Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cj

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stuff and Nonsense Winner

Congratulations to Candice Marley Conner the February Stuff and Nonsense winner! Conner, a graduate from the University of South Alabama with honors in English and a concentration in Creative Writing has published articles in The Wiregrass Living Magazine, Good Taste Magazine, and Tanning Trends Magazine. Conner would love to scream "off with their heads!" especially in the Wal-Mart parking lot but has thus far refrained from hitting anyone with her car (think Fried Green Tomatoes). She is a work from home mom who caters to the needs of Marley, her two year old, and is busy baking a new bun in the oven. And if that isn't enough to keep her busy, she is getting ready to query her first YA novel.        mahala

The Unheard of Liza Hush

Most people fell down the rabbit hole with Alice; Liza Hush identified more with the Queen of Hearts. The Queen was forever shouting, “Off with their heads!” in response to slights she suffered, but then her husband came along and pardoned everyone behind her back. It wasn’t like Liza thought everyone needed beheading, or even where exactly she stood on the idea of corporal punishment. Instead, she felt that behind the Queen’s querulous command was, at heart, a person who just wanted to be heard. Liza thought perhaps circumstances had pushed her to be so demanding.

The Queen had her card guards who jumped to do her bidding—or pretended to— but Liza knew that as soon as they finished painting those roses or herding up all the croquet ball hedgehogs, they were laughing at the Queen behind her back. If a Queen couldn’t command respect, how could Liza expect to?

Liza felt pressure on her back and turned slightly to look. It was a purse, carelessly slung over a woman’s shoulder; one of those black leathered, multi-zippered monstrosities that made you wonder if the wearer was into bondage. But then, everyone had a purse like that, even the little cloud-haired lady whose daughter picked her up from the assisted living facility to buy flowers from the shop where Liza worked. Surely, that didn’t mean… no, ugh… just …No.

Another nudge, this time harder, made Liza jump, almost losing her balance. The owner of the bondage purse remained clueless as she shifted in her cheetah heels, speaking animatedly to a similarly clad woman next to her.

Should she just ignore it? If she pushed back to regain her place in line, she would be the rude one. What if the bondage woman pushed back or yelled at her and caused a scene? Liza’s cheeks flushed at the image. She spread her legs wider and dropped her stance ever so slightly.

“Who’s next?”

Liza reached the head of the line and stepped forward, a sign of relief escaping from between her thin, pale lips that she no longer had to contemplate battle. Unfortunately, Bondage Purse Woman and her friend also pranced forward, effectively pushing Liza completely out of line.

“Off with their heads!” Liza screamed, or rather, whispered, unheard. Then she thought about her car and that no matter how insignificant one might perceive her as, it’s really hard to ignore a car. Liza smirked wickedly at the image of Bondage Purse Woman stiff as a light-locked deer in her headlights. Liza would be noticed then.

She left her place, or really her un-place, in line and walked out to her car. She drove around the building and licked her dry lips in anticipation as she was finally asked to place her order.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Blog interview

I watched my youngest granddaughter play soccer tonight, and wonder where that darling little three-year old went—the one I met when I moved to Mobile, the one I used to make-up bedtime stories for when she came for a sleep-over. She's a wonderful thirteen now, taller than I am (no short jokes please), and a really sweet spirit. I was blessed with three grandkids, and she's the youngest. I dedicated Deadly Star to the three of them.

More on the writing and Deadly Star front: Mobile author Joyce Sterling Scarbrough is featuring an interview with me on her blog on Friday March 15. Stop by and see what additional personal info she managed to pull out of me.

You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same.  Oh, my granddaughter's soccer team lost.  % > (


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Writing Contest - March

The March Stuff and Nonsense Contest requirements are posted in the left column. Let's see if you can create something magical with green eggs and a mouse. Good luck. February winner to be posted this week.


Gasp, I'm back

Launched 2-18-13
I think I can compare marketing Deadly Star to a fire ... fully involved. I thought I was busy prior to the official publication date (February 18), but after the fact has been equally as busy.
Prior to publication, there was the proof copy to edit, and I can't believe the number of typos I found. That really surprised me because of all the sets of eyes that saw that manuscript before I submitted it. Multiple critique groups looked at it, but these things slipped through the cracks.

Along with the proof copy work, the editor wanted advance blurbs from people who had read the story at one time during its creation. That put me out of my comfort zone, so I donned my author's hat and went at it. Most of those who were gracious to give me a comment were authors, but I would classify two of these generous people as all-important readers. I've made a better effort to pay it forward and try to make sure I comment and/or review every eBook I read.

The eBook thing puts a bit of a crimp in physically marketing the book, but it's not impossible. I've gotten bookmarks with the cover art and put tassels on all 250 of them to (hopefully) make them harder to toss. Plus when the paperback comes out—probably in early summer—the reader will have the bookmark to remind them. Obviously, when there's a book signing, as in after I participate in the New Authors Panel at Carolyn Haines's "Daddy's Girl Weekend" in April (see reminder below), I'll have no book to sign, but I can sign the back of the bookmarks. I have business cards with the cover art on one side and this website address on the other.

Facebook (three sites) and eMails to local writers groups and local libraries were included in the marketing task. The libraries said they do not order books from Amazon or, but the publisher tells me Deadly Star is available on a platform that they do use, so maybe if someone asks the library to order it? Maybe it'll happen.

The publisher, Crimson Romance, is also doing a lot of marketing. In fact, their parent company, F+W Media, just signed an agreement with Woman's Day magazine to promote the Crimson Romance line of books.

I won't make a living off the royalties for this book, but I probably should sit down and figure out what the expected royalties will be. First, I have to find out how many books have been sold, by whom, and what the sale price was since that can vary from day to day. (Maybe I don't have to know what my royalties will be exactly.)

Back to the Daddy's Girls Weekend: March 6 is the last day to get the conference pricing on rooms at Mobile's Battle House Hotel which is where the conference is taking place April 5, 6, and 7 this year. So even if you're "considering" going, maybe check with the hotel about their cancellation policy and go ahead and make a reservation. If you're not renting a room because you're local to the Mobile, AL, area, you can decide to attend one or two specific workshops rather than the whole conference. Each workshop is priced separately, so you can pick and choose which best serve your needs. The URL to get you started is

I hope I get to meet you at the conference. In the meantime, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same.