Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The memory of our first kiss

My time alone with Michael is about to come to an end. 
No doubt, Michael knows it, too. In a blink, he brushes his lips over mine, ever so lightly. It is then that something wondrous begins to happen. I don’t mean the memory of our first kiss, although that moment—framed with autumn leaves aflame all around us—is a great marvel, too.
The wondrous thing is something else entirely. It’s this sensation—oh, how do I describe it? A tingle, an itch?—down there, in my left foot. To be more precise, it’s in my pinky toe. 
Oh wow! I can move it!
“Goodbye,” says Michael in his softest voice, backing away.
Oh no, don’t go! Not now, I beg him in my heart. With renewed urgency, I move my pinky toe again, praying I could leap over somehow and stop him in his tracks. With him gone, how will I ever learn what he meant by taking responsibility for the crime?
Meanwhile, with a sigh of relief, Ma takes his place by my side. She strokes my hand, which I can’t move, and kisses my brow right over my eyes, which I can’t open to save my life. 
“Dear,” she begs, just as before, “give me some signal, will you?”
How can I tell her where to look, where to find my response, when she focuses on the wrong end? 
Moving my pinky toe is far from enough. I must do more. I must learn to kick.

Except from Coma Confidential


(Volume I of Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance)
Audible: USUKFRDE
Audiobook: Amazon US Amazon UKiTunes
Paperback: Amazon


Ash finds herself in the ER diagnosed with coma. She has no memory of what has happened to her, but what she can do--despite what everyone around her might think--is listen to the conversations of her visitors. Will she survive the power outage in the hospital and then, being kidnapped out of it? 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

I couldn’t understand why you declined to join me on this trip

I never met Susan in person, but this note is her. I imagine her voice as somewhat crinkly, sinking a bit every time this letter or that falls into a crease in the paper, then rising to become audible again: 

For a long time, I couldn’t understand why you declined to join me on this trip. After all, I’ve planned it exactly in accordance to your own stories, which you told me long ago, before you proposed, of your own trip down here, so I thought it would be wonderful for you, for both of us, to relive the adventures of those early days.

I can’t help but recall her last video. “You may suspect that I’m jealous of you,” she said. “And maybe part of me is, the part that has been in love with him, ever since we met.”
“Oh,” I say. “What a heartwarming note.”
Kabir crosses his arms over his chest, as if to say that he knows better. “I don’t read it this way.”
I wonder if he ever saw that video. Probably not, or he would have destroyed it. Her next sentence there, as I remember it, was, “Now, that love is dying.”
I go back to reading her note. She signs it off with,

I feared that without you I would be lonely here, but in fact, I’m beginning to feel as if I found my calling. 

Excerpt from Overdose


(Volume III of Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance)
AudibleUS  UK  FR  DE
Audiobook: Amazon US  Amazon UK ★ iTunes
Paperback: Amazon



Months after recovering from coma, Ash discovers that the man who performed her brain surgery has a questionable medical experience and a dark past. Should she expose him, at the risk of becoming vulnerable to his revenge?

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Twitter (and other social media channels): the secret of success

I've been asked, quite frequently, how to gain followers on Twitter. At the time of writing this answer, my audience is 43K and growing, and all along the way, this growth has been organic, without the use of any type of paid ads to sustain it. You can achieve it, too -- if you put your mind to it. Don't tell me, "But, but I only have a handful of followers." I started at 0 followers and build it up from there. You can do it too.

The secret of success — on Twitter or other social networks — is quite simple. 

Find partners:

1. Be generous to others, retweet what they say, and 
2. If they don’t reciprocate, try someone else.

If managed well, this can grow your audience over time. If you find partners who write in genres close to yours and who have a large audience, your word now reaches far beyond your own number of followers. Over time you will gain more followers.

There are Facebook groups focused on such reciprocation, where you give and take, so that’s one way of finding partners. This is an ongoing process, it never stops, because some of your 'partners in crime' may drop out of the game and you need to replace your retweets for them with retweets for someone else.

One more word on this: When you do find worthy partners, you can take the game to the next level. Instead of just retweeting what they say, send your own tweets about their work. You can even design your own memes for them. Such dedication, if aimed smartly, will be rewarded with their dedication for sharing your work.

Figure out what you what to say:

Now, the question becomes, what do you want to say in your tweets? How do you draw followers?

Each author has her own answer to this. Many of them just talk about sales. Buy me because I'm cheap kind-of-a-thing.

In my mind, the bombardment of free and cheap things gets annoying. My answer is different: quality, quality, quality, content, content, content. What I do, in Twitter as well as Facebook, Goodreads, and elsewhere, is start at the heart of my promotion: my blog. I write a new post every few days (sometimes daily) — an excerpt, a back story, an interview, a poem, quote from a recent review, my inspiration for designing the cover of a new release, an audio clip from the audiobook — and design a meme for it. Then I place a teaser+link to  on each social network, including Twitter. 

And, I save the tweet so I can use it later:


Automate:

Since I have hundreds of blogposts, I also have hundreds of tweets. I store them on a service that rotates thru them, so my tweets go on automatically without me having to attend to them. There are many such services. SocialJuxbox, Hootsuite, Twittime, and others. 

To summarize: what you see on my Twitter page includes several kinds of tweets, all chirped automatically at predetermined rates: 

  • Tweets for other authors (my partners in crime) 
  • Promos for other authors who pay me for the service
  • Tweets linking to blog posts. These provide content and that are the backbone of my outreach.


Be current

Tweets that are perceived as current resonate better with readers. 

I organize my tweets by the season. During the summer I have images of sunsets over a beach (and related excerpts and material) which works well for my romance books; as fall sets in, you'll see a lot of red autumn leaves in my memes and a call to turn a leaf; during Christmas, it’s all Christmassy, so my covers are presented with a red ribbon, ready to be given as a gift for loved ones. 

Constantly replacing my tweets according to the season is a huge effort but it makes for variety and draws in the crowd.

Hope this helps?
Best of success!


Saturday, August 17, 2019

I stayed up all night to read it!

I just love this review for The David Chronicles: Trilogy:

August 14, 2019
OMG I stayed up all night to read this trilogy with pots of coffee practically at my bedside. It was so good! The bible come to life. I love biblical stories more for the allegorical tales than any religious reasons. They are full of adventure, passion, lust, love, murder, evil, good and redemption. They take us to a time and place we will never know or experience except is these wonderful texts. The David Chronicles does just that. The author gives us a unique perspective of David and Bathsheba in the context of history. Their love that haunts David. The taking of Bathsheba. The murder of Uriah. It is history come to life in a way that is fresh and captivating! King David has done great things but he will forever be haunted by what he did to Bathsheba and Uriah. I just loved this trilogy. It feels like Shakespeare in the biblical times. I don't doubt he was inspired by the many biblical stories. The writer makes you feel you are a fly on the wall of history watching a great man do bad things and fall from grace. I loved this trilogy and I hope there are more stories to come!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Someone is listening to every word you say, every word you hear



The next morning, Karishma texts me. 

I was right about one thing

I ask,

What’s that?

She replies,

Someone is listening to every word you say, every word you hear.

I ask,

What?
How d’you know that?

Karishma replies:

Because coming to work, this is what I’ve found at the doorstep just now. 

The image she sends shows three chickens. Only one of them is still alive, picking at the slit necks of the other two. 
I’ve wanted to learn more about the unlikely friendship between these women—Karishma and her two friends, Martha and Susan—but at this point, I can’t bring myself to text any questions, nor do I want to talk to her. In the near future I must isolate myself. I must become a recluse, because somewhere out there, a stranger may be reading my words, recording them, examining every little thing I want to hold secret. 
Worse of all, I have no idea how he’s managed to get this close to me. The pink cellphone has been spoofed—of that I’m convinced—so it can’t transmit any sounds, any signals. Even so, there must be a backup method, one I haven’t yet managed to discover, by which my privacy is being violated.
I try to recall if anyone stood next to us when Karishma relayed her story about the sacrifice, but all I draw is a blank.
The image is even more disturbing on a second and third look. How else can it be interpreted but as a threat to her, and a warning to me?



(Volume III of Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance)
AudibleUS  UK  FR  DE
Audiobook: Amazon US  Amazon UK ★ iTunes
Paperback: Amazon


Months after recovering from coma, Ash discovers that the man who performed her brain surgery has a questionable medical experience and a dark past. Should she expose him, at the risk of becoming vulnerable to his revenge?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

A really great book!

Short and sweet review for The David Chronicles: Trilogy:
August 10, 2019
wow i sure learned alot about history i never knew reading this book! its history that is rewritten a different way than from what i learned years ago. you must read this whole book!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Made the USA Today Bestselling list

A big thank you to my wonderful readers! 
Thanks to you and thanks to the talents of the authors in the team of Do No Harm, we made the USA Today Bestselling list today!!!


New release! Get it now:


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Overdose: #1 new release

Overdose is my new thriller, scheduled for release on 9/9/2019 (I just like the look of this date.) It is already a #1 new release on Amazon, check it out:


(Volume III of Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance)
AudibleUS  UK  FR  DE
Audiobook: Amazon US  Amazon UK ★ iTunes
Paperback: Amazon


Months after recovering from coma, Ash discovers that the man who performed her brain surgery has a questionable medical experience and a dark past. Should she expose him, at the risk of becoming vulnerable to his revenge?

Humbling Experience of a read

Just discovered this lovely review of my WWII thriller, Marriage before Death:

August 24, 2017
What a humbling experience the author weaves together with this story.
Not a book to be glanced through tho, the details of the storyline is what makes this such a great book.

A Historical Romance that will really leave an impression on the reader. The ending is bittersweet.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of the book by it's author.
Reviewer for Nook Books and More Blog.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Thrilling and Unique!

Lovely review for my medical thriller, Coma Confidential:

July 31, 2019
Telling a story from the point of view of a comatose patient is such an original and brilliant idea, especially since the main character, Ash, has no idea what’s going on and we as readers unravel this mystery bit by bit with her. The book kept me on the edge of my seat, constantly trying to guess what would happen next, and I found it difficult to put it down. Plus, I love plot twists and strong female characters! There were a few instances in the book that sounded a tad unrealistic to me, but all in all a great read and highly recommended!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Embark on a journey

If you like ancient historical fiction about court intrigue, this series of king David novels has a modern twist like no book you have read before. The box set includes three volumes:

Here is the story of David as you have never heard it before: from the king himself, telling the unofficial version, the one he never allowed his court scribes to recount. Rooted in ancient lore, his is a surprisingly modern memoir.
Notorious for his contradictions, David is seen by others as a gifted court entertainer, a successful captain in Saul’s army, a cunning fugitive, a traitor leading a gang of felons, and a ruthless raider of neighboring towns who leaves no witnesses behind. But how does he see himself, during this first phase of his life? 

The most torrid tale of passion ever told: David's forbidden love for Bathsheba, and his attempt to cover up the scandal. Will he muster the strength needed to protect her and save their son from danger?

David loves his sons. The last thing he expects is that they will topple him from the throne. Who among them will remain by his side? Who will be not only loyal, but also eager to continue his legacy?
For now, David remains silent, even as Amnon rapes Tamar, even as Absalom lures Amnon to his death. In families other than his, such crimes may be concealed. But when they occur in the king’s family, they affect matters of the state, and result in his escape from the son he adores. Will he finds a way to quell the revolt and come back to the City of David?


Paperback: Amazon



I love this series for its convincing depiction of real people in ancient times, for its unflinching honesty, and for its vividly real characters. This David is no cardboard cutout to be filled in with bright crayoned colors. His Bathsheba is no plaything. And his women will take their place on the stage of history, will have their voice, and will cry out for love and hate and hope." 
Sheila Deeth, Top Amazon Reviewer, Vine Voice


Wow. The story is epic

A short and sweet review for my historical fiction trilogy, The David Chronicles: Trilogy:
August 1, 2019
This is one big book to read plan on spending time with it. The story is epic as well as a new twist on the history we only read about. It written well and the characters in the book are true to form. This book challenges you on what you think you knew and what could be the truth.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Just snuggle up a little closer

A cloud drifted over across the horizon, shielding the sun, and now I could see: her white and black polka-dotted dress was neatly gathered around the waist by a black linen belt. In the evening breeze, dots were flapping against her hips, dancing around her knees. 
The fabric was crimped, however, which suggested to me that at the last minute, just before coming ashore, she must have taken the dress out of the suitcase and changed into it, with no time to take care of the creases, to smooth them. I imagined she was eager to look her prettiest for someone, a special someone she was expecting to meet.
What’s the matter with you, I asked myself. What game are you playing? A spy? A private investigator?
Strangely, the closer I got to her the more pronounced was the thumping of my heart. I quickened my step, crossing through a sudden gust of air, in which I caught not only the smell of the ocean but also a whiff of perfume. Somehow it reminded me of Natasha’s, except that in her case, the only purpose for which she used it was to dab the corner of an envelope, when sending a letter to me. 
“Hello!” I said, trying to strike a conversation with this stranger. “I heard it was a difficult journey.”
Just then, the wind grew stronger. It lifted the hat into a tilt and for just an instant, revealed a glint, the red glint of a curl. At once she caught the brim, set the hat properly back in place—but not before I noticed the rosy blush. 
Burning suddenly with desire I reached for her hand. Instead of taking it, Natasha wrapped her arms around me, coming into mine. Speechless, I embraced her.
“Oh, Lenny,” she said, her voice so soothing, so velvety, just as I remembered it. “Just snuggle up a little closer.”

Excerpt from Apart from War


Audible: USUKFRDE
AudiobookAmazon USAmazon UKiTunes
PaperbackAmazon


"In this collection of WWII love stories, Lenny and Natasha had an unforgettable romance and love story from the 1940's through the 1970's. He was a marine. She was a concert pianist . Their story is heart-rendering. The author also includes Alzheinner Disease. If you enjoy WWII love stories, this is the collection for you, so don't miss it!"
~B.J. Robinson, Romance Author