Monday, April 7, 2014

Featured Author: Lissa M. Cowan of Milk Fever




Title: Milk Fever
Author Name: Lissa M. Cowan

Book Genre: Historical fiction, literary suspense
Publisher: Demeter Press
Release Date: October 18, 2013
http://www.amazon.ca/Milk-Fever-Lissa-M-Cowan/dp/1927335205
www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/milk-fever/9781927335208






ABOUT THE BOOK:
What if the only person you ever loved suddenly disappeared without a trace?
In 1789, Armande, a wet nurse who is known for the mystical qualities of her breast milk, goes missing from her mountain village.

Céleste, a cunning servant girl who Armande once saved from shame and starvation, sets out to find her. A snuffbox found in the snow, the unexpected arrival of a gentleman and the discovery of the wet nurse’s diary, deepen the mystery. Using Armande’s diary as a map to her secret past, Céleste fights to save her from those plotting to steal the wisdom of her milk.

Milk Fever is a rich and inspired tale set on the eve of the French Revolution–a delicious peek into this age’s history. The story explores the fight for women’s rights and the rise in clandestine literature laying bare sexuality, the nature of love and the magic of books to transform lives.

BLOG POST:  

Why Book Covers are So Important
I had a discussion with my publisher before my book was published. I told her that I was fussy about book covers and I thought it would be better to find a stock image rather than commission an artist to do something for little pay. I worked with a graphic designer and it took us several hours to find an image that I liked and that was affordable. There are so many amazing images out there yet they also cost thousands of dollars. I love the image that I chose because it really captures the sensuality of my book and of the time period in which it’s set. It also reminds me of Céleste, the narrator of the book. The painting is by François Boucher, a famous Rococo painter so it really is perfect to have found it.
So besides just being generally fussy about quality (I worked in publishing for a few years which might explain why) I have always thought that a book cover needs to sell the book. If people see the book in a store then they might be in a rush and could walk right by unless the cover makes them stop and pick up the book. I have bought books just because I like the cover, even before knowing the author or what the book’s about.
Think of it as a first impression.
If you’re at a job interview, you’re going to want to look your best and be clear about why you want the job and what you can do for the company. Well, the same is true for a book cover. You might only have that one chance to entice someone into picking up your book. You want to make sure that the words are clear, that the cover isn’t too cluttered and that it’s obvious what kind of book it is. If you don’t have much money for design, then ask your friends if they know someone who can do it at a reduced rate and you’ll give them some exposure. Or go to the local art college and see if any students might be interested in trying book design. Do research beforehand to see what book covers are out there and which ones appeal to you and why. Above all, make sure you love the cover. I know authors who go along with what their publishers want, however you spent so much time writing the book so you should be proud of the final product.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lissa M. Cowan is the author of Milk Fever and founder of Writing the Body. She speaks and writes about storytelling, creativity, work-life balance and creative spirituality. She is a Huffington Post blogger and writes regularly for Canadian and U.S. magazines and newspapers. 
She is co-translator of Words that Walk in the Night by Pierre Morency, one of Québec’s most honoured poets. She has been writing and telling stories in one form or another since she was six years old and has received awards for her writing from the University of Victoria’s Writing Department and from The Banff Centre. She is an alumna of The Banff Centre and The Victoria School of Writing. She has had some wonderfully talented teachers along the way such as Nino Ricci, Jane Rule and Daphne Marlatt who have helped her hone her writing craft.
Lissa believes that inspiration for writing can come from anywhere and that lifelong creativity begins by cultivating a deep awareness of ourselves, and the world around us. She coaches her students to develop the skills to tune in—rather than wait for the muse—and to trust their intuition. She believes that true creative work begins with a loving relationship to self and spreads outwards to encompass all living beings.
When she’s not writing or teaching, you can most likely find her in a cafe working on one of her stories or book ideas. She just started work on a creative non-fiction book, though it’s too early right now to spill the beans on that one!
She holds a Master of Arts degree in English Studies from l’Université de Montréal and lives in Toronto, Canada.

Author Links - The link for any or all of the following...
Website: lissacowan.com  Blog: lissacowan.com/blog | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gosmall | Twitter:  @lissacowan | Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/lissamcowan | Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lissamcowan | Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Lissamcowan
 | Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lissa-M.-Cowan/e/B00G48XN3S

Giveaway -
A copy of my novel and one-hour Skype or phone call lesson on how to write historical fiction

Rafflecopter:


BOOK EXCERPT:

Excerpt One (300-500 or so Words):
Armande handed me a book that felt clumsy and stiff in my hands.
I pressed it with all the strength I could bring to bear. She said the
pages of books were made from cotton and linen rags stamped into
pulp, then pressed into paper and hung to dry. I laughed at her for
telling such a lie because I thought maybe she was just like my father
who told tall tales to make me behave. Rows and rows of lines she
called words looked odd to me. Many times I searched hard within
every letter, every sound to find meaning. The letters cut my tongue
as thorns on a rose bush, each one sticking to me. I could not speak
the next letter until the one before it came unstuck. Soon after the
word was finally spoken, my lazy tongue quit my mouth.


Months later, the wet nurse asked me to read a passage aloud.
The first line was, Bodies gliding on morning’s cloak of dew, lit up
as iridescent insect wings they flew. When I came to the word iridescent,
Armande said to say it slowly, one letter at a time. She told
me it was from the word iris for the flower, and escent for colours
of the rainbow that change as a dragonfly in the sun. Finally, when
my tongue began working with me and worrying less, she asked me
to say other words like deliquescent, effervescence, and florescence.
These newfound words were as rare gems dug up by the wet nurse
solely for me. She wrote them out with big stokes that filled a whole
page. I rubbed my eyes to make the words go away, yet they only
stayed there waiting for me to say them.


In the days and months that followed, I learned to read and write
well, and I learned first-hand about the miraculous effects of Armande’s
milk on babies. Before, I was a mere servant watching from afar as the
wet nurse suckled. Then I was part of her life, holding and changing
babies, burping them, and rocking them to sleep. Armande cared for
three babies during this period yet not all at once. She would also tend
to others from time to time, reassuring worried mothers in soothing
tones as gentle and sweet as the milk itself. First there was Jacques
who she still cared for. His mother died in childbirth and Armande

stepped up to nurse him without a thought about payment. Caroline
came after, then Héloïse. The first time I watched from up close as
Jacques drank her milk was in the drawing room. 


Armande was on her favourite oak chair with the sagging blue leather
seat and worn arms while I sat on the sofa. Suddenly Jacques stopped sucking,
then gazed at me knowingly, his eyes full of light. In that instant, a slim ray
of sun gleamed through a crack, lighting up the darkness inside me.
My hands shook. Sweat ran down my cheeks and the back of my neck.
Just as she said her father sometimes described it, we were entering a new
age driven by light. And I, a peasant girl whose father and mother never
held a book, would be there to witness the change.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Emily Kimelman's Book Blast is UNLEASHED




Choose the Voice of Sydney Rye

Sydney Rye is coming to Audio and we need your help picking the narrator!
Emily Kimelman's “Sydney Rye” series features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

Haven’t read Sydney Rye yet? Download the first book, UNLEASHED, for free on Amazon, iTunes, B&N, or Kobo and see how she sounds in your head then vote for the best narrator!

Voting enters you to win all sorts of great prizes including Amazon gift cards, signed books, and the finished Audio book! Add to your chances of winning by joining Emily's email list, liking her Facebook page, or telling your friends about the contest.

Here are your choices:

Emily:




Bio:

Emily Strong is an actor, voiceover talent, and first time filmmaker.  As a native of Michigan, she is a nature-lover at heart but has the mind of a city girl and moved to Chicago nearly three years ago because she wasn't smart enough to go somewhere warmer.  She takes full advantage of what the city has to offer by training at legendary places like The Second City and eating lots and lots of ethnic food (will travel all the way across the city to Pilsen for the best tacos!).  Her love of reading was the catalyst for her adventurous spirit and the reason why she is always stoked to tell stories in their many different forms.

You can visit her at www.emilystrong.net



Erin:



Bio:


Erin has narrated over 500 audio books including "The Hunger Games" trilogy for The National Library Services/Library Of Congress,  "A State Of Wonder," The Garden Of The Beasts," "Anna Karenina," "Ferdinand The Bull, and "Madeline." 



Sonja:






Sonja has two loves: acting and reading. Narrating audiobooks is her absolute passion. She has logged over 600 hours recording textbooks with an organization called Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, and is currently in the process of recording a kids' action-fantasy-adventure novel, a steamy and mysterious paranormal romance, and a non-fiction about writing. She loves nothing more than bringing vivid worlds and unique characters to life. When she's not recording, Sonja can be found onstage, traipsing around Brooklyn, or entertaining children with a variety of dubious accents.


Erica:






Bio:

Erica Newhouse is a film, televesion and theater actor living in New York City. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School.



Prize Details

Every vote, like, share, or sign up is an entry for the "grand prizes" 
One person will win Signed copies of all 5 books
One person will win a $30 Amazon or B&N gift card
Four other winners will win paperback copies of UNLEASHED
Anyone who votes +  signs up for Emily’s email list + likes Emily’s FaceBook page gets a copy of the audio book when it's completed!

More about UNLEASHED:

UNLEASHED is the first book in Emily Kimelman's best selling Sydney Rye series of mysteries.

When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Miller's dog-walking business on Manhattan's exclusive upper east side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.



But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victim--and of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.



When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spirit--cynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattan's elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.


The Rest of The Sydney Rye Series:

DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novella, #2) 
INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)
STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)
THE DEVIL’S BREATH (A Sydney Rye Novel, #5) Coming April 2014


Emily Kimelman Biography

Emily Kimelman is the author of the best selling “Sydney Rye” series of mystery novels including UNLEASHED, DEATH IN THE DARK, INSATIABLE, STRINGS OF GLASS and the forthcoming THE DEVIL’S BREATH. Emily lives with her husband, Sean Gilvey, and their dog, Kinsey Millhone “Pup Detective”, on a trawler docked in the Hudson Valley during the summer. She spends her winters traveling to where ever the next Sydney Rye Novel takes place. Right now she is in Costa Rica working on Sydney Rye #6.

If you’ve read Emily’s work and liked it please contact her. She loves hearing from readers. You can reach Emily via email ejkimelman@gmail.com or on twitter @ejkimelman. Follow her on Instagram to see pictures from Emily’s latest adventures. Visit www.emilykimelman.com to learn more about Emily and the Sydney Rye series.

Links:

UNLEASHED

Amazon

Goodreads

Kobo

Smashwords

iTunes

Barnes and Noble

Social Media




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