I received an email from Blue Leaf Publications today – the publishing company behind all three of my books – that my latest title that I co-authored has hit not one, but two best seller lists on Amazon recently! I knew the book had been doing pretty well, but wasn’t sure how well. It’s a nice feather in my cap to have had all three of my available titles make it on a best seller list. Thank you to everyone that has been ordering copies!
“I LOVED this book! It was laugh out loud funny with a tinge of suspense and romance. Not your typical vampire story (thankfully). If you want a quick, very entertaining read, this is it!” – Deborah Ehling, Amazon.com customer
Buy on Amazon.com
For my third book coming out later this year… If You Wore the Uniform… You’re a Brown Volume 1
My latest book has just been released on Amazon today in ebook format and the mass market paperback will be available on the site by the end of the week, or early next week. Here’s the new book trailer for it!
The January 2012 issue of Palm Springs Life Magazine (with Glenn Close on the cover) features Stormy Knight in the Word Association section! Thank you, PSL!
Here are a few of the endorsements that have already come in for my next book, “The Couples Guide to Pregnancy and Beyond.” It will be released in paperback and e-book Spring, 2012!
“…just what the doctor ordered. There are a thousand books on pregnancy geared to the expectant mother, but until now, not one that addresses the expectant dad in a format that he’ll actually read. It’s straight-talking, humorous and written in “guy talk”, while being sensitive enough to address the expectant mom’s questions and concerns. A true he/she bonding opportunity! Two thumbs up!” — Dave E. David, M.D. Nationally recognized Board Certified Obstetrician and creator of the video “Making Womb For Baby” http://www.drdavedavid.com
“We love this fun and refreshing approach to calming pregnancy fears for moms and dads.” — Ellie & Melissa, co-founders of the nation’s #1 maternity concierge and consulting company and planning experts for WebMD, DisneyFamily, Baby Zone, and Pregnancy Magazine. http://www.thebabyplanners.com
“A must-read if you’re expecting. Duffy and Zakour share the honest truth about those exciting nine months and beyond. Spiced with humor, their suggestions will truly help expectant parents understand each other and what’s happening in baby’s first apartment—the womb!” — Blythe Lipman, author of “Help! My Baby Came Without Instructions,” host of the Baby and Toddler Instructions radio show, and expert with 25+ years of experience in the field. http://www.babyinstructions.com
“A practical, delightful book chock full of valuable guidance for the expecting couple and gives them an expert map to embark on life’s greatest adventure.” — Stevanne Auerbach, PhD., Dr Toy Author, Smart Play Toys, http://www.drtoy.com
“A great approach to a very challenging subject, and a book every father-to-be should read. Having gone through the magic of having children twice, I would have appreciated this direct yet light hearted approach to preparing for the big day.” — John McPherson, Author, “Ten Simple Rules for Being a Better Parent in a World Turned Upside Down” http://www.tensimplerules.net
It’s an hour long and the interview starts at about the 11-15 minute mark… talking about The Couples Guide to Pregnancy and Beyond (Blue Leaf, Spring 2012).
Stormy Knight Prom Queen of the Undead has been reviewed again; this time by Katharine Russell. I really like how she broke the story down.
“Duffy and Zakour deliver action-packed scenes peppered with spot-on teen dialogue…” – Katharine Russell
I just got word from my publisher that Stormy Knight Prom Queen of the Undead has hit bestseller status according to OmniLit!
EXCITING! Just found out that San Diego’s book store Mysterious Galaxy has Stormy Knight on their list of books “that’ve caught our attention, and we don’t want to escape yours.” : )
I just got word that Stormy Knight: Prom Queen of the Undead has been nominated for an Award! Please CLICK HERE TO VOTE for this title as a portion of the final decision is weighed by how many 5 star votes it receives. It’s FREE to vote. You just have to click this link and then CLICK on the 5 e’s that are in BLUE just under the title. Make sure you click on the LAST ‘e’ so that the saying next to it says, ‘You gotta read this.’ That’s it! You can also leave a positive review about the book if you’d like, underneath, but that isn’t required to vote. PLEASE VOTE 5 “E’s” Thank you!!!
“With a nod to Buffy, this whimsical chick-lit urban fantasy is an entertaining tale due to the heroine who wants to live life as an ordinary teen, but fate keeps forcing her to use her paranormal skills to perform good deeds. A quirky support cast, a reluctant heroine and a spell caster who doesn’t know the consequences of his actions makes this a character driven charmer…”
Harriet Klausner for Alternative Worlds
“I really enjoyed this book. I was completely entranced with the great characters. This is the type of novel that you can really sink your teeth into…has a great plot and reaches outside of the box… pleasantly surprised by the level of emotions shown by the characters….”
Catie Vargas for Night Owl Reviews
Please welcome the author of Odonata: City of Night Author, Jessica Zellman. I recently interviewed Jessica about her new book available for instant download (yay!) and her writing process. Without further ado…
Q. Writing a book is no easy task. How long did it take for you to complete Odonata: City of Night, before it went off to the publisher?
A. The whole process took about a year and a half. I started writing it on November 1st 2008. (yup, a starting date for NaNoWriMo) Several drafts followed. I started sending query letters in early 2010. Finally, in March of 2010, I met Renee Rocco from Lyrical Press at a writing conference. She invited me to submit the manuscript and a few weeks later, offered me a contract.
Q. Is writing your full-time gig?
A. I wish! But I do have a day job. I work as a customer service representative for a plastics company. Fortunately, I work with a fun group of people who enjoy my baking. Abbey is definitely drawn from that side of me. I love to bake goodies and brighten everyone’s day.
Q. Finish this sentence, ‘The one thing I know now about publishing that I wish I knew a year ago is…’
A. How necessary it is to build an audience before the book is released. I waited until after my book was published to start promotion. At that point, I had just started a new job and was overwhelmed by it all. Just buying ad space isn’t enough. You have to get out there to create a buzz.
Q. I enjoyed the many food references in your novel. Do you have a favorite recipe of yours that you can share with readers?
A. In Odonata: City of Night, Abbey makes cinnamon apple bread. It’s Katrina’s favorite.
Here’s the recipe I use:
1 stick butter
1 Tbsp. Milk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. white vinegar
2 beaten eggs
½ tsp. Salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp. Vanilla (Actually, Abbey and I always double the vanilla so 2 tsp.)
2 cups peeled, finely chopped apples
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tbsp. Sugar
2 tbsp. Flour
2 tbsp. Butter
1 tsp. Nutmeg (this is Abbey’s added ingredient)
Preheat oven to 325F. Mix butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, dissolve baking soda in milk and vinegar before adding to mix. Add eggs. Stir until blended, then add rest of ingredients.
Pour batter in greased bread loaf pan (9×5). In a separate bowl, mix ingredients for topping. (mix will be crumbly) Sprinkle topping over batter.
Bake for 50-60 minutes.
I like this bread fresh out the oven with a little butter. It’s good toasted for breakfast the next morning too… if it lasts that long!
Q. When you wrote Odonata: City of Night, did you plot out the story first and then start writing the first draft or did you just write freely and then piece it all together?
A. I’m not much of a plotter. I usually have an idea about how everything will end, but no clue how to get there. In this case, I wrote the rough draft for NaNoWriMo. That’s National Novel Writing Month, where lots of writers gather online with the collective goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. You just write, focusing on word count and nothing else. There’s no time for revision, and that is the key. There was no second guessing my premise or plot. Good thing too, because I would’ve never had the nerve to create a “new” part of the vampire genre otherwise. By the time I’d written 50,000 words, I cared about my characters too much to let them drift off into the ether or be forgotten in some lost corner of my hard drive. I had to work out the rest of the story and get it out there.
Q. What are your 3 favorite author/writer themed websites you visit most often?
A. www.savvyauthors.com is a great site for networking. They have very affordable workshops and marketing tools for members.
The Liars Club is a local group of writers who do all sorts of events. They have signings at indie bookstores and a monthly “coffeehouse” to discuss the writing life. Open, friendly discussion with professional writers is a rare and wonderful thing. This group provides it on a regular basis.
Finally, I enjoy reading Laurell K. Hamilton’s blog. I love her writing style, and frankly, she makes me laugh.
Q. What’s a normal writing day for you like?
A. I wish I could be one of those writers who gets up and churns out a thousand words every morning before work, but I’m not. For one thing, I hate getting up early. For another, my brain refuses to function that early.
I usually write for forty minutes during lunch. This involves sitting in my cubicle with my laptop open and earbuds in place. I MUST have music while I write. It drowns out everything else and gets me in the zone.
I try to get in more time during the evening with varying success. In On Writing, Stephen King recommended blowing up your TV. I really need to do that.
Q. Your next book is already in the works. Do you have a publisher and release date set for it, yet?
A. I had a really good experience publishing with Lyrical Press, so I plan on sticking with them for Odonata book two. No release date yet, I’m still in the early draft stages.
Q. Thank you for taking a moment for us to do the interview. Do you have any words of wisdom to share with other aspiring writers out there?
A. “Don’t give up,” sounds cliché, but that really is the way to succeed. How not to give up when you have rejection letters stacking up is another issue. I’ve found that a good writing group works wonders, both with motivation and encouragement. Networking is always a good idea, be it through conferences or workshops. I am still in contact with a writer I met at my first conference. We always sign off our e-mails with “Keep Writing!” and that’s the way I’d like to sign off here.
Thanks for having me on your site, Shannon! This was a lot of fun.
My Review of Author Supplied Review Copy:
Giving vampires a run for their money,e-book Odonata: City of Night introduces a change up from the normal vampire novel. An Odonata (they prey on vampires) named Katrina saves human Abbey from becoming the next meal of a vampire as she leaves a night club one night. Abbey quickly learns that Katrina didn’t do it out of compassion, but for an all around dislike of vampires. The novel is sprinkled here and there with food references and humor amongst a dark storyline and I consider both to be a plus.