Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Perfect Villain

Yes, we're supposed to root for the "home team," or in this situation, the protagonist, but sometimes you can't help but root for the villain. Heath Ledger's Joker is a great example. I am a huge Batman geek, but Heath Ledger was so perfect as the Joker, that in certain scenes I was rooting for him. He's a likable villain.

So, do you write a villain that's relatable and can be understood, or do you write a villain with a sadistic mind that you find yourself wanting to murder? 

It all depends on the story. In some books, you need your readers to hate the villain. You want the reader to rip their heads off, feel the pain of your protagonist. But sometimes, your story needs a villain (still evil) with a sense of humor to lighten things up. 

What's your perfect villain? Is he funny or mean, tall or short, fat or skinny, does he have a scar, is he a master of Krav-Maga? Details on the villain can make or break him. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Perfect Price Point

Many authors have been pointing out that the 99cent price mark isn't a good choice. I originally priced my first book, The Impenetrable Spy at 99cents because

1. It was my first book,
2. I wrote it at 10,
3. It's short-novella length,
4. And I don't need to make profit from my book.

   I still stand by that price. But if I was an adult, that would not be my ideal price point. I think the perfect price point for an ebook is $2.99. It's a little less than a coffee, and a good-looking price. It's cheap, but not too cheap, and allows you the 70% royalty deal from Amazon.  

   I started thinking about price points after reading this post on fellow blogger and author, R.S. Guthrie's blog. Some authors will argue (and they are most certainly right), that their book IS worth more than a coffee. They should be charging respectable author prices because I have read self-published authors whose books are much better than some big-name traditionally published ones. But unfortunately, so many self-published authors charge their books for such a cheap price, that if you charge just a little higher than someone else, your book will not be bought--as much.
I think that for a self-published author, the $2.99 price point is perfect, but only for now. Once people open their eyes and realize that us self-pubs CAN actually write good stories, then it should be raised, but for now, self-published authors are viewed as if their stories are a step down.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012


to the FIRST EVER BookPushalooza!

July 26th ONLY

Books, only .99.

each purchase you get the chance to WIN while Helping Authors reach new heights
in Amazon’s ranks.

so easy a CAVEMAN could do it!

the Instructions on the Rafflecopter Widget and for each book you purchase (or
Borrow through Amazon Prime for Free) you get an entry in to WIN ---

(1) Grand
Prize- $100 Amazon Gift Card

(2) Runners
up of $25 Amazon Gift Cards

not all! Purchase all NINE (9) books and get an additional 5 entries!

delay, this offer is good for JULY 26th ONLY!

Overview of Dark Isle

When evil begets evil, a choice is forced on Quinn, the one person who can see
the danger. Does she save the ones she loves, or does she save the world from

As the realms of Fae and human collide, Quinn's future has never
looked so grim, or so damn impossible.

Genre- Urban Fantasy

Overview of Enemy in Blue

 The streets aren't safe when your enemy wears a blue uniform and a gold
What if the good guys weren't good?
What if a cop went
rogue and killed an innocent man?

What if it was all caught on video and the cop would do anything to
cover it up?
Chase this lawless cop through the streets and to a
scintillating series of showdowns with Cruz Marquez, a young attorney trying to
nail down his enemy in blue.

Will justice be served?
Genre- Thriller

Overview of Land of the Noonday Sun

When two strangers have nothing left but their dreams,
they must forge a relationship in Nantahala, North Carolina, a small town known
as Land of the Noonday Sun.

A man with a
traumatic past is able to turn his life around and is happy with his chosen
career as a whitewater guide. Everything changes though when fate hurls a woman
into his path. His carefree life is in turmoil, and his former weaknesses
threaten to overtake him. Will he be strong enough when tragedy strikes and is
once again in danger of losing everything he loves?

Genre- Contemporary Romance

Overview of This Time Forever

Delaney Brannigan and Blake Morrisson
met at the Cedar Cove annual costume dance, known only to each other as the
leopard and the cowboy--but, as Delaney soon discovers, the cowboy she'd
thought had ridden off into the sunset never to tempt her again, is none other
than the man she came from New York to find and discredit. Against her will,
Delaney is drawn deeper and deeper into an overwhelming attraction to Blake--an
attraction she can't give in to if she wants to keep the one thing she values
more than anything else.

Genre- Contemporary Romance

Overview of Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula

Fourteen-year-old Cassidy Jones wakes up the morning after a minor
accident in the laboratory of a world-renowned geneticist to discover that her
body has undergone some bizarre physical changes. Her senses, strength, and speed
have been radically enhanced.

Lives are put at risk when they find themselves embroiled in a dangerous,
action-packed adventure. Soon they are forced to confront a maniacal villain
willing to do anything - including murder - to reach his own ambitious goals.

Genre- YA/MG Superhero

Overview of Gray Justice

Gray Justice is the fast-paced debut
thriller from Alan McDermott. When a killer walks free from court, the victim's
father sees just two options: accept the judge's decision; or take on the
entire British justice system. Tom Gray chooses the latter and his crusade
attracts instant worldwide media coverage. It was just what Tom was hoping for,
but it brought him a lot more than he bargained for.

Gray Justice is much more than a simple tale of revenge: it's a rollercoaster
ride with an ending you'll never forget!

Genre- Thriller

Overview of Gone at Zero Hundred 00:00

"Their lives are in the hands of two 18-year-olds..."
A Prominent P.I. is
gunned down - killed by a sniper - and it’s broadcasted on live TV.
her daughter, along with her childhood pal, are thrust into a complex and
riveting thriller forced to take on a secret club whose members call themselves
The Privileged Ones.
Murder. Teen abductions and illegal underground
They’re chased by men in ski-masks, nearly gunned down by
members of a cartel, and the only way to bring down this criminal enterprise; is
to crash a Mardi Gras bash and stop their private cruise ship from sailing off
into the sunset.


Overview of Allegiance

Who do YOU pledge allegiance to?

After exposing one of the most notorious rings of police corruption in history,
lawyer Cruz Marquez planned on starting a new life south of the border. That
plan unraveled when an extremist group of Minutemen captured and tortured him
and his wife.

Will Cruz pledge allegiance to do right, or will he do anything
to serve up revenge?

Genre- Thriller

Overview of Curbchek Reload

Curbchek-Reload is a dark account of the streets as they were worked by
Zach Fortier, a dangerously deranged cop. Welcome back to the inner city and
the twisted mentality of Zach Fortier. Patrolling the streets, broken and
mentally damaged from years of urban violence, Zach fights a losing battle to
maintain a hold on reality. Join him in the passenger seat of a police cruiser
for more of the darker and meaner side of life: The inner city. In
Curbchek-Reload you get a front row seat to an attempted murder of a cop,
suicide attempts, rapes, and DARK cop humor. Curbchek-Reload - Fasten your
bullet proof vest and buckle your seatbelt, it is gonna be a wild ride!

Genre- Police Procedural" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

All winners will be notified via email July 28th 2012. For a list of winners contact

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Future Dreamer's Finished!

That's right, The Impenetrable Spy: Future Dreamer is finished--with edits, rewrites, proofreading,--and has been sent for formatting. A character dies early on in the book, and I wouldn't want to spoil it, so I will include some excerpts (from later in the book) that define the 2nd book's writing style.

The following excerpt shows the fast-paced action of Future Dreamer:

           "Greg got up and fired a pistol round at Zack. Zack climbed into the Mercedes as Greg broke a car window and hotwired a white sedan. Zack pulled out of the lot and pushed the speed limits of his car. Zack’s car screeched on the pavement. The back tires had been shot by Greg. Zack cursed and slammed on the brakes. He opened the car door and made a run for it. Greg crashed into Zack’s car and hit his head on the steering wheel. Greg grabbed his head as blood ran down his face. He sprinted as Zack ran into an alley.
Zack hid behind a dumpster with his pistol and briefcase at his side. He held his breath as Greg came into view. Zack lunged at Greg and tackled him to the ground as the briefcase fell to the snow. Greg punched Zack in the stomach, but Zack grabbed Greg’s pistol and tossed it into the street. Zack belted Greg in the face and ducked to avoid a punch. He grabbed a metal pipe out of the dumpster and fell to the ground to avoid a knife lunge from Greg. Zack swung the pipe at Greg’s head. Greg ducked and tripped Zack. Zack stumbled, but grabbed Greg and forced the pipe against his neck. Greg gasped for air but managed to elbow Zack in the stomach. He took the hit but was elbowed again. Zack was forced to release Greg from the searing pain in his stomach. Zack struck Greg’s peroneal nerve above the knee with the pipe, temporarily disabling Greg. Greg hollered at Zack and fell to the ground. Zack punched Greg in the face one last time, leaving him unconscious. Zack grabbed the briefcase and spotted a hotel out of the corner of his eye. He needed a shower and some rest."

The next excerpt describes Zack's car, a 2011 Shelby Gt500, which is used later in the book:

           "He entered the Shelby Gt500 and typed in the address on the GPS, before climbing into the backseat while the car drove itself in autopilot mode. His car had about every weapon imaginable. It had two Gatlin guns, two targeting missiles hidden in a pair of suicide doors, deployable rear spike strips and a gun compartment concealed in the back of the car to store his weapons. The back was missing one seat and the chair sat parallel with the passenger side facing the window on the driver’s side. It had bullet proof glass and metal shielded wheels. The car had a built in GPS, wireless router, a Bose sound system, and a laptop. The backseat had a wine bottle and cup holders with champagne glasses. Zack had a car calling implant in his leg that the car could read from ten miles away.  If he tapped it, the car would track him down and go into autopilot mode. Zack was highlighted as a blue dot on the GPS so the car could find him in a matter of minutes or seconds.
            There was a touch screen remote that could control every accessory in it. The car had an autopilot mode that had a two way camera, one in the front, and one in the back. The cameras were infrared and would sense the traffic. The car was basically a perfect driver while Zack could control all of its weapons and stay perfectly safe from enemy fire. During autopilot mode, the car would recline Zack’s seat flat so he could be safe to concentrate on the weapons."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Visual History of The Impenetrable Spy

Some people showed interest in little notes and sketches that led to the publishing and writing of The Impenetrable Spy novels. If you are interested, come here and check it out!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Interview with Rebecah McManus

What is 'Colliding Worlds' about?  

It is about a girl called Jessica Cooper who moves to Fort Myers Florida to help her father elude his heartache of losing the woman he loves, Jessica's mother, who died giving birth to her for even 17 years after her death he is still struggling to cope.On beginning her new high school Jessica quickly falls for a handsome blue eyed boy named Chase Carter, and romance soon sparks. Her life in Fort Myers along with her fathers is changing for the better, but even Jessica couldn't have predicted what was to come. To her astonishment, the ghost of her mother comes into her life, and for Jessica this derives beauty, blossoming love, and contentment like she has never felt before as together they spend their days making up for the seventeen years they lost. But when her father eventually finds out the woman he loves has returned, everything changes, and is never to be the same again, for he is trapped in a world where he can never be with Elizabeth, and he knows that death is the only way they can be together again.

How old were you when you wrote 'Colliding Worlds'?

I was 15 years old when I first started writing the novel and I finished within a year in-between school & exams. It became an obsession and I couldn't seem to stop writing! Now at 17 years old, I'm so excited to see it published!

How did you get it published?

Within five months of sending 'Colliding Worlds' to various publishers, I was finally offered representation from Aventura Ebooks in London, who are both my literary agent and publisher! When I got the news I couldn't believe it!

What was your inspiration for writing?

I think music in my main inspiration as I simply cannot write without it! Whilst writing 'Colliding Worlds' I listened to a lot of Van Morrison, The Shins, Marcus Foster, Joan Jett and Band of Horses and so many more! Currently I'm obsessed with The Smiths!!

Who are your favorite authors?

Nicholas Sparks, Stephenie Meyer, Lauren Kate, Suzanne Collins and Michelle Zink!

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?

Without a doubt it would have to be Emma Roberts as Jessica, Lucas Till as Chase and Natalie Portman as Elizabeth!! I envisioned these actors as the characters when I was writing my book!

Links to buy 'Colliding Worlds': 

Twitter: @Rebecah_McManus

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Future Dreamer's Cover Reveal!

The past year has been a blast, and now it's time to reveal the cover of my second book, The Impenetrable Spy: Future Dreamer, designed by Suzanne Fyhrie Parrott.

In the return of the Impenetrable Spy, special agent Zack Carter's oldest friend has been murdered and the crime has been pinned on Zack: his prints are on the gun and now he's on the run. With agents on his tail and danger ahead, Zack races from Nigeria to Chicago to Langley itself in a search for the truth. And the deeper he goes, the more he realizes he's been caught in a conspiracy of apocalyptic proportion. Now he must clear his name and stop the true killer before time runs out ... and the world goes up in flames.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Dark Prairies" by R.S. Guthrie Releases Today!

Fellow author R.S. Guthrie's book, Dark Prairies, releases today!

Visit Rob's website here.

In the taming of the West, the prairies, they bled. There was war between the white man and the Native American, the outlaw against the honorable, the harsh elements against anything that crawled or thirsted—yet as scurrilous and unforgiving as bloodletting always is, much still represented a kind of progress toward the future. Not always fair; not always judicious; not always kind.

But it is 2012, and though we call ourselves more civilized, little has changed. The greedy still steal the land, the rich still get richer, murder still happens. Dark Prairies is set in the prime of the twenty-first century Wyoming gas boom, when some landowners become rich and others get nothing but ruined roads; fortunes are made or lost on what some would call a toss of the legal dice.

When a terrible murder rocks a small town—when Sheriff James Pruett himself loses his beloved---the prairies, they WILL bleed again. How many will die this time, in honor and in vain?

In this, his third novel, R.S. Guthrie has delivered his magnum opus. Dark Prairies carves into the raw, twenty-first century West at both its worst and its finest hours and does so in the depths of an ocean of both loyalty and greed.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Making a Difference for Kids with Autism

Nicole Storey was nice enough to do a guest post for the blog. Make sure to comment, it's for a good cause!

When my son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, I was devastated and lost.  I had no idea who to turn to for help.  Thankfully, a dear friend advised me to go on the web and search for autism support sites.  I did, and found many parents treading the same turbulent waters.  I was no longer alone.

It is charities such as The GreaterGood Network at The Autism Site that help parents to believe their children can do more, be more, than the doctors dictate.  This charity helps to fund therapy for children with autism: Speech, Sensory Integration, Cognitive/Behavioral, Diet, and so many more.

For the month of July, a percentage of the sales from my books will be donated to The GreaterGood Network to help provide autistic children with the help they need to thrive.  I would love it if you could give just a few dollars and download an eBook or perhaps buy a paperback.  Together, we can make a difference for children with autism!  Thank you so very much!

The GreaterGood Network:

My Amazon Author Page:


Friday, July 6, 2012

Show Don't Tell

It is said that a good writer uses the "Show Don't Tell" method of writing. Instead of using words like "get" or "got," you could use the word "hopped" to describe something. You don't want to tell what a character did, you want to show it. Hopped conveys a picture, while "get" has thousands of pictures associated with it. It is too general of a description. Try to use action, thoughts, senses, and feelings to get your thought across to the reader. Sometimes it is good to lay low on description so your reader can be free to picture something their own way, but sometimes you need to be specific otherwise a scene can get confusing.

Instead of using an adverb like "angrily," you should be able to show a scene or dialogue that shows that the character is angry. You don't have to come out and say it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

1,000 Twitter Followers

Today I reached 1,000 followers on Twitter! I had 200 back in early 2012. Without you guys it wouldn't be possible. Thanks to everyone who's following me on Twitter, I appreciate every follow I get.