Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning! Today’s blog is going to be an eclectic jumble, just random points I want to pass on to you, with no interlocking theme, so please bear with me.

One – I know I mentioned, probably on more than one occasion, that even though my author’s photo was only taken a short time ago, the picture does not look like me, at all, anymore. If you don’t know the story, I’ll give you a quick recap. I have been blessed with the lovely condition of Psoriasis.  A little over a year ago, the psoriasis had spread to my scalp, making coloring my hair – hair that has been grey since I was 17 – a painful experience. I’m not talking painful for the time the gunk was on my head, I’m talking painful for several days afterwards. So, I stopped coloring my hair. Then, because I looked like an inverted Bozo, I chopped off all the hair that had color on it.

Since then, I have been saying I need to get a new author’s photo, because I didn’t think it was right to look completely different than advertised. The thing is, I am not very photogenic, and there are VERY few pictures of me I find acceptable. That changed on Saturday.

Susan Gulliford, a local photographer and journalist, came to the Hillsborough Public Library Authors’ Day to show her support. She was nice enough to snap several pictures and then email them to me so I could have a new profile photo. I think it came out pretty good. What do you think?

Two – One of the biggest things we have to deal with as authors is the marketing of our work. Time and again you have heard me bemoan this necessary evil, but it is a fact of this career. If you’re lucky, you can surround yourself with like minds, lean on them for support and they can lean on you. We discuss issues and share best practices, and whenever we can, we help out. Today I have the opportunity to help out one of my “support system”, and I hope you will at least check out what she has to offer.

Lilo Abernathy was selected for the Amazon Deal of the Day and has the opportunity to hit the best seller list with a little help. Her book, The Light Who Shines, is being offered today for only $1.99. Lilo was a sweetie and she wrote up the whole blurb to use on the blog post so all I had to do is cut and paste. Here’s what she provided:

The Light Who Shines
by Lilo Abernathy
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance / Mystery
Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars
Regular Price: $4.99
Sale Price: $1.99 (One day only)
Kindle Daily Deal Sale Date: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

When Supernatural Investigation Bureau agent Bluebell Kildare (a.k.a. Blue) arrives at the scene of the crime, it's obvious the grotesquely damaged body of the deceased teenage boy was caused by far more than a simple hit and run; and she vows to catch the killer. Using her innate sixth sense, Blue uncovers a powerful magical artifact nearby. She soon discovers it acts as a key to an ancient Grimoire that was instrumental in the creation of the Vampire breed and still holds the power to unravel the boundaries between Earth and the Plane of Fire.

Blue and her clever wolf Varg follow a trail that starts at the Cock and Bull Tap and leads all through the town of Crimson Hollow. Between being sidelined by a stalker who sticks to the shadows and chasing a suspect who vanishes in thin air, the case is getting complicated. If that isn't enough, Dark Vampire activity hits a record high, and hate crimes are increasing. However, it's Blue’s growing feelings for Jack Tanner, her sexy Daylight Vampire boss, that just might undo her.

While Blue searches for clues to nail the perpetrator, it seems someone else is conducting a search of their own. Who will find whom first?

Danger lurks in every corner, and Blue needs all her focus in this increasingly dangerous game or she risks ending up the next victim.


Bluebell Kildare: Blue is a Supernatural Homicide Detective and a gifted empath who has a pure spirit and a will of steel. She was orphaned at a young age and has had a tough life so far. Yet, she continually picks herself up by the boot straps and fights to do what is right, regardless of the cost. Just how high will the cost be?

Jack Tanner: He's Blue's sexy boss, the head of the Supernatural Homicide Unit in Crimson Hollow. Jack is very old and powerful Daylight Vampire with many layers. He is driven a little crazy by his desire to protect Blue in the face of her independence. Can he keep his cool when Blue needs him most?

Varg: He is a great grey wolf who comes out of nowhere and decides to be Blue's companion. He seems to have some mysterious magical abilities and uses them to guard Blue's life. Can he keep her safe?

Maud: She is Blue's dear friend and mother figure. Maud used to visit Blue in the orphanage and read to her as a child. She can't cook but she makes awesome Southern beverages. What color is her hair today? Is it blue, fuchsia, scarlet, or peach sherbet?

Alexis: She is Blue's comrade and neighbor, as well as the sassy owner of a store called Herbal Enchantments. She is gifted in earth magic and if she isn't busy feeding her friends, she's telling them what to do. Does she have her hands on her hips right now, or is she waving her finger at Blue?

The Villain: Can he get any more evil? No. He is about as evil as they come . . .


Lilo Abernathy is a somewhat eccentric, deep-thinking, warm-hearted young woman of at least 43 years. She started out as a restaurant chain hostess and worked her way up to the exciting world of global mergers and acquisitions. She has enjoyed an on again/off again relationship with formal education and has been affectionately referred to as information hound. In the evenings, she fills her writing breaks by scanning the internet for answers to provocative questions, such as: "What causes diamonds to be formed in different colors?"

One thing that never changes is Lilo's ongoing love affair with books. A born bibliophile, by age ten she finished all the children's books in the house and started devouring the adult section. By age 15, she was working her way through grocery store book aisles and libraries. Just as Picasso had his blue period, Lilo had her own periods of readership--urban fantasy, paranormal romance, Gothic novels, etc. Now she's planning on creating a bookshelf for you to enjoy.



I keep raving to everyone how great my readers are, so if supernatural mystery happens to be your cup of tea, please show Lilo some love. Wouldn’t it be great if we could push her all the way to #1? I’ll give you an update as to how she did in a future blog.

Three – I have made a decision to affiliate myself with a publisher, but not the publisher in NYC I have mentioned in the past. Although he was a really nice man, and I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with him, there was something holding me back from signing my life over to a publisher - the whole “once burned” thing. Now I just have to get up the courage to tell him so. He truly is very sweet, and I hate to disappoint him, but I have to stiffen my spine. This is a business decision, nothing personal.

I do not have the same reservations with this publisher, because she does things a little differently. Oh who am I kidding? A whole lot differently. Once we hammer out, more like tap out, the details, I will reveal who this amazing publisher is, and the name of her company.

Let’s just say, after numerous emails and a nearly two hour long phone call last night, I’m really excited and honored to be included in her community. I will give you a tiny hint (and hope she doesn’t shoot me for it), but it’s the same publisher who is publishing the short story I wrote for the spooky anthology due out next Halloween.

And finally, four – This is the last – honestly this time – weekend I will be at CanterburyTales Forever in Peddler’s Village, Lahaska, PA for the season. Yes, it would be nice to sell more books for the holidays, but it’s just getting too dang cold out there. The high for Saturday is only supposed to be 38°, and standing outside from 10 until 4 is going to be miserable. So, if you were planning on giving a signed copy of one of my books as a gift, get to Peddler’s Village this weekend.

Yeah, like that’s the reason you would trek to Lahaska, PA. LOL. No, but what would be worth the trip is, this weekend begins their Festival of Lights – think Norman Rockwell or Thomas Kincaid Christmas. I realize it is BEFORE Thanksgiving, but I believe you seeing all the shoppes, decked out in their holiday regalia, will put you in the spirit of the holidays. Since it’s a festival, you are pretty much guaranteed there will be sales going on, and who doesn’t love a sale?

I’m not 100% sure, but I think this weekend also kicks off the gingerbread house competition. This ain’t your mamma’s gingerbread houses folks, some of the creations are true works of art. One year I remember seeing a gingerbread house shaped like the White House. It was spectacular.

Okay, time to bring this never ending blog post to an end. Sorry, it should have been split between Tuesday, Wednesday & today, but I have been busy the past few days, so I didn’t get time to post.

I hope you have a wonderful day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge:

I can’t feel my toes!

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.