The Museum of Fractured Lives…What a Great Title

I’m going to take a break from blessing you all with my complaints and various insights on life to allow my friend and fellow author, Sally Jenkins, to chat about her collection, The Museum of Fractured Lives, which is just about as awesome of a title as you could come up with. Sally Jenkins is a British writer (so I didn’t “correct” anything she wrote up)  specialising in shorter length fiction. She blogs about all things writing related at http://sallyjenkins.wordpress.com so give her a visit after you read this. And after you buy her book.

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Have you ever loved and lost?

Do you still have an object that reminds you of that special but ill-fated relationship?

It might be a piece of jewellery, a cuddly toy or even an unworn wedding dress.

Letting go of these significant, emotional souvenirs is difficult but sometimes it helps. Once these objects are gone, moving forward with life and starting afresh is much easier.

In Zagreb, the Museum of Broken Relationships will accept these special objects for display.

As a writer (and even though I have never been to Zagreb, Croatia) I have been intrigued by the concept behind this museum. Its exhibits must form a wonderful treasure trove of emotional stories.

This intrigue has resulted in the fictional Museum of Fractured Lives, based in London and, so far, three stories behind the objects donated to this establishment.

Maxine’s Story – Several years ago, Maxine and Kaspar experienced the turbo-charged emotions of teenage romance. But the consequences of their relationship cast a long shadow into Maxine’s adulthood and now she is about to reveal something that she has never told a soul …

Karen’s Story – Karen appears to be a confident business woman in her late forties but her story is pure selfishness. It is the tale of a single woman’s quest to find a man to father her baby. She tempts a work colleague to commit adultery. But he has a secret and their affair has devastating consequences …

Pete’s Story – Pete fell in love with Sarah almost thirty years ago when he was twenty-one. He was singing in a band and living in a bedsit. Sarah was eighteen and had just left school. They planned their life together. Sarah would manage the band and it would become a worldwide success. But the couple’s future goes awry…

Now these three stories are available together in The Museum of Fractured Lives Omnibus along with a prologue which tells how this fictional museum came into being.

The good news is that The Museum of Fractured Lives Omnibus is only 99c until Saturday 4th October.

So why not take this opportunity to indulge yourself with an emotional read which will touch your heart?

Why not indeed. I have had the pleasure of reading Maxine’s Story quite some time ago and will be picking up the Omnibus for myself this week, as I hope you will as well.

The Museum of Fractured Lives - Omnibus - Cover

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Welcome Back, RH Ramsey!

Just beneath ll 2 (2)

RH Ramsey might as well have her own room around here. Or at least a drawer in the dresser and a toothbrush in the bathroom. She’s graced the blog before and, today, she’s at it again. Everyone, please welcome back Ms. Ramsey as she chats about her newest release, Just Beneath the Surface II: Landon’s Story.

I enjoy blurring the lines between antagonist and protagonist. For, sometimes in life, there’s no one chasing us, making things difficult for us, sucking the life out, or trying to kill us; sometimes, it’s all in our heads.

I mean, have you noticed that we chase, drain, and complicate things for ourselves, causing us to perish by the day? Yes? Well, I agree. And for these reasons, in Just Beneath the Surface II: Landon’s Story (which is not a continuation of Just Beneath the Surface I) the main characters are their own demons.

Landon Adams has come from a place of darkness, pure evil, and Hell. He feels that he has escaped this darkness, and that everyone around him should focus less on the way he’s escaped, and more on the fact that they are stuck in in past. Seven Dickinson is hotheaded beauty. She allows other people, her past issues with poverty, her anger, and her insecurities, to drive her.

In Landon’s opinion, Seven is live entertainment for her friends, family, and anyone who stops to watch her in action, all in the name of being right. Still, Landon sees so much more in her. He finds her warm, loving, selfless, and self-sufficient; she doesn’t need him, at least, she doesn’t realize she doesn’t. And, aside from fighting, swearing, and behaving like someone who should spend a few nights in jail, Landon feels all she needs is a bit of direction to bring out the beauty he sees in her.

Soon, the magnetism that blossoms between them is undeniable. Before long, the magnetism becomes obsession. As time goes on, obsession brings out the monsters Landon believed he had successfully tucked away neatly under his bed, in a pretty little box with a bow.

In Just Beneath the Surface II: Landon’s Story, I remember being very inspired by writing something that, for me, was a bit outside the box. I say this because, when I first started writing and completing books in 2004 or 2005, I felt I had to have a madman chasing a good guy in order for the story to be, well, a conventional story. This changed with Landon’s Story, as I wanted to write something that spoke to the internal struggles, the good guy vs. bad guy conversations, and, most of all, facing trauma in a way that helps us, not sets us several years backward where the pain rears its ugly head. Internalizing, numbing ourselves, pretending, stuffing things under our beds in pretty little boxes with bows, never pays off.

A psychological thriller/suspense (maybe, I think), this story brings you into the mind of a seemingly normal man, into the psyche of a guy who wants the same thing most of us seek: unconditional love. Into the moments of romance, possession, hurt, help, and love, all wrapped up in one. Then, slowly, as the story unfolds, down deep into the valley of sickness, control, and obsession you go.

The superpower of control he once possessed turns to kryptonite. Wires are frayed and shocking that carefully constructed mind – the mind of Landon Adams of Just Beneath the Surface II.

Thanks, East, for the opportunity to share.

You’re very welcome, Ms. Ramsey! Thank you for taking the time to ‘stop by’ and lead us through your motivations and inspirations.

And, without further delay, here’s my review of Just Beneath the Surface II: Landon’s Story:

I received an ARC of JBTS2 and though the polarizing characters, that I didn’t personally identify with, aren’t likable, they stuck with me for days. The novel starts off slow, as the relationship drama builds and sets up, but you can see that–you guessed it–there’s something ‘just beneath the surface’ once again. Landon is one of the creepiest characters I’ve ever read on a page, but I wanted to feel sorry for him. And that’s a sign of talented writing. Well done, RH Ramsey. You’ve done it again.
Just Beneath the Surface II: Landon’s Story is available in e-book and paperback on Amazon. Get your copy soon and check out RH Ramsey’s other releases, too!

Is There A String on Your Finger? #Giveaway

I don’t know about your grandmother, but mine used to tie a small string around one of her fingers when she needed to remember something. It was strange. It was quirky. It was useless. Especially since, most of the time, it only reminded her that she needed to remember something, not what specific thing she needed to remember.

But I digress…

Consider this post the string around your finger reminding you to visit Lori Verni-Fogarsi’s blog, read the feature about yours truly, and enter the giveaway for a prize pack that includes her custom Find Yourself in a Good Book tote bag and mouse pad and two hand-crafted, metal, Blood in the Past bookmarks (that I recently sold out of at author events).

After reading the downloadable 7-page excerpt available on the giveaway, someone had this to say about me and Blood in the Past:
“I like how this story has so many layers. It will be interesting to see how each of the characters become intertwined in each others lives and what the outcome of each one will be. I think that this author is going to become one of the best authors of our time.”
It’s not too late to Try Before You Buy OR to Enter the Giveaway! ****************Today is the LAST DAY!***************

Hey You! Giving Away Stuff Over Here!

Okay, maybe I’m not technically giving away stuff over here per se, but if you travel through the vast lands of the internets, via a very insignificant click of your mouse/touchpad, you’ll find the blog of Lori Verni-Fogarsi. When I first released Blood in the Past back in June, I reached out to her, having helped her with her own new releases, and offered her a review copy. If you don’t know Lori, she pens some pretty popular chick-lit and women’s fiction, so I didn’t really expect her to read my little thriller, let alone enjoy it.

Well, enjoy it she did. When she finished reading it, she posted all over Facebook and Twitter and I was beaming like a proud mama bear that had just watched her cub snatch its first salmon out of the stream. Then she emailed me about hosting a giveaway…on HER blog! Holy salmon snatching bear cubs!

Today, folks, is the day of that giveaway. Lori has graciously donated a tote bag and a mouse pad from her own “Find Yourself in a Good Book” collection (images of which are on the official giveaway page), and I have, of course, donated two hand-crafted, customized bookmarks, to celebrate the recent paperback release. One bears a “Keep Calm” charm and the last line from Blood in the Past, the other bears an actual Blood in the Past cover art charm. The contest will run until Tuesday, October 15th, so you have plenty of time to enter. There are also about a dozen different ways you can enter on the Rafflecopter entry form, so what are you waiting for??? CLICK HERE!!!

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What I’ve Learned: A Guest Post by Tamar Hela

What I’ve Learned Since Publishing My First Novel

Writing a book is like preparing for a talent show with an audience of thousands. You think you’re really good—you have this idea, this dream, that you want to share with the world and you think to yourself: Hell yeah, I’m good enough! So you craft your “baby,” say no to hanging out with your friends and cute guys, stay up way past your bed time, and try to meet your word count by participating in the largest boot camp for writers: NaNoWriMo. Then it’s done. You do some of your own edits, hire someone else to do major edits, and maybe have some beta readers catch random mistakes. Finally, you feel it’s ready for release. You throw a big party, everyone and their mom’s uncle’s parakeet comes, you make some immediate sales, and you feel like Macklemore scoring a sweet deal at the thrift shop. No one can knock you down from the high of the first release. Until you get that one review noting the weaknesses in your “baby”.

This is what happened to me last year when I released my first novel, Feast Island. But let’s face it: I knew the book wasn’t perfection itself, but I did think it was ready for the world to see. Little did I know I had so much to learn. When I received my first draft back from my editor, I agreed with most changes that were made or suggested. After making those changes, I had some beta readers and friends—who are great editors—look over the manuscript. They had suggested other areas to fix, and I made further alterations. However, as my own deadline loomed near, and my eagerness to just get-the-book-out-in-the-public-already tugged at my patience, I kind of just “went” for it. I approved my proofs from my distributor and ordered the final copies. In my haste, the book was not as polished as I had told myself it was. And I can’t be sure, but I may have uploaded a draft that was not as updated as my final—by accident, of course. That’s the problem of having like 23 versions, all labeled obscurely.

Because of some reviews and my more experienced “writer’s eye” (I just made that up), I decided that my baby needed to mature a bit and go back to the hell of wonderful land of editing. I caught a few errors here and there, but what really got me? All the “was-es” or sentences beginning with “I”. Seriously? I know better than that! And have been taught better than that, too. But being able to catch those as a writer…well, that takes time and practice. So, after I made numerous edits, I thought: Hey, I should release a 2nd edition of this and make it fresh. I hired my cover artist to draft a new cover, and hired a different editor who was recommended to me by my publisher. Currently, my editor is on the final pages of Feast Island and I am very curious to see what else she recommends. The new cover is done—woot! And I’m hoping to release Feast Island: 2nd Edition next month. Except this time, I’m in no hurry. I will make sure that this version is as polished and pretty as my newly pedicured feet. And if that takes a while, so be it.

Therefore, writers, learn from my mistakes. First of all, label your files in a more organized fashion than I did with my first drafts. And second, good things take time…great things take even more time. Be patient, mature your manuscript, allow people to be critical with your project, and stand by your convictions. Then, after all that, an amazing novel is born and you’ll be beaming with pride when your wonderful, appreciative readers give you a pat on the back.

 Feast Island Cover Ed 2

Feast Island Blurb

Seven teenagers from Northern California are assigned a seemingly innocent group project for their Freshman English class. Little do they know, this project will take them on a journey out of this world—literally. Cantelia appears much like Earth until the kids realize magic is as plentiful as the wildlife surrounding them. What’s at stake is much more than they can fathom, especially since they are part of an ancient prophecy. A dark and evil ruler is enforcing a curse on the people of Sikuku Island—the same place where the kids have been transported. Now, they must help the islanders break the curse if they ever want to see their own planet again. Join Alex and her friends as they learn there is so much more beyond their comfortable lives in Pollock Pines and its legendary Spirit Lake.

 Tamar Hela Bio

Tamar Hela was born and raised in the Bay Area of California, where she currently resides with her family. Since the age of ten, many of her teachers have encouraged her to pursue a career in writing fiction. Tamar has always had a knack for words, loving the art of storytelling. As a musician and artist, she understands the importance of captivating an audience through various mediums, but especially loves using words to create visual images for readers. When she’s not writing, singing, drinking coffee, or dreaming up some crazy scheme, she can be found curled up with a good book.

 To learn more about Tamar, visit her at: www.tamarhela.com or http://tamarhela.wordpress.com

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Thank you so much, Tamar, for sharing your experiences with us! Good luck with the re-launch and book-signing and all the other exciting things you’re destined for!

Writing is Waiting…

I don’t usually post on Fridays. Especially during the summer, when people are more likely to be sun-bathing and fly-fishing than blog-perusing and link-clicking. BUT, I just had to share my guest post, on author Y. Correa’s blog, about just how much waiting is involved with the writing process–and how good things come to those who wait. 😉

And I would be remiss to mention that Ms Correa added a pretty glowing review of my Psychological Thriller Novella, Blood in the Past, following my guest post. 😉

Blood in the Past

Here’s the link: http://ycorreafb.blogspot.com/2013/06/guest-blog-piece-of-jordanna-east-author.html

And one more winky-face for the road. 😉

Author Amanda Keeney’s Cover Reveal!

Poster made by Syler media group

Poster made by Syler media group

Title: A Whisper of Hope

Series: Book One in the Kingston Hearts Series

Author: Amanda Keeney

Cover Designer: Tiffany Kae Wilson from

http://www.kaeskreations.com/

Photographer: CC’s Photography

Expected Release Date: October 1, 2013

Full Wrap Cover

Full Wrap Cover

Book Synopsis

Sage Collins is finally about to become an adult after spending most of her life in the foster care system. Graduation means a chance at a new life for Sage, who has spent many days and nights living in fear that the man from her past would make good on his promise to find her and make his claim on her.

After she receives a terrifying email, she takes a chance with local authorities. Detective brothers Ryan Randall and Jeremy Alton surprise her with their eagerness to help and she starts to feel like she might finally be safe. Detective Randall pursues her case with a dogged determination of a man seeking redemption, and his brother Jeremy because he believes Sage is the other half of the soul he has been missing.

The two begin to grow closer as the investigation moves forward. Sage’s first instinct is to run away, but when tragedy strikes, she finds herself running straight into his arms. He vows to protect her at all costs, but when Sage makes a mistake which lead to her sudden disappearance, he and his brother realize that if they want to save her, they will have to operate outside of the law they hold so dear. Jeremy and Ryan only have a limited amount of time to find Sage before she disappears for good.

Me

Me

Amanda Keeney is a mother first and foremost but has the passion for writing. She is a full time college student attending Columbia College Online. With one year remaining in school she hopes to make writing books her future before graduation.

For years she has tried to write a finished novel, and never completed one until she entered the Camp NaNoWriMo challenge in April 2013 where she successfully completed the first draft to her debut Novel, A Whisper of Hope which is the first in The Kingston Hearts Series. This is the first, but far from the last novel she intends to write.
She lives with her soon to be husband, Thomas and daughter, Cycila in Missouri where she has lived her whole life. Her days now consist of a lot of coffee and little sleep while she works to finish her current project.

Ebook Cover

Ebook Cover

I want to put a shout out to Tiffany Kae Wilson from http://www.kaeskreations.com/ for doing such an amazing job on this cover and I cannot wait to work with her on my next covers. If you want a great design that won’t break your budget go to Kae’skreations

I also have an instrumental that was composed specifically for my book trailer that will be released in Septemer 2013. James L Revels is an awesome composer. Here is the link to the song. Hope you enjoy, I know I loved it.

http://jamesrevelsiii.bandcamp.com/track/a-whisper-of-hope

Other songs on the album/ plus my artwork

http://jamesrevelsiii.bandcamp.com/album/what-angels-dance-to

Find me

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorkeeney

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ramanda429

Goodreads( just as a reader for now, befriend me if you wish): http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/19640122-amanda-richardson

WordPress: http://ramanda429.wordpress.com

Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your cover reveal with us! We all look forward to A Whisper of Hope this October! Good luck!