Friday, April 24, 2015

Interview with Scott R. Lord, author of 'The Logic Bomb'

Scott R. Lord has been a highly successful criminal and civil trial lawyer for 35 years and is active in the practice of law with the law firm of Cohen & Lord, a P.C., located in the Century City area of Los Angeles. Scott is a devoted student of Italian language and literature. He is the father and step-father of six children and lives with his wife and children in Santa Monica, California.

His latest book is the thriller, The Logic Bomb.

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About the Book:

Fiction collides with fact with frightening prescience in Scott Lord’s ripped-from-the-headlines techno-thriller, THE LOGIC BOMB.

In his exciting debut as a novelist, Lord, a practicing lawyer, mixes shady financial deals, organized crime, and the real-life threat of cyber warfare into an unlikely but always entertaining blend of high
drama and comedy.

Scott Turow, author of the bestselling legal thriller PRESUMED INNOCENT, hails Lord as “a terrific writer. Read THE LOGIC BOMB.”

Kirkus Reviews praises THE LOGIC BOMB as “rife with tense scenes dominated by gleefully unpredictable characters.”

Lord’s hero, Tom Tresh, is a Los Angeles lawyer living on an aging sailboat while struggling to support his seven-year-old son and an ex-wife. When a friend offers him a “huge payday” if he helps with a shady deal to sell a complex but seemingly harmless computer program to a Hong Kong company, Tresh finds himself in a firestorm of intrigue, because the program is actually a powerful cyber weapon, capable of infiltrating and destroying computer systems.

Lord cites former National Security Advisor Richard A. Clarke’s 2010 book, “Cyber War,” as one of the chief inspirations for writing THE LOGIC BOMB. Lord explains that a logic bomb is a type of cyber weapon, a "virtual explosive," that can infiltrate various systems and wreck them.

So-called “logic bombs” actually exist, says Lord, and, according to the best authorities, are already planted in U.S. software programs that run our financial, transportation, utility and – scariest of all – defense systems.

(Clarke’s book) “describes in great detail the types of cyber attacks which we are all becoming familiar with,” Lord explains. “I decided that one of the cyber weapons he describes, a logic bomb, would be an excellent `MacGuffin’ for my story. Now cyberwar is filling the news. Little did I know!”

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Scott.  Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, The Logic Bomb?  

A:  I’ve been writing creatively since I was ten:  fiction, poetry, a play, even an opera libretto.  Once I retired from the full-time law practice of law, I knew I wanted to write a novel that shared some of the stories and insights I had learned during my years as an attorney. 

Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

A:   Thank you, I do, too.  The Logic Bomb fulfills what, for me, are the requirements of a good title:  It sounds good, it excites curiosity and it means something in relation to the subject matter of the book.

Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

A:  I believe that a good novel should entertain the reader.  Reading it should be a pleasure, not a duty. A good novel may also teach you a little something, too.  The books I find myself returning again and again are books that entertain me and that have characters I want to spend time with.  I think that The Logic Bomb is both entertaining and deals with a subject – cyber crime and cyber war – that is very relevant today.

Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author.  What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

A:  Since I am self-published, I have done most of the publicity myself.  I will say that my publisher, Friesen Press, spent hours with me developing a marketing strategy and plan and also helped me create my website.

Q: What book on the market can it compare to?  How is it different?  What makes your book special?

A:  In general, I think that The Logic Bomb fits nicely on the shelf with books by Robert Parker, Scott Turow, Michael Connelly and John Grisham.

Q: Open to a random page in your book.  Can you tell us what is happening?

A:  Tom Tresh is, literally, twenty feet under water at the bottom of the harbor.  He was thrown there by two thugs sent to punish him for his part in the theft of the cyber weapon – the logic bomb – that is the subject of the novel. 

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A:  Absolutely.  I have completed a new manuscript and am deep in the editing process.  I have begun work on a follow-up to The Logic Bomb and hope to have it completed by the end of the year.
Q: Thank you for your interview, Scott.  Do you have any final words?

A:  Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk a little about my book.  For those who might like more information, please visit my website,

Monday, April 20, 2015

Getting It Right Book Blast Event!

The Writer's Life is happy to be hosting A.M. Arthur and her GETTING IT RIGHT Book Blast today!

About the Book:

Title: Getting It Right (Book one of the Restoration series)
Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Carina Press (Harlequin)
Pages: 249
Genre: Contemporary Romance / M/M
Format: Kindle/Nook

For a dramatic male/male read, look no further than Getting It Right by A.M. Arthur. This contemporary romance is full of heart-wrenching moments guaranteed to draw you in and leave you wanting more. 

Detective Nathan Wolf might just be a junior detective, but he tackles every case with the passion that he lacks in his personal life. A series of failed relationships with women has left him still single at thirty-four--because he's too scared to admit to his longtime crush on his best friend James.

Dr. James Taggert likes to keep his profession as a psychiatrist separate from his party-animal persona. Known around the gay clubs as Tag, he’s the guy who screws them, leaves them, and never looks back. But James’s drinking is getting heavier, and when bad memories from the past resurface, he’s close to becoming the worst version of himself.

After a drunken blackout ends in a hot and heavy make-out session with his very straight best friend, James has no memory of the steamy affair. But Nathan isn't sorry for the kisses that James can't remember. Nathan finally musters the courage to tell James how he really feels, but a life-altering event might force them apart before they can ever be together.

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Book Excerpt:

He smoked his way through two more cigarettes before Nathan’s beat-up Ram pickup pulled alongside the curb. For a city cop, he was still adorably country. Nathan leaned across the console to shove open the passenger side door, and James gratefully slid inside. The simple, familiar presence of Nathan nearby made James’s nerves unfurl a little bit more. Nathan was the one thing in James’s life that had always made sense. Had always been easy.

Weariness settled into his bones, turning his drunken daze into extreme fatigue. He wanted to pass out and soon.

Nathan shoved a bottle of water at him, then eased the truck back into the street. He cracked both of the front windows, probably because James reeked of smoke. Nathan had never been shy about telling him how gross his habit was. Nathan was also smart enough not to engage in conversation until they were shuffling up the short sidewalk to Nathan’s half of a two-story duplex. Nathan slung an arm around James’s waist, and the heat of the other man’s body so close felt amazing. Real. Not like the fake closeness of dancing with strangers in a crowded bar.

He finally got a good look at his friend as Nathan crossed the narrow living room to the kitchen in the rear. Flannel pajama pants and a spring coat. James had woken him up.

Yeah, I’m a douche bag.

“You hungry?” Nathan shouted from the kitchen.

“No.” In the familiar, somewhat cluttered warmth of Nathan’s home, he had a safe place to wallow in the shame still burning in his gut.

Nathan’s place was the definition of a straight bachelor’s pad—which worked since Nathan was a straight bachelor. Dark leather furniture right out of a magazine’s page, decorated exactly the same because he couldn’t be bothered. A monster, sixty-inch flat screen mounted on the wall over an entertainment console boasted two gaming systems, alongside a Blu-ray player and hundreds of movies. Only a handful of photos hung on the wall, mostly of his rather large extended family that lived in southern Delaware.

James paused to stare at a familiar photo of himself with Nathan, taken right after Nathan had graduated from the police academy. They were both grinning, arms slung around each other’s shoulder. Nathan so handsome in his uniform, James in a gray suit that hadn’t been stylish in a decade. Because that’s how long it had been. Nathan had made detective last year, so he didn’t wear his uniform anymore. James sort of missed it.

Nathan came back into the living room sans coat, a white wifebeater showing off his muscled arms and flat stomach. He was one-eighth Nanticoke Indian on his mother’s side, which gave his skin a lovely golden hue. His short hair was shiny black, and was always soft on the rare occasion James had a reason to touch it. His dark brown eyes often seemed to be smiling at him, even when things were serious, like right now.

He was carrying a bamboo tray loaded down with two shot glasses, a bottle of Kentucky bourbon and a bag of barbecue potato chips. He settled the tray on his magazine-covered coffee table, then poured them each a shot.

James sank onto the couch next to Nathan and accepted the glass. After a silent toast, he threw it back. The harsh, smoky liquid burned its way into his stomach.
Nathan refilled both glasses. “Does your mom know?”

About the Author:

No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships and "bromance" (and "The Young Riders") with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

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Dear Reader by Elisabeth Amaral

The Writer’s Life newest feature, Dear Reader, gives authors a chance to talk to their readers - YOU!  
Today's guest is Elisabeth Amaral, author of the memoir, Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup: A Memoir of Marriage, Mime and Moving On.


Dear Reader…

I am so pleased to have this opportunity to talk with you about my memoir, Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup.

I wanted to write this book for so many reasons, yet the idea to do so came to me unexpectedly, while I was waiting in line at a Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City. I was there to pitch a mystery book I was working on when I realized that what I really wanted to write was the story of my years from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies.

It had been an incredible time to be young, and my first husband and I, in our early twenties, were right in the middle of it – the sex, drugs and rock and roll era. I wanted to leave our history of that time for our son, born a year before the “Summer of Love.” And I wanted to recapture, for myself, the incredible, serendipitous journey that my husband and fell into.

We planned very little. We gave up our jobs and our New York City apartment and moved to Boston so that my husband could study mime. To support ourselves we made and sold beading earrings in the stores and on the streets of Harvard Square. To supplement that income he sold incense, and an order of two sticks of incense started us on a path that led to opening a children’s boutique that we named Czar Nicholas and the Toad. A few years later, a snowstorm led us to open Duck Soup, a popular restaurant in Harvard Square.

I rekindled former friendships from those years because I needed others’ recollections. Those renewed friendships pulled me through the three years it took to finish my memoir, because everyone I reconnected with was enthusiastic and offered their own memories, recipes, or photographs, and all are included in the book. The enthusiasm was so infectious that much of the writing was a joy.  A three-year labor of love, though there is much more to my story than a happy trip through memory lane.

I was twenty-six or twenty-seven years old when I first realized that my husband was gay. I could barely admit it to myself, and spoke with no one about it, because in those days homosexuality was hardly talked about and barely understood. Yet our friendship was so solid, our life so filled with our creative life and valued relationships that my new awareness changed nothing of our day to day existence. But it gave me a slow-building and profound self-doubt about myself, about my own sexual identity and desirability. This led me to make some risky choices, including a failed second marriage.

And yet, dear Reader, today I am with my third husband, and we have been together for almost three decades. That is another reason I wrote this book, because even at my darkest, most insecure times, I knew I would find happiness. I knew it. So I suppose you can say that my memoir is a book about hope, and it is told from my heart, and with humor. It is often quite amusing. I hope you enjoy the read. I have enjoyed talking with you. 

About the Author:

A native New Yorker, I have lived in the city for much of my life. My first jobs after graduating from NYU were jewelry design and case worker for the Departments of Welfare of New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts. This was followed by co-ownership of a children’s boutique (Czar Nicholas and the Toad) and a restaurant (Duck Soup) in Cambridge near Harvard Square. I then worked as an industrial purchasing agent in New Jersey, and for the last 25 years have been a real estate broker in Manhattan, accumulating stories of the wonder and madness that is this city. I published a book of short stories (When Any Kind of Love Will Do), wrote two children’s books and a memoir (Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup), and am currently working on a novel.

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About the Book:

The mid-1960s through the mid-1970s was a heady, turbulent time. There was a lot going on back then, and author Elisabeth Amaral was in the middle of it all: the fights for women’s rights, racial equality, a music revolution, be-ins, love-ins, riots in the streets, the rage against the Vietnam War, and sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It was an amazing time to be young.

In Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup, Amaral shares her recollections of those times. She and her husband gave up their jobs in New York City, relocated to Boston with their infant son because of mime, unexpectedly started a children’s boutique, and opened a popular restaurant in Harvard Square. Most of all it is a coming-of-age story about herself and her husband as they embarked on an improbable and moving journey of self-discovery.
With sincerity and humor, Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup offers a personal and revealing account that reaches out to those who find themselves striving to make a relationship work that, by its very nature, may be doomed. But this story is also one of friendship—and of finding the courage to move on.

"A truly wonderful memoir that reads like great fiction.  The characters come alive on the page."  – Elizabeth Brundage, author of The Doctor's Wife and A Stranger Like You.

“The story of how Liz Amaral and her husband became successful at the epicenter of counterculture businesses near Harvard Square / Cambridge from 1967-1975 with their boutique and restaurant is told with humor and insight. Swirling around them are all of the entrapments of the era, the drugs and free love and betrayal, as well as the politics that defined the times.
With a fierce dedication to her son and husband, Liz Amaral triumphs in this stunning memoir where she discovers that, while love isn’t always what we think it is, it remains, in all its multi-faceted transformations, the driving force of who we are and how we live our lives.”  – P.B. O’Sullivan, writer and mathematician

“In her intimate and humorous memoir, Liz Amaral reveals the challenges of a young family establishing a home in Cambridge amid the tumult of the late 1960s. You will discover the disconcerting truth about her marriage and the painful path she takes to find herself again. A true adventure of the heart.” – Kathrin Seitz, writer, producer, and coach

For More Information

  • Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sacred Relationships Psychology for the Soul by Dr. Kate Pola Brooks

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Sacred Relationships Title: Sacred Relationships
Author: Dr. Kate Pola Brooks
Publisher: Xlibris
Genre: Psychology/Relationship
Format: Kindle/Paperback/Hardcover

 Everything You Want To Understand About Relationships “Sacred Relationships: Psychology for the Soul”, is designed to define the inter-relatedness of everything and everyone. It gives clarity to the functioning of the mind, the psyche and the heart. “Sacred Relationships” defines the patterns of our thinking, understanding, ‘knowing’ and loving capacities. This book clears up misunderstandings and misinterpretations around our connection to this world, our Selves, and others, within the Universal Patterns.” “The conceptual understanding of why we are here and what we are meant to be doing, assists the reader to reformat reactions into responses, fellow companions into loved ones and our relationship with our true Self into illumination.”

To Purchase Sacred Relationships


Dr. Kate Pola Brooks is  giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins April 27 and ends on May 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on May 17.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tips on Writing Fiction from Joel Fox, Author of 'The Mark on Eve'

One can find hundreds of writing rules and tips in books and the Internet and many conclude, after listing the rules, that you can break the rules if necessary. Basically, the author is saying you must be aware of writing standards but first and foremost you must be true to yourself.

Still, it is helpful to hear what other authors have to say about how they compose their works. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

Building Suspense

I think one of the best writing tips I ever heard was an example offered on how you build suspense. The example used the legend of Damocles, who was permitted to sit on the king’s throne. To show the stress the king is always under, the king arranged to have a sword hanging over Damocles head held to a ceiling beam by a single hair of a horse’s tail. That is suspense. Now, said the instructor, image a mouse gnawing on the hair. That is how you ratchet up suspense. Don’t merely have obstacles for your characters to overcome, turn up the danger.

Picking Up the Next Day

Getting started on your writing each day is often a tough chore. Staring at a blank monitor is a common experience for writers. What I try to do, if possible, is stop the previous day’s writing in the middle of a chapter. That usually gives me momentum as I start fresh the next day. I usually know where the chapter is going and that allows me to push ahead quickly when I sit down to write.

Cliff Hanger Chapter Endings

To tie the first two tips together, I think cliff hanging chapter endings are important to keep the reader’s interest. It also allows you to dive into the next chapter as you resolve the situation in the previous chapter’s ending and move into that next chapter -- but not finish it so as to pick up your work quickly the next day. Creating a cliff hanger, of course, also builds suspense, especially, if you have that mouse gnawing at the hair holding the sword at the end of the chapter.

Write Something you Want to Read

Don’t try to guess what the market wants – write something you want to read. Yes, there may seem to be an endless production of Zombie stories that sell well, for example, but if you don’t enjoy reading about Zombies the odds are you won’t be producing a story those who follow such tales will enjoy. Write what you want to read. You’ll enjoy the experience and have more fun.

No Perfect Time to Start

There is always some last minute research or plot development that can keep you from starting to write. Waiting for the perfect moment is a classic case of procrastination. Sure you can start way to early and get twisted into knots as the story progresses, but you can also lose a lot of time by waiting for the perfect moment when you anticipate everything will be in place to begin. If you are generally comfortable with the story and characters, begin. The characters will often take you in a direction you didn’t expect and that is a rewarding and thrilling experience.

Writing Time

I’m sure this last tip won’t work for everybody. Writers know when they are most productive. For me, that time is early morning. Writing between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. means there is no distraction from family or phone calls. Even the dogs are still asleep. I find that I am fresh in the morning and that ideas I had been working on in my head often get sorted out when I’m sleeping.

 Title: The Mark on Eve
Genre: Suspense
Author: Joel Fox
Publisher: Bronze Circle Books
Purchase on Amazon  
Joel FoxJoel Fox has spent over 30 years in California politics, serving on numerous state commissions, working on many ballot issue campaigns, and advising candidates. An adjunct professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University, Fox has authored hundreds of opinion pieces for numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal,Washington Post, USA Todayand Los Angeles Times. Joel Fox is also the author of the Zane Rigby mystery series—Lincoln’s Hand and FDR’s Treasure— in which an FBI Special Agent must solve a puzzle from the past of an American president to solve modern day murders.  A native of the Boston area, Joel Fox lives in Los Angeles.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Interview with Jamila T. Davis, author of She's All Caught Up

She's All Caught Up
Title: She's All Caught Up!
Author: Jamila T. Davis
Publisher: Voices International Publication
Pages: 338
Genre: Memoir/Young Adult
Format: Paperback/Kindle

She's All Caught Up is a cautionary tale based on the life of Jamila T. Davis, a federal prisoner serving a 12 1/2 year sentence. Jamila grew up in a loving middle class home, raised to become her parent's ideal star child. All was copacetic until high school years. Jamila rebels and chooses to live life in the fast lane. When this good girl goes bad, it seems there is no turning back!

For More Information

She's All Caught Up! is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads. 

1) Welcome to the Writer's Life, Jamila. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you've been writing?
      Hello my name is Jamila T. Davis. I am an author, prison reform activist and the co-founder of WomenOverIncarcerated, a nonprofit organization that provides resources to women in prison and female ex-offenders. I've been a published author since 2011.
       I write books to inspire, empower and uplift the down trodden. My books are primarily written as cautionary tales to enlighten my readers to the severe consequences of making poor choices and not loving ourselves enough. I share my mistakes, and those of many others who also attempted to live life in the fast lane. My writing is geared to expose the serious repercussions of this lifestyle.

2) Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
       My recent release "She's All Caught Up" is a memoir about my early life experiences. I grew up in Jamaica-Queens, New York. I was raised by my mother, who was a school teacher, and my father, who was a NYC Transit Supervisor. My parents grew up dirt poor with limited opportunities. Their hardships growing up caused them to be determined to provide my brother and I with the opportunities they themselves never had. My mother became a stage mom. She had me trained in the arts at an early age. By the time I turned 10 years old, I became a cast member in an off-Broadway play and toured the country performing. I also danced professionally in dance recitals at Lincoln Center, all while maintaining straight A's in school.
     When I became a teenager, I was accepted to the acclaimed High School of Performing Arts in New York City, also known as the "Fame" School. Back then, I was my parents ideal star child and voted "most likely to succeed" by my peers. Then, it happened! All of a sudden my values changed. I was swept off of my feet by a 16 year old drug dealer from the Southside Housing Projects of South Jamaica-Queens. He became what I perceived to be the love of my life. My life went down hill from there. I made one poor choice after another, and I never seemed to fully recover.
     I wrote my book because I am not alone in making poor choices or putting love over the best interest of self. Although times have changed, teens today are still rebelling against their parents and making the same drastic mistakes which have the potential to ruin their lives. In my book I honestly expose my flaws and the root problems that led me on a high speed chase to find inner fulfillment. I decided to share my intimate experiences with my readers in hope that they will avoid my tragic mistakes.

3) What are some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?
      While writing, I took note of the many details of my life experiences that I overlooked at the time they occurred. I found myself wanting to stop Young Jamila from crashing. The signs of danger were so visible, but at the time I could not see them. Recounting my many mistakes that caused me severe hardships was extremely painful. My continued destructive patterns ultimately led to a 12 1/2 year federal prison sentence, which I am currently serving. On the top bunk in a 5 1/2 x 9 cubicle at the Danbury Federal Prison Camp, the same facility where Piper Kerman of "Orange Is The New Black" was housed, I wrote my book. Dealing with the reality of my circumstances and the events that led up to my current fate didn't make my writing easy. I often found myself having to take breaks to cry and process, as I pinpointed the areas in my life where I went wrong. Although my writing process was painful at times, ultimately it was rewarding. It helped me to acknowledge my mistakes, learn from my past and heal.

4) Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link where we can see it?
      Yes, I have a press kit. My press kit includes my bio, my author's photo, past press release and articles written about me and my books, and a selection of articles and poetry I wrote. My press kit appears in the media room of Voices International Publications at

5) Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?
      As I mentioned earlier in this interview, I am an author who is writing from behind bars. This has limited my access to media. Yet, I am apart of a prison community outreach program created to deter at-risk youth from crime. We go out into the community and share our stories. This experience is actually what led me to write "She's All Caught Up." After I was able to witness first-hand the reception I got from teens, who vowed not to make the poor choices I made after hearing my story, I knew my story had the power to change lives. Teens are one of the hardest audiences to reach because they think they know it all. Once I captivated their attention, I realized by being a real person who is currently paying a high price for my actions, it gives me an advantage. Dressed in my prison khakis, serving a decade plus sentence, my audience has no choice put to take heed to my message, because it is REAL!

6) Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/she is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it is necessary to have one?
      I never dreamed I would become an author. It wasn't until I was incarcerated that I discovered my ability to write books. Although I strayed far away from the path my parents had established for me, they did not abandon me. Earlier in this interview, I explained my mother became a stage mom when I  was growing up. In my adult life, she reassumed her position, but transcended it to cater to my writing. My mother started her own publication company, Voices International Publications, as a means to publish my first book series, "The Voices Of Consequences Enrichment Series." It is a three book, self-help series for incarcerated women. Since then, she has become more experienced in the publishing business and has signed several authors under her company. It is her goal to collaborate with a major publishing company to distribute her current catalogue. Knowing her track record of excellence, I believe this is something she will get done. Therefore, my mother serves in the role as my agent. She is doing an amazing job at championing me to the top!

7) Did your agent, or publisher, prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?
       My mother is a woman who is all about purpose. Her objective is to utilize my story at an educational tool to help children avoid my past mistakes, and to create awareness about the epidemic of women in prison and over-incarceration. It is her hope to humanize those of us service lengthy sentences for non-violent crimes, so a real solution will be provided to end this destructive epidemic. Her marketing and publicity plans are all surrounded around these objectives.
       My mother is currently working on a documentary about my life, my case and my efforts behind bars. Recently, after Teresa Giudice, cast member of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" was imprisoned at the same facility where I am housed, and the premiere of Dianne Sawyer's new series about women In prison, there has been a great interest about incarcerated women and the circumstances that led to our incarceration. My mother is currently fielding calls from media outlets who want to tell my story.

8) Do you plan subsequent books?
     I plan on writing a sequel to my book "She's All Caught Up," which is entitled "The Trade Off." I have also created "The High Price I Had To Pay" Book Series to give incarcerated women a platform to share their stories. These books are written as cautionary tales, featuring the lives of incarcerated women serving decade plus sentences for non-violent crimes. My experience has taught me that God has a plan for my life that is bigger than just me. I am merely a vessel that He is using to send a message to His children. I write for the purpose to help others avoid my tragic mistakes, and to inspire the down trodden to push ahead and overcome. It is important to know that our past mistakes don't have to dictate our future. We can change our course at any time. I did!

9) Thank you for your interview, Jamila. Would you like to tell my reader's where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

      Yes, thank you. Please visit or to support my prison reform movement. My books are available on, and on and You can also reach me on Facebook at, or Twitter/Instagram: @jamilatdavis. I have tons of informative information that I think you will all enjoy on the web. Please take a minute to check it out! Thanks again for your support. 

Jamila T. Davis (@JamilaTDavis), author of "She's All Caught Up!," is a self-help expert, motivational speaker and a women's prison reform activist. Through her inspirational books and cautionary tales, based on her unique real-life experiences, she is helping to transform the lives of both the young and the old. For more information about Jamila T. Davis visit or

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Guest post: "The Mystery of Creative Writing," by Graciela Limón

“Where does it come from?” I ask. 

 “Where do the images, settings and stories come from?” I wonder. 

 When studying at UCLA, I had a wonderful professor, Doctor Barcia, whose lectures on fiction usually centered on his view that all literature comes from literature already written, only expressed in a new fashion. Which, of course, mirrors the adage that there’s nothing new under the sun. 

 Yet when I write a line or a paragraph, when I turn to a new scene, or craft a character, I ask “Where did that come from?” This is not to deny that I’ve been deeply influenced by the greats, writers such as John Steinbeck, Gabriel García Márquez, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Leon Tolstoy, and so many others, nor is it to say that my own memories don’t surface to form my writing. It’s not even to say that I don’t beforehand envision or outline what I intend to write. What I am saying is that so much of what I write most often comes from a hidden recess; a place I had not before reached. There have been many times when I’ve been surprised by the unexpected dialogue, by the sudden twist in a character’s way of being, or of even the novel’s ending. 

 As my professor stressed, I don’t doubt that my creations reflect what has already been written, what I’ve read. On the other hand, I know that for me the process of creative writing is indeed a secret happening, an enigma that transports me to another world inhabited by people that become more real than those that surround me in my everyday life. Yes, for me, the place from where my writing comes is a mystery, and no doubt will remain that way forever.

Book TitleThe Intriguing Life of Ximena Godoy
Genre: Historical Fiction/Hispanic
PublisherCafé Con Leche

Graciela Limón, born in Los Angeles, California, is the daughter of Mexican immigrants.  She attended public and Catholic schools in her hometown, and continued on to university after which she became a professor of Latina/o Literature.  Parallel to her teaching she has been an activist in Latina affairs, gender affairs and Trans Border issues.  Limón has published nine novels, including her latest work, The Intriguing Life of Ximena Godoy.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Interview with Ruby Lee Tuesday, author of Better Believe A Story of Hope

Title: Better Believe
Author: Ruby Lee Tuesday
Publisher: Trafford
Pages: 132
Genre: Biography
Format: Ebook
 Purchase at AMAZON

 Ruby Lee Tuesday was born to be her father’s property. Trapped in an abusive home where only perfect was good enough for the devil, Ruby attempted to distract herself from his ways through her music, poetry, art, and most importantly, her faith in God. Tuesday shares a heartbreaking story of childhood trauma as she bravely pursued her dreams, despite living with parents who seemed determined to destroy her, both physically and emotionally. While providing a riveting look into the ways of an abuser, Tuesday details how her mistreatment eventually caused her to lose her faith, embark on a path of self-destruction, and succumb to panic attacks and depression. But through it all, Tuesday somehow managed to find solace and an escape in her music, ultimately leaving everything behind and bravely following her dream all the way from Norway to Nashville, Tennessee, where she would find faith once again. Better Believe is a story of determination, passion, betrayal, friendship, and hope as one woman journeys from the darkness of abuse into the light of healing where she learns to believe in herself for the first time.


Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

This is the first time I write a book and it is the first time I publish a book.

When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I chose to go Self-published because I had the means to do so.

How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

I wrote and published this book within 1 year, 2014.

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate? 

My feelings were a little mixed when I published this book. On one hand I was very proud that I had finally voiced my story and thereby broken out of a bondage of silence. I also felt as if I did something wrong when I told my story, you see everything that happened within our family was to never be told. We never talked about it, just let it happen. So when I now tell my story I kind of break the number one rule of all domestic violence families, namely not to talk about it. My sister didn’t like it at all so she has, as far as my knowledge goes, pressed charges against me in Norway to have the book withdrawn from the market. So as far as celebrating it I kind of struggled with the whole thing and the celebration I have yet to look forward to. But in my heart I am very proud that I dared to voice my story and to keep moving toward my final goal in life, to record and release my album “…butAlive!!!” as LadyLoveRebel. And I am working on the album now. So as far as further goals in life, I am still focusing on reaching this one. My story and my music.

What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I promoted in on my web page and I also made agreements with Trafford to market and promote my book.

Ruby Lee Tuesday has spent years on healing both physically and spiritually. She is a poet, singer, and songwriter who plays a variety of instruments. Ruby left Norway in 2013 to pursue her dreams in Nashville, Tennessee. This is her first book.

Marilyn Monroe, Writing & Publishing: Interview with Mercedes King

We’re thrilled to have Mercedes King at The Writer’s Life!  Mercedes is the author of a fantastic new historical psychological thriller, A Dream Called Marilyn.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I have a fondness for Old Hollywood, and I grew up in a house with tabloids aplenty. So I think it was a natural transition for me to end up writing stories that blend fact with fiction. Marilyn Monroe, even though
she’s been gone over 50 years, still has a solid fan base. Her allure and appeal haven’t diminished, so it was fun using her as a character and dipping into her private life.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The hard part is blending fact with your fabrications and making it believable. To do this, be prepared to invest a ton of time into research. You read the books, articles, get to know someone like Marilyn, then add in your own flavors.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Triumph Productions is my publisher. It’s my company and like another child. You have to raise it and rear it. Not an easy, overnight task. We’re talking the long haul.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

That it happened. My first book endured a lot of rejections because of the subject matter. There aren’t too many lines you can’t cross when it comes to art and publishing, but apparently, I found one.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m in the idea stage of a new book. I’m a tad superstitious and don’t want to say too much about it right now. I might—might—get a release date for September 2015. We’ll see.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Probably Facebook. I’m showing my age, right? But Google+ is growing on me.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

For this story, Marilyn’s greatest struggle was not having control of her life. Events spiraled and we know what happened to her (or we each give a nod to the version or conspiracy theory we’re convinced of, when it comes to her death). Life is a fragile thing, and truth can be painful and messy.
Q: Do you have any final words?

Thank you for your time and for this opportunity. I hope readers enjoy the story. 

About the Author:

A founding member of Sisters in Crime Columbus, Ohio (affectionately dubbed SiCCO), Mercedes King can be found elbow-deep in research, reading, or enjoying the local bike path. Combining her love of pop culture with history, she created A Dream Called Marilyn, a fictional take on the last weeks of Marilyn’s life. With an unquenchable thirst for a bygone era, she’s also written O! Jackie, a fictional take on Jackie Kennedy's private life--and how she dealt with JFK's affairs. Short story fans would enjoy The Kennedy Chronicles, a series featuring Jackie and Jack before the White House and before they were married. Visit Mercedes’ website at to find out more.
For More Information
About the Book:
 In the summer of 1962, nothing could prepare Dr. Charles Campbell for his first meeting with new client, Marilyn Monroe. A reputable L.A. psychiatrist, he’s been hired by a studio executive to treat and subdue the star, no matter what it takes. Although he’s been warned about Ms. Monroe’s unpredictability, she’s not what he expected. Gaining Marilyn’s trust means crossing doctor-patient boundaries, and trying to separate fact from Hollywood-fed-rumors proves destructive to both Charles’ career and his personal life. As Marilyn shares her secrets and threatens to go public with information that could destroy President Kennedy’s administration, Charles’ world turns upside-down. He sinks deeper into her troubles than he should, but Charles becomes determined to help her, even though it means endangering Marilyn’s life and risking his own. 

For More Information

  • A Dream Called Marilyn is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.