Monday, December 24, 2012

FREEEEEE for Christmas!

My cop/sf/farce, FORCE OF HABIT, regularly $2.99, is free for Amazon Kindle through December 27, 2012. Free is good!

The planet Llannonn is known for its courtesy, but when rebellious space academy professor Bel Schuster goes off-limits during shore leave she uncovers the iron fist inside that velvet glove.

Gangster aliens, local law enforcement and highly placed political espionage agents all get into the act, and a tangle of misunderstanding, miscommunication and mistaken identity land Bel in court, facing what passes for a legal system on Llannonn.

Please and thank you. It's not just a good idea. It's the law.

~ While you're over at Amazon, check out the books from the amazing Books Gone Viral crew. They're amazing!! They just let me come along for the ride. :)

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, December 21, 2012

99 Authors 99 Books 99 Cents!

These prices are available on Amazon only.

For a listing of books offered and to enter to win, click here!!

Second row from the top...see anyone ya know?  

As it says on the site, remember--you can buy these today as gifts, and choose the delivery date for them.  In other words, if you are giving someone a Kindle for Christmas, or if you know a Kindle addict, you can buy these books today, gift them, and set 12/25/12 as the delivery date.  That'll save you a ton of money, and it helps support your favorite writers.

As if that weren't awesome enough, you can win prizes at for this promotion.  Yep, really! What kind of prizes, you ask?  Oh, how's a Kindle Fire sound?  Kindle Paperwhite?  How about a $500 gift card to spend on whatever you want?  There are more prizes up for grabs, too, so get to clicking!



Sunday, December 16, 2012

~Oh, The Books You'll Read!~: ~Book Tour + Giveaway: Troll Or Derby by Red Tash...

~Oh, The Books You'll Read!~: ~Book Tour + Giveaway: Troll Or Derby by Red Tash...:  Troll Or Derby Red Tash Genre/Age Group: Fantasy / YA Release date: June 2012     Purchase on AMAZON In Troll Or Der...

Northern Plunder: I aim to misbehave.: Review: Troll or Derby

Northern Plunder: I aim to misbehave.: Review: Troll or Derby: Troll or Derby by Red Tash Page Count: 262 Format Read: eBook First in a series. Synopsis: In Troll Or Derby, fifteen-year-old R...

Holiday Stories

If you're in the mood for some holiday reading, I have just the thing!

A Christmas to Remember is now available for half off at The Wild Rose Press.

Newly single, Heather Morgan gathers her courage and decides to take a Christmas ski vacation on her own. However, the festive holiday atmosphere reminds her how dispirited and alone she feels. When she meets a mysterious stranger, her lonely vacation takes an unexpected turn.

Sam is at the resort at the urging of his brother, who thinks he needs to get out and have a little fun. Having no desire to get involved with anyone, Sam needs a way to get his brother off his back. The intriguing Heather seems like the perfect solution to his dilemma, so he makes her an offer she can't refuse.

Sam restores the joy of the season to Heather. Their time together is magical, something she'll never forget. Soon her feelings for him deepen beyond their romantic holiday fling. But Sam has a secret, one that could prevent the fantasy from ever becoming real.

Also available is Mistletoe and Folly, a FREE read!

A chance meeting. A friend of a friend. Mia Preston hasn’t been able to get Ethan Chase out of her mind. A cozy coffee house leads to a night of romance. But will their kiss under the mistletoe lead to heartbreak or the love of a lifetime?

Happy Reading!

Debra St. John

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just in Time for Thanksgiving

If you're like me, Thanksgiving is your favorite holiday. I love everything about it: the surrounding Fall beauty, the delicious smells of food cooking, and family and friends gathered around.

Once in that mindset, it wasn't much of a stretch to take all of the things I love and use them as the backdrop for a story. An Unexpected Blessing made its debut at The Wild Rose Press yesterday. It's a story about an ex-con, a single mom, and the small town gossip that stands in their way. It's also available in Kindle format at Amazon.


Single Mom Katy Roth thinks life can't get any worse. In the past six months she's been let go at work, had to move back home with her parents, and found out her ex is cutting his child support payment. As Thanksgiving approaches, she finds little to be thankful for in a life that is quickly spinning out of control.

Joe Mason is the town's bad boy. Literally. He's just returned from a four year stint in prison. He wants nothing more than to put the past behind him and get on with his life. He’s had a secret crush on Katy since grade school, but when Katy’s parents hire him to be their handyman, she’s less than thrilled to have him around.

But soon, through her young son’s eyes, Katy discovers the good in Joe. As their feelings for one another deepen, small town gossip and prejudice threaten to ruin everything. Will Joe’s past come between them, or will they be able to get beyond it and hold onto a love neither expected?


“Are you going to dance with me or not?”

“Yes, ma’am, I am.” He stood and offered his hand.

She slid hers into his warm grasp. As always, his touch caused a little shock in her heart. The weight of a hundred pairs of eyes followed them out onto the floor. The dirt was packed smooth, and a ring of hay bales marked the area. Her tummy quivered with a combination of nerves and anticipation.

He found an open spot, which wasn’t difficult with the other couples affording them a wide berth, and then curved his arm around her waist to draw her close. Her body fit perfectly against him. A shiver tingled through her. She rested her free hand on his shoulder.

His thigh brushed hers as he rhythmically shuffled his feet to the music. His gaze captured and held hers. The rest of the room faded as she stared into the warm, melted-chocolate brown of his eyes.

She didn’t care that people whispered. Snuck glances. Or outright gaped. All she cared about was swaying to a soft, slow beat. The quicker thud of her heart. Strong arms wrapped around her. And the desire to stay right where she was. Maybe forever.

I hope you'll enjoy reading Katy and Joe's story as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Debra St. John

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Next Big Thing

By: Susan Furlong Bolliger

The Next Big Thing is a blog chain in which participating authors answer ten questions about their current work in progress or upcoming publications. One of my favorite authors, B.K. Stevens tagged me in this ongoing blog chain. You can stop by the Untreed Reads Blog at and learn about her forthcoming story “No Good Deed” to be released in the anthology titled TO HELL IN A FAST CAR, edited by John L. French. You can also read more about B.K.’s writing and check out her other stories on her website at .

So, thank you B.K., for including me in your line-up of tagged authors. I’m happy to get the chance to talk a bit about my writing and one of my current projects, a cozy mystery novel titled MURDER FOR BID.

Here are my answers about my Next Big Thing:

What is the title of your work?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

My characters are always inspired by people I observe and it just so happens that the main character of this book, Pippi O’Brien, was inspired by a close friend.

What genre does your book fall under?

MURDER FOR BID is a cozy mystery with a bit of an edge.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

The lead actress to portray the main character, Pippi, would have to be red-headed (or willing to go red) and able to pull off Pippi’s personality—adventurous, spunky and a bit quirky.punky, and a bit quirky.

George Clooney could definitely pinch-hit for Sean Panelli, Pippi’s main love interest. Or, maybe since Panelli is an Italian name, a modern day Sinatra or Valentino could be found. I’d be happy to act as the casting agent!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Dumpster-diving red-head leaves a lucrative but stressful job to start a new career refurbishing and selling other people’s junk … and solving mysteries.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m currently in submission with a couple of small/independent presses. So, keep your fingers, and toes, crossed for me.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

MURDER FOR BID took six months to write and another three months to edit. I’ve already penned a sequel which took less time to plot. I feel connected to the characters and could easily see myself writing more books in the series.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Just combine the crafty ingenuity of Lois Winton’s Anastasia Pollack; the adventurous edge of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum; and the fun spirit of Sue Ann Jaffarian’s Odelia Grey. A crazy mash up; but one heck of a fun read!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Like I said earlier, a friend of mine inspired the main character of this story. She's one of those incredibly talented people that could pretty much pick and choose her career path, but has chosen to leave a lucrative marketing job to stay home with her children, much like my protagonist chooses to leave her over-the-top stressful job and pursue a simpler, slower-paced lifestyle. My friend is also someone that can take any old piece of trash she finds and turn it into something beautiful and useful. I swear she puts a new spin on the word “up-cycle” and … so does my main character, Pippi O’Brien. In fact, Pippi is almost as successful at reselling other people’s castoffs as she is at solving mysteries.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There’s something for everyone in MURDER FOR BID. The story line will please discriminating mystery readers, the characters will intrigue and the humor will bring a smile to your face. And, for those of you who are on a budget … well, you’ll definitely appreciate Pippi’s panache for turning trash into treasure.

Here’s some information about the talented writers I’ve invited to participate in The Next Big Thing blog chain.  Watch for their post next week—November 25th through December 2nd.

Terry Ambrose, author of PHOTO FINISH, a humorous mystery set in Hawaii, will be posting about his forthcoming publication on his blog, Mysteries with Character.

Derek Flynn, a talented writer, blogger and musician, will post about his latest musical release, DO YOU DREAM AT ALL? Be sure to stop by his blog, Rant with Occasional Music, and find out what it takes to write and produce a successful album.

Morgan Mandel, prolific writer of short and novel-length fiction, posted her Next Big Thing on the Make Mine Mystery blog. You can read about her intriguing new mystery FOREVER YOUNG: A BLESSING OR A CURSE at .

Denise Weeks, award-winning novelist of NICE WORK, will be posting on her blog at   Be sure to stop by and see what will be Denise’s Next Big Thing!

Susan writes from the Midwest where she lives with her husband and four children. Her articles and stories have appeared in national magazines such as Country magazine and Woman's World. To find out more about her work, visit

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New for Me and Angel

 Tomorrow night will be my first time to stand before a group and talk about my first fiction book, Angel Sometimes. And I'm a little bit nervous. Which is odd since I have a Master's in Public Speaking. I've spoken before at conferences and meetings, but this is the first time to talk about my own book and about Angel herself. It's a new-to-me experience.

How about you? As the author, are you ever a bit nervous about standing up and talking about your book? As a reader, has it ever occurred to you that the author may be nervous?

As the author, how do you plan what you'll talk about? For this talk, the moderator has already sent five questions/expectations that she has:
1. What is your elevator speech for your book?
2. What did you use in your personal background to bring your characters to life?
3. What inspired you to write this book?
4. What was the most challenging thing about getting your book published?
5. What else is in store for your readers?

After that, then it'll be open for me and the second author to throw out what we want to add. Once we're through talking,  I'd like to open it up to questions from the audience.

What else would you want to hear from the author of a book you're thinking of buying?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Passion in Your Writing

How does passion fit into your writing, be it birds, wildlife conservation, baseball, opera, peanut butter, running Marathons, Egyptology, cooking, or cycling? In a recent presentation I gave about my nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story, I was asked, "why whooping crane?" A good question, but one that gave me pause. Why did I spend six years writing a book about a giant bird that migrates from Canada to Texas? Why was I mesmerized by my first sighting of a family of whoopers feeding in the shallows on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge twenty years ago? And why was I so compelled to tell Bob Allen's story?
Released on 9/16 by
University Press of Florida

I also began pondering the writing of my Sydney Lockhart mysteries and noticed bits and pieces of things I'm passionate about show up in my fiction as well. I realized that childhood experiences, exploring the woods around my grandparents' farm, watching baseball with my dad on the old black and white TV, eating peanut butter out of the jar, helping my mom bake kolaches, riding my bike all over creation, led to my passions as an adult. Opera, running, and Egyptology? well, I'm not sure where those came from, but they keep life interesting.

Here's something to think about: everyone is passionate about something, but not everyone writes about it. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Mystery Out Today!

It's official. On the Nickel is out on Kindle today for a whopping $2.99.

Previously released in hardcover for the library market, this ebook cozy mystery is sure to please.

Mama's car killed the church lady, but who was behind the wheel?

Check it out at There are two chapters on the look inside link that I know you'll enjoy.

Here's the link:

While you're there, be sure to LIKE and tag the book!

Have a great week, Maggie Toussaint

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's an EBook, Yes it Is!

I figured after all my complaining about how hard it is to do all this stuff--and it still is for me--here's the book and yes, it's available on Kindle.

My friend's angel husband did the whole thing for me--not write it of course--but he formatted it for Kindle and downloaded it. I did pay him and it was worth every penny or I'd still be fiddling around trying to figure out what I had to do.

I had already contacted someone to do the cover, but he took care of the process so fast we had to wait for the cover to be designed. The wait wasn't long as the artist came through quickly too.

And the book is there on Kindle just waiting for readers.

The Devil's Foothold is a supernatural mystery.

While jogging, Deputy Jessica McGuire discovers a baby’s grave in an old family graveyard has been desecrated and the skeleton stolen. Pastor David Tanner calls to report a hand carved redwood cross has been stolen from his church. A beloved kid (baby goat) has disappeared.  When one of Pastor Tanner’s cows is mutilated, he is convinced Satan worshiping is going on in the mountain community. Though not completely convinced, Jessica teams up with David to investigate. She stumbles upon a robed and hooded group having a ceremony in the woods and they all scatter when she makes herself known. The more she learns, the more she wonders if her teenaged son might be involved. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

I Feel Like Such a Dummy!

Lately I've been reading about all these writers putting their older books (and some their brand new ones) on Kindle. I remember I book I have that might do well on Kindle.

I found the place, read the directions and couldn't make head or tail out of them. Must be my aging brain. I'd already found a cover artist so didn't want to back out yet. One of my e-mail friends who I actually met once offered her husband's expertise to convert the book. He did but told me I need to take out some tabs. How do you do that?

He gave me some other instructions and I began to get a headache. Sweet soul has offered to do it all for me. Of course I'm going to pay him for his work.

Wonder if I'll recoup what I put out to do this?

Now I know why I have two publishers for my mystery series.

Is there anyone else out there who gets stymied by all this stuff?

Marilyn Meredith aka F. M. Meredith

This one was free for awhile and is still for some Amazon customers. I'm afraid I don't understand any of this. I talked Oak Tree Press into trying this out and though there were a lot of free downloads it hasn't resulted in any wonderful sales for this book or any of the previous ones. Yes, I did do a lot promotion, but I guess I don't have the magic formula.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Great Review for Playing With Poison

Yippee! Playing With Poison is a Featured Book of the Month over at Cozy Mystery Book Reviews. Bella McGuire is my new hero. 

This is my favorite part:
"If you love murder and mayhem, with a good dose of romantic energy then you are going to want to pick up Playing with Poison. The scenes between Jessie and Captain Wilson Rye just crackle off the page." 

Here's the link to the full review.
You can buy the book at Amazon.

Thanks for your time!

Cindy Blackburn

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Yowser! Great Review

I just ran across a wonderful 5-star review for my funny mystery, MURDER IN THE BUFF. Thank you, Marilou George, for reading and liking this book!

As seen at amazon:

"Molly Darter is a reporter for her small town newspaper in Marshview, Georgia and her latest assignment is to pick up an obituary from a nudist camp. She is dreading going there in person as she feels totally uncomfortable with the idea of being up close and personal with a nude stranger. On top of all that her personal life is a mess. She is separated from her husband after she caught her sister and him kissing and she feels as if her world is spinning out of control. Dealing with the nudists is presenting quite a challenge for Molly and when they suggest that their friend, Barbara Jean, was a possible murder victim her life and the lives of her dysfunctional family will be forever altered.

This is a suspense story with enough twists and turns to keep you anxiously awaiting the next. The flow of the story is fast paced and engaging. The writing style is refreshing and the banter between the characters is realistic and appealing.

Molly is a great character who you will feel compassion for. She is headstrong and determined and through all the stresses she faces she learns about herself and what is really important. The supporting cast of characters successfully contributes to the drama and underlying tension of the story as well as adding humor to some tense situations.

This is a suspense story mixed with romance and the dynamics of a family. It is a story that will keep you guessing and totally entertained. This is the first book that I have read by Maggie Toussaint and definitely not the last. "

If you're wanting to join the fun, here are buy links for this ebook: Muse It Up Publishing  BarnesandNoble


Maggie Toussaint