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Monday, December 1, 2014

Authors' Cave E-zine December Issue

The Authors' Cave December E-zine is now available! Inside:
  • Author Spotlight: Celia Kennedy, author of Venus Rising and Charlotte's Restrained
  • The 2015 Author Challenge
  • The latest Free and 0.99 eBooks
  • The Authors' Cave Book Club picks for the month, with author videos
  • We unmask Santa Claus!
  • Tasty treats to put your holiday entertaining over the top!
  • Tidbits from The Cave
  • And More!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Amazon: Are You a Needle in Their Haystack?

For most authors, finishing the last page of their manuscript and uploading it to Amazon is a great relief. But the reality is, you've just finished the best part of being an author. Now the hard work really begins. Being your own publisher also means doing your own marketing, and it's the one thing most authors dread more than anything. Let's face it, most authors haven't a clue what to do at this point. Well, have no fear, here I am with yet another great tip that will help you stand out.

Being on Amazon really is like being a needle in a haystack. But many authors make the mistake of underestimating the one thing that readers really do look at: the Author Page. If you aren't utilizing this tool to show off yourself and your book(s), you're wasting a valuable resource. Take a look at this author's page, it's one of the best examples I've seen so far:

Ginger Gelsheimer's Author Page

She has her picture and bio, all of her books are listed there, as well as her 2 audio versions, her blog feed comes through here as does her tweets, she has her video trailers posted, as well as an author video.

Sell yourself and you'll sell more books. If there are 5 people at the Farmer's Market selling apples and they are all strangers but one, who are you most likely to buy your apples from? Yes, that's right, from the one you know. People don't have to know you personally, or even very well at all, but knowing about you can definitely have an impact - one you should take full advantage of.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Authors' Cave Halloween Blog Train - "Buried Alive?" Part 9

Authors' Cave Halloween Blog Train - "Buried Alive?" Part 9 of 11

Welcome to the Authors' Cave 
Halloween Blog Train!

1. Include a picture or video of yourself in a Halloween costume! I don't have a picture of me in a Halloween costume. I was 7 the last time I even wore one :)

2. What is your favorite scary movie? I suppose it would have to be The Exorcist. For it's time it was pretty creepy. I still get a slight chill when I hear that music!

3. What scene from a book or movie scared you more than any other? There is no book or movie that has ever scared me, however, Beneath the Willow by Gemma Farrow really did creep me out, and actually did spook me a little. I think people believe I'm just boasting for her when I say that, but I'm really not.

4. If all of Stephen King's bad guys were after each other, who would win and why?  I can't help but think Carrie and little Charlie would be an incredible showdown. I think that's a bet for Vegas as it would be almost impossible to predict the outcome.

5. Give a Treat! Anyone care for a Lady Finger?



6. Provide an elevator pitch for one of your books! Sometimes the only way to get your life back is to lose it...literally.

7. Blog Train Halloween Story! Members of the train will follow in the order of their cars to complete the following Halloween story. Follow the train to see how the story goes and to get to know some new authors!

Buried Alive?
This is Part 9 of an 11 part story. If you are coming into it at this point I urge you to go to to read it from the beginning. 11 authors took part in this story building, and it's been fun to see everyone's additions as they've put their own spin on it and moved the story forward!

The fierce struggle that ensued was almost more than I could bear. Though I never actually felt pain from the scuffle going on inside me, my body jerked uncontrollably from the fight. This was complete madness, a living nightmare at best! Once again my mind began to retreat, unwilling to accept this impossible situation.
"Nurse!" Dr. Moore orders complete sedation.
Thankfully, I felt the world begin to slip away.

"Damn!" Dr. Moore mutters as she paces the small room. "We've got to figure this out. She'll be no good to us as a test subject if we have to keep her sedated just so those other two won't be locked in an endless battle."
"Perhaps you could try reversing the procedure?" Nurse Hatchette says. "I know that you all have doubts it will work, but most of you never thought it would succeed this far, either."
Dr. Moore nods absently. "To be honest, I don't see any other way around it. It's that, or this is all we'll have for a test subject," she says almost bitterly as she gestures at her useless patient.
"You've finally done what doctors the world over have been trying to do for years: real resurrection!" Nurse Hatchette exclaims. "Your research is on the cusp of what was once unimaginable - a feat, until now, only afforded to God. It's worth the risk, Dr. Moore! If we lose her during the extraction process, I have complete faith that you will be able to capture her soul again, and if not her, another one. You simply can't let this stop you now."
Dr. Moore nods slowly. She was so very right. This was not the time to settle for minor victories, she had to move forward or someone else would pick up where she left off, and no doubt triumph. She couldn't let that happen. This was her life's work, she wasn't about to abandon it now.
"Very well," she says firmly, "get the lab ready. I will not allow this to hinder my progress. We'll start the extraction in one hour."
Click here to move on to the next blog train car and carry on with this story:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Authors' Cave Ezine - Halloween Issue

Authors' Cave has published their first Ezine for authors and readers! We're pretty proud of it, and look forward to many future issues loaded with great reading entertainment, author videos and book trailers, FREE and 0.99 books for the month, writing tips and resources, and so much more. Have a look, I think you'll love it!

Don't miss my articles on the most haunted graveyard in the world, and the most haunted town in America!

Download here to read later, if you'd like. Please G+ and share this great content with your friends. Thanks!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Ultimate Social Marketing Tool

The post I did a month ago: Social Marketing - The One Thing You Should Never Do, made me take a hard look for an even better way for Indie authors to market their books. I belong to a group of 1800 authors, so I used them for my research. So many of the books that all these authors have written are really good, so why were some selling much better than others?

Here's what I found:
The authors that were having the most success were indeed doing things that lesser selling authors weren't. The most successful authors had book trailers for their books, they all had a website that they actively kept up, and many had a blog that they kept up with at least once a week. They didn't spam social groups with links, but actually participated - however lightly, on a regular basis with most of them. They entered book contests, and were quick to take advantage of anything that resulted in free exposure such as joining certain book clubs.

Yes, I said book clubs :) Author/Reader book clubs aren't a big thing yet- I call them the best kept secret of the Indie world, so if you haven't joined one yet, you have no idea what you're missing. You can find one here  You do have to be a general member of Authors' Cave to participate as an author, but it's FREE to join and the benefits are great. You really should get in on the ground floor of this.

With this extra knowledge, I felt there must surely be a way - an all-inclusive way, to tie it all together. Oh, indeed there is! After intense searching over the past 2 months for what would be the ultimate social marketing tool, I, along with my 2 associates at  have devised an all-inclusive marketing strategy.

As an example, here is the Media Kit that Ginger did for The Dark Days Series she wrote with her daughter, Taylor. As you'll see, it contains:
  • All 4 books and their blurbs
  • Introductions to her main characters
  • An excerpt from Book 1 of her series
  • The series video trailer
  • An excerpt from the audio book
  • The author bio
  • All her social media links
  • And buy links for each book

Imagine, one link that would say all you could ever want to prospective buyers about your book(s), in an attractive layout, with all the buy links, and social media connections. It's no secret that magazines are very popular. Why? Smart marketing people know how to layout the contents with eye catching pictures and text on articles that draw readers in. Digital Magazines are even more popular.Video trailers are great, but with this you can achieve equally great results at a fraction of the cost.
With unlimited colors, text, graphics, as many pages as you need, and the ability to place video and audio in your marketing kit, the seasoned marketing experts at Authors' Cave can put together a media kit for your book(s) that will vastly improve your chances of enticing readers to buy your book(s)! You'll have a link you can post to readers and groups, the code to embed the actual eZine on your website and blog, and can also download it to share as you will.
To get the marketing experts at Authors' Cave working on your ultimate marketing kit, email a representative at

Friday, August 22, 2014

Book Review: Old Bony Blue Eyes by Lita Burke

Wizard Kadmeion’s magician-for-hire business has improved, plus the harpies and certain fey-folk flourish under his magical care. All is well until a dragon named Lady Betrayal summons him.
Kadmeion owes the dragon a favor. He agrees to fetch the book Dragon Lore and cast its spells for Betrayal. Career-enhancing magic fills the book. If Kadmeion acquires it, then his reputation will bring wealthier customers.
Dragon Lore has a deadly guardian. To help their quest, Kadmeion, Bright, and Furgo first enlist the help of Luck, who they discover is no lady. Then they must convince the bickering egos of War to give them a weapon. The last task is visiting Death’s library, where a wizard may check out the Dragon Lore and keep it until the end of his days.
The problem with visiting Death’s island is coming back alive.
A wizard may roll dice with Sir Death for a safe return passage or fight his way out. Even with Luck and War helping, Kadmeion might not succeed. Despite their cleverness, Death’s blue eyes might be the last thing the wizard and his friends ever see.
      This was a fun and entertaining read. It was my first book in the Genre of Clockpunk Fantasy, and I was really pleasantly surprised. There is strong character and world building here, and the subtle humor of some of the situations had me smiling often. I liked Bright, and I think I will equally enjoy the next book in this series, Glitter Ponies, where more of Bright's heritage and his own family ties will come into play. Wizard Kadmeion is a colorful character, but the author almost had me in tears when he looses something very dear to him.
       Lita Burke attention to detail will wrap you up in this story right away. It's very obvious that she is well versed in magic, as well as steampunk and clockpunk. Though this was Book 3 in the Clockpunk Wizard Series, it stood alone very well. I never felt lost, nor was I left feeling like I was missing the bigger picture because I hadn't yet read the first 2 books.
This story is cleverly told, and well written. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good fantasy read. You can find all three books in the series by clicking the books below. I also highly encourage you to follow the link to the author showcase for an in-depth interview with Lita Burke. It's very interesting! See her Author Showcase here.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Are You Embarrassing Your Characters?

Your characters. After living every detail of their lives over the course of months, or even years, they easily come to mean more to you than words on "paper". You take such care in your main character's descriptions, but after some of the books I've read the past couple months, I have  to wonder just how much thought went in to naming them.
Character names have now made my small list of writing peeves. Many names evoke visions of certain characteristics, and can really help in giving your readers an even greater sense of your characters. It's not uncommon for authors to shorten names, as well, just as we do in real life. This is where the horror of it all comes into play.
We can expect that a name like Alexander would be shortened to Alex, or even Lex. Isabella easily turns into Izzy or Bella. But why, for the love of God, would anyone shorten Kelly to Kel, Nelson to Nel, or Cary to Car?
I'm old enough to have listened to a classic song by Johnny Cash called A Boy Named Sue more than a few times, and while I've yet to come across a book that actually has a male character named Sue (thankfully), some of the names I've seen haven't been that far off from being an embarrassment to the character having to suffer with it.
This post is simply a reminder on behalf of all the characters currently hanging their heads in shame, and for all those standing in line waiting anxiously- and a bit fearfully, to be named, please, use as much care in the names you choose as you do with their descriptions.
Because names really do matter :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Author Showcase: Lorrie Farrelly

Lorrie, thank you for joining me!

Q. Reading your bio, you've had quite a varied and interesting life, and I can see just from reading Dangerous where you've brought some of that experience into your book. Have you been able to draw from your life experiences in your other books?

A. Two of the biggest loves of my life, both at home and through work, have been kids and animals. I’ve been so fortunate through teaching, working with exchange students, and working at Disneyland’s Circle D Ranch, to have had the chance to get to know literally hundreds of wonderful (and, yes, even a few not-so-wonderful) kids. And I’m even more blessed to have had my own at home – although not quite so many! I don’t think I could write a story that didn’t have kids and/or animals in it.

I enjoy writing westerns because I so love them. That love is a gift from my dad, who used to tell me (with a completely straight face) his tall tales of riding shotgun with Wild Bill Hickok. He also loved road trips, and somehow Tombstone, Bodie, or Buffalo Billl’s gravesite always turned up on the tour, even if we were driving from Seattle to Vancouver!

All of my stories have at least a touch, and sometimes much more than a touch, of the paranormal. Growing up, I was fascinated by the work of such incredible writers as Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson, Ambrose Bierce, and Shirley Jackson, not just in print, but on television as well. (I still get delicious chills remembering Charles Beaumont’s and Jerry Sohl’s creepy “Talking Tina” doll on The Twilight Zone, to whom spooky Chucky owes a very big debt: “My name is Talking Tina, and I don’t think I like you.”)

And most important of all – and the reason all my stories have such strong romantic elements – is the love and devotion of my husband, Wally. He’s been by my side since we were little more than kids, and if I’ve been able to capture in words what true love, passion, and great heart really are, it’s because he has shown them to me every day, and in so many ways.

Talking Tina! Oh my, that was a creepy one! Ok, from your answer above, I can see why your books are so rich and varied. Excellent insight you've given us all, thank you!

Q. Many writers end up getting inspiration for plots in rather unexpected ways. Was there anything in particular that sparked inspiration for writing Dangerous- or any of your books?

A. DANGEROUS came about because I happened to see a segment of the old Rescue 911 TV series. It was not a reenactment, but an actual video taken at the scene (and still available today on YouTube). When a pregnant doe was struck by a car on a Southern California freeway, several motorists and a passing Highway Patrolman stopped to help. As it was clear the deer was suffering and could not survive, the officer did the merciful thing and put her down. He then walked away, obviously very emotional. A few moments later, however, sadness turned to hope when a fawn was delivered. Named “Freeway,” the little fawn was taken to a wildlife preserve, where she thrived. I was so moved by that incident, I knew I had to write a story that incorporated a similar event. That story became DANGEROUS.

Q. Wow, that is incredible. I never saw that series but I'm going to watch that one on YouTube! Are you writing full time, or do you have a day job, as well?

A. I no longer teach full time, but since we have a very busy household – including a 20-month-old toddler and five animals – my time for writing is more part-time than full-time. Recently, I’ve been writing short stories, which seem to better fit my current, slightly scattershot, opportunities to sit down and concentrate. One of my stories, THE SHERIFF OF HEL’N GONE, will appear this fall in Prairie Rose Publications’ Halloween anthology, COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO.

Q. They say you can't force creativity. Do you have a strict routine you follow when writing, or just let it come to you?

A. I have to let it come to me. I don’t seem to have much choice, as that’s the only way writing has ever worked for me.

Q. I'm the same way. Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you wrote your first novel?

A. Nothing. Everything was a learning experience, and one of the most important lessons I learned was that I needed to take independent control of my own work if I was to have a satisfying creative life.

Q. I couldn't agree more. Despite the mistakes we make, sometimes, there are valuable lessons that must be learned. With 6 novels to your credit, what can your fans expect to see next?

A. Right now, watch for my short stories and novellas through Prairie Rose!

Q. If you could give only one piece of advice to aspiring authors, what would it be?

A. Read, read, read! The more a person reads the work of terrific writers, the better he or she will write. It’s from reading that we intuitively learn structure, pacing, the flow of language, the art of writing. Of course, knowing the rules of grammar is absolutely basic. Make sure work is proofread and carefully edited. But most of all, read!

Q. I agree, it really does help! Is there anything you'd like to say in parting?

A. It was such a delight to talk to you today, Chameleon. Thank you so much for inviting me!

Lorrie, thank you! I look forward to reading more of your works!

Social Marketing: The One Thing You Should Never Do

One of the biggest mistakes I see new authors- and some not so new, doing is bombing every group and community on Facebook and Google+ as soon as they have a new book out. It's truly the equivalent of showing up to a party as a casual guest, having a bad attack of gas in the middle of the room, and slipping quietly away before everyone can start pointing fingers. Chances are really high you'll not be invited back. Chances are really high that you'll also get banned from half the rooms you book bomb the first time, and banned from the other half the second time you do it.

Social marketing can work if you use it properly. But it does take more time and effort than bombing, and that seems to be something too many authors aren't willing to give up. You really need to assess your goals. If your plan was to make money- maybe even a living at it, you'll have to take it a bit more serious than throwing flyers to the wind and hope the right people pick one up and actually read it. I assure you, having 100 people pay attention to your posts will be far more effective than 1000 people who roll their eyes in irritation and keep scrolling to find the interesting posts on their timeline.

There is more than one formula to this, but here is a fast, basic one that will get you going in the right direction at least:

If you haven't already (and you probably have), get a Twitter account, a Facebook account,  a Google+ account, and a Goodreads account. If you don't have 2 1/2 hours to spare 3 times a week on these 4 accounts, just stop here and go back to walking around in the dark. If you can spare the time, keep going.

Twitter: everyone has at least 2 or 3 friends, some have hundreds, but for now, just add the friends you do have. Seriously don't have any friends, or maybe they aren't on Twitter? Move past this step for now, we'll come back to it.

Facebook: Choose 3 groups on Facebook to belong to. I know, there are thousands, how does one choose?! Exercise restraint here or you'll fall back into your old bad habits. You're an author, yes? There is little sense in talking to other authors about your book. You need readers to buy it, and hopefully review it. Don't get me wrong, authors read plenty, and you'll want to join one of these groups, just make sure that 2 of your groups are readers. One group I highly recommend on Facebook is this is an excellent author group for getting answers to just about any question you can ask about writing, publishing, and marketing. You can also get sales and reviews for your book. Over 1900 members- many with 2 - 7 books to their credit.

Do not, under any circumstance, post your book with the buy link unless you're asked to in the reader groups. Engage people, talk about other books you've read, comment on posts other members make as they speak about books they've read. Offer your advice- as an author, on books they are talking about IF you've read the book. This doesn't require you spending 2 hours in the room. Just make some comments, maybe a post here and there. Let people get to know you. It won't take long at all for people to ask what you've written, and that's your in. That gives you total permission to tell the whole group what you've written. BUT, be careful. Don't take that as an invitation to bomb the room freely. Trust me, it only takes once or twice for everyone to see it and your job is complete here.

Google+: The rules apply here pretty much as they do for Facebook. Don't hesitate to use the same restraint. Friend people that have similar interests as you, and not just about writing. Many will friend you back. Make your posts anecdotal and interesting, or post information you come across on the web that people may find useful, or at the very least humorous. It's the best way to get shared and +1'd. Post about your book once in a while- especially if you are having a free giveaway, or a .99 cent sale.

The author group you'll join on Facebook and Google+ will be where you'll spend more time than the reader groups. It's here that you'll build your network. Many authors have a network of friends, co-workers, family, and just general fans of their work, or of them. Once you follow as many of these as you can on Twitter, your own following will bloom like crazy. But don't just bomb Twitter, either. The more interesting you can make the header of your post, the more likely people are to retweet your tweet.

Goodreads: This one can be a little more involved, but setting up your author page is paramount. Let it sell you. Friend readers and authors on Goodreads and watch your following grow. But just as with the others, make sure you post and comment. Instead of spamming links to your book, make sure your Goodreads author page link is on every post or comment you make. People will be curious and go look.

The bottom line here, in case you haven't figured it out yet, is that you should be selling yourself first. And believe me, that's a whole lot easier than selling your book first. People are simply a lot more receptive to something they are gently led to than shoved in the direction of. If you found this post helpful, please share it with your author friends. Maybe if enough people see it we can significantly cut down on the gas bombs that go off in social rooms all across the web constantly :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Authors' Cave Grand Launch Festival's Newest Passenger!

Authors’ Cave Grand Launch Festival Blog Train - We have a new passenger! Charles Carfagno, Jr.!

Welcome to the Authors' Cave Blog Train!

You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Launch Festival Day!Join us for what is sure to be a blast with the Most Enticing Book Trailer Contest winner announcement, scavenger hunts, giveaways, Google social hangouts, and our kick off for the 1st Annual Authors' Cave Book Awards where you can win $500 cash, a Kindle Fire or Nook, and free promotion of your book for a year at Authors' Cave!

July 22, 2014
(8am to 11pm EST)

Back to the train...Get to know one of the passengers - Charles Carfagno, Jr.!

3 sentences Charles says best describes him -He's a native of Pennsylvania. He's been writing since 2003 and currently writes on nights and weekends. A Demon's Quest is his first book, and he is really excited to share his writing with the world.

   Elevator Speech: Provide 2 sentences to "Sell" your book: A Demon's Quest: The Beginning of the End, is a fantasy novel that weaves together an intricate story line filled with danger at every turn. There are many characters to explore with each playing out their part in this action packed story. 

The first three words Charles would use to describe himself are: Friendly, witty, loyal
I am currently working on this project: Book two of A Demon's Quest.

My favorite thing about Book Review Depot / Authors' Cave...Getting to know other authors and how helpful everyone is.

Thanks, Charles! Here are 3 more books from Authors' Cave my readers might enjoy!

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Stay on the train and follow these authors next! See
how they answered these same questions.

Get to know Shaheen Darr
Get to know Mary Fonvielle
Get to know Maria Greene

Answer to Grand Launch Festival Day Scavenger Hunt Question #3: Train

If you enjoyed this post, please g+ it and share so others can too, thank you!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Author Showcase: Tracie Jules

Tracie, thank you for taking the time to join me!

Q. You are definitely a woman of great talents, how do you possibly find time for it all with five children, three grandchildren, a husband, and a household to run? Just being an author would be challenging enough, but screenwriter, actress, and director, as well? That's amazing!

A. I will admit that my family refers to my housekeeping as OCD. So with that said, yes, I am very busy and I burn the candle at both ends constantly but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love working hard, taking care of my family (cooking is a passion) and cleaning house. Although when I'm editing either my books or my film work I will admit that my house suffers a bit. I had my first child when I was 20, so all of my children are basically adults now. Their ages are 32, 30, 25, 22, and 14.

Ahhh, ok, that does free up a little time, then.

Q. I've read both episodes of LeveL5Cheer, and I have to admit that, although I know nothing about cheerleading, I was hooked! What prompted you to write about this fascinating sport?

A. My daughter has been an All Star cheerleader since she was 11 years old. She made an L5 team when she was only 13 and still cheers to this day at the age of 22. I had been in the industry (film/TV) for some time and when the gymnastics show “Make it or Break it” came out, I realized that there were a lot of the cheerleaders watching this show because there wasn't a “cheer” show on TV. Most the cheer movies didn't represent what actually took place behind the scenes of an All Star team or what it takes to actually make a L5 team and compete in that division. It was based on this idea that I decided to create a web series about real cheerleading and with the encouragement of Tom Townsend I also created the book. I am so glad that I did.

Q. I was a little shocked at how fierce these athletes actually are. When we see them cheer at sporting events, honestly, it looks like a lot of fun, but you show us a behind the scenes look that isn't always so fun. Is it really a lot of blood, sweat, and tears?

A. It truly is and that was what I found was missing from all of the shows that depict cheerleading or the movies that have surfaced. These kids are athletes and they do incur injuries along the way. I have witnessed girls in competition losing teeth to a flyer that came down out of position, then the cheerleader starts looking for her tooth on the mat after the competition. I have also witnessed girls blowing out their knee, breaking ankles or tearing their ACL (most common cheer injury) and continuing in the competition to try and finish their dance. I am not kidding!

At the end of their cheer career is college. Many of these girls and boys will go on to cheer for college but only a few will actually get scholarships. It is a very tough, demanding sport that challenges the athlete to always strive for a new skill either in tumbling, flying or stunting if you're a base. The more gifted the cheerleader, the more opportunities that are waiting around the corner at a D1 school.

Q. From the reactions of some of the parents, it's clear that it's almost as tense and stressful for them at times as it is for their children, maybe even more so.

A. Unfortunately there is the saying in cheer about the “cheer mom” trying to live through her daughter or son. That certainly isn't the case with every child but there are some notorious moms or dads out there. And I believe you have that in every sport, not just cheer. They want their child to succeed, to be the best and some of them will stop at nothing to get there. It's funny but when some of the parents read the book they quickly said they knew a few “cheer moms” like that! I didn't base Patrice on anyone, I just had fun creating her.

Q. Your character building was fantastic, you really eased me right into a connection with them. Are any based on people you actually know?

A. Yes and No. The character Alexa was based on my daughter as she is a tough, fearless competitor but she isn't nasty like that to other cheerleaders, straight forward maybe, but not mean. The inspiration behind Valerie is a beautiful cheer coach that coached my daughter early on in her career and she is sweet like Valerie. For the most part I am a very creative individual that loves to create character's that we somehow see someone we know in them. To me that helps the audience connect.

Q. How many episodes do you have plans for before the electrifying showdown at Cheer World?

A. Honestly to get to Cheerleading Worlds it takes an entire year of conditioning, practice and many local and national competitions to even be considered for a bid. We will follow the cheerleaders to their first national and touch on other local or bid comps as well as get a real, gritty look at what it takes to get that bid. I will keep it as real as possible even though we have made up character's, gyms and competitions.

Q. Something tells me we can look forward to more than one huge upset on that day. Is that right?

A. Just as in life...anything can happen at Cheer Worlds and has happened!

Q. Do you have a release date for LeveL5Cheer, Episode 3, yet?

A. It is ¾ of the way written and I have already outlined Episode 4.

Great! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what the girls and boys of LeveL5Cheer are up to next!

Q. Aside from the next Episodes for LeveL5Cheer, are you working on any other projects we can look forward to in the near future?

A. I directed a web series that I wrote called Spirit Hunters-The Series. Our series aired on local television, ran for two season, and had a following on YouTube. I have already started penning that series as it follows Hunter, a boy who can see and talk to ghosts, and what his life is like when he becomes the new kid in town.

I can see all kinds of scary plot twists coming from a plot like that! Thanks again for joining me Tracie! You can find Tracie's books here:

       Level5Cheer – Episode 1 FREE                       LeveL5Cheer – Episode 2   $0.99

Authors’ Cave Festival Blog Train

Authors’ Cave Grand Launch Festival Blog Train

Welcome to the Authors' Cave Blog Train!

You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Launch Festival Day!Join us for what is sure to be a blast with the Most Enticing Book Trailer Contest winner announcement, scavenger hunts, giveaways, Google social hangouts, and our kick off for the 1st Annual Authors' Cave Book Awards where you can win $500 cash, a Kindle Fire or Nook, and free promotion of your book for a year at Authors' Cave!

July 22, 2014
(8am to 11pm EST)

Back to the train...Get to know the blogger - that's me!

3 sentences about myself: I'm best known as Chameleon- even in "real life". As should be evident by my many posts here, I like to write, but more importantly, I like to help others write even better. I'm no expert by any means, but I do believe that I can help others not make the same mistakes by giving them any advice I can.

Elevator Speech: Provide 2 sentences to "Sell" your book: This is not your typical romance, so if you're looking for a mushy romance, or a mindless screw-fest, this is not the book for you. Though this book starts out innocently enough, it isn't long before bullets start flying, and people start dying. This book is riddled with action, adventure, drama, humor, secrets, and... oh, yes... desire. ~ ooops, that was 3 sentences, sorry!

The first three words I would use to describe myself are: helpful, curious, highly imaginative
I am currently working on this project: I'm working on two at the moment: Masters of the Game, and Reject Ed Childe
My favorite thing about Book Review Depot / Authors' Cave... Like so many before me, I joined Book Review Depot because I needed book reviews, but what I got turned out to be so much more. I gained friends, a vast amount of knowledge and insight, and 2 special friends that turned into business partners in forming Authors' Cave. With Authors' Cave we will be striving everyday to provide authors with everything they need in one place that will help them make their novels the best they can be. For Readers, it will be a great place to easily find books from Exceptional talent. 

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Enough about are 3 more books from Authors' Cave you might enjoy!

Stay on the train and follow these authors next! See
how they answered these same questions.

Get to know Regina M. Joseph
Get to know Pam Funke
Get to know K.T. Bowes
Answer to Grand Launch Festival Day Scavenger Hunt Question #3: Train


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Author Showcase: Scott L. Collins

Scott, thanks for joining me!
Q. Like so many authors, you have a “day job”, and 2 young boys. I'm sure your wife is a huge help there, but how do you balance writing time with family time?
A. This has to be one of the top two hardest things for me to do as an author. Being pulled in so many directions, I’m not able to write as often as I would like, but maybe that’s what keeps it fresh for me. I write when I can. Sometimes that’s an hour a day, sometimes nothing, but I just keep chipping away.
Q. When you do find yourself with quiet time, how do you get yourself in “the zone” mentally for writing?
A. I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on, so I feel I’ve built up a pretty solid imagination. When I sit down to write, my characters are usually sitting around waiting for me to get to work.
Q. All authors seem to have a hang-up, some little something that can throw them completely off their game. What's yours, and how do you get past it?

A. Anyone talking to me is a huge distraction, so I wait until after the kids go to bed, or are off somewhere with my wife, and then I write.

Q. The one writing flaw that gets me every time is the overuse of commas. What writing error do you find yourself doing even though you know good and well it's not right?

A. Commas are difficult for me as well. I think I’m improving, but every time I get a manuscript back from my editor for the first time, I realize I still have a long way to go. I think that’s important though. Not everyone is perfect, and if you can identify your flaw/s, you can improve. I’m sure by the time I’m done with the series, my comma misuse will be substantially more infrequent (at least I hope).

Q. In hindsight, if you could go back and change anything you've done since writing your first book, what would it be?

A. Being more patient. I tend to rush into things. I would love to jump straight into clicking publish as soon as I finish writing draft one. Luckily, I have some important people around me who help slow me down. Critiques, beta-readers, and editors are all very critical to putting out a good product. You’ve created a diamond, why not give others a chance to shine it up for you?

Q. I recently read Scepter, the first book in the Scepter Series, and found it- dare I say, adorable. I really admired the 4 main characters, and even the ones they came across. Who inspired these characters?

A. Well, Daniel and Aidan are loosely based on my own two boys. Some of their antics and personality quirks are straight out of the lives of my boys. Olivia and Lilly? Good question. I guess they’re blends of some of the friends of my boys. It’s cute though, to watch my older boy get all flustered when talking about a girl. I try to bring that same type of awkwardness to some of the scenes between Daniel and Olivia.

Q. I loved the premise of this book, and I was impressed at how natural everything flowed. You could tell that they really did belong in the world you put them in. Mixing mythological creatures and humans in the same world isn't as easy as it may seem, but you did it flawlessly. Was it difficult for you, or did it really come as easy as it reads?

A. I’m very thankful that, thus far, the writing has come fairly easy. I think it’s helpful that I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on, so I have a rather large universe of creatures and monsters to choose from. World building is difficult, but when you’re shown how it should be done by J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling, among others, it makes it much easier to do yourself. I think the hardest part has just been developing the actual characters, giving them their own unique voice. Sometimes I’m more successful than others, to again, good to have beta-readers and editors let you know when your 9 year old girl is speaking/acting/thinking like a 38 year old man. :)

Q. I haven't read The Emerald of Phaunos, Book 2, yet, but my friend, Lex Allen, has graciously allowed me to use part of his Reader's Favorite review to let readers know what he thought. It's a glowing one, and I can tell you from experience it's no easy task getting 5 Stars from Mr. Allen (laugh). From his review, though, it would appear you were able to carry the magic of the first book through to the second. Was the second book easier to write than the first?

A. I think so. My characters have now started to flesh out in my imagination. It’s now just a matter of keeping up with their adventures as oppose to trying to nudge them along.

Q. There are going to be 5 books in this series? What is the next one coming up, and when will that be available?
A. Book three is written. I’m going through my first round of revisions now. I expect to have everything wrapped up late this year or early next year.

Q. Thanks again for talking with me, Scott, is there anything you'd like to leave the readers with?

A. Just to keep on reading!
Great Advice!
You can get Scott's books here:              Scepter                       The Emerald of Phaunos