Gliterary Girl Media
has a new addition to the family
Meet Author Lauren Marie
Author Lauren Marie:
LaurenMarie spent years writing and dreaming of being published. After spending many years wanting to write the ultimate thriller and become the next Le’Carre, Clancy, or Turow, she decided to try romance. She admits, with a huge smile, she’s never had so much fun. Lauren lives with her four cats in Western Washington State. When she isn’t pounding the keys, she is an amateur paranormal investigator. She formed her own group in 2006 to hunt ghosts and some unusual experiences have put in an appearance in some of her stories. Lauren is currently working on a contemporary romance called the Canon City Series. [su_divider top=”no”]
Get to Know Lauren Marie:
GGM: When and why did you begin writing?
Lauren Marie: I was about 12 years old. I had a neighbor that lived across the street from my family in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was four years older than me and she was writing stories for her English class in her high school. She wrote a really cool story about an evil black cat and I started to think it could be really fun to make up stories. I started scribbling out short stories at that time and the dream took off from there. Writing has been a bug ever since then.
GGM: Who encouraged you or what made you decide to write a novel and seek publication?
Lauren Marie: I spent many years trying to write the perfect thriller. I spent a lot of time wanting to become the next Le’Carre, Clancy or Turow, I decided to try my hand at paranormal romance. I have to admit I’ve never had so much fun. About seven years ago, I wrote my first story that had been simmering in my brain since the 1980’s. Then there were the two stories that originated from dreams I’d had that have become reality – Going to Another Place and Love’s Touch – Then and Now. I still have a couple of stories that started back in the 1980’s, but I’m trying contemporary romance right now.
GGM: Do we “see” some of you in your characters?
Lauren Marie: Yes, probably. A friend of mine, who has known me for over thirty years said she could hear my voice in the characters. I have some weird sayings that my dad used to say, like “Dog my cats” or “holy smokarolla’s”. I haven’t used those two, but never, say never.
Find out more on her
Lauren Marie’s Books:
Loves Touch, Then and Now
Kate Sullivan and Bill Leary have had progressive dreams all their lives. The dreams are about a man and woman who look just like them, but lived in a different time. Lizzie and Connor are married, and on their first honeymoon night, die in a hotel fire. When Kate and Bill meet they have to join forces and compare dreams to find out who set the fire that killed Lizzie and Connor. They also have to determine if the feelings that are developing for each other are really from their hearts or from the couple in the dream.
[su_divider top=”no”]Going to Another Place
A man from 2008, falls 48 floors from a building in Seattle and wakes up in 1815 England. A woman, in 1815 England, watches a bright star fall from the sky. She travels to the future, but can’t stay due to her lack of immunity to the 21st century diseases. Michael Drury and Emma Wallace have fallen in love, but are torn between two worlds. He has family in the 21st century. She wants to stay with him, but continues to grow very ill, very fast. Spanning almost 200 years, will their love be able to exist in the same time?
Gliterary Girl Media would like to welcome Author Lynette Endicott to the GGM Family!
Lynette Endicott grew up in Illinois, met her husband in Western Nebraska, lived 25 years in Kansas where their daughter was born, and has been in Fresno, California since 2000. She has a son-in-law (who lives with her daughter nearby), and has rescued a dog, a bird and three cats. She and Ollie, her terrier mix, volunteer as a team at the local library, where children read to the dog.
At a youth camp when she was 14 the editor and teacher of a writing class challenged her to submit something to his youth magazine. She did and it was the first of 10 articles and stories accepted by the publication over the next few years.
Nothing like front end success to keep her writing! Lynette enjoys reading contemporary romance and speculative fiction and writes both. Her debut book, Starting Over Book One: More Than A Job, and two more books in that series, The Return of Joy and Finding Her Voice are available now. The first three of the Time After Time Saga with Tami Dee are available now, including Animal Instinct, Survival Instinct and Pioneer Instinct. The fourth in the series of six, Protective Instinct, will release in August 2014.
Because she didn’t have pets until after her 50th birthday the animals she enjoys find their way into all her books. Usually you will also find a character with a disability as part of the day-to-day fabric of the story. In More Than A Job, Paige works in services to people with disabilities until she loses her job and starts over. In The Return of Joy, Atlas, the yellow lab, becomes a Therapy Dog. In the Time After Time series animal helpers assist the hero and heroine in all six of the books in the series.
Paige Hamilton is forced to seek a new life when her consuming, 24/7 job ends at the hands of a new company owner. But Paige is a survivor, and begins to build a new life, one that may even have room for romance. A handsome stranger helps her through the transition, and soon she falls fast and hard for Joshua Robinson.
Then she discovers he is the cruel owner, and that the company she loved — the company that cared so much about the adults with disabilities who lived in their homes — is in a downward spiral that puts the life of one of her friends at risk.
Romance, job loss, life coaching, hidden family treasures, and a secret about an uncle she’d never met — Paige learns that life is More Than A Job.
When Joy Huffman’s recurring dreams of the husband she lost become urgent she is convinced to go tot he cabin, their project of love, in New Mexico. With her daughter and mother-in-law, they set out to learn what Steve wants them to know — that his death was no accident, but murder.
Their investigation stirs up the evil that ended his life, and puts them all at risk. The caretaker at the cabin, Mark Stone, is challenged to keep them safe while he unravels the mystery of why Steve died. Along the way he falls in love with Joy — but will she be open to loving again?
Finding Her Voice – Starting Over Series Book #3
Jennifer has the perfect life — a loving husband, a beautiful daughter, a flexible job in the family business. When a heart-stopping accident takes it all from her, Jen struggles to survive her days alone. No one else understands, expecting her to “get over” her grief.
Ollie, her daughter’s rescued dog, is the only one who shares her grief and lives her pain. When divorce ends in the sale of their home, she and Ollie set out on a road trip of healing and discovery.
Life will never be the same, but maybe along the way she can find the music, find her voice, find her own path to living after her loss. And if she is lucky, find love.
Book #4 in the Starting Over Series, Out of Agony, will be available July 21.
Lynette also collaborates with Author Tami Dee on the Time After Time Saga. Please like the Time After Time Saga Facebook Page to keep up to date with the latest releases and information.
Animal Instinct – Time After Time Series Book #1
On Detective Sean Barnett’s first day at work his police dog’s reaction to a bee sting requires an emergency visit to the town vet. Dr. Al’s swift, efficient response averts immediate danger, but when Sean asks Allison to dinner, he opens the door for a terrifying danger — an ancient, time-traveling enemy who will stop at nothing to keep them apart.
Dr. Allison Green’s heart-pounding attraction to King’s handsome owner, Sean, sends her to her family’s reference on love, the diary passed down from her great-grandmother that goes back centuries. She delves into references to animal helpers, ancient artifacts and the ruthless woman whose goal is to destroy love for the woman of the Heartmark.
When she is overwhelmed with ancestral memories, Allison realizes the extent of the danger posed by their enemy, and the deranged terror that threatens her chance at love.
Survival Instinct – Time After Time Series Book #2
Tough as nails San Francisco homicide detective Winter Parker runs fast and far to escape ancient threats of revenge, and small town torments.
Can equally tough Special Agent Mike Hunter convince Winter to put aside her fears and take a chance on him and their small town?
Will ancestral memories help them overcome a time-traveling enemy whose sole purpose in life is to seek out the Heartmark women and destroy their chance to find– and hold onto– true love?
Pioneer Instinct – Time After Time Series Book #3
Eliza O’Malley and brother Allen travel from Ireland to join their father and brothers on an 1880s Wyoming homestead. Allen is almost destroyed during the voyage, but Eliza’s benefactors rescue them both from their father’s foolish carelessness and mounting debt.
When she has worked off her passage and built her own wealth, Eliza completes the journey, knowing that she has been called to fulfill her destiny as a Heartmark woman. She is immediately swept off her feet by the neighboring rancher Frank McGee. His sister Jude, her friend and business partner, harbors a secret that will nearly destroy the love between Eliza and Frank.
Clues from an ancient diary, the fierce intervention of animal helpers, and ancient artifacts play a part in the life of all Heartmark women, including Eliza. Will they be enough to overcome the horrible rumors spread by Jude and restore Frank’s love for her?
Three more books in the Time After Time Saga will be released in the future: Protective Instinct (August 2014), Maternal Instinct (April 2015) and Primal Instinct (December 2015).
Gliterary Girl wants to introduce you to Author Tracy Hewitt Meyer. Here’s your chance to get a sneak peak into Tracy’s life.
Tracy Hewitt Meyer is a multi-genre, multi-published author of new adult fiction as well as adult paranormal and contemporary romance. She has a B.A. in English and a Master of Social Work, both of which feed her true passion-her love of writing. Born and raised in the beautiful state of West Virginia, Tracy now lives in the mid-east with her family, a golden-doodle, and a bearded dragon.
Please connect with Tracy on:
GG: Welcome to Gliterary Girl, Tracy, and thanks for sitting down and chatting with us. We are excited for our readers to get to know you better! First question, When and why did you begin writing?
Tracy: My mom sold my childhood home recently and as I was cleaning out my things, I found stories that I’d written as far back as elementary school. I didn’t realize how much writing spoke to me, though, until I was in an AP English class in high school. I wrote two short stories that year and something in me changed. I have always been passionate about reading. After that year, I became passionate about writing.
In college, I majored in English and took as many creative writing classes as I could. I was not a good writer at that point. I didn’t understand the mechanics of taking a story from a good idea to a flushed-out readable piece of prose. But there was one short story I wrote where I pushed the limits of my ideas until the story tinkered on the brink of being outrageous. It was the one story that received the most positive comments of any I had written. That was a true learning experience.
After graduation, I dappled in writing here and there but it wasn’t until years later that I decided, It’s now or never. So I made it now.
GG: Who encouraged you or what made you decide to write a novel and seek publication?
Tracy: I tried a novel-writing class in college and found it extremely difficult. Short stories came much more naturally to me. But one day over a holiday weekend, I popped into a used bookstore and left with an armful of treasures (aka romance novels!). I started reading that night and thought, Well, I can do that. So, I joined Romance Writers of America, started attending workshops, and began to read books as a writer rather than just as a reader. I wrote an historical romance novel and then there was no turning back, even though there have been times when I thought this business was just too difficult and quitting would have been an easy answer.
GG: Do we “see” some of you in your characters?
Tracy: I’m not sure how honest to be in this answer! Yes, there can be bits of me in the characters I create. But my characters are more of a culmination of pieces of several different people-be they friends, acquaintances, the girl at the coffee shop, a character on television, or even someone from a dream. I take the bits and pieces from a wide range of people and put them together to create a character. The character has to speak to me, though, regardless of how I created them. I have to hear their voice or I can’t write their story.
GG: Tell us a little about the community you’re building through your blog and social media.
Tracy: I write across genres so I don’t have a focus for my blog or social media. I try to share writing tips and suggestions, accolades and hurts, tidbits of my personal life that are either heart-warming or snarky and funny (usually the latter). I find people relate to personal stories more than me sharing a good review and I like that. I like communicating with people on a more personal level.
GG: Where do you go when you need to recharge?
Tracy: I need to be alone to recharge, something I am not very often. If it were up to me, I’d call a time-out and step away from life for a day (or two). But I don’t have that luxury. Who does? So I recharge with baths, books and trips to the library where I can be surrounded by silence. I do love silence. One guilty pleasure I have is to grab take-out sushi and turn on a rerun of The Tudors while the kids are in school. It’s a perfect way to recharge during the afternoon. [su_divider top=”no”]
A Life, Redefined
Seven years ago, an innocent act by Rowan Slone turned her life into a nightmare. Since the age of ten she’s lived with the burden of her baby brother’s death. Now she is seventeen and all she wants to do is graduate high school, go to college, and escape the loveless family she has endured all these years—the same family that holds her responsible for his death. But no one holds her responsible more than herself. When long-time crush Mike Anderson invites her to the Prom, suddenly her future looks brighter. Rowan’s younger sister, Trina, however, is determined to ruin her new-found happiness, no matter the cost. And when Rowan discovers her mother’s long-held secret, she finds herself teetering on the edge of an abyss. Can Rowan find the strength to move toward the future or is she doomed to dwell in the past?
Upcoming sequel in the Rowan Slone Novels, A Life, Forward, will be released on April 7th.
A Life, Forward
Her father is gone. Her mother is in jail. And Rowan Slone has left her dysfunctional, violent past behind. With college looming on the horizon, she has a new job that she loves, and a safe place to call home. She is close to achieving everything she ever wanted-a sense of family, a sense of purpose, and a sense of self.
But there are cracks in Rowan’s life that threaten to send her future crumbling to the ground. When her relationship begins to suffer, her father returns and her long-held secret is discovered, Rowan must find the courage to fight for the most important thing yet-herself.
[su_divider top=”no”]You can purchase all of Tracy’s books here:
Have you met Debra Parmley? Well now’s your chance. Get to know this dynamic author and poet as she sits down to chat with Gliterary Girl Media.
Born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in Springfield, OH, Debra has lived in the Memphis, TN area since 1997. She attended Marywood University in Scranton, PA and was the first student to win first place in two categories of the Delta Epsilon Sigma Beta Epsilon Chapter writing competition, in creative prose and in informal expository. Her poetry was published in literary journals while attending college. She holds a BA in English Literature. Debra has traveled extensively and her first short story, published in the anthology More Monsters From Memphis, was a finalist in the Darrell Awards for best Mid-South short story. Her first novel, A Desperate Journey, a western historical romance, was a finalist in the Bobbi Smith Creative Writing Challenge. When not writing, Debra enjoys dancing, primitive archery and medieval reenactment, yoga and traveling. For Debra, writing is about joy. The joy of creation and the joy of connecting with her readers. It is one of her greatest pleasures to hear from her readers.
You can connect with Debra on
Gliterary Girl wanted to get you details
GG:When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Debra: When I was in elementary school I can remember telling my best friend that maybe I would write a book some day.
GG: Were books a big part of your life growing up? If so, what books would you say influenced you most as a child?
Debra: Growing up I was surrounded by books and there was always someone to read to me. Grandparents, parents. I was a lucky child to be read to so much. I have a very worn out copy of Favorite Poems Old And New Selected for boys and girls by Helen Ferris, Doubleday 1957 that my grandmother read to me. There are over five hundred poems in that volume, many of which are story poems. When I was old enough to read, I devoured books. All the Nancy Drew series, Anne of Green Gables, folk tales and fairy tales such as Hans Christian Anderson and Grimms. All influenced me as a child and many more.
GG: What drew you to write a 1920’s romance revolving around Al Capone and his gang visitng Hot Springs, AR?
Debra: It was a visit to Hot Springs several years ago when we stayed in the Arlington Hotel where Al Capone used to stay. He would rent the whole fourth floor. Hot Springs was a town where gangsters would go on vacation, lay their guns down and party while making back room deals. It’s a fascinating slice of 1920’s life and visiting there today you can imagine yourself back in that time because so much has been preserved. You can take the hot baths at the Arlington in the same setting they once did. The story people just came to me out of the blue while enjoying one of those baths, the first time I visited and they waited patiently (or sometimes not so patiently) until I was able to write their story in Trapping the Butterfly.
GG: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
Debra: Bethany, from Trapping the Butterfly, is my favorite so far because she is my youngest, seventeen turning eighteen and wanting to spread her wings into the world and to be more independent.
GG:What about your books? Do you have a favorite? What about it do you love?
Debra: Trapping the Butterfly is my favorite of all my published books because it is set in the 1920’s and has flappers and gangsters and the fashions and dances of that time period. It’s a time period I always wanted to write in and Hot Springs AR is a wonderful place to visit and take the hot baths. It really is like stepping back in time.
GG:Is there anything you’d like to pass on to your readers?
Debra: That I love hearing from them. It means a lot to me when one of my readers takes the time to write me or to write a review or even give a rating to one of my books. There are so many things to spend our time on, I feel honored when a reader shares their valuable time to respond to one of my stories.
Bethany is celebrating her eighteenth birthday in Hot Springs. If her aunt and uncle have their way she will return engaged. Her life has been controlled, from the clothes she wears to the food she eats. But she plans to cut off her long hair like other girls and to fly free.
Paul chased butterflies when he was young. Now he chases gangsters. Bethany captures his interest like a butterfly. But two other men have determined to catch her and one is a dangerous gangster. Will she exit her cocoon, find strength and fly free or be trapped?
Praise For Trapping the Butterfly
[su_quote]Debra Parmley captured the feel and nostalgia of the roaring 20s along with the mystery and thrill of Al Capone and his gang. Her characters are realistic and relatable even for the age. The coming of age love story is sweet and believable. [/su_quote]
[su_quote]I imagined at anytime I would hear the jazz music coming from one of the many dance houses or see a dark windowed car drive slowly down the boulevard and wonder which gangster was headed to Oaklawn to play the ponies.[/su_quote]
Purchase Trapping the Butterfly, Dangerous Ties and all of Debra’s books here
Lillian Hayes’ fiance, Thomas Shelton, convinced the townsfolk to exchange their gold for his worthless bank notes. After he disappears with the gold, every eye turns to Lillian for answers. Even her cousin Carl insists she knows where the gold is. He is desperate to find it because he is deeply indebted to Kingston, small town criminal and owner of the local saloon. Carl will do anything to clear his debt; even torture Lillian for answers. Nick Brace is driving a herd of horses to town when he stumbles across Lillian, branded, strung up over a mineshaft, and left to die. He saves her, tends to her wounds, and teaches her to shoot to protect herself. But the danger isn’t past. When Nick’s horse-trading deal with Kingston goes bad, Lillian races to be the one to savehim this time.
Praise For Dangerous Ties
[su_quote]Thoroughly enjoyed it!! A great read. I could not put it down. Looking forward to reading the next Debra Parmley book![/su_quote]
[su_quote]I started this book, intending to read it over the course of a long vacation weekend. I got into it, and spent the enitre night reading it all the way through![/su_quote]
Purchase Trapping the Butterfly, Dangerous Ties and all of Debra’s books here
Award Winning Author S.M.Boyce has a treat for you. The first book in her Grimoire Saga, Lichgates is FREE for a limited time
Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.
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Want to check out the entire GRIMOIRE SAGA
Kara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into Ourea and found the Grimoire: a powerful artifact filled with secrets. To protect the one person she has left, she strikes a deal that goes against everything she believes in. But things don’t go as planned.
Braeden Drakonin can no longer run from who—and what—he is. He has to face the facts. He’s a prince. He’s a murderer. He’s a wanted man. And after a betrayal that leaves him heartbroken, he’s out for blood.
To survive, both Kara and Braeden must become the evil each has grown to hate.
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- Release date November 5, 2013
Kara Magari isn’t normal, even by Ourea’s standards—and in a world of shape-shifters and soul stealers, that’s saying something. To the royalty, she’s a loose cannon. To the masses, she’s a failure. But Kara’s arrival in Ourea started a war, and she’s going to end it.
An ancient isen named Stone takes an interest in Kara’s training, and it turns out he has more answers than he originally led her to believe. In an effort to unearth a secret that might end the bloodshed, Kara instead discovers an ugly truth about her family—and how much she has in common with an infamous mass-murderer.
Braeden Drakonin has slowly rebuilt his life after the betrayal that tore it apart. His father wants him dead, and frankly, his so-called allies wouldn’t mind that either. Private alliances are formed. Secrets are sold. Tension is driving the armies apart. A single battle will end this war, and it’s coming. Braeden may be a prince, but it will take more than that to survive. He must take the fight to his father’s door—and win.
International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.
S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.
Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.
Want to know even MORE? Gliterary Girl got you the info:
GG:Were books a big part of your life growing up? If so, what books would you say influenced you most as a child?
Boyce: Yes! My mother and father read to me a lot as a child, and when I was old enough, I read to them instead. One time when I was really little, I “read” Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. I didn’t actually read it, though; I’d just memorized the book and wanted to show Mom how “smart” I was by reading it to her. She saw right through me when I was “reading” words off the wrong pages. Haha!After that, we would sometimes sit around as a family and read aloud a book at night. Regardless, I was always reading and exploring new worlds, even if it was in my own head.
GG:When and why did you begin writing?
Boyce: I began writing when I was about 5. I wrote & illustrated a short story book about a lonely pickle, the last in her jar, and submitted it to some contest. It was a pretty morbid story, looking back, and I’m happy to say I’ve improved as a storyteller since then. You can actually read more about the tale in a blog post I did on the subject of author origin stories.
GG:Who encouraged you or what made you decide to write a novel and seek publication?
Boyce:I’ve always been an avid reader. When I read, I get to experience life in an entirely new way, through the eyes of a stranger I come to admire or love over time. It’s a thrill ride. And I devour fantasy because I love to daydream about worlds where the “impossible” is real. Authors like Neil Gaiman, JK Rowling, Tolkien, and more all led me to become a novelist. It was a natural transition from bookworm to author, really, and now I have to write every day or I get all kooky.
Publication is merely a means of sharing the stories I develop—there’s nothing else in the world like meeting a reader who loved my novels. It’s surreal and beautiful to hear a bookworm say my work inspired them. It makes me glow inside with an all-around happiness. I have a reverence for my fans.
GG: What drew you to write Fantasy revolving around Ourea, the hidden world in the Grimoire Saga?
Boyce:Ourea is a fun adventure into exploring our Earth. So much of the magical world is inspired by real people and places. If you want to see some examples of the images and locations that inspired me to write the Grimoire Saga, check out my Pinterest boards: My Swipes, Character Inspiration, and Creature Inspiration.
GG: Do we “see” some of you in your characters?
Boyce:I think every author writes elements of him- or herself into a novel’s characters. The trick is to find a balance between relatable and letting each character become a unique person.
GG: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
Boyce:It’s hard to pick a favorite child, but if you’re making me… I think I like Deidre best of the characters in the Grimoire Saga. Mind, that’s by a slim margin. But her backstory is heartbreaking, and you’ll get to see it in the upcoming Ourean Chronicles—a spinoff series that details the backstories of pivotal side characters in the core Grimoire Saga. Deidre in particular is fascinating because she is a study in how grief can go wrong if the victim loses herself to her pain. She’s selfish and arrogant, but driven by revenge and a lost love. Her character is rich and complex. And let’s be honest—we all love a good villain.
GG: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
Boyce: I wire wrap gemstones as a hobby and love watching ghost shows like Ghost Adventures.
To get up to date on all things BOYCE click on the links below
Who is Author Chris Karlsen?
She was born and raised in Chicago. Her father was a history professor and her mother was, and is, a voracious reader. She grew up with a love of history and books. Her parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto her. She wanted to see the places she read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated her. She’s had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa. She is also a retired police detective who spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. Her desire to write came in her early teens. After she retired, she decided to pursue that dream. She writes two different series. Her paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. Her romantic thriller series is, Dangerous Waters. She currently live in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.
Get To Know and Love Chris Karlsen:
GG: Who is the fabulous Chris Karlsen?
Karlsen: I worked as a cop for 25 years. I started with Chicago P.D when women were first hired to work patrol in the mid 1970’s. The order came from the Federal Courts so you can imagine how male officers felt about us. Overcoming the resentment obstacles was difficult to say the least. After three years there, I went to Southern California agency. *Just to clarify, law enforcement wasn’t my career goal job but one of the few jobs in those days that paid the same for women as men doing the same work. I’m often asked about becoming a famous writer and is that my goal. The agency I worked for brought me in contact with many folks in the entertainment industry. Fame is overrated IMO. The financial gain is the upside to me, but the expectation level for all you do is pressure I wouldn’t care to deal with. I’ve seen it change a lot of people and not always in a good way. I have a decent pension, a good life, a happy marriage. What we can’t afford, we save for. That’s the way I grew up and I don’t feel bad because instant gratification isn’t ours to have. Fame isn’t in the equation.
GG: What is writing about for you? Why did you decide to go that route? You’re indie published, do you love it?
Karlsen: For several years, I tried to get “traditional” publishers interested in a couple of my stories. Then I hit an age where I decided to stop beating me head against the NY wall. I just wanted to get my books out there and hoped they’d find an audience who enjoyed the stories. My good friend started a small, indie publishing company. She read two of my books and asked if I’d be willing to give her company a chance to put them out. I said yes and haven’t looked back. She gives me a lot of say in my covers, my trailers and the overall handling of my books. Freedom I doubt I’d have with a NY publisher. The trade-off was limited exposure compared to what I might receive with Avon or Random House etc. I also don’t have editors breathing down my neck with deadlines or requests to write stories they want to market but I might not want to write. I’m a slow writer. I don’t need the aggravation and pressure.
GG: What is your dream for your work?
Karlsen: If I have one dream, a big dream for my career, it would be for Hollywood to take an interest in one of my series. I’d love to see a movie of the week or television series of the books. What fun. THAT would have me crowing like a peacock.
GG: You grew up being immersed in History and History is very prominent in your work. Could you tell me a little bit about how that process works for you, how you pick and choose what to use and what not to?
Karlsen: I like to build a story around events, concepts, or persons who interest me, most often historical in nature. Or, if a single event is not the basis then I put the characters in a timeframe that intrigues me. I grew up loving medieval English history so I use the Battle of Poitiers (one of the greatest victories in English history) as the focal or start point for three of my stories. Involved in that battle was a true example of knighthood at its best (at least I choose to think so), The Black Prince, or as he was known to the court: Edward of Woodstock. He was the oldest son of Edward the Third and said to be brilliant on the battlefield, charming and intelligent off. He died of dysentery before inheriting the throne. I’ve often wondered how things might’ve been different had he been able to succeed his father. I made the prince a friend of my heroes.
GG: History is just one of themes of your work; you seem to have a lot of varied interests. How have some of your other interests made their way into your work?
Karlsen: My books from my romantic thriller series center around nautical archaeology, which I find fascinating. If I could go back in time to my college days, I just might choose to follow that path rather than take the safe one and get a business degree. I am particularly taken with the Trojan War and how it has been presented throughout history. I had a different spin and used my controversial ideas as the basis for one of my heroine’s theories.
GG: WE love all you have released thus far but we’re anxious for more … could I get you to spill a little about what you’re working on now?
Karlsen: Well currently, I have begun what I hope will be a new series. It is set in Victorian England and the protagonist is an Inspector with London Metropolitan Police. This is not a romance series so I am taking a chance that readers of my other series will be accepting of my crossing over into the historical-suspense/mystery genre. *AND, no he does not get involved in the Jack the Ripper murders. I’ll leave that to Ripperologists.
GG: Historical novels are some of my favs. Yours have a unique spin that makes them even more entertaining. Where did the ideas for those special elements come from?
Karlsen: I assume we’re talking about the time traveling … Time travel and reincarnation were common topics of conversation at the dinner table when I grew up. My parents liked to discuss the various pros and cons. As a result, I developed a healthy interest in the possibilities and used both in my paranormal romance series.
GG: We all know that part of the drive to write comes from the love of reading. Do you have any favorites? Authors that you’d wait in line for at midnight just have a new release?
Karlsen: Oh my, don’t we all. I think I’m going to have to break this down into a bit of a list though, seeing as how picking just one cannot be done. Let me start with Historical, Bernard Cornwell is my fav historical fiction writer. I read everything he does. He writes the best battle scenes. I read a ton of research for my books so when I wrote my battle scenes, I dissected Cornwell’s and also read and reread the actual accounts and used the combo to put my spin on the event.
Because I am a big romance fan and love the books that include humor, Some of my fave authors who do write some pretty funny romances are: Julia Quinn, Julie Anne Long, Deanna Raybourn, Julie Garwood, and occasionally Rachel Gibson. In the 80’s an English author, Jilly Cooper had a great series with tons of humor that involved competitive showjumping and polo players. She drifted away from what first attracted me and I haven’t read her in a long time. And last but definitely not least Lord Of The Rings is a longtime fave which is as good on the reread as the first read. The Lions of Al-Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay is in my top 2 books. The characterization of the two male protagonists is remarkable. You read the story knowing they must face off eventually and one will die and it is gut wrenching knowledge. I didn’t put it number 1 as I wasn’t overly fond of the female protagonist.
GG: So you read and write historical fiction as well as romance, what is it that draws you to the romance genre?
Karlsen: Well, I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of erotica ( so I don’t think that’s as genre I would venture into) BUT I do enjoy a well written sex scene. Julie Anne Long does wonderful ones. Whenever I’ve written one I wonder if mine are as sensuous and well-crafted as hers.
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What Does Author Chris Karlsen Do? She Writes Amazing Books!
Ready for battle, Medieval English knight, Stephen Palmer, charges into the French enemy’s cavalry line. Heeding a warning given months before, he hesitates as he comes face-to-face with the knight in the warning. Struck down in the year 1356, he finds himself landing in the year 2013. Grievously wounded, he’s taken to a nearby hospital. Confused by the new world surrounding him, he attempts to convince the staff he’s from another time, only to find they think him mad. Rescued by friends, who, to his surprise, have also come through time, he must find a way to function in this odd modern England. He is quickly enchanted by the kind Esme Crippen, the young woman hired to tutor him. She too is enchanted by him. Tempted to deepen the relationship, she hesitates thinking him adorable, but mad. He must discover the means for getting her to believe the truth, all the while, unknown to him, he didn’t come forward in time alone. The enemy knight has also traveled to 2013. French noble, Roger Marchand, doesn’t question why the English knight who charged him hesitated. That fraction of a pause gave him the advantage needed and he brought his sword down upon the Englishman’s helmet hard, unhorsing the knight. He moved to finish the Englishman off when the world changed in a rush of sensations as he is ripped through time. Seeking a reason for the terrible event, he enters a nearby chapel. There, thinking God has chosen him for a quest to turn French defeat that day in 1356 to victory, he sets out to find the English knight. The man he is convinced holds the key to time. If he returns to the day of the battle, he can warn his king of mistakes that snatched victory from them.
WANT TO READ MORE ? CHRIS HAS A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
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MEET AUTHOR MICHELE WOLFE
The Three Graces is a story of discovery, of admitting to truths that have been buried, and of letting go of a past that hinders the present. It is a story about choices: life or death, fear or desire, dreams or drudgery.
Michele has done extensive research on the statue of The Graces, the sculptor, and Hearst Castle, which is the center piece in her book. She belongs to the Greater Los Angeles Writers’ Society and a Santa Barbara writing group and is also an English as a Second Language instructor with 25 years experience teaching. But her love above all else is spending time with her family and exploring the written word. She has also written a short fiction piece about an immigrant family living in Los Angeles.
Gliterary Girl wanted to get you more info on the author and her coming novel, so we sat down with Michele and dug a little deeper.
Thank you so much for taking some time to sit with us for the interview. We cannot wait to hear more about you and your upcoming book, The Three Graces.
GG: Beyond your bio, we want to know about you. All the nitty gritty.
Michele: Okay, the nitty gritty is: I am easy-going and flexible in most situations. I get my energy from being alone. I am a good listener. The most important people in my life are my two sons, my husband, my parents, my sister and a few close friends. I love what and who I teach (English as a Second Language to Adults. I also love reading (I like women’s fiction, historical fiction, YA and a good love story), writing and traveling (I have been to 40 of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, and Switzerland).
I like change, finding new ways of doing things, and being creative. I like it when people work together as a team to accomplish something. I am also stubborn and will try to find ways around something if I don’t like it.
I used to be obsessive about keeping my house clean but now I can go a whole week without picking up the broom or mop. Now I can live with imperfections without feeling stressed about changing it or doing it over. Sometimes I have the tendency to overthink things.
I try to take care of myself, by exercising, getting mani-pedis, sitting in the Jacuzzi and sauna at the gym, those sorts of things because they help me de-stress and make me feel good.
GG: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Michele: I used to journal and write poetry when I was in my teens and as a young adult. But I did it because I loved it and it gave me a sense of satisfaction. I don’t think I considered myself a writer. It wasn’t until I became friends with a writer about fifteen years ago, who believed I had a story to share, that I took up writing.
GG: What drew you to write The Three Graces?
Michele: The inspiration for, The Three Graces, came from my own experiences and that of my girlfriends when in college and the years following. During that time in my life, I did a lot of soul searching, trying to figure out who I really was, who I wanted to be. I decided I wanted to share the hard lessons learned and the wisdom I gained with other young women out there.
GG: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
Michele: I started out with Jessie as the main character. I really loved her spirit. As I continued to write, and Isabel and Sara emerged, I grew to love them too. I lived with them in my head day in and day out so I feel they are a part of me. Of course the ones who started it all were Brilliance, Joy and Bloom. I saw them for the first time on a trip with two girlfriends to Hearst Castle in my own college days.
GG: What would you love to write someday but haven’t yet?
Michele: I would love to write a historical fiction piece or a murder mystery.
GG: Were books a big part of your life growing up? If so, what books would you say influenced you most as a child?
Michele: My sisters loved to help my mom cook when we were growing up, but not me. I would curl up on the sofa and bury myself in a good book, which in my opinion was a better choice. Of course then I was the one left doing the dishes! But it was always worth it.
I don’t think there was one book or author that was a great influence. I was drawn to and still am stories with a strong female protagonist.
GG: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
Michele: My son tells me people know me because I am open and honest. Which was nice to hear.
If a person doesn’t know me well, he or she would probably be surprised to hear that the year I met my husband, I lived with and worked with the homeless in downtown Los Angeles. I lived in a house that took in anyone who was down on their luck or needed a safe place to stay for the night. I worked daily in a soup kitchen, learning how to make soup in those huge stainless steel pots. My husband came to the soup kitchen to volunteer and that’s how we met. Once or twice I spent the night on skid row helping a couple of homeless women who were caught up in drugs and prostitution.
GG: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
Michele: I love reading! I also enjoy walking in the park with my husband and our dog, Sofie. I like trying new places to eat with my husband and our friends. I really enjoy traveling and going to museums and wine tasting. The absolute best, though, is just being a mother. I love watching my sons as they grow and do new and wonderful things in their lives. I love talking with them about anything and everything.
Meet our New Friend April Steenburgh! April has submerged herself in the world of all things bookish … She’s a librarian, a writer, a reader, and a kick-a** formatter. We thought all of you aspiring and self-published authors out there might want to learn a bit more about the formatting process, so we sat down with April to bring you the details.
GG: Tell us a little about yourself …what you do etc ….
April: I was a book store manager for a good number of years, from there I ended up in library school and now as a librarian. Somewhere in the middle I started writing and working with authors for technical assistance, which has evolved to being pretty handy with eBooks and eBook formatting. I currently work with my friend/coeditor Christy on putting together and publishing anthologies. I also spend a glorious amount of time reading and reviewing books. I maintain a professional blog, a review blog, a Goodreads page, and the Kickstarter landing page for our current project.
Not related to books/writing, I founded and run a 501(c)3 Animal rescue, teach daily digital literacy courses at the local public library, provide reference services at the local community college, and spend a lot of time helping community members learn how to use their eReaders and tablets. I share space with a small army of rescue ferrets, a demanding trio of cats, some snakes, and there is a red tail hawk on my back porch. I can always be reached at [email protected] or by visiting my Facebook.
GG: So what lead you to compiling anthologies?
April: As a reader, I turn to anthologies to get to know new authors. An anthology has always been my preferred way to get a taste for an author, and I love finding someone I might never have had the pleasure of discovering otherwise had I not picked up an anthology. They are also just a lot of fun- a bunch of authors excited about the same idea, infusing it with their own perspective and life.
As a writer/editor/publisher, anthologies are often that first step into the profession. Selling that first story can be an amazing experience for a new author (I know it was for me!) and I wanted to keep that experience alive and kicking. There will always be anthologies themed off of what the current Big Idea is, but what about all of the amazing and beautiful and strange ideas that fall to the side? Someone should gather up all of those orphan ideas and make them happen.
GG: Would you tell us about your latest project?
April: One of my authors from the last anthology project- Fight Like a Girl– actually pitched the seed of the idea to me a few months after the last project had started to settle down. As Fight Like a Girl emerged from my Coeditor Christy calling me one night with the theme and saying someone should make it a book and my saying ‘Why not!” I thought we might as well continue the trend.
After Christy called, I sat back and thought, hard, about just how many females I grew up reading about and wanting to be like as I grew up with my nose in one massive fantasy novel after another. Not too many. Then I thought about how many talented writers were sharing their work across the internet and I got an idea. I put the call out there, and sat back to see how many people might be interested. We thought it would be hard to get writers interested in participating. We ended up with a collection of 22 stories.
Editing anthologies is an insidious addiction. I don’t know that I will be able to stop.
GG: Is formatting and publishing anthologies different from novels?
April: With novels you are working with one person, one manuscript. With anthologies you have the pleasure of dealing with a baker’s dozen of individual manuscripts, as opposed to one. So the opportunity for formatting adventures is exponentially higher. Authors managing to include strange formatting within their submissions, submitting something not within the formatting guidelines are all things the editor of an independent operation such as ours has to work with. You then have to stitch everything together into a pleasing whole. It is a fine art, and thankfully one I honestly enjoy.
This isn’t to say I have not run into some utterly fascinating formatting issues within a novel. The likelihood just increases the more individuals and computers you involve. But you get to recognize the regular offenders, and gather a toolkit not unlike any mechanic, so you are quite well prepared to beat them into submission. With a smile.
GG: Would you explain/ walk is through your “process” from choosing authors to publication
April: The gloriously fun part is, of course, coming up with a theme, and then reaching out to authors. As we had just finished the Fight Like a Girl project I was able to reach out some of those authors to see if they would be interested in coming to play a second time. One of the main goals of Fight Like a Girl was to get folks their first publication, and to be paid an industry standard amount for their work, so there was a lot of networking involved- friends reaching out to friends and coming together to work at this theme of the feisty, fierce, and multi-dimensional female.
After gathering up people with interest and sorting out the funding for the project (right now we are working on a crowdfunding model for the anthologies though we hope to move from that in the future) we set out a hard timeline for when things need to be done and submitted.
The one thing that needs to be firmly established with an anthology is the format that the submission should be in. Remember I mentioned there is a higher likelihood for formatting adventures when it comes to anthologies? This where they all come from. Having everyone stick to the same, simple submission format does much to alleviate the worst of the formatting shenanigans.
I read stories as they come in, return it to the authors with suggested edits, and when those are all back in, then I begin the work of stitching everything together and creating the table of contents and copyright page. This is also when contracts go to the authors and when checks will go out (the first of the fun parts!).
For eBooks, stitching together involves creating a simple .rtf document out of all the individual stories that can then be formatted into .ePub and .mobi for use on eReader devices. That round of formatting is when the cover for the book and all metadata (author names, editors, etc) are added and what we would all recognize as an eBook emerges.
If we are also creating a print version, Christy makes a .pdf of the book to be sent to the printer we work with so they can create a proof for us to check (and make any necessary changes).
ePubs get uploaded to sites like Barnes and Noble and Kobo. Mobi’s head over to Amazon. And then I usually just sit back and monitor sales compulsively for a few weeks so I can let the authors know how things are going. I am a pretty accessible editor- I like being involved with my authors through the entire process and after if they are interested in that sort of thing as well.
GG: Do you have any advice for new authors/ editors that are seeking to publish, I regards to formatting?
April: Simple is a beautiful thing. Keep every manuscript to an .rtf before submitting/sending anywhere if possible. Even a .doc (Microsoft Word default) can have some screwy formatting, and things you would not even think of can cause issues down the road- the most recent example I can think of is simple little text boxes will cause an ePub from validating. Your ePub will look fine, but it will prohibit you from being able to upload and sell it on some sites (the major aggregator Smashwords, for example). It you are worried, try working with a program like Scrivener which exports your manuscript in .rtf for you.
PDFs are lovely for computer reading, but they are horrid, formatting-wise, for eReaders. Most online vendors will reformat a .pdf when you upload it (Amazon, for example, will turn your lovely .pdf into a .mobi) and that reformat will utterly destroy your formatting and in many cases make your eBook impossible to read for anyone who purchases it.
It is a lot of work, but get used to testing your eBook files on multiple devices and computers before putting them up for sale. Run them through a validation program- those programs will catch little bits of formatting you would be hard-pressed to notice and you will have a much more professional looking book as a result.
GG: We’d love to hear more about your current project? Kickstarter etc….
April: I had a lot of fun with Fight Like a Girl. A lot. It was successful, sales are still successful, my authors had a blast. The bulk of us wanted to do that again, to work with each other going forward. I wanted to keep the drive behind Fight Like a Girl alive, so we have again invited a slew of authors who are unpublished and excited to participate. The current project is titled What Follows.
What Follows has evolved a bit from the initial pitch sent my way by one of the Fight Like a Girl authors, broadened, but the essential core remains. There is plenty of apocalyptic fiction out there. Plenty of stories that look at humans muddling through as best we can. We wanted to take something immortal and dissect just how something essentially endless would deal with that sort of ending. From what I have seen from the submitting authors thus far, I am getting rather excited to put the final book together.
I have an excited group of authors writing away (and I have already gotten some stories submitted!), I have a cover artist set to make us a magnificent cover, and we are working hard at gathering support for the project.
[su_heading] April’s latest and greastest up coming project [/su_heading]
You can check it all out here
I have been saying it all along READERS JUDGE A BOOK BY THE COVER! Don’t think you can do it yourself…because you can’t (well Naj could and a skilled graphics artist could, but otherwise…not so much). The philosophy at Gliterary Girl Media is that quality will achieve quantity. If you want to sell books, you MUST invest in quality assistance and our Book Publicity and Editing Services employ some extraordinary talent. Unlike a lot of the other sites offering similar services without long term credentials, ALL team members are skilled in the field they work in. Publicists have Masters degrees in communications, or have been working publicists for nearly a decade and our graphic artists have degrees and unparalleled resumes.
So, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to sit down with our newest team member, Naj Qamber of Naj Qamber Designs and Unputdownable books and ask her some questions so you can get to know her, but also to give you some insight into how the book design process works.
GG: Hey Naj. So when did you first decide to become a graphic artist and most importantly when did you decide to work with authors?
NQ: I actually didn’t decide to become one, it just sort of happened. Lol! I first began with photo-manipulations on www.deviantart.com, and then slowly I started to know Photoshop so well that I took other things on, like digital painting, vectors, etc. One day, my eldest sister told me about this internship at a branding consultancy and helped me to compile some of my best work into a portfolio and have her submit it. One interview later, I got the job! It was overwhelming AND scary! After eight months of being mentored by the best graphics designers EVER (well, for me at least), I realized what I wanted to do in life and I stuck with it even after I got my Bachelor’s degree in Business Informatics.
After years of working freelance in general graphics design, an author approached me about purchasing one of my photo-manipulations as a book cover, but I couldn’t sell it to her unless I recreated it with commercial-free stock. So I did, then I realized this is one specialization that I absolutely loved and I was hooked on helping out authors with their covers as much as I could all through 2011 till this day.
GG: Such a great story and all that at such a young age. I know you are also a big reader, how important do think having a good cover is to the success of a book?
NQ: As a reader first, I (like most people) judge a book by its cover. Along side that point, I started analyzing the market business end too. And realized that book covers are as important as the written word because they are the first thing a reader looks upon before they buy. If you have a poorly made cover, your readers become limited. If you have a great cover, your readers are unlimited. Of course, the cover needs to reflect the contents of the book as much as it looks good.
GG: Well said and completely true. It is paramount to getting and detracting readers. I have turned down several books because the cover was sloppy. If you don’t care about the face of your book, I can only imagine what is going on inside…even if that isn’t the case, it is what goes through my head. What goes into your designs? For instance, how much is your vision and how much is the authors.
NQ: This is a hard question! I rarely have any creative freedom with the book covers I make and recently, I’ve been contacted by authors who come to me to help them ‘create’ a vision for their book cover. The vision I create is usually inspired by the Synopsis’ of the book, so, I prefer to call it our ‘shared vision’. I try as much as possible to work with the author as a teammate on book covers. After all, no one knows a book better than the author themselves. If the author is comfortable with giving me free reign, that is wonderful as well.
GG: What are your thoughts on the many self published, self designed books that are floating around Amazon. You know, the ones with the sloppy and homemade looks. Do you think they are shooting themselves in the foot by skimping on design?
NQ: Hahaha, I love how you bluntly put that. LOL! With a blunt question, I will give a blunt answer. Yes, they are shooting themselves in the foot with skimpy designs. To so many readers, a bad cover equals a bad book. And it’s rare that readers pick up a book with a sloppy looking cover (speaking from experience) unless it’s for a review, or if a friend writes it, or if the author themselves speaks to you about their book. Again, I say, if you can’t afford a custom made cover, get a premade one at least! It’ll be a shame if you scare off readers like that.
GG: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
NQ: I see myself in my very own house (it’s really expensive to get one in Bahrain) married to my long time boyfriend with one child and counting. I see myself running my family business as a CEO and my design business right beside it flourishing. Is that too aspiring? Lol! There’s no harm in setting goals. DD
Sara O’Connor! You are awesome. Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to become part of the team! <3 Now, give me some work! Hahahaha
Your welcome Naj. It is a pleasure working with you and no your dreams are not too aspiring, they are inspiring.