Thursday, March 31, 2016

1968 Newport Pop Festival

Great read, especially if were a "child" of the 60's era.

The Summer of Love:
A Trip Back to 1968
Louise Hathaway

Before Coachella; before Woodstock; there was the 1968 Newport Pop Festival. Join two sisters as they travel back in time to an outdoor rock festival in Costa Mesa, California. Once again, they hear bands such as The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, and The Jefferson Airplane. They hitch-hike back to their childhood home, see and talk to relatives who died years ago, and even run into younger versions of their husbands. Will they ever get back to the present time?  Will they want to?  Find out in this groovy time travel story.

Five Star and Four Star Reviews. Only $1.99.  Available at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Smashwords, Kobo, and Scribd.

Here's what readers are saying about this book:

"This story is so amazing I didn’t want to put it down afterall who wouldn’t want to go back in time and see loved ones that have passed on. Excellently written this story is an outstanding tale of the 1960’s with such descriptive detail I felt as though I was really there and living it all through the sisters’ eyes. From the festival, the stores, the cars, the house it’s all there. So amazing step into the photo booth take a flashback and relive 1968 once again."

"Great read, especially if were a "child" of the 60's era."

Here's a flyer from the festival (both sides):  
(I was there)

Friday, March 18, 2016

New Romantic Murder Mystery

My husband and I have just finished writing our new murder mystery.  It stars a female homicide detective who has bipolar disorder and takes place in New Orleans.  It is loosely based upon the Bedroom Basher Case about a serial killer who murdered several young woman in their bedrooms in the 1970s.  I knew one of his victims, so it is dedicated to her.  Here is the full description:

In this suspenseful and romantic murder mystery, New Orleans is under siege by a serial killer who’s been brutally torturing women and leaving their dead bodies all over the city. Homicide Detective Yvonne Dauphin must risk her life and sanity when she checks herself out of the hospital after a bipolar meltdown, determined to prove to her boss and coworkers that’s she still up to the job and will not rest until she takes this evil man down. To further complicate matters, she’s hoping to reunite with her ex-husband at the same time she’s feeling a blossoming attraction to a younger detective.

Fighting Demons is available for $2.99 at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords.  It is also available in paperback at Amazon and Createspace.  Here are this book's direct links to each book seller:

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Jane Austen-Inspired Books for only 99 cents

Are you a Jane Austen fan?  She is one of my favorites.  I'm an English Literature Major and, believe it or not, didn't read my first Jane Austen novel until the semester before I received my Master's Degree.  When I announced to my class that I was writing my term paper on Pride and Prejudice, I was surprised by the reactions of my fellow students.  One man dismissively said, "Oh, that's just about a bunch of silly girls who want to get married." A lady in the class said, "I read that in elementary school."  I'm a late bloomer, I guess.
I loved Pride and Prejudice and the 5 sister who inhabit the story.  I'm a middle sister and paid close attention to Mary Bennet, "The Forgotten Sister", as I like to call her.  I don't think Jane Austen was very kind to her and poor Mary was more or less a foil for her beautiful older sisters and silly, boy-crazy younger ones.  There was a lot of room for a writer such as myself to pick up the story of Mary Bennet where Pride and Prejudice left off and show how she develops through the years.  Taking up the challenge, I came up with this novel, "The Forgotten Sister: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice."  It costs only 99 cents today, exclusively at my publisher, Smashwords.  Just use code RAE50 at checkout to receive it for 50% off.  It's available at Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo at its usual price of $1.99.

I've written another book inspired by Jane Austen.  It's entitled "Nonsense and Sensibility: A Modern Austen Variation."  It is a romantic comedy that takes place in modern times.  I've changed the locale from Regency England to Southern California.  I love how Jane writes about the relationship between Marianne and Elinor and Sense and Sensibility was a particular favorite of my younger sister, who recently passed away.  The scene in which Marianne almost dies and her older sister tries to give her the forbearance to keep fighting and not leave her loved ones behind is especially heartbreaking to me.  In my book, I use my experiences of watching my sister pass away, as I noticed the different foibles of her friends who came to visit her at the hospital.  One of her friends set up a "Care Page" so that there would be a central place for friends and family to talk about their visits and provide updates. It was quite the fodder for me to add some social commentary to my book:  the lady who created my sister's care page was very much like Jane Austen's Lucy in Sense and Sensibility and I definitely had her in mind while I was writing my book. I hope you enjoy it.  This book received a very unfair and hurtful review on Amazon, which resulted in my unpublishing it for a few months. I've corrected all the typos that were such a "travesty" to this reviewer and I hope readers will give it another chance.  It is available today at Smashwords for half off.  That's only 99 cents.  Use code RAE50 upon checkout.  It is also available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play for $1.99.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Creating a Book Cover: An Indie Writer's Challenge

With most of the 30 books that my husband and I have written, creating a book cover is the last thing we do.  Before then, we're concentrating on plot, characters, and location.  I know they say, "You Can't Judge A Book by its Cover"; but, unfortunately, the design you pick could make or break your book.  We don't have the $200.00 to go out and pay a professional to create a cover.  Luckily, my husband is a computer guy, and he has come up with some good covers in the past. 

Here's a good example of some of the problems we've gone through when deciding on a book cover. Our book, "The Body on Ortega Highway," is a sequel to our best seller, "Honeymoon in Savannah." It's the last book in the four-book series entitled "The Detective Santy Mysteries."  Unfortunately, this book has sold the least copies.  It has an interesting premise: our homicide detective is the chief investigator in case of the "Hillside Chopper", and in the course of the investigation, she realizes that, not only does she know the killer, she used to be in love with him.  How much danger is she willing to put herself through in order to capture him?  It's based on real events.

It's a psychological thriller about sexual obsession that explores the conflict the killer is going through, so I thought we'd put him on the cover.  Here's our first attempt:

This cover is one of the free images from which writers can choose that are available from Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing Cover Creator. This site also has several templates and color schemes to choose from when placing your title and author name on your cover photo. It's free, so check it out: there are several photos from which to choose.  My husband didn't care for this picture, so we decided that, instead of the guy, we'd focus on the victim.  We wanted to show the perils of teenage girls hitchhiking, which was what the first victim was doing when she was picked up and killed.  One of my favorite pictures of my Mom and her sister has them posing as hitchhikers; so, we used it as our mystery's cover. Then, we thought that it looked too much like the forties instead of the present time.  We decided that it was too whimsical for the subject matter of the book. 

 So, our next attempt at creating a cover was a picture of me actually going out on Ortega Highway and hitchhiking.

I didn't want my face to be recognizable, so I darkened it so much that you can't even tell I'm hitchhiking.  My husband and I sure got some funny looks that day as he was photographing me doing this.

The cover photo that is shown on the top of this post is the current one.  What do you think?  Our book costs only 99 cents.  It's available at Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and Scribd.