jpskewedthrone: (Vacant)
Hey, all! Today we have an interview with Mindy Klasky, here to promote the start of her new series Diamond Brides with the book Perfect Pitch. I asked her to answer a few interview questions. But first, here's a brief description of the book and the cover art!





Cover Copy: Reigning beauty queen Samantha Winger is launching her pet project, a music program for kids. All she has to do is follow the pageant's rules—no smoking, drinking, or "cavorting" in public.

That's fine, until D.J. Thomas—God's gift to baseball—throws her a wild pitch. He slams her in an interview, and the video goes viral. Sam's no shrinking violet. She parlays D.J.'s apology into a national T.V. appearance—and a very unexpected, very public kiss.

Soon, paparazzi catch the couple in a steamy make-out session, and Sam's music program is on the block. The blazing hot relationship is threatened even more when D.J.'s son begs to trade in Little League for music class.

Can Sam and D.J. sizzle past the sour notes and find their perfect pitch?





Author Bio: Mindy Klasky learned to read when her parents shoved a book in her hands and told her she could travel anywhere through stories. As a writer, Mindy has traveled through various genres, including hot contemporary romance. In her spare time, Mindy knits, quilts, and tries to tame her to-be-read shelf.

Link to where to buy the book!

And now the interview:

1. First, introduce yourself!

I'm Mindy Klasky. Once upon a time, I was a lawyer, and then I was a librarian. Now I write books full time.

I've changed genres almost as often as I've changed careers. I started out writing traditional fantasy (e.g., The Glasswrights Series) and then I wrote light paranormal romance about a librarian who finds out she's a witch (The Jane Madison Series.) After that, I took a spin through category romance. I've written for several traditional publishers and I've published works independently through Book View Café, an author-owned publishing cooperative.

2. Now give us the Hollywood pitch version of your new book/project. Two sentences max. Something along the lines of "[Book Title] is Harry Potter crossed with Aliens, with a touching twist of Knocked Up humor!"

Perfect Pitch is Bull Durham crossed with old-fashioned category romance, with a hot splash of Fifty Shades of Gray (for the heat of the love scenes not the, ahem, writing style.) It's the first of nine short, hot contemporary romance novels in the Diamond Brides Series.

3. Give us an expanded description of the book/project. What makes this project different and worth checking out? What sets it apart from everything else in the field?

Perfect Pitch (and the other Diamond Brides books) are perfect summer reads. They're short--around 150 pages each--and they're fun. Each book tells the story of a different player on the (imaginary) Raleigh Rockets baseball team.

Perfect Pitch is different from most of my books, because there isn't a hint of anything magical or paranormal in the story. Also, each book is narrated from two third-person points of view--the hero's and the heroine's--which is different from the first person narration of my Jane Madison Series and the As You Wish Series.

(Savvy readers will probably realize they're reading a Klasky book, though. I couldn't get away from the descriptions of food that mark my writing. And I had to keep a strong line of humor running through the books!)

Oh! And the books aren't just for baseball fans. They're for anyone who enjoys reading hot stories about men and women who are smart, confident professionals. Each one stands on its own, telling a complete love story that just happens to have a baseball stadium as its backdrop.


4. What part of the writing process for this book/project did you struggle with the most? Why was that particularly difficult? What did it teach you about the writing process (if anything)?

The Diamond Brides Series is hitting the market on a rapid release schedule--nine complete novels in eight months. (Perfect Pitch launched on March 31, Opening Day for Major League Baseball. Catching Hell hits stores on April 13, and Reaching First will be out on May 4. After that, each book will launch on the first Sunday of the month, through November 2.)

Although the books are self-contained, they all involve the same baseball team, and there are many recurring characters, along with a number of common places (Artie's Steakhouse, the Club Joe coffee shop, etc.) In order to manage the massive number of details that anchor the series, I needed to change my writing process. Instead of keeping each novel in a separate "Project" on Scrivener (my preferred writing software), I kept all nine in one massive Project.

That single huge Project allowed me to cross-reference details. For example, I could make a global change to a character's name and be confident that I'd made the adjustment in every book. Along the way, I discovered that the single Project also allowed me to track writing tics. I discovered that far too many of my characters used certain phrases ("one hundred percent certain" was a particularly glaring one), and way too many characters shared actions and reactions. (At one point, I had more than ten different people "offering a mock salute" at various points in the series!)

Ultimately, juggling these nine stories has taught me a lot about my writing "defaults," the words and phrases I fall back on without thinking. I've learned to recognize many of my weaknesses, even correcting a number of them in the drafting stage, instead of waiting for edits.

5. What was your favorite part of writing this book/project? What gave you chills when you wrote it and made you think, "Oh, this is GOOD!"?

Many of my books have had romantic storylines, and several of my characters have ultimately found their true loves. Perfect Pitch, though, was the first of my books to have a flat-out, not-behind-a-closed-door love scene, in quite graphic detail.

And I found, while writing that scene (and ones in the other Diamond Brides books) that it's fun to write sex! Especially when there's the added challenge of making each scene different from the others, true to the specific characters, and inventive enough to entertain readers of the entire series. A good love scene isn't just a graphic description of body parts and what they're doing. It's also a revelation of character--it shows who the hero and heroine truly are, what they value, what they believe. (In that respect, a good sex scene is like a good battle scene--the careful blocking reveals far more than the unadorned events.)

I've had a wonderful time writing Perfect Pitch and the other books in the series. And I hope you'll have a great time reading them!

Thanks, Joshua, for the chance to stop by and talk to your readers!
jpskewedthrone: (Vacant)
Today is also release day for Beth Bernobich's third novel in the River of Souls trilogy, Allegiance. You can find out more details and links about the book and series here, but I've posted the cover and cover copy for the book below.





Cover Copy: King Leos of Károví, the tyrannical despot whose magic made him near immortal and who controlled a tattered empire for centuries through fear and intimidation, is finally dead. Ilse Zhalina watched as the magical jewels that gave him such power reunited into a single essence, a manifestly God-like creature who then disappeared into the cosmic void. Ilse is now free to fulfill her promise to Valara Baussay, the rogue Queen of Morennioù, who wants to return to her kingdom and claim her throne.

Ilse will do all in her power to help Valara if only as a means to get to her home. Home to her lover, Raul Kosenmark, who is gathering forces in their homeland of Veraene now that Leos is dead in order to save them from an ill-advised war. Pulled by duty and honor, Ilse makes this long journey back to where her story began, to complete the journey she attempted lives and centuries before and bring peace between the kingdoms. Along the way she learns some hard truths and finally comes to a crossroads of power and magic. She must decide if duty is stronger than a love that she has sought through countless lifetimes.

Will Isle give up her heart’s desire so that her nation can finally know lasting peace?

Allegiance is the thrilling conclusion to Beth Bernobich's River of Souls trilogy.
jpskewedthrone: (Vacant)
Janni Lee Simner has re-released one of her backstock books, originally titled Secret of the Three Treasures, as Tiernay West, Professional Adventurer. You can find out all of the information here, but here's the cover and cover copy to whet your appetite. This is a middle grade novel, I believe.





Cover Copy: If there's lost treasure to be found, she's the one to find it. Tiernay West, Professional Adventurer--at your service.

Moving with the stealth of a great cat of the African plains, Tiernay West can track a bicycle over dry pavement and infiltrate secret organizations far beyond bedtime. She has little use for playing by the rules, doing as she's told, or spending time with her mother's dull new boyfriend and his computer-obsessed son.

Tiernay may be months away from (elementary school) graduation, but she already knows what she wants out of life: to become a professional adventurer, just like the heroine of her father's best-selling novels. She isn't scared of anything, and when she catches wind of possible buried treasure in her own hometown, she's on the job. She knows this could be her big break.

If along the way Tiernay finds herself running for her life, scaling cliffs in the middle of the night, and evading her not-at-all-adventuresome mother, that's all in a day's work--and totally part of the plan.
jpskewedthrone: (Vacant)
This signal boost strikes rather close to my heart. Essentially, America is now reduced to a one-bookstore-chain, namely Barnes & Noble. There's one person at B&N who decides what books the store will carry on its shelves, and occasionally that person decides that they aren't going to stock a sequel (sometimes, they don't even stock the first book). This happened with my Benjamin Tate novel Leaves of Flame, and this one decision, by one person, pretty much guts your chances of any significant sales. I saw it with my book.

So when Morgan Keyes (aka Mindy Klasky) asked for a signal boost for her second book Darkbeast Rebellion because B&N decided they weren't going to carry it on the shelves, of course I'm going to step up and signal boost.

If you'd like to read Mindy's take on this situation, here's her blog post about what happened with this book and the first one in the series. Or you can catch the cover art and cover copy of the new book below. In either case, swing on by your favorite bookstore and buy both of these books, if they pique your interest. And pass on the word to your friends!





Cover Copy: Betrayal threatens everything Keara dreams of in this fast-paced, exciting sequel to Darkbeast.

Keara, her friend Goran, and the wily old actor, Taggart, are fleeing for their lives. They have all spared their darkbeasts, the creatures that take on their darker deeds and emotions and lift their spirits. But their actions defy the law, which dictates that all citizens must kill their darkbeasts on their twelfth birthdays.

There are rumors of safe havens, groups of people called Darkers who spared their darkbeasts and live outside the law. To find the Darkers, the trio must embark on a dangerous journey—and evade the Inquisitors who are searching for them everywhere. In the middle of winter, freezing and exhausted, Keara and her companions are taken to an underground encampment that seems the answer to all their hopes. But are these Darkers really what they appear to be?
jpskewedthrone: (Vacant)
I'd like to point out that second book in Anton Strout's Spellmason Chronicles urban fantasy series, which is all about gargoyles in New York City, has just been released! Here's the cover art and cover copy, for those that might be interested.





Cover Copy: Alexandra Belarus was an artist stuck working in her New York family’s business… until she discovered her true legacy--a deep and ancient magic. Lexi became the last practicing Spellmason, with the power to breathe life into stone. And as her powers awoke, so did her family’s most faithful protector: a gargoyle named Stanis. But when a centuries-old evil threatened her family and her city, Stanis sacrificed himself to save everything Lexi held dear.

With Stanis gone, Lexi’s efforts to master Spellmasonry--even with the help of her dedicated friends--are faltering. Hidden forces both watch her and threaten her, and she finds herself suddenly under the mysterious wing of a secret religious society determined to keep magic hidden from the world.

But the question of Stanis’s fate haunts her--and as the storm around her grows, so does the fear that she won’t be able to save him in her turn.
jpskewedthrone: (Vacant)
For all of the aspiring writers and authors out there, a new market! (Well, an old market that went away for a while and, due to a kickstarter, is now up and running again. I donated to the kickstarter.)

Flytrap will be opening to fiction submissions starting next Tuesday, September 4th! Below are the guidelines. Go forth, submit, and conquer!

Flytrap, the little zine with teeth, will open to submissions for issue #11 on September 3, 2013

Fiction: I will consider work up to 5,000 words (query for longer, but don't let it hurt your feelings if I say no). Any form, any style, any genre welcome; cross-genre and experimental work especially appreciated. I consider vignettes, fantasias, and hallucinagenia in addition to more traditional narrative approaches. Surprise me, or delight me, or both. I like stories with sex and feminism and apocalypses and snarky humor in them, but don't let that limit you. Straightforward porn and conventional horror are unlikely to find a home here, but otherwise, I'm happy to consider pretty much anything. Send stories to Heather Shaw at TropismPress@gmail.com. Send in the body of an e-mail, or as Word or RTF attachments.

Non-Fiction: Due to enthusiastic pre-soliciting, we are full on non-fiction for this issue.

Poetry: We are not open to poetry submissions for issue #11. We're having a featured poet instead. But you might be able to slip a prose poem past the fiction editor. Multiple submissions are okay, within reason (that is, sending two pieces won't annoy us too much, but sending three probably will).

No simultaneous submissions (but we'll try to answer every submission by mid-November, so it shouldn't cramp your submitting style too much).

Deadline: We open September 4, 2013, and close October 31, 2013. Payment: $0.05/ word for fiction, and a copy of the digital issue on publication.
jpskewedthrone: (Vacant)
It's not only release day for DAW, but my good friend David B. Coe has a new release coming out under his pseudonym D.B. Jackson, the second book in the Thieftaker Chronicles series, called Thieves' Quarry! Check out the cover and description below, then check back next week for an exclusive interview with the author!





Ethan Kaille isn’t the likeliest hero. A former sailor with a troubled past, Ethan is a thieftaker, using conjuring skills to hunt down those who steal from the good citizens of Boston. And while chasing down miscreants in 1768 makes his life a perilous one, the simmering political tensions between loyalists like himself and rabble-rousing revolutionaries like Samuel Adams and others of his ilk are perhaps even more dangerous to his health.

When one hundred sailors of King George III's Royal Navy are mysteriously killed on a ship in Boston Harbor, Ethan is thrust into dire peril. For he--and not Boston’s premier thieftaker, Sephira Pryce--is asked to find the truth behind their deaths. City Sheriff Edmund Greenleaf suspects conjuring was used in the dastardly crime, and even Pryce knows that Ethan is better equipped to contend with matters of what most of Boston considers dark arts. But even Ethan is daunted by magic powerful enough to fell so many in a single stroke. When he starts to investigate, he realizes that the mass murderer will stop at nothing to evade capture. And making his task more difficult is the British fleet's occupation of the city after the colonials' violent protests after the seizure of John Hancock's ship. Kaille will need all his own magic, street smarts, and a bit of luck to keep this Boston massacre from giving the hotheads of Colonial Boston an excuse for inciting a riot--or worse.

Thieves' Quarry is a stunning second novel in D. B. Jackson's Thieftaker Chronicles.

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Joshua Palmatier

June 2017

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