Monday, May 31, 2010

June is Bustin' Out All Over!

Good Memorial Monday morning, world!

Today's blog will be brief, but extremely informative. :)

June is turning out to be a busy month for yours truly. Why? Well, I am going to have several AMAZING authors stopping by the blog this month AND my own blog tour has kicked off, so I'm gonna be all over the place! LOL.

June's Guests:
June 1 - Tasha Nicole
June 7 - Cate Masters
June 10 - Misha Crews
June 14 - Patti Hultstrand
June 22 - Lorrie Struiff
June 30 - Lilly Oak/Hedge Witchery Books

As you can see, we have some incredible guests coming up this month! I really hope you all show these incredible authors the support they all deserve! :)

My Blog Tour Spots:
June 5 -
June 7 -
June 10 -
June 15 -
June 16 -
June 18 -
June 21 -
June 23 -
June 25 -
June 29 -

Busy, busy, busy! Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day, and I look forward to seeing you all around this month! :)

Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On Writing and Construction

On occasion, people come to me for writing tips of ask how to write a book, etc. I'm flattered. I am no John Steinbeck, but I'll gladly offer what little knowledge and experience I have.

Here is my basic "rule" for writing:

Writing a book is like building a house.

Strange analogy? Perhaps. Or, perhaps not. ;)

Let me explain.

You see, first you need your foundation. Now, everyone approaches this differently. Some people will actually write out outlines. That works. That's a fine foundation. For me, the foundation is knowing the basic story. That works too. There's no right or wrong way to do this, but you cannot go into a project without your foundation laid out in some fashion.

Secondly, you build you structure. This is the actual writing process. You write the story. From a word count of 0 to 60,000, this is you putting up all of the framing, the walls, the roof, etc. Just like you don't build a house in a day, you certainly don't write a book in a day. You have to be sure everything is level, that it is structurally sound, etc. You have to make sure that the structure itself is strong, or in this case that the story itself is strong.

Lastly, there come the details. I often compare editing and tuning to painting or putting in the fixtures of the home. Now personally, I will occasionally edit while I write. Then I edit some more, and I edit more. My publisher will tell you that I am very much a perfectionist and I will edit till the cows come home. But I do so to make sure that I didn't miss a spot while I painted. I want to be sure everything shines and looks good. Would you buy a house if the work was done half-assed? I know I wouldn't. Nor would I want to read a book that isn't completely polished. Editing is all the fine tuning to make your book spectacular. Just like the choices in countertops and wall colors, your editing choices can add tremendous value to your book. So, think about it carefully. The more effort you put in, the better quality your finished product will be! :)

So, that's my lesson, y'all. Albeit brief and generalized, at least this hopefully will give you some guidance as you read and write your way through this world. :)

Happy reading!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday News

Good Monday morning, world!

Today's news is light, but still important nonetheless.

This week, I will have TWO guests for y'all. On Thursday, we have Ya Ya. And on Friday, Katie Salidas will be here! These are fantastic authors that I have met through the APA (now VBT) tour & I am honored to have them on here.

As well, I begin my own APA/VBT tour this week! Woo hoo! :) Starting on Thursday (the 27th) and I'm going through to the end of July. I'll keep you all posted on my various stops!

That's it for now. No pictures or anything grand today. Busy day ahead. :) BUT, I can promise you an interesting blog on Wednesday that will definitely have pictures, in addition to our two guests. So stay tuned! :)

Happy reading! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Character Interview: Sandy

Here is a VERY late good morning to you all!

Today's character interview is Sandy, from Unbreakable Hostage.

Good morning, Sandy!

Good morning. Thanks for having me here.

Sandy, why don't you tell us the nature of your relationship with Lareina.

Lareina and I have known each other for years. We teach at the same high school. Or, actually, we did. She doesn't teach there any more. Anyway, I came on a year after her. She heard me say something in Spanish in the teacher's lounge, and she laughed at me and corrected my accent. We've been fast friends ever since. We've been roommates for a few years, too. The cost of living in L. A. is ridiculous, so we'll gladly save money any which way we can. It's been a good set up for us.

You were the one who called the police when Lareina went missing. What was that like?

Extremely nerve-wracking. I knew I called early by police standards, but I just knew something had to be wrong. Especially when her parents hadn't heard from her either. So I called Marcus. I never imagined I'd have to do something like that. It's really quite scary having to call the police.

Tell us about your experiences with Marc.

He's an incredible man. He's strong, he's handsome. He genuinely cares. You don't meet a man like that very often.

Does that mean that you're ok with how everything turned out?

Well, it is what it is. Life is full of changes, and that includes people changing. I'm thrilled that Lareina is home. That's all that matters.

Alright, let's end this on a more positive note. What do you think is one thing that no one knows about you, but they'd be interested or surprised to find out?

That I was basically raised by my Hispanic neighbors, that's why I decided to teach Spanish. As much as the Oliveira's teach me, Spanish has been an integral part of my life and I do speak it well. Even if I am a white girl, as Lareina likes to tease.

That is really interesting, Sandy. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Happy weekend reading! :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Creative Blog Award

A very EARLY good morning to all of you! Happy Wednesday! :)

So, my dear friend and cohort, Chelle Cordero has nominated ALL of the VHP authors for the Creative Blog Award. Thus, I am forced to participate today. LOL.

Since Ms. Cordero is using hers as a contest, I shall do the same. Whomever is able to pick out the incorrect statement will have their name placed in a hat. All of the correct guessers' names will be in the hat and one will be chosen AT RANDOM to win a personally signed copy of Unbreakable Hostage by yours truly. The deadline will be tonight at 11:59 Pacific. So y'all have plenty of time to decide and then e-mail me your answers! Remember, my e-mail is Send those answers in! :)

So, without further ado, my seven lines are as follows (remember, 6 are true, only 1 is false):

1) In Unbreakable Hostage, X really does equal two.

2) Loving Her is set in Pittsburgh, PA.

3) Should Unbreakable Hostage ever become a movie, I want Jason Statham to play Marc.

4) Maria, Donna and Katie from Loving Her are all based on people I know.

5) Unbreakable Hostage takes place in Los Anglese and Fresno/Yosemite, CA.

6) Imperfect is an entire life's story.

7) Lareina from Unbreakable Hostage is a Boricua, like me. ;)

Ok, guys. There ya go! Have fun & don't forget to e-mail me the answers! I'll be waiting!

I now pass along the torch to my new, but very dear friend, Mr. Lloyd Kaneko! ;) Have fun with this one, Lloyd! :)

Happy Wednesday reading! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Patti Hultstrand

Good morning, readers! Today's guest is Patti Hultstrand.

She is the author of Rescue in Time and Time Conquers All, as well as the brains behind AZ Publishing Services.

Today, Ms. Hultstrand wants to share some of her favorite and most thought provoking interview questions with us! :)

Q: I understand that Time Conquers All was written during a difficult time in your life. What made you decide to pick up a pen at that point?

Near death experiences often change a person's perspective in life and makes them contemplate
what they are doing and where they should be going. I had a infection left growing inside me after what
should have been an easy hysterectomy. I wound up in the hospital several times that year fixing what
went horribly wrong. The hysterectomy was in February; back in the hospital for antibiotic treatment
for five days in April; back in for emergency surgery at end of June with another nine day hospital stay.
It was this emergency that caused me to reflect on my life since it was thought I would either die
or could have colon complications that would affect the rest of my life.

Obviously, I did not die and thankfully, I went home with minor complications and have recovered as
far as possible. I will never be the same physically, spiritually or mentally. But, I am alive and functional.

After I got home, I was on limited work detail, so started re-organizing my house. I had started "Time Conquers All" about twelve years earlier. I had printed the story on a dot-matrix printer (some young people are saying "huh" about now). I found the pages yellowed from age and dusty along the edges where the pages had peeked out from a creative person's twelve year pile of other discarded projects and items that probably should have used on previous years' tax deductions.

Along with a few chapters, only a portion of one of them actually stayed in the book, I had a floor plan for the palace in the story, which only needed minor changes to be usuable. It was mid-September 2002 when I sat down and decided it was about time I stopped writing for others and finish the story that was inside me all these years. I wrote almost everyday for 6 months and stopped when I hit over 296,000 words.

Of course, I could never sell 296,000 words, especially for a new author's break out book. I cut it in half and started the LONG venture in editing and poking at the story to make it what it is today.It has mutated into so much more than I had conceived all those years ago. I had not been influenced by India or so heavily by time-travel back then. Tamea, my herione had started as Tia on those yellowed pages, but Parker, my hero, has always been Parker, and probably always will be.

Q: With all the possible paranormal story genres, what attracted you to the idea of time travel?

Science-fiction was my first love in short stories and books. We rarely forget our first love whether in men or in other things we have loved. Physics has always intrigued me and picked at my "what if" mentality.

Whenever I read a romance book or story that has the Rip VanWinkle premise, where the main character falls to sleep in one time and wakes up in another, and they don't give me a plausible reason for this, IT DRIVE ME INSANE. I expect a plausible scientific reason for such things as time-travel. "Time Conquers All" is much more complicated and spans centuries.

Q: Can you give us an overview of Time Conquers All and the next book in the series, Rescue in Time?

In "Time Conquers All," Tamea, a nineteen-year old warrior princess from the India region of the world in the late 1500's, is being plagued by disturbing dreams and visions of the future. Tamea is assigned to protect a visiting king from a neighboring country while their two countries solidify a treaty that will benefit both countries. This king brings with him assassins that want to kill him and his family who are hiding a bigger secret regarding the origins of his country.

This king is not who he seems, and Tamea must unravel the intrigue that surrounds him and his country, but even more important, she must find out why he has been haunting her dreams and visions.

In "Rescue In Time" we find Tamea and Parker are connected by more than just their countries' alliances, but have a destiny to discern. Tamea continues to have the disturbing vision where Parker dies in her arms from a successful assassins bullet. She is subconsciously trying to solve the outcome to save his life in the future.

Meanwhile, in the 1500's, Tamea and Parker must take their countries to war with their neighboring country of Bengal who have been implicated as the mastermind behind the assassination attempts on both of their families' lives. Tamea must learn that not all those close to her can be trusted, maybe not even the man she loves.

Q: Now you are the mastermind behind AZ Publishing Services, can you tell us how that came about and what exactly you do?

Now, that's a longer story than my near death experience. LOL

The short story on this should start 21 years ago, where I've been going to fan based sci-fi/fantasy conventions. From all the authors I have met over the years, I have heard all the horror stories on their dealings with the publishing industry. Then I found a way to help myself and others who wanted to publish their books their way, not the corporate way. The printer I've worked with for ten years had finally decided to go into printing books like I had suggested several years before when I noticed that print shops either needed to expand their product line or become extinct.

Then a few months after the machines were installed and we were working on publishing our first few books of our own, Charles Burgess out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, had been in contact with me. He lunged into publishing head first without knowing anything about this industry. He asked me for my help in getting his publishing company off the ground. Charles rarely takes no for an answer and I rarely say I can't do something.

There are certain rules in the publishing industry that companies in the business can't break and the main one is that whoever owns the ISBN has the rights of distribution. So, what I decided to do to help Charles and others like him was to set Underground Publications as an imprint under Az Publishing Services, LLC. We own the ISBN's and distribution rights, while Charles and the other five imprints find and help authors to get their books edited and covers designed, then after I print the books at great rates, the imprint helps the authors market their works locally.

My role is that of the umbrella publisher who organizes the book projects, produces the books in print and eBook formats and then distributes and markets the books for sales. The author buys their own books at prices well below even the Lightning Source prices. They can sell on their own stock personally and on their websites. Then I buy stock that we keep on-hand for selling in all the distribution channels and the conventions and events we participate in.

As you all can see, she is an incredibly interesting woman, as well as a very kind person. I've thoroughly enjoyed my conversations with her. Please check out her work and support great authors doing great work!

Happy reading! :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Return

I have returned, fellow bibliophiles! Not with a vengeance, but I have returned nonetheless.

Very few of you know, I am currently in rovery from a personal crisis which had me hospitalized for 5 days. Recovery is going to be a long and painful process. The gabber in me would love to mentally vomit it all out, but that's just not the right thing to do here.

Instead, I am going to catch you up on my links in case you missed them on

For you, I have my latest interview:

Turn Around Media Review (this one came out right before I was hospitalized, so I'm not TOO far behind! LOL).

Please, if you haven't already checked out my various APA/VBT interviews, please do so! I JUST put up links to each author's individual interview on so you can check them out that way as well. All of these authors have been simply fantastic, so they really deserve a few minutes of your time!

I am beginning my own APA/VBT tour on the 27th. I will send you that link when the time is right. ;)

In the meanwhile, you look at the uber-cool banner they made for me! They rock!!! :)

That's about all I can do for now. Unfortunately, you won't be getting your normal L. E. Harvey doses as I go through recovery. I will do the best that I can, but I can't promise you anything, as I never make a promise I can't keep! ;)

So, that's the latest from Puerto Rican central. Happy Monday, everyone! And as always, happy reading! :)

APA Guest Blog: Tasha Wright

Hello everyone, my name is Tasha Wright. I am the author of Carelessness of the Heart and my most recent published book entitled, When a Tattered Past Catches You.

Writing is something I do to escape reality and create a whole new world and I can do with it as I please. When I write it’s as if the characters that I create develop their own personalities. As I create my characters I pay close attention to who they are, what they do, where they come from, and the things they encounter on a daily basis. This is how their personalities come into play and once they get going, I amplify their personalities times two.

My passion comes from my readers. Before I published my books I used to write and allow my friends, family, and co-workers to read the things I created. I had such great feedback and they encouraged me to publish my books. I always hold the excitement and the enjoyment my readers get from reading my work and it pushes me and motivates me to write more. It’s wonderful that someone will choose my work to escape their world for a moment and enter my thoughts and imagination and enjoy everything about it. My readers motivate me and I thank you all in advance.