Author Spotlight: Kim Carter, Award-winning Writer Shares How Writing Saved Her Life With The AJC and Her Eighth Chilling Historical Mystery Novel Released.


LIFE ~ Courtesy of The Atlanta Journal and Story
By Nedra Rhone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution



kim-carter-author-about-page-image.jpg
Award-Winning Author Kim Carter (Herron)



Let’s Keep the Written Word Going

“My mother instilled in me early on the importance of a handwritten thank- you note. I’ll never forget how proud I was to receive my first set of monogrammed stationery.  I would give anything to know where she’d purchased it now.  It was a lovely shade of pale pink and looked very hoity toity!  Long story short, I was all that.”


In September 1999 Kim Carter (then North) was on the way to drop her son at school before heading to work downtown when she suffered a grand mal seizure behind the wheel of her Grand Prix. She was 33, a mother of three and had never had a seizure in her life.

Carter and her 10-year-old son survived the terror and no one was hurt but the event set her on a long path to recovery. Carter credits her immediate survival to the brave couple who helped guide them to safety. But as the weeks of medical exams, medications and despair turned into months, she said it was writing that saved her life.

Eight months after the incident, Carter began writing mysteries like the ones she read by her favorite authors including the late Sue Grafton and Atlanta-based Karin Slaughter.

“It was my safe place. I had lost so much of my independence that was the one place where I could still be productive,” said Carter. “Even if it was just for me, even if it was a hobby, it was soothing.”

It would take several years, but Carter would eventually publish the books that once lived only on big floppy discs. Her 2016 novel “Murder Among the Tombstones,” — the first book in a series about two 70-year-old women who decide to become private investigators —  is a finalist for the 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion award for best thriller. The winner will be announced Aug. 25.


"Murder Among the Tombstones," by Kim Carter has been nominated for a Killer Nashville award.
Murder Among The Tombstones – Kim Carter

It is an honor Carter never could have imagined when she was pecking out plots on the desktop computer she set up in her laundry room. After the traffic incident, Carter had developed agoraphobia. She worried that she would have another seizure at any given time.

She had only learned about what happened that day after the fact. How her foot stiffened on the pedal and sent the car shooting down GA 138 at 70 MPH. How a passing couple realized what was happening and drove their car next to hers to warn other drivers out of the way. How her 10-year old son, Austin, would climb down to the floor, push her foot from the gas and press hard on the brakes until the car rolled across several lanes of traffic and came to a stop near a Saturn dealership.

Carter spent three days in the hospital and underwent weeks of medical testing. She searched for and found the couple that helped her. She even appeared on several televisions shows and in an AJC story. It was an emotional time, said Carter, and the seizures just wouldn’t stop.

It was hard to shake the anxiety and depression that her condition was bringing to her life. She was a mother of young children but had limited mobility and her marriage was headed for divorce.

One day, she sat on the swing set in the backyard and resolved to do something to help her find some peace. So she moved an old desk into the laundry room, set up her computer and started writing.

When the kids were at school or at night when she felt she needed to decompress, she was at her computer coming up with characters.

“I remember thinking, I have always been a reader. I thought about all my favorite authors and I thought about what I liked and didn’t like about certain books,” said Carter. “I said I was going to write the way I want books to be.”

Initially, no one knew what she was doing. But gradually she would print out her pages, roll them up with a rubber band and share them with neighbors.

In 2002, she began working on her second book. This time she did a lot of research. She visited a warden at the prison and an inmate on death row. She went to the Fulton County Examiner’s Office and began networking.

The process got her out of the house and lifted her mood. She began outlining her stories using sticky notes and story boards. Though she was in and out of the hospital several times with health issues, her kids were thriving and her hobby kept her engaged.

Over time she reconnected with a family friend and after a shared dinner, they married in 2004. Her late husband, Julius Herron encouraged her writing and she began sharing more and more of her manuscripts.

In 2005, she self-published her first book, “No Second Chances,” and threw a big launch party at the performing arts center in Newnan. They made the rounds of book fairs, sold books online and when they traveled they would give away books to people all over the globe and watch orders come in from around the world.

Then the seizures came back.

Julius set up a new desk and office for her. She cried over her old beat up desk but began writing again.

For her next book titled “And The Forecast Called For Rain,” Carter worked with a small publishing house. When the book was released she had a signing at Barnes and Noble and sold more than 200 books. But despite what felt like success, the deal with the publishing house wasn’t a good one. Carter was disappointed and tired.

Her self esteem plummeted.


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“I felt like I wasn’t really a writer,” she said. So she stopped writing for about a year. She began to feel depressed and the seizures started up again. Julius thought it was because her mind was idle. 

Four years ago, when the couple visited a convention for owners of greyhound dogs, they met Kelly Keylon, co-owner of Atlanta Water Gardens. The became fast friends and Keylon also encourage Carter to write again. “You have talent. You do not want to give up,” he said to her.

Keylon was so sure of Kim that he founded Raven South Publishing to publish her books. They had to learn how to run a publishing company from the ground up and learned a lot as they worked with printers, cover artists, and editors.

Carter began tackling her writing again. One story was inspired by a girl’s trip to Biloxi, Miss. During a cemetery tour, Carter spotted a tombstone with a baby lamb on top. It said only, “Baby Belle.” She wanted to learn more about this little baby who seemed to have no family. It was so heavy on her mind, it became a plot twist in her book “Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle.”

It turned out to be the book in which Clara and Iris, the nosey widows who launch a second act as investigators were first introduced. She patterned the two characters after her mother and her mother’s best friend. “Readers love ‘Baby Belle” but I think what they loved the most were those two characters,” Carter said. So she decided to focus a series around them.

“Clara and Iris offer a humor break but they are also very smart women,” she said. She has now finished and just released her eighth book, a historical novel called “Dark Secrets of The Bayou“… A chilling gripping suspense filled historical mystery novel like no other she has written to date.

Soon after the idea formed, Carter hauled Keylon out to Greenville to look at an old RV so they could all take a road trip to do research for her current book release. Carter hopes her readers feel like they know her characters and she loves meeting with fans.

“I love doing book clubs and meeting people who read and hearing what they think about the books,” she said. At the end of the book club meetings, she leaves everyone with a note to send out to someone that has influenced their lives in big and small ways.

Carter also continued her connection to Baby Belle. She and Keylon have donated five large angel statues to the Old Biloxi Cemetery to watch over all of the babies buried there. The Killer Nashville nomination has helped give Carter the boost she needed to continue to reach higher and write the kinds of books that readers want to read.

Kim Carter Visiting Another Cemetery



“I just remain so shocked and humbled that people are reading, purchasing and enjoying what I have written,” she said. “For anyone who is writing and struggling, don’t give up. Just keep doing it even if you are just doing it for the love of writing.” 



NEW NOVEL BY AWARD WINNING WRITER KIM CARTER

Released on Amazon and Amazon Kindle


Dark Secrets of the Bayou Kindle Edition

by Kim Carter (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition and Paperback

4.7 out of 5 stars    39 ratings 5-Star Awarded Book Review by Readers Favorite for “Dark Secrets Of The Bayou”
https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/dark-secrets-of-the-bayou ~ Jan. 2021
Amazing Amazon Reviews!


Visit and Connect With The Author:  WebsiteJoin Author’s NewsletterFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsAmazon,

Book Buzz - Let Us Create Some Buzz For Your Book!!! | Mystery, Suspense –  Dark Secrets of the Bayou by Kim Carter




Cat Welcomes Award-Winning Author Shawna James and Her Two New Book Releases of Her “They Loved Collection.”



Shawna James
Author Shawna James


BIOGRAPHY

Shawna James is an award-winning author & writer. Her debut novel “Despite the Devil” was released in audio, paperback, and hardcover in Spring 2021 as part of her “They Loved Collection” book series. She has received 5-Star awarded book reviews, including a Readers Favorite, and is a winner of the Canada Book Awards, as she quickly began gaining reader fans from around the world.

This author has book two of her collection now at a special pre-order price, titled “As It Should Be,” and releases July 7th, 2021 as the e-book is specially priced for all her reader fans at .99 cents until release day on Amazon Kindle! All Shawna’s books will be available to on Kobo, iBooks. Book one is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many fine bookstores.

Popular for her unique style of writing, sharing real life elements into her fictional drama stories like social and women’s issues, some law and family court issues, with a splash of contemporary and untraditional romance that brings her characters and storylines to life.

Shawna, a Canadian author, holds a masters’ degree in education and works as a university instructor, fueling the bright minds of her students. When she is not writing in her favorite coffee shop or instructing, she enjoys the great outdoors and loves hiking with her puppies. She also enjoys traveling abroad, is an avid reader, and enjoys family time and watching her favorite football games on Sunday afternoons. She calls herself a writer, a dreamer, and traveler. Cat thinks those are all great qualities! She continues to reside outside the Vancouver, Canada, area.

The author welcomes readers, publishers, and agents to visit her Official Author Website for all her author news, updates, new releases and is open to interviews and author podcasts at https://ShawnaJames.com …You may connect with her through her social media: WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazon. You can also interact with her on https://reedsy.com/discovery/user/shawna-james



“They Loved Collection” ~ Books By Shawna James

Despite the Devil


Despite the Devil

by Shawna James now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Despite-Devil-Untraditional-Romance-Collection-ebook/dp/B08L1G7PBF/ also available in paperback, and audiobook!

Published: Nov 11, 2020
Series: They Loved Collection Book One
Contemporary Romance Women’s Fiction Literary Fiction

Book Overview

Stephanie gazed at Andrew’s clean-shaven, long and slender face. His dark green eyes were captivating. His brown hair was neatly combed to the side. His eyebrows were thick and kind of joined in the middle, and his nose looked even sharper from the angle at which Stephanie was now looking at him. Girl, he’s handsome! Stephanie thought, And that accent!

When Stephanie meets Andrew Simmons, she believes she’s found the perfect man: smart, handsome, kind, and athletic. Best of all, the Norwegian former soldier is as interested in her as she is in him. But as their romance begins to blossom, Stephanie learns that Andrew’s past could haunt their life together. His dangerous earlier life may destroy the happiness the two of them share. Will Stephanie and Andrew’s fairytale be strong enough to resist the wickedness from Andrew’s former life?

Winner of the Canada Book Awards!

AND

A Readers Favorite 5-Star Awarded Book Review!


Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite ~ 5-STARS

Despite The Devil is a work of fiction in the women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and interpersonal drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Shawna James. This compelling and emotional tale focuses on the central couple Stephanie and Andrew, whose initial romance seems ideal and a true match made in heaven.

But Andrew has skeletons in the closet from old mistakes, and both he and Stephanie always have one eye on the past, consumed by the fear that it might come to destroy their future. What results is a poignant, romantic, and emotional tale about finding love and fighting for it, with faith and perseverance.

Author Shawna James has crafted a romantic drama that delivers clean content suitable for readers of all sensitivities, and with a deep sense of passion and devotion from its central pairing. More than this, the work smacks of realism thanks to the grounding of the characters and their realistic dialogue. When faced with adversity they react in ways that we as readers can really relate to, and it compels us to go with them every step of the way on their journey.

One of the things I particularly liked about the work was the plot structure, which keeps things interesting as different elements being revealed. We get some great highs and lows as we see how Andrew and Stephanie deal with the bumps on the road. Overall, I would certainly recommend Despite The Devil for its realistic approach to contemporary drama. A well-written work indeed… Highly recommend this read to women.


Another Book Reader and Reviewer Said This About “Despite The Devil”

The story of Despite the Devil is a phenomenal book because it encompasses everything good about literature. It has a brilliant plot, enthralling characters, and an incredibly well-thought-out story that will keep the reader wanting to read for hours on end. Despite the Devil is a unique and special book; it is exceptional for the apparent reasons… that it encompasses everything great about the written word, but it is unique because of the plot. The plot of this novel is unique for the romance genre in my opinion and it reads like a movie, and you can imagine the details in perfect glory!

Shawna James, the author does an incredible job of piecing together romantic elements with exciting and suspenseful moments and seamlessly integrates themes into one book of intrigue. James’ is a phenomenal writer because the author is dedicated to her work as well as passionate. James’ passion for the written word shines off the page and into the reader’s mind; her sometimes lengthy, beautiful descriptions will send the readers mind into visual overdrive, the reader will be able to perfectly imagine every detail the reader comes across and that in my opinion, is a sign of a talented author.



NEXT UP IS BOOK TWO BY SHAWNA JAMES

As It Should Be (They Loved Collection Book 2)


Buy Now on Pre-order for $0.99 Cents Kindle DEAL ENDS ON JUL 07, 2021!
eBook
only.

As It Should Be (They Loved Collection Book 2)

by Shawna James now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Should-They-Loved-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B093RVCNYJ/

Publishes: Jul 07, 2021 Pre-order
Series: They Loved Collection ~ Book Two
Contemporary Romance Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction

Book Overview

Andrew and his wife, Stephanie, thought they had bought their safety and freedom.  Just as they had settled into an idyllic life in Norway, the table turn again, into a living nightmare.  They are forced to move back to Canada and run through yet another convoluted maze.

Upon arriving back to the country in which they met, a man in a blue Jetta begins following Stephanie and their daughters. 

Can Andrew protect his family from the looming threats? 
And who is following Stephanie? 

Even in the midst of difficult circumstances, Andrew and Stephanie stay positive and strong for their daughters, hoping that someday the curse will be lifted. 

Shawna James
Shawna Enjoys the Outdoors



Want to learn more about the Author? Shawna appeared on the fabulous and popular authors podcast “Words With Writers,” The Romance Show a few months ago.

Now you can take a listen to her episode here: https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-8awgt-fe7ace


Episode Eleven Release Date: March 21, 2021 ~ With Author Shawna James.

Get ready to share the love with this month’s romance themed episode! Co-hosts Chris Gorman and Brandi Tanner welcome Lilith Darville, who will share an excerpt from Tate’s Tale, book one in the Sexy Sins Afterlife Retreat Series, and Shawna James, who will read from her novel Despite the Devil, which is part of her They Loved Collection
This episode does contain some language that may not be suitable for younger listeners.







Cat Announces Award-Winning Author Diane Olsen Awarded Her Third Readers Favorite 5-Star Book Review For The Rising Wind Book Series & For Book Three…



Cat is always excited to share my authors news and updates about the books I read and when our authors are garnishing some amazing accolades for their craft as writers, and Ms. Diane Olsen, a dear friend and fellow award-winning author has grab herself another amazing book review by the literary site and book influencers of Readers Favorite! Diane’s new book series of Rising Wind has readers of action/mystery and cross-genres reeling with this book series. And the Amazon Rave Reviews share it.

Diane released book one of the series titled “The Thunder Beings” in Jan., 2019 and it was a hit with readers! They could not wait for books two and three! Well, She has finally released book two of the Rising Wind series titled “Ice and Bone” on May 4th, 2021, as right behind it came book three titled “The Weeping God and The Book of Hope” on May 25th, 2021!

Will give all the readers of Book One to now read both books 2 & 3 to catch up… Lol.

So without anymore delay, here is what Readers Favorite shared about book three, the finale, and about the book series as a whole.

I hope you enjoy learning all about this series and will give it a read and review too! ~Cat Lyon





For immediate release:


Diane Olsen’s new book receives a warm literary welcome.

Readers’ Favorite announces the review of the Fiction – Action book “Rising Wind: The Weeping God and the Book of Hope” by Diane Olsen, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1737204010

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

Reviewed By Scott Cahan for Readers’ Favorite

The Weeping God and the Book of Hope is part three in the Rising Wind series by Diane Olsen. This book is actually a prequel to the first two books, so it’s not necessary to have read those first. The two lead characters, Sage Dalton and L.W., are the parents of the main character in the other Rising Wind books.

Although the characters are different and it is set in an earlier time period, the tone of the book is very similar. This time they discover an ancient text in a Mexican desert tomb that leads Sage, L.W., and a group of fellow explorers to Tibet where they find themselves in the middle of a war. Even with danger at every turn, they still manage to discover secret caves that lead them toward an elusive yet powerful Book of Hope.

The Weeping God and the Book of Hope, just like the other books in Diane Olsen’s series, combine three strong story elements to make for a fun, exciting, and educational read. First, and foremost, her books have a superb cast of characters that readers can easily relate to. They care about each other, work together to achieve a common goal, laugh together, and cry together.

Second, her stories revolve around rare ancient discoveries found all around the world. Much like the great Indiana Jones films, each new discovery comes with an element of danger. Sometimes the danger comes from a person or an organization that wants to keep the discovery for themselves, or the danger comes from the object itself, or sometimes it’s a little of both. The third common theme is an embracing of all world religions.

Religion is somehow intertwined with each rare find that the characters make. I appreciate the way Ms. Olsen always characterizes the religious elements in her stories in a positive light, as the hope of mankind rather than the way most works of fiction portray religion in a negative sense as mankind’s biggest problem. This book is a fun read filled with colorful characters and lots of action.

I highly recommend it for fans of character-driven adventure who like to learn about science, ancient civilizations, and world religions along the way.”

You can learn more about Diane Olsen and “Rising Wind: The Weeping God and the Book of Hope” at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/rising-wind-the-weeping-god-and-the-book-of-hope where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages. You may purchase the books in both paperback and kindle e-book formats here at Amazon today! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09447YQ7F/



DIANE OLSEN ~ Award-Winning Writer and Author

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY


Diane Olsen is the prolific writer & award-winning author of her debut book titled; “Ancient Ways: The Roots of Religion,” a Bronze Medal Winner awarded by Christian Illumination Book Awards and released in 2016. Diane’s debut release of “Ancient Ways” is a thought-provoking informative look at the development and evolution of religion throughout time and a well-considered concept – the idea of a connective thread of monotheistic faith throughout history from the birth of human creation.

Diane now shares her book series titled; RISING WIND with book one released titled “The Thunder Beings” in 2018. Now she has released book two titled ICE and BONE of the Rising Wind Series. Adapted from an original screenplay Diane wrote several years ago, she has now written it within a three-part book series for her readers and fans to enjoy. It is an excellent multi-cultural light Christian-themed action-adventure mystery thrill ride like no other book series.

Diane was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest in Washington. She is an undergrad at Colorado State University Ft. Collins: Pre-vet med, Anthropology, then attended and received her BA and MA at the University of Montana, Missoula: Anthropology, Archaeology, and Paleontology.

She was a Graduate Teaching Assistant for two years. Diane enjoys writing, reading good books, spending time with her family and grandkids, animals, and loves cooking. A few of her favorite books are ‘The Book of Certitude (Kitab-i-Iqan), The Upanishads, and The Great Initiates.’

Follow and Connect with Author Diane Olsen on Social Media and Book Sites! Visit author: WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazon,


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“Presented By Cat Lyon’s Reading Den and “Lyon Literary Services & Consulting”
Are You An Author Needing A Great Marketing Start and Plan for Your New Book?

Then stop by and See How Cat Can Help: https://catlyonsreadingden.com/welcome-readers-and-authors-to-cat-lyons-reading-den-blog-home-of-lyon-media-services-literary-consulting/

Literary Spotlight: Dawn Hill Publishing’s New Author Soleil Collins & a Peek of Her Soon to Release Book of Short Stories~ He Came On A Summers Day…


Book by Author Soleil Collins




Here we go Readers & Visitors!

My amazing UK friends of Dawn Hill Publishing is sharing with Cat an exclusive Sneak Peek of a brand new author they represent and some of the first chapter of her “Coming Soon” new release titled “He Came On A Summers Day.” Dawn Hill has some fantastic authors and writers.

I am confident Soleil Collins is as well. I’m honored Dawn Hill Publishing chose Cat and her readers for this opportunity to have the first preview of Soleil’s which I hear is packed with action, thrills and a splash of romance.

I’d highly suggest you give Dawn Hill a visit as they have more amazing authors, writers, and BOOKS
here: https://www.dawnhillpublications.com/ & make sure you tell them Cat sent you!


Here is more about the book:

“Randi Moffatt, bounty-hunter extraordinaire, is looking for an escaped convict – a pirate.

She goes undercover at a popular seaside bar in San Diego, where her prey is known to have frequented, hoping to catch him.

There, Randi encounters several interesting characters, but which of them is her prey? Or is she going to return empty-handed?”


Important disclaimer: 

Just so you know that the content in this new book follows themes and therefore require you to be above the age of 18. These themes are:

– Profanity
– Violence 
– Sex
– Drugs


An Excerpt From the Short Story: 

Days turned into weeks. Joe still hadn’t cracked a smile at me, although Bob did warm up a little. It was understandable that Joe had turned up his nose at the trash that passed for female companionship. I’d even made friends with few of them, mostly hookers who wanted my help setting up customers or warn them of the weirdos.

The daily ritual of sharing my tips was at the end of each day was my opportunity to flirt without interrupting work. It was nearing spring when I decided that enough was enough. It was a quiet night – a Monday, not that it made a huge difference at a Seattle bar by the docks.

      “What’s up, Joe?” I asked him, fluttering my eyelashes at him as I handed him a roll of bills. “Here’s your share.”

He grunted and accepted it, stuffing it into his front jeans pocket.

      “Is that a roll of bills or are you just happy to see me?” I joked.

Nothing. Not even a derisory curl of his lip, which I knew that he was more than capable of issuing. “Go get cleaned up, why don’t you? You stink.”

      That’s the most he’s said since we met. Progress indeed.



* * * * * *



So, who is Author, Soleil Collins? Let me share a little more about her in her own unbridled words…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bonjour.

Ciao. Namaste. And a big, big, hello to everyone. First off, I’d like to thank Dawn Hill Publications for this wonderful opportunity. I was asked to write an introductory piece about my upcoming series of short stories and a little bit about myself.

I wasn’t given a title for this blog, so I’ve decided it to call it fun facts. Now, here’s a disclaimer. I think they may be fun, but you, the readers, obviously decide and let me know.

Let me start by saying that English is not my first language. In fact, I grew up learning and speaking five different languages. Also, I learned to read and write in four of them. Ironically, I understand only three of them reasonably well. I speak only two of them fluently. And I write really well in only one of them. Guess which one?

I’m a bit of a brat. Middle child, spoilt rotten, not by my parents but by a host of cousins, aunts and uncles who forgave my every prank, laughing at my irreverence, egging me to get even more outrageous. I haven’t changed one bit! I’ve enjoyed classical education in a private school where equal importance was given to extra-curricular activities including sports, drama, debate, elocution and politics. Oh, yes, politics. Our teachers were amazing, liberal and broadminded, and allowing us the same liberties to express our views without fear of prejudice or reprimand. The majority of my life has been split between the US and UK, although I’ve travelled widely. I began writing at an early age, mostly short stories, although they were fairly childish, a queer mix of romance and thriller.

They’re not necessarily my favourite songs. In fact, there are a couple in there that I don’t particularly like. They do, however, have a bearing on the stories themselves, which is why I selected them. Either there’s a scene in the video rendition of the song or the lyrics, or perhaps the story the song is trying to tell. The first of them is a song by Looking Glass about a girl who works in a bar who’s in love with a sailor. The protagonist of the story is Randy Moffatt, a slightly slutty, cage-fighting, foul-mouthed bounty hunter who isn’t afraid of a brawl.

Randy’s smart (like me, I think), physically active and able (unlike me – I’m a little lazy), highly sexed (I’d rather not say), sassy (definitely me) and brazen. Which is why DHP have started a new series titled Brazen just for little me, yay! Brazen is the one word which is truly representative of my writing. Who knows? They may even create a new genre called Brazen.

I hope you enjoy my stories. Please do tell me what you think in Cat’s comment section as we’d would love feedback.

Au revoir. Arriverderci. Alvida, for now.

Sol Collins



And to close is a message from the fine folks of Dawn Hill Publishing:

Yay, it’s finally here! 

We’re so happy that Soleil’s first short story is ready to go. Soleil’s titles can be described as action thrillers with romance thrown in to spice things up. Soleil has already written all 12 so we’ll be slowly sending them out to Cat.
She’s now started working on her first book with us and that will be in your inbox very soon.

Her 12 short stories is a great way to set up her very own genre at DHP. Which is, Brazen.

~Dawn Hill Publishing Team

Interview with Author Marilyn L. Davis Courtesy of Deb at Book Goodies. It’s Where Readers & Authors Meet…



Meet Author Marilyn L. Davis, a tireless advocate of addiction and recovery and an extraordinary writer. Deb from Book goodies caught up with her as her new book, “Finding North: From Addict to Advocate,” has released on Amazon. So I wanted to share this fantastic interview with all my readers so you can learn more about the woman behind the book. 

I just happened to finish reading and gave her a 5-stars! My review is now on Amazon. Readers Favorite thought her book was also fantastic and gave Marilyn a 5-star awarded book review too. 

Give her author profile visit to read the review! https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/finding-north
*Cat*




ABOUT Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate

New in recovery, a chance encounter with Gray Hawk, a 74-year old Native American, showed her that healing would include looking within, taking Steps, and creating a house of healing for other women.

Today, Marilyn is a Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist, recently celebrating thirty-two years of abstinence-based recovery. From 1990-2011, she opened and managed North House, an award-winning residential facility for women.

Before reaching this milestone, she was a desperate woman on drugs, managing rock bands at night, pretending to be okay, but ultimately giving up on herself, losing her husband, children, family, and friends due to her addiction.

This book is that journey.




In-Depth Author Interview With Marilyn L. Davis


Marilyn L. Davis is the author of the memoir Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate. A chance encounter with a 74-year-old Native American helped her find her purpose. From 1990-2011, she opened and managed North House, an award-winning residential recovery home for women.

She is also the Editor-in-Chief at her recovery blog, From Addict 2 Advocate. She recently celebrated 32 years of abstinence-based recovery and is a Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist.

Before her recovery, she was a desperate woman on drugs, managing rock bands at night, pretending to be okay at PTA meetings, but ultimately giving up on herself, losing her husband, children, family, and friends due to her addiction.

Marilyn is widely known for her writing in many literary communities, including her award-winning website, Two Drops of Ink, where she encourages collaborative writing and is the Editor-in-Chief. The site’s writers are poets, problem-solvers for writers and bloggers, as well as those who educate, entertain, and enchant us with the written word. The writers represent different countries, viewpoints, and opinions.

When she is not writing, Marilyn is an avid reader, enjoys gardening and cooking. She has raised two beautiful grown daughters, both in recovery, and is a Nana to four grandchildren. None of her grandchildren have ever seen their mother’s or their Nana use, so maybe the addiction cycle is broken. She resides in an Atlanta suburb with a controlling cat named Jackson.


What inspires you to write?
I am inspired to write as I believe that writing helps us heal. Whether it’s a journal or a memoir that we publish, writing allows us the emotional safety to fully explore our thoughts and feelings.

Since I was a child, I’ve scribbled down words once I understood that those black squiggly lines on a page told a story. I was bullied as a child, and these passages helped me feel better about myself and my isolated world.

I don’t know that it was ‘inspiration’ that helped me create a recovery curriculum for my recovery home. It felt more like desperation. I got tired of saying the same thing, so I decided to write it out. The response to Therapeutic Integrated Educational Recovery System (TIERS) gave me the confidence to start writing at Two Drops of Ink and ultimately write my memoir.

What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
Each of the following authors helps me learn the craft of writing: Joan Didion, Vladimir Nabokov, Roshani Chokshi, Neil Gaiman, Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg, Annie Dillard, William Zinsser, Roy Peter Clark and others.

Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process starts with an idea, topic, or subject that I want to write about, prompted by a conversation, a question from one of my recovery groups, or emails with other writers.

Taking the idea and doing some looping, brainstorming, prewriting, and then creating a first draft complete that phase.

Next, I research the topic, taking into account whether the subject is saturated or is there an aspect of it that I could develop further. At this point, I decide if I’ll write from breadth or width on the topic.

Writing for two blogs, one on recovery and one on writing means there’s always a deadline, and those add incentive to get the writing done.

So the process can be most accurately be described as, “You’ve got to get a post done. Now write.”


What advice would you give other writers?
Advice:
1. Don’t be afraid to write.
2. Don’t call yourself aspiring, soon-to-be-best-selling, or wanna-be. If you’re writing, then you are a writer.
3. Stay with it.
4. Read books on how to improve your writing.
5. Find a website that takes guest posts and submit a post to them.
6. Once you see your writing on a site, let that encourage you to write more, start that novel, write the definitive how-to, or finish your memoir – whatever is your big book.
7. Never throw away your darlings. Keep them in a file and review them monthly. You wrote those for a reason, even if you couldn’t use them at the time.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’d been encouraged to publish Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate by my family, friends, recovery professionals, and writers I’d shown drafts to over the past three years. Fear kept me from publishing it until this year.

However, while procrastinating on publishing my memoir, I also wrote a how-to on memoir writing called Memories into Memoir: The Mindsets and Mechanics Workbook that will be published later this spring.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that traditional publishing will still factor, but with new and emerging platforms for authors, I think we’ll start seeing self-publishing increase.

I published on Amazon and found the experience straightforward. I hired a formatting specialist; my sister is an artist and designed the cover, and I followed the directions once the manuscript and cover were ready.

I also see more diversity in the books that are published. We have lacked diversity for some time. While that may read as “jumping on the bandwagon”, I know that living a counter societal lifestyle in my addiction meant that my memoir did not meet the criteria for certain publishing houses.

I think a problem with traditional publishing is that there’s not a connection to the reader. In contrast, Amazon understands what readers want and takes the time to recommend similar books. While not publishing sites, Goodreads and ThriftBooks do, also.

I also think that print-on-demand factors for the author, reader, and environment, and it would be a mistake to discount those factors when choosing which route to take as an author. Plus, it means not having 75 autographed copies of your book gathering dust in the attic.

What genres do you write?:
Memoir, How to Write a Memoir, primarily non-fiction


What formats are your books in?:
I publish in both eBook and Print


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Sharing Award-Winning Author & Writer Diane Olsen ~New Interview About Her Book Series, Rising Wind as Books Two & Three Release Soon…



INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR – Diane Olsen
Courtesy of Deb of Book Goodies
https://bookgoodies.com/interview-with-author-diane-olsen/



Award-Winning Author
Diane Olsen



About Diane Olsen:

I worked on my first stories and poems up in South Cheyenne Canyon near Colorado Springs, where I was raised. I learned a lot about spiritual life in the mountains while hiking, or on horseback.

Later, I fell in love with Paleontology, Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Montana, and I wrote articles and columns in my spare time. Now I live in Eastern Washington in Kennewick near one of my two dear sons, Andrew and his four boys. My other son Gavin, and most of my family still live in Western Montana.

The stories that come to mind are important to me, and I enjoy sharing them with others. Would that it could be over a cup of coffee, but maybe you will find hope and joy in them without me.


What inspires you to write?

Good question. Truthfully, I guess I felt the need to encourage my sons by becoming more than a wannabe writer, and finish what I started. The ideas for this trilogy came in a single month back in 1999 when my children were small. The stories sat in the back of my mind, coming to fruition in the last few years. I have had some amazing reviews which also inspired me along the way.

Although I have written poems, screen plays, articles and columns; and even a non-fiction tome, “Ancient Ways: The Roots of Religion”, the “Rising Wind” books are my first attempts at novels. I thought that this series would be it for me, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find another two books wanting to speak, if time allows.


What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?

I used to love SCI Fi Anthologies and Clive Cussler. I’ve also enjoyed Tony Hilleman and Diane Mott Davidson, Barbara Daniels Dena and the more I think about it, many others.

I probably don’t read as much as you do. I spend too much time writing, and at my age, there is only so much time left.



Tell us about your writing process.

For me writing is a constant, determined struggle. The reward is when the characters drag me along with them at breakneck speed to help them tell their stories. My favorite part is the editing. I must go over a manuscript close to fifty times, but I learn each time. For me editing never really ends.

I guess I am a seat of the pants writer, though I outline at some point. I visualize my characters, and watch eagerly, as they grow, interact and develop. I do my best to make each chapter sparkle, beginning to middle, and middle to end. Technology and boards elude me.


For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?

I think about the characters or listen to a pertinent song, then, if I’m lucky, a piece of the story unfolds or reframes itself. Once I’m in the story, details, or mysterious side paths reveal themselves.

There are times I need to focus on drawing a more complete picture, especially when beginning a new chapter. Something I still struggle with.


What advice would you give other writers?

Write if you must. Whether for your own entertainment, or for the joy of it. If you are impelled to publish, then be prepared to work very hard to find a way achieve to that goal.

May you be blessed by finding honest help in this process. I was lucky to find wonderful friends to assist me. I was like a deer in headlights – in many ways I still am.



Ancient Ways: The Roots of Religion by [Diane Olsen]
This One Won a Bronze Medal
By Illuminations Christian Awards



How did you decide how to publish your books?

I had published articles and columns when I was younger, but I had ideas for several stories and a non-fiction book that kept nagging over the decades to be completed. Ok, once completed, what does one do with them?

Luckily, I found a marketing promotor (Catherine Lyon) who became my friend. We checked out several possibilities, and evaluated them for our particular needs. She has helped me with all the advertising and encouraged me to learn as much as I can about the details of the publishing process. This education has taken me nearly as long as, and overall, was nearly as expensive as earning my degrees, (LOL.)


What do you think about the future of book publishing?

I am not sure how publishing will be changing over the next few years. I am hoping to convert all of these stories into audiobooks. But I’m sure tales and poetry, in some form, will delight humankind for generations to come.

What genres do you write?
Multicultural Adventure/action/mystery; Non-fiction; Christian.

What formats are your books in?:
Both eBook and Print


You can connect with author on social media:

All Author
https://dianeolsenauthor.allauthor.com/
FacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazon



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award Medal-Winning Writer and Author, Diane Olsen, is the prolific writer and award-winning author of her debut book titled; “Ancient Ways: The Roots of Religion.” Her new release of “Rising Wind: The Thunder Beings” series is now available on Amazon online, Barnes & Noble, and fine online book stores.

Her title of “Ancient Ways” is a bronze medal winner given by Illumination Christian Book Awards” is a thought-provoking and informative look at the development and evolution of religion throughout time and a well-considered concept – the idea of a connective thread of monotheistic faith throughout the history from the birth of human creation.

Now comes her new release titled; “RISING WIND: The Thunder Beings” (Book One a Series.) Adapted from an original screenplay Diane wrote several years ago, she has now written it for all her readers to enjoy as an amazing fiction packed with Action-Adventure, with Native Mystery and Suspenseful elements.

Diane was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado and she now lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and the State of Washington. Diane was an Undergrad at Colorado State University Ft. Collins: Pre-vet med, Anthropology, then attended and received her BA and MA at the University of Montana, Missoula: Anthropology, Archaeology, and Paleontology.

She was a Graduate Teaching Assistant for two years. Diane enjoys writing, reading good books, spending time with her grandkids, and loves cooking. A few of her favorite books are ‘The Book of Certitude (Kitab-i-Iqan), The Upanishads, and The Great Initiates.’ Diane resides in the Pacific Northwest.



Cat’s Friend Rahull Ravi of Dawn Hill Publications is Back With More Marketing Tips & Advice For Us. What is Marketing Non-Negotiables?


Image result for free images of people in marketing meeting

Marketing Non-Negotiables


Essential Rules to Live By:

I wish someone told me there are certain non-negotiables to marketing, before I entered the world of marketing, so I wouldn’t have made a fool of myself. I entered my first marketing role quite a few years ago, and to that job, I brought with me a few misguided pre-conceived notions about marketing.

The most dangerous notion being, assuming I could simply advertise my products on social media from the start. No value offers. No personality. Nothing. I quickly learned that you have offer something, some value, bring your personality to the table in order to increase my engagement, but we’ll get to that later, trust me.

Luckily for you, I made mistakes, so you won’t have to. I’ve improved and honed my marketing skills over the past few years, and I was lucky enough to realise there are a few non-negotiables to marketing.


These are the golden rules to marketing, so pay attention, and make notes:

Content is King:

  • Burn those three words into your memory and repeat it like a mantra every-time you think of new marketing methods.
  • You can learn the intricate ins and outs of Facebook’s Ads Manager and throw a £1000 daily budget into your many split-audiences and split-campaign objectives, but if your content is poor, if you’re using a shoddy image or a video shot with a 2005 Sony Ericson, then your campaign will fall flat on its face. Thud, bang, lights out.
  • Remember to look at the content around you and I don’t mean scrolling on your Instagram feed for 5 minutes and then going back to your Netflix series. I mean, you need to make a proper report.
  • Analyse your competitors, what sort of content do they release, is it visual, is it professional photography or is it digital design? What sort of engagement do they receive? How many social media sites are they on? Which sites are they not on? What sort of value are they providing with their content? Are they missing any areas of value or lacking in detail? These are just a few questions to consider.
  • The final point is key, whatever your competitor is doing wrong is essentially a gap in the market. While you shouldn’t base your entire strategy around it from the get-go, you should pay close attention to it and see if you can fill that gap and provide your audience with the content and value they’re so desperately yearning for!



Provide Value before you Promote:


  • Have you ever spoken to someone in real life who spoke about themselves non-stop and never asked how you’re doing? That’s how a lot of authors look like on Twitter and Instagram. They promote, promote and promote without ever listening to their audience and providing the value that they’re so desperately seeking!
  • It’s simple, provide value to your audience. If you’re an author, you should have a pretty good idea of what sort of advice and help you’d like to be receiving. Writing tips, marketing tips or simply some writing related humour.
  • If you can’t provide advice or help, then just have a conversation and support other authors, be nice. It’s certainly better than aimless promotion.
  • We’re not saying promotion should never occur, it’s most certainly important, just remember to provide some value first, that’s how you draw your audiences attention.

Consistency

“I’m getting no traction; I can’t be bothered anymore” – probably some aspiring author after a few weeks on Twitter. Here’s the thing about marketing, it’s really fun to do, until it’s not. I’ve spoken to a lot of aspiring marketers who have asked me, ‘how do you stay motivated?’. The truth is, I don’t. Some days, I’ve woken up and realised I have to put more time and effort into a channel that has been underperforming for weeks but I just get on with it. I do the work.

I don’t care if my writing or content comes out looking like hot garbage on the first draft, I can always edit it later! Let me tell you, that’s when you really learn about yourself and how far you’re willing to go to achieve your success. Ask yourself are you willing to work even when you don’t want to? Even when you’d rather be watching your favourite Netflix series? Don’t be an excuse generator, be an excuse incinerator.

Consistent posting on your marketing channels such as your blog, Twitter, Instagram etc, is what separates you from a lot of authors. Let me tell you, when you combine consistency with high quality content, and you have a delicious recipe for success.

Don’t believe me? Go to a successful YouTuber’s channel such as ‘Jenna Moreci’, go to her videos and sort it from ‘oldest to newest’. You’ll notice three things:

  • You’ll see consistent posting; most successful YouTubers post on their channel 4 to 5 times per month.
  • With successful channels, you’ll notice, as time goes on, the quality of the content is slowly getting better, the author of the videos is slowly but surely understanding what works with their audience, and what doesn’t work. That only happens when you post consistently, make mistakes quickly and learn with speed of Usain Bolt, not literally of course.
  • You’ll notice the engagement suddenly shoot through the roof, that’s what happens when high engagement, excellent SEO rankings and word-of-mouth all combine.

Consistency is key, there’s no way around it. There’s no secret to staying motivated either, some days you’ll have to grit your teeth and get through it. It’s never as bad as you think it’s going to be.

That’s it. Those are the three staples of marketing. These really are non-negotiables; you cannot avoid the universal truth that’s been laid out for you in this blog post. These three rules alone won’t lead you to glory, but they will be the backbone and foundation of your success.
Who said it would be easy?
Nobody.



Make sure you give Dawn Hill Publications a visit as they have more solid and sound marketing advice for authors and writers here https://www.dawnhillpublications.com/ They represent some amazing authors and a great place for readers to find new books to read!