Monday, September 30, 2013

Interview with Lisa Dawn - Marketing Director of the Wild Rose Press

*Thank you to Melissa Snark - The Snarkology for the Interview!
Hi Lisa! Thanks for agreeing to answer some questions for me!



Lisa, if I'm correct, you're The Wild Rose Press's Marketing Guru. (Is Marketing Guru your official title?)


I answer to many titles, lol, but marketing director is my main job at the Wild Rose Press. Although the title encompasses much more including review coordinator, and social media coordinator. I’m also author liaison. If you have a question or need something, my email can get you an answer or get you to the person who can get you an answer.


Please tell us about your background.


I don’t have a special background in marketing, but in my work history I have edited newsletters, managed book stores, run a salon, and had my own businesses.



How did you come to work for TWRP?


I met Rhonda online. The Wild Rose Press hadn’t officially opened their doors. As a writer, I was interested in the “Garden.” I submitted a story, contracted it (it was my first contracted book), and within a few weeks, had found that I had skills the company needed. The last seven years have been ideal.


What's Rhonda Penders like in real life? Is she scary? Intimidating? Does she sparkle in sunlight?


She definitely sparkles. She’s got a head for business but her heart is with authors. If you have a question, expect an honest answer. She believes in open communication and she does all she can to make the Garden (which is what we call the Wild Rose Press) a positive, professional place for authors.


What's your favorite part of your job?


I love working with authors. I love that I work from home. I commute about 30 feet from the coffeepot to my office. I wear slippers to work. (I have a slipper fetish J the bigger and fluffier the better).


What's the least favorite aspect of your job?

That changes from week to week. Right now, it’s Yahoo Groups. We are working on a new tool to be able to make it easier to coordinate promotional efforts with authors.


Do you have any minions?

No! And it’s probably a good thing. I’d scare them away. I’m happiest when I’m busy.


What are the most annoying things authors do to make your life harder?

I have a hard time answering this question. I know what it’s like for authors. Questions need to be answered. I suppose I just would ask authors to be patient. I always have a full inbox and sometimes emails can’t be answered the same day, but I try.


What's your advice to (aspiring, new & established) authors regarding the best way to create a successful marketing platform?

Do what you enjoy. Marketing your books and your brand takes time. So choosing venues you enjoy is going to make it a more appealing. If you hate to blog, don’t start a blog, rather guest blog now and again on other active blogs. Then the commitment is manageable. If you love Facebook, then make pages for your books. Do what you like. Also, give your readers more than heavy “buy my book” promotions. Share little facts about you, your writing life, and your inspirations. Readers want to know you as well as what you write.


Have you ever tried your hand at writing a romance novel?

Yes, I’m an active writer as well. I have books in the main side of the garden, but primarily I write erotic romance and my books can be found on the Wilder Side of the Garden in Scarlet Rose.


What types of books do you read for fun?

It changes. Right now, I like spicy historical romances.


Quick Quiz:


  • What color are your favorite pajamas?  Teal (and they are a soft flannel)

  • Favorite fruit?  Mixed berries. I eat them in a smoothie with protein powder and almond milk every day after I work out.

  • Do you believe in magic?  I believe we make our own magic. I have two boys and just celebrated 20 years of marriage. I have a great job, love to write and work in my vegetable garden. There has to be magic in that.

  •  Margaritas or martinis?  Coffee- black, herbal and chai tea or water. Those are the only things I drink. No soda, alcohol or other beverages.



    Thanks again!

    Thank you so much for having me.



    Tuesday, September 24, 2013

    Learning the Hard Way by Eve Dew Crook

    Learning the Hard Way

    Cyn Westland, my heroine in Taking the Tumble, is embarrassed in an experimental grad school class when she can’t make herself fall backwards into her professor’s open arms. This did happen to me. My mortification was so great that the incident remained in my memory and formed the core of my novel.

    Another weird class experience occurred when, as a college freshman, I enrolled in an Art Appreciation class. The instructor was eager for us to have a hands-on experience, so our end-of-term project was to sculpt a large bar of Ivory soap. I had never shown any ability to draw more than stick figures, and I worried about this project for quite a while.

    One winter day, on leaving my dorm, I noticed a large tree on campus whose branches spread out in an intriguing pattern against the blue sky. The tree was leafless, and I had no idea what kind it was, but I thought I’d carve an image of it into the soap as a bas relief. I worked hard, gouging out slivers of soap with a penknife, and when the time came to submit it, I was quite pleased with the result. It looked just like the real tree.

    Our efforts were handed in, and the teacher pulled a large screen down over the blackboard and began projecting the students’ works. I wriggled in my seat, waiting tensely for my turn. At last, at the very end, the instructor said, “Here is one showing a fine appreciation for proportion in the abstract.” And she flashed my artistic creation on the screen—upside down!

    Today I see her remark as a compliment, my frustration something to laugh about. Back then, I had to hold back my tears.

    Eve Dew Crook
    Taking the Tumble free on Kindle Sept. 24-28.
    TWRP release date, Nov. 22.

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    Interview with Nathan Crosby - Hero in Buried Secrets

    Interview with Nathan Crosby,
    Hero of Buried Secrets by A. Y. Stratton
    Q First of all I must say I was shocked that you, an attorney, would enter a home without the owner’s consent. Is that routine for you?
    A No. I’d never done anything like that before.  

    Q So what drove you to do it?
    A (Nathan shakes his head and sighs.) Schmidt had abused the justice system for a long time. I’d been working for various clients for five years, hoping to catch him in the act of bribing convicted men to confess to crimes they didn’t commit. I failed again and again, so I changed my strategy. I decided to search his home for evidence.  

    Q Why would Schmidt bribe them to lie like that?
    A Schmidt specialized in defending men accused of rape, perverts from wealthy families. Here’s how he worked: he’d persuade an already convicted man to confess to the rape. In return for his confession, the convict’s family would receive a large sum from the actual perpetrator. Schmidt was really good at making sure all the stories sounded valid. After I failed to get any evidence against him, I changed strategies.  

    Q Wait a minute. You’re saying Schmidt convinced men who were going to be locked up for a long time to lie about crimes they didn’t commit?
    A Schmidt’s clients had wealthy parents, people who would do anything to keep their sons from going to prison. And the convict’s family never asks any questions.

    Q I can see that disturbs you.
    A Doesn’t that disturb you? Do you understand why I wanted to get the guy?

    Q Yes, of course it’s a noble cause, making sure the guilty man goes to prison. But what drove you to take up that cause, when your risky methods could land you in jail too?
    A That’s personal.

    Q I’m guessing someone you know was hurt by Schmidt.
    A Let’s change the subject.

    Q Okay. New subject. How did you and Kate wind up in the same house that night?
    A That’s a good story. (Nathan sits back and laughs out loud.) I’d been hiding in the attic for about an hour, when Schmidt drove out of the driveway. I heard a noise, and when I went to check, we ran into each other right there in Schmidt’s hall. Kate ruined my timing. If she’d stayed home that night, I’d have been gone long before the murder.

    Q What would have happened to Kate, if she’d shown up and you hadn’t been there?
    A I don’t even want to think about what might have happened to her without me.

    Q So you two fell in love that night?
    A No. In fact we were more like enemies. I just happened to witness the way her ex treated her and did what I had to do.

    Q You defended her and then took her to your condo.
    A I had to keep track of her.

    Q Why?
    A To be sure she wouldn’t tell the authorities what we saw and heard that night. People fall apart after witnessing something like that. If either of us told anyone, we could both go to jail. Or get obliterated by Schmidt’s goons.

    Q And when did you fall in love?
    A (He sighs.) You could say I fell in love with her the first time I met her… in eighth grade. She teased me unmercifully. (He grins.) And still does.  

    Q One more question, please. Why were you there that night, risking jail and your reputation?

    A You’ll just have to read the book. Nice meeting you. 

    Coming soon from Wild Rose Press
    BURIED SECRETS by A. Y. Stratton
    Witnesses to murder, bound to secrecy,
    denying their desire.

    BURIED HEART by A.Y. Stratton
    A perilous quest. An ancient Mayan codex.
    Jealousy and desire.

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    The Last Straw _ Free on Kindle this week!

    My novella, The Last Straw is free on Amazon Kindle for 5 days starting today. This book started with a magazine article about a woman PI who specialized in employee background checks. I cut out the article and her photo and stuck it on my bulletin board. The fresh-faced, strawberry blonde stared down at me all summer.

    Then one day my husband and I were heading over to Half Moon Bay to go to a party, but just as we were accelerating up the freeway on-ramp, the car skidded. We thought that was weird! Then we noticed the engine heating up so we took the next exit and pulled into a gas station. Turned out the radiator hose had broken and we had skidded on the dumped engine coolant.

    While we waited for a tow truck, I told my husband (plot generator extraordinaire) about the character whose story I wanted to write. He came up with the undercover FBI agent who disappears idea and also with the stolen intellectual property idea.

    I wrote the story but set it aside to focus on my day job and my life, which was full of caregiving for the next few years. But last fall, after I left my day job, my critique partner suggested I write something short for The Wild Rose Press and asked me what I had. I told her the basic premise and she loved it. She helped me brainstorm how to do it with the suspense in the background.

    The Wild Rose Press contracted the story and I started a new phase of my writing life. I love this new phase and am working on more romance stories, a bit longer but not full-length novel yet, with a touch of suspense, spicy and on the lighter side.

    The Last Straw is available here: 

    by Nia Simone

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Recipe for a Fairy Tale By Helen C. Johannes

    Recipe for a Fairy Tale
    By Helen C. Johannes (The Prince of Val-Feyridge)
    Take one orphan teenager
    Add a wicked stepmother
    Toss in two cruel step-sisters
    Combine with beatings and press under a heavy work load
    Let stand several years

    Prepare one handsome prince in need of a wife
    Arrange a fancy dress ball
    Combine with a dash of pomp, a teaspoon of circumstance, and one full tablespoon of glitz

    Measure one cup of fairy godmother and sift with a liberal helping of magic
    Add to previously battered orphan

    Stir in prepared prince and fancy dress ball
    Caution:  Some lumps will remain

    At midnight separate two glass slippers
    Add one to princely mix
    Reserve one for topping

    Bake several days in despair and confusion

    Topping:  Combine three-fourths cup of proclamation and reserved glass slipper
    Sprinkle liberally over all
    Dust with happiness

    Serves two

    Tuesday, September 03, 2013

    Characters and humans behaving badly by Rue Allyn

    I don’t know about you but I’m not always a nice person. I try, but despite my best efforts and a whole grunch of praying I still have moments when my inner fears (read introvert with a history) get the better of me. Sadly, for some people this makes me a lousy person. I think it makes me human and much more interesting than if I were pure as the driven et cetera. As an author, I believe heroes and especially heroines who have faults are more interesting and more believeable than those who don’t. The faults can range in severity from a simple chocolate addiction (I actually wrote a hero who had a fondness for chocolate) to excessive guilt or fear. You’d be surprised the kinds of behavior that guilt and fear will produce in people. Well, now that I think on it, you might not be surprised. You’re human too, right? J

    In Deal of a Lifetime the heroine’s fears get the better of her for most of the book. She doesn’t always treat the hero nicely. So why does he bother? Well he isn’t always perfect either although due to his life experience he is a little bit wiser than the heroine. That life experience gives him faith that the woman he loves will eventually overcome her fears. His faith in her is so strong that he puts up with all of her nonsense to gain a happy every after for both of them. 

    Please leave a comment and let me know about a time when your fears caused you to behave less perfectly than you’d like.

    Deal of a Lifetime will be available world wide on September 4, 2013. Currently you may purchase the book through Amazon’s Kindle Store.

    Learn more about Deal of a Lifetime, Rue Allyn and her other books at You may contact Rue through the following social media sites.