Monday, December 19, 2016

Book Feature: Prophets of the Ghost Ants

Inside the Book:

Title: Prophets of Ghost Ants
Author: Clark Thomas Carlton
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse Pages: 608
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Ecopy 
 In a savage landscape where humans have evolved to the size of insects, they cannot hope to dominate. Ceaselessly, humans are stalked by night wasps, lair spiders, and marauder fleas. And just as sinister, men are still med. Corrupt elites ruthlessly enforce a rigid caste system. Duplicitous clergymen and power-mongering royalty wage pointless wars for their own glory. Fantasies of a better life and a better world serve only to torment those who dare to dream.
One so tormented is a half bread slave named Anand, a dung-collecter who has known nothing but squalor and abuse. Anand wants to lead his people against a genocidal army who fight atop fearsome, translucent Ghost Ants. But to his harror, Anand learns this merciless enemy is led by someone from his own family: a religious zealot bent on the conversation of all non-believers… or their extermination.
A mix of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadow of the Apt, Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor, this is a powerful new addition to the genre.
PURCHASE HERE: AMAZON

MEET THE AUTHOR

Clark T. Carlton is a journalist, screen and television writer and an award winning playwright and novelist. He was born in the South, grew up in the East, went to school in the North, and lives with his family in the West. As a child he spent hours observing ants and their wars and pondered their similarity to human societies.

Tour Schedule

Tuesday, December 13 Book featured at The Dark Phantom Thursday, December 15 Book featured at The Review From Here Friday, December 16 Book featured at The Book Refuge ________ Monday, December 19 Book featured at All Inclusive Retort Tuesday, December 20 Book featured at Literal Exposure Wednesday, December 21 Book featured at The Revolving Bookshelf Thursday, December 22 Book featured at A Title Wave________Monday, December 26 Book featured at I'm Shelf-ish Wednesday, December 28 Book featured at The Zen Reader Thursday, December 29 Book featured at Bent Over Bookwords Friday, December 30 Book featured at From Paperback to Leatherbound ________ Monday, January 2 Book featured at Lover of Literature Tuesday, January 3 Book featured at She Writes Wednesday, January 4 Book featured at Aurora Publicity Thursday, January 5 Book featured at Inkslinger's Opus Friday, January 6 Book featured at Harmonious Publicity

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Book Blast: In Jesus' Arms by Mary E. Keenan

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Inside the Book:

in-jesus-arms
Title: In Jesus' Arms 
Author: Mary E. Keenan 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Religion 
Format: Ebook

What if you could literally see Christ and listen to Him answer some of your deepest spiritual questions: Who receives eternal life, and why? Are we still “us” after death? What happens in heaven? And is there an unseen dimension here on earth?

In In Jesus’ Arms: One Woman’s Trip to Heaven, author Mary E. Keenan shares here amazing journey being in the arms of Jesus Christ. Opening with the story of her life as an unworthy sinner who once rejected God’s forgiveness—but who found restoration through a relationship with Christ—she reveals her experience of being held and carried by Jesus as she and Christ walked together on the earth and ascended to heaven. There, Mary receives Christ’s lessons and is able to offer a glimpse into the inner workings of heaven, the mind of Christ, the preparations for the second coming, and the important messages God wants individuals and churches to heed today about the difference between faith and religious practice.

Whether you are a curious and skeptical unbeliever, a believer who avoids the church, or an active church member involved in the pastorate or other Christian organizations, In Jesus’ Arms will compel you to delve deeper into the scriptures and provide you with a joyous, hopeful account of a victorious Christ—where His lessons from the past are still current, where His plans are being carried out, and where heaven is still very much involved in our lives.  

Meet the Author:
Mary E. Keenan was born and raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and she has a master’s degree in adult and technical education from Marshall University, West Virginia. Now retired from a career in nursing administration and education, she loves to paint and lives with her husband, Dale, in Weirton, West Virginia.  

Giveaway

Mary is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins November 14  and ends on November 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on November 26.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 21, 2016

Book Blast: An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco

 

Inside the Book:

an-enlightening-quiche
Title: An Enlightening Quiche
Author: Eva Pasco
Release Date: August 22, 2016
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Dysfunctional. Deceptive. Demure. More than meets the eye at face value, Augusta Bergeron, stuck in a holding pattern, engages in morally destructive behavior she attributes to maternal abandonment. In for a rude awakening upon eggs-huming her mother's quiche recipe, she unravels its significance and forsakes erroneous assumptions. Enlightened, Augusta feels compelled to redress all the havoc she's wrought in the aftermath of a tragedy.

Augusta:Tarry in northern Rhode Island with us unpretentious French-Canadians, eh?

Tried-and-true friendships tested. Quest for Mr. Right. Impoverished mill. Unleashed secrets.  Enriched by geographic entities, historic references, and regional culture--Blackstone Valley beckons.

PURCHASE AT: AMAZON|BARNES &NOBLE

Excerpt:

Augusta: Just as a note from Mrs. Blais had enticed me to sift through stowed away sagas inside a leather crypt and revived my dormant flair for writing, Tante’s recent memoir had me scrambling inside the keepsake box for the index card bearing the brunt of a quiche recipe whose basic ingredient of spinach packed a Popeye punch to knock the wind out of a brute. I glided my fingers over the scanty fragments of my mother’s legacy, absorbing her wretchedness through parched ink still resolute in its faded glory.

Genetically endowed with Simone’s temperament, exotic features, and allure, I followed in her footsteps. Both of us derailed off righteous paths and marginally skirted brinks of disaster from having suffered the scourges of maternal abandonment.

Tante’s memoir illuminated the significance of a recipe I intended to follow exactement in revival for my birthday gathering.  Though a breakthrough for me at the time, it hadn’t yet sliced all the way through the custard as to why Monique felt compelled to salvage this from a trash basket at my mother’s last known whereabouts for me to warrant its reclamation an enlightening quiche with far-reaching effects.

 ***
 An arrow’s fly shy of America’s fowl tradition, a presidium of pulchritudinous birds of a feather flocked together at my place to feast and frolic in observance of my birthday sans gifts per my request, same as last year and every year since turning the screws past thirty. Engraved-in-stone inductees Estelle and Paul held court at the heavyset dining room table while Noel and Jenny set up camp in the adjoining parlor, away from the adults and in control of the television set with chips and dip all to themselves. The honorable Marchands, add-ons by ultimatum as in “you’re coming or else,” seated themselves accordingly according to chivalric order with Norm and Oncle prevailing as heads of state at opposite ends of the mahogany ball & claw.  Though Lindsay made the A-list of invitees, she reserved weekends for spending time with her dad whom she affectionately tagged an absentminded professor. Monique, permanently exiled from attending family functions, prevented Tante from squaring off with the gal she squarely blamed for exerting her libationary influence on me through our pigs-in-a-poke camaraderie.

Oncle prefaced the sit-down repeating aloud his last year’s wish for me to make an honest woman of myself by getting married well in advance of my setting down chocolate mousse cake with dulce de leche cream and truffle ganache, another triumph by Pâtisseries Évocatrices.  Everyone with the exception of Norm let his comment slide by rewinding their stalled conversations.

Crediting my landlord with the memory of a non-Republican elephant and a disposition to get even, I believe he expelled an untoward remark as overdue payback for my having bested him in front of Lindsay when I divulged his struggles to squeeze into an army uniform and blabbed about his scrapbook.  While placing a serving platter of bite-sized slices of French bread hors d’oeuvres alongside a large bowl of salade verte, his jab stopped me in my tracks en route to the pantry for the quiche, stingily allocating a split second for me to reload and fire back a retort of last resort.

“The other day Bernard Paquin mentioned he saw you and some fella leavin’ Chuggers by the light of the moon makin’ a run for it. Maybe he’s the one!”

Well, if that didn’t divert their attention again! “Oh, was Bernard oot and aboot making one of his special deliveries at the Post?”

My Vancouver Canuck slapshot summoned the hokey expression, “the eyes have it” through the blank stares of those dumbfounded and confounded by an innuendo.  Norm’s eyes threw daggers at me, confirming his wife hadn’t confronted him about the girlie mags.  Yolande’s eyes darted everywhere and ultimately fixated on her hostess. “Tabarnak!  What are you waiting for? Bring out the quiche!”

Meet the Author:

eva-pasco
Undergoing a midlife renaissance, Eva Pasco rekindled her passion for storytelling by featuring flawed and feisty women over forty who grapple with, confront, and overcome their personal dilemmas to become empowered in making profound life changes for the better.

 VISIT HER AT: AUTHORS DEN|GOODREADS

VIEW THE BOOK TRAILER

Friday, November 11, 2016

Book Feature: The Weaver by Emmi Itaranta

 

Inside the Book:


Title: The Weaver
Author: Emmi Itaranta
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Dystopian
Format: Ebook

The author of the critically acclaimed Memory of Water returns with this literary ecological tale in the vein of Ursula K. Le Guin and Sheri S. Tepper, in which an innocent young woman becomes entangled in a web of ancient secrets and deadly lies that lie at the dark center of her prosperous island world.

Eliana is a model citizen of the island, a weaver in the prestigious House of Webs. She also harbors a dangerous secret—she can dream, an ability forbidden by the island’s elusive council of elders. No one talks about the dreamers, the undesirables ostracized from society.

But the web of protection Eliana has woven around herself begins to unravel when a young girl is found lying unconscious in a pool of blood on the stones outside the house. Robbed of speech by her attackers, the only clue to her identity is one word tattooed in invisible ink across her palm: Eliana. Why does this mysterious girl bear her name? What links her to the weaver—and could she hold Eliana’s fate in her hand?

As Eliana finds herself growing closer to this injured girl she is bound to in ways she doesn’t understand, the enchanting lies of the island begin to crumble, revealing a deep and ancient corruption. Joining a band of brave rebels determined to expose the island’s dark secrets, Eliana becomes a target of ruthless forces determined to destroy her. To save herself and those she loves, she must call on the power within her she thought was her greatest weakness: her dreams.

 

Meet the Author:



Emmi Itäranta (b. 1976) was born in Tampere, Finland, where she also grew up. She holds one MA in Drama and Theatre Studies from the University of Tampere, and another from the University of Kent, UK, where she began writing her debut novel Memory of Water as a part of her Creative Writing masters degree. She later completed the full manuscript in both Finnish and English. The novel won the Fantasy and Sci-fi Literary Contest organised by the Finnish publishing house Teos. It was published to enthusiastic reviews in Finland in 2012 under the title Teemestarin kirja. In 2015 the English language version, Memory of Water, was nominated for the Philip K. Dick award in the US and the Arthur C. Clarke award in the UK. Translation rights to the award-winning novel have been sold in 21 territories to date. Itäranta’s second novel Kudottujen kujien kaupunki was published in 2015, and it won her the Tampere City Literary Award. In the UK the novel is known as The City of Woven Streets, and in the US as The Weaver. Itäranta’s professional background is an eclectic blend of writing-related activities, including stints as a columnist, theatre critic, dramaturge, scriptwriter and press officer. She lives in Canterbury, UK.

Connect with Emmi: Website | Facebook | Twitter
 

——————

Tour Schedule

 Monday, November 7 
Guest blogging at Books, Dreams, Life
Book featured at The Dark Phantom

Tuesday, November 8
Book featured at Literal Exposure
Book featured at The Literary Nook

Wednesday, November 9
Book featured at A Title Wave
Book featured at As the Pages Turn

Thursday, November 10
Book featured at Voodoo Princess

Friday, November 11
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Book featured at All Inclusive Retort
________
Monday, November 14
Book reviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Tuesday, November 15
Book featured at My Bookish Pleasures

Wednesday, November 16
Book featured at Mello and June
Book featured at Harmonious Publicity

Thursday, November 17
Book featured at CBY Book Club
Book featured at Write and Take Flight

Friday, November 18
Book featured at Bound 2 Escape
Book reviewed at Cover2Cover

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Book Feature: Remnants of Trust by Elizabeth Bonesteel



Inside the Book:


Title: Remnants of Trust
Author: Elizabeth Bonesteel
Release Date: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Science Fiction/Military
Format: Ebook

In this follow-up to the acclaimed military science fiction thriller The Cold Between, a young soldier finds herself caught in the crosshairs of a deadly conspiracy in deep space.

Six weeks ago, Commander Elena Shaw and Captain Greg Foster were court-martialed for their role in an event Central Gov denies ever happened. Yet instead of a dishonorable discharge or time in a military prison, Shaw and Foster and are now back together on Galileo. As punishment, they’ve been assigned to patrol the nearly empty space of the Third Sector.

But their mundane mission quickly turns treacherous when the Galileo picks up a distress call: Exeter, a sister ship, is under attack from raiders. A PSI generation ship—the same one that recently broke off negotiations with Foster—is also in the sector and joins in the desperate battle that leaves ninety-seven of Exeter’s crew dead.

An investigation of the disaster points to sabotage. And Exeter is only the beginning. When the PSI ship and Galileo suffer their own "accidents," it becomes clear that someone is willing to set off a war in the Third Sector to keep their secrets, and the clues point to the highest echelons of power . . . and deep into Shaw’s past.
 

Meet the Author:

Elizabeth Bonesteel began making up stories at the age of five, in an attempt to battle insomnia. Thanks to a family connection to the space program, she has been reading science fiction since she was a child. She currently lives in central Massachusetts with her husband, her daughter, and various cats.

——————

Tour Schedule

 Monday, November 7 
Book featured at The Review From Here
Tuesday, November 8
Book featured at The Literary Nook
Book featured at As the Page Turns
Wednesday, November 9
Guest blogging at The Dark Phantom
Book featured at All Inclusive Retort
Thursday, November 10
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
Friday, November 11
Book featured at Bent Over Bookwords
Book featured at CBY Book Club
________
Monday, November 14
Book reviewed at Cover2Cover
Book featured at Lover of Literature
Tuesday, November 15
Book featured at Mello and June
Wednesday, November 16
Guest blogging at A Title Wave
Book featured at Harmonious Publicity
Thursday, November 17
Book reviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Guest blogging at Write and Take Flight
Friday, November 18
Book featured at Bound 2 Escape
Book reviewed at Cheryl's Book Nook

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Book Blast: My Travel Adventures and Secret Recipes by Chef Wolfgang Hanau

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Inside the Book:
my-travel-adventures-and-secret-recipes
Title: My Travel Adventures and Secret Recipes 
Author: Chef Wolfgang Hanau 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Cooking 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Chef Wolfgang Hanau, born and educated in Eastern Europe, learned to love good cooking from an early age, so it was only natural that he'd go on to become a world-renowned chef.

What isn't so natural, however, is his willingness to share the secret recipes he's learned over a decades-long career at some of the world's most exclusive restaurants, luxury hotels, and resorts.

In this memoir/recipe book, he revels in dishes with a French flair, Bavarian specialties from Munich's Oktoberfest, Switzerland's renowned international cuisine, and dishes from the many great places he's practiced his craft.

You'll laugh and smile as he enjoys camelback rides in the Sahara desert, cruises on luxury ocean liners, and meets celebrities at culinary destinations that offer sun, fun, and escapes from the ordinary.
Along the way, he shares recipes that will impress your relatives and friends, including German Warm Potato Salad, the Allenstein BBQ Recipe, Bearnaise Sauce, Rainforest Acai Berry Cookies, Amstel Light Portobello Gorgonzola Burger, Golden Apple Cheddar Pancakes, Apple Jam-Filled Cookies, and Apricot-Glazed Mushrooms over Mixed Baby Greens.

There's an exciting story and a tasty dish for everyone in this book of secret recipes and travel adventures.
Meet the Author:
Chef Wolfgang Hanau, a native of Bavaria, graduated with a bachelor's degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute in Munich. He has worked in Switzerland, Paris, and London and has practiced his craft at many popular hotels and resorts. He lives with his wife, Diana, in West Palm Beach, Florida.
   

Giveaway

Chef Wolfgang is  giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins October 24 and ends on November 4.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Novembe 5.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Book Blast: Dowsing and Ley Lines by Gerald Chatfield

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Inside the Book:

dowsing-and-ley-lines
Title: Dowing and Ley Lines 
Author: Gerald Chatfield 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Reference 
Format: Ebook

This book contains information on dowsing for beginners and advanced alike. It provides information on how to find and follow more than five hundred ley marks across the south of the British Isles. It also contains unique insight on how shadow ley lines are connected to time as we measure it in minutes and hours. Also answers as to why the legendary figure of the Long Man of Wilmington is positioned where he is on the South Downs. There is also information on both Woodhenge and Stonehenge.

Giveaway

Gerald is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins October 24 and ends on November 4.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on November 5.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Feature: Nearest and Dearest by Caroline Jolly



 

Inside the Book:


Title: Nearest and Dearest 
Author: Caroline Jolly 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Humorous 
Format: Ebook

Effie McIver has been living quietly on her own since the break up of her marriage to Jack who left her for her best friend. A visit to the doctor leaves her feeling restless and she experiences further disturbance during a visit to her daughter's house. These events lead her to conclude that something must be done to change her life. With the help of her friend Susie she decides to venture into the uncertain world of dating. Here she encounters a variety of people and situations, hilarious or humiliating, in her search for a new partner. The search takes place against the backdrop of her increasingly complex relationship to her daughter Cathy and her family. Meanwhile, on the dating front, she meets Oliver, a widower and a 'no hoper' who through persistence and a degree of change enters Effie's social life. A cluster of circumstances precipitate her into a shocking crisis within the family which slowly evolves, with the help of friend Susie and the keeping of a diary, towards a resolution. The mood of the story is essentially light, compassionate and humorous, as Effie explores her strengths and obvious weaknesses both as an older woman negotiating the choppy waters of dating and also as a parent managing her relationship to grown up children.

Meet the Author:
Caroline Jolly was brought up in Scotland, studied in London and East Africa, and works as a psychotherapist in private practice in London where she now lives.  

Giveaway

Caroline is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins October 24  and ends on November 4.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on November 5.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

October 24
October 25
October 26
October 27
October 28
October 31
November 1
November 2
November 3
November 4

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Book Blast: Spaces Between Notes by Kristina M. Sanchez



Inside the Book


Title: Spaces Between Notes 
Author: Kristina M. Sanchez 
Publisher: Amazon 
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Nikolai Amorosa is one of those men’s men. You know the type—allergic to feelings, couldn’t have a heartfelt discussion if he tried, which he never did. Then, he lost his voice, and any chance of communication went out the window.

Unable to speak or otherwise interact with anyone, Niko’s anger was off the charts. It could’ve been worse; he could’ve been in jail. Instead, he found himself doing construction on Carys Harper’s house. Carys talked—a lot—both with her voice and her hands. She was also at the beck and call of her deaf little brother, Benny, which drove Niko nine kinds of crazy. Not that he would’ve said anything, even if he could.

Something else that drove him crazy? Carys was stubborn. She wouldn’t let him wallow. More than that, she seemed to hear all the things he couldn’t say. She understood him like she understood music. She heard what existed in the spaces between notes. She knew that sometimes silence screams the loudest.
buying-links

Amazon

Meet the Author


Kristina Sanchez is a lifelong insomniac whose creative career began when she used to make up stories about Bugs Bunny in her head while the rest of the house slept. She’s a Southern California native who can frequently be found at Disneyland because it’s easier to park there than go to the beach, sadly. Although writing is her first passion and only love, she finds fulfillment working in social services with the county of Orange. Currently, Kristina is the mother of a grumpy old man-cat named Mutt and a strange flight risk named Sirus Blackcat, who is, indeed, a black cat.

You can find Kristina easily enough on most social media platforms, where she will share her viewpoint on all the taboo subjects: religion, politics, and Supernatural, with the odd cat video thrown in for flavor. Prolific. Opinionated. Nerdy as all get out. Have fun, because you can bet she will.
visit

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

_______________________

Participants

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Feature: Chaste by Award Winning Author Jesse Teller

 

Inside the Book:

Title: Chaste Author: Jesse Teller
Release Date: October 5, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Horror
Format: Ebook/Paperback

  When her devout parents died, Cheryl turned her back on her god. Years of denial and self-loathing have defeated her. Her life consists of taking orders and succumbing to abuse. A group of strangers stops in Chaste for the night, but an unnamed threat is preying on the town. Tragic deaths have become more and more frequent. Cheryl wants to protect these travelers, expose the evil force, and save her fellow citizens, but she must find a way to believe in hope.
 

Meet the Author:

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Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to studying the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Guest Blog from Emre Gurgen, author of Don Quixote Explained

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Inside the Book:

Don Quixote Explained

Title: Don Quixote Explained Author: Emre Gurgen Publisher: AuthorHouse Genre: Literary Criticism Format: Ebook/Paperback

  Don Quixote Explained focuses on seven topics: how Sancho Panza refines into a good governor through a series of jokes that turn earnest; how Cervantes satirizes religious extremism in Don Quixote by taking aim at the Holy Roman Catholic Church; how Don Quixote and Sancho Panza check-and-balance one another’s excesses by having opposite identities; how Cervantes refines Spanish farm girls by transforming Aldonza Lorenzo into Dulcinea; how outlaws like Roque Guinart and Gines Pasamonte can avoid criminality and why; how Cervantes establishes inter-religional harmony by having a Christian translator, on the one hand, and a Muslim narrator, on the other; and lastly, how Cervantes replaces a medieval view of love and marriage―where a woman is a housekeeper, lust-satisfier, and child begetter―with a modern view of equalitarian marriage typified by a joining of desires and a merger of personalities.

"AN ERUDITE EXAMINATION OF THE THEMES AND IDEAS IN DON QUIXOTE. I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED THE WRITING AND EXPOSITION OF THIS WELL-REASONED CRITIQUE. BUY IT AND STUDY IT. GERALD J. DAVIS, AUTHOR OF DON QUIXOTE, THE NEW TRANSLATION BY GERALD J. DAVIS" WWW.DON-QUIXOTE-EXPLAINED.COM

The Benefits of Agent Representation
Though it is possible to win a contract with a traditional publisher without a literary agent, if you are professionally represented, your chance of securing a book deal greatly increases
If you represent yourself to publishers.  If you eagerly mail unsolicited query letters directly to a publisher the likely outcome is that these houses will place your letter directly in a slush pile, often times unread, never to be looked at again. If you are extremely lucky, however, and somebody does read your letter, this person is usually a novice reader, a student just out of college, who rarely knows what they are doing.  Though, perhaps, intelligent, this person is extremely untested.  Thus, they read your query letter to gain experience.  That’s it.  Nothing less.  Nothing more. 
But let’s say, for arguments sake, that this person, though junior, likes your book and tries to help.  You may find that they lack the authority to get you represented.  Even if they bring your query letter to the attention of a more senior editor, this person usually dismisses you, and your book, offhand, in favor of an established author. So you lose anyway.
Though, occasionally, you hear of the strange case of an author winning a contract directly from a publisher against all odds, the probability of this happening is slim to none, since most publishers will not even consider a new book unless it comes from a reputed agent. Getting a book deal without an agent hardly ever happens.  It is the stuff of legends.  Usually, what happens is that publishers want to make fast money on a safe bet. So they go with agent represented manuscripts, even if they are horrible. 
Unless publishing houses are desperate for new leads, they will not even consider non-represented manuscripts, despite what they say in their submission guidelines.
Big box publishers, to repeat, rely on literary agents to make wise manuscript choices. Not authors shopping their wares.  This is because publishers generally believe that agents will only pitch a new book to them if it is viable in the marketplace. 
Commercial publishing houses, sadly, rarely consider manuscripts from inexperienced writers.  And if the nature of your work does not synergize with their list.  Forget it.  You have no chance. 
Furthermore, even if your proposal is a good one, it will probably get lost in the clutter,   since traditional publishers receive tons of junk mail,
Penetrating the old boy network of publishing professionals is very hard, since agents and publishers enjoy reciprocal relationships based on a lengthy track record of success.  Because both sides think they know what is sellable in the marketplace, they pass on many great books.   Mine included.  The cold reality is that many publishers will not even consider manuscripts that do not have an agent, since they want to back a book they think will succeed.  To them, manuscripts that have a chance of success have already been vetted by literary agents.  They have passed an initial screening round.  Most publishers, alas, will only ponder manuscripts forwarded to them by literary agents, because they believe that an agent will not jeopardize their reputations by advocating less than impressive books. 
So, if you want to avoid having you query letter go directly to the dreaded slush pilethe final resting place of many novelsI encourage you to get a literary agent. 
Yes, you can win a contract directly from a publisher, without agent representation.  But doing so is the exception, rather than the rule. 
If you think you can do it, by all means, be my guest.  Congratulations if you do.  But if you receive one rejection after another, as most of us do (or, worse yet, no response at all) try hard to get a literary agent, since agent representation helps. 
How to Get a Literary Agent
Query Letter
Gaining and sustaining the interest of a literary agent so they sign a contract with you is easier said than done.  The first step is writing an effective query letter. 
Address your query to the right editor or agent with the right title.  Format your query according to industry standards.  Spell the agencies name correctly and get its address right.  Pitch a great lead.  Tailor your query to the specific agency.  Offer a fresh idea.  Be creative in your presentation.  Tighten your query angle.  Sweeten the pot with photos, graphics, illustrations or renderings: with sidebars, sidelights, and giveaways.  Follow the submission guidelines of the agency exactly.  Ensure that your letter begins with an opening hook, provides supporting details, links your qualifications to the book being pitched, and includes a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE). 
Book Proposal
Once you have hooked a literary agent with a good query letter, the next step is to send them an outstanding book proposal. 
A book proposal is written for one purpose only, to convince an agent that investing their time and effort in you, and your book, is a wise bet, one that will pay off.  To get an agent, then, you have to persuade them that your book is capable of making real money.  If they do not believe that, expect a polite brush off, at best. 
Here are a few basics of a good book proposal.  A clear book proposal consist of:
·         a cover page, with the name of your book, and a table of contents;
·         a short description of your book (4 sentences);
·         a more detailed synopsis of your book, with a brief chapter-by-chapter summary;
·         a marketing plan, stating how you will sell and brand your book;
·         an author bio, connecting your occupation and life experiences to the nature of your book;
·         an audience section detailing who will buy your book and why;
·         a competition section differentiating your book from the dozens of other books out there on identical, or similar, topics .
·         a description of follow-up books you are writing in a series, so they can make money from you again and again. 
To reiterate, a strong book proposal should have a cover page. The cover page should have:  the name of your book at the top; a by-line with your name; your manuscripts word count; the status of the manuscript (i.e. complete) and a numbered table of contents with the following sections:  I. Description; II. Synopsis; III. Marketing Plan; IV. Author Bio; V. Audience; VI. Competition; VII. Follow-Up Books. 
·         On the cover page include your contact information, such as your office and e-mail address, your telephone numbers (i.e. office phone, cell phone, and home phone), so agents can correspond with you by snail-mail; e-mail; by phone; etc.. 

·         The description section is a succinct three sentence description of your book noting its topic and theme. Generally, it attracts an agent’s immediate attention by noting how your topic is timely, original, and significant (i.e. why anybody would care).   

·         The next section of your book proposal is a more elaborate synopsis of your book which breaks down, in short paragraphs, each major section or chapter.  Agents read this part to correlate the theme of your book to a hot topic extant in the real world.  A good synopsis answers the “so what” question to literary agents.  So what?  Why should I read this? 

·         Then, comes your marketing plan. This section should detail, in bullet form, not only what you have already done to brand your book but what you will do in the future, too. Things to write in this section include participating in professional conferences, preferably as the key-note speaker.  Any book signings you have completed or have scheduled.  References to the URL of your personal author website (if you have one) which is stronger if it has:  high-traffic; a blog with high-quality, viral, posts; an online store with a high click through rate; and an impressive CV.  If you have a Face Book fan page connected to your website with thousands of genuine (not purchased) likes, mention this.  If you have a dedicated twitter account linked to your book, especially one that fans are tweeting about incessantly, mention this. If you have a distinguished career connected to the subject matter of your book talk about it.  If you host a radio show, with many listeners, discussing issues related to your book, tell them this. If you have professional, or social, networks in place that you can use to sell your books, highlight this. If you host a popular pod-cast centered on a relevant topic linked to your book, preferably a forum that can reach thousands of subscribers, let an agent know.  In brief, the marketing section of your book proposal is the most important section to literary agents, since they want to pitch a book that will sell quickly and well.  That’s it.  They only care about you and your book if they think they can make money from both. 

·         Then comes an Author Bio section.  Here is your opportunity to emphasize how your occupation, education, life experiences, and social connections, position you to have written the book(s) you have.  This section should describe why people will listen to you?  Are you an expert in the field?  Do your life experiences qualify you to write about a certain topic?  Why are you credible?  Explain this. 

·         Then comes a competition section emphasizing how your book is different from, or better than, recent books on the same, or a similar topic.  Be careful here.  Emphasize the strengths of your own book, in relation to the marketplace, rather than criticizing the competition. Differentiate your work and convince an agent why it will sell, especially if the topic has already been done, many times over.  If you are in the fortunate position to have written an important book on a topic that is little explored, or underexplored, but also has a large audience, definitely emphasize this. Then pat yourself on the back.  This is rare. If you write a strong competition section that conveys the originality, timeliness, and relevance of your book in relation to what has already been done on the subject, agents and publishers will want to acquire your book.  In short, if your book explores an old topic from a new angle, or pioneers a groundbreaking analysis of a new hot topic, congratulations, you deserve a book deal.  Hope you get one.  If not, go back to the drawing board. Start again.  Maybe, you can get a book deal with your next novel

·         Then comes an Audience section detailing who will read your book and why. The wider the audience the more likely agents and publishers will sign you.  Since publishing is a risky business, a gamble that produces frequent flops, publishers need to be reassured that your book has a chance of success.  (One friendly word of advice:  be realistic when evaluating your audience. Give specific statistics about who will buy your book and why.  Not vague promises.  Typically, literary agents have built in BS detectors.  So, whatever you do, do not jeopardize your credibility with ridiculous claims.  After all, most literary agents only represent books if they think they will do well in the literary marketplace.  If you make sweeping, unrealistic claims, you can do more harm than good by shooting your credibility). 

·         After this section comes a follow-up books section. In this section, outline how other books can flow from, or spin-off of, your proposed book.  Since agents want to pitch introductory novels to publishers with the promise of more books to come, it behooves you to pitch your book to agents as part of a larger narrative, so agents do not view your novel as a one-hit wonder, or a no-hit flop.  The truth is that agents are more likely to represent you to traditional publishers if you are able to deliver popular follow-up books. So, if you have written, are writing, or will write follow-up books, speak-up.  Remember, the first billionaire author, J.K. Rawling, wrote 3 Harry Potter books, in trilogy, before she even approached publishers.  Learn from this woman.

If all this is too abstract for you, and you want to view a sample of a decent book proposal, please visit my personal author website at www.don-quixote-explained.com and click on the book proposal tab.

Marketing Plan
A marketing plan, in short, will tell an agent what you will do to sell your books.  How, put simply, you will attain and maintain readers’ attention. 
A well-conceived marketing plan consists of many things.  A lecture circuit helps.  If you have delivered, or will deliver, speeches in prominent forums. Talks that have established you as an expert.  Mention this.  Also, if you have driven around the country, selling your self-published books, like John Grisham did, speak-up.  Agents love hearing that your book is already on store shelves.  If you are a reporter, a journalist, a regular columnist, a magazine editor, or a writing professional, mention that you have a potential network of colleagues you can call on.  Agents want to know how you plan on getting publicity / reviews for your books.  If you have a popular blog, with a high SEO, that is highly ranked by google algorithms and has an impressive click-through rate as well, broadcast this immediately!  If your blog posts have gone viral, or are commented (not spammed) mention this.  Agents are interested in getting people to talk about your book.  If you are ready to put your money where your mouth is by buying your books tell a publisher this.  If publishers believe that their print-runs will be bought by you, that there is no downside risk for them whatsoever, because you yourself will be their main customer, sure, they will publish your book, since they have nothing to lose and the world to gain.  If you are ready to fulfill consignment orders to book stores from your private supply of books, mention this.  It may help.  If possible, tout positive book sales before you even ask a literary agent asking to represent you.  If you can, they will probably sign you.   
Write Books in a Series

Big name publishers sign multi-year contracts with writers, not just because they have written one great book, however stellar, but because a writer can consistently produce best sellers, at the rate of one book a year:  Follow-up novels that are as good as, perhaps better, than the original.  In other words, big box publishers often form contracts with writers based on them authoring multiple books in fairly rapid succession.  Thus, if you write one book, then another, then the next, and so on, building a larger and larger audience with every publication, just like John Grisham did, eventually, you will be in the enviable position of having publishers approach you to publish your books, not the other way around. 
Meet the Author:
Emre Gurgen, the author of Don Quixote Explained: The Story of an Unconventional Hero, has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Pennsylvania State University. Currently, he lives in Germantown, Maryland, where he is writing a follow-up Don Quixote essay collection and study guide.

Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 28 - Interviewed at PUYB Virtual Book Club
Wednesday, June 29 - Interviewed at  at I'm Shelf-ish
Thursday, June 30 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
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Monday, July 4 - Interviewed at The Review From Here
Tuesday, July 5 - Guest blogging at My Bookish Pleasure
Wednesday, July 6 - Guest blogging at Voodoo Princess
Thursday, July 7 - Guest blogging at The Literary Nook
Friday, July 8 - Guest blogging at All Inclusive Retort
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Monday, July 11 - Guest blogging at A Title Wave
Tuesday, July 12 - Interviewed at The Writer's Life
Friday, July 15 - Guest blogging at As the Page Turns
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Monday, July 18 - Guest blogging at A Taste of My Mind
Tuesday, July 19 -  Guest blogging at Write and Take Flight
Wednesday, July 20 - Guest blogging at Harmonious Publicity
Thursday, July 21 - Interviewed  at Bent Over Bookwords
Friday, July 22 - Guest blogging at The Dark Phantom
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Friday, October 21, 2016

Book Feature: Perfect Prey by Laura Salters

 

Inside the Book:


Title: Perfect Prey
Author: Laura Salters
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Witness Impulse
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Format: Ebook

"Laura Salters is a vibrant new voice." --C L Taylor, Internationally bestselling author of THE LIE

When best friends Carina Corbett and Erin Baxter are assigned to cover a Serbian music festival for their magazine, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. And it is, until Erin vanishes into thin air on their last night in the country. Terrified, Carina launches a desperate search, discovering that the details of her friend’s disappearance are eerily similar to another tragic incident ten years before. Could history be repeating itself?Frantic to find Erin, Carina takes off on a journey deep into the Serbian criminal underbelly, and uncovers a world more sinister than she ever dreamed . . .

A twisting, edge-of-your-seat suspense perfect for fans of Jamie McGuire.
 

Meet the Author:


Laura Salters is a suspense author (represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media Inc) from Berwick-upon-Tweed, the northernmost town in England. When Laura isn’t writing, reading or thinking about writing or reading, she’s a music lover (and terrible singer), pet cuddler, beach-goer, runner (*cough* jogger), passionate foodie, caffeine addict, tennis player, lipstick wearer, Harry Potter fangirl (yes, still), housework dodger and relentless chatterbox.

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