Monday, June 29, 2015

Featured Author - Catherine Lagorio


1. What is your book Dropped-Off Dog (A Mostly-True “Tail”) about?
My book is about the real-life situation of so many abandoned animals. It is a chance for the reader to develop a sense of empathy for the animal who has relied on its humans to care for it and meet its daily needs of food, water, shelter, and love. Maslow identified these needs in human beings long ago, and we are just recognizing that domesticated animals have adapted to our world and now require them too. Dogs especially, are social animals and abandonment is difficult for them. Cesar Milan has told us to be “good pack leaders” and that’s what dogs (and some cats) expect from us. The dog in this story had been loved by someone and then, perhaps due to difficult circumstances, the humans in its life made an irresponsible decision and left it to fend for itself or become someone else’s responsibility. I am only pointing out and bringing awareness to a very real occurrence. Everywhere you go there are abandoned and stray animals lurking in the shadows. Some have lost their trust in humans, but many would love nothing more than to find a family to be a part of. Shelters are doing the best they can with limited resources and space to house the animals. This book is another way to help!
2. Why is animal rescue one of your causes?
Animals are gifts from God. They are our charges to care for and treat with respect. The blind adoration of a dog is so powerful. How could someone squander and take for granted that kind of "love"? I have always loved animals of all kinds, but being a veterinarian would have been too emotionally difficult for me growing up, so I chose this route instead. I can still help an animal in need, but not have to do the really hard job required of those vets out there.
3. Why did you chose a children’s picture book as part of your platform to convey your message?
Children are easier to teach and reach than adults. I have taught at both the elementary and college levels and kids just “get it” faster than adults do! They don't have all the baggage, emotional scars, and ideologies in place – and they welcome new ideas. This book has transcended the age gap though. Since I first wrote this book, I have met many adults who have rescued animals – and this book speaks to them. They have purchased it as an inspirational coffee table book! I love that!
4. Why did you chose fine art vs. cartoon-like images?
The illustrations are a part of conveying the story in a way that makes the story more “real” and not so cutsie. It is a serious story so cartoons were not the way I wished to convey the message. I had one publisher tell me that the story was far too sad and not kid-friendly, and that it needed happier illustrations, but I have had the opposite reaction from the children in the dozens of schools where I have read to them. They love the beautiful, realistic watercolor illustrations done so perfectly by my dear friend Robert Kelley. He studied my dog Steve and captured every nuance of his character. The children see this when they look at the pictures and know it is a real dog without me telling them. They are so much more intuitive than we give them credit for! They just get it!
5. Why did you select a hybrid publisher like 3L Publishing vs. a traditional publisher like Random House?
I tried the regular publishing route, but I have an impatient streak. I had submitted the book to a few companies and had gotten one rejection (mentioned above) and a few “no-replies”. Out of the blue, my illustrator had 3L Publishing come up on his Facebook feed so we checked them out and submitted the manuscript along with a few examples of the illustrations and Voila!, they liked us and thought we had a good product that they would be happy to represent and to put their logo on. I'm not saying it's easy to get published by a hybrid publisher because they still want a product worthy of adding their name to, but it is easier to get someone to communicate with you and work with you as a professional. Plus, I can't discount the possibility of divine intervention!

6. What did you enjoy the most about the process of publishing a book?
The most enjoyable aspect of the publishing experience is the realization of a dream. It is great to be able to say, “I am a published author!” It's a little bit ego-driven, but it is so rewarding to see the vision come to life. I had thought about every aspect of this book: what I wanted to say; how it wanted it to look like; and how it would be presented. When it came to life, it was like a piece of art for me to share with the world. My message had beautiful wings!
7. What is your favorite vegetable?
What is my favorite vegetable? Ha, ha! Well, as a kid, I was a reluctant veggie eater. I have grown up to love them all, except zucchini and broccoli. Roasted or grilled with olive oil and a little garlic, it would be difficult to choose just one! Is it boring to choose lettuce? I do love a good salad! I make a good salad too, which is another artistic composition, besides children’s books. I have nephew who insists that I make the salads for all the family get-togethers. I can reach kids through books and vegetables!
8. You were a stylist. What is your favorite piece of clothing?
Another difficult question for me to pick just one thing! I'm lucky to have worn many different hats in my life and gotten to experiment with lots of careers, as a teacher, boutique owner and stylist, an artist, and now an author. As a stylist, I was always trying to put together an entire look. Again, like the composition of a painting! (I guess that's how I think, in the realm of the “big picture”.) One “bad” piece can ruin the whole look. For me, a great pair of shoes and some cool jeans is the best foundation. If you have those two things down, you can throw on a t-shirt and an arm-full of bangles or a funky necklace and go just about anywhere!
9. You were/are a teacher. When a child sits in your classroom what do you want him/her to take away from your class?
As a teacher, of course I wanted my students to develop a love of reading, but I also wanted them to leave with compassion and a sense of responsibility for themselves and those around them. My favorite grade to teach was 5th because they are hungry for someone to recognize them as emerging adults. I always had high expectations of my students – and they almost always rose to meet them. Mistakes are part of developing character so, while they were free to make their own choices, they also knew the consequences. It is empowering to give them some freedom. I also wanted them to leave me with the idea that individuality and self-esteem are more important than just about anything else ... that is the topic of my next book! Stay tuned – leave with and use in life?
10. What would you rather do on a Friday night? Read? Go to a movie? Sit with a great friend with a glass of wine?

On a Friday night, the best thing is to spend time with a great friend, or friends, and have a meal together. Breaking bread and sharing wine, funny stories, and dreams for the future are among the best things in life. You can also have a chance to talk about the movies you've seen and the books you have read! 

You can purchased Dropped-Off Dog off Amazon or visit the 3L Website (click here).

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nothing Sells Your Business Better than a Book


When I open my presentations, I ask two questions: “How many of you throw away books in the trashcan?” I follow up that question with the next one, “How many of you throw away brochures in the nearest garbage can?” The second question provides the audience’s a-ha moment.
Most people feel value when they buy or are given a book. A book has weight. It has pages. It has merit. It conveys the perception of knowledge and expertise and time and money to publish. A feeling of guilt or at least a sense of environmental responsibility overcomes the desire to toss all that time, money, expertise, and most importantly “paper” into the garbage can.
On the other hand, how many flyers, tri-fold brochures or one-sheets create such a moral or ethical dilemma that you actually feel guilty to throw it away? I’ll be honest. I’ve thrown away countless brochures. I even curse when someone shoves a flyer under my car windshield wiper because now I have to find a garbage can so I’m not a litterbug (anyone raised in the ’70’s era of trash propaganda knows what I mean about litterbug guilt pangs). Meanwhile, I can only think of one time I deposited a book in the nearest trash receptacle – and that was because the author bored me with a bad sales presentation. I figured if she couldn’t even speak on her subject with intelligence, what were the chances her book would be more interesting?
Truth is when people either buy or are given a book, they are unlikely to throw it away. In fact (and this is the real value), if the reader doesn’t need the book or can’t use it, he or she will give it to a friend. This is the other a-ha moment when audiences responded favorably during my presentations. The pass-around rate on a book harkens back to that old Faberge commercial, “and she told two friends…” Not only do authors get mileage out of the first point-of-purchase sale, but also the pass-around benefit makes a book even more attractive – especially to business owners or those authors who wish to become subject matter experts to support their businesses. Brochures go away. Books last and are passed around.
This concept alone should convince entrepreneurs and executives to publish a book. In fact, a book’s value proposition to any business far exceeds its shelf life. A book is your entrée to new opportunities AKA sales and customers. I am about to cite the extreme value proposition that is sure to cement your desire to publish a book. The opportunities are so amazing I don’t know why when a book doesn’t cost that much money to publish that a smart business executive would not publish one.
When I share this information I am speaking from experience. My business books have built our publishing company 3L Publishing (www.3LPublishing.com), and sometimes even paid for the book’s cost in mere hours off press. The first thing I teach anyone interested in publishing a book is VERY IMPORTANT:

Do NOT measure the individual book sales as your return on investment! Measure the OPPORTUNITIES (e.g., speaking to attract business, media exposure, new sales leads, etc.).

My third book Vanity Circus came off press, and I took it to the Book Expo of America held annually in New York City. The first person I handed a copy to; she took the book with her on the train ride back home, read it, and by the time she reached the station, she called me and a $20,000 deal was cut. The book cost $6,000 to produce and publish 500 copies. Do you think after that one contract I needed to sell the other 499 copies to make a profit? That book sold dozens of other copies (and some were giveaways), and many more contracts were derived from those sales. It made a lot of money. I still have 200 copies I decided are dated and will discard. Do I care that I have 200 unused copies? The answer is simple: NO.
My other favorite case study comes from a client who shared this story. He published his first book (a niche book). A few months later he reported with excitement he had a new six-figure income executive position. How? The company’s owner read his book and loved it. A job offer soon followed. His second book (another niche book) he reported more excitement. He said the book had resulted in at least a 200 percent return on investment. He had sold it during workshops, made new connections, and seized opportunities.
What else does a book do to open opportunities? It creates prospects that would otherwise not exist if you didn’t have a book to sell or giveaway that supports your business. What are these opportunities?

A marketing platform—a book becomes the centerpiece to build your marketing platform, which will promote your business. A book provides a theme and content to populate your platform, which includes newsletters, blogs, social media, websites and more.

A news hook creates exposure to your name, company or service—a book creates news; real news that the media can feature. It gives you something to tie to a greater story at large. For example, a book about reinvention could be tied to the headlines for New Year’s resolutions. A book about a social issue could be tied to an “awareness” issue such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Exposure or increased visibility—the book and your name in the news and on the Web increase awareness of your name, book, product or service. More people hear about you, and the benefit snowballs into more interest in you and more “followers” or “friends” on social media. More exposure on social media generates more interest in current and future products (ultimately customers and prospective sales).

Qualifies you as an expert—now you are identified as an expert on your topic or subject matter. What happens when someone thinks you’re an expert? You get asked to speak in front of groups and share your expertise. What happens when people think you’re an expert and they see you in person speak (and you’re an especially persuasive, interesting or entertaining speaker)? People hire and buy from experts. Now you have two opportunities once closed to you before a book: speaking engagements and exposure to potential customers and clients. The media may even invite you to share your expertise for interviews, and what does this mean? It means even more exposure to your name, product or service.

            After I just outlined this fantastic sales pitch, you are probably convinced you need a book for your business or to support your profession. Yet maybe you’re not a writer or you are a writer but a so-so one. Maybe the idea of 200- or 300-page books just scares you. You want to run right out of my presentation or put this book down now and forget it.
Forget your fear. Don’t be scared. Don’t run away.
What I’m about to do is describe the specific value of what a book does for a business, how it does it and why, and then I’m going to calm your nerves. Publishing with a reputable and knowledgeable publisher or book coach doesn’t have to scare you. Many different techniques can be used to produce your book, including ghost writing for those who don’t want to write at all.
Now there are many scams out there. You will want to protect yourself before you ever work with any publisher through knowledge and education. The easiest way to see the quality of a publisher’s books and products is to ask for samples. Publishers can’t hide the truth in the final product. Make sure you ask to see samples. Let me tell you something depressing: an author who shows up to work with my company 3L Publishing and sadly shares his or her rip-off tale. Now this person is working on a shoestring budget or cannot afford my services. I wish I could help him or her, but I am in business too and cannot cut a deal because he or she got scammed. Regardless I feel badly for this person each and every time I receive that phone call.
So I hope now you realize that in fact Nothing Sells Your Business Better than a Book, and you will be well armed to go forward with information to achieve success and avoid common pitfalls. I’m going to give you all the information you need to make a sound decision, and then I am going to share specific case studies of authors/entrepreneurs/business people whose books created unprecedented opportunities for growth and success. By the time you finish working with us and taking advantage of our consultation, I am certain you will be clamoring at my door utterly convinced Nothing Sells Your Business Better than a Book.
For more information, contact us today (ask for Michelle or Scott) at 916-300-8012, send email to info@3LPublishing.com or visit the website at www.3LPublishing.com.
                       


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

TAKE A STORY FROM PAGE TO SCREEN



Find out from screenwriter, director, producer and publisher how to transform a story from page screen.

If you would like to buy a print or eBook copy of Vengeance is Now, click here and buy from Amazon or click here and purchase off the 3L Publishing website.  

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—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 the elements of taking a story from page to screen. Roberts is presenting June 20, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. as part of the California Writers Club (Sacramento Branch) at Cattlemen’s Restaurant in Rancho Cordova (located near I-50 and Hazel Ave.).

Join Roberts 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 a purchase
  • Insider tips and tricks to getting to know the “right” contacts and people

A 25-year veteran of the film and television business, Roberts has worked in almost every role, from assistant to talent agent, actor, writer, producer and director. He has written over 50 screenplays and TV shows and has had projects optioned and/or developed by New Line, Warner Brothers, Paramount, MGM, EUE/Screen Gems and Columbia. With experience appearing on national TV and radio including MSNBC and Fox News, and more. His latest endeavor was co-writing an episode of “Survivor’s Remorse” for the Starz network.

Roberts is the author of the award-winning novel, Vengeance Is Now, placing as finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards and twice-named “Best in New Fiction” for 2013. He is writer, producer, and co-director of the international award-winning documentary, Gas Hole, narrated by Peter Gallagher. Gas Hole 2 is soon to be filmed. Roberts is also co-writing the book, The Making of Gas Hole: From Death Threats to a Call From The White House, due out in 2016. Roberts looks forward to sharing the second story in his Tate Holloway series, Hidden Agenda.

As president of 3L Publishing (3LPublishing.com; contact, info at 3LPublishing dot com), Roberts coaches authors on their books and screenplays. He is also a professional ghostwriter and executive editor. For more information about the event, which is open to the public, visit http://www.cwcsacramentowriters.org/

ABOUT 3L PUBLISHING
3L Publishing is a domestic and global publishing house. We offer both traditional and hybrid full-service publishing. We specialize in working with first-time and emerging authors. Our company mission is to strive for excellence in every aspect of publishing, from writing to editing, and from illustrations to graphics. For more information, visit the website at www.3LPublishing.com or call 916-300-8012 or send an email to info@3LPublishing.com.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Body in the Trunk: Chapter 18

 
Chapter 18

            Phil had left Tess a message that he had more “stories” to tell her. He asked her to meet him at Selland’s Kitchen in El Dorado Hills for an early dinner. He said his trip paid off. Tess had also mentioned that she had something to tell him, too. She got ready that morning in her basement apartment in the back of the Victorian that had its own door to the street so Grandma Murphy didn’t always know when she came or went. But Grandma would ever keep tabs except for bigger trips. She cared about her granddaughter’s safety not her daily activities. Today though just as Tess was slipping on a pair of pink suede flats with a black bow on the toes, Grandma appeared in the doorway.
            “Hey Murph,” she greeted the older lady.
            Grandma walked over and inspected her granddaughter’s attire: an oversized purple sweater, pink leggings and the matching flats.
“You look so retro dear,” she said. “What’s the occasion? An ’80’s table dance?”
            “You know I only dance on bars.”
            “You seeing the groundhog again?”
The “groundhog” was Phil’s nickname between the two of them.
            Tess turned, fluffed her hair, and nodded, “Do I look fashionable enough?”
            Murphy reached inside her long, white sweater pocket, pulled a flask, took a swig, and nodded. “Well, I personally think some thigh-highs and lingerie might achieve your goal sooner, but yes.”
            “She came to me,” said Tess.
            “Who dear? Your boyfriend’s lover? Shame on him for cheating on you,” said Grandma with a chuckle.
            “No, Mia! She came to me in a dream.”
            Grandma’s eyes grew large and round. “Oh now that’s very interesting. Do tell your Murphy what she said.”
             “I don’t know what it means. Something about an option. Maybe Mr. Groundhog will understand.”
            “I used to have visions, too, girl. Did I ever tell you that?”
            Tess wasn’t really surprised, but she had never heard such an admission and replied, “No, and why not?”
            Grandma shrugged, “Some say ‘the gift’ runs in families. I suppose maybe it’s in the DNA. When your mom died she visited me. Told me to take good care of you. It was funny you know. Always on a diet in real life, but in the ‘between-world’ as she called it she was in a café with green gingham drapes like the one she loved as a kid. She was eating a huge plate of pasta and hamburgers,” she said. “I guess your spirit can’t gain weight.”
            Tess’ eyes watered a bit. Then she shook her head to pass off her sense of grief. “She still visits me every so often but less and less as the years go by.”
            Murphy wrapped her arms around her granddaughter and hugged her close. “No worries dear one. She watches over you.”
            Tess was about to leave when she paused and turned around. “Do you know what is a twin flame?”
            “Why do you ask dear?”
            “Mia said Evan was her twin flame.”
            Grandma Murphy gave it some thought. “Well, I never had the pleasure of meeting my twin flame. Few people do,” explained Murphy. “Twin flames are two souls who were created from a single soul unit with male and female aspects together. This soul unit was a unified energy sphere of male and female and split into two souls to create what they call twin flames.”
            “Is that like a soul mate?”
            “No, not at all. You can have many soul mates, but you can only have one twin flame,” said Murphy who shrugged and grabbed her Tequila flask from her pocket and took a hearty swig. “It’s complicated dear.”
            Tess could tell this seemed to unnerve Murphy a little. She smiled, nodded, and headed out the door. She thought she might need to do a little more research on the subject later.


            Later on, Tess glided into Selland’s Kitchen. It was decorated in a kind of eclectic kitchen chic with maple tables and white chairs dispersed around the room. In the center a long deli counter that contained hot main dishes on the end, salads, and tempting cookies, cupcakes, pies and candies on the other end. Tess looked around the room until her eyes came to rest on Phil, who sat quietly at a table for two on the far end of the room. His table was near the floor-to-ceiling window that faced an elegant pond and fountain. In front of him sat an opened wine bottle and two glasses; his glassed filled with a golden-colored chardonnay. As she approached she saw the word “Kenwood” on the bottle label. She couldn’t help but smile.
            She slid into the chair in front of him and rested her chin on the top of her hand as she placed her elbow on the table. Phil glanced up at her and couldn’t resist a smile. She looked simply cute. He liked her more and more with each meeting. Tess thought he looked handsome as he wore a light nylon black Addidas jacket over the top of a khaki- green “Bad Ass Coffee” T-shirt; she recognized Bad Ass from Hawaii, which prompted her next question.
            “Which island?” she asked and nodded toward his shirt.
            Phil looked down at the logo, which consisted of a donkey stamped on his chest wearing sunglasses and swinging in a hammock, “Oh my ex-girlfriend, Diana. She sent it to me from Maui to thank me for watching her stupid cat, Ben. Hate that fucking cat.”
            “Your ex-girlfriend went to Hawaii without you?”
            Phil sighed and replied, “Yes, clue number one your relationship is screwed.”
            Tess chuckled, “My last boyfriend fucked the 18-year-old neighbor girl and got her pregnant.”
            Phil frowned, “No very thoughtful of him.”
            “Um no, and I had to live next to them for a whole year till she gave birth to this super cute bald-headed baby that looked just like him.”
            “Wow! Your sob story trumps mine,” he laughed.
            “So you see we’re both lame,” she smiled and decided to change the subject. “So Droopy, what you got?”
             “Are you serious? You remember Droopy the dog detective?” he burst out laughing. “That was from the ’50’s. You secretly old?”
            “No my grandmother is.”
            Phil took this as a cue and poured her a glass of wine.
 “Thank you. Now you were saying …”
            “Well, I have another story, and it goes like this…”


            Evan came home later after his latest trip to California to find Fern waiting for him on the brown micro-fiber sectional sofa. Her dark eyes looked angrily at him as she held a pillow protectively in her lap. Evan knew he was in for an earful whenever she looked this way.
            “Why can’t you just get her to sign it over and be done with it?” demanded Fern.
            Evan set down his keys on the cherry-wood end table next to the sofa. He stared at her for the longest time, sizing up how he was going to avoid another fight. He also noticed that on the coffee table in front of her was a half-full glass of beer. She had been drinking. He knew he was in for a rash of shit whenever she drank too much, which she did more and more often these days. He wondered if that was her first or fifth glass. If it was her first the conversation would be civil. If it were her last, it would get nasty, bitter, and possibly end with her throwing whatever was at her disposal around the room. Evan had known Fern for years so he knew the game.
            “It doesn’t work that way,” he said and sat down on the edge of the blue recliner on the other side of the sofa. “How many beers is that?” he asked.
            Fern glanced at the glass, grabbed it, took another swig, and defiantly replied, “Who fucking cares! You fucking her now? Is that how you’re going to get the options. You going to fuck this bitch?”
            She then pulled open the end-table drawer, took out a pack of cigarettes, an ashtray, and lighter. She pulled out a cigarette, flicked the lighter, lit up, inhaled, and exhaled smoke. She sat with the cigarette between her fingers and blinked at Evan. Evan could see it was likely her fourth or fifth glass. She was drunk and belligerent. They say that alcohol accentuates whatever is your most repressed emotion. Some people laugh a lot when they drink; others get angry and yell and scream. Fern yelled and screamed.
            “I’m not fucking her all right,” he replied, and it wasn’t a lie … yet.
            “But you’re going to fuck her?” asked Fern as she put the cigarette back to her mouth, sucked in smoke, and exhaled again. “Don’t fucking lie to me. Tell me the damn truth. I saw you goddamn kiss her stupid fucking hand. I saw how you looked at her. I saw her get all goo-goo eyed over you. She’s fucking all over your shit. I saw it, so don’t lie.”
            “She’s married Fern. She doesn’t cheat. It’s not happening. So calm the fuck down.”
            Fern jumped to her feet and moved closer to Evan. Even knew the drill. She was going to lose it. Another night of yelling and screaming, and sometimes even slapping and pushing. Evan never responded back. He knew she was just drunk, hurt and stupid. He got to his feet and grabbed her by both shoulders so she would have to look at him.
            “It’s not her I love, it’s you. You have nothing to worry about, right. So, cool it okay. You’ve been drinking too much, and this is going to be another one of those nights.”
            Fern broke down crying. Evan sighed and knew that tonight wouldn’t be violent but rather another crying sob-fest where she would beg and plead with him to love her, fuck only her, marry her. Evan had consoled her so many times over the years, reassuring her he did love her and someday would marry her. It was terrible to watch Fern cry and sob, but also she would grow angry at some point too – and the yelling and cursing would eclipse the tears.
 Evan thought briefly of Mia who didn’t drink often and didn’t smoke. Mia who he had to admit he was growing to love more and more. He didn’t want to begin to wrestle the guilt of swindling her for stock options they so desperately needed to get the company back from Joanne. Stock options that were to a brand new start-up venture that Joanne had given Mia long before his parents’ divorce as payment for her services. Stock options that once the subsidiary opened for public trading would be worth a fortune and could be used to combine with already-procured shares. With the combination of stock shares, he and his brothers would take over controlling interest, and Joanne could never do a thing about it.
And here was Fern acting out again in the most undignified way. He had cared about Fern for years. She was his stand-by and safe haven whenever life got the best of him. She gladly took him in after his father revoked his trust. She was loyal, but she was sadly getting on his nerves with these never-ending drunken outrages. While he felt she was a pretty woman; it was during these outbursts he couldn’t stand to look at her. She would spit and sway from being drunk. And once the fight ended she would drink some more and pass out. It wasn’t attractive to watch, and each time it diminished his feelings toward her just a little more.

“So what happened?” asked Tess.
“The mother, who is also a horrible drunk, said Fern took a round-the-world cruise a few months back. Said Evan paid for it. She hasn’t been heard from since she left, but the mother also said that Fern said she and Evan were going to get married and honeymoon in Greece.”
“Can you find out what cruise she took?” asked Tess.
“We’re looking into that right now. The mother also said they planned to marry in Greece, too. We just have to research any Americans who could have gotten married in Greece in the last few months; but with all the political turmoil it might be a little difficult.”
Tess momentarily thought how romantic it would be to get married in Greece. And then she remembered the “options” and spoke up, “Yes! That’s it. Mia came to me in a dream and told me to find the options.”
“Whoa! Wait. A dream? Now you dream evidence?”
“Evidence … no, clues. And I seriously doubt Evan married Fern in Greece. He loved Mia.”
“Sounds like a con game to me,” replied Phil.
Tess shook her head, “No, I think he fell for her during the con. And I imagine that caused all sorts of shit.”
“And hence, the body in the trunk,” replied Phil.
“Hence …” winked Tess. “I like the word ‘hence’. I like words,” she said and her eyes drifted toward Phil’s gaze. She lost herself for a moment and got caught up in his two-colored eyes. She had forgotten her mad crush on the detective while she listened to the story. Now the wine was starting to take over her senses, and she felt aroused. She felt embarrassed all of a sudden and didn’t know why.
“Maybe I should get you drunk,” said Phil in an unguarded moment.
“Huh, why?” asked Tess.
“You know why.”
She leaned forward, smiled, and left it open for him to kiss her. Phil stared at her for a while and considered the forbidden kiss. She wanted to kiss him for sure, but still he wasn’t quite ready to give into pleasure. He just looked at her, and that stare versus a responsive kiss made Tess pull back and sulk for a moment. She sighed, took another swig of wine, and got up.
“I’m going to get a chocolate. You want one?”
Phil smiled and understood she was now on the hook of emotions. He pleasantly replied, “No thank you. Maybe another time.”




Friday, June 12, 2015

Body in the Trunk: Chapter 17

Chapter 17

Phil and Leron sat at the conference table waiting for the remaining brothers Tom and Ted. When they walked into the office, Phil noticed the quiet. A strange older woman with close-cropped, mannish-looking hair staffed the front desk. She seemed angry and not particularly friendly. Once Leron and Phil were alone, they were free to chat for a moment.
“Bitch at the desk was a dike,” Leron observed. “What’s up with the dude-look when you like chicks? I don’t get it.”
Phil frowned at him, “What do you care? You’re not fucking … it.”
Leron tapped the smooth, black table with his fist, stretched, and looked around. “I don’t give a shit, man. You want to feast on the yum-yum and forget the bang, bang, I get it; but sheesh, that beast makes no sense.”
Phil glanced over his partner and couldn’t help but laugh just as the door opened. Two blonde twins walked briskly into the room. They looked stern and serious. “Detectives, you here to tell us what happened to our brothers?” asked Tom who didn’t bother to introduce himself. Ted sat down while Tom elected to stand and not make it feel too cozy in the room.
“You must be Tom and Ted,” said Phil.
They nodded in unison but did not identify who was who.
“No man, we’re here to ask you what you think happened to your brothers. And what do you know about Mia. She’s gone, too?” asked Leron.
“Evan disappeared three months ago when he took a trip out to California to see Mia, who according to Evan was his lover,” Tom cleared his throat, “Or um, how shall I say this in polite society?”
Ted interrupted, “Fuck buddy! He called her his fuck buddy. He had a long-time girlfriend he lived with for what, Tom? Some two years would you say?”
“Yes, Fern,” he nodded in agreement. “After he fucked our stepmother Joanne, she divorced our father and stole his company Swedish Designs.”
“Wait! Is that the company that created the worldwide social network of international interior design traders?” asked Phil.
Tom nodded.
“Whoa! Bros you like got screwed. That company’s worth like what they say in Time Magazine, like zillions!” exclaimed Leron.
“Are we talking about the Joanne Garner?” asked Phil.
“Yes,” answered Ted who continued and explained, “Father revoked Evan’s trust fund after that little tryst and left him broke. Evan sulked over to Fern’s house. She had a thing for Evan almost her whole life. She gladly took in his sorry ass. But it was Joanne who got it over on all of us. She managed in the divorce to force Father into near bankruptcy. He had to give up his shares in the company to pay her out. Then our father, a proud but broken man died of a sudden heart attack.  And here we are now detectives – two missing brothers.”
“When was the last time you saw Evan?”
“He left about three months ago to go to California to see Mia. She was in a bad way after the divorce and begged him to come out. We haven’t seen him since.”
“What about Tim?”
“He’s been gone a little longer … hmm … maybe a week or two before Evan left,” offered Tom.
“You got any theories?” asked Ted.
Phil and Leron glanced at each other, and Phil replied, “Not yet, but we’re just getting started.”
“You ask me, this Mia chick was more trouble than she was worth, but you know Evan had a thing for beautiful women. Never could keep straight about them,” said Ted. “Always led by the wrong head.”
“His girlfriend, what? Fern, she okay with him fucking around?” asked Leron.
Tom laughed, “What woman ever is, detective?”
Leron laughed, “Yeah, my woman would cut my guy off for sure.”
Phil frowned at Leron and stood up. Leron followed suit. Neither Ted nor Tom seemed interested in shaking their hands. They remained where they were already respectively standing and seated and kept aloof.
“You have an address for Fern?”
“Yes, but she disappeared about the same time as Tim, but you might contact her mother, Ellen. You can get that address from the receptionist.”
“Right. We’ll let you know what we find out,” said Phil.
The twins nodded in an identical movement that for them seemed incomplete with Tim gone. The detectives glanced at them and then exited. As they left the room, Ted looked at his brother with a serious gaze. They both seemed sad.

Would you like a signed copy of the book from author Michelle Gamble? Purchase by clicking here
           


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Movie Review: Bessie

Rating: *****

Singing, dancing and a strong message -- you can't go wrong. First, the music was worth the movie, but the acting and themes stole the show, especially for young women and girls. Now the graphic moments (wish they weren't there) made the movie hard to show preteens and girls, but the message about self-love was way more important that I just covered my daughter's eyes when the moments were not appropriate. As a parent, though, measure your teen's maturity before you allow viewing.

Young Bessie Smith is traumatized as a child by family members. As a strong girl she manages past the absence of her mother and abusive older sister, but it haunts her entire life. She scrapes and climbs to the top of the early vaudeville circuit and 20's era, and men and sex become symbols of her pain, sense of alienation, and low self-esteem and self-regard. Early on Ma Rainey, another famous singer, recognizes her lack of self-love and tries to help her by pointing it out. Bessie becomes defensive and diverts her journey to rise to the top of her profession. In the meantime, she scandalously and without a moral compass allows men to use and abuse her, but also she gives back just as much hurt to her husband in particular.

When alcohol and drug abuse bring her to her knees, her reckoning and "awakening" begins. "You have to love your damned self," Ma Rainey cries in the early scenes. And therein lies for women the central message. Money, men, alcohol and public acclaim just can't fill her black hole of hurt. Once she focuses on loving herself she begins the healing process.

I don't want to give away the ending. I just hope women everywhere who suffer these problems will watch this incredible woman (as portrayed through Queen Latifah's spot-on and beautiful performance) experience her journey and come out the other end. It's an important movie, as important as The Color Purple.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Review: Wine and Roses Hotel

Review: *****

Are you looking for something to escape the world? Do you live in the greater Sacramento Valley? Right in the Central Valley roughly 30 miles south of Sacramento in Lodi (between Hwy 99 and I-5) sits Wine and Roses, an extraordinary vineyard escape.

Combining hair, nails, spa services, lodging and even some boutique shopping, this hidden treasure offers first-class luxury to vacationers and business professionals alike. An oasis unlike anything in the Central Valley, this hotel and spa's campus is a dream combination of pine and oak trees and water features. Please also visit the salon and ask for "Candace". She will lovingly and artistically cut, color and style your.

For more information, call (209) 334-6988 or email info@winerose.com. Tell them Michelle Gamble sent you via the 3L Publishing blog (www.3LPublishing.com).

Monday, June 8, 2015

New Release: Step Aside, Get Out of Your Own Way


Are you in your own way of great health ... happiness ... and personal and professional success?

If your answer to that question is a resounding YES, it’s time to Step Aside, Get Out of Your Own Way. Syndee Hendricks writes and outlines a system and methods, from suggestions to develop your personal values to improving self-esteem, and from writing your “Personal Mission Statement” to setting and keeping goals.

In this enlightening and practical book, Syndee walks you through a process to improve your life through conscious living. She outlines, explains, and provides exercises to:

• Believe in yourself and build self-esteem
• Use integrity as a higher way to live
• Eliminate “drama Queens and Kings” from your life
• Identify your personal values and build your “tribe”
• Create positive goals
• Build your dream-board
• Be grateful and spread your wings toward success

“What a great resource! I’m so impressed with how Syndee Hendricks illuminates insights that are often overlooked as we face a myriad of challenges throughout our lives. What is especially valuable, however, are the easy-to-apply actions to help you overcome them! This is an easy read to help through your most challenging times.” ~ Sandra Yancey, CEO and Founder, eWomenNetwork, Inc.

“We need to get out of our own way to get healthy. Syndee shows in plain words how to be positive, focus on our values, and block the negativity that keeps us sick, tired, and unhealthy!” ~ Christina K Major, Holistic Nutritionist, Naturopathic Doctor

For more information on the book and Syndee Hendricks' coaching services, please visit Insightful Coaching's website at http://insightful-coaching.com/

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Take a Story from Page to Screen


Find out from screenwriter, director, producer and publisher how to transform a story from page screen.

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—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 the elements of taking a story from page to screen. Roberts is presenting June 20, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. as part of the CaliforniaWriters Club (Sacramento Branch) at Cattlemen’s Restaurant in Rancho Cordova (located near I-50 and Hazel Ave.).

Join Roberts 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 a purchase
  • Insider tips and tricks to getting to know the “right” contacts and people
A 25-year veteran of the film and television business, Roberts has worked in almost every role, from assistant to talent agent, actor, writer, producer and director. He has written over 50 screenplays and TV shows and has had projects optioned and/or developed by New Line, Warner Brothers, Paramount, MGM, EUE/Screen Gems and Columbia. With experience appearing on national TV and radio including MSNBC and Fox News, and more. His latest endeavor was co-writing an episode of “Survivor’s Remorse” for the Starz network.

Roberts is the author of the award-winning novel, Vengeance Is Now, placing as finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards and twice-named “Best in New Fiction” for 2013. He is writer, producer, and co-director of the international award-winning documentary, Gas Hole, narrated by Peter Gallagher. Gas Hole 2 is soon to be filmed. Roberts is also co-writing the book, The Making of Gas Hole: From Death Threats to a Call From The White House, due out in 2016. Roberts looks forward to sharing the second story in his Tate Holloway series, Hidden Agenda.

As president of 3L Publishing (3LPublishing.com; contact, info at 3LPublishing dot com), Roberts coaches authors on their books and screenplays. He is also a professional ghostwriter and executive editor. For more information about the event, which is open to the public, visit http://www.cwcsacramentowriters.org/.

ABOUT 3L PUBLISHING
3L Publishing is a domestic and global publishing house. We offer both traditional and hybrid full-service publishing. We specialize in working with first-time and emerging authors. Our company mission is to strive for excellence in every aspect of publishing, from writing to editing, and from illustrations to graphics. For more information, visit the website at www.3LPublishing.com or call 916-300-8012 or send an email to info@3LPublishing.com.