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Today, Trindie Books is featuring Taking Love in Stride. If you're a Kobo user and you enjoy romance novels, give my book a try! Happy reading!

Mother Nature vs. Human Nature

While I was taking my walk this morning, Mother Nature put on a beautiful show for me. I saw the sunrise peeking through a blooming ornamental cherry tree. The flowers on the trees seem to have exploded with the exuberance of Spring. I saw robins and blue birds and geese.  The baby leaves of one bush were a soft shade of green. 

Then there was the pair of underwear. 

Wait? What? I can hear you asking, did you say underwear? I did.

Yes. It seems someone lost their boxers. Right there on the sidewalk. The questions that had me grinning were...

Did some runner become overheated? Or did some teenager become...overheated? And come laundry day, was his mother going to wonder where her son's boxers disappeared to?

It's such a shame that my pondering of Human Nature took my focus off Mother Nature.

(I just let my husband read this. His question was, "Were they my size?")  



Self-taught Late Bloomer by Carol Davis Luce

Today, I welcome fellow Indie Chick Carol Davis Luce who shares her inspiring story from Indie Chicks: 25 Independent Women, 25 Personal Stories. Take it away Carol!


SELF-TAUGHT LATE BLOOMER

Carol Davis Luce

            My motto is, “If I can do it, anyone can do it.” I wasn’t born to write. I didn’t aspire to be a writer from the time I could hold a Crayon. I could, however, draw, and make things take shape through form and color on paper and canvas, and that’s the path I traveled well into midlife. The artist’s life opened up my eyes and mind to expression and sometimes stories through composition on that blank eighteen by twenty-four inch stretched canvas. Then one day it changed.
            As a voracious reader, I was content to read what others wrote. I admired those writers who had mastered the craft. I was happy to dwell in their world for 300 pages, to laugh, cry, and be enlightened and surprised. Until one day when I closed a book by my favorite author and felt something was missing. The novel was a mystery/suspense with elements of romance. The suspense was killer. The romance, however, was lacking, missing those subtleties that resonated with me. I wanted more. The promise of romance was there, but fizzled somewhere along the way. For me, it wasn’t about graphic sex. It was about sexual tension, passion, love. After searching unsuccessfully for novels to satisfy my romantic suspense fixation, looking for just the right balance, I realized I had to write the book myself.
            Only I knew nothing about writing a novel, let alone a genre book with a sub-genre. So I went to the library and checked out a reference book titled, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL. Easy enough, right? If dedication is easy, then it was easy because I was driven. My artist’s passion shifted to focus on the writer’s canvas. That canvas was structure, words, emotion, and truth. And the rest is history.
Well, almost.
I burned up two electric typewriters before investing in a computer. I checked out every book on the “book writing” reference shelf, and many grammar and stylebooks, and two years later, my 800-page opus, NIGHT STALKER, was finished—
Almost.
I learned about the important shaping process, without which most stories would be unreadable. Editing. The passion and pain of cutting and revising. Finding the jewels that lie buried in too many, or misguided, words. Three years and a dozen revisions later, 400 pages lighter, it found a home with a traditional publisher. Within the first few months of release, it went into three printings and became the flagship for the sub-genre "Woman in Jeopardy/Romantic Suspense" at Kensington Publishing.
            Where it started. . .
I left school at sixteen to marry my high school sweetheart. Six years later, as a housewife and mother, I channeled my artistic talent into sketching and painting, selling my work at a local art gallery. A quarter century later, I traded in my paints and brushes to hit the keyboard. Our three sons, not much for novel reading, are waiting for my books to be made into movies. That childhood sweetheart I married a lifetime ago is now my soul mate of 50 plus years. His encouragement fueled me, and his support allowed me to pursue my goals.  
            Going back to my motto of, “if I can do it, anyone can.” There has never been a more opportunistic time to try your hand at writing a book. Or taking the plunge and self-publishing. My decision to self-publish my upcoming suspense novels came about when I hit the proverbial brick wall after five published books. With a stalled career, I had a choice. Teach, or see my stories in print again. I chose the latter. My first self-published book is the short story trilogy, BROKEN JUSTICE, followed by my suspense novel, NIGHT WIDOW.
Agents and editors think they know what readers want. They don’t always know. Readers know what readers want, and they’re expressing their wants by buying books written by indie authors. Give yourself a hardy pat on the back if you’ve completed a manuscript, but the big applause goes to our devoted fans and readers. Without them, we would be nothing.
 ~  ~  ~ 

Find Carol Online:







Thank you! Thank you!

Nanny and the Professor has been available for ten days now and over 350 copies of the book have been purchased from the Amazon Kindle Store. I'm very pleased with how the book is doing and want to thank all of you who have purchased it.

Here's a snippet from a review left by one reader - "…characters are believable and down to earth and it is so easy to curl up and get lost in the story!" 5-Stars. 

Nanny and the Professor is available in every Amazon Kindle Store: 

USA    UK    Germany    Spain  

France     Italy


Never Give Up On Your Dreams

Today, I welcome fellow Indie Chick, Christine Kersey, to my blog to share her inspiring story from Indie Chicks: 25 Independent Women, 25 Personal Stories. Take it away, Christine!


Never Give Up On Your Dreams
by Christine Kersey


I love to read and lose myself in a good story – forget all that is going on around me and be in the story with the characters. One day in 1997 I finished reading a novel by Joy Fielding and realized she hadn’t needed to be an expert in a particular field, like medicine or law, to write a good suspense story. This fact inspired me to try my hand at writing. It also didn’t hurt that we’d just gotten our first computer and I can type much faster than I can write longhand.

At this time in my life I was thirty-two and my youngest child was three. I also had three other children who were in elementary school. A stay-at-home mom, I was able to carve out some time to work on this project. At first I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing. What if I couldn’t complete it? What if I failed? After a short time I told my husband, mother, and sister and they were supportive.

I kept working at it, day by day, until after about four weeks I’d finished a complete novel. At that point it was nowhere near ready to be published, but I’d proven to myself that I could write a novel with a beginning, middle, and end. I continued working on the story, then put it aside and began working on another.

I gathered the courage to have a few friends read it and they all said they loved it. Encouraged, I decided to attend a conference called Bouchercon , which is for fans of mysteries. At the conference I mingled with published writers and talked to an agent or two. Afterwards I sent queries to several agents, but none of them were interested in my completed novel.

Shortly afterwards I started working part-time and didn’t spend as much time writing as I had before. When my youngest child started first grade I decided to go back to college full-time and earn my degree. Over the next four years I did very little fiction writing and focused on getting my education.

As I approached my final semester my schedule wasn’t quite as heavy and I decided to do some revisions on one of my two completed novels. When I felt the story was ready, I submitted it to a small, regional publisher. In April, 2004 I graduated with a B.S. in Information Technology. That same week the publisher got back to me and said they were interested in publishing my book, but first they wanted me to do revisions. Though they hadn’t offered a contract yet, I did the revisions and resubmitted the manuscript. They were pleased, but wanted yet more revisions. In 2004 the job market was down and I was spending a lot of time job-hunting, but I did the revisions as requested.

In October of that year I finally found a full-time position and within two weeks of starting my new job, the publisher got back to me and offered a contract. Needless to say, I was thrilled. Seven and a half years after I’d written my first book and I was finally getting published!

I was assigned an editor and worked closely with her. The book hit bookstores in July, 2005. I thought I was on my way. I had one book published with a real publisher, so now I was set, right?

The book sold reasonably well, but when I submitted another manuscript, my publisher decided not to publish it. Discouraged, I focused on my family and my job and didn’t spend very much time writing. However, I still read as much as ever. In fact, when the nook eReader became available I bought one and started loading dozens of books onto it. I was in reader heaven.

I’d had my nook for nearly a year before I caught on to the possibilities indie publishing presented. The book I’d published with a traditional publisher had gone out of print and I was able to get the rights back. That book, No Way Out, was the first book I made available as an indie publisher. The first month it was available I sold exactly one copy. But that one sale was very exciting. Since then I’ve published three more novels and have sold thousands of copies. I love that I have complete control over what I publish. I also love to read the work of other indie authors. There are so many talented people that are now able to publish their work.

I’m glad I didn’t give up on my dream to be published and am so excited at the endless opportunities that are now available. One thing I’ve learned is that if you persist in following your dreams, eventually you will be able to accomplish what you’ve set out to do, whatever it may be.

That three-year-old child that sat near me as I began my writing career is now a senior in high school. Whether or not I had chosen to continue writing, time inexorably moved forward. It’s never too late to follow your dreams, but why wait?

Visit my blog

No Way Out, about a woman whose husband disappears, is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

He Loves Me Not is currently only available at Amazon, although if you have a nook, email me and I’ll send you a free epub copy.

Don’t Look Back is the sequel to He Loves Me Not and is available at Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble.








The Lighthouse's Tale by Nickel Creek

This is a beautiful song that never fails to stir my emotions and touch my heart. I found this amazing video of an American Sign Language (ASL) version performed by Stephen Torrence. The lyrics are below so feel free to sing along!


"The Lighthouse's Tale"

I am a lighthouse, worn by the weather and the waves.
I keep my lamp lit, to warn the sailors on their way.

I'll tell a story, paint you a picture from my past.
I was so happy, but joy in this life seldom lasts.

I had a keeper, he helped me warn the ships at sea.
We had grown closer, 'till his joy meant everything to me.

And he was to marry, a girl who shone with beauty and light.
And they loved each other, and with me watched the sunsets into night.

[Chorus:]
And the waves crashing around me, the sand slips out to sea.
And the winds that blow remind me, of what has been, and what can never be.

She'd had to leave us, my keeper he prayed for a safe return.
But when the night came, the weather to a raging storm had turned.

He watched her ship fight, but in vain against the wild and terrible wave.
In me so helpless, as dashed against the rock she met her end.

[Chorus]

Then on the next day, my keeper found her washed up on the SHORE.
He kissed her cold face, that they'd be together soon he'd swore.

I saw him crying, watched as he buried her in the sand.
And then he climbed my tower, and off of the edge of me he ran.

[Chorus]

I am a lighthouse, worn by the weather and the waves.
And though I am empty, I still warn the sailors on their way.

New Release! Nanny and the Professor!

This morning I'd like to announce the release of Nanny and the Professor, my newest romance novel.

Artist, Heather McGrath, came up with this sketch for me after I described the opening scene of the book to her. I think it perfectly depicts this fun, romantic story.

I hope you enjoy the book!

Click here to find the book in the US Kindle Store.

Click here to find the book in the UK Kindle Store.

Professor Joshua Kingston thought he'd found the perfect nanny for his son. But once Cassie Simmons stepped into his life, she turned it upside down! His son no longer played by the rules – and Cassie kept making up new ones. He would fire her – if he didn't find her so utterly enticing.

Cassie had a huge secret to hide, and she couldn't afford to lose her new job. But her handsome employer wasn't making things easy. All those silly rules. How was an eight-year-old boy supposed to have any fun? The professor definitely needed a lesson in laughter – and love!

Passion, Fire and Fury by Mel Comley

I'd like to introduce my readers to Mel Comley, author of Passion, Fire and Fury.

Here's what reviewers are saying about Mel's book:

"I've read Mel Comley's other books and this didn't disappoint. A thrilling short story with everything you need - romance, suspense, crime. Another great read!"
 ~ Sibel Hodge

"Once again, Mel Comley's ability to set a scene shines forth. A bit of mystery, a bit of romance, great dialogue and a deeply satisfying ending. Get a cup of tea and settle in for some 'me' time with this delightful short story" ~ P.E.

"Ideal for a short read on the way to work. This short novel races through its story, keeping the reader interested enough that the unlikeliness of the events are unimportant. The baddies, Suzie and Dave, were a little too bad, and the dramas, a little too much piled one upon another. Not exactly literary fiction, but for a quick escape - brilliant!" ~ Marj

The books costs only $1.49 - a great price for a quick, romantic read.


 

 

Avocado Crazy



Who doesn't love avocados? Did you know that the avocado is a fruit and not a vegetable? It's also known as an alligator pear. Avocados have a distinctive yet subtle flavor and a smooth, almost creamy texture. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve them.




Excellent Guacamole

3 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup finely minced red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 to 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, to taste

Mix ingredients together and serve immediately.

~  ~  ~

Asparagus and Avocado Salad

2 pounds fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted, diced
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil; add asparagus and cook until color just turns bright green, about 2 minutes. Rinse quickly under cold water, drain, and set aside. Combine avocados and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add reserved asparagus and zest; toss gently. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegars, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir in parsley, cilantro, and mint. Pour dressing over avocado mixture; toss gently and serve.

~  ~  ~

Lemon Pepper Avocado Spread

2 avocados, peeled, seeded and mashed
1-2 teaspoons lemon pepper
Stir the lemon pepper into the avocado until well combined. Spread on flat bread or flour tortillas, or use as a dip for fresh vegetables. This spread makes a great topper for baked potatoes.  

The Merry-Go-Round is free? Yes! FREE!

On March 13th and 14th The Merry-Go-Round will be free in all Amazon Kindle Stores. Click through to the store of your choice and grab your copy quick! 
PLEASE CHECK TO MAKE SURE THE BOOK IS FREE BEFORE DOWNLOADING.







 

French Fancies!

Today I welcome fellow Indie Chick Mel Comley who will share her inspiring story from Indie Chicks: 25 Independent Women, 25 Personal Stories. (The book is now in available in paperback.) Take it away, Mel!


In the Summer 2011, I was approached by another writer Cheryl Shireman who wanted to pull a group of women writers together to create a unique book. The object of the book would be to inform readers about our personal struggles to become established authors. Every story is an inspiration, some sad, some happy and some tell of great obstacles these 25 women have had to overcome to get where they are today. The proceeds of the book are being donated to a Breast Cancer Charity. We called it The Indie Chicks.
 
French fancies!
by Mel Comley
 
In 1993 I walked out on my sad and abusive marriage, one that I had stuck with for seven years. At the time I jointly owned a shop with my ex-husband and my Mother, so we had to sell the business when the marriage broke down.
If I thought that was hard it was nothing to what I had to endure the following six years. To make ends meet, I had to work two jobs for 70-80 hours a week over 6½ days. Take my word when I say it wasn’t fun.

But onwards and upwards, when Mum retired we made a spur of the moment decision to leave England and move to France. We’d never set foot in the country before we came out here to house hunt, I know, we’re either brave or stupid. I like to think we’re the former, but I sometimes wonder if that’s the case!

We bought a farmhouse and barns that needed total renovation. In 6 months I decorated 22 rooms while a local builder created a gîte (a holiday home) out of a couple of the barns. After the renovations were completed I grew bored with my ‘early retirement’ and enrolled in a creative writing course. I threw myself into it and over the next 4-5 years I sat down and wrote three romances and two thrillers.

In October 2009, I discovered the writing site run by Harper Collins called Authonomy where I uploaded the first 10,000 words of my thriller Impeding Justice. It took me 8 months to reach the editor’s desk where I received a favourable review from a Harper Collins editor. The trouble was they weren’t taking on any thriller writers at that time, they were only interested in printing Celebrity Autobiographies!

Therefore, in October 2010 I decided to upload Impeding Justice as an ebook. It took a while to take off but in January 2011 sales really started gathering momentum, but it wasn’t until I released the second book in the series, Final Justice that sales really took off.

After selling over 30,000 books in April, I was in the fortunate position of having several agents knocking on my virtual door. I finally agreed terms and signed a contract with top New York agent, Richard Curtis. I sent him Cruel Justice the third book in the thriller series and he tried for 4 months to get me a traditional publishing contract, but at the moment he admits he’s finding it difficult to place any books with publishers because of the Indie revolution, which I’m extremely proud to be part of.

During last Summer, I edited the romances I wrote at the beginning of my journey. I uploaded A Time To Heal towards the end of August and immediately received a couple of 5 star reviews (no they weren’t from my family, they don’t know I write!) some of them were from my thriller fans who were equally impressed by my romance endeavours.

At the beginning of September I uploaded A Time For Change, another romance which is actually a TRUE story of how my dear friends met and fell in love. Obviously they’re names have been changed, the story has a mystery element to it too.

In October 2011, I uploaded the third book in my thriller series, Cruel Justice, which is actually the prequel to my best-seller Impeding Justice. It’s been very well received and has even reached #2 in the Police Procedural chart on Amazon.

I’m very fortunate to be able to write full-time (it’s addictive, don’t you know!) and have several more projects outlined that I intend tackling over the coming winter months.

This is how my day pans out, first thing, providing it isn’t raining, I take my two dogs for a walk, actually they tend to drag me round our small village. Then I sit down to answer any emails and facebook messages I’ve received overnight from fans (yes I do have them) I then set out to write a minimum of 2-3000 words per day, before I dip into hours of necessary promoting. That’s the hardest part of being an Indie writer, the fact that we have to promote ourselves long and hard. I used to be quite a shy person, but I’ve had to overcome that quickly. I think deep down, every writer would love to be a recluse and be able to focus full-time on their creations, unfortunately that’s unrealistic in an Indie world.

Do I ever think about my life back in England? No, never, but my ex features heavily in my books. When I need to think up a baddie character it’s his image I picture in my mind. As for my murder scenes, I find them VERY easy to write. LOL ;-)

You can find out about me and my books at the following blogs.
You can purchase my books in ebook format or paperback from my website. http://www.melcomleybooks.com/
My twitter id is @melcom1
You can find out about me and my books at the following blogs. http://melcomley.blogspot.com/  http://melcomleyromances.blogspot.com/

Romance Novels in Spanish

While visiting the Amazon Kindle Store, I found two Spanish Editions of my Donna Clayton romance novels.



Habían prometido amarse y respetarse mutuamente, pero entre ellos había otra promesa que ninguno de los dos había pronunciado. Jenna Butler le había salvado la vida a Gage Dalton, por lo que él estaba obligado a devolverle el favor. Y sólo el matrimonio le daría a Jenna la custodia del bebé de su hermana.


Así pues, Jenna se mudó al rancho de Gage… pero no a su cama. Había llegado virgen al matrimonio y, aunque se decía una y otra vez a sí misma que no esperaba nada, lo cierto era que sí tenía ciertas esperanzas. Su esposo la respetaba, pero parecía necesitar la ternura que sólo una esposa podía darle…







Aunque el doctor Travis Westcott nunca se enamoraría de ninguna mujer, estaba dispuesto a hacer cualquier cosa para poder adoptar a aquellos gemelos. Incluyendo permitir la visita de la experta en medicina de la tribu que les enseñaría a los pequeños todo lo que debían saber sobre sus antepasados. Pero Travis no había previsto que la seductora Diana Chapman fuera a despertar sus más primitivas pasiones… y el deseo irrefrenable de besarla.


Parecía que al empedernido soltero ya no le resultaba tan fácil escapar del matrimonio. El deseo que veía reflejado en los ojos de Diana le encogía el corazón y lo tentaba a saciarlo…

 Disfrute! Y gracias por visitar mi página web!

Lunch at Olive Garden

I had lunch today with my sister-in-law and my niece and my eighteen-month-old grand-nephew, Liam. We ate at Olive Garden and I ordered eggplant parmigiana. Yum! This is one of my favorite Italian meals. I have no idea why...but I order this dish any time I can. I love it!

I had a wonderful time with Robin, Kristen and Liam. And the day turned really special when I met some family friends at the restaurant whom I haven't seen in a very long time. Family, friends, and good food...who could ask for more? What a wonderful day I had! I am truly blessed.

Have You Ever Lost a Hat?

Today I welcome fellow indie chick, Barbara Silkstone, who shares her inspiring story from Indie Chicks: 25 Independent Women, 25 Personal Stories. Take it away, Barbara!


HAVE YOU EVER LOST A HAT?
By Barbara Silkstone

I lost everything including my home, my car, and even my retirement accounts. I was physically attacked inside and outside a court building. My daughter and baby granddaughter were threatened. I came at the bad guys like a mother tiger.

A few years earlier I had agreed to testify against a real estate developer in a civil racketeering case. He was obscenely rich and could afford a hanger full of Lear jets, four sneering lawyers, and a greedy judge. In an effort to discredit my testimony in his upcoming trial and to frighten me out of appearing against him, his team of legal manipulators pasted together a bogus suit against me designed to keep me tied up in court and unable to function. They underestimated my sense of justice.

I’d been sitting on the witness stand for the better part of a day… one of many in my five-year “trial.” The judge, forgetting her microphone was on, had just proclaimed me “a pretty tough cookie.” I’d given up expecting justice. It was much too late for fairness. I was in an out-of-body state observing my own funeral and laughing about it.

When the four-hundred pound lawyer asked me if I’d ever lost a hat, I thought one of us had lost our minds. I was pretty sure it wasn’t me. He blinked as if he realized the absurdity of what he asked and dropped the line of inquiry. The question struck my funny bone and sent me into giggle-fits. And that was the moment when The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters was born.

Within a few months the lawyers I hired to help me sucked up every penny I could muster. When I was broke, they walked off the case. Unlike in criminal cases, defendants in civil litigation must pay for their own attorneys. No money – no lawyers. I was on my own. I needed to defend myself. But how when the case was nonsense? How do you fight silly? The lost hat question was a perfect example of the charges brought against me. But the more ridiculous their charges, the stronger and feistier I grew. For each thing they threw at me, I came back that much harder, roaring and taking notes for my someday book.

Since I was a child my driving passion has been to write. In Catholic grade school I started an underground newspaper. When our nun forbade me to continue, I carried the paper further underground. While I continued to write as an adult, life eventually got in the way of living and my writing took a backseat. But now as I sat in the courtroom I was inspired and chomping at the bit to get this real-life fairytale on paper.

Anger boiled in me as I saw the precious time I had carved out for writing being eaten up as I defended myself in bizarre proceedings. I was spending all my time in the law library studying the Rules of Civil Procedure in order to write Motions and Pleadings and filing them against the court in such rapid fire I would have made Rambo back off. 

Earning a living on commission sales is impossible when you are spending 14 hours a day fighting a pack of legal sharks. I had to take the creepiest part-time jobs… things that still give me nightmares. Things like working for a gold broker who brought us the teeth from dead people. We were expected to separate the gold from the molars – not unlike the lawyers I was dealing with. I needed the money but not that badly. I ran to the nearest exit.

Locked in a deadly struggle with the notorious real estate developer, I chose that time to become romantically involved with a Brit who, it turned out was not what he seemed to be. I stepped into the perfect storm. The Brit’s upper-class accent and polished manners hid a not-too-clever conman, but clever enough to fool my starry eyes. The developer and the conman clashed in a rage of wicked deeds. I was sandwiched between them.

Is The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters true? Would Lewis Carroll say Alice in Wonderland was true? The emotions are real and still raw, but the journey was worth the results. Would I do it again? You bet your tushie. My sense of justice would not permit otherwise. But I would not be quite so naïve. I would expect slimy tricks and dirty pool. Merely because someone wears a robe and speaks of the law does not mean they abide by the law.

“The Hail Mary Pass” refers to any very long forward pass made in desperation with only a small chance of success. It’s used in football and occasionally courtrooms.
My Hail Mary Pass knocked the bad guys on their butts. I filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, which is a request to the United States Supreme Court asking that Court to review the decision of a lower court. I cast a spotlight on their dark shenanigans. 

And as my Petition worked its way along the queue in the United States Supreme Court, making it almost to the finish line, the judge on my case went strangely silent, the notorious developer disappeared, and the Brit wandered off.  I had become a writer but not in the way I had envisioned. I was a self-taught legal guerrilla who had managed to land her petition to be heard by the highest court in the United States… right through the goal post. Unfortunately, in the end corruption won and I barely escaped with a toothbrush and a change of clothes.

Were those five years tough? Yes. But I fought because I knew I couldn’t live with myself if I rolled into a ball. I fought with the wit and sarcasm of Alice in the original Alice in Wonderland. Standing on the outside watching the Jabberwocky operate on the inside. I knew that someday my story, fictionalized with absolutely no resemblance to anyone living or dead and the names changed to protect the corrupt, would make a darn good yarn. And each step of the way, like Lewis Carroll and my out-of-body ordeal, I would allow the action to the skate on the edge of logic.

In The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters, a few murders have been thrown in for comic relief, and the characters have been shaken and stirred, then presented in a Pythonesque light. Any similarities to the jerks I dealt with are purely coincidental.

Have I ever lost a hat? Probably.

But did I retain my passion for writing, and even kick it up a notch?  Absolutely.  

Every adventure contains a novel.

Sometime you have to pay dearly for it.

~
Quoting the Cheshire Cat:
"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" (Alice)
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where---" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"---So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

This is one story from Indie Chicks: 25 Women 25 Personal Stories available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To read all the stories buy your copy today. All proceeds go to fund breast cancer research.

About the Author
Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of The Fractured Fairy Tales series that currently includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; and London Broil. 

Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen – without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

Wendy and the Lost Boys topped the charts in comedy, climbing over Tina Fey, Sophie Kinsella, and Ellen DeGeneres. The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters has been a consistent best seller in comedy. Both Wendy and Alice have been in the top 20 Amazon comedies at the same time. Silkstone has been fortunate enough to take part in writing workshops with Stephen King, Robert B. Parker, and James Michener. She lives in South Florida but has no time to visit the beach.

Barbara Silkstone loves to hear from her readers. You can write to her at: barbara_silkstone@yahoo.com
Or visit her at: Barb’s Wire eBooks & More   http://barbswire-ebooksandmore.blogspot.com
Twitter @barbsilkstone   http://twitter.com/#!/barbsilkstone

                                                 Fractured Fairy Tales by Silkstone
                                                          Criminally Funny Fables

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters
This author has a unique narrative voice, and reading the story is like taking a smooth slide into Alice’s surreal world. The premise is outstanding – a classic we all love, with a contemporary, intelligent twist.        ~ Elizabeth Lindberg, author Upper West Side Stories
Purchase for your Kindle at: Amazon
Purchase for your Nook at: Barnes & Noble

Wendy and the Lost Boys
Be aware, this is not the Peter Pan story you want your kids reading. It is clearly intended for adult readers. Yet it appeals to the childlike part of us that loved the classic original stories. Combine that childlike love with modern politics and technology, and you get this smart, snarky, hilarious mystery. The story is richly developed and leaves you guessing until the very end. I am liking this grown-up version of Peter Pan even more than the original.                                  ~ Tiffany Harkleroad for Tiffany’s Bookshelf
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Purchase for your Nook at: Barnes & Noble

London Broil — the sequel to Wendy and the Lost Boys
The snarky Python sequel to Wendy and the Lost Boys. A murderous rollercoaster ride through London during a killer heat wave.                          ~ Ravan Reviews
Purchase for your Kindle at: Amazon
Purchase for your Nook at: Barnes and Noble

Zo White – coming  Summer 2012




Kindle Top 100 Bestseller!

I'm so excited this morning! My book, His Wife for a While, is once again in the Kindle Top 100 Bestsellers. As I write this, the book is #82 on the list. I hope it will rise higher, but one can never guess how these things will go. I want to thank everyone who purchased the book and I do hope you enjoy the story.

A reader recently interviewed me for her Hub page. I feel so honored that she has read and enjoyed my work. If it were any other time in history, I would never have known about Cashmere. But she mentioned my book on "The Best Romances on Kindle" list she made a while back and I found that list via a Google search. I love the world wide web! The interview can be found here, and I'd love it if some of you would vote up her article. She worked very hard on it. Thank you, Cashmere, for posting the piece.

I hope everyone has a great day!

From 200 Rejections to the Top Amazon 200!

Today, I welcome fellow Indie Chick Sibel Hodge who shares her inspiring story from Indie Chicks: 25 Independent Women, 25 Personal Stories. Take it away, Sibel!


From 200 rejections to Amazon top 200!
by Sibel Hodge

Ever since I was old enough to scrawl my first word, which was Halibaaaaa, I knew I wanted to write books. OK, so the word didn’t actually make sense, and it might take a little longer for me to actually string a whole sentence together, but that didn’t put me off. I was going to write books and no one would stop me…

From when I was really young, my mum encouraged me to read. “If you can read books, you’ll never be bored,” I remember her telling me. I secretly think it was a ploy to keep me out of her hair and quiet for a while. I was always a loud kid with lots of energy, and always getting into some sort of trouble with the boys down our street. (Yep, even then I was a sucker for boys!). After discovering the wonderful world of books, I thought I’d have a go myself, and remember scribbling down stories whenever I had a spare moment. Shame I was only six, and there was no way anyone would publish a book with I Want Big Girls’ Knickers in the title.

When I was in secondary school my favourite subject was English language. I’d lose myself for hours. And even though I hadn’t thought about my forthcoming career before I left (apart from being Wonder Woman or an astronaut), I knew, even then, I had a love of creating. I also loved to make people laugh from an early age. In the beginning, it wasn’t intentional. I was always saying ridiculous things that I thought were quite serious. Like the time I went to the butchers shop with my nan, and the lady behind the counter asked where I was from. “South America,” I said. (I know, where the hell did that come from? I must’ve had an overactive imagination from the start.) So when people started laughing at me, I thought, hey, this is pretty fun! We live in such a hectic world and laughter is a perfect way to de-stress. Because my personality is quirky, fun-loving, and slightly nuts, it was probably a given that I would eventually write chick lit, although I have recently delved into the dark side of my brain (which is a pretty scary place to be sometimes!) and written a psychological thriller.

But when I left school no one mentioned writing as a career. It was all boring things like secretarial jobs, travel agents, office work. I didn’t even know about creative writing courses until about ten years ago! I think they considered that writing wasn’t a “proper career.” No one suggested journalism or further education in writing. So what was a girl to do? Although my mum wanted me to go to University and study to be something like a doctor or lawyer (eeek!), I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do for a career, so I flitted from one job to the next, trying to find something that interested me, and eventually ended up working for the police for ten years. So there I was, too busy paying the mortgage, working shifts, and living in the rat race of life to have the proper time or opportunity to write a novel. It didn’t stop me trying, though.

It was drastic things like splitting up with a boyfriend that made me start my first novel when I was about seventeen. I never got further than the first three chapters, though, because I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, other than using a typewriter! Then I started another one (I got dumped again – can you see a pattern here?) when I was about twenty-three, and ditto (I’d hate for those to ever see the light of day). I just knew that I loved writing and therefore it stood to reason that one day I’d do it, didn’t it? And although I look back now and think I wish I’d started writing earlier, actually, I have to say, that it would’ve been bad timing. Back then I wouldn’t have had anything to really write about. A lot of the things that go into my books now are based on my experience of life. People I’ve met, places I’ve been, books I’ve read, things I’ve done, struggles I’ve achieved. At twenty-three, what did I really know about any of that?

And then five years ago, hubby and I had had enough of the UK. We got fed up with the constant grey weather, bills that seemed to increase as you looked at them, working constantly to pay them, and never having quality time for ourselves or our family. Right, it was time to make my childhood dream come true and move somewhere exotic, where the cost of living was lower, and we would actually have time to enjoy each other and life again. Then I would finally have the time and opportunity to dedicate to writing. Yes, we’d have to sacrifice a lot of things to achieve it, but it would be worth it in the end. So we moved to North Cyprus, and it was like my brain suddenly said, Hallellujah! Now we divide our time between Cyprus and the UK.

I didn’t actively think about what I was going to write, but a year after we’d moved there I had an exciting idea for a story, using my unique Turkish Cypriot/British cultural heritage, and my debut romantic comedy Fourteen Days Later was born. Then I actually became the guinea pig for the sequel, My Perfect Wedding! But it was all very well completing my dream of writing a book, but until it was published, no one would get to read it.

So I started querying hundreds of agents and publishers. I got too many rejections to even count! OK, small white lie, a while ago I did count them out of morbid curiosity, and it was a whopping two hundred!

I did come close a couple of times to being traditionally published, but it never quite worked out. It was either, “one group of editors liked it but another didn’t”, or “the chick lit market is saturated”, or “we love it but…”

When I first looked into publishing independently, platforms like Amazon Kindle didn’t support international authors. So the way I saw it, I had two choices. Either I could write another book, hone my writing skills and learn all I could about my craft, and wait for an opportunity to come up, or I could let all the rejection letters get me down, think my writing career was over before it had begun, and stick my head in the oven! Since heat tends to turn my curls into a ball of frizz, it was no contest, really. I wrote my next novel, a chick lit mystery called The Fashion Police, and waited. Because I knew, I just knew, that I COULD do this. I could write novels that people wanted to read. If only I could get the chance.

In the meantime, I also entered several writing competitions. And while I was still getting the dreaded rejections, Fourteen Days Later was shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize 2008 and received a Highly Commended by The Yeovil Literary Prize 2009. And The Fashion Police was a runner up in the Chapter One Promotions Novel Competition 2010 (and later nominated for the Best Novel with Romantic Elements 2010 by The Romance Reviews). Surely I was doing something right, wasn’t I? But I STILL couldn’t get a publisher!

Then last year, when Amazon opened up their doors to non-US authors, I uploaded Fourteen Days Later and The Fashion Police onto their Kindle store. I couldn’t believe it when I finally saw my books on sale. It was scary, rewarding, exciting, amazing – so many experiences rolled into one.

But what if no one liked my novels? What if I had all bad reviews? What if all the two hundred rejections were right? What if, what if…?

Time for a deep breath, Sibel. If you want to be an author, you have to repeat this mantra everyday… “I can do this. I can do this. I CAN do this.”

So I did.

And boy am I glad I did! The first month with Fourteen Days Later and The Fashion Police, I sold 44 books (another eeek!). Then I released my third novel, a romantic comedy called My Perfect Wedding, and later released my second chick lit mystery Be Careful What You Wish For. In the last 6 months alone I’ve sold over 40,000 ebooks, and all my novels are consistently in the Amazon top 100 genre categories for humor, contemporary romance, comedy, and romantic suspense. My highest overall sales ranking to date is 136, just missing out on the Amazon top 100 bestseller charts. Considering there are over 900,000 Kindle books on Amazon, that’s not bad!

And this is one lesson I’ve learned in the last couple of years…You can do anything you want to in life. It may mean you have to go a different route than you originally planned, but if you’re determined enough and believe in yourself, you can overcome any obstacles.

So I’m toasting all you women out there with my glass of wine. Cheers to dreams and making them come true! Looks like I got my big girls’ knickers after all!

You can find Sibel’s books in paperback and all ebook formats. For more info, please check out her website

 This is one story from Indie Chicks: 25 Women 25 Personal Stories available on Amazon  and Barnes & Noble . To read all of the stories, buy your copy today.