How not to market an e-book

I found this blog post at a great time. This Saturday, I’ll be teaching a workshop on Book Promotion. Still time to sign up!

In the meantime, take note of how NOT to promote your book!

Wood the Writer

Last week I wrote about six things to avoid if you want to write a good e-book. As difficult as writing a book is, any self published author will tell you that the writing isn’t the hardest part. Now that it’s finished, you have to market your book. I’m not a book marketer, there are many talented people out there who can tell you the right ways to market your book, but I do work enough in the industry to recognise the warning signs of when a book isn’t going to sell.

The good news is that if you followed the advice in my last post and have written a great book, then you’ve already given yourself a huge advantage. Read on and you’ll find out why.

  1. Assume the cover alone will sell it.

A good looking, professionally designed cover is essential for your e-book sales and it goes beyond…

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Who Are the Phantoms?

Do they still play King of the Hill on playgrounds? If you aren’t familiar with this game, let me explain it to you.

First, you have to have a hill. I’m not talking about Mount Rushmore, I’m talking about a big hill. It can be a huge mound of dirt. Sand is even better because it slips out from under your feet, which makes it hard to get up.

Then, you put a flag at the very top of the hill. The one who takes the flag is the King of the Hill.

Now, imagine this.

Two teams are trying to make it to the top of the hill to snatch the flag so that they can be the winner. You can picture the two teams anyway you want. One can be a team of bullies while the other are the good guys. Or both teams are bullies. Or maybe both teams are good guys. Fact is, they are both big and strong.

In their effort to get to the top of the hill to win the prize, they start fighting each other.

As the fight grows in intensity, both teams lose their focus on the flag at the top of the hill, which is taken by a lone child who belongs to neither team. How did this child become King of the Hill, he kept out of the fighting and remained focused on the primary objective of capturing the flag.

That child represents the Phantoms as I have created them in my latest Mac Faraday Mystery, Three Days to Forever.

Who are The Phantoms?

A Mac Faraday Mystery, Three Days to Forever introduces Lauren Carr's new series, the Thorny Rose Mysteries. Click on book cover to download from Amazon.

A Mac Faraday Mystery, Three Days to Forever introduces Lauren Carr’s new series, the Thorny Rose Mysteries. Click on book cover to download from Amazon.

Three Days to Forever opens in the Middle East where David O’Callaghan, Mac Faraday’s half-brother, is leading a team of special ops Marines in taking out a terrorist training camp. While scoping out the camp, they discover that the trainees are being visited by a major terrorist leader who is on the Homeland Security’s most wanted list.

However, protocol dictates that David needs to call in for permission to use fatal force to take out the target. His team bets that he will be told to stand down, not execute the man who was responsible for leading a terrorist attack that took out many of their comrades. This is not the first time this leader had been in the military’s sights and every time they had been told to let him go.

In this excerpt from Three Days to Forever, Hallie, a member of David’s special ops team, tells him the legend of the Phantoms.

“They will (give us the order to proceed),” David said with as much confidence as he could muster to pass on to his team. “We’re at war. We can’t win it if we don’t neutralize the enemy, no matter how nasty killing might be. I don’t like shooting people, but in situations like this, there are two options. Kill, or have my brothers and sisters in arms—or even innocent civilians like those in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and flight ninety-three—murdered.”
“We may not have forgotten,” Lieutenant Dean said, “but Washington sure has.”
“Not everyone in Washington,” Hallie said. “Not the Phantoms.”
“Phantoms?” David chuckled while cocking his head and pressing his radio to his ear to make sure he got the order when it came.
“It’s a myth.” Dean was laughing as well. “You know how people in the military talk.”
Hallie was shaking her head. “A friend of mine who works on the top floors at the Pentagon says it ain’t.”
“What’s a Phantom?” David asked with a grin. “Do they run around wearing black capes?”
“According to what I was told—do you remember the untouchables from Al Capone days?”
“That was before my time, but yes,” David said. “A group of federal agents and cops who banded together to take down organized crime in Chicago. They couldn’t be bribed or intimidated. They were untouchable.”
“Well, this is the military version,” Hallie said over Dean’s quiet laughter. They were all aware of the camp full of men who would think nothing of torturing and killing all of them if they were discovered.
“This team is made up of members of each branch of the government and military, more highly trained than special ops and Navy SEALs,” Hallie said. “You don’t apply to be a Phantom. You’re hand-picked. They have the top equipment and training, and their sole mission is to protect our country and citizens without the influence and intimidation of politicians and deal-makers with their own personal and political agendas.”
She jerked her chin at the chief terrorist down at the bottom of the mountain. “Twice we’ve had that man in our sights, and twice we’ve been told by someone high up in Washington to let him go. Why?” She scoffed. “Because killing him would hurt those poor terrorists’ feelings. Like he didn’t care about hurting our feelings when he planned and coordinated the jihad attack in Afghanistan?” With a knowing expression on her face, she said, “It’s going to take a Phantom to terminate him.”
“They’re a myth,” Dean said.
“Do you remember that mansion that al-Baghdadi had in Syria?” Hallie asked.
“I wasn’t there.”
“Huge mansion,” Hallie said. “They say that the downstairs was a command center for ISIS. Well, that mansion is no more. It’s an eighteen-foot crater in the desert.”
“Caused by an accidental explosion from their own weapons,” Dean said.
Hallie whispered to David. “That’s the hallmark of the Phantoms. When they strike, it’s never traced back to us. You’d be surprised by what I heard—”

Readers will learn more about the Phantoms in Kill and Run, the first installment in the Thorny Rose Mysteries, which is to be released later on this year.

The first Thorny Rose Mystery, Kill and Run, will be released later this year.

The first Thorny Rose Mystery, Kill and Run, will be released later this year.

In the meantime, Three Days to Forever is not my standard Mac Faraday Mystery. It is filled with murder, action, suspense, thrills, home-grown terrorists, jihadists, twists and turns, conspiracies, and even political cover-ups.


Novels that include political corruption and cover-ups have been around as long as there have been novels. While some may have based less that savory fictional political figures on real politicians, most have not.
Not surprising to me, after the release of Three Days to Forever, some more sensitive readers have perceived it as a political message and bashing of our current administration, in spite of the author note that I have included on the book page on Amazon and in the front pages stating that this book is fiction and not a political commentary.

For those itching for a political commentary, here it is:

Back in my youth, I worked as an editor and layout design artist with the federal government during the term of three presidents: Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton. Two republicans and one democrat. I met and worked with people from all different backgrounds, status, and worldviews.

By the time I left the government to concentrate on my writing, I learned this about Washington:

Cover-up is a way of life and knows no party-line. Watergate was the republican’s cover-up. Ronald Reagan had the arms for hostages deal. Monica-gate was Bill Clinton’s cover-up. Obama has Lois Lerner and the IRS, and Hillary has Benghazi.

From my mountaintop in West Virginia, I see two opposing groups of children, fighting each other for the flag at the top of the hill so that they can be King and, in the process, losing sight of that flag … and the security of our country and its citizens against its enemies.

Thus, behind them, in slips the Phantoms to do what they need to do.


About the Author:

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Three Days to Forever is the ninth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

Best-Selling Mystery Author Lauren Carr ... and Gnarly, too.

Best-Selling Mystery Author Lauren Carr … and Gnarly, too.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Three Days to Forever introduces Lauren Carr’s latest series detectives, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday in the Thorny Rose Mysteries. Look for the first installment in this series in Spring 2015.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Visit Lauren Carr’s website at to learn more about Lauren and her upcoming mysteries.

Gnarly’s Facebook Page:
Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:
Acorn Book Services Facebook Page:

Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie

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Character Interview: Johnny Butterfield of Goose Pimple Junction

Character Bio
Johnny Butterfield is the new chief of police in Goose Pimple Junction. He’s a former state trooper who is as tall and wide as Paul Bunyan but who has a heart as big as Texas. Johnny is a cross between Sherriffs Andy Taylor and Walt Longmire, and Goose Pimple Junction is lucky—and happy—to have him.

Heroes and Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction is the second installment in Amy Metz's best-selling Goose Pimple Junction mystery Series. Click on book cover to see book on Amazon.

Heroes and Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction is the second installment in Amy Metz’s best-selling Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. Click on book cover to see book on Amazon.

About the book:
Goose Pimple Junction is just recovering from a kidnapping and a murder, its first major crimes in years, when trouble begins anew. Life is turned upside down in the quirky little Southern town with the arrival of several shifty hooligans: A philandering husband intent on getting his wife back, another murderer loose in town, a stalker intent on frightening Martha Maye, and a thief who’s stealing the town blind of their pumpkins, pies, and peace. Together, they’re scaring the living daylights out of the residents and keeping the new police chief busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck picnic. Suddenly, he has his hands full trying to apprehend a killer, stop a stalker, and fight his feelings for the damsel in distress.

Interview with Chief Johnny Butterfield:
1. Johnny, how did you first meet your writer?
I was working as a state trooper and Amy recruited me to help out with a hostage situation. We don’t get many of those situations around here, so I was happy that she called me in to help.

2. Want to dish about her?
My mama taught me it’s not polite to talk about people behind their backs . . . but I’ll just say she’s a little like Tess Tremaine: newly divorced, loves books, and she could trip over a cordless phone.

3. Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
Law, no. But I never thought I’d be chief of police either. I can thank Amy for both of those things happening.

4. Did you have a hard time convincing Amy to write any particular scenes for you?
Yes. I wanted a little bit more romantic action, but she put her foot down. She did let me have several good kissing scenes, for which I’m grateful. I’d also like a good shoot ‘em up scene, and she promises I’ll have that in the next book.

6. Have you ever fantasized about changing your first name?
No, but when I was a kid I wanted to change my last name to Cash. I thought that would be totally cool.

7. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they’ve known you for a while?
Some people liken me to Paul Bunyan because I’m so tall. I’m a pretty big fella, too, and sometimes my size will put a pause in someone’s step. But once they get to know me, they see I’m tender as Louetta’s pie crust. Don’t get me wrong—as an officer of the law, I’m as tough as shoe leather, but I have a heart that matches my height. There’s no need to fear me unless you break the law.

Click on Book Cover to download Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction on Amazon.

Click on Book Cover to download Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction on Amazon.

8. What’s the best birthday cake you’ve ever eaten?
My mama used to make me a Southern Praline Cake for my birthday. I still dream about that cake. Shewee, that was good eating.

9. Are there any laws that completely baffle you?
It is illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket. I kid you not—that’s an actual law. I don’t think it’s worth my time to get that one taken off the books, but seriously? Have you ever seen anyone carry an ice cream cone in a pocket? I mean, how did that become a law? Was there an epidemic of folks walking around with ice cream cones in their pockets and someone said, “That ain’t right?” It’s truly baffling.

10. Can you tell when someone is lying?
Yes. They won’t look you in the eye. Occasionally, I’ll come across someone who can look me in the eye and lie their butt off, but they’re sociopaths and we don’t get many of them around these parts–thankfully.

11. What’s something you tried that you’ll never try again?
Deep fried turduckin.

12. Have you ever been afraid for your physical safety?
Well, I can’t say too much about it or I’ll ruin the ending of Heroes & Hooligans, but let’s just say when I saw a two-ton vehicle barreling straight at me, I did some pretty strong praying.

13. Besides two-ton vehicles barreling straight at you, are you afraid of anything?
Praying mantis. Those things are just creepy. They have faces that look like a snake with huge antennae poking out. Their long legs are just disturbing. And they have claw-like thingies where their arms should be. I’m not ashamed to say when I see one of those bugs, I scream like a girl. Okay, I’m a little ashamed.

14. What’s your personal theme song?
Hmm . . . that’s a hard one. Maybe Garth Brooks’ “Unanswered Prayers.”

15. What are you starving for?
Some of Martha Maye’s fried catfish, cornbread, and lemon pound cake.

Click on Amy to visit her website to learn more about Goosepimple Junction.

Click on Amy to visit her website to learn more about Goosepimple Junction.

About the author:
Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.


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Guest Post: A Special Dedication from Author Cindy McDonald

If you read my bio it says that my life whirled around a song and a dance for twenty-six years. That’s right; I was a professional dancer/choreographer. I loved my dance school, and when I made the decision to retire from dance to write, it was a heart-wrenching decision indeed.

To the Breaking Pointe is the second installment in Cindy McDonald's critically acclaimed First Force series. Click on Book Cover to download from Amazon.

To the Breaking Pointe is the second installment in Cindy McDonald’s critically acclaimed First Force series. Click on Book Cover to download from Amazon.

Over those twenty-six years, I’d like to think that I touched a lot of young girls lives. I’d like to think that I helped form them into the lovely young women that many of them became: mothers, lawyers, physical therapists, teachers, and the like. When I bump into my former students they throw their arms around me, kiss me on the cheek, and say things like: Oh Miss Cindy, I’m so happy to see you! I miss you so much and I miss dance so much. It was the best time of my life.

The feeling is most mutual. But the very best part of choreographing was the ballets that we performed. I produced many: The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Firebird—my second favorite. But it was Coppelia that was my absolute favorite ballet that my dance school performed.

The year was 2005. I struggled that year to produce my show. We had lost my father very unexpectedly on Valentines Day that year—he simply dropped dead in his chair after breakfast. Needless to say my focus was a little off. I had girls counting on me to put on a great show and I’m not one to let anyone down regardless of the circumstances.

I had chosen Coppelia to be our ballet production that year and I dug in with everything I had to choreograph the ballet. When the costumes arrived in March they were fantastic! A good friend of mine, John, who directed many of the musicals that I choreographed locally, had agreed to play the role of Dr. Coppelius. John is an older man and he was fabulous with a fun sense of humor—the girls all loved him.
Coppelia was a great success and the ballet holds a special place in my heart as does the entire cast.

To the Breaking Pointe is dedicated to that cast—the ballet is featured in the book. As I wrote the story—especially the parts where the ballet is mentioned—I could hear the music. I could see the costumes, and I could see the girls in my mind’s eye dancing about the stage. I could see John with a pair of faux bifocals parked at the edge of his nose, chasing Swan Hilda around the shop as Dr. Coppelius.

I have so many warm memories of my dance school, but this ballet was so very special to me and so is To the Breaking Pointe.

Reviews for To the Breaking Pointe:

To The Breaking Pointe is a riveting romantic suspense story that takes the reader on one hell of an exhilarating roller coaster ride. Author Cindy McDonald weaves an intriguing suspense thriller that transports the reader between Russia and the US as they follow First Force operative Grant Ketchum, as he tries to rescue his lost love Silja Ramsay, a Russian principal ballerina with the Novikov Ballet Company, from the clutches of a ruthless wealthy American financier. This is a gripping tale that easily draws the reader in from the beginning, and keeps them captivated and in suspense until the dramatic conclusion. This complex and multi-layered story follows Grant, who with the help and protection from his First Force team, travels to the other side of the world to rescue his unrequited love.” Reviewer: Jersey Girl Book Reviews

“I love this book. I don’t have the chance often to read stories with Russian leads that I also enjoy. Grant Last the woman he loved when he let her get away. Silja is a dancer for a failing company. She doesn’t know anything about what is going on until and American backer wants her in exchange for helping the dance company. Before she is taken away, she sends a message to Grant to help her. He will go through heaven and earth to save her and not lose her again. It was such an awesome book. I loved reading it and I can not wait for more from this series!: Reviewer: My Life, Loves and Passion

“I loved everything about the novel. There was a lot of suspense, action and a few twists that were surprising to me. The 2 main characters Grant and Silja were fantastic and well suited for each other. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series. The author shared a small bit about the next in the series and I cannot wait until it is released. I do not think I can’t wait that long.” Reviewer: Deal Sharing Aunt
About the Author:
Cindy McDonald's new series: First Force is a romance-suspense. Into the Crossfire has been receiving rave reviews. Click on the sexy book cover to check it out!

Cindy McDonald’s new series: First Force is a romance-suspense. Into the Crossfire has been receiving rave reviews. Click on the sexy book cover to check it out!

For twenty-six years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of her adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. She often notes: Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things that I have experienced with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and happenings at the racetrack—she muses: they are greatly exaggerated upon of course—I’ve never been murdered. Viola! Cindy’s first book series, Unbridled, was born.

Author Cindy McDonald. Click on pic to visit Cindy's website.

Author Cindy McDonald. Click on pic to visit Cindy’s website.

Cindy is a huge fan of romantic suspense series’, and although she isn’t one to make New Year’s resolutions, on New Year’s Day 2013 she made a commitment to write one, Into the Crossfire is the first book for The First Force Series.

People are always asking Cindy: Do you miss dance? With a bitter sweet smile on her lips she tells them: Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love writing my books, and I love sharing them with my readers.
Cindy resides on her forty-five acre Thoroughbred farm with her husband and her Cocker Spaniel, Allister, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
For more information, book trailers, and excerpts for all of Cindy’s books please visit her website:

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Who Said That? And a Giveaway!

Truman Capote once said, “You can’t blame a writer for what the characters say.” This is quite true as I explained in my guest post at Buried Under Books.

Buried Under Books

Lauren and Gnarly Lauren and Gnarly

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. A Wedding and a Killing is the eight installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Lauren launched the Lovers in Crime (first introduced in Shades of Murder) mystery series in September 2012 with Dead on Ice. Real Murder is the second installment in this series.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent…

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“It’s Not a Baby, It’s a Book”

If you are a new author working on your first book, then you need to read this blog post by Mercy Pilkington. It gives an excellent perspective on the business end of being an author!

“It’s Not a Baby, It’s a Book”.

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Book Review: Nowhere Out by Vincent J. Sachar

Today, we have a book review for Vincent J. Sachar’s Nowhere Out:

I was happy to read Nowhere Out by Vincent J. Sachar. It was very well written and Mr. Schar’s knowledge of the military and police procedure was most impressive.

NOWHERE OUT is Vincent Sachar's second novel Click on book cover to purchase on Amazon.

NOWHERE OUT is Vincent Sachar’s second novel Click on book cover to purchase on Amazon.

Kent Taylor was a Navy SEAL. He was a dedicated soldier, father, and husband. He gave his all to his country and to the men he served with, and then his pregnant wife, in-laws, and young son are murdered. Revenge drips through his veins like an acid, and he acts upon his emotions, killing those who are responsible. His military training make his techniques so stealthy that he becomes known as the “Ghost Assassin” by the man who dogs him, detective, Bill Gladdings, and to the public. In the end, Kent Taylor is supposedly killed in a car accident, but he lives on in a reclusive lifestyle as Ron Woodruff.

Fourteen years later–enter the “Shadow Killer”–similar murders begin happening. Someone is out to kill people who have been assigned to a commission on wrong doings in the government, and those who may testify. He kills with the same stealth as the Ghost Assassin and those who are investigating are starting to think that the ghost has returned–except for Gladdings.

Meanwhile Kent/Ron has met a woman and he’s thinking that he may be able to return to a life, but will he be forced to come forward to aide in stopping the murders? Will he have to risk this new life to help bring the Shadow and those who have hired him to justice?

Love, love, loved this book! I felt every emotion that Kent Taylor felt–he was a likeable, believable, protagonist. I highly recommend this book ! 5 STARS



Vincent J. Sachar

For five years, Ron Woodruff has been living a quiet, solitary life on a nameless road in upstate New York. He’s become accustomed to keeping to himself, at a safe distance from others, scrupulously avoiding the risk of involvement with anyone. Despite his peaceful surroundings, Woodruff remains tormented by memories of his former life—the life that ended fourteen years ago with the death of Kent Taylor, decorated Navy SEAL turned notorious serial killer.

For fourteen years, Bill Gladding, one of the FBI’s most respected field agents, has kept silent about his work on the “Ghost Assassin Case.” He rarely reflects on the covert mission—sanctioned by the government, for its own protection—to falsify the death of an extremely efficient killer, the former Lieutenant Commander Kent Taylor.

After all these years, Taylor’s comfortably isolated life and Gladding’s peace of mind and plans for coasting into retirement are about to be shattered by an elusive new master of high-stakes, high-profile murder—the Night Shadow Killer.

In Nowhere Out (Divont Publishers, October 2014), Vincent J. Sachar draws readers into a complex, riveting plot of conspiracy and murder—sometimes for money and power, and sometimes for a noble cause. At its center are two strong men haunted by their past and struggling to forgive, especially themselves. Building on his first novel, The Nowhere Man, Sachar reunites Kent Taylor (a/k/a Ron Woodruff) and Bill Gladding, killer and detective, in a battle against a skillful, stealth assassin targeting the ruthless and powerful with ties to organized crime and political corruption. To further aggravate matters, Gladding uncovers evidence of a mole within his own trusted circle of agents. And Woodruff has a close encounter with the unexpected and unsettling: a woman. Genuine, funny, sensitive, and lovely, a widow and a survivor, Katie Dunham breaks through Taylor’s wall and fills him with a longing to get involved—at his own risk and hers.

Nowhere Out is packed with action, intrigue, and startling twists that will keep readers gripped until the final, satisfying page.

Vincent J. Sachar is an attorney with a passion for writing fiction. He introduced the character of Kent Taylor, Navy SEAL turned serial killer, in his debut novel, The Nowhere Man. A native New Yorker, Vince met his wife, Gwen, a native of southern Louisiana, while attending Loyola University in New Orleans. They have three grown children and make their home in south Florida. To learn more, please visit the author’s website:

An Interview with Vincent J. Sachar, author of Nowhere Out

1. You’re an attorney by day. What was your inspiration for writing thrillers about a patriotic Navy SEAL forced to use his lethal skills against corrupt government officials of the country he fought for and loves?
Throughout my career, I normally wrote things that were of a serious and business nature. I have always been a very avid reader—a prerequisite, I believe, to writing. I wanted to explore the freedom of writing creatively—especially writing fiction novels. In line with that, I wanted to explore the impact and character development of a man highly trained with lethal skills who is suddenly stripped of everything he genuinely values. The mix of a government-trained Special Forces soldier and a betrayal by the government that trained him best fits the “mix” I was looking for.

Vincent Sachar is an attorney by day and thriller writer by night. Click on his photo to visit his website to learn more about recent releases and more.

Vincent Sachar is an attorney by day and thriller writer by night. Click on his photo to visit his website to learn more about recent releases and more.

2. Do you think that your plot, where many of the villains are the politically powerful, resonates with the popular belief these days that the government no longer serves the best interest of its people?
Yes, even though the novel itself is not an “anti-government” story nor a statement that governments and people in power can never be trusted. Yet, it does support the popular belief that the government cannot always nor fully be trusted to serve the best interests of its people. And for Kent Taylor, that’s the point! What do you do when you are on the wrong side of unlawful government actions? Where do you go? To whom can you turn? Lord Acton — “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

3. Kent Taylor, the protagonist, was unjustly branded a terrorist by his government. Do you think there are actually people wrongfully and maliciously persecuted and branded as terrorists by the government?
Absolutely! Sometimes (wrongfully) this occurs as a result of ignorance that is often combined with people’s failure to objectively make their own determinations. Other times (maliciously) someone is so labeled because he represents a threat to the status quo. In The Nowhere Man, Bill Gladding, a seasoned “law and order” FBI Special Agent, anticipated that in Taylor he would find a twisted (terrorist) killer. The fact that he did not carries over into the dynamics of Nowhere Out.

4. At the heart of Kent Taylor’s pain is the fact that he feels responsible for the government’s murder of his wife and young kids. In this sequel, you introduce a new love interest. How does writing a more flirtatious storyline differ from writing scenes dealing with cold and calculated murders?
At the heart of everything, there is an underlying emotional foundation. The difference between a flirtatious storyline and scenes with cold and calculated murders is the difference between hope and the prospect of happiness and the absence of any such hope or possibility of joyful fulfillment. A writer must enter into the mindset of his or her characters and the scenario in which the characters have been placed. It should be no surprise that many an author will laugh, cry, or shudder when writing and reading his or her own creative words.

The Nowhere Man is Vincent Sachar's first novel click on book cover to purchase on Amazon.

The Nowhere Man is Vincent Sachar’s first novel click on book cover to purchase on Amazon.

5. Kent Taylor is the hero of your novels, yet he is indeed a killer who acts outside the boundaries of the law. Is it ever justifiable, let alone righteous, to seek out revenge and kill those who’ve hurt you?
In a true “black and white” analysis of Taylor’s revenge killings, they are neither righteous nor justifiable. Interestingly, he never in The Nowhere Man nor in Nowhere Out ever labels them as justifiable or righteous. He never defends his actions. No, it is never righteous nor justifiable to kill others in revenge for the hurt they have put you through. But it is sometimes “understandable.” There seem to be times when the extenuating circumstances that generate a person’s unlawful actions are such that they appear to lessen the degree of wrongfulness associated with them. It is as if we say that we cannot completely fault someone for responding as they did. And question whether we would have done the same.

6. Some people are distrustful of soldiers returning from war, even going so far as to question their mental stability. Your character, Kent Taylor, faces some of that from even some members of his family. Were you concerned that writing about a murdering former Navy SEAL could perpetuate that stereotype?
No, not really. Kent Taylor’s actions do not arise out of post traumatic stress disorder. Rather, they are spawned by the murders of his loved ones perpetrated directly and indirectly by government officials and law enforcement officers—people with whom he would normally associate with very positively.

7. This novel is about self-reinvention and a philosophy of life you call “Yborn.” What is “Yborn” and is it possible in today’s world where every facet of one’s life is documented online in perpetuity?
Actually, the “Yborn” that I speak of relates to something in a person’s life that they were meant or born to do. It is in response to Mark Twain’s quote: “The two greatest days in a person’s life are the day they are born and the day they find out why.”
Yes, there are instances when a person has either changed to such a degree or generated so much that is positive that the negativity of their past seems to get lost in the “used-to-be” aspects of their life. With regard to Kent Taylor, I have endeavored to portray him as a man of character and integrity whose actions,
following a devastating loss of all he valued in life, cross boundaries and standards that he otherwise would never have violated.

8. You’re now living in sunny South Florida. Has the sunshine and warm weather influenced your darker plots and storylines?
Hahahaha! Waking up most every day to find the sunshine bleeding through the window blinds, anxious to enter your home, does seem to stimulate a person’s creative juices! I have already written, but not yet published, an epic fantasy fiction novel and have already started on a third “Kent Taylor” story. So whether a novel is a bit dark or quite the opposite is based upon the story birthed within me. The Florida sunshine is the innocent catalyst. LOL.
About the Reviewer

Cindy McDonald

For twenty-six years my life whirled around song and dance: I was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but I suddenly felt drawn to my computer to write about thing I have experienced ( greatly exaggerated upon, of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and happening at the race track.

Author Cindy McDonald. Click on pic to visit Cindy's website.

Author Cindy McDonald. Click on pic to visit Cindy’s website.

Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the race track is much more….racy. The drama is outrageous– not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do, but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it, which make for great story telling – great fiction.

I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was that we couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said, “Cindy, don’t be stupid, turn your scripts into book.” and so I did!In 2011 I took the big leap and exchanged my tap shoes for a lap top- I retired from dance. It was a scary proposition, I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband- Saint Bill. That year was a huge transition for me, I went from dancing hard for five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer. I still work-out and take my dog, Allister, for a daily run. I have to, or I’d be as big as a house. Do I miss dance? Sometimes I do. I miss the students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I LOVE my books, and I love sharing them with you!

Stop by Literary Wealth on Thursday for a Book Spotlight on Cindy’s latest suspense:

To the Breaking Pointe:

Click on book cover to purchase Cindy's latest suspense on Amazon.

Click on book cover to purchase Cindy’s latest suspense on Amazon.

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Character Guest Post: Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction

Interview with Slick & Junebug
From Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction
by Amy Metz

Today we’re delighted to be talking to Slick and Junebug Calloway, the owners of the aptly named Slick & Junebug’s Diner. Those are unusual names. Did Amy give you those or are they nicknames?

Slick: What’s wrong with our names?

Junebug: Oh, don’t listen to this old coot. I’ll tell you about our names. You’re right, they’re both nicknames. Slick has worn his hair slicked back like that ever since he was a boy. His mama used the pomade very liberally, and folks started calling him Slick, and it stuck. My name came about on account of two things: one is I was born in June, and the other is when I was a baby my daddy said I was no bigger ‘n a bug, and they started calling me Junebug.

Click on Book Cover to download Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction on Amazon.

Click on Book Cover to download Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction on Amazon.

Can you tell us your given names?
Slick: Clarence
Junebug: Shirley

Those are nice names, but I do like Slick and Junebug better. I hear you’re one of the best cooks around, Slick. Who taught you to cook?
Slick: My mama, bless her heart. She was a better cook than I am, and in fact I’d hire her over at the diner if she were alive today. She taught me everything I know about cooking.

What’s your favorite food to make?
Slick: I make the best cheeseburger you’ll ever put in your mouth.
Junebug: He’s right, he does.

Amy: His cheeseburgers are so good they’ll make your tongue slap your brains out.
What would you call a cheeseburger in diner lingo?
Junebug: Burn one, take it through the garden and pin a rose on it.

So all your cheeseburgers are well done?
Slick: Naw, Burn one just means I grill ‘em. Want me to make you one right now?

Maybe later. Junebug , what’s your favorite thing he makes?
Junebug: I love his baking. There ain’t nothing in our diner that’s store bought. It’s all made from scratch, even the life preservers.
Life preservers?
Amy: She means donuts.
Junebug: Slick makes killer donuts. But I’d have to say I like his pies the best. He doesn’t make one that I wouldn’t climb through all of Georgia to get to.
Amy: His Eve with a lid on is the best thing you ever put in your mouth. It’s won the county fair blue ribbon for as long as anybody can remember.
Slick: She means apple pie.

Ah. What’s your favorite thing to order in diner lingo?
Junebug: You mean, what do I like to say the best?

Yes, when you head to the kitchen to place an order. What’s your favorite thing to say?
Junebug: Well, I love to-go orders because I can say, “Let it walk” or “Give it shoes.” And I love nervous pudding. You know what that is?

No idea.
Junebug: Gelatin. Bossy in a bowl is a goodun too.

That’s got to have something to do with a cow. Is it chili?
Slick: No, it’s beef stew. You know what I like the best?

No idea.
Slick: Clean up the kitchen.
Junebug: Not literally, he means hash.
Slick: It’s not only good tasting and fun to say, but I get to use up a lot of food that otherwise would get tossed.

I hear that the diner has two regulars who occupy counter stools every single day. What do they order the most?
Junebug: Trouble.
Slick: Ah, she’s just kidding. Clive and Earl are talkers, though. First of all, they always have coffee. Clive likes his black.
Junebug: Which in diner lingo is mud.
Slick: And Earl likes his coffee with cream and way too much sugar.
Junebug: That’s called a blond with sand. But I always tell him he likes coffee in his sugar. I guess that would make it mud in your sand.
Amy: And two cups of coffee are called a pair of drawers.

Interesting. What else do Clive and Earl like?
Slick: Anything.
Junebug: Everything.
Slick: They usually order the blue plate special. I change it up so they have something different every day.
Junebug: And even though Earl doesn’t have one tooth in his head, he’ll order and eat just about anything. It might take him longer, but it doesn’t deter him.

What does Amy usually order?
Amy: Slick does something to his ham that’s out of this world. I don’t know what it is, but a ham sandwich with lettuce and tomato and some sweet tea is good eating.
Slick: That’s my Noah’s boy, and she always wants to take it through the garden.
Amy: He means lettuce and tomato. Sometimes he’ll add onion–pin a rose on it–when he has a sweet Vidalia onion sitting around. But actually, any of Slick’s baked goods are my favorite.
Junebug: He makes pies with six-inch high meringue, cakes with icing an inch thick, big fat chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies, donuts, brownies, you name it, Slick makes it, and it’s good.

Okay, folks. I’d better let you get back to work. And you all are making me hungry. Can I have that cheeseburger now?
Junebug: Burn one, Slick. You wanna take it through the garden and pin a rose on it, hon?
Sure, why not.

My Review:

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that my two favorite things are mysteries and humor. Therefore, it goes without saying that I loved Amy Metz’s Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. Being a small town girl from West Virginia, I know that it takes a special talent to be able to honestly bring out the special quaint qualities of southerners without making them appear stupid and backward. Amy Metz does that wonderfully. Her characters are simply loveable. I found it an extra special treat to be taken into a compelling mystery as well.

Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction is charming, fun, well-written, and loaded with delicious personality that makes the reader want to go back again if only to say, “Hi, y’all!”

About the Author:

Click on Amy to visit her website to learn more about Goosepimple Junction.

Click on Amy to visit her website to learn more about Goosepimple Junction.

Amy Metz attended Centre College and graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Elementary Education. She taught first grade until her first child was born, and then motherhood and volunteer work took up her time. When her mother was diagnosed with dementia in 2009, she turned to writing as therapy. Needing an escape from life and from the memoir, and desperately needing to laugh, she began writing a humorous southern mystery that eventually became Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, and an author was born.

Amy has been richly blessed with two sons – an adult and a teenager – and a daughter-in-law. When not actively engaged in writing or spending time with her family, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in her hands. Amy’s debut novel, Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, was first published in August 2012, with the second edition coming in September 2014. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Contact Amy at:

Amy’s links:

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BookReview: Real Murder (A Lovers in Crime Mystery) by Lauren Carr

In case you’ve missed it, this month the latest Lovers in Crime Mystery, Real Murder, was released and it is already a hit with both reviewers and readers. Still hesitant? Well check out ABookVacation’s review.

{ARC Review} Real Murder by Lauren Carr.

via {ARC Review} Real Murder by Lauren Carr.

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Guest Post & Giveaway: The Truth About Muses

I am always thrilled to spotlight a guest on Literary Wealth. It’s like introducing my friends to another great friend that I believe they would love to get to know better. This week’s guest is Romance Author Jessica Lauryn and she is going to tell us the truth about muses. Not only is Jessica giving you the inside scoop about muses, but we are also having a giveaway. Leave a comment (plus your email address) and you might win an e-copy of the second installment in Jessica’s series, Dangerous Proposal.

Take it away, Jessica!

Jessica Lauryn is the author of The Pinnacles of Power Series. Click on her picture to visit her website!

Jessica Lauryn is the author of The Pinnacles of Power Series. Click on her picture to visit her website!

Thanks so much for having me back, Lauren! I am thrilled to announce the release of my forth book, Dangerous Secret, book # 1 of The Pinnacles of Power Series! I would also like to share about “muse” – the element that keeps us writers producing the pages that provide hours of endless enjoyment.

Muse can come from anywhere. That said, whenever I’m participating in an author panel discussion and I hear another author give this as an answer to the question, “Where does your muse come from?” or, if I hear this coming out of my own mouth, I become frustrated because this answer is so vague. I sympathize with the reader who is in the audience saying to herself, I meant, Author X, where does your muse come from specifically? To say that it comes from everywhere, though true as that may be, essentially tells me nothing. Though equally, I sympathize with the author who is sitting in front of that audience member and thinking to herself, I’ve been inspired by so many different things in the world that I wouldn’t know where to begin. And even if I could formulate some sort of a specific answer for you, I don’t have a cold chance in hell of recalling all of the different places I’ve drawn inspiration from!

How true that is! We authors do in fact draw our inspiration from “everywhere,” beginning with the people around us. Because of the lives we live, some of us surround ourselves with the same few individuals all the time, and others are constantly meeting new people. Whatever an author’s situation, it is more than likely that she is drawing at least some inspiration from the people around her. Sometimes authors choose to depict a character as an exact match for a person they know. But more often than not, they’ll take various aspects of that person and combine them with various aspects of someone else, or an existing character. But that’s plagiarism, right? Wrong!!! Not when the author chooses to take selected elements of a particular character and combines those traits with elements, elements from some other source, going on to then place the character in a unique story and situation that is all her own. I personally believe that many authors are afraid to admit that they draw inspiration from existing characters, be it from TV, movies, or other books, because they don’t want to be accused of plagiarism. But how silly that sounds, when you think about it, because every character under the sun is going to fall under the umbrella of some archetype no matter how unique he is. Inspiration has got to come from somewhere. And chances are that even if an author tries every way imaginable to avoid making her character like others that she’s read about, bits and fragments are going to spill out of her mind and into that character no matter what she does.

This said, I think that writers are also sometimes equally afraid to admit that they use people they know and meet in real life as inspiration for characters. We authors don’t want to offend anyone, and for sure we don’t want to reveal any of our own very personal secrets. That’s one of the many reasons why we write fiction in the first place – we want to express our emotions by getting things out on paper, things that are often real, which we possess the ability to disguise as fiction. Sneaky, huh? 😉 On the other hand, I’ve met many different people in real life who’ve asked me to make them a character in a story. But the truth is, I’m much more likely to put someone in a book if they’ve hurt me, creeped me out, or are very unusual in some way, then if they’re just a nice, “normal” person. This is not always the case, but those unusual people I meet often seem to demand stories more than others because they do so much to stand out. They stay in my mind longer and therefore they have a much more likely chance of finding themselves being put down on paper. That is a fact, pure and simple.

Dangerous Secret, book #1 in the Pinnacles of Power Series, is now available for pre-order. Click on Book Cover to order now from the publisher.

Dangerous Secret, book #1 in the Pinnacles of Power Series, is now available for pre-order. Click on Book Cover to order now from the publisher.

Now, in effort to break the vicious cycle, here is a bit of my own dirty laundry! Like Abigail MacKenzie, heroine in Dangerous Secret, I worked in a hotel while it was undergoing renovation. And like my hero, Ryan, I experienced feelings of extreme frustration where my overbearing boss was concerned. I channeled these and other elements into my characters and into my story. For instance, I essentially felt like the only thing missing in my life at that time was a handsome guy to enter the picture and make things interesting, which is of course why I created Ryan Newberry. Just in case you were wondering, there was NO murder mystery to be solved in the place where I was working, or criminals, or diamond smuggling – that is ALL fiction! But you can see where the initial inspiration took off for me. And it was like that for my other stories as well. I’ve met many people in my life that I’ve turned into characters along the way, and I’ve also met people who’ve shared a freakishly large number of factors in common with characters I’ve already written. Am I psychic? Could be… 😉

As a writer, I choose to allow the muse to take me wherever it wants to go. It’s helpful to write about things you’ve experienced personally, which I have done several times, writing about places I’ve been to and characters who became some elaborated version of a person I knew. I have also tried writing about places I don’t know so well and that I’ve never been to, and characters who are purely fictitious and don’t remind me of anyone I’ve ever met. This is where research becomes helpful as does simply having a healthy appetite for imaginative scenarios, which fortunately, I have plenty of!

For me, writing is a way of seeing the world in a different way, through my characters’ eyes, and essentially creating a new world, a fantasy world where danger ignites passion, heroes confess their love and heroines are swept off their feet. There is no place I’d rather be. And I am so excited to share that world with all of you!

Dangerous Proposal is Book 2 in Jessica Lauryn's Pinnacles of Power series. Click on Book Cover to purchase from Amazon.

Dangerous Proposal is Book 2 in Jessica Lauryn’s Pinnacles of Power series. Click on Book Cover to purchase from Amazon.


Okay, now is your chance to win a free e-copy of Dangerous Proposal, the second installment in Jessica Lauryn’s Pinnacles of Power series. Leave a comment below. If you want, tell us about your muse. Be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you. The winner’s name will be drawn on Sunday, June 15.

About the Author

At two years old, Jessica became a devoted fan of both listening to and reciting the books her parents would read to her at night. When she was a little older (about four), she sought a greater challenge in her life, and began making up stories of her own, acting them out with her dolls. “When the dolls got “boyfriends,” she says, “I knew I was getting too old for dolls!”

A life-long lover of romance, Jessica took several writing classes in college, and told her professors she was one-day going to write soap-operas. When graduation came, she joined a critique group, and on a whim, decided to “write a romance novel.” That first attempt will forever be staying under the mattress…

Then, on a train ride to her internship in the fashion industry, Jessica finally cracked open her first romance novel. That hot August morning, she fell head-over-heels for the genre, and has been writing it ever since.

Jessica is most intrigued by dark heroes, who have many demons to conquer…but little trouble enticing female companions into their beds! She feels that the best romances are those where the hero is already seducing the heroine from that first point of contact. “Isn’t it the hero’s job to seduce?” she says with a grin.

Jessica loves to see the sparks fly when a stubborn, domineering hero crosses paths with a bold, feisty heroine, and uses the combination frequently in her stories.

When she’s is not writing, Jessica enjoys listening to as much 80’s music as possible, keeping current with the storylines on Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless, shopping for the latest fashions and the prettiest of antiques, and taking long walks in nature where she can daydream about anything romantic. Though she resides in Central New Jersey, her heart belongs to the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.




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