Saturday, January 26, 2013

‘Thunderous’ Blog Tour

‘Thunderous’ Blog Tour

The Book
Daughters of Eden Novel
Book 1
By: J. M. Schroder

What you thought about the BIBLE .... Is about to CHANGE. What if you found out you were the granddaughter of the first woman, no not Eve, but Lilith? After 150 years Dika Edens, the oldest of 4 girls each destined to live forever finds out that very thing. Then she is informed that she and her sister’s must break the curse that was put in place when Eve sinned.  But first she must find her Aunt and Grandmother to find out how.

What you thought you knew about the BIBLE…
 is about to CHANGE.
What if you found out you were the granddaughter of the first woman, no not Eve, but Lilith? After 150 years Dika Edens, the oldest of 4 girls each destined to live forever finds out that very thing. She is not sure if it is a curse or a gift from the Gods. All she knows is the man that has informed her of this has way too much guilt on his shoulders regarding her and her past. Chrome is her Guardian but that does not mean he can protect her from everything. He should be the first one to know that - since he is the one telling her that she must save the world.
My name is Dika, I am an American born Hungarian, Polish, Spanish Gypsy with a little bit of something special, born right here in the green state of Oregon, home of the Beavers. History would be changed in a matter of a few words spoken from the man that has been haunting my dreams. My sisters and I need to save the world and if we don't the Universe will cease to exist as we know it.
My name is Chrome Jai, Dragon Guardian to Dika Edens, created to protect her from the evils of the first human woman mother of mankind. I will protect her as she fights to save the humans, but her first assignment will be to make it through the first 48 hours and find her Aunt and her Grandmother.
We will go together to hell and back just to fix the mess of the Gods and man.

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Recommended Age Group
18 years and above

295 Pages

Schroder & Associates

Average Rating
5 of 5 Stars

What I'm Saying About It
Thunderstorm is a fresh, imaginative, and convincing look at some of the oldest stories in human history.  The way JM Schroder connects biblical characters with deities of other ancient cultures is presented in a way that makes you stop and wonder.  The passion of her characters is undeniable and captivating both physically and spiritually.  It leaves you feeling the strength and possibilities of love and courage, and begging for more! 
Dika and Chrome are indeed a match made in heaven and see the beauty that may not be visible to everyone, but can't be hidden from each other.  The opening line definitely hooked me!  I can't wait to read what happens next.  I'm glad that there are more books of the Daughters on the way.

What Others Are Saying About It
Completely sucked into this book....and that is no pun towards the vampires involved. Everyone, religious or not, has heard the major stories of the Bible....Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Samson and Delilah. This book is an incredible spin off those stories.
Main characters Dika and Chrome are amazing. As Dika who views herself as plain an ordinary in comparison to her sisters is adored by her dragon Chrome. Any woman would consider herself blessed and lucky to be described as Chrome describes Dika.
This book is action packed and now I am thoroughly disappointed that I have to wait for the next installments!" –Jeannie Christo, Goodreads reviewer

“This author is currently one of my new favorites!  Her stories are fast paced and well written.  I had to force myself to put my kindle down in order to sleep!” – Ashlee Vaughn 2012 Goodreads review

“Cool! It’s a great read!!”  Tamara Beard Goodreads reviewer

Hate being left hanging!!! More please???
 December 28, 2012 I was curious, when I read the blurb, as to how this spin would be a successful PNR, but Ms. Schroder makes it work. There are some typographical errors, but I was so engrossed in the story that it didn't really matter much. The heroine, Dika, grows throughout the story and the hero, Chrome Jai, is protective and strong... I can't wait to read the next book. I didn't get enough of the Daughters... I almost wish I'd found Thunderstorm after the author had released a few more in the series... Can I have more please? - Mandymonkey – Amazon Reviewer 2012

“I was lucky enough to read an ARC of Thunderstorm (Daughters of Eden) and all I can honestly say about it is this:
I wasn't sure what to expect at first...I think we are all a little nervous, picking up an author we may not have heard of before. Now? Yeah- counting my LUCKY STARS!
From the very first pages, J.M. Schroder has her fingers into you and you are helpless to escape!
This wasn't at all what I'd expected. I ADORE Dika! She grows and as she learns who/what she is, I felt like I, the reader, was right there with her.
I would also, RIGHT NOW, like to ask Santa to add one Chrome Jai to my Christmas list!
This story is truly an original and honestly, I'm not sure five stars is even enough to rate it! TEN STARS wouldn't get us half way there!

I'm telling you right now..yeah...YOU! That person who is reading this and waffling...make the purchase! You will not be sorry you did!!” – Lisa Morgan (Beta Reader) Amazon Reviewer

“Excellent read! A different take on what started it all.
Excellent read! A different take on what started it all.”  - Pieman1 Barnes and Noble reviewer
“This book is an amazing book.  Dragons and Angels who could ask
This book is an amazing book.  Dragons and Angels who could ask for more.  And the women are the heros.” – Anonymous Barnes and Noble Reviewer

The Author
J.M. Schroder

Jennie Schroder lives with her husband and three amazing and energetic children in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She studies Court Reporting at Sumner College in Portland, Oregon. Her love of writing took off in her junior high school years in Mrs. Eckert’s Creative Writing Class. Now she is sharing the stories in her head with everyone because there are way too many to keep to herself. If not writing, seeking out readers, interacting and thanking her amazing supporters, or daydreaming about her next story or being a very exhausted mother to 2 young boys and a teenage daughter, Jennie loves most to be playing with her family – indoors and out and reading.




Amazon Author

Smashwords Author

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Links

Just in case you need another way to look up me or my work... Here are a bunch of links for just that purpose.  :D

Author page:
Smashwords profile:
Goodreads profile:
Amazon author page

eBooks Available at:

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords - Tunuftol's Fortress of Light (Tunuftol Book 1)



My Rambling Anthology of Teasers (free)

(My Blogs)
The Rambling Voices In My Head
Goodreads Blog

press release for Tunuftol's Fortress of Light:

Other interviews of Me:

Facebook Groups:
Creative Writing Club

Facebook organized Blog Tours:

To Eris - Human blog tour event
Secret of the Shielded (Tunuftol book 2) blog tour event

New Release - author Bev Irwin!!!

 Without Consent - Click Image to Close


Black Opal Books - Without Consent

She found the first she might be the next.
In South-Western Ontario a crafty, vicious psychopath is at work excising the kidneys of the women he abducts. Doctor Claire Valincourt, recently jilted, finds his first victim and assists with the autopsy. But little does she know the killer has his sights on her, too.
Relationship-jaded Detective Gerry Rosko desperately searches for a serial killer who is on a quest of his own—the hunt for a perfect kidney for the terminally ill mother he tends. Will Rosko track him down before Claire becomes his next victim?

About the Author
 Award-winning author Bev Irwin lives in London, Ontario, with three assorted cats and a collie-cross, named Tiff. Her three children have flown the coup. As a registered nurse, she likes to add a touch of medical to her romance and mystery novels. She also writes YA, children's, and poetry. She prefers spending time in her garden, writing, and reading to being in the kitchen. For her romance novels, she writes under the pen name of Kendra James.

Don't forget the Rafflecopter giveaway link at bottom!

Sneak Peek Sample:

The scalpel gripped securely between his fingers sent a delicious thrill up his arm. He laid the blade against her abdomen. The ease with which the razor-sharp edge sliced through the creamy white flesh triggered a response that was nearly orgasmic.
The woman’s inert body jerked violently with the first slice, her face twisting into a grotesque mask of pain. He pressed on the stainless steel instrument and slid it across the taunt skin. She twitched several times, settled, then became still. The drug was working.
He inspected her naked form–so beautiful, so perfect, so calm. He studied the soft swell of her breasts. He saw no movement, but the flicker of the feather he’d taped to her mouth told him she was still breathing. He glanced at the empty syringe.
Maybe next time I’ll use less.
He focused on her abdomen. Cherry bright blood oozed out of the incision. He picked a white cloth from the nearby table and wiped at the fluid. The fabric became saturated within seconds. He dropped the cloth. The smack of it hitting the cement floor ricocheted like a gunshot through the silent space.
Choosing a large towel, he draped it around the wound. Like long spider legs, blood scrambled along the towel tracing an intricate pattern on the white material. His hands trembled. Each beat of his accelerated heart rate hammered through his head.
He needed to hurry, he needed to finish before the blood stopped circulating, he needed to do this right. Sliding his hands into the incision, he felt a thrill as the heat from her body penetrated his gloves. How long would she stay warm once she’d taken her last breath?
A pool of blood filled the wound, obstructing his view. Damn. He needed to see. He pulled his hand out of the incision and used a dry corner of the towel to wipe away the fluid. The sight of so much blood sent a frigid wave sluicing down his vertebrae. He shuddered and reached for another towel. Within seconds it consumed the liquid gushing into the naked woman’s abdomen.
He pitched the saturated towel over the table, grinning as it thudded on the cement floor. Dark fluid splattered in irregular shapes. He glanced at the family-sized ice filled cooler sitting a foot away. Droplets of blood showered the outer plastic and formed unique ink splat patterns. What would a psychologist make of them? His harsh laugh echoed through the room.
The ice inside the cooler glittered like a mountain of diamonds–pure and unspoiled. Expensive, but worth it, the cooler would preserve his treasure for hours. He could use it for beer later. But he couldn’t think of that now. It was late, he needed to extract the organ and get it on ice before it spoiled. Then he could reward himself.
He swabbed the incision. So much blood. And the smell. He closed his eyes and inhaled letting the unique metallic odor fill him. His heart was racing so fast he could feel it pounding against his ribs. Suddenly lightheaded, he leaned into the table until the dizziness passed.
Hurry up. Get it out. Focus.
Willing his fingers to stop trembling, he forced himself to concentrate. He mopped at the pooling blood then inserted his gloved hand into the incision and probed her abdomen.
There it is. His fingers closed around the organ, so soft and slippery and warm. He lifted his hand. Resistance. Pausing, he let his fingers travel the edges of the kidney. Gentle. You don’t want to damage it. He palpated the thin cord of vessel restraining the organ and encircled it with his index finger.
Careful. Don’t be rough. You might bruise it. You know how important a good kidney is. You know what happens to the damaged ones. They can kill people, can’t they?
Sweat trickled into his eyes and clouded his vision. Using the back of his hand, he wiped away the beads of perspiration coating his forehead.
A stainless steel table sheathed in a thin green towel stood beside the bed. On it, aligned in a neat row, lay several shining silver instruments. With one hand cradling his prize, he reached over and selected a fine–toothed clamp. He slid it into the incision and guided it around the organ. Snapping the tiny teeth over the vessel, he occluded the flow of blood.
He left the clamp in place and reached for the scalpel. Lifting the kidney a fraction of an inch at a time, he paused only when he felt tension on the vessel. He scrutinized the razor-sharp scalpel blade–a finely honed weapon. He had to be careful. It wouldn’t do to slip and leave a trace of his own blood.
Inserting the scalpel into the gaping wound, he guided it beneath his hand. He felt the blade meet an impasse. With a swift slash he sliced through the tenuous strand. Blood spurted into the incision. Inhaling the scent, his heart skipped several beats and he became aware of the blood spurting through his own veins.
That was the artery, now for the vein.
He probed for the next vessel, clamping and cutting in a similar fashion. The cavity brimmed with blood and he couldn’t see. But now, it didn’t matter. He had what he wanted. He lifted his hand. He felt resistance. A thin tenuous cord stretched out of the wound. Another vein. Grasping the scalpel, he carved through the connective tissue and the organ came free. For several seconds he nestled the coveted organ as if holding a newborn robin in the palm of his hand. Its warmth seeped through his latex gloves. Below his hand, blood surged into the gaping wound.
He shot a glance at the woman’s face. Mary Jane, her driver’s license said. How plain. He’d call her Gabrielle. Yes, she was more beautiful than a Mary Jane. He smiled at the woman lying unconscious on the stainless steel table–her ashen cheeks exhausted of their normal rosy coloring, her lips and eyelids tinted a powder blue not derived by artificial means. Dark shadows ebbed into the fragile skin below her staring eyes. An irregular grunt of air erupted from between her lips. He had to hurry.
Should I take the time to stitch her up? Yes, finish the job properly.
Laying the organ on the bed of ice, he turned back to the woman. He ripped open a package of fine black sutures and deposited it on the sterile green towel. Attaching the suture to the needle driver, he threaded it through the mottled skin.
He worked quickly. Gabrielle wouldn’t care what her scar looked like.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Adult Literacy... A Community Project

Adult illiteracy is more than just an isolated problem.  Since I have been made aware of how severe the problem is, I have taken steps to become part of the solution instead of simply letting the problem continue its course.  I am not a professional teacher, I have no degree from college, I am just a person who loves to learn and wants to share that love.

I hated school when I was younger.  While I love books and didn't struggle in my classes, I became bored and didn't appreciate the value of an education.  As soon as I became old enough, I dropped out of school and got my GED.  Since that time, I have taken a few college classes, but not many.  I also had a family.  Having a love of books, I taught my children to read before they started school.  As they grew, I realized that the public education wasn't right for us.  It was our responsibility as parents to educate our children.  After all, I tutored them when they came home every day with their homework. 

When we pulled our children out of public school and began homeschooling them, I was shocked to discover how much my children DIDN'T know.  I had taken for granted that the schools would provide all the education they needed and wouldn't have passed them along if they didn't know.  Yes, I was naive.  It took at least a year for me to back up enough to find the level each of them were at so that I could fill in the gaps.

Now, I have two left.  One is graduating a year early this year and the other is doing well in her studies and plans to graduate early also.  With the onset of Empty Nest Syndrome, I felt the need to fill my own gap.  In my process to discover what that gap could be, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote some more.  As I wrote, I discovered the local Adult Learning Center.  The used book store that the center has within it drew me in first, and then I learned of their wi-fi.  As I went, I talked with the director and learned that volunteer tutoring isn't much different than homeschooling.  The resources and material were made available as was training, tips, and continual supportive training.  

I find it extremely rewarding to help another adult to progress with their goals.  I'm not the best teacher, but the people who go there have the desire and need to learn.  The students are just as nervous, if not more so, than the volunteers.  During the process of tutoring, the tutor learns more from the students -- in my opinion -- than the students learn.  Their joy and determination are rewarding for both.

During my training and subsequent tutoring, I learned that most reading material on a low literacy level are directed at children.  This is great for the children, but can be discouraging to adults.  As a goal for my students, I have come up with an idea that feeds both my passion and their need... write a book.  By finding something interests the adults and using words on their level, we can write short books that they can read and hold up as a trophy of their accomplishments.  The pride, excitement, and incredulity on their faces at the idea showed me that it could work.

So, I extend my project to my fellow writers, volunteers, and anyone who wants to get involved, but doesn't know how.  We need topics for books (non-fiction and fiction) that adults find interesting, but can be relayed using simple words.  More difficult words can be included, but in a word back for the readers to learn. 

I'm sure that with all of the creativity that surrounds each and every one of us, we will be able to come up with a collection of short stories that can be published.  If you aren't a writer, that is fine.  Send me a topic or idea of something you find interesting.  I can use these ideas with students, for them to write their own stories, and also for me to write stories to help them on their way. 

If you are interested, or know someone who might be, I hope that you will speak up and contact me.  Illiteracy has a cure and it starts with people who care.  Please let that someone be you.

Email me at and put Literacy Project in the subject line.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Given a Poetic License...

Okay, is there really a test to take in order to get a poetic license -- not that I know of.  That doesn't matter though.  Poetic License is just a way of saying that you can bend the rules of proper grammar, style, or even fact to reach a desired special effect.  Or, in some cases, it allows you to ignore those rules completely.
For instance, when you are writing dialog it is common to take poetic license.  This is because most people don't actually speak grammatically correct.


"I do not want to go to the store with you Steve.  Do you want to play Basketball with me instead?" Tom said.
"That sounds like a good idea, Tom.  I will go to the store later tonight before it closes," Steve replied.


"I don't want to," Tom said.  "You want to play ball instead?"
"OK," Steve said.  "I'll go when we're done."

While this may not be the best example, I think you can understand my point.  Don't you?  Maybe? 
We see writers taking poetic license frequently in music lyrics.  Words are manipulated and sometimes mutilated in the name of popular music.  And while I haven't found a teenager yet that doesn't like music of some sort, if you mention poetry, they tend to freak out.  However, when you look at the lyrics of any song, you are in fact looking at a form of poetry.  If you ever get the chance to hear a wonderful speaker recite poetry, you will be able to hear the lyrical rhythm in their voice.

Poetry strictly as poetry has various forms just like fiction novels.  There are epic, haiku, comedic, romantic, long, short, meaningful, sentimental, depressing, gross, insightful, silly, rhyming, even some that don't really rhyme much at all.  Some of the better known poets that I enjoy are Edgar Allen Poe, Shel Silverstein, Emily Bronte, Lewis Carroll, J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert Frost, and Rudyard Kipling.
"Wait," you may say.  "Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland and J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series."

Yes!  They did.  If you read these books, you will note the poems, riddles, rhymes that sprinkle the pages of the stories.  Even if you watch the movies you can notice the poetry in them.
Also, if you have ever read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum AND seen the classic movie with Judy Garland, you will see that Hollywood definitely took a poetic license when making the movie.  Hint:  What color are the shoes???

There are many, many modern poets as well.  Not counting the numerous lyricist that I enjoy on the radio or other music player, poetry in the form of poetry is still alive.  In fact, I intend on having some modern poets on this blog.  One is even lined up already.

Therefore, if you or someone you know writes poetry... please feel free to contact me.  I know several local poets and I would love to put a collection together.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Common Myths of Reading

I think most people, if not everyone, would agree that reading is a vital skill for survival in our society as it is.  I'm sure that most people reading this post right now haven't thought about all the work that goes into reading since elementary school. 

However, in Virginia alone there are 1,184,803 adults that lack a high school diploma according to the 2000 census.  According to the VAACE fact sheet, over 700,000 Virginians (ages 18-64) need a GED and higher skills training for today's job market.

Today, I would like to talk about some common myths that people have about the process of reading.

Students must know the words or be able to sound out words before reading the text.

Try reading these three words: mxxxxxxn,  hixx,   yxxxx

Now try reading them in context.
Almxxx evxxx yxxr, Mrs. Crooks climbs up a mxxxxxxn which is ovxx fourtxxx thxxxxxx fxxt hixx.  Mrs. Crooks xx ninexx-one yxxxx old.

Students who recognize and understand all the words comprehend the text.

Try this:
They had a purple miracle for three bloated rocks.  A man with a tasty highway will open the night for the April maple.  If ever a dog needed a flaming song, this grassy table will tell me today.

Now explain what that means... (Yeah that's what I thought too!)

Students who can answer questions comprehend the text.

Try this:
Jan bought a new stecker at the hardware store.  She needed a stecker for her minkle.  Everyone knows that a minkle won't dreep if doesn't have a good stecker.

What did Jan buy?
What did she need it for?
What would have happened if Jan hadn't bought it?

(Here is where I had a hard time even saying the last sentence without laughing.  But, if this had been real words that you just didn't know... how funny would that be when "everyone knows" except you?)

**These myths and examples were taken from LITSTART: Strategies for Adult Literacy and ESL Tutors, Third Edition; by Patricia Frey and with ESL application by Evey Renner; Published by Michigan Literacy, Inc.; 1999

Michigan Literacy Inc
2157 University Park Drive, Suite #4
Okemos, MI 48864
Fax: 517-349-6667

There are many ways to combat the problem of literacy that is all around us.  It takes a little time, it takes a little effort, and it takes a lot of heart.  The first step is to contact your local Adult Education center.  It may be on its own, it may be adjoining another office, it may even be found through your local community college or even public school.  Wherever you go to find it, I'm sure they need volunteers.  If you can only spare two - three hours a week to help make someone's life better, how much more would your own life be improved?

Reading isn't just an enjoyable pastime.  It is vital for individual growth, survival, and self-improvement.  If you know someone that "doesn't like to read" it is probably one of two reasons.  1)  They have difficulty comprehending what they read.  2)  They having found something that interests them.

I am not alone when I say that if you find something that interests someone, they will be more likely to read.  If they comprehend they will be more likely to read.  So, the key is to find something on a person's reading level that they are interested in.  Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprising, it is difficult to find interesting material for lower level adult readers. 

Because of this, I propose a challenge to all my readers:

If you are a writer, do a little research on reading levels and write a short story on 2nd - 3rd grade reading levels that would catch an adult's interest without embarrassing them.
If you are "not a writer," comment on what topics would be interesting to read even if you were in a waiting room.

For anyone and everyone:  If you know of or find a book, website, idea, or any other source that promotes reading... feel free to post your findings as links in the comments. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tasting Never Blog Tour

Tasting Never by CM Stunich presents a wonderfully blunt and harshly realistic representation of a girl named Never Ross.  Through her nontraditional view of a dystopian world, Never struggles with the basic questions of humanity:  What the F@#$!?
Thinking that she is alone in her struggle, Never protects her heart with a wall of anger.  In an exciting and dangerous turn of events Never finds herself drawn to Ty, a young man that initially triggered her defenses, then attracted her, then puzzled her.  Ty allowed her to be honest, not only to him, but more importantly to herself.  She has a long way to go.
I love the brutally honest approach CM Stunich uses in her writing.  It shares the raw emotions of Never and Ty and completely draws the reader in.

Excerpt from CM Stunich's newest release Tasting Never:

“I'm Never,” I say and do my usual explaining thing that people need when they hear my name. “Never is my first name. I don't give out my last name to strangers.” Ty smiles and I can't help but feel this surge of heat in my lower belly. The woman in me wants the man in him. She doesn't care why or how or if he'll even be there later. I hate her for that. I hate myself and my hormones, and I hate men. I hate everybody.

About the Author C.M. Stunich was raised under a cover of fog in the area known simply as Eureka, CA. A mysterious place, this strange, arboreal land nursed Caitlin's (yes, that's her name!) desire to write strange fiction novels about wicked monsters, magical trains, and Nemean Lions (Google it!). She currently enjoys drag queens, having too many cats, and tribal bellydance. She can be reached at author@, and loves to hear from her readers. Ms. Stunich also wrote this biography and has no idea why she decided to refer to herself in the third person. Happy reading and carpe diem!

Other Books by C.M. Stunich:

The Seven Wicked Series

Houses Novels
The House of Gray and Graves
The House of Hands and Hearts and Hair
The House of Sticks and Bones  

The Huntswomen Trilogy
The Feed
The Hunt
The Throne  

Indigo Lewis Novels
Indigo & Iris
Indigo & The Colonel
Indigo & Lynx  

Stand Alone Novels
She Lies Twisted
Hell Inc.
Broken Pasts

C.M. Stunich. Tasting Never (Kindle Locations 2370-2382).
C.M. Stunich. Tasting Never (Kindle Locations 2384-2390).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blogger's Blog Interview

Blogger Interview
Intended for Jan 13th, but posted today: Jan 16 2013

Hello Anna,  I loved all the questions you sent me for my interview and I hope I can do justice to you with mine... and if you don't mind, I'd like to know some of the same things you asked me.  Your blog is amazing!  Thank you for the compliment I work hard to maintain my blog.

With such an amazing and in depth blog, how do you keep up with it?  Tell us about your blogging secrets... the little things you wished someone had told you when you started.

Keeping up with it wow that is a loaded question LOL .  Keeping up with it and running my blog tour services as well is a full time hobby….err job. I have multiple planners and note books to keep me going, but soon I will have it all in one place. An author friend created me a planner specifically for my needs it is fantastic and I am patiently waiting for it to get here. 

As for secrets I just try to simplify everything and make it all look clean. I recently wrote an ad for an emag on how to have a good spotlight.  Here is my article “How to make a good spotlight post?
When Nikki asked me if I would like to write something up on “How to Do a Good Spotlight” I was at a loss for words. I am not a writer. I am an avid reader and have a book blog where I like to spread the word about awesome books I read and the authors who write them.

In my opinion I am not a writer. I do write reviews and to me this is not writing just my personal opinion. But I will take this opportunity to show the steps I take when posting to my blog. Most people tend to treat a spotlight like a copy and paste post which by all means it is I copy and paste as well. I just take it one step further, adding something extra by using images and text I create in Photoshop. I want the post to stand out and catch someone’s eye, drawing attention to the post, making the reader want to continue reading.

I follow a lot of blogs who do spotlights. Their process is to spotlight the book using the cover only. This is fine, but at times this is just not enough. The blogger usually copy and pastes into the post making it really noticeable. A tinted or colored background shows white patches or whatever color it is copied from and does not provide a smooth transition when using the copy and paste technique so if using this technique please make sure to paste in plain text and not just paste. A good post should flow and not stand out in contrast to the rest of the post.

 For example if viewing something on my blog I have a purple background you want the text to appear on the purple background as if I typed it and not just pasted it there. It would look funny if I just pasted something there and it takes on the background of what I copied it from. This is really not appeasing to look at all the time. So just make sure you paste in plain text or remove the formatting.

When using quotes on my blog, the background color is teal. This still blends with my background and does not jump out at you as being different, but it does get your attention. When using images to enhance the post, use a PNG image which is an image with a transparent background this allows the colors of the blog to show through. Copying and pasting an image produces a contrast, again this technique does not proved a smooth transition and looks as if it does not belong, like it is in its own little world.

Me as a blogger I want all of my post to stand out and not look like everyone else. I want the author that I spotlight or their books to shine. I want to give them the best post I can even if it means taking that small extra step. The information provided in the post should be a part of the post, not appear to be an intruder. This is what I do in order to do a spotlight. But what I do may not work for someone else. 

I know that blogging has influenced your reading habits.  With as many people submitting books for reviews and blog tours, how do you prioritize?  Do you read books that you normally would not have read now that you have your own blog? 

How has blogging affected the rest of your life? Or is it so time consuming that you don't have time for another life... LOL? “ 

What I would say is I would not wish my start at blogging on any one. I had some really negative remarks about my blog and I still get them from time to time. Now I just grin and bear it lol. I cannot make everyone happy but I do my best to try and make at least some happy. As for me I try and help anyone I possibly can.  I think bloggers should stick together and not make things into competition. After all I believe we have the same goal in mind at least I hope so. My goal is to share with the world one awesome book and/or author at a time. Bring awesome authors to the attention of everyone whether they are Indie or Traditionally Published it does not matter. Reading broadens the mind and someone who does not read is truly missing out.

What is your most memorable blogging moment so far, good or bad? 
My most memorable was being selected to attend BEA (Book Expo America) the biggest book convention there is only a little over a month after I first started blogging. That was an experience I will never forget and one I hope to experience again.

You know this question is more than a little unfair because you asked it first. If you could choose only one book to own, which one would, you choose? 
Okay this one will come as a shock considering what my favorite genre is now. Are you ready for it …………… comes my answer………………….brace yourself……………… Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I absolutely love that book.

Here is another question that I can't help returning to you because it is so awesome and difficult!!  :)
Name 3 books and 3 Authors that you Highly Recommend? That is 3 Indie/Self Published and 3 Traditional? So that is a Total of 6 Authors and Books.

Katie Salidas
MaryLynn Bast
Susan Griscom

Adrian Phoenix
Yasmine Galenorn
Caitlin Kittredge

How did you get started in blogging? 
One day I was on twitter tweeting with the awesome Jennifer L. Armentrout and she gave me a copy of Daimon to read and to let her know what I thought. Well like everyone else I loved it and told her I could put a review up on Goodreads if she liked, because I did not have a blog. This was October of 2011. She said I should get a blog and I told her I did not even know where to start and that is when she told me I needed to get one because she knew I could run a good blog. So, I started looking into setting up a blog. I first tried Wordpress and was not at all impressed so I gave Blogger a try and found that I liked it. Maybe a week after starting my blog—still no post at all on it—I received an email from Stacey from Entangled Publishing saying she heard about me through Jennifer Armentrout and was wondering if I wanted to participate in a blog tour for Jus Accardo with her book Touch. I said sure what do I need to do? I am new at this. The rest is history. I have been blogging for a little over a year now.

What are your goals for your blog short term and long term?  What do you want your followers to gain from it?
I really only have one goal and that is to bring awareness to amazing authors one book at a time. I have also started blog tour services at reasonable prices to a help authors out that way as well.  What I would love for my followers to gain is a never ending TBR Pile LOL. I want my followers to join me on my journey of traveling from place to place.

Just for Fun  (your "just for fun" was so fun that I thought I'd like to hear your answers too!!!)

Favorite New Release?

Not Yet Released But My Answer is On Midnight Wings by Adrian Phoenix

Favorite Male Hero?
Dante Baptiste

Favorite Female Heroine?
D’Artigo Sisters from Yasmine Galenorn Series The Other World Series AKA Sisters of the Moon

Favorite Genre?
Paranormal and Erotica and if they are combined that is almost perfect.

Favorite Place to Read?
Anywhere my family will leave me be lol

Hardcopy or Ebook?
I love my kindle but I will always choice print over digital nothing like the smell and feel of holding a real book in my hands.

Kindle or Nook? 
I own a kindle now and have a nook on the way so I cannot yet say which one I would prefer out of the 2

Male POV or Female POV? 
It does not matter to me as long as the story is good. I do prefer 1st person over 3rd unless the author is good at 3rd person and can make for a smooth transition between characters.

THANK YOU!!!! It is great to learn more about you!  I plan to frequent your blog often!!!

My Blog Tours

Hi there!  

I thought I would announce my blog tours on here in an attempt to expand awareness.  First I have the Secret of the Shielded not-so-secret Blog Tour for the cover reveal and book release for
 (Cover will be revealed on February 9th)

Schedule and info can be found at:

My other blog tour is the To Err Is Human, but To Eris - Human???? Blog Tour.  
It is for the release of TO ERIS - HUMAN (PAYTON CHRONICLES BOOK 1)

I am also participating in several other blog tours to promote other authors!!  So, I have a lot of new posts coming up. 

Also, I am having a smashwords sale for my first novel:  
Tunuftol's Fortress of Light (Tunuftol Book 1)!!! 
Use code: NR47L  You can get it for $2.99 until 3.9.13 when the second book of the series is released. (Reg. $4.99)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Continuous Story!! Join in.

Today I want to incorporate some of my Creative Writing Club into my blog. 

I have had a wonderful time promoting creative writing both locally and online.  So far, my favorite project with the club has been the "round robin" exercise.  It is where one person starts the story then after a few lines or a turning point they stop and another person picks it up.  I would like to try that with my blog and see what happens.

The neat thing is that, since it will be on my blog, all future visitors can add to it also!!!  The only thing I ask is that people maintain a PG-13 rating with what you write.  Other than that, let's go mad with our imaginations.  The sillier, the better.  I just love the "BUT THEN," parts that changes it all.

Please share this link and invite all your friends to add at least one sentence!!

Round Robin Blog Story:

What if We Used Cookies Instead of Money

There was only one way to keep her quiet, and it was going to cost us.  He should have never let her into the apartment.  I had imagined this moment so many times, but never expected it to actually happen.
"Don't you dare come any closer," she said.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tasting Never Blog Tour announcement

Tasting Never Blog Tour:  Jan. 2nd - Feb. 2nd
Tasting Never by CM Stunich

Follow the tour and be sure to stop back here on Jan. 12th for my day!!!

Yes, this tour has already started, but you still have a lot more on its way.  I have discovered that I love being able to assist other authors with expanding their audiences.  This blog has opened many doors for me and I like to think that I can pass it along.

That said, I thought that I could pre-set my posts to be published on a timer.  If it is possible PLEASE HELP!!  While I write nearly every day, I don't necessarily want to have a bunch of posts in one day and then none for a week.  I will if I have to, but I'd rather be able to spread them out a bit more.

I am learning more every day about blogs and blog tours and the business of writing in general.  What you see is what you get with me, but things don't always come out as well online as in person when you can hear the sarcasm... YES, I use a lot of sarcasm.  Sorry, it has been and always shall be... part of me.  My kids tell me daily that I am corny... I say "Thanks."  :-D

Have a great time with the Tasting Never Blog Tour and I'll see you later.   Well, I will read what you type later... if you leave me a comment.  ;-)  I like comments.  They give me another voice to listen to.  PLUS, I don't already know the answers. 

Blog Tours... What are they?

As with the rest of my writing career, I simply jumped in.  So, I am still learning.  But that is cool because I love learning.  The day I stop learning will be the last day of my life.  And I hope that day is still a long way off.

Anyway, with the level of impact and infiltration technology has over our lives now, the idea of touring the country and even the world has opened to those of us with a budget... which is almost everyone.  The self-publishing community has grown at an incredible rate.  You can't go anywhere without seeing someone on a cell phone that is often more of a mini computer than phone.  Blogs are amazing tools to reach the masses.  For some reason connecting through rambling thoughts and brief messages online has opened up the world for so many, no matter what your personality or interest.  There is something for everyone.

Blog tours are set up to introduce new books and oftentimes writers to people they would otherwise never knew existed.  I have already made some amazing connections with other authors and readers alike.  In the process of only the past three weeks -- yes, only three weeks (WOW) -- I have met people, read books, learned how to use various online resources, published my first book, started my own blog, been interviewed, interviewed others, written articles, started at least two new writing projects (short stories), participated in a blog tour, signed up for more, and I am organizing my own blog tour.  There has also been my personal family activities, Christmas, etc.  I've been a bit busy, but I'm really enjoying myself.  As far as I'm concerned, that is the most important part.

So, how do blog tours work?  There are a few different ways that I have learned so far.  One way is to set up a schedule with willing bloggers and let them have free rein over their assigned day.  Another way is to select specific "activities" set for certain days.

Facebook is generally where the blog tours I have knowledge of are organized.  The event is announced, people are invited and interested bloggers jump to get a day that will work for them.  Non-bloggers and bloggers alike are then provided, via the event page, with the schedule of which blog is on which day.  Readers, fans, and other interested parties can then visit the set blogs on specific days and follow what's happening.  Many times there are giveaways, free books or swag (either from the touring author or other  donating authors.

What is swag?  This was a fascinating new term for me.  Swag is all advertising and promotional items related to the book(s) or author(s).  There can be bookmarks, posters, postcards, bags, shirts, hats, signed printed copies, posters, etc.  It is also fun.

Many times the giveaways include eBooks.  These can be downloaded and opened on your computer if you are one of those that hasn't ventured into the eReader purchase yet.  Most formats have apps that can be downloaded to your computer for free.  I have several eReader apps downloaded to my laptop so that I can read anyone's books.  (I own a Nook).  If that doesn't work for you, many books can be downloaded in pdf form.

Blog tours can open the writer's market to people otherwise unreachable.  It can also introduce readers to a variety of reading opportunities.  Either way or even both ways, since I don't know any writers that don't love reading as well, blog tours are fascinating and fun.

Through these early days of my writing career I hope that my writing will improve.  I hunger for interaction with other like-minded individuals, and so far I have been having a feast!  I hope that you will join in or at least follow a blog tour in the future.  Maybe even mine.  ;-)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Interviewing Jamie C. Ruff

Today we have another Indie Writer as our guest, Mr. Jamie C. Ruff.  Jamie has helped me immensely with editing and revisions in my own stories, and has a diverse field of experience as well as the ability to make you wonder if the story is true or simply fiction.

Ann:  Welcome to my blog, Jamie.  Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview.  I hope you have as much fun with it as I do.

Jamie C. Ruff:  I’m sure I will. Thank you for this opportunity.

Ann:  So, how did you get started in your professional writing career, and how long have you been a professional writer?

Jamie C. Ruff:  I graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in May 1984 and got my first reporting job that October.  I worked at several newspapers.  I had grown unhappy with my job and was in prayer for God to lead me.  I got laid off almost five years ago, and you can’t get a better sign than being let go.  I knew in my heart it meant I should pursue my dream, goal and desire of being a writer, and that’s what I’ve done.

Ann:  There are many elements involved with the writing process.  What is it about writing that you enjoy the most?

Jamie C. Ruff:  I enjoy everything about writing. I love creating characters… describing feelings, scenes; putting the story together.

I’ve taken to telling people that writing is a lot like chess: with every move there are a thousand different directions you can go in.  Some of them are brilliant and some of them are pretty stupid.  That’s why you always have to think hard and think ahead.

Ann:  I know that you once worked for the Richmond Times Dispatch.  How different is your newspaper writing experience from writing your novels?

Jamie C. Ruff:  Well, contrary to what people think, when you’re a reporter you really have to stick to the facts, and what you don’t know you can’t make up.  When you’re a writer you can fill in the blanks… make the story end like you want.  With journalism, what happened is what happened, and that’s what you write – that’s it!
Colby Black: From Slave to CowboyReinventing the Uninvented Me
Ann:  You have two eBooks already out -- Colby Black: From Slave to Cowboy and Reinventing the Uninvented Me (both available at  These books are also varying in genre from each other.  What do you use for inspiration in your writing?  How do you start a project?

Jamie C. Ruff:  Yeah, one is a western and the other is contemporary.  I write what I like; whatever strikes my fancy.  An idea will occur to me and I’ll just start making notes.  Scenes will start to come to me.  Seldom does an idea come fully developed.  Sometimes I’ll start with the beginning, sometimes the end.  Sometimes I start somewhere in the middle.  I just start writing and fill every thing in as I go.  That’s not to say I don’t really have an idea what I’m going to do.  By time I’m about a third of the way through the book, I’ve usually decided generally what direction I’m going to take.

Ann;  Tell us about your newest project.  I want everyone to know that, while I don't normally read this genre, I enjoyed your book immensely.  But I will let you tell the readers can expect from you in the near future?

Jamie C. Ruff:  Well, my love for historical fiction led me to the book I’m finishing up.  By the way, thank you again for being gracious enough to edit it.  You did a great job.  The book is set in the 1960s and early 1970s and highlights the friendship between a white man and black man who served in Vietnam together.  They return home and try to maintain their friendship with the changing times as a backdrop.

Ann;  Do you have any specific goals for your writing?

Jamie C. Ruff:  My goal is to be a Pulitzer Prize winning author.

I like to tell people I want to be as prolific as Langston Hughes, my writing as raw as James Baldwin, as clean and powerful as Richard Wright, and as insightful as Ralph Ellison.

Ann;  Where can people go to contact you?

Jamie C. Ruff:  Unfortunately, I don’t have a webpage, so people can reach me through my email:

Ann:  How does your family react and feel about your writing?

Jamie C. Ruff:  Well, my wife has been wonderful. She has supported me emotionally and us financially since I got laid off so that I could concentrate on my writing.  I went from making a pretty good salary to making nothing—well, let’s say just about nothing.  I do freelance work, but there hasn’t been that much.  Overall my family has been supportive. I think they agree with me that it’s just a matter of time before it happens for me. I’ve been successful in the past, and if it’s meant for you, you will achieve it… and I know this is what God has for me.

Ann:  Every writer has their own struggles in life and in writing.  What are some of the more significant struggles that you have overcome to make it this far?

Jamie C. Ruff:  Well, not having money is certainly a difficulty. But I think the real struggle comes from having to wait for your success. You have to trust and believe – have faith -- even when you can’t see anything happening.

Ann:  Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you and/or your writing?

Jamie C. Ruff:  All I can say is listen to that little voice on your heart, in your mind… because that’s where you should be. That’s what I’m doing and that’s what you should do.

Ann:  Thank you so much for joining us.  I look forward to seeing your newest book published.  Maybe you can come back and share with us when it is ready.  Readers can also follow Jamie at the following links.

Keep an eye out for Jamie's upcoming novel The Peculiar Friendship!!!  

Here is my review of it:

The Peculiar Friendship is a powerful and moving story about two men in the Deep South during the Civil Rights Movement.  They are from opposite sides of the tracks, but are drawn together in an unbreakable bond while serving in Vietnam.  Becoming closer than brothers, these two men return from the war zone only to face the fight of everyday life in a changing country.

Jamie C. Ruff writes in a style that makes you wonder if these are based on real people or not.  His characters come alive in a blunt, brutally honest look into the lives of two men forever changed.  His style weaves the historical information into the fictional lives of characters that makes you feel an instant connection.  The emotions and situations are completely believable in an honest look of the friction and turmoil of America during the late 60's to 70's.

The Peculiar Friendship has drawn me out of my normal genre and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys engaging, life-changing stories of struggle and overcoming adversity.  It is a story that extends beyond the time in which it is written.  While I would not classify this as "chick lit," it has a power to it that will touch your heart.