Thursday, May 28, 2015

Body in the Trunk: Chapter 16

Chapter 16

            We were standing on a pristine-white beach. I could yet to see the surroundings. All I could see was white sand everywhere and my focus on the man in front of me: Evan. He was on bended knee. He held out the most unusual ring. It was not a traditional engagement ring. Instead it was white gold with an S-shaped top that had a larger semi-circle. Placed within the setting sat a Tiger Eye stone, a protective gem made of metamorphic rock that was golden brown with a silky luster.
He extended the ring box and smiled. I reached down and first touched his hands and fingers around the box, then I gently plucked the ring. Evan grabbed my arm. He used his other hand to pull out a sheet of paper, and he began to read it to me:
Love is never ending
Our souls are one
You are my other half
You are my sun
My stars
My guiding light
The universe
The planets
I will always love you
Eternity has no end
Our love has no end
It is the ring
The circle of life
The interconnection
The flow
I will see you again
And again
And again
Until the end of time
I love you forever.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Three BIG Self-Published Book Blunders


Self-publishing has its place so please don't take this blog as a critique of the self-publishing method. I'm going to review three HUGE errors with what is actually a great book. The green book California Girl Chronicles is my book published by 3L Publishing (www.3LPublishing.com). I'm not going to say whose book is the other one out of respect for (again) what I think is actually a great book (outside of these mistakes).

MISTAKE #1 - FAILURE TO USE VALUABLE MARKETING REAL ESTATE (THE BACK COVER)

Your back cover (aside from the cover) is the prime marketing "real estate" on your book. A blank back cover is a tremendous misuse of an important marketing and sales opportunity. The back cover is the second area readers review when they pick up a book, and it often triggers the sale.

MISTAKE #2 - FAILURE TO UTILIZE THE SPINE WITH THE PROPER TITLE

How is anyone going to find this book on the shelf? The spine helps bookstore readers identify your name and title. Not to mention it's yet another missed opportunity to market and sell. Even if it's only going on Amazon, readers will place it on their own bookshelves and friends and family will see it and have their interests piqued.

MISTAKE #3 - MAJOR, MAJOR EDITORIAL MISTAKES AKA NO PROFESSIONAL EDITING

I was so shocked by the editorial mistakes I just laughed and accepted this author didn't hire a professional editor. The mistakes were numerous. I quit counting. Every page was littered with errors. Again, the content was interesting and captured my attention, but it was unprofessional and poorly edited (maybe not edited at all).

Self-publishers you don't have to make these mistakes. Companies like 3L Publishing do provide custom publishing and professional services. Do you want to avoid this author's errors? Call us at 916-300-8012 or send an email to info@3LPublishing.com. You may also visit the website at www.3LPublishing.com.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Body in the Trunk: Chapter 15



Chapter 15

            After I returned from New York, Evan had kept messaging me about the partnership papers they had given me. I didn’t know why he was pushing it so fast – and that fact made me slightly nervous. I wanted time to think about the pros and cons and weigh the benefits. In the meantime, I gave the agreement to our company attorney Debbie Hill, a middle-aged woman I met while networking for the company. She was a conservative blonde gal with kinky, curly hair who always seemed to wear gray suits and white blouses whenever I ran into her at social events. She had said she would cull through the agreement and carefully check into it.
            I also cautioned myself to be careful since Evan and I began texting on a daily basis or talking on the phone. He seemed to know way more about my marriage than I ever told him. He said he had once been married in his early twenties to a sweet, but intense woman named Daniel. He described her as tall and beautiful but overly serious and lacking a sense of humor. He said she was cold, and he understood what it was like to live in a virtually sexless marriage. He said they were married two years, and the last year they had sex once. He admitted to numerous affairs throughout the marriage, which alarmed me. I feared he was a player, and he was going to somehow play me, too. But then I thought his sheer honesty about it was also telling that maybe he had no such plans. I wasn’t experienced with philanders or even knowing what one behaved like. It was hard to tell if his intentions toward me were sincere.
            Yet my thoughts about him took over my day. It was as if he had managed to plug into me somehow. This familiar feeling about who he was to me grew and grew. Sometimes he would text something sexy or just blatant: “I want to feel what it’s like to cum in you,” and I could barely breathe as I read it. “I want to taste you.” “I want to lick you all over.” The very words had stirred up such intense longing and excitement, and this pure lust to have him. I had begun to think about what it would be like to make love, to kiss long and sensually, and to feel him inside of me. Paul, who didn’t sleep with me anyway, wouldn’t have noticed my increasing number of evenings spent pleasuring myself to thoughts of sexual fantasies of Evan.

            The girls would be bathed and in bed. The house would be dark, and I could hear the faint sound of Paul’s snoring way off in the spare bedroom. I would know I could touch myself and could think freely without interruption. I would quietly get up, lock my bedroom door, and return to the bed. I would lay back against the pillows, lift my simple white T-shirt, pull down my silky pink panties, and use my middle finger to rub myself in a soft, circular motion.
I would start to think about him. His eyes, his sensual lips; what his cock might look like fully aroused. I imagined he would be large enough to please and spread me so that it felt perfect as he stroked me. I wanted to know what he looked like naked. I would think of him like a hungry predator, stalking me as his prey. He would come upon me naked in bed. Crawling the length of my body, he would be moving slowly up first my legs then torso. I could feel him hard against my bare skin. I would think about him using his fingers, and it was his fingers and not mine sending waves of intense pleasure into me. It felt so good.
I would think of his hot, moist kisses on my lips. His kisses would be tender and sweet, and then the passion would swell. His tongue would lick my lips to gently pry them open to receive him. I would lightly lick back, and our tongues would meet in a sexual dance that would build with passion and desire. This kissing would go on, and then it would escalate until he was fully erect and ready. I would reach down, touch his head, then the chord and most sensitive place, and run my hands up and down his shaft. I would be gentle at first, and then I would apply more pressure, and he would become firm and hard and ready.
I would try to think what it would feel like for him to enter me, stroke me, accelerate his motion, and then make it harder and harder. And just as I thought how hard and how good it would feel; a wave of pleasure would build with just the right amount of tension. And then the climax and release. I would gasp and mute my desire to let out a moan or even scream. My breath would catch. Then the spasm as the multiple orgasms would pulsate over and over again. I would move my hand, and push a pillow between my legs to placate and soothe my come down.
Then I would open my eyes and stare up at the ceiling fan pushing air around the room. The quite hum of the blades moving air as I would stare up. Then I would wonder, “Does he think of me at night, too?” And I would close my eyes again and try to imagine what was he doing. Was he, too, resting in bed with his hand on his cock having just fantasized about me? Were our minds in synchronicity thinking of the same fantasies, imagining the same pleasures? I felt it was so. I felt it was true. I could almost see him in my mind’s eye. I could almost smell him, his scent so specific, so sweet, so familiar, and so sexual. Yes, he smelled of sexuality and sweaty lust. The day I had drawn in so close to him, he had left behind his scent in my long hair. For the rest of the afternoon, I pulled a handful of hair to my nose and inhaled that smell. The pleasant odor was on me as if we had made love when we had only yearned and wanted. Our smells mingled anyway into a memory of something so personal and recognizable – and the smell made me ache all over again for him; to be near him; to touch him.
Every night this fantasy repeated itself. Every night, I would roll over and gaze out the sliding-glass door into the backyard. I could see branches yield to quiet breezes, leaves twirl up caught in the arms of the wind, and listen to the faint sounds of the neighbor’s dog bark or the distant tinkle of the wind chimes. I would wish for him to lay next to me, his hand resting on my hip, and to hear his quiet breathing.
I missed something each night that I had never even experienced. And the dull yearning and longing began to build up inside of me. Instead of joy and happiness that I was falling for someone; that I was experiencing the budding desires of new love and infatuation; that I was coming alive and reawakening from a long, monotonous sleep; instead of these things, a terrible sadness and an ache developed. I wasn’t Evan’s wife or even lover. I wasn’t supposed to be. I was Paul’s wife. And I didn’t want to be … not anymore. And so each night, I also began to do something else – plan for my escape. For the first time ever I knew something I had never felt certain about doing. I knew I wanted a divorce.






Friday, May 22, 2015

Body in the Trunk: Chapter 14


Chapter 14

Tim paced back and forth in front of his other brothers. Evan was seated at the end of the conference room table.
Tim was clearly anxious and agitated. “What the hell are you doing? You can’t fuck with this woman. Just get the partnership going. We’ve got limited time. Fly out there and get her to sign the damn papers!”
Ted, the one in the purple tie, got up to soothe Tim whose face had turned red from frustration and anger. He handed his brother a glass of water. Tim drank it and slammed down the glass. Ted was always the calm one and the negotiator between the brothers. He rubbed Tim’s shoulders, but Tim yanked free and began yelling again.
“You know what is at stake here! Our legacy! And what are you doing? Playing footsy with this bitch. It’s already getting harder and harder to hide what you’re doing. And why did we need to do it this way? Really brother? She’s na├»ve. She hasn’t a clue.”
Evan went over to the hard alcohol and poured a glass of first-class scotch, took a swig, and turned back to Tim. “You worry too much. She’s eating out of my hand. I have a weird connection with her. I’m playing with it.”
Ted stepped in again and touched Evan with a desire to calm him, too. Evan kind of smiled at Ted’s gesture; but Tim moved right up in Evan’s face and yelled, “If you blow this brother, I’ll kill you! Do you hear me? I’ll fucking kill you!”
Ted grabbed Tim by the shoulder, and Tom now stepped up in a defensive maneuver to head off the imminent fight between the three. Tom’s personality was like the balance with the triplets.
Evan moved back up in Tim’s face. “You going to kill me? Not if I do you first, fucker!”
“Stop it! We’re brothers!” Tom finally interceded.
Tim yanked free of his two brothers and continued pacing. “This fuck lost the company in the first place. Can’t keep your prick in your pants,” said Tim with contempt for his little brother. “Now we have a chance to get it back, and what the fuck is he doing? Such bullshit!”
Tim turned and threw the glass at the wall, which shattered it. The brothers all glared at each other when the door opened and Fern popped her head in.
“Jesus, you guys all right?”
Evan glared at her, “Fine. Fine. Go … go file or something.”
“Fuck off,” she said and closed the door.
“Nice,” muttered Evan.
Tim walked over and got right back in his brother’s face and yelled: “See! You fuck this up, and I swear … six-feet under!”

Buy the entire book, click here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Body in the Trunk: Chapter 13



Chapter 13

Mia opened and closed the door, and she walked smoothly with no expression on her face toward a rocking chair in the corner of the room. She sat and stared at the lump of a body under a brown and blue floral quilt. Tess suddenly sat up – and she stared back at Mia.
“It’s you?”
“Yes.”
“Did you come to tell me?”
“About Evan?”
“Yes. I love him,” she replied. “I’ve loved him in three lives. He is my twin flame,” she said. “He would never hurt me. I waited those three lifetimes to finally be with him. We will rise up together in all eternity reunited as one again. He came to heal me, to touch my flesh again, and to soothe the hurt locked away and gnawing me to death. I came to heal him, to save his spirit, to save me, and bring us back.”
“Is he dead?”
“Never to me.”
“Who’s the body in the trunk?”
“Find the options.”
“Options?”
“Yes, find them.”
Mia smiled, got up, and walked out the door.
Tess suddenly shot straight up out of the dream. She breathed heavily and sweated.
“What options?” she whispered.

Buy entire book on Amazon (click here) (Kindle and Print). 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Scott D. Roberts: Why Not Turn Your Work into TV and Film?

Scott D. Roberts 
Why Not Turn Your Work into TV and Film? 
 June 20, 11am to 1pm
California Writers' Club (Sacramento Branch)
Cattlemen's Restaurant (I-50/Hazel Ave.) in Rancho Cordova
*Non-members may attend luncheon


Why Not Turn Your Work into TV and Film?
Have you ever thought, "My book would make a great movie, but I have no idea where to start?" Join Scott D. Roberts, novelist, screenwriter, producer, actor and director, as he teaches writers all elements of taking a story from page to screen. Roberts is a 25-year veteran of the film and television business. He has worked in almost every role, from assistant to talent agent, to actor to writer, to producer to director. Join him as he discusses:
  • How to sell your book for acquisition
  • Methodologies to adapt a book for screen
  • Unique ways to write captivating and winning "log lines" that attract agents and producers
  • Where and how to find an agent by overcoming the Catch-22
  • Understanding the buying process and knowing the difference between an option or purchase
  • Insider tips and tricks to getting to know the "right" contacts and people

Q. Why should writers think that their work warrants TV or film production?
A. My answer would always be -- why not? A well told story is what TV/film executives crave. Stories unfold in writer's minds whether it's in a book format or a screenplay. The trick is understanding the difference in format.
Q. How has the screen made you a better writer?
A. The major difference between the mediums is the exposition. I enjoy fast paced action and pushing the story forward. Writing for the screen has helped me streamline my writing by showing with words what I want you to see without rambling about the grain in the wood that's on the wall of the office where my characters are standing.
Q. What’s the one question writers always ask?
A. How can I get my book made into a TV/movie?



Scott D. Roberts is the author of the award-winning novel, Vengeance Is Now (VIN), which is the first story in the Tate Holloway series. VIN placed as a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards and was twice-named “Best in New Fiction” for 2013 by the critics. Roberts is also the writer, producer, and co-director of the international award-winning documentary, "Gas Hole," narrated by Peter Gallagher and is not only preparing to film Gas Hole 2 in 2015, but he and Jeremy Wagener are actively writing the book, The Making of Gas Hole: From Death Threats to a Call From The White House, which will be out in 2016. He's also been a speaker at several conventions and expos and has appeared as a guest on several national TV and radio shows including on MSNBC and Fox News. His latest TV gig was co-writing an episode of the new hit show "Suvivor's Remorse" for the Starz network. He’s written over 50 screenplays and TV shows during a career that spans over 25 years and has had his projects optioned and/or developed by New Line, Warner Brothers, Paramount, MGM, EUE/Screen Gems and Columbia. In 2016, Scott looks forward to sharing the second story in the Tate Holloway series, Hidden Agenda, with his fans and is excited to pen more stories involving the heroic but flawed character of Tate Holloway.


Scott is also president of 3L Publishing (www.3LPublishing), and regularly works with authors to coach their books and write screenplays. He is also a professional ghostwriter and executive editor. You can find out more about him and 3L Publishing by logging onto their website or sending email to info@3LPublishing.com

Buy a copy of his novel Vengeance is Now (available in print, Kindle, Nook and iBook) on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vengeance-Tate-Holloway-Scott-Roberts/dp/0989136000/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431533285&sr=8-1&keywords=Vengeance+is+Now

Friday, May 8, 2015

Body in the Trunk: Chapter 12

Chapter 12

I walked into an old Italian bakery that was nothing more than a narrow hallway cut into a brick building. After I left the meeting, thoughts of Evan consumed my mind. He had asked me to meet him here, but the restaurant was hardly glamorous. I wasn’t sure if this was a date to which I shouldn’t be “dating” anyone as a married woman. As I walked in, smells of pastries and fresh-baked breads filled the air. I looked around and spotted Evan who sat near the back wall. He boldly stared at me. I walked straight over and sat down. He motioned to the gal behind the counter and within seconds a cappuccino was placed in front of me along with a basket of mini-muffins.
“I love cappuccino … how did you know? How do you always know?”
“Try the mini-muffins – best in the world in my opinion,” he said.
I obliged and gently plucked a blueberry mini-muffin from the straw basket. I took the flakey tiny cake, sliced it in two, buttered it, and took a bite. My eyes grew large. It was buttery, rich, and nearly melted on my tongue.
“Wow! I’ve never tasted …”
“I’ve been to Italy many times. You think these taste amazing.”
“Really?”
“Yes, I’ve traveled the world – Italy, Greece, France, Vietnam and South America. Danced with the natives in Carnival in Trinidad. But I’ve never met anyone like you,” he said with a calm smile.
The minute he said those words, a flash of the two of us on a pristine white blanket on a large chaise-lounge-type bed came to my mind. I was wearing a white silk robe, and he was naked. Our bodies were entangled in a passionate embrace. I could almost feel his hands all over my body, gently massaging me up and down my back, and then softly resting on and caressing my hips. We were kissing with such intense fervor, but also sweet lust and passion for each other. The fantasy was so real as if it had already happened. I looked him straight in the eyes, and we gazed at each other for the longest time until I finally spoke.
“I … I just want you to know I don’t normally do this,” I said and felt a wave of guilt and confusion wash over me.
Evan was plainly amused and said, “This? What is ‘this’?”
Heat and embarrassment came over me. I could feel my face turn red, and I looked down. “This …”
  Evan leaned forward and stared at me. I couldn’t help it – the desire to kiss him seized and took hold of me. What was wrong with me? I didn’t cheat. I was a good wife and mother, and this man wanted to be my business partner. It didn’t seem prudent or wise to even allow the desires to touch my soul and plague me this way. I stared into those intense eyes, and I reached out and touched the top of his forearm in what, for me, was a daring gesture. I ran my fingers up and down his inner forearms and felt his tight, lean muscles. I dared to stroke his arm hair in the most sensual way. We sat like that in silence with our arms locked together like a two-strand braid as I stroked his fine, blonde hairs. Then I leaned all the way forward so I could smell him – sweet, musky, almost sweaty. I took in his scent, and the desire became more powerful in an almost shocking surge that wet my panties. I wanted to know. I wanted to know what his lips felt like. I felt his warm breath on my cheeks, and I tightened my thighs as more heat turned into moisture and dripping wetness. The desire came over me like a forbidden urge that I knew all I had to do was just do it – move forward an inch, touch his lips to mine, kiss him.
And then I heard the faint, familiar whisper, “Do it.”
An invisible soul gave me permission. I kept my eyes on his. And ever so slowly centimeter-by-centimeter I moved forward close enough, beside his left ear, and let my lips slowly, softly drag along his cheeks close enough to his mouth and stopped. We both breathed heavily. It would only take one more move. He didn’t stir. He was quiet and waiting. I was now beyond any discernable point of return. In a swift decision I released myself. My lips slowly enfolded his supple lips, and the embers began to smolder, heat up, ignite, and burn. I sucked in air, and then I sighed and fully gave in. I abandoned everything that cried to stop and allowed the wanton craving for his sex to come over me in building waves. The kiss turned from a soft peck to an all-out passionate French kiss with two tongues gently licking and touching – and wanting. I lifted my hands and touched each of his cheeks, and the swell of lust overwhelmed me. The yearning to straddle him and wrap my long legs around his chair and grind my hips into him was so strong that I ached for him. And then just as swiftly I pulled back, out of breath, and startled by my own action. I looked down and touched my lips that still felt as if his were on mine.
“I knew it would be good,” he said quietly.
“Shit,” I whispered with my hand on my mouth.
“We’re not finished yet.”
I looked up and my eyes fluttered, “Finished?”
“I want to make love to you. To know the sins of your body.”
“I can’t do that,” I said. “I’m married.”
“We’ll take it slow, don’t worry.”
“What? Um, shit!” I cursed again. “What have I done?”
“Opened the box.”
I stared at him long and hard. Now what was I going to do? The thought of returning to Paul’s arms and bed revolted me to the core. I sat in silence a while longer and contemplated that kiss. Evan kept eating the min-muffins and gazing at me with such an unflinching stare. He held no shame in what we had done. I felt a push-pull between guilt, remorse, and a nagging desire to reach back across that table and kiss him, touch him, smell him.
“This is just the beginning,” he interrupted my thoughts.
“Of what?”
“Us,” he replied as if he couldn’t have scripted it better.

Buy your copy on Amazon (click here). 



Thursday, May 7, 2015

What Makes a Great Business Partner

Over the years, I collaborated or partnered with several people. Some partnerships are better than others. 3L President Scott D. Roberts is the best partnership I've had with anyone. The reason the partnership works so well might help others decide if they want to partner with someone. Now some people thrive on different kinds of collaborative relationships. So the gifts that Scott D. brings to the company and to my creative world are things that I found I personally thrive upon.

Sense of Humor. Does that sound unimportant? Well, it's very important -- especially under stress. If you can't laugh at yourself or others than life gets far too ridiculous. Anything can be diffused with a great joke, and laughter is a tremendous stress-reliever. If anyone read the texts that go back and forth between Scott and myself it would often be like reading a great stand-up routine.

Like-Mindedness with a Dash of Difference. If you have the same vision it's easier to make it happen. Thinking exactly the same though can produce vanilla pudding. So you do want to have a "dash of difference" that you can agree is good.

Fiscal Perspective. Your fiscal outlook should align. How money is spent and on what matters. You don't want to have demonstrative differences on how money is spent on the business. Lack of agreement on fiscal matters can erupt into arguments over money, which is unpleasant.

Creative Alignment. Some people don't think a good "fist-to-cuffs" over creative endeavors is a problem. They actually find the argument a good spark to ignite more artistic ideas. But I personally find creative alignment more like expansion. Taking the agreeable elements and then pushing them one step further vs. pushing back on them. If you're not in a creative industry then your goals here might be different.

Yin-Yang Balance. Emotionally and logically it's good to have a yin-yang balance, too. The ability to sit on the teeter-totter and flow back and forth with fluidity and thoughtfulness. Both going in the same direction, especially when it's a difficult situation doesn't provide a middle ground of contemplation and strategy to move forward.

I wanted to post this blog about partnerships because one of my most-read blogs is about this subject. I hope it helps leaders who are considering going into business with someone else. Good luck!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Why Work with an Indie Publisher?

Did you know 70 percent of Amazon top sellers are now produced from small- to medium-sized and independent publishers? Why is that trend growing?

1. Independent publishers offer one-on-one service and attention to their clients. Writers don't get absorbed into the book publishing corporate food chain where they may end up with half-a-dozen different editors and representatives on their projects over the course of their experiences.

2. New and first-time authors often cannot break into the corporate publishers because they either don't have a platform (AKA as following) or because they are unknown and unproven. Independent publishers give new authors an opportunity to get their books published where doors might otherwise be closed.

3. Greater attention to the content and book-coaching services to create award-winning books. Many of our company's books have won awards. These first-time authors might not have won without our seasoned guidance and professionalism to create the best debut book possible.

Not all independent publishers strive for the level of excellence 3L Publishing (www.3LPublishing.com) provides. We focus on quality vs. quantity. Yes, we are a business and like any business we are here to stay in business and prosper, but publishing books that win awards and shine bright reflects our company's values and mission. You want to hear this from your publisher. The real proof though is in what they publish. Make sure you look at sample books before you build a relationship. Proof is always in the products. Call us anytime at 916-300-8012.