Archive | February 2013

Marilyn’s Way

marilyn-monroe-400

Marilyn was always doing something to support others. She had an uncanny way of inviting a person in and making them feel special.  If she found herself in the company of an underdog, say a good-looking kid with a complicated past, unraveling in public and on the ugly verge of becoming a joke, well then Marilyn would have attached her greatest sympathy and encouragement towards this person. It didn’t matter to her at all what background this particular person came from: wealth and privilege or poor and nameless.  Either end of the spectrum, if the person was floundering then this was Marilyn’s kind of person, all the way.

K.R. and I can imagine her sitting attentively on the edge of any old theater’s seat and fixing him/her with her beautiful gaze, mouth slightly parted, transfixed, as though listening to him/her deliver a canned and un-enlightening reading were on par with hearing Cicero delivering his speech against Catiline. We can imagine her getting him/her through it by her sheer will.  And we know that this person would have felt the power that seemed to just ooze from this woman.

No matter what you may think you know about Marilyn Monroe, none of us will ever really ‘know’ her.  Even her most devoted fans struggle with the present day persona that is known as Marilyn Monroe.   For us though, with all the great research that has been done before us, learning who the real woman was has been paramount for our writing of the What She Knew Trilogy.  We wanted to not only keep her memory alive, but to tell the story of her un-lived life.  We wanted her to live through our words.  K.R. and I both feel we have done just that.

Let us show you what we mean.  What follows is a ‘nut shell’ of Marilyn’s life:

Marilyn Monroe was baptized by Aimée Semple McPherson, analyzed by Anna Freud, befriended by Carl Sandburg and Edith Sitwell, romanced by Jack Kennedy, painted by Willem de Kooning, taught acting by Michael Chekhov and Lee Strasberg, photographed by such greats as Milton Greene, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. She managed—on the strength of her talent and within a studio system that paid no attention to individual ambition—to work with some of the greatest directors in movie history: twice with John Huston, Billy Wilder, and Howard Hawks, and once each with George Cukor, Joseph Mankiewicz, and Laurence Olivier. She was the first Playboy centerfold and one of the first women to own her own production company; she was a nudist and a champion of free love long before these concepts emerged into the national consciousness.

Marilyn in Korea

She maintained a deep association with the American military that, all on its own, lent her a mythic stature. When the Second World War broke out, she became both a teenage war bride and an actual Rosie the Riveter (long days spent working in the fuselage-varnishing room of the Radioplane plant in Burbank); her first photographs, now dubbed the ‘red sweater photos’ were taken in the spirit of “morale boosters” for the boys overseas; her famous appearance in Korea—wriggling onstage in her purple sequined dress, popping her glorious platinum head out of the hatch of the camouflaged touring tank rolling her to the next appearance—remains the standard against which any American sex symbol sent to entertain the troops is measured. She was the first celebrity to talk openly about her childhood sexual abuse, a kind of admission that has become commonplace today. But to tell reporters in the 1950s that you had been raped as an 8-year-old—and to do so without shame, but rather with a justifiable sense of fury and vengeance—was a breathtaking act of self-assurance.  Married and divorced three times to very different men, but all ended essentially because none of them could handle her fame. Fame, something that she both loved and hated.  Fame is almost impossible to live with – one is never alone, yet you feel all alone most of the time.

All of these things added together, give us a picture of so much more than a sex-symbol.  A picture of a very independent and strong woman. A woman who speaks her mind, who reaches for more, who is not ashamed of others sins, and is not afraid to face an uncertain future.  This Marilyn Monroe is the woman who graces the pages of our books.

Fateful Night Syringe

Mock-up of cover for ‘Fateful Night’

Books one and two of the trilogy, Fateful Night and Darkest Day, are out now! Book three, Brightest Dawn, will be out soon.  We encourage you to let your imagination soar, and find the Marilyn Monroe that could have been if her life had not been so tragically cut short.

Blessings,

K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns

Fateful Night: http://www.smarturl.it/FatefulNight

Darkest Day: http://www.smarturl.it/DarkestDay

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WhatSheKnew

Twitter: https://twitter.com/whatsheknewbook

Website: https://www.kandtproductions.com

Please Welcome Heidi Nicole Bird

Heidi

We are honored to have Heidi Nicole Bird with us today! Woot! She is celebrating the release of her latest book “Through the Paper Wall.”  Let’s jump right in!

~~Where are you from?

West Jordan, Utah, born and raised!

~~Tell us a little about yourself (ie: your education, family life, hobby, etc.)

I was homeschooled until seventh grade, and I know that largely impacted my imagination. After high school I bounced around a few colleges and ended up graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History from Brigham Young University. I love to read, write, and play with my three dogs. Currently the only job I have is working on my books, and I live at home with my family.

~~Tell us your latest news?

My book “Through the Paper Wall” is now available for purchase! This is the first time I’ve published anything and I am very excited about it. I will also be publishing my second book “Ontario” this coming May.

Paper Wall Heidi

~~When and why did you begin writing?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember, and I largely attribute that to the way I was brought up. With my Mom as my teacher we read a ton every day, and visited the library almost literally every day. My stories always used to be about horses, because that is what I loved. Everything I read was about horses, pretty much. The first story I remember writing was “Jenny’s Horse” and I was probably around twelve years old when I wrote it. I never finished a story until my roommate and long-time friend told me about NaNoWriMo in 2009, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

~~When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Even though I’ve always been writing, I only started really feeling like the real deal and telling people I was a writer probably a year ago.

~~What inspired you to write your first book?

My first novel, which I plan on releasing at some point, was largely an experiment. I wrote it for NaNoWriMo 2009 and I largely had no idea where the story was going until about half-way through. It is very much a cookie-cutter young adult fantasy sort of thing that grew into a trilogy. So, to answer your question, it was really NaNoWriMo itself that inspired me. When I was given a hard deadline, I went for it. I don’t like losing, or giving up, and I knew I could do it.

~~Do you have a specific writing style?

I think I do, though I don’t  really know how to describe it, haha. I think my style is easy to read, yet engaging, and I stay away from anything overly romantic, i.e. awkward, or anything too violent. Basically I like to keep my books family friendly, no matter then intended age group.

~~How did you come up with the title?

It just sort of came to me as I started the story. The main idea for the story had come to me long before I started working on it, and then that first day when I sat down to write, it just sort of clicked.

~~Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In this one, yes. The main character is a young boy who is only concerned about himself and doesn’t ever see what other people are trying to do. The message I’d like readers to grasp is to pay attention to and appreciate the people in your life, because you never know when they might not be there anymore.

~~How much of the book is realistic?

I think most of the story is realistic, honestly. It is a fantasy, but the way the evil kids control everyone else is by using microchips, so in reality it could happen, which is a pretty freaky thought, actually!

~~Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life, or are they a figment of your imagination? (i.e. – is your hero/heroin you? – is your ‘bad guy’ you or someone you know?)

For this particular story, no, though I have done that in other books.

~~What books have influenced your life the most?

Oh gosh! Probably the ones that I read while I was growing up, the ones that inspired me – they were on the shelf at the library, I always wanted to be able to check out my own book one day. Some of those authors include Nancy Springer, J.K. Rowling, Bruce Coville, and Joanna Campbell. All of their books that I have read have inspired me as an author.

~~If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Chris Baty. I have always been so inspired by his writing and motivational speeches, and the correspondence I have had with him has been great.

~~What book(s) are you reading now?

“After Hello,” by Lisa Mangum and “Digitus 233,” by K.D. Emerson

~~Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

K.D. Emerson and Dominique Goodall. I am very interested in their work, though I have yet to finish anything they have written yet.

~~What are your current projects?

Now that I am finished publishing ‘Through the Paper Wall,” I have two things I am going to focus on publishing my book “Ontario” and finish writing my story which is currently entitled “Lorn.” I hope to publish “Lorn” this year as well.

~~Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

The NaNoWriMo Facebook community has supported me immensely! I never would have finished “Through the Paper Wall” without them!

~~If you could pick any celebrity to star in the movie version of your book, who would it be?

Wow, what a great question. Hmm…you know, I think that Samantha Barks would be absolutely perfect for Renna!

~~If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No, I don’t think so.  I am really happy with how this book turned out.

~~Can you share a little of your current work with us? (a short excerpt would be great)

Sure, here’s one of my favorite parts:

Jesse entered the storage room and Jake followed, his eyes never leaving the picture, which he had to duck under so he wouldn’t hit his head. Jesse closed the door behind them and sighed. … As the tunnel came into view, Jake stopped.

            “Whoa!” he said. “That’s crazy!” He pointed at the tunnel and looked at Jesse.

            “I know!” Jesse said, nodding excitedly. “And you won’t believe how far it goes. I didn’t even go very far, but it goes way farther than our property, that’s for sure, and I still couldn’t see the end. It just seems to go on forever!”

            “Does it go down at all?” Jake asked, coming over and running his hand along the edge of the tunnel, as if he was convincing himself that it was actually there.

            “Not that I remember,” Jesse said, watching him. “As far as I could tell it just kept going on straight forever.”

            “Weird,” Jake said, standing back up and dusting his hands off on his pants. “That would go straight under the highway.”

            “That’s what I thought,” Jesse said.

            “There did used to be miners who lived here for a while I think, but that might only be one of those rumors that flies around. People say all sorts of things about the people who used to live here ‘way back when.’”

            “What sort of rumors?” Jesse asked, intrigued.

            “Well, the old folks around here say that weird things used to happen around these parts fairly often,” Jake said shrugging. “In fact, I think a lot of what people have to say is about your house. That’s why I was surprised that you’d moved in here. Nobody has lived here for as long as most of us can remember. Of course that isn’t saying much in my case, but others who’ve lived here for a long time . . .”

            “What weird things were going on?” Jesse asked. “And what do they have to do with my house?”

            “Well,” Jake said, shifting the things in his belt. “If I remember right, it seems like a lot of things would go missing,” he said. “Things like food, and tools, and clothes and such, and they always turned up here, either in the house or just outside it.”

            “So somebody was stealing things?” Jesse asked.

            “That’s the weird thing,” Jake said. “It continued even as different people moved in. People would get tired of being accused of taking people’s stuff, so they’d leave, but then it would just keep going on. Finally the town stopped persecuting people because they decided it just had something to do with the house, like it was haunted or something. People must have mostly forgotten about it now, or they probably wouldn’t be so nice to you guys. Or they don’t know where you live yet.”

            “Some people know where we live,” Jesse said. “My Dad’s met people and told them, and he always said they were nice. And you were nice to me when you found out,” he pointed out.

            “Well,” Jake said, running one hand through his hair. “I don’t have anything against this place. Nothing weird has happened here since I’ve been here, so why should I? Plus,” he added after a few seconds, “I liked you. I didn’t want to come up with some dumb reason not to be friends with you. I didn’t believe in those legends at all anyway. Well, until maybe today.”

            Jesse looked back at the tunnel, where Jake’s gaze had shifted to. He wondered if something did live in there, and if it had been stealing things from people. But why had things always ended up in the house, or outside it? Did that mean that for some reason the thing that was taking things couldn’t bring the things into the tunnel with it?

            Jesse put his hands on his ears and shook his head. None of this was making sense. He felt like he had been plunged into some sort of science fiction movie and he didn’t really like it.

            “Well,” Jake said after the two of them had just stood there for a few minutes. “Are we going, or what?”

            Jesse looked back at the tunnel with a rekindled fear. The rumors, the fact that the adults couldn’t see the door, and the fact that the door had gone right through the picture were starting to make him think that there really was something super weird going on.

            “You aren’t backing out are you?” Jake asked. Clearly the older boy had only been pulled in more by the idea of exploring, and his fear had diminished if anything.

            “Of course I’m not backing out,” Jesse said, color rising in his cheeks. “Let’s go.”

            Jake nodded and the two of them fell to their knees. Instead of proceeding down the tunnel, or even leaning in closer to it, they simply stayed there, rigidly poised in a half kneeling down half kneeling up sort of way.

            “Alright, man,” Jake said after a few seconds of this. “We’ve just got to do it. Come on.”

            And with that, the two of them checked that they had all their gear, then looked over at each other and nodded. 

~~Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The thing I worry about the most is making sure that I tie up every loose end in a story, so that’s a little bit of a challenge sometimes, but I usually catch things that are missing when I go back through the story.

~~What is your particular writing quirk?

I tend to have little moments that end up being rather funny, but they always seem to happen accidentally.
~~Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Haven’t traveled at all when it comes to my books, though I wish I could!

~~Who designed the cover(s)?

I designed the cover myself! The image owner graciously gave me permission to use his picture, and some fellow writers gave me a few ideas regarding the font, but ultimately I put it all together.

~~What was the hardest part of writing your book?

For this particular story the hardest part was actually the story itself, believe it or not. Years ago I had the initial idea for a kid finding a tunnel in his house and meeting a mysterious person in that tunnel, but once that part happened I had no idea what happened next. I actually didn’t write for several days and then luckily, the rest of the story just sort of hit me.

~~Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Yes, I learned a lot while writing this book. It was the first time I ever tried writing juvenile fiction, and I had to really be in a different mindset to do it. It was great to try writing in a new way and for a new age group.

~~Do you have any advice for other writers?

If there’s one thing I can tell other writers it is to never give up! I have too many fellow writers who have ended up trashing something they were working on, and it always breaks my heart. Writers should never, ever, give up on their work, even if they think it is crap. Keep going, and keep writing. The first few books I wrote need so much work I can’t even tell you, but I managed to come from there to here, and so can everyone else.

~~Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you! I have never felt so supported and loved. I am so flattered, and so happy with how all of this has turned out. Thank you so much for supporting me and helping me achieve one of my biggest dreams.

~~Please share your blog/website/facebook/twitter here with us.

www.twitter.com/HeidiNicoleBird

www.facebook.com/HeidiNicoleBird

www.heidinicolebird.blogspot.com

http://www.authorsdb.com/component/content/article/8-authors/122-heidi-nicole-bird

Heidi, you have been a joy to have here with us today!  Thank you so much for coming by and sharing your self with us and our readers!!

Here’s how you can get this wonderful book for yourself in Kindle format:

Kindle

Paperback:

CreateSpace Store

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Germany

Amazon France

Blessings to you all,

K.R. and T.L.

Please welcome Dee Louis-Scott!

Dee Louis Scott Cover

Dee Louis-Scott is retiring from 30 years as a Federal employee. She has an adult daughter Autumn and is experiencing life as an empty nester. It has been 20 years since her mother’s death. The life lessons learned from her mom have been both powerful and inspirational. They have guided her throughout her life.  Dee now lives in Raymore, Missouri.

Welcome Dee! We are so honored to have you here today.  Let’s jump right in.

~~What makes this book different from others in your genre?

What makes my book different is not only do you get true great inspirational and motivational stories you also get some life lesson. Those life lessons are either what my mom Mattie Fisher told me or what I believe she would want others to get from her life stories. This book is part Chicken Soup for the Soul part prescriptive lessons and a lot of MAGIC. I have not come across anything with this exact format.

~~What’s the story behind the story? (What inspired you to write your book?)

My mother would tell me stories about her life from time to time.  The older I got the more intrigued I became.  One day I decided to just start a journal.  The journal would be for my daughter so she would really understand who her grandmother was and what she went through to ensure both my daughter and I would have a better life.  After I read over some of the stories I just knew that more people need to hear these. Thus began my journey.

~~What hope can you give to others in turmoil?

I hope I can give others the “Knowing” that anything and everything is possible and no situation is impossible to overcome.

~~Did you find healing in writing this story? Can you give an example?

Yes I found healing and understanding. In writing the chapter “Run Get out Now” I had to relive domestic violence. In “Broken” I had to deal with a tragic death.  The first thing I had to do was face those situations. After I faced it I was able to look into my life and see how these events affected me and my relationships.  What I could do moving forward to correct some issues. I talk a little more in depth in the “Epilogue’.

~~What was your favorite chapter to write and why?

This is hard because I have two favorite chapters for totally different reasons.  “Ahead of her Time” because I am so proud of what mom was able to do.  It felt so good to put it on paper for the whole world to see. Also “The Supernatural and the Unexplained” I enjoyed.  I really went back amd did research to find the “names” for the things she was experiencing. Along the way I found answers for myself of some events that happen to me.

~~What was your most difficult chapter to write and why?

Again this is a hard one. Three chapters were hard for me to write. The one I cried through was Sunset. It was the longest and took me many starts and stops to finish it. I relived losing my best friend. The mistakes I made in turning over her care to someone else.  Also it was longing and hoping that I was creating something with this book she would be proud of.

~~How is growing up today different from Mattie’s era?

I talked about this in the Life Lesson of Ahead of her time. When you think about not only the racism but the sexism of that era is amazing what she accomplished as a Black woman. Women issues like the right to body integrity; to vote; to hold public office; to work with fair wages or equal pay; to own property; to enter into legal contracts; and to have marital, parental and religious rights. All of which we take for granted today. Then you add to that the civil rights for black Americans that really didn’t take hold until the 1950’s and I am amazed by the tenacity and strength she had to fight oppression.

~~You speak about supernatural events and abilities in your book, do you believe in the supernatural or is this just a way to make your book more interesting?

No dealing with the supernatural and unexplained has always been and still is a part of my life. The gifts though in different forms were handed down to me and my daughter. My daughter, just to name a couple of things, saw auras around the human body as a child and as a she grew she would dream events before they happen. I sometimes see spirits and hear them move often. We have just learned to live with it.

~~Are you planning on writing another book anytime soon? If so can you tell us a bit about it?

One of the chapters in my book dealt with health of my mom and her family. Though neither I nor my brother inherited the same issues, I wanted to find a natural way to deal with health. I have been studying Ayurveda philosophy. The philosophy of Ayurveda teaches a series of conceptual systems characterized by balance and disorder, health and disease. Disease/health results from the interconnectedness between the self, personality, and everything that occurs in the mental, emotional, and spiritual being. To be healthy, harmony must exist between the purpose for healing, thoughts, feelings and physical action. I want to develop a lifestyle program around this philosophy.

~How can reading this book help others?

What I want others to get from this book is what I know my mom would want. To inspire woman of all age to never give up and know that you can do and be whatever is in your heart. Never settle and know that you were created by greatness for greatness.

~~Thank you so much for joining us today and sharing such deep and personal truths with us.

You can stay connected with Dee Louis Scott!

Main website and social media

www.mattiefisher.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Believe-In-The-Magic/320814708005546

https://twitter.com/Believe_N_Magic

http://tenaciouslife.wordpress.com

 

Where to buy

Book is available through my main website www.mattiefisher.com in PDF form. My website also at Amazon for print and kindle versions. http://www.amazon.com/Believe-Magic-Tenacity-Mattie-Inspire/dp/1937801225/

 

Thank you for joining us today! Blessings,

K.R. and T.L.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/

Website: https://www.kandtproductions.com

 

 

Research for the What She Knew Trilogy

Mrs Kennedy and Me

One of the last books that I, T.L., have read is “Mrs. Kennedy and Me.”  It’s by Clint Hill, the Secret Service Agent assigned to Jacqueline Kennedy  after John F Kennedy was elected president.  This is the part I love – reading, researching, digging, and unearthing the gold nuggets that will go into the stories that K.R. and I weave together.  I have to say, that I was excited to find this book. (Actually, K.R. found it at the library and just knew I would want to read it, lol.)

In reading this book, the very first thing I noticed was how much Clint Hill really loved Jacqueline Kennedy.   At first, neither one of them wanted to be paired together.  She craved privacy above everything else, and to her, having a Secret Service Agent with her 24/7 was torture.  For him, he had just finished an assignment as part of the detail assigned to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  He was literally protecting the most powerful man in the United States.  So you can imagine his trepidation when he reported for duty as the First Lady’s Secret Service detail.  In his mind he was going from sunny golf courses and brandy’s with President Eisenhower to tea parties and fashion shows with the First Lady.  It was like he had done something wrong.  However, it was more because he had done many small things right.

Mr. Hill soon got over this though, as being assigned to Jacqueline Kennedy was anything but normal.  He did indeed have to attend a few functions, such as a ballet, but she was not the ‘tea party’ kind of gal.  So before long, he would not only be willing to give his life for hers, as was his duty, but he would genuinely love and respect her.  Once I realized this, I thought the book would be a bust.  Totally not worth my time.  I didn’t need a love-sick puppy kind of book. How could that be helpful at all?

But because I hate to leave a book un-finished once I’ve started reading it, I persevered.  I was glad I did.  Though this book wasn’t what I had ‘hoped’ it would be, whatever that was; it turned out to be just what we needed.  When you do research, you cannot go into it with any preconceived notions.  Do not anticipate what you will find.  Only be willing to receive what you find.  Therein lies the nuggets of gold that have the power to take your reader to depths in your story they didn’t know existed.

The moral of the story?  Don’t prejudge any book.  You don’t know what it can offer until you read the pages between the cover.  Then, and only then, will you discover what you might have missed.  The one thing that could have the potential to make your story shine and standout.  So, what did I discover in this book?  Well, I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.  Just kidding……  However, when you read book one of the trilogy, Fateful Night, (out in a few short weeks) you will see ‘it’ between the covers.

Blessings,

K.R. and T.L.

http://www.kandtproductions.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WhatSheKnewHughesBurns#!/?sk=nf

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WhatSheKnewBook

Digitus 233 – Excerpts and Reviews

kim emerson

Again, please welcome our good friend K.D. Emerson.  She is an awesome author and her book Digitus 233 is out now.  It is only $1.99 during this special event, so grab your copy today!!  Kim is a very generous person, along with offering the book at a discount till Feb 5th, she is also giving away a $25.00 Amazon gift card.  If you would like a chance at the $25.00 Amazon gift card, go to http://www.yareviewsandnews.blogspot.com/2013/01/digitus-233-tour-guest-post.html to enter (entry is at the end of the blog.)

Here are the excerpts we promised you yesterday!!

Excerpts from Digitus 233

K.D. has chosen four excerpts from various points in the novel to give you, the reader, some of what you can expect.

*****

Transfixed in place, Zeph watched as four teenagers shot out into space and then one more time the door in the ceiling opened. He recognized his brother Zander as the airplane seat came through the opening and then propelled out into the blue and white sky. Whoa, how crazy is that? The Fantastic Four and my older brother just shot out of a perfectly good Learjet. In shock, Zeph stood staring numbly at the floor of the tube. Wait! That’s not normal! He slammed his hands against the tube and then froze in place; his mind whirled in panic. What kind of crazy camp was this? He understood survival camps, but this was nuts.

His heart thumped madly in his chest, pumping blood to his throbbing head. I have to do something! He forced himself to think. Those seats had to have parachutes. Obviously they weren’t killing those kids… were they?

 

*****

A blood curdling scream ripped through the air. Jackson was on his feet and out of the cave before the rest of them had time to look up. Zander followed Lana; with Quinton right behind. They tore off up the snow bank. Jackson crested the rock outcropping and disappeared behind it. Zander felt his feet pounding beneath him, slipping and sliding on the ice. He left Quinton behind and passed Lana swiftly. In the distance he saw Google backing away from a large white bulk.

Polar bear!

*****

“Hold on to each other,” he screamed at Google and Lana. Pointing and motioning for them to wrap their arms around each other, he then pointed to Quinton and Zander, who both lay on the bottom of the boat, unconscious. “Hold onto them! Keep your feet pressed against the walls. If we get tossed out, it’s over.” His muscles were quivering from the tension of pressing his arms and legs against the walls of the boat, but he knew if he relaxed the next wave would devour them and send them to an icy death. Sheets of rain pelted against his back. It wasn’t rain so much as buckets of water tossed at them by angry gods. Blackness threatened to consume him. He had to hold on. He had no experience or knowledge of the sea. He had no clue how long this could last. All he knew was that if he passed out, they were all dead. The girls didn’t have the strength to keep themselves inside this retched boat.

*****

Bushy Brows, the man they called Klaus, looked up at the computer team. “Switch to live streaming on the Arctic Ocean, please.”

“The last team has experienced several setbacks. They have been traveling southwest in what appears to be a life raft cut out of a large chunk of ice.” The overhead voice continued in a monotone as the screen displayed a small boat bobbing up and down in the black water. Zeph counted five bodies in the bottom of the boat. Four of them huddled around a fifth body that was laying still. Too still.

“Very creative. We’ve never had a group try escape by water before.”

“Yes. The leader has slipped into unconsciousness probably from shock or infection from the wounds inflected by the bear. They also got tossed around by a mild storm for a while, but they managed to pull through it. There is a vessel on its way to intercept the life raft.”

“How long?”

“Should be any time now.”

“Have we been in contact with the leadership in Russia?”

“We’ve had communications. They should have had time to alert the submarine about protocol by now.”

“Is the Miller boy going to make it?”

“Hard to say at this time.”

The Miller boy, the Miller boy? That was Zander! Why are they talking about him like he was a dry goods shipment? Zeph squinted to get a better look at the people down in front.

“Be a shame to lose that one,” the silver-haired man stated.

“Right, we’ve invested a lot of money in him,” the female agreed.

*****

They turned to gaze at the ocean once more. The sound of the rolling waves settled around them.

“Isn’t this breathtaking?” She leaned into Zander. “I honestly thought we were going to die on that island.”

“There were times I wanted you to die on that island.” Zander grinned.

“Yeah, I was a beast, wasn’t I?” She batted her lashes and ran a fingernail along his neck.

Zeph rolled his eyes. The world is being taken over by madmen and these two are out here auditioning for a soap opera.

Zander cupped her face in his hands.

“Pssst!”

“What was that?” she asked. “I heard something.”

“I didn’t hear anything.” Zander leaned down.

“PSSST!”

“That! Zander, I think there’s someone watching.”

“You scared I’m gunna take a bite outta ya? Too many vampire movies, Lana.” Zander pulled her closer.

“Zander!” Zeph hissed.

Zander stopped and looked over. Zeph waved a palm frond.

“Lana, stay here.” Zander walked forcefully. “Quinton, if that’s you, I’m going to rip you apart.”

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Awesome, right?  We have read this great book and just know that the tidbits above will make you want to read it too.  We also wanted you to have one more chance to get to know her better and thought that asking her what has been your best writer’s moment would be a great way to do that.

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K.R. and T.L.: Have you ever had a moment, even if it was a split second when someone noticed you for the unique person you are or complemented you on a job well done? Do you remember what that feels like in your heart? Some people have never experienced that. Perhaps they grew up in an environment where they had been abandoned or abused and for some reason got locked into that pattern.

K.D.: I’ve been lucky enough to have a few golden moments and I am so grateful for each one. They have sustained me through hardships and given me a golden thread to hold on to in the dark night of my soul when it seemed I was alone and forsaken.

Every published author has a different story. Some stumble upon publication and are kind of surprised they became an author, some work for many years toward that goal. For me, it has been my one life-long dream from the age of five; it was the only thing on my so-called “bucket list.

My first great writer’s moment happened when I was about twelve. After reading one of my stories, my sister-in-law told me I had a gift from God and that I should pursue my dream of being a published author. That meant so much to me as a girl because I came from a family of people who believed in being practical. They tried to downplay my outlandish dreams hoping I would “settle down” and go into nursing or something real people did. I tried that route, but somehow my path always led back to the things I loved; writing, music, and theatre.

The second great writer’s moment was in my first year of college. During my first semester my writing professor wrote on the top of my first short story assignment in red ink, “you’ve really got what it takes.” Those words, written by a stranger, in bold red print burned into my soul and although I took a long and lonely path away from writing for many years they popped up into my heart over and over.

There have been other great moments such as hearing a theatre packed with people roaring with laughter at one of my plays or winning awards, but for some reason it is always the words spoken from an individual that stand out in my mind. The words of affirmation that are given by a colleague or loved one.

I have to laugh because as I am writing this blog post I am having one of the best writer’s moments of my life. I used to be a high school teacher and several of my old high school students found out I have just published Digitus 233. As I am typing this blog post I am receiving text messages from them telling me how excited they are to read it, then texting me they found it, and then finally texting me that they are reading it and already love it. It is an awesome feeling knowing that I finally did what I told them to do all along and that is to live your dream. Don’t let anything stop you. If you are a dancer, but come from a family of coal miners, don’t let it stop you. If you are a pie maker, but come from a family of lawyers, don’t let that stop you.

I believe deep in our souls we know what we are here on earth to do, but many times that gets stomped on or people try to convince us that we are foolish, so we forget the deeper meaning of our personal journey.

May you all live your dreams and in living your dreams you will have happiness – K. D. Emerson, author of Digitus 233, the first in the Digitus Series

~~Just a little side note, T.L. was also a high school teacher at the same time that K.D. was, same school too, and we both enjoyed that experience very much!  The wonderful kids we taught we are now wonderful adult friends!!

Thanks for visiting with us and learning more about K.D. Emerson.  Here is how you can connect with her:

Digitus Cover Dec 3

I love to connect with people! Find me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/kimmutch.emerson
The website and personal blog for my Digitus Series is here: www.digitus233.com
And the Amazon link for US: http://amzn.to/12JsPkx and UK: http://amzn.to/UAoT1S
Thought you might like to see T.L.’s review of Digitus 233:
“I absolutely loved this book. The story had me hooked from the very beginning.  K. D. Emerson managed to weave a story that was not only intriguing and ominous; but also, humorous and warm-hearted. Digitus is a force to be reckoned with as the worlds’ most powerful and unchecked superstructure. It is refreshing to see a story-teller who weaves reality (very brainy teens with real emotions who struggle to understand the world as they now experience it) and science-fiction together to make one of the most believable plots ever.  As the teens interact with one another, can they all rise to the occasion and trust one another when faced with a harrowing situation, literally the end of the world as we know it. I cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out!  Please get writing K.D. Emerson.”
Blessings,
K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns

Interview with K.D. Emerson

kim emerson

Hi there everyone! This week I’d like to introduce you, once again, to a great author and friend of ours, K.D. Emerson. Today she shares some personal likes with us, and tomorrow we’ll be spotlighting her fabulous book Digitus 233. Enjoy!
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K.D. Emerson is one of the busiest people we know and still seems to find time to be an awesome freind (love you Kimmy!)  Okay, we know, but it’s true!

Not only is she an author, but she also runs Master Koda, an online, full service publishing and book promoting firm. We highly recommend you check her website out at http://www.masterkoda.com. As K. R. and I like to point out, she IS an author’s BEST friend! Well, let’s jump right in. Take it away, K.D. Emerson! (Koda Kazoo’s for everyone!)

Author Bio: Author, KD Emerson was born (or is that hatched) several years ago. We won’t go into how long it has been because she has this fantasy that she is still a teenager off to conquer the world. She has a passion for the written word and assisting other writers in becoming the best they can be. She also loves to promote others and cheer them on to victory. Follow her on twitter @MstrKoda or you can find her at http://www.masterkoda.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kimmutch.emerson

Her newest release, Digitus 233, is out now!!  This book is the first in the Digitus series and we simply loved it!  You can get your copy today, links are below.  So, we asked Kim to share something with us that you don’t normally hear about from another author; who are their favorite authors and books.

Digitus Cover Dec 3

Kim’s Ten Favorite Young Adult Authors

I have taken a slightly different path with this one because I know so many authors personally and couldn’t pick just ten out of that list, so I have picked ten favorites that I do not know personally and in this way I will avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.

As I started my list I found that most of the books are stories that cause a person to stop and reflect, stories that change a person, make a person better in some way. I prefer books that have an impact on the world; they fit into all kinds of genre’s (fantasy, action, coming of age, etc), but they speak of the courage and strength of the human spirit. While they are all entertaining they do something more – they leave the reader a better person in the end for having read them.

Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls – (Family Saga) This book speaks of love and loss and the healing from loss. It was the first book anyone ever read aloud to me. I was five. It was during the reading of this book that I had a realization that I was destined to become a writer. This book changed everything about my path on earth.

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak – (Historical Fiction) A girl caught in the middle of war-torn Berlin during the second world war. It speaks of how we, even as small and insignificant we may feel, can make a difference in someone’s life.

The Hobbit – J.R. Tolkien – (Fantasy) I love a fantasy world and love a story where good prevails against evil.

Whale Song – or anything by Chris Crutcher – (Coming of Age/Family Saga) his works are about young people who come up against hardships and abuse and how they overcome it.

Hatchet – Gary Paulson – (Adventure) a boy finds himself stranded in the wilderness and survives by his will power and his “never give up” attitude.

Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card – (sci-fi) Young Ender is selected into the soldier’s camp and trains for a space invasion. He battles loneliness, fear, rejection and self-doubt in a science fiction backdrop.

Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson (Coming of Age/ True Friends) The story of two friends who create a world for themselves outside of the bullying of their school. It deals with death/grief and healing.

I Am the Cheese – Robert Cormier (Psychological Thriller) The first time I read this book it punched me in the gut. Stirring, disturbing, but I feel I am a better person for having read it.

The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom (True Story/Memoir) Although this is not a book written for young adults I feel it is a book that should be read by every young adult. The story of the ten Boom family who were captured in WWII and placed in concentration camps for helping Jewish neighbors and friends to escape. It is a life changing book of love and forgiveness.

Homecoming – or anything from Cynthia Voight (Family Saga) The story of four children left abandoned and how the oldest, thirteen year old Dicey Tellerman, faces the fear and pulls them together. A story of courage and strength.

If you’ve read to this point you will see that I want to believe in the adage that good will prevail. Most of the books listed deal with darkness and hardships, in some of them there is no happy ending, but in most of them somewhere there is hope and strength. In my own novel, Digitus 233 there is darkness and hate, bondage and slavery, and yet there is also laughter, loyalty, and hope of something better. My desire is that a spark will ignite for my readers and they will open their eyes to freedom and what it takes to find the freedom from the things that hold them captive.

May you all live your dreams and in living your dreams you will have happiness – K. D. Emerson, author of Digitus 233, the first in the Digitus Series

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

I love to connect with people! Find me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/kimmutch.emerson
The website and personal blog for my Digitus Series is here: www.digitus233.com
And the Amazon link for US: http://amzn.to/12JsPkx and UK: http://amzn.to/UAoT1S
~~Thank you Kim for joining us today and sharing some of your favorite books with us.  For all of our fans, tomorrow, we will give you some details and excerpts from Digitus 233.  We will also include our 5* Review of this fantastic book.  You need to get this for yourself, it’s only $1.99 through the 4th of February.
Blessings everyone,
K.R. and T.L.
Visit our website at: http://www.kandtproductions.com
Join us on Twitter: @whatsheknewbook
Join us on Facebook: whatsheknew and K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns Authors

As a writer, how do you get from here to there?

Three things in life

 

We thought we would share some great tips with you on how a writer can market their work for little or no cost.  All of the following tips are from “Guerrilla Marketing for Writers”

1) Content: Publishers waste millions of dollars a year buying and promoting books that fail.

No amount of money or marketing can overcome a book that doesn’t deliver. So your first challenge is to write a book that is the best it can be. The content of your books will determine how you sell them to publishers and promote them to book buyers. Content precedes commerce.

2) Commitment: You must make a commitment to your marketing program.

Talent isn’t enough. You need motivation—and persistence, too. —LEON URIS

Once you decide on the best promotion plan for your books, make the commitment to stick with it.

The only time you can safely stop promoting your books is when you’re ready to stop writing them. Before then, commit yourself to the Rule of Five: do five things every day to market your books. Think of it this way: A diamond is a piece of coal that stuck to the job.

3) Investment: You must think of marketing as an investment in your future.

Most best-selling authors don’t strike gold with their first book. Their sales grow with a succession of books until they write the breakout book that catapults them onto the best-seller list, where they stay for the rest of their careers.

Until your promotional efforts pay off and you become a successful author, consider the money you spend on promotion as an investment that will pay for itself many times over.

4) Consistent: Your marketing must be consistent.

You must make your promotion consistent so that, over time, the media and your readers become more receptive to you and your books. One of the weapons in chapter 18 is the marketing calendar that you will create and tweak as needed every year. But once you’re convinced about the most effective way to promote your books, don’t change your approach. Make your promotion, like your books, consistently first rate. Also be consistent about the frequency with which you write your books and when they are published. One book a year is the usual pace.

5) Confident: You must make potential readers confident in you.

Consistency creates familiarity, familiarity builds confidence, and confidence is the most important factor in determining what makes consumers buy. It’s more important than quality, selection, price, and service.

6) Patient: You must be patient with your marketing.

If you’re doing all you can for your books, take two more steps: • Follow up on your efforts. • Have patience with your promotion plan, the sales of your books, and the development of your career.

7) Assortment: You must use an assortment of weapons to ensure the success of your marketing.

Small businesses shouldn’t try to use all the weapons in their arsenals at once, but should unleash them over time with a well-thought-out plan. Unfortunately, this is a luxury writers don’t have. Unless publishers make a commitment to a book, they test-market it with the first printing. To sustain your publisher’s belief in your book’s future, you have to create maximum promotional firepower for it during the crucial four- to six-week launch window when it’s published.

Firing as many weapons as you can integrate effectively into your plan is the best way to accomplish this. If your book doesn’t gain momentum fast enough, your publisher will give up on it and go on to other books. Make it your goal to use at least sixty weapons. The wider the assortment of weapons you use, the wider the grin on your face will be when your royalty check arrives. However, if you can’t use a weapon effectively, don’t use it at all.

A Web site alone will not make your books successful, nor will a media kit. Regard every weapon as 1 percent of your promotion plan. The best way to guarantee the success of your books is to use as many weapons as you can. The more weapons you unleash on publication and the more completely you integrate them, the more powerful each of them becomes. Unity and variety are two of the keys to victory in the publishing wars. The bigger your arsenal, the greater your victories.

A bookseller who was chosen to receive the Publishers Weekly Bookseller of the Year Award was using seventy-four guerrilla marketing weapons (and he was still trying to figure out how to use the other twenty-six!).

Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 No-Cost, Low-Cost Weapons for Selling Your Work – http://www.bookdaily.com/book/1034711

~~We hope this helps you as an author to get your work out there to the waiting reader! K.R. and I are working diligently, daily, to put into practice all the things we read about and learn.  The above are some great encouragements that have helped to keep us motivated to move forward.  Another great resource, is MasterKoda on Facebook.  This author/editor/illustrator/marketing group is full of people who know the real meaning of putting others first.  Join us, you won’t be sorry you did.

Blessings,

K.R. and T.L.

www.kandtproductions.com