Friday, April 23, 2010

Shameless Promotion for Others! Magnolia Belle

I know it's hard for independent authors to sell their own books these days so it may seem weird to promote the works of other authors. I believe in helping others, especially if it's a book I can fully get behind and cheer for.
So, I've decided to try to do this weekly or so and help promote other authors. Who knows, maybe the good karma will come back. At least that's what my great-grandmother always said...well she had a more folksy way of saying it but you get the idea.

This week: Magnolia Belle
Bio infor taken from author's Goodreads page, all rights reserved and copyright to Ms. Belle
Magnolia Belle grew up in a military family and has lived in several U.S. states as well as the Orient. She graduated in 1978 from Tarleton State University, where, as editor of the University paper, she won first place in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Editorial competition in 1977. She was also a member of "Who's Who Among Colleges and Universities" in 1977-78. She currently lives in Texas with her husband and their (spoiled) dogs.



A singer/songwriter and guitarist, she played with a band in the 1980s that made 3 albums. Belle proudly declares some Native American heritage. The above two facts are part of the basis of the Black Wolf series. Considering herself a native Texan, her T'on Ma and Black Wolf series are both set in that great state.

I can't speak of all of her books(I've only read four...well three and a half as I'm almost done with the third book in her Black Wolf series). Let me say that I can and will sing the praises of the Blackwolf brothers to one end of the ethernet to the other.
I've been a huge fan of books with brothers and Native American characters for a long time but except for Cait London I really couldn't find an author who handled characters with such deft skill at making the characters come alive as Magnolia Belle has with these brothers. You will laugh, you will cry and in some cases grieve but you will find such enjoyment. I could go on but that would just be gushing and I think readers will enjoy this series and more.

You can check out more about Magnolia Belle and her books at the following:
Black Wolf Books
Goodreads.com-Magnolia Belle
Magnolia Belle on Amazon.com
Magnolia Belle on Smashwords

Be sure to check out this fantastic author and her books.

Next week....not sure yet.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A new edition for Flames of Betrayal!

Thanks to a dear friend and fellow writer, Magnolia Belle, the first book in my S.E.A.L. Team Omega series, Flames of Betrayal, has been edited, revised and some scenes changed. It is tigher and missing some overused words. One doesn't know how much a character mutters until it's pointed out, lol (Thanks, Belle).

Both the Kindle and Smashwords ebooks are back up and available and the Smashwords version has a coupon for anyone who would like to try the revised edition. Just contact me at: sierrarose_books@yahoo.com for the code.

Also, for those interested in terrific books I hope you'll check out Magnolia Belle's books at: Black Wolf Books . She has a wonderful series out that I highly recommend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Second book in Celtic Evil Released!

The second book in the five part Celtic Evil series is published as an ebook on Kindle and Smashwords and will soon be a paperback on Amazon.
Celtic Evil: Ian on Kindle

For more information keep up with the blog for the series and the Facebook page:
Celtic Evil Blog
Celtic Evil Facebook Fanpage

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Problems for Authors of Multiple Genres & Other Issues to Address

This is a copy of a blog post that I made on my Amazon Author Central page. A good plan? Maybe not.

How does an author who writes in multiple genres handle going from one to another? Much less, do readers take into account how those very different genres are also very different in writing style?

That's something I've been wondering since I write in two primary genres and each title seems to have its own style. Take Celtic Evil for example. It's more of a paranormal/romantic suspense series. Yes, there is some action since that plot calls for it but that series is a complete turnaround to my pure action/adventure series, S.E.A.L. Team Omega. That series is more action and it calls for more violence. So, do readers who look for Sierra Rose consider that while both books are written by the same author that the styles are different or because one may be too violent or extreme in come cases will they hold that against the other, more mild series? If that's the case then it's hardly fair because while one book may not appeal the other could be just fine.

I suppose that's why authors in different genres use a different pen name for the other one. I considered that when writing the Seal series but was advised it would cause confusion to readers who may have begun following Sierra Rose.

As an author, I do not plot or pre-plot a story for the most part. I may have a general idea but the main story fills itself in as I write. I will never make apoligies for how I write in terms of plot, characters or how the story fills itself in. I've often said that I allow my characters to write their own story and then I go behind them and clean up as best as I can and that's what I do. I never try to control or change how a scene goes as it builds in my head because I don't write like that.

Flames of Betrayal, the first in my S.E.A.L. Team Omega series has been coming under fire recently here on Amazon it seems by a couple reviews that I just caught today for a few scenes. I know the ones being complained about because they were the hardest to write in my life and I bounced back and forth, struggled with the inner writer who writes the scenes in my mind until finally all the going back and forth blocked the book up. It took several days until I decided to given in and allow the scenes to remain. I debated on it and waited to get several opinions from people who did read it, one included my very own Mother who has never been afraid to say when something should be taken out or didn't work. It was also test-read by several in the military and also a psychologist. It passed those people.

Now, do I think the style in Flames will appeal to everyone? Of course not. Just like I know my writing itself will never appeal to everyone or anyone with a higher knowledge of the English language or grammar, but that's another matter. Do I agree with a couple comments on a review that I read, about if Flames had been written by a man, it wouldn't be getting the complaints about those scenes? I'm not sure. I can't honestly say that when I wrote the book or its sequel that I considered it being flamed, no pun intened, because it was written by a woman. Many females write action books but maybe it was more because of the scenes themselves. I certainly don't like to think that readers believe that only men can do to a character what I wrote in Flames. As a reader myself, I don't hold those views.

Do I regret putting those scenes in? No, because I write for myself as a whole and if the scene writes itself in a way that people don't like or approve of then I can't regret that. No author will please every reader and if we try, no book would ever be worth reading.

As to address another matter, Flames is based on a fictional story. I am a 35 year old disabled writer with no complex knowledge, authority, or details on military matters. I have read military books since I could read. I researched weapons, locations, and other military matters to the best of a limited ability. It was not written to be 100% authenic but it in no way reflects badly on any branch of the military. It is explained in the story that this team operates outside normal chain of command, and therefore handles themselves differently given the jobs they do.

Celtic Evil is written in an entirely different style but it is still written in the same free flowing method. I allow the characters to write their story how they will. I suppose I should be pleased that I haven't had any modern day witches complaining about something that was portrayed wrong in the first book in that series though as I do with every book I write I do the best research possible.

This brings me finally to the final matter I wish to address, grammar. Unlike most authors, I have never made claims to adhere or understand it. I made a post on a forum that addressed this once but to streamline it:

Due to illnesses that removed me from standard school at 3rd Grade, I was homeschooled by a schoolboard sent tutor from 3rd grade until I graduated. I received excellent grades and had a GPA of 3.8 on graduation. English was passed via extra credit work. The tutor was a single tutor who could teach all standard subjects but was not a plain English teacher with all the skills needed to understand all the workings that perhaps students in a physical English class would receive. Grammar was pretty much glossed over since he only had so many hours a week to teach so I have never denied that I don't understand grammar like those who went to school do or who perhaps went to college. I write how I think and how I was raised and that will never be accepted by readers who choose to look for that style.

Oh, I've been told to take college courses or writing classes. To put this bluntly: if I couldn't go to school due to illnesses that have increased over the years, how do people accept a writer dealing with that to go to classes? Online courses take funds and an ability to learn that this writer doesn't have.

Now, we'll go to the editing issues. Celtic Evil has been edited. it's sequel and the sequel to Flames are being looked over. Unlike writers with jobs to support them, many writers starting out don't have the funds to pay $500-$12,000 for an editor or a proofreader. Readers don't understand that either. They think that every writer can turn a book over to someone to proof or edit for them. They think that every writer has a college professor for a best friend or relative who will do this for them pro bono and that's not the case. Many writers self-edit because that's all we can do and I think that there are some wonderful self-edited/self-published books available these days. Readers complain about poor editing or poor grammar yet they don't stop to think why these things may be happening. There are very few editors who will offer their services free of charge, if there were they'd be swamped. There are writers who bash fellow authors for the very same thing but you also find very few of them willing to edit without wanting money and in this economy if a new author has to choose between feeding their family, buying medicine or paying someone to edit a book, what would you choose? Not every writer has a full time job, not every writer has a family to support them. Many writers live on a single monthly check and then must balance how to spend that on vital things. As one of those, I can assure you that medicine and food and a roof over my family's head will always take top spot.

I often joke that I plain on putting a disclaimer in new books that it is being written by an author with no understanding of proper grammar. That and future disclaimers for violence may become the next section of my copyright page.

This turned out longer than I planned on and perhaps it will hurt sales of future books but I fully believe in being honest with potential readers. Do they care? Probably not but it's better to say it. To explain that I deeply love what I do, the characters I write and the stories that I tell. Do I wish that every book could be perfect? Of course. Will they be perfect? No, they will be as good as I can make them with the abilities I was gifted with. Most readers are able to accept that and I can't help the ones who can't.


Again, maybe it wasn't a wise move to make with Ian's tale coming out in the next month and the second book in the S.E.A.L. Team Omega series due in May, but it's one of those things that has been building. I made a post on the Kindleboards on my Flames of Betrayal thread that explained a lot that I limited in this one. I don't and never will will deny that my grammar will never be what others want it to be. I just hope to sell enough ebooks, books to help my Mother and get the full Celtic Evil story out before my own eyesight goes out. I will never make excuses for the tales that I write, be it one of the boys for Celtic Evil, the team in S.E.A.L. Team Omega or the other things I write. I've been told to write for myself and that's how I do it. Should I apoligize to those who don't agree with or like it? Maybe but if I do that, it smacks of be not being true to characters that I pour myself into writing.

Readers think that a full book may be so easy to write. They're wrong. Those violent scenes or scenes that involve sex of any kind are the absolute hardest for me to write.

Okay, this month's rant is done. Stay tuned for data on Celtic Evil: A Fitzgerald Brothers Novel: Ian which is due out in March.






Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Feature! Guest Blogger-Clinton Foster

This update includes a new feature that I hope to do more with in the feature. Guest-blogging or blog tours is something that is becoming popular and so, this guest blog is by Clinton Foster, the author of Willing to Believe and By the Wayside . More can be found about Clinton, his books, etc on his own blog which can be found on my blogroll on the right side of this page. So, here is his interview/guest blog:


An Interview with Clinton Foster, author of Willing To Believe and By The Wayside.


Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am 40 years old. A father of five children, two of whom are adopted.

Willing To Believe is a romance, is it not? Why would a man write a romance, it is not usually a male-dominated genre.
Willing is not a romance, but it is a love story. It is the tale of a man yet uncertain about whether or not he even loves his girlfriend, whether they are just friends "with benefits" as most relationships today could be termed, or if there is something more. Through a chance work opportunity, by meeting an elderly gentleman on the exit threshold of his life, he begins to learn the value of what love really means, what it ought mean, and of what we are willing to do to maintain that love at all costs. It is specifically told as a first person narrative through the eyes of a young man, because unfortunately, it seems my experience that most men just go through the motions in relationships. In doing so, men miss out on the greater, profound fruits of a lasting love.

You think you are an authority on love?
Hah! Not hardly! When my wife and I married, she had several children with one on the way. This child I adopted. In better times, we had children together. As such, we always barely made ends meet, but we struggled and survived, and the children thrived. However, last year, my wife's older daughter was sexually assaulted by a member of her extended family. As my wife is now disabled and this person is yet on the loose, it was left to me to tend all the children at all times or the state would take her daughter for her safety. I agreed, as the state was to arrange sitters to help with child-care while I worked. Due to budget cuts, the childcare fell through. Well, the landlord still expects to be paid, as is his right, that we were soon evicted. All the state could say was "sorry." At the moment, we are living in a friend's basement as we struggle again to our feet.

In all this, I have reminded myself many times before how easy it could be to just walk away from the whole situation. But honestly, could I? Even today, my wife and I talk of splitting up, with me taking my children and cutting her loose. Sure, it would be very easy. It would be convenient. But then, what do the vows "For better and for worse" mean? Basically, I don't think we as a society should be so quick to cut our losses, as "time served."

Tell me about your next book, By The Wayside.
By The Wayside is the story of a young woman who has been sexually-assaulted as a child. Her mother doesn't want to believe her. As such, she grows up believing that her thinking is wrong, that maybe what she experienced was her own fault, and the cause for her family's difficulties. As the years, pass she continues making poor choices and her struggles get more complicated. It is her fight to find herself, to believe in the six-year-old that no one else had, so many years before.

Publishing through Amazon, Createspace and Lulu, have you had much success with these markets?
Well, I guess any success is better than none. The hardest thing I find is getting the word out. Willing has been highly-acclaimed by its readers. One local library, receiving a sample copy, enjoyed it so much that the staff purchased twenty copies as A Christmas present for their adult reading group. Otherwise, it has been very touch and go, with very limited success. Still, if no one knows about it, almost any success, any recommendations, means nothing. Marketing costs money, money that as a homeless author, I have very little of.

Much of the web can be used for free. How have you utilized its services?
Again, I have published through three websites, and am in the process of pitching the books to the big chain stores via the web. Otherwise, I have added pages to social websites such as Facebook and Myspace, I run ads via Craigslist and other "classifieds." I have set up my own blog about my books and my writings, at http://www.clintonfoster.blogspot.com/. I am always prospecting new ideas, but in truth, I'd rather spend my time more fruitfully, just writing. I'm always willing to trade links with others, anything to get the word out.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Nollaig shona & Saol fada chugat!  Which means Happy Christmas & Long life to you! I certainly wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and for those who have read the first book in my Celtic Evil series, I have written a short (alright, very short) Christmas story featuring the Fitzgerald brothers that I hope everyone enjoys!
It can be found on the Celtic Evil Excerpt page of my webpage at: Sierra Rose Books and also free at Smashwords by following this link: A Celtic Christmas

Sierra

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Wishes

For my friends and everyone, here's a Christmas poem.

A Christmas Poem


Silver Bells jingle, snowflakes fall.

Trees glimmer as holiday lights shimmer.

Children laugh and play in snow deep while parents wish for school.

Holiday shoppers rush about as the days draw closer to that fateful day.

Homes are warm with love and the smells of cookies baking.

Music rings from churches all over as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Family gathers on this day to celebrate Christmas Day and the birthday of our Savior.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a most Joyous New Year.
 
This and some others are in my Poetry collection as well.