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Archive for the ‘Free book’ Category

sigh-in-relief

Whew! I’m glad that’s over. Ever have one of those weeks? My last week was jam packed with inn guests, meetings and special events. I mean jam packed!! (more…)

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beach-writer

Lots of people think authors live a glamorous life; sitting in a beach chair, toes in the sand, large floppy hat, cool beverage with little umbrella in the glass with a laptop or tablet on their lap, just tap, tap, tapping away on the keys until – BAM – 90,000 words later, a best-selling masterpiece appears. The next day someone slaps a gorgeous glossy cover on it and plasters it all over the Barnes & Noble front window.

bookstore-window

Then, after several hours of tap, tap, tapping, said author dons oversized dark glasses and some sparkly flip flop sandals, gets into their luxury sports car and dashes off to some posh restaurant for lunch with their editor, agent, and some movie producer from Hollywood to discuss the details of turning your latest masterpiece into a Hollywood blockbuster.

power-lunch

Spoiler alert – that NEVER happens. Oh sure, JK Rowling probably does that NOW, but not when she first started. Steven King is a household name and James Patterson’s name gets tossed around a lot on movie sets and such, but seriously, that didn’t happen overnight.

So, how did it happen? I’ll tell you – I have no idea. Believe me, I wish I did. I wish I knew what secret, besides hard work and perseverance would shoot me straight up that ladder to the beach chair in the sun because God knows I would love love to dig my toesies into some white sand right about now. Not to mention that little umbrella drink.

Here’s what I do know, those people spent many, many long days and sleepless nights fussing over the right words, the parts they deleted and maybe shouldn’t have, the opening scenes that should work but for some reason don’t, a reviewers harsh comment, hours of endless re-writing.

working-woman

In other words, they worked hard and they didn’t quit. They didn’t let disappointment ruin their vision.

And, despite how it seems to authors most days, they didn’t reach a certain level of fame alone. What? You’re saying others helped along the way? Absolutely. A lot of people probably helped and didn’t even know they helped. Strangers can help strangers. Readers can help writers. Here’s how:

helping-hand

Buy books, read books, talk about awesome books.

A great way to take it up a notch, is to leave a review. It’s easy, it’s free, it doesn’t take that long, and it goes a long way in helping authors’ careers. Here’s a few places where you can leave a review: https://www.goodreads.com/https://www.amazon.com/; or http://allreaders.com/.

Go to book signings if you can and BUY THE BOOK, even if you gift it to someone else.

Spread the word on social media. A “like,” a “share,” a comment, helps boost that author’s visibility. It seems trivial, but like election time, every vote matters. (Please don’t make this political people. God knows we don’t want to go there again.)

book-with-bowGift a book. A great way to help authors is to buy books for someone else. Especially in this day and age of electronic gadgets, almost everyone has an e-reader of some fashion. If not, you can download a free app to most smart phones. Heck, you can read books on your home computer. What better gift for a person who has everything or no longer wishes to “collect things?” Again, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive. Some e-books are less than a dollar. Gifting an e-book is super easy through Amazon or other on-line e-book retailers. All you need is the recipient’s e-mail address. What a lovely surprise for the recipient to open their e-mail and discover a gift! And it won’t clutter up a closet or shelf.

 

comment-boxHere’s how I’m going to help some authors this week: Every person who posts a comment on this blog between now and Friday, February 24th, will be gifted an e-book of my choice. Simply leave a comment and mention your favorite genre so I can choose an appropriate book for you from one of my favorite starving authors. Some of you I can wager a pretty good guess about genre, but others not so much. If I don’t already have your e-mail address, send me an e-mail at jansen.schmidt@yahoo.com so I can make sure your e-book arrives. (Caveat: I will only be gifting from Amazon so you’ll have to have a Kindle in order to participate. Sorry to those who prefer other e-reader methods.)

You in turn can help the author of the book I gifted to you by posting a review and I strongly encourage you to do so. I’m acting on good faith here that you will leave a review. If you do not wish to write a review and post it on any or all of the sites I listed above, please let me know if the comments. (Caveat: If you absolutely hate the book I gift you, please do NOT leave a bad review. An honest review yes, but not a scathing one.) Remember, the purpose of this week’s blog is to help each other out. I’m helping readers, you’re helping writers.

trust-quote

That’s it. Easy peasy. You can pass the word to your friends if they want a free book all they have to do is leave a comment and their e-mail address. I’ll do the rest.

So, thanks in advance to all who post a comment and enjoy your books!

How do you help starving authors? Do you routinely leave reviews? Do you attend book signings? Do you have an e-reader?

Word of Day: Acroter

Fun fact about me: I have 3 e-readers but I prefer paper books.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, February 2017. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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grumpy man

Here at the Baer House we try to always be upbeat and happy. I mean, who wants a grumpy standoffish innkeeper? Exactly. Nobody.

In our lobby we have a light up dry erase board on which I write stuff with pretty fluorescent pens. I usually include the weather forecast for the day, the breakfast menu, certain entertainment venues, and each day I put an inspirational or humorous quote of the day. (I know it’s hard to imagine me writing something funny, but I do.)

quotes quote

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Have you ever woke up from a dream and wondered what the heck just happened? Ever wondered what the nonsense playing in your brain could possibly mean? Ever have a recurring dream?

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Today I’m introducing my good friend and RWA chaptermate, Suzanne Vince, who is here to talk to you about her debut novel The Many Lives of June Crandall, a book about a young girl’s recurring dream and what it meant for her. On Friday, September 12, 2014, Suzanne will choose one random person who leaves a comment to receive a free copy of her book.

Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Growing up, Suzanne imagined herself as many things (a nurse, a teacher, even a secretary) but never a writer. Despite the fact that she grew up in an exceptionally creative family — everyone having some special talent — Suzanne did not, leaving them all to wonder if perhaps she’d been adopted.

She wrote her first book by accident, four years ago when she sat down to journal her thoughts. Four hours later she’d written the first 30 pages of what became her first novel, The Many Lives of June Crandall.

While Suzanne’s books include elements of romance and spirituality, the main story revolves around a strong parent-child bond, a reflection of the bond she shared with her own parents. Her stories inspire love, hope and the possibility of happily ever after.

Here’s my interview with Suzanne (her responses are in purple):

Tell us about how this book got its start. Did you actually have a series of dreams like the protagonist in your book, or did the idea just strike you out of the blue?

Out of the blue, kind of. I had just finished changing out the books on my bookshelf—removing the old, making room for the new. I came back a while later and found a book lying on the floor. It was titled, Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss. It’s a book about past lives.

I picked up the book and opened the cover and saw an address label on the inside. Like one you’d put on a letter. Obviously I’d purchased the book used. The name on the label was June Crandall from Sarasota, Florida. I put the book back, but for the next week I kept thinking about June, who she was, if she was still alive, what her life had been like. Before I knew it, I’d created June’s story in my head.

The following weekend I sat down to start writing and pulled the book off the bookshelf to serve as my muse. When I looked at the label on the book again, the name was Rosalyn Fink, not June Crandall. As writers, we have to invent the name of our characters, but I never in a million years would’ve come up with the name June Crandall. That’s when I knew that the story was meant to be written.

Any particular reason why you choose those three specific Junes?

Not really. I wanted each June to represent a different aspect of what was missing in Grace’s life. A mother, a best friend, even a lover.

How much research did you have to do before or while writing this book?

The dreams all take place in past centuries and I wanted the details to be as accurate as possible, so there was some research needed there. And since most of the story takes place in New York, I wanted to make sure I got the geographical scenes correct.

What’s your favorite part about the story?

I think the book signing scene is my favorite. And of course, who doesn’t love a happily ever after?

What would you tell your readers to expect before they start reading?

Well, the book is classified as a women’s fiction novel, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a mystery, a romance, and a coming of age story all in one.

Without giving anything away, what one thing about the book surprised you as you were writing it?

 I think it had to be how hard it was to make my character (Grace Adams) suffer. It took a lot of revisions to get to the point where I felt she’d suffered enough.

Were you inspired by any particular author before or during your writing of this book?

There’s a little book titled God on a Harley by Joan Brady (I highly recommend it–it’s funny, moving and every woman on the planet will be able to relate to the story). Anyway, I’ve read the book several times and every time it stirs something inside of me. I read it last in July of 2010 and then, without realizing it, I wrote the first fifty or so pages of what would become my first novel (which is now collecting dust bunnies under the bed). So I guess you could say that Joan Brady inspired me to write.

Photo courtesy SuzanneVince.com

Photo courtesy SuzanneVince.com

Here’s the 4-1-1 on Suzanne:

I grew up in Park Forest, Illinois—twice an All-American City—in a hectic and chaotic but loving family. After graduating from Loyola University of Chicago with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (major in Accounting), I said goodbye to snow shovels and ice scrapers and followed my parents out to California.

I currently live in Sacramento with my husband, my step-daughter and our four furry children. I still have my day job—for now—but spend most of my free time writing.

Learn more about Suzanne by visiting http://suzannevince.com.

And here’s the 4-1-1 on The Many Lives of June Crandall: 

Shuffled from one orphanage to another and finally abandoned into foster care, Grace Adams finds comfort only in her dreams, only these dreams are unlike anything Grace could ever dare to imagine. From a Nazi concentration camp in World War 2 to a Geisha house in Feudal Japan, in her dream world Grace is loved and protected by one person: a woman named June Crandall with a face she is unable to forget. Believing that the woman from her dreams is the mother she’s never met, Grace petitions the court to unseal her birth records, and what she learns about her birth mother will shake her to her core. Years later, at the urging of her husband, Grace publishes a book about the woman from her dreams. At a book signing, a stranger appears and offers a clue to the mystery surrounding Grace’s birth. Putting her skills as an investigative journalist to work, Grace uncovers a web of secrets and betrayal that threatens to destroy her dream of being reunited with her birth family. Will Grace find the woman from her dreams? Will she solve the mystery of her birth? Will she be able to put the past behind her and find forgiveness for the family that abandoned her?

Get your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The+Many+Lives+of+June+Crandall

Word of the Day: Cajuput

Fun Fact About Me: I consider myself a wine snob.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt September 2014. Photos courtesy, Google Images, Amazon.com and suzannevince.com.

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I know it’s not politically correct in this day and age to refer to anything as being gender-specific. I mean, if a guy wants to run around wearing a push-up bra all day because he likes women’s clothing, more power to him. And if little girls want to play with hot wheels and little boys want to play with dolls, who’s stopping them. No one’s going to laugh or poke fun. It’s all okay nowadays.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

But me, I’ll about the “girl sports.” I like figure skating, ice dancing and gymnastics. I can really get into a good game of beach volleyball. My husband – not so much. He’s into the manly man sports, you know, football, Nascar, golf, although I’d argue that last one is a little foo foo. Watching golf is like watching grass grow if you ask me. I do like me some good old-fashioned rodeo, though and thankfully, the hubs and I both enjoy a good round of team roping, steer wrestling, and bull riding. Yee haw!!!

Kristina Mathews.  Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Kristina Mathews.
Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Now my friend Kristi Mathews, she’s all about baseball. Baseball is one of those “guy” sports in my mind, but Kristi is no guy and she’s one of the biggest fans around. What’s super cool about Kristi is that she’s found a very clever way to combine her two passions and get one fantastic result – a romance book about baseball.

Let me tell you a little bit about Kristi. She doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing. While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she’s remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, parent club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.

Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.

Yes folks, she’s a Giants fan, but don’t hold that against her. She’s about as nice as they come.

Her debut novel, Better Than Perfect, is available everywhere today (there’s a link at the end of this post). Well, maybe not everywhere, but I’m sure if there’s a place that sells e-books, you’ll be able to find her. And today, I’m giving away a few copies to some very lucky followers. Just leave a comment below and you’ll automatically be in “the drawing.”

Kristi's debut novel Better Than Perfect. Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Kristi’s debut novel Better Than Perfect.
Photo courtesy Amazon.com

I’ve asked Kristi some questions. Her answers are in blue. My interview with Kristi starts now:

Me: Tell us about your experience with “the call.”
Kristi: I’d participated in a Savvy Authors pitch party, where they had several agents and editors post their submission requests and I pitched to a couple who were looking for my kind of book. I had also sent a cold submission to a big eBook publisher and I was literally on my way to a funeral when I got their form rejection after 12 weeks on submission. Then I got a pretty thorough and harsh (think dental hygienist harsh) critique on my manuscript. But I got a request from the editor at Lyrical Press. I was feeling pretty discouraged, but I knew if I didn’t send it out one more time, I’d always wonder. So I hit send. A few days later (not three months) I got an e-mail from the editor. She liked my story, liked the conflict, connected with the characters…I kept reading, waiting for the “but…” There was no but. She wanted to add me to their roster. I ran out to the driveway to catch my husband before he left for work. I made him read it, just to be sure I wasn’t reading it wrong.
Me: After you received “the call,” you received another “call.” Tell us about that call.
Kristi: On January 2, I got the news that my small eBook publisher was being acquired by Kensington Books. A big New York Publisher. Exciting, yes, but also a little scary. I’ve never worked for a big company. Not unless you count the three months I worked at McDonalds in college. I worried about getting lost in the shuffle. And despite having to mail my contract a second time I think it’s going to be great.
Me: So far, besides that second “call,” what has been the most surprising thing that you’ve experienced working with a big publishing house?
Kristi: After a slow start, things seem to be moving very fast. Or maybe it’s just that the timing of my book’s release and the completion of the merger are making it seem that way. They updated my cover. Twice. And they put the book up for preorder. I’m on Amazon. And Kobo. And Nook. And iTunes, although I couldn’t figure out how to provide a link. I have reviews from them putting my book up on NetGalley. I even have an author page on their website. So I’m hoping to find an audience that goes beyond my friends and family, many of whom have already bought my book.
Me: I’m assuming that’s how you came to have 2 covers for this book. Which cover do you prefer and why?
Kristi: It’s hard to pick a favorite. One of the things I liked about the original cover was that it was very different. But then the newest version is pretty hot. And I honestly have no clue as to what makes a good cover, and since I couldn’t use real life baseball players (or Kevin Costner) I was glad to pass that job off to my publisher. They changed the cover when they were working on the second book in the series, and the two covers work well together. 
Me: What are you hoping readers will remember most about your debut novel?
Kristi: I hope they will enjoy the book and see that an athlete doesn’t have to be a player off the field to be sexy and strong.
Me: Anything else you want to share about your book that’s not already covered in your book blurb below?
Kristi: I came up with the name for my hero from a nickname my husband’s cousin gave him when they were kids. They were on a long road trip, I think to Yellowstone, and my husband’s older cousin tormented him by telling him he wasn’t really a Mathews. His real name was “Johnny Scottsdale.” He was traumatized to think he didn’t belong. And believe me, having been a part of the Mathews family for over twenty years, I could understand how sad that would be. So I thought it would be a good name for a baseball player and a great way to honor the man who has helped me realize my dreams. And now whenever his cousin calls him “Johnny Scottsdale,” he’ll have to pay me royaltiesSmile
Me: When does the sequel come out and how can folks get their hands on a copy?
Kristi: The second book in the series, Worth The Trade, was originally scheduled for a September release, but it will come out in July instead. I’m very excited about that. Both books will be available on all eBook retailers, and I’m expecting a print option through Amazon, but I’m not sure of the details, yet.

Here’s the blurb:  More Than A Game, #1

Better Than Perfect new cover

Better Than Perfect, the second cover

The woman he left behind and the son he never knew are tougher opponents than any he’s met on the field.

Pitcher Johnny “The Monk” Scottsdale has won awards, been named an All-star and has a perfect game to his credit. Known for his legendary control both on and off the field, his pristine public image makes him the ideal person to work with youth players in a preseason minicamp. Except the camp is run by the one woman he can’t forget…the woman who made him a “monk.”

Alice Harrison’s three strikes include an unexpected pregnancy, a marriage of convenience and young widowhood. She once traded her dreams so Johnny could have a chance at making it to the Majors. Johnny comes back into her life just as she’s ready to resign as foundation director and pursue her own dreams of finally earning her teaching credential. Her plans may go on hold, though, depending on the reaction when she confesses she may have kept a major league secret from Johnny and her son.

With the minutes ticking by until Johnny will leave for spring training, they’ll need to let go of the past and work together in order to win the game of love.

If you have a question for Kristi, her book, or baseball, leave it in the comments section below. She’ll be stopping by periodically to answer.

If you have a question for me, the answer is no. Just kidding. You can ask questions any time in the comments portions of any blogs I’ve posted. Thanks for visiting, sharing your thoughts and being a good and faithful follower. For more information about Kristi and her books click here: http://kristinamathews.com/2013/11/03/whats-new/

Are you a baseball fan? Any sport in particular you like / hate? Which cover do you like better?

Word of the Day: Gigot

Fun fact about me: I played second base on my little league team a very long time ago. We took second place. I still have the trophy.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, March 2014. Photos courtesy Google Images and Amazon.com. Kristi’s book, Better Than Perfect is available by clicking here: www.amazon.com/Better-Than-Perfect-More-Game-ebook/dp/B00IT6IC0W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394751847&sr=1-1&keywords=better+than+perfect

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Recently Northern California has received some much needed rain. Along with the rain came some pretty serious thunder and lightning. I’m not a huge fan of these kinds of storms, lightning in particular.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

One night last week, as thunder rumbled closer and closer, lightning decided to zap us with a thrilling zing of electricity. Our satellite receiver was fried, but fortunately the tv was spared. We did lose a lot of recorded tv shows and movies, much to our dismay.

During the brief – and quiet – period of time between satellite receivers, the hubs and I spent a lot of time reading. A couple of nights ago, he finished a new book by one of his favorite authors and upon completion, he snapped the book shut and said, “I can’t believe it. He killed him off!”

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Being a writer, this comes as no surprise to me, so I respond with a casual, “Well, sometimes you have to do that.”

“No you don’t,” replied my husband. “He was a main character. Now the series is over. I liked Cody.”

I looked up from my book with a shrug. “Sometimes you have to make a sacrifice for the greater good.”

I went on to explain that sometimes in an author’s made up world, if a character has already served his or her purpose you have to get rid of them somehow. You can’t just stop writing about them; readers will wonder where they’ve wandered off to.

He frowned then said, “You don’t kill off your characters.”

‘Yes, I do,” I said. “You just don’t know because you don’t read my stories.”

He stomped off in a huff to find another book to read.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

As fiction authors we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. Sometimes our characters just don’t talk to us, or sometimes they go a different direction that we see them going. It happens. And if a character is screaming to be killed, well, as a good and proper author, we must make it happen. It’s our way of saving the world one story at a time.

So how about you – do you kill off your characters? Do you hate it when your favorite author takes an unexpected turn with their characters? Inquiring minds, and my husband, want to know.

Oh, and if for some unexpected, yet delightfully surprising reason CJ Box happens to read this post, please stop killing your characters. It makes my husband really grumpy.

Word of the day:  Cozenage

Fun fact about me: I just learned (thanks to Jenny Hansen) that I am neither predominately left or right handed. I have what is known as mixed-handedness. Check out Jenny’s post here: http://jennyhansenauthor.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/lefty-or-righty-are-you-the-hand-you-think-you-are/

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, March 2014. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Today I’m honored to share with you all, a glimpse into the “other worldly.” Book cover Dead Letter DayOne lucky person who leaves a comment below will receive a copy of this awesome book! (Look right.)

My special guest today is Eileen Rendahl, author of Dead Letter Day, the most recent installment in her Messenger Series. In the Messenger series, heroine, Melina Markowitz, is a kick-butt kind of girl who serves as a go-between for paranormal/supernatural creatures and the human world. She is a regular human with, let’s say “heightened sensitivities,” who communicates with other-worldly beings but she has no real super powers of her own (other than those “heightened sensitivities”).

I’ve asked Eileen a few questions regarding her recent release. Here’s how our interview went:

Me: Melina practices martial arts. Do you personally practice some form of martial arts? If so, what form, and if not, how do you get your information on the subject?

Eileen: Years and years ago, I took about a year’s worth of martial arts. I remember almost nothing. My main source for the fight scenes was Stacy Desideri. Stacy was my sons’ 5th grade teacher and she happens to be a black belt. She spent hours with me helping to choreograph fight scenes and gave me a lot of information to help me write about them in the future. I also will watch fight scenes on DVD and slow them down as much as possible to see the movements. What I loved about Stacy’s input is that she would give me the “why” as well as the “how.” It certainly made it richer in my head and I hope it made it richer on the page.

Me: The Messenger series is set in the greater Sacramento area. Being familiar with that area myself, I’m wondering, what specific landmarks you had in mind when writing some of the scenes in the Messenger books?

Eileen: Well, Melina lives in Mansion Flats. Her parents live in the Pocket. The hospital she works in is located around where Mercy Hospital is located. I actually spent some time with a map of the delta trying to pick a specific island for the mermaid in Dead Letter Day to leave near. I usually try to pick a specific location for where she’s going and what she’s doing. That said, sometimes I do just make stuff up. The town near the wolf pack in Dead Letter Day is basically Mount Horeb, Wisconsin transported to the Sierras.

Me: I’d love to meet Melina, she sounds really cool. She has a very human roommate, a sexy human boyfriend, a werewolf guy pal, a vampire co-worker (at a hospital no less where there is an endless supply of fresh blood), and she has encounters with ninjas, kokopelli and other mystical creatures and gets entangled in voodoo and other dark forces. Tell me, what surprises can I expect to find in Dead Letter Day?

Eileen: I’m so glad you like her! I feel a little like she’s the little sister I never had.

Dead Letter Day has a lot of Norse mythology. I don’t want to give too much away, but that was definitely my main focus for this book. There is also a mermaid, some dryads and a few other beings thrown in here and there.

WDW 2011 076

The Tree Lady (Animal Kingdom Park – WDW)
Photo by P. Rickrode

Me: One of my favorite parts of Don’t Kill the Messenger, the first book in this series, is this combination of two partial paragraphs: “. . . (ninjas) who seemed to materialize out of nowhere and proceeded to kick the crap out of me. That may not seem like a great feat. I am merely one not terribly large girl. Five foot seven in my stocking feet and my weight is none of your damned business.” What is one of your particularly favorite parts of Dead Letter Day?

Eileen: There’s a dryad that figures in Dead Letter Day. I’m quite fond of Melina’s first meeting with her. They start out on a somewhat adversarial footing and become friends.

Me: The first two books in the series, Don’t Kill the Messenger and Dead on Delivery, both have similar covers, primarily reds, oranges and golds with an Asian flare and a warm glow. (Yeah, despite the use of Kill and Dead in the titles, I get a feeling of a warm glow from the covers and honestly, that scares me a little, too.) Dead Letter Day; however, is a beautiful shade of royal blue with black birds, dark trees and a cold sense of impending doom. Why the drastic change in color scheme and cover art?

Eileen: I have no idea what made the publisher change to the blue colors, but I do like it. I also really like the crow and the netting and the trees. I wish the woman on the front looked a bit more like the woman on the front of the first two books, but you can’t win them all.

Side note:

Me: Shows you how much I know about working with a publisher. Excuse me a moment – (Note to self, I may not have absolute control over my book covers unless I self-publish.)

Okay, back on track.

Me: Writing a series of books that involve the same location, characters, etc., is much more involved than writing a single title book. Are you a plotter or a pantser and how does writing a series effect that style.

Eileen: I’m a plotter, but only book by book. Plotting is very difficult for me and the idea of having to plot out multiple books all at once makes my head swim. I guess I’m forcing the series to be worked out the way I work out all my books rather than the other way around. It is fun, however, to know that the end of the book doesn’t have to be the end of the story. I like knowing I can come back to my girl and grow more with her.

Eileen headshotMe: In addition to this paranormal series, you also have several contemporary chick lit and single title romantic suspense books published under a different name (Eileen Carr). Which do you prefer writing?

Eileen: The chick lit books and the Messenger books are very similar in tone. They’re also all first person. The Messenger books have a lot more plotting to them, though. From the beginning, I’ve wanted them to be a little like those old hard-boiled detective novels. Instead of a dame walking into the office, it’s a dryad or a gnome or something else unexpected. Honestly, they’re fun to write. First person for me is like slipping on my stretchy pants. I’m comfy with it. 

The romantic suspense books are a lot harder for me. They’re in 3rd person which means I have a lot more voices to create and a lot more threads to keep track of. I kind of groove on the challenge, though. 

So I guess I don’t know what I like best! I think it’s good to have both comfort and challenge in my life. It makes me a better writer.

So there you have it. I hope you’ll all check out Eileen’s books. She has a sharp wit and great talent for weaving intricate and interesting tales. While I’m not a huge fan of paranormal fiction, I absolutely LOVE Eileen’s Messenger series. The writing is gritty, witty and . . . I can’t think of another rhyming word.

Eileen Rendahl was born in Dayton, Ohio. She moved when she was four and only remembers that she was born across the street from Baskin-Robbins. Eileen remembers anything that has to do with ice cream. Or chocolate. Or champagne. In addition to the Messenger series, Eileen Rendahl is the award-winning author of four Chick Lit novels. Her alter ego, Eileen Carr, released her first romantic suspense, Hold Back The Dark, in 2009. She has had many jobs and lived in many cities and feels unbelievably lucky to be where she is now and doing what she’s doing.

Send Eileen an e-mail any old time. She’d love to hear from you! Eileen@Eileen Rendahl.com. You can also connect with Eileen at EileenRendahl.com; on Twitter or Facebook. Her books can be found at Amazon.com or your local bookstore. If it’s not on the shelf, request that it be put there.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Eileen’s book. You’ll be glad you did.

I leave you with this thought-provoking question – what do you read when you read out of your comfort zone? Have you been pleasantly surprised when you ventured into that world? I’d love to hear about it.

Word of the day:  Tabula rasa

Fun fact about me: I know the 12 Days of Christmas (the song) in order. You know, lords leaping, pipers piping. I know the right order.

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