Monday, January 28, 2008

And the winners are.....Murder For Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon

Dana has done her drawings and if you are one of the following on the list, please contact her at the email provided so she can mail your copy to you - E :)

From on January 28 at 10:21 pm

we have four 'cause two slips of paper stuck together on the way out of the fedora and it seemd the right think not to toss either back...

Steven Prosapio

If you could please post this on your blogs and ask for them to send mailing addresses to, I would greatly appreciate it!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Contract deal

I officially signed and mailed my Living Waters Publishers' contract yesterday so my 50-stories/5-year deal is now going forward. My state mystery stories will be about my core group of kids - Guy, Matt, Jolene, Mary Beth, and Len who is kind of not in the main focus of the stories but has a role as he is the computer geek and invents the travel gadget that the others use to jump from state to state trying to figure out where they are (all these kids were introduced in my first ever story - Train of Clues and done in my second story Summer Assignments back in 2005/2006 - Train of Clues having placed second on Armchair Interviews Mystery Fan contest for Silence of the Loons release and Summer Assignments was submitted for the Dahlonega anthology contest but didn't get selected). We will follow the kids around from state to state, with clues and facts and fun info being given, and then trying to figure out what state. I hope that the readers will enjoy them and will learn lots of things from the stories.

So it is official - 50-stories/5-year deal - done. See you in the postings - E :)

Ten things about me as a writer - found on Writing Angel's blog

I popped over to some of my favorite blogs today and found this on Writing Angel's blog and thought it looked like fun so I decided to post on my blog - answering the questions for myself. So here goes -

1. Your genre(s)?
Young adult, mystery, paranormal and children's

2. How many books have you completed?
One novel first draft. I have about 10 short stories completed and have submitted to several places, some have been published, some haven't been and some are still out there in the works.

3. How many books are you working on right now?
Just signed my contract for 50-stories over the next 5 years and since I have three started for another project I was hoping to submit to but the guidelines, the word restrictions, and the National Social Studies Standards and my stories weren't melding like they should have, I put that on hold until Aidana and I were chatting earlier this month and I got a deal with a publisher.

4. Are you a linear or chunk writer?
Linear. I think that I am a linear writer - just write through - I don't plot or outline or develop my characters because of the time I'm writing short stories and entering a contest and there isn't much room to develop too much.

5. The POV you're most partial to?
First but have recently been working on third - trying to make sure readers see more of my characters as they should.

6. The theme that keeps cropping up in your books?
Of the last stories I wrote, a ghostly theme seems to be running through them - dead lovers coming back to finish business or lovers lost to death -

7. How many days a week do you write?
I know I should write everyday but I don't because I have been working a lot lately (yay - that's a good thing) but now with this contract deal I know I will have to write several days a week and get the stories out there - so no more playing around

8. What time of day do you get you're best writing done?
Late evening if I don't get distracted by TV or other things going on -

9. Who are your mentors?
Batya - she is a writing friend who writes awesome stuff - I aspire to write like her - turning out near perfect first drafts and all that. She writes in so many genres that I envy her ability to go from one to the other without so much as a blink of the eye - she transitions between any type of writing without a problem.

10. Who are your favourite authors to read? (different from mentors)
I used to say Jonathan Kellerman was my favorite author but I haven't even read many of his books of late so can't really say that he is my favorite author any more. I've been reading lots of newer authors and more children's books and young adult things of late - trying to get a feel for how my state stories will go -

So now you know, I'm not a daily writer, I don't plot out anything and I write by the seat of my pants whenever the urge hits me - but now it will have to change. -- I am so looking forward to this new deal - see you all in the postings - E :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon tour schedule

Dana's schedule is as follows: Hope you all check her out her website to buy her book

Dana's website

Dana Fredsti’s MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon
Blog Tour Schedule
January 21-26, 2008

Dana will be a guest at the following blog locations and dates. She hopes you’ll visit all of the blog sites. Each post will have something new, interesting (she hopes!) and entertaining about the writing and world of Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon and the real life dirt behind the scenes! As an additional bonus, there will be three free copies of MFH given away at the end of the tour – all you have to do is post a comment to be entered in the drawing to win.

Please stop by – these are all fantastic, entertaining and informative blogs!

Date: Sunday, January 20th
Blog: Elysabeth’s Emerald City
Topic: Excerpt from MFH and author bio

Date: Monday, January 21st
Topic: An interview with questions by Dani Greer

Date: Tuesday, January 22nd
Blog: Kat's Random Thoughts
Topic: tbd
Kat's Random Thoughts

Date: Wednesday, January 23rd
Blog: Chrysalis Stage
Topic: Is it Real or Memorex – The pluses and minuses of using aspects of real life in fiction writing
Chrysalis's blog

Date: Thursday, January 24th
Blog: The Official Blaize Clement Site (Kitty Litter)
Topic: tbd
Blaize's Kitty Litter blog
Blaize's website

Date: Friday, January 25th
Blog: Pointless Drivel
Topic: How the desire to kill resulted in a published novel
Mr. Fab's blog

Date: Saturday, January 26th
Blog: Redzilla Attacks!
Topic: tbd
Redzilla's blog

hope you all follow Dana on her first blog tour and give her the support she is needing - see you all in the postings - E :)

Murder For Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon virtual book tour

So those of you who like the Maltese Falcon or not, I'm introducing a new author who is doing a blog tour. Check out Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon by Dana Fredsti.

Here is Dana's bio:

Dana Fredsti is an ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical sword-fighting. Through seven plus years of volunteering at EFBC/FCC (Exotic Feline Breeding Facility/Feline Conservation Center), Dana's had a full-grown leopard sit on her feet, kissed by tigers, held baby jaguars and had her thumb sucked by an ocelot with nursing issues. She's addicted to bad movies and any book or film, good or bad, which include zombies. Her other hobbies include surfing (badly), collecting beach glass (obsessively), and wine tasting (happily).

Dana was co-producer/writer/director for a mystery-oriented theatrical troupe based in San Diego. These experiences were the basis for her mystery novel MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon (James A. Rock & Company Publishers, Yellowback Mysteries Imprint, Oct. 2007) While no actual murders occurred during their performances, there were times when the actors and clients made the idea very tempting.

She's written numerous published articles, essays and shorts, including stories in Cat Fantastic IV, an anthology series edited by Andre Norton (Daw, 1997), Danger City (Contemporary Press, 2005), and Mondo Zombie (Cemetery Dance, 2006). Her essays can be seen in Morbid Curiosity, Issues 2-7. Additionally she's written several produced low-budget screenplays and currently has another script under option. Dana was also co-writer/associate producer on Urban Rescuers, a documentary on feral cats and TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return), which won Best Documentary at the 2003 Valley Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Dana’s currently working on the second book in the Murder for Hire series, The Big Snooze.

An excerpt to tease you -

Dana Fredsti

The sun was setting as he pulled into his usual spot at the back of the Emerald Cove Library parking lot. He turned off the engine and tried to ignore the shooting pains in his hip and back as he slowly got out of the car. It was an older model Cadillac, the kind of vehicle referred to as a boat, especially by those unlucky enough to get stuck behind it in single lane traffic. He knew he drove too cautiously, but his reflexes seemed to get duller every year and it was either err on the side of caution or give up driving altogether. And he wasn't ready to make that inevitable concession to age quite yet.
Too many pleasures were things of the past because of the heart attack. He was determined to enjoy the things that were still available to him -- a few not on his doctor's approved list -- as long as he could. Thank God his taste buds were still strong and he could enjoy the fruits of years of wine collecting. He'd once sworn that some of those bottles would never be opened, but if there was one thing a near death experience had taught him, it was that you really couldn't take it with you.
It was also a blessing that he had always enjoyed swimming because it was the one form of exercise officially sanctioned by his doctor that didn't bore him to death. Of course, the good doctor had no idea that his patient did the prescribed laps in the ocean rather than a heated indoor pool.
Opening the Cadillac's trunk, he detached the ignition key from the ring and tucked it in the little Velcroed pocket of a wristband he'd bought at a surf shop. He secreted the other keys under the spare tire. A gust of chill wind blew through the parking lot as he took out his towel and slammed the trunk shut. Summer had definitely passed the torch on to Autumn and he knew that soon the evening swims would have to be curtailed for a while. He was a strong swimmer, always had been, but he wasn't going to risk hypothermia or pneumonia and the winter currents were harsh and unpredictable.
The side gate of the library was unlocked. The head librarian knew that he liked his evening swim and left the beach access open for him, trusting him to lock it after he was finished. He paused to strip down to his bathing trunks, leaving his clothes in a neatly folded pile on the side porch.
He carefully picked his way down the wooden stairs that led to the semi-private beach. He always anticipated the moment after entering the water when the initial cold shock of it wore off, the moment when his aches, pains and daily frustrations were forgotten in the buoyant salt water. The years always dropped away as he dived through the waves like a kid before finally reaching the calm beyond the break.
He paused at the bottom of the stairs for a moment to enjoy the last hint of fire as the sun dipped below the sun. Then without further hesitation, he strode down into the water and plunged in.
When he emerged, exhausted yet rejuvenated a half hour later, the beach was dark. Between that and the water in his eyes, he never saw the blow to his back that dropped him to his knees or the person who delivered it. A second blow sent him sprawling face down in the surf. Salt water filled his mouth and nostrils as a wave curled up and broke over him. He tried to lift his head out of the water, but something sharp pressed down on his neck, grinding his face into the sand until he lost consciousness.

Chapter One

“Hand it over, Club! We know you got it.” Scarface Tony’s face twisted into a snarl as he pointed his ’45 at Carl Club. “Hold out on us and you’ll be leaking tomato sauce all over your nice, shiny floor.”
“Yeah,” grunted the other gorilla, towering over Club in a stance meant to intimidate.
“I don’t know what you punks are talking about.” Unintimidated, Club stared coolly at the two thugs.
“C’mon Club,” Scarface barked. “We want the goods! You know, the loot, the dough, the clams, the hot ice, the moola, the do-re-mi!”
Club looked at them contemptuously. “I don’t got what you scum are looking for. And I ain’t no stoolie. And you can tell that to your sauerkraut sucking, Nazi boss.”
“Take him, Tiny!” Scarface shouted as the big gorilla lunged, catching Club in a choke hold. “You had your chance, Club. Now you’ll be dripping arterial ketchup all over your office...”

The seamy world of Carl Club evaporated back into our living room as Brad, aka 'Carl Club' took a real punch to the gut from Chris 'Scarface' Galante. Everyone immediately broke character as Brad doubled over. Chris stood to one side, looking sheepish.
"Oh, jeez!" I jumped to my feet. "Brad, are you okay?"
Brad wheezed in reply. Further inquiries as to his condition were forestalled by the piercing ring of our phone.
Glancing at my friend and business partner, Daphne Graves, as she watched the action from a comfortable vantage point on the couch, I pointed towards the ringing phone. “I’ve got to run the fight choreography,” I said reasonably. "Besides," I couldn't resist adding, "It's probably Guido." Guido, an Italian sculptor, was current in the long line of neurotics that made up Daphne's boyfriends.
Daphne gave me a dirty look, but hauled herself up from the couch, which had been pushed against the wall to make room for rehearsal. She headed for the extension in the kitchen, muttering, “I need a drink. Something hot, cheap, and strong.”
“Make enough for everyone!” I called after her, knowing Daphne's idea of a stiff drink was a few shots of hot chocolate in her gut. She hates the taste of alcohol as much as she loves the hard-boiled prose of Dashiell Hammett and Mickey Spillane. “We’re going to need it.”
“We’re gonna need more than cocoa,” muttered Brad, eyeing ‘Scarface’ with justifiable apprehension.
Shaun, otherwise known as ‘Tiny’, nodded in agreement, also giving Chris a rather dubious look.
Chris was a handsome, muscular ex-Marine who bore a slight resemblance to Sly Stallone. Getting him to throw a punch without lethal impact was not without its difficulties. Although Chris had been out of the military for about six months, he still took his combat training very seriously. I take my fighting seriously as well, but my training was in theatrical combat, not in how to kill the enemy in a variety of messy ways. Chris and I had been at loggerheads over the fights ever since he joined Murder for Hire two months ago and I was beginning to suspect that we needed a drill sergeant, not a director, in order to get him to cooperate. Damn good thing he didn’t have a problem taking orders from a woman or I’d have killed him by now.
“Okay! Let’s try that part from ‘Take him, Tiny’, okay?” I smiled encouragingly at Brad, who clutched his stomach protectively and nodded.
“Take him, Tiny!” Scarface shouted as the big gorilla lunged...
“Wait a moment!”
The three actors stopped in mid-action.
“We haven’t even done anything yet,” protested Shaun.
“That’s my point. I’ve told you guys before that you have to be a lot quicker on that first punch!” I stood up and paced as I talked. “Shaun, you have to lunge the second Chris says ‘Take him, Tiny!’ ”
“Okay.” Shaun was not one for wasting words.
“Try it again.”
They did so. This time Shaun lunged immediately, but Chris mixed up the order of his punches and blocks and clipped Brad sharply on the jaw.
“Shit!” Brad grabbed his chin and stumbled back a few paces.
“Oh, jeez, I’m sorry!”
“Chris,” I said very carefully, “it’s duck, block, then hit, not duck, hit, then block. We’ve been over this section before.”
“I know, Connie! I’m sorry! But in the Marines they trained us to always be on the offensive so these moves just aren’t natural!”
I took a deep breath, trying to ignore the voice in my head chanting that line from the song Alice’s Restaurant, 'Why do you want to be a Marine, young man? Because I wanna killlllll!'
“It’s not supposed to be natural,” I finally said as patiently as was possible, given the circumstances and my temperament. "It’s supposed to be stylized."
"Yeah, but realistically stylized," Chris said insistently. If his brow lowered any further, we'd be able to use it for shelf space. "It shouldn't be unnatural."
"Hey, that would make our fight an unnatural act," Shaun said helpfully. "Isn't that illegal in California?"
Brad rubbed his jaw. "It should be."
I massaged my temples, feeling the first stirrings of a headache. Great, and we'd only been rehearsing for a half hour.
"Guys, let's take a break, okay?"
No arm twisting was necessary to convince them. All three immediately headed for the kitchen, drawn, no doubt, by the wafting odor of brewing cocoa and recently baked chocolate chip cookies. I'd join them, but not quite yet.
Collapsing on an over-stuffed sofa next to JD (short for Jack Daniels), a large black, spherical feline of sanguine temperament, I enjoyed a few minutes of solitude. I shut my eyes, willing my headache to fade back into oblivion, and listened to the comforting sounds of the clink of crockery as Daphne filled mugs with her latest variety of hot cocoa. I idly wondered what she'd added this time. Grated orange peel? Mint? Perhaps cinnamon. Daphne's creativity knew no bounds when it came to two things: bad forties dialogue and cocoa.
Both talents are a definite asset to Murder For Hire, of which Daphne and I are the owners, producers, writers and directors. MFH is a theatrical group dedicated to parodying various genres in the mystery field. Our floating troupe of actors can and have done just about everything in the way of mystery-oriented entertainment. We've done full-out murder mystery weekends, staged kidnappings at parties, and pastiched, parodied and lampooned everything from gothics to Sherlock Holmes. No author, however revered, is safe from our heavy-handed pen and sometimes sledgehammer humor.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

InspireKids - publishing for kids by kids

A New Program for Inspired Kids

Do your children have a special knack for writing or drawing? Do you want to give them a great start in life? What better way than to encourage them to begin their career now! Are you a teacher who wants to give your students real-world experience? Our For Kids, By Kids Program is the answer for you.

Living Waters is now looking for children's books written and illustrated by children. We will further have children edit the book. The entire publishing process will be in the hands of children. We will provide the promotions and awareness. Your children provide the material.

Beginning in February, we will select 7 books per month in this program for publication. There is no submission deadline, and the expiration on eligibility is one year. This simply means that you may submit your child's manuscript in June 2008 and it will compete for publication until June 2009. The selected child and their work will be announced nationally. We will also announce the school and the particular teacher who sponsors the child.

These are the categories that will be accepted for publication:

~Educational material
~Inspirations or Christian children's material
~Imaginary musings
~Nursery rhymes

If your child's book is selected, he/she will be issued a royalty-based contract, paying every quarter. The child will receive local, regional and/or national recognition. Every six months, we will choose a book for our STAR Edition program and the chosen book will get front website coverage on our company and magazine sites for 30 days.

Check out the website,, for more information and contact information.

Good luck to you all out there.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Contract and deal

It seems from the comments being made on my post about contracting an agent and 50-story deal in the works that some folks are trying to ruin the reputation of good folks whom they don't know. Anonymous from the Bronx, New York left a comment on my last post about my story deal being a scam and that hopefully I am not paying them to publish my stories, and that the marketing alone would be well over a billion dollars. There are 50 states and I am doing a story on each state with the state being the mystery, so yes a 50-story deal is possible and the stories will be marketed ss a series since you can't market one state without marketing all the others. (when you realize that the stories are over a long period of time to be published, yes it is very possible to do this).

When the contract is official, I will post more details but for now, the agent contracted (and whether or not she has worked in New York or any other place is irrelevant because we all have to get a start somewhere) stands and we are working with the publisher to get the stories done.

So unless you have had dealings that have been bad or otherwise with Aidana WillowRaven or Living Waters Publishing, then please stop trying to tear them down because of their christian beliefs. I will write my stories and get them out there and you nonbelievers will be standing in the dust and your jaws will be dropping. And any of you naysayers out there, please don't buy my books when they come out because I would hate to say I told you so. see you all in the postings - E :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Agent contract signed

WillowRaven who did my logo, which is visible on my side bar under the about me section, is now my agent and I already have a 50 story deal in the works.

The contract was officially signed at about 1:30 this morning and now all I have to do is get all my state stories done (well not all at once but at least one a month to turn in) - and hopefully these stories will be big sellers. I kind of want to make them interactive for the kids but not sure I can do that - will have to play around with it.

Anyway - here is WillowRaven's info in case you want to check out her illustrations or other things she does - E :)

Aidana WillowRaven
WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus
Now offering Author Agent & Marketing Management services
Yahoo Instant Message me at willowraven.illustration

See you all in the postings - E :)