Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ten Things About Lauren Carr's Lovers in Crime Mysteries You May Not Know

Ten Things About Lauren Carr’s Lovers in Crime Mysteries You May Not Know
By Lauren Carr, author of ‘Dead on Ice’

1)     The Lovers in Crime Mysteries take place in Chester, West Virginia, which is a real small town in the most northern point of West Virginia. In the Northern Panhandle, if you go a mile in any direction, you end up in another state (Pennsylvania or Ohio).

2)     Lauren Carr grew up in Chester, West Virginia. Many members of her family still live there.
Dead on Ice sm3)     Joshua Thornton’s stone house on Rock Spring Boulevard is a real three-story stone house that Lauren used to dream about living in when she grew up in Chester, West Virginia.

4)     Rock Spring Boulevard is a fictional street in Chester. Lauren Carr changed the name because she didn’t want people driving by and bothering the real homeowners.

5)     Irving, Cameron Gates’ cat, is based on Duchess, a Maine Coon that Lauren Carr used to have. Duchess was the reverse of a skunk, all white with a black stripe down her back. Irving is marked like a skunk, all black with a white stripe down his back.

6)     The real Hancock County prosecuting attorney’s office is located in the corner of an abandoned school house across the street from the courthouse, which is where Lauren Carr has placed Joshua’s office. Though now, with up to date technology, Joshua usually works remotely from his home.

7)     Cameron and Joshua’s passion for ice cream is based on Lauren’s own addiction. She has an ice cream sundae every night before going to bed.

8)     Cameron never gains a pound in spite of what or how much she eats—unlike Lauren Carr.
9)     Joshua and Cameron’s “place”, favorite hang-out, Cricksters, is a real retro diner located in Chester, West Virginia. The Home of the Pink Cadillac is located at 2363 Lincoln Highway. Lauren loves to visit there when she is in town.

10) The next Lovers in Crime Mystery, Real Murder, was inspired by a dream Lauren had while recovering from a concussion, which she got when she fell off a horse. Real Murder will be coming this Spring and is dedicated to Peter Pan, the horse Lauren fell off of.

Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime.
Lauren CarrLauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. The first two books in her series, It’s Murder, My Son and Old Loves Die Hard have been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Lauren’s fifth mystery, Shades of Murder has been receiving rave reviews since its release.

Lauren’s sixth book, Dead on Ice, has just been released. Dead on Ice introduces a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, in which Joshua Thornton will join forces with homicide detective Cameron Gates.

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 spring, two books written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services.
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 two dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

King Arthur, History or Legend? by Donna Fletcher Crow

King Arthur, History or Legend? Arthurian Britain: The Anointing of the King
By Donna Fletcher Crow, author of ‘Glastonbury: A Novel of the Holy Grail’

The ancient tale, the one we all know and love— told by bards and minstrels in royal courts and around the fireside in simple cottages since Medieval times and retold by every generation as each age has remodeled the story to stress the qualities that age valued most, whether valorous warskill, gallant lovemaking or spiritual virtues.

The story of Arthur, the boy who would become king, whose shining kingdom of Camelot would stand as a beacon of the ideal. Was Arthur a matter of historic fact? I’m always asked.

And I reply, “Some mighty warlord won the peace and kept it for a space of time. Someone held the barbaric Saxons at bay from the west country. Someone held the kingdom for long enough that when the new rulers came they were Christian. Someone held a torch against the dark, waiting for the light. We might as well name him Arthur.”

My Arthur proclaims his goals when he is anointed by Archbishop Merlinus Dubricius at Caerleon:

Then Arthurius stood, with his queen beside him, his face shining in the light of a hundred candles from the shimmer of the anointing oil and from a radiance deep within. All were silent, as if holding their breath. Not a man to whom speech-making came naturally, Arthurius knew what he would say. “My friends, my people, I declare to you that this is Logres— the true Britain— the land of truth to which God led Joseph of Arimathea with the light of truth, the land which God’s Holy Spirit had prepared to receive His Word in the fullness of His time. 

“But the dark is rising against this light as it has countless times before and will countless times after us. And as in every age men will be called on to repel this darkness in the name of the God of Light, so are we called for our age. We have been given a space of time to build in peace. So must we build well so that our space can be filled with His light that will radiate beyond our own time. Long and long have I dreamed of a land of peace where the weak are protected from the strong, where the good are triumphant over the evil. With your help, I shall go forward from here to make this dream into truth.”

And so began the Camelot years. A time of flowering for the people and for the land. But it could not be forever. AT last even the mighty Arthur received his fatal blow as he battled for the peace. Arthur and his Guenivere are laid to rest by the brothers on the Holy Isle of Avalon watched over by the faithful Baudwin, the only one of Arthur’s band of valiant knights to survive the final battle:

As the monks turned to go, Brother Breden, youngest of their number and yet not so young anymore, said, “We are so few. Are we all that is left of Logres? Does the flame flicker so dimly?” 

Gildas stopped still and, for once unfrowning, turned to his brothers. “I would speak to you in comfort the words of our long gone-away Archbishop Merlinus Ambrosius Dubricius who said, ‘The light was before the dark, righteousness before evil, grace before sin. God the Creator existed before Satan the destroyer. So will light outlive dark, so is righteousness stronger than evil, so will grace overcome sin.’ The darkness closes over us, my brothers, but the light will shine again. And this light— the shining of Logres— will be remembered on the other side of the dark.” 

The brothers made their silent, brown-shadowed way up the path to the chanting of their nighttime prayers in the Old Church, leaving Baudwin alone by the grave of Arthurius High King and Gwenhumara High Queen. He sat on the evening dew-damp grass and brought from the soft golden doeskin bag on his shoulder the harp he had carried with him from Camel Hill. A night thrush sang from the overhanging branch of a flowering apple tree, and he waited until her song was finished, for the bard would not stifle his sister. Then his fingers moved across the strings. 

“The Summer Kingdom has gone. It could not last upon this earth. It was but a vision, a foretaste of what is to come for those who love— for those who love Him who is the King above all High Kings. His Kingdom of Summer, of peace, and of love will come for all time.” The words came out in a strange chanting to a random plucking of strings, not at all the flowing bardsong Baudwin was wont to make. Yet the words rang with conviction. They were the words he found in his heart, and he knew they were true. 

“But even so the end is not yet. The evil will not triumph forever. All that you did, my Arthurius, all that you lived for, my king, will rise again. It will live for generation unto generation. It will come again and again to each age with its own truth. Truth, like light, cannot die. 

“It is given unto man— even such a man as you, my Arthurius— for you were but a man— once to die. In the end, all must die. But what you lived for, lives beyond and beyond. 

“The triumph will be ours.”


Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 40 books, mostly novels dealing with British history. The award-winning Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail, an Arthurian grail search epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work. Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho. They have 4 adult children and 11 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.

Donna is also the author of The Monastery Murders: A Very Private Grave and A Darkly Hidden Truth, as well as the Lord Danvers series of Victorian true-crime novels and the romantic suspense series The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries. To read more about all of Donna’s books and see pictures from her garden and research trips go to:
Visit her on Twitter at!/DonnaFletcherCr.

Become her fan on Facebook at!/pages/Donna-Fletcher-Crow-Novelist-of-British-History/355123098656.

Pick up your copy of Donna Fletcher Crow’s Glastonbury: A Novel of the Holy Grail at Amazon:

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Promote Your Book Online: I Choose the Wrong Way by Susan Wingate

The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Promote Your Book Online: I Choose the Wrong Way
By Susan Wingate

Of late, every time I teach at a writing conference, the program coordinators slate a workshop with a title something like this: How to Blog Effectively or The Art of Blogging. You get the idea. They have rules like: never blog without knowing the topic you’ll be discussing; and, try to blog in your niche. Words of wisdom for sure however if your niche is writing or more succinctly, novel writing, well every Johnny out there has a blog about it. It seems the blogging market for how-to-write has become glutted.

For me, blog writing is secondary to novel writing and so I use my blog to grease my creative and technical skills. I like humor too so I sort of play around when I blog. I get silly even.

For instance, I broke out in a huge full-body rash this past April and because this new development sent me on an adventure to the doctor, I decided to blog about it. Wise in the eyes of blogging experts? I dare say not. But did it get noticed? Oh. My. Yes. That one blog post brought the most visitors to my website in months. Since then, I post everything and anything that comes to mind. Sometimes these postings are about writing but I always add a bit of humor to them. People like to laugh, plain and simple. Today’s blog, July 2nd, tells about the time my husband called me a hermit. Of course, my husband, Bob gives me tons of great fodder for writing. He makes me laugh because he doesn’t understand me. This paradoxical relationship makes for great humor. We’re terribly in love with one another but, still, he’s a businessman and I’m an artist. The rift between these two mindsets can seem as deep as the Mariana Trench.

Anyway, I tend to believe that people like to laugh. Writing funny makes me laugh too. Maybe it doesn’t meet The Idiot’s Guide to Blogging but if everyone’s laughing then we all win. Right?

Most recently, Susan Wingate’s novels, SPIDER BRAINS and DROWNING each reached Amazon Bestseller status in 2012. DROWNING won the 2011 Forward National Literature Award for Drama. She would love for you to read her books. You can find them all under the tab on this site labeled “Books”. SUSAN has written eleven novels, two short story collections, a few plays, one screenplay and tons of poems. Her latest 2011 novel DROWNING  (contemporary women’s fiction), won 1st place in the 2011 Forward National Literature Award and also won a finalist award for the category of Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit in the 2011 International Book Awards. A vibrant public speaker, Susan offers inspiring, motivational talks about the craft of writing, publishing and marketing, and how to survive this extremely volatile (e-)Publishing industry. She presents these lectures for private groups and at writing conferences, libraries and bookstores around the country.

To get your copy of SPIDER BRAINS by Susan Wingate:

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If one were to bake the story SPIDER BRAINS into a cake, they should sprinkle in Charlotte’s Web, toss in one Jellicle Cat, then stir in a little Spiderman—but as a girl and not in that goofy latex outfit! A tale of hope, transformation, transition and inspiration.

After her father’s death last year and, now, in the throes of a gnarly teacher’s whim as she thinks ahead to college (or really just dreams of getting into college), a small black arachnid bites fifteen-year-old Susie Speider on the finger. The bite sends her nights into fantastical dreams about taking revenge on a teacher who, ultimately, holds her college aspirations in the palm of her cold calloused hand. But, after Susie figures out the dreams are real, she ups the ante by visiting the teacher regularly… as the spider! And, oh, by the way! Who is that boy spider munching on flies, hiding over there in the corner? A story of loss and forgiveness, tolerance and kindness, Susie Speider deals with the death of her father while Matt Ryder–the new neighbor boy–has just lost his mother. Ultimately, SPIDER BRAINS poses some important questions about how to treat Attention-Deficit-Disorder.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

As the Paper Shreds by Kathy Holmes

As the Paper Shreds
By Kathy Holmes

I was living/working in a high-stress job in Silicon Valley, had recently married my soulmate, and was longing to switch careers. I started thinking about my love of fiction and how I’d promised myself that one day I would write a novel. Sound familiar? Anyway, with my new husband’s whole-hearted encouragement, on January 31, 2002, I ordered the “Immediate Fiction” workshop course from the Writer’s Loft in Chicago. I discovered later that this was the same workshop that my favorite author Laura Caldwell participated in.

About this same time, I’d read The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller and The Gazebo by Emily Grayson. These books inspired me to try my hand at writing a similar book. My first two manuscripts, Carmel Knowledge and Lies! Camera! Action! got agent requests but not agent. I buried these on my computer.

By this time I’d discovered Chick Lit when I read Laura Caldwell’s Burning the Map and we’d just moved to Florida. Totally in love with this new genre, I sat out on the screened Lanai with my laptop, played Jimmy Buffet and Steel Drum music, slathered on the Hawaiian Tropic to get into the mood for a Caribbean cruise and wrote Real Women Wear Red. Not only did I begin to get full requests from agents but one agent offered me representation. Not only that, but this was manuscript #3 and Nicholas Sparks didn’t sign until manuscript #4. Woo hoo! I thought I was on my way.

Unfortunately, I’d discovered Chick Lit a little too late because by this time we were hearing that Chick Lit was dying and my book didn’t find a home with a major publishing house, much to my agent’s and my disappointment. I was offered a contract with an e-publishing house. After much consideration, I decided to turn down the contract (hard to do because it was exciting being offered that first contract), part with my agent, and self-publish before self-publishing was the hot option it is now.

This was before Kindle so after it ran its course in the print market, it was revitalized with the new Kindle market and it continues to sell.

For my next novel, The Tom Jones Club, I decided to sign with an e-publishing house because I knew how hard self-publishing is. It was a relief to hand off some of that responsibility to somebody else, although I did miss the control I’d had with self-publishing.

My third and latest published novel, Letters on Balboa Island, received interest from romance publishers, but they wanted me to adhere to romance guidelines I just didn’t want to adhere to. I felt it would change the story too much, so I decided to self-publish again.

Each one of these publishing experiences was an experiment. What I learned is that it’s important to consider what type of book you’re writing before you decide how best to publish it. What works for one author or one genre doesn’t work for another and you have to shut out the noise out there that tells you to do it one particular way.
Born in the City of Angels, raised on Walt Disney, and inspired by the dreams of both, Kathy Holmes grew up in southern California halfway between Disneyland and the beach.
Tantalized by the tropics since Adam Troy set sail on the Kon Tiki in James A. Michener’s “Adventures in Paradise,” she traveled to tropical destinations such as Hawaii, Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Asia Pacific. Eventually, she moved to Florida where she wrote and secured representation for Real Women Wear Red. She also wrote for Walt Disney World and the Orlando Sentinel.
After living in Las Vegas for a few years, Kathy, her husband, and their three Burmese cats have moved back to Florida and are now living halfway between Walt Disney World and the beach in Central Florida.
Her latest book is Letters on Balboa Island.
Visit her on the web at
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon| Amazon Kindle | Smashwords l Official Tour Page

About Letters on Balboa Island

When Rosalie Martin was seventeen, she knew two things that were true: (1) You couldn’t help but meet a man in a military uniform in southern California in the 1950s, and (2) Sooner or later, men would leave. But that didn’t stop her mother, her sister, or even herself from trying to find a man who would stay. And before she knew it, she had not only one man on her hands, but two. 
When Rosalie sends a Dear John letter to the one serving in the Korean War to marry the one back home, she begins a life of secrets and regrets. Years later, when letters surface on Balboa Island, she realizes she may have chosen the wrong man. So when fate gives her the chance to make a different choice, will she? Or has she lived a life of lies for too long?