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Interview with Debbie K. Lum

What genre do you write and why?

When I first began writing, I honestly wasn’t sure which genre I was in! My books were about a love story but they also had tension with a central mystery. I didn’t realize it, but I was writing romantic suspense. Now I can’t imagine writing anything outside of this genre!

Tell us about your latest book.

I Can Handle Him is about a young woman who falls for a man rebuilding his life but when disaster strikes, he must fight to prove his innocence and to protect his true love. It’s also a great story of best friends: the young woman, Quinn, and her best friend Tory. They are reconnecting for a summer after Quinn has graduated with her Master’s and Tory is about to finish law school. Their history as friends is deep, and there isn’t anything they wouldn’t do for each other. Even when the unimaginable happens, one of them gives unwavering support, even at her own expense. And in the center of it all is a hot-looking, troubled man who ends up his own journey of rebuilding and love.

What did you edit out of this book?

Actually, not much! This is my fifth novel so I have developed a solid outlining process. I take a binder and have one sheet of paper for each chapter where I outline what I want to have happen. I didn’t have to edit much out, but I did have to add chapters.

How was this book published? (traditional, small press, self pub, etcc...)  Why did you choose that particular publishing route?

I’m self-published and have never looked back! When I first began, I read how you are supposed to query agents – like ten a week – so I began sending queries and sent a total of five when I stopped. I questioned why I was doing this when I can control everything if I self-publish. I think if your goal is to be a published author, and maybe you have invested in a degree in writing, then seeking and landing an agent probably fits with your goals. For me, I was on a journey of self-discovery so self-publishing allowed me to control that journey. Here’s a good example: I recently participated in a large book fair and my booth was next to a small publisher. They had two or three copies of books from each author they represent. The most they could sell for an author is two or three copies. I sold dozens of books from my booth plus I had a blast meeting people! Also, I’m seeing a trend where small publishers require the authors they represent to have their books professionally edited before submitting manuscripts. I get my books professionally edited, so if I’ve already checked that box, why do I need that publisher? I think it comes down to your goals as an author and what is important to you and how you want to measure success.

How do you select the names of your characters?

After I scribble out my character attributes, I use a baby name book for inspiration. I try to balance main character names with one unusual name (like Quinn in I Can Handle Him) with a more common name (like her best friend, Tory). Sometimes I give a nod to a real friend. In I Can Handle Him, I had a friend helping me with attributes for a particular character and when it came time to choose this character’s name, we just couldn’t get past my friend’s real name. So, the character Daniel in I Can Handle Him, was born. When I was writing my first book, Plebeian Revealed, I was in a store looking at a beautiful dress that I imagined would be the kind of dress a character would wear. It was a Ralph Lauren dress and that’s how I came up with the name Lauren, the main character of the Plebeian trilogy.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad or good ones?

Oh yes, I do read reviews! Positive reviews give me life and energize my day. I’m so happy when I hear that my books gave a reader an enjoyable experience. Those reviews make me want to write more! And actually, I have agreed with some things the not-so-positive ones have pointed out. Recently a reviewer said a character in Plebeian Revealed was so annoying she wanted to slap her in the middle of the book and I was like, “me too!” But I know that character’s annoyance was by design. I needed her to be weak and mushy because when a similar situation happens in the second book, Plebeian In Danger, her reaction is remarkably different. She has learned. She is stronger. But her sudden boldness really screws things up then!

Who are your favourite authors?

This question exposes my weakness: I’m not a reader! I have not read a book in years. And I hear that as a writer, I’m “supposed” to be a reader, but I’m not. I’m not a movie-goer either. I should probably add “read a book” or “see a movie” as a New Year’s resolution!

Where can a reader purchase your book?

All of my novels can be purchased wherever books are sold. Paperbacks are available on Amazon and or any retailer can order for you. eBooks are available on Amazon,, iBooks, GooglePlay, Smashwords and Kobo.
Who inspires you?

You! I find inspiration everywhere. I may see a woman at the mall with a style I think would be perfect for a character. I read social media posts from friends and get ideas, like the cheap, couponing boyfriend in I Can Handle Him and his refillable movie popcorn bag came from a post I read. At a local diner in a city where I lived, the breakfast regulars were so fun, I developed characters in my novel The Doctor, the Chef or the Firemen around them. Positive (and negative) inspiration is all around. I’m always looking and learning!

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

I saw a TV commercial for a self-esteem campaign encouraging little girls to dream big and do anything they want. I thought: why not grown women too? I had an idea in my head, a daydream really, from letting my mind wander during my daily treadmill walks (as I try to lose the ten pounds I’ve been trying to lose for the last twenty years.) One day I got off of the treadmill, sat down at my desk, started my computer, opened a blank Word document, and started typing. I typed for a month! Releasing those thoughts was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. Then I literally Googled “What do you do if you think you wrote a book” and that Google search started an incredible journey (one where I still, unfortunately, haven’t lost those last ten pounds)

Why Are So Many Entrepreneurs Writing Crappy Books?

Why Are So Many Entrepreneurs Writing Crappy Books? Guest post by James M. Ranson

Why Are So Many Entrepreneurs Writing Crappy Books? Guest post by James M. Ranson

Let’s get the tough love out of the way up front: there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there writing what I refer to as “crappy books.” If you don’t believe me, go ahead over to Amazon, do a topic search, then start scrolling. It likely won’t take long, a half page to two pages tops, before you start to see them. Sloppy, unprofessional, sleazy, salesy books that are just not really well put together. If they have any reviews at all, they’ll have reviews about how they weren’t edited well or how they aren’t really that helpful.

Why is this?

Well, there are 17 Mistakes That Will Kill…

(Just kidding! A little recently-published author humor never hurt anybody.)
But seriously, there’s a combination of several things that contribute to the crappiness of a book written to support a business. Authors make mistakes without realizing that they’re making them. They get guidance from people who either don’t understand those mistakes themselves or who understand them but still don’t help their authors avoid them. Sometimes there’s an ego thing involved, where a writer feels like they are so good at the writing that they don’t actually need to get help or guidance. And sometimes there’s just an overarching desire to get a book done as quickly and cheaply as possible. (If you’ve ever studied project management, you know something can be quick, cheap, or good, but you get to pick two. So if you’re picking quick and cheap, then the quality of the book is going to fall off a cliff.)

All of these factors work together to create a compound situation where each mistake an author makes or each issue an author runs into exponentially increases the crappiness of the book they will write. And if they don’t know that they’re making those mistakes, or if they’re not getting the best guidance that helps them avoid those mistakes...they’re going to do their best work, but what they don’t know can and will hurt them.

The solution? Learn the mistakes that authors unknowingly make. Find guidance from people who know those mistakes--and know how to avoid them. Get your ego and your desire to be done already out of the way. And then write a book you’re proud of, that connects to your audience, and that has the best professional help you can afford. A book like that will keep you out of the crap pile--and actually help you grow your business.

James Ranson, The Master Wordsmith(TM), is a Wall-Street-Journal-bestselling editor, ghostwriter and book coach who has helped over 200 consultants, coaches, speakers and other thought leaders create high-quality books. Clients of his have gone on to sell thousands of books, receive book deals from publishing houses, and be featured in regional and national media outlets. In addition to his own clients, James is a writer and book doctor for Thanet House Books, and is on recommended professional lists for Scribe Media(formerly Book in a Box), My Word Publishing, BrightFlame Books and Authors Unite. His second book, Don’t Write A Crappy Book!, will be published on October 1, 2018. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, James lives in Atlanta, GA, with his fiancĂ©e and a very needy cat.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


Ends Nov 7, 2018

Book Showcase: Something Wicked by Emery Nicolson

Book Showcase: Something Wicked  by Emery Nicolson

Title: Something Wicked
Author: Emery Nicolson
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Book Showcase: Something Wicked  by Emery Nicolson
About the book: 

The winds of change are blowing… And something wicked is brewing in the dark.

Millie Lockhart is descended from a long line of powerful witches but that doesn’t mean she has the foresight to avoid being stood up by her blind date, nor the courage to change her miserable life.
Stuck in a rut and unappreciated by her family, Millie must make a choice when fate throws the criminally sexy Colm Walker her way. A choice between a man who is a complete anathema to her family – but makes Millie feel alive - or to languish in her status quo. 
Saying yes to Colm Walker could make all of Millie’s dreams come true… Or it could cost her everything. 
Including her life.

Something Wicked was originally published as a 20,000 word novella back in 2015. It has been modified and extended into a full-length novel of over 65,000 words. 
This book is written in British English which means British spellings and idiom. 

**On sale for .99 cents!!**

About the Author:

Book Showcase: Something Wicked  by Emery Nicolson
Emery Nicolson lives in the south of England with her husband, son and assorted fur babies. In her spare time, she likes to think about writing, binge watch tv shows, read and partake of pyjama-themed dance parties often while drinking spiced rum from a mug. Something Wicked is her first novel.


Swag Pack with a tote bag, an autumn scented Yankee candle, a obsidian pendant necklace and a signed cover graphic of Something Wicked.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

Book Showcase: Joy to You and Me (at Work!) by Amy Thornton

Book Showcase: Joy to You and Me (at Work!) by Amy Thornton

Title: Joy to You and Me (at Work!) 
Author: Amy Thornton
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 179 pages
Genre: Self-help, Business
Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Group, LLC

Content Rating: PG (This book is for ages 16+, so there is the occasional "damn", "hell", and "ass" thrown in as far as language, but nothing worse than that.)

About the book:

Book Showcase: Joy to You and Me (at Work!) by Amy ThorntonAre you one of the 48% of employees worldwide who doesn't like their jobs? Do you feel constantly stressed at the office? Or maybe you're just feeling "blah" about your job and want to bring some life back into your workplace. If you talk to anyone about their careers or jobs these days, most of the time you won't hear positive stories or excitement. You'll probably hear words like "busy", "stressed", "exhausting", and "mind-numbing." And with the good old 40-hour workweek becoming a distant memory for many of us, this reality is just plain sad.

Joy to You and Me (At Work!) helps turn these situations around by giving the reader easy tips they can implement quickly to start making a positive difference in the workplace. Being joyful isn't just a "fluffy-cutesy-nice" thing to do each day - it actually increases productivity and is good for any company or organization. The book helps anyone learn how to:

- Be a more joyful person
- Bring joy to co-workers
- Bring joy to customers
- Bring joy to networking

This fun, easy-to-read guide shows people of all ages and personalities how to make a difference immediately to make not only themselves happier, but to spread that happiness throughout the workplace - and beyond!

By sharing stories from the author's 25+ years of making a joyful difference in the workplace and examples from truly kick-ass companies, Joy to You and Me (At Work!) is a life-changing, fun read for anyone who wants to improve their work life.

Buy the Book:

About the Author:

Book Showcase: Joy to You and Me (at Work!) by Amy Thornton
Amy Thornton Shankland, GPC, has been bringing joy to her workplaces for over 25 years thanks to her innate enthusiasm. She is a former Dale Carnegie instructor, has been a grant professional for 17 years, is a former columnist for the Noblesville Daily Times, and is a current board member of Noblesville Main Street.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


Ends Oct 27, 2018

6 Tips for New Writers

6 Tips for New Writers, guest post by Annette Marie

6 Tips for New Writers, guest post by Annette Marie

1.      It isn’t just about writing. Getting that first draft done is only a small part of the job. I spend at least as much time or more on revisions—lots and lots of revisions! A painting isn’t one layer of paint, and a book takes many passes to reach a final product.

2.     Writing gets better, but it doesn’t get easier. I’ve learned so much since I began this journey, but no matter how many good days I have where the sentences flow like magic, sometimes every word is a struggle. Even after fifteen books, I still have bad days. The only thing to do is keep writing—push through the tough periods until you find the magic again.

3.     Publishing a book is terrifying. For my first book, I think I had more butterflies waiting for that first review to appear on Amazon than I did when I was about to walk down the aisle at my own wedding. But by the time the book is up for sale, its success is out of your hands. There’s nothing left to do, so channel that excess energy into writing the next book.

4.     Reader reviews can be awesome—or they can break your heart. One of the most rewarding experiences for an author is to hear how much readers loved their book. But no book is universally appealing and there will always be readers who don’t like it, or even hate it. Enjoy the good reviews, but don’t even read the bad ones. Save yourself the bullet holes.

5.     Other authors are your allies! Since I started publishing, I’ve discovered a whole community of talented, generous, and amazing authors. So many are delighted to help their fellow writers with everything from beta reading to sharing insider tips to offering much needed consolation when you have a bad day. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

6.     Be prepared to work harder than ever. I pour more hours into writing and publishing than I ever spent on a regular desk job. To make writing into a full-time career requires a huge commitment of time, effort, and energy—including emotional energy. It’s demanding, but absolutely worth it. 

6 Tips for New Writers, guest post by Annette Marie
Amazon - Goodreads
6 Tips for New Writers, guest post by Annette Marie
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Author links: 

Book Showcase: Ascension by E.A. Weston

Book Showcase: Ascension by E.A. Weston

Title: Ascension 

Author:  E.A. Weston 
(Avalon, #3) 
Publication date: October 2nd 2018
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

About the book:

Book Showcase: Ascension by E.A. Weston
From USA Today Bestselling Author E.A. Weston comes the final book in the award winning Avalon series.

After encountering a fairy in the human world Reagan Lunasa learned to love again. Following her heart and the prince of fairies she crossed into another realm, where her life was put at risk time after time.

Escaping the torment of Connor’s wrath, Reagan returns to her home in Faircrest with the beloved princess of Avalon, someone who was long thought dead. Learning to co-exist and help each other through hard times Reagan is soon eager to get moving with her life. Soon, Reagan, Aurelia, Brokk, and Claudia are crossing back into Avalon with determination.

Intent on finding her prince, Reagan sets out on a path to her true love. Nothing will stop her or come between them again not even an all out battle between good and evil. With plans to follow Killian into battle, Reagan soon learns that the best laid plans don’t always go the way they were intended. Ghosts from her past resurface forcing Reagan to make a choice that could tear her world apart forever.

About the Author:

Book Showcase: Ascension by E.A. Weston
E.A. Weston  is a USA Today bestselling author of New Adult contemporary, paranormal, and Fantasy romance novels. By day she stays at home with her daughter but each night she slips away to spin her tales and gets lost in her fantasy worlds.

As an avid reader, E.A. Weston enjoys anything with a bit of romance and a paranormal twist. When she’s not writing or devouring her latest read, she can be found spending time with her family or watching movies.

E.A. Weston was born and raised in Dublin Ireland, She now resides in southern California.

Author links:

Book Showcase: Ascension by E.A. Weston


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