Anna Questerly

Anna Questerly
Bookseller and bibliophile turned author, Anna Questerly writes medieval fiction and fairy tales for smart kids and young hearts. For adults, she creates Utopian fantasy as A.J. Questerly.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Even With Our Extra Second, Not Enough Time!

If you're a Facebook or Twitter friend, you probably already know why I haven't been posting on my own blog.  Such exciting things are happening, I'm getting to the point of needing a full time assistant or a strait jacket. I'm not sure which.

First, I'm getting more and more speaking and books signing engagements. I can't seem to say no to these requests, they are always a lot of fun. I'll be speaking later in July for The Christian Writers of the West, which I'm looking forward to. Here's a link to their site:

Last week, I spoke at a meeting of the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers and had a great time with those gals. They loved the Indie 800 project and are really pushing for location closer to Scottsdale. I can't blame them. There are only two bookstores left in the entire town. One of the writers is a journalist, and she offered to write articles about each of our Charter Members to promote it!

Which brings me to the second thing, the Dog-Eared Pages Indie 800 project. We've received bunches of submissions already. My board and I are diligently researching and reading works by authors to determine if they qualify to join our Indie 800 Club. So far we've approved four members and raised $20,000 toward our goal of $4,000,000. We still have a long way to go, but I can't tell you how excited I am at the caliber of authors applying!

Here's the link if you'd like to know more:

If you get a chance, check out books by Alan Black, Kris Tualla, and Michele Venne either at Dog-Eared Pages for signed copies or on Amazon. You'll see what I mean.

Third, even though summer is a slow time at the bookstore, there's still plenty to do. Stocking shelves, pricing books, cleaning books, cleaning the store, culling books for the bargain room. Doing the newsletter and all of the social media marketing.

Finally, I've been getting a bit of writing in. I've been invited to contribute a few stories to a Flash Fiction Anthology. Turns out these short little stories are almost as tough to write as a novel! Who knew? Anyway, it's fun and I'm honored to have been included. I'll let you know when it's available.

That's it for now. I've gotta get back to reading submissions for the Indie 800 applications! Yeah, I know; it's a tough job.

Happy 4th of July to you all. Stay safe and have bunches of fun!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I'm so excited to be signing with a dozen amazing authors this Saturday from 1:00-4:00 at Doge Eared Pages in Phoenix, AZ!  Stop by if you're in town.

Also, for those of you interested in what it takes to build a fictional world, here is my interview with World Builder's Anvil.  If you've never heard his podcast, it's fascinating to listen to how other authors build their worlds. I've learned  a lot from this series.

I'm still working on my top-secret project, and so far, all is going according to plan.  I can't wait to share it with all of you!

My new line of journals is doing well both on Amazon and in our store. A new one, I designed for a friend's wedding, is really catching on. It's a newlywed journal to document their first year and makes a great wedding gift. If you type 'Questerly' in the Amazon search bar, you should be able to find it along with all of the other new designs.  Again, let me know in the comments if you'd like me to do a specific theme for you or someone you know.

I'm loving this warmer weather and will be complaining about the heat in about a month. To my friends in the rest of the US, I hope spring has sprung where you are and you're taking the time to watch the greenery sprout and the flowers bloom.

Take care, my friends.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Working on a Top-Secret New Project!

Hi, my friends. I'll be offline for a few weeks. I'm working on a new project and should have exciting news soon.  Hope all is well with you guys!


Friday, March 27, 2015

It's Meet My Friends Friday! This week's guest is Alan Black

Happy Friday, my friends!

I'm so excited to introduce you to one of my best buddies, Mr. Alan Black. Alan is not only a friend, but is also one of my beta readers and has given me so much help with my writing, I can't thank him enough.

I snapped this picture when we were at the Tucson Book Festival two weeks ago. I think it captures his fun and quirky personality pretty well. He is, as they say, a card. Which card, you ask?  The joker, of course. By the way, Alan and I will be signing at the Book Vault in Mesa Saturday 3/28/15 from noon til 4:00 along with Kris Tualla, Deena Remiel, and Gini Koch. If you haven't met them yet, try to stop by if you're in the area. It's a great store.  If you're not in Arizona, I'm sure I'll get them on here one Friday soon, so you can meet them, too.

If you have a sense of humor, I'm sure you'll find his books to your liking.

Take it away, Alan!

I've been writing novels since 1997 when I started Eye on The Prize. My writing tastes are as eclectic as my reading preferences. I admit that I love writing much more than editing and the whole publishing process. Marketing of my work leaves me as baffled as the whole string theory thing.

I was born in central Kansas and grew up in Gladstone, Missouri. I graduated from Oak Park Senior High School and eventually earned a liberal arts degree from Longview Community college. I spent most of my adult life in the Kansas City area. The exception came at the orders from the U.S. Air Force when I was stationed in Texas, California, Maryland, and Japan. My wife and I were married in the late 70s and moved back to Independence, Missouri, but now we live in sunny Arizona. The dry desert air stimulates my creativity more than the juicy air in Missouri (pronounced here as 'misery') and I've yet to shovel sunshine out of the driveway.

My desire to write started in the second grade. I was given an assignment to write a short story about Greek mythology. My teacher took the time to call my parents and express her appreciation of the story. Although neither of my patents remembered the incident, it had an impact on me, eventually leading me to write Eye On The Prize, taking two years to complete. I've gotten faster since then completing a recent manuscript in three weeks

One of the things I was most exited about was becoming a #1 bestselling author on Amazon and Kindle for Metal Boxes, a young adult, science fiction, military, action adventure. I have published eight. I'm a self-published multi-genre writer. One writer friend called me 'timeless' because I wrote historical books, novels based in the present and tales of the future. My main goal is to write story driven novels with scifi novels that are more character and action driven than focused on science, story driven historical that are not history lessons and entertainment based literary fiction.

My vision statement: "I want my readers amazed they missed sleep because they could not put down one of my books. I want my readers amazed I made them laugh on one page and cry on the next. I want to give my readers a pleasurable respite from the cares of the world for a few hours. I want to offer stories I would want to read."

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments or connect with me at

Friday, March 20, 2015

Meet My Friends Friday with Lauren Lynne

I first met Lauren on Twitter, and with both of us writing for young adults, we soon became fast friends on Twitter and on Goodreads. I can't wait to meet her in person some day. Maybe even hold a signing for her at Dog-Eared Pages!

Anyway, her series is intriguing and I wanted to know what motivated her to write it. So I asked. Here's what she says:

I work in low-income (Title 1) schools as a substitute teacher. I was moved by male reluctant readers. I have a personal love of underdogs and the characters Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Alex Rider. I wanted to reach out and engage young and sometimes troubled youths and to connect them with a character that struggles everyday to do the right thing and make the most of his situation. My protagonist never claims to be perfect and often doubts himself. Some people see him as a troublemaker and others as a hero.

My young adult novels teach about living with consequences, talking things out, trusting in yourself as well as thinking of others and not just yourself. There are also underlying themes of anti-bullying and anti-gang.

I gave Owen, the protagonist, the special ability to be able to sense bad things that had happened to people. He is then driven to make them right, or at least better. He develops a genuine desire to help others. It is both Owen’s nature and destiny to be “good”, to fight against people who hurt others.

I hope that helps.
Thank you for your interest and if you would like to know more… please visit my website.

Don't you just love her covers? :)

You can touch base with her on Twitter at @LaurenLynneYA or on Goodreads or Facebook. Stop by and tell her, "Hi!" when you get a chance. She'd love to hear from you.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Meet My Friend, Karen Cafarella!

Happy Friday! Today, I want to introduce you to my friend and fellow book-lover, Karen Cafarella. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask her for a photo, so I'll try to give you a glimpse of her. I secretly believe she's a sprite. Really! She's just a slip of a woman with a pixie hair cut, sparkling eyes, and a wide, welcoming smile. As soon as you meet her, you know you're going to like her. Like I said, she's a sprite!

I've known Karen since we opened Dog-Eared Pages. She was one of our very first customers and has always been supportive of our author events and our store in general. She paints, writes, and teaches yoga. As a matter of fact, when she first began teaching yoga, I was part of her 'practice class' and we held classes in the bookstore before we opened until she received her license.

She's also an organizing guru, so I asked her to write a bit about that since we probably all need a bit of help there.

Take it away, Karen!

Writing and Organizing! ! ! by Karen Cafarella

I am an Organizer by heart. For as long as I can remember I loved to keep things in
order. I understand not everyone is that way but you can be organized and feel at ease
with these few tips.

When people think about organizing, they think about getting the closet in order or the
kitchen, bathroom and garage in order; but what they don’t think about is the computer.

With most of us using our computers for just about everything we do from grocery lists
to writing poems or short stories or novels; our computer can get disorganized. So here
are a few tips to help:

If you are like me and still enjoy writing in a notebook, since they are much easier to
carry around; and you only keep a few pages in that notebook either transfer it to your
computer or scan directly onto a USB drive. As much as I love to write, my organizing
brain says I don’t need to keep all those notebooks and lets face it they can be hard to
store. Scanning is one of the easiest ways. It keeps all your writing in one place.

At times I do keep poems or stories on my computer for entering a contest. This way
they are readily available. In that case I set up folders. Instead of all your writing in
one folder separate by categories, short stories, poems & haikus and novels. If you
have a novel started but never finished and decided to work on another one, keep those
folders separate. Name them so it will be easy to locate when you want to work on
them. You can also keep a folder just with ideas in them.

Other parts of your computer can get cluttered at well. E-mail, go through daily if you
can and only save what is important. What needs to be saved for future reference put
in drafts, this way the messages don’t get deleted by accident. Favorites, go through
those every few months. We put so many sites on our computer to look at but most
times forget or never get around to it. By looking at them every few months it helps
keep the computer clean and organized.

Remember whatever you are organizing a little bit at a time goes a long way.

If you're interested in checking out Karen's book, you can pick up a signed copy at Dog-Eared Pages in Phoenix or on Amazon


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

We Have a Goodreads Giveaway Winner!

Hi, everyone and thanks for entering the Goodreads Giveaway for Pangaea.

The contest is now over, and we have a winner! Congratulations to Jeremy Martin!

I've signed your book and it's on it's way, Jeremy.  Enjoy.

If anyone else would like a signed copy of Pangaea or any of my other books, they are available through my bookstore at

Thanks again for entering and happy reading to all!



Friday, March 6, 2015

Meet My Friends Friday Today's Guest is Sharon Moore

Happy Friday, my friends! I've been so excited to begin introducing you to some of my friends and today, I get to start with a wonderful woman and a fantastic writer, Sharon Moore.  Although her photo is lovely, it doesn't begin to show how sweet Sharon is. In person, she's an absolute doll and hilarious. Whenever we've been at a signing together, she's had me and everyone else around her ROFL.

I know she looks quite innocent, doesn't she?  Don't let her fool you, this lady has a wild side, too. (more on that later).

For now, I'll let Sharon tell you a bit about herself. If you like what you read, reach out to her, and say "Hi!" She's a fun friend to have.

“Cooking Up a Mystery with 13 Elements”

I am thrilled to be the first guest post on Anna Questerly’s blog. I have admired Anna for a while now and have happily hosted her on one of my blogs. You might want to check her “Dash of Romance” at

I write a wide-range of genres, but today I am talking about cozy mysteries, as sub-genre in the mystery realm. I write culinary mysteries, a sub-genre of cozy mysteries.

One of the oddities of the cozy is that were it true that so many crimes and murders occurred in the same small town, no one could afford the insurance rates to live there! The reader is willing to suspend disbelief in order to see what their favorite cozy mystery sleuth will get into this time. But in real life, no one would encounter so much mayhem.

At root, mysteries are puzzles to be solved. Some are gritty and hard-boiled, but if you are interested in writing a cozy mystery, either culinary or bookstore or knitting or gardening---or some other hobby or interest--there are some specific elements you will need to include.

1) Cozy mysteries are most often set in a small town or rural setting so you get to know residents across books. That’s called a “closed circle” mystery. Strangers don’t “do the deed” very often.
2) Almost all cozy mysteries are part of a series that usually has a theme/occupation/hobby to tie it together.
3) Cozy mysteries often have punny titles tied to the theme/occupation/hobby of the series. My culinary mysteries for example have titles of Mission ImpastablePrime Rib and PunishmentPotluckCooks in the Can, and Ancient Grease.
4) Whereas cozies are generally G-Rated, they have evolved to where there may be mild cursing and the mention of sex “off stage”.
5) Cozies often have humorous components and/or quirky characters.
6) The reader has access to all clues the sleuth has but they are obscured with red herrings and false leads.
7) Most cozy mysteries feature a murder but it could be some other serious crime.
8) Typically the victim is not an admirable person, so the crime, while not justifiable, may be understandable.
9) Often the murder (or other significant crime) occurs near the beginning. But not always. Cozies can introduce the murder well into the story.
10) Murders take place “off stage” so there is little or no explicit violence or gore described. Often those details are cloaked or even omitted.
11) Cozy mysteries use plot devices (like false identities, hidden motives, camouflaged murder weapon or locked room) to further the confusion of clues, suspects, and timelines.
12) The amateur sleuth is reluctant and uses common sense to solve the mystery. The sleuth is drawn into solving the crime by unavoidable circumstances.
13) The clever villain is never as clever or smart as the amateur sleuth.

 Cozy mysteries are very popular with readers, but it is also quite a crowded field for publishing. Readers tend to gravitate to particular authors who might have several series and/or to cozies in an area of interest to them, like cats.

When choosing the focus for your reluctant sleuth, begin with a passion of your own and then imagine what might cause you to get involved in solving a crime. Would you take it on if your reputation or freedom were at stake? Would you search for a missing child you love? What if your best friend or mother might go to jail?

Cozy crime solvers would much rather get back to cooking--or whatever--but if they don’t step up, they believe the crime will go unsolved. After it’s over, life goes back to normal. Until the next dust-up.

After 39 years as an educator, Sharon Arthur Moore "transitioned" to the life of full-time fiction writer. She's an intrepid cook, game-player, and miniatures lover.

She writes culinary mysteries, women's fiction, historical fiction, short stories, plays, paranormals/fantasy/science fiction (as River Glynn), and erotic romance (as Angelica French).

You can follow Sharon on:

Blog: “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time” at

Twitter: @Good2Tweat

Facebook: Sharon Arthur Moore Fan Page

Thank you so much, Sharon for coming onto my blog!  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        Pangaea by A.J. Questerly




          by A.J. Questerly


            Giveaway ends March 10, 2015.
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.

      Enter to win

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I've Got An Author Page On Goodreads!

One of the recurring pieces of advice every author gets these days, "You must have a platform on social media." is repeated almost as often as, "Write hot: edit cold."

I've played on Facebook, Pintrest, Plague, and Twitter and yet never quite got the hang of how social media works for marketing books. I usually just end up reposting, retweeting, and repinning stuff, and making a lot of new friends, (mostly other authors) and spending a huge amount of time lost on the screen.

Then it hit me. I need to connect with readers. Guess where most of the readers on the internet are?  Goodreads!  Yep, only took me about four years to figure that out.

Anyway, having an Authorpage allows me to do giveaways and lots of other fun stuff.  Right now, I have a giveaway running for a signed copy of Pangaea. Go ahead and enter if you'd haven't yet. The other neat thing is that each of my blog posts shows up on my Authorpage along with books I'm reading and any reviews I'm posted for books. So far, I really like having everything all in one place like this.

Here's the link if you'd like to check it out. Anna Questerly on Goodreads

I'm also going to change things up a bit on my blog. Like I said, I've met a lot of amazing writers, both online and in my store. Starting next month, I'll be introducing them to you each Friday. I've learned so much from these folks, or simply enjoyed their writing, and can't wait to share them with you.

Right now, I'm getting ready for the Tucson Festival of Books. Just made our hotel reservations, Yay! This is Arizona's largest book fair with more than 500 authors and 100,000+ readers attending the weekend event. Last year, I had a young woman come up to see if I had anything new out. (I didn't.) and the look of disappointment on her face, forced me to set the deadline for Pangaea so it would be available for the festival. If you're going, look me up. I'll be in booth 106 along with about twenty amazing authors.

Oh, dear! We just received a huge collection of children's books into the store and I need to get busy shelving them, We'll talk again soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What Exactly is a Beta Reader?

One of my Twitter friends recently asked me this question, and since it takes more than 140 characters to answer, I thought I would share it here.

Beta readers are God’s gift to authors. These are the folks who read through an early draft of your novel, looking for the holes and gaps, you, as an author, are too close to see. They can be writers or readers, but ideally they enjoy the kind of book you are writing and are familiar with its genre.

Keep in mind, there are two steps in the editing process. The first is a story edit also called ‘Chunking Edits’ where major changes take place. The second is more of a line edit, focusing on word choice, descriptions, grammar and the like. Beta readers are perfect for your first round of editing.

They should be people you trust to tell you the truth, both good and bad about your book. What’s working, what’s not, what’s missing, what’s repetitive, and so on. They may offer suggestions and may even send your story in a different direction, as happened to me with The Minstrel’s Tale.

Whether you take their suggestions or not, their feedback is invaluable to authors. It’s your first glimpse at what readers think of your story.

They’re not looking for grammatical, punctuation errors, although they may find a few for you. They’re really great at making sure your story arc is on the mark, or that your characters have unique voices and don’t all sound the same. They may draw your attention to facts you have wrong or let you know when something isn’t clear. They will tell you if your character is doing something that doesn’t make sense. In short, they’ll find all the things Amazon reviewers will find if you publish without a good edit.

I use 5-7 beta readers with my novels, but I was able to have an entire 5th grade class beta read The Minstrel’s Tale.  They’re the ones who made me take the second book in a new direction.
So where do you find these readers?

I rounded up my first few Beta readers from authors I enjoyed working with in my critique group.  I also corralled friends and family members, and I captured a few at my bookstore when I noticed they were reading something similar. 

Do you need both a critique group and Beta readers?

I don’t think so. I loved being part of a critique group in my early attempts at writing. Their suggestions made me a better writer, but it takes a long time to get an entire novel through the critique group process. After my first book, I switched to Beta readers exclusively.  I know some authors who have always used critique group feedback, so there is no one right answer. Find what works for you as an author and keep tweaking your system.

What should I expect to pay a Beta Reader?

Most Beta Readers don't charge, thank goodness! But if you're asking an author to Beta Read for you, expect to reciprocate at some time in the future.

How do you keep your Beta Readers?

Once you find a few Beta Readers you respect and can work well with, don't forget to thank them in your acknowledgements and gift them a copy of your book upon its release.  

So what's an Alpha Reader?

An Alpha Reader is the person you trust the most to read your writing first. A spouse or best friend who gets you and can give you an almost unbiased critique works well. After making changes my Alpha catches, then I give the book to my Beta Readers.

Hope this helps! Feel free to add your opinions or experiences with Beta Reading in the comments.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The 'Other' Pangaea

I was in 5th grade the first time I heard the word, Pangaea.  At the time, it seemed to me to be a magical place that once existed right here on Earth. This wasn’t another planet, only another time. To my young mind, this was a world filled with dinosaurs and unicorns and so much more at a time long before man walked the coastlines of the continents.

I bumped into the word from time to time throughout the years. Even with its various pronunciations and spellings, Pangea, Pangia, Panjaea, the name still conjured images in my brain and led my imagination on exciting adventures.

When I decided to write my novel, I looked up the title on Amazon and found several non-fiction and new age type books, but no sci-fi/fantasy novels, nothing like what I was planning to write. Perfect. Curious to find out if the word held the same magic for others as it did for me, I decided the title of my book should just be Pangaea.

The big day came and Pangaea went live on Amazon. I looked it up to make sure all was right, and guess what I found? 

Another sci-fi/fantasy novel with the same name published a few weeks before mine.

Well, I had to read it to find out what journey the word took this author on and to find out if our books were at all similar.

To my relief, the two Pangaeas were nothing alike. I wrote a review for the ‘other’ Pangaea. Here’s the Goodreads link if you’d like to check it out.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Free Gift!

Free today and Saturday!

If you find it helpful, 
please review on Goodreads and/or Amazon!

With the utmost gratitude 


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Glendale Chocolate Affair

If you've never attended this FREE event, you simply must this year.

Downtown Glendale on Friday and Saturday January 30 & 31st 

I'll be there signing along with dozens of amazing authors. Stop by and see us as you make your way through a maze of chocolate vendors and dancing revelers.

We'll also have free workshops for writers going on all day Saturday. Ig you've been thinking about writing or want to improve your craft, you don't want to miss any of them. The schedule is below.

10 AM Workshop:
Isabelle Clayton
Bio: Isabella Clayton is a psychic medium, paranormal investigator, writer, artist and speaker.  She has seen human spirits, non-human entities and things that go bump in the night since childhood.  Her psychic abilities have always been a part of her.  At three, she would speak with relatives or friends on her play telephone and tell her Mom when they would be having company.  Mom always made sure she scrambled to clean the house. 
Throughout the years, Isabella has continued to develop her abilities so that she could help people.  She has helped people (adults and children) with night terrors, with any kind of haunting, readings or by speaking with friends/family that have passed to the other side.  
A few years ago she wanted to understand the science side and has since joined several paranormal investigating groups.  This has helped her with debunking skills, and has increased her exposure with the spiritual possession. 
When she’s not traveling around the country with her guy, she’s at home with her cats, friends and family having the time of her life.

Workshop: Separating Fact from Fiction in the Paranormal World

Avoid the pitfalls when writing about the paranormal world. We'll explore the differences in the entities and explain the latest investigation techniques.

11AM Workshop: Hips Don't Lie by Carolyn Hughey/K.T. Roberts

Communication is at the very heart of everything we do regardless of whether it's verbal or non-verbal. In this inter-active workshop, K. T. Roberts focuses on teaching you how to read signals to help you make your characters jump off the pages of your next novel.


Multi-published author Carolyn Hughey aka K. T. Roberts has a varied background where from time-to-time, public speaking played a role. From training cooking classes in her home, to teaching young chefs how to operate their businesses, she enjoyed sharing her knowledge with her students in a fun-filled classroom environment. 

12PM (Noon) Workshop: Ethan Erway


Ethan Russell Erway is the author of the ADVENTURES OF MICHAEL BELMONT, a young adult fantasy/adventure series, THE BLEEDING STAR CHRONICLES, a Science Fiction adult novella serial, and BLOWING OFF STEAM, a Western Steampunk adventure series.  He has been a #1 amazon bestselling author in several categories, including Young Adult Religious Fiction and Science Fiction- Space Opera.

Ethan has been a life-long fan of science fiction and fantasy, and began writing short comedic stories in middle school.  He published his first novel in 2011.  He is a regular participant in Phoenix Comicon and other sci-fi/fantasy conventions.  He is currently the Minister at Agua Fria Christian Church in Humboldt, AZ where he lives with his wife and children.

Movie Arcs for Novels- How to Write the Best Stories in Your Genre

Have you ever been watching your favorite movie and thought, "I wish I could write something this great"?  The good news is, you can!  Join #1 amazon bestselling author Ethan Russell Erway as he discusses how to extract essential plot points from your favorite works of fiction, whatever the genre.  From Romance to Action/Adventure, from Paranormal Romance to Science Fiction, you'll learn how to mix the essential ingredients to form your own best selling work of fiction.

1PM Workshop Cathy McDavid

Bio: In the third grade, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Walter Farley book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western and a career writing contemporary ranch stories for Harlequin American? Much too active in her local Romance Writers of America chapters for her own good, she currently resides in Tempe, AZ, where she gets to pen stories about good looking cowboys riding the range or busting a bronc. It a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

Workshop: Riveting dialogue, let's talk about it!

They say (no pun intended) that dialogue is one of a writer's best tools to maintain a reader's interest. Dull dialogue, or a lack of it, can slow the story's pacing to a crawl. Learn to make the most of your dialogue in this hands on workshop.

Riveting dialogue, let's talk about it!

2PM Workshop: Tina Gerow

BIO: Tina Gerow has always had a passion for romance and anything paranormal. 

And even in school, was encouraged to put her writing skills to good use, but always with the admonishment to ‘stop writing the weird stuff and tone down the sarcasm.’ But what fun is that?! So, in 2003, she finally decided to try her hand at writing a novel, but still firmly embracing the ‘weird stuff and the sarcasm.’ Her first book, Into a Dangerous Mind, won the award for Romantic Times Best Small Press Contemporary Paranormal for 2006. 

Since then, Tina has published several more books, including her latest release, Sleeping With Shadows, the popular Maiden series, the Seduction Series for Kensington’s Aphrodisia line as Cassie Ryan, and the Sisters of Darkness series with Berkley, also as Cassie Ryan. 

Workshop: The Art of Writing Love Scenes

Writing love scenes is so much more than describing whose lips are where, doing what. Good love scenes should read smoothly and clearly, and communicate who is doing what to whom as well as when and how, but without sounding like a How-To manual.

It should convey emotions and passion, and reveal new insights into the characters as well as advance the plot. Sound like brain surgery or rocket science? Nope - no Doctorate degree required - I promise! So hold on tight for some no-nonsense discussions about how to thread all of this together into love scenes that readers will devour, and you will love to write - regardless of if you write sweet or smokin' hot. 

3PM Workshop: Kiki Swanson

BIO: Kiki grew up happily, playing the piano, working in a library and close to her church. Near-by Chicago offered enriching opportunities. With degrees from Smith College and San Francisco Theological Seminary she taught high school English and Journalism. The family arrived in Scottsdale in 1959. While Don owned businesses and served on the school board, Kiki traveled as a capital campaign consultant for the national church. 

Most recently she directed the senior adult ministry in Valley Presbyterian Church living in Scottsdale with her husband and close to three sons and their families.

Kiki’s novels revolve around a strong woman who reminds readers of their relatives or neighbors or school friends. Their life stories come out in conversation and their relationships to others. She weaves in historic research, her own love of music, cooking and sewing, and geographic settings from her own life.

Workshop: Writing your Memories

Start right now to record some of your precious 

memories for your heirs! You will find ideas and 
inspiration in this group, guided by hand-outs to 
keep you writing until next year! There are 
several approaches to the project, and it is 
guaranteed to start your creative thinking. You 
will want to take notes, so bring a pen! However, 
no tests or grades. 

4PM Workshop: Maria Crimi Speth

BIO: Maria Crimi Speth, a shareholder in the law firm of Jaburg & Wilk, P.C., practices in the areas of intellectual property, internet law, and commercial litigation, representing clients throughout the United States. She is in the Top Lawyers list published by Arizona Business Magazine and the American Trial Lawyer’s Association. She has been practicing law for 25 years and is admitted in dozens of state and federal courts around the country. Maria is the author of Protect Your Writings: A Legal Guide for Authors and Apple v. Samsung, The Balance Between Patent Rights and the Free Market.. She has numerous published articles and dozens of published court cases. 

Workshop: Protect Your Writings

It's the weekend of the big game, in the host city, surrounded by the delicious taste and aroma of chocolate.  What better setting to learn the sweet lessons of legal offense and defense to best protect your manuscripts, articles, blogs and other writings?  If you think copyright law is boring, you haven't heard it taught by Maria Crimi Speth, Intellectual Property attorney and author of Protect Your Writings.  Join us for a comprehensive, yet easy-to-understand, presentation of applicable laws that affect writers and their creative work. You will learn everything you need to know about the laws relating to writing, including how to AVOID making common, costly legal mistakes. This will be a sure touchdown!

5PM Workshop: Caris Roane

BIO: Hi, Everyone!  Caris Roane here!  I’m a USA Today Bestselling Author and I write super-sexy paranormal romance fiction designed to be as much an adventure as a soul-satisfying experience.  With every book I write, I try to give a taste of real life, despite the fact that I’m writing about hunky vampire warriors.  You’ll come away engrossed in the lives of my vampires as they wage war, as they make love, and as they answer the tough questions of life in terms of purpose, eternity, and how to raise a family!  I began my career with Kensington Publishing writing Regency Romance as Valerie King.  In 2005, Romantic Times Magazine honored me with a career achievement award in Regency Romance.  I’ve published fourteen paranormal novels to-date, some self-published and some for St. Martin’s Press!  I’ve also branched out into Contemporary Romance with A SEDUCTIVE PROPOSITION!  

Workshop: The Hero's Journey

Ever wonder why the myths of old are still with us today or why STAR WARS became such a hit? Want to know how the answers to these two questions can impact your novel in an amazing way? Come hear my thoughts on the Hero's Journey, what it is, why it will always be relevant to storytelling, and how to apply these concepts to the unfinished novel hiding under your bed. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Link to Pangaea Kindle edition

Her's the link. Remember after Sunday night, the price will be $5.99. I hope you'll leave a review if you enjoy it!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Twilight Time

There comes a time in the life of every book, where the rewriting is done and the only thing left to do is proofread and polish. This is one of my favorite phases of writing. I call it twilight time. Those precious moments before my new book will see the amber light of a reading lamp in a stranger’s living-room.

At this point, my analytic mind is put to task, hunting homonyms and corralling commas, leaving my creative side free to roam. It reminds me of the ring of the final bell in elementary school, and running through the doors, eager to explore the world unfettered.

This is when I get to discover my next book, meet its new characters, and figure out if I like them enough to want to play with them over the next couple of months or even years. I have a chance to explore different worlds, walk new streets and climb higher mountains, will I want to live in this place for a while? 

These are the treasured moments, before I've made a commitment, and not one word is on the page. So many ways I can go with this story, there are no limits. I feel like I’m flying.

Over the past two years, I've jotted down ideas for my next book, in my journals, on sticky notes, in my phone, and on napkins. Now, I get to have a little fun with all of them, listen as these strange characters tell me their problems, peer into their souls, and decide who I want to travel with on my next adventure. Like a teenager in a game store, so many possibilities, I want to write them all!

Now that I've done all of that, and the big day is finally here. I'll be hiding out in my new story because I know the terrifying thrill of sending a new book out into the big, bad world, As much as I enjoy twilight time, my absolute favorite part of writing is getting that first glimpse of story. It’s like seeing your new-born baby smile for the first time.

If you’d like to connect, I’ll be on Twitter (@AnnaQuesterly), Facebook (Anna Questerly Author),  and my website/blog'd love to give you a complimentary ebook of one of my short stories, email me at and request to be added to my monthly newsletter, and I'll send it right out. Let me know in your email if you’d prefer me to send The Book People or The Scribe’s Dilemma as your free gift.

(By signing up for my newsletter, you’ll receive early notice of new releases, sales, giveaways, author interviews and all kinds of fun stuff. I don’t spam and only send out newsletters twice a month. You can also rest assured, I will NEVER share your information.)

This post apperared earlier on Starbound Lovers blog


Friday, January 9, 2015

Sneak Peek at Pangaea!


Ossani, Morgan of Pangaea, opened her eyes at one minute past midnight and fought to draw a breath. The burden of the Bidding she had borne easily for so long, now a crushing weight.

Her long-time attendant and friend, Adelev rushed to her bedside. “I’ve called the healer.”

Ossani’s chest rose slightly, allowing enough sweet air into her lungs to force out her command in a whisper. “It is time. Bring my daughter to me.”

Adelev adjusted the Morgan’s pillows, blinking back half-formed tears. “I will see to it at once.”

Ossani found her next breath easier and patted her friend’s hand. “I’ll be fine. I didn’t expect it to be so painful this soon. Go … Bring Amia home.”

Her eyelids grew heavy, but she struggled to keep them open long enough to watch Adelev depart. She had the utmost faith in her friend. Everyone on Pangaea knew the significance of this day. Like the phases of the moon, the succession of the Morgan never varied. After twenty years, her daughter’s potential began it’s waxing cycle, and Ossani’s power and life would begin to wane. There could only be one Morgan.

Had it not been for the Brotherhood, she could have summoned her daughter sooner. There was barely enough time to prepare Amia for her new role. Adelev would not let them down.

A moment later, the traditional pale blue of a healer’s gown appeared next to her bed, and a soft hiss of the med-gun brought instant relief. She breathed deeply, relishing the vital act, and regaining strength with each inhalation. “Thank you, Healer Enari.”

The healer bowed her head. “I will remain by your side for the next month. I’m sorry I cannot stop your decline, Morgan Ossani, but I can make the pain easier to bear.”

Ossani managed a whispered laugh, “If my daughter is anything like me, I will need every bit of your assistance.”

 Chapter 1

Getting drunk wasn’t as easy as it seemed.

Right away, I could see at least two problems. First, I had to order. The legal age to purchase alcohol in Massachusetts is twenty-one. Today was my birthday, but I’d only turned twenty. Not to worry, determination has always been one of my strengths.

All my life, I’d played by the rules. After this morning’s disaster, I figure it was time to break a few. Yeah, underage drinking. You’re a real rebel, Amy.

A girl’s gotta start somewhere, right? I wrestled the fake ID from within the depths of my bag with unsteady fingers. I’d never had to use it before, but then I’d always been with my fiancĂ©, Ken. Everything came easily to Ken: a high-paying job, a great apartment, and a nice car. Maybe things worked out so well for Ken because he met every standard set by society. He was a tall, attractive, white man in blue-blooded Boston.

Whatever the reason, Fortune often smiled on him. Me, on the other hand, if something could go wrong.…

Relax. It’s a good fake; Ken only buys the best.

At the bartender’s approach, I leaned one hip against the curved edge of the bar, slid my card across the polished surface, and smiled. The soft lights behind the bar sent sparkles of light bouncing off of my ring, the stone larger than I would have chosen, its platinum band in vivid contrast to my dark skin.

“What’ll you have?” he studied my card for a nanosecond.

All that anxiety for nothing. I slid onto the worn wooden stool and tucked the card back into my bag.

My second problem, I had no idea what to order. I don’t drink. I’d been in bars before with my friend, Liza. We’d grab a quick dinner of burgers and potato skins or maybe a hot bowl of clam chowder and a soda. Even when Ken and I went out, I ordered iced tea or water. The only reason I needed the card was to get into the clubs to dance. Today, I wanted a drink. “Whatever’s on draft.” I answered, parroting Ken and his friends.

“Got a new micro-brew in. Wanna give it a try?” I had no idea what a micro-brew tasted like, but his smile encouraged me.

“Sure, why not?”

A moment later, he placed the foaming concoction in front of me. I lifted it and took a deep drink. And that would be another problem with getting drunk — Eww! Sour, bitter not at all like I’d imagined. How did people drink this stuff?

Like I said, I’m determined. I took another long swallow and shivered it down. The many years of Emma’s ingrained ‘Stranger Danger’ kicked in, reminding me to take note of the darkened pub – Emma, my guardian since I could remember, and the closest thing I had to a mother – How was I going to break the news to her? That particular question called for another deep swig of brew.

It was too early for the bar to be busy. Soon the lunch crowd would storm the place, but for now there were only a few patrons. An old man sat at the other end of the bar, apparently captivated by the bottom of his glass. A guy close to my age tapped away on his phone. I shifted on my stool to check out the back of the room.

A nice-looking man, alone in a booth, who looked to be in his late thirties raised his glass in my direction. I returned the gesture, making sure my shiny new diamond flashed on my finger when I lifted the glass to my lips, and then turned back to the bartender.

Funny what a single appreciative glance from a man does to a girl’s self-esteem. I’m not used to being flirted with. I’m not what anyone would consider beautiful. Pretty maybe, I have that caramel skin tone other women spend hours in tanning salons trying to achieve, but my hair is too straight, my lips are too full, and I’m too tall. Besides, I rarely wear makeup or do any more to my hair than tie it back in a ponytail. Anyway, I didn’t come here to get picked up. I had more important things on my mind today.

“Birthdays are supposed to be fun. Good things are supposed to happen on your birthday, right?” I asked the bartender after I downed the rest of the glass.

 “Great things.” He grinned and slid another foaming micro-brewed wheat beer over to me. “Happy Birthday. This one’s on the house.”

I shot him a half-smile in return. “Thanks.”

 He leaned forward, resting his elbows on the bar. “So, tell me what happened.”

Somehow, it felt weirdly right to tell this guy I’d never met my problems even before I told my fiancĂ© or my guardians. “I got kicked out of class. I’ll probably lose my scholarship.”

“Ouch. That hurts.”

I shrugged. “More than you know.”

“Believe me, I know. Why do you think I’m here tending bar instead of in school?”
“You lost a scholarship, too?”

“And then some.” He raised a finger signaling he’d return in a minute, moved away with an amber bottle in hand, and refilled a shot glass for the older man.

“So what happened,” I asked once he’d returned.

He picked up a glass and began to polish it with a white bar towel. “I was recruited to play hockey for the Boston Terriers; full ride.”

“And?” I finished my second micro-brew. It didn’t taste too bad anymore.

“I tore some ligaments in my knee.” He shrugged and placed another full glass before me. “The team doc fixed me up and sent me back out to play. Messed up my knee even worse. Now, I can’t play, so they don’t pay, and I have to go through life wearing a brace and dealing with the pain.” He scowled. “I hear it only gets worse with age.”

“That doesn’t sound fair either. They could’ve at least let you finish school.”

The man at the end of the bar spoke up. “Life’s not fair, missy. Might as well learn that lesson now.”

I spun to face him. Why did people seem to think it their duty to inform me of this? I might have to deal with it when it came from my guardians, but I didn’t need to take it from this stranger eavesdropping on a private conversation. “Maybe not, but it should be.”

I lifted the glass and sipped at my third brew. I expected a tingly buzz in my head from the beer, but instead a relaxing warmth infused my legs making them feel as if they were made of heavy syrup.

The old man slid a few bills on the bar and stood to leave. “Ah-yep. Should, but it ain’t.”

The bartender scooped up the money and frowned at his tip. “So what are you going to do now?”

“I don’t know.” I picked up the glass and upended it. Before I was half through, I slammed it down onto the bar. “Yes, I do.”

His brow quirked up.

“I’m gonna go have a word with the dean. I’m not going down without a fight. Here.” I shoved two twenties into his hand. I had no idea how much beer cost, but life had been unkind to him. “Keep the change.”

I slid off my stool and realized the next challenge was to walk on legs made of rubber.

“You okay? I can call you a cab.” Concern brushed his features, but I shook my head.

“No, thanks. I just need a minute.” By which I meant, a nap. I shook off the sudden lethargy claiming my limbs, drew in a deep breath, and stepped to the door, carefully placing one foot in front of the other.

“Hey, what’s your name — ?”

I was too busy navigating the weight of the door to answer. Maybe I’d stop back tomorrow and have another microbrew. The last one tasted pretty good, and I kind of liked this warm, heavy feeling which had by now spread throughout my body. I certainly appreciated the new clarity of purpose. Instead of accepting Maestro’s word about my scholarship, I’d go right to the top – to the dean himself. We’d set this mistake right, and I’d get back on track.