Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More Giveaways

I am part of a new site that will be doing giveaways on a regular basis. We're trying to get it all ready for our first giveaway starting July 8-15th. Please follow and check back for the giveaways. The first one is going to be BIG... an iPad2... YES... you read that right :)

Hurry... click HERE, follow, and check back for more details.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Returns at Amazon

Does it frustrate anyone else?

If you go to a bookstore, buy a book, take it home and read it, dislike it, do you take it back to the bookstore? Broken spine? Dog-eared pages? Would you? Would they even let you (I honestly don't know)?

How many of you buy something, use it, decide for some reason you don't want/like it and return it? I would only do that if something was broken. As for a book, I don't care how much I hated it, I wouldn't return it. I used it. I got what I paid for. Could you imagine going to a concert, not liking the music, and asking the singer for your money back? I can hear the laughter now!!!!!

That's how I think about someone returning a book. There certainly are legitimate reasons. Like hitting the buy it now button twice. Or hitting the buy it now button instead of the sampling button. But, that's not what happened on my last return.

One of my books had 28 sales all day long, possibly from the night before, but not positively. I checked it around midnight and it was still at 28. I checked it about 15 minutes later because I'm obsessive like that and it was down to 27 with a return. So, someone returned a book they had at least all day long. It's my shortest book too, so it could easily have been read in a few hours.

Just frustrates me.

I'm done rambling now.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Author Katrina Parker Williams Shares an Excerpt

Katrina Parker Williams is the author of a short story collection Trouble Down South and Other Stories, a fictional novel Liquor House Music, and three short stories Missus Buck, Rock, andSlave Auction.

Excerpt from "Rock" from Trouble Down South and Other Stories:

Many colored soldiers made their way to the Nickel and Dimer, dressed in their military uniforms, to knock back a few bottles of whiskey, tell some war stories, and gamble. The crowd welcomed the soldiers like they were colored celebrities. One soldier, in particular, Hezekiah Bennett, nicknamed Rock in the War because he had a head shaped like a rock, all lumpy and dented, bragged about how he saved a whole white infantry unit, telling the story with zeal, other soldiers refusing to recant their war stories, wanting only to forget the whole experience, the nightmares and flashbacks paralyzing them to the point they couldn’t acclimate themselves back into society.
“At daybreak, you see, we were starting our advancement,” Rock narrated, holding a whiskey bottle in one hand and a soldier’s smoke in the other.
“Yeah, and what happened then?” one patron asked, listening intently to his tale.
“The enemy forces were closing in, you see,” Rock added.
“Uh huh, uh huh,” another patron said, urging Rock on, who had paused to take a swig of whiskey and a long drag on his Camel cigarette.
“There were men all over, see?” Rock continued. “Men laying out, some wounded, some dead.”
“Go ‘head,” the first patron insisted, tired of his slow progress in the story.
“We couldn’t stop. We had to leave the wounded,” Rock said.
“Why?” the other patron asked.
“There was gunfire and shells all over our heads,” Rock said. “We couldn’t stop advancing until we got to a position to take the enemy out.”
“And what happened then?” the first patron asked.
“Two white soldiers and me, we saw a shell hole and made a run for it,” he replied.
“Yeah, uh huh,” the other patron said, hanging on to Rock’s every word.
“I managed to dive in,” Rock said.
“Yeah?” the other patron said.
“They fell in after me,” Rock added. “They was hit, both of them.”
“And,” the first patron egged on.
“I bandaged their wounds and got them stable,” Rock said. “One guy lost his life. The other lost just his hand. Then I advanced forward. I had to leave them and take out the enemy.”
“Did you take them out?” the other patron asked.
“Hell yeah, I took them out,” Rock boasted. “We pushed them damn Germans back. We beat they asses. They gave us medals and welcomed us back to D.C. Colored soldiers, a colored platoon did that.”
“Damn, you the man,” the first patron commented. “You the damn man. Barkeep, get this soldier another drink!”
As more patrons entered the joint, they gathered around to hear Rock retell his story many times that night, each retell embellished a little bit more with exaggerated details. Rock didn’t see any harm in it. He was a hero in their eyes, no doubt.

Katrina Parker Williams' books can be bought at Amazon (Kindle) or Barnes and Noble (Nook).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Giveaway Winners

Winners of the Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop are:
Tara W.
Andrea K.

Congrats to both of you. I will be sending you an email shortly.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I was at the beach today. Didn't plan on going. We went to a birthday party at a house that was close to a beach. We didn't know this until we got there. So, we walked down the five blocks to go. It was my youngest daughter's first time at a beach.

I commented to my husband that it was odd I couldn't smell the beach from blocks away. I remember being able to do so growing up. You could smell the salt in the air. But... today, I couldn't. This beach isn't a pretty beach. The beaches in the area suck. The water is literally brown. Not a beautiful blue like I'm used to. The sand is more like mud than sand. Even though I've visited the beaches in the area many times, I'm still shocked whenever I see it. It's just not pretty.

About a block before reaching it, I could feel the wind coming off the beach and I could finally smell the salt. The air just changed. We walked onto the beach and I took off my shoes and walked along the water. It's amazing how the beach calms me. My whole personality just changes. I'm a completely different person. I relax, I smile, I have fun. I love the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, I love the warm water as it laps over my toes, I love the smell of the ocean.

My youngest daughter was terrified for a minute. She wanted NOTHING to do with this weird mud on the ground let alone the huge water in front of her. But, we picked her up and brought her over to the water. Once I held her there, and the waves touched her, she too changed. She absolutely LOVED it. She started going in farther (she's only 17 months, so she can't go too far without us). And she ran, then plopped herself right down, and splashed in the water. And if that wasn't cute enough, she started crawling around in the water. It was adorable.

One of my dreams is to have a beach house or condo someday. Probably for retirement. But, the one I'll have will be somewhere near a beautiful beach. Imagine the writing I could get done there...

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

Thank you for participating in the Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop. I will be posting the winners on Sunday. If you won, you will be contacted by email. You have 1 week to claim your book or another winner will be chosen.

Guest Post by Heather Adkins

There is nothing quite like your first time.

The tension of the moment is overwhelming. A beautifully formatted ebook, a cover, a blurb, and the platform...all culminating in that scary "Save and Publish" button.

My first novel has been uploaded.

What a wild ride. Two years ago, I "attended" my first Nanowrimo with nothing but a recent dream and the idea that evolved from it. In thirty days, I pounded out a rough draft of The Temple while moaning and groaning about how hard it was (it wasn't.) When the last mug of coffee had been downed and the story had been clocked at Nano for over 50 thousand words, I wasn't really happy with it. After celebrating my achievement, I threw it aside.

I started some new projects after that Christmas season. A couple ideas for new books were penned, several short stories were finished; whatever I could do to keep my mind off the finished novel, I did. By some brilliance of procrastination, I didn't return to The Temple for a year.

When I did return, it was a mess. While reading over it, I alternately wanted to cast it into the flames and pet it lovingly (like everything I write.) It took a lot of rewrites and revisions to make it the story it is now. In true form of any neurotic writer, it's still not as perfect as I want it to be. My dad says, though, sometimes it just has to be "good enough."

The publication of my first novel has been delayed numerous times. The product I've uploaded isn't actually the final one--the real cover isn't finished. I'll be releasing a "second edition" before the end of the summer with a unique watercolor by my sister. Until then, I wanted The Temple out there instead of hanging out on my flash drive where it was giving me sullen looks.

That's where I stand right now. My decision to be a self-published author has officially become an actuality. It will be touch and go from this point as I learn how to promote, how to handle the bad reviews (and live through the adrenaline of the good ones), and move forward into publishing future novels. There's no right way to do things; if there were, this self-publishing thing would be a lot easier! I'm extremely thankful to have the support of the Indie Writers Unite! group on Facebook; they are an amazing group of people. I'll be chronicling my successes and failures over at my blog, so stay tuned. I don't know what the heck I'm doing, but I'm doing it anyway.

The wheels are in motion.


Vale Avari has a mysterious past and a laundry list of super-powers, but that's nothing compared to what she finds upon moving from small town U.S.A to jolly-good England.

A chance dart throw lands her in Quicksilver, an off-the-map place with a big problem - people are dying, and word is, it's supernatural.

At her new place of employment, a temple dedicated to the ancient Mother Goddess, Vale learns something even more shocking - women guards are disappearing at an alarmingly patterned rate; women who possess special gifts like her own.

Supernatural powers aside, Vale isn't ready to believe in the Wild Hunt as the culprit, and she's determined to prove the deaths are acts of human violence.

Plagued by a brute with a history of domestic violence and lusting after a dark-eyed man with a secret, Vale has a limited amount of time to discover the killer before he strikes again. In the process, she'll learn things aren't always what they seem and the supernatural might not be so extraordinary after all.

The Hunt could ride for her.

The Temple is published at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for 99c.


Barnes & Noble

My blog:


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Author Interview - Heather Adkins

Heather Adkins is here with us today. Her novel, The Temple, is being released this week. I will have more for you on its release later this week.

First a little about Ms. Adkins:

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where I am still stranded as long as I remain poor and underpaid.

Where's your favorite place in the entire world?

Ireland. Anywhere in Ireland. My ultimate dream is to move there; to buy a cottage in the countryside. I will raise sheep, write books, and probably single-handedly keep the local pub in business.

What's your favorite movie?

The Boondock Saints and The Departed are head to head as all-time favorites.

What are the last 5 books you have read?

Seed by Ania Ahlborn, The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto, Hit List by Laurell K Hamilton, The Readers Companion to Ireland edited by Alan Ryan, and Coexist by Julia Crane

Let's talk about your beginning as a writer:

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Vividly. My mother is a police officer. When I was ten years old, she was promoted to Detective (she is now a Major!) and was transferred to the Crimes Against Children Unit. For about three years, she worked 4 pm to midnight, and I was stuck home alone and entertaining myself. Without my own income to keep buying new books, it was read the entire Goosebumps series over and over and over or find a hobby (I've never liked TV). My daddy has written his entire life, so it felt natural when I started doing it. The stories began to come swiftly. I wrote eight novels during that time frame, none of which will EVER see the light of day.

What do you consider most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

Making myself do it. I get so frustrated when I stare at a blank page and can't move forward that I end up procrastinating for days at a time. Once I do begin writing, it just floods out; it's getting to that point that's tough.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so, what did you do about it?

All the freaking time. I drink a lot, b&*ch at my boyfriend, and moan about writer's block on my Facebook status. All very motivating, of course.

Your book, The Temple, is being released this week. Let's talk about that.

How did you come up with the title?

The Temple is (despite being an inanimate object) the ultimate main character of the novel, so the name just makes sense. Now that I think about it, there are more scenes taking place in or around the Temple than anywhere else...

Can you tell us a little about the main character, Vale Avari?

Vale Avari is fearless, sarcastic, and completely insecure. She threw a dart at a map and ended up in England, so she's either brave or insane, and she has absolutely no idea what she's doing. She has multiple superpowers including super-strength, telekinesis, the ability to talk to ghosts, and she can give an orgasm with just a touch. She doesn't like to talk about that last one.

Why did you choose to write this particular book?

A dream. It was so vivid and clear. It's actually in the novel at Chapter 10, I believe. It was me in the driver's seat for the original, but I put Vale there in the book. Her story needed to be told or my brain was going to kill me. It had the poison ready and everything.

You write about people with supernatural powers, if you could have any power you wanted, what would it be?

Telekinesis. I'm extremely lazy.

The future...

Can we expect any more books from you in the future?

Of course! I have four more novels finished that I'm hoping to release before the end of the year, and in between those I'll be releasing free short stories. I'm currently working on five new novels, and I also have a list of ideas for next year's projects. I'm going to be all over the place. I am a hurricane, coo coo ki choo. When I make a decision, i.e. to self-publish, I rush headlong with reckless abandon into said decision.

Have you started another book yet?

If I'm not always in the middle of four novels and eight short stories, then I'm dead. Send EMS.

Do you have any specific last thoughts you want to say to your readers and fans?

I love to write; it's almost a prerequisite for being a novelist. It is necessary for my general health and well being to write. I don't pretend to be a great literary mind, so all I hope is that people enjoy the escape my novels can give them.

That's all for now, folks. But, keep tuned... Ms. Adkins will be returning later this week with a guest post and links to where you can buy her book, The Temple. In the meantime, here's where you can connect with her online and read one of her short stories for free:

My blog :



Underneath, my free ebook short story at Smashwords:

Two 5-star reviews and one 4-star!

You can also find many examples of my writing on my blog, where I've posted short stories for the past few years.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Word Document Turned to Stars!

Or asteriks to be more precise. I was writing. And then BOOM! Every character turned to a *. I. Freaked. Out. Now, this isn't the first time this has happened. But, I did an update and it hadn't happened since, so I was hoping the update had fixed it. Apparently not.

I had Word set to save every 3 minutes and I push that SAVE button A LOT! But, I couldn't remember when the last time I pushed it was. Come to find out, I lost about 300 words. NOT happy. Thankfully, it was only 300.

My husband googled it and it's a known problem with this version of Word for Macs. Lovely. No fix in sight... they are working on it. Great. (Can y'all feel the sarcasm?)

I downloaded Pages (a Mac program). We'll see if I like it any better.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

This Week in Talia News

Sorry, little late in posting news... well, for the whole month I guess.

Michelle Muto interviewed me for her blog: Michelle Muto. While you're there, check out her book.

I finished the first draft of book #5. I put it aside for a few weeks. Then I'll go back to it and do my first edit, send it out to some readers, and do another edit.

I've been brainstorming more on book #6 and #7.

I'm also contemplating hiring an editor, but so far the prices are way too high.

Damaged still out sells any of the other books. If I Die Young comes in second. The Ultimate Sacrifice continues to come in last, but I'm hoping that since 80 people downloaded it using the coupon, maybe - just maybe - I'll get some more reviews, feedback, and word of mouth.

In the meantime, when the sales are up, I'm skipping around the house and when they're down, I remind myself that I write for me. I like telling stories, even if I'm the only one that ever reads them :)

G'nite World!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I'm giving away free copies of The Ultimate Sacrifice. I generated a coupon code for Smashwords that will expire on Sunday June 19, 2011. So, go now, download the book, and let me know what you think of it.

The Ultimate Sacrifice - coupon code: MM42V

Don't forget, you can download whatever version you want - for your computer, Kindle, Nook, etc.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles) by Julia Crane

Sixteen-year-old Keegan is struggling to keep her huge secret from her friends--she's an elf, descended from a long line of elves that live in secrecy alongside humans.

In elfin society, mates are predetermined but not allowed to meet until they are eighteen. Against tradition, Keegan's brother Thaddeus told her Rourk's name because his visions warned him she'd need Rourk's protection, especially since Keegan will play a key role in the coming war between the dark and light elves.

Rourk finds himself drawn to Keegan's side every time she thinks his name. He wants to talk to her but remains in the shadows, silently guarding her every time she mentally beckons him. A twist of fate thrusts the two of them together when Rourk is forced to step up his protection and make his presence known.

An ancient prophecy deeply entwines Keegan's family and the future of their society. Somehow they must find a way to thwart fate and win the battle...without losing Keegan. With war brewing, and dark forces aligning, will Keegan and Rourk ever have the life together that they both desire?


My Review: 5 Stars!

I absolutely love the cover! It's the first thing that drew me in. I knew I wanted to read this book just by looking at the cover.

I got sucked into this book quickly. I enjoyed the characters, the storyline, and the writing. It was a creative story and I found myself rooting for the main characters. It had romance and friendship along with magic and adventure. I can't wait to read more from this author.

You can buy Coexist here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Author Spotlight: G.R. Yeates

I belong to a Facebook writer's group called Indie Writers Unite! On this group, we are having our own little blog tour, featuring other authors. So, today, I'm interviewing G.R. Yeates, author of The Eyes of the Dead.

Vampires are loose in the trenches of the First World War.

Passchendaele, 1917. Private Reg Wilson is a man with a name but no memories. A soldier who remembers nothing of life before the fighting began. Until he comes to Black Wood, a tainted place that knows him intimately. There, he will discover a darkness buried long ago by time and dust. An appetite that has been awoken by war. A hunger that will feed upon his blood, his regrets and his worst fears. It will show him what he has forgotten. It will show him nightmare made flesh. And, before he dies, it will make him look deep into the eyes of the dead.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for publication since January 2007 and I started researching my debut, The Eyes of the Dead, in June 2006.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve written in one form or another since I was a child. Since 1998, I’ve regularly written poetry and I’ve tried my hand at song lyrics as well as I was involved in a few bands in my twenties. So, it’s always been there really and I’ve never been short of ideas or inspiration. To answer the question, I don’t know what inspires me because it has been a constant part of me.

What kind of environment do you write in? At a desk? Using a laptop? Paper and pen? Music or quiet? Food?

Usually quiet unless I need some motivation then I crank the music up. I need to be at home with my computer and have my books around me for comfort and occasional referencing. I’ve tried writing in other environments and something is missing. I’m never that satisfied with writing done away from home.

Why do you feel you had to write The Eyes of the Dead?

The idea just came to me really. Bringing together vampires and the First World War had not been done before to the best of my knowledge and I’ve always been someone who can only be seriously interested in a project if it’s not run-of-the-mill or the norm. It has to stand out and strike me as having some originality to it.

What character speaks the loudest to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?

The lead protagonist, Reg Wilson, speaks the loudest to me, partly because I’ve known him for almost five years now in various incarnations. The other characters have been fairly consistent as the book has grown and developed but Wilson, who goes through the most punishment in the novel, has also gone through the most punishment as the novel has gone through the editing process more times than I can remember now. It’s also been a rough four years for me as I’ve been starting out so I guess my identification with Wilson has grown because of that as well. He’s become a mirror for some of my own frustrations and pain.

What do you do when you're not writing?

Not much to be honest and that’s because I don’t think a writer ever stops writing. We’re always thinking of stories, characters, ideas and sometimes dreaming them into being when we should be getting a restful night’s sleep.

What was your first introduction to horror literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write in?

My first introduction was the collection Monsters, Monsters, Monsters by Helen Hoke. It had a number of the greats between its covers like Joseph Brennan, Arthur Conan Doyle and Ray Bradbury but the one that had the most lasting effect on me at the time was the story the collection closed with; H.P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider. It was a melancholy coda and it resonated with me very deeply indeed.

Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself, that leaves you wondering where that came from?

All the time. Every day. That is usually how I start a novel. I need to be able to conceive of something unsettling, disturbing or grotesque enough to unnerve myself before I set to work. If I’m not scared then the reader won’t be either.

What project are you working on now?

I’m working on the second book in the series begun by The Eyes of the Dead. The title is The Shapes in the Mist and it is set during the zeppelin air raids of London during the First World War.

Is there anything you'd like to say to your readers and fans?

I would like to say that I hope they enjoyed the book and that I wish to continue to entertain them with everything else I write.

Some just for fun questions:

What's in your refrigerator right now?

Well, I live in shared accommodation so there’s a variety of things. My share of the goodies though includes a bottle of Coca-cola, because I need the caffeine to top up my nervous energy reserves, a cottage pie and tomorrow’s lunchtime sandwiches.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

My favourite superheroes are Batman and The Punisher so I think I would eschew superpowers in favour of being a merciless vigilante in black leather like them.

What is your favorite movie?

The Whole Wide World, directed by Dan Ireland, starring Vincent D’Onofrio and Renee Zellweger. It’s a dramatisation of the romantic relationship that took place between Robert E. Howard and a schoolteacher he befriended, Novalyne Price. Her diaries formed the basis of the screenplay and they make very moving reading as well. I also think the sequences where D’Onofrio ‘acts out’ Howard’s character, Conan, are more intense and powerful than all of the other film adaptations of the man’s work put together.

The Eyes of the Dead is available at:

Further information on G.R. Yeates is available at:

Thursday, June 9, 2011


This is what it must feel like to be awesome!! I got 4 sales in less than an hour. I usually don't check my sales that much. But, for some reason, I did, and one book jumped up in sales. I was elated!! I'm sure famous authors get much more than 4 sales in AN HOUR, but this must be a fraction of what they feel!! I'm skipping around the house, I let the kids have ice cream, nothing is going to get me down now.

I feel like Jack on the Titanic... I'm QUEEN of the World!!! (At least for another 5 minutes!)

So, to you, my fans... Thank You!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


It's been a long week. The end of school came last week and with it a bunch of parties. I love summertime. It's a time to stay up late and sleep in late. It's a time to be flexible and free! I love not having a schedule to follow. It opens up my day to write a little more - and that is always welcomed.

Summer is definitely here to stay... it's been like 100 degrees outside. I don't bother going out during the day unless I have to or I'm going to the pool. Any shopping I have to do, I do at night. And I love summer nights. It's hot, but not too hot. I like swinging on my back porch, listening to the crickets, and enjoying some ice cream. Although, the mosquitoes are getting bad - I don't love them nearly as much as they love me.