s time for drastic action. She steals her son’s trainers, drags herself around the local park – and gets a lot more than she bargained for when she finds herself a cute new running buddy called Danny… Mum on the Run will have you cheering on Laura as she desperately tries to rediscover her true-self and her pre-motherhood, wobble-free tum!

Fiona Gibson is an author and journalist. Originally fromYorkshire, she started her writing life at the age of seventeen on Jackie magazine. She lives with her husband and three children in Lanarkshire, Scotland and this is her fifth novel.

New Book Release Coming Soon!

'If Looks Could Kill'
by Beverly Barton


Release date: 17th February 2011
Published by Avon Harper Collins

The victims are found face-down in the murky waters of Cherokee Pointe, Tennessee. The
murders all share the same characteristics: all naked except for the black satin ribbon tied around their necks. And each murdered woman is a redhead… Reve Sorrell has come to Cherokee Pointeseeking answers. As the serial killer leaves another chilling calling card, Reve turns to Sheriff Jacob Butler to help her unravel the deadly secrets of the past. But one person will do anything to stop her – and they are closer than she could ever imagine…

An avid reader since childhood, Beverly Barton wrote her first book at the age of nine.
Since then, she has gone on to write over seventy novels and is a New York Times bestselling author.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Winner of the 'Highest Stakes' Book Giveaway!


would like to say a great big thank-you to everyone who either joined my blog as a new follower, or were already a follower and entered this draw and posted a comment! For those of you who have not won this time, there are plenty more giveaway draws to come. Please keep visiting this blog and entering the Giveaway draws. You never know your luck, you could be our next winner!

I visited random.org earlier today and the winner is, drum roll!!!

Magely Guerrero

Congratulations!

I will contact the winner for their postal details. If I have not been able to make contact with the winner within 48 hours of this post, another winner will then be drawn. Thanks again to everyone who entered this draw and who follow my blog. Happy reading!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Nestor Maronski Case Concludes???



If you’ve read my blog before, or hung out on the BestsellerBound message board,  you might be familiar with Nestor Maronski! We’ve had a lot of fun with Nestor,  the miserable book criticwhose mission is to destroy all Indie authors. He and some of his victims have made recent appearances on a number of various blogs including my own. 

If you want to catch up with the complete story about Nestor Maronski, there are now 25 free PDF copies of 'Cutting the Fat' the brand new release by Maria Savva and Jason McIntyre and a 'Nestor Must Die' t-shirt up for grabs on Darcia's blog. Do you know why Nestor needs to die? if not, you really should read Darcia's post and find out more at: quietfurybooks.com/blog
'Cutting the Fat' is also now available for purchase in e-book format from: amazon .com
Happy reading!!


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Winners of 'The Lost Relic' International Book Giveaway!

The Winners!


I would like to say a great big thank-you to everyone who either joined my blog as a new follower, or were already a follower and entered this draw and posted a comment! Again I wish that I could send everyone who entered this draw a book, but there were only to be three lucky winners! For those of you who have not won this time, there are plenty more giveaway draws to come. Please keep visiting this blog and entering the Giveaway draws. You never know your luck, you could be our next winner!

I visited random.org earlier today and the three winners of a copy of Scott Mariani's 'The Lost Relic' are, drum roll!!!

Karen
Silent Raven
Deepali



Congratulations!


I will contact the winners for their postal details. If I have not been able to make contact with the winner within 48 hours of this post, another winner will then be drawn. Thanks again to everyone who entered this draw and who follow my blog. Happy reading!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Author Interview with Emery Lee and International Book Giveaway!

Interview with the Historical Fiction author Emery Lee and International Book Giveaway!



It gives me great pleasure to welcome and introduce you all to the Historical fiction author Emery Lee. Emery Lee is a member of ‘Romance Writers of America’, ‘Georgia Romance Writers’, and ‘The Historical Novel Society’. She is married with two children and currently resides in NE Georgia.


Combining meticulously researched historical settings and love of a great romantic tale, Emery Lee fictionally explores the Georgian era in her distinctly 18th century voice within her writing.


Emery’s first novel ‘The Highest Stakes’ is a tale of thwarted lovers and horseracing, Emery transports the reader to a world where racing and breeding were the obsession of the uppermost elite, and a match race might easily replace a duel in settling a point of honor. Upon this high stakes turf of Georgian England and Colonial Virginia, a tale of drama, danger, thwarted love, and retribution unfurls…

TSR: A very warm welcome to you Emery, and very big thank-you from us all at ‘The Secret Writer’, for taking some time out of your normal schedule to talk to us today.

EL: Thank you so very kindly for inviting me to chat with you at ‘The Secret Writer’!

TSR: Emery, can I ask what kind of books did you like reading as a child?

EL: I have loved reading from a very early age, and remember stopping at the public library several times a week on my way home from school from the age of 8 years. I also fell in love with horses at this time and devoured every horse book I could get my hands on. Walter Farley's Black Stallion series, Marguerite Henry's tales of the Chincoteague ponies, Black beauty, etc. I also loved fairy tales and folk lore at that age, especially the Black Caldron series by Lloyd Alexander.

As a pre-adolescent I became interested in mysteries. I loved Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. In my teenage years, I began reading many of the classics- Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Shakespeare. I also fell in love with the gothic and suspense stories of Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart, as well as discovering Nora Lofts, Daphne Dumaurier, and the Bronte sisters. As for romance, a close friend introduced me to the regency romances of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer both of whom I still love.

TSR: What made you decide to take up writing professionally?

EL: To be truthful, writing wasn't something I could have imagined doing in my wildest fantasies! I've always loved to read, but had NEVER done any creative writing until three years ago, when I began experiencing a great deal of frustration in my career. I felt stifled in my work and started writing just as a creative outlet. Interestingly, I was literally riding up a mountain on horseback when I got the inspiration for the novel that would become ‘The Highest Stakes’. Similar to many other writers, I kept dreaming snippets of my story. It wouldn't let me go- so I began to research and to write it.

TSR: Emery, how do you go about preparing to write your Georgian era historical novels?

E.L: When I submitted the first draft of ‘The Highest Stakes’ to my editor Deb Werksman at Sourcebooks, she gave me one very clear injunction, “Build your world.” I took this completely to heart, and from that moment, have made it my onus as an author to bring my era, the Georgian period, vividly to life.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what is a writer, if not an artist with words? One who takes the bank canvas of paper to bring to life sounds, smells, and vivid imagery in the reader’s mind, while using only the stroke of the pen (or the tap of the keyboard, if you will!)

As a writer of historical fiction, creating a setting equally as compelling as the characters is one of the biggest, but most important, challenges. But how does one do that when all time has left for us are dusty old history tomes documenting dry accounts of events and lives of people long dead?

I began my journey by first immersing myself in the 18th century as history relates it. My purpose was to better understand the major events that impacted the lives of everyday people, and to establish a firm timeline in my own mind to set my story.

Some of the major events of the Georgian era included the Jacobite uprising of 1715, the South Sea Bubble that caused economic devastation in the early 1720’s, the trade conflicts of the 1730’s that resulted in a naval war with Spain (The War of Jenkins’ Ear) at the end of the decade, later burgeoning into a greater war on the European Continent, India and the Americas. (The War of Austrian Succession in the 1740’s and the Seven Years war in the 1750's.)

This age also saw the overthrow of Robert Walpole, the first de facto Prime Minister, and the invasion of Bonnie Prince Charlie leading to another Jacobite Uprising in 1745. (Whew! That’s only the first half of the century!!)

From all of this military and political history, I moved on to the society and culture of the times to include literature, art and music. I read plays by John Gay and Colley Cibber, as well as novels by Henry Fielding and Samuel Richardson. I closely studied the satirical art of William Hogarth, who was not only a great artist, but a brilliant and biting social commentator.

Lastly, and most importantly, I read diaries, letters, and memoirs, personal accounts of lives, events, and of battles, works surviving the ages, in which the true voices of their subjects yet live, endeavouring to adopt the style and manner of the real people of the age. Having laid this very solid foundation in world building, I finally felt prepared to move on to the true subjects of my novels.

Since my first novel, ‘The Highest Stakes’, is set in the horseracing world, I sought to learn as much as possible about the breeding, care, and training, of the 18th century race horse. As a lifelong equine lover, I was especially driven to answer the questions: How did the thoroughbred horse come into being? Who were the men who raised and raced this magnificent specimen of nature? What compelled them to spend and to wager fortunes on this obsession? I decided to answer all of these questions and more in the context of a love story!

For my upcoming ‘Fortune’s Son’, a spin-off of my first novel, the foundation of the era was already laid, but I had yet to worm my way into the Georgian gambling world- not just cards and dice, mind you! The gentlemen of Georgian England bet on EVERYTHING! This meant learning all about the games, the rules and the “cheats” to recreate the gaming tables, rattling dice boxes, and the spinning E-O wheels, as well as the stench, and blood of the cockpits and pugilism rings.

As my story evolved, it was also necessary to explore the legal world in regard to a peer’s privilege, inheritance and entailment law, marriage, divorce, bankruptcy, and debtor’s prison!

I hope I have provided a strong sense of how the small details and historical accuracy in the framework can help the setting of a historical novel to become as compelling as the characters themselves. It is also my dearest wish that the following excerpts from my work will thoroughly entertain as well as give you a true flavour of this bygone Georgian era.

For excerpts from ‘The Highest Stakes’, the upcoming Fortune’s Son’, as well as a sneak preview of my current project, ‘The Bastard’s Legacy’, I hope you will visit me on Goodreads at:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3297352.Emery_Lee

TSR: Is it difficult balancing your research and writing with your family life?

EL: It has been extremely difficult. In 2008, shortly after I began writing my first manuscript, I was hit with several personal tragedies in a row. Our dog was hit and killed by a car. Six weeks later my horse Kasper suffered a horrible accident, and had to be euthanized on the spot, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, and died six weeks later. Lastly I was laid off from my job! (2007 was NOT a good year!)

I was unemployed for eight months, which actually gave me the time I needed to finish my book, and then I got a job offer in another state. I moved from South Carolina to Texas. During this time, my first novel was released and my second is now completed. Although I have yet to see any real financial return, I have very high hopes for the future.

TSR: What sort of books do you like to read now?

EL: I truly am a history geek, so I gravitate toward anything historical, but I also have a very romantic nature. Although I enjoy biographical fiction, historical fiction, and historical romance, my very favourite books are those that combine all three - historicals that feature real people and strong romantic elements. I am currently the group moderator for the Goodreads group "romantic historical fiction lovers" where we are working to compile a reading list of precisely these kinds of books. (Please drop by and check us out. It's a very friendly group!)

TSR: Would you have liked to live in the Georgian era and why?

E.L: After having studied the era in depth- the history, politics, art, literature, music, as well as the bawdy humour and the biting social satire, I would answer emphatically yes - as long as I had the money to live well!!!


I have read so many diaries, letters, and memoirs that I almost feel a contemporary of so many prominent people of the age, as if I could strike up a conversation with any of them. I am truly fascinated with this age of elegance, politesse... and vice!

TSR: Emery, thank-you very much for visiting today and for your fascinating interview!

EL: You are very welcome and thank –you too, for inviting me to visit ‘The Secret Writer’ blog.


If you are interested in finding out more about Emery and her writing please follow the web links that are detailed below:
http://authoremerylee.wordpress.com/
http://www.authoremerylee.com/


FORTUNE’S SON, Sourcebooks - coming November 2011

Second in her Georgian era trilogy, Emery Lee spins a web of drama, passion, and deceit, deep in the world of high stakes gaming, when a chance meeting at the hazard table between a seasoned gamester and a courtier of a prince, changes their destinies as unpredictably as a roll of the dice.

International Book Giveaway!

THE HIGHEST STAKES, Sourcebooks 2010


WHAT WOULD YOU WAGER…FOR LOVE??? In a tale of thwarted lovers and horseracing, Ms. Lee transports the reader to a world where racing and breeding were the obsession of the uppermost elite, and a match race might easily replace a duel in settling a point of honor. Upon this high stakes turf of Georgian England and Colonial Virginia, a tale of drama, danger, thwarted love, and retribution unfurls…

Emery is very kindly providing a copy of ‘The Highest Stakes’ for our International Book Giveaway to anywhere the Book Depository ships!

 
So, we have one copy of Emery Lee's novel 'The Highest Syakes' to give away in an International draw with this post!! All you have to do to enter the draw to win a copy of 'The Highest Stakes' is:
Join this blog as a new Google Friends Connect Follower (one entry)
Join this blog as a new Network Blogs Follower (one entry)
Leave a comment if you are a current GFC or Network Blogs follower of this blog (one entry);

If you have just joined this blog as a new GFC or Network Blogs Follower, also leave a comment on this post for each type of new follower you are to 'The Secret Writer' blog. As already detailed above, this giveaway draw is also open to all of you who are already followers of this blog!

Please also remember to leave details of your e-mail address with each of your comments (both new followers and old!), so I can then contact the winner following the draw. Entry for this draw will close at 11.00pm (GMT) on Friday 28rd January 2011. The winner will then be announced as soon as possible after this date. If the winner cannot be contacted 48 hours after the draw has taken place, a new winner will then be chosen.


Good luck everyone!

The Nestor Maronski Case



Rock bands of all sizes and statures are faced with the spectacle of bad reviews. The men who make up mega-band ShapeShifter are no different. They’ve weathered more than their fair share of poor opinions. So when they heard the story of Nestor Maronski and his abduction, they wanted to show their support for the authors and people whose lives and careers Maronski poisoned. They asked me, the ever-intrepid Kermit Ladd, to help facilitate the process.


Click on the following link for Isabelle's story:
http://westofmars.com/2011/01/14/an-interview-with-isabelle/

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Author Interview with Scott Mariani and International Book Giveaway!



An Interview and International 
Book Giveaway 
with Scott Mariani



Today it is my privilege and pleasure to welcome and introduce you all to the popular UK author, Scott Mariani. Scott grew up in Scotland and now lives in the wilds of Wales. His latest novel, ‘The Lost Relic’, is the sixth book in the bestselling series featuring ex-SAS hero and former theology scholar Ben Hope, translated into over twenty languages worldwide.

TSW: A very warm welcome to you Scott, and very big thank-you from us all at ‘The Secret Writer’, for taking some time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today. At the time of this interview your sixth Ben Hope adventure, ‘The Lost Relic’, is just about to   be released. Can fans expect a typical Mariani-style plot filled with twists, turns and intrigues?

SM: In a word, yes! I think this one is possibly the twistiest plot yet. With each successive book, especially when you’re following the same character through the various episodes of his life, it becomes increasingly important to keep things fresh and surprising. You can’t afford to repeat yourself or fall back on a formula, and so to some extent it gets harder as you go on. But I enjoyed writing The Lost Relic, and hope readers will enjoy it too! Then in February it’s the publication of my vampire novel Uprising in the USA, under the pseudonym Sean McCabe. And in March The Mozart Conspiracy will be out in the States as well. So it’s a busy first quarter to 2011...

TSW: What sort of books did you enjoy reading during your childhood?


SM: I was reading by the age of four, and I remember that among all the usual kids’ stuff I read, I also nicked adult paperbacks from my mother, such as Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws, which was a big bestseller at that time. The colourful language I picked up from that one – I had no idea what the naughty words meant, of course – got me into some trouble at primary school! I won’t say what I called the teacher, as it’s unprintable here. But the books I remember re-reading most were The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Alice in Wonderland, Richmal Crompton’s ‘William’ books and Hergé’s classic Tintin series. Aside from that, I devoured a lot of non-fiction, historical knights-in-armour stuff, or about animals. I was animal mad. I read Born Free until it fell apart. By my teens I’d got into reading a range of literary authors, from the Brontës to Gorky to Maupassant to Hardy. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was a milestone for me at age 15, and made me see things quite differently!

TSW: Do you think the books that you read during your early years influenced your writing in any way?


SM: I’m sure they did, among other formative experiences that kids absorb and which are bound to affect their future way of thinking. The conspiracy element and general political worldview of the Ben Hope books can almost certainly be traced back, at least in part, to that early exposure to the ideas of Aldous Huxley. He predicted with staggering accuracy, more insightfully than George Orwell in my opinion, that modern society would become increasingly, unknowingly, enslaved to a very cunning totalitarian new world order. That’s a large part of what the second Ben Hope book, The Mozart Conspiracy, is about, and it’s a theme which is set to develop further in future books. I also think that being immersed as a child in the marvellous globetrotting adventures of Tintin, which are amazingly tightly-told little stories, taught me a lot about storytelling. Then there’s my early interest in history, which has never left me.

TSW: Did you always want to become a writer?


SM: Not consciously, not for a long time. Like most kids, I’d dabbled around with stories in one form or another, writing little baby novels and plays or drawing cartoon strips, and of course I was in love with film from a very early age. But it wasn’t until a good bit later in life, after having explored various other paths, that it started occurring to me that you could actually make a career out of creating stories and characters!

TSW: Where do you do your writing best?


SM: I know there are authors who will whip out a notebook or a laptop just about anywhere – trains, cafes, hotel rooms, beaches and windy hillsides – but I’m not one of them. I generally write in my study, which is a very quiet room at the top of my house overlooking nothing but fields and woodland as far as you can see. No phone, no email, no noise or distractions.

TSW: What made you decide to focus your stories around the character Ben Hope?


SM: Ben came to me quite out of the blue one day when I was out walking. I often get ideas that way, when writing is the very last thing on my mind. I realised early on that this character, who pretty much popped into my head fully-formed, as you see him in the books, had enough depth and the right archetypal qualities to carry a thriller series that would be exciting, entertaining and yet a little different from the usual action-adventure fare. I feel I know him very well, almost as if he were a real person.

TSW: Do you have a set routine when you are working on a new novel?


SM: When you’re producing two books a year, as I’ve been doing for a while now, you need to have a reasonably strict routine. I usually manage to have the basic idea for a story more or less worked out by the time I’ve finished the previous one. As one book ends, sometimes even before I’m done with it, I’m straight into the process of researching the next. For a Ben Hope book, that involves reading up on the historical background while trying to figure out more of the detail of the storyline: how does the historical element relate to the modern day, how does Ben become involved, how does it all pan out and where does it leave our hero at the end? I would say that phase is the toughest and most challenging part of the job, especially with a thriller which must have enough twists and turns and surprises to keep the reader constantly engaged. I don’t start the actual writing until fairly late on in the process, when I know where I’m going with it and have a good sense of the shape and structure of the story – I usually have about 4 months to do it in, so every working day has to be as productive as possible. I’m quite set in my routine during this phase. Some days you might feel inspired, some days less so; but the show must go on!

TSW: What is your favourite book and why?


SM: That’s such a hard question to answer, because it changes all the time, like your favourite food, or favourite movie. Every time you think of a favourite, another immediately comes to mind that you enjoyed just as much and it feels unfair to give it second-best status. ‘No, wait...  that’s my favourite. No, wait...’ Last week my favourite book was a very handsomely illustrated companion volume to Patrick O’ Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series of naval adventures; the week before that it was a handy little guide to medieval longsword fighting. Does this mean I’m fickle?

TSW: Are you currently reading a book at the moment, and if so what is it?


SM: I find myself reading less and less fiction, especially modern fiction, these days. The bulk of my reading is research-related, but outside of work the book I’m currently dipping into is a very interesting historical account by Ehsan Masood of the Islamic scientific revolution of 700-1500 AD, called Science and Islam.

TSW:  Have you any another series of books in the making at the moment?

SM: Yes, aside from the Ben Hope series I’m working on the second part of my Vampire Federation series. Part one is titled Uprising, and this one is called The Cross. As soon as I finish it, I’ll be zapping straight on with Ben Hope 7. I’m kind of alternating back and forth between the two series, which involves switching to a completely different mindset, as they are not really alike at all. The fantasy world of the vampire books allows me to indulge myself a bit more, let my hair down and go a bit crazier, inject a bit more humour and open satire, while the action element can afford to be more flamboyant than in the Ben books. Readers find them a lot of fun, which pleases me immensely. Looking to the future, I also have a crime series on the back burner, but I’m not saying too much yet...

TSW: Scott, I would like to thank-you again for taking the time to speak to us today and also to yourself and your publisher Avon Harper Collins, in supporting us with our book giveaway! For further information about Scott and his work you can visit his website at: www.scottmariani.com

SM: It’s been a pleasure, and thanks for having me!



International Book Giveaway!



Avon Harper Collins has very kindly provided three copies of ‘The Lost Relic’ for our International Book Giveaway! With the release of ‘The Lost Relic’ Avon Harper Collins is also running a competition which is detailed on a sticker on all copies of ‘The Lost Relic ‘, where the prize is a chance to win an annual film pass with Apollo Cinemas!

So, we have three copy of Scott Mariani's novel 'The Lost Relic' to give away in an International  draw with this post!! All you have to do to enter the draw to win for one of these three copies of 'The Lost Relic' is: 


Join this blog as a new Google Friends Connect Follower (one entry)
Join this blog as a new Network Blogs Follower (one entry)
Leave a comment if you are a current GFC or Network Blogs follower of this blog (one entry);

If you have just joined this blog as a new GFC or Network Blogs Follower, also leave a comment on this post for each type of new follower you are to 'The Secret Writer' blog. As already detailed above, this giveaway draw is also open to all of you who are already followers of this blog!

Please also remember to leave details of your e-mail address with each of your comments (both new followers and old!), so I can then contact the winner following the draw. Entry for this draw will close at 11.00pm (GMT) on Sunday 23rd January 2011. The winners will then be announced as soon as possible after this date. If the winner cannot be contacted 48 hours after the draw has taken place, a new winner will then be chosen.

Good luck everyone!



Sunday, 16 January 2011

Book Review - 'The Lost Relic' by Scott Mariani

'The Lost Relic'
By
Scott Mariani
Avon: 2011
ISBN No-13: 978 1 84756 197 8

If you are looking for a story that contains, adventure, thrills, conspiracy, terror, drama and a touch of romance, then a new book due to be released shortly called ‘The Lost Relic’, has it all!

‘The Lost Relic’ written by Scott Mariani, is the sixth book in The Sunday Times bestselling series featuring ex-SAS hero and former theology scholar Ben Hope.

Without divulging any spoilers in relation to this particular story, the tale begins when Ben Hope unwittingly walks into a deadly mission while visiting a former SAS comrade in Italy. When becoming involved as a witness to a brutal gallery robbery, where a seemingly worthless sketch was the principal target, little did Ben Hope know that he would become embroiled in a conspiracy that would involve a Russian gang, their Italian partners, the Carabinieri and the British Serious Organised Crime Agency!

This is the first book written by Scott Mariani that I have actually read and the story held my attention right from the beginning to the very end. Once started, this book is difficult to put down!

The historical detail within this story has obviously been very well researched by Scott, and blends in well with his tale as it unfolds. This is a fast paced story with plenty of adventure and twists, and is not for the faint-hearted in places!

This book is an excellent read, and I will not be at all surprised if it fairly quickly reaches the top of the book charts when it is released by its publisher Avon, on 20th January 2011. In my humble opinion, this is a 'must' read book!!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Author Laina Turner Blog Tour- Win an iPad!!

The Laina Turner iPhone app and Blog Tour
 – Win an iPad!! 


Author
Who am I?


















It kind of depends on the day. I am a human compendium of unrelated things. I used to think I was just weird, had shiny ball syndrome and couldn’t focus, scattered, you name it. Then I decided it was OK to be all over the place as long as each avenue I wanted to explore had meaning and purpose or was fun. So I embrace the fact I am a college professor (Go Capella), a writer of fiction and non-fiction, promoter of other authors, human resource professional, business consultant, and all around interesting person (according to my closest friends).

Stilettos and Scoundrels released March 2010

Presley Thurman, a sassy, thirty-something red-head, was looking to reinvent herself. She didn’t allow the fact she was recently fired to bother her - she was ready to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Not looking back on corporate America, Presley decided to follow her dream. When her friend Trevor offered her a job with his online magazine to interview public figures, she jumped at the chance.

However, the new job turned into something unexpected when the U.S. Senator she was slated to write about was murdered - in her home town!

Presley was able to discover the Senator’s wife, Helen, had been having an affair… with her best friend’s boyfriend! Did Helen kill the Senator? Or was it the Senator’s love of gambling that got him killed? And what was Cooper’s secret tie to the mob boss Garrison Palazzo?






Launch of the Laina Turner iPhone app and blog tour – Win an iPad!!

The Laina Turner iPhone app let’s fans, read about the author, find where she’s appearing, read the blog, see video clips, and more.

The iPhone app gives Laina a platform for promoting and selling books, publicizing appearances, streaming podcasts or other content, and creating a brand.

As a Laina Turner iPhone app user you can get 25% off on any of her books for the month of January. In addition, once you purchase a book(s) you will also be entered into a drawing for an iPad.

Not ready for a book purchase? You can also be entered to win by participating in the blog tour.

See lainaturner.com for more details

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Author Visit: E.J.Stevens

'Spirit Storm' a New Release by E.J.Stevens


As followers of this blog will know, the author E.J Stevens has visited here before. In 'The Secret Writer' blog archives, you can find my previous interview with E.J.Stevens and a review of the first book in her Spirit Guide series, 'She Smells the Dead'.

E.J has very kindly visited us again today at my request, to tell us a bit about the new book in her Spirit Guide series called 'Spirit Storm', which is due to be published in a few days time on 12th January. 


TSR: E.J. thank you so much for visiting us again at 'The Secret Writer'! Can I start by asking in what direction does Spirit Storm take the readers of the Spirit Guide series?

E.J.: Spirit Storm is an exciting paranormal adventure filled with thrilling mystery, heart pounding suspense, and the joy and pain of true love. A storm is coming. With less than two weeks until Samhain, Yuki and her friends must race to find a way to ward her from the coming spirit horde that threatens to steal her mind...or worse. Just when Yuki needs her friends the most, Calvin is faced with his own burden. Someone, or something, is killing members of his pack. Will Calvin be able to help Yuki when she needs him the most?

TSR: Do we meet any new characters in Spirit Storm?

E.J.: She Smells the Dead was an introduction to the Spirit Guide series where we met Yuki, Calvin, Emma, Gordy, and Simon. Spirit Storm takes the reader deeper into the lives of our central characters while presenting us with past histories to explore and new mysteries to solve.

TSR: Is there anything else you would want to tell us about Spirit Storm?

E.J.: A new spirit guide is revealed in Spirit Storm. Here is a hint:


TSR: Can I ask what is the sequel to Spirit Storm called and is there anything you can tell us about it?

E.J: A ghostly presence, a creepy local legend, and an unpleasant new smell impression keep Yuki and her friends busy in the third book in the Spirit Guide series. Legend of Witchtrot Road is due to release September 2011

TSR: Are you working on anything else at the moment?

E.J.:I am also working on a new middle-grade paranormal series. Yes Annabelle: There Really Are Such Things As Vampires, the first book in the Raven's Gate Manor series, is due to release in 2011. Annabelle In Fairyland: A Midsummer Vacation's Dream, the second book in the series, is expected to release late 2011 or early 2012. The illustrated short story Maude's Wish, based upon the Raven's Gate Manor histories, is also in the works.



















TSR: E.J. once again a very big thank-you for visiting here again from all of us at 'The Secret Writer'. I wish you every success with your writing and your new books, and I look forward to following your writing progress as time goes on.

E.J.: Thank-you too, for having me here again at 'The Secret Writer'!


If you are interested in learning more about the books and writing of author E.J.Stevens here is the link to her website:
http://www.fromtheshadows.info

Friday, 7 January 2011

Book Review - Write Great Fiction:Plot & Structure

Write Great Fiction:Plot & Structure 
by 
James Scott Bell  


Writer's Digest Books,Cincinnati,Ohio.2004
ISBN No: -13: 978 1 58297 294 7


I am aware that there are quite a few new budding writers out there who follow my blog, so when I happened to stumble upon and read this book, I immediately felt that I just had to highlight this book to you all!


'Write Great Fiction:Plot & Structure' is written by James Scott Bell. Within his biography, it states that James Scott Bell is a best selling author of thrillers, who has also won the Christy Award for Excellence in inspirational fiction. He was a former trial lawyer and has worked as a fiction columnist for the' Writer's Digest' magazine.


This book is written in a simple but very interesting style of language that is very clear and easy to follow. The book consists of fourteen chapters that contain a wide range of explanations, techniques, tips, tools, plotting diagrams, charts, check-lists and exercises, that will guide the reader in the development their 'plot' writing skills. The principal objective of this book is to assist a writer in creating a believable and memorable 'plot' within their story, from the beginning, right through until its end.  


'Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure' is actually a 'fun book' to work through. It is also very reasonably priced, considering the amount of very valuable advice and information that it contains. I personally feel that this is one book that all budding writers both new and old, would really appreciate and value, hence this post! 

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Winners! - International Book Give away Draw and Blog Hop!

The Winners!


I would like to say a great big thank-you to everyone who joined my blog as a follower, or were already a follower and entered this draw and posted a comment! Again I wish that I could send everyone who entered this draw a book, but there were only to be three lucky winners! For those of you who have not won this time, there are plenty more giveaway draws to come. Please keep visiting this blog and entering the Giveaways. You never know your luck, you could be our next winner!


I visited random.org earlier today and the winners of this draw are, drum roll!!!


Lily Mulholland
Identity Seeker
Kulsuma


Congratulations!


I will contact the winners for their postal details. If I have not been able to make contact with the winner within 48 hours of this post, another winner will then be drawn. Thanks again to everyone who entered this draw and who follow my blog. Happy reading!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Important Update-International Book Giveaway Draw and Blog Hop!

International Book Give away Draw 
and Blog Hop!

I have been really amazed and taken aback by the number of entries and beautiful comments that have been left by everyone, either in their give away entry comments, or on my Happy New Year glitzy bear!

As an extra special thank-you to the followers of  'The Secret Writer Blog', I have ordered an extra two copies of 'Brooklyn' from Amazon, so there will now be THREE prize winners from this draw, who will each win a copy of 'Brooklyn' by Colm Toibin!

I hope that in this small way, it will increase the chances of the entrants to the draw winning a prize, and as a very special thank-you from myself to yourselves for following 'The Secret Writer Blog'!

PLEASE CONTINUE TO POST YOUR ENTRIES TO THIS GIVE AWAY DRAW, ON THE ORIGINAL CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT, WHICH IS A COUPLE OF POSTS DOWN FROM THIS. IT'S THE POST BELOW THE BEAR WITH THE ITCHY NOSE! PLEASE DO NOT POST YOUR ENTRIES TO THE DRAW ON THIS POST! 

I HOPE EVERYONE HAS A FANTASTIC AND PEACEFUL 2011! I HAVE SOME GREAT AUTHORS AND ARTICLES LINED UP FOR YOU DURING 2011, SO PLEASE KEEP WATCHING AND FOLLOWING THIS BLOG!