Saturday, December 13, 2014

Goodbye to my Brave Little Girl

My beautiful little Yorkie Purdy went to rainbow bridge on November 14th 2014, when I took her to the vet and had her put to sleep. It was a heartbreaking decision, but I knew it was the best thing for her.

Purdy was rescued from an illegal puppy mill in Arkansas in 2006. She was suffering from heartworm, and many of her teeth were loose due to poor nutrition and a calcium deficiency, and had to be extracted. She was so horribly emaciated that they guessed her age to be 12 when she was actually probably only six.

After being treated and spayed, she was transferred to Jacksonville Florida where she went into a foster home.

I could hardly contain my excitement when my husband and I went to fetch her, and the thrill of the first time I held her in my arms will always be with me. At that time I had no idea what far-reaching effects the neglect and abuse would have on her health. She quickly made friends with our Yorkie boy, Frank and they played tag around the dining room table.

Purdy bonded with me immediately. Whenever she sat on my lap, she would face me and stare into my face. If I spoke to her, she would push her head into me and snuggle to show her love. It was always such a humbling experience to be the object of such adoration.

She couldn't jump. The muscles in her hind legs were too weak from living in a small cage all her life, so I placed her bed on the floor beside me. I wanted her to be free to get up and move around in the night without having to wake me and have me lift her off the bed. She soon learned that a cold winter's night all she had to do was groan and I would reach down and cover her with the blanket.

Purdy's liver was badly damaged from years of neglect and poor nutrition, and subsequently her immune system didn't work properly. Flea control is a must in Florida, but she was allergic to the flea medication and it caused her to throw up and scratch even more. It became such a nightmare and I felt so desperate I sometimes sat up all night just holding her so she could have some relief. We also had  to stop giving her the heartworm preventative most dogs need in Florida. Her little body just couldn't handle the poison in it.

We fed her a diet of kibbles and chicken thighs that I cooked especially for her, but when she landed up on a drip in the veterinary hospital with pancreas problems, we learned that she couldn't ever eat any fat of any kind. I changed her diet to skinless chicken breasts, but every now and then she still suffered from pancreatitis attacks, which were very painful, and all we could do was give her medication to ease the pain and wait helplessly for the attacks to run their course.

Purdy was allergic to shampoo. Whenever she had a bath she vomited and broke out in hives. I tried human baby shampoo but it made no difference. I eventually figured out it was the sulfates causing the reaction, and I had to bathe her in pure soap with no additives. It took years to get rid of the dirty marks that were ingrained in her skin from lying in her own waste in the puppy mill.

The flea pill was a great help to her at first, and for a while it seemed to be safe for her. Eventually it must have accumulated inside her, though, and she became more and more resistant to taking it, and started throwing up more and more often.

My veterinarian suggested I try a tiny dose of Prilosec for the nausea and indigestion, with disastrous effects. Purdy vomited all night and pooped blood. I was terrified she would die, and that was when I decided she couldn't ever have any sort of medication again.

Fleas were still a problem, and I decided to try cat flea powder on her. It seemed to help for a while and the constant nausea abated. Purdy started eating better and she actually managed to put on a little weight. I was immensely relieved.

My relief was short-lived though. Purdy's hind legs started giving her problems. They seemed to collapse and jerk around uncontrollably. This happened at any time day or night and for a while it became a very worrying and frightening problem. My veterinarian had not witnessed anything like it before and anyhow, any sort of medication was not an option. I figured out eventually that it was probably the organo-phosphates in the cat flea powder that were having a bad effect on her nervous system. I stopped using it. The problem slowly seemed to get less and less after that.


I was thrilled when I finally found Flea Free, an all natural liquid that I added to her water. Finally, Purdy's digestive system and flea control seemed to be under control and life eased a little.

That was when her front legs started to develop arthritis. There was no chance she could take any sort of medication for it and we could only watch it get worse and become more and more of a hindrance to her until she could hardly get around, and she started losing her footing and falling. That was when I knew I would have to make the decision to put her to sleep.

I was determined to be there for her to the end. I couldn't control the tears, but I'll always treasure the precious few minutes I held her in my arms for the last time, and I'll never forget how tiny her little body looked after she had gone.

It's been over a month now and I miss Purdy every single day and tears come to my eyes without warning when I think about her. She had a very hard life all caused by the inhumane treatment she was given at the puppy mill.

If you are reading this you are probably a dog or animal lover. Pet shops in the USA often obtain their puppies from illegal puppy mills and you would be helping dogs all over the country just by warning your friends not to purchase a puppy from any pet store without first verifying that they came from a legitimate breeder who takes proper care of their dogs.

Although it is primarily a romantic comedy, my most recent novel, Backwoods Boogie is designed to create awareness and to send a strong message against illegal puppy mills. I've dedicated the print version to my wonderful, loyal and brave little companion who will always hold a place in my heart.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Paper or Plastic? Capricorn Cravings in Print

I'm very pleased to say romance thriller Capricorn Cravings is now in print. It was released by Soul Mate Publishing in February for Kindle, and now it is also in print.


Riley Shaughnessy has the perfect life. Her veterinary practice is thriving, and she loves living in the small town in the Colorado mountains, where no one knows the shocking secret of her past. She loves to gallop her palomino mare across the vast expanse of public land bordering the town, and after a long period of self-denial, she has even committed to a date with handsome horse wrangler, Randy Hansen. But now, she knows her assistant, Jamie, would never willingly abandon her child, so why has she disappeared? Something dark and sinister is taking place, and it all started on the day hunky Powell Stewart, with the piercing blue eyes, came into her life in a strange and unexpected way. 
Her inner voice tells her to stay as far away from him as she can, but his magnetism drags her toward him and she cannot find the power to resist. 

Click Here for Details

You can also download Riley's Story FREE from my website Here


Friday, November 14, 2014

Backwoods Boogie Released Today!

Backwoods Boogie released. I'm very excited that November 14th finally arrived, and my third book in the Redneck P.I. Series is now available for download.

Redneck P.I. Twila Taunton sets out to rescue tea shop owner Pam Taylor from prison, and she ends up rescuing a group of abused animals at the same time.
If you love mysteries, romance, humor, animals, and quirky characters, you will love this story. 


The characters include:





Octogenarian Great Aunt Essie -- Harley-riding, hard-drinking toker --
  

Gasser Cunha, mean guitarist, hacker and master farter --


Mad Maddie -- the nympho cop --


Bart Drummond and his biker gang, the Justice Enforcers --

and nutty black goth vampire Xylophone Adams --


It will be available in print format very soon.



Click here to Buy it Now:


I also got a brand new website today, and the feature I love the best about it is that my blog posts show up there. Head on over there and take a look: www.trishjackson.com 

Happy reading!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Amazon Puts the Power in Readers' Hands

Amazon's new Kindle Scout Program has effectively taken the power away from the publishers and placed it squarely in the hands of the readers.


Here's a summary of how it works:


Authors are invited to submit a full length fiction manuscript plus book cover and blurbs.  Amazon's reviewers read the manuscript and if it meets their standards, they create a 'campaign' for the book. This is made up of the cover, a one-line description and a longer blurb about the story, plus the first 5,000 words. 


Anyone with an Amazon account can login, read what has been posted, and nominate the book, assuming they like it. 


Each reader can nominate only three books. If they have already nominated three and then find one they like better, they can drop one of their previously nominated books and nominate the new one instead.


At the end of the 30-day campaign, the book with the highest number of nominations wins a publishing contract with Amazon for it's author, with a $1,500 royalty advance.


Readers who nominated a winning book get a free copy and are asked to provide a review.


Campaigns are ongoing and any author can submit their book (but only one book per author) any day of the year.


This program is brilliant because it puts the readers (who are the customers) in charge. They collectively and democratically choose the best stories, and help weed out the mediocre, the bad and the unfinished stories. The author has no way of knowing who has voted or canceled their vote, and readers cannot collaborate online.


It also takes the power away from the publishers. Twenty years ago, publishing houses and their editors were like Gods. Writers submitted their work and were told to expect rejection. A handful of  professional 'readers' had the power to accept or reject every manuscript they reviewed. 

Then came POD or Print On Demand, and the selection process became a lot less stringent. 

When self-publishing became a reality, it brought out a lot of talented authors who would never have been published in the past, but it also brought a horde of books that should never have seen the light of day.


My hope is that Kindle Scout will even the playing field for authors and readers.


Here is my campaign:



VIRGO'S VARIANT is a romance thriller or suspense thriller with romantic elements.The first 5,000 words are on the site at Kindle Scout for people to read. (No Kindle is required). If you like what you see, you can nominate the book.

Here is the link to my book. 

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1JKUU4V1XP5OL


I would LOVE to have your vote and I thank you very much.
Please share with any other readers you know.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Interview with NZ Author Claire Plaisted

Claire Plaisted is a multi-talented author from New Zealand, who has written several books in different genres and for totally different audiences. Just looking at a list of the titles can tell you a lot -- Garrett Investigation Bureau – Malachy’s Unit, Rosetta’s Lot, Joseph’s Story, Ryan’s Madam.  And still to be published -- Mascosta’s Dreamgirl & Renegade Jones.  Other titles. - Zoe’s Journey, Charlie Girls First Summer Christmas, The Diary of a Psychotic Killer.


It's great to have you here on my blog, Claire. Could you give us a little more info about the various genres do you write?

Historical Romance Mystery, Mystery Romance, Sci Fi Young Adult, Children’s. I haven’t settled into any one Genre, and probably never will.


Are you a pantser? (You write by the seat of your pants and the story is all there in your head.)  

I’ve always wondered what to call myself!  My fingers do the talking. I open a word document and write whatever is there.


How about plotting? Have you ever tried it?

I sometimes chuck ideas around with friends if I get a bit stuck. I have never really plotted anything,


Do you think it's important to write a detailed list of your character's habits, likes, dislikes and family members? Why?

I did try this once at a suggestion of another friend who is also a writer, it didn’t really work for me.  These days when I write a book draft I sometimes open Notepad to write their names down and what they look like.


Writing in first person, present has been controversial in the past, but now it seems to be the trend for best-selling authors. (I look into the closet and recoil when I see what looks like a dead body.) Do you think it is more powerful than other tenses?

Is it more powerful?  No I don’t believe it is.  Some people enjoy reading a book as if they are doing the deed; others enjoy reading a book as if they are watching a movie.  I do have one draft where one character is in first person and all the others are in third.  It can get complicated, though it’s been fun to do.


What do you think today's readers want and how does it differ from readers of the past?

In many books I read I must admit to getting bored from all the descriptive writing.  I like to read a book which has twists and turn, lots of dialogue.  Entertaining, taking you out of your own life and into another world.  As a writer I want you to see what is happening.  My readers wanted sex scenes, so I gave them what they wanted.  Going back even fifteen years and those types of scenes were not acceptable.  The English language has also change a lot over the years, especially with the different types of English used in different countries.


I totally agree with you and I think it's something a lot of authors don't seem to get. Readers today don't have time for long-winded passages that don't advance the storyline. What book are you going to feature in this post? Tell us its genre and write a short paragraph about it.

“Girlie and the War of the Wasps.” This is a young children’s story which I wrote for a friend’s grandchild.  Since then I have had young beta readers who have been enthralled with it. 

 Girlie is a bright blue Ladybug who sees her best friend Grassi the Grasshopper kidnapped by nasty wasps.  Girlie follows them to their hive where she finds all different types of insects been used as slaves to look after the Queens and her babies.  Girlie has to find a way to save all the insects and stop the war. She goes on a quest to find a healthy diet for the Queen so her worker and drone wasps behave and do their own work.  Along the way she meets Sammie the kitten, Pedi the Centipede and many more.  She even drops in at an orphanage where there are many different coloured ladybugs. (The book cover below is a concept drawing and as you can see, it hadn't been completed yet.)


Can you tell me about your ideal reader? You probably have a few different ones.

Yes. With writing all different types of genres, my market is quite wide.  My children’s books have been well accepted by 6 – 10 year olds so far.  Parents saying to me “They won’t put it down, it’s amazing.”  One parents has a daughter who dislikes reading, I gave her a copy of my book “Zoe’s Journey,” her daughter read two chapters every night, and loved it.  ‘Zoe’s Journey’ is about myths and legends, strangely enough, the young girl’s class at school had studied this topic a few months prior.  

My adult books are suitable for anyone who wishes to read about murder, mystery and mayhem.  Suitable for anyone over 18 years.


Also, romance readers want steamy love scenes. Do you agree? Do you think your books meet their expectations?

Well you can certainly get steamy love scenes in my adult books.  The first time I was so embarrassed, it took a while to pick up the courage to self-publish one of the books.  I can however, write without steamy sex scenes as well.  Yes my books met the expectations of those who have read them so far.  All I get is – “I want more!”  Though I think that is more to do with the twisted plot rather than the sex scenes.


Children's books usually include pictures. How did you find an illustrator/photographer?

For my first little children’s book, which I hope to publish by Christmas, I have done my own drawings and with the help of a local Artist enhanced them, at present he is doing the colouring.  I met him at a networking meeting for local businesses.  Another idea I have looked at is helping art students at the local college and schools to build their portfolios, helping to build their experience.


Do any of your books have a message? 

The only books which will have messages in them are my little children’s books.  The first story called “Girlie and the War of the Wasps, is about eating healthy and playing nicely with others.  The second in the series is about biting and kicking and how unkind it is.  They are both adventure stories in the garden world of insects.


I like that. If you could choose one character from the book, what would he/she say to you if he/she was to meet you?

Out of all my characters I would like to meet Yuri.  I have no idea why, he is a good man caring for his boss and his staff.  I’d like to hug him and thank him for all his hard work.  What he would say to me?  I’m not sure he would, I thinks he’d just smile and salute with a twinkle in his eye.


Did you self-publish or query and hope a publisher would accept your work and how did that work out for you?

With my very first book, I did try and find an agent and get it published the old fashioned way, without any progress.  It taught me a lot about setting my work out; it didn’t help with my English or Grammar due to the fact they give no feedback whatsoever.  They never tell you why your book is not acceptable.   Since that time I have taught myself how to format books for eBook and Print versions.  It has been a hard road though enjoyable.  I no help other local authors get their books online.


What do you do to promote your writing?

I mainly use social media, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Smashwords.  I will be adding a few more sites as I gather experience.  I also have a Writers Website, Blog and a Business Website.   On a local base I contact the local reporter and ask if they are interested.  I have participated in one article this year though my name has been in four articles with various clients.


What advice do you have for your fellow writers/authors?

Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t write.  Find someone who will help you perfect your writing, use a program like “StyleWriter” to help with grammar and sentence length.  I have seen some great stories, though they needed a lot of work to get them publishable.  Be it the flow or grammar.  YOU CAN WRITE.  Get positive feedback and feed forward.  I dislike negativity it is not needed.  Read “On Writing” by Stephen King.  It is great.  It certainly helped me a lot.


Tell us about your next project.

I have several projects on the go at any one time.  I don’t concentrate on any one story unless I am in the mood to do so.  My fingers do the talking.  I have around 20 drafts on the go.  My aim though is to finish my little children’s book, “Girlie and the War of the Wasps,” and publish my next book in “Garrett Investigation Bureau” (GIB) series, called “Mascosta’s Dreamgirl.”  Hopefully by Christmas time.


Wow!! Prolific is not enough to describe that! But why should we buy your books?

I write a good book, with a good storyline; they tend to twist and turn when you least expect it.  They finish with a reader usually wanting more.  I’m good at keeping people on the edge of their seats.  This is with my adult book series (GIB)  They are interesting to read, you can learn a few things from each book even though they are fiction I try and get my facts right.  They are entertaining, romantic and in some cases horrifying.  They are also well priced in print and eBook versions.


They kind of sound like mine. Perhaps readers who like my books would also like yours, and vice-versa. Thank you so much again for this wonderfully entertaining interview. I hope readers will go to your sites and check out your books.


CLAIRE'S BIO

My name is Claire Plaisted.  I am married with three children and live in Rotorua, New Zealand.  I have been writing novels since 2011 and have self-published 7 in that time.
 I fell into writing whilst waiting for Family History Research information from a client.  I wrote a Regency Romance which is still to be published.  Since then I’ve not stopped writing.  At first I was writing for me, I first published for my own satisfaction.  The feeling of having your first printed book in your hands is amazing.  It was only at friend’s insistence that I published for everyone. Hobbies can vary these days.  I love to spend time with my family and two cats.  I like to garden in the summer and reading is a must.  I like to cook and bake, crochet and knit.  It depends on my mood. In the past I have supported.  Heart Children New Zealand, Parent to Parent and I was a Trustee at a local school for 6 years.  Today I write a community newsletter and volunteer a half day in a local charity shop.


Where can we find out more about you and your work?


                    

Monday, November 3, 2014

Interview with Thriller Author Cat Connor

Do you like crime and techno-thrillers? You may want to take a look at Cat Connor's books. 

Cat, it's so good to have you here on my blog. Please tell us about your writing. What genre/genres do you write?


I write predominately in the thriller genre. Mostly crime thrillers with a bit of a horror edge at times. My latest book, Databyte has a techno-thriller edge.


Are you a pantser? (You write by the seat of your pants and the story is all there in your head.)  

Yep, I’m a pantser. The story isn’t all there in my head though. I see it as a series of movie clips and write what I see as the scenes are shown to me. I have no idea when I start a story what it will be about, who will be involved or how it will end. I always start with a question that seems to pop into my head. It can be anything. With databyte is was, “Whose hand is it?” and from that a story grew.If I knew the entire story from the moment I started writing I wouldn’t bother writing it at all … for me to write, I need to discover the story as I go – keeps me entertained and let’s face it, it’s all about entertaining ourselves first and foremost.
Ironically though I host a writing group at our public library and teach plotting! I have tried in the past to plot out a story – but got bored.


So please tell us more about the book you are featuring in this post.

DATABYTE – the 6th byte book is a thriller. SSA (Supervisory Special Agent) Ellie Conway has had better days and none of them started with her being on the run from the FBI with an actor. She discovers that protecting the actor from a stalker might be the easiest part of the week and if she can't clear her name before the FBI catch her then life as she knows it will end. 

When information becomes misinformation how much of what you see should you believe?



Choose one character from the book and tell us what he/she would say to you if he/she was to meet you.

   SSA Ellie Conway is my main character and I’ve often thought she’s someone I’d love to hang out with.Our meeting might go something like this:

   'I looked up to see a tall woman with long blonde hair wearing cowboy boots, jeans, and a black long sleeved button down shirt crossing the floor toward me.
She sat on the bar stool next to me, leaned on the bar and spoke, “Cat?”

“Yeah. Ellie?” She nodded glanced at my glass and ordered a drink. “I’ll have the same,” she said to the bartender.

“Another cowgirl’s prayer, coming right up.”

Moments later she was sipping on her drink. “You have good taste.”
“Thanks. Why are you here?”

“We need to talk.”

I frowned, that didn’t sound good.“We do?”

“Yeah.” Her head swiveled and her dark blue eyes scrutinized me.

I arched an eyebrow. “So talk …”

“Don’t let Mitch die,” she said quietly. “We have a chance at a normal life. Let us have that.”

“I only write what you show me, so don’t show me his death.”

She finished her drink, set the glass on the bar, and stood up. “Don’t let him die,” she said as she walked away.'

  
And I guess the only we'll find out if you listened to her is to read the book. Tell us, did you self-publish or query and hope a publisher would accept your work, and how did that work out for you?

I queried. It’s a slow process and at times frustrating. I did find a publisher and I’ve been with Rebel ePublishers since February 2009. They’ve published all the byte series so far.
In the last few years I’ve also self-published collections of short stories, a byte series novella (which goes between the 5th and 6th books) and a poetry book. My main character in the byte series writes poetry – the poetry book is a book that is talked about within the series. That was a lot of fun to put together.


Wow! You are so talented to be able to write poetry as well. It sounds like you have a lot of projects going at the moment. Which one is due to be published next?

The next book in the byte series is ERASERBYTE, it’s due out next year – probably June or July. Eraserbyte was a really fun book to write and quite different for me. My Admins wanted me to write a book based on some of the things we did in Washington D.C. So for the first time ever I had a bit of an idea how some of the story would play out … or so I thought. Turned out I really had no clue and it grew into something quite unexpected. It was a helluva ride and I enjoyed every second. (The Admins haven’t seen it yet, can’t wait until they read it!) I’ve recently finished writing the 8th book in this series, Psychobyte. I’ll be sending that off to my publishers early next year. I’m working my way through it at the moment, tweaking sentences and adding detail then it’ll go to a few trusted readers before it lands on my editor’s desk at Rebel.


Your books sound amazing. Is there anything you can say to convince us to buy them? 

This is what others have said about them:


 “Cat Connor’s Databyte, a techno-thriller cum murder mystery, hits the spot and then some. Even if we’d never heard of the NSA, Eric Snowden, and Julian Assange, this book would be worth the price of admission just to eavesdrop on the internal dialogue of Supervisory Special Agent Ellie Conway.”

                --Reed Farrel Coleman, three-time Shamus Award-winning author of The Hollow Girl “From the first page, with multiple plots and twists, Databyte grabs tight and doesn't let go till right to the end.” -– Eric G


CAT'S BIO

Cat Connor lives in Upper Hutt, New Zealand with her youngest two children (The Girl Wonder and Breezy), a retired racing greyhound – Romeo, and a fat grey cat - Missy.

She is the author of The _byte series published by Rebel ePublishers, USA, an FBI thriller series about the life of SSA Ellie Conway. Cat's short stories have appeared in anthologies, collections, ezines, and journals in the USA and UK. Cat hosts a fortnightly writing workshop at the Upper Hutt City Library: A Writer’s Plot. 

A coffee addict and a lover of red wine and Jose Cuervo tequila, she’s been described as irresistible, infectious, and addictive. Cat believes music is as essential to life as breathing. When she’s not writing Cat enjoys decoupage, tie-dying, walking with her kids and hound, hanging out with friends, and themed dinners with the Admins and The Oracle.

Thank you again, Cat, it's wonderful to have someone from the other side of the world here, and such a talented writer. Where can we find out more about you and your work?



TWITTER  @catconnor





 Attach a picture of you and your book cover.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review - Passion in the Kitchen by Cynthia Ainsworthe

Front Row Center's Passion in the Kitchen is a cookbook with a difference, guaranteed to bring an extra spark into your relationship!


The author is an accomplished cook who specializes in French cuisine, and she is also an award-winning writer of a suspenseful and passionate romance novel, Front Row Center, which is currently being adapted into a screenplay.

The recipes are all tried and tested by the author, and are not too complex for the average home cook. The categories include 'Appeteasers', 'Warm up Foreplay' and 'Between the Sheets'. Each recipe includes a mouth-watering illustration, and all have suggestive names like 'Smooth Caresses', 'Sublime Joinings', 'Love Wand of Ecstasy' and 'Sweet and Lustful'.

Interspersed with photos of food is a generous serving of pictures of delectably hot men.

But that's not all... Every recipe ends with a "Cooking Break" - lines of flirtation taken from the novel, Front Row Center. 

Example: 'Cooking break! 
That’s all right,” she replied softly. “You want some of my …” she opened her palm, “… nuts?”
He blew out a ragged breath.'

If you are looking for something to spice up your life, look no further. 

I received an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Link