Every book I’ve written has had its own set of ups and downs. The initial idea, the first attempt at getting it on paper, the hair-pulling brain obstructions that seem to stretch to infinity, the first reaction from readers, the close editing and rewrites and the horrifying look of cover designs that eventually turn into something that will reflect the pages inside. At some point you smack an ISBN and other book matter on it and after checking off a bazillion more items off the task list (like a marketing plan, mustn’t forget a marketing plan) you hold your breath, cross your fingers and hit publish. At each stage, you can’t help but feel a jumble of emotions that tumble like balls in a bingo drum. Continue reading
Lucas Kana hoped to be part of the first group of Lei Crime KW authors who launched their books last April. Unfortunately, Lucas couldn’t make the deadline so his book had to be put on hold for release. Seems he thought getting married was more important than finishing his novella on time. You gotta love a guy who has his priorities straight!
The good news about the missed deadline is, now that he’s released his story, he’s done it in two parts, Princess Eyes I and Princess Eyes II, giving us lots of material to sink into. Somehow he found some time between getting the book done, getting married and going on a whirlwind honeymoon to far flung reaches of the world, to answer a few questions about the Lei Crime experience.
Here is the blub for his Lei Crime novella Princess Eyes I:
Geeky Honolulu Lieutenant, Michael Stevens, teams up to investigate a series of homicides with Jenna Brooke, a streetwise psychologist for the FBI, which leads to the mysterious disappearance of a local beauty queen known as ‘Princess Eyes.’
Timeline: 10 years before Blood Orchids in a semi-alternate universe where Stevens starts out as a nerd. Continue reading
I haven’t read AJ Llewellyn’s latest Lei Crime KW novella yet, but I’ll tell you why I’m looking forward to it. My first Lei Crime KW story, Hidden Poppies, was about Ken Yamada, one of Toby Neal’s characters in the Lei Crime world. Ken Yamada, is an FBI Special Agent, a former partner to the series main character, Lei Texeira. Ken Yamada is also gay.
In my story, I link Ken up with someone he knew and loved from years past – a soldier, Major Charles Mathews, who because of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, could have been discharged from the service if anyone found out that he was carrying on a homosexual affair.
Hidden Poppies was the first book I’d ever written that explored a gay love story and I frankly fell in love with Ken and Chuck’s relationship because they are both such interesting men and deserve the love they share. My next Lei Crime story … right now with the working title UNDERTOW, I hope to have out in October and it will feature Ken and Chuck again. Continue reading
Since the Lei Crime Kindle World launch in April, Christine Nolfi’s, The Shell Keeper has spent much of that time in the number one spot of the Kindle World Contemporary category. The only book that has moved The Shell Keeper from that top spot, (which is on sale right now for less than a dollar!) is her second Lei Crime Kindle World novella, The Shell Seeker.
There’s a good reason Christine’s work has been hugging the top of the charts. Great settings, rich and lovely characters and an intriguingly magical story that takes Toby Neal’s vibrant character, Lei Texeira, to places Lei has never been. Here’s a description of The Shell Seeker.
In South Carolina, there’s more than magic in the air. Now policewoman Lei Texeira must solve the case of the Pirate Necklace.
The famed emeralds, spirited in the 1700s from the pirate Blackbeard’s ship, have been snatched once again. This time, the bling was taken from Marie-Therese Belvedere, a woman whose cruelty is only topped by her arrogance.
Lei doesn’t care for the icy socialite, but she feels an instant connection with the woman’s stepdaughter. An unlucky star has followed Sydney Belvedere her entire life. If the necklace isn’t found, she’ll lose a treasure more dear than the finest gem.
Only the magic of Lei’s intuition stands between Sydney and unspeakable loss.
I’m excited for some of my author friends who are collectively putting out six more novellas in the Lei Crime Kindle World. Sadly, I won’t be contributing this time since I’m hard at work on a novel I hope to have done this fall. That said, I can still make sure folks hear about these fantastic and diverse stories.
Eden Baylee’s Seal of a Monk, is the first of the batch I’ll talk about here. She has another fantastic cover for the story she describes this way:
Seal of a Monk, By Eden Baylee
The ancient jungles of Kauai provide the perfect setting for self-discovery.
Despite the terror she experienced on her last trip, Lainey Lee returns to Hawaii to manage a silent meditation course on the Coconut Coast. Twenty-five women are under her care for ten days in a beautiful and remote location. Lainey expects to find inner peace, but four days into the course, one of the meditators disappears without a trace.
Did the girl leave of her own free will, or was she lured away by a strange cult? Lainey is frantic to answer these questions. As her desperation grows, she finds help from an unexpected source—a retired Navy SEAL named Maxamillian Scott.
Now, Lainey has two mysteries to solve: what happened to the missing girl and the case of her own heart. Can she ever trust a man again?
Sounds really good doesn’t it? I can’t wait to read it. In the meantime, Eden took the time to fill me in on how this project went for her.
Like many independently published authors, when I finish a writing a book, I send it to a group of beta readers to get their feedback. Once the book is published, after several rewrites and line edits and the like, I’ll send it to several more people to request honest feedback and an honest review. I’ve never paid anyone a single penny for a review. At most, like giving a gift to a friend, I’ve given titles away.
I have gifted books to people and received no reviews in exchange. I can only assume those folks either didn’t think the book was worth a review or simply didn’t like it. Rather than give me a bad review, they didn’t review it at all. Continue reading
All this talk of the NAACP (I know…stretch, but I’m trying to lean toward the positive here), reminded me of a few years ago when the book I wrote along with Shoshana Johnson, was
nominated for an NAACP Image Award. I’m Still Standing, didn’t win, but it was so memorable to go to L.A., be on a red carpet, meet so many famous people and watch people like Prince and Halle Barry present awards. I’ll never forget it and will always appreciate being able to share it with Shoshana.
When I came back, I did this interview with Army Today. Turned out it was the first on-camera interview for the young Soldier. He did a pretty good job I think! He even remembered the most important question … is there anything else you’d like to add?!
Now it’s back to business but that doesn’t mean I’m sitting still. This week, I’m taking you along with me on my week-long blog tour as part of a month-long blitz of the Lei Crime Kindle World authors. I’m sharing my week with the lovely and talented historian slash novelist, J. L. Oakley and her great Lei Crime novella, Saddle Road.
Sure, there’s no sand between the toes, but there is a chance for a $30 Amazon gift card to some lucky commenter.
So come along with me, post comments, check out the bloggers who are hosting us and share the information with your friends. And then, if you’re so inclined and you haven’t already, picked up a copy of Hidden Poppies or one of my other titles. There’s lots to choose from.
I’ll be working on another Lei Crime novella, just as soon as I finish the first draft of this new series I’m excited about. More on that to follow.
June 8: Undercover Book Reviews
June 9: Room With Books
June 10: Independent Authors
June 11: Straight from the Library
June 11: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
June 12: Long and Short Reviews
It’s been a very long time since I’ve granted myself the luxury of a beach vacation. So long in fact, I need new bathing suits (not my favorite thing to shop for), new beach bags, new flip flops and sunscreen. Lots of sunscreen.
By far the most important thing I need to stock up on – even more important than the bathing suit – is beach reading material. For me, the sun, sand and surf are nice but without a good book I might as well be at work.
To ensure this precious reading time is not squandered, I reached out to friends to get recommendations. And since I have so many author friends, I included the caveat they couldn’t recommend their own books. While many suggested books I’d already read, there were a few gems in there I had to share. I know I’m not the only one looking for good summertime reading so here is a rundown of the suggestions I received.
My brother, Larry and I exchange book ideas all the time. He usually never steers me wrong. I just finished reading all six books in the Purge of Babylon series by Sam Sisavath based on Larry’s strong support. I absolutely loved them. Can’t wait for book seven. But I finished the series and need more to fill my time.