The Plot Thickens – A Novella
Sémya Slotin Mystery #1.5
By Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Expected Release Date: December 27th, 2013
Polliannah’s side of the story…
When Polliannah Koch met John Allen, she thought that she had finally found her Prince Charming. But when John Allen set his sight on Polliannah Koch Guryev, he knew his days would be numbered if he weren't careful. He had a job to do and the beautiful Miss Koch Guryev was his insurance policy. But things got out of hand and he had to leave London for his safety…but not without her.
Polliannah held her breath and tried to make herself as little as possible. She could see their living room through the bathroom’s mirror but she couldn't make out what they were saying. They were arguing and she knew that it was about her. The man pulled out a gun and Polliannah closed her eyes. Her last memory of John would not be his execution. No, it would be the day he entered her store and caught her dancing, their first kiss or the first time they made love or–
Three shots were fired through a silencer and Polliannah heard the body fall on the floor. She held her mobile and the gun against her chest and started to pray as the man was looking around the rooms. The same prayer she used to do every time she found her mother unconscious and was not sure if she was alive or dead. If there was a God for a hard-core addict like her mother there got to be one for a hopeless romantic like her. Gospodi zashchitit menya … Gospodi zashchitit menya…Today cannot be my last…
Bird Of Prey
on sale at 99 cents
This year has been unexpectedly fantastic for me as a writer. Looking back, there are so many things that have happened on this wild ride, and there are so many people to thank. A year ago, I never would have believed that in 2013, I would publish a novel, get a publicist, hit #1 on a few bestseller lists, sell nearly 5,000 books, and finally land an agent. None of this would have been possible without the help of countless people. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to thank a bunch of people!
Sarka-Jonae, my publicist, has worked tirelessly to get me into the public eye and also to come up with a promotional plan to get IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH on at least one bestseller list for four months in a row! Also, thanks to the entire SJ Publicity crew (Lilian Roberts, Angel Sefer, Carolyn Ridder Aspenson, Jami Deise, Ruth Mancini, Holly Martin) for sharing posts, info and tweets about my book.
Ethan Ellenberg, my new agent, believed in my work enough to offer to represent me, and he is currently working with several publishing houses to get me a book deal.
My husband Matt and my friends, Karen Franklin, Lisa Hart-Gray, Lisa Cook, and Jennifer Kroeger, have helped me by proofreading and working on my cover design. They have all spent a lot of time and energy working with me on proper grammar, plot flow, and striving to make my books an easy and enjoyable read.
Author support groups, especially Chick Lit Goddesses on Facebook. We help answer each other's questions, cheerlead, and promote each other, and have a great time doing it. It's a fun group of ladies.
Dozens of authors and bloggers have graciously let me guest post on their blogs, either during promotions or during my two blog tours. I've also had quite a few interviews and book spotlights on literary websites, online newspapers and magazines, and print newspapers as well. You are all appreciated!
I'm thankful for all of the friendships I've made with fellow indie authors around the world (I'm looking at you, Deb Nam-Krane and Sarka-Jonae!). I love how the Internet has made our world so small that we are able to get to know each other from so far away.
And lastly, I'm thankful to my readers--all of my friends, family, and thousands of people I've never met all around the world for buying IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH and taking the time to read it. Nothing means more than people spending their precious time to allow me to entertain them.
THANK YOU ALL!!!
It's an exciting day for my good friend, Sarka-Jonae! Her debut novel, BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS, is launching today! She got herself a publisher, and she's making her dreams come true! It's a wonderful book, so please go out and get your copy today! Buy links are at the end of this post.
Between Boyfriends was 11 years in the making, and finally on 11/11 Booktrope is launching the chick lit novel.
Book Title: Between Boyfriends
Author: Sarka-Jonae Miller
Genre: Chick Lit, New Adult
Release Date: November 11, 2013
At first glance, twenty-one-year-old Jan Weston has it all: a gorgeous boyfriend, fun friends, and wealthy parents who take care of all those pesky credit card bills.
Then her boyfriend dumps her, her friendships fall apart, and her parents cut her off. Suddenly without money, without a man, and without a plan, it's time for Jan to grow up.
Determined to get her life back on track, Jan decides it's time to make it on her own. Can she find her way as a single lady in San Diego? Can she fix her friendships, her job prospects, and her hair? And can she keep her vow that she'll never date again, even after she meets a guy who just might be perfect for her?
BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS is a sexy, hilarious story of living life, finding love, and growing up... but not necessarily in that order.
Praise for Between Boyfriends:
"This book is the ultimate chick-lit read--a light-hearted romp focused on the travails of Jan, a college student dumped by her boyfriend, an SDSU student. The moment proves an epiphany, as Jan resolves to stop dating and find fulfillment as a single woman." - East County Magazine
Between Boyfriends "presents a unique twist on the chick lit genre." - Hollywood & Vine magazine
"Over the course of the book, Jan, who is in her early 20s, begins to grow as a person and even strikes up a true friendship with a man, a first for her." - Rancho Santa Fe Review
"Cut off by parents? Not got a boyfriend? That's the formula for a chick lit hit." - Indie Author Land
"The book teaches both subtle and obvious lessons about friendship, relationships, responsibility and decision making." - The Masquerade Crew
"Between Boyfriends is a delicious slice of chick-lit! Snappy dialogue sets this story apart from the pack as it follows a young woman who, financially cut off by her parents when she fails to attend school, learns that life is more than her Amex card, and reunites with a mother who has endured her own brand of pain." - Jan Moran, bestselling author
"BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS is a great read. It's got everything you'd expect in a chick-lit book: good friends, fun, and a little romance, but the thing Sarka-Jonae adds to this story is a journey." - Caroline Fardig, bestselling author
Sárka-Jonae is a novelist, publicist, and journalist, among other “ists” there aren’t room for. Her novel writing career began with Between Boyfriends, an edgy chick-lit book for women who’ve been ”between boyfriends”, which is much cooler than being single.
SJ is a graduate of Syracuse University. Before writing full-time, she was a personal trainer and massage therapist, helping people tone up, slim down, and chill out. In her free time, Sárka-Jonae loves to dance in flash mobs, in music videos, on speakers, or at home in her underwear. She practices kung fu and yoga, was briefly a Buddhist nun, and travels extensively for ”research”. She’s a huge animal lover and has been vegan since 1999. She’s committed to respectfully unveiling the truth about the horrific way factory farms abuse animals. SJ lives in San Diego with two cats and two dogs.
Social Media Links:
I have the most wonderful news to share with all of you--I just signed with a literary agent! I am now officially represented by Ethan Ellenberg of The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. I still have to pinch myself to realize that it really did happen!
So what's next?
My agent will begin the process of selling my series to a publisher. With any luck, that will lead to a book deal, and I'll be a traditionally published author! Right now, I've got my nose to the grindstone, proofing my manuscripts, writing synopses, and tweaking my bio. For now, though, IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH is still available through all of the normal channels.
Thanks to all of you for your support and well-wishes! I will keep you posted on our progress!
She is running a giveaway as well:
Have you ever encountered a “serial datist”? Share your experience and stand a chance to win a free ebook copy of The Blog Affair. Email your comments to email@example.com!
GUEST BLOG POST:
Creating Male Characters in Novels
As a writer, I must admit that I’ve always been more comfortable creating female characters than delving into the minds of the male characters in my books. This is because, as a woman, I find it easy to create realistic female characters. However, getting inside the mind of a man is a completely different story.
Of course men and women are human beings before anything else, and human nature is well… human nature. However men and women also have many differences, and recently I’ve been reading a number of books about these differences. One such tome is Dr. Marianne J. Legato’s Why Men Never Remember & Women Never Forget where she writes about the nature and importance of the differences between men and women and how we really are wired differently physically, emotionally and mentally.
This means, as a writer, I need to ensure that my male characters think and act like men! I don’t struggle to write about a male character’s actions, as it’s easy to observe and describe those from an objective point of view. But I do hesitate when I’m about to write a male character’s innermost thoughts down on paper. I’ve asked my father, brother and an assortment of male friends in the past to read my manuscripts in order to let me know whether I’ve created realistic thoughts for my male characters.
Writers as a breed are interested in what motivates people - their thoughts and feelings, and how they process their experiences, and being able to capture this in authentic detail in a novel, I would say, is the aim of most fiction writers.
Overthinking such things can lead to stilted attempts at creating characters of the opposite sex, however, so sometimes it’s best to take a risk, rely on instinct, and trust that if what you’re writing makes sense to you as a novelist, it’ll strike a chord with your readers as well.
In my latest novel, The Blog Affair, my main female character sets up a blog in an attempt to analyse the shortfalls of men that she calls “serial datists”. Here is an extract from her blog:
…A PLACE FOR YOU TO POINT OUT YOUR VIEW
The first time I ever met a serial datist, I was nineteen years old. At that age, I wasn’t capable of recognising the warning signs of this particular species of the human male. Needless to say, I got burned. Badly.
Serial datism is a concept I’ve been pondering recently. And it’s something I hope to examine in this blog. Any comments from readers are welcome, therefore, as I attempt to shed light on a variety of the dating male that has me completely bemused.
The best way to do this, I’ve decided, is to debate in an open forum—where I, and any other participants in the discussion, can flick on the switch, in a manner of speaking, and illuminate the matter.
I attract serial datists, and so it is perfectly fitting that I should introduce this topic into cyber space. But this doesn’t mean I’m an expert at identifying them. You see, the tricky thing about serial datists is that they aren’t easily defined.
They come in many shapes and sizes and forms, and they may even mutate! They can start off in one form and end up in quite another shape and size within a small space of time. And therein lies their danger.
Okay—to introduce myself. I’m Penelope (well, that’s one of my names) and this blog is called Penelope’s Pantry, because like Penelope from ancient Greek mythology, I’ve had loads of suitors in my life.
And the pantry part? Well, a pantry is a dark storeroom, and this is where I hope to stockpile my thoughts and feelings and emotions. On neatly stacked shelves, of course. I’m a fanatically neat person, and like things to be tidy.
So let’s start at the very beginning (my ordered mind demands this) with a definition of a serial datist: He is a male who, like a bee, goes from one woman to the next, landing on each female blossom for a short period of time. When he leaves, he stings them.
But unfortunately, unlike a bee, a serial datist doesn’t die after he stings. He goes on to sting again and again, and the only way to kill him is to swat him, or stomp on him with your heel. Or leave out a bowl of sugared water in which he can drown. But, on second thoughts, I think the latter technique is for ants....
Be that as it may, before anyone starts wondering whether I’m a convicted killer, I hasten to assure you I am not. I’ve certainly felt a strong desire to stomp on the various bees that have entered my life, but fortunately for these creatures, the thought of killing causes me to break out in hives. Therefore, it is only a fantasy I have indulged in from time to time.
Now that we’ve cleared up the fact that I’m not a murderer, I would like to point out that the bee who delivers his nasty stings is the real killer in the scenario. Why? Well, it’s obvious. He kills your feelings, and leaves your emotions bleeding to death. Some more pedantic readers out there might point out that bee stings don’t cause you to bleed. So what—I’m using it in a figurative sense.
But, and here I’m not being figurative at all, bees can make you swell up. Besides the fact that their stings can cause you to comfort-eat, it is possible to develop a life-threatening allergy to them. And I’m afraid that’s what’s happened to me. I am allergic to serial datists AKA bees AKA Emotionally Unavailable Men.
But I’m jumping ahead of myself. That is simply one of the categories of serial datists. According to my calculations, there are at least four others.
Allow me to list them:
1) The afore-mentioned Emotionally Unavailable Male
2) The Wannabe Player
3) The Commitment-Phobe
4) The Bad Boy
5) The Misogynist (before he finds a woman to control)
I will be examining each category in more detail later. But in the meantime—any comments from readers on what I’ve already expounded are most welcome.
Posted by Penelope on Tuesday, July 8 at 08:32 p.m
Twenty-something South African Emma Bradshaw has a pattern of falling for unsuitable men and starts a blog about these so-called “serial datists”. Her search for new beginnings takes her to Cape Town, where she gets a job working for sexy author, Nick Reynolds. Romance with her boss is a no-no, but slowly, Nick works his way around her defenses. Trust him, or not, especially with her awful track record with men? When an anonymous male reader of the blog challenges her on her ideas about the male species, Emma realises she must confront her past and find her true self before she can move forward...and love can blossom again in her future.
Alissa Baxter was born in South Africa, and grew up with her nose in a book on a poultry and cattle farm. After school and university, where she majored in Political Science and French, she published her first novel, The Dashing Debutante. Alissa travelled to London, England, and did an odd assortment of jobs while researching her second novel, Lord Fenmore’s Wager, which she wrote after she moved back to South Africa and settled in Durban. Alissa then relocated to Cape Town where she wrote her third novel, Send and Receive, before moving to Johannesburg, where she currently lives with her husband and son.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
The final stop on my worldwide Blog Tour is the farthest away from where I live--Australia!
I'm visiting Monique McDonell's author blog for an interview.
And thanks again to all of the wonderful authors and bloggers who have hosted me this week--it's been a blast!
Romantic Suspense Bestseller "Spellbound in His Arms"
is on sale for only $0.99!
My author friend Angel Sefer's exciting novel “Spellbound in His Arms” is on sale for $0.99 “Spellbound in His Arms” was awarded the “Crowned Heart” Award for Excellence from InD'tale Magazine. In this novel, Angel Sefer interweaves with an amazing skill, mystery, danger, romance and a lot of unexpected twists and turns.
It's a great read! Get your copy today!!!
Buy on Amazon
Buy on B&N
Buy on Kobo
A mansion full of secrets…
From the moment investigative reporter Jackie Alexander steps foot inside the mansion dominating the Demiris estate on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, her suspicions are on high alert. This is no ordinary assignment… The life of her beloved cousin, Aphrodite, is in grave danger, as the heirs to the incredible fortune of Greek tycoon Andreas Demiris die one after the other, under mysterious circumstances…
A man with secrets of his own…
The only person who can help Jackie is Michael Apostolou, former Special Forces Officer and one of the finest detectives on the Athens police force. Soon enough though, Jackie realizes, that despite her simmering desire for him, she can’t really trust him, as the seductive detective seems to be investigating those mysterious deaths for reasons of his own…
Trusting the wrong person can be deadly…
Jackie and Michael are forced to work together, but the suspicions and unanswered questions are devouring them, just like their rising passion for each other. In games like this, the stakes are high and the players are ruthless… When Jackie is kidnapped by the most dangerous player of all, time is running out, as Michael is forced to choose between jeopardizing his mission and personal quest for justice, or the life of the gorgeous intruder of his heart…
About the Author:
Angel Sefer was born in Athens, Greece. She has studied and worked on both sides of the Atlantic. She holds a degree in Economics, and divides her time between the corporate world and her true passion: reading and writing romance, mystery and adventure novels.
She lives in Athens, Greece, with the two loves of her life – her son and her husband – and her wonderful and supportive family.
Angel is a member of several writers groups.
My blog tour has two more days left, and today I'm in the UK:
Zanna Mackenzie blog, where she interviews me with some great questions!
Thank you, Zanna!
I'm also being featured today on Peoplereads, and their Twitter followers have been awesome about getting the word out!
Special thanks to my girls at SJ Publicity, who have been tirelessly Tweeting, posting, and otherwise cheering me on during my promotion, especially my publicist Sarka-Jonae, who wrote a glowing introduction for my book spotlight on her blog here.
Happy Tuesday, all! AND IT'S ALSO "CAPS LOCK DAY"! Who knew we needed a day to celebrate shouting at people over the Internet?
Anyway, I'm making two stops today on my blog tour:
Chick Lit Goddess, where my fellow goddess Isabella Louise Anderson interviews me
Between Boyfriends blog, where my publicist, Sarka-Jonae has given me a book spotlight in honor of my $0.99 promotion
And, IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH is currently at #12 on the Cozy Mystery Bestsellers list! If you haven't read it yet, it's a great time to get your copy here, because it's only $0.99 for a short time!
It's been a great couple of days! Not only have I had the opportunity to work with some fabulous authors and bloggers, but IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH is back on the Amazon Bestseller list AGAIN! So far it's been #25 on the Cozy Mystery Bestsellers list, and it's also in the top 100 of General Humor and Humor (how those lists are different, I don't know, but I'll take it!). My $0.99 sale goes on all week, so I'm hoping my rank will climb even higher.
Today's blog tour will stop at the following blogs:
Chloe Gets a Clue, where Chloe Carstairs (Billie Thomas's fictional sleuth) interviews me
Lilian Roberts author blog, where my friend Lilian interviews me
Thanks to you ladies for having me on your blogs!
And don't miss my spotlight on Ereader News Today!