Saturday, December 7, 2013

Top Ten Things Never to Eat Directly Out of the Schiller Fridge--M. J. Schiller Stops By!

Top Ten Things Never to Eat Directly Out of the Schiller Fridge

Cherie was gracious enough to host me today and then foolish enough to give me free rein over a top ten list. ;) This is the result. As we meander through the holidays we often have plenty of leftovers from the entertaining we do, so I compiled a list of the Top Ten Things Never to Eat Directly Out of the Schiller Fridge.

10) Open jars of pimentos. (I only use these for two dishes, so chances are, they’ve been in there a while!)
9) Anything that has changed forms (from liquid to solid, from solid to liquid, etc.)
8) Yogurt containers shoved to the back in order to gain access to something less healthy.
7) Anything that looks like it may have been left out on the counter for an extended period of time and then returned to the fridge, because nine out of ten times, it has.
6) Anything that can complete this sentence, “I didn’t know we had_________.”
5) Things partially wrapped in foil.
4) Anything that looks like it came from the school cafeteria where I work, unless you can match it up with that week’s calendar.
3) Anything that has an obliterated expiration date. (Hint: it’s probably expired.)
2) Half-eaten jars of salsa. (No telling when that puppy went in there!)
1)  Anything that has grown since being put into the fridge (whether it be from added ice crystals, mold, roots, or toxic gases).

Now that you’ve totally lost your appetite, how ‘bout something to read to distract you? Here’s a blurb for my new romantic suspense rock romance!

Heath “Hawk” McGowan is a young, single, cop and father. Jasmine Barrett is the rock star who has just discovered her best friend murdered in her own bed.  Jasmine, or “Jazz”, as her fans call her, is not at all what Heath expects when he first meets her. Anticipating having to work with a prima donna, he is surprised to find her sweet and completely unassuming, in addition to being as sexy as her onstage persona. After outlining a number of reasons why he shouldn’t become involved with her—the top reason being he is the lead investigator in the murder of her best friend—Heath finds that he can’t stop himself from falling in love. 

Things heat up between the two, especially after Jazz discovers another body in the condominium’s garage, and her terror drives her closer to Heath. Will Heath be able to solve the murders before Jasmine becomes the next victim? Or will he save Jazz, but at the same time, lose his heart to her?

The brass had called Lieutenant Heath McGowan in on the case because it was a splashy, high-profile murder. He knew how to handle VIPs with diplomacy, and still not let them walk all over him. A rare talent he’d heard, especially when it was found in one so young. It was a skill he had often been called upon to put into use, as in cases like this one, in which a woman had been murdered in the condominium of the famous rock star, Jasmine Barrett.
The detective flashed his badge at the door of the condo as he crossed the threshold. His partner, rookie detective Adam Cozwell, followed on his heels. Heath was sporting a grey blazer, stretched to the maximum over his upper body, and matching grey pants. Underneath he wore a bright blue shirt with a wide collar that lent his slate gray eyes a bluish tint, something his brother had teased him about earlier in the evening.
The suit screamed cop so loudly showing his shield at the door had been superfluous, especially since he was acquainted with the uniform posted there. But, regs were regs, and he was trying to set an example for Adam.
The opulent condominium was humming with police life, as he’d known it would be. He could feel his pulse begin to beat a little faster with the excitement of a new case. Crime scene technicians were busy doing what they could to record the scene, but had been told to leave things as they were until he arrived. He said a quiet hello to those he knew by name as he passed them and nodded to those he recognized from other crime scenes. The whole time his eyes were taking in details and recording them, an attribute that had earned him the nickname “Hawk” or “Hawkeye.” Some guys on the squad would probably be hard-pressed to come up with his given name, but “The Hawk” was known in circles wide and small.
Now his keen eyes took mental note of the plush white carpeting that still had vacuum trails visible in it despite the large amount of traffic that had been in and out. He surveyed and logged in his mind, a list of the expensive looking furniture in neutral colors, along with pricey glass and wrought iron tables. Very few personal items graced the walls and tabletops, though he saw a large black and white print, perhaps an Ansel Adams, hanging on the central wall. It was an interesting shot of bare trees along a walkway lined with empty park benches.
On the large beige couch he spotted her, Jasmine Barrett, or “Jazz,” as her fans called her. She did not look at all like her press photos or videos, where she was usually clad in scanty clothing with wildly flowing hair and her legendary pouting mouth parted suggestively. Instead, she wore one of those big, fluffy white robes often found in luxury hotels, provided one had the means to stay there. Her hair was not even shoulder length, he was surprised to find. After thinking it over, it made sense she might wear wigs as part of her “image.” The color was not a flamboyant blond or red, as he had seen in the past, but instead it showed a rather staid brown color, although it was wet, which probably muted the hue some. In the call she had placed to the precinct, Jasmine Barrett had stated she had been in the shower prior to discovering the body. Some junior officers had chuckled and wolf-whistled at that, for which he felt compelled to chew them out, despite the fact he had some rather steamy fantasies about that famously fabulous body himself on the way over to the scene.
As he watched her, he noticed the slight tremble in her slender hands as she clutched a white coffee cup and then attempted to raise it to her lips. No doubt someone had slipped something in there to calm her down, but her eyes still shone with terror. She alternately glanced around at all the faces surrounding her, and then stared at the empty table in front of her. Her damp hair was wavy and slicked back away from her pale face, offsetting her large eyes and wide, red lips. She lifted those eyes and caught his for a second. Hers were an arresting shade of green. And, indeed, he felt like his heart had been cuffed and read its rights for a minute as he peered into them, but then her gaze darted away. He saw anguish and horror and disbelief in her eyes, something that never failed to strike him to the core when he met a victim.

MJ is a lunch lady in the heart of Central Illinois. My gosh, can you get more folksy than that? She met her husband at the University of Missouri-Columbia and now she has an eighteen-year-old (how did that happen?) and sixteen year old triplets! She loves to read, karaoke (where she can pretend she is a rock star) and spends WAY too much time on Facebook. She grew up in St. Louis and still has family there.

You’ll find M.J. Schiller at:
BN and Amazon.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall Into Winter Romance Blog Hop

I write romance, and I mostly share this information with other romance writers or readers.  Occasionally though, I tell someone who is not necessarily familiar with the genre, and their misconceptions are laughable.  You'll notice there are only five items on the list this time.  This is because I had to have some space to clear up the misconceptions.  So, here are the top five misconceptions about romance writers.  I might have exaggerated...just...a...smidge ;-)

5.  Misconception--The ideas for stories come from our little, secret perversions.

     Reality--My perversions are BIG and out there, baby! (Okay, I've been married to the same man for fifteen years, and he's still my best friend and fave person to be with, so no hidden perversions here).

4.  Misconception--All romance writers are un-happy, love-starved housewives who need an outlet for all their pent-up frustration before they explode.

     Reality--I have a Master's Degree and a professional day job.  See previous item concerning my level of happiness and frustration concerning my love life.

3.  Misconception--All romance books are full of heaving bosoms, throbbing loins, and wistful sighs.

     Reality--As a genre, romance has come a long way.  There are many types of romance for all kinds of readers.  From chick lit to urban fantasy to romantic suspense to Inspirational, the choices are endless, and the heroines are multifaceted.  Gone are the simpering damsels in distress.  Now, she'd be more likely to kick his throbbing loins just for looking at her heaving bosoms until he was wistfully sighing for his crushed boys below, if you know what I mean.

2.  Misconception--Romance stories are the easiest genre to write, and anyone can write one.

     Reality--Pull all your fingernails and toenails out with a pair of pliers, pluck each of your hairs out one at a time with a pair of tweezers, and pull your bottom lip over your head until you can taste the back of your neck(I stole and modified that last one from Bill Cosby), then you'll know the pain and frustration a romance writer encounters trying to write a publishable story that appeals to a wide audience of readers and might make a little money.

1.  Misconception--Romance writers sit around in feather boas, pink fuzzy slippers, and eat bon-bons all day.

     Reality--Okay, this one is soooo true (or at least I wish it were).

There you go. Some major misconceptions about romance writers. If you're not running for the metaphorical door at this point, I hope you'll check out my latest release and re-release:
Former fat-girl, Kate Delaney left New Falls heartbroken. She’s spent ten years in Los Angeles, but is back, fifty pounds lighter, California hotter, and has a Hollywood mega-producer interested in her script. One problem—a nerve-nuking thief absconds with her laptop, attached USB, and the contents of her underwear drawer, and the heart-breaker from ten years ago just walked through her door.

Months after he stole her affections—then her executive chef position—Shyann and Luke meet again under sizzling circumstances, on a televised cooking show called Kitchen Twist. Each comes with a motive: Luke intends to win Shyann’s heart, even as she wants closure on the not-so-tasty heartbreak he once served up. Can two top chefs resist each other as they move out of the pan and into the fire? 

Amazon $.99
KOBO -Currently FREE!

Don't forget to check out the TWO giveaways on my blog. My personal blog giveaway--Two $5 Amazon Gift Cards, Two copies of Lost in New Falls, and Two copies of Into the Fire.  And the Grand Prize Giveaway for the Fall Into Winter Blog Hop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out the other blogs:
Happy Reading and Writing!
Cherie Marks

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Top Ten Reasons Zombies Make Great Friends

It's been a while since I've done a Top Ten List, but here's one I've been hanging onto for Halloween. Though it's advisable not to kiss these friends, even on the cheek, here are the Top Ten Reasons Zombies Make Great Friends:

10. No pesky appointments getting in the way of hanging out. They're always available.
9. Not worried about outward appearances.
8. Other than a few interrupting grunts, they make great listeners.
7. And they never bore you with their problems (remember this is about them being good friends, not you).
6. They don't expect presents during the holidays.
5. Matter of fact, they have no expenses. Talk about never having to pick up a tab.
4. You can always blame bad smells on them.
3. You no longer need a security system.
2. They're not usually name droppers even though they've more than likely starred in some horror movies and possibly have been highlighted on The Walking Dead.
1. They'll never send you annoying memes on social networks.

There you go! Ten reasons why zombies make great friends and an annoying meme to...well...annoy your friends on social media with.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'm Feeling a Little Lost...Lost in New Falls That Is...My New Release

My, oh my! Big things are happening! Very happy to announce the release of my small-town contemporary romance, Lost in New Falls.

Twenty-eight-year-old, former fat-girl, Kate Delaney left New Falls, Tennessee, heartbroken to become a screenwriter.  She’s spent ten years in Los Angeles, but is back, fifty pounds lighter, California hotter, and she’s written The End on a screenplay, which a Hollywood mega-producer believes is movie magic.  Just one problem—a nerve-nuking thief absconds with her laptop, attached USB back-up, and the contents of her underwear drawer, and just in case that wasn’t enough, the heart-breaker from ten years ago just walked through the door wearing a sheriff’s badge and looking more hormone-carbonating than ever.

Quentin Taylor likes the new and improved Kate, but to be perfectly honest, his feelings aren’t new.  Unfortunately, when a teen-aged Kate bloomed, her older brother Reese established a no-look, no-touch, no-anything else rule.  Quentin figured it was the anything else that worried him most.  She’d been attractive then.  Now she was near irresistible, and he wanted to know one thing.  Did Reese’s dictate still stand?  Of course, he has more pressing problems—a meddling, matchmaking mother, a gossiping dispatcher/receptionist with an obsession for the color orange, and a small-town burglar who steals thimble collections, garden tools, and underwear, along with the usual electronics and jewelry.  Nevertheless, he agrees to help Kate find her missing script, and the time together sparks undeniable chemistry.

Yet, once Kate’s screenplay is back in her hands, will she return to L.A, leaving Quentin behind forever, or is their romance destined to be a blockbuster?

Right now, it's only available at Amazon, but that will change.  I'm just excited to share it with the world.

Happy Reading and Writing!


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Oh the Struggle!

I got the publishing rights back to my short story, "Into the Fire."  So, if you try to buy it, you might not find it right now.  There could also be a little confusion until I upload it myself in the next couple weeks.  I am making some changes to the story, but it certainly won't be a totally different one.

One of the major changes I am making is the cover. Opinions are very appreciated!  Which cover do you prefer and what needs to be tweaked to make it better?

Happy Reading and Writing!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Edge of Mercy Goodreads Giveaway and Story Cartel

Winner, Winner, Reading Through Dinner! I just snail-mailed paperback copies of Edge of Mercy to five different winners of my very first Goodreads giveaway.  I love that I get to share this amazing cover in real-life with reader-peeps.  So cool!

Don't worry if you didn't get a chance to enter to win.  It was a little bit of a surprise to me that the giveaway was approved and going on (that'll teach me for not checking my e-mail).  I have another opportunity for you to get Edge of Mercy for FREE! All you have to do is go to, sign up, and if you feel compelled, submit an honest review.  That's right.  I want your honest opinion.

Okay, so let's be real a minute.  You might not have time (or the inclination) to sign up for an account at storycartel.  I aim to please, so I've dropped the price of EoM to $.99 for a limited time.  It's to celebrate the release of Heart of Mercy, the second book in the Mercy Series.

I've also decided to start on some bonus material while I'm working on book 3, and I'm so excited about these stories.  The series is told in first person, from the main character Charlie's point of view.  But two secondary characters have particular interest in her.  What if we could go inside Thomas's and Zeke's heads?  I'm seriously so anxious to get working on two short stories that coincide time-wise with Charlie's account, but their told from the boys' POV's instead.

If you'd like to be notified when new reads are available, sign up for my news-only newsletter here: New Release Newsletter or it's also on the side panel of my blog.

Happy Reading and Writing!

C. C. Marks

Sunday, July 14, 2013

No Room for Oneitis-Or How to Get Your Books Noticed

According to Mo'Urban Dictionary, compiled by Aaron Peckham, Oneitis is "the dreaded ailment of liking that 'one special girl' and wanting her more than any other woman on earth.  A want so intense that it's actually painful."

That's all well and good, and I'm sure it's a real phenomenon, but I suffer from a different kind of Oneitis. Many authors do.  Though I've finished multiple manuscripts over the years, I only have one book/short story published under each pen name.  I've spent too much time promoting the same book with very little to show for it. At one time, it was part of my plan to only publish short stories so I could continue to enter contests, but somewhere along the way, I figured out I'm not really a short story writer.

Unfortunately, I'm hesitant to put my work out there myself, so I still have one manuscript on submission, and I'm hanging onto another until I finish at least one more in the series.  So, this puts me in the awkward position of still suffering from Oneitis.

Let's face it though, if an author is going to get noticed, the more books, the better the chance. Wallowing in a sad case of Oneitis is no longer an option for me.

However, that is soon to be rectified.  The medicine is coming fast.  I'm about to publish the second in the Mercy series of books, titled, Heart of Mercy.  It's in the final editing stages, and I will be purchasing a professional cover at the end of the month.  However, I'll be putting it up with a temporary cover until then (the beaut at the top of this page).

Here's the blurb for the book:

Charlie Little exists in a dangerous world. Her best chance of survival is to disguise herself as a boy and guard her secrets well. Yet just when it seems things couldn’t get worse, they spin completely out of control.
With Zeke and her sister Star by her side and the fresh memory of Thomas’s kiss still on her lips, she narrowly escapes the horrid plans of Jonas Bannon, the self-proclaimed leader of the community, and begins the search for the city of Mercy, the one secure place she knows. However, as she struggles to reach her sanctuary, doubts creep in that anywhere is truly safe. If the Draghoul don’t get them, the human scavengers just might, and the protection of Mercy could be a costly lie for them all.

I'll also be dropping the price of Edge of Mercy for a month, so hopefully some folks will take a chance on a new author, and I'll soon be cured of my Oneitis.

To completely eradicate Oneitis from my writing career, I'll be releasing a series of novellas, beginning in August.  And I can't wait to share those.

Do you suffer from Oneitis?  If so, what's your plan to move past it?

Happy Writing and Reading,


Friday, May 10, 2013

Ruth Cardello Is Back With Another Billionaire!

Ruth Cardello, NYT's Bestselling Author of Maid for the Billionaire and For Love or Legacy,
has a new release coming on May 20th, and fans are beyond ecstatic.

Rise of the Billionaire

Dreaming of Alethea gave Jeremy Kater the strength to survive a difficult childhood. Now that he has influential friends who owe him big favors, he's determined to become the kind of man Alethea would be interested in - rich and dangerous. Jeisa Borreto was hired to help Jeremy morph into that man. It's a job she would enjoy, if it weren’t tearing her heart to pieces.

How do you help someone change, when you already love who they are?

Hint: Sleeping with them doesn't help.

He paused and shook his head. Jeisa slid beneath one of his arms again to help steady him.  The heat from his body spread like a wildfire through her own. Jeremy was all man now and everywhere their bodies touched, Jeisa felt just how much he’d changed.  The strong arm draped across her shoulders no longer felt like it belonged to a man who spent his life behind a computer. Boxing was only a small piece of Jeremy’s plan to physically transform himself.  He’d started running and lifting weights very soon after they’d met.  Jeisa hadn’t thought it was necessary… But oh, the results were nice.

He stumbled as they walked. Her hand flew up to steady him, coming to a rest in the middle of his hard chest and she felt him catch his breath. 

Is he thinking what I’m thinking?
No, no, no, she thought frantically.
Unlike me, Jeremy has always been painfully honest.
Remember that he’s doing all of this to win the heart of a woman.
Another woman.
As in, not me.

Her body didn’t care. She looked past the swelling and the blood and all she could see were his beautiful, sexy blue eyes. They paused for what seemed an eternity and she couldn’t look away.

What would it be like to be loved by a man who is willing to do anything to win your heart?
You could be yourself with such a man.
Love like that doesn’t follow the rules.
It is sweaty, and passionate, and the stuff that romances are made of.

An odd expression entered Jeremy’s eyes and he straightened away from her, breaking contact. 

“Jeisa,” he said in a gruff voice, “let’s go home.”

“Yes,” she said, and mentally kicked herself for allowing the lines between employer and friend to blur.  She was part of Jeremy’s life.

Just not in the way she wanted to be.

For more information, check out Ruth's website at
or follow her on Facebook at
or check her out on Twitter at

Happy Reading and Writing!


Monday, April 15, 2013

Love the New Cover for Edge of Mercy!!

I've decided to become legitimate! Well, in publishing at least. Professionalism and all that makes a difference, so I took the plunge and bought a custom cover for Edge of Mercy.  It's everything I wanted and more.  Not only does the girl on the cover help me picture Charlie perfectly, but the overall feel is so much more dystopian.  Hope you love it as much as I do.

I have LFD Designs For Authors to thank.  The whole process was so easy and the very talented graphic artist gave me mock-ups to consider, and I was able to explain what I liked and make suggestions.  She listened and I couldn't be happier with the results.

Check it out at Amazon:  Edge of Mercy for Kindle

Happy Reading and Writing,


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Things That Amaze Me Lately

Time is a rare commodity these days, but despite all the cuckoo-crazy-cakes responsibilities I've taken on, I sit here amazed at how great life really is.

Some things that amaze me lately:

  • How much can be accomplished in one measly weekend, day, hour, and minute.
  • How time with people whose brains work like mine can re-energize and renew my passion for creative writing.
  • How tasty Irish Cream can be.
  • How generous people can be with their time and information.
Turns out, USA Today Bestselling Author, Liliana Hart's visit to The Kentucky Romance Writers of America, Spring Into Writing workshop, was the most amazing of all.  Sometimes it makes all the difference when someone who has gone before in something and is highly successful takes the time to lead the way for the rest of us.  She truly is "paying it forward."

Check out the work of this popular author.  Two of her books are listed here, and you'll find a complete list at her website when you click on her name above.
Whiskey Rebellion

WHISKEY REBELLION: AN ADDISON HOLMES MYSTERY My name is Addison Holmes, and I teach history at James Madison High School in Whiskey Bayou, Georgia. You might be under the assumption that my life went to the dogs when my fiancĂ© left me at the altar for the home economics teacher, or when I got notice that my apartment building was going to be condemned, or even when I was desperate enough to strip to my unmentionables to earn some extra cash. The truth is that I'm pretty much used to disasters following me around on a daily basis, but I could have gone without finding my principal dead in the parking lot of a seedy gentlemen's club. After the initial shock of finding my first dead body, which included throwing back shots of Jack Daniels like it was water, I decided to take stock of my life. I was in a desperate situation and if the school board ever found out I'd been a stripper, even a bad stripper, I'd be jobless as well as fiancĂ©-less and homeless. Fortunately, I had a friend who felt sorry enough for me to give me a job doing some surveillance work at her detective agency. Not to mention the fact that I was now able to stick my nose into other people's business for a good cause, find a murderer, and pick up helpful tips from an incredibly attractive detective. Come check out my story and be thankful your life is relatively normal. Other Full-Length Titles by Liliana Hart DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS CATCH ME IF YOU CAN ALL ABOUT EVE PARADISE DISGUISED What readers are saying: Romancing the Book – “An entertaining, fun read.” Romanceaholic Book Review – “This book is hysterical. It’s a true comedy of errors…A perfect summer read… lighthearted and funny” Reader review at Barnes & Noble - ”I haven’t read a book this funny since the first few Janet Evanovich books… A definite recommendation for everyone.”

Friday, March 8, 2013

USA Today Bestselling Author Liliana Hart is Headed to Kentucky!

Kentucky Romance Writers

2013 Spring into Writing Workshop, Saturday, March 16th, 9am-4pm

With USA Today Bestselling Author Liliana Hart

Liliana Hart spent five years teaching music in the public education system. She molded America’s youth, busted kids for smoking pot in the restrooms, and broke up illicit affairs behind the stage on a regular basis, so she finally decided to hang up her hat and let someone else have all the fun. (Liliana’s Addison Holmes Mystery Series, about a small town teacher who gets into a whole lot of trouble, is somewhat autobiographical, but she won’t confess to which parts).

Liliana’s books have won awards such as: The Daphne Du Maurier, The Suzannah, The Linda Howard Award of Excellence, The Maggie, and many others. A recent USA Today Bestselling author, her affiliations include Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America.

Liliana loves to cook, and is addicted to reading, Internet Boggle, kickboxing, and Bones. She lives in a big, rambling house in Texas with a couple of cats to keep her company and she loves to present about the writing life.

-  Liliana Hart Will Present On--
Getting Started in Self-publishing

The Roll/Role of an Agent (going it alone or with help)

Author Branding and Covers

Marketing 101


The Worth of an Author
Where:  Hyatt Place Conference Room
2001 Bryant Rd.
Lexington, Ky 40509
Directions and Rates- Phone: +1 859 296 0091

Time:  9am-4pm, with lunch break 12-1

Cost for the Saturday event is $25 for KYRW members and $40 for non-members. (Does not include lunch.)

Hosted by The Kentucky Romance Writers. Please visit our website: or contact
KYRW Pres. Cherie Marks at

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Please Welcome Amy Durham!

Today, I am excited to have an exceptional author (and very good friend), Amy Durham, on the blog.  She was nice enough to answer a few questions for me and to share all the juicy details on her latest release.

So, let's get right to it.

AMY: Thanks Cherie, for inviting me to come hang out with you! I really appreciate the chance to interact with your readers and promote my latest release, ONCE AND FOR ALL! 

CHERIE: Which comes first for you—plot or characters?

AMY: Usually, the characters and some kind of event or scene comes first. I find that if the characters “flesh themselves out” for me, the plot will follow smoothly after that.

CHERIE: What aspect of writing comes easy to you? What is difficult?

AMY: The initial plotting and characterizations come easy. I enjoy the rush of the beginning of the book! I’m never short on ideas! The most challenging is just finding the time to really dig in and write. I teach full time, and I have 3 kids of my own, so sometimes I have to wait until summer break to get large chunks of writing done. However, I do write in smaller batches regularly.

CHERIE: Who are some of your must-read authors and why?

AMY: Rachel Vincent, because I LOVE her “Soul Screamer” series. Nyrae Dawn, Tiffany King, and Jessica Sorenson for gritty stories that carry important messages.
Where in the world would you want to visit (all in the name of research, of course) and why?

Ireland and Scotland. There is a something deep inside me that longs – almost physically – to see these places! I’d love to set a story – or many stories – in those places someday!

CHERIE: What did you enjoy most about writing your latest work?

AMY: I enjoyed exploring the idea of “class-jumping” in high school. I remember how scandalous it was in high school when a “popular” boy dated a girl a class or two below him, or when a “popular” girl befriended another girl who didn’t run in the same circles. Others, from both “classes” aren’t quick to accept those scenarios, and, as we all know, kids can sometimes be cruel. I wanted to create a story where a popular boy and unpopular girl fell for each other, feared the ramifications of their peers, but ultimately decided their love was worth it.

CHERIE: Can you talk about what you are working on now?

AMY: I’m working on another young adult paranormal romance. ONCE AND FOR ALL, which just released, is book 2 in the Sky Cove Series. (ONCE AGAIN is book 1.) I’m taking a break from Sky Cove for a bit and writing a book called “Dusk”, another young adult paranormal romance. The paranormal element is different. Rather than reincarnation, the characters encounter a fellow high school student who is human, but with a few…. “extra abilities”!

CHERIE: Favorite movie and why?

AMY: I have several, and, as you might expect, they are all romantic stories! “When Harry Met Sally” is my absolute fave, but “Notting Hill”, “The Sound of Music”, and “P.S. I Love You” all follow pretty closely behind! I also adore the movie “Once”. It’s an independent Irish film with GREAT music! 
CHERIE: What can you tell us about Once and For All?

Book Blurb:

What happens when 180 pounds of football star collides with 105 pounds of art geek?  

An ancient curse springs to life, of course.

Phoebe Campbell is anything but popular. Todd Miller is the epitome of the high school jock. Their socially opposite worlds collide when they are paired to work together on a project for art class. Attempting to cooperate for the sake of their assignment, Todd and Phoebe begin to look past preconceived notions and see each other for who they truly are. As genuine feelings begin to develop between them, they find themselves plagued by dangerous shape-shifting episodes and unexplained telepathic connections.

In order to stop the mysterious occurrences, Phoebe and Todd are forced into a mission to uncover the truth. In their quest, they discover unsettling stories that hint at a previous existence, and also clues to an ancient curse that has never been broken.

Can they learn to love each other despite the typical high school social expectations? And will their love be the key that breaks the ancient curse once and for all?







Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wisteria Book Blast

Wisteria by Bisi Leyton:

Sixteen year old Wisteria Kuti has two options—track the infected around the Isle of Smythe or leave the only known safe haven and face a world infested with flesh eating biters. But even with well-armed trackers, things go wrong and Wisteria ends up alone facing certain death, until she is rescued by the mysterious Bach. Uninfected, Bach is able to survive among the hordes of living dead.

Eighteen year old Bach, from a race known as The Family, has no interest in human affairs. He was sent here to complete his Great Walk and return home as a man—as a Sen Son. The Family regard humans as Dirt People, but Bach is drawn to this Terran girl, whom he has never seen before, but somehow knows.

Hunted by flesh eaters, cannibals, and the mysterious blood thirsty group called Red Phoenix, Wisteria and Bach make their way back to the Isle of Smythe, a community built on secrets and lies.

Praise for Wisteria:

“I love the buildup of this story, getting to know the characters and watching their connection grow. I had no idea which way the story was headed and I was kept in suspense right up to the very end! It has plenty of action and a fascinating plot and I can’t wait to see what Bisi Leyton has for us next!!” 

“There are a lot of great things in this book, so much more than zombies and a struggle for survival. At it’s base core it is about star-crossed lovers, literally and the supporting characters roles… Ms. Leyton brings to Wisteria a mixture of science fiction, fantasy, dystopic world with a twist to the paranormal romance angle!”

“The book was full of nonstop action from the beginning until the end, and I did not put it down until I had finished it. I loved the book.” 


Book Trailer:

Audiobook Excerpt: 

Author Bisi Leyton:
Bisi Leyton was born in East London in 1978. She grew up in London, Nigeria and the States, listening to the stories life and love from aunts, cousins and big sisters.
She lives in London, but has worked around Europe including France, Germany, Ireland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. She has a fondness for reading graphic novels.


Blog Tour Now Through January 25th

Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/27/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Bare Knuckle Bucket of Does or How To Make Progress on Your Work-in-Progress

When the deadline looms, I'm one of those people who put it in gear and gun it hard all the way to the finish line.  I work great under pressure.  Of course, right now, most of my deadlines and the pressure that goes with them come from the day job, but that's another story.

So, if it's such an important piece of me, why am I not more productive as a writer?

Many writers are wired to think in stories.  Their brains are cluttered with story ideas, lines of dialogue, quirky characters, and flowing descriptions that would make angels weep.  Yet, until they make it to the page, all they can possibly be are possibilities.  Until a writer has an editor or critique partner putting on pressure to give over finished products, stories are often left not started or unfinished.  Lately, I'm soooo there.

Once again, the question is how to change that.  However, the reality of it all is this--there is no easy solution.  I'm the only one putting pressure on me to get writing done, and apparently I'm not twisting the screws tightly enough.

The only way a writer can push toward those lofty publishing dreams, whether it be to publish traditionally or independently, is to begin and finish the damn book.  It's time to become a bare-knuckle bucket of does.

But what does that mean?

It means setting goals and sticking with them.  It's one thing to set a long-term goal like getting published.  In order to achieve that lofty goal though, what you do in the short-term really, really matters.  So, what are some good short-term goals?

One of the first goals has to be about writing time.  Writing time has to be priority.  Determine how much time you really can devote to writing each week.  I thought I could devote seven hours a week.  One hour a day, right?  Reality check--not possible with my day job.

Try to be as realistic as possible when setting writing goals.  Dean Wesley Smith suggests you set a goal you think you can meet and then cut it in half.  So, my current writing goal for each week is three and a half hours.

Unfortunately, I'm a slow writer.  I don't like to plot ahead.  When I do, my brain thinks I've actually written the piece, but I've learned a trick.  I fool my brain by only plotting a few scenes at a time.  If I only plan a few steps ahead, it gives me direction but not satisfaction.  This doesn't change the fact that I can only write about 750 words in an hour.  Most writers aim for 1000, and I've hit that and gone over before, but I know I can hit 750 words, so that is my goal for now.  As my schedule frees up, this might be one goal I re-think, but for now, it will work for me.  This means, I will complete 2,625 words weekly.  Sounds small, and it is, but I can make it work.  In a year, even if I only write fifty weeks in the year, I'll write 131,250 words.  For me that's two novels and a short story.

Hopefully, you find some good, realistic information you can use here.  There is more to being a bare-knuckle bucket of does, but I'll continue with that next time.

For now, happy reading and writing,

Cherie Marks

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Might as Well Make a Few Resolutions

Call it a fad, call it peer pressure, call it being responsible...whatever you call it, I'm breaking my resolution to never make resolutions and...well...resolving to accomplish a few things this year.  Nothing fancy, just gonna try to accomplish a little here and there.  2013 is shaping up to be my lucky year, so here are my 2013 resolutions that will get me started:

1.  Blog regularly, and to that end, make Saturday my day to get blogposts written and scheduled.
2.  Journal at least five times a week so that I have something to blog about.
3.  Carry my journal with me everywhere because my brain doesn't have an on/off switch, more's the pity.
4.  Finish my current projects--two full-length YA's and a fantasy romance novella by the end of July.
5.  Write one hour, five days a week, about 1000 words a day.
6.  Schedule four fun, interesting, and informative writing meetings for KYRW for 2013 (somehow they got into their minds I could be the president of the organization)
7.  Don't get discouraged.  When things don't go as planned, pick up and keep moving forward.
8.  Continue to explore options.  Both trad and self-pub are viable in today's market.
9.  Marketing will be a tool, not an obsession.  I will interact with my social media about thirty minutes five days a week and most of that will be actual interaction.
10. I will read six books this year, at least three outside of my genre of choice.

So there it is.  My plan for 2013.  Nothing about working out or eating more nutritionally.  Just highly-motivating, ambitious goals of heart-nudging greatness-unearthed.

Join me if you'd like.  Comment on some thangs you're planning to do to change your life into a rhythmic swirl of awesomeness this year.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Cherie Marks