Tuesday, June 30, 2009


For Immediate Release
Contact: Chelsea Baxter
CrystalPress.org - 805-527-4369

Accounting Pro Creates Recordkeeping Book for Freelance Writers

Accounting expert and writer Brigitte A. Thompson has written a new book to help freelance writers take control of their bookkeeping and finances.

“Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers,” published by Crystal Press, addresses issues writers face such as how to deduct travel expenses, determine taxable writing income and claim home office deductions. Written exclusively for writers, the book helps freelancers get organized, understand the federal tax code and reduce taxable income by maximizing legal deductions. Thompson shares tips from experienced writers and answers questions submitted by others.

Freelance writers are self-employed and sell their work to publishers, public relations departments, Web site owners, newspapers, media producers, advertising agencies and many other outlets.

“Making the leap from stable employment to freelance work opens the door to flexibility, but also requires a keen understanding of the intricacies of business operation including recordkeeping,” says Thompson. “Navigating through the bookkeeping required for a small business owner can be difficult. My book helps freelancers avoid the pitfalls.”

Thompson is the president of Datamaster Accounting Services, LLC, and author of numerous finance books. She has worked in the accounting field since 1986 and is a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers and Vermont Tax Practitioners Association. A freelance writer, Thompson’s articles have appeared nationally in print and online publications.


“A practical manual that covers far more than its title — not just bookkeeping but many other business aspects of running a freelance writing business in the U.S. I had to find all this out from trial and error — this book will give you a great head start.”
-- Shel Horowitz, author of Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers

“Becoming a freelance writer is really exciting, and it can be easy to get caught up in getting your business off the ground. But many creative types do their bookkeeping basics on the fly, or not at all. Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers explains how to track your expenses, file for taxes, and organize your business in an easy-to-understand way. More importantly, it helps freelancers understand that keeping the financial aspect of their business organized is just as critical to success as that first big article published in a national magazine.”
-- Amy Forstadt, Freelance Communications and Marketing Specialist

Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers
Brigitte A. Thompson
Available July 2009 ISBN 978-0-9632123-8-2 $17.95www.CrystalPress.org

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Author Interview with SUNNY FRAZIER

Sunny Frazier has worked as a telephone operator, a Navy WAVE, a photo journalist, undercover on the narcotics team with the Fresno, CA Sheriff's Department, and a writer. She is the author of the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries as well as a number of stories appearing in several mystery anthologies.
She lives in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
Who is the one person who most encouraged or influenced you to be a writer—and why?

I had an 8th grade teacher in 1965 who confiscated some of the updated fairy tales I'd written to amuse my classmates. He kept me after class. “Do you know how good a writer you are?” he asked. No, I didn't. I was just glad I wasn't in trouble. He worked with me and convinced me I had unusual talent. I kept it a secret for a long time.

How long have you been writing? In what genres do you write?

Other than the above incident, I did little writing until I got on the high school newspaper. I loved doing feature articles. I became the editor, but didn't go to college. Instead, I went into the Navy and volunteered on every base newspaper and magazine. When I got out, I went to college and earned a degree in Journalism. I worked on a small newspaper, but there was a lot of discrimination in the late 1970's. I wrote a children's novel while I was unemployed, then turned to writing mysteries because I was working at the sheriff's department with an undercover narcotics team. Seemed like an obvious choice.

Tell us about the astrology aspect of your books: how you research, what your readers think, etc.

I started doing astrology in the early '70's. I'm self-taught and I kept the practice hidden for a long time. I came out of the astrological closet with my first novel, FOOLS RUSH IN. I wasn't sure anyone would take me seriously. I've actually tried to be as honest as possible when I describe some of the things my protagonist, Christy Bristol, experiences when she charts horoscopes.

The first book is based on a real meth case my team worked. I had all the birthdates of the criminals, so I charted them and basically followed the planets and monitored the case to write the book. Sounds like cheating, doesn't it?

The reaction from readers has been very positive. Even reviewers often say, “I don't believe in astrology, but Sunny Frazier makes me want to believe.” I try to get the idea across that astrology is a useful tool in life. The stars don't give you all the answers, but they can be used as a guide.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

Health issues, mostly. I've had my ups and downs, was accidentally poisoned, nearly died, and lost a kidney. That set me back, but even while I was fighting for my life, I kept thinking, “Now I can write a believable poisoning scene!” Everything is fodder.

WHERE ANGELS FEAR is your new book. Briefly tell us what it’s about and let us know where we can buy it.

WHERE ANGELS FEAR is the second in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries. This time Christy, an office worker at the sheriff's department, is asked to do a horoscope on a rich man. The horoscope shows he's having an affair with a dangerous woman. The man is now missing and the wife wants Christy and her sidekick, Lennie, to find him. Their investigation tailgates with a triple-murder being investigated by the department's homicide detectives. When all the clues lead to a sex club, Christy and Lennie have to go undercover (or uncovered?) to find the truth.

The book is available on Amazon and at Oak Tree Books: oaktreepub@aol.com

What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?

I'm working on the 3rd Christy Bristol novel, A SNITCH IN TIME. I've also dusted off the children's book. It's the Food Channel meets Pirates of the Caribbean. Fun stuff.

Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?

I'd say study journalism, but that would fall on deaf ears. Newspaper work is good training for any writer. There's no such thing as “writers block” because you have to hit the floor running and get the news story out in one draft. So, I'm going to pass on what I've been telling the writers I'm working with: Rejection is overrated. Fear of rejection is the dumbest reason not to send work out.

What writers organizations claim you as a member?

I'm with Public Safety Writers (formerly known as Police Writers) and Sisters in Crime, Central Coast Chapter (CA). I'm also in two critique groups.

Do you have any upcoming book signings or appearances? If so, give us all the details.
By the time this gets posted, I'll have just had a terrific book launch for ANGELS at the Carnegie Museum, Hanford, CA. And, I'll be back from presenting a workshop and speaking on a panel at the PSWA convention. On Oct. 4, I'll be manning a table at the San Luis Obispo Book Fest, and speaking to the Sacramento Sisters in Crime on October 17. I'm also scheduled to be on a writers panel while cruising the Caribbean on the Carnival Valor, November 5-11.

Here’s your opportunity to tell us anything else you care to share.

I want to tell people, published and pre-published, to get on board with a strong marketing campaign. Nobody in the business can afford to kick back and expect publicity to be done for them. This is my pet peeve right now: writers who say they'll get to the marketing AFTER a book is out. All the prep work comes before you publish. Get your name out there, either with blogs, interviews, or contributing to the writing community in some way. The Internet is exploding with opportunities, such as this site. It's a juggling game, but marketing and writing have to be done simultaneously.

What are the addresses of your website(s) and blog(s):

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Predators and Child Molesters: What Every Parent Needs to Know to Keep Kids Safe - by ROBIN SAX

"'It can't happen to my child' is a refrain we hear too often. Unfortunately, it does happen to our children. Sax's book is a must read for all conscientious parents raising children in these difficult times. Sax offers a clear, concise, common sense approach to the myriad of issues facing parents today. If you are a parent or guardian and are committed to raising healthy, happy, and safe kids, this book is the most important guide for parents available today!" --Stuart Maesel, Founder Amber Alert Registry

Amazon.com describes Robin Sax's book: "In this straightforward, clearly written guidebook, veteran sex-crimes prosecutor and Los Angeles deputy district attorney Robin Sax answers one hundred questions that she has most often encountered in her fifteen years of experience. From the definition of abuse to the profiles of a predator to how to report an incident and to whom, Sax provides practical, reassuring, and appropriate information."

Sax is a deputy district attorney for the county of Los Angeles and specializes in child sexual assault cases. She is also the author of It Happens Every Day: Inside the World of a Sex Crimes D.A. and has two new books scheduled for release in October 2009. She is a lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law and Attorney Assistant Training Program; an adjunct professor at the California State, Los Angeles, School of Criminal Justice; and is a co-founder of Justice Interrupted Radio. Justice Interrupted Radio is a top-rated show that spotlights cases that have not received media attention and an advocate for victim's rights, appropriate sentences for offenders, and focuses on securing justice.

Read Robin's most recent article in The Huffington Post by clicking the following link:

To be directed to Robin Sax's author page on Amazon.com, click the following link:

Special thanks to Dennis N. Griffin for bringing this book and Robin Sax's work to my attention.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Booklist Review for Andrea Sisco's A DEADLY HABIT

Looks like excellent reviews are becoming the habit for Andrea Sisco...

Booklist Review- in their 7-1-09 issue.
This title will publish in July 2009
Advanced Review - A Deadly Habit
Andrea Sisco, Author
316 pages
Five Star
Hardcover, $25.95

Meet Penelope “Pen” Santucci, 27-year-old Minneapolis probation officer, estranged wife, and murder suspect. When she breaks into her house to get some belongings (because her husband, attorney Paul Preston, changed the locks after they separated), Pen finds Paul’s body and envisions herself, the soon-to-be ex-wife, in a prison jumpsuit. For help, she turns to Father Daniel Kopecky, the neighborhood parish priest to whom she made exaggerated childhood confessions even though she wasn’t Catholic, and to her sister, Germaine, who converted to Catholicism and became a nun. Pen has soon involved these two people of the cloth in various felonies while trying to avoid conviction. Meanwhile, she uncovers mounds of dirt about Paul, including the fact that a sizable number of people wanted him dead. Pen, who seems to be an equally smart-mouthed but less-disciplined version of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, may exasperate some readers with her flightiness; still, the religious angle adds interest, and Sisco’s deft storytelling, slick prose, and well-crafted characters should win a following for this smart and sassy new series. — Michele Leber

Way to go, Andrea!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MAMALODE - website launch - June 27th

Party is from 7-10:30.
At 8:00 we will show the mamalode promotional film (8 minutes), unveil the website (5-10 minutes - depending on questions), and show the film "The Giving" (17 minutes).
Before and after will be socializing, mingling, snacking, margarita-ing, and going to town on the hang-gliding simulator and all the other cool things SpectrUM has to offer.

RSVPs are great though not required. Hope to see you there!
(Moms, dads, friends, all are welcome. Kids are welcome too, but the film might be intense for them depending on their ages so be prepared to skip out on that and just hang in the discovery center.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ARTICLE by KELLEY HECKART - Self-editing Help

Self-Editing Help

The editing process can be difficult, but by following some guidelines, the process can be more efficient. At least that is what I keep telling myself each time I have to self-edit a manuscript before submitting it to a publisher. I have to admit that it does seem to get easier the more I do it. I have a list of self-editing tips that I follow and they have helped me so far.

Compelling openings: This is the first thing I check. The opening of a story should grab the reader right away. If not, it needs to be re-written.

Strong verbs: For example, instead of writing The girl went outside, write The girl skipped across the room. The second sentence does a better job of describing the action. Also, try to avoid using too many adverbs, or 'ly' words. Too many adverbs will annoy an editor. Here is a link to a helpful site by Deanna Carlyle with a list of over a thousand action verbs: http://www.deannacarlyle.com/articles/verb.html

Use of the five senses: Using the five senses (touch, sound, smell, sight, and taste) will help with descriptions and show instead of tell.

Showing/not telling: This is the one I had the most trouble with until I learned that a great way to tell if a sentence is too telling is if it contains the words 'was' or 'were.' For an example, here is the original opening of my book, Cat's Curse: It was so cold she was certain ice clung to the moon like silver talons. She felt the cold—it bit into her bones, a reminder that she was once mortal. She moved through the thick forest of tall pine, oak, beech, birch and rowan, venturing further into the forest, her booted feet crunching on the frost-encrusted earth.

Here is the new opening: The hunt called to her, singing in her veins. Moonbeams cleaved through the frozen night, striking the earth between outstretched branches like gleaming metal blades. Cold air cut into her bones with sharp, icy talons, reminding her she had once been mortal. Venturing further into the thick forest of tall pine, oak, beech, birch and rowan, Cardea's booted feet crunched on the frost-encrusted earth, her senses searching out the sweet scent of blood.

Which one is showing more than telling? Hopefully, you picked the second one. When I self-edit now, I do a search on these two words. My rule of thumb is if the sentence can be re-written, I change it. If not, I skip over it. There is nothing wrong with using either of these words in a sentence, but overusing them could mean a rejection on an otherwise great manuscript.

Unnecessary/Overused words: This is the one I have to fix every time. I have different words for each new story that I like to use over and over again. Overusing words is very annoying to an editor or a reader. By the fourth draft, I start to notice the overused words and so I do a search for them and change some to a different word. Some of the most common overused words are felt, that, had, could, should, would, am, is, are, were, be, being, been, have, can, will, may, might, just, so, did, does. My rule for this is the same as the one for showing/telling: if another word can be substituted, then I change it, if not, I skip it. In some cases like with 'had' or 'that' the word can be omitted.

Varied sentence structure: For this one, just make sure every sentence does not begin with The or She/He/I and have longer sentences mixed with shorter ones. Here is another example from Cat's Curse: A pleased smile formed on Cardea’s lips. The strong scent of blood stirred her senses--warm blood…and human. Like an experienced predator, she adjusted her step, moving on silent feet through carpets of fern toward the scent of fresh blood, eager to sate her thirst. She moved like a shadow, darting in and out of the lofty trees.

Expanded moments: Expanding a moment with vivid descriptions can help with showing more and helps to draw the reader in and hook her. I usually do this in the final drafts. I like to think of it as icing on the cake.

Hopefully these tips will help other writers as much as they help me. I'm sure I probably left something out, so if someone has anything else to add, please comment.

-Kelley Heckart

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Kelley Heckart is a writer, musician, and artist who lives in Arizona. In addition to the novels and music Kelley creates, you should check out her crosses! Her fourth Celtic fantasy romance, Cat's Curse, was released earlier this month.


Who is the one person who most encouraged or influenced you to be a writer—and why?

I have been a writer in some form all my life. I started out writing lyrics/poetry. Later, I tried to write short stories and realized I needed help so I took my first Creative Writing class. My Creative Writing teacher encouraged me to turn a short story into a novel. That short story turned into Of Water and Dragons, my first novel.

How long have you been writing? Tell us about the reasons you write stories about magic and mystical creatures.

I have been writing pretty much all my life, but didn't take it seriously until about 2004. Writing stories about magic and mystical creatures is a great escape from reality. I became interested in Celtic mythology and the stories about the old gods and goddesses. This inspired me to write books about mortals interacting with otherworldly beings like faeries. I like to think that maybe there is this unseen place just beyond our reach. I also have a fascination with the supernatural. I started watching horror movies at a very young age. Vampires and werewolves never frightened me. I remember the only movie that really scared me was the original Night of the Living Dead. I'm sure some of these creatures will show up in future novels.

Tell us about your crosses.

No one ever asks me about my crosses. Thank you. My crosses reflect my passion for picking up shells, rocks, feathers, pieces of driftwood and pretty much anything I can find. Each cross is unique and I have different styles—Southwest, Rune, and what I call Goddess. The symbols I burn into the Goddess crosses are inspired by my research on Neolithic Europe and the mysterious designs found carved into stones. My favorite stones to decorate the crosses with are moonstones because they represent the female divinity. When I need a break from writing, designing the crosses helps to clear my head. It's therapeutic for me. My crosses are available on eBay under 'wall crosses.'

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

My biggest challenge is always the editing process. That is the only part of writing that can drive me crazy. I love doing research. I love creating characters. I love working out the plot. But I cringe when it is time to edit. I also stress out when submitting a manuscript because after working on something for months, maybe longer, the publisher might reject it.

What is the title of your June release? Briefly tell us what it’s about and let us know where we can buy it.

Cat's Curse is the title of my June release. This is the first book in a trilogy titled Dark Goddess. Here is a brief blurb: Cardea is cursed to live an eternity as a blood drinker. Aedan mac Gabrain, prince of Dal Riata, trusts no one after suffering a curse that keeps him from touching any females. Can two tortured souls find love while battling a dark goddess determined to destroy them? I based this story on an actual Irish warlord in Sixth century Scotland. This is my first book with a vampire character, but she isn't a typical vampire, she is a Lamia, a Greek vampire—half-woman, half-serpent. Cat's Curse will be available June 12, 2009 from http://www.awe-struck.net/

What are you working on now?

I am finishing the third book in the Dark Goddess trilogy titled Winter's Requiem and hope to submit it to my publisher by June.

Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?

Never give up and love to write because chances are you won't make much money doing it.

What is your daily writing routine?

I usually write in the morning and again in the afternoon, but ideas often come to me when I least expect it. I always keep a notebook and pen with me to jot down ideas that force their way into my head at the strangest times. Music is a helpful motivator and so is a cup of coffee. My favorite music lately is Icelandic metal—Nightwish and Apocalyptica.

Do you have any upcoming book signings or appearances? If so, give us all the details.

The only scheduled book signing I have right now is Saturday, November 7 in Tucson at the Tucson Celtic festival. I should have details on my own website soon, but here is the festival website: www.tucsoncelticfestival.org/index.html. The Celtic festivals are so much fun. I enjoy watching the men in kilts.

Here’s your opportunity to tell us anything else you care to share.

I have two more releases this year from Awe-Struck. Night's Daughter is due to be released on July 3, 2009. This book is part of a series I call Celtic Threads. The books can be read together or alone, but of course to get the essence of the full story it's best to read them in order. Night's Daughter is a historical romance/fantasy set in ancient Greece amid the battle between the Titans and Olympic gods.
Beltaine's Song is the second book in my Dark Goddess trilogy and is due to be released on November 14, 2009.

Thank you for the interview.

What are the addresses of your website(s) and blog(s):

Kelley's website: http://www.kelleyheckart.com/
Kelley's myspace: www.myspace.com/phantomqueen3
Kelley's blog: http://www.kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/
Kelley's Twitter: www.twitter.com/CelticChick
Kelley's other blog: http://authorsstudio.blogspot.com/
Kelley's Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kelleyheckarts_enchantedgrove/

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Krista Davis hosts contest

In celebration of the release of The Diva Takes the Cake, which is about a wedding, author Krista Davis is hosting a contest. To enter, send her your best wedding tip. The top eight tips will win a copy of The Diva Takes the Cake, and will be posted on her blog and website. The best tip will a copy of the book, a Vera Bradley tote bag, and a very glittery Swarovski crystal tiara.

Go to http://divamysteries.com/, click on CONTEST, and enter.

Good luck!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Press Release for THE CRY OF THE CUCKOOS by John Wayne Cargile

Author’s First Book Creates and Weaves an Intriguing FBI Murder Mystery

The cuckoo bird is a master of deception, fooling other species in their race to copy their chirping begging call.

When Donald Drummond and his wife, Anne, chase after the killer of his father, Henry Drummond, they find themselves up against a radical right wing supremacist organization called the Society of Southron Patriots and, like the cuckoo bird, deception is the Society’s mission. The couple unravels a terrorist plot that will kill Washington dignitaries at the Super Bowl and delegates at the United Nations. Donald, a retired news reporter, and Anne, a retired school teacher, unfold the mystery leading them on a wild chase from Alabama to Texas. And one of the many murder suspects is Donald’s biological mother, Betty Jo Duke, who he only just met after his father’s death. Donald and Anne are hired as informants by the FBI to unravel the mysterious case and they get a lot more than they bargained for.

"The author is clearly a good writer, with sufficient description, dialogue, scenes and sequels (places in the book where main character is found between the scene having just taken place and the scene yet to come). The author has made good use of the five senses, as well as his descriptions of people and places, to create and weave a good tale."
-- Bettyanne Bruin, Writers Literary

Publisher’s Web site: http://www.eloquentbooks.com/CryoftheCuckoos.html

About the Author:
John Wayne Cargile, Msc.D, D.D. is an award-winning newspaper and magazine writer. Recently retired, The Cry of the Cuckoos is his first novel. He worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a clerk in Birmingham, Alabama in the late 1960s. He and his wife, Paula, and son, Jonathan, reside in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. The couple has three grown children and five grandchildren. For media inquiries, appearances, or other publicity, please contact:
Miranda Spigener — pr1@strategicbookmarketing.com

AEG Publishing Group, Inc.
845 Third Avenue, 6th floor-6016 – New York, NY 10022
http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/ - http://www.eloquentbooks.com/ - http://http://www.strategicbookmarketing.com/
1-888-808-6190 - Corporate Office

Monday, June 15, 2009

Book Signing with LISA CARETTI - Wed, June 17th

Michigan author, Lisa Caretti, shatters the tranquil world of a quiet, conservative psychologist when hidden secrets unexpectedly resurface in her debut novel, Whistle in the Dark. Pulsing with suspense and provocatively written, Whistle in the Dark is a stunning, fascinating new thriller.

It was then that she heard the whistling. Softly at first, then growing stronger and louder. It scared her, but did not surprise her. After all, she had been waiting for him all along…

Book Signing: Wednesday, June 17th, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Filipo Marc Winery, 39085 Garfield, Clinton Township, Michigan (NW corner of 17 and Garfield).

Juror 13 Show on 6/17 - by DENNY GRIFFIN

Denny Griffin is a true crime writer with a background in law enforcement and investigation in the state of New York. He hosts a Blog Talk Radio show, Meet the Author and has published nearly a dozen books.

Those of us that follow true crime are well aware that sex crimes, including crimes against children, are an unfortunate reality of our time. We also know that after the crime has been reported one of the keys to identifying, apprehending and successfully prosecuting the perpetrator, are the police interviews of the victim and suspect.

Investigators must gain the trust and cooperation of the victim. This can be especially difficult when the victim is a child; and even more so if the child’s family doesn’t want to expose their loved one to the emotionally difficult process of taking the case to trial.

And as the investigation moves forward, the suspect will need to be talked with. What can be learned in these sessions – especially before the suspect retains a lawyer – can be critical to the outcome of the case.

What techniques should the investigator use during interviews and interrogations? What methods have the best chance of gaining cooperation or eliciting a confession?

On Wednesday, June 17, at 9 pm Eastern, I’ll ask those questions of retired Hunting Beach, California police detective Don Howell. As a detective for more than 15 years, he specialized in the investigation of sexual assaults and child abuse. He is a court certified expert in these areas and is a highly sought after consultant to agencies on complex cases. As a consultant to the California Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and training (P.O.S.T.), Don was considered to be one of the best in his field and was selected to assist in making a teleconference course on rape investigations. He has written three police procedurals on interview and interrogation techniques.

You can listen to the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dennisngriffin. You’ll be able to ask questions or make comments via call in or through the show’s chat room.

--Dennis N. Griffin

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Lisa Caretti grew up in Detroit and now resides in Washington Township, Michigan with her husband and three children. She is the founder of a non-profit organization, The Healing Nest, which supports women and children with cancer.


Who is the one person who most encouraged or influenced you to be a writer—and why?

My friend Sharon was my cheerleader. I would send over chapters as I wrote them. She fell in love with the story from page one and would not let me stop…even if I could.

What most appeals to you: a complicated plot or compelling characters? And don’t say both…!

Compelling characters!!! I love creating them as much as I enjoy reading about them.

How long have you been writing? Is WHISTLE IN THE DARK the first novel you completed?

Whistle in the Dark is my first novel and the first story I have ever written.

Briefly tell us what WHISTLE IN THE DARK is about and let us know where we can buy it.

Psychologist Dena Davis spends her life trying to help victims of violent crimes while blocking out her own painful past. When an attempted murder disrupts her life, she hires a private investigator who finds an evil and twisted connection to her own past. Soon Dena realizes there is no one left she can trust. It is available at my website: www.eloquentbooks.com/WhistleInTheDark.html or Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Target.com and several other online locations. It is also sold at a bookstore in Shelby Twp., MI called Books Connection of Shelby.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

Finding quiet time to write was a big challenge when my children were very small. I always get up early, before anyone else in the house, to find that creative time.

What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?

I am just finishing another suspense/thriller called The Last to Know and I expect it to be available in approximately six months.

Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?

Write everyday, even if it is just a sentence or two. You will eventually finish, keep at it. Also, when faced with writers block…that fear when you stare at a blank screen or paper…just start writing. Write anything; you can always go back and change it. From there, you have something.

Do you have any upcoming book signings or appearances? If so, give us all the details.

I am setting up the date for my next book signing now.

Here’s your opportunity to tell us anything else you care to share.

Here is what some people are saying about Whistle in the Dark.

Excellent, April 10, 2009
By S. E. Kulongowski - Whistle in the Dark was a wonderful, compelling story. It is without a doubt one of the best fiction books I have ever read. Very, very difficult to put down. Plan on losing sleep on this one!

Suspense!!!, February 20, 2009
By Tanya Nieschulz (Macomb, Michigan) -
LOVED this book!!!! From the beginning to the end it was filled with suspense, intrigue and mystery. (I think I'm in love with Nick.) I did not want it to end. Lisa Caretti has a way of making you feel as though you are right there with the characters. I am anxious to read her next book.

What are the addresses of your website(s) and blog(s):


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kirkus Review for A DEADLY HABIT

Andrea Sisco, whose upcoming author interview on this blog is scheduled for July 19th, just garnered a terrific Kirkus Review (06/15/2009). A Deadly Habit will be released in July 2009.

Author: Sisco, Andrea
Review Date: JUNE 15, 2009
Publisher:Five Star
Pages: 316
Price (hardback): $$25.95
Publication Date: 7/17/2009
ISBN: 978-1-59414-795-1
ISBN (hardback): 978-1-59414-795-1
Category: FICTION
Classification: MYSTERY

When she finds her husband murdered, a probation officer who's been planning divorce must make other plans. As she tells Father Daniel Kopecky, the old friend she confesses to even though she isn't Catholic, Penelope Santucci didn't kill her philandering husband Paul Preston, a criminal attorney in both senses of the term. She just stumbled on his corpse after she broke into his house to grab some of her possessions before he could boost them. Father Kopecky is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, Sgt. Clifford Masters of Minneapolis Homicide somewhat less so. When he shows up at her apartment to ask questions, Pen skedaddles.

Sisco's debut is less a mystery than a chase/adventure with both eyes focused like a laser on Stephanie Plum. Pen has a nose for trouble, an overbearing mother, bad luck with the men who flit through her life, self-esteem issues, enough resilience to bounce back from repeated beatings by goons seeking Paul's ill-gotten gains, and a habit of running her mouth, though her irrepressible repartee is mostly PG. Her insouciant lack of self-control takes her from Paul's interment, where his current mistress shoves her into his grave, to a convent, a law office and a judge's chambers, most of which she's entered under false pretenses. Precious little detection, but the energy level never dips below the red zone. Fans who want something to read during the three months per year that lack a new Janet Evanovich title may have found their fix.

Way to go, Andrea!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Dana Littlejohn was born in Brooklyn, New York. Some folks say she interrupted her parents' Christmas party but I think she just wanted to join in the fun. She loves cheesecake and lemonade--though not at the same sitting--and her first love was Zorro. She has written and published over a dozen romances and there are more to come...


Who is the one person who most encouraged or influenced you to be a writer—and why?

It wasn’t an author or one specific person who really influenced me. I guess the main thing that pushed me into sharing my writing with the world was my children. I wanted to write positive love stories that they could see themselves in. I wanted to show my daughter that she could have a knight in shining armor and show my sons that they could be knights in shining armor to the women on their lives.

How long have you been writing? What made you decide to write sensual/erotic Romance?

I have been writing since I was in the seventh grade and even that was a sensual romance. (LOL) It was pretty sensual for a seventh grader, anyway. When I write a story, I don’t sit down and say, “okay, this one will be a sensual romance” or “this one will be erotic.” The characters guide me in what happens. I have some stories that are very erotic and a few that are more sensual and very suggestive. They tell me what to write and I write it.

What is it about the writing of Jackie Collins, Bertrice Small, Piers Anthony, and Terry McMillian that you most admire?

I like these authors for very different reasons. Jackie Collins books always has strong, independent woman who has own in life. I love that. Piers Anthony’s has this Xanth series that I have followed for years and I love them. The magical elements are so cool and everyone has some kind of magic of their own. Terry McMillian’s books showed me sisterhood and black women can have romance in books, too. Bertrice Small--she is my absolute favorite. I love reading her historical romances. They are so sensual and romantic. The men are everything I look for in a man in the books I read. My favorite is To Love Again and I have read it at least 10 times. I think it is beautiful and could probably talk all day on it.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

Making the men different. The physical features aren’t so much of a problem because I people-watch a lot and build characters with real people features, but personality is a pain at times.

What is the title of your most recently published book? Briefly tell us what it’s about and let us know where we can buy it.

I had 2 books released in the same month: Cupid’s Arrow and a torrid teaser, Sekemet’s Awakening and Kibuka’s Moon. Cupid’s Arrow is an anthology that I did with Kendra Mei Chailyn. It is four short time-travel stories that tell about people who get a second chance at love. Cupid narrates and interjects his opinion along the way. Sekmet’s Awakening and Kibuka’s Moon are tales about how the goddess of the sun and her sister, the goddess of the moon, find their husbands filled with fantasy and magic.

What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?

I just submitted a story called Happy Feet to one of my publishers. It is about a woman who ends up dating a man and finds out that he has a foot fetish and I am putting the finishing touches on a story I call Ming Bling.

Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?

I always give this same piece of advice because when it was given to me it helped me immensely. Find your your own voice and strive to improve your craft. If 7 people were given the same picture and told to write a story about it there would be seven different stories. Once you find your voice and the way you tell a story, stick to it and then work on improving your writing. My editor gives me a virtual hand-slap and a pluck in the head with every story I give her, but I take in stride. I listen to what she says and try not to make the same mistakes in the next story I send in.

You took a hiatus from writing for several years. Do you think your writing is stronger for the long absence from it?

Oh yes. I never stopped reading and learning over that time. I re-read some stories I had written years ago and gutted them out, polished them up, and they are actually being released this year with one of my publishers.

Do you have any upcoming book signings or appearances? If so, give us all the details.

Yes, I do! I did a story in an anthology for Take Over Publications (a small print publisher in Gary, Indiana) called Street Vices. My story is called Blaze’s Black Widows. I will be doing a signing this summer in Indianapolis during Black Expo weekend (July 17-19) at Circle Centre mall.

Here’s your opportunity to tell us anything else you care to share.

I have a few releases coming this year. Feel free to go to my website to read excerpts.
The House - Whiskey Creek Press-Torrid (May, 2009)
Behind the Wings - Whiskey Creek Press-Torrid (July, 2009)
To Have and To Hold - Red Rose Publishing (date pending)

What are the addresses of your website(s) and blog(s):

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

C.HOPE CLARK finals in the Daphnes!

C. Hope Clark, editor and founder of FundsforWriters.com, has been selected a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier contest for mystery/suspense for her novel HOG-TIED: A Carolina Slade Mystery. The Daphnes are sponsored by the Kiss of Death Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. The KOD Chapter features the mystery/suspense writers within RWA. Hope has fancied herself a closet mystery writer for about as long as she's managed FundsforWriters, about ten years. Upon completing her first novel in a proposed series, she submitted it to several contests. After winning one, she placed in several others, to include a semi-finalist slot in the huge Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, the top one percent of the ten thousand entries. She sees contests as a barameter for struggling novelists, a way to judge the quality of the work. The Daphne du Maurier winners will be announced on July 16, 2009 in Washington DC at the Romance Writers Association Annual Conference. www.fundsforwriters.com - Chosen by Writer's Digest for its 101 Best Website for Writers for 2001 through 2009.