Friday, March 4, 2016

I can't believe it's been five years!

FIVE YEARS? IT CAN'T BE!

Yep, five years ago, I turned in an assignment in Creative Writing that changed my life. My semester project morphed into Accountable to None. Other students in the class, as well as my wonderful instructor, encouraged me to do something with the story because all of them enjoyed it.

Back in March of 2011, I had no idea how the publishing industry worked, other than big name authors whose works I loved to read were published in New York. After some research, my head hurt. The thought of sending out query letters to agents, waiting so long for a response I'd be an old woman by the time a rejection letter arrived, made my head spin. Then, an article about self-publishing through Kindle popped up in my search bar.

The concept was intriguing, so I gave it a shot. Honestly, all I wanted to know was if others would enjoy my story. My instructor and others who read the original content, seemed to, yet I wanted real, unbiased opinions. My original intent was to see if others agreed, and if so, then maybe give serious consideration to penning the sequel.

At the time, I didn't understand all the ins and outs of creating an ebook. Oh, and the mere thought of making an actual, physical book, made my stomach jerk into a knot. To say I made some huge mistakes in the first few years is putting it mildly. I'm talking HUGE mistakes, some which still haunt me in the form of a few nasty reviews.

I deserved them because I had no clue what I was doing. Did they hurt? You bet. Some of them actually made me cry. Did I give up? No way, even after reading some comments that cut to the bone. Why? Because I was hooked on writing.

So, here I am, twelve books and one poetry collection later. Honing my craft, learning from each book written. Won a few awards for my works, and had several novels optioned for film. Had the opportunity to help write the screenplay of Foreseen, based on my award-winning novel, The Lie. So many wonderful people, including the amazing Sabrina Stewart, Executive Producer of Foreseen, as well as the entire cast and crew, dedicated their time, energy, money, and skills making the movie. I'm still overwhelmed by the fact my story touched them enough to do it!

I learned how to use Photoshop and other programs to create book covers and the interiors. Through trial and error, I started a blog, designed my website, created book trailers. Joined several social media outlets (which I still find frustrating and annoying!). Helped other authors with their covers and interiors, too. There was enough interest in my designs I ended up started a book design service as well. (If you want to check out some of my cover art, check out One of a Kind Covers) <--Shameless plug. 

During the past five years, I had the opportunity to help others in their publishing journey. The most memorable experience was meeting Rose Daisy McDonald, widow of Maurice N. McDonald. "Nick" McDonald was the Dallas police officer who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, and before he passed away in 2004, he typed out his life story. Ms. Daisy promised him she'd get it published, yet met with nothing but closed doors.

When Daisy approached me about it, how could I say no? This was a piece of history, told from the perspective of a man who lived it. When the book was finished, I proudly stood beside Ms. Daisy while she presented a copy to the Dallas Police Department, and at other venues, during the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination. 

I've watched book sales spike and dip, made a little extra income on the side, met some amazing authors and mentors along the way, and basically, enjoyed every single minute of the last five years. Several amazing women have made this journey with me, offering their voice talents to narrate my books. I'll admit, the first time I heard someone read my work, I cried. Like a big old baby! I want to take this time to give special thanks to Sabrina Stewart, Andrea Emmes, Sara Morsey and Rebecca Roberts. All of you possess tremendous talent and your narration skills breathed life into my words. All of you are amazing.

Along the bumpy way, some wonderful people helped pick me up when I fell down on the trail. Elaine Raco Chase, Jeff LaFerney, Joanna Lee Doster, Betty Dravis, Donna Thompson, Donna Lickteig and Melody Berning kept me going when I was ready to throw in the towel and give up. THANK YOU ALL! 

I've been the guest speaker at numerous book events; sat at tables and signed copies of my books. Talk about surreal! Never, even in my wildest dreams, did I see those things in my future! Damn near fell over from shock when New York Times bestselling author Janelle Taylor read (and liked!) my books. I hosted a radio show online for a while and had the opportunity to interview R.L. Stine, Sandra Brown, Janelle Taylor, Raymond Benson, Elaine Raco Chase, and tens of other authors. 

Yep, it's been a wild journey!

Though the majority of my books fall under the class of mystery/thrillers, I've dipped my pen into other genres as well. Paranormal, horror, and now, post-apocalyptic. I write what speaks to me no matter which category others decide to classify the works under.

As I sit here at the keyboard, reflecting on how different my life is now from this time five years ago, I'm truly stunned by the changes. What amazes me the most is simple: my fans. I just teared up, because it's still, even after five years, such a foreign concept to me to have a fan base! I mean, I'm the avid reader, eagerly awaiting the next books by my favorite authors! It is humbling and wonderful to know there are people in around world who feel the same way about my books.

I'd be remiss if I neglected to thank my family. They've supported me, provided encouragement, listened to my crazy ideas for books. My mother apparently caught the writing bug, too, and decided to join me in the insanity. Penning a novel with Mom was a blast, and after I'm finished with the zombie series, we will tackle the next to books in The Magnolia Series.

My wonderful husband is my rock, my biggest fan, and has been from the very beginning. Thank you, baby, for believing in me. You, our children, and the rest of our family, give me the air I need to fully fly!

Yes, I'm proud of these books, and can't wait to share more! I wonder how many I'll have completed during the next five?

Never give up; don't stop dreaming; every painful moment will make you appreciate your successes all the more.

























Saturday, January 23, 2016

Are you ready for the CURE?

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Are you ready for the CURE?
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New Year - New Series!

Happy 2016!

Though Tainted Cure wasn't selected by Kindle Scout, the voting response was overwhelming! I wanted to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to each of you for taking time to nominate the book.

Since I'm no stranger to the Indie Published world, of course I opted to release the book through RMSW Press. Tainted Cure - Book One of the Rememdium Series, is NOW available for preorder exclusively on Amazon for only $1.99. The official release date is March 11, 2016, at which time, the price will increase to $3.99.

Click here to preorder your copy for your Kindle today!

Synopsis:

Scientists attempted to find a cure for addiction. They failed. 

Dr. Everett Berning, a leading researcher into the causes of addiction in the brain, spent ten years of his life dedicated to one thing: finding the cure. Recruited after a strange encounter with the enigmatic Dr. Roberta Flint, Director of Research on Code Name: Rememdium, Dr. Berning is sent to work in a secret lab as part of the research team. 

When the moment the scientists waited on for years arrives, Dr. Flint and her team are ecstatic. 

Unfortunately, not everyone in the world feels the same way. 

Benito San Nicholas isn't ready to give up his lucrative business. When the news of a cure arrives on his doorstep from a crooked informant, Benito enlists the help of other drug lords from around the world to stop the cure from hitting the streets and destroying their livelihoods. 

What happens next ends up uniting the globe--just not the way society ever intended or hoped.
 
TAINTED REALITY, BOOK TWO
JUNE 30, 2016
TAINTED FUTURE, BOOK THREE
COMING IN 2016
DR. EVERETT BERNING achieved his life’s work: he discovered a cure for drug addiction. Unfortunately, the formula was stolen and fell into the hands of the enemy.

DRUG LORDS from around the world unknowingly released the altered, deadly formula into their supply, affecting millions across the globe.

WITHIN FORTY-EIGHT HOURS, the entire planet is thrown into chaos as the disease spreads.

REGINA PARKER, Chief of Police of the tiny town of Rockport, Arkansas, isn’t willing to let the military kill thousands of innocent people in a rush to contain the outbreak. She leads a small contingent of survivors on a dangerous quest to keep her town safe from not only the soldiers, but the dead.

WILL DR. BERNING be able to isolate the contagion and find a way to reverse it, or is it too late to save humanity from the tainted cure? How far will Chief Parker go to save the lives of others as the world collapses around them?
2016 is the year I delve into genre's I haven't written in before. The Rememdium Series falls into the Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic area of fiction, and since I'm trying new things this year, I'm also working on my first romantic suspense novella, Suicide Lake. Look for it this summer!
Copyright © 2016 RMSW PRESS, All rights reserved.


Our email address is:
ashleyfontainne@gmail.com

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tainted Cure - Kindle Scout Program


TAINTED CURE is in the Kindle Scout Program!

I am thrilled to announce that the first book in The Rememdium Series, Tainted Cure, has been approved by Amazon's Kindle Scout Program and I need your help!
The 30-day campaign starts December 16, 2015 at 12:00 AM EST and runs through January 15, 2016 at 12:00 AM EST. During the 30-days, you can visit the link provided below and vote for the book. At the end of the campaign, if enough votes are received, Tainted Cure will be published by Kindle Press!
As a plus, you will receive a FREE copy of the ebook simply by voting whether picked up by Amazon or not! Please share with your family, friends, and fellow bookworms!

Here is the link to cast your vote:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/14IYM7FTK7LHY

Thank you in advance for helping!

Here is a brief synopsis of the book:


Scientists attempted to find a cure for addiction. They failed.

Dr. Everett Berning, a leading researcher into the causes of addiction in the brain, spent ten years of his life dedicated to one thing: finding the cure. Recruited after a strange encounter with the enigmatic Dr. Roberta Flint, Director of Research on Code Name: Rememdium, Dr. Berning is sent to work in a secret lab as part of the research team.

When the moment the scientists waited on for years arrives, Dr. Flint and her team are ecstatic.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the world feels the same way.

Benito San Nicholas isn't ready to give up his lucrative business. When the news of a cure arrives on his doorstep from a crooked informant, Benito enlists the help of other drug lords from around the world to stop the cure from hitting the streets and destroying their livelihoods.

What happens next ends up uniting the globe--just not the way society ever intended or hoped.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dangerous Place by Elaine Raco Chase

My guest today is the amazing Elaine Raco Chase!



The story behind this story

Roman Cantrell and Nikki Holden were actually the first characters I ever created. They were born in 1978 in a book called All in the Family. I patterned the couple after Dashiell Hammett's wonderful duo Nick and Nora Charles. Nope, you never read it. It never saw the light of day because the mystery field was a closed market to a newbie author.

My career then shifted to an 'open market' – romance. I was thrilled by the response of readers and reviewers. All of my original Dell and Silhouette romance novels were #1 on Walden Books Romance Bestseller's List.

In 1985, Dell Publishing asked me to create a romantic mystery series and I pulled Roman and Nikki out of a drawer, updated and changed the plot, adding a lot of action and a sports theme. Off the Wall was born. Alas, my editor didn't like it. "Too hard. Too tough."

Hmmmm....I didn't think so. Neither did Bantam Books who grabbed up the series, changed the title to Dangerous Places and off it went. Garnering great reviews, hitting numerous wholesalers best seller's lists and spawning a lot of imitators.

Dark Corners followed as did even more reviews and a few movie options that never went anywhere. Rough Edges was to be the third in the series (with at least four other titles/synopses in the works.

However my life was altered – I was hit by a drunk driver, in a coma for twenty-four hours, broke, twisted, and pulled every part of my body as well as suffering permanent damage to the short muscles of my optic nerve.

It took me over 18 months to be able to walk and talk and even remember things but my vision was a mess. Luckily, we lived in Houston, Texas at that time. My husband worked mission control for NASA. One of the astronaut's suggested I see their vision specialist. Blessedly, he was able to figure out my problem and prescribe special glasses.

With the advent of eBooks, I've been able to update, expand, add new characters to all but two of my romance novels. Two I left as classics.

Now, I've pulled Roman and Nikki out of the past: 1987 and into the present! In this version of Dangerous Places you'll find new characters, expansion on some of the regular characters, expanded and new scenes and even a twist or two.

Nikki Holden's been brought back to her original hard-edged roots. She was always one of the strongest women characters I'd ever written but now she's even better! Roman Cantrell even sexier and funnier than before. Both are modern, sharp, sarcastic, funny and always headed into murder!

What's really fun – visit my Pinterest page and see Roman, Nikki, Alex, Darnie, Rudy, Duncan, Edgar and all the other characters! Plus places, food, clothes – everything!


Buy links: 


Excerpt:

Sliding out of the car, her pumps hit the pavement. The click of her heels and the slap of her sling backs against the bottom of her feet echoed loudly, ricocheting off the cement walls and into the shadows. Her gaze darted down rows of parked cars and concrete columns.
Nothing appeared out of the ordinary.
The usual silence.
She squinted up at the light banks.
Were the fluorescents abnormally dim?
Or was that just her imagination?
Nikki inhaled deeply. The dank smell hadn't changed.
Everything appeared normal, calm, secure.
This was a security apartment, she reminded herself, then snickered.  
Yet something had activated her brains circuitry and heightened her awareness.
Awareness of – what?
Nikki's senses tingled a warning down her spine. She'd walked these same fifty-seven steps to the elevator for the last month.
Knew them by heart.
Nothing was different tonight.
Nikki swallowed hard and looked back over her shoulder.
Was there?
Damn, her lips formed a scowl. If it was Cantrell again...Nikki flexed a wrist, her whack-a-mole practice would come into good use.
She walked faster. Her long legs eating up the distance to the glass partition that shielded the elevator. Pressing the call button, she listened to the elevator make its usual slow descent. The lights counted down from the tenth floor. When the door hissed open, Nikki quickly stepped to one side to let the occupant out.
Occupant?
Her mind registered bear.
Grizzly.
The man was enormous. Six foot six. Three hundred pounds. Short black dreadlocks hugged his massive head and dark curls sprouted from his open shirt collar. His torso resembled a tree trunk; his arms, two-by-fours.
It took her an extra minute to realize the grizzly wasn't alone. His companion's whipcord lean physique stepped clear of the gigantic shadow. He was as fair as the other man was dark. His blonde shaggy hairstyle sculpted a pinched face. Perspiration collected on his upper lip like a mustache. While both men were wearing well-tailored beige linen suits and light blue shirts, she quickly decided they were not typical businessmen.
Nikki offered a weak smile as a silent greeting before hastily walking around them and into the elevator. Hearing the blonde mutter something and watching both men turn, her hand quickly slammed against the control panel and the security of a closed door.
Grizzly's bulky arm effectively halted the elevator's operation. His dark eyes raked her from head to toe. "You're Nikki Holden."
She cleared her throat. "Not necessarily."
"Yeah," the blonde popped back his bubble gum, his voice nasal, "that's her. The boss's description matches. Say, is that hair color for real?"
"Yes. But I'll be glad to change it."
He snickered. "Mr. B said you were one snappy broad."