A Royal Release for Lizabeth Scott

Thursday, January 7th was a special day for a good friend of mine. I met Lizabeth Scott on Twitter last year. I don’t remember the exact day, or even month, but I do remember that the day I befriended her we had a riotous conversation. I was impressed with her charm and intelligence, but especially her sharp wit. Since then we’ve started following each other on Facebook and although she writes in a very different genre than myself, her writing is crisp and intelligent. She joined in on our Holiday Story Hop and I truly enjoyed her story, Christmas Dreams.

Liz Scott Profile Pic

Who exactly is Lizabeth Scott?

In her own words, Lizabeth is a voracious reader, full-time romance writer, wife, mother, and PA to two terrier terrors. Liz is the author of The Royal Vow and Hearts of Gold Series, and she’s a Carolina girl who loves sand between her toes as frequently as possible.  She’s also known as GumShoeMom on the Geo Caching circuit.

Today I’d like to help her celebrate the newest release, the fifth book in her Royal Vow Series, Sweet Temptations. Congratulations Liz!

 

SweetTemptCover

Giving in to one simply divine temptation changed the course of her life forever. Chellie’s world spiraled out of control, and she had no one to blame, but the one man who lied and betrayed her. Her one night of unrivaled passion became the worst and most cherished moment of her life.

Prince Siran SuMartra stood fourth in line for the throne. Nothing was expected of him, and that’s exactly what he delivered. The image he put forth to the public was becoming tiresome to maintain. When he woke disorientated in yet another strange bed, with a woman he couldn’t remember, he knew it was time to change and take his place beside his brothers.

Years later, two very different people come together and discover they’re bound through a common bond. Prince Siran sets out to make amends. Chellie knows putting her trust in him again would only lead to another sweet temptation.

“One night of simply divine temptation changed everything.”

Sweet Temptation buy links:

iBooks

Amazon

Kobo

GooglePlay

Connect with Liz Scott:

Twitter: @LScottBooks

Facebook: facebook.com/LizabethScottAuthor

Website: lizabethscottbooks.com

Email: Lizabeth@LizabethScottBooks.com

Subscribe to Liz Scott: http://tinyurl.com/Subscribe2LizScott

Blog: http://lizabethscottauthor.blogspot.com/

Let The Christmas Story Hop Begin

HolidayStoryHop

Funny how the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry. After rounding the corner at Thanksgiving to head into the Christmas season, my plans did a complete one-eighty and nothing has gone as I thought it would. This unexpected turn of events in the form of a family emergency did two things. First, I have a half-written Christmas story that remains half-written. I’d intended to share it in the blog. Maybe next year. And second, like most people during this season, I grow pensive, reflecting not only on my current circumstances but also how I arrived at them. Perhaps this year I’ve been a bit more contemplative than usual.

What better time to ponder life’s persistent problems than while running? Well, for me anyway. Today while logging my five and mulling over this blog it struck me how many young families have moved into the area. I saw toy and diaper boxes set out for Saturday morning recycling, and I wondered what Christmas morning was going to be like at that house or that one. Tired parents from staying up late to finish wrapping gifts and stuffing stockings? Wide-eyed, over-anxious kids ready for the day to begin at 5AM? Yes, that’s the way it was for Valerie and me when our children were young.

I also thought today about my own childhood, and one particular Christmas came to mind. To set the scene, I grew up in a small New England town where we didn’t lock the doors at night. The milkman still made deliveries, and if we weren’t home he would open the kitchen door, walk in, and put the milk in the refrigerator. So it sounded perfectly reasonable to me that Santa used our front door, since we didn’t have a fireplace.

On this Christmas Eve I was about five or six. My brother and I were in the habit of following my father around when he finished work, keeping him company when he changed from his work clothes. This night was no different, as he encouraged us to go upstairs with him, except that lo and behold when we came back downstairs, the front door was wide open to the frosty winter night. My mother came in from the kitchen where she’d been making dinner and asked what all the commotion had been. Wouldn’t you know, Santa had already visited us. My brother and I were flabbergasted. Santa came to us first? Wow!

When I was older I learned that my father’s family celebrated on Christmas Eve, and while my mother was a traditional Christmas Day person, he’d talked her into having stockings, gifts, and a big dinner on Christmas Eve that year. A small thing, but isn’t it the small things that make the big events special? And this year, despite all the unpreparedness, will be special too.

Merry Christmas, y’all. Now go read some good stories!

Terry West ~ Cecil and Bubba Meet Santa

Denice Garreau ~ Solstice Moon Spell

K.K. Allen ~ Arctic Winter Masquerade Ball (an excerpt from The Descendants, a Summer Solstice Novel by K.K. Allen)

John TM Herres ~ The Slaying Song

Ann Swann ~ Winter

JMD Reid – The Grotesque’s Favorite Season

EM Kaplan ~ Slay bells Ring, A Josie Tucker Story

Lizabeth Scott ~ Christmas Dreams

Lynette Creswell ~ Skullduggery in Elftown

Chess Desalls ~ Yellow Snow Cones

Merritt Kelly ~ Dani’s Prayer

JV Carr ~ Everyday Miracles

 

The Other Amazon

NPRlink

Writers are obsessed with Amazon–sales, ranking, review policy, whatever. If only we had the same obsession for the Amazon that matters most.

You’ve probably heard of the other Amazon, the lungs of the world, over two million square miles of forest in South America, most of it in Brazil. Well, we’re losing 2,000 square miles of rain forest every year. The Brazilian government claims it has reduced deforestation, and on one hand that’s true. Trusting their information, deforestation is down over 80% from what it had been in 2004. That’s good news. But the problem is obvious. The pie is still getting smaller, and that will affect all of us. All of us.

To combat the effects of global warming and drought, deforestation needs to completely stop. Not only that, an area roughly the size of Texas needs to be reclaimed.

Those are the facts. Here’s where it gets complicated. It involves criminals, the poor and politicians.

Criminals are the illegal loggers who steal protected wood from the forest. The police are understaffed, underpaid, and unable to do much about it. Groups such as the rubber tappers have taken it into their hands to be the guardians of the forest. Rubber tappers are just that; they take the sap from rubber trees in order to scrape out a living. If there’s such a thing as honorable vigilantes, they’re it. Unfortunately it reminds me of the Finns throwing Molotov cocktails at Russian tanks in WWII, a losing cause.

By the way, according to the US Department of Agriculture, America imported $282 million of tropical hardwood last year, and about a third of it came from Brazil’s Amazon. There is a law against importing poached wood, but how can anyone really tell if it’s legal or not?

Now for the poor. Some of them are the ones who actually cut down the trees for the illegal loggers because they are literally starving. Others have been driven to remote areas of the forest because they have nothing, and they’re burning chunks of the forest down in order to clear land for raising cattle. Roughly two-thirds of Brazil’s deforested land is used for cattle ranching. So why burn the trees? The ash makes the land fertile again.

This brings us to the politicians. I’ll give you one example. There’s a Brazilian senator named Ivo Cassol. He sits on his senate’s environmental committee. Some have called him the founding father of deforestation. He reportedly made all his wealth from logging and cattle ranching. Where? In Rondonia, a state in Brazil, where there used to be, yep, a whole lot of rainforest.

Cassol said in a recent interview on National Public Radio, “Is it fair to ask Brazil to do all the conservation . . . are we to be the slave of other countries? The lungs of the United States? The lungs of other countries? Even though they send us a pittance to pay for conservation? I won’t accept it. No.” Food for thought or to choke on? Both. But it’s the reality of the situation, and as usual it comes down to money.

Geologist Ben van de Pluijm of the University of Michigan makes a good point when he says, “The earth is not in danger. It’s humanity that’s in danger.”

I suggest you check out NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro’s excellent series on the Amazon, where I drew much of my information.The link is posted above. Simply click on the image.

 

 

Beaumont and Blades

I don’t recall the year, but I do recall that I was late for lunch. Now I’m never late for anything. It goes against my grain. I’m the early bird, the creature of habit. But I was late and forced to go with the flow.

At the encouragement of some friends, I was attending my first writer’s conference. Of all places, it was in Beaumont, Texas. Not to slight Beaumont. I like the town. It has history. Think Spindletop. But I’d always figure when I went to a writer’s conference it’d be in New York, San Francisco, or maybe even Paris. After all, I was the product of a respected university writer’s program. Beaumont? Again, go with the flow.

I wandered into the banquet room that the Holiday Inn was using as a chow hall and found all the seats were taken and the staff was quickly setting up another table. Since I still worked for a high end caterer back then, I almost jumped in and helped them pop the legs of that folding round table into place, cover it with a white linen cloth, and slap down the appropriate flatware, plates, and glasses.

When I took my seat I found myself next to a dapper man, and we engaged in a delightful conversation. The details now escape me, but at one point he asked if I was a writer. I described a truly dreadful literary novel I was working on, though of course I didn’t believe it to be dreadful in my young innocence. I must have sold it well because he told me he was an editor at Ballantine and he would love to give it a read. His name was Joe Blades, and I would soon learn that he had a slew of writers at that division of Random House. Needless to say, I sent the manuscript and, bless his heart, he let me down gently in his rejection of it. However, he also told me to keep him in mind in the future.

Fast-forward a few years and my first Neil Marshall mystery fell into place. I took Joe at his word and sent him the manuscript. Then one Saturday morning while I was fixing a leaky faucet in the kitchen sink, the phone rang. It was Joe wondering if I would consider writing a prequel to the book I’d sent him and he’d make it a two-book deal.

I ended up publishing five mysteries in that series with Ballantine. Joe Blades and I worked closely together on each one of them. In Beaumont, Texas that sunny fall day it really was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Wish it had lasted longer, but that’s another story. As I prepare the Neil Marshall mysteries for republication, I’ve been thinking a lot about Joe. Those books changed my life, and for that I’ll be forever grateful. Funny how things can happen when you least expect it, and in unlikely places.

Sadly, the Beaumont writer’s conference is gone. But there are still buckets full of them out there, and I’m not talking virtual ones on social media.

And you never know. You might just find a New York editor at one. My advice? Be late for lunch.

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Marketing

This is a wealth of information on Marketing. I especially enjoyed the Call To Arms — Book marketing Results post. Check it out. Great job, Nicholas and thanks for the easy to use information, especially the excel Spreadsheet.

Source: Marketing

Thoughts on Hollywood and the Film Industry

 

The Big Film ReviewRecently I was interviewed on The Big Film Review, a show hosted by Sudip Bhaduri on the BBC Lincolnshire. I met him through a mutual friend of ours, the talented author and ever-gracious Lynette Creswell. Sudip is articulate and intelligent, and our conversation felt as if we were having it at the local pub over a pint of stout rather than in front of a radio audience an ocean away. Unfortunately, my fifteen minutes of fame went faster than I thought they would and things were left unsaid. In particular, Sudip and I had earlier discussed the current state of Hollywood and the movie industry, so I thought I’d take the opportunity now to work these thoughts into this month’s blog.

No doubt movies like Mission Impossible 5 are gong to make a lot of money. However, I find it typical of Hollywood’s current mindset in that they are trying to cater to two audiences: baby boomers who grew up watching the old TV show, and young people with its fast action and blow-‘em-ups. Furthermore, they continue to underestimate (insult) the moviegoer’s attention span through the overuse of gadgets and special effects as well as the barrage of movies based on comic books.

Hollywood may well be in danger of marginalizing itself if they continue to stick to this formula. For quite some time now they’ve been willing to sacrifice characterization and well-developed plots for action-adventure and computer generated magic. So far audiences have been willing go to the big screen to see this, but as the cost of home entertainment centers comes down, staying in will certainly become more popular. Why go out if you can get the same effect at home? Add to it that tickets aren’t cheap and revenue is down, movie houses may go the way of drive-in theaters, which have all but vanished, especially since films already have to compete with HBO, Showtime and AMC on cable.

If Hollywood insists on continually remaking the old—Mission Impossible and Mad Max are good examples—instead of trying to innovate, we may well be watching the Hollywood Network on cable in the future.   And I wouldn’t be surprised to see it competing with the Indie Movie channel or maybe some independent movie/coffee houses showing films such as The Doo Dah Man that have more than half an hour’s worth of dialogue.

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Do I think all is lost in Hollywood? No, but we need more films like Whiplash, Black Swan, Juno, and Nightcrawler. And I’m heartened to see that Colm Toibin’s novel Brooklyn has been made into a movie, due out in November.

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So Sudip, if you’re out there, here are some of my thoughts on Hollywood that you may have been looking for earlier. Best wishes from Texas and see you at the movies!