Book Beat Babes

Book Beat Babes

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Welcome to Chrys Fey!

Today Debra welcomes fellow TWRP author Chrys Fey to Book Beat Babes. Congratulations on your new release, Chrys. 30 Seconds sounds like an exciting read!

Hello, Book Beat Babes! This is my first visit to this lovely blog, so I wanted to do a special post inspired by Book Beat Babes.

Dani Hart, the heroine in my newest romantic-suspense, 30 Seconds, is a babe in many ways. Allow me to demonstrate:

Rock Babe: Dani’s parents were true rockers in the 70’s. Her mom continued to rock out even when she was pregnant, which is how Dani was born at a Kiss concert. She has a vast collection of rock albums including John Lennon and Bob Marley. She also has a rock-inspired tattoo on her back; string notes to Led Zeppelin’s song "Stairway to Heaven."

Horror Babe: Dani is a huge fan of horror movies, especially the classics like The Birds, The Shining, and Halloween. Even after working at the ER where she sees gore daily, and being threatened by the Mob, she still can enjoy a good horror film.

Intellectual Babe: Dani speaks fluent Spanish. She’s also a doctor. She pulls all-nighters at the ER, fights to keep gunshot victims alive, and performs emergency surgery. Although most of 30 Seconds takes place outside the hospital, there is an exciting hospital scene where we get to see her in full doctor mode.

Book Babe: Lastly, Dani is a book babe. When she goes into protective custody to hide from the Mob, what does she grab? A pile of books, of course! And she reads all of them, too.
What kind of babe do you like your heroines to be?

When Officer Blake Herro agreed to go undercover in the Mob, he thought he understood the risks. But he's made mistakes and now an innocent woman has become their target. He's determined to protect her at all costs.

The Mob's death threat turns Dr. Dani Hart's life upside down, but there is one danger she doesn’t anticipate. As she's dodging bullets, she's falling in love with Blake. With danger all around them, will she and Blake survive and have a happy ending, or will the Mob make good on their threat?

Book Links:
The Wild Rose Press:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Chrys Fey is a lover of rock music just like Dani Hart in 30 Seconds. Whenever she's writing at her desk, headphones are always emitting the sounds of her musical muses -especially that of her favorite band, 30 Seconds to Mars, the inspiration behind the title.
30 Seconds is her second eBook with The Wild Rose Press. Her debut, Hurricane Crimes, is also available on Amazon.

Discover her writing tips on her blog, and connect with her on Facebook. She loves to get to know her readers!

Author Links:

Chrys, thanks again for joining us today and sharing Dani's babeness with us...I can relate to being a rock babe and a book babe, but not so much the horror babe!

Friday, November 28, 2014

World's Largest Publishers - 2014

It’s that time again – the annual ranking of the World’s Largest Publishers and while not much seems to have changed in that most publishing is still nonfiction, trade/technical journals, etc.; there was some movement upwards for several fiction publishers – of course many of those are the mega publishing houses, but still an increase in fiction reading is good news for all.

Keep in mind that while this list is being published in 2014, it is with data from 2013 that is the primary influence on where publishers rank on the list, but you can see the ranking comparison with 2012, which is helpful.

Here’s the link to the Publisher’s Weekly article:

What’s cool about this article is that you can click on each of the publisher’s names listed and you are immediately taken to a breakdown of that publisher’s history as well as its current financial and publishing profile.

So, for example HarperCollins, which is a subsidiary of News Corp, acquired Harlequin Enterprises from Torstar Corporation in 2014 and in noting this fact it was also noted that, “approximately 40% of Harlequin’s revenues come from books published in languages other than English. Currently, 99% of HarperCollins books are published in English.”

I did not know this, or at least I don’t remember reading about this and it will prove interesting to see what impact this has on HarperCollins acquisition of Harlequin Enterprises and vice versa.

Additionally, more discussion is focused on a publisher’s digital presence so for HarperCollins the article references that the company, “…is rapidly transitioning from print production to digital. As of June 30, 2013, HarperCollins offered approximately 30,000 e-book titles, which accounted for approximately 19% of global revenues in the quarter (up from approximately 16% in the prior year period).”

This is quite interesting – at least I think so.

So while you’re recovering from stuffing yourself on turkey day, take some time to digest the facts and information about the publishers on the list in the article referenced above.  I’m willing to wager that you’ll find some surprises.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Holiday Season is Upon Us

Hard to believe, but with Thanksgiving this coming Thursday, the holiday season is upon us.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love that it's a time set aside to gather with family and friends and count our blessings. Holidays for me are all about tradition. Growing up, we always hosted Thanksgiving at our house. My favorite memories are waking up in the morning to the smell of turkey in the oven and getting out Mom's good china and silverware and setting the table. Soon the family would arrive, and we'd have fifteen, even twenty people gathered around the table. Grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins...we all came together to eat good food, to share, to laugh, and to love.

But as life goes on, traditions sometimes change. Grandmas pass on. Kids grow up, get married, and have families of their own. New routines are traditions born.

This year we'll gather at my sister's house to watch the Bears and eat. It's a small group this year, but that's okay. We'll still have plenty of food, laughs, and love to go around.

A few years ago I penned a Thanksgiving novella which celebrates all the things I love about the holiday. Family gathering, delicious food, hand turkeys drawn by little children, crisp fall weather, and especially a heroine who shares my view of not doing anything that has to do with Christmas until Thanksgiving has had its due.

Here's a snippet:

One morning she opened the door to Joe’s smiling face. Her answering smile faded as she noticed the snow shovel in his hand.
“Why do you have that?” she demanded.
She peeked over his shoulder and moaned. A light dusting of snow covered the lawn. It sparkled in the sunshine. But she couldn’t appreciate its beauty. “No,” she whined. “It’s only November. It cannot snow.”
Joe raised an eyebrow.
She paused in her tirade to appreciate the effect it had on his face. But only for a brief second. “Snow is for Christmas. Not Thanksgiving. Ugh.”
He chuckled. “Wow. You are really hung up on that, aren’t you?”
She put her hands on her hips. “Shut up.” The words held no rancor.
He leaned in and kissed her. Only a mere brush of his lips against hers. But it was enough.
Her heart pumped into overdrive. At the same time the breath left her lungs. Her dismay over the weather vanished. She leaned in, eager for a more intimate touch.

Another tradition I have is being a rereader. I'm a firm believer that books are not meant to only be read once and put away. So, this coming week, I'll be opening up An Unexpected Blessing and revisiting Katy and Joe's story.

Until next time,

Happy Reading and Happy Thanksgiving!


An Unexpected Blessing from The Wild Rose Press.

Single Mom Katy Roth thinks life can't get any worse. In the past six months she's been let go at work, had to move back home with her parents, and found out her ex is cutting his child support payment. As Thanksgiving approaches, she finds little to be thankful for in a life that is quickly spinning out of control.
Joe Mason is the town's bad boy. Literally. He's just returned from a four year stint in prison. He wants nothing more than to put the past behind him and get on with his life. He's had a secret crush on Katy since grade school, but when Katy's parents hire him to be their handyman, she's less than thrilled to have him around.

But soon, through her young son's eyes, Katy discovers the good in Joe. As their feelings for one another deepen, small town gossip and prejudice threaten to ruin everything. Will Joe's past come between them, or will they be able to get beyond it and hold onto a love neither expected?

Friday, November 21, 2014

On the Library Front

Two announcements at Publishers Weekly of interest to Indie Authors:

- Simon & Schuster is opening its e-book lending program to all libraries and not just those who participated in its “Buy It Now” program.  Here’s the link to the article:

- BiblioBoard has announced a new program to offer bestselling independent and self-published e-books for lending through libraries.  Here’s the link:

Why are these important?  Well, I - and many others - have longed believed that librarians are a writer’s best friend.  Librarians work diligently to provide readers in their communities the best access to books and other media and in so doing have often been the reason that an author has been “discovered” and gone onto future successes.

I’m especially intrigued by the BiblioBoard announcement because according to the article above, “BiblioBoard is one of a handful of companies seeking to move away from the current “one copy, one user” digital lending model.”

Libraries have had some very challenging times of late, especially in the budget arena, so anything that makes it easier and more affordable to put reading material in the hands of their patrons is a big win for not only libraries and their readers but authors as well. 

Of course, nothing is ever easy and you may have noted above that even though BiblioBoard’s new program focuses on independent and self-published e-books their focus is further honed on the bestselling ones.  So, Indie authors still have hurdles to jump to get to the point where they are considered bestsellers.


Still some of those hurdles are becoming easier to scale.  Let’s hope that this positive momentum continues.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

When A Grant Writing Class Turns Into A Character Traits Workshop! by DL Larson

Last week I mentioned I had to attend a grant writing class. The title of the class was, "Grant writing that gets results!" Since I hope to apply for a grant in the future, I was interested in learning all I could about the serious side of writing grants.

The class failed miserably in that aspect. The instructor was an accountant and numbers, numbers and more numbers was her entire presentation. As a word person, I found the class and information dull. Yes, I brought home a few good website addresses on places to go for fundraising, but that had not been my purpose for attending this writing class. I wanted to study up on the lingo on what grant givers might be looking for. I had been in need of a word interpretation class and received a math class instead. Dare I say, shoot me!?!

The instructor never presented a sample grant. She did not expound on the government grants which I was quite interested in. She used her power point overhead as we, the class, read the very same thing in our notebooks she handed out. I do not enjoy being read to as if I'm ten years old. I was looking for fresh insight to grant writing.

What I brought home was a plethora of ideas for character traits! The elderly man behind me decided clipping his fingernails after lunch was a good time to do his personal grooming. Each clip, clip, clip, echoed throughout the room. A few ladies across the isle were still eating their lunch and stared in disbelief. I don't believe he noticed.

The plump woman in front of me had the chatty-Cathy syndrome. Since no one else sat in her row, she put her feet up on the chair in front of me and proceeded to chat with me even when I pointed at the instructor who was talking. It didn't phase her. She had a story to tell and by gosh she continued on despite the other conversation going on in the room.

Another woman complained about her board not helping out as they were supposed to. She said they did nothing and complained when she asked for help. She should have canvassed the room before she shared her woes. One of her board members sat in the back of the room.

Then two men sauntered in half-way through the class. They lumbered up to the front and plopped down, then began unpacking their belongings and taking off their coats as the rest of the class watched. Their tardiness didn't seem to bother them and the instructor finally got back on task of talking about finding money in small communities.

The instructor spent a great deal of time complimenting the one man who raised BIG bucks for a hospital. She was from the suburbs and obviously felt a connection to him and his impressive portfolio. She referred to him throughout the presentation as if he was there as proof to her expertise, and not in attendance to learn.

I may not have garnered much in the way of grant writing, but the character traits I discovered served as a great refresher course for my fiction writing. I've stored them in my writer's tool box. I wonder how long it will be before I use one?

Til next time ~

DL Larson

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Please Welcome Mystery Author, Marilyn Meredith

Marilyn Meredith on the right, with granddaughter, Jessica
Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest River Spirits from Mundania Press. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at and her blog at

Contest: The winner will be the person who comments on the most blog posts during the tour.
He or she can either have a character in my next book named after them, or choose an earlier book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series—either a paper book or e-book.

Where do the Minor Characters Come From?

In my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, there are a few continuing minor characters who at times have major parts.

The most important one is, of course, Nick Two John. He’s been in nearly every one of the mysteries. Another Indian, Nick is the one Tempe often goes to for answers though he tends to be enigmatic. His life partner, Claudia, pokes her head in now and then.

Other minor characters who make regular appearances are the two sheriff’s detectives, the crime scene investigator, the coroner, and the Tribal Police Chief.

In River Spirits, Miqui Sherwood makes a second appearance. She played a big part in Raging Water, picturing herself as an amateur sleuth. The character was based on a friend who begged to be in one of my books. After her first go-round, she asked to do it again.

Usually, the new minor characters consist of the murder victim and the suspects. River Spirits revolves around the murder of the male star of a low-budget film being made on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation. The cast and crew of the movie company make-up the majority of the new minor characters with a few Indians thrown into the batch.

And of course, there is the legendary Hairy Man. He’s made a couple of appearances in other books, and pops into this one too. The Hairy Man is a big presence on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation whether he’s seen or not.

Where these characters actually come from is a bit hard to pin-point. First, my imagination, though I can see each one clearly in my mind’s eye. Some of the characters are people I’ve met along the way—not necessarily as they look, but the essence of their personalities. My goal, of course, is that the reader will see them just as clearly as I do.

Marilyn Meredith

What River Spirits is About:
While filming a movie on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation, the film crew trespasses on sacred ground, threats are made against the female stars, a missing woman is found by the Hairy Man, an actor is murdered and Deputy Tempe Crabtree has no idea who is guilty. Once again, the elusive and legendary Hairy Man plays an important role in this newest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

I’m leaving here to meet with Cheryl Malandrinos at and writing about what might be next for Tempe.


From the publisher, all formats:
For Kindle:
Amazon paperback:
For Nook

Please leave a comment to welcome Marilyn Meredith to Book Beat Babes.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Writers & Their Works as Commodities

Wikipedia lists one definition of the word commodity as “…a marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs,” and further indicates that, “Economic commodities comprise goods and services.”

I know I’m stretching the definition of commodity a bit when I refer to writers and their work as such but given the recent “Amazon-Hachette publishing wars” I think we’re closer than ever to this reference becoming less of a stretch.  Many writer/publisher/bookseller news outlets have covered this story and many a writer has been a foot soldier in the fight but an article at USAToday released yesterday evening has a very interesting take and it’s predominantly about the pre-order button.

Yes, the pre-order button.

The article indicates (as other coverage has) that Amazon was delaying the availability of Hachette author’s books by not allowing readers to pre-order said books.  Why does that matter you might wonder.  Well, bestseller lists and the apparent practice of front loading those lists with pre-orders - that's why.

Here’s the article link:

So, makes you wonder sometimes just what writing, publishing and reading are all about and how in the world an unknown yet talented author stands a snow ball’s chance in a hot place of ever reaching readers who just might enjoy their written work for the labor of love that it often is.

Well, this is where booksellers were critical to an author’s success and given the decline in actual books stores this has been problematic for writers/would-be authors, not to mention the decline of the traditional newspaper book review section as well.  Librarians are still a tremendous resource for an author to reach readers, especially on a local and/or regional level.  It has always been vital for writers/authors to form partnerships with professionals such as book sellers and librarians and in many ways it’s more vital than ever before.

There is some good news in this changing world for writers/authors and that is that sites such as have provided an electronic window for writers to become discovered much as a talk at a library or book store might have done in the past but on a much greater scale.  But as I often tell my students when I teach - there is good, bad and ugly in everything and it’s important to know both the strengths and the weaknesses of everything you interface with in your life. 

While the electronic frontier for writers/authors provides a much larger landscape for reaching readers, it is a very crowded environment these days and IMHO discoverability has become one of the top obstacles for writers/authors and like any other commodity it just depends on how it is marketed and whether or not it satisfies a need or desire for the consumer, in this case the reader.

There is no magic formula and in many ways we are back to the same old networking techniques of reaching out to librarians, book sellers, review sites and more to connect with readers – or perhaps that part never really changed and we just got caught up in the bright lights and buzz of the electronic world thinking it was going to make us all stars, and rich, overnight.