Music Monday says You’re So Vain

Over the next weeks, I’m featuring music to provide clues for my upcoming mystery novel.

These songs can hint at: Character, setting, mood, plot, and more.

“You’re So Vain” is a mysterious song. Who is Carly Simon singing about? The speculation has ranged from Warren Beatty to Mick Jagger to David Geffen and others. Rumour has it the subject was whispered backwards at the beginning of the song.

I love these little puzzles that keep people guessing. Don’t you? ;)

To recap, the clues so far were:

The Tide Is High

Crazy

Coconut

Mad World

Something

If you want to read other genres I write in: erotica/romance, flash fiction, and short stories with a twist, check out the selection.

Have a lovely week,

eden

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Read an Exchange with author @MWeidenbenner1

I love discovering new authors. When I put a call out for mystery/thriller writers to interview, Michelle answered the request, so here she is. In reading her responses, I discovered we had one odd thing in common. She loves oatmeal! I can’t think of many people who would say that. Let’s find out more about Michelle and her writing. Continue reading

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Wild World ~ A story for @RBwood’s Word Count Podcast

You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #37 of R.B. Wood’s “The Word Count” podcast.

The prompt for this podcast is  “I was out for an early morning stroll when…” There was also a photograph by fellow writer, Matthew Munson that spurred the prompt. You can see it here.

*  *  *  *

I walk briskly pulling my suitcase behind me when a clicking noise halts my steps. A shiver runs through me, the kind that lingers until you discover the source of the sound. I turn around and see no one. The empty street is dark and foggy. I lower the volume on my Sony Walkman, maybe it’s the faulty cassette inside. I breathe a bit easier.

Cat Stevens singing “Wild World” was my theme song while I traveled Asia and discovered the world he sung about. The lyrics rang in my ears …

“ … Oh baby, baby, it’s a wild world

I’ll always remember you like a child, girl …”

I was a child really, nineteen, uncultured, naïve.

I bought the tape at an outdoor market in Bali. The quality wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible, considering it was a knock-off. Besides, what could I expect for less than 1500 Rupiah—the equivalent of ten cents Canadian.

Now, here I was—six months later, leaving Rotterdam to fly back home. It’s February and it’s cold, and my skin still thirsts for the humidity of the tropics.

* * * *

I met Elise in Bali at an open market, which sold everything from scarves to kites to kitchenware. I was looking for music, and she was browsing for souvenirs on her last day before returning home.

We hit it off immediately. She was older then me, at least twenty years older, but that didn’t matter. I liked her candor, her experience, her accent. She was talented with languages, speaking five of them fluently, even though she said English was not her best. Before she left to catch her plane, she made me promise to visit her in Rotterdam if I stopped in Europe before returning home. I did promise her, though I had no intention of going to Europe.

How things changed.

I met a Dutch businessman shortly thereafter in Thailand, fell hard for him. He was married, but that didn’t stop me. The brief affair lasted less than two days, but I promised to meet him on the way home. Of course, I could not stay with him, so I thought of Elise, discovered Rotterdam wasn’t that far by train from Amsterdam. I could use her home as my base for seeing the sights and planning meetings with my Dutchman. It seemed a good idea, selfish as it was, but I didn’t have money for a hotel. I convinced myself Elise was happy to offer her home to me, and she was.

I didn’t know why at the time, now I do.

Today, I leave Elise because I cannot reciprocate her feelings. She made her intentions known by joining me in the shower the third night I stayed with her. It shocked me, not in the way it would if a man did it. It wasn’t fear or repulsion, but indifference. As much as I wanted to experience the wild world, it did not extend to my sexuality.

“But how do you know if you don’t try?” she asked me.

“I like you Elise, but I’m not attracted to you,” I said, in as reassuring a tone as I could, with both of us lying naked next to one another.

“You are so young, you know so little,” she said.

“I like men,” I said.

She stroked my face. “Then you must leave,” she said. “I cannot have you here anymore.”

I pleaded with my eyes. “May I at least stay until morning?”

“Yes, but I want you gone by the time I wake up.”

She left me without saying another word. A part of me almost wanted to change my mind … but no. I got up and checked the schedule for the earliest train heading into Amsterdam.

* * * *

I rewind the tape and start listening to “Wild World” again. I think about how nice it will be to see my family after traveling for almost two years. Mom will be surprised to see me, especially since she wasn’t expecting me for another two weeks.

I hear the rumble of my suitcase wheels as they roll over the cobblestones. I adjust my headphones and turn the volume up.

The hazy darkness of dawn makes it difficult to see the street names. I see none of the familiar markers from the last couple of days of walking in this neighborhood. Where was the coffee shop? I must have made a wrong turn. I stop to fumble in my backpack for a map. Maybe I can make my way to a well-lit area and get my bearings.

There’s that clicking sound again, only now it’s getting louder, more like clackety clack, clackety clack, clackety clack. I look down at my feet and realize I’m standing on tracks.

What?

Where am I?

The horn blows. I turn around and the bright light of the train blinds me.

“… Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world
It’s hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world
I’ll always remember you like a child, girl.”

Thank you for reading.

Feel free to leave a comment or question. Feedback, whether good or bad is always welcome.

You can find more stories here, as well as in my book of flash fiction and poetry, Hot Flash.

~eden

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Learn About my Writing Process

Happy Monday! My regular Music Monday post has been replaced by this blog meme and will return next week. “My Writing Process” is a blog tour which takes place every Monday. Here, you will discover an individual author’s writing process based on four simple questions.

I was invited by author Raymond Bolton, who posted his writing process last Monday. I’ve featured Raymond on my blog previously when he released his novel, Awakening.

Below are the questions and my answers:

What am I working on?
My very first novel. Wheee! I’ve written and published anthologies, novellas, short stories, and flash fiction up until now, so this full-length novel has been a real challenge. It’s also a different genre from what I primarily wrote in. I’m moving from erotica to mystery.

Double whammy, but hey, I love a challenge, or maybe I’m just mad.

steven saylor quote

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ll be honest. I hate this question. As a writer who’s penned erotica, romance, thrillers, I’m all about the storytelling and I could give a rat’s ass about genre. Genre is an old dividing line for readers, with some stories categorized as plot-driven and others as character-driven. Mysteries are normally classified as plot-driven, along with thrillers, fantasy, science fiction, and romance. There’s a lot of judgment in this type of categorization, with the assumption that character-driven stories are more “literary,” and plot-driven “genre” stories are entertaining but not well written.

To this, I say, Bullocks! And I’m not even British.

mysteryIt’s ridiculous to pit one against the other, and that’s why the argument of genre becomes tiresome for me.

I don’t write to fit my work into a genre. I’ve classified my upcoming book as a psychological mystery because there are complex characters and interplay between them. There is also a plot that moves them forward. There is no detective, but there is suspense. The end product has both conflict and growth. Whether you love the “Whodunnit” mystery or prefer the psychological interaction between characters, I think you’ll enjoy my book.

Why do I write what I do?

I’m not crazy about this question either (I’m beginning to wonder why I’m on this tour ;) ). The best answer I can come up with is my writing is fuelled by interests outside of writing. Some of these things are: the human psyche; foreign destinations; music; culture; current events; travel; life and death; love; sex; life in general. Until now, I’ve written erotica because I had the stories, and I liked telling them. Sex is a provocative and universal subject.

Now, I have another story to tell. It’s not erotic. It’s mysterious. Can you tell I really don’t like being labeled?

How does my writing process work?

In previous interviews, I’ve said I don’t deconstruct my writing, and that’s the god’s honest truth, but there are a few things I do regularly which steep me in the discipline.

Writing everyday is important. Reading is important. Right now, I’m on a word count schedule because it’s important to know I’ve reached milestones in my book, but that’s as strict as I get. The internal pressure to finish my book is great, but I also know myself. As a full time writer, I can easily become obsessive and self-absorbed if I don’t have a balance in my life. For this reason, I pursue external endeavours that have little to do with writing. 

One last tidbit, though I consider writing a serious business (and it should be if you want to earn a living from it), it needs to be fun. Here’s a piece of writing humour you might enjoy.

ImportantWritingTips humor

Next week, you can discover the writing process of three more authors. Visit their sites and see how amazing they are, then you’ll know why I chose them for this tour. I’ve included their Twitter handles too, so you can follow them now.

They will each post on Monday, February 24th to their individual sites, so watch for them!

Annetta Ribken ~ A professional editor of over ninety novels, Annetta Ribken has also been writing since a tender young age, when letters were chiseled on stone tablets, and is currently living and working just outside St. Louis with her evil feline overlord, a rescued shelter cat named Athena. Twitter: @netta50

Cameron Garriepy ~ Romance novelist, genre-crossing short story author and indie publisher. Twitter: @camerongarriepy

Victoria Dougherty ~ She comes from the ultimate Cold War family – daring escapes, backyard firing squads, Communist snitches, bowlfuls of goulash, gargoyles, spies, killers and dangerous pursuits, all part of her recent family history and explain why she writes Cold War thrillers. Twitter: @vicdougherty

My sincere thanks again to Ray for inviting me on this tour.

~eden

* * * *

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Filed under Author Promotions, Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews, Revelations & Humor

I Dare to Wear Love to benefit AIDS research for @daretowearlove

dtwl 2014 challenge

Love is in the air.

It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m participating for the second year in a row in the Dare to Wear Love Challenge to raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

My challenge is to wear Canadian from today until the 21st, and post pictures of what I wear on my social networks. 

The money I raise supports the inspiring transformation in sub-Saharan Africa to turn the tide of HIV & AIDS.

I set my initial goal at a modest $500, but with the help of some generous donors, I reached 80% of it in one day! Since I have one more week to raise money, I’ve doubled my target to $1000.

Why not? It’s for a wonderful cause, and I like stretch goals. ;)

If you want to donate, visit my fundraising page or the icon on the upper left of my blog. You can see my progress from there too. 

passportAs always, thank you so much for your generosity.

If you are unable to donate, sharing about this cause would be greatly appreciated.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter to see me wear Canadian until Feb 21st.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of me with something uniquely Canadian.

~ eden

 
♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Learn more about:

 Dare to Wear Love and The Stephen Lewis Foundation

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Happy Valentine’s Day ~ Save on my books via @selenablake and @indieauthorland

You already know my two books, Fall into Winter and Hot Flash are on sale for 99 cents until Feb 17th.

Well … I have more great news for you!

Here are two more sites where you can find my books along with others on sale.

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

I’m joining 11 fabulous authors to bring you some extra romance this Valentine’s Day.

Hit the button below and be taken to the individual authors’ sites. It’s time to save big!

Many thanks to author, Selena Blake for putting this promotion together!

vday_banner

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

My two books are also featured on one of my favourite sites for indie authors – Indie Author Land. See all their wonderful deals by hitting the button below.

indie author land button

Enjoy Valentine’s Day by picking up a gift of books!

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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Filed under Author Promotions, Promo of ebooks, freebies, Promo of Fall into Winter

Canadian Rhapsody ~ Read a guest blog by @nchardenet

Please welcome American turned Canadian, author Nicole Chardenet. I asked her to write about her experience of becoming a Canadian citizen, then I braced myself. You see, Nicole was interviewed in my author series last year, and her answers had me in stitches, as does her post here.

She pokes fun at everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE—Republicans, Canadians, the Irish, and more … so please … pour yourself a vodka or a beer and enjoy the musings of this very funny lady.

* * * *

CANADIAN RHAPSODY

~by Nicole Chardenet

Nicole Chardenet Pravda

Nicole at Pravda Vodka House, Toronto

When Canadians ask me why I moved from the US to Canada nine years ago, I tell them, “Better beer.”

If they’re Republicans I tell them, “Better healthcare and all the damn socialism.”

And then I tell them what we do all day is smoke pot and have gay sex.  I love messing with Republicans! They’re so naïve.

“Why would you move to Canada from the US?” asked one early Canadian friend. “I’d move there in a heartbeat if I could, that’s where all the money is!”

Well, yeah, back in 2005 that might have been true…but nine years later I’m making a lot more money than I was in Connecticut and I’ve moved up the food chain professionally. And, the US has gone to @#$% since I left.

Truth is, I can no longer remember anymore why I moved. All I can tell you is it seemed like a good idea at the time.

zombie best

Zombie American Tea Partier, Toronto Zombie Walk

While I watched the US banking system crash and burn like Charlie Sheen on a three-day coke bender, as I lived and worked in the country with the most stable banking system in the world (who knew?) it seemed one of the all-time greatest decisions ever made in the history of the world.

Now, when people ask me if I’ll ever go back I think, “Only if the US government outlaws the Republican Party and makes it legal for decent, intelligent Americans to feed them to rabid orcas.”

The whole thing really started when I read on a news site about a dozen years ago that Ireland wanted to become the Silicon Valley of Europe. They encouraged immigration by techies and investors, and since I was in a very bad place in my life personally, I decided to apply. Unfortunately, Ireland had extremely high standards for immigrants and also favoured EU members, so I never even filled out the application. My skills were too generalized for their high-and-mighty selves. I was so mad I didn’t speak to Ireland for years, until their whole economy went belly-up.

Mom, Dad & me

Nicole w/ her mom and dad at Centre Island, Toronto

Meanwhile, a longtime email friend near Toronto kept urging me to move here, enticing me with an offer to share his house if we split the bills. That sounded like an awesome deal, except for the part where I’d have to move to – Canada? Really? The True North strong and sleep-inducing? Whose flag was – what, I don’t know, a pot leaf or something? Whose history was – well, did they even have one? I mean, who knew anything about Canada? I’d visited relatives in Montreal when I was a kid but my buddy lived near Toronto. I’d been there once before, on a day trip with my family when I was in university. I remembered Toronto as clean, with a beer factory and decent-looking subsidized housing.

anniversary pic 3

Nicole’s 1st year anniversary in Canada

I scheduled a reconnaissance trip, then had to reschedule because of the SARS crisis. When I became reasonably certain Toronto wouldn’t kill me, I discovered I liked it. Around this time, things started to get ugly in US politics with the American invasion of Iraq and then later the Iraqi prison scandals, and I began to feel uncomfortably like I’d better get the hell out of Dodge before the Republicans passed a law herding all liberals, homos, and evolution supporters into Jesus camps where we’d be subjected to Mao-style “re-education” efforts, except with more crosses and bigger guns and hair.

Nicole - Day 1

At Fan Expo pushing her 1st book, Young Republican, Yuppie Princess, 2011

Long story short, I filled out an application longer than a Rob Ford police report as Canada wanted to know absolutely everything about me including every single address at which I’d lived, ever, some information about my ex even though I’d made it clear he would NOT be joining me, and, of course, the requisite four rolled-up Tim Horton’s cups to prove that I did intend to become a Real True Loyal Canadian. (Fortunately we had Tim’s in Connecticut).

After that I had to visit the police station to get fingerprinted so I could schlep my grubby mitts off to the FBI so they could run a check on me to make sure I wasn’t a terrorist, fugitive, international jewel thief or close personal friend of Robert Mugabe. Later, I had to visit a special Canadian-approved doctor to make sure I wasn’t trying to sneak any expensive diseases into the country. Then I crossed my fingers and fervently hoped that Canada had way lower standards than Ireland.
It did, and my temporary visa arrived a little under a year and a half later. I stuffed everything in a U-Haul and crossed the border, which wasn’t nearly as nerve-wracking as I’d thought it would be, as they praised me on the penmanship of the most anal-retentive list of personal goods they’d ever seen, and I think I scored some extra points for having a French name. They didn’t even ask about the sword I brought nor did they want to see proof that my cat’s rabies shots were up-to-date. (Which just goes to show you the Glenn Beck-head and Faux Newsie critics of Canada’s spongey border are right – any old terrorist can cross with a tetanus-laden rusty weapon and a foaming, frothing housepet anytime they want! Fear us, O Canada!)

Nicole - zombie drummer

We’re proud to have you as one of our own, Nicole!

Once I was officially over and stamped I heaved a sigh of relief. The Republicans couldn’t get me anymore and I was turning my life around.

It hasn’t been a complete bed of poppies, of course, but I can honestly say the last nine years of my life have been the most stress-free since I was pre-school.

Thank you Canada, for being so good to me. And for Nanaimo bars. Canada’s greatest gift to Western civilization!

* * * *

Connect to Nicole 

Tongue of Dog’s Breakfast Blog | Nicole’s Novels

Website | Twitter: @nchardenet | Facebook | Google+

* * * *

If you would like to be a guest blogger, please comment below and let me know. The goal is to highlight YOUR writing. Connect to me via any of my networks. Twitter and email are best.

While you’re at it, show Nicole some love in the comments, will ya? Isn’t she adorable? 

Many thanks, 

~ eden

* * * *

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Valentine’s Day sale on my books ~ FALL INTO WINTER and HOT FLASH #99cents

Love is in the air, and there are many ways to show my  for readers. This year, I’m discounting two of my books from today until the 17th.

Fall into Winter and Hot Flash ebooks are now only 99 cents each! A combined savings of over 75% !

If you’ve ever thought of buying my books, now is the time to do it. Read a sample, peruse the reviews, and see if they are to your liking.

I hope you pick up one or both books. Feedback, good or bad, in the form of an honest review is always appreciated but never mandatory. The most important thing is you enjoy the stories. ;)

~ eden

* * * *

Fall into Winter

Amazon: US | UK | Canada ~ Smashwords

Fall into Winter is a provocative collection of four distinct, erotic novellas.

With locations in New York, Canada, Thailand, and Austria, four women will make choices that lead each of them on an unforgettable journey.

* * * *

HF final cover

Amazon: US | UK | Canada

Hot Flash contains flash fiction and poetry. Some are erotic, some not.

The themes of love, lust, adultery, and regret are told in different voices, sometimes with an irreverent sense of humour.

* * * *

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Music Monday says Something with the Beatles

How timely that I’m featuring music to provide clues for my upcoming mystery novel, and it’s the Beatles’ 50-year anniversary to America.

It was Feb. 9, 1964 when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and made music history.

“Something” written by George Harrison (my favorite Beatle) is the only song he wrote while with the Beatles that topped the Hot 100 chart. It’s a beautiful song about the mysterious qualities of a woman that attract a man.

And we all know, there are so many things about a woman that can mystify a man. ;)

To recap, the clues so far were:

The Tide Is High

Crazy

Coconut

Mad World

If you want to read other genres I write in: erotica/romance, flash fiction, and short stories with a twist, check out the selection.

Have a lovely week,

eden

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Filed under Musical Mondays

Read an Exchange with Author Christoph Fischer (@cffbooks)

Christoph, welcome to Eden’s Exchange. You’re a generous author who conducts many interviews on your own site, which makes me especially happy to have you as the first author interviewed under my new format. I hope you have fun, and thanks for bringing a drink along too. :) Continue reading

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Music Monday starts with a Mad World

Over the next weeks, I’m featuring music that provides clues for my upcoming mystery novel.

These songs can hint at any part of the story: Character, setting, mood, plot, and more. This week’s clue is a good one, and it’s a great song, sung here by Gary Jules, originally by Tears for Fears.

To recap, the clues so far were:

The Tide Is High

Crazy

Coconut

If you want to read other genres I write in: erotica/romance, flash fiction, and short stories with a twist, check out the selection.

Have an amazing week. ;)

eden

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Madeira ~ Paradise in Portugal by guest blogger @junying007

Happy Chinese New Year! What better way to celebrate than to have a terrific guest blogger on this auspicious day.

Good friend and author, Junying Kirk and I share a love of food and travel, so she’s penned a wonderful post about her recent trip to Madeira, Portugal.

Enjoy the warmth of Madeira and Junying’s writing , and then hop over to her website to celebrate the year of the horse!

* * * *

Who is Junying?

Junying Kirk was born and grew up in China. A British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching at Warwick University in 1988, followed by further postgraduate degrees at Glasgow and Leeds. She has worked as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher and cultural consultant. Currently working as a professional interpreter and translator, she loves reading and writing books. Her Journey to the West trilogy, ‘The Same Moon’, ‘Trials of Life’ and ‘Land of Hope’ have been published on Amazon Kindle, CreateSpace, and Smashwords. She regularly blogs on books world travels, food and photography, in fact, anything interesting and worth sharing at http://www.junyingkirk.com.

She lives in Birmingham UK with her English husband.

Learn more about Junying in an interview we did here.

* * * *

Madeira, a Garden Paradise & Seafood Lover’s Retreat

To escape from the freezing chills of British winter, we head south, either to one of the Spanish Canary Islands, Gran Canaria or Tenerife, or as we do more often, Madeira.

We do not go to Madeira to languish on a sandy beach under blistering sun, hoping for a marvellous tan.

No, though no beaches, this Portuguese “Pearl of the Atlantic” has plenty of other attractions to offer.

madeira - scene

Madeira, closer to the coast of Northern Africa than that of Southern Europe, means ‘wood’, and its capital city Funchal is ‘fennel’ in Portuguese. It is covered with a wide variety of trees, plants and flowers which have inhabited this island from ancient times. Little has changed with 90% of the island since its ‘official’ discovery in the early 15th century by Portuguese navigators.

My ‘discovery’ of Madeira came much later.

madeira-orchids

At the end of 2006, following the recommendation of a dear friend, my husband, John and I, jetted off to this tropical garden paradise for the first time. We celebrated a warm Christmas in style and watched an amazing fireworks display, indulging our senses with a fabulous selection of gourmet Portuguese food, in fine, tropical weather surrounded by amazing flora and fauna.

JK at garden

We took a cable car up Monte, which boasts a couple of the most beautiful botanic gardens on earth, where we were greeted by the spectacular open amphitheatre of Funchal and the mighty, endless ocean as far as our eyes could see, it was like, WOW.

On our descent, we sauntered into a “tourist information centre”, or so we thought!

We booked a Levadaa mountain walk. It’s a must-do for all tourists.

Even though I was no longer as fit and energetic as my younger self, my desire to experience first-hand, anything adventurous and action-orientated made me tingle with anticipation.

Emerging two hours later, we had been sold a one week time share by a friendly, chatty American saleswoman—an unexpected New Year gift to ourselves.

madeira - JK in red

And here we are in 2014, on our fifth visit. As I leaned on our balcony looking out on the shimmering Atlantic in the sun, listening to the soothing sounds of huge waves crashing against the volcanic rocks just beyond the green palm trees and blue swimming pools below, I felt an incredible sense of calm and peace, a trickle of deep satisfaction about my life – I am a happy and blessed woman on holiday, and Woo Hoo, it’s paradise on earth Madeira!

During my travels I always try sampling local cuisine, and I am especially fond of seafood and exotic fruits. Madeira, as it turns out, promises a most delectable choice of cuisine, both local and international.

Madeira - JK in market

Our various visits have brought us in contact with a number of delicious dishes, from celebrated restaurants from Trip Advispr to side street small bars and grills, which offer a great variety. I especially love the local home-made bread, the “balo-do-caco”, made on a hot stone. As soon as you made your order, the waiter would bring you a basket where the bread is warm with garlic and herbs butter – Damn delicious!

madeira-oysters

Another of my favourites is seafood. The Madeirans do the most mouthwatering fish soups! Believe me, you would want more once you tried them. As a matter of fact, I have made it myself – a great bonus for having a luxurious apartment, where I can actually dirty my hands in a small but adequate kitchen, enough to pan-fry an occasional scabbard fish.

madeira - fish

Oh yes, you can buy the freshest black scabbard fish, Espada, which again is speciality of Madeira, as this kind of deep sea fish can be found in that part of the world. And, I simply adore the Workers‘ Market (Mercedo dos Lavradores) in Funchal, where you can get your hands on every kind of tropical fruit and vegetables, as well as a variety of fish brought in from the ocean surrounding this evergreen island. I have found several unusual fruits, including one strange fruit called monstera, a hybrid of pineapple and banana – it’s kind of difficult not to have naughty thoughts when you see one :)!

madeira - strange fruit

Apart from the wide choice of seafood, you could try another of the local specialities “espetada”, a skewer with seasoned meat grilled on charcoal, often served on an iron spit hanging from an iron hook.

Then you’re in for a treat if you have a sweet tooth. Have I already mentioned the massive choice of locally grown fruits? How can you resist the temptation of a passion fruit or a papaya pudding with caramel topping? How about a slice of Madeira cake – the island used to be an important producer of sugar, so they boast a number of sweet recipes. My eyes nearly popped out when I saw the selection of colourful cakes on sale during Christmas time. I started drooling there and then!

John Kirk

During our dining at a restaurant in Funchal, the kind waiter brought us a bottle of Madeira wine (5 year old at least) and a basket of home-made ginger biscuits. A perfect way to round off a superb gastronomic treat!

After relaxing by the pool, devouring my favourite books one after another, I loved dipping in the cool waters for a leisurely swim. If you are a good swimmer and fancy a more adventurous pursuit, go diving, or surfing. There is also horse riding, or a thrilling ride on the Toboggan, racing downhill in a massive wicker basket – that was fun and adrenaline-pumping, to say the least.

Finally I’d like to share with you a short video on Youtube, which I made after our previous visit in 2012. Hope you’ve enjoyed the virtual tour with me :).

* * * *

Connect with Junying

Website | Twitter @junying007 | Facebook | YouTube | Goodreads

* * * *

Thank you Junying for taking us on a virtual holiday with you to Madeira!

If you would like to be a guest blogger, please comment below and let me know. The goal is to highlight YOUR writing. Connect to me via any of my networks. Twitter and email are best.

Don’t forget to visit Junying at her site and wish her a Happy New Year too!

Many thanks, 

~ eden

* * * *

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My Author Interview Series gets a Makeover

Inside the Author’s Mind was an interview series I started Dec. 10, 2010 to highlight indie authors and their work. It also provided insight into different writers’ minds.

It’s been one of my most popular posts and is run on Fridays.

I’m streamlining the series to give it a fresh look. The questions will focus on the author as a person, while providing a platform to sell their work. I realize how important it is for writers to make connections via the networks, and the interview format is a great way to do it.

As I’m moving into the genre of psychological mystery/thriller with my new book, I invite authors of this genre to be interviewed. Feel free to leave a comment with your contact information if you wish to participate.

Of course, I will continue to feature writers of all genres, as I’ve done from the beginning. I will contact them directly.

Since this is a makeover, I thought it would be nice to give the series a new name. I’d like to introduce:

eden’s exchange

Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Like a conversation …

the conversation

No, not THAT type of conversation!

More like this, by the fireplace, an exchange of ideas … fun, relaxed, and informative. We can even roast marshmallows if you like. ;)

Screen shot 2014-01-28 at 6.52.33 PM

Photo courtesy of SquarEstate

Look for the new format next month, and feel free to visit previous years’ interviews. It’s been a privilege to interview these wonderful writers, and I encourage you to connect to them.

Interviews of: 2010/2011 | 2012 | 2013

~eden

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Music Monday involves a Lime and a Coconut

Over the next weeks, I’m featuring songs that hint at my current mystery novel, and I’m using music to do it.

Why not?

It kills two birds … you know the old saying.  I get to share songs, which I do every Monday, and provide clues to peculiar elements in my book.

To recap, the  first two clues were:

The Tide Is High” and “Crazy.”

Enjoy “Coconut” by the late, great Harry Nilsson. It features three distinct characters (the narrator, the sister, and the doctor) all sung in different voices by Nilsson.

If you want to read other genres I write in: erotica/romance, flash fiction, and short stories with a twist, check out the selection.

Have a wonderful week, stay tuned. ;)

eden

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New Release by @ReginaPucket and @CharityParkerso

I’m happy to announce the release today of Chained by Desire, a book from authors Charity Parkerson and Regina Puckett.

Please help me congratulate them on their new novel! There’s a Rafflecopter giveaway as well, so make sure to enter for great prizes.

~eden

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chained by desire

Buy links:

Ellora’s CaveAmazon US

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Blurb:

Not good enough for heaven but not bad enough to burn, Kylie has a slight problem. She’s dead and trapped between the realms.

Left with no options, she follows Detective Liam Stone on the hunt for her killer. Death has left Kylie invisible but does nothing to dampen her desire for the sexy detective. Instead, it  gives her the freedom to do as she pleases with his body, and what a delicious body it is.

Liam’s determined to solve Kylie’s case but as the clues uncover an underground world of demonic torture and pacts, Liam must face his own secrets or the flames of passion won’t be the only ones the couple will have to face.

Inside Scoop: Parts of this tale are graphically violent, but other parts might leave you drooling for a ghost or a demon of your own. Look out for the brief but hot F/F scenes in the bedroom and the shower.

A Romantica® horror erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

rafflecopter

Excerpt:

She died on this corner. It seemed strange it would be right here where she caught the bus each morning and evening. She couldn’t recall why she had been there at that exact time but it didn’t change the outcome. She was dead.

She had been brought up to believe things would be different when this day came. There would be light, trumpets…peace. Kylie had none of those things. Instead, she stood looking down at her lifeless body in shock. Maybe this is what happens when you’re murdered. That thought lingered on the outer rim of her disbelief.

“At least my nails still look good,” she said tilting her head to get a better look at the rounded pink tips she’d gotten done the day before. At her statement, the man hovering over her empty shell lifted her hand from the ground and inspected her nails.

“It doesn’t look as if she tried to defend herself.”

No shit Sherlock, she thought with a roll of her eyes. She craned her neck attempting to get a better look at the man’s face. He was big and rugged looking, as if he hadn’t shaved in at least a week. The beginnings of a dark beard covered his chin but in a harsh contrast to his dark hair, his eyes were a light blue almost exactly the same shade as the sky. He was a sexy one she realized with a pang of regret for the life she had lost.

“Thank God I wore my good panties.”

He lifted her skirt. “Underwear’s still in place. She doesn’t appear to have been raped.”

“Put that down you dirty little bastard. Sheesh! Who is this guy?” He dropped the material and smoothed it down over her knees. It was a sad day when a girl ended up murdered on a street corner and couldn’t even hold onto her modesty afterward. Damn, why hadn’t someone as sexy as him wanted to check out her girly bits while she’d still been able to enjoy it? Typical.

Meet the Authors

charity parkerson

Website | FB for Charity | FB for The Men of Sin | Twitter @CharityParkerso

Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Midnight Books, and Punk & Sissy Publications. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

*2013 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner
*2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner
*ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath
*Named one of the top 10 best books by an Indie author in 2011- Paranormal Reads Reviews
*Best Paranormal Romance of 2012- Paranormal Reads Reviews

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regina puckett

Facebook | Twitter @reginapucket | Website | Goodreads

Regina Puckett is an award nominated author for her short story, Balloon Wishes.

Borrowed Wings, has received the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

Memories won first place in the 1st WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Tilting at Windmills and Words.

Slowly Drowning won second place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her poetry book, My Words into the Beyond.

Sir Galahad Comes to the Rescue won third place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Ramblings and Dreams.

Her collection of poetry, Fireflies, won 2013 Turning Pages Poetry Book of the Year.

She has been writing for over forty-five years. She lives in Tennessee with her husband of over forty years. She has two grown daughters and four grandchildren.

She writes sweet romances, horror, inspirational, picture books and poetry. There are several projects in various stages of completion and there are always characters and stories waiting for their chance to finally get out of her head and onto paper.

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The Last Refuge ~ A story for @RBwood’s Word Count Podcast

You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #36 of R.B. Wood’s “The Word Count” podcast.

The prompt for this podcast is  “The snow drifts covered the door and the windows of the cabin…”

*  *  *  *

On that cloudless day, the sun shone brightly in the sky. Flecks of white flew off the tops of evergreens and landed on the part of my hair not covered by my hat. My goose-feathered coat kept me warm, but I had forgotten to wear a scarf. I curled up my shoulders and tucked my hands under my chin, pulling the collar tighter around my neck. It was magical here compared to civilization, if you considered where I parked my car by the service road to be civilization.

Like a dragon puffing smoke, I walked into a fog of my breath with each step. All I heard was the sound of my breathing and the crunch of hard-packed snow beneath my boots.

My sense of direction was poor, so I had started the day early. The sun was my compass, and for whatever reason, I had no fear of being lost. I stopped after walking for nearly half an hour at a brisk pace. With my hands shielding my eyes from the sun, I surveyed the area and looked for the marker. According to the diary, the first thing to look for was a lone pine tree with two hearts carved into the trunk. I stood in the middle of a heavily forested area. How could there be a lone tree here?

I pulled out a piece of paper and unfolded it. The map I sketched had no indicators for distance, but this first stretch from the road was supposed to last at least forty minutes if walking at a steady pace. I returned the map to my pocket and ventured forward, trying hard not to let doubt enter my mind. After proceeding with greater awareness for another couple of minutes, I saw the pine tree with the hearts.

It stood on its own, with a circumference of twenty feet or more around it where nothing else grew. I approached the tree and brushed away the snow on the trunk, uncovered the hearts, etched side by side, overlapping in the middle. The initials HL and EY occupied the area where the hearts joined. My heart leapt at finding this first marker. From here, it would be trickier.

Veering off the beaten path heading eastward, I walked in a densely treed section. The path was difficult to enter at some points, with low hanging branches and sections that had no footing. At one point, I had to sit on my bum and slide down a patch of ice to move ahead. The question of how I would climb up the slippery incline when coming back crossed my mind, but it did not stop me.

I had come too far.

Five minutes later, I walked in a clearing where the forest split like the parting of the Red Sea. In the middle sprawled a frozen pond. It reminded me of a rink I used to visit as a child, a rink where Elaine and I learned how to skate. We were not even ten at the time. God, she was so beautiful, even then. This second marker brought tears to my eyes. I knew it would lead me to what I came for, and yet, a part of me almost wanted to turn back.

Elaine had stipulated in her will that I get her diaries. In them, I discovered my best friend had a secret I never knew. The pain of not knowing was almost as traumatic as her death. I took it personally that she never confided in me. Why did she keep this a secret? It took me sometime to get over my self-pity, to realize she had lived the life she wanted in those final years. Perhaps, I would have judged her, and maybe she knew that.

Snowflakes floated like feathers toward me. The warm air brushed my face as noontime approached. I slowed my pace, unsure of what I might find, not even sure if I wanted to find it. This was the shortest part of the journey. From the pond, I had made a right, which connected me to the curvy trail that led to my destination.

Set back in an enclave of trees, an ordinary structure stood. Snowdrifts covered the door and windows of the lonely, abandoned log cabin. Nothing about it stood out, except for the fact that I now knew about it.

After I swept away the snow from the door to expose the handle, I unzipped my jacket and pulled out the key nestled in the breast pocket. It took several tries of jiggling the lock but it finally opened. I pushed the door ajar to a faint smell of cinnamon and burnt firewood. I choked up from the scene inside, knowing that at one time, Elaine was happy here, that she breathed, and laughed, and loved here.

Yes, she loved here, which is something I never knew about her.

She met her lover and spent the winters here. She never spoke of it to me, but theirs was a forbidden love. This was their sanctuary together, not one she could share with anyone else.

Her final entry in her diary before she said good-bye to the world read:

“I could not breathe in the outside world anymore. There were too many things that kept us apart. I needed a place to escape, a refuge. I ask forgiveness for ending it this way, but as much as I love you, my friends and family, I cannot go on. The sanctuary I knew is gone, and I will never be the same. It’s time for us to be together.”

I searched everywhere in the cabin, but could not find any hint of who HL was.

Perhaps, it was better left unknown.

Thank you for reading.

Feel free to leave a comment or question. Feedback, whether good or bad is always welcome.

You can find more stories here, as well as in my book of flash fiction and poetry, Hot Flash.

~eden

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Music Mondays goes Crazy

Over the next weeks, I’m featuring songs that hint at my current mystery novel.

The first clue came last week with “The Tide Is High.”

This week, enjoy “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. His song describes more than a few of the characters in my book.

If you want to read other genres I write in: erotica/romance, flash fiction, and short stories with a twist, check out the selection.

Have a wonderful week, more clues to come. ;)

eden

11 Comments

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Dads and Daughters ~ Read a guest blog by @HefferonJoe

Over the next months, I’m encouraging guest bloggers to share about themselves. As we all know, writers, like other professions are multi-dimensional beings. Authors have lives and interests outside of writing.

Given that, I’m opening up my blog to writers to showcase their style, their loves and passions, their humour, and their knowledge on various subjects.

The goal is to allow the author’s own voice to create an interest in who they are.

So … let’s get started.

Remember Joe Hefferon? I interviewed him in December. He complained vehemently that he was one of my last interviews of the year.

He was joking … maybe.

Regardless, I’m making him my FIRST guest blogger of 2014. See Joe? I was listening. ;)

If you missed his revealing Q and A, please go here. It’s a good one, and I’ll wait for you.

There are many sides to Joe as you can see, and one of them is a soft side. He might not want to admit it, but it’s there, and you don’t even have to scratch far beneath the surface to find it.

Read his humorous, heart-warming post about dads and daughters.

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Who is Joe?

Joe was in law enforcement for 25 years before he retired as captain, and is a single dad and father of two. He keeps his hand in law enforcement, teaching classes in Personal Safety and Recognizing Signs of Danger for corporate clients.

He writes a terrific column for About.com called the Inspiring Women Series.

He is the author of the noir crime novel, The Sixth Session and a personal development book inspired by the principles of architecture called The Seventh Level. Joe’s books are available on Amazon.

Joe is currently working on a noir crime novel set in L.A. in 1965.

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Dads, Daughters and “Honey, Where’s My Blue Shirt?”

“The graveyards are full of indispensable men.” – Charles de Gaulle

I can explain all my unfortunate lapses in common sense to any woman who has had the infuriating luxury of living with me.

I have a daughter.

Look, I love her to pieces and would slay dragons for her, but I’ve also had entirely too many awkward conversations in my life, way more than my friends who just have boys. They’re easy-shmeasy compared to these complicated girl creatures. My daughter is 27, so I’ve already experienced the following brain-seizing moments:

  • Hey, guess what? I got my period.
  • I’m in love with this boy at school. Yes, the one with the blue hair.
  • No daddy; it doesn’t wash off.
  • Do you want to talk about sex? I’m sixteen now and…

Most of the time, when our little girls say these things – out loud because they’re tiny sadists – we get instantaneously non-functional. Our mammalian brain takes over and our breathing becomes shallow; the room dims and our synapses misfire at will. We can only hear voices in a slow-motion, distorted garble. We can’t think or speak; our eyes twitch spasmodically; the hives make an audible popping sound as they pierce the epidermis and finally, just before our lungs collapse, we hear a progressively louder banshee wailing in our brains, “no-No-NO-NOOO!!!!”

But we recover, ’cause we’re guys. We are born with a dump switch in our brains that helps us forget most horrible things. It’s what makes it seem like a great idea to call an ex-girlfriend up for a dinner, even though she’s now a hermitic, raging, venom-spitting alcoholic because we dumped her. But that was like two years ago.

Now pay attention guys – I’ve figured something out about these dastardly damsels that might help, or not. Those girl-becomes-woman moments are designed to torture men. It’s like live-fire girl-school training day. They’re instantly good at it, and damn proud of their rite of passage. The worst part is; daughters tell you these dreadful things in a relaxed, detached tone that only tightens the straps on the jacket. “Here’s a crayon, daddy. Why don’t you draw your feelings.”

They have kept their desire for these moments cleverly hidden under hugs, tea parties and wounded teddy bears, but they’ve been waiting patiently, even adorably. Sometimes they smile in that “Oh and senator… love your suit” kind of way as they deliver the shiv. (For the cinematically challenged, that was a Silence of the Lambs reference. Try to keep up.)

Women get mad at guys for sprinkled toilet seats and selective deafness, but hey, we’ve been under a lot of stress. We have daughters. But here’s what else I’ve figured out. Now relax and focus because I’m going all multiverse on you.

Women have a way of communicating through an intricate system of parallel universes and even though they can inexplicably hate each other for wearing the same shoes to a party, when it comes to guys, they army up.

Whenever any of us do something unimportant like say, put an empty milk carton back in the fridge or check out her mom’s rack (not bad for 56), they send out a message through the ethers. Their scouts retrieve the messages from right under our hairy noses on Pinterest and Skinny-Girl margarita bottles and pass along the fire-when-ready orders to pre-pubescent daughters. Get it now? It’s actually brilliant but I’ll never admit it.

Knowing this only adds to my paranoia and my frustration. I saw two heavy-set Nigerian women whispering in the mall yesterday and I know they were talking about me. (add accent) “That’s him right there, holding in his stomach for the sales girl. He said he loved her, but he lied. Kill that one slowly.”

I get frustrated because I know that every guy who reads this will forget it as soon as Sports Center starts, and will thus be horrified during football season when his teen-angel bends over for a tostido chip and flashes a whale-tail in front of his buddies. He won’t know what else to do but sit wide-eyed as the lager runs from his mouth. “Maybe they didn’t notice,” he’ll growl in his empty head. But someone did just a few months ago – a woman, a mother.

In early July at a neighborhood cookout, his friend’s teenaged daughter climbed out of the pool like a scene from Wild Things and well, he noticed – so did the girl’s mother. She observed the ‘notice’. The message went out. His own daughter received it through an Amanda Gomez song. Within days she was wearing underwear you could fit in a shot glass.

So what’s the lesson here, relationship-wise? I don’t know. I have a daughter.

We could try putting out the garbage before they ask, noticing their hair and only looking at our own feet when we’re in public. It might ease the stress a little, might make a few days more congenial, but long term it’s a lose/lose.

Guys can’t be blamed for this vicious cycle of stupid acts paid for with insidious revenge tactics. The problem is; the attacks of the girl army only make us more inept. Or maybe we just don’t care. I forget. Stay connected…

* * * *

Connect to Joe

Joe Hefferon

Blog | Website | About.com Inspiring Women series 

 LinkedIn | Twitter: @hefferonjoe | Amazon Author Page

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If you would like to be a guest blogger, please comment below and let me know. The goal is to highlight YOUR writing. Connect to me via any of my networks. Twitter and email are best.

While you’re at it, show Joe some love in the comments, will ya?

Many thanks, 

~ eden

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Music Mondays and The Tide is High

Over the next weeks, I will feature songs that hint at my current mystery novel. The clues have to do with setting, characters, and plot.

The Paragons was the name of a band from Kingston, Jamaica. Their most famous track “The Tide Is High”, was written by band member, John Holt, later remade by Blondie in 1980.

Music drives my writing so it’s a great way to share the inspiration of my work with you.

If you want to read the other genres I write in: erotica/romance, flash fiction, and other short stories, I’d love if you pick up a copy of any of my books.

Have a wonderful week,

eden

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I am exposed in Indie Authors Naked by @lorenkleinman

For about seven years, I was a member of a nudist resort. I was never a purist nudist, the type who would only go on nude holidays, walk around nude in the house, hang out with other nudists, etc.

My goal was to get out of the city on summer weekends and take in the rays in a beautiful environment. It just happened to be a resort for nudists. The private hideaway, replete with a lake, sauna, whirlpool, tennis courts, and billiard tables (you can laugh, I hear you) welcomed children and adults, encouraged family memberships. Single men could only join with a female partner. The property was owned by an elderly couple – their place, their rules.

That was many years ago. As a writer, I never thought I’d be caught naked, but here I am. Metaphorically naked, that is.

Indie Authors Naked, edited by poet, Loren Kleinman, exposes some terrific indie writers. The book is brilliantly laid out. Each author is introduced by someone who knows their work or has some relationship to them as a writer. My wonderful editor, Annetta Ribken did me the honour of writing my introduction. The actual interviews shed light on questions of craft, motivation, and the publishing industry. There is a terrific cross-section of writers, which makes for a compelling and informative read.

Authors both traditionally and self-published are represented in this book, so for anyone interested in publishing, you will learn about the process from an author’s perspective, and the reasons for their choices.

Indie Authors Naked officially releases January 15th in ebook and print, but the digital version is available NOW on Amazon.

I feel privileged to be included in this book with the likes of indie media darlings, James Franco and Hugh Howey, as well as accomplished writer friends, Rachel Thompson, J. Alexander Greenwood, Christoph Paul and many others.

I hope you will pick up the book and learn more about all the wonderful indie authors exposed in it.

indie authors naked

Buy from Amazon: US | UK | Canada

Follow the book tour beginning January 23rd.

* * * *

Indie Authors Naked explores and defines the world of independent publishing.

Comprised of a series of essays and interviews by indie authors, booksellers and publishers, readers will get a look at the many aspects of the indie community, where publishing professionals of all types come together with the simple goal of creating something unique; something that speaks directly to the reader, no middleman necessary.

Contributors include: James Franco, Hugh Howey, McNally Jackson Books, Sarah Gerard, OHWOW Books, Raine Miller, David Vinjamuri, Toby Neal, Rachel Thompson, Eden Baylee, Christoph Paul, Jessica Redmerski, and more.

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About Loren Kleinman

loren kleinman

Loren Kleinman is a writer and poet with roots in New Jersey. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Drew University and an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Sussex. Kleinman is a columnist for IndieReader.com (IR) where she interviews New York Times and USA Today bestselling indie authors. Some of those interviews in IR reappeared in USA Today and The Huffington Post.

Her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Nimrod, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Paterson Literary Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Writer’s Bloc, Resurgence (UK), HerCircleEzine and Aesthetica Annual. She was the recipient of the Spire Press Poetry Prize (2003), was a 2000 and 2003 Pushcart Prize nominee, and a 2004 Nimrod/Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize finalist. In 2003, Spire Press published her first collection of poetry Flamenco Sketches, which explored the relationship between love and jazz.

Her second collection of poetry, The Dark Cave Between My Ribs, is due to release with Winter Goose Publishing in March 2014. She is currently working on a New Adult romance, This Way to Forever.

Links for Loren

Website | Twitter @lorenkleinman | Facebook | Amazon | LinkedIn | Tumblr

Learn more about Loren in an interview she recently gave to Toby Neal, another fabulous author featured in Indie Authors Naked.

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About Amy Holman Edelman

amy edelman

Amy Holman Edelman launched IndieReader, the essential consumer guide to self-published books and the people who write them, way back in 2007. Since then, indie authors have stormed the bestseller lists, been courted by trad publishers and (after all that), finally gained a modicum of respect. 

Amy self-published her first book, The Fashion Resource Directory, back in the 80s, long before POD and Amazon and e-readers roamed the land. Her second and third books (The Little Black Dress and Manless in Montclair), were traditionally published (by Simon & Schuster and Shaye Areheart Books, an imprint of Crown).

As an author and a publicist with over 20 years’ experience, Amy’s goal for IndieReader is no less than to make indie a respected and desirable category within the publishing world. This book is just one step in that direction.

Links for IndieReader

Website | Twitter @indiereader | Facebook

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