Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Readers' Station Newsletter

The August issue of the Readers’ Station Quarterly Newsletter is now available. We welcome you to visit www.readersstation.com/august_2007.htm for much more information.

Learn much more about our anthology which will be available in September and learn about the women of the Readers' Station.

Judi Moreo Author of You Are More Than Enough

Judi Moreo shares some information about the cover of her book.
Visit - http://judgebookbycover.blogspot.com/ skip to main skip to sidebar for more information about Judi’s cover art.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bestselling Author Jane Green Visits Muze's Musings

Today we're going to learn some more about Jane Green and her book Second Chances. A little info about Jane Green. Jane Green lives in Connecticut with her four children. She is the author of eight bestselling novels: SWAPPING LIVES, THE OTHER WOMAN, STRAIGHT TALKING, JEMIMA J, MR. MAYBE, BOOKENDS, BABYVILLE, AND TO HAVE AND TO HOLD. Her books are published in over thirty different languages, and Jemima J has recently been bought by Lifetime for a made-for-television movie.

Nikki - It seems that you started writing a different genre lately. Has this caused any difficulties for you as a writer or for your readers? Do you have any tips for other writers who want to write in various genres?

Jane - I agree that my writing and my subject matter is quite different in recent years - more serious perhaps, more adult, and certainly more emotive, but I still seem to have been placed firmly in the chick lit category, and I'm not sure that will ever change. I think there are two problems. The first is that chick lit is a derisive term, and conjures images of fluffy books about twenty something single women looking for Mr Right, which immediately puts off a vast scope of readers. I would argue that chick lit has evolved to become commercial women's fiction that is an accurate representation of real women's lives today, with an emotional honesty that all women can relate to.
I may have started writing about twenty something single women, but twelve years on I'm a divorced mother of four, and I'm writing about life as I see it, and the lives that the people I know are living.I'm writing for women like me nowadays, and I get a tremendous amount of emails from women in their thirties and forties who have picked up one of the later books and are astounded, they didn't realise I was writing for them.

But of course every time I go on to amazon I see reviews from girls saying things like 'Jane Green should stick with the chick lit', and that my writing has become boring, and when I look at other books they've reviewed and loved, they are traditional twenty something chick lit, which is absolutely not what I'm doing anymore, so it's very hard to please all of the people all of the time.

Nikki - I saw on your website that you have 4 young children. What unique problems does that pose for your writing? Any suggestions to help other mothers who are working to juggle children, home and writing?

Jane - Life is just terribly overwhelming at times, but the children are all in school or pre-school in the mornings, so that's when I do my writing, and these days I write at the local library where there are no distractions.

Nikki - How did you feel when you first hit the New York Times Bestseller's List?

Jane - The first time was a few years ago and I was THRILLED. I've been a number one bestseller in the London Times, and there's nothing quite like opening the paper on a Sunday and seeing your name at the top of the list.

Nikki - On your website, I noticed mention of a "book club phone chat". Would you mind telling us more about how this works?

Jane - The winners seemed very happy with their prize. I'm always happy to ring in to a book club when they've read the book and chat with them about the book, answer any questions they may have. I love having a sense of how my book touches people, and I think it's always appreciated when an author can answer the questions directly. Readers can email me through my website - http://www.janegreen.com/

Nikki - There are many ways to communicate with readers. What is your favorite way to interact with your readers?

Jane - I adore going on book tour to actually meet my readers face to face - writing is so solitary it's incredibly validating to get out there in the world and talk to people who love your work.

Nikki -What's the best thing for you about communicating with readers?

Jane - Seeing how many people you have reached out to with your books, and often hearing about changes people have made as a result of reading them.

Nikki - Your website mentions your event to benefit the Bethel Recovery Center. (This is a wonderful charity in Bridgeport, CT, that provides homes for women recovering from alcohol or drug addiction.) Have you found ways to do other things to help the community? Can you offer ideas on how other authors can do things to help their communities?

Jane - I would say jump in and support whatever cause means something to you. It's always very easy to write a check, but my preference when getting involved in a charity is always to do more - to take a more active role in support.

Nikki - Do you have a favorite way to start creating a new story? Is it the spark of an idea for the setting, a character or a theme?

Jane - It always starts with a theme, and then I develop the character. I have a continual struggle about where to set the books - England or America, and seem to jump back and forth in recent years.

Nikki - Are you the type of writer who plans her books or do you write from the "seat of your pants"?

Jane - I plan a third of a book at a time - never more because often the story has changed enormously by the time I get there.

Nikki - Tell us about your best reader review. What made it special to you?

Jane - There isn't one that stands out, but all of them mean so much - twelve years on I haven't got over the thrill of reading a good review, or a wonderful email sent to me by a reader.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Promotional Blogs - To Promote Your Books

I started a series of blogs and any author can answer the questions and be posted for free promo. The links are:


Click on any or all of these links and click on HOW TO SUBMIT. These pages will give you instructions on how to get your book on these blogs. We'd like to hear about your books.

Nikki Leigh

Monday, July 23, 2007

Virtual Book Tour - Lindy Hudis' Weekends

Lindy Sternberger Hudis is an author, screenwriter, and filmmaker. Her independent film, The Lesson, was screened at the 2000 Seattle Underground Film Festival and Cine-nights LA. She is a graduate of New York University, and is also a former actress, appearing on the Aaron Spelling daytime drama, "Sunset Beach". She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband Steve, a Hollywood stuntman, her baby girl, Veronica Noelle, and newborn son, Cameron Michael.

I had a chance to ask Lindy some questions. I hope that I asked some things that you would like to know :)

Nikki - You have an interesting background, acting, directing, and screenwriting. How does that background help you in the creation of your stories?

Lindy - Well, it comes in handy when I am telling my story. I let the characters come to life, so to speak, and I let them tell the story. My stories are very character driven, and I tend to pull my characters from parts of me. I learned that in drama school. When I was an aspiring actress, I had a bunch of strange things happen to me. I wrote a book about that. My next book, CITY OF TOYS, was inspired by my Hollywood actress wanna-be days.

Nikki - I love the “new character” notice on your website. Tell us about your children.

Lindy - Veronica is my 4 ½ year old daughter. She is very dramatic and feisty. She is already a flirt, too. Am I going to have my hands full in a few years?? My son Cameron is 3 months old. He was born in Easter Sunday. He is pretty feisty too.
Motherhood is an adventure, but a wonderful one.

Nikki - Do you use bits and pieces of real people for your characters or are they all imaginary? If you do use any real people, what is it about them that sparks the idea for a character?

Lindy - Absolutely! I do get inspiration from “real” people all the time. When I meet a person, and they make me feel something, I will use that person for inspiration. Positive or negative, they all work. I have met some great villains that way, if you know what I mean.

Nikki - I understand you use a lot of characters in your books. Do you have a secret for keeping them all straight?

Lindy - Yeah, I have a reason for that. As a former actress, I know how hard it is to get work. I write many characters so that , hopefully, when the book is made into a movie, more actors will get work. Seriously, I was inspired by Jackie Collins. She uses many characters, and they are all intertwined and they all interact in the most unusual way. I think that is amazing how she can do that.

Nikki - Character creation is one of my favorite elements of writing. This is true when readers identify with them. Your reviews indicate you are very good at this. Would you like to share any character development tips?

Lindy - I call upon an old acting exercise called “character development”. As I stated before, I let the characters come to life and take me on the journey. I get into the mind of them, and I let them tell me what they think they should do next. Yeah, it does sound kind of strange, I know, but it seems to work for me. I don’t really have any tips, just get into the head and heart of your characters. They will tell you what to do next.

Nikki - Tell us a bit about the setting for Weekends. Did you use real places and events in the story? If so, how does this work for you? Do you find any specific difficulties in using real places or do you feel that makes things easier to create a realistic and three dimensional story?

Lindy - WEEKENDS is about an innocent-sounding family reunion at an exclusive California beach resort turns into a weekend of murder, deceit, exposed secrets and unexpected intimate encounters. In my words, I wanted to write a sexy, romantic California story, and transport the reader as much as possible. I guess I am one of those writers who wants to take the reader away.I live in, and love, California Growing up in Tennessee, California was my dream, a magical, mystical place that I used to dream about. It is so beautiful, and it is definitely my inspiration. The beach, the mountains, and all the artistic and creative people...I could not live anywhere else. All of my stories take place here. I guess you could say that was my inspiration. I wanted to give the reader a romantic beach story, and there you go

Nikki - I love the opening sentence in your prologue. Do you find it hard to find just the right way to start a story? If you have any tips for finding the best place to start, our readers would love to hear them.

***** This is the opening paragraph for the prologue ******

The man woke up next to victim number twenty. He had tied her firmly to the bedpost by her wrists and ankles, then passed out. She was nude, her eyes red from crying, her face had a petrified look on it. Her nose was also swollen and bloody from the repeated blows to the face.

Lindy - I like to start a story with a “hook”. I want the reader y to want to read more. I want to draw them in. Again, I was inspired by Jackie Collins, she is wonderful at that. I just like to write what I like to read, actually. There is nothing like a good, juicy hook. I want the reader to turn the page, literally.

Nikki - What drew you to a story about a serial killer? Was there anything in particular that made the story complicated?

Lindy - I have always been interested in crime stories. I watch Forensic Files every night, and I am a Court TV junkie. I even thought about joining the LAPD there for a while. I think I would have made a pretty good detective. There is always an element of crime in my stories. That dark, savage place where some people seem to go, and of course you have the hero that saves the day. You can’t have good without having evil, in a story and in the world. However, good always wins over evil, in the world and in my stories.

Nikki - Are you a planner or do you write from the “seat of your pants”? Why?

Lindy - I am definitely a “seat of your pants” kind of person, in life and in writing. That is the most honest way for me to write. I am a very spontaneous person and a writer too. I just want to keep it real, and that is real to me. I could tell you about the time my friends and I were sitting around bored and decided to drive to Mexico ! I just may write a book about that! No, I am not a plotter or a planner.

Nikki - Tell us about your best reader review. What made it special to you?

Lindy - My first review was the most special. It was from Nadine St. Denis over at Romance Junkies. She said that WEEKENDS has “ an amazing cast of characters” and a “fascinating plot”. That was nice for a new author to hear.

Thank you for taking time to answer my questions. For much more information, visit Lindy's virtual tour page -

Promotional Blogs - For You

I've created some promotional blogs that anyone can use. This is how they work --

Click on the links below, then click on "HOW TO SUBMIT". This will take you to the page with theme questions. Answer each of the questions and send the answers to me. If you want, you can also send a copy of your book cover art, the book title, your author name, website address and simple order information. I'm posting several promos each week and would be happy to include your information.

http://judgebookbycover.blogspot.com/ - Information about your book cover.

http://itsallinthesetting.blogspot.com/ - Details about the setting of your story.

http://badguysandvillains.blogspot.com/ - Tell us about the villains in your book.

http://shareyourheroine.blogspot.com/ - Tell us about the heroine in your book.

http://shareyourhero.blogspot.com/ - Tell us about the hero in your book.

More could be added soon -- you may want to check back for more information.

Nikki Leigh
www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_101.htm - Coming Soon

Judi Moreo Author of You Are More Than Enough

You Are More Than Enough -

For over twenty-five years, Judi Moreo has studied the lives and habits of highly motivated and successful people. She has unraveled the mystery behind the illusion that only a chosen few are allowed success, and has become a respected authority on high level performance, personal development, and self-esteem.Judi has now translated her wealth of knowledge into a meaningful and motivating guide. Writing in a comfortable, conversation style, she gives you simple, usable techniques that you can apply to your everyday world. It’s like having afternoon tea with your best friend.

Let's ask Judi a few questions so that we can learn more about her and her book...

Nikki & Muze - What made you decide to write about this topic?

Judi - I’ve been speaking to audiences for many years on the subjects of image, self esteem, communication, managing change and overcoming obstacles. This is what I know! People often said to me, “I wish my daughter could go through one of your classes, “ and “I wish there was a book that teaches this stuff the way you teach it.” So I finally decided to write it after asking many audiences “If anyone thought they were created for something more,” and over ¾ of the audience raised their hands.

Nikki & Muze - I noticed a long list of groups and organizations that you participated in. Is there one or two that you would specifically recommend? Why would you suggest those to your readers?

Judi - I would recommend Toastmasters International to anyone who wants to improve their communication and leadership skills. I’ve learned more about communication from Toastmasters than I did in all of my university classes.

In addition, Soroptimist International, is one of the finest networking and growth organizations for women. It is an international organization and is women who support women.

Nikki & Muze - What do you see as the benefit to participating in groups and organizations? My first thought would be networking opportunities and the chance for personal and business growth. What are your reasons?

Judi - I agree with you. Organizations such as these and your own local Chamber of Commerce give you an opportunity to meet other positive, dynamic people. In addition, they have interesting speakers, support or oppose political issues, and offer educational opportunities. Some also offer group insurance.

Nikki & Muze - Who is the ideal person to read your book?

Judi - Anyone who wants to have a stronger belief in herself. If each person that reads this was going to recommend your book to one person, what sort of person would they want to chose? Anyone who wants to improve her life.

Nikki & Muze - What do you feel are two of the biggest issues that can kill a person’s motivation to succeed and to do more in their life and in business?

Judi - Criticism from others and low self esteem.

Nikki & Muze - You mention igniting creativity. I like that phrase. What’s one way that people can ignite their creativity?

Judi - I’ve co-authored another whole book on this subject, “Conquer the Brain Drain: 52 Creative Ways to Pump Up Productivity” . The best ways to ignite creativity is to practice. The brain is a muscle and just like the muscles in your body, it needs exercise, so do or think something different every day.

Nikki & Muze - What have you found to be the biggest stumbling block for people who are trying to succeed?

Judi - Feel free to share more than one if you want. Fear. And there are many types of fear. Fear of rejection, fear of criticism, fear of looking stupid, fear of being broke, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of change.

Nikki & Muze - What do you find is the biggest motivator for people to succeed? Is it money, security, desire for fame or something else?

Judi - Different people are motivated by different things. Find out what is important to the individual person. We can not motivate another person. People are motivated to be and do whatever they want. We can demotivate a person by dumping on their dreams and discouraging them.

Nikki & Muze - Are you a planner or do you write from the “seat of your pants”? Why?

Judi - I actually do both. Sometimes I have an outline and plan out the direction and at other times my writing seems to write itself. I write from inspiration.

Nikki & Muze - Tell us about your best reader review. What made it special to you?

Judi - My best reader reviews are the ones where people say, “I wasn’t sure I believed that what you said would work, but I tried it and it has changed my life for the better.” There have been many of these. They are special to me because I like to know that I have touched their lives in a positive way. That is my life’s ambition.

For more information - you can visit Judi's website - http://www.judimoreo.com/

Thank you for visiting with us Judi. We hope you will visit again.

Nikki & Muze

"Leave your tour in our hands!"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lilah and the Locket in the Kitty Hawk Free Press

This is an example of a way that I got exposure for one of my books and it was free and easy.

Kitty Hawk is one of the towns along the Outer Banks and I have "Kitty Hawk" set in my Google alerts. I saw an article about Cape Hatteras on the Kitty Hawk Free Press this morning and I emailed the editor about my book.

Click here - http://www.kittyhawkfreepress.com/ and scroll down past the picture of the motorcycle at the lighthouse. He posted my “behind the story” piece about Lilah which offers some background information about how the story came to be.

I always say that it doesn't hurt to ask -- many people say "yes".


Nikki Leigh – Fiction Author – www.nikkileigh.com
Book Promo 101 – www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_101.htm
“Coastal Suspense with a Touch of Romance”

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Virtual Book Tour - Elena Dorothy Bowman

Elena Dorothy Bowman, author of GATEKEEPER'S REALM is here today to talk about how she pumps up her online book promotion!Elena is a former aerospace software engineer, an Honors graduate of Fitchburg College earning a BS Degree in Engineering and Management. She also served as an officer in the Massachusetts Chapter of the National League of American PenWomen. Visit Elena's website at http://elenadb.home.comcast.net/

Let's ask Elena some questions about herself and her books...

1. What got you interested in writing mysteries?

I didn't start out to write mysteries, it was just a thought that came to mind when I decided to try a different genre than the one I had been writing. Detective stories were out, so I wondered what would make a good mystery. Then the thought struck me, what about the house on the bluff in Gloucester. Why? Well, when we were younger, my father used to take us to Good Harbor in Gloucester every other week-end as a treat. We always stayed at the point on the beach where this magnificent house was completely visible sitting on the top of the cliff, so lonely and foreboding. To our knowledge, no one ever entered or exited the house while we were there, and that was every weekend we were at the beach. I always wondered about it. Did anyone really live there? If they did, why is it that no one ever saw them? Did something happen in that house that no one wanted to talk about? Murder maybe? Questions that didn't have any answers were my thoughts that inspired the novel The House On The Bluff. This turned out to be the first book in the Legacy Series.

2. Do you see an advantage to writing series? If so, what are the advantages?

In a way, yes. Sometimes a story doesn't appear to end with the first novel. Questions may pop up that ask what if this happened, or that happened? Could it or would it, result in another novel or perhaps more? Only way to know is to start the first chapter in a sequel and see where that goes; and if a series comes of it so much the better. There were times when I didn't want to write the ending to the story, or should I say the characters didn't want me to end it…they wanted me to continue their existence. So I obliged them.

3. Do you feel there are pitfalls to writing series? If so, what are the pitfalls?

I'm sure there are. I can think of a few. One may start out thinking it would be great to write a series, but what if a series or a sequel isn't there? All it will do is frustrate the writer, perhaps resulting in a writer's block, believing they can no longer write, and perhaps be the cause of a great story being lost forever. You can only go as far as the story will take you. If it ends with the first novel, it ends. There isn't any point of trying to squeeze a series out of a story that ends with the first novel. It doesn't work. There has to be a reason for a series to emerge. And if it isn't there, it just isn't there.

4. I know that you worked in the aerospace industry. Did that background contribute to your interest in science fiction writing? If so, how?

Yes, it was part of it. The company I worked for was engaged in designing and developing missiles for the defense of the United States. They were also engaged in the space program. Knowing the engineers and scientists were reaching toward the Heavens, and the work they were doing could actually make these things fly was fascinating. Then too, there were the Buck Rogers, (yes, I go back that far), Star Trek, Star Wars and all the other science fiction series that captured my imagination were also a part in it.

5. Would you share a couple of examples of ways that you like to build suspense in your books?

Building suspense actually starts with the scene that a particular incident is going to take place. I like to gradually build the suspense with each sentence until there is a question as to what is going to happen next and leave the reader wanting more. With the Gatekeeper's Realm, I have Ethan and Tony with the Inn's guests approaching the Inn by way of the Bay of Death in a modern day state-of-the-art two-masted schooner. As they approach the Inn, Ethan and Tony are filling their heads with the stories of how the house came to be and the mystery surrounding it. This sets them up for the unexpected when they finally land at the Inn.

6. Who is your favorite character in Gatekeeper’s Realm? Why?

That's like asking a mother who her favorite child is in front of all her children. Since these are all my children, I cannot opine as to who is my favorite…they all are. Since they are all my babies, I cannot play favorites.

7. Tell us about the villain or villains in Gatekeeper’s Realm.

The villain is really from out of the past. And until it gets what it wants, it will continue to harass the guests at the Inn. After all, it is the Gatekeeper.

8.Tell us about the setting for Gatekeeper’s Realm.

The story takes place in a small village along the rocky coast of New England. The House On The Bluff, which is the first book in the Legacy Series, sits imperviously alone on a bluff, above windswept dunes that seemed to drift down to the sea on Adam's Point. The open ocean beckons as its waves wash against the fragile shoreline. Adam's Point is connected to civilization by a one way, narrow, twisting, winding, dirt road through heavy fauna, leading to a span that stretched from Caleb's Cove to Adam's Point. The causeway was built so low to the water that a good wave could wash anyone on it away. The wind blows out of the northeast. The widow’s walk perched high above, looks like a crow’s nest on a sailing vessel of long ago. But as beautiful as it appears to be there is no electricity, heat, water, food or phone available within the house.

9. Tell us about your best reader review. What made it special to you?

That's a hard one. All the reviews I received for the Gatekeeper's Realm were special to me. Probably because of the reviews themselves, and how much each reviewer liked the book. The reviewers not only mentioned how much they liked the Gatekeeper's Realm but recommended the other two books in the series as well, which I thought was a great big plus.

10. Are you a planner or do you write from the “seat of your pants”? Why?

No, I am not a planner. I do write as they say from the "seat of my pants". Why? Because the planning method doesn't work for me. I tried several times to plan out a story. I wrote the outlines and did my best to follow them but to no avail. The story hung up until I threw the outlines out and started all over again. As the story unfolded, my characters began to play a major role in how the story would go. In a sense, I let my characters, have the reigns and the story unfolded faster than I thought possible. Almost as if the story was writing itself. I really didn't know to begin with where the story would end…that didn't come until later. I had to wait and find out just as the characters did.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

News About Muze

I've never been into birthdays, but yesterday Muze turned 2 years old. Isn't it handy that he was born on a day that's easy to remember. He spent the day curled up beside me while I worked on the final chapter of Book Promo 101. It was a pretty relaxing day for him -- until the neighbors started setting off firecrackers and fireworks. He does not like loud noises, so he spent the evning hiding under the bed :)

But, this morning all is well and he's watching the birds outside the window. They should be glad he's on my side of the screeen. So, my Muze is another day older and we're both gearing up to finish Book Promo. Will keep you posted on how that's going.

Nikki Leigh

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Virtual Blog Tour Stops in July 2007

Muze and I will be hosting several authors in July. This is the schedule and I'll be posting updtes closer to the time. You're welcome to drop in and see what they have to say about the questions I asked. We look forward to seeing you and hearing from you while the authors are visiting.

This is the blog tour schedule -

July 13, 2007 - Elena Dorothy Bowman - Gatekeeper's Realm
http://virtualbookt oursforauthors. blogspot. com/2007/ 05/join-romance- suspense- mystery-and. html

July 23, 2007 - Judi Moreo - You Are More Than Enough
http://virtualbookt oursforauthors. blogspot. com/2007/ 05/you-are- more-than- enough-virtual- book.html

July 24, 2007 -Lindy S Hudis - Weekends
http://virtualbookt oursforauthors. blogspot. com/2007/ 06/weekends- virtual-book- tour-07.html

July 30, 2007 - Jane Green - Second Chance
http://virtualbookt oursforauthors. blogspot. com/2007/ 06/second- chance-virtual- book-tour- 07.html

For more information about each author, click on the link below their name.


Nikki Leigh – Fiction Author – www.nikkileigh. com
Book Promo 101 – www.nikkileigh. com/book_ promo_101. htm
Muze's Musings - www.muzesmusings.blogspot.com
“Coastal Suspense with a Touch of Romance”
Visit us on the Promo 101 Promotional Services site - http://www.bookpromotionservices.com