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Interview with Marlene M. Bell

Interview with Marlene M. Bell, author of Stolen Obsession @ewephoric  @iReadBookTours

Interview with Marlene M. Bell, author of Stolen Obsession


What advice do you have for other writers?
The process is arduous. Long hours filled with frustration. Stick with it and get good help along the way for the best book possible. Your editors are a lifeline to writing that best book. Whatever you do, don’t ignore your editor’s suggestions. Beta readers and friends who read your manuscript can be helpful but ignore your editor’s comments at your own risk. Friends know you and may not give you the critical advice that you need for fear of hurting your feelings. Your editor wants your work as good as it can be and they have seen lots of nasty manuscripts. Good editors know how to fix what ails yours, but do your homework when choosing an editor. There are a few who don’t write novels themselves. A novelist needs an editor who also writes, with success. Developmental editors look at the big picture like plot, plot holes and pacing. Line and copy editors do the finer work on your prose. 
Interview with Marlene M. Bell, author of Stolen Obsession @ewephoric  @iReadBookTours
Amazon
What formats is the book available in?
Stolen Obsession is available in paperback as well as eBook. In October, 2018 Stolen Obsession will be available in audio book! I’m happy to have one of the most talented voice over artists in New York narrate Stolen Obsession. Her name is Katina Kalin. She is an actress and teaches others the craft of voice. Katina also narrates for commercials, A&E, and The Discovery Channel among others.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I started my own business in 1985 as an artist selling products with my artwork and photography that featured our sheep flock. My husband had sheep when I met him in the late 1970’s and they quickly became the focal point for my work. My original website is located at www.texassheep.com. To find out more about my books, go to www.marlenembell.com. Facebook: fb.me/marlenembell and follow me on Twitter at @ewephoric. Ewephoric is my company name and I publish through Ewephoric Publishing.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?

My favorite would have to be Generosa Zavos, Alec’s mother. She is of Italian descent, like myself. I had fun dropping character traits into her from my own family. We all use our hands when we speak and Generosa does the same. I pictured cousins speaking to each other in groups, hands flying in and out while I wrote. I know a bit about the Italian customs due to my own grandfather. He was born in Bari, Italy in the late 1800’s. Back then, Bari was more of a poor fishing village. I recall some of what he told me as a young girl—his home before he left to come to America and fight in WWI. Using his words and what I researched in Italy online made Stolen Obsession come to life on the page for me. Hopefully I’ve done the same for the reader.

Who designed the cover?

The cover of Stolen Obsession was designed by a husband and wife team from Australia. Steam Power Studios designed an award winning cover back in 2015 when I was researching cover artists. I fell in love with their work because it was so original and I believe in marketing myself with a fresh, exciting cover. Covers do sell books. Great covers sell more books. Stock covers give the appearance that the writer doesn’t care about his or her work. I recommend finding the best cover artist you can afford. A cheap, fifty dollar stock cover should be avoided at all costs. Vlad and Erica Zivanovic of Steam Power Studios make an interesting, creative duo. Vlad works in the entertainment industry and composes music, while his wife does most of the graphic design. In addition to the cover of Stolen Obsession, they are working on the cover of my next book, Spent Identity. I love the next cover for the series! To be revealed at a later date.  Stolen Obsession has won 2 prestigious cover awards in 2018.

Where can a reader purchase your book?

Stolen Obsession is available through most retailers, including some bookstores and on Amazon.

Other sellers include, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and Draft 2 Digital in eBook.

Interview with Marlene M. Bell, author of Stolen Obsession @ewephoric  @iReadBookTours
What are you doing to market the book?

Months ahead of the release, I contacted a book marketing agency and signed up with them. Looking back, I wouldn’t advise their services to anyone (since most of what they did, I ended up doing again for myself.) I received no feedback from their contacts and no contact names for future use. For me, I won’t go down that road again. The process is very expensive so expect to drop $7,000.00 to $10,000.00 if you go this route. Just because an agency didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean you will have the same result. Not everyone has the luxury for an expenditure like this, but when an author is an indie-publisher and debut author, it’s an option. PR companies work best for known celebrities.

Next on my agenda was the press release. This was done originally by the agency to announce the release, but I followed up with different press releases once the book officially went up on Amazon. I took advantage of their Kindle Countdown deals in the first 90 days of Stolen Obsession’s release. Goodreads also has an option for a Giveaway, which I also took advantage of prior to the book’s release. Book/Blog Tours are the best for getting reviews. I highly recommend tours! Expect to hand out plenty of paperback copies in the form of Advance Reader Copies. Some recipients will read and leave a review, but you will find that most who are not affiliated with a blog tour will not leave a review.

One method I added once the book hit the market was entering book contests. Cover contests as well as content. Stolen Obsession has won 2 prestigious cover awards and more recently, the FAPA chose Stolen Obsession as the President’s Award Gold Medal winner for Best Mystery. Expect to pay $85.00 to $150.00 per contest, but the effort is well worth it if you have worked hard and have a good, clean, commercially viable book.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.

My second book in the Annalisse Series is called, Spent Identity. The story takes place in upstate New York in a country setting. Annalisse and Alec are having difficulties in their relationship which worsens when a dead man with a questionable identity is found in Annalisse’s aunt’s barn. Soon after, the aunt vanishes. Are the two events related—or unrelated as the authorities believe? Annalisse and Alec are drawn again to each other as they work out the mysteries that continue to pile up surrounding Aunt Kate’s disappearance. Annalisse has to deal with childhood fears and a villain who knows how to take advantage of her fears. A big twist and a cataclysmic secret reveal that will have Annalisse reeling in the end!

What are your thoughts on Self-Publishing verses traditional publishing?

When Stolen Obsession was final-edited and proofed, I set out to go the traditional route and look for agent representation. The process stretched 9 long months. Rejection letters came one after the other. Short, sweet and sometimes in form letter. Frustrated, I found a copy editor to check my work again. She made the prose shine and recommended Self-Publishing because she had more authors going that route than those who weren’t, due to bad contacts and little in payouts from publishers. Stolen Obsession took years to write. I didn’t have it in me to wait any longer, so I took the editor’s advice and went indie. If you are a self-starter like I am, and can market yourself well, this is the route for you. Best thing I ever did!

What are you currently reading?

One of my favorite authors is Karen Rose. She writes complicated romantic suspense. Many characters with diverse backgrounds. I’m halfway finished with her novel, Edge of Darkness, having read most of her books. I’ve also gone back and reread the old series, Outlander when I need a plug of romance to help spice up my own writing. This author helps to trigger my own work. Diana Gabaldon writes extremely detailed, refreshing first-person narrative. A nice break from writing and reading in the third. Stolen Obsession is written in third person. Lately, I’ve picked up books from local authors in East Texas. There is a stack waiting to be read once I finish Karen Rose.

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Book Showcase: He Was by Thomas William Lowrie

Book Showcase: He Was by Thomas William Lowrie


Title: He Was
Author: Thomas William Lowrie
Genre: Historical Suspense

About the book

Ever had one of those days, how about one of those weeks? If you haven't, you are missing out. I spent years priding myself in the fact that I was always with it, I always had my wits about me, until that day. My life changed and not just a little. I became someone else, someone who was far stronger than I am, someone who I could only hope to be. Ray Lafayette was a man who was neither rich nor famous yet I lived every day to see what he would do next. The fear I experienced in that time only made the happiness that much more exiting. I have heard the statement "Don't judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes." I walked many miles in his and can say with pride that he and all others from his time were the greatest, all colors, all nationalities, young and old, men and women alike. It may sound great to know the future but there is a dark side to it, an almost unbearable side. Your eyes will be opened to things your mind may not handle.This event has changed me. I no longer wish for things, I live for them.


Video trailer:


Book Showcase: He Was by Thomas William Lowrie
About the Author
Author, Thomas William Lowrie has lived outside of Las Vegas most of his life, but his best memories are of the days fishing in South Texas. Summer vacations were the best. That is also where he found his best friend and wife, Tina. He could not have done any of this without her. Of course, Ray pecking at his brain for years had something to do with it too. 


Giveaway
$20 Amazon

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!
Book Showcase: He Was by Thomas William Lowrie

Excerpt: Scandalous by Sybil Bartel

Excerpt: Scandalous by Sybil Bartel


Title: Scandalous (Alpha Bodyguard #1) 

Author: Sybil Bartel 

Publication date: September 10th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Excerpt: Scandalous by Sybil Bartel
About the book:
Bodyguard. 


Babysitter. 

Chauffeur. 

Not what the hell I thought I’d be doing with my life. 

Especially not for a spoiled Hollywood actress on location in Miami Beach. But triple pay and carrying a gun had its advantages. I’d shove away paparazzi and screaming fans for a lot less. The Marines trained me to be Force Recon—intimidation and crowd control was child’s play compared to four tours. This assignment should’ve been easy money. 

But the doe-eyed starlet with the perfect ass dragged me down her rabbit hole. Living for the spotlight, she leaked the perfect scandal. I warned her making headlines wasn’t in my job description, but she kept smiling for the cameras. 

Now she was going to find out just how scandalous a bodyguard could be. 

*SCANDALOUS is a sexy standalone book in the new Alpha Bodyguard Series!

The Alpha Bodyguard Series
SCANDALOUS – Tank’s story 
MERCILESS – Collins’s story 
RECKLESS – Tyler’s story 
RUTHLESS – Sawyer’s story

Excerpt:

Warning: Contains strong language

I started the Escalade and checked the rearview mirrors. The last thing I wanted to deal with right now was the fucking paparazzi.

I backed out of the parking space.

She crossed her arms. “You’re not saying anything.”

I spun the SUV around and headed up the exit ramp. “What did you want me to say?” The anger and determination in her expression before the call to her lawyer had morphed into something I couldn’t decipher.

“You’re not working for my agent anymore.”

I never worked for that prick. I worked for Luna first, myself second. Everything after that was relative. “Your point?” I checked the street for any asshole with a camera before I pulled out.

“Do you have a problem working for me?”

Besides the fact she was up to something and I’d bet my fucking Harley it was trouble? “Said I didn’t.”

She stared straight ahead for a moment. “You’re attracted to me.”

Bold as fuck, I’d give her that. “What gave you that impression?” I asked only to fuck with her.

Dropping her guarded expression, she turned halfway in her seat. “Oh, come on. Mr. Kinky Dominant Handcuff, now you’re going to pretend to be professional?”



Excerpt: Scandalous by Sybil Bartel
About the Author:
Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.


Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…

But Seriously?

Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.

She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.

To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.


Author links:

Excerpt: Scandalous by Sybil Bartel

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Finding Your Writing Schedule

Finding Your Writing Schedule Guest post by Jenny Q. Includes giveaway! @iReadBookTours

Finding Your Writing Schedule


Guest post by Jenny Q


I would have never considered myself a writer.

I have a bookcase stuffed full of my old journals- filled with my thoughts, my travels, my weeping and my joy- but somehow I never put myself in that category.
Thankfully, all that journal writing gave me the courage and discipline to sit down and write a book.

Finding Your Writing Schedule Guest post by Jenny Q. Includes giveaway! @iReadBookTours
I find that a time every day, a rhythm, gives me the headspace to write. Even before opening my book to write, my thoughts begin pouring out, my brain anticipating the daily appointed time.

And perhaps because my personality is such that I love a good ritual, I always have a steaming cup of espresso in hand, and sit in the same chair. If I am lucky enough to have a chill in the air, I reach for the same cozy sweater. This all happens at 4:30 am. This may seem extreme, but I encourage everyone to try, at least for a good month, getting up at least an hour before the sun comes up, to make a good cuppa, and sit facing east to write and watch for the rising sun. There is something about that tender light that ignites the imagination and gets the creative juices flowing. And the dark morning generally carries the kind of quiet that conjures hope and productivity.

All that being said, working at night also has its magic. Many nights, one could find me sprawled out on the bed, bits of manuscript spread out all around me, as I edited and pieced together the final stages of my book.

As a working mother, I need to find the quiet times to work, because I am someone who goes a bit crazy with interruptions, as I lose my train of thought or a desired thread. So I find the times that have those open spaces.

In the morning, before my household stirs and before I gear up my rational brain to run my company, I can be open and dreamy. It is when my creative ideas are the most accessible. At night, after running a business and a household, my brain tends to be better at the left-brained work, editing and piecing together.

I think each person has a natural rhythm to their day, their life. Fitting in writing and editing has to be part of that rhythm, as important as fitting in dinner or housekeeping. Once that flow is in place, the journal just needs to be open to capture all the words waiting to fall onto the page.


Finding Your Writing Schedule Guest post by Jenny Q. Includes giveaway! @iReadBookTours
Jenny Q was born in Southern California to Palestinian immigrants. Her love of herbs began in her teens while on the road following the Grateful Dead. After exploring many heart homes, she set her roots in Joshua Tree, California, where she opened Grateful Desert, the local apothecary. Joyously sharing her life with her tight-knit desert community, Jenny lives with her beloveds~ Yazzy, her daughter and Myshkin, her wife.

Connect with Jenny: Website



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Book Showcase: A Penny Lost by Aspen Bassett

Book Showcase: A Penny Lost by Aspen Bassett @achickadee9 @iReadBookTours


Title: A Penny Lost 
Author: Aspen Bassett
Category: YA Fiction, 232 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
Release date: Jan 13, 2018


Book Showcase: A Penny Lost by Aspen Bassett
About the Book:

Penelope Grace, usually forgotten under the shadow of her twin sister's perfection, tries her hardest to hide her freakish ability to see into anyone's soul.

Until she senses an unusual energy like a human-shaped void in the universe. When Penny investigates the source, she gets tossed through a crack in time along with the cute boy next door. The Void follows them through history, increasing the dangers as if testing Penny. But what is it testing for? And why does it claim to know her better than even she knows herself? Even as Penny searches for answers, she must fight to survive the tragedies of both the past and future in order to get back home.


Buy the Book:



About the Author:
Book Showcase: A Penny Lost by Aspen Bassett

Aspen Bassett works at a library, telling stories and suggesting books. When she's not working, she's usually sipping hot cocoa and wondering what would happen if she had superpowers. She's been published in multiple anthologies including Oomph: A Little Super Goes a Long Way and Inaccurate Realities.


Aspen grew up learning about chakras and auras and the true power of imagination which slips into her writing whether she intend it to or not. In college, when she wasn't busy working on her degree in Creative Writing, Aspen also got her certificate in Women's Meditation (basically general energy work). Now, she's working toward a diploma in Integrated Healing Arts with a certificate in Hypnotherapy.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Giveaway

Ends Sept 22, 2018





Interview with Ginny Fite

Interview with Ginny Fite, Author of No End of Bad

Interview with Ginny Fite, Author of No End of Bad



What genre do you write and why?
I write in the genre the story demands. That may sound odd but the story comes first. Only as I’m writing the story do I realize it’s a mystery or a thriller or it falls in the wide basket of women’s fiction. Often I meet the characters first and then a bit of setting turns up. Sometimes I know immediately, for instance if a dead body lands on the first page, that story is probably going to be a mystery. Sometimes I don’t know for several months where I’m going. This may not be the most efficient method but it works for me. Of my four published novels, three are mysteries and the most recent, No End of Bad, is a thriller. The novel I’m currently working on is women’s fiction with magical realism elements (ghosts!).

Interview with Ginny Fite, Author of No End of Bad
Tell us about your latest book.
What would you do if your husband was arrested by the FBI, then died in custody, and it seemed like the whole world was out to get you? Hide? Run! That’s what Margaret Turnbull and her daughter Melissa do in No End of Bad when their whole world literally blows up and there’s no safe place left anywhere. As they run, they discover they’re far more resilient and resourceful than they knew. Helped by people intent on stopping an international drug cartel with connections all the way up to senior personnel in the White House, they try to hold a funeral service only to be attacked again.

Chock full of bad guys and good guys, No End of Bad features strong female characters who know what they want and are determined to do whatever it takes to get it.

What formats is the book available in?
No End of Bad is available in print and epub.

Who are your favourite authors?
Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Kate Atkinson, Alice Hoffman, Louise Erdrich, Jhumpa Lahiri

Interview with Ginny Fite, Author of No End of BadWhat's the best thing about being a writer?
Writing. Living in my head. Imagining all sorts of things. Putting words on paper and seeing the things I imagined come to life. Having readers say to me, “I loved your book.”

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I have a website, http://ginnyfite.com and a Facebook page, http://www.Facebook.com/ginnyfiteauthor where people can learn more about me and my writing

Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
My favorite character in No End of Bad is Melissa, fifteen years old, nerdy, tomboyish, beautiful in her own way, and daring. If I’d had a daughter, I would want her to be like Melissa.

Where can a reader purchase your book?
No End of Bad is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, kobo, and wherever books are sold.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I’m in the last phases of completing a novel titled Clarinda in which recently widowed Sylvie Andrus and her young son, alone in a new town far from home, must solve a two-century old mystery to rid themselves of the ghost who haunts them. The story is set in a tiny river town near Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. I can almost hear the gulls squawking as I type this.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading, and loving, Gail Honeyman’s extraordinary Eleanor Oliphant iscompletely fine.


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