Thursday, February 28, 2013

Let's Play Villain with Melissa Foster

Here's a guest post from author Melissa Foster to kick off the Killer Thriller Book Launch Event!
Get all the details here

How fun would it be to throw caution to the wind and do all the naughty things you have only thought about or worried over? Wouldn’t it be fun to tell off those that anger you without any need for restraint? How about pummeling the bullies who are bothering your kids? Bank robbery could be fun for some. Or maybe you want to dress the part, too. Throw on leather and chains and pull up on your Harley, smokin’ a doobie and drunk off your butt? To each his own, right? Obviously we cannot go around doing all of those things…but our fictional villains can. And where are villains born? In our clever little minds. So, let’s play villain.

What do you wish you could do? Who do you wish you could be? Would it be cool to be as cunning as Hannibal Lector? How about as badass as the Terminator? Or maybe your villain would go all Shades of Gray and their whip might be used for other things. Whatever your pleasure, don’t fret over being a hated villain, try being an empathetic villain! Maybe you’re misunderstood and you’ve gone over to the rough side of town because of that. When I create villains, I always give them some redeemable qualities. I like to be conflicted over my hatred of their evil doings. How about you?

Our dear readers are so precious to writers, because you are the ones we try to entice, excite, and surprise. Your enjoyment is a writer’s motivation and inspiration. So share your fave villains with us! Who did you love to hate? Who could you simply not get past?

Here’s a fun (and weird) game for you to take away with you. Find a close friend and play VILLAIN. No, don’t go out and rob banks or pummel people in real life, but come up with who your villain might be, what they might look like, then combine them with your friend’s villain and see what you come out with. I think you’ll be surprised at how complex a villain can be, and brainstorming with friends only makes the villain more interesting.

My villain in TRACES OF KARA was derived from many sources and conversations with friends and readers—and I adore him.

Ready to play? Ready? Set? Go!

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of  three International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentine's Tale

The most important item in the fiction writer's toolbox is the question "What if...?" The most memorable stories have emerged from possibilities that sprung up in the minds of writers who posed that question. Yet, sometimes you do have to wonder what goes on in the minds of authors...For example, what could possibly have prompted to Kafka to ask, what if a man woke up transformed into an insect? Yet, he did, and now we continue to read and ponder Metamorphosis. 

For today's tale, I've taken it one step further. What if instead of waking up as a giant insect, you were sleeping next to it? Would love prevail? I thought I'd share my very short story with you today on Valentine's Day. 

Metamorphosis: A Love Story

Greta Samsa awoke one morning from troubled dreams to find a hideous insect beside her on the bed. Leaping up in horror, she screamed out for her husband.

"Gregor! Get the bug spray. There's a giant cockroach in our bed."

Greta ran into the hall bathroom and slammed the door. After several minutes, she cracked the door and strained to hear evidence of her husband in the bedroom, doing the deed. 

Hearing no noise at all, Greta ventured out. "Gregor? Are you there?" She thought she heard rustling in the bedroom. Maybe Gregor was cleaning up the mess. Greta tiptoed to the bedroom door and peeked inside. She gasped. The enormous brown insect was stretched out on its back, all tangled up in Gregor's University of Prague T-shirt.  "Gregor! Gregor!" she screamed again and again.

Every time she shouted Gregor's name, the bug flailed its dozen or so legs, like it was having some kind of spastic contraction. When Greta quieted down, so did the movement on the bed.

She scurried to the kitchen to find out what was keeping her husband. But Gregor was not in the kitchen or anywhere else in their tiny, cold flat. Greta groaned. She'd have to take care of this herself. Alas, a woman has to do what a woman has to do when there's no man to do the dirty work.

Summoning all her courage, she armed herself with a can of insecticide and returned to the bedroom. As she moved into the room, spray-can held in her outstretched arm, she stared at the monstrosity still prone on her bed. 

The closer she came to the bed, the more agitated the bug became. Was the wretched thing trying to communicate with her? With its jaw flapping and legs twitching, it seemed to be directing her attention to the nightstand. She stopped in her tracks. On the small table next to Gregor's side of the bed was a red, heart-shaped gift box, propped up next to their wedding picture.

Forgetting her mission for a moment, Greta rushed to examine the contents. Her favorite chocolates! Her joy faded to dismay as she realized she still had work to do before she could enjoy her gift.

Closing in on the insect, she tripped over Gregor's slippers, kicking one under the bed. As she bent to retrieve it, she came face to face with the bug. Could it be smiling at her? Something was familiar about that lopsided mouth.

"Good God, Gregor. It's you!" She dropped the can and sat on the bed. After several moments of sobbing, she took one of his appendages in her hand.

"My darling, don't worry. We'll get through this somehow." As she stroked his head, she realized she had two choices: she could alter the ski cap she had knit him for Valentine's Day to accommodate his antennae, or pick up the bug spray and blast away.

Greta reached over, plucked a truffle from her gift box and popped it in her mouth, letting the savory treat melt on her tongue while she contemplated her decision. She stood up, rubbed her hands together and sighed. There was work to do.

* * *

Hope you enjoyed the story and that your day is filled with welcome Valentine surprises!

Friday, February 08, 2013

A Sweetheart of a Consulting Deal for You

February is the month of love, but you don't have to be writing romance—or fiction at all—to take advantage of the Wordy Woman's Valentine's BOGO consulting special. 

Let's get your book done and up on Kindle and Amazon. Please don't let another year fly by with your book still in your head or on your computer. Or maybe your book has been published, but sales need a boost. Two of my clients have topped the Amazon Bestseller Lists in the past year.

Always your muse, I want to nudge you along—or apply a gentle push, if needed—so I created a special Valentine's BOGO Consulting Package. Just purchase 1 to 3 consulting sessions and get one session free. What's the catch? You must purchase your session(s) by Valentine's Day, February 14, and schedule them before March 31.

Make the commitment to get your book done! Purchase your consulting session(s) now, because as much as I want to work with, you must commit to this proposal by February 14 to get the special pricing;-)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Meet First Love Blog Hop Author Brian Bigelow

Read insider interviews with participating First Love Blog Hop authors here and visit their sites to register for additional giveaways, but don't forget to "hop" over to First Love Blog Hop for details on how to win a Kindle ereader, gift card, and lots of other free goodies.

Hop Over Now!

From Author Brian Bigelow...

There might be old Twilight Zone episodes, might be old hard rock songs and even a few things my kids did when they were growing up. Some of it’s even from the deepest recesses of the authors mind and nightmares that they have. I remember an interview with Stephen King where he mentioned that his stories were based on
nightmares he had. I’m not sure I want one like “Misery” to tell you the truth though that could possibly happen. Think I would want to run if someone came up to my table and told me they were my biggest fan. Yaaaaahhhhh!

The stories in Horror Bent are mostly meant to entertain. Though there are some real elements here and there they are not real. They are fiction and they are the kind of stories I like to read.

In “Dance of Death” I wondered what would have happened if they got the mustard gas mixture wrong. What if it raised the dead instead? That was a definite start to a story and it’s one of my personal favorites from the book.

“Liturgy” involves a possessed crystal where the demon inside in turn feeds on someone’s anger. It also possesses and in some cases if they enough anger it will kill them.

“Witchery Afoot” began when I started thinking about a Twilight Zone episode (The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street) and I happened to be reading something about the Salem witchcraft trials. It turned into a real story and a shorter version of it came in second in short story contest.

That should give you a little bit of an overview of the stories.

Connect with Brian

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

New Cover Reveal

Well, today's the day! New cover, new print edition, revised ebook. 

Purchase on Amazon, Kindle, Smashwords
11 Reviews • 4.5 Stars on Amazon • “Snappy dialogue, erotic sex” “Fun, contemporary read”

THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX is the steamy hot and often funny story of best friends Leah Gold and Roxanne Stein, two boomer women trying to break free of the “happily ever after” fairy tale myth of their childhoods. Abandoned by her latest Prince Charming on the eve of what she expected to be the start of a new life, Leah begins an introspective journey through her past for answers. When she discovers what really stands between her and happiness, she sets off on a mission to help spare other women the pain of looking for love in all the wrong places—even though she knows her crusade may just be a battle that destroys her real prince. In contrast to the reclusive Leah, Roxie teeters on the edge of self-destruction as she tries to satisfy her unquenchable thirst for excitement. Drugs and sex don't diminish her cravings, and the man she falls for, while charming, is no prince. Once they team up on a crazy trip from their South Florida home to Philadelphia and New York, the duo stumble onto how to save themselves, each other, and perhaps womankind—a surprise to everyone, especially themselves.

Cover design by Janet Aiossa, Adam Hill Design