Book Showcase: Fire and Bone by Rachel A. Marks

Book Showcase: Fire and Bone by Rachel A. Marks

Title: Fire and Bone
Author: Rachel A. Marks
Genre: YA
Release Date: February 20th 2018

About the book:

Book Showcase: Fire and Bone by Rachel A. MarksIn Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.
Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.

Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.

As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out whom to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing is for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.

Purchasing link:

Book Showcase: Fire and Bone by Rachel A. Marks
About the Author

I'm an author and professional artist, cancer survivor, mother of four, and wife to the most amazing man in the world. In my free time I'm a beach bum and entertainment cheese junkie. If you don't like Superman I may wonder about you and suggest you seek professional help.

Author Links:

Book Showcase: Fire and Bone by Rachel A. Marks

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Interview with Barbara Casey

Interview with Barbara Casey

What genre do you write and why?

I started out writing young adult novels. Then I switched to adult novels. After my sixth novel had been published, one of my publishers asked if I would consider writing a nonfiction book for adults. As it turned out, I really enjoyed writing it, especially the research that was involved. That book is Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly, and it has been optioned for a major movie.
Tell us about your latest book.
Interview with Barbara Casey
Even though my writer’s voice was adult, I kept thinking about an orphanage I used to drive by on my way to class when I attended NC State University in Raleigh. Eventually, a story started to form, and it was in the voice of a young adult. That is when I created Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer, the FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—and the story of three orphaned girls with IQs in the genius range. In order to survive in a world where she doesn’t fit, each girl has developed a special talent that is enhanced by her genius. Book 1, The Cadence of Gypsies, takes the FIGs and Carolina, their teacher and mentor, to Italy where Carolina searches for the truth about her own birth. Book 2, The Wish Rider, is Dara’s story, how she came to be abandoned as a young child, and her search for her birth mother that takes them to a hidden, secret society deep underground Grand Central Terminal. The Clock Flower is Book 3 in The FIG Mystery Series, and it is Mackenzie’s story. Once again, Carolina and the FIGs search for the truth, and this truth involves Mackenzie’s biological parents and why she was put in an orphanage right after her birth. As each layer is revealed, they travel to China where Mackenzie is faced with a horror she can’t understand or explain. Yet to those Chinese who believe, it is real.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book? 
I really enjoy the I Read Book Tour because it allows me to connect with readers who are interested in my work. I also have several radio interviews scheduled, press releases which my publisher handles, and several book signings. The distributor has already been doing advance marketing for this.
What formats is the book available in?
All of my books are available in both eBook (Kindle, Nook) and paperback. The Cadence of Gypsies is also available in hard copy.
What advice do you have for other writers?
It is important to never give up if you really have a desire to write. Just assume that what you have written isn’t your best work, and that is yet to come. So many new writers send off their work to agents or publishers before it is ready, so editing is critical.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
I love the fact that I can work from my home office. Like most people, I really have a full schedule. I have always been a morning person, so I reserve the very early morning hours for my own writing before I move on to other things.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Please visit my web site at
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?

This is really hard for me to answer. The FIGs have been a part of me for several years now, and we have been through a lot together. I love those girls, and I love Carolina. My husband likes to tell the story of how when I complete each book, he puts a box of tissue on my desk because he knows I am going to cry. It’s true. I will write one more book in this series, and it will be Jennifer’s story. It will also be the most difficult to write not only because of what I know Jennifer must face, but because it will be the last book in this series. It will be hard to tell the FIGs goodbye. When I finish it, my husband will put a box of tissues on my desk because he knows I will cry.

Interview with Barbara Casey
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

I hope they will enjoy the research I did on the connection between the dandelion flower and mortality, the archeological dig site that turns up ancient text that Dara also discovered underground Grand Central Terminal when she was searching for her mother, as well as the ancient Chinese dragon that I introduce into the story. It really is fascinating.

How long did it take you to write your book?

I started thinking about it several years before I started actually putting together the story. But by the time I started writing The Cadence of Gypsies, it only took me about four months to complete it. The same for the other two books in the series. I had thought about the FIGs and their problems for so long that I knew pretty much what I wanted to write.

Who designed the cover?

My publisher is also a wonderful artist, and she has designed all of the covers in The FIG Mystery Series.

Where can a reader purchase your book?

All three books in The FIG Mystery Series, as well as my other books, are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and anywhere that sells books.
Jo, thank you so much for your wonderful questions and for letting me be your guest. I wish you all the best.


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Social Media for Authors

Social Media for Authors, Guest post by John Lansing

My greatest challenge as a writer isn’t staring at a blank page, or coming up with stories. It’s the business necessary to get my writing in front of the reading public.

I’ve found that even if you’re fortunate enough to get hooked up with a publisher, the lion’s share of sales is generated by the author’s social media skills. One of the first questions a literary agent, or publisher will ask today, is what does your Author’s platform look like? How many friends do you have on Facebook, followers on Twitter, clicks on Snapchat, or Instagram? It’s just the cost of doing business, and you better have the answers.

Social Media for Authors, Guest post by John Lansing
The ultimate goal is to attract 7,000 avid followers on social media, so that when you release your novel, you immediately sell enough books to make a best sellers list. Then your sales will grow exponentially. But that’s rarefied air.

Most authors sell about fifty books. And if that’s the sum-total of your sales, you’ll spend the next few months trying to find a new publisher.

Social media can be very intimidating for the uninitiated. But by taking it slow, and learning the ins-and-outs of one media site at a time, you can start attracting ‘friends,’ and building an audience for your work. You’ll also build a community of like-minded people who can act as a support system to share ideas, and help bolster sales.

I started by creating an Author page on Facebook. The easiest way to check out other author’s pages and getting some idea of how they use social media to increase their readership, is by looking inside the cover jackets of the books you enjoy reading, books in your genre, and then going to their website. There, you’ll find the URLs of all their social media sites.

Wherever you start, It’s all about developing personal relationships. Nobody likes to be ‘sold.’ But if you start developing friends, and bringing them into your writing process, and sharing parts of your life that make you unique, outside of your book, you may be on your way. 

By sharing activities that interests you, you’ll find other like-minded people that share your interests. And once your FB friends start responding to your posts, or your twitter feed, or your Instagram account, you might see an uptick in sales.

The first marketing specialist I worked with broke it down into a three-pronged philosophy. Thirty-three percent of what you post should be something that interests you, or the main character of your book. My protagonist, Jack Bertolino, likes to cook Italian. So do I. Every so often I’ll add a recipe that I’ve discovered online. Sometimes just the photograph of a great dish of pasta gets people engaged.

I love to share photography. It elicits emotion from readers and I get to share a visual art form that informs my work, without having to explain too much. That becomes the second piece of my pie chart.

The third piece of the pie is related to books. And not all of my books, all the time. I’ll add quotes of other authors that write in my genre. Crime/thrillers. Something like this:
 “I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.” Raymond Chandler- Farewell, My Lovely

I’m a big fan of Walter Mosley. He’s someone I read and share. I just posted this interview, he gave to The Paris Review, on my FB Author page:

INTERVIEWER Which writers inform your work? Clearly you’ve read Dashiell Hammett. MOSLEY I read a lot of Hammett, Chandler, Ross Macdonald.…Share
Click on his name above and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

As you develop relationships with other writers you respect, you can support their efforts, share their posts, and review their newest releases. The more reviews you write, the more you can expect to receive in return. The more reviews your book collects on Amazon, the more Amazon will promote your book.

And now it’s time to promote your own book, with your reviews, press releases, and promotions on social media. Again, mix it up with the other aspects of your life you’ve shared, and people are more likely to give your book a read, and then hopefully a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Both sites are extremely important to selling books.

Amazon, because more books are sold on Amazon than any other retail outlet, and Goodreads, because as you build a following on their site, you’re being read and reviewed by your target audience, people who love books. And Goodreads is an audience who shares what they like. And that’s how social media is supposed to work.

Social Media for Authors, Guest post by John Lansing
Best-selling author John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre performing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease” before putting together a rock ‘n’ roll band and playing the iconic club CBGB.
Lansing closed up his Tribeca loft and headed for the West Coast where he landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest-starred on numerous television shows.
During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.”
John’s first book was Good Cop Bad Money, a true crime tome he co-wrote with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano.
The Devil’s Necktie, his first Jack Bertolino novel, became a best seller on Barnes & Noble and hit #1 in Amazon’s Kindle store in the Crime Fiction genre.
Jack Bertolino returns in John’s fourth novel, "The Fourth Gunman."
A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.

Catch Up With John On www.johnlansing.netGoodreadsTwitter, & Facebook!

Social Media for Authors, Guest post by John Lansing


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Book Showcase: Fate’s Vultures by Jami Gray

Title: Lying in Ruins (Fate’s Vultures #1)
Author: Jami Gray
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Romantic Suspense

Book Showcase: Fate’s Vultures by Jami Gray
About the book:

In a world gone to hell, it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad...

The world didn't end in fire and explosions, instead it collapsed slowly, like falling dominoes, an intensifying panic of disease, food shortages, wild weather and collapsing economies, until what remained of humanity battles for survival in a harsh new reality.
Charity uses lethal survival skills learned too early in her work as a 'Hound, sniffing out pivotal secrets for one of the most powerful people on the west coast. Her work is deceptive, deadly, and best performed solo, which means when she has a run-in with a member of the notorious Fate's Vultures, she has no intention of joining forces in some mockery of teamwork. The man might be sexy as hell, but she travels alone. She will accomplish her mission and she will settle a score - hopefully with the edge of her blade. But fate has other plans.
As one of Fate’s Vultures, a nomadic band of arbitrators known for their ruthless verdicts, Ruin witnesses the carnage of corruption and greed battering the remnants of humanity, and he bears the scars to prove it. Now he has a damn 'Hound showing up in suspicious circumstances, leaving every cell of his body sceptical - and painfully aroused. The woman is trouble, and Ruin has every intention of steering clear. But when they realise they have a common enemy, Charity and Ruin will have to set aside their distrust if they want to achieve their mutual goal - justice and revenge.
Sometimes, when the world's gone to hell, it's better to stick with the devil you know...

Book Showcase: Fate’s Vultures by Jami Gray
Title: Beg For Mercy (Fate's Vultures #2)

Choosing a side has never been so dangerous…
The world didn’t end in fire and explosions, instead it collapsed slowly, like falling dominoes, an intensifying panic of disease, food shortages, wild weather and collapsing economies, until what remains of humanity battles for survival in a harsh new reality.
An assassin by trade, a loner by nature, Mercy is sent to infiltrate the Cartels and unmask the identity of their new silent partner. Instead, she discovers a darker plan threatening to crumble the entire Southwest and ends up with a hefty bounty on her head. Still, she’s determined to stop the impending attack at any cost, even if it means partnering up with a member of the notorious Fate’s Vultures.
After enduring a brutal, blood-soaked lesson on the savagery of civilisation’s scavengers, Havoc is well acquainted with the consequences of battling predators. But as a member of the nomadic band of arbitrators known as Fate’s Vultures, he’s determined to cement the necessary alliances to oust the biggest threat looming on the horizon. When an enigmatic woman crosses his path, her secrets and troubling loyalty light the fuse on an unexpected craving and his insatiable curiosity.
In order to trap a common foe and derail an impending threat, Havoc and Mercy must turn the tables to hunt a predator. Can an assassin and a mercenary find their balance on the thin line of loyalty, or will it snap under the weight of their wary hearts?
Book Showcase: Fate’s Vultures by Jami Gray
About the Author:
Jami Gray is the coffee addicted, music junkie, Queen Nerd of her personal Geek Squad, Alpha Mom of the Fur Minxes, and award winning author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams, and her latest Romantic Suspense series, Fate’s Vultures. She writes to soothe the voices in her head.

The author is hosting an Amazon Giveaway for a kindle copy of Lying in Ruins (3 winners)!

Also, enter to win a $25 Gift Card to either Amazon or B&N!

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Book Showcase: SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days by Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan

Book Showcase: SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days by Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan

Title: SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days
Authors: Gary Small, MD, Director UCLA Longevity Center and Gigi Vorgan
Category: Adult Nonfiction, 224 pages
Genre: Self-Help / Personality / Health, Mind & Body
Publisher: Humanix Books
Release date: January 9, 2018

Book Showcase: SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days by Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan
About the book:

New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Small’s breakthrough plan to improve your personality for a better life!

Experts in psychiatry and psychology have long believed that our personalities are essentially set from early childhood and remain consistent throughout life. However, the latest scientific research contradicts this long-held assumption. New compelling evidence indicates that we can change our personalities – either on our own, with the help of a therapist, or a combination of the two – and meaningful personality change can be achieved in a snap! – as quickly as 30 days. These groundbreaking findings have shattered the false belief that we are locked into our negative personality traits – no matter how much they hinder our potential happiness and success.

As you read SNAP! you will gain a better understanding of who you are now, how others see you, and which aspects of yourself you’d like to change. You will acquire the tools you need to change your personality in just one month – it won’t take years of psychotherapy, self-exploration or re-hashing every single bad thing that’s ever happened to you. If you are committed to change, this book will provide a roadmap to achieving your goals and becoming a better you.

From New York Times bestselling author, head of the UCLA Longevity Center, and expert in neuroscience and human behavior, Dr. Gary Small, a practical look at the key components of personality development and tools and techniques for bringing the positive aspects of your personality to the forefront so you can become more successful, attractive, happier, and psychologically healthier.

Buy the Book:

About the Authors: 

Book Showcase: SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days by Gary Small and Gigi VorganGary Small:
Dr. Gary Small, (Los Angeles, CA) is a professor of psychiatry and director of the UCLA Longevity Center* at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior. His research, supported by the NIH, has made headlines in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Scientific American magazine named him one of the world’s leading innovators in science and technology. Dr. Small lectures internationally and frequently appears on the Today Show, Good Morning America, PBS, and CNN. He has written six books, including the New York Times best seller, The Memory Bible.

Gigi Vorgan:

Gigi Vorgan (Los Angeles, CA) has written, produced, and appeared in numerous feature films and television projects before teaming up with her husband, Dr. Gary Small, to co-write The Memory Bible, The Memory Prescription,The Longevity Bible, iBrain, The Other Side of the Couch, and The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. She lives in Los Angeles with Dr. Small and their two children.

Connect with the authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Youtube 


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Writing Series

Writing Series, Guest post by Gabriel Valjan @GValjan @iReadBookTours

The key to writing a series is accepting the inherent contradiction between Flexibility and Structure. A writer must make critical decisions. Is each novel episodic, a stand-alone experience, or a narrative train that ends at some point? The late Sue Grafton, who had planned her series according to the letters of the alphabet, passed away before she could complete Z is for Zero. Each novel has rising and falling action, but does the series? What about time? Do the characters age? What about long-term character development?

Writing Series, Guest post by Gabriel Valjan @GValjan @iReadBookTours
Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone is eccentric and likes peanut-butter and pickle sandwiches. The series is set in the 80s. Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski’s caseload starts in 1988 and moves forward in real-time, and yet her two Golden retrievers, Peppy and Mitch, never age. “Vic” divorces, likes her hometown Chicago teams, Da Cubs and Da Bears. Both authors created compelling characters with distinctive quirks and whose lives readers can jump into without too much fuss. Backstory is inferred or incidental in the reader’s relationship with the author. Structure is leisurely, predictable, and familiar, like time with an old friend.

Breaking Bad, from cancer diagnosis to finale, spans exactly two years. Compression here lends itself to a different type of drama. While the medium of television is different from a novel, writing a series is still writing. Vince Gilligan had chosen to serialize each episode with a hyperawareness of the timeline. The comfort level of plugging into a character’s life has evaporated. The viewer must know exactly where Walter White and Jesse are on their journey. There is a premium placed on creating a worthwhile character, otherwise it’s Jack Bauer from the series 24 having yet another awful day. Therein lies the paradox.

When you write a series, conflict and pacing come to you, in an almost mystical way. Character and Conflict are the engine to the narrative train. You get to know the characters, how they tick, hear what they’ll say, and see how they’ll react. Structure builds itself through pacing, the knowing when to shine the spotlight of Conflict and when to pull back on the information you give to the reader. Control the reader’s attention (and interest) by distributing short-term and long-term conflicts. Anticipate and subvert their expectations. Short-term conflicts relate to the plot of the current novel, the long-term arc is a function of a character’s strengths or flaws over the course of several books. Do they become a better person or, like Walter White, a monster? The overall character arc must have an organic logic of its own for the installment, and in the greater arc of the series. The gamble in writing a series is not knowing whether the reader wants comfort food, or change. Or whether they will like what you decide for an ending.

The artistry of the writing in the Breaking Bad series that I admire is that you can watch and revisit the series from a different character’s point of view each time, and understand their motivations and behavior. I hated Skyler White, Walter’s wife, the first time around, but I empathized with her on my second viewing of the series. Like Walt, she wants to protect her family. In the online interviews I’ve read with Gilligan, he said that he remained flexible to logistics and open to input from his team. You as the writer should be flexible and receptive to where your characters take you. Most writers, however, don’t have the luxury of input from other creatives, so a good structural editor is a boon. 

Writing Series, Guest post by Gabriel Valjan @GValjan @iReadBookTours
Gabriel Valjan is the author of The Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest


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