In the Spotlight: Reflections by Jena Baxter

ReflectionsTitle: Reflections

Author: Jena Baxter

Publisher: Independent Self Publishing / Jenabaxterbooks

Publication Date: October 31, 2013

Pages: 320

ISBN: 978-0991167715

Genre: YA / Historical Fantasy

Format: Paperback, eBook (.mobi / Kindle), PDF

When Juliette has a domestic servant beaten for pursuing a young man above her station, she finds herself cursed by a witch to live in a world behind her own mirror. She is unable to leave except on the first night of a full moon.

Juliette is forced to seek what food and shelter the new world provides with the help of a unicorn, a man who is half bear, and a centaur. Together they struggle to survive against lions, wolves, and the challenges of watching their friends live and die through the back of the mirror, as their own world, family and friends moves on without them.

Reflections begins in Regency era London, and ends in Clover Springs, California, an all but abandoned Gold Rush town.

A tale of love, friendship, and facing unavoidable challenges.

Book Excerpt:

Juliette shut the front door behind her, and slowly climbed down the stairs of her home, cringing at every creek of the steps. She walked down the paved road, back straight and chin up, until the house was out of view. She looked around, pulled off her bonnet, and ran all the way to the beach.
Stopping to catch her breath, she scanned the riverbank until she spotted Emily, gazing into the clouds above the Thames. It was a gray and dreary day, but a fisherman stood in the water trying to entice the fish, and a few people were scattered along the shoreline. Sea birds flew back and forth, seeking a tasty morsel. Juliette joined Emily, and sat in the scrub.
“It took you a long time to get here,” Emily said, smiling.
“Sorry, it’s my birthday and mother is hosting a party tonight. I had to sneak out of the house, but no one saw me. Then I ran all the way here.”
Emily shrugged. “Doesn’t matter.” She held out her arm, and opened her hand. “I made this for you.”
Juliette took the hair pin with a tattered yellow ribbon tied in a bow attached to it.
Emily’s cheeks colored. “Sorry it’s not new.”
Juliette hugged her. “It’s wonderful. Thank you. I have to go back now, before they notice me gone,” she said, pushing the pin carefully into her hair.
“Okay, I’ll go with you. How old are you today?”
Juliette smiled. “I’m six years old,” she said, as they made their way back to the road. “How old are you?”
“Seven, since last month.” She ran dirty hands down her tattered and stained black dress.
“Look!” Juliette stopped, and pointed toward the water.
Emily followed the direction of her finger. “Oh! What a beautiful chestnut horse.”
Juliette shook her head, ringlets blowing in the wind. “No, it’s not a horse. It’s a unicorn sighting for my birthday.” She continued walking toward the road.
“But unicorns aren’t real,” Emily said, looking back at the animal.
“How do you know they aren’t real? That horse has a black horn. Trust me, that’s a unicorn.”
They stepped onto the dirt road.
“I’ll race you there!” Juliette yelled.
Laughing, they ran until they found Mrs. Barrows waiting at the front door of Juliette’s home. Juliette went silent and ran to her mother. Emily stopped in the road.
“Where have you been? Look at your hair, it’s a mess … and what is that ugly thing sticking out of it?”
Mrs. Barrows swiped the pin off Juliette’s head. She winced as strands of her hair fell with the ribbon to the ground.
Juliette followed her mother’s eyes as she glared at Emily, standing on the road.
“What have I told you about spending your time with people like that, Juliette? That girl has no business talking to you, and you have no business playing with our domestic help.”
“But she’s not our domestic help, Mother.”
“The girl is as good as employed by this household with her aunt Zylphia, working here.”
“I don’t want to see you with her again. Do you understand me? What if someone saw you?” Mrs. Barrows shrieked. “You embarrass the entire family associating with people like that, Juliette. Get in the house!”
Juliette jumped when the door slammed shut behind her.
Juliette picked up a glass of punch and sat with the children attending the party. She watched her mother laugh and sip tea with her guests. The children chattered beside her, she ignored them. Her mother had made it clear that the only reason she hadn’t received a strapping was so she could sit down at the party. Juliette struggled with the sting of tears, holding them back, but just barely.
Margaret sashayed over, and stood with her hands on her hips. She always has something to say about everything. Juliette frowned, waiting. All of the children stared at her.
“I heard you were playing with a servant girl today. Robert Beale said he saw you running and laughing on the road like it was the most normal thing in the world. You’re liable to get a disease spending your time with something like that.”
“It’s not your business, Margaret. I’ll spend time with whomever I want.”
“Suit yourself, but I don’t want any part of that, or you.” Margaret lifted her chin and joined the other children.
Juliette turned to see her mother, who had been just out of view. Her knuckles white as the dish she held.
“Go to your room, Juliette.”
Tears spilled down Juliette’s cheeks. She tried to think of something to say, but couldn’t. She ran to her room.
Minutes later the razor-strap slammed into her bare buttocks. The humiliation of knowing the party heard her screams was part of her punishment. When the governess finished, she had been instructed to return Juliette to the party where she remained until the last guest departed.
Her mother turned to her. “Get to your room. I don’t want to see your face again tonight.”
Juliette obeyed moving much slower than before. Her bottom and the back of her legs stung with welts. She crawled onto the bed, and wept into her pillow.

About the Author:

Jena BaxterBorn in Ojai, and raised in the San Fernando Valley, California, Jena always loved to read, and dreamed of writing a novel. Having the ability, but lacking the confidence to do so, she enrolled in the UCLA Writer’s Extension, and soon her first novel was in process.

Jena writes YA, historical fantasy, and paranormal romance. She is also a screenwriter, and reads for a screenwriting contest annually. She spends her free time with her husband, amazon parrot, and toy maltese. You can visit her website at www.jenabaxter.com.

Connect with Jena:

Author Website: www.jenabaxter.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jena.baxter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenaBaxterBooks

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8103907.Jena_Baxter

Book Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDUm-9IDiN8

 

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Interview with ‘Daughter of the Fallen’ Madeline Wynn & Win $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Madeline WynnMadeline Wynn holds a master’s degree in procrastination. When she’s not writing, she can be found ghost hunting, gardening and parading around her home state of Connecticut with her husband, dog and two kids.

Her latest book is the YA paranormal, Daughter of the Fallen.

For More Information

About the Book:

Daughter of the Fallen 2Most sixteen-year olds aren’t worried about the fate of their immortal souls. May Krieg should be.

Typically, honor student May’s biggest problems have revolved around her super-hot arch-rival, Jack. But when a school project takes them ghost-hunting in a local cemetery, she discovers that an ominous force roams in the darkness around her.

And it follows her home.

It claws its way into her life, burning messages into her wall and imprinting them onto her body. Even worse, she can’t tell if it’s trying to possess her… or protect her.

May’s thoughts soon become actions, causing the target of her anger severe physical pain and giving her a rush the likes of which she has never experienced. She quickly realizes that she needs to find a way to reign in this power before she kills someone. May hates the pleasure it gives her, hates herself for hurting others, but she can’t stop.

As her entire world shatters around her, she is forced to ask what her soul is worth– and who would she risk losing her soul to save?

(For readers who enjoy: teen paranormal romance, teen horror, teen romance, nephilim, demons, YA, YA horror, YA paranormal, YA romance, ghost stories)

For More Information

Thanks for joining us today, Madeline. Can we begin by having you tell us how you got into the YA paranormal genre?

Madeline: I’ve always loved a good ghost story, so when I moved to New England I decided that I’d go ahead and take a ghost hunting class. I was obsessed with all of those shows on TV, so I figured it would be fun. As it turned out, it scared the hell out of me. Not so much the whole, dead Aunt Mary hanging out on the staircase part, but the demons in the attic part.

By the last week of class, sleep and I were no longer on speaking terms. So I decided to go ahead and try and write a novel about all of my worst fears and the book was born.

Is writing what you’ve wanted to do all your life?

Madeline: Yes and no. I originally wanted to grow up and be the ruler of a small country, but that hasn’t really worked out.

I’ve been writing all of my life, so it’s become a part of me more than a profession, per se.

I would love to know more about your character, May Krieg. Would you like to tell us about her?

Madeline: She’s a teen who feels a bit like an outsider. She lives in a wealthy suburb and she’s the girl who has to shop at second-hand stores and doesn’t have the money to drop on weekly manicures and things, but she’s quirky and always the first to volunteer to work at a soup kitchen or make lunch for the homeless.

She’s also a bit naïve and can be a bit too quick about drawing up assumptions about people. That being said, even though she’s not in with the popular kids, she’s extremely devoted to the friends that she does have and would walk through fire for the people she cares about.

Who is Jack?

Madeline: He’s the “it” boy. He’s got the money and the looks and the charm to rule the world.

But on the inside he’s broken. His mother has passed away and his dad is never around, and throws money at him in the hopes that it will replace any actual parenting that he should be doing. He’s left to his own devices all the time, so he has become very self-sufficient but also a bit cold on the outside. He’s slow to warm up to people because on the inside he’s worried that they’ll just abandon him the way his parents have.

What are you working on now?

Madeline: The sequel to DAUGHTER OF THE FALLEN. The book ends on a hook so I have to make sure readers aren’t left in the dark for too long!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans and readers?

Madeline: Thank you so much for reading! I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to reach out!

GIVEAWAY

Madeline Wynn is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins November 3 and ends January 31.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, February 2.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

 

 

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Interview with Eve Picquette, author of Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships

Eve PicquetteEve Picquette has been looking for love, joy and fun all her life. Along the way she has had lots of experiences – some with more fun than others! A licensed attorney, she served as director of risk and quality management at hospital corporations in California and Arizona for thirty years. She is also a certified NLP life coach, matrix, EFT and Angel Therapy practitioner. Eve Picquette received her MSN in community mental health at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, and her Juris Doctor from the University of California, Davis.

Author of Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships: 10 Shift Keys -What Your Angels Have Been Trying to Tell You for Centuries and companion Mini Meditation MP3’s, she lives in Arizona, and her present happy work is teaching and advising clients regarding having more love and joy in personal and business relationships.

For More Information

What made you decide to become a published author?

I am a voracious reader and I had received so much from the books of others’ that I wanted to leave my own “bread crumb trail” that might help another reader have a happier life!

Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships 2Would you consider your latest book, Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships – 10 Shift Keys – What Your Angels Have Been Trying to Tell You for Centuries to be a one of a kind? How so?

We all like to think we have a unique perspective on the world, and you won’t find another book with angel pictures and quotes like this one, certainly. However, the Shift Keys for happiness I describe have been written about by others down through the ages, so in that sense it is not new, merely presented in a way designed to remind you of what your heart already knows.

Where is your writing sanctuary?

I write best when I drive into the White Mountains or to one of the lakes around Phoenix. But I also have a bright sunny great room – I love light – that works for me, too.

What inspires you?

The courage it takes to live life fully, and the amazing people I meet who, despite painful circumstances and uncertainty, choose to live with open hearts.

Why do you love to write self-help/inspirational books?

I started life, trying to figure out all the rules. Then I finally decided that the only thing I wanted was to feel light and happy. Along the way I read many wonderful books – so I have always loved to read self-help books – and many of them have been a great inspiration. The thought that something I might write could be useful to someone else that is seeking, as I was, makes me happy!

What’s one fun fact about your book people should know?

The most fun was getting the angel pictures painted – I wanted them to be so beautiful and evocative.

Aside from writing, what’s your passion?

Nothing too different from most of your readers, probably! I love to read – historical fiction and non-fiction. I also adore spending time outdoors and travel, both in the US and abroad.

What’s next for you?

I am working on my next book, which is about some “dark night of the soul” traps and how to climb out of those experiences, whole and light hearted.

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Interview with Jeff Gunhus, author of ‘Night Terror’

Jeff GunhusJeff Gunhus is the author of both adult thrillers and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. As a father of five, he and his wife lead an active lifestyle simply trying to keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

His latest book is the thriller/horror novel, Night Terror.

For More Information

  • Visit Jeff Gunhus’ website.
  • Connect with Jeff on Facebook and Twitter.
  • More books by Jeff Gunhus.
  • Contact Jeff.                                                               

Can you tell us what your book is about?

It’s been ten years since Sarah Tremont her abduction and attempt on her life in the caves under Prescott City and she and her family believe the nightmare is behind them. However, a new evil has sensed the power of her gift that’s more insidious that anything she Night Terror 2faced before. It quickly becomes clear that a new nightmare is just beginning.

Why did you write your book?

Night Terror is the sequel to my first adult novel, Night Chill. I really loved the characters and left the first book open for a sequel. Overall, the books reflect my own paranoia about my responsibility as a father to keep my family safe.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I also write screenplays which are highly structured and I’ve taken some of those work habits into novel writing. I think in terms of act structure and create an outline. However, the real fun of writing are the surprising detours the book takes along the way.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

The closest I come to writer’s block is deciding which project to do next. I’m facing that right now, actually. I have two books coming out in October, one adult and one middle grade/YA, and I just completed edits for a rerelease of my novel Killer Within that was acquired by Thomas & Mercer, so I’m thinking about my next project. There are five different books I want to write and I can’t seem to choose between them. Once I get going though, I rarely get blocked.

Can you tell us about your family?

I have five kids so my wife and I spend most of our time barely keeping up with the chaos. The kids like the Jack Templar books and they all have cameos in the books.

What do you like the most about being an author?

I love when people read my stuff! Even if they don’t like it, the idea that we can have a conversation about a setting and characters that were once only in my head is nothing short of magic.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

I reread Stephen King’s On Writing at least once a year. All the advice I give writer’s really comes from that book. The greatest advice is that writer’s write. You have to put your backside into a chair and write. Every. Day. On top of that, you have to read a lot. King says if you don’t have time to read then you don’t have time to be a good writer. I buy into that.

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Interview with Mike Hartner, author of I, James

Mike HartnerMike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.

Mike won first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction and first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Dante Rosetti Award in the YA category for I, Walter.

His latest book is the historical fiction/romance, I, James.

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About the Book:

I JamesJames Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11.

Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land.

Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires?

For More Information

  • I, James is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

What made you decide to become a published author?

Early in the 00’s I needed to write a story or three about my family. To share them with relatives, I decided to publish. Then, when The Eternity Series came along, it just seemed the right thing to do.

Would you consider your latest book, I, James, to be a one of a kind? How so?

I, James is part of The Eternity Series. And in that sense, no it’s not one of a kind. But, one of the premises of the whole series is that each person needs to be admired for their own accomplishments; that nobody can be judged for their lives without at least understanding them, and in that sense, it is unique, because we all are as well.

Where is your writing sanctuary?

In my office, or more often the bedroom late at night.

What do you believe a writer should not do as far as getting his or her book published?

When getting your book published, keep control of your intellectual property. If you’re being asked to change something, remember they’re giving you their suggestions. Yes, the editors and agents want you to agree with them. But, if it is something you’re very adamant about, talk with them.

What inspires you?

I am inspired every day by the quality of people around me. I know people from every walk of life, and am inspired by each and every one of them.

Why do you love to write historical romance?

I love to write historical fiction because there are so many things that you can do to your characters n each of the eras. I love to include the romance because EVERY life has romance in it.

Aside from writing, what’s your passion?

Cheerleading for my son, who currently is playing Basketball and rugby for his school.

What’s next for you?

Book Three, of course.

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Author Interview: Mary-Lou Stephens, author of ‘How To Stay Married’

Mary-Lou StephensMary-Lou Stephens studied acting and played in bands before she got a proper job -in radio. She writes whenever she’s not behind the microphone or heading off to a meditation retreat.

Mary-Lou has garnered rave reviews for her memoir Sex, Drugs and Meditation, the true story of how she changed her life, saved her job and found a husband, all with the help of meditation. She lives in Australia with that very same husband, their dog and a hive of killer native bees.

How To Stay Married is the sequel to Sex, Drugs and Meditation and is the truth behind the happy ending.

Mary-Lou is a blogger for The Huffington Post, a columnist for Holistic Bliss and a regular at writing festivals and events.

Visit Mary-Lou’s website at http://maryloustephens.com.au

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MissyMaryLou

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maryloustephenswrites

About the Book

How to Stay Married 2Title: How to Stay Married
Author: Mary-Lou Stephens
Publisher: Nelson Bay
Pages: 203
Genre: Self-Help/Relationships/Love and Romance
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Do you dream of finding the right person to spend your life with? Are you in a strong relationship already and want to keep it that way? Or perhaps your marriage is a little tarnished and you hope to make it shine again?

You’ve come to the right place. While How to Stay Married isn’t your regular ‘how-to’ book, it is about creating the kind of relationship you want.

This is the story of a marriage; a journey from fear, resentment and financial devastation, to a place of love, joy and trust.

Mary-Lou Stephen’s first book Sex, Drugs and Meditation chronicled how meditation changed her life, saved her job and helped her find a husband. How To Stay Married, is the truth behind the happy ending.

How to Stay Married takes us around the world; from the glitter and glare of Las Vegas to the sub-zero temperatures of the French Alps and the tropical heat of Thailand, all with cabin luggage only.

The discoveries Mary-Lou makes regarding herself and her marriage are a modern day parable about learning to travel light in life, love and relationships.

What made you decide to become a published author?

I never thought I’d be an author. I wrote songs for years when I used to play in bands. I didn’t think about writing prose until about 12 years ago when I went on an overseas holiday and came back with a few out of focus photos taken on a disposable camera. A friend said “Clearly photography’s not your thing. Why don’t you write about your holiday instead?” So I did and I’ve been writing ever since.

I wrote newspaper columns and short stories but never anything longer. I saved up my money and took six moths leave without pay. I wanted to find out whether I could write an entire book and then having done so if I ever wanted to do it again. The answer to both questions was yes.

When I read self-help books I turn straight to the case studies, the stories. I think human beings are hard-wired for stories, we love them. When I realised my life read like one of those case studies I wondered if other people would be interested in my story. The answer again was yes. How To Stay Married is the sequel.

Would you consider your latest book, How To Stay Married, to be a one of a kind? How so?

How To Stay Married, is a brave and personal book. It touches on areas in a relationship that not many people have the courage to expose. My husband has been my biggest supporter. He gave me permission to write anything I needed to, even though some of it was very tough on him. I’ve been toughest on myself though, often not painting myself in a very good light, but that’s what being honest is about.

Where is your writing sanctuary?

The couch! I love writing on my laptop on the couch when The Hubby isn’t home. It’s such a comforting hug of a couch filled with feathers. I do have a writing room with a desk but that feels more like work – and I do enough desk time at my day job. So the couch it is.

What do you believe a writer should not do as far as getting his or her book published?

Never send first draft material to anyone. I did and it was a big mistake. I had some interest early of for my first book Sex, Drugs and Meditation. A literary agent got hold of the first chapter and asked to see everything I’d written. I was naive and did just that. Big mistake and I blew my chance to be signed to a major literary agency. She did give me some great feedback though and many years later I finally finished the book and landed a publishing deal with a major publisher. As Stephen King says, “Write the first draft with the door closed and the second draft with the door open.”

You’re concocting a recipe for a best selling book. What’s the first ingredient?

Love. Love for your readers, love for your characters, love of words, love of writing. And most of all love of a good story, no matter what genre you write in.

Aside from writing, what’s your passion?

I’m a radio presenter for the ABC on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, the Australian one not the Canadian one. Radio is a great job. I get to meet fascinating people every day and ask them questions. I’m very curious so it’s perfect for me. I also love to cook, except for the times when I have to. My husband is my greatest love and we both adore our funny old rescue dog.

What’s next for you?

Fiction. I’ve written a novel that I’ve been told doesn’t work but I may revisit at some stage. If not it was a good practice book. I have plans for three other novels; one set in Scotland, one in New York City and the other in the wilderness of south west Tasmania. Plus a YA series or two. Watch this space :)

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A Session Director’s Guide to Commercial Acting in L.A. Book Blitz

Commercial Acting in L.A. banner

We’re happy to be hosting Shaan Sharma and his COMMERCIAL ACTING IN L.A. Book Blitz today!

About the Book

Commercial Acting in L.A. 2

Title: A Session Director’s Guide to Commercial Acting in L.A.
Author: Shaan Sharma
Publisher: Shaan Sharma
Pages: 149
Genre: Nonfiction
Format: Paper/Kindle

Purchase at Amazon

Shaan Sharma’s A SESSION DIRECTOR’S GUIDE TO COMMERCIAL ACTING IN L.A. is the commercial acting industry’s most comprehensive book ever written – – giving readers a step-by-step guide to breaking into and prospering in the commercial acting business in the world’s entertainment center, Los Angeles. Fusing his experience, wisdom, vignettes and wit – Sharma is about to change the lives of those who thought big-picture acting was nothing but a fantasy, as well as those commercial veterans who could be even more successful.

Readers of this book will learn how to become successful working actors in TV commercials in Los Angeles in this fun step-by-step guide by top Casting Session Director and Commercial Actor Shaan Sharma. “This isn’t hype – it’s tangible advice I have gained from running auditions for over 400 commercial spots,” says Sharma. “Readers will hit the ground running as they discover how the business works and what to expect, how to find good acting classes, refine their look, get headshots, get representation, get in with the top commercial casting directors, navigate the audition and call-back process, life on set and even how to stay busy between acting jobs. There’s also a bonus chapter for parents interested in getting their children into acting. The commercial acting world is so different than that of theater, TV and film that new students and veterans alike need to make the most of the time and money they invest in their careers.”

Shaan went on to say, “The kind of information in this book can only come from someone who has experience both in front of and behind the camera, who works with the top casting directors, directors, ad agencies and companies in the world. There are no other books out there like it. So, if you want to get into commercial acting in L.A. – this is your guidebook.”

Having directed audition sessions for over four hundred national commercial spots for dozens of L.A.’s top casting directors, Shaan Sharma is a well-known veteran of his industry. Now expanding his reach through a powerful new book, Shaan is looking to help thousands of actors better navigate their way through the commercial acting business by putting into practice the tips and information he has spent fifteen years discovering. Regardless of experience level, A SESSION DIRECTOR’S GUIDE TO COMMERCIAL ACTING IN L.A. contains insider knowledge that will help actors better understand the process and in turn be more successful. Shaan’s book features compelling illustrations by Paul Loudon.

203 pages

E-book, $19.99; ISBN: 9780990408024

Softback, $29.99; ISBN: 9780990408000

Publication date: September 22, 2014

Published by CreateSpace; Available at: Apple iBooks: http://bit.ly/VGv766; Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/1vFnTtK; Barnes and Noble Nook: http://bit.ly/1xjHmTv; Kobo: http://bit.ly/1magu4h

Book Excerpt:

In the end, training to be the best actor you can be, creating your own work, getting in front of casting directors whenever possible through workshops and showcases, submitting yourself for work on and offline, getting great representation and working with them to expand your opportunities for mutual success, being knowledgeable about the business and casting process, giving as much as you can of yourself to other actors, and being awesome to, and interested in, the people that make it all happen day-in and day-out is the best way to maximize your chances of success, not only as a commercial actor but as a professional actor, period.

I hope that this information has been a helpful starting point in knowing what to do. Almost all of us move here from somewhere else with no good information as to how things actually work, and it can be so hap-hazard where you end up training and how you end up finding out the right information. It’s my hope that this insider look into the world of commercial acting and casting helps you sidestep the mistakes I and others naturally made when we started out. A better-informed and trained acting community will only make my life easier in the casting studio. In fact, this material is actually all a selfish effort for my own benefit. But hey, if good is achieved with it also, well then that’s extra karma for me.

About the Author

Shaan Sharma

In the end, training to be the best actor you can be, creating your own work, getting in front of casting directors whenever possible through workshops and showcases, submitting yourself for work on and offline, getting great representation and working with them to expand your opportunities for mutual success, being knowledgeable about the business and casting process, giving as much as you can of yourself to other actors, and being awesome to, and interested in, the people that make it all happen day-in and day-out is the best way to maximize your chances of success, not only as a commercial actor but as a professional actor, period.

I hope that this information has been a helpful starting point in knowing what to do. Almost all of us move here from somewhere else with no good information as to how things actually work, and it can be so hap-hazard where you end up training and how you end up finding out the right information. It’s my hope that this insider look into the world of commercial acting and casting helps you sidestep the mistakes I and others naturally made when we started out. A better-informed and trained acting community will only make my life easier in the casting studio. In fact, this material is actually all a selfish effort for my own benefit. But hey, if good is achieved with it also, well then that’s extra karma for me.

GIVEAWAY

Shaan Sharma is giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins November 3 and ends November 29.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, December 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 

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The Straw That Broke Book Blitz

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We’re happy to be hosting Tom Whalen and his The Straw That Broke Book Blitz today!

About the Book

The Straw That Broke 2

In his rollicking new novel, THE STRAW THAT BROKE, author Tom Whalen continues his ENCYCLOPEDIA MOUSE series, a challenging and funny roller-coaster ride through the outer margins of science-fiction, philosophy, and word play. Readers who reveled in previous books in the series, such as THE CAMEL’S BACK (called “the Moby-Dick of mice” by poet and critic R.H.W. Dillard) and ROITHAMER’S UNIVERSE (which science-fiction writer Rudy Rucker termed “giddy fun”), are sure to greet the arrival of THE STRAW THAT BROKE with anticipation and joy. Lovers of such visionary writers as Kafka, Borges, Vonnegut, Lewis Carroll, and Douglas Adams (THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE series) also will find a kindred spirit in Tom Whalen, as will readers of all tastes who are looking for a thrilling literary adventure.

The main “character” in THE STRAW THAT BROKE is the Encyclopedia Mouse, who, according to the author, “is the one creature who can save the multiverse.” In Whalen’s synopsis of THE STRAW THAT BROKE, “Bulwer Zetford’s work-in-progress, The Cosmic Messenger, is about to take a strange turn, and the multiverse with it, when Roithamer of Relix “beads” once again and brings swirling into Zetford’s Kaduza M-mon processor the Encyclopedia Mouse … Tale twines tale as the mouse battles his Doppelgänger in cyberspace, Heidegger, in his Black Forest hut, and a hyper-crazed Roithamer. Death is everywhere, but the mouse, birling (if only barely) in his Binding Nexus Drive, is determined to narrate the universes away from their demise.”

Whalen describes his style as “playful, parodic, philosophical, lyrical. I wanted THE STRAW THAT BROKE to be thick with character and plot and at the same time alive with language.”

“The word play is part of the novel’s texture, as well as being embedded into the plot and character of the mouse,” Whalen also explains. “No need for the reader to pick up all the formal play. It’s enough that this exists on a subliminal level.”

Whalen’s ultimate goal, he says, is to have the Encyclopedia Mouse books published in one volume “and eventually turned into a wide-screen baroque masterwork of cinema.”

In the meantime, THE STRAW THAT BROKE is available in print, ready to delight all readers.

What the critics are saying about the ENCYCLOPEDIA MOUSE series:

“Pollinates post-cyber-punk with headier poetry than the genre has yet known.”

Andrei Codrescu

Author and NPR commentator

“Storytelling which is subtly, wickedly funny.”

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Tom Whalen is one of the most gifted and prolific of contemporary American avant-garde writers … a master of this genre.”

George Garrett

Dictionary of Literary Biography

“Tom Whalen twists our notions of what is real.”

Christine Spivey

New Orleans Review

172 pages.

Softcover, $13.46; ISBN: 13-978-0692259436

Publication date: August 1, 2014

Published by Black Scat Books

Available at amazon.com, Black Scat Books.

Website: www.tomwhalen.com

About the Author

Tom Whalen

Tom Whalen is a novelist, short story writer, poet and critic who has written for Agni, Asymptote, Bookforum, Brooklyn Rail, Chicago Review, The Iowa Review, Film Quarterly, The Literary Review, the Washington Post and other publications. His books include Dolls, Elongated Figures, The Birth of Death and Other Comedies: The Novels of Russell H. Greenan, and the novels Roithamer’s Universe and The President in Her Towers. Whalen currently lives in Stuttgart, Germany, where he teaches film at the State Academy of Art and Design. See author on You Tube at: http://youtu.be/DIpaGoH4mJg.

His latest book is the science fiction, The Straw That Broke.

Visit his website at www.tomwhalen.com.

Giveaway!!!

Tom Whalen is giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins November 3 and ends November 29.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, December 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Climbing for Roots Book Blitz & $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Title: Climbing for Roots

Author: Alan Noble

Genre: Religion/Spiritual Growth/Christian Life

Publisher: Axiom

Climbing for Roots will explain fully the sin that so completely corrupted creation, and the plan of God for our salvation. We learn that Jesus is not only our Savior, but is also the Lord of our lives. What does that mean? That obedience will never earn us God’s love but it will always produce blessing. We learn that our salvation is secure, but we must strive for obedience because we are created to do good works.
 
When we trust Jesus for salvation, we become members of a new family—the family of God, also known as the church. Imagine! God is now our Father. As members of this incredible family, certain changes take place within us. We get learn about worship and praise, and have a relationship with Him. Climbing for Roots will teach us about ourselves as new creations, about this church, and about Jesus, the Son of God! We learn about the two ordinances or rites Jesus has given His church that will help us to remember who we are as Christians—baptism, and communion. As a member of God’s church, we learn that we are to serve each other in unity. We must consider others more important than ourselves. We learn that we need to persevere together, so that when Jesus returns, He will find us doing what He has left us here to do—serving Him by serving others.
 
Purchase at:
 
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Roots-Christian-Foundations-Believers/dp/1581694970
 

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/climbing-for-roots-alan-noble/1118630853

 

Alan R. Noble is a born-again Christian, schooled in the Word since childhood. He was fortunate to sit under capable preaching and teaching throughout his life. His passion for the spiritual welfare of young people grew out of his years of work experience, and his understanding of the Scriptures. He realizes that young Christians need instruction in the meat as well as the milk of the Word (Hebrews 5:12-14).

Mr. Noble was educated at William Paterson University, a liberal arts institute in Northern New Jersey, and received a B.A. in education, with a certificate to teach elementary school. Later, he received an M.A. in Communication Arts, and a certificate in supervision. He worked as an educator for 31 years.

After his retirement from public education Mr. Noble enjoyed teaching in Christian Schools in New Jersey and Texas.

These days find Alan and his wife Kathie enjoying their travels between Kansas City and northern New Jersey as they visit their daughters’ families that include six beautiful grandchildren.

Pump Up Your Book and Alan are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Terms & Conditions:

• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.

• This giveaway begins November 3 and ends on November 28, 2014.

• Winner will be contacted via email on December 1, 2014.

• Winner has 72 hours to reply.

• VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Climbing for Roots Book Blitz Schedule
November 3
November 4
November 5
November 6
November 7
November 10
November 11
November 12
November 13
November 14
November 17
November 18
November 19
November 20
November 21
November 24
November 25
November 26
November 28

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Winter Wolf Book Blast – Win $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you RJ Blain’s Winter Wolf ~ One Day Book Blast Event, November 24th!

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Winter WolfTitle: Winter Wolf
Author: RJ Blain
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Thriller / Supernatural Suspense
Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing
Publication Date: November 24, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-928148-00-5

Book Description:

The Hunted Wizard

When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.

The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.

Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.

Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.

But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…

Book Excerpt:

Almost everyone in the store had a phone. Dormant devices, from reading lights to mobile chargers, littered the tables. One woman, browsing books nearby, had four battery-powered devices in her purse. One was a phone, and like mine, it hungered. Its need was strong; its battery waned to the point of failure.

If I wanted, I could charge it for her.

No one would notice if I did. Maybe the woman would wonder how her phone hadn’t died before she got home. It only had a few minutes left. It’d take me all of ten seconds to fix it for her. If I did, I wouldn’t be so aware of it. But to do so, I’d have to touch her—or her phone. Some things I could manipulate without having a direct conduit, but cell phone batteries were tricky, greedy things.

I cringed a little, setting the thriller book down. I picked up the next nearest title. I flipped it over, not reading the text on the back. Did I dare? Out of the corner of my eye, I watched the woman browsing through the books. All it would take was a few seconds. I could charge it without her noticing.

That was one thing I was actually good at.

I put the novel I held down and wandered to the same table, careful not to look at her. Book by book, I investigated the titles, circling to where she stood.

“You’re Nicole Thomas, aren’t you? The actress. You’re her.” My quarry appraised me with a pleased expression.

People normally recognized the mainliners, people with beautiful faces and voices to match, people who didn’t avoid crowds.

In short, people other than me.

I met her gaze, abandoning my perusal of novels. “I am,” I replied, wincing a little at the sandpaper-rough quality of my voice. At least I hadn’t been reduced to a whisper—yet. My fatal flaw was my rough, grating voice. Chronic laryngitis did that to a person. It ruined careers, as it had mine, though I hadn’t quite given up on being an actress. I’d already lost the ability to sing.

I wasn’t going to let a stupid disease take everything away from me.

The woman smiled, not seeming to mind talking to someone who sounded more like a zombie than a human. “You’re taller than I expected. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

She thrust out her hand.

We shook.

I left her phone alone.

“They keep putting me next to giants,” I quipped. It was true. When I did manage to get on the silver screen, I worked alongside actors easily a foot-and-a-half taller than me. “It’s a pleasure to meet you too.” I matched her smile. She didn’t tell me her name, and I didn’t ask for it.

It took all of my will not to fiddle with her phone. All it would take was a murmured word and a thought, and it’d be done. It would have been easy to charge the battery when our hands had been clasped together, but I hadn’t dared.

If, sometime later, she noticed her phone had magically been charged—literally—she might remember me. She knew my name.

And in true cowardice, I couldn’t bring myself to help her. If she connected the strange behavior of her phone with me, she might tell someone. If she did, I’d be as good as dead—or worse. I had dabbled in the occult, and the occult had dabbled back, and there were those who didn’t like when that happened.

The last thing I needed was them finding me.

 

Purchase Book at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Wolf-Witch-Book-ebook/dp/B00N1BXDMW/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/winter-wolf-rj-blain/1120209170

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id912946393

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/winter-wolf-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23155494-winter-wolf

 

PUYB Meet the Author

 

RJ Blain

 

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn’t playing pretend, she likes to think she’s a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

Favorite Books & Series (In no particular order):

Anne McCaffrey’s Pern
Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar & Gryphon Series
Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera & The Dresden Files
Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris
Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega, Dragon Bones, & The Mercy Thompson series
Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time

Contact RJ at:

Website: rjblain.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/RJ-Blain/121746651191778

Twitter: twitter.com/rj_blain

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7375876.RJ_Blain

PUYB Giveaway

 

Pump Up Your Book and Author RJ Blain are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
  • This giveaway begins September 3 and ends on November 25, 2014.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on November 26, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.
  • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized