Friday, January 30, 2015

THE SEVENTH MAN, by Lisa Bui-Collard

Book description:

When a young writer is kidnapped by a man who can't be seen, her only hope of escape rests on the one London cop who believes in ghosts.

On a cold, white, before-Christmas day, an assassin completes a job only to be pursued by police. Dodging through crowded city streets, the assassin nabs a young woman for cover.
Celia Wight, a reclusive American writer is shopping between engagements during a book tour. When a knife is pressed against her back, she loses her tenuous grasp on her carefully controlled existence.
Assigned to the homicide case, Detective Alban Thain, of the Metropolitan Police, suspects an assassin he calls the Wraith. The problem is, only Thain believes the assassin exists. Disregarding the consequences, Thain, who is the only one who believes there is a connection between the murder and the kidnapping, will do whatever it takes to exploit the Wraith’s first and only mistake: the kidnapping of an innocent bystander—if she is innocent.

Available now in ebook and soft cover on Amazon

photo credit: Steven Heddon

About the Author:
Lisa is a mother, wife, sister, and daughter, has waited tables, been a dental assistant, teacher, journalist, gardener and architectural administrative assistant. She's traveled in Europe, New Zealand, and the US. French and English are her languages of preference with a little Spanish on the side. She grew up in Florida, lived four years in Georgia before moving to Texas for eighteen years. For the moment, she once again lives in Georgia. She writes full time and has completed six novels.

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Rafflecopter Giveaway Link (One of 3 copies of The Seventh Man – signed by author):

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Monday, January 26, 2015


This is a repost from my previous blog, originally published March, 2012. A long time ago. Nancy is currently writing a sequel to TREASURES OF CARMELIDRIUM, and I thought it would be nice to resurrect this from the deleted blog so it is not completely lost. It also includes a review of the novel, and a bonus review of her children's fairy tale story THE MAGIC OF WINDLIER WOODS.

Today I have the honor of hosting the incredibly talented, fellow blogger and fantasy author Nancy R Williams. Nancy “lives in Colorado, U.S.A. with her husband. She is delighted to have two seven year old grandchildren, cousins. She's a long time member of Rocky Mountain fiction Writers and has been privileged to attend conferences and workshops. Since her formative years, she's been inventing fantastical stories and since she could spell she's been writing them down.”

Thank you in advance for your warm welcome of fantasy author Nancy R. Williams . . .

Hi everyone. I want to thank Donna for hosting me today and spotlighting both my books, The Treasures of Carmelidrium and The Magic of Windlier Woods.

My journey as a writer began in my formative years. While I didn't write down stories, I had many hunting expeditions in my mother's flower gardens for fairies. At one point when I complained that I couldn't find any of the elusive creatures, my mother told me they slept in the flowers that hadn't opened yet. That year very few of her tulips made it to maturity. I pulled them apart looking for Tinkerbell. So fantasy just came naturally when I developed my first story.

The Treasures of Carmelidrium, (pronounced, Carmel-lid-drium) came about as a result of a life altering, negative experience. I needed a way to vent. Originally I never intended what I wrote to become a book, but my mother, who is a writer too, encouraged me to transform my scribbling into something more.

With a lot of research, learning the craft of writing, attending conferences and workshops, along with a fabulous critique group, I formed a real story that was worth setting on paper. The transformation from "this happened to me," into a story changed my perception of the real events and allowed me to heal.

Along the way, I found a voice in myself that cannot be silenced. I am a writer, a dreamer, a person who sees beyond the here and now and hopes for something better. This period of my life took nearly 20 years. All the while my heroine Missie, the hero Healden, and the villain Renwyk hung out in my heart, their story growing and changing like the Colorado weather.

Many have asked why I choose a flute as Missie's instrument and ultimate power. Several reasons. When I was in college, I heard a flutist on the lawns of the music building. Her song captured me. When I knew that music would play a critical role in my story I considered many instruments. A violin is too easily broken. The French horn is too bulky. A piano, well that would be hard to travel with. A clarinet just isn't sexy in my opinion. However, a well-crafted, steel flute is easy to carry even on horseback.

Did I submit this story to agents and editors? Oh yes, I had many request and many rejections. I couldn't understand it really. I was told how much they loved it yet it wouldn't work for them. I finally decided to self-publish since e-publishing has made that easier. Now in retrospect, I realize that I have a YA voice but my characters are in their twenties. YA is developed for pre-teens and teens and the characters are supposed to be the same age. Once I realized this it took the sting of rejection away.

E-publishing has its challenges. My daughter is a wiz at formatting and she helped me with that. I found a blogger who is a remarkable artist and she did my book cover. I hired an editor and I strongly encourage anyone who wants to self-publish to do the same. Now that I am published, I am still waiting for the readers to find me. I haven't had great sales even though I have numerous excellent reviews.

Enter my children's story, The Magic of Windlier Woods. This story came about as a bedtime ritual with my children when they were young. It grew and changed every night. I never intended it to be anything other than a fun bedtime story. When I realized that Treasures was in limbo because the readers didn't know me, I decided to rework The Magic of Windlier Woods and put it up for free. I hoped that this would translate into sales for Treasures. It didn't. (It's no longer free.)

- I'm going to interrupt Nancy for a moment here to say how much I enjoyed The Magic of Windlier Woods. It is the story of Newert the erbit's grand aventure to save his world's failing magic. The story left me giggling and smiling throughout the short approximately 20 minute read. Sold as a children's book, it is an entertaining story for readers of all ages who enjoy humor, misadventure, and fantastical creatures. The only thing that would have made this book more intriguing is to add pictures to with the vivid imagery of the world, and especially Newert. Ok, back to Nancy -

I am currently working on the sequel to Treasures titled, The Rise of Lord Sinon, and hope to release it in the fall of 2015. I have approximately five books planned for my epic series. I have notes and outlines and chapters written for all these books. I will revisit Newert in Windlier Woods once I've completed The Rise of Lord Sinon. I have stories swimming in my head of faeries and phoenixes. I can only hope I live long enough to pen them all.

If you'd like a free story, I plan to submit a flash fiction faerie tale on my blog, on the 20th of every month. I have one up now ad I'd love to see you there.

I welcome all of you to visit my blog. You can read excerpts and reviews for Treasures in the pages section at the top. I will also give one commenter an e-copy of The Treasures of Carmelidrium. Thank you again Donna, for hosting me.

My pleasure Nancy. And what sweet treat – a free copy of Treasures. Let me further entice potential readers with my review of Treasures of Carmeliderium:

This was a delightfully romantic adventure. Missie (Michelle Kersten) is instantly likeable. The story opens in the contemporary world as she is leaving for spring vacation just two months before college graduation. Her adventure starts within a few pages as her Wrangler swerves off the highway during a snowstorm, and lands her in the mystical world of Gil-lael, where everyone believes she is either a descendant of an evil race of blond haired, blue eyed murderous invaders; or the re-incarnated Princess Lysandra, who's music defeated the evil Lord of the symberveen Druas-Bradwr centuries ago.

The question of Lady Michelle's mystical status is explored through a series of action packed kidnappings, assassination attempts, and rescue forays. The action plot slows down considerably in the middle of the novel to develop the romance between the two main characters Missie and Prince Healden; but the vivid world and it dangers and beauty are a mainstay throughout the story. An emotional roller-coaster of fear, anxiety, heart-wrenching obstacles to love and the fulfillment of prophecy, and the angst of sacrifice for love, duty and honor awaits in this fantastic realm.

Fantasy and romance readers alike will enjoy the spirit of adventure, the multiple POV's of the hero, the heroine, and the mysterious villain (identity not revealed until the final chapters), and indulge in courtly intrigue not unlike the Victorian age of British nobility.

BOOK BLURB FOR TREASURES:  When a hooded man steps in front of her car, Missie is thrust through a portal into a medieval world where she encounters monsters and mythical creatures. Here her flute has magical powers to heal and destroy and to empower, "The Treasures of Carmelidrium." She is romanced by a prince and hunted by the villain. Will she find her way home? Does she want to?
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Germany

BOOK BLURB FOR WINDLIER:  Newert, an erbit of Windlier Woods, is concerned. The magic of his world is seeping away. He struggles to open a portal to another world, believing that this will restore the magic of Windlier Woods. Assuming the big red truck is magical he returns to his world with the truck and its driver. Thus begins Newert's misadventure. What will happen next?
Available in e-book at Amazon

And don't forget to leave your comment to be entered into the drawing for a free e-book copy of Treasures of Carmelidrum. Visit N.R. Williams at her blog for more information about the sequels to both books.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BotB Results and Laziness

Hey Gang;

I nearly forgot to post the Battle of the Bands results from my violin Pirates battle on the 15th. One of the main reasons I don't post regularly for this event is I frequently forget to tally the votes - especially when it is such a landslide, as this one was. I pitted Lindsay Stirling against David Garrett with a Pirates of the Caribbean theme, and of the 24 who voted 17 preferred the dancing violist Lindsey Stirling's style and pure vibrancy.

No surprise there, right? I do like that my viewers continue to prove the America's Got Talent judge wrong.

Thanks for participating.

In other news . . .

I'm feeling lazy - again. Another no-surprise there, yes?

When I'm feeling lazy I like to read books. Sometimes more than one or three, depending on how long
the lazy mood lasts. I've got about 15 books on my next-up list, so I'm not saying which I will be reading over the next few days because many of my preferences right now are not written by my fellow author-bloggers (apologies), and I really don't want to commit to a specific book. I am always prone to not read what I commit to.

I'll let it be a surprise to all of us.

Today my plan is to go to my job interview, sign some papers with my bankruptcy lawyer, edit and post the first ten pages of a short story/novella for my writing group, then reward my industriousness with several days of sitting on my butt and reading. And not be embarrassed at all about my lack of activity. Well, besides my daily half hour walk around the neighborhood. Won't skip that (unless it rains).

Have a good week all.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


I did not participate in the Jan 1 Battle of the Bands; but did bounce around and view the other participants. Some of participants hinted at unusual postings for today's edition, so it prompted me to go a little crazy too. Battle of the Bands is a twice monthly musical blog hop where two bands/artists are featured playing the same song. BotB is hosted by Ferret Faced Facist Stephen McCarthy and the delightful Faraway Series on the first and fifteenth of each month. Visit Mr. McC's Battle of the Bands blog for a list of the usual combatants.

Today, as mentioned above, I'm breaking the rules a bit and posting two marvelous Violinist's, playing a Pirates theme, but not the same exact song. I was introduced to both these artists through other bloggers, but was hooked on their talents from the first slide of the bow.

I wanted to post a battle using the dancing violinist Lindsey Sterling's Master of Tides impromptu show since I saw it on some other blog; but I could not find any other artist that has performed this song. Of course, if there was, it would likely be a one sided battle; nobody performs like Lindsay.

As stated on her website:
It is hard to believe that Piers Morgan told Lindsey Stirling the world had no place for a dancing dubstep violinist. But being voted off 2010’s “America’s Got Talent” at the quarterfinals turned out to be the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Rejection simply strengthened Stirling’s resolve to be herself. “The same reasons I was told I wouldn’t succeed are the reasons people travel hundreds of miles to see me now,” she laughs.
A motivational speaker in her spare time, Stirling uses her own story to show teenagers that you’ve got to have confidence in the very thing that makes you unique – then wait for the world to catch up.

Yes, you have permission to watch and be impressed by the video . . .

The rival in this battle is 32 year old, German born David Garrett, playing He's A Pirate (Theme song for Pirates of the Carribean).
Garrett received his first violin at age four and makes his first appearance with the Hamburg Philharmonics at the early age of ten. At age thirteen he is the youngest artist to be awarded an exclusive contract with the Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft. In 1999, at the height of his career, the shooting star redirects his energy, deciding to leave his predetermined path as a classical violinist and move to New York – not to take a time-out but rather to place his musical proficiency on a theoretical foundation and perfect his technique. He enrolls at the prestigious Julliard School, studying musicology and composition.
Since completing his studies, the visionary violinist has committed himself to a clearly defined goal – introducing young people to the classics and kindling enthusiasm for reputedly serious music. Combining classical elements with those of pop and rock as well as rhythm and blues is a means to this end. “Regarding the crossover pieces I arrange, I strive to attain a level of performance at least equal to that expected of classical works.

When writing, I find this type music inspirational, if still a bit distracting for the imagery and passion the music invokes. I love watching the crowd enjoy both of these stellar performers. Can't fault either for wanting the enrich the lives of young people all over the world with their unique talents and back story.

Please leave your vote for the your favorite artist in the comments, and visit a list of other Battle of the Bands participants on Stephen's site. And if you're not inclined to vote, at least leave a comment to tell me what artist inspires you when you are writing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

IWSG: The After

Oops! First my introduction:

I’m Donna, a social worker in my day life, three time divorcee (still dating the last ex), and mother to five children. I’m over fifty years old and looking forward to the empty nest syndrome. I’m an expert procrastinator so writing is more a hobby than dedicated obsession. I have several published short stories, have completed a women’s fiction trilogy, and have many unfinished works of various lengths in fantasy, urban fantasy, contemporary, erotica, romance (dark, no HEA) and thriller/horror. I read and write in adult fiction with only occasional forays into non-fiction and YA/NA. Lastly, I’m an excellent critique partner, although my blunt feedback and snarky comments might be offensive to some.

Welcome to my blog!

The first post of 2015. How exciting; the last year has gone by so fast. As Roland Deschain (Dark Tower series; Stephen King) says: time is speeding up. School starts earlier than when I was a kid, the seasons are shorter - even though the calendar dates have not changed - and the weeks fly by like nano-second's on the geologic clock.

Christmas has come and gone, and New Years resolutions have been contemplated and possibly posted to make them official. Are you excited? Inspired by the start of a new year, a virtual blank word document of writings to come? Or are you already behind, seven days into the new world? Have you been anxiously awaiting the first Insecure Writers Support Group of 2015 (hosted by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh and this month's helpers: Elizabeth Seckman, Lisa Buie-Collard,  Chrys Fey and Michelle Wallace ) so you can send those new year's insecurities into the blogosphere and know that you are not alone in your End Of Year transitions?

Me? Nah; I learned a long time ago that goals and resolutions were made to break, and feel guilty over. Ya know, I’m this glass-half-empty girl, so long term plans have an expiration date – whether I know the specifics or not. I've had so many upheavals in the past year or so: change of job, relocated, availability to family, changes in lifestyle and finances. I never know what is next for me in my day life or writing career. 

But I am surrounded by people who consistently plan for The After. Sometimes I’m a member of the
collective, sometimes I dig my heels in and refuse to participate - at least pro-actively.

My working family plan for their retirement: how many years until they can retire, how much they have invested, how much the monthly pay-check will be at what age, how soon to pay off house/car to live off the fixed income. Is that nagging medical problem worth filing a disability claim? Should I up my life insurance or obtain extra pharmacy/health care coverage?

Of course my very young family members are thinking about starting that retirement fund: 401k or IRA? How much can they afford to invest now and still comfortably raise a family? Should we allow for occasional WANTS in the long term NEEDS assessment? Do we invest in life insurance or gamble on health care? Is my credit report more important than my daughter’s extra-curricular school activities? Will having a college savings account deny financial aid?

And how about the writing community? The novel is written, the critique partners and beta readers all give a thumbs up it is ready for submission, the query guidelines have been adhered to, and the waiting has started. Do you write on a new project? Visit that dusty project that never seems to go anywhere but is too good to trash? Take time off to catch up with family and friends? Take a vacation or clean up around the house? Watch NetFlix until you’re so bored your Muse has to rescue you?

For me, there is always an After to THE END of . . whatever . . How do you cope with The After? After The End is written? After the end-of-year sales statement has been received and the meager income figured into the taxes? After Christmas presents have been opened and liked or disliked; after the book lunch has posted on the last date: after you click send on that query; after whatever planned celebration/event has ended? After . .  happily or not.

I'm in limbo right now; not sure where my future will lead for writing, career, family. I'm kinda okay with this lack of a plan - I'm a pantster as an author, and have always had the "luck o' the Irish" when it comes to real life destiny. Not that all my endings have been Happily Ever Afters, but they have normally been on the acceptable, even satisfactory, side. I've been UP, but rarely depressively DOWN; nowhere near a devastating bottom. Life just seems to go along in a stable consistency for me.

How about you? Does January bring a sigh of contentment and a month of new possibilities? Or are you already lamenting the months to come and all you have not yet adequately planned?