Posts Tagged 'Pump Up Your Book Promotion'

Night of Flames: A Novel of World War II
by Douglas W. Jacobson

List Price: $16.95
Published in 2008
ISBN-10: 1-59013-166-5

Lessons from 70 years ago

American airman, George Watt, was a gunner aboard a B-17 flying a mission from England to the Ruhr valley in Germany on November 5, 1943, when his plane was shot down near the Belgian village of Zele. He parachuted to earth and landed in an open field, drawing the immediate attention of local Nazi authorities. While Watt hid in a ditch the local townspeople distracted the authorities pointing off in the wrong direction. Before long, one of the locals approached him and led him to a rural homestead where he was given civilian clothing and warm food. A few days later Watt was taken to Brussels where he was interviewed to make certain he wasn’t a spy and was soon off to Paris and on to safety in Spain. Watt didn’t know it at the time but he had been aboard the “Comet Line”.

The Comet Line was Europe’s largest and most successful underground escape line during World War Two. Established in 1941 by 24 year old Andree de Jongh and her schoolmaster father, the Comet Line transported more than a thousand Allied aviators and other soldiers to safety during the course of Nazi occupation. Andree escorted over one hundred of these soldiers to safety herself, following the secret, intricate route from Holland and Belgium, through occupied France, then overland on foot over the Pyrenees Mountains to Spain.

Traveling by trains, bicycles, horse-drawn carts and on foot, with falsified documents and borrowed clothing, Allied soldiers would be passed from one set of Comet Line operatives to another in the perilous route to freedom. The dangers were equally acute to the operatives themselves as capture by the SS or Gestapo meant imprisonment, torture and, in most cases, death. Indeed, the danger was so real that by the end of the war almost one Comet Line operative was captured and executed for every Allied soldier rescued. Yet hundreds of common people, farmers, merchants, housewives, young and old, put themselves at risk to aid the war effort by bringing these young soldiers to safety.

They say that every good novel must come from the heart, an inspiration that captivates the soul and drives the author to tell the story. Such was my inspiration in writing NIGHT OF FLAMES: A Novel of World War Two. I have been reading about and studying World war two for most of my adult life. When I encountered the story about the Comet Line, I was captivated, inspired and compelled to pay tribute to this very real story of human courage, a story of Unlikely Heroes.

But the real beginning of NIGHT OF FLAMES goes back a few more years. In 1993, my daughter married a young man from Belgium and moved to Europe, setting our family on a course that has forever changed our lives. Over time, while traveling to Europe two or three times a year, we became very close friends with my son-in-law’s parents. They are wonderful, caring people who are several years older than we are. They were young children during the German occupation of Belgium—young, but old enough to remember. They didn’t talk about it at first, in fact they still don’t, its over, it happened a long time ago, and they survived. End of story. But gradually, as they realized I really wanted to know, they began to tell me the stories. They told me about living in the cellar while their city was being bombed, about not having anything to eat for months on end and German snipers shooting at them while they scavenged in the streets for food, about my son-in-law’s grandfather being dragged away from the family home by the Gestapo in 1941. . . then returning five years later when he walked home from Germany.

Like the stories of the Comet Line, the experiences of my Belgian in-laws inspired me. It made it real.

And I spent the next five years writing Night of Flames: A Novel of World War Two.

In 2008, shortly after the publication of NIGHT OF FLAMES, I was contacted by an organization in Brussels that endeavors to keep alive the memory of the Comet Line. Shortly thereafter I was privileged to meet with this group and especially to meet three surviving agents of the Comet Line. They are all delightful, energetic women in their mid-eighties who were kind enough to share their memories with me and were delighted to have their story told by an American author so many years after the war. When asked why they did it, why they took such an enormous risk for young men they didn’t know, their answer was simple: “We did it for freedom.”

Douglas W. Jacobson is an engineer, business owner and World War Two history enthusiast. Doug has traveled extensively in Europe researching stories of the courage of common people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. His debut novel, Night of Flames: A Novel of World War Two was published in 2007 by McBooks Press, and was released in paperback in 2008. Night of Flames won the “2007 Outstanding Achievement Award” from the Wisconsin Library association. Doug has also published articles on Belgium’s WW2 escape organization, the Comet Line and other European resistance organizations. Doug is finishing up his second historical novel set in Europe during WW2, focusing on one of history’s most notorious war crimes.

Open worldwide.
One winner on October 30.
How to win? It’s easy. On October 30, I am going to check who has left the most comment. That person will be the winner.

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Distant Thunder: Book One of the Lightning Chronicles
by Jimmy Root Jr.

List Price: $24.95
Published in 2009
ISBN-10: 1-58982-553-5

Complex Braiding and the Writer
By Jimmy Root Jr

How do YOU tell a good story when you’re sitting around gabbing with family or friends? Do you weave a graphic tail with multiple characters? Do your characters have a reason for being in the story? Do they add to the conflict or plot? I hope so, or your stories would be awfully boring.
The same holds true for writing a fast-paced, brain popping novel. There really should be several avenues of intrigue or conflict that intertwine themselves into with your main characters. This is something that many budding authors miss, yet it is something that can turn your story into a real gem.

While I was tickling my keyboard in the writing of Distant Thunder, something happened that was completely natural. I added three different secondary storylines without outlining them to death. I let the story flow. I allowed those secondary characters to surprise and anger me. I ended up snuffing out their lives in the end and enjoyed doing it. But I was grateful to them none-the-less. Why? Because the prevented my main storylines and characters from getting bogged down. Writing became an exercise in intrigue, and that fact literally kept me coming back to the keyboard for more. The process of intertwining secondary plots and characters into your main story is called BRAIDING. You know, like braiding those long pony tails on your daughter’s head…or maybe even your own.

Heather Sellers wrote, in a recent Writer’s Digest article; “One reason so many books-in-progress die on the vine is because there isn’t enough spark, enough energy in the original design, to drive the project all the way through the middle and close the deal. The middle of the book is often compared to a lonely and vast desert the writer has to hike across. It’s easy to get lost. It’s easy to give up. To get across the middle, your work must involve some element of discovery–something you have to figure out as you write. Otherwise, your writing will feel canned, preplanned, flat. Like stale popcorn.”

The idea is to have two or three things in motion at one time, and then as your story progresses, you can bounce back and forth between them in short segments. This not only keeps the writing crisp, it keeps the reader seeking more. Braiding storylines is like dangling a carrot in front of donkey. Multiple storylines are what creates PACE….and you definitely want a fast pace in order to hold the reader’s interest.

Again, in writing Distant Thunder, I found that using the secondary characters to set the “hook” for the reader worked wonderfully. Each character, complete with tidbits of history and personality added to the value and directions that the main characters were heading. My readers have commented that they hated those characters, not because of the presence, but because of their added antagonism within the plot. When the secondary characters ran head on into their demise, a sense of justice had already been birthed in the reader. For me, that was an accident. It was not planned. But good things happen to those who jump in and take risks. So, go forth and write On oh storyteller!

Jimmy Root Jr., has served as an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God since 1982, including service in Nebraska, Missouri, and a seven year term as a missionary in Colombia, South America. Jimmy is the lead Pastor of Family Worship Center of Smithville, a growing suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. Married to his wife Jean for twenty-nine years, the Roots have three grown children.

Root is a 1981 alumnus of Central Bible College of Springfield, Missouri where he majored in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Theology. He is also an alumnus of Southeastern University, Lakeland Florida, where he majored in Intercultural Studies.

A lifetime student of Biblical prophecy, Jimmy is also the Professor of Eschatology, The Study of End Times, for Berean University through the Northern Missouri District School of Ministry. He is a featured speaker at Churches and other venues, and is the host of “The Bible Uncensored” radio broadcast heard on radio stations around the country.

His writings, both in book form as well as his blog, are purposed to be a wake-up call to a sleepy American church that seems to be losing a truly Christian World View. Distant Thunder and its sequels, A Gathering Storm and Then Comes Lightning, will reveal to the adventure/thriller aficionado the reality of the coming fulfillment of Biblically prophesied events. You can visit his website at or his blog at Connect with him on twitter at and Facebook at

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About the book:
Synopsis From The Publisher

…The heat of the asphalt road warmed her as the sun moved lower in the western sky. The elongating shadows started a chill that signaled the approach of the cold desert night. The suitcase felt increasingly heavy with each step, and the road appeared endless. She had no idea how far she had walked or how far it was back to a town.

I can’t stop! I can’t quit! If I have to walk all night, I must get back to a town. Jake was right. I might not survive trying to bed down here in the desert. Daddy taught me a lot, but he didn’t prepare me for this. On damn, when will I get a break?

She couldn’t tell if the sound she heard was out in the desert or nearby. She looked back to see a car coming toward her.

read more here.

Guest Post:


By Randall Lang

As a recovering roadrunner, I have been mercifully able to forget most of the silly things that I used to see during my 2-1/2 hours of daily commuting. Benefitting from the side effects of chronology and accumulation, I no longer have to squeeze my metallic missile among hundreds of others trying desperately to get to the slave ship by the appointed hour, followed by the whole thing in reverse eight insufferable hours later. Like a man awakened from a coma, I have rediscovered the joy of driving during non-rush hours on two-lane roads without feeling the insatiable need to pass everything in front of me. It is a luxury to which I have quickly adapted and enjoy immensely. Then I dropped my guard!

Forget that I should know better, I hit the interstate highway late on a Sunday afternoon. They were all waiting for me! The entire cadre of crazies, lost souls, tuners, boom-boxers, left-laners, designated speed controllers, mating tractor-trailers, and numerous other accidents waiting to happen who remain, as of yet, unlabelled. It was frightening! I took the first available exit to the parallel ‘scenic’ two-lane route. Even though I had escaped traffic bedlam, the old instincts and thought processes had, by now, been aroused. Cruising easily through small towns and villages without names, I began to relax and look around.

I have a car with a convertible top, and I adore it. Barring driving rain or blowing snow, that top is down and I am enjoying sights, sounds, and smells that are simply unavailable to those who ‘cage up’ behind tinted glass and breath artificially-chilled recycled air in cars sealed tighter than an RCA vacuum tube. This particular day was cloudless, eighty degrees, and gorgeous. Among the traffic coming in the other direction were several other convertible cars, all with top up and windows closed. “Why’d you buy it?” Why would someone spend the extra money for a convertible car if they aren’t going to use it? If not on such a beautiful day, then when? As I travelled on, other oddities confronted me. Ahead was a car built in Korea with an American flag sticker on the back. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a Korean flag on a Korean car? I’ve never figured out why anyone would by a car from a country that can’t make a shirt, but to each his own.

I saw lots of pick-up trucks, many with big wheels and loud exhausts, but none was hauling anything but people. If you don’t have to haul anything, wouldn’t it make more sense to drive a car and rent a truck for the occasions when you haul stuff? I was jarred from my thoughts by the passing of a ‘tuner’ with an enormous stereo system that threatened to deafen me and an exhaust system that sounded like an angry wasp on steroids trapped in a tin can. Does it make sense to have a car with less power than your stereo speakers? I gotta’ stop driving on Sunday, it makes my head hurt.

About the author:
Randall Lang grew up in the tough coalfields of southwestern Pennsylvania where nothing comes easily. It is a world of limited opportunity and few roles to follow. Dreams are quickly vanquished in the shadows of necessity and creativity is usually buried beneath an avalanche of cynicism.  However, epiphanies come in all shapes, sizes, and in a wide range of locations. In the dark and quiet world of the underground worksite, the stories within him began to take form. Years later, Randall is the author of eight books of erotic stories published by Renaissance E Books, has contributed to two erotic anthologies, and the recently released Magnificent Man, a romance story published by Midnight Showcase.

Randall’s erotic works include the five volume Trailer Park Nights series and three books of erotic short stories. These are available at

His newest release, Magnificent Man, is available from Midnight Showecase at at

Visit Randall’s website, The Worlds of Randall Lang,

Or his blog, The Mind of Randall Lang, It’s a strange place to be.

Randall now lives historically on an historic island in  historic Wheeling, West Virginia.

There will be one (1) winner on September 21.
Contest open to US addresses.
+1: Blog or link to this contest on your sidebar.
+1: (for each link) Tweet, stumble, or facebook this contest. Make sure to leave me link where I can find it.
+1: If you can only ask Sharon one question and one question only, what would question would you ask?
+2: Bring a friend, and make sure your friend mentions your name. Both of you get extra entries.

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Laced with Magic
by Barbara Bretton
Paperback, 352 Pages
List Price: $15.00
Published in 2009
ISBN-10: 0-425-22752-9
Publisher: Berkley Trade

Guest Post:

Confession: I’m an eavesdropper. An avid, shameless eavesdropper who likes nothing better than to not only listen in on your conversation but take notes while I’m doing it. The truth is most writers are eavesdroppers. We can’t help it. Put us in a public place, any public place, and we’ll zoom in on conversations four tables away with radar-like precision. Nobody’s safe. We’ll eavesdrop on family, friends, and total strangers with equal enthusiasm and one day down the road we’ll probably use bits and pieces of the things we heard in our stories. Don’t worry. You probably won’t recognize yourself but you’re there, hidden away inside a character or a situation, transformed by time and imagination, but the essence is still there, pure and intact.We stopped by our local diner for lunch the other day. My husband enjoyed a Greek omelet and home fries while I enjoyed a good conversation.

The two women were sitting opposite us, completely unaware that I was almost falling out of my seat with writerly curiosity.  One of the women was a curly-haired blond in her mid-fifties dressed in white pants and a bright pink surgeon’s scrub top. She wore tiny gold hoop earrings, no makeup, and a fistful of rings. Her friend was an African-American woman of about the same age who was dressed in jeans, a black t-shirt and a huge pin-on button with the words “Ask me about my new grandson,” and a photo of an absolutely cherubic infant.

The scrub-topped blond said, “So I told her, ‘Girl, get off Fantasy Island. Your hero ain’t about to ride up and take you away.’”

“Amen, sister,” said her friend. “The only place he’s taking you is McDonald’s.”

And yes, that will probably make its way into a book some day.

One of my favorite eavesdrops happened a few months ago down in South Jersey. We were on our way to Maryland and stopped at a little hole-in-the-wall diner for breakfast.

Five bearded, long-haired men were sitting at the counter. They all sported t-shirts with skulls and crossbones on them, a motif that was repeated in the multiple tats on biceps and forearms. Of course I almost fell out of our booth, trying to hear what they were saying. What if they were planning to hijack the diner or take us all hostage the way that guy did years ago at the diner inJericho on Long Island? (He made everyone in the diner strip to the skin. Talk about total humiliation on a Saturday night. I mean, you’re in a neighborhood diner surrounded by your dentist, letter carrier, and next-door neighbor who hates your guts enough as it is – what will happen once she sees your cellulite?)

This was going to be good, I thought. This was going to be big. I took a quick glance around the room, plotting our escape in case the worst happened. I was almost afraid to find out what they were saying but since when has fear ever stopped a nosy writer? I leaned closer. I held my breath.

And then I started to laugh.

Those scary Jersey Shore Hell’s Angels were talking Twitter!

Now get out there and start listening. You never know when you might hear your next story idea.

Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. Her most recent title, Laced With Magic, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. She currently has over ten million copies in print around the world and have been translated into twelve languages in over twenty countries.

Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette,among others, and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others.

Her awards include both Reviewer’s Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times; Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors.

Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.

You can visit Barbara’s website at, her blog at or connect with her on Twitter at

Thanks to Dorothy and Barbara Bretton
Open worldwide. No PO Boxes please.
One (1) winner on September 18.
Winners will be announced within a week after deadline. Please make sure to subscribe to this blog’s feed to find out if you’re a winner. Please contact me within 1 week of posting the winners, or I get to pick another winner.

+1: Blog or link to this contest on your sidebar.
+1: (for each link) Tweet, stumble, or facebook this contest. Make sure to leave me link where I can find it.
+1: Visit Barbara’s website at, her blog at and tell me something interesting about her.
+1: (unlimited, but have two different people between your comments) I found this game in my favorite BB. I don’t remember exactly who started the game, I just scrolled though tons of post, but couldn’t find it. Anyway, it’s called non-sequitur comments. Check out how to play here.

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Last Call
by JD Seamus
Paperback, 304 Pages
List Price: $14.95
Published in 2008
ISBN-10: 0-9802256-0-4

About the book:

Manhattan newcomer Nathan Melton is looking for a place to connect. Lucky for him, Jimmies is just around the corner–Jimmie Collins is a man with connections! From beat cops to Mafioso, career women to former linebackers, Jimmies patrons take care of each other and their neighborhood barkeep. A beloved priest needs some thugs taught a lesson? No problem! Trouble with your love life? Let Jimmie apply his matchmaking skills. Need a place to sell some merchandise that might have fallen off a truck? No questions asked. Nathan has found his home away from home. Jimmie has an ailing wife and disabled daughter nestled in Florida, and his bar family is all he s got. They understand about the childrens charity balancing out the part time smuggling job, that offshore accounts are necessary when medical bills arent covered by health insurance. When Jimmie reveals his own terminal diagnosis, his friends vow to help him recover the millions he has in foreign bank accounts. Somewhere between that promise and Jimmies death, things go terribly wrong. The money is gone, their friend is dead, and it s up to this close-knit cadre to track the cash.

Guest Post:

Seamus-Irish Musings

I frequently am asked about the humor in the dialogue used in Last Call.  I’d love to say its magical, some kind of gift or even how hard I work on it late into the night. Truth be told, hard for an Irishman, most of the dialogue for my book takes place in a bar (easy for an Irishman), not surprising since the main victim is a bar owner who works regular shifts tending his bar.

To bar regulars, or even irregulars, it should come as no surprise that humorous, intentionally or not, conversations take place in bars. Maybe it’s the booze that sets inhibitions free and loosens tongues or maybe we’ve ‘dumbed down’ as a society-I’m not sure but you definitely hear some funny if not odd conversations while sitting around. You can join in or not, up to you and that’s also part of the allure.  It’s the same no matter what part of the country, or world, you live in. The subject matter is also pretty much the same-race, religion, politics (huge except for Obama jokes-his fans don’t think they are funny and everybody else doesn’t think they are jokes), sports, marriage, divorce. You name it. Somebody, somewhere is saying something funny, stupid, or both right now in a bar.

Case in point. My wife drug me shopping Saturday afternoon at a fairly large mall inOrlando. I didn’t want to follow her around so I was allowed to stay-stern warning to not move, from the general area where we entered the Mall. Not tough right? They had a Tommy Bahamas store and a Ruby Tuesdays close by. Hawaiian shirts, food and beer, all the necessities of life close by my waiting area. I was set. I hit Tommy Bahamas first and bought some shirts and then headed for a cold one.

I was in the bar part of the restaurant less than fifteen minutes and overheard the following witticisms from an older gentleman consoling perhaps his son who had just lost a job. Consecutively he said- a closed mouth gathers no foot and a boss with no humor is like a job that is no fun. The next stool over a pair of young guys were talking about high school and one actually said he’s been placed in special education because they thought he was slow. They were right because next he said that he’d stayed in special education for the girls. Heard a Nun joke from a couple of Priests across the bar. “What goes black, white, black, white, black? A Nun falling down stairs.” A lady yelled from behind me, “Is Hugh short for Hubert?” The bartender, with a bit of an edge to his voice yelled back, “No! It’s long for huh.” Lady yelled, “Oh. Thank you.” Bartender looked at me grinning and said, “Don’t mention it.”

The next time you’re in a bar, listen. It’s a riot.

Novelist JD Seamus has lived and worked among some of the most amazing characters ever to have walked the Earth.

After decades of working in the world of retail finance, e-commerce, and venture capital, Seamus began writing a series of novels based in Manhattan.

With a keen eye for detail, Seamus takes to heart the old adage to “write what you know.” Borrowing from real life experience, Seamus delivers highly entertaining tales full of sparkling wit and dark humor.

Whether pondering life’s most absurd or most wonderful moments, or showcasing a character’s foibles or triumphs, JD Seamus is dynamic new voice in the world of fiction. Seamus may make you blush, he may make you cry, but he will certainly leave you entertained.

Today, Seamus is happily at work on his sixth book in South Florida and dividing his time between his family and Braves and Jaguar games. You can visit his website

About the contest:
Open to US addresses. No PO Boxes please.
There will be 1 winner  on September 15.

Winners will be announced within a week of the deadline.

Please make sure to subscribe to this blog’s feed to find out if you’re a winner.

How to win?
+1: Link to this contest on your sidebar.
+1: Tweet about this contest [ ]
+1: Share this post’s link to your facebook: [ ]
+2: Bring a friend, and make sure your friend mentions your name. Both of you get extra entry.
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