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Blog Exchange, Day 2: Janet L. Walters Talks Writing, Books, and More!

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Folks, it’s Day 2 of my blog exchange with author Janet L. Walters. (My guest blog at Janet’s site is available here: https://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com/2016/05/saturdays-blurbs-featuring-books-by.html) I hope you’ll enjoy her thoughts on writing her latest book series…here we go!

seducingthephotographerWhen I began the series At First Sight, it meant rewriting a number of older stories and fixing the problems and updating the information. These are spicy romances, all contemporaries, and the first four concern the love lives of two sisters and two brothers. Somehow, a pair of their friends and colleagues slipped into the mix and there could be more people coming aboard when I have time to dream up more situations.

The first book involves Allie who edits a magazine for a family-held magazine, Good Cookin’. Her story involves a Chef, Greg who owns and heads a restaurant called Five Cuisines. Allie sets out the gain the interview and her father forbids this. He owns the magazines. Allie isn’t one to sit back. Greg is told by his mother not to let any Blakefield near the restaurant. This is how the fun begins.

In the second book, Meg Blakefield is dragooned to pick up the magazine group’s photographer at the airport. She has had a crush on him since the day he began work but she has also managed to anger him. Steve likes to tease Meg. He loves to see her blush. On his last photo shoot he had an accident resulting in a broken leg and a lot of bruises and scrapes. He would like to have Meg in his bed. When she learns there is no one to stay with him, she volunteers and adds rules to her already Rules of Life. The meeting sets off some fireworks. Her magazine is Good Lookin’ and she has a real love of silk and underwear.

The third book finds Mark Blakefield viewing a picture one of the writers from Good Travelin‘ has taken on a trip to Vermont. He sees a picture of a boy who could have been him at the same age. He also recognizes the child’s mother as the one who got away. They had a hot and heavy college romance but she vanished before the semester ended. He has looked for Christa Parsons. When he lands at the inn, he learns her name is and always has been Christa Sommers. He wants her and he wants his son. Can their love be rekindled?

seducingthechefThe fourth book finds Matt Blakefield running from Mark’s wedding with the words “You’re next.” He thinks no way and takes off on his motorcycle. A rainstorm has him barely able to see and finding no place to stay. He runs into a pine tree outside a cabin. He discovers Cassie is the girl he insulted and made fun of in high school. Someone he has never forgotten. Cassie is hiding at the cabin trying to come to grips with her fiancé’s desertion and marriage to another woman weeks before their wedding. The notification came via an email. She recognizes Matt and decides a night with him is something she just might enjoy. He leaves the next day without an exchange of numbers. Then he discovers she has something he wants and he needs to find her.

The fifth book belongs to their friend and attorney Tony Carlin. The death of his brother and being named as one of the guardians for his infant nephew brings him in touch with Lauren. Lauren is the child’s aunt and has also been named as guardian. They met four years before at the wedding of his brother and her sister. Lauren was at the end of her runaway period. His first impression of her wasn’t great but still he thought about sex. He is still thinking about this and he also feels she’s not a good guardian for the little boy. He makes assumptions and you all know what that means.

The sixth book finds Jules Grayson trying to convince Grace to sign a contract to have her cupcake bakery featured in Good Cookin’. She’s reluctant and he takes a trip he’d rather not take. After his father’s conviction for a Ponzi scheme and his mother’s suicide, he ended in a group home. The home was next door to where Grace landed after her mother overdosed. Grace is the only girl who ever turned Jules down when he tried for a hookup. Seeing her again brings up the desire to accomplish what he never had. Grace is choosy about the men in her life. She has no desire to be like her mother. Jules falls in love with her cupcakes and desires her in his bed.

Janet’s links:

Website: http://janetlanewalters.com/home

Blog: http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JanetL717

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/janet.l.walters.3

So…there you have it! Janet has an interesting series, and I do hope you will check it out forthwith.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

May 14, 2016 at 5:00 am

Two Articles of Interest to Share…

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Folks, I’ve been reading a number of interesting things lately, and today seems like a good time to share two of the most thought-provoking posts.

First, from the world of publishing, is an interview my friend Chris Nuttall did for the Observer. Chris talks about his career path as an indie writer, and discusses the insights he’s learned along the way — including the importance of cover art.

Do take a look at this interview, will you? (Mind, if you’re an author or editor or have anything to do with publishing, you’ll enjoy it a lot more…but even if you aren’t, you should find something that rivets your attention.)

Next, while I was rooting around the Observer, I found this post about the 2016 United States presidential election cycle, and about how it’s being actively shaped by corporate media interests to drive business interests. It is the author Ryan Holiday’s contention that neither Bernie Sanders nor Donald Trump would be doing anywhere near as well if they weren’t being propped up, de facto, by the media because the media wants drama with a capital D. And the more serious candidates (like Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush) just don’t give them “dirty laundry” the way they want and need (to misquote Don Henley’s old song).

Worse, because Clinton and Bush don’t give the media DRAMA, they aren’t getting covered in a substantial/substantive way.

Look. I love reality TV, in its place. But United States elections are not the time for reality TV.

As Mr. Holiday says in his article:

…atypical candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are effectively subsidized by the media in order to provide the story lines those outlets require to create the compelling spectacles they need to keep the cycle going and audiences hooked.

It is in this last area that we see the highest manipulation. In Donald Trump we have a candidate who has received so much  media coverage that he did not need to run his first TV campaign ad until January—some seven months after entering the race and five months after the first televised debate. Has anyone in history gotten as much free media coverage as Donald Trump?

Mr. Holiday’s article is a must-read, especially if you’re wondering just how and why it is that we’re stuck in a poisonous, destructive election cycle with very little focus on issues that matter and way too much focus on style and DRAMA.  (Note that “drama” is Mr. Holiday’s word, but it fits so well, I had to use it, too.)

Then, after you’ve read it, ask yourself this — is this any way to run a democracy?

Guest Author Stephanie Osborn: Why I Like Writing Sherlock Holmes

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Folks, it is my great privilege today to welcome back author Stephanie Osborn to the Elfyverse.

Stephanie and I have known each other for several years, and she’s been a strong supporter of my writing from the get-go. But that’s not the main reason why I’m so happy to have her back today.

Nope.

Instead, it’s because she has a great new novel out called SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE MUMMY’S CURSE. (Yes, when Shiny Book Review gets back up and running, I definitely plan to review her novel soonest.) And I asked her if she wanted to stop by and discuss her novel, and anything else she felt like talking about…thus this post, about why she adores writing about one of the world’s most beloved characters, Sherlock Holmes himself.

Take it away, Stephanie! (And do go buy her book.)

——————————————————————————————————————-

Why I Like Writing Sherlock Holmes

By Stephanie Osborn

I like Sherlock Holmes. Pretty much have, from the time I was a kid – though my first encounter with him was nearly my last.

See, someone gave me a copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles for my birthday, when I was all of maybe 8 years old. I loved Holmes, but think about it: An 8-year-old kid with a vivid imagination, who dreams in color, and who has what would later be diagnosed as anxiety disorder, reading about a spectral cu sidhe that goes around killing members of an aristocratic family? Yeaaaaaah, no. It was years before I FINISHED the book, let alone picked up another Sherlock Holmes story.

But when I did, I kinda went nuts. I discovered that big ol’ compendium – you know the one, with the mustard and rust colored dust jacket – in my high school library, and I checked it out and kept it until I read the whole thing, cover to cover. Twice. And then I wrote my first ever pastiche.

It was a short story. I don’t even remember now what it was about; this was well before the days of personal computers, and I had to get Mom to type it up on the electric typewriter. (Yeah, so I’m old. Sue me.) And I submitted it to the school literary magazine…

…Which threw it out. First ever rejection notice and I wasn’t even out of high school. And it was a HIGH SCHOOL PUBLICATION. Problem was, the submissions were blind-judged – nobody knew who’d written anything – and the English Lit teacher, in her “superior knowledge,” decreed it was a direct, word-for-word plagiarism of one of Doyle’s actual stories. (No, she didn’t even try to check that big ol’ mustard-and-rust compendium.) At the end of the year, she discovered that I was the one who wrote it and she knew, straight-laced kid that I was, that I would never have plagiarized it. She also knew that I had the ability to write something like that.

I don’t think the story was that great, to be honest. I didn’t at the time. In fact, today I don’t remember the name of the story, or even the plot. See, I was still learning how to put stuff like that together, and I knew there were some plot holes when I wrote it, though I disguised ‘em well. But it was still pretty good for a kid that age, if I do say so. I think the whole episode might say more about the teacher than about my story, but hey.

And I watched the various and sundry films. I would have liked the Rathbone films better, I think, if Nigel Bruce hadn’t played Watson as a bumbling oaf; I simply couldn’t stomach that characterization, and it spoiled the films for me. Some years later, I discovered Jeremy Brett’s Holmes…and Holmes came to life for me. But I never tried my hand at another Holmes story.

Until I was already in the whole writing/publishing milieu. I picked up an anthology of Holmes science fiction and loved it. I thought it was something I’d probably adore writing. But it was all Victorian, and I tended (at that time) to feel a bit limited by Victorian science. It’s pre-relativity, pre-quantum mechanics, pre-everything that makes modern science and science fiction so very…out there. And after all, I AM a scientist.

Long story short, I worked out a way to bring a version of Holmes to the modern day from an alternate reality’s Victorian era, and The Displaced Detective series was born.

Enter this guy named Tommy Hancock. Tommy happens to be the co-publisher and editor in chief of Pro Se Press, one of the movers and shakers in the New Pulp movement. Turns out he’s a fan of the Displaced Detective. So he approached me at a science fiction convention, and asked me to write Holmes for him – only he wanted a more traditional, Holmes and Watson in Victorian Britain, kind of story. So we sat down and talked. We decided what we’d do would be to create a prequel series to the Displaced Detective, so that alternate-reality version of Holmes would have chronicles of his past, with “his” Watson in his original continuum. And so the Gentleman Aegis series was born.

Mummys curse 300Book 1 of that series was just released: Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy’s Curse. So what is it about?

Holmes and Watson. Two names forever linked by mystery and danger from the beginning.

Within the first year of their friendship and while both are young men, Holmes and Watson are still finding their way in the world, with all the troubles that such young men usually have: Financial straits, troubles of the female persuasion, hazings, misunderstandings between friends, and more. Watson’s Afghan wounds are still tender, his health not yet fully recovered, and there can be no consideration of his beginning a new practice as yet. Holmes, in his turn, is still struggling to found the new profession of consulting detective. Not yet truly established in London, let alone with the reputations they will one day possess, they are between cases and at loose ends when Holmes’ old professor of archaeology contacts him.

Professor Willingham Whitesell makes an appeal to Holmes’ unusual skill set and a request. Holmes is to bring Watson to serve as the dig team’s physician and come to Egypt at once to translate hieroglyphics for his prestigious archaeological dig. There in the wilds of the Egyptian desert, plagued by heat, dust, drought and cobras, the team hopes to find the very first Pharaoh. Instead, they find something very different…

I do hope you like it. I certainly had a great time writing it.

~~~

Stephanie Osborn, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery, is a 20+-year space program veteran, with degrees in astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, “fluent” in others, including geology and anatomy. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to some two dozen books, including celebrated Burnout and the Displaced Detective and Gentleman Aegis series.

~~~

Purchase links for Mummy’s Curse:

Amazon print: http://www.amazon.com/Sherlock-Holmes-Mummys-Curse-Gentleman/dp/1518883125/ref=sr_1_3_twi_pap_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1446569718&sr=8-3&keywords=sherlock+holmes+and+the+mummy%27s+curse

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Sherlock-Holmes-Mummys-Stephanie-Osborn-ebook/dp/B017IX33NW/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1446593931&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=sherlock+holmes+and+the+mummy%27s+curse%C2%94+stephanie+osborn

Smashwords electronic (epub/mobi/pdf): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/590130

Pro Se Press: http://prose-press.com/blog/2015/11/3/author-stephanie-osborn-debuts-new-holmes-series-sherlock-holmes-and-the-mummys-curse-debuts

~~~

Displaced Detective book 1: http://www.amazon.com/Case-Displaced-Detective-Arrival/dp/1606191896/

Displaced Detective Omnibus: http://www.amazon.com/Case-Displaced-Detective-Omnibus-ebook/dp/B00FOR5LJ4/

Displaced Detective book 5: http://www.amazon.com/Case-Spontaneous-Combustion-Displaced-Detective-ebook/dp/B00K98AI6Y/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51RvnSdsIVL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR104%2C160_&refRID=1AB9HXZQEH5DP0H06Z7W

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 9, 2015 at 3:29 am

Mrs. N.N. Light Takes Over the Elfyverse…(AKA “Time for a Guest Blog”)

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Folks, I’m very pleased to have Mrs. N.N. Light back for a second guest appearance. She and I are doing a blog-exchange today — that is, I’m guesting at her blog, and she’s guesting at mine on the very same day.

(Yes, we thought we were being clever. So?)

POTL printed coverNow, how do I know Mrs. N.? She and I became friends on Twitter, mostly because we’re both big baseball fans (she loves the Minnesota Twins, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Chicago Cubs; I’m a Milwaukee Brewers fan and also follow the San Francisco Giants, as they were my late husband Michael’s favorite team). Then we started talking writing and editing, as writers and editors tend to do when we’re alone in order to avoid scuffing up the furniture…but I digress.

In this interview (which I didn’t conduct, but enjoyed reading very much), Mrs. N. talks about many things, including her love for author C.S. Lewis. (Yet another thing we have in common!)

So, take it away, Mrs. N.!

potlbanner2

When did you begin writing?

I began writing stories and poems when I was ten years old. I had such an active imagination when I was young and was very shy so writing stories was an outlet for me. I loved creating new worlds and travelling using my imagination. As I grew older, I discovered I had a God-given talent for writing. I could inspire people with my words and that is a blessing.

What/Who is your biggest influence in writing?

C.S. Lewis has been one of the biggest influences on my writing. I first discovered him through reading The Chronicles of Narnia. I had the whole series and I read them repeatedly growing up. He brought Narnia to life for me and I would peek in my closet hoping for a secret entrance into Narnia. In my teens, I read The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce and The Four Loves. His writing style drew me in and I started to dream about becoming a writer. The more I delved deeper into C.S. Lewis’ writing, the more I wanted to inspire people with my own writing. C. S. Lewis doesn’t hit you over the head with his message but is subtle. I have tried to do the same thing with my writing.

What is your favorite topic to write on?

Than POTLI love writing inspirational/self help thoughts. I have been blessed with the gift of encouragement and I try to help others. I started my blog as an outlet for not only talking about my book, Princess of the Light, but also encouraging others. Whether it was about kindness, school, work, believing in your dreams or helping others I wanted to share my message.

What are your biggest challenges as a writer?

One of the biggest challenges for me as a writer is getting down all the ideas that pop into my head so I don’t lose them. I walk twenty miles a week and usually my best ideas come to me when I am out walking. They appear almost like a You-Tube video and I have to try to convert it to a text message so I can write it later. If I wait until I get home, I may lose the idea.

Do you have a day job? If so, what is it?

I am an author, editor, book promoter, book reviewer and a social media marketer for the largest coin dealer in Canada. I spend my day tweeting about new products and services. It’s a great way to hone my writing as I only have 140 characters including a link.

Where are you from? Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Minnesota, spent a decade in Southern California before meeting my beloved husband, MR N. I left the Pacific Ocean for chilly Ontario and have never regretted it. I am blissfully happy being married to my soul mate and living life to the fullest. In my free time, I love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports and baking.

Do you prefer fiction work or nonfiction?

I am a fiction girl all the way. Sure, I read a lot of non-fiction but I have a soft spot for fiction. I love reading books that take me on an adventure and captivate me.

What is your favorite book and why?

I get asked this a lot and to be honest, it is so hard to decide. It’s like asking a woman to pick just one pair of shoes as her favorite. *laughs* One of my favorite books of all time is The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. It’s totally fiction but at the same time made me wonder what would happen if it was true. I love books that make me think. I have read this book at least twenty times and each time I read it, I discover something new. It blends mystery, intrigue, religion, art, adventure and family.

What inspired you to write your book?

I knew from the time I was little, the gift of writing and encouragement was given to me by God. I wasn’t sure what He wanted me to write but I knew He would reveal it to me when the time arrived. Three years ago, I was out for my morning walk and I saw a homeless man sitting in front of a gas station. I looked at him; head uplifted to the sun, and wondered what his story was. I had seen him before but he was different from other homeless people. He didn’t ask for money or hold up a sign. He walked the length of our town and avoided contact.

A voice entered my head, “What if you could help him? Would you? What if you were chosen by me to help him?”

I stopped walking and searched my heart. After a moment, I replied aloud, “Yes, I would.”

The voice echoed in my heart, “This is what you were called to do.”

I went home that day and started writing Princess of the Light. Every day I would see the Walking Man and as Miriam would help her Walking Man, I would help mine. I started small by smiling at him and saying “Good morning”. I soon got my husband involved and we started leaving food, clothing and blankets for him.

I promised myself that when my book got published, a part of the proceeds would go to helping people like the Walking Man find food, clothing and shelter. Spread the Light is my mantra and together we can inspire others to spread the Light.

princessTitle: Princess of the Light

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Christian Fantasy, Inspirational Fiction

Release Date: September 2, 2014

Tagline:

Inspiring spiritual growth one person at a time

Blurb:

Gabriel, the Archangel and Messenger of God – yeah, that Gabriel – visits Mary Miller. He tells her, as the key, she is destined to spread the Light and vanquish the Darkness. Her first assignment is to restore the soul of the Walking Man. Sounds simple enough — until she’s thrown into the face of evil. And then, Joe Deacons enters her heart. This battle just got a lot more complicated. She must complete her mission without losing all she loves.

Excerpt:

“Can I help you with something, sir?” The woman’s voice quivered slightly and she leaned a little, as if she suddenly needed the wall for support.

Whoa, I couldn’t help but think. I frankly felt like a moth to the flame. All I wanted to do was have a reason to get closer to her. The fact that her eyes seemed to shine with an actual light didn’t help matters. I had never felt such an automatic attraction before, and I wanted to lean closer and see what was going on with her eyes.

She was either looking at me like I was the only man in the world—and quite possibly the sexiest one—or else my open gawking had freaked her out. Either way, I couldn’t have told her which it was, because my mouth felt like a cotton ball container.

“Yes,” I managed to rasp to her. “Where is your Architecture section?”

“Are you looking for anything in particular?” Yes. You, I wanted to say. “I could look to see if it is in stock.” Oh. Are there more of you somewhere?

The sound of her voice was starting to make my heart pound.

She had an earthly beauty about her. There was nothing extraordinary in her features, yet something about her just seemed to glow.

I felt my breath quicken. Joe, what’s the matter with you? Get a grip. You’ve seen girls before.

I shook my head to clear my thoughts without worrying what I looked like and said, “Please forgive my manners, but what is your name?”

“Mary.” That just became my favorite name.

“I’m very pleased to meet you,” I said as I extended my hand to her. “I’m Joseph. Please call me Joe.”

She hesitated for a moment before she shook my hand. Electricity bolted up my arm that I wasn’t prepared for. I wondered if she could hear my heart beating. Pretty sure these emotions weren’t winning me any bro-code points.

Her face was flushed and her eyes brightened with interest. Let go of her hand, Joe, I tried to coach myself. If I didn’t let go of it soon, I might never be able to.

So I quickly let go of her hand but immediately regretted it. The whole room suddenly seemed cold and empty.

She probably thinks you’re some kind of wacko. Stop staring. You’re a logical guy… Be reasonable here. Besides, she’s probably married. I ran my fingers through my hair and tried to remember what we were just talking about. I looked up to see her glance towards the entrance. If she asked me to leave, I wouldn’t blame her.

I tried to act composed, while I glanced down at her left hand. I didn’t see a ring, so I cleared my throat and tried to act like a reasonable man again.

“Well, it was a pleasure to meet you, Mary.” Even to me, my voice sounded unnaturally thick and hoarse. I cleared my throat and looked back at her.

“Yes, it’s great to meet you, Joe. Let me show you where the section is.” She turned and simply pointed to the far left corner of the store.

Just when I thought she was through with me completely, she motioned for me to follow her.

As she led me to the back of the store, I tried to switch off my desire and concentrate on the task at hand. Focus, Joe! Decorum! The inner jokes weren’t helping. They just wanted to make me giggle like a schoolboy, and I doubted that would help matters much.

I squeezed my eyes shut for a moment while I tried to remember the books I came for.

She was driving me crazy! I shook my head like a wet dog for what seemed like the twentieth time and asked God for some help.

Suddenly she sidestepped and tripped. I reached out and caught her. As soon as my fingertips touched her, my whole being seemed to be on fire. You’ve gone completely insane, Joe. Maybe, I really had been working too hard lately.

Mary blushed and stammered, “I’m so, so s-s-sorry about that. There was, um, a stroller blocking the aisle.”

“Yes, I saw that.”

I knew I had to let go of her. When I did, she whirled around, stammering more of an apology. It took every ounce of my willpower not to bend down and kiss her. I should have taken that nap.

To keep from kissing her, I made a joke. “And here I thought you just wanted me to catch you in my arms to break the ice.” I hesitated and then added, “It worked.” Her light-hearted laugh made me wish I knew more jokes.

She cleared her throat, and turned back to where they were heading.

Once in front of the architecture books, Mary said, “If you need any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask.” Then she stepped back and smiled politely.

“Thank you for your help,” I said, and wished I could think of something else to say to stall her.

As she walked away, I thought, I could watch you all day. I didn’t realize I was grinning until my cheeks suddenly felt sore.

Buy Links:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/469480

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/princess-of-the-light-nn-light/1120170709?ean=9781502438454

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N/dp/1502438453

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/princess-of-the-light-1

Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/princess-of-the-light/9781310880230-item.html?ikwid=princess+of+the+light&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

iTunes/ iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/princess-of-the-light/id913013798?mt=11

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5008419

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

Newsletter:

If you would like to sign up to be an exclusive member of #TeamPOTL, send me an email:

info [at] princessofthelight [dot] com

You’ll get a free short story and you’ll get sneak peeks into what I’m working on. Plus, every Friday, you’ll get a special shout-out on Twitter. 🙂

Author Bio: N.N. Light has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

She was born in Minnesota, lived in Southern California only to move to chilly Ontario, Canada to marry her beloved husband MR N. She is blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports and baking. Her mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find her on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. She is a proud member of ASMSG, Independent Author Network and Marketing for Romance Writers.

Part of the proceeds of Princess of the Light will go directly to food banks in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

In addition to being an author, she’s also a book promoter/reviewer and social media marketer. She loves books, has ever since she was young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives her great pleasure.

She’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: http://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Blog Exchange with N.N. Light on Monday…and Bristol Palin News?

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Monday, June 29, 2015, will be a very interesting day, folks.

Why?

Well, N.N. Light will be “exchanging” her blog for mine, meaning she’ll be here tomorrow and I’ll be over at her place (the Princess of the Light blog) instead. (Mrs. N., I’ll try not to disturb the furnishings. Promise.)

Why are we doing this? Well, we did this once before, and we enjoyed it so much we thought we’d try it again.

Besides, Mrs. N. always has very interesting things to say.

So do look for that tomorrow, will you?

Now onto the Bristol Palin news.

Late last week, Ms. Palin announced her new pregnancy on her blog over at Patheos. And by the way she announced it, she must be expecting a firestorm of controversy.

Here’s a bit from her blog regarding her pregnancy:

I know this has been, and will be, a huge disappointment to my family, to my close friends, and to many of you.

But please respect Tripp’s and my privacy during this time. I do not want any lectures and I do not want any sympathy.

As I said to my Mom once I heard this, “Well, she’s not leaving a whole lot of room there, is she?”

Look. Ms. Palin is a full-fledged adult now at age 24. She is no longer the innocent child most of us got to know during her mother Sarah Palin’s run for the Vice Presidency in 2008.

She has a right to make her own decisions, her own choices, and to do whatever she wants with her life.

To my mind, becoming pregnant again at age 24 is not a terrible thing. (Yes, she’s unmarried. Yes, this will be her second out-of-wedlock pregnancy. But so what?)

I don’t know Bristol Palin, obviously. She’s made one hard choice already in keeping her first child, Tripp; now, she’s made another hard choice.

Ms. Palin has already said she wants neither lectures nor sympathy. But I hope she’ll accept something from me anyway.

My respect.

And my wish that she’ll realize just how strong she is, inside, to be able to make this choice. (Because if she realizes her own strength, nothing the rest of the world says will ever be able to harm her.)

Learning from the Fiction Masters, Part 1: C.S. Forester

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Folks, I’m often asked, “Barb, who have you learned from, as a writer?”

The answer usually goes like this: “My husband, Rosemary Edghill, Katherine Eliska Kimbriel, Stephanie Osborn, Jason Cordova . . .

And I get an exasperated shake of the head. “No, Barb. Who have you read that has helped you?”

In addition to all of the above — do check out their work, please, as soon as you can! — there are writers anyone can find in the public library that will help them write rip-roaring yarns of action-adventure, or perhaps some gentler, humorous stories of far-off places, or maybe just evoke England between the World Wars in such a humorous way that you can’t stop laughing.

Who are these writers? Why, C.S. Forester — he who wrote the Horatio Hornblower series of military, ship-going fiction, L. Frank Baum — famous for the his stories of the fabled (and fabulous) land of Oz, and P.G. Wodehouse, of course.

In the next three blogs of this series (to come out every week on Friday), I intend to discuss one of these seminal writers at a time — and today, Forester is up.

Forester is the most obvious choice for anyone to read who’s writing military science fiction, if you haven’t already. (BTW, here’s a handy link to blog of the C.S. Forester Society, a going concern 115 years after his birth. All authors should do so well!)

Why should you read Forester? Well, he logically lays out exactly how an English ship of the line from the late 1700s/early 1800s actually ran. How the officers interrelated, how the ship worked, what sort of jobs people had on the ship, and does all that by showing how his main character, Horatio Hornblower, ascends the ladder in rank and has to deal with more and more challenges.

Granted, Forester wrote his books out-of-order, somewhat in the same fashion as contemporary military SF master Lois McMaster Bujold. It’s a good strategy, too, because it allows you to fill in the background of your hero or heroine as you see fit.

Why do you want to read Forester, though, if you aren’t planning to write any military SF at all? Well, he knew how to spin an action-adventure yarn, that’s for sure, so that’s one reason. Another is to observe how he authentically evokes the English Navy of Hornblower’s era, and does so in a way that is relatively unobtrusive — it’s there, it’s sensible, and Hornblower relies on it implicitly (as a real-life seaman of that time would’ve done).

This last is something that many contemporary writers do not seem to do nearly as well (with the exception of Bujold and the writers listed above). Many other writers, some quite celebrated (and with much greater sales figures than mine), use a technique called “infodumping” in such a way that it’s not just obvious, it’s so obvious that any reasonably assuming reader who already knows the writer and the universe in question is likely to skip it entirely.

Remember — you want to seduce the reader, if at all possible. You do not want to hit the reader over the head (unless you are writing humorous fantasy; that’s different). And you want the reader to enjoy what you’ve written, every single word, rather than skip hundreds or thousands because you’ve been too heavy with your infodumping.

Besides, Forester wrote more than just Hornblower. He wrote movies, plays, children’s stories, horror, mysteries . . . all sorts of stuff. So if one thing doesn’t work for you — even if it’s the genius of the Hornblower stuff — try another.

Anyway, if you haven’t read any of C.S. Forester’s work yet, here’s a few books to get you started — and best of all, they should be available in any good public library. (A good, free book is a win-win for all concerned in this down economy.)

  • BEAT TO QUARTERS — the first, and possibly the best, Hornblower novel.
  • THE AFRICAN QUEEN — an interesting sea-faring novel made into a movie. (You’ve probably seen the movie, so why not read the book?)
  • POO-POO AND THE DRAGONS — a children’s story, complete with illustrations by Robert Lawson.
  • PAYMENT DEFERRED — a horror/murder mystery, where the guy about to be executed for a crime is truly innocent, but cannot exonerate himself. If he does, he’ll prove he’s a murderer — but of someone else.

Enjoy!

New Interview, Book Review Up at SBR Over the Weekend

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Over the weekend, I put up two new things over at Shiny Book Review (SBR for short, as always). One is an interview with the incomparable Katharine Eliska Kimbriel, while the other is a book review for Vera Nazarian’s COBWEB FOREST, the third book in Ms. Nazarian’s Cobweb Bride series.

Now, you might be wondering why it is that I did two such labor-intensive things on the weekend. (Well, you’re probably not wondering that, for all I know. But take my word for it: Reviews take effort, and interviews also take effort, plus a goodly amount of pre-planning on the part of both me, the interviewer, and whoever the interviewee is, in this case Ms. Kimbriel.) Why not do them earlier in the week?

Well, like most people, I have all sorts of things going on during the week that tend to preclude me from doing things that take several hours apiece, no matter how much I might enjoy doing them. And as I tend to review romances on Saturday over at SBR for our Romance Saturday promotion, that’s why Ms. Nazarian’s book was reviewed then.

Note I’m not talking much about why my interview with Ms. Kimbriel went up on Sunday . . . that’s mostly because I ran out of time on Friday, and I also thought of a few last-minute questions late Thursday evening. Ms. Kimbriel answered them very quickly, bless her, but I was still in the process of figuring things out on Friday evening, so the interview did not get done until Sunday.

I don’t do a whole lot on Sunday at SBR, mostly because Jason Cordova tends to review on that day, Monday, Tuesday, and/or Wednesday. But he and I can arrange for me to review — or in this case, interview — on other days, and that’s what we did here.

I hope you enjoy both my interview with Ms. Kimbriel, as she had a great deal of insight to offer about writing, editing, and the whole publication process as she’s part of Book View Cafe, an author’s consortium that does well by its writers and editors, and the review of Ms. Nazarian’s COBWEB FOREST.

Now, as for my plans for this week’s blog posts? Some of it depends on what happens in the world, but I can say I do plan to do a Milwaukee Brewers pre-season report — what I’ve seen from the various Spring Training games that have been televised, what I’ve noticed among a few high-profile (and not-so-high-profile) players — later this week. So do stay tuned for that.

As far as reviews over at SBR, I hope to review three things: Stephen R. Donaldson’s THE LAST DARK, the concluding book of the entire Thomas Covenant series, is the main book of the three, with the other two being Grant Hallman’s well-received debut novel IRON STAR (a work of military science fiction that’s perfect for readers of Michael Z. Williamson or Ric Locke) and his prequel to IRON STAR, the novella UPFALL. Figure THE LAST DARK for Saturday, while if all goes well I should be able to review UPFALL, at least, on Friday — and perhaps IRON STAR as well. (Have I mentioned that I’m a big fan of IRON STAR yet?)

Now, speaking of “Mad Mike” Williamson, I do have a special treat in store in a few, short weeks, as his debut novel FREEHOLD has been re-released by his publisher, Baen Books, in hard cover. Because of that auspicious event — something that was a long time in coming — I’ve decided to review FREEHOLD over at SBR. I read FREEHOLD years ago but never reviewed it anywhere, partly because it came out in 2005 — and because of my husband Michael’s passing the year before, I really didn’t pay much attention to anything that happened then. (I think I actually read FREEHOLD in 2007, but don’t quote me.)

So is the world ready for me to review FREEHOLD?

I don’t know, but we’re all about to find out . . . :insert evil chuckle here: