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1. Holiday Buffet of Free Ebooks compliments of Musa Publishing…

Holiday season is upon us, and with it comes some wicked-awesome deals! Anyone who has an ereader or tablet will benefit from this wonderful opportunity to score 40 fabulous reads for the holidays. Musa Publishingis offering 13 Days of Free Ebooks starting December 13th—whoa that’s TODAY folks! Below is a list of ebooks and authors on board with this promotion, but you better act fast, as their ebooks are available for free download for only ONE day. BTW—I’m on the list too, and anyone who gets an ereader or tablet for Christmas will benefit from my free download day! Ho Ho Ho…

December 13th, 2014:
The Rhesus Factor by Sonny Whitelaw
Returnby Lynn Rae
Struckby Clarissa Johal

December 14th, 2014:
Tournament of Chance by S.G. Rogers
Obsessionby JoAnne Keltner

December 15th, 2014:
Bridge to Desire by Alice Cross
Saving Hope by Liese Sherwood-Fabre
The Grimm Legacy by Addie King

December 16th, 2014:
Spire City: Contagion by Daniel Ausema
Stained Glass Summer by Mindy Hardwick
Time Will Tell by Mary Palmer

December 17th, 2014:
Guarding His Heart by Carolyn Spear
An Unstill Life by Kate Larkindale

December 18th, 2014:
Hunter’s Find by June Kramin
Five Golden Suitors by Jen Coffeen
First Frost by Liz DeJesus

December 19th, 2014:
The Reluctant Bridegroom by Arabella Sheraton
Persephoneby Kaitlin Bevis
The Glass Sealing by Andrew Leon Hudson

December 20th, 2014:
The Exile of Elindel by Carol Browne
Michaela’s Gift by Cordelia Dinsmore
Pantheonby Josh Strnad

December 21st, 2014:
Only a Hero Will Do by Susan Lodge
Prentice and Desiree by Brita Adams
The 13th Guest by Rebecca Royce

December 22nd, 2014:
Silhouette of Darkness by George Wilhite
Long Haul by Tom Olbert

December 23rd, 2014:
DEAD series by Lizzie T. Leaf
Looney Dunes by Anne Skalitza
Her Name by Alicia Joseph

December 24th, 2014:
Regarding Eliza by Viki Lyn
The Sun God’s Heir by Elliott Baker
Hard Pressed by Sharon Maria Bidwell

December 25th, 2014:
To Catch A Fish by Mary S. Palmer & David Wilton
She Dreamed of Dragons by Elizabeth Walker
Identity Crisis by Elizabeth Ashtree


I hope you take advantage of this wonderful offer from Musa Publishing. There’s a book for every taste on the list from romance, science fiction, horror, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, speculative fiction, and young adult, so please help yourself to this buffet of ebooks! Wishing you, and your family, a safe and happy holiday season! Cheers and happy reading!

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2. And Now For Something Totally Different

I just finished three fantasy books in a row, mainly because I needed to get them back to the library in a certain order. You'd think fantasy would be different, wouldn't you? As in, it's not real world stuff, so it should be different. But when you read so much of it, there's a certain sameness. And then real world YA is often very similar in its own real world way.

Which is why The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson is so exciting. It's real world, but very different YA real world.

Laila is a princess, daughter of the murdered king of an unnamed, presumably Middle Eastern country. Except after she has resettled with her mother and brother in a seriously modest two-bedroom apartment outside Washington, DC she realizes that no, she's not a princess at all. Mainly because her father was never a king. He was a third-generation strongman tyrant and when he wasn't being Dad at the palace, he was behaving in a typical tyrannical way.

Laila has a terrific voice, slightly reserved and stiff as she describes, for instance, her appreciation of her new American friend's kindness even though she can't help noticing that she dresses like a prostitute. She's a kind person, herself, recognizing that a classmate is suffering because her parents are divorcing and becoming attracted to that nice guy who works for the school paper. But  those traditional YA experiences pale compared to those of a fifteen-year-old whose father was gunned down in his home on her uncle's command, who saw her mother covered in her father's blood, whose life was saved by a CIA operative. The Tyrant's Daughter isn't about the world of teens. It's about a teen in the world.

What's missing from this novel is cliched nasty teenagers. There are no mean girls. There are no bullies. There are no jocks trying to force themselves on girls. Adults might find the CIA operative familiar, as well as the brilliant, manipulative widowed tyrant wife. But I don't think they appear often in YA.

So that's just the basic set-up to this thing. As the truth about Laila's family is slowly revealed to her, the fact that this book is a political thriller is slowly revealed to readers. Why is that CIA op hanging around? What's he paying Laila's mother (but not very much) to do? With whom? Why is her mother talking to Laila's uncle, the tyrant who had her tyrant father killed?

And what will Laila's involvement in all this be? She is a tyrant's daughter, after all.

This is a marvelous book, extremely well written. But it's undercut a bit by the essay on women in the Middle East that follows. Even though the essayist ties it to The Tyrant's Daughter by questioning what will become of Laila after the end of the action of the novel, I think most readers are going to wonder why it's there and feel that this great reading experience is being turned into some kind of lesson.

The Tyrant's Daughter is a Cybils nominee in the YA Fiction category.


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3. The After House, by Michael Phillip Cash | Dedicated Review

The After House is a well-developed and relatively quick read with solid characters. Cash fans will no doubt love this latest chiller that also manages to warm the heart.

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4. Author Interview with Crime Writer Tim Ellis

It’s Author Interview Thursday…Woohoo! Now I have to admit that I have been looking forward to today’s interview for months.Tim Ellis First of all, I got introduced to today’s special guest by Matt Posner who surely most have an underground lair where some very creative beings congregate to sip on their favourite beverages and exchange ideas. Our guest on the hot seat made a worthy contribution on Matt’s book ‘How to Write Dialogue.’ What I found intriguing was the fact that our special guest comes from my neck of the woods here in England and also writes in a genre I’m currently feasting on – Mystery/Crime Thrillers. His Richards & Parish series are selling very well on Amazon UK and the first book in the series (which I’ve read and you can see My A Life for a Life Review) has more than 200 glowing reviews. He was Amazon KDP’s special guest at their stand at the London Book Fair 2014 and it’s such a shame I didn’t meet him because I was there too! Well, we all get to meet him today. I believe his experience and forthrightness will flush out any cobwebs holding you back and give you wings to soar to another level. Without further ado, please join me in welcoming the one and only Tim Ellis.

 

Can you tell us about the first time someone complemented you on something you had written?

In the early days – 2008–2011 – as well as writing novels, I also wrote short stories, which I entered into competitions. My first success was with ‘The Expedition’ (included in my short story collection – Untended Treasures) for the Wind in the Willows centenary run by the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames. I was awarded 3rd prize, and was invited to the Museum for the presentation. I took my wife and we had a lovely day out. Certainly, 3rd prize is a complement, and it made me feel as though I was shuffling in the right direction.

 

You’ve successfully written in different genres. Can you tell us the advantages and disadvantages of this? 

I don’t know whether there are any advantages or disadvantages to writing in different genres. Some people suggest that the readers will become confused about what type of writer I am. I think we have to give readers some credit for understanding that some writers – like myself – are multi-genre writers as well as readers. I particularly like The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov (Science Fiction); Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (Fantasy); The Emperor series by Conn Iggulden (Historical Fiction) to name a few. Sometimes, readers who have enjoyed my writing in one genre will try my books in another genre, so that’s a distinct advantage to both the reader and myself. I did think of using a pseudonym, but life’s complicated enough without having multiple personalities.

 

I have to say your book covers are very evocative and can be noticed a mile off. Can you tell us the process in creating your book covers and its place in the successful marketing of a book? A Life for a Life Cover

Someone mentioned not too long ago that the font I used on my covers wasn’t very good. After I’d picked myself up off the floor and penned a strong letter of complaint, I decided they were right. In fact, I realised that the covers themselves weren’t much good either. I did plan to get someone else to design the covers for me, but I felt that designing my own covers was part of the creative process – I usually have to have a title and a cover before I start writing.

Anyway, I did plenty of research and re-designed them all myself. I found a font that I particularly liked, then I discovered a site which allows the free use of photographs. I download the pictures, crop them to the correct size in Paint (free with Windows), modify them to my liking and add my name, title and anything else in Picasa (the free photo-editing software by Google), and hey presto – eBook covers.

 

You have multiple published books in the ‘Richard and Parish’ series. Was it a conscious decision to write a series and what led you to do it?

On the downwards slope of the 13th Parish and Richards book now: In the Twinkling of an Eye. Yes, it was a conscious decision. I suppose, what led me to do it, was because I like to read series myself such as, Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy and RD Wingfield’s Frost series. In fact, the majority of my books are series. The only standalones are the novellas, but I always leave the door open to make them into a series if the opportunity arises.

 

What key ingredients should a good crime/mystery book possess? The Wages of Sin

I think there’s lots of advice out there about the ingredients of a good crime/mystery novel – a seemingly unsolvable crime, a likeable protagonist(s) faced with apparently insurmountable obstacles, a depraved villain of the worst kind, lashings of danger and tension as the protagonist(s) moves ever closer to solving the crime(s) and confronting the villain. Let me tell you what I think. Yes, include all of that, but you have to hook the reader with the first sentence. I start my latest with a question: “What’s that?” Richards has bought something from a stall at the car boot sale, but she’s not telling Parish what it is – a minor mystery at the beginning that mushrooms into an ongoing thread and a bigger mystery. I like to write multiple threads running in parallel throughout the book – readers get two, three or four investigations instead of one. I write in scenes, making sure they’re lean and mean. I like to see lots of white space – dialogue. Whole blocks of text turns people off – they turn me off, so why inflict them on others. Keep description to a minimum – readers like to use their imaginations. Cut out the boring bits that people skim over and keep moving the story forward with dialogue and action.

 

You made a worthy contribution on Matt Posner’s ‘How to Write Dialogue‘ book. What in your opinion makes great dialogue?

Dialogue is important. My books are dialogue heavy. Stories are about people. The reader wants to immerse themselves in a story, root for believable characters and not be bothered by authorial interference. Keep focused on the characters, give them voices that the reader can associate with each character, make it flow – abbreviate where necessary. Gurus say: “Listen to people talk.” I don’t think that’s helpful really, unless you’re trying to get dialect right, which should be kept to a minimum because it makes for hard reading. Other gurus say: “Read aloud.” Yeah, all right, if you must, but I can hear the characters speaking the dialogue I’m writing in my head. I don’t hear Parish saying: “What is that?” I hear him say: “What’s that?” So, my advice, is to write what the characters are saying in your head – or maybe it’s just me hearing voices! “Aye, what’s that?”

 

What three things should writers avoid when writing dialogue? Silent in the Grave

I’ve already mentioned dialect. Sometimes it can be funny though – I use dialect in a couple of my books, but make sure readers can understand it, or they’ll give up very quickly. Second, don’t use adverbs to qualify speech tags – he said loudly. Related to this, I’m a great believer in a picture telling a thousand words. Use body language or actions to convey a character’s behaviour.

 

Have you ever struggled to give a character a distinct voice and what did you do to solve this?

I must admit, I don’t struggle much nowadays. After having written so many books, writing is second nature. I don’t get writer’s block, I’m never stuck for ideas and I always enjoy sitting down to write. As I said earlier, I see and hear the characters inside my head like a roll of film that I can stop, pause or rewind when I want. I think I’ve got the knack of creating memorable characters by now, and giving them a distinct voice and personality.

 

What book or film has the best dialogue that inspires you to be a better writer and why?

Conn Iggulden writes good dialogue (No he didn’t pay me to say that). When I go in a book shop (if I can one these days), I read the blurb on the back, and I riffle through the pages to see if there’s loads of dialogue. If there’s chunks of text, I don’t bother. RJ Ellory is another who writes good dialogue, you can tell he’s thought about what his characters will say. As for films – Lord of the Rings, of course; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Jack Nicholson is brilliant with Nurse Ratchett. What a name – Nurse Ratchett for a psychiatric nurse! It make you want to re-name all your evil characters with names from a toolbox.

 

Your first book ‘WARRIOR: PATH OF DESTINY (GENGHIS KHAN)’ was published in November 2010 and you’ve gone on to write more than 30 books. Can you recommend a book or course that gave you a good grounding as you began your writing odyssey?  

Tim Ellis Enjoying a Pint

I started writing, and then I read the instructions on how to write. I suppose men have this inability to admit that sometimes they know nothing. There were four triggers early on. 1) After reading the Emperor series by Conn Iggulden I thought: I can do that. Reading those books were a joy. Through his writing, he made reading effortless; 2) Les Edgerton’s book: Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers on Page One and Never Lets Them Go; 3) Elements of Fiction Writing: Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham; and 4) the peer review site: youwriteon.com, which is free to join and you learn through peer reviews, how to write, what works and what doesn’t.

 

If you could be a cabinet minister in the Government, which Ministry would you like to head and why?

Sad to say, politics doesn’t interest me. In fact, talking about politicians makes me want to kill a few off. As a nation – we’ve become too nice, and in the process lost some of our Englishness. If there isn’t a Ministry of Englishness already, they should create one and re-establish a national pride.

 

Can you tell us a bit about a book you’re currently working on? In the Twinkling of an Eye

In the Twinkling of an Eye (Parish & Richards 13). Parish and Richards are trying to solve the case of a gifted boy murdered on the fourteenth green at the local golf course; Richards is also trying to find out if a 1966 diary, written by a captive 15 year-old girl called Loveday that she bought at a car boot sale, is genuine; Stick and Xena are working to solve the case of a young woman’s thawing body found in a wood. Jerry Kowalski is back, and she becomes involved in the trial of an architect who is accused of murdering his wife. His barrister is going to get him acquitted, but Jerry has seen something in his eyes and she knows he’s guilty, so she calls Cookie.

 

Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry?

As the saying goes – just do it. If you’ve got a book gathering dust on your hard drive – publish it. Create a cover, write a blurb, upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) – it couldn’t be easier. Agents and publishers are no longer the gatekeepers who say what can and can’t be published, and what readers can and can’t read. Now, we’re all masters of our own destiny. If your book is no good, the readers will soon let you know, so make sure it’s the best it can be.

 

Thanks for spending time with us today Tim. There is just such a wealth of information you’ve shared today that I know will be beneficial to readers of this blog. I’ve gone ahead and added the books you recommended to my Amazon basket. Can’t wait to devour them. Tim and I would love to hear your questions and comments. As you can see, Tim is very generous and it’d mean a lot to hear what part of the interview really resonated with you. I’m also happy to announce that Tim’s latest book – got released earlier this week. You can grab it and all Tim’s books plus connect with him at one of the links below

Websitehttp://timellis.weebly.com/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Tim-Ellis

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/timellis13

AmazonTim Ellis Books on Amazon

0 Comments on Author Interview with Crime Writer Tim Ellis as of 6/19/2014 3:51:00 AM
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5. Author Interview with Crime Writer Tim Ellis

It’s Author Interview Thursday…Woohoo! Now I have to admit that I have been looking forward to today’s interview for months.Tim Ellis First of all, I got introduced to today’s special guest by Matt Posner who surely most have an underground lair where some very creative beings congregate to sip on their favourite beverages and exchange ideas. Our guest on the hot seat made a worthy contribution on Matt’s book ‘How to Write Dialogue.’ What I found intriguing was the fact that our special guest comes from my neck of the woods here in England and also writes in a genre I’m currently feasting on – Mystery/Crime Thrillers. His Richards & Parish series are selling very well on Amazon UK and the first book in the series (which I’ve read and you can see My A Life for a Life Review) has more than 200 glowing reviews. He was Amazon KDP’s special guest at their stand at the London Book Fair 2014 and it’s such a shame I didn’t meet him because I was there too! Well, we all get to meet him today. I believe his experience and forthrightness will flush out any cobwebs holding you back and give you wings to soar to another level. Without further ado, please join me in welcoming the one and only Tim Ellis.

 

Can you tell us about the first time someone complemented you on something you had written?

In the early days – 2008–2011 – as well as writing novels, I also wrote short stories, which I entered into competitions. My first success was with ‘The Expedition’ (included in my short story collection – Untended Treasures) for the Wind in the Willows centenary run by the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames. I was awarded 3rd prize, and was invited to the Museum for the presentation. I took my wife and we had a lovely day out. Certainly, 3rd prize is a complement, and it made me feel as though I was shuffling in the right direction.

 

You’ve successfully written in different genres. Can you tell us the advantages and disadvantages of this? 

I don’t know whether there are any advantages or disadvantages to writing in different genres. Some people suggest that the readers will become confused about what type of writer I am. I think we have to give readers some credit for understanding that some writers – like myself – are multi-genre writers as well as readers. I particularly like The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov (Science Fiction); Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (Fantasy); The Emperor series by Conn Iggulden (Historical Fiction) to name a few. Sometimes, readers who have enjoyed my writing in one genre will try my books in another genre, so that’s a distinct advantage to both the reader and myself. I did think of using a pseudonym, but life’s complicated enough without having multiple personalities.

 

I have to say your book covers are very evocative and can be noticed a mile off. Can you tell us the process in creating your book covers and its place in the successful marketing of a book? A Life for a Life Cover

Someone mentioned not too long ago that the font I used on my covers wasn’t very good. After I’d picked myself up off the floor and penned a strong letter of complaint, I decided they were right. In fact, I realised that the covers themselves weren’t much good either. I did plan to get someone else to design the covers for me, but I felt that designing my own covers was part of the creative process – I usually have to have a title and a cover before I start writing.

Anyway, I did plenty of research and re-designed them all myself. I found a font that I particularly liked, then I discovered a site which allows the free use of photographs. I download the pictures, crop them to the correct size in Paint (free with Windows), modify them to my liking and add my name, title and anything else in Picasa (the free photo-editing software by Google), and hey presto – eBook covers.

 

You have multiple published books in the ‘Richard and Parish’ series. Was it a conscious decision to write a series and what led you to do it?

On the downwards slope of the 13th Parish and Richards book now: In the Twinkling of an Eye. Yes, it was a conscious decision. I suppose, what led me to do it, was because I like to read series myself such as, Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy and RD Wingfield’s Frost series. In fact, the majority of my books are series. The only standalones are the novellas, but I always leave the door open to make them into a series if the opportunity arises.

 

What key ingredients should a good crime/mystery book possess? The Wages of Sin

I think there’s lots of advice out there about the ingredients of a good crime/mystery novel – a seemingly unsolvable crime, a likeable protagonist(s) faced with apparently insurmountable obstacles, a depraved villain of the worst kind, lashings of danger and tension as the protagonist(s) moves ever closer to solving the crime(s) and confronting the villain. Let me tell you what I think. Yes, include all of that, but you have to hook the reader with the first sentence. I start my latest with a question: “What’s that?” Richards has bought something from a stall at the car boot sale, but she’s not telling Parish what it is – a minor mystery at the beginning that mushrooms into an ongoing thread and a bigger mystery. I like to write multiple threads running in parallel throughout the book – readers get two, three or four investigations instead of one. I write in scenes, making sure they’re lean and mean. I like to see lots of white space – dialogue. Whole blocks of text turns people off – they turn me off, so why inflict them on others. Keep description to a minimum – readers like to use their imaginations. Cut out the boring bits that people skim over and keep moving the story forward with dialogue and action.

 

You made a worthy contribution on Matt Posner’s ‘How to Write Dialogue‘ book. What in your opinion makes great dialogue?

Dialogue is important. My books are dialogue heavy. Stories are about people. The reader wants to immerse themselves in a story, root for believable characters and not be bothered by authorial interference. Keep focused on the characters, give them voices that the reader can associate with each character, make it flow – abbreviate where necessary. Gurus say: “Listen to people talk.” I don’t think that’s helpful really, unless you’re trying to get dialect right, which should be kept to a minimum because it makes for hard reading. Other gurus say: “Read aloud.” Yeah, all right, if you must, but I can hear the characters speaking the dialogue I’m writing in my head. I don’t hear Parish saying: “What is that?” I hear him say: “What’s that?” So, my advice, is to write what the characters are saying in your head – or maybe it’s just me hearing voices! “Aye, what’s that?”

 

What three things should writers avoid when writing dialogue? Silent in the Grave

I’ve already mentioned dialect. Sometimes it can be funny though – I use dialect in a couple of my books, but make sure readers can understand it, or they’ll give up very quickly. Second, don’t use adverbs to qualify speech tags – he said loudly. Related to this, I’m a great believer in a picture telling a thousand words. Use body language or actions to convey a character’s behaviour.

 

Have you ever struggled to give a character a distinct voice and what did you do to solve this?

I must admit, I don’t struggle much nowadays. After having written so many books, writing is second nature. I don’t get writer’s block, I’m never stuck for ideas and I always enjoy sitting down to write. As I said earlier, I see and hear the characters inside my head like a roll of film that I can stop, pause or rewind when I want. I think I’ve got the knack of creating memorable characters by now, and giving them a distinct voice and personality.

 

What book or film has the best dialogue that inspires you to be a better writer and why?

Conn Iggulden writes good dialogue (No he didn’t pay me to say that). When I go in a book shop (if I can one these days), I read the blurb on the back, and I riffle through the pages to see if there’s loads of dialogue. If there’s chunks of text, I don’t bother. RJ Ellory is another who writes good dialogue, you can tell he’s thought about what his characters will say. As for films – Lord of the Rings, of course; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Jack Nicholson is brilliant with Nurse Ratchett. What a name – Nurse Ratchett for a psychiatric nurse! It make you want to re-name all your evil characters with names from a toolbox.

 

Your first book ‘WARRIOR: PATH OF DESTINY (GENGHIS KHAN)’ was published in November 2010 and you’ve gone on to write more than 30 books. Can you recommend a book or course that gave you a good grounding as you began your writing odyssey?  

Tim Ellis Enjoying a Pint

I started writing, and then I read the instructions on how to write. I suppose men have this inability to admit that sometimes they know nothing. There were four triggers early on. 1) After reading the Emperor series by Conn Iggulden I thought: I can do that. Reading those books were a joy. Through his writing, he made reading effortless; 2) Les Edgerton’s book: Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers on Page One and Never Lets Them Go; 3) Elements of Fiction Writing: Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham; and 4) the peer review site: youwriteon.com, which is free to join and you learn through peer reviews, how to write, what works and what doesn’t.

 

If you could be a cabinet minister in the Government, which Ministry would you like to head and why?

Sad to say, politics doesn’t interest me. In fact, talking about politicians makes me want to kill a few off. As a nation – we’ve become too nice, and in the process lost some of our Englishness. If there isn’t a Ministry of Englishness already, they should create one and re-establish a national pride.

 

Can you tell us a bit about a book you’re currently working on? In the Twinkling of an Eye

In the Twinkling of an Eye (Parish & Richards 13). Parish and Richards are trying to solve the case of a gifted boy murdered on the fourteenth green at the local golf course; Richards is also trying to find out if a 1966 diary, written by a captive 15 year-old girl called Loveday that she bought at a car boot sale, is genuine; Stick and Xena are working to solve the case of a young woman’s thawing body found in a wood. Jerry Kowalski is back, and she becomes involved in the trial of an architect who is accused of murdering his wife. His barrister is going to get him acquitted, but Jerry has seen something in his eyes and she knows he’s guilty, so she calls Cookie.

 

Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry?

As the saying goes – just do it. If you’ve got a book gathering dust on your hard drive – publish it. Create a cover, write a blurb, upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) – it couldn’t be easier. Agents and publishers are no longer the gatekeepers who say what can and can’t be published, and what readers can and can’t read. Now, we’re all masters of our own destiny. If your book is no good, the readers will soon let you know, so make sure it’s the best it can be.

 

Thanks for spending time with us today Tim. There is just such a wealth of information you’ve shared today that I know will be beneficial to readers of this blog. I’ve gone ahead and added the books you recommended to my Amazon basket. Can’t wait to devour them. Tim and I would love to hear your questions and comments. As you can see, Tim is very generous and it’d mean a lot to hear what part of the interview really resonated with you. I’m also happy to announce that Tim’s latest book – got released earlier this week. You can grab it and all Tim’s books plus connect with him at one of the links below

Websitehttp://timellis.weebly.com/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Tim-Ellis

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/timellis13

AmazonTim Ellis Books on Amazon

2 Comments on Author Interview with Crime Writer Tim Ellis, last added: 6/19/2014
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6. An Adult Book About Cheerleaders

If you've heard lots of good things about Dare Me by Megan Abbott, believe them. This is a terrific adult thriller about those YA cliches, bitchy cheerleaders.

Main character Addy is the beta female in a cheerleader squad. She serves her alpha "captain," Beth, and initially seems very comfortable in that spot in the hierarchy and with her relationship with the traditionally awful Beth. The two of them are tight, tight, tight. Their world is disturbed right off the bat when a new cheer leading coach comes in, one as badass as Beth. I wondered, myself, if she wasn't a former Beth, reliving the good old days as best she can. To do it, though, she has to battle Beth. Among the things they're battling for is the beta, Addy.

Oh, yeah. And there's a guy.

Whenever I read an adult book with a young protagonist, my immediate question is Why? Why is this an adult book, not a YA or children's book? Theme, I was told once, is an important factor in what makes YA YA. Dare Me falls well within the noir genre, and the noir themes that apply here are far more adult than YA. Okay, my understanding of noir is shaky. But I've been reading about themes involving a fate that can't be avoided, as well as despair, darkness, and obsession. None of the cheerleaders in Dare Me are made happy by anything they do or achieve. And their coach? She knows things aren't going to get any better.

Is this all there is? How's that for a theme? It's not one traditionally associated with YA, which usually deals with  moving into the adult world, finding a place in society, etc.

I felt the homoerotic touch was unnecessary. It risked making the story just a common all-about-love thing. On the other hand, don't noir protagonists often have at least a sexual attraction to a femme fatale? In which case, Dare Me was giving a neat twist to classic noir.

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7. Alliance, by Mark Frost | Book Review

In Mark Frost's second book of the Paladin Prophecy series, Alliance, we pick up right where we left off with Will and his friends. The Paladins are still after him, and the group must outwit them to find the secret of the school, and Will's own family history.

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8. Feral, A Psychological Thriller Discussed by Author Holly Schindler

Feral by Holly Schindler is a haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.

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9. How a YA Author Pays Homage to Famous American Authors

Washington Irving, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and now Edgar Allan Poe. Paying homage to famous American authors has sort of become what I do.

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10. Ypulse Essentials: Bieber’s New Single, Millennials Want To Make Moviegoing More Social, Kids’ TV

After a long wait, Bieber’s new single ‘Boyfriend’ is here (and we like the more mature sound that has been compared to Justin Timberlake. Sure, the lyrics are a little cheesy and will probably make tween girls swoon, but the song is more... Read the rest of this post

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11. Haven't I see you someplace before? Dueling covers for same book

This is the American cover. I like it okay. The girl we can see the most looks like a photoshopped girl.



But I love the cover they used in the UK. The girl looks real and has a gleam in her eye. I don't understand why they took the same concept and redid it in the US, only (to my eyes) not as well.



Either way, the book, Shift by Em Bailey, sounds right up my alley. Psychological thriller about girl who may or may not be crazy? I'm there!




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12. The 10 Commandments of How to Write a Thriller

The 10 Commandments of How to Write a ThrillerEvery week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication.

About 10 years ago, lawyer-turned-novelist John Grisham spilled the beans in Newsweek that a 1973 Writer’s Digest article paved the way for him to write his bestseller The Firm.

Naturally, we’ve been geeking out about this since we first heard it, and see it referenced every so often in relation to Grisham books, but I’d never actually read the piece. So I dug it up today—it’s by author Brian Garfield, and was originally titled “10 Rules for Suspense Fiction.”

In case the next Grisham is out there reading this, I’ll include Garfield’s 10 points below, and will also link to the full article (which is reproduced over at the International Thriller Writers website).

Happy Friday!

The 10 Commandments of How to Write a Thriller

  1. Start with action; explain it later.
     
  2. Make it tough for your protagonist.
     
  3. Plant it early; pay it off later.
     
  4. Give the protagonist the initiative.
     
  5. Give the protagonist a personal stake.
     
  6. Give the protagonist a tight time limit, and then shorten it.
     
  7. Choose your character according to your own capacities, as well as his.
     
  8. Know your destination before you set out.
     
  9. Don’t rush in where angels fear to tread.
  10. Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want to read.

For the full piece, “10 Rules for Suspense Fiction” by Brian Garfield, click here.

 
Zachary Petit is an award-winning journalist, the managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine, and the co-author of A Year of Writing Prompts: 366 Story Ideas for Honing Your Craft and Eliminating Writer’s Block.

Like what you read from WD online? Don’t miss an issue in print!

 

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13. Perspective by Morgan Mandel



Morgan Mandel Too Many Years Ago
 As a child, everything and everyone looked big to me. Then I grew older, and the world appeared normal-sized.

When I was growing up, I used to live next to a park. It seemed like an ideal location, because I could play on the monkey bars and making pretend cakes in the sand. Now, I'm glad the park in our neighborhood is a few blocks away, so I don't have to worry about the noise, or the older kids who hang around there at night.

Then there's the matter of age. Wow, 30 used to be awfully old, and 70 was ancient. Now I'm twice 30, so 70 is getting closer and not as old as before.

When it's winter and I'm freezing, 60 degrees seems warm. During summer, 60 degrees feels cool.

I used to work in Downtown Chicago, and thought nothing of joining the herds of commuters who got on the train, then off to march down the street to offices and other places of employment.
Now I'm retired, and going Downtown seems a big deal. Not only that, I wonder how I could have put up with all those people all over the place, getting in my way.

There are countless other examples I could give, but you get the picture. When crafting your characters, take into consideration such factors as age, physical characteristics, background, environment, and family.The more layers you can add  to round out your characters, the more their perspectives will make sense to the reader.

Morgan Mandel writes romances, thrillers and mysteries. Her current release is the romantic thriller, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse on kindle at  http://amzn.com/B006MO28CQ and Print at http://amzn.com/146815771X

For Excerpts and Buy Links to Morgan's 4 books, available on all electronic medica, go to http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com/

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14. Foggy Fish

Sometimes you can sit next to the lake and see the strangest things. Actually, it's what you can't see. Sometimes fog swallows the entire lake and the mountains on the far shore and all the sky. There's nothing beyond the shore but a swirling mass of etheral looking stuff where the world used to be. [...]

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15. Fiction Contest

Writer’s Digest is having as Popular Fiction Award Contest.  There are six genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Mystery/Crime Fiction, SciFi/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense, and Horror. The catch is to keep it to 4000 words.  Not an easy thing to do when you are used to writing a 65,000 word + novel.

Here’s the scoop:

The Grand Prize winner will receive a $2500 cash prize, plus a trip to the 2013 Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City.

Each of the six category winners will receive a $500 cash prize.
Get your story published in Writer’s Digest, as well as on writersdigest.com
$100 off a purchase at writersdigestshop.com.
A copy of the 2013 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market.

Deadline:  Sept. 14, 2012

Entry Fee:  $20.00

Click Here to Enter

Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Contests, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Crime/Mystery, Horror, Romance, SciFi, Thrillers, Writer's Digest Popular Fiction, Young Adult Fiction contest

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16. Deceived by Julie Anne Lindsey | Book Trailer

Book trailer for Deceived, a young adult thriller by author Julie Anne Lindsey.

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17. A Fun Thriller With Ghosts

I am not a fan of ghost stories, but Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore is more of a thriller than it is a ghost story. It's certainly not any particular ghost's story.

It could also teeter into that adult thriller retooled for YAs category that I've been noticing recently. Daisy Goodnight (a great name) is a freshman in college and the two guys she's not quite torn between are twenty-somethings. Daisy's story is entertaining and engaging, but there's no compelling reason for these characters to be as young as they are. The story could easily be flipped for older, even much older, characters.

As I said, Daisy is a college freshman, which is a neat way of making her available to FBI agents who want her assistance. It is easier for a person that age to be off having adventures, than a younger one, even a younger one who is an orphan like Daisy. The FBI is interested in Daisy because she can communicate with the dead, helpful when investigating murders. The world of the book is one in which any number of people can do magic to one degree or another, and while it may not be common knowledge, even a criminal mastermind may use magical assistance. The Goodnight family is full of hedge witches and other magical sorts.

The book begins with a murder and involves the story of how Daisy gets drawn into a scheme to take advantage of the dead. I got lost a few times in the plot, but Daisy is definitely a charmer.

Another interesting point I must mention--No blurbs on the cover! The back cover simply says, "Daisy Goodnight can talk to the dead. And something has them terrified." And that's why I read a book about ghosts when I don't care for them.




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18. We'll See Where We Go From Here

I am a big fan of Maureen Johnson's Suite Scarlet, which I described as being a "combination of mainstream fiction and screwball comedy." I sought out her book, The Name of the Star, for that reason and because it was a contemporary thriller. I can take or leave that genre, in general, but I'm interested in it when combined with YA.

I have to say that I found The Name of the Star slow getting started. I'm not giving anything away by saying the story deals with a Jack the Ripper copycat murderer. He's carefully mentioned in each of the early chapters, but those chapters are used primarily to get main character, Rory, established in her English boarding school. I liked the premise behind the Scooby Gang that is hunting the killer, but this particular case seemed a little weak to me.

That being said, The Name of the Star is the first in a series, The Shades of London.  I'm going to pick up a copy of The Madness Underneath, Book 2. As I said, I liked the Scooby Gang, and I think it's possible that after The Name of the Star set up the universe, succeeding books could end up being stronger.

Another interesting point: That slow start I mentioned above definitely makes The Name of the Star YA. It's all about secondary school, getting along with other students, getting away from Mom and Dad, and does that boy like me? It doesn't read like an adult book whose adult protagonist has been replaced with a teenager.

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19. Oblivion, by Sasha Dawn | Book Giveaway

Enter to win an autographed copy of Oblivion, by Sasha Dawn. Giveaway begins May 27, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends June 26, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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20. The Art of Writing YA Thrillers

If I were to write this tale, I’d have to research hauntings, of course, and children who grow up with surrogate parents, and anxiety issues and medications. Assuming I’m comfortable gathering this information, there are few things I’ll look at to see if I have the makings of a YA psychological, suspenseful thriller:

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21. that time of year

100_1550   So, the wicker chair that Yeow has claimed as his own is a recent find during the Poultney Town Wide Yard Sale.  His buddy is S. Crow, the latest addition to our garden.  The photo on the left is Don’s new strawberry patch featuring our log-on-a-stump. It’s an interesting piece we found recently at a tag sale.  So, now you know what I’m doing when I’m not writing.  Got the creative bug, even when gardening.  Love the new raised beds.  Check out my books at http://www.annrichduncan.com.  The latest?  A thriller entitled “Buried Alive” — it’s treasure hunter John Victor’s second adventure — filled with mahem and different aspects of how people deal with their faith. It also takes place in the Sonora Desert near Tuscon, Arizona where the Sonora Desert Museum is.   His first adventure? Entitled “The SEED” — it’s currently being edited for a second edition featuring new information about the GMO situation.  That being said, it’s educational (sort of) and exciting.100_1547


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22. Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Add this book to your collection: Dark Eden

Have you read this book? Rate it:
Note: There is a rating embedded within this post, please visit this post to rate it.Reading level: Ages 12 and up

Publisher’s synopsis: If you had the chance to change one thing about yourself, what would you be willing to give up in exchange?

Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares-with the help of the group facilitator Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night’s experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains…What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?

Patrick Carman’s DARK EDEN is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and ultimately, immortality.

Experience the fear: http://enterdarkeden.com

©2011 The Childrens Book Review. All Rights Reserved.

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23. 22 elements for a best-selling thriller

A writing coach has made a list of the 22 elements needed for a best-selling thriller.




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24. Powell’s Q&A: Josh Bazell

Describe your latest book: Right now, I've got a bunch of different things going on, most of them having to do with the interface of science and literature. I'm developing a show for HBO called Emoticons about punctuation that can turn into robots, but at the same time I'm doing some neuroscience research. It's about [...]

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25. Cheyenne Mitchell

Cheyenne Mitchell writes fast-paced, supernatural thrillers.  Her first  novel, In The Light of Darkness, was published in 2007.

Hi Cheyenne, please tell everyone a little about yourself.

Cheyenne: I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism/Communication, I was born in Philadelphia, Pa, and I’ve always loved reading fast-paced, exciting novels of which my favorite of all time is entitled The Captains and The Kings by Taylor Caldwell. It’s an over a thousand page novel I read in about four days during the early 1980s.  I love writing, singing, dancing, and being with God and family most of all.

When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre (s)?

Cheyenne: My love of writing began at the age of six years old when I was in the first grade. I loved writing poetry, and my favorite Poet has always been Mr. Edgar Allan Poe whose writings were dark, but very heart-felt.  I have always been attracted to the supernatural/thrillers with a touch of drama, which is what I myself love to write about.

When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

Cheyenne: I wrote my first supernatural thriller/drama In The Light of Darkness in 1993. It took me three years to write it because I was working full time then.  My goal has always been to become a rich and famous novelist, and still is.  The message I want readers to grasp from my writings is “what if” this could happen?  Or what if this happened to you?  I aim to make my protagonists and their problems very identifiable to readers so they can sympathize with them, and to keep them on the edge of their seats with nail-biting suspense and mystery in the process.

Briefly tell us about your latest book.  Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

Cheyenne: I have two supernatural thrillers on the market right now. One is entitled The Covering which is the story of two, teenage sisters who cannot figure out what is going on with their family members who are very strange.  Celia, who is the protagonist, will take readers on an incredible and exciting journey as she endeavors, along with her sister, Drew, to find out what their family members are hiding from them.  It is a novel filled with terror and lots of shock for readers.  My other novel, Syroia, is the story of a young man who is only one member of a family who has been tormented for generations by the demonic spirit of a long-dead murderer. However, the spirit he sees after every killing is NOT the one who has actually been terrorizing him, and many others in his family.  The Covering  is receiving all FIVE stars, and Syroia as well from reviewers.

What is the hook for the book?

Cheyenne:  In The Covering: What if nearly two hundred year old vampires were raising two normal, teenage girls who are their own flesh and blood?  In Syroia: What if a terrible spirit of someone you never knew is after your soul, but is really someone closer to you than you would ever believe?

How do you develop characters? Setting?

Cheyenne: I must say that all of my inspiration, creativity, and imagination come directly from God ALONE, and nowhere else. It is li

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