Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I recently discovered this author and her book, Loving Nate and had to share it with you. Enjoy!

Loving Nate - Nice

Loving Nate


Loving Nate is Leah’s story of falling in love with Mr. Perfect. Leah falls fast and hard, losing all sense of reasoning. Love can do that to a gal, especially when the guy is as smooth as Nathan Moore. Loving Nate is about Leah’s journey of falling in love, when she should have been standing in love.

 Author’s Note

 I’ve decided to provide two very different endings to this novella. Have you ever made a decision and wondered whether or not it was the right choice? Or perhaps you made the right choice because you knew that the alternative would’ve been disastrous? This is my gift to readers. Regardless of Leah’s final choice, I wanted readers to be able to reflect on the possibilities.



 I can’t help but wonder. So many what ifs. What if I had decided to walk away all those years ago? What if I had decided to tell him no when he proposed? Although we might never know what really happened, I feel that last year’s miscarriage was due to stress. The stress must not be all that bad this time. At six months pregnant, things appear to be different for once.

Five years ago, I left Nate. I made the mistake of reaching out to him after I’d already given up. But he begged for my love and called me his one true love. Now I don’t know. I can’t make that call. On our wedding day, standing on that beautiful beach in Negril, he was my god. Hardly anyone else was there as we faced each other and proclaimed our undying love. I even took the time to recite an extra special declaration to the love of my life.

Shame on me! I made him my god. So now I can’t help but wonder if I’m being punished for loving my husband too much. Then again, the signs were already there. Weren’t they?

I hear the phone beckoning. Something is telling me that it’s him, though I can’t move. I’m drained, lifeless, on the verge of certain death. And then again, would that be better somehow?

And now there’s a knocking. I allow the noise and vibration to rattle me. I really don’t care anymore. Nate’s seed is churning inside of me, but nothing matters. I’m no good to him, no good to myself, and surely no good to this baby.

“Leah,” he bellows through the locked door. I’ve recently changed the lock. I didn’t want him to have the ability to come and go when he thought I wasn’t home. Dammit, Nathan needs to face me.

“Open the door!”

Now that he’s here, I’m not sure I want to see him. Not sure I want to be seen. I was once beautiful, confident, smart and strong. Now I’m ruined and damaged. I’m a damaged girl. Chloe told me about a book she read called Damaged Girls. It deals with all sorts of abuse. Perhaps someday someone will include my name in the category of Damaged Girls. Or maybe someday someone will write about the girl named Leah and her foolish choice of love. Maybe they’ll call it Loving Nate.


 JR Full Length




Janice Ross was born in Guyana, South America and migrated to the USA in 1980. Although her citizenship certificate now reads the United States of America, she considers herself a citizen of the world. Sure she has not physically been around the world and back, but she’s travelled in her mind and dreams.

Janice is an author. She enjoys writing about social issues and personal experiences. Janice’s debut release was entitled Damaged Girls. She uses the three books in that series to detail the effects of different forms of abuse, discussing issues that are known to be taboo. Her next release, Jumping Ship, is a dedication to her country of birth and an introductory novella to the Island Hopping Series – due out in 2014. It’s poised to be a colorful and emotional experience of life, love and family. As of present, she is also a contributor to a short story collection – Just Between Us, Inspiring Stories by Women. And lastly, Loving Nate is a novella about the realities of losing one’s self to love.

Janice enjoys reading. And is drawn to stories with distinct characters that she can love or hate, characters she can form alliances with or characters that she can swear off and despise. She is also weak for a good cultural tale, preferably in the form of historical fiction. Janice loves to be taken off guard by clever language and settings.

Janice is also a devout supporter and promoter of other authors through social media. She hosts a weekly show, Cultural Cocktails, on the largest social radio network, Blog Talk Radio.

 You can connect with Janice on


Talk show:

Blog &







Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

They’re Leaving the Nest — A Leap of Faith


 Who doesn’t love springtime? No matter what our age, we feel a sense of renewal. The trees are heavy with fruit, the wisteria is brilliant on the patio, the garden is a riot of color, the butterflies are on the milkweed and the hummingbirds have laid their eggs.

Therein is the problem. This year, we have two hummingbird nests, one directly outside my office window on the second floor and one just beyond the side patio on the first floor. The nests are a work of art and the comings and goings of the mommas distract me when I should be writing, but how many times do you have a front row seat to watch a miracle taking place right in front of you?

I’ve been very concerned about one of the hummingbird mommas. I think I’m witnessing a bad hummingbird mother and I don’t think there’s a 12-step group for help or a place I can report her. I’ve never heard of the “Bad Hummingbird Mothers Self-Help Group!”

The silken nest outside my office window was the home a year ago for two eggs which later hatched and became beautiful hummingbirds. I watched by the hour as momma gathered nectar and fed her babies. I watched them grow and held my breath the first time they flapped their tiny little wings. I freely admit it; I cried when they left. I can only imagine what the world must look like to a baby hummingbird perched on the edge of its nest, read to spread its wings for its first flight. That momma watched them as they took their first tentative flight and then flew to where they were. Talk about a leap of faith! I wonder if momma hummingbird felt like I did, that those babies were just too young to be out in the world on their own.

I was surprised when I looked out the window about a month ago and noticed there were two perfect little hummingbird eggs in last year’s nest. I thought hummingbirds always constructed new nests each year, but when I went to the Internet — and who doesn’t go there when information is needed? — it said in some cases, the momma or her babies may return to the nest from the year before to lay their eggs. Who knew? However, this year I became concerned because I never saw momma on the nest. I know she had to be there or they wouldn’t have hatched. No doubt about it, momma from last year was a much better mother. I never saw this year’s momma feed her birds, but I know she had to or they wouldn’t have been able to fly away. And I was there when they flew away, she wasn’t.

The nest near our patio is a little more difficult to see because I have to look up, not out, to see it. That nest’s momma is a good one. Every time I’ve been there she’s been on the nest. While I can’t see directly into it without getting a ladder and I’m afraid it might disturb her, enough time has gone by that the eggs should be hatching any day now. The other afternoon, I took a friend out to see the nest and momma hummingbird was on the nest as usual. Momma always stays on the nest when just one person is under it, but this time she flew to an upper branch and sat, watching us. I feel certain she was protecting her soon-to-be babies. She’s a good momma.

I’d like to think we mommas of all species share something in common: We watch out for our hatchlings. I worried when our children first drove. Now I wonder if momma hummingbird worries when her babies are flying around. You know I’ll be eagerly looking out my office window next year to see if any of them return to the nest to lay their eggs. I hope it’s a good momma. I’m pretty disappointed with this year’s upstairs momma.

Ahh nature. What a miracle!


Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


I have to share this book with you. It is excellent and right now it’s FREE. Enjoy! I asked the author to write his thoughts on it and here they are:

You and Your Dodoisms (

Belief, Intention, Visualizations and Affirmations are the four pillars of FAILURE.

Add determination or the attitude of ‘never giving up’ and you’ll experience hell in the blink of an eye, right here and right now.

Are you over-read, over-worked and over-burdened by life? Are you financially and spiritually bankrupt?

Are you up your eyeballs with get-rich-quick schemes? Are you surrounded by quacks when it comes to spirituality?
Give me an hour of your life and I’ll give you one hell of a ride. In this priceless, no nonsense, to the point, 60 page bookeen, you’ll discover:

• This stuff is not difficult nor is it rocket science.

• Actionless Action – Act without Acting. A Timeless, Priceless, Easy, Powerful and Assured path to Outer Riches and Inner Peace.

• Money and why a select few become rich? Will you ever make money?

• Meditation and Yoga. Are these Dodoisms too?

• Massive energy leaks from your being, and how they can be fixed?

• Are vegetarians more spiritual than non-vegetarians?

• Can thought and emotion ever be controlled? Or is that a fantasy?

• Is there more to losing weight than just diet and exercise?

• Human evolution from monkeys – true or false?

• Is it possible to be rich, happy and stress free at the same time?

• Einstein’s theory of relativity – true or false?

• Aliens – do they exist?

• Can you exist in two places at once?

• How everything began? How everything will end? Will it ever begin again?

This will be one of the most eye-opening bookeen’s you’ll ever read. I’m regular guy who was raised and educated on three continents. I went from Huh? to Aha! in two decades. I reckon I surprised myself, and I love it. The good news is: you can too. 

The secrets contained within are eternal and immortal. They’ve helped millions before and I sincerely hope they help you achieve financial and spiritual bliss in your life.


Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


I’ve read and been told that the cover of a book is critical to the success of the book. I’ve always agreed with the statement. Where I erred was not making the distinction between aesthetics and marketing. I published Coyote in Provence several months ago and I loved the cover the graphic artist did. I thought it was beautiful and I still do. What I didn’t take into account was that it really said nothing about what was in the book.

The book did fine, but not what I thought it could do. Overall, the reviews were excellent and when I did a special promotion, it always sold well, but something was niggling at me. I decided maybe it needed another cover. Bingo! The man who did the cover captured the essence of the book. And here’s the interesting part. I took out an ad on Goodreads months ago. I switched my ad from Blue Coyote Motel to Coyote in Provence. Within one week I’ve received more clicks on Goodreads than I had the entire last few months. Plus, I’ve received several great reviews since it went up. Here’s one  as well as both the before and after covers.

KDP 1.0

If your book isn’t doing as well as you think it should, you might want to rethink the cover! It’s definitely working for me!

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent story,not to be missed., April 7, 2014
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Coyote in Provence (Coyote Series) (Kindle Edition)
A five star story of romance,comedy,tear jerking at times,plenty of intrigue.
You will appreciate the mouth watering gourmet food dishes discussed through out the story
I would recommend this story to any reader who likes a good story line as Dianne Harman has produced a good read here.
I haven’t read the first part of this series but I intend to do that soon it is Blue Coyote Motel, possible would have been beneficial to have read it first.


Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I invite you to read what a number of authors have to say. Enjoy!

HBS Author’s Spotlight – Class of March 2014

This month we have a group of interesting writers with worlds of knowledge and expertise. The author interviews are a MUST read.

Be sure to check out what they have coming next for their readers. I try to pick authors who are interesting studies and ask them unique questions for our Q/A section.

Check out the Showcase feature of the HBS Author’s Spotlight. I have included those authors in this class. Thanks to the following outstanding authors for a great month.

Here is a summary of our March 2014 crew.

Cindy Blackburn

Author Genre: Mystery

Author’s Blog: Cindy Blackburn
Website: Cindy Blackburn – The Cue Ball Mysteries
Twitter: @cbmysteries
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: I’m giving the Cue Ball Mysteries a short break, so number five “Five Spot” will be out late in 2014 or early 2015. Right now I’m starting a new series, the Cassie Baxter Mysteries. The first book is “Unbelievable,” and will be available sometime this summer.

Social media: I love twitter! I love reading twitter bios and following new people every day. That’s how I built up my “followers.” I participate a lot. I love the back and forth with people. I look at twitter like a big party.

Support groups: I belong to Sisters in Crime and attend the meetings in Upstate SC.

Free books: I occasionally have put the first Cue Ball Mystery, Playing With Poison, for free (e-book only). It helps people find the Cue Ball Mysteries and give them a try… It’s a great tool for both readers and authors.

B ook launch: I use the internet and mostly twitter to alert everyone a new book is on the way. There are LOTS of steps in the process to create a book.

Blog: I use my blog—a funny, silly poem posted every Sunday—as a way to tell folks what’s been on my mind that week. It’s my “news” really. Time is a huge issue.

Reviews: Mostly I rely on my reading audience for reviews. But I also seek out reviewers who blog and specialize in reviewing cozy mysteries.

W riting novels and poetry: I look forward to time out from my mystery novel writing every week to write a poem. MUCH faster, more instant gratification on those little poems!

Author’s Book List
Four Play
Three Odd Balls
Double Shot
Playing with Poison

For the rest of the story…View Cindy Blackburn – HBS Author’s Spotlight

Carmen DeSousa

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Romance, Paranormal

Author’s Blog: Romance.Mystery.Suspense. – Carmen DeSousa
Website: Carmen DeSousa – ROMANCE. MYSTERY. SUSPENSE
Twitter: @Author_Carmen
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: My Creatus Series has been popular, but readers have demanded to know more about the years leading up to Book One, so as always, I listen to my readers, as they are my ‘real’ boss. So, I’ve spent the last month writing a prequel to the series. It is with my beta readers, and if they say ‘Go!’, readers should expect to see it April 2014.

Social media: As I tell most people: one follow at a time. I love interacting with authors and readers, and it doesn’t matter if you have one follower or a million, I follow based on your profile and tweets.

Covers: All of the above. I have one designer I pretty much use for all my projects: Viola Estrella. I tell her exactly what I’m thinking and she pulls the image right out of my head. I also run contests for suggestions and comments on future covers.

My first short story was a blog exercise. I wrote 500 words and then asked readers to give me suggestions, and then every week I’d add exactly 500 words to the story. IT WAS A HIT, and out of it, ‘The Pit Stop’ and ‘The Depot’ came about, but then something happened… As much as readers loved the stories, almost every one of them screamed for more.

Free books: Giving your books away free is good and bad… Good because you meet tons of new readers whom, if they love you, will go on to your other books. As a new author, I feel I owe it to readers…On the flipside, when you run a book free, readers often don’t stop to read the description. I can’t tell you how many poor reviews I have because my short story was ‘short’ or ‘a ghost story’, even though that’s the first words mentioned in the description. So, that part isn’t always fun.

Author’s Book List
Creatus Rogue
The Library
Split Decisions
The Depot
When Noonday Ends
The Pit Stop
Entangled Dreams
Land of the Noonday Sun
She Belongs To Me

For the rest of the story…View Carmen DeSousa – HBS Author’s Spotlight

Lorna Dounaeva

Author Genre: Thriller, Romance, Mystery

Author’s Blog: Self Publish Bible
Website: Lorna Dounaeva
Twitter: @LornaDounaeva
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: May Queen Killers is a very British psychological thriller set on the English/Welsh border. It will be available on Amazon from 28th May.

Social media: I have found Twitter to be a good way to meet readers and indeed reviewers. I’ve also found some good books to read on there. I have been active on Twitter for a couple of years now and mainly follow other writers, as well as people who read books in my genre.

Short stories: So far my short stories have just been a fun little side project, more of a hobby, really.

I belong to the Author Social Media Support Group, which I would recommend to all authors as it is a valuable source of support and information.

Free books: I think giveaways are a great way to meet new readers and get reviews. I wouldn’t do it too often though. If you are constantly giving your book away, why would anyone buy it?

Book launch: For FRY, I had an online launch on Facebook and Goodreads. I also did some blog interviews, but not as many as I could have. Blog interviews are great, but they can also be time consuming.

Blog: Self-publish bible is aimed at other writers, although I do use it to market my work too. Writing a blog has been a good way to meet other writers and share ideas and get support

Reviews: To begin with, I was getting reviews through Twitter, but once I did a couple of giveaways, I found that I got lots of reviews that way.

Author’s Book List

For the rest of the story…View Lorna Dounaeva – HBS Author’s Spotlight

Lorhainne Eckhart

Author Genre: Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, Young Adult

Website: Lorhainne Eckhart
Twitter: @Leckhart
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: Actually, I have two books coming out this month, one of them is Friendly Fire which is the second book in a new Western series, The Wilde Brothers…The Deadline, will be available March 13, and is the first book in a brand new spinoff series, The Friessen’s a brand new beginning.

Social media is a process that I started building back when I first published in 2007, and then seriously focused on building in 2011. It is not a process that happens overnight, but I have focused on Twitter, Facebook, building my newsletter along with writing two blogs, The Choice of Giving and Illusion.

Covers: Creating a strong book cover is so essential to the success of your book. I work exclusively with one professional designer, who understands what I’m looking for. And it took a while to find the right cover designer.

Short stories: Many of my readers enjoy the bridge short stories, and these short stories have contributed to the sales of my novels. I do enjoy writing short stories within a series, taking my characters on a side trip. And it does give new readers a sample of your writing style. For myself, I enjoy reading short stories from other Authors and I’ve discovered many new authors this way.

Bundling a series: Bundling Novels and short stories in a complete series is a great way for readers to read the entire series at a great price. Collections have been extremely popular and quite often readers will opt to buy the entire collection rather than the individual books.

Free books: I never considered giving books away free until I joined up with a group of successful authors and we began working together to cross promote on the Amazon platform. Giving books away on the same day and working together has contributed and been a major factor in my success for each of my books, and thus boosting my sales when coming off free. I continued every month for the last few years, giving books away free using the KDP select free days.

Author’s Book List
Blown Away, The Final Chapter
Lost and Found
The One
The Choice
The Wedding
The Unexpected Storm
The Awakening
Fallen Hero
The Forgotten Child

For the rest of the story…View Lorhainne Eckhart – HBS Author’s Spotlight

Giacomo Giammatteo

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Non Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Author’s Blog: Giacomo Giammatteo
Website: Giacomo Giammatteo
Twitter: @JimGiammatteo
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: A Bullet From Dominic.

Book signings: I have never found anyplace to do signings. I tried getting into a few of the local bookstores, but they are adamant about not wanting indie authors. I find it a little ironic that most of the stores are crying about business and asking for people to support the “indie bookstores” but they won’t support the indie authors.

Cover themes: For my mystery novels, I have three series. One of the series always has a church on the cover, and it is a church that has a part in the story. In my second series, Blood Flows South, there is always a bullet on the cover, and in the title…The third series is called the Redemption Series, and we started out with a picture of the Houston skyline, which is where these books take place.

Finding Family novella: I never intended to write a novella, but after A Bullet For Carlos came out, I received a lot of emails asking about one of the secondary characters in the book–Dominic Mangini. I decided to write a novella that tells the story of his background.

Blogs: I have two blogs: one for my non-fiction website, , where I publish weekly tips on resumes and interviews and such; and the other is my mystery blog and the topics can range from my animals, to drug addiction, to writing, anything. My goal is not to sell books, but more to just let people know who I am.

Author’s Book List
Finding Family
A Bullet For Carlos
Necessary Decisions
Murder Has Consequences

For the rest of the story…View Giacomo Giammatteo – HBS Author’s Spotlight

Madison Johns

Author Genre: Sleuth Mystery,Cozy Mystery,Romance

Author’s Blog: Author Madison Johns
Website: Author Madison Johns
Twitter: @madisonjohns11
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next up is book five, Treasure in Tawas… I also have a crossover mystery, Pretty, Hip & Dead, featuring Agnes and Kimberly Steele, a character from my novella Pretty and Pregnant awaiting a first edit.

Social media: Twitter is still a mystery to me. It’s not hard to find followers in my opinion; it just takes time out of you day to really interact on there. I much prefer to interact on Facebook. It’s there that I feel I have the biggest impact. I’m active on the groups and I promo on them.

Covers: In the beginning my covers were not like that and it took a long time before I found my cover artist. I use the same one Leighann Dobbs has, an author I greatly admire. I’m proud to say they all have a signature look and exactly what I wanted.

Short stories: I did a short story collection and it was the first sample of my work, but since then I went another way. My novella Pretty and Pregnant is good example of a way to test out the waters in another genre for me.

Box sets: I had in depth decisions about this very subject with fellow writers. Box sets are also very popular these days. Everyone seems to have one or should. I boxed my books to make it a good value for readers who might have just discovered my books. It has absolutely no impact on my single titles. My single titles way outsell my box set. Having a box set also has marketing potential down the road.

Free books: September of 2012 I did a five day free run on Amazon with the KDP Select with my book Armed and Outrageous. It was hugely successful for me as my book make it to number one for free overall…Amazon has made changes and now, it’s not so easy to get those residual sales after a free promo. I pulled my books out of KDP Select and no longer offer free books unless I give a book away for a contest. I think it works to find new reader or get yourself known, but there are many negatives too. People will pick up a free book and leave a scathing review because it just wasn’t a genre they’d like to read.

Book launch: I always chat up my book throughout the process. I do a cover reveal a few weeks before and post the book blurb on both my author page on Facebook and my regular page with a blog posting as well. Once the book is released, I send out a newsletter announcing it.

Book tours: I’ve done blog tours, but as for me, they just have never generated sales. I much prefer to do an occasional blog stop or interview. They are also a ton of work if it’s a big tour.

Author’s Book List
Agnes Barton Senior Sleuth Mysteries Box Set
Armed & Outrageous
Grannies, Guns and Ghosts
Senior Snoops
Trouble in Tawas
Redneck Romance
Pretty and Pregnant

For the rest of the story…View Madison Johns – HBS Author’s Spotlight

Marla Madison

Author Genre: Suspense, Mystery & Thrillers

Author’s Blog: Marla Madison
Twitter: @MarlaAMadison
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: I’m in the process of wrapping up my third suspense novel, Trespass.

My social platform was driving me wild until I read an eBook called, Blog and Tweet – How to Make a Splash Online. Now, I know it’s possible to find a book that will support any point of view on any topic, but this book spoke to me. I was frustrated by trying to do everything. I enjoy using twitter because it’s manageable and I like blogging because it allows me to speak to my audience. So this book’s advice relieved me from a lot of needless pressure

Short stories: When I first started writing and had more time, I was active on a sight called Fanstory. It’s a great place for writers to post their work, enter contests, and get feedback from other writers and readers.

Free books: I’ve done the KDP free days for both books. They are not nearly as helpful today as they were two years ago when very few authors were using them. But they are still a good way to get some income (sales go up for a while after the promo) and an excellent way to get recognition.

Reviews: My early reviews tend to be from friends and acquaintances. I get the most when I do free promotions.

Author’s Book List
Relative Malice
She’s Not There

For the rest of the story…View Marla Madison – HBS Author’s Spotlight

Matthew Mather

Author Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Website: Matthew Mather – tomorrow — today
Twitter: @PhutureNews
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: I’m working on my fourth book, tentatively called Bluebridge, that is centers around the use of AI in financial systems. It will be a tech thriller in the style of CyberStorm, and should be out pate this summer. I just finished a book called Dystopia, which is Book 2 in my Atopia science fiction series, and this will be released toward the fall of 2014

Covers: I used to work professionally as a graphic artist, so I tend to have a hands-on approach when it comes to covers. I tend to mock-up a few ideas myself, then pass them by my friends and readers, and from there get some more advanced help in creating the art and design. I think covers are extremely important in marketing a book.

Series: I originally wrote Atopia as one book of 500+ pages, but after getting rejected … I decided to self-publish it. I went back and rewrote Atopia in a way that I could release as a series of stories. This allows the reader to get hook and slowly enter the story, without needing to commit for all 500+ pages up front… I always recommend new authors to use the serialized approach…it seems to work.

Free books: I think that giving your work away for free sometimes, at least to begin with, is the only way to go. I know it might seem counterintuitive, but the thing you need to remember is just how deep the pool of available readers is

Manage your plots for the Chronicles (Large book): I write ideas down on scraps of paper and start plastering them against the walls of my office, and then build up my plot arcs on large pieces of art paper. I am very detailed, though. Writing a book is like plotting a military campaign for me. I write down the plot in detail, and then isolate it down into 2-3 pages chunks, and write down a series of details bullet points for each section. I will write a 10-15,000 outline for a 100,000 page book before I even start writing.

Reviews: Once you start to get some sales volume, you’ll notice that you get about 1 or 2 reviews per 100 sales. By writing a plea for reviews (good or bad) at the end of your book, you can usually get to the high end of this range–especially if you mention you are self-published.

Author’s Book List
The End is Nigh
Complete Atopia Chronicles

For the rest of the story…View Matthew Mather – HBS Author’s Spotlight

Michelle Medhat

Author Genre: Mystery, Spy thrillers

Website: Michelle Medhat
Twitter: @theconnected1
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: I have just finished writing Connected: The Shift which is a sequel to Connected: The Call. At the end of Connected: The Call, a question mark loomed over a number of people… Connected: The Shift is expected to be released around April 2014.

Book trailer: I have looked at book trailers before, and I wanted something that was closer to a film with fewer words but maximum impact. The trailer was created by a professional filmmaker/animator from Oakbeam Pictures who really loved the book. I developed the initial ideas and a first cut storyboard, with the key messages I wanted to get over.

Free books: The main goal in engaging in free/low cost book promotion is to drive reach, and encourage as many people to read my book as possible. For any author, getting their book wagging on the tongues of readers is the best promotion of all.

Book launch: Before I start any process I always mind-map my way through. I find this is critically important to scheduling resource (my time) and investment, as well as where the interdependencies are that could affect my book’s marketing and sales performance.

Reviews: At the moment, it’s a combination of professional reviews and readers. Some readers also tweet about my book which encourages others to review. Connected: The Call is getting good reviews.

Author’s Book List
Connected: The Call

For the rest of the story…View Michelle Medhat – HBS Author’s Spotlight

Dan Pollock

Author Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Inspirational Publisher

Author’s Blog: Dan Pollock’s Thrillerblog
Twitter: @danielpollock
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: In April I plan to republish on Kindle DUEL OF ASSASSINS, a Cold War-era thriller originally distributed by Pocket Book (in the U.S.) and Heineman (in the UK).

Social media: Twitter is the only social media I spend time on. I don’t know how much it’s helped me sell books, but it has helped me relieve the isolation of my trade and enjoy the sympathetic company of writers all over the globe.

Covers: But one of the joys of indie publishing is that a midlist author like me is not shut out of crucial decision-making meetings. For my thriller covers, I have worked with a couple of talented graphic artists…

Free books: Like so many other indie writers, I signed up for Kindle Direct Publishing with an eye to making big bucks by giving away my books for free. Like so many other indie writers, I discovered that stratagem no longer works. But I have had a measure of success with 99 cent promotions on Kindle Countdown when combined with modest ads on various bargain-book email sendouts.

Reviews: The last-named method (“rely on your reading audience”) is definitely the best, but it’s only just happening for me after some months. For each new title I found it necessary to prime the pump with some arm-twisted reviews from friends and family…

Author’s Book List
Lair of the Fox
The Running Boy

For the rest of the story…View Dan Pollock – HBS Author’s Spotlight

Norah Wilson

Author Genre: Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, Young Adult

Author’s Blog: Norah Wilson
Website: Norah Wilson – Where danger and desire meet…
Twitter: @norah_wilson
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: My next solo project is a romantic suspense/mystery called Fatal Hearts, to be published by Montlake Romance. I don’t have a firm release date, but I think it’ll be August or September of 2014.

Social media: I’ve been building my Twitter following for a couple of years. It was slow going at first. I used to check out who was following authors who wrote in a similar vein, and I would follow their followers. Some of them would follow back and become engaged. After a while, you sort of reach a tipping point where your followers grow organically without any special effort.

Writing a Novella: Needing Nita was a bit of an experiment. Actually, it was an experiment twice. I wrote it initially hoping to sell it to Harlequin for their Spice Briefs line, but it was rejected. Experiment 1 = fail.

It languished for a while until it occurred to me that I could put it up for free as a sample of my work, and to try to drive traffic to the Serve and Protect series. I have to say Experiment 2 was a success.

THE PERFECT TEN Bundle: I think you’re either a bundle person, or you’re not. Some people would rather pay more for single novels than to buy an entire collection of novels for much less and read the ones that appeal.

Free books: Giving full-length novels away for free as a loss leader is my favorite promotion! It’s particularly effective if it’s a part of a series. Right now, I have a number of “permafree” novels – Saving Grace (romantic suspense), The Case of the Flashing Fashion Queen (cozy mystery), and Comes the Night (YA Paranormal).

Reviews: I used to query tons of reviewers with each new book, but that process takes a lot of time, and my plate is way too full already. I know some self-pubbed authors who are joining cooperatives so they can afford to put a title on NetGalley, to try to get reviews without having to do all that legwork. So far, the results I’ve heard reported haven’t persuaded me to follow suit.

Author’s Book List
Death by Cuddle Club
Comes the Night
Every Breath She Takes
Family Jewels
Ashlyn’s Radio
The Merzetti Effect
The Case of the Flashing Fashion Queen
Protecting Paige
Saving Grace
Guarding Suzannah

For the rest of the story…View Norah Wilson – HBS Author’s Spotlight

HBS Author’s Spotlight Showcase

Laura DeLuca
Featured Book: The Forgotten Pharaoh

Author Genre: Travel, Mystery & Thrillers, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Website: Laura DeLuca – Author of the Young Adult Novel Destiny
Twitter: @authorldeluca
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: 
Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years. Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan and Player.

Author’s Book List
The Forgotten Pharaoh
Destiny Unveiled

For the rest of the story…View Laura DeLuca – HBS Author’s Spotlight Showcase

Annette Drake
Featured Book: Bone Girl

Author Genre: Romance, Young Adult

Author’s Blog: Annette Drake
Website: Annette Drake
Twitter: @annettedrake13
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: 
Annette Drake is an aspiring writer whose work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences. Her debut novel, Celebration House, will be published this summer in e-book format for readers everywhere by Tirgearr Publishing.

She left high school after two years to obtain her GED and attend Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, where she earned a degree in journalism. Annette worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Missouri and Kansas from 1987 to 1993. After earning a bachelor of science in nursing in 1994, she worked in hospitals in Missouri, Alaska and Washington for 18 years before returning her focus to writing.

Annette recently completed her middle-grade novel, Bone Girl, and is hard at work revising her steamy contemporary romance, A Year with Geno.

She is the mother of four children. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Annette loves libraries, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp.

Annette Drake’s work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences. Bone Girl is her second novel.

Author’s Book List
Bone Girl
Celebration House

For the rest of the story…View Annette Drake – HBS Author’s Spotlight Showcase

Dianne Harman
Featured Book: Blue Coyote Motel

Author Genre: Romance and Literary Fiction

Author’s Blog: Dianne Harman Author
Website: Dianne Harman Author
Twitter: @DianneDHarman
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: 
Dianne Harman draws her stories and characters from a diverse business and personal background. She owned a national antique and art appraisal business for many years, leaving that industry and opening two yoga centers where she taught yoga and certified yoga instructors. Dianne has traveled extensively throughout the world, most recently dividing her time between Huntington Beach, California and Sacramento, California, where her husband was a Senator. An avid reader, Dianne brings the richness of her life experiences to her novels, Blue Coyote Motel and Tea Party Teddy.

An Award Winning Bestseller, Blue Coyote Motel was selected as a quarterfinalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award contest and Goodreads Psychological Thriller of the Month Book.

Her second novel, Tea Party Teddy, is a multicultural romance set against the political background of California. It is the story of Nina, who husband succumbs to the power of his office. Bigoted and biased, the ultimate irony occurs when she becomes romantically involved with the founder of the Republicans for Latinos and in the process, discovers herself.

Author’s Book List
Tea Party Teddy’s Legacy
Coyote in Provence
Tea Party Teddy
Blue Coyote Motel

For the rest of the story…View Dianne Harman – HBS Author’s Spotlight Showcase

Melissa Eskue Ousley
Featured Book: The Rabbit and the Raven

Author Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Website: Melissa Eskue Ousley
Twitter: @MEskueOusley
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: 
Melissa Eskue Ousley is the author of The Solas Beir Trilogy. “Sign of the Throne,” the first book of this young adult fantasy series, will be released on September 14. She is currently working on the second and third novels in the trilogy, “The Rabbit and the Raven” and “The Sower Comes.”

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and their Kelpie, Gryphon. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found swimming, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, or walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick.

Before she became a writer, she had a number of educational jobs, ranging from a summer spent scraping roadkill off a molten desert highway to years spent conducting research with an amazing team of educators at the University of Arizona.

Author’s Book List
The Rabbit and the Raven
Sign of the Throne

For the rest of the story…View Melissa Eskue Ousley – HBS Author’s Spotlight Showcase

HBS Bundle Showcase

Featured Set: Murderous Beginnings 

Available at Amazon: Murderous Beginnings

Title: A Deadly Blessing

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers – Women Sleuths

Website: Kathy Bennett
Author’s Blog: Kathy Bennett
Twitter: @kathywriteslapd
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: 
Kathy Bennett is no stranger to murder and mayhem. A veteran of many years with the Los Angeles Police Department, her authentic crime experience results in arresting stories.

Most of Kathy’s career was spent working patrol in a black and white police car. Prior to retirement, Kathy was assigned as a Senior Lead Officer, with approximately five square miles in the San Fernando Valley her responsibility regarding crime and quality of life issues.

Kathy also served as a Firearms Instructor at the LAPD Police Academy, a crime analyst in the ‘War Room’, a Field Training Officer, and worked undercover in various assignments. She was named Officer of the Quarter twice, and Officer of the Year once.

In addition to working on her next novel, she writes a weekly blog that can be found on her website, and writes a monthly column for the North Valley Community News, in Northridge, California.

She’s married to a Los Angeles Police Officer, and they have one daughter and one granddaughter. Kathy has written two romantic suspense manuscripts and is currently revising her third book – a suspense novel.

Title: A Dead Red Cadillac

Author Genre: Mystery, Romance, Humor

Website: R.P. Dahlke
Author’s Blog: R.P. Dahlke – Infrequent Blog
Twitter: @rpdahlke
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: 

R.P. (Rebecca) Dahlke was raised on her father’s 80 acres of Almonds & crop dusting ranch south of Modesto, California. She’s been writing since 1994, first with a writing group in the East Bay Area and then when she and her husband went sailing, via the Guppies of Sisters in Crime, National.

When they settled in Southern Arizona, Rebecca started a chapter of Sisters in Crime and A Dead Red Cadillac was published by Treble Heart Publishing.

She was doing the rewrite on her second Lalla Baines Novel, A Dead Red Heart when her son, John Shanahan, died in a tragic crop dusting accident in California. Writing about anything, much less crop-dusting became too painful and she stopped writing until 2010.

I sort of fell into the job of running a crop-dusting business when my dad decided he’d rather go on a cruise than take another season of lazy pilots, missing flaggers, testy farmers and horrific hours. After two years at the helm, I handed him back the keys and fled to a city without any of the above. And no, I was never a crop-duster.

Title: Love Thy Sister

Author Genre: Suspense, Nonfiction, Mystery

Website: Murder Italian Style
Twitter: @scrittrice
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: 
Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but this rolling stone has definitely gathered no moss. She lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family, and is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona–but stay tuned for weekly updates of Where in the World is Maria Grazia Swan?

As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a writer. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy to design for–ooh-la-la–haute couture. Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people find happiness.

Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco–but then, who doesn’t?

Maria has written short stories for anthologies, articles for high profile magazines and numerous blogs tackling love and life. She engaged her editorial and non-fiction skills for Mating Dance: Rituals for Singles Who Weren’t Born Yesterday. Her romantic suspense novels Love Thy Sister and Bosom Bodies are available at

Title: Sweet Masterpiece

Author Genre:

Website: Connie Shelton
Twitter: @connieshelton
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: 
…Every 5 minutes, 24 hours a day, somewhere in the world, someone downloads a Connie Shelton mystery…

A personal Thank You to all my readers who make this little statistic possible. Having fun with my writing, and connecting with readers–that’s what being a mystery writer means to me. And I LOVE what I do!

It began in 1985 when I started writing my first novel, without much clue how to go about it. Two years and 500 pages later, when I finally typed ‘The End,’ I felt a huge rush of excitement. That book took third place in the Southwest Writers competition and began making the rounds of publishers. I simply started writing my second, and then my third books.

After publishing ten of my Charlie Parker mysteries, I decided to branch out with a second series and I created the character of Samantha Sweet. One of the ways in which I earned a little extra pocket money during my high school years was to bake and decorate cakes–hence, a career for Samantha based on my own experiences.

In 2009 I switched publishers and was off on a new adventure, seeing all of my books made available for Kindle and the other ebook devices that were just beginning to take off in the book world. It’s been an exciting time in publishing and I’m loving the new formats and the ability to personally connect with readers all over the world via my newsletter and my website at

Title: In For A Penny

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Romance,Suspense

Website: Maggie Toussaint – Romance Danger Mystery
Author’s Blog: Mudpies and Magnolias
Twitter: @MaggieToussaint
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: 
Award-winning southern author Maggie Toussaint is published in romance and mystery genres. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America.

Maggie uses real life inspiration to flavor her books. Her rich scenery and colorful characters have received much notice, but at heart, she tells a darn good story.

Featured Set: 9 More Killer Thrillers 

Available at Amazon: 9 More Killer Thrillers

Title: JET

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Website: Russell Blake Suspense Writer
Author’s Blog: Russell Blake – Author Spotlight
Twitter: @blakebooks
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: 
Russell Blake is the bestselling author of twenty-two novels, including the thrillers Fatal Exchange, The Geronimo Breach, Zero Sum, King of Swords, Night of the Assassin, Revenge of the Assassin, Return of the Assassin, Blood of the Assassin, The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, The Voynich Cypher, Silver Justice, JET, JET II – Betrayal, JET III – Vengeance, JET IV – Reckoning, JET V – Legacy, Upon A Pale Horse, and BLACK.

Non-fiction includes the international bestseller An Angel With Fur (animal biography) and How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated), a parody of all things writing-related.

Blake lives in Mexico and enjoys his dogs, fishing, boating, tequila and writing, while battling world domination by clowns.

His blog can be found at where he publishes his periodic thoughts, such as they are.

Title: Irretrievably Broken

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Short Stories

Website: Melissa F. Miller, Author of Fast-Paced Thrillers
Twitter: @melissafmiller
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: 
I’m Melissa F. Miller, author of the Sasha McCandless legal thriller series and a practicing attorney. When I’m not in court or on the playground with my three delightful children, I’m hard at work on my next novel.

Title: Never Go Home

Author Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Website: L.T. Ryan
Author’s Blog: L.T. Ryan Newsletter
Twitter: @LTRyanWrites
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: 
Lee “L.T.” Ryan lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA with his wife, three daughters, and one slightly psychologically unbalanced, but lovable dog. He enjoys writing fast paced suspense thrillers. When not writing, he enjoys reading, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and spending time with the ladies in his life.

Title: The Critical Element

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Religion & Spirituality, Fiction

Website: Meet Author, John L. Betcher
Author’s Blog: Self-Publishing Central
Twitter: @JohnBetcher
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: 
Amazon TOP 100 Bestselling Author, John L. Betcher, holds a Bachelor’s Degree, cum laude, in English from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis. He has practiced law for more than twenty-five years in the Mississippi River community of Red Wing, Minnesota. Mr. Betcher has published an award-winning series of “Becker” suspense/thriller novels. The first five are THE 19TH ELEMENT, THE MISSING ELEMENT, THE COVERT ELEMENT, THE EXILED ELEMENT and THE CRITICAL ELEMENT. He has also authored the award-winning spiritual phenomenon, A HIGHER COURT.

Title: The Dark Path

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Website: Author Luke Romyn
Author’s Blog: Luke’s Blog
Twitter: @LukeRomyn
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: 
Luke Romyn spent many years, over nineteen in fact, working in the security industry. From doorwork in some of Australia’s roughest pubs and clubs to protecting Mickey Mouse and the Disney crew from the overzealous jaws of tenacious toddlers, Luke has worked throughout Australia and internationally in a vast array of roles. He’s done close protection for UK celebrities in Fiji and chased feral pigs and snakes out of the jungle film sets on Steven Spielberg’s and Tom Hank’s epic: The Pacific. There are few things Luke hasn’t seen. With all this experience behind him, it would have been tempting to write a set of memoirs. Instead, Luke utilized it to fuel his own expansive imagination and began writing fiction. Initially starting with short stories, Luke rapidly progressed onto novels. All three of Luke’s books have been category best sellers on Amazon, with over a quarter of a million copies being distributed to date.

Title: Thirteen to None

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Website: Claude Bouchard Books – Crime Thrillers and other Stuff…
Twitter: @ceebee308
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: 

I was born in Montreal, Canada, where I still reside with my spouse, Joanne. I completed my studies in human resources, accounting and management at McGill University and worked in various management capacities in the fields of HR and finance for a handful of firms for what seemed like decades, because it was. I should also mention I love pizza, but who doesn’t and, in my opinion, nothing rocks more than cooking on the grill.

My first stab at writing was in 1995, the result being my first novel, Vigilante. This was subsequently followed by The Consultant (1996) and Mind Games (1997), all of the same series. Professional obligations and other creative interests led me away from writing for a number of years but I found myself busy at the keyboard in 2009 with The Homeless Killer after having finally published my first three novels. I then followed up with 6 Hours 42 Minutes in 2011, also part of the Vigilante series born from Vigilante. In July 2011, I released ASYLUM, my first stand-alone novel and Discreet Activities, my sixth Vigilante crime thriller was published in January 2012. In October 2012, I penned and released Something’s Cooking, a faux-erotica parody and cookbook under the pseudonyms Réal E. Hotte and Dasha Sugah. My eighth novel and seventh installment of the Vigilante series, Femme Fatale, has just been released. I think I’m really starting to like this writing thing.

Besides writing, editing and promoting my work, I also spend some artistic energy with my five guitars, oil paints and watercolours. Other passions include cooking (big time with fine wine to go with it, of course), reading, traveling and working out just enough to stay fit. It should also be noted that following several years of practice, I now excel at being cat furniture for Krystalle and Midnight, or so they tell me.

Title: The Devil’s Cauldron

Author Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Website: Michael Wallace – author of the bestselling Righteous series
E-Mail: m.wallace23(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads

Author Description: 
Sign up to Michael’s New Release Mailing List here: (Simply cut-and-paste that address into your browser) and receive a free copy of the Righteous novella “Trial by Fury.” Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.

I’ve trekked across the Sahara on a camel, ridden an elephant through a tiger preserve in Southeast Asia, eaten fried guinea pig, and been licked on the head by a skunk. In a previous stage of life I programmed nuclear war simulations, smuggled refugees out of a war zone, and milked cobras for their venom. I speak Spanish and French and grew up in a religious community in the desert.

Title: Crazy Days in Big Lake

Author Genre: Murder, Mystery and Suspense

Website: Gypsy Journal
Author’s Blog: Just a Gypsy
Twitter: @GypsyJournal
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: 
Before becoming a fulltime RVer, New York Times Kindle bestselling author Nick Russell published daily and weekly newspapers in Washington, Oregon, and Arizona.

He and his wife Terry, are the publishers of the popular Gypsy Journal RV travel newspaper, and Russell presents travel seminars at RV rallies across the country.

Nick Russell is the author of Highway History and Back Road Mystery, Meandering Down The Highway – A Year On The Road With Fulltime RVers, Work Your Way Across The USA – You Can Earn A Living And Travel Too!, The Frugal RVer, Overlooked Florida, Overlooked Arizona, and the bestselling Big Lake mystery series.

Title: The Delilah Complex

Author Genre: Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Website: M.J. Rose
Author’s Blog: M.J. Rose
Twitter: @MJRose
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: 
M.J. Rose ( is the international best selling author of thirteen novels and three non-fiction books on marketing. Her most recent novel SEDUCTION (Atria/S&S May 7 2013) is an May Indie Next Pick and had gotten a Library Journal starred review and an RT Top Pick.

THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES (Atria/S&S March 2012) was chosen as one the ten best in several categories including mystery and fantasy by PW and Amazon and was chosen to be on the March Indie Next List as well as a summer main selection by the Pulpwood Queens Book club.

Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio.

Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors –

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype.

She is also the co-founder of and

Authors Recommended by: HBSystems Publications 
They also sponsor: eBook Author’s Corner and HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

- See more at:


Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments



It is my pleasure to interview a very special author: Christoph Fischer. I have to say that Christoph is one of the few people I’ve met online that I truly consider to be a friend even though we’ve never met in person. We initially virtually “met” through the ASMSG group on Facebook and then I began to notice that everywhere I went online, there was Christoph! 922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_o (1)

He’s very active in all areas of social media, a frequent blogger, and a top 500 Amazon reviewer. Like you, I wonder where he finds time to do all of this and publish three best-selling novels. I’ve read two of them and as I said in one of my reviews, his books should be required reading in history classes! He brings a sense of humanity to a difficult time in the world, the events before, of, and after World War II. Believe me, interviewing Christoph is a distinct delight!

A little background – he was born in Germany as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he’s a resident. The Luck of The Weissensteiners is his first published work, followed by Sebastian and The Black Eagle Inn, all part of The Three Nations Trilogy.

First question. Have to ask the meaning of The Three Nations Trilogy.

Thanks for your kind introduction Dianne. Your books touch upon the issue of immigrants and tolerance. In fact the US is an immigrant Nation, depending on how far back you go in history. In Europe borders kept changing until much more recently (currently!) and regions which were part of one country suddenly became part of another.  Religion, loyalty to a throne, invasion and luck decided the fate of many border regions time and time again. I was brought up a near border and found it always fascinating that, at some point in History, our region and its neighbors had been part of the same Nation/different Nation more than once.

My trilogy covers Czechoslovakia, Austria and Germany:

In “The Luck of the Weissensteiners” a misguided and intolerant German and Slovak Nationalism robs other Nations of their freedom before and during WW2.

the luck of the weissensteiners
In “Sebastian” such a suppressed Nationalism forces the tired Union between the Austrian, Hungarian, Croatian, Slovakian Nations apart. The artificial political solutions after WW1 however created new problems for Europe that are said to have led to WW2.


In “The Black Eagle Inn” I tried to show how the Bavarian region sees itself as a Nation of its own and how divided a Nation can be on the inside. Especially after WW2 victims and hangmen still had to live together and were forced to rebuild the shamed Nation together.

Having read your books, I know that a lot of your family history is in them. Please elaborate.

My paternal grandparents got divorced in 1933. In two of my books there are split up scenarios that speculate about the reasons behind this: I never found out exactly what happened.
My grandmother Greta and her sister Wilma were Germans living in Slovakia during WW2 and “The Luck of the Weissensteiners” tells a very similar story to theirs.
My grandfather had one leg amputated (not war related) and his story is part of “Sebastian”, although I transferred it to Vienna and to 1913 for other reasons.
Distant maternal relatives of mine owned a similar business to “The Black Eagle Inn”. The people concerned are long dead and I never properly knew them but a few years ago my cousin published a family chronicle and the contained photographs inspired the story.

Sebastian cover


When did you decide to become a writer and why did you decide to write in this genre?


It is more like I suddenly wrote books without having had the ambition or the plan to do so. My first (unpublished) novel was inspired by a singular but rather remarkable event. I had just reduced my working hours and as an experiment I sat down to write a short story about a dreadful funeral. While this became a complete novel I was also reading a lot about Czechoslovakia and its history as part of my family research. What I found out was so fascinating to me that the idea for “The Luck of the Weissensteiners” and the Trilogy formed.

I don’t see myself exclusively as writer of Historical Fiction and I have a few non historical drafts/ideas on my computer, but history has always intrigued me and I find it can lend the personal and human stories a different dimension.

Do you see yourself continuing to write as a career path?

Definitely. I have a few more stories that I want to tell and much more to learn, which is very exciting. I am no Hemingway but I have had some touching feedback for my novels and as long as there are people out there who enjoy my stories I will keep on writing. I am very lucky to be able to do all this.

Which of your books is your favorite and why? Course that’s kind of like asking which of your dogs you prefer.

“The Luck of the Weissensteiners” was the first one published (first born so to speak) and will always have a special place in my heart. Everything about it was a first: The first review, the first check from Amazon etc.

And characters. Do you have a favorite?

Jonah Weissensteiner is such a warm and kind figure, very similar to my father, so I always have a very soft spot for him. However, I probably loved Johanna the most in that book. She is a nasty character but there are limits as to how far she would go and that makes her intriguing and a challenging and rewarding character to write.

Let’s talk about the future of the industry. Do you think the tendency toward eBook popularity will continue?

Yes, I think so. Their practicality is a winner, they are environmentally friendly and new e-readers are becoming increasingly user friendly and sophisticated.

I am a technophobe at heart and resisted and resented cell/ mobile phones and kindles with a vengeance. I succumbed in both cases due to necessity. I still don’t like my phone but I love my kindle. As a former librarian this is quite a statement.

To shift gears, you must read constantly to be one of Amazon’s top 500 reviewers. How did that come about and was it a conscious decision?

I am an avid reader and ended up on that list without trying. I know some reviewers on Amazon are quite competitive but I don’t have time for that. I am pleased that it lends the reviews an air of gravity but my reviews are just one opinion and the laurel is probably Amazon’s way of saying that I should get a life.

How many hours a day do you spend reading?

That depends on how much time I need for writing and marketing of my books. It used to be up to 6 hours. In my last job I had a lot of spare time on trains, planes and in hotel rooms. That habit or addiction still needs to be fed and I still steal myself away from the computer and read 2 -3 hours a day.

I’ve noticed you review books in a number of different genres. How do you choose the books you review?

I follow several book promotion publications and websites, I spot many finds on my Twitter feed and in Facebook groups, in posts on blogs I follow and I tend to read books by authors I already know. I get approached a lot via my website but that is a tiny fraction. I am curious, so I have tried new genres over the last year and find myself developing new tastes.

Since you’ve published three books and the series is called The Three Nations Trilogy, are you planning on starting another series? If so, will it portray the time period of the Trilogy? Please tell us about your upcoming books.

I have more historical novels in draft form but the connections are not that obvious. There is a Finnish theme in my upcoming novels and a mental health theme so there is always the temptation and possibility to link them via a trilogy. I will only do that if it fits naturally.

My next book, “A Time to Let Go”, is contemporary novel set in Britain and concerns a family (with Finnish ancestors) whose dynamics are challenged by the mother’s Alzheimer’s disease. That book is currently in the last stages of editing.

I am currently working on a Scandinavian/ Baltic War drama between 1918 and 1950, so here the time period caught up with me again. Since I have my eye on a few more theatres of war, this could well become part of a New Trilogy.

What advice do you have to beginning authors? To those who are planning to self-publish?

Join independent author groups. The information you need is out there and there is a large supportive online community of indie writers that will help you. Don’t be discouraged and follow your dream but work hard on everything: editing, formatting and marketing. It is necessary and worth it.


And Christoph, this is just for me. Your dogs are with you in almost every photo. I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your dogs!


All three are labradoodles – currently a very fashionable breed and most loveable family pets. [They were intended to be allergy free guide dogs when they were first bred in Australia in the 1980s.]

Nine years ago I met my partner Ryan and we didn’t get off on the right foot initially: He just came out of a complicated relationship and I was irrationally scared of dogs.

Molly, the apricot colored dog was only 18 months old, very lively and scary to me. Greta, the dark brown one, was 1 yo and very aloof, even though I immediately loved her for her teddy bear like looks. I overcame my fears gradually because of my feelings for Ryan but he and I were not a couple and I began to meet him only to borrow the dogs for walks. Eventually he changed his mind and we became one happy family. We treat our dogs like children which I am sure is very annoying to other people. Well, tough.

Molly had two litters, 9 and 12 lovely puppies. Then we got Wilma, the cappuccino coloured baby of the family. She had 6 puppies a year ago.

Thanks, Christoph. Is there anything you’d like to add to this?

I really need to return the compliments and tell your readers what an asset you are to the writing and writer’s community. Thank you for inviting me on your blog.

The Luck of the Weissensteiners (Three Nations Trilogy Book 1)

In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe and re-draws the visible and invisible borders. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families. The story follows them through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after.
But this is no ordinary romance; in fact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story. What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. This is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck.

On Amazon:

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Sebastian (Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)

Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.
As in the first part of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, Nationality and borders. The step back in time made from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of the sequential order. This helps to see one not as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the momentary reality as it must have felt for the people at the time.

On Amazon:

On Goodreads:

On Facebook:



The Black Eagle Inn (Three Nations Trilogy Book 3)

The Black Eagle Inn is an old established Restaurant and Farm business in the sleepy Bavarian countryside outside of Heimkirchen.  Childless Anna Hinterberger has fought hard to make it her own and keep it running through WWII. Religion and rivalry divide her family as one of her nephews, Markus has got her heart and another nephew, Lukas got her ear. Her husband Herbert is still missing and for the wider family life in post-war Germany also has some unexpected challenges in store.

Once again Fischer tells a family saga with war in the far background and weaves the political and religious into the personal. Being the third in the Three Nations Trilogy this book offers another perspective on war, its impact on people and the themes of nations and identity.

On Facebook:

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On Amazon:









Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Ever since I can remember, there’s been a little voice that tells me not to turn down a certain street,to lock my car door, and things of that nature. Generally I listen to it. Kind of have always thought it was my conscience. I well remember the time I had my two children in the car and the voice told me to get in another lane. I did and a second later an oncoming car jumped the median and smashed into the car on my left. It would have been me and my children.

When my children were in college they told me they always knew when I was thinking about them because a light bulb would go out when they walked under it. They remembered when they were children in the car and light bulbs would go out when my car passed under them. At their urging, I took a course in ESP and I was the only one in the class who could bend a silverplate spoon just by thinking about it. I’ve never done anything to develop it and rarely think about it.

Late yesterday my husband received a call from a former colleague of his in the California Senate. A prominent Senator had been arrested in an FBI sting. This was the second California Senator to be arrested in an FBI sting in the last two months. In the twelve years I spent with my husband while he was in the California Legislature, there were no incidents such as these. In fact, the last FBI sting in the California Legislature occurred almost thirty years ago. Here’s where it gets interesting, at least for me.

Two years ago I happened to be seated two nights in a row next to a politician who was the most biased, hate-mongering, person I think I’d ever met. He gave a new meaning to conservative. For several days I wondered what his wife was like, what his family was like, and why had he become so biased. I wrote a novel, fiction, based on him and it resulted in an FBI sting. The book is TEA PARTY TEDDY. Now after two arrests in FBI stings, with similarities to what I wrote about, I wonder if at some level I knew these were going to happen. It was almost a foreshadowing of these events. People always ask me the back story on my novels. Well, this one kind of has a front story. Certainly I was aware that some politicians bent the rules a little, but I never consciously knew of the illegal circumstances that led to these two arrests. Have to wonder if my subconscious did!


Tea Party Teddy by Dianne Harman ebooklg (1)


Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


I’ve spoken to a number of book clubs lately and the same questions seem to come up at each one. How did you get the idea for ???  Do you put parts of yourself in the book? Have you had those experiences? How do you do your research? Did you always want to be a writer?

If you’re a reader, you’ve probably thought about becoming a writer. If you’re like me, you probably thought you didn’t have the necessary credentials. I’d never been to a writing school. I wasn’t part of a critique group. I’d always heard you should write about what you know. I didn’t think anything I’d done was worthy of being written about. I was wrong, and I owe my writing career to Stephen King. Thanks Stephen! Sorry I don’t read you because the one time I did I barely slept for weeks afterward. What gave me the confidence to become a writer was his book, On Writing. He more or less says, “Just Do It” a la Nike! I did and I’ve never looked back.

Do I put parts of myself in a book? Probably. If you’re writing in fantasy or dystopian genres, you might not recognize much of the author, but when you write a contemporary novel, it’s kind of hard not to put parts of ourselves in there, because that’s what we know! For example, in the Coyote series, I had trekked in Nepal and attended the Mani Rimdu Festival. In Tea Party Teddy, I did have a woman tell me it was so nice that a politician didn’t have a trophy wife and she was glad I wore the same outfit to the event I’d worn the year before. Swell! I’ve spent time in Provence, however, I’ve never been to Afghanistan and part of Coyote in Provence deals with young Afghan girls who are orphans as well as female genital mutilation which is still practiced in several countries.

Research? Lots and lots. I honestly don’t know what writers did before the Internet. Everything we want to put in a book is there from A to Z. There’s really no reason for sloppy research these days and I’m sure you’ve read a book and thought, did they even do any research? I recently read a book that was advertised as being a wonderful novel about Carmel, California. Well, it’s one of my favorite places, but I honestly don’t think the author ha ever been there or even researched it. The only thing in the book that even alluded to it being on the California coast was “the sound of the ocean.” I was hoping for some restaurants and places I knew. Not so. If the author wasn’t willing to spend the time to research a work properly, I’m not willing to spend my time reading anything else by her!

As far as idea? They are all around us. The Coyote series came about because we were staying at hotel in Palm Springs and I made the comment to my husband, “What if someone put something in the air-conditioning system and everyone felt good all the time?” Tea Party Teddy came about because I happened to sit next to the most biased, conservative politician I’d ever met two nights in a row at political functions. I wondered about his wife, his family, how did he get that way? I’m in the finishing stages of  a new book, The Dinner Diva and the Red Cedar Spa, which will be published shortly. My daughter-in-law and I took a vacation at a spa in British Columbia where one of the treatments I had was a facial. My skin looked great weeks later, but for several days after it I looked like a beet that was peeling. The story of a facialist who takes out her problems on her spa clients stemmed from that.

Just start writing. You don’t need permission. I did and it’s the most fun thing I’ve ever done. People ask if I wish I’d done it thirty years ago and I tell them, no, I wouldn’t have had the life experiences that help me to write my novels. So no matter what your age, to paraphrase Stephen, Do It!


Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Marsha Roberts and her interview of me. Enjoy!

I’m taking a brief intermission from my “Angels, Miracles and Dogs” blog to welcome you to the ASMSG Electorate Blog Hop and RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!

ASMSG is a dynamic group of authors from all genres who have come together to help get the word out about their books: new releases, bestsellers, books in a series and individual gems – they’re all here! Over the next few weeks, a selection of authors are swapping interviews in their blogs and I’m very happy to be part of this team of dedicated writers.

Check out the dates and blogs at the end of this interview. You wouldn’t want to miss any of the insights shared by these fascinating writers. Please take a moment to share and tweet and comment and whatever else you are inclined to do to pass along the news of this unique Blog Hop!

Plus – don’t forget to enter the RAFFLECOPTER with free e-books available to the lucky winner! Lot’s of great books are in the prize package!

It is my pleasure to interview a very special author: Dianne Harman:


First off, I have to say that Dianne is one of the few people I’ve met online that I consider to be a friend. We initially virtually “met” through the Goodreads Boomer Lit Group and then I began to notice that everywhere I went online, there was Dianne! Active in all areas of social media, a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and a prolific blogger – all the while continuing to turn out novel after novel – I HAD to meet this woman! And I’m so very glad I did. She’s a delight!

Dianne’s personal and professional background includes a wide range of experience, which gives her a great deal to draw from as she formulates her stories and characters. She owned a national antique and art appraisal business for many years, leaving that industry and opening two yoga centers, where she taught yoga and certified yoga instructors.  Dianne has traveled extensively throughout the world, most recently dividing her time between Huntington Beach and Sacramento, California, with her husband, a former Senator.

Dianne has published two best selling novels in her Coyote Series: the award winning Blue Coyote Motel, a psychological thriller, and Coyote in Provence, a cozy mystery with lots of food, wine, and fine art! Her political novels, Tea Party Teddy and Tea Party Teddy’s Legacy, feature a multicultural romance set (very convincingly!) in the California political scene. I’ll get Dianne to share some thoughts on her terrific novels, the writing process and more! Now, for the interview:

MR:  Dianne, you’ve had such a diverse professional background, how did you end up being a writer?

DH:  It’s something I’d always wanted to do, but I never thought I had the necessary “credentials” to do it. Someone gave me a copy of Stephen King’s book, On Writing, and he more or less says, Just Do It, and I did!

MR:  At what point did you go from writing to thinking of yourself as an author? And was this a significant transition for you?

DH:  It was probably after I’d published two books. I realized that writing had become extremely important to me. You know the old question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” Well, one day I decided that’s what I wanted to do!


MR:  The first book I read of yours, was your first, I believe: Blue Coyote Motel. Where did you get the idea for the feel-good-anti-aging formula, coupled with travelers who found themselves in such a dilemma in a motel in the middle of nowhere?

DH:  It was a very strange thing. My husband and I were guests at a boutique motel in Palm Springs, California, for a wedding. Our son was the best man. The bride was the daughter of an international children’s surgeon and guests had come from all over the world. It was in October and 106 degrees out. We welcomed the air-conditioning. I remember turning to my husband and saying, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if someone put a ‘feel-good’ drug in the air-conditioning and everyone felt good all the time?” I started writing the book on my iPad that afternoon. That night I sat next to a priest who wore a huge cross. He went in the book. At the wedding dinner, I was seated next to a couple who had gold mines in Brazil. They went in the book. And I kept meeting the rest of the characters!

MR:  Great story, and it does make it seem like it was “meant” to happen! Continuing with the Coyote Series, I’m a big fan of Coyote in Provence. 


MR:  You captured the beauty of that area of France while giving the reader an extremely enjoyable mystery. I was particularly fascinated by how you brought us into the world of fine art, especially since you owned an art appraisal business for years. How much of your past experiences have you interwoven into your books?

DH:  I own the Alfred Mitchell painting that’s in the book and I’ve spent time in Provence in the small village. So certainly, some of my experiences – like how the wine is put in jugs (fascinated me) – are in there, but it is a work of fiction. And I love to cook so food is a big part of that book.

MR:  Oh, I love knowing that you actually have that Alfred Mitchell painting! Lovely piece of trivia! Speaking of writing about what you’ve experienced personally, I recall that your first political novel, Tea Party Teddy, stirred up a bit of controversy, especially in California. Could you tell us a little about that?  


DH:  I knew when I wrote it was going to be controversial and it was. I got a couple of bad reviews from “staffers” in Sacramento who worked for people similar to the ones portrayed in the book. While it is a work of fiction, almost everything that took place has happened or is happening (currently one Senator has been indicted and another one just found guilty – and I’m talking about the last couple of weeks).

MR:  What impact did all of the hullabaloo have on your second “Teddy” book?

DH:  There are some very fine, honorable, honest politicians. I wanted to portray that side of politics as well.


MR:  You’ve published four novels so far and in the process have created dozens of characters. Who is your favorite and why?

DH:  My favorite character is a private investigator, Slade Kelly, and judging from the comments I receive, I’m not the only one who has fallen in love with the incorrigible investigator. I probably like him so much because he is just so very human, not unlike each of us!

MR:  What has been the most rewarding experience to come out of your writing?

DH:  It happened last week. We were at a reception and several people had read my books and commented favorably on them. The man the reception was being given for introduced me as the “distinguished writer of best sellers!” Wow!

MR:  In the process of writing and publishing your books, what’s the smartest thing you did?

DH:  Hire someone to do the art work and the formatting.

MR:  And what mistake did you make along the way that you would advise any writer to avoid at all costs?

DH:  Thinking I could format a book!

MR:  You often blog about the entire process of publishing a book, from writing to marketing and obviously keep up to date on the indie-pub world. How do you feel about where things currently stand for independent authors?

DH:  I think this is just the beginning. Our children and grandchildren have grown up with tablets and twitter. Everything is electronic for these generations. I see eBooks continue to rise. My granddaughter comes over and wants to know what books I have on my iPad for her. She’s never asked what books I have in the bookcases!

MR:  Where do you see the industry going? And perhaps I should also ask, where would you like to see it go?

DH:  There will always be people who like the feel of a print book between their hands. My son and daughter-in-law are voracious readers, but they prefer print to eBooks. There’s room for both. So saying, I sell 8 to 10 times more eBooks than print, so I do think that’s the future of the industry.

I haven’t talked about genres, and yes, we did meet on a Boomer group, there’s not that many of them. I have maintained for some time that the boomer lit genre is ripe for the picking. There are 75 to 78 million boomers in the US alone and from what I’ve researched, very little literature that deals with that group. One day a couple of years ago I was searching on the internet for books for boomers. A handful. That’s still on my bucket list – to write books in that genre. I have one that needs some editing, but after my next book is published, the third in the Coyote series, I intend to polish the boomer book and publish it!

MR:  Is writing your career path from here on out? Do you see yourself always being an author?

DH:  Yes.

MR:  Any closing thoughts?

DH:  Thanks so much for having me. And for those of you who have not read Marsha’s wonderful book, Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant, order it now!

MR: How typically kind of you, Dianne. It has been a delightful experience to get to know you a little better and to share you and your books with the readers here.

Further information about Dianne and her books can be found at:



Web Site http://


Now in the days to come, hop on over to the other author blogs and get to know some of the most dynamic new writers of our time. Here’s the schedule:

March 18, 2014

Kirstin Stein Pulioff

Ceri London

March 19

Stefania Mattana

March 20

Maer Wilson

March 21

Sandra Robinson

Luca Rossi

March 22

Melodie Ramone

Anna George Othitis

March 23

Khalid Muhammad

Su Williams

March 24

Christoph Fischer

March 25

Hunter S Jones

Lillian Roberts

March 26

Murielle Cyr

March 27

Ian Hutson

Jinx Schwartz

March 28

Dianne Harman

Shane KP O’Neill

March 29

Tina Power Traverse

Ann Rothchild



Thank you so much for joining us on our ASMSG Author Blog Hop! We hope you enjoy each and every one of the interviews. And I, your favorite Mutinous Boomer, WILL be blogging soon about Angels, Miracles and (of course!) Dogs! Because there’s a good reason that DOG is GOD spelled backwards!


Marsha Roberts, Author

Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant

Want To Read What Best Selling Authors Are Saying?

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


The blog hop is starting! For the next two weeks I invite you to read interviews by some excellent contemporary writers. The dates of the interviews, the authors’ names, and their websites are listed below. Remember, I’ll be interviewing Christoph Fischer on March 28th. He’s a top 500 Amazon reviewer as well as the author of the Three National Trilogy. Please join us then and remember to check out these other interviews!

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there’s a giveaway! Here”s the link:

March 18, 2014

Kirstin Stein Pulioff

Maria Lenartowicz

March 19

Stefania Mattana

March 20

Maer Wilson

Marsha Roberts

March 21

Sandra Robinson

Luca Rossi

March 22

Melodie Ramone

Anna George Othitis

March 23

Khalid Muhammad

Su Williams

March 24

Christoph Fischer

March 25

Hunter S Jones

Lillian Roberts

March 26

Murielle Cyr

March 27

Ian Hutson

Jinx Schwartz

March 28

Dianne Harman

Shane KP O’Neill

March 29

Tina Power Traverse

Ann Rothchild