Saturday, August 19, 2017

A good week

First, I had the honor of Danny Perry holding my book in an article for the Madison County Journal & then sold six books at the 3rd annual Mississippi Book Festival with lots of friends and fellow authors--Rob Finney, Lottie Boggan, Melanie Atkins, Darden North, Dorothy A.Day, Jackie Warren Tatum, Janice Singleton, Carole Cannon, Janet Ferguson

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Student drawing of Larkin Sloan from Lucky Thirteen

2009 rendition of Larkin Sloan by my student Patricia Nance. She drew this as I read the following:
Larkin slipped behind the curtain and put on the dress. It was an exquisite article of clothing, made of the finest linen and silk. If she were donning it for another reason, she would have been ecstatic. The dress would have been exactly what she would have chosen for her wedding…

Lying like a sacrificial lamb upon the altar, Larkin tried to lift her arms, but they felt like lead. A glance up toward the suspended goat's head, made her stomach churn. She rolled her head to see Ray. He stood with a hand behind his back. Knowing that hand was on his gun, flooded her with relief.
As midnight approached, the women made a semi-circle on one side of the altar while Latrice stood with her back to Ray. The ceremony began with Latrice sipping something from the ebony goblet and passing it to the left. Each woman drank until the cup got back to Latrice. The women began a low, rhythmic chant, "Adveho, meus dominus, adveho." ("Come, my lord, come.") From the folds of her robe, Latrice retrieved a handful of dried flower petals and sprinkled them over Larkin's torso at the same time saying something Ray recognized as Latin…

Larkin's eyes darted about as she heard the same sounds and felt the vibrations through the stone. Even though she was helpless, she understood much of what Latrice said as she recalled her high school Latin. Expio quod restituo ordo, vitualamen para virgo. Cruor of tredecim mos pario Gremory protelo quod debello chaos…

Larkin's mind raced. Gremory? Is that an actual demon? Lucifer can't be the only fallen angel with a name. Angels have names. Do these nuts think sacrificing a virgin will summon a demon? They're calling for one to come. I feel spirits here, moving.
The women's chant reached a crescendo. Latrice raised the dagger above her head as she spoke, louder and louder, repeating the phrase six times. At that moment, Ray heard only one word, Larkin's almost inaudible, "Ray?"

Want to know more? Get your copy of Lucky Thirteen.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The male equivalent of the Little Black Dress

My friend, Zan Carter asked this--What is the male equivalent to the little black dress.
Here is my answer--
Raif tapped lightly on the door to Chris's hotel suite. She opened the door quickly. "Wow!" she gasped. "You look as if you stepped from the pages of GQ. You wore the Armani." The navy blue double-breasted pin stripe with a starched white button-down shirt and a red silk tie was elegant.
He gulped at his own little surprise. Chris was decked in the definitive little black dress: satin, strapless, fitted, stopping at mid-thigh. High-heeled Roman sandals accentuated her muscular calves, and an onyx choker punctuated her long slender neck. Her short, dark blonde hair lay in perfect layers. Over her shoulder he saw a set table, complete with candles.
Raif nodded as his eyes roved over every inch of her body. His dimples deepened in appreciation. "I'm flexible. Dining in is good."
Chris slid her hands up his arms as she whispered, "It gives us time together."
Raif shook his head. "Not enough." He pulled Chris to him and kissed her as he had only fantasized before. He maneuvered her to her bed. Dinner was the last thing on either of their minds.
If you want to know more about elegant dressing, check out my book, Lucky Thirteen, from which I took this excerpt.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What's in a Title

What's in a Title?

Let's have some discussion. What do YOU think a title should be about? Recently, a new writer was seeking advice on coming up with a title for a medieval fantasy about a warrioress who betrayed her love and now needs redemption.

This was an answer given by another new writer, whose stuff I have read:

A title is a marketing tool. It doesn't need to capture the heart of the book, or even be very informative.  It just needs to capture the attention.  Do a key word search for the genre that you are publishing in to see which books are popular.  Then devise a title that seems appropriate to you.  This is also true of the cover--it need not have anything to do with the book.  A few years ago, every book that sold well had pictures of women's bare legs on it, even if that didn't fit.  I know all of this because I, too, suck at titles, but my kung fu master, who built hs business from scratch, and boot strapped himself from poverty (literally, trailer trash) to millionaire status taught me this.  (He learned from Kennedy, the master copy writer who started his career in marketing when he noticed all the collection notices he received were in three's . So he devised the rule of three.  However, you market, do it in threes.)  And congratulations on getting your book published.

I cringed at the deception that would be perpetrated upon the reader. Yes, for decades, romance novels have had covers that had nothing to do with the story. Yet, the titles somehow reflected the main gist of the story. So, even though the writer has picked a title, I just had to put in my two cents. This is what I said:

I just have to put my two cents in on what one person said--Your title is MORE than a marketing tool & if it has nothing to do with the story, you have lied to your readers and I would likely chunk the book across the room for feeling duped. Your title and cover are the first thing your reader sees. Make it catchy AND applicable to the story. Second thing a reader looks at is the teaser (synopsis) on the back or on the about the book for kindle. No more than 200 words and make ME the reader want to open to the text. Then your first paragraph should draw me in. And if you need a good cover guy, go to  Give Christopher the gist of the book, & he will create you something fantastic!


Friday, July 7, 2017

The Kurdish Connection