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Posts tagged “Writers

Phasms Vol 1: Infinite Potential by Barbara Garren

My Review

I was given an ARC to review and I had a few minutes, I thought I would start this book. Barbara actually brought me to tears. I cried. I grieved. She mentioned things about bereavement I had wondered if anyone else had ever thought before. She wrote it so powerfully and incredibly well. That being said there were always characters helping to keep it light, pulling us back from the grief and pushing us deeper into the story.

When I picked this book up next I didn’t put it down again. I had to know. I had to get to the end. The paranormal element comes slowly, weaving it’s way into the main character’s life before taking hold. I finished the bulk of this book in one sitting. My ass was numb. I had to finish it.

Watch out for Barbara’s leading men though. They can be real beasts. Wink Wink. See what I did there?

Below is an interview, a blurb to give you a taste, and a giveaway to get your hands on some serious swag.

Interview with the Author

So, Barbara – Phasms Vol 1 (Infinite Potential) has been out for a week. What was release day like for you – and how has this week been, as a debut author?

*Chuckles* Well, release day was interesting. I didn’t plan anything special – in fact; I told my husband I just wanted to treat it like a normal day. I think I was afraid of jinxing the whole thing! I went to work and, to be honest, got very little accomplished.

I was overwhelmed by the Social Media support and encouragement I received from friends, family, other authors and the general public. As a new author you don’t really know what to expect, and I certainly did not anticipate the avalanche of good wishes and new followers.

The most exciting thing is seeing all the new followers who are not authors – though I’ve picked up some amazing, top-notch writers as new “friends” this week! But it’s the readers who really tickle me and who I want to talk to.

 Any let-downs or disappointments?

Um, you mean other than someone giving my book a 3* review before it was even available? Not really. I wish more people would leave reviews on Amazon, but it’s only been a week and I do have to give them time to read it! I’d like to have more actual dialogue with my readers and I hope that will develop with time, but overall it’s been fabulous. The book has done better than I could have hoped for and I think it will continue to slowly develop a strong, dedicated following.

Talk to us about the publishing process itself – as a debut author, what have you learned along the way?

Wow – there’s so much! I have to say, I was surprised at how much really goes into the process. Despite numerous writer conferences and a lot of research, I was still naïve enough to think that it would be a straightforward submit/edit/release process.

Phasms Vol 1 took 5 or 6 rounds of editing to prepare for the reader, and we still didn’t catch everything (awkward to the epic degree)! We did 2 or 3 rounds of developmental edits which focus on plot, structure, pacing and so on. I have to say, my editor (Tiffany Johnstone) was amazingly supportive. She was patient, calming, understanding and all around wonderful person to work with. I was freaked out several times during the process, but she pulled me off the ceiling and reminded me why we needed to do certain things.

The hardest thing, besides not freaking out whenever I received more edits from Tiffany (LOL) was balancing time. Working on edits for Volume 1 while writing Volume 2 was difficult at first. I didn’t even know where to start on the edits when I received the first mark-up. I called an author friend of mine in a panic.

Then there are all of the cover design questions, back-cover/blurb development, PR planning, cover reveal and release day plans. Even with a publisher, there is so much the author has to be involved in and a lot more time is spent working on all the non-writing stuff. You just don’t know until you’re in the middle of it how much time and commitment is involved – but it’s so worthwhile, and who wouldn’t want to be intimately involved in all the details that will see their “book baby” through to its birthday?

So, over all? What would you tell “YOU” from last year at this time?

I would say stay calm, take it one step at a time and enjoy each day, each experience. I would tell myself to reach out more on Social Media for help, guidance, friends and fans and clear your plate of all the time-sucking activities that consume each day, so you can enjoy the moment.

Most of all, I would say embrace the truly beautiful and engaging people that are about to enter your life – there the ones that make this moment exceptional!


Infinite Potential by Barbara Garren

Entranced Publishing

February 24, 2014


Kelsi always Knows when bad things are coming, but even she never thought she’d lose her husband at only twenty-three. Since he died, she’s been living her worst nightmare.

Her nights are filled with dreams of a Dark Haired Man, but her days are full of guilt, because the Man fills her with longing and confusion, promising to give her all she needs, all she wants, all she feared she’d never have again.

If only the dreams would stay in her head where they belong.

Kelsi starts seeing the Dark Haired Man in her waking life, shadowing her wherever she goes.  And when her mysterious new neighbor, Aiden Hardt, knows about the Man in her dreams, Kelsi worries she can’t trust her own mind.

He’s not what he seems.

But even Aiden’s cryptic words don’t frighten her as much as the way she feels around him. Kelsi must sort through her emotions and figure out what’s real before she can ever hope to have a normal life again.


About the Author:

Barbara was born and raised in Southern California, but left to explore the world courtesy of the U.S. Navy. After traveling the world, she forced herself to live a humble life in in San Francisco, New York and Norfolk, Virginia. She now calls San Diego home and you won’t pry her out with a crowbar.

She would be the first  to tell you her husband, Henry, is the inspiration for all the romance, and the real Charlie – who is as cute as he sounds in her books – is a terrorist. When not working for the U.S. Navy, she can be found running, reading or writing. She firmly believes a well rounded diet consists of coffee, scotch, chocolate, popcorn and Luna Bars. In that order.

She’s a graduate of CUNY and Penn State – and manages to write a decent line here and there despite those burdens.

Social Media Links:





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Retribution: Book One in the Artemis Series by Virginia Brasch


You guys – my book comes out super soon! How soon? March 3rd, soon! This Monday. BOOM!

I know. I’m kind of stunned about it, too. There’s even a blog tour. Some amazing bloggers have been kind enough to interview me, let me guest post, character interviews, top ten lists: you name it. 

Here’s the schedule for the blog tour:

Monday 3rd March

Rage, Sex and Teddy Bears

A Creative Mind


Tuesday 4th March

Room With Books


Wednesday 5th March


Desert Rose Reviews


Thursday 6th March

Offbeat Vagabond

Starting on the Write Page

Lola’s Reviews


Friday 7th March


Musings of a Writer Reader


Saturday 8th March

Carol Clarke Blogs

Shaytastic Books


Sunday 9th March

Big Book Little Book


Monday 10th March

I’m A Voracious Reader


Tuesday 11th March

Lusty Penguin Reviews


Wednesday 12th March

Paulette’s Papers


Thursday 13th March


Entranced Publishing


Friday 14th March

HEAs Are Us


Saturday 15th March

Script Land

Daydreaming Star


Sunday 16th March

Written In Ink



There’s even a review already up at The Comer Experience who received an ARC of the book.

It’s pretty darn exciting. I’m so grateful to everyone who took the time out to read my book or have me on their blog. I truly hope you all enjoyed the book as much as I did writing it. Book people are the best people, aren’t they? 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I should get back to feeling giddy with book excitement. XOXO



Problems of a Book Nerd Writer.

1) Packing for Vacation

2) Bookstore is having a sale. Picked out three. Ending up buying seven.

3) When you’ve loaned out a book and several months have gone by.

4) When they return your  book.

5) When you binge read all those books you bought.

6) When someone interrupts your reading/writing session.

7) When your manuscript is (finally!!) finished.

8) Waiting on beta readers.

9) When they get back to you.

10) Emerging after edits for the first time.

11) Bad reviews.

12) Good reviews.

13) When you face starting over at square one with new manuscript

14) The moment you really get into new project

15) Totally worth it.

The Best Advice On The HEA

     Many moons ago, there was a time when I took care of my grandmother. I made her meals, and her bed, did her laundry and got to spend some really great time with her. Every day she would watch her “stories” and it didn’t take very long until I was watching them, too. You know, those soap operas that could drag a story line to it’s slow and agonizing end years later. 

   Grandmom and I had our favorite couple of the show. The underdogs that we rooted for. Those crazy kids just have to make it. Despite all the odds, every obstacle in their way (and there were many), they just had to make it. 

   After a lifetime of waiting, I turned to my grandmother and asked, “Why can’t they just live happily ever after?”


  Straight faced and to the point she said, “Because that would be boring.”

  You know what? Grandmom was right.

  Now as I writer, I have created characters. I’ve given them a life, a past, loved ones and enemies, habits, quirks, mannerisms and favorite phrases. And as silly as it may sound, I root for them, too!

  I don’t advocate drawing a story line out for as long as a soap opera does but I do advocate throwing obstacles in their way. If their goal, the happily ever after isn’t hard won – then it isn’t satisfying. 

  This means you need to kill your darlings – or cripple, maim, torture and emotionally devastate them. The hurdles they must dig deep to overcome, their journey to the HEA, is what makes the ending worth it. 

  So just when it looks like things are going smoothly in your book…


Take Grandmom’s advice and make the characters earn the HEA. 

The Truth About Writers on Twitter

    If you want any sort of job that relies on engaging the public then you need to utilize Twitter (and all social media platforms) to engage the public. Anyone with something to sell should listen up. Writers, this is you. 

    It’s endlessly valuable. The other professionals you interact with, the advice, the know how from seasoned veterans simply can not be found en masse on any other social networking site. 

   So, have you made your Twitter account? Go ahead, I’ll wait…

   There now. You’re all signed up. Maybe you searched for a few writers, editors and agents to follow in order to glean any tidbits of insider info like a squirrel hoarding nuts before Winter. I certainly did. 

   Interaction is key. A dormant account is counterproductive, so get tweeting and more importantly get interacting. This is crucial. The more you are “out there” the more you are seen. Favorite, Retweet, ask questions, etc. Soon you’ll have people wanting to follow you (yes, you!) and if you don’t, then you are not tweeting enough. 

   As I mentioned before, Twitter really is invaluable to this market but there was a strange twist I didn’t expect. We’re all looking to break into a market that relies on… marketing.

   This is the truth about Twitter. Out of your five hundred new writer friends, four hundred of them are selling something – hard. You’ll get free ebooks (which are awesome), you’ll be given snippets of dialogue or a teasing logline with a link to buy! Now before you get all judgey, remember that odds are you’ll be selling something, too. You’ll click the link, maybe read the description and you might buy a few. I did. 

   Then I noticed an ugly sort of creature, lurking in the shadows of Tweets until the numbers of people I follow went up and the sheer volume brought the creature out into the light of day. Repetition. A beast you can try and tame but will ultimately rear it’s ugly head, wild and unstoppable.

    To get the word out about your book, your baby, your masterpiece, you need to advertise it. Whether you are self pubbed or traditionally published, you *must* interact and market. Your book and a link to it should be in your bio somewhere at all times. You may even be tempted to wave a red flag to entice the beast. I advise you to get creative about how you sell. Give a snippet from the book, give the logline and include the link! Go ahead. But then take a break and advertise your wares on a different social media site for a while. 

   Why take a break? To give your followers a break! Between your own advertisements and retweeting every single good review for your book that you can drum up these people are inundated with numerous advertisements for the same book in every pass of their Twitter feed. 

   The eye picks out keywords. The mind says “I’ve seen this post before”. It’s glanced over. The next twenty five are glanced over. Is this upsetting? They are reading your hundred tweets along with hundreds from every other writer with words to sell. It’s overwhelming. You have become white noise.

   And let’s not forget possibly more importantly – it’s annoying. Imagine sitting down to watch your favorite show only to find out it’s not airing tonight and in it’s place will be constant commercials. Would you watch? No. This is an “on demand”, instant gratification, “The commercials have been limited for your viewing” type of world. Get on board. 

   If people follow you because they like you then they want to hear from you. If people follow you because they like your books then they want to hear from you. If people follow you because you are a writer and they want to be a writer, then they want to hear from you. They don’t want a constant commercial. They want to know what gets your writing magic flowing in the morning. They want to laugh that your cat tries to sit on your laptop the minute you get on a roll. They want you to be a real person, with real thoughts and a real life, like they are. 

   Interact with other writers and more importantly readers. If they follow you on twitter, yes, they want snippets of your upcoming masterpiece, but don’t forget to tell them that funny thing that fluffy did the other day. Maybe add a picture. This is my biggest peeve about Twitter. No one appreciates a selling robot. It’s an ineffective strategy. Be a real person. People tend to like them better.