Saturday, June 30, 2012

Notes from Lou

Are you taking a vacation this summer.  Maybe instead of a vacation, you'd like to attend a writers' conference.  Here's a list of some of the ones going on this summer around the country.

JULY 2012:

July 11-14, 2012 - Thrillerfest & Craftfest – International Thriller Writers annual conference, New York, NY.  

This year's Thrillmaster is Jack Higgins... He's one of the most popular thriller writers around.  He'll be at the conference. 
July 7-13, 2012 - Antioch Writers’ Workshop, Yellow Springs, Ohio.  

This conference is for all writers of all levels and areas of interest.  Something for everyone.  
July 12-15, 2012 - Public Safety Writers Conference, Las Vegas NV. Open to those writing fiction or nonfiction about or for any public safety field. Conference speakers include a coroner, fire fighters, police officers, and others in the writing field.  

Have you heard of this one before?  I hadn't. It used to be called the Police Writer's Association. It is open to all and many mystery writers belong to it. It's a great source of research information for those writing novels that include points about public safety or law enforcement. 

July 19-22, 2012 – Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference, Corte Madera, CA.

This is also for accomplished as well as new writers.   Don Winslow is the keynote speaker this year and the event covers a variety of topics to help mystery writers. 

July 22-27, 2012 - Napa Valley Writers’ Conference - 

This conference must be a good one. It's been around for 32 years. It covers all areas of writing from novels to poetry.  

July 25-28, 2012 - Romance Writers of America Annual Conference, Anaheim, California. 
This conference is the biggee if you're a romance writer. Check it out and all it has to offer. 

AUGUST 2012:

Aug. 3-5, 2012 – UNF Writers Conference – University of North Florida, Florida Writers Association, 
  This year's UNF Writers Conference embraces the art of rewriting by focusing on critiques. 
Aug. 19-22, 2012 – Pacific Northwest Writers Association summer conference, Bellevue, Washington,

Aug. 23-26 – Killer Nashville conference, Nashville, Tennessee, A Conference for Thriller, Suspense, Mystery Writers & Literature Lovers:   
Even if you're not interested in going to this one, check out the site. They are having a 52-week guest blogging program by New York Times best selling authors.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Small Book of Lab Art by Sheila M. Wedegis

If you're fond of Labrador Retrievers, you'll love this book. If you love dogs in general, you'll love this book. If you're an art lover, you'll love this book. If you love pets of any kind, you'll love this book.

In The Small Book of Lab Art, internationally known artist Sheila M. Wedegis has captured her labs as well as the pets of those who have commissioned her paintings. The paintings are beautiful for their artistic value, but they go beyond the artistic. There is a magical quality to them. She captures their movements with precision and because she knows labrador retrievers so well, she also she captures the spirit of each dog.

The book includes 25 paintings and a brief description of the circumstance of each one. It's a wonderful book. I wholeheartedly recommend it to all you animal lovers out there.

Sheil Wedegis is a talented artist who does book illustration and cover design in addition to her painting. For more information about Sheila Wedegis and her art, go to : 

To purchase a book:  Click Here

E-Publishing workshop helps writers become part of the digital revolution

            As a further sign that the publishing business has entered a new age, R.R. Bowker, the official U.S. ISBN agency and publisher of “Books in Print”®, reports that over 211,000 books were self-published last year. Many of these were published as e-books either on for Kindle, for the Nook or for other e-reading devices.
            The Florida Heritage Book Festival is presenting a workshop targeted directly at writers who wish to learn more about e-publishing and how to digitally convert their books. “E-Publishing: The Future Is Now!” is a comprehensive 3-hour workshop presenting information by publishing professionals. The workshop will be held the morning of Saturday, July 14, at Flagler College’s Ringhaver Student Center in the Gamache-Koger Theater. Registration and continental breakfast starts at 8:00 a.m. and the workshop begins at 9:00 a.m.
            Led by authors and writing instructors Victor DiGenti and Sharon Y. Cobb, the workshop presents experts and e-publishing veterans to help explain the intricacies of e-book publishing and answer questions. They include Fran Keiser, author-publisher from Get Book Savvy; editor Deborrah S. Hoag from The Right Editor; John Simmons from E-Book Productions; and Rik Feeney from Richardson Publishing.
            Among the questions the workshop will answer are:

* What is e-publishing and how does it work?
* What’s the difference between self-publishing and being an independent publisher?
* What kind of royalties can I expect from my e-books?
* How can I convert my manuscript into a Kindle book?
* What four elements are necessary for consistent sales?
* How can I best market e-books?

            The registration fee is $60 through July 2, and $75 at the door. Register online at   using PayPal, or send a check payable to Florida Heritage Book Festival to Kathy Dvornick, 1261 Paradise Pond Road, St. Augustine, FL 32092. But hurry, space is limited.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Outside Man by Peter Wyte

Michael lives a life of complicated relationships, content to love while shielded from pain and responsibility, looking forward to every moment with his woman—who is not his woman, savoring intimacy without involvement.

Michael yearns to love and share, to be more than just the outside man. Learning to love and to face responsibility doesn’t come easy—at least not to this wealthy, romantic, but burdened charmer.

Thirty-some years after his brief, perfect marriage ended with a “Dear John”, Michael is in another wrong relationship. He’s happy with Stephanie but something is missing. It had been creeping up on him, threatening the wonderful relationship he enjoyed with his married lover. Maybe it was hormonal. Some crazy thing hit him a few months before in Italy, too much oneness, couples everywhere, holding hands, hugging, kissing. So much sharing was overwhelming, and this was Pisa. It wasn’t Paris and the Eiffel Tower— it was Pisa, the other tower. He wouldn’t survive Venice. He flies home.

He would never have the sharing of a true partner with Stephanie. She was married, she loved her husband, and Michael loved her for that and more. It was complicated. Then he meets the perfect woman—the right wrong woman—perfect down to her name. He’d invented a fantasy partner once in a desperate attempt to protect his illicit affair with Stephanie. She symbolized his ideal mate. Her name, too, was Melanie.

Now he loves two women. Can he have them both? Well, hell no, but it’s a nice warm thought. Regardless, his own peculiar code would not allow him to engage in the personal deceit required. Melanie is married, but separated. The breach she comes to represent in his relationship with Stephanie compels him to tell his long-time lover that he’s met someone.

She’s upset, but happy that he’s found someone, until she realizes he’s involved with a separated woman. She begs him to let Melanie go, begs him to give her a chance to salvage her marriage. In her hurt and fury, she accuses him of using and punishing her, and other vulnerable women for what his wife did to him. A shard of reality pierces old defenses. Was his penchant for safe relationships a means of self-protection? Even as he recognizes the shouted truth, he dismisses it.

Something has to break in this provocative debut novel by author Peter Wyte. It could be Michael.

The Outside Man is available on Kindle.  Click here.

Bestselling Author R.J. Ellory Offers a Workshop for Writing Crime Fiction, Thrillers, and More—Open to the Public

On Thursday, October 18, international bestselling author R.J. Ellory conducts a daylong seminar sponsored by Florida Writers Foundation, a charitable organization that promotes literacy. The event takes place at Orlando Marriott Lake Mary and is open to all writers, aspiring and advanced.

R.J. Ellory is the author of such bestselling and multi-award winning books as A Quiet Vendetta, A Simple Act of Violence, and A Quiet Belief in Angels. His work is published around the world in more than 20 languages. His seminar, “Writing Wrongs: A Workshop on Crime Fiction and Thrillers,” focuses on stripping away mysteries of the genre.

“We’re excited to have R.J. as the presenter for this year’s annual FWF Celebrity Workshop,” said Chrissy Jackson, vice president of Florida Writers Foundation and president of FWF’s sister organization, Florida Writers Association. “He’s not only successful and personable but also eager to help fellow writers. If you come to his workshop, you can bet you’ll learn what does and doesn’t work in crime fiction.”

The workshop is from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and includes lunch. A Q&A follows. “I can only imagine the questions that will come up,” said Ms. Jackson. “They’ll probably run the gamut from the craft of writing to becoming published to agent representations to screenplay adaptations and even to what it’s like to be a touring author. This is all useful information for writers of all genres.”

Florida Writers Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable literacy foundation, promotes literacy throughout Florida. All donations to the Foundation, including registration fee for Ellory’s workshop, may be tax deductible.

Florida Writers Association, Inc., some 1,300-plus members strong and growing, is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization that supports established and emerging writers. Membership is open to the public, and membership forms are posted on FWA’s website, Members may attend the annual conference (which this year is October 19 through 21 at Orlando Marriott Lake Mary) and attend as many local meetings as they wish, choosing from some forty chapters around the state, among other member benefits.

Please visit to register for the FWF-sponsored Ellory Celebrity Workshop. Fees increase closer to the workshop date, so register early for the best rates.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wedding of My Dreams by Joyce Henderson

Joyce Henderson's eighth book has been published on Kindle. Wedding of My Dreams is a time travel romance in which Kathleen O'Donnell, a Cleveland, Ohio judge, is about to be married in the same church where her grandparents were married sixty years before.  Her fiancĂ© made all the arrangements for the "wedding of her dreams," and surprised her with this trip to a tiny, isolated village on the northern coast of Ireland.  Her dream turns into a nightmare, however, when a crazy, sword-wielding shepherd kidnaps the bride.  

It is May 1st, a day of enchantment when certain portals to the past open and Kat doesn't realize that she has stepped from the twenty-first century into the middle of a first century clan war. 

Her kidnapper Connor, chieftain of the Malley clan believes she is CaitrĂ­n, the daughter of his life-long enemy Donal and the woman he has long planned to abduct and force into marriage.  However, Connor has stolen the wrong woman.  His kidnapped bride belongs to another time, another place and another man.

While Connor is certain she is Donal's daughter, Kat is just as insistent she is not.  And, she will not go peaceably with this madman who talks about a demented druid, warriors and the Otherworld.

In the end, Kat must choose between two men and two very different lives, all that she is and knows, and all that love offers, while Connor must surrender a lifetime of hatred and revenge to make room for love in his life.    

The book is available at Amazon.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Notes from Lou: Book Resources in Florida

A new feature of Florida Book News is Notes from Lou.

Often there are resources of interest to Florida book lovers and to Florida authors that really don't fit into a category. For example, at times I want to highlight a book festival or conference that I hear about, but it's not coming up soon enough to make a formal announcement, or I hear about a new resource or organization you might be interested in. I'm going to use Notes from Lou to tell you about those types of things.

Hope you enjoy it and if you have info you would like me to share in Notes from Lou, just send it to me at

Have a great week.

Notes from Lou: June 24, 2012

Florida Book Awards

The Florida State University Libraries coordinates the Florida Book Awards. Their mission is to honor the best of Florida literature and books. I just noticed that they begin accepting submissions on  July 1, 2012. You may want to check out their website and blog. Your book just might be appropriate to enter.  Here's how to get to their website.  Click Here. From the website you can click to their blog.  I will put a link to their site in the right-hand column for your convenience.

Have a great week.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Adult Fiction from Bill Allen?

That doesn't sound right. Bill Allen Books are supposed to be for kids age nine to ninety. 
Well, for the most part they are. With its twelve-year-old hero, Bill Allen's "Journals of Myrth" series by Bell Bridge Books was specifically intended to be enjoyed by kids in the ten to twelve age range, yet since the release of the first book, "How to Slay a Dragon," in 2011, it has repeatedly been described as a YA (Young Adult) series. Now Bill has released a true YA book. With characters in age ranging from 19 to possibly-older-than-dirt, Bill's Hanging by a Thread may be better suited for those YA (Young Adult) and adult readers.

"But I like Bill Allen Books the way they were," you say? Don't worry, the humor hasn't changed that much. Hanging by a Thread can still provide your daily dose of sarcasm and snarkiness. You might say, Bill's characters have grown up so you don't have to.
Belgore the Magnificent has been performing in Vegas for twenty years. Many say he's the greatest magician of all time, but then why shouldn't he be? He holds the same distinction on Ambrosia, the magical planet where he was born and still returns on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, the thread he has set up to pass between worlds will eventually destroy the Earth, and the only people who know his secret are three fellow magicians trapped on a prison planet far away. To escape they must turn to Cutter, the most feared prisoner at Facility Twenty-four, a man who has questionable motives of his own.

Throw in the pair of incompetent mobsters who have been tasked to stop them, the innocent family who unwittingly join in the chase, and the competition for the beautiful Rory's affections between her boyfriend, Trent, and the awkward Cloyd, and you have the makings of one ludicrous adventure.

Read more about this and any other of Bill Allen's books at

Mayan Sunset 2012 is Now Available

What if the Mayan prediction of the world ending in December is true? What if they also hid a way to stop it? Find out in Mayan Sunset 2012 by C. M. Allen.

Sixteen year olds Joel and Lisa must escape volcanoes, earthquakes, and tomb robbers in order to find the secret chamber containing the solution to end the destruction. Together they can save the world—if they can decipher the thousand-year-old clues in time and survive one final, unexpected, other-worldly challenge. 

“An action-packed, suspenseful journey. Go along for the ride, but read quickly. Time is running out.” John J. White Award winning author of Prodigious Savant
 About the Author

C.M. Allen is the pen name of an award winning author who finds young adult literature the perfect avenue to share his love of science, history, and writing. He is a recent winner of the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm award for best Young Adult novel, and he is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Allen is a graduate of MIT now living in Florida with his wife.

Mayan Sunset 2012 is available in paperback or Kindle version at For more information visit

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Marshall Frank will be appearing at the Suntree Library:

Saturday, June 23rd, at 1 p.m.,at the Suntree Library in Viera, Florida.
Marshall Frank will be discussing his newly released mystery/thriller "The Upside To Murder," plus talking about the process of writing fiction stories drawn from true life experiences. 
Some comment reviews are posted on  
There is no admission fee.  
The book can be ordered at or from his web site:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

UNF Writers Conference coming in August

 2012 UNF Writers Conference 

at the University of North Florida

Jacksonville • August 4-5, 2012


Two days of workshops, critiques and connections:

Learn about the craft of writing fiction, non-fiction and screenplays. Sharpen your marketing skills and network with best-selling authors and produced screenwriters.

SATURDAY CRITIQUE WORKSHOPS for fiction writers, non-fiction writers and screenwriters. Have your work critiqued by faculty and fellow writers in a nurturing workshop environment.

WRITERS PITCH BOOK submits your written pitches/loglines to agents, book editors and film producers in the form of a PITCH BOOK. If representatives and buyers like your pitch, you’ll be invited to submit your work.

For more information call 904-620-4200, email, or visit our website at

Cocaine Smuggling and Murder n the Keys by Gerald McCallum

Cocaine Smuggling and Murder in The Keys. This 308 page book tells a tale of Sherry, a single woman and marina owner in the Keys who gets involved in smuggling cocaine and several murders. Sherry, a soon to be divorced woman in her mid-thirties is very sexy, a master of deceit and skilled in the art of manipulation. She uses sex, deceit and murder to get what she wants. All three of these create an atmosphere of violence laced with toot and sex in the world of smuggling.

Sherry's first opportunity comes to her in the form of Bob, a renter and drug runner, who makes the mistake of falling in love with her and offers her a briefcase full of cash. This is in exchange for half ownership of the marina. Sherry takes the cash realizing that there is more where this came from, and that no one will ever get half of her marina.
Sherry uses her body as a poker chip to get into the cocaine smuggling business. Men and women alike fall for her manipulations and deceit, and after she has no further use for them she literally gets rid of them. She meets a tall, thin black dancer, named Isabelle who becomes her lover. Sherry will do whatever Isabelle asks of her.

Cocaine, Smuggling and Murder in the Keys provides a background of sunlit skies, emerald waters, yachts and scantily dressed tan bodies, where everyday is just another day in Paradise-JUST NOT NORMAL!

This book is available at Kindle for $4.99, (download), and Kindle Library on loan for free and Amazon for $9.99(paperback).

About the author:
McCallum is retired and continues to reside in Florida. After living on a houseboat at a marina in Southern Florida for twenty-five years, McCallum decided to put his memories on paper. Most of the people he has written about are either in jail or in the ground.

Trivia, Tea and Me by Carol Ann Didier

TRIVIA, TEA AND ME is a glimpse into the everyday life of me, a divorced mom who raised two little boys alone. It’s a quick read with a cup of tea or coffee, no continuous story line to follow except that God loves us and never leaves us or forsakes us no matter what we are going through. 

My story has some humorous moments along with some of the painful periods of divorce, but it also shows how God can take those hurtful things and make something beautiful out of them. For he has said in Jeremiah 29:11-13:“I know the thoughts I have toward you,” says the Lord, "thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then you shall call upon me and ye shall pray unto me and I will hearken unto you …and I will be found of you, says the Lord.”

About the author:

As a Christian, Carol never thought she would ever be divorced; it was not even in her vocabulary, but when it happened, her faith was tested in ways she never dreamed of. She would become a leader of a Christian Singles group in FL and never stopped hurting for people when they said they were getting “divorced.” To this date Carol hates the word divorce and easily identifies with those going through it. In this book, she hopes to inspire others who have gone through it to let them know that God loves the divorced, and still has a plan for their life.

For more information about Carol, visit

To purchase the book on Kindle, click here.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Book News from Robert Brown

Robert Brown's second book, Wounded Hero Voyage II is now available on

 Wounded Hero Voyage II picks up where book I leaves off arriving in Greenland. Bob and Ralph, brothers, travel past thousands of  icebergs in the World’s smallest powerboat to ever cross the Atlantic
Ocean. They are traveling the route which passes just south of the  Arctic Circle.

The book is loaded with 92 pictures showing incredible  sites and hardships with an up-close view that lets the reader experience the drama as it unfolds. The storms are rolling in as they motor in small windows of better weather continuing to the Faroe Islands, Shetlands, Orkneys, Scotland, England, France, Holland, and finishing the 8,312 mile voyage in a boat with less than a foot of freeboard.

“You must be CRAZY!” is the most popular phrase that coincides with their voyage. They are promoting Wounded Hero Foundations in memory of three Marines, John Harvey, George Holmes, and Dewey Johnson.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dream Artistry Workshop

Dream Artistry
2-Hour Workshop
Saturday, June 23, 2012
1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
(321) 422-0874
YogaFix Orlando
172 Wilshire Blvd.
Casselberry, FL 32707
Adapted from her book Dreams on Film (McFarland & Company, Inc.), Leslie Halpern presents this workshop on using nightly dreams to inspire artwork. Learn techniques to remember your dreams, popular theories about sleeping and dreaming, ways to solve problems with dreams, dream interpretation, and suggestions for using dreams to enhance creative expression. Each night's dreams hold the secret to a richer understanding of yourself.
About the Author/Speaker: Leslie C. Halpern is the author of three nonfiction books and more than 3,000 newspaper and magazine articles about the arts and entertainment industry. She has kept a dream diary since she was 13 years old and has used her dreams to inspire poetry, short stories, and paintings.
Workshop: $15.00

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Keep up with the Florida Writers Conference...

 I know that October seems like a long way off, but I received this notice this week and it's not too early to start planning for the Florida Writers' Conference.

AT THE ANNUAL FLORIDA WRITERS CONFERENCE, October 19-21 at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary, you'll rub elbows with six agents, eight publishers, 18 featured faculty, 4 critique faculty, a pitch coach, and some 500 other writers. You'll choose from some forty workshops to help you hone your craft and navigate the publishing landscape. (Oh, yeah, and you'll eat really well, too.)

Go HERE for all the details.

Novel in a Day Workshop with Vic Digenti on June 16

"Vic DiGenti is a superb instructor and offered a well-organized, interactive workshop. Great takeaway. A good session for both novice and experienced writers
." –Nancy Fox
Writers today face an uphill climb. The competition is fierce, the learning curve steep. There’s no magic wand, but by learning the basic techniques for crafting a novel, the beginning writer can quickly flatten the learning curve. Novel in a Day Workshop with Vic DiGenti  packs a year’s worth of learning into a day-long interactive session filled with practical advice and solid instruction. Some of the topics covered:
  • Elements of plot and structure
  • Creating characters that sizzle
  • Secrets of good dialogue
  • Crafting strong beginnings, middles and ends
  • Deciphering point of view
  • Tips for self-editing
Here's how you can join them for the next session of Novel in a Day...

Friday, June 8, 2012

News from Valerie Allen

Valerie Allen's article: Tips for Teens:  Getting the Summer Job was published in Western New York Family Magazine in Buffalo, NY. Valerie offers five skills for teens to ace their job interview and impress their potential employer.

~  Valerie Allen  ~    

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Crimson Footprints by Shewanda Pugh

Crimson Footprints 
When an insecure, bi-racial woman begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark albeit with devastating consequences. 
On the night of her brother's murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could've done the same. But love s a devil that way. 
So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this for now. After all, Deena s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she s never had. And away from him.

Crimson Footprints is available now eReaders. It debuts in print on July 17, 2012.

About the Author
Shewanda Pugh is a native of Boston's inner city, though she now calls Miami, Florida, home. She has a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Alabama A&M University and a Master's in Writing from Nova Southeastern University. Fueled from a young age, her passion for crossing societal boundaries like race, class and culture, is the inspiration for both her cluttered bookshelf and her writing. When she's not busy obsessing over fiction, she can be found traveling, nursing her social networking addiction or enjoying the company of loved ones.