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Bestselling Authors Q and A with C. J. Lyons (suspense thrillers with heart)

CJERContinuing our ongoing series featuring bestselling authors we chat with the talented and dynamic New York Times bestselling author C.J. Lyons. C.J. Lyons is a former pediatric ER doctor who was inspired by her very challenging work to pen award winning and bestselling suspense novels. She calls them “Thrillers with heart.”

51VCyQs5cNL._SX305_BO1,204,203,200_What was your first book that hit a bestseller list? What was the list, where did the book rank when it first hit, and how high did your book get? Did you think it would make the list? Were you surprised?

CJ: BLIND FAITH was my first major bestseller, debuting at #2 on the NYT list (and staying on the list for 7 weeks) and rising to #4 on the USA Today list. I was surprised that it hit so high so fast on the lists as I wasn’t aiming for any list other than cracking the Amazon Top 20.

When something awesome happens in your career do you celebrate with food, flowers, or fun? 

CJ: Depends on my mood. Chocolate is always appropriate, but often I’ll also indulge in a nice dinner with friends or a special outing.

Promotion is an important part of every author’s work routine. Tell us one promotion that you did – for a new release, or an event, or a conference – that worked well for you.

CJ: By far my most effective promotional tool (other than writing more books) has been my mailing list. In fact, that’s how I hit it big with BLIND FAITH—I simply emailed my readers and asked them to help me make a dream come true of cracking the Amazon Top 20 . . . boy did they respond!

What are some key ways an author can invest in his/her career in order to do better, get better, be better?

CJ: My agent has an easy rule for this: Write 2K a day, Read 2K a day . . . 

chaseweb1You’re a doctor by profession and you write “thrillers with heart” – tell us about that? Does your passion for your work have a huge impact on the kinds of books you write – or would you ever consider writing something completely different – like a racy Regency Romance? 

CJ: My most popular and bestselling novels haven’t been medical thrillers, but my FBI thrillers. But the common denomination of all my novels has been their “heart,” that emotional core of honesty that resonates with readers. Which is the reason why I coined the term for my particular subgenre, “thrillers with heart.”

300Nerveshires-copy-2-200x300I’ve incorporated romance in some of my thrillers (the Shadow Ops thrillers have tons of romance intertwined with the intrigue and my Hart and Drake medical suspense novels follow one couple’s evolution from first meeting to marriage), I’ve added historical elements, I’ve written novels with strong science fiction/supernatural elements, contemporary YA, and straight character-driven thrillers. By focusing on that core “heart,” despite technically mixing genres, my readers haven’t complained.

What is one thing you absolutely LOVE about being an author and one thing that makes you BONKERS?

CJ: Wow, I pretty much love everything about the creating and writing . . . the only thing that drives me bonkers (but it’s a big one!) is when fellow professionals (co-authors, publicists, editors, web designers, graphic artists, marketing folks, etc) act unprofessional: missing deadlines without warnings, not doing their job, or flat out flaking out and leaving me high and dry . . . I treat this as a profession, take it as seriously as I did medicine, and hate it when others don’t see it that way

StationElevenHCUS2You know the old story – that Al Pacino won the Oscar for Scent of a Woman because he should have won it for the Godfather? Not every book can “win the Oscar” or hit a bestseller list, but that doesn’t mean the book isn’t a wonderful book and worth reading. Tell us about a wonderful book that you’ve read in the past year that you think is worth reading.

CJ: I absolutely adored Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

What is the coolest/nicest thing a fan/reader has done for you or said to you?

CJ: My fans ROCK!!! I don’t know what I’d do without their encouragement—they’re always doing super fantastic things or sending me lovely notes. I think the most memorable, probably because it was one of my first fan emails, came from a man with cancer who thanked me for my books because they helped him get through the night free from pain . . . not too proud to admit that I cried after that one!

SnakeSkinweb1As a writer, what does CJ Lyons do best?

CJ: Thrillers with Heart: character-driven, adrenaline-fueled stories that explore the grey areas between the black and white of good and evil.

200x300FTDragingdawn200x3001Tell us about your latest release. And what do you have coming down the road?

CJ: I’m launching my new Fatal Insomnia medical thrillers (yes, it’s a real disease!) in both ebooks as well as trade paperback and hardcover. Book #1, FAREWELL TO DREAMS, is out now and Book #2, A RAGING DAWN, just released as an ebook with the print versions coming in January, 2016. I adore their covers—when I was carrying FAREWELL in my arms at the London Book Fair, people were coming up and reaching out to stroke it as if it was something precious and magical. First time I ever had that happen with a book cover! badbreak200x300

And, of course, my most popular series, the Lucy Guardino FBI Thrillers, will be continuing with a new twist and new start for Lucy as she leaves the FBI, giving new readers a chance to meet and fall in love with Lucy. The first book in her new Beacon Falls series is LAST LIGHT and will be out in May, 2016 (but subscribers to my Thrillers with Heart newsletter can not only get the first Lucy book, SNAKE SKIN, for free, they will also have exclusive early access to LAST LIGHT—learn more at

sweetchaiBONUS: What is something that you do on a regular basis that is a treat or fun or relaxing just for YOU.

CJ: did I mention chocolate? The darker the better . . . oh, but I also indulge in a lovely tea that most folks have never heard of, it’s a wonderful cinnamon flavor, called Good Earth.


C.J. Lyons
C.J. Lyons

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 29 novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons writes her Thrillers with Heart for the same reason she became a doctor: because she believes we all have the power to change our world. In the ER she witnessed many acts of courage by her patients and their families, learning that heroes truly are born every day.

Two time winner of the International Thriller Writers’ coveted Thriller Award, CJ has been called a “master within the genre” (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as “breathtakingly fast-paced” and “riveting” (Publishers Weekly).

Learn more about CJ’s Thrillers with Heart at, facebook, twitter @cjlyonswriter 

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Ashlyn Chase’s New Release And More Great News! Tug of Attraction is out today! (light paranormal romance)

TugCover-453x680TUG OF ATTRACTION, Book 2 in The Love Spells Gone Wrong Series, is out TODAY! This full size novel is only $3.99! A portion of the proceeds will go to the Endometriosis Foundation of America. My heroine Brigit has endo, so this isn’t your typical romance! Check it out (please.)

You can purchase Tug of Attraction at Lachesis Publishing and at the following locations: AmazonBarnes And NobleKobo, iBooks.


Failed actress Brigit Love moved back to New Hampshire from Hollywood with one goal: to have a child. So far her only babies are furry and live at the animal shelter where she works. Brigit isn’t willing to marry to get what she wants, so doing things in “the correct order” may not be possible. Even her Wiccan spells don’t seem to be working. Until she comes up with an outrageous idea that just might do the trick.

Handsome tugboat captain Ethan Cox loves his life as a happy bachelor and his only goal is to keep things exactly the way they are. No wonder his coven friend Brigit thinks he’d be the perfect guy to plant the seed and walk away whistling, especially with an iron clad contract protecting his interests.

Ethan truly wants to help Brigit, but the contract she draws up stating he must give up all rights and responsibilities leaves him with a sinking feeling. Will he lose Brigit’s friendship and make coven rituals awkward if he refuses—or lose even more if
Cupcake Coven Cover-edit (2)he doesn’t?


THE CUPCAKE COVEN (Book 1 in the Love Spells Gone Wrong Series) is getting great reviews! It has even garnered a reviewer’s choice award!

“The Cupcake Coven by Ashlyn Chase has the perfect blend of humor and romance that kept me turning the pages…
Ms. Chase brings me a great story set in New England that I didn’t want to end. I hope to hear more about this great town and those that live there in the future. I fell in love with everyone in this book. Five shooting stars and a Reviewers Choice award.” —Redz, Redz World


OR GET IT ON amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, iBooks, and ARe.


Copy of Fall reader_author conferenceMeet me in New Hampshire next autumn (2016) I’m telling you about it a YEAR in advance, because the first 75 readers to register get a great price break! Read about some of the fun and prizes we have planned for you and register here:


Ashlyn Chase is a best selling author who writes funny and sexy, light paranormal romances and erotic romances. Connect with Ashlyn on her website and on facebook and twitter.

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DEAL OF THE WEEK: The Possession by J.D. Spikes (YA paranormal)

Secret Journals Posession 1400x2100Our DEAL OF THE WEEK is The Possession by J.D. Spikes.

On sale for.99 cents. This week only! Click here to purchase.

Daphne Wentworth is almost seventeen, definitely a red head, and most likely the tallest girl in her class, which is awkward to say the least when it comes to dating boys in her school. But she doesn’t have to worry about school for the next two months since she’s spending the summer at her aunt Dwill’s lighthouse in Maine. What she does have to worry about is seeing ghosts in the lighthouse cemetery, having strange dreams, and hearing the voices of star-crossed lovers who lived two-hundred years ago. And then there’s a local boy named Zach Philbrook who works for her aunt. He’s too gorgeous for his own good. He’s also very tall, with midnight black hair, and the most beautiful indigo blue eyes Daphne has ever seen. Zach is treated like an outcast by the local teens in town. He’s Micmac and therefore not “one of the gang”. Daphne can’t help being drawn to his strength, especially considering that he’s had to live his entire life dealing with ignorance. But the local teens aren’t the only trouble-makers in town. As Zach and Daphne get closer, the lighthouse ghost lovers begin haunting them. When Daphne and Zach try to figure out how to fight them, the spirits get bolder and more dangerous.

The cemetery wasn’t far and wasn’t scary. Not to me. Just a scattering of old stones with ancient memories written on them. People long gone to another life and no one here who remembers them.
I dropped my canvas shoulder bag of goods on the ground near the gate. Wrought iron and rusted, it leaned into the cemetery boundaries at a precarious angle. Thank God I didn’t have to push it open . . . I’d have probably landed on the ground with a rusted spiral in my gut. This place was unfamiliar to me, except in passing. Though I’d known of the cemetery’s existence, I’d never gone in. I had too much to do in the land of the living for my short time here. No one ever came out here, so what difference did the overgrowth make? Aunt begged to differ and insisted I clean the place up. The lighthouse was two hundred years old this summer, she reminded me, and the cemetery belonged to the lighthouse. So, on a bright June day, I found myself alone in a somewhat decrepit cemetery in a clearing in the woods. I made my way around the ancient stones in an attempt to put off the start of my project. Most were upright and clear enough of the tangle of brush that a portion of the inscription could be read. One small stone, nearly buried in the overgrown grass at the north corner, caught my eye. I flattened enough of the green to reveal the single word Sarah, and beneath it Age 3 Months. Sadness flashed through me, unexpectedly. There were babies buried here? I slipped the hand pruners from my back pocket where I’d stuck them and carefully snipped the grass down in front of the headstone. I pulled viney growth from the top corner of the stone, revealing a W. and a P. Sarah W.P. My hand cramped as I diligently snipped away at the grass, clearing the plot. The screech of the gate would have warned me . . . had the gate been in better repair. With its useless tilt, however, I never heard him coming. The bag dropping next to me on the mixed pile of living and dead debris announced his presence. I flipped to the side, tripping myself with my legs, but managed to keep the pruners in front of me. I pointed them into the air in front of my face. Blue-black eyes studied me, one hand hooked into his pants pocket by the thumb, the other paused in front of him, fingers splayed where it had dropped the bag. In books you always read about these moments. Crickets clicked, or birds called, or someone’s watch ticked, marking time. Maybe all three. In real life, the only thing you really hear until you recognize that person is your own heavy breathing, that being indicative of the fact that you are in the middle of nowhere with no possible help nearby. So how do you protect yourself from something that isn’t really there?

Like what you’ve read? You can get your copy of The Possession by J.D. Spikes right at Lachesis Publishing for only .99 cents (this week only) or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or ARe

Connect with J.D. on her web site and on facebook

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Spooky Tales of Haunted Observatories by David Lee Summers (horror and science fiction author)

Percival Lowell Mausoleum
Percival Lowell Mausoleum

This past week, my editor sent me her notes for my novel The Astronomer’s Crypt. She declares it scary stuff, but has several good ideas for improving the pacing, strengthening the characters, and tightening the plot. I’ll be working diligently on the re-write, over the coming weeks and will look for some insights about the process to share.

One of the hallmarks of The Astronomer’s Crypt is that it’s set at a haunted astronomical observatory. Haunted observatories are not an area heavily explored by fiction or even ghost lore. So it’s fair to ask where I got the idea. Part of the idea comes from two prominent men who are interred in or just outside the observatories they founded. One is Percival Lowell, whose mausoleum is right outside the 24-inch telescope on Mars Hill in Flagstaff, Arizona. Another is James Lick who funded the University of California’s Lick Observatory and is interred under the observatory’s 36-inch telescope.

Maria Mitchell Observatory
Maria Mitchell Observatory

However, it’s not just bodies near telescopes that gave me the idea. My first job in astronomy was at Maria Mitchell Observatory on Nantucket Island. The building is an old-fashioned Gothic-looking building right next to the house once occupied by America’s first woman astronomer. My fellow research assistants and I would scare each other by telling stories of Maria’s ghost walking through the building. One night, one of my fellow research assistants even climbed on the roof while I was observing, made thumping noises, and sprayed Lysol in the dome to make me think I was smelling the perfume of Maria’s ghost. In a dark, cold dome in the middle of the night, it was pretty effective!

Mayall 4-Meter Telescope at Kit Peak
Mayall 4-Meter Telescope at Kit Peak

Even today, when I walk around the main floor at the base of the Mayall 4-meter telescope, I sometimes feel like I’m being watched. I look up to an alcove at a darkened stair landing, where I think I see someone out of the corner of my eye.

It always proves to be empty, and my skeptical mind always knows its just my mind playing tricks on me, but every now and then I wonder if a ghostly presence haunts the dome. One astronomer was killed at the Mayall 4-meter almost thirty years ago in a tragic accident, several people have died over the years on the twisting mountain road to the observatory, and I just learned that a construction worker died while excavating the tunnel for the McMath-Pierce Solar telescope just across the mountain from the Mayall. There certainly is a potential for ghosts at the observatory.

Perkins Observatory
Perkins Observatory

I’ve only discovered one observatory that describes itself as haunted and that’s Perkins Observatory which was built for Ohio Wesleyan University, a small liberal arts college near Columbus. Ohio State University partnered with OWU to run the facility for a number of years, but finally terminated the relationship in 1998. The history page for the observatory tells us that the ghost of Hiram Perkins, the math and astronomy professor who founded the observatory, haunts the site out of frustration that he could never use the site his money funded.

I’m a skeptic who believes science helps us understand our amazing universe and our place within it. However, being a skeptic doesn’t mean I dismiss things ghosts or the spirit world out of hand. I believe the paranormal deserves serious investigation. What’s more, I love a good spooky story and believe they tell us something about ourselves.

Author David Lee Summers
Author David Lee Summers

I am curious whether anyone else knows of a haunted observatory. Has anything ever been documented sufficiently well that it bears closer investigation? Although I’m familiar with several television shows about paranormal investigations, I don’t know of any that have ever visited an observatory. Can you think of any? I’ll be happy to follow up on any leads and report about them in a future edition of the blog.

(Originally posted on David Lee Summers’s author blog THE SCARLET ORDER.)

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Don’t Edit the Editor by Christine Mazurk (women’s fiction author)

Christine Mazurk, Author
Christine Mazurk, Author

When people ask my advice about writing and getting published, I say: first sit down and write the best story you can, then find an amazing professional editor. One is usually assigned to an author through their publishing company, and I have to say the one I work with is incredible. My agent happens to be an editor as well, so I have the benefit of working with two outstanding editors.

Why is having an editor so important? As a second set of eyes for our creations, an editor will find the spots where pacing slows, or a character does something out of, well, character. It’s crucial to edit these things before the book is available to the public, because we all want our best work out there, right?


As a writer, sometimes we’re too close to our work, so it’s easy to miss the flaws. An editor will point them out and help polish words to perfection.

Today, too many books are being indie-published without being professionally edited and it hurts credible writers, the ones who rely on their editors to fix the issues. Great editors find the holes in a plot. They question the goals, motivations and conflicts of characters. They also fix grammar mistakes and typos.


I’ve known writers who think their work is perfect and don’t want to listen to an editor. In my opinion, I’d rather listen to my editor and fix whatever stands out, than risk getting a bad review from a reader. That’s the worst possible thing that could happen. Bad reviews lead to no future sales.

My goal as an author is to entertain my readers. Share emotional stories with them. Make them want my next book. Having an outstanding editor makes that possible.

So, for those interested in publishing a book, go the traditional route and listen to the editor assigned to you. Or, if you decide to go the indie route, pay a professional editor. It will be money well-spent, because the book will shine, and readers will become fans!

SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVERChristine Mazurk, is the author of “Identity”, one of four novellas in the lovely and lyrical Sisters of Spirit Anthology (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends. Written by four real life friends: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk and Jeanine Duval Spikes (also known as J.D. Spikes Lachesis Publishing author of The Possession).

Check out “Identity” by Christine Mazurk in the Sisters of Spirit Anthology. You can purchase it at Lachesis Publishing and on, on Kobo, on Barnes and Noble and on itunes (iBooks).

Connect with Christine Mazurk on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

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The Book That Hooked You: Q and A with Sara Humphreys (paranormal romance author)

Author Sara Humphreys
Author Sara Humphreys

We continue our entertaining and enlightening on-going series here at the Lachesis Publishing Daily Blog called The Book That Hooked You. Today’s Q and A features award-winning romance author Sara Humphreys. Sara writes dark and sensual paranormal romance and emotional and sizzling contemporary romance. Welcome Sara!

DarkPrinceAndTwilightTake us back to when you first discovered romance novels. When did you become a reader? How old were you? And what was the first book that hooked you? Why? How many times have you read that book?

SH: The first books that I remember falling in love with were the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. But as far as romance goes, it was Christine Feehan’s Dark Prince that hooked me. I remember thinking . . . Where have you been all my life? I went on to devour everything she’s written and then hunted down other authors in the paranormal romance genre.

51yUGe4gFHL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Who is/are the book(s) that inspired you when you took those first baby steps in your writing career? The books that made you think “Wow, I want to write books like that!”

SH: Pretty much anything by Christine Feehan and Lori Handeland. Lori’s Nightcreature Series is one of my all time favorites! I adore her heroes and her heroines are sassy. Hot sex too!

Tell us about the kind of romance you write and why you love to write it.

SH: I’m best known for my paranormal romance but I’ve recently branched out into contemporary. I promise that readers who love my paranormals will find similarities in my contemporaries! You’ll get a hot protective hero who always puts his woman’s well-being and happiness first. There will be suspense and my signature twists at the end, along with a Happily Ever After. Oh, and hot sex. Did I mention that?

519fzSGfRAL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_What is one of your favourite Sara Humphreys books and why?

SH: That’s like picking my fave kid. Lol. But usually it’s the book that is completely finished and waiting to be released. Right now it’s The Good, the Bad, and the Vampire. This the fourth installment of the Dead in the City series and the hero is one of my all time favorites. Dakota Shelton is a vampire cowboy with a penchant for cinnamon lollipops and courting a woman the old-fashioned way. Dakota and Trixie’s love story comes out January 5, 2016.

19291332Tell us about a book that you’ve read recently (past year) that you love love love.

Jill Shalvis’ One in a Million. Oh. My. God. It was sexy and laugh out loud funny. Just plain awesome!

Name three of your all-time favourite romance authors and why.

SH: Christine Feehan—Her world building is off the hook and she made me fall in love with the paranormal romance genre.

Lori Handeland—Her heroes are super sexy and totally alpha and she writes some wicked love scenes.13629778-202x300

Nora Roberts—Do I really need to say more?

List three qualities that make a “keeper” romance novel and why.

Sizzle between the hero and heroine that burns up the pages.

A bit of suspense to keep me on my toes.

A satisfying happily ever after because the world needs more happy feel good moments and romance novels are full of those!

sarahs-angels31What is the sweetest/coolest thing a reader has said to you/done for you?

SH: I’m really lucky because my readers are freaking awesome! A few Christmas’ ago, my street team gals (Sara’s Angels) put together a box of ornaments for me. They each gave me an ornament that represented them or their hometown. It brought me to tears! I absolutely loved it and I think of them every time I see the ornaments dangling from the branches of my Christmas tree.

51NkiYqTiGL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_Tell us about your latest release.

SH: BRAVE THE HEAT is the first book in my contemporary romance series, The McGuire Brothers. These five hot guys are all men in uniform and they’ll each get their own HEA. BRAVE THE HEAT is Gavin’s story. He’s the oldest of the five brothers and the fire chief in their hometown. The love of his life left town fifteen years ago without a word. She comes back to Old Brookfield, divorced and with two little girls in tow, to start over. Gavin hopes they can do that together but a series of suspicious fires break out around the time of Jordan’s return. Let’s just say that sparks fly—literally and figuratively.

What’s coming down the road?

SH: The fourth novel in my vampire series will be out in January of 2016 and then in July 2016 the second McGuire Brothers book will be released. Beyond that I have two more Amoveo Legend novels coming, another Dead in the City book. I also have a new paranormal series coming out late 2016—Dragon Heat. This is a spin off of my shifter series, the Amoveo Legend, and I can’t wait for readers to meet my dragons.

BONUS: Sweet tooth or salty snack lover? What do you love to nosh on when writing?

Sara Humphreys at a book signing looking Fit and Fabulous!
Sara Humphreys at a book signing looking Fit and Fabulous!

SH: Both. It depends on my mood. If I’m really being good about my nutrition, I’ll snack on almonds, cashews, or olives. If I’m on deadline, then all bets are off and no donut is safe. Thank you for having me here today!

The fab Sara Humphreys has also started a Romance Fit Club for romance readers/authors to share info about health, well-being and fitness.

Connect with Sara Humphreys on her website, facebook, twitter, on YouTube, and on pinterest.

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Has a fictional character ever inspired you in some way? by Jacqui Morrison

THE-VIGILANTE-COVERJacqui Morrison is a crime thriller author. Her suspense thrillers include Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney and The Vigilante. You can purchase both books at Lachesis Publishing. But that’s not where it begins and ends with Jacqui. You see, Jacqui works with victims and witnesses of crimes. Her passion for working in the law started at at a young age, when she was inspired by a character in a popular TV show . . . 

Barbara Hale as Della Street from the Perry Mason TV show
Barbara Hale as Della Street from the Perry Mason TV show

Della Street (Barbara Hale) was my favourite character from the television show Perry Mason (which ran from 1957 to 1966). From a young age, I knew I wanted to do something with the law, little did I know that my love of law and justice would turn into a passion for writing courtroom dramas.

At the young age of ten, I’d voraciously watch episodes of Perry Mason, an American TV show about a fictional lawyer. I’d sit down in front of our black and white television and devour every minute of the legal show.

152417593I loved the character Della Street and I erroneously thought she was also a lawyer. Her classy style of speaking, combined with perfect outfits, made for a healthy obsession. I think I was her number one fan.

Perry Mason TV show
Perry Mason TV show

I was so obsessed with what I learned on Perry Mason that I would talk non-stop with my dad about the show. He humoured me as only a father can. I was so enthralled with the show that when I heard that a small provincial courthouse was within walking distance of my house, I wanted to sneak in and watch a real live trial!

kaitlyn-wolfe-crown-attorneyIn Ontario, Canada, where I lived in the 1970s, they brought courts to small towns because not a lot of people had cars. That’s why there was a courthouse that doubled as an arts and craft venue on other days. I never got up the nerve to enter the court, but I know I dreamt about it. My early fascination with courts and Perry Mason eventually led me to become an an author of crime and courtroom thrillers. It’s a fascination that will always inspire me, both in my work and in my writing.

You can get The Vigilante. on amazon, barnes and noble, koboYou can also purchase Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney on amazon

Connect with author Jacqui Morrison online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our Lachesis Publishing facebook page.




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DEAL OF THE WEEK: A Bodyguard to Remember by Alison Bruce (light romantic suspense)

A Bodyguard to Remember by Alison BruceOur DEAL OF THE WEEK is  A Bodyguard to Remember by Alison Bruce – a romantic suspense with a light touch. GET IT HERE FOR .99 CENTS! THIS WEEK ONLY!



Prudence Hartley has the usual single mom problems: getting her kids to school on time; juggling a gazillion errands while trying to get a full day’s work done; oh, and don’t forget about dinner.

But Pru’s problems become a tad more complicated and a lot more dangerous when she finds a dead man in her house. Or a dead spy to be exact. Suddenly, a federal agent named David Merrick shows up and whisks her and her kids into protective custody. Pru has so many questions spinning through her brain she doesn’t know where to begin. How is she going to keep her kids safe? What was the dead spy looking for in her house? Why are the spies after her? Oh, and there’s one more question . . . just a pesky, minor thing. Why does Merrick have to be so damn sexy and protective?


Maybe he was just doing his job, but Sergeant Merrick was my hero. He coordinated the paramedics, police, ambulance attendants, and an intrepid reporter who came running when three ambulances, an EMT truck from the fire department and half a dozen police cruisers congregated at the hotel. More importantly, at least to me, he calmed Hope and Boone, assuring them that their mother was fine, even if she was sitting with her head between her knees, holding a bloody towel. He got them clear of the chaos and made sure they got safely to their father’s with a police escort.

“I’ll have a uniformed officer stay with them overnight.” he assured.

Once they were away, Merrick signalled the next set of ambulance attendants to help me onto a stretcher.

“We meet again.”

I focussed on the speaker. It took me a moment, but I connected the dots. He checked on us the night before.

“Bob,” he said, in case I forgot.

I nodded. “I remember.”

“It looks like you were wrong,” he said as he helped me onto the stretcher. “Bullet wounds are catching.”

Flashing his badge, Merrick managed to get to us shortly after we arrived at the hospital. He made sure Zeke and I were kept together and stayed with us, even after repeatedly being told by the attending nurses to leave. Then, when we were alone, Merrick asked the big question. “What happened?”

I knew what he was really asking.

“Why didn’t I hide in the bathroom with Hope and Boone? You think I didn’t lock the door properly, but I put the security bar on and everything. I called you as soon as I could. What took you so long?”

I took a dive off the edge of rationality into the deep end of guilt and second-guessing. I burst into tears. I hate it when that happens.

“Give her a break, Sarge,” said Zeke, raising himself up on his good elbow. “She saved my life.”

Merrick, who had taken my outburst calmly, raised an eyebrow.

“Well,” Zeke temporised, “she intended to save my life. She couldn’t know that I had moved out of the line of fire.” He tried to sit up. “I know, I never should have been in his line of fire in the first place . . . probably should stick to the backroom stuff . . .”

In the midst of my sobbing and Zeke’s self-flagellation, Merrick told us to calm down.

Big mistake. That might have worked on Zeke. Don’t know. Wasn’t paying attention. For me, it was like waving a red cape in front of a bull. All my fear and guilt transformed into anger directed at him. I grabbed him by the shirt-front and pulled myself up with the strength that comes with hysteria.

“I’m not a cop. I’m a mother,” I shouted, hopping bare footed onto the cold floor. “I didn’t hide with my children because I figured that whoever it was, they were looking for me. If they found me, they wouldn’t go looking for my kids too. I didn’t know if you’d get there in time to stop Hope and Boone from becoming hostages and I wasn’t going to risk it. I wasn’t going to risk Zeke dying either and I would have done the same for you.”

I spoke in a rush, losing volume and air as I went, losing momentum as I realized the attention I was drawing. Not one of my shining moments.

I started to collapse. I tried to steady myself using my handhold on Merrick’s shirt. He grabbed my shoulders to brace me. He didn’t lose his cool for an instant.

“Call a nurse,” he told Zeke. “She’s bleeding.”

I gave a choke of laughter. There were at least two nurses, an orderly, and three men in uniform ranged behind Merrick.

My vision got blurry. I blinked to clear it, refocused, and noticed that Merrick was wearing red and green plaid pyjamas. I let go of his top and smoothed out the soft material.

“Flannel,” I said, and passed out.

Like what you’ve read so far? You can get your copy of  A Bodyguard to Remember at Lachesis Publishing as well as amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.


Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. In addition to writing, she is the Publication Manager of Crime Writers of Canada and part-time tech guru to the technology-impaired.

Alison writes mysteries, romantic suspense and historical romance. Her protagonists are marked by their strength of character, the ability to adapt (sooner or later) to new situations and to learn from adversity–traits she hopes to pass on to her children, Kate and Sam.

You can connect with Alison Bruce on her website and on facebook and twitter.

You can get your copy of  A Bodyguard to Remember at Lachesis Publishing FOR ONLY .99 CENTS. THIS WEEK ONLY. You can also purchase your copy at amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.

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book shelves, books and stairs, Fun Friday, Fun Friday, Lachesis Blog

Fun Friday: Books and stairs make great pairs!

Don’t you just love finding cool places to shelve your books?












stairs-made-into-bookshelves-16We love the idea of turning your stairs into book shelves. So cool. And very eye-catching. Not to mention a great use of “dead space”.

blog post, From the Editor's Desk, Lachesis authors, Lachesis Blog, promoting your books, Publishers and editors, Publishing industry, romance novels, So You want to be a bestselling ?, So you want to be a bestselling author?, Social Media, Submitting your book, work routine, writing craft

Dos and Don’ts for submitting your Manuscript by Joanna D’Angelo (Editor, Lachesis Publishing)

Oh, the stories I could tell you about some of the submissions I’ve received at Lachesis Publishing. Some funny, some weird, and some down right scary! The thing is – making a submission isn’t rocket science – it just requires some common sense and a good manuscript of course. So here are my DOs and DON’Ts when making a submission or a cold query.

Um . . . you don't need to mention your mom in your query. (The Simpsons)
Um . . . you don’t need to mention your mom in your query. (The Simpsons)

Do: Introduce yourself in your e-mail query. Tell me a bit about yourself, your work, and where you’re from, and your educational background. Some editors may not care to know this right off the bat, but I do. I want to get a good sense of you as a person. But don’t tell me your entire life story in a grand sweeping saga. And don’t write your query as the heroine or hero of your book. And don’t tell me what you had for breakfast. Just make it to the point but include something that could grab my attention. Let’s say you’re submitting a military romance and you have a background in the military. That would definitely interest me. And guess what? It could give you that “edge” (aside from your wonderful book) that convinces us to sign you up. Why does it matter? Because, if you have something unique about you that can help you stand out – then I want to know about it.

Do: Include your social media links in your signature line or in an attached bio. I want to know if you have a blog, a website, a facebook account, a twitter account. Etc . . . Why? Because it tells me that you are already out there in the social media universe. And you have a presence, a foundation, to attract readers, fans. It tells me you are building relationships with fellow authors. It tells me that you already have contacts, friends, people you’ve connected with who could be potential readers. It tells me you are thinking like a pro who is serious about his or her career.

Stay current when it comes to social media.
Stay current when it comes to social media.

Do: Make sure you actually have at least one social media account. I’ve received submissions from people who have NOTHING! All they have is their email account. What is this – 1992?

Do: Attach at least the first three or four chapters of your book. The synopsis is a no-brainer. That’s a must of course! But you can send me the entire manuscript if you like, as long as it’s formatted properly. For details on formatting click here. The first few chapters will help me figure out if I want to read the rest of it.

Advertising sign on wooden post --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Advertising sign on wooden post — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Do: Attach a brief marketing plan (2-3 pages) with your submission. Why do such a thing? Isn’t that what the publisher is for? In today’s marketplace you can’t rely solely on your publisher to sell your book. The publisher will focus on the book, but you must focus on your own career. Do your research. There is a lot of info out there about how to market yourself and your books. Every successful author who is making a living full time at their craft, is involved in their own careers. From social media, to newsletters, to savvy websites, to street teams, to book signings, to giveaways, to buying advertising, to attending reading events and conferences–you need to be thinking pro-actively instead of re-actively. You need to be thinking long term and big picture, not just in terms of a new release and you need to put that all down in a nice, well-written marketing plan.

Before you hit send and celebrate - check your query - or seal your fate!
Before you hit send and celebrate – check your query – or seal your fate!

Do: Make sure you spell check your email. I cannot tell you the number of times that I’ve received an email loaded with spelling errors. We all know mistakes happen. And sometimes typos slip by us. But a query letter should be polished. So make sure you spell check or have a friend read it.

Do your homework!
Do your homework!

Now fasten your seatbelt for some DOOZY DONT’s:

Don’t: Just send me your book with one line that says: “Hi I’ve attached my book for you to consider.” Guess what?  I don’t have time to chase you down and ask you for everything I need from you. That is your job! You need to figure that out. Be professional. Do your research ahead of time. You need to find out what to send me, so don’t act like you’re in elementary school, hoping for the teacher to tell you.

Try not to throw out comparisons to authors like Stephen King. It could backfire on you.
Try not to throw out comparisons to authors like Stephen King. It could backfire on you.

Don’t: Please don’t write some “clever” intro where you tell me why your book is so amazing. Or why it’s going to appeal to EVERYONE. Really? Stephen King is one of the biggest selling authors of all time and he still doesn’t appeal to EVERYONE.  If you think your book is amazing – great! I’m happy for you. But I may not agree. I don’t like cocky or aggressive emails.

Don’t: I don’t want to see your cover art ideas. And I certainly don’t want you to submit a cover design to go with your book. So don’t attach any images to go with your manuscript. All I want is the book. There is plenty of time to think about the cover later. That’s if we decide to take you on.

Don’t: Don’t miss an opportunity to connect. I once received a query from a writer who was a fan of one of our authors and made a point of mentioning it in her query. Guess what? I took notice of that. I like it that writers pay attention to our books at Lachesis Publishing, and our facebook page, and our website. That’s being savvy. That means you are thinking about the world outside the pages of your book. It means you are open and aware and understand that to sell a book you have to interact and connect.

genius at work title written with chalk on blackboardDon’t: Don’t be a jerk. Don’t send me some vile story about a woman having sex with her son and try to pass it off as “erotica” or “erotic fantasy”. Whackos need not apply. If you’re a serious writer then you need to visit a publisher’s website to see what they already have on their roster, before you even think of making a submission.

Don’t: Don’t send out a mass email to a bunch of editors and agents and then forget to BCC all the emails. Unprofessional to the nth degree. I will hit the delete button before you even have a chance to send your next mass email out.

So that’s my list of Dos and Don’ts. See? It’s all about common sense. And good sense. And a little bit of a “sixth sense”. 🙂 Write a good story. Be true to yourself. Don’t give up. Be nice. Have fun.

Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing. She loves chai tea, social media, and good writing. Connect with Joanna on twitter@JoannaDangelo, on facebook and on pinterest.

Her facebook page is: Love Romance Novels (on facebook)

Her other blogs are: thepopculturedivas and therevolvingbook

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