Silver Dagger Book Tours

I am doing a book tour with Silver Dragon June 14 to July 14.

Monday, June 14, 2021


I was researching for some background information, and I remembered a conversation I had with a friend. She wrote historical romance. I said I couldn’t write historical because it took too much research. She laughed and said she didn’t write contemporary romantic suspense because she thought it took too much research. My conclusion is that all writers do research, for all genres. You do it for your books. Sci-fi and futuristic novels take a different type of research, building a new world. Fantasy is another genre which still needs research.

Before Wi-Fi and the internet research was a lot more difficult. You spent hours at the library, taking notes and photocopying and checking out library books. You bought books on synopses, scene and structure, and character building. You read and made notes. It took a lot of time and a lot more effort. It also costs money. If you’re reading this blog, you have access to the internet.

You might also attend a workshop if your writing chapter offered one or if it was within travel distance. It cost money to pay the fee and maybe the travel. Nowadays rich or poor you can do your research and adjust it to your lifestyle.

Now you probably spend a lot of time on your laptop, tablet or phone on everything, your life, your health, your family, your pet, anything. You can get reliable, trusted information from medical institutions, well known foundations (Cancer Institute) Heart foundation, arthritis, qualified individuals. You can also research your resource to make sure they are valid. Research is easier and also more fun these days.

Online classes are easily available and cover the craft of writing as well as resource topics and instructors on all genres. It’s easier to research whatever genre you write, but with it comes more responsibility. People read books, all genres, to learn so as a writer you need to make sure that the information in your novels is accurate and informative.

Enjoy your research.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Marketing Tips

I think marketing is probably the hardest part of writing. If you’re starting on your marketing journey, I have a few tips for you. When you’re preparing, work within your comfort zones, If you hate Facebook, you don’t have to use it. Also, set a time limit for the amount of time per day or week that you want to spend on marketing.

The first thing people recommend is to have your own website, even if your book isn’t published yet. You can hire someone to do this for you or you can do your own. If you’re not up for a website, then have a blog site. You can set this up yourself on Blogger or WordPress. There are also lots of information on how to set it up and classes on WordPress. These will help build your mailing list.

A mailing list is another marketing tool. You can use your website, newsletters, and giveaways to develop your mailing list.

In your byline or logline, always include your website or blog and your latest book.

Next, have your book cover professionally designed. An eye-catching cover is a great marketing tool and you can have it displayed on your website or blog.

Write a great book blurb. It will be on your book cover, but you can also use it on your website or blog and in social media posts.

Which brings us to the next marketing tip, use social media. Set up an author page on Facebook and an account with Twitter. You can also use Pinterest, Instagram, Triberr, Tumblr, and others. Post on your own accounts but also follow others and like and share their posts. It’s helpful to observe what types of posts get the most likes, shares, and retweets. Use this information to improve your own social media.

The next marketing tip is to get reviews for your book. The quickest and easiest way to get a review is to request one from a reviewer who reviews your genre. Contact them with a free copy and a request to review your book. You can look up reviewers on Amazon’s top reviewers, by Googling ‘book reviewers’, or they are listed on some writing loops.  

You can also do ads. Google and Amazon both have ads for authors. You can join Goodreads Author Program, use Amazon’s Book Promotional Tools and Programs, and use book discounting sites like Bookbub and Book Gorilla.

Good luck with whatever works for you.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Maggie Blackbird and her New Release

An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie Blackbird resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes.  When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

Maggie: I write a contemporary and historical romance about Canada’s Indigenous People.  I write contemporary and historical because those are the stories I’m most drawn to write.  Much can be done in contemporary and historical romances.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Maggie: My two favourite authors:  Johanna Lindsey and Rosanne Bittner.  I love reading their books, so I wanted to be able to write stories just like they do.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Maggie: Music. Music is my biggest inspiration.  I can easily dream up stories and ideas just by listening to a song.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?

Maggie: I can’t say I have one in particular, but I do love the Muppets, especially the Electric Mayhem Band.  Why?  They rock.  What’s not to love about puppets playing in a rock band.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?

Maggie: This is an interesting question.  I haven’t thought about this one too hard before.  I’d say Jake E Lee.  He’s my fave guitarist.  As for why, because in his interviews, he comes across as a very nonchalant and eccentric guy.  He’d be fun to talk to.  I love people who don’t live by society’s standards, but find their own path to take.

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

Maggie: Go golfing.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Maggie: I’m doing self-edits and getting ready to submit a time travel/historical romance to my publisher starring a university student from this time period who meets her Ojibway ancestors of the past and the warrior she’s dreamed about since she was a young girl.

Blurb for Knight Moves:

After receiving his grade twelve diploma and marking his eighteenth birthday, René Oshawee cannot fight the temptation seventeen-year-old high school junior Billy Redsky blatantly offers now that what they share has become taboo.

When their secret romance is blown into the open, Billy’s foster parents send René to Toronto to complete the last of his schooling under the supervision of a family friend, leaving Billy behind at their Ojibway community.

Now Billy and René must make the biggest decision of their lives—fight for the true love they know they’ll never find with anyone else or go their separate ways.

Excerpt from Knight Moves:

The waitress wove her way through the crowded restaurant. She held a slice of birthday cake. Under the dim lighting, people dined at the many tables covered in white cloths and the chairs outfitted in red felt coverings.

René curled his fingers together and set his elbows on his place setting. The flickering candle in the yellow holder caught the glow of Billy’s smooth skin. He was seventeen but passing for nineteen because the hostess, at the beginning of their meal, had asked if they’d wanted anything from the bar.

With his hair cropped over his ears and light spikes to his bangs gelled slightly to the side, there was a true maturity to Billy now. The sprinkling of whiskers above his mouth offered a masculine depth to his boyish looks.

“Here you go. Happy birthday,” the waitress announced.

“Thanks.” Billy flashed her his cheeky grin. “Great meal. The best prime rib I’ve ever had.”

“I’ll be sure to tell the chef. Now, are you sure you don’t want anything from the bar for an after-dinner drink? You turned nineteen today.”

“It’s okay,” René replied. “Some coffee would be nice, though.”

“Right away.” The waitress left.

“C’mon, we could’ve had some beers.” By the twinkle in Billy’s dark eyes, he was jesting.

“You’re driving. Neither of us is old enough. With the luck you generate, the bartender would’ve told her to card us, anyway. Coffee’ll suffice.” An itch to reach across and take Billy’s hand crawled along René’s palm. God, this sucked having to hide what they felt for each other.

In the past, he hadn’t minded. Why playing closet this evening irritated him, René wasn’t sure. “Your present.” He reached insides the breast pocket of his suit and withdrew the small, wrapped package.

“You did have it on you.” Billy moved his chair in closer since they sat on opposite sides of the table instead of adjacent from each other. Another way to hide their secret. “Let’s see.”

René placed the package down.

Still grinning, Billy scooped up the gift. He peeled away the blue paper the clerk at the jewelry store had used for wrapping.

The intensity of René’s beating heart was his foot triggering his kick drum in the basement.

Next, Billy cracked open the white box. His lips formed into an O. He gaped at the black velvet case.

A hint of sweat rose at the nape of René’s neck.

sing his thumb, Billy tipped back the lid, then slapped his hand over his mouth. “What the…?” His fingers held the sterling silver chain. The locket in the shape of an army dog tag dangled in the air. “What is…?”

“See for yourself.” Gushes of delight sprinted through René’s veins.

“Seriously? You got me this shape ’cause of—”

“You did say we were good little soldiers in Oshawee Army, didn’t you?” René couldn’t help the supple laugh gliding from his throat.

The waitress strode over carrying their coffees. Bad timing. Heat of annoyance gathered on René’s face.

“Oh…a present.” The waitress giggled.

“Um…yeah…” Billy palmed the gift.

Once she’d left, he clicked open the locket. His reddish-brown skin morphed to the shade of pink excitement. “It’s…it’s us. This was taken at Christmas. Downstairs. In the rehearsal room. Moxy took it.”

“Yeah. I asked her to give me a copy when she got the film developed.” Pride filled René, pure satisfaction over Billy loving and understanding what the gift meant.

“Is that why you rested your chin on my shoulder? I see the metal horns you flashed are missing. It’s only our faces.” Billy kept inspecting the locket.

“C’mon, she would’ve wondered why I leaned in the way I did.” Again, the urge to stroke Billy’s hand and caress his fingers impaled René like a sword.

“I’m putting it on right now.” Billy unfastened the clasp. Even with a collar, he managed to secure the chain around his neck. Regret flickered in his gaze, as if he loathed tucking the locket beneath his navy-blue shirt.

“Remember, it stays hidden.” The same regret hovering around their table coated René’s tongue with its bitter essence.

“I understand.” Billy rubbed his chest where the locket lay. “They’d wanna check out whose picture is inside. I…” His eyes finished what he couldn’t say in the restaurant. I love you.

“Me, too,” René whispered. He lifted his coffee. If only the world was different and they could behave like a true couple.

He glanced around at the straight couples holding hands, gazing lovingly at one another, sitting adjacent with their knees brushing. Longing tugged at his heart.

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Monday, May 31, 2021

Lyndi Alexander and her New Release

Lyndi Alexander always dreamed of faraway worlds and interesting alien contacts. She lives as a post-modern hippie in Asheville, North Carolina, a single mother of her last child of seven, a daughter on the autism spectrum, finding that every day feels a lot like first contact with a new species.

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name? 

Valeni: Valeni Pascual

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Valeni: In an affluent neighborhood on the planet Terza, with my parents who doted on my little brother Luca. My father taught at the University, and had tenure, so we grew up with servants and all the extras. Makes it hard sometimes to be on my own, since we don’t speak any more and I will never take a coin from them again.

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Valeni: Compared to your Terran calendar? About eighty years in your future.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Valeni: Why? Who knows? *laughs* That woman probably needs better hobbies. It is interesting, though, living with a genderfluid alien. Nicholas is my lover and Nikki is like the sister I never had, so maybe that’s what people will find intriguing. 

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Valeni: Me? I’m  just trying to survive. Being a captain of a small ship, I’m just trying to find enough jobs to keep flying. I never intended to fall in love, but… I guess it happened anyway.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Valeni: Well, there’s the above-mentioned alien. Then my brother got himself in deep with some secret organization and needs bailed out. And THEN, we got pulled into a systemwide revolt against the Agency, since they’re taxing all the captains out of existence. That’s all before the sexy cowboy from Terra shows up and Nikki falls for him just as hard as I do. I think I need a cold ale just thinking about it all.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Valeni: You mean the cold ale won’t work? Dang.

I guess I’ll start at the top of the list and work down. I mean, as long as everyone is upfront and honest about everything, life should be easy enough, right?  I sure hope everyone has told the truth. Otherwise we can be in one heck of a mess.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Valeni: I may be cynical and sassy, but my heart’s in the right place. I just need to find the right person to help heal it.

Blurb for Sixshooter:

Valeni Pascual wants to be free to make a living hauling cargo with her spaceship and to understand the shapeshifting alien who presents sometimes as the steamy male Nik and other times as the blonde bombshell Nikki.

As a rebel insurgence builds against the oppressive government known as the Agency, Valeni and Nik/Nikki encounter a sexy Terran cowboy named Garrett Rawls. Since being pulled into this region of space by another mysterious wormhole, Garrett has looked for a way to return to Earth. After meeting Valeni and Nikki, he might have found something worth staying for.

 However, dark forces may have a much bigger picture in mind for all of them. Valeni, Nik/Nikki, and Garrett are pulled into a life and death fight that lays bare all of their secrets and their desires. Will they lose everything as the battle against the Agency rages around them or can love pull them through?

SIXSHOOTER [©2021] A Horizon Crossover series novel by Lyndi Alexander | Cover Art by Kat Hardy | Science Fiction Romance (R) 280 pages / 100,000 words |

Buy Links for Sixshooter

Available in ebook and print from the DFP Books label of Dragonfly Publishing

Print editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more. Find ebooks at retailers, lending libraries, and subscription services, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Blio, Kobo Books, Open Library, Overdrive, Scribd, Smashwords, and more.

Excerpt from Sixshooter:

The entire experience unnerved Nik. They wouldn’t complain to Valeni, because she had made that choice based on need, to save them both from the Agency’s threats.

         But something in the cloaked man’s voice had triggered a long-held fear from Nik’s past. That arrogant sense of entitlement to command… the veiled threat… the way he took over the small space. He ordered everyone around and no one balked at the words. Nik had the impression that he could have as easily ordered his minions to harm either Valeni or Nik and they would have done so, just as silently and efficiently.

         But his tone was the key that threatened to unblock their memories, to undo the temporary protections that had saved them since they’d run from their home world. They had survived a genocide—

         the screams of their brothers and sisters

         the barking commands of the Overseers as they shot down those who resisted

         the pain of loss

         red, red, red, the auras snuffed out one by one

         the scramble through black woods to the spaceport

         the darkness

         They shuddered at the flashes of terror that threatened to fill their mind until they froze, overwhelmed.

         And he saw through our human disguise. No one had ever done that before. Does he know who we are? Will he report us to the Overseers?

         “No!” Nik jumped up, galvanized by a rush of adrenaline.

         Valeni gasped, startled. “What is it?”

         Breathing heavily, Nik gradually forced calm, forced the memories back into safety.    “A drink,” they said.

         Valeni cocked an eyebrow and glanced over at Nik. “A drink?”

         “Yes. Please.”

         She frowned. “I don’t think we have anything left aboard except that horrible homemade stuff Jowalt’s friend pawned off on us last time we were in Roandock.” She studied Nik’s face. “This run really got to you, didn’t it?”

         “I would not like to talk about it. Just… an alcoholic beverage. Something to help forget.”

         They felt their hands shaking and grabbed the end of the arms on their chair, hoping it would steady them.

         Val reached over and patted Nik’s arm. “No problem. I know just the place.”

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Saturday, May 29, 2021

Alice Renaud and her New Space Cowboy Novel

Alice Renaud lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. By day she's a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By night she writes fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen, water monsters and time-travelling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in the Sea of Love fantasy romance series, inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second and third books, “Music for a Merman,” and “Mermaids Marry in Green,”
are out now. Both the Sea of Love series and Mermaids Marry in Green won their categories in the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award 2020. Alice has also contributed short stories for the BVS anthologies “Mystic Desire,” “Desire Me Again,” and “Cowboy Desire,” all available now. Alice loves reading and writing stories and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!

Character Interview: Josh Reynolds from Space Cowboy Blues, a story by Alice Renaud in Cowboy Desire

Beverley: What’s your name?

Josh: Josh Reynolds

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Josh: On a ranch in Montana. My Gramps used to say I could ride before I could walk.

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Josh: 24th century, when humans have spread across the galaxy.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Josh: I always knew I wanted to be a cowboy when I grew up. I worked as a ranch hand on Earth until my early twenties, when I applied to become a space cowboy. Now I go from planet to planet. I examine the local animals that might be used like cattle or horses, take pictures and samples for the science boffins back on Earth, pocket my fee, then I’m off. To the next job… the next planet… the next herd of oddly-shaped creatures. Why would someone come up with a story about me? Well, my story, Space Cowboy Blues, in the BVS anthology Cowboy Desire, is based on a lockdown dream the author had.
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Josh: Initially my stint on the blue planet Albastra is just another job for me. Then I meet the beautiful alien woman Melynas, and my objectives change. I want to help her and her people domesticate the hunoowins, the native blue unicorns, so the local boys and men can get jobs and no longer have to leave the planet to get work on other planets or on the spaceships.
Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Josh: I fall for Melynas, but everything on Albastra is lethal to humans, including her. One touch from her would kill me.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Josh: No, but the planet itself comes up with a solution. You’ll have to read the story to find out!
Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Josh: I’m angry at the way the settlers from Earth treat Melynas and the other local ladies. I was brought up to treat everyone with respect, especially women. I’m even polite to robots – heck, some of these machines are smarter than me!

Blurb for Cowboy Desire

Cowboy Desire is an eclectic assortment of short stories. Including contemporary, historical, fantasy, and even outer space romance, Cowboy Desire offers fourteen stunning short stories. These fourteen authors provide a range of sweet to sexy stories all with a cowboy theme. They feature strong men and women battling the weather and dangerous terrain, here on earth and in outer space.

The collection is as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Here’s a chance to discover new talented authors and the characters they create. Within these pages, there are blends of tender, often moving, thought-provoking and downright sexy stories.

Blurb for Space Cowboy Blues

Josh is a space cowboy. His job? Taming alien species. But on the blue planet Albastra, the beautiful Melynas is more than a match for him. He'd love to get close to her... but everything on Albastra is lethal. Including her...

Excerpt from Space Cowboy Blues

Josh bowed to the woman and wished he was wearing a hat to tip it off. “Good day to you, ma’am.”

Surprise widened her dark eyes. “You are very polite, sir. You do not need to be so respectful, I am only a native female, here to serve you.”

What the hell? Anger kindled in Josh. Which jackass had told her that? “You deserve as much respect as me. More so, because it’s your planet we’re standing on.”

A slow smile spread over her pretty face. “Not all earthmen feel that way.”

“Well they damn well should.” Shame tinged Josh’s irritation. Humans had spread over the galaxy for the past three hundred years, conquering and colonizing world after world. When they encountered alien species, they didn’t treat them as equals. Settlers from Earth saw native people as inferiors.

He had to show this woman that he wasn’t like them. He cleared his throat. “I’m sorry if my fellow earthmen haven’t always treated you right, ma’am.”

She shrugged, as if it didn’t matter. “I’m delighted to meet you and welcome you to Albastra, Mr. Reynolds.”

“Josh, please. Call me Josh.” Albastra. So that was the real name of Planet 2215. A nice name, but not half as nice as her.

Her smile widened, revealing perfect teeth. They were pearly white, like a human woman’s. “Then you have to call me Melynas. Come, I will take you to the herd.”

Curiosity blazed in him. The settlers hadn’t sent him any pictures of the animals. He only knew that they occupied the same ecological niche as cattle and horses on Earth. “Are the creatures wild or semi-domesticated?”

A hint of mischief sparked in her dark eyes. “Very wild. The settlers haven’t dared go near them yet.” She paused. “That’s why they asked you to come, right? They say you’re one of the best animal herders on Earth.”

Josh could feel his chest expanding with pride. One of the best, eh? “We call ourselves cowboys.”

She nodded. “All right, cowboy. Let’s go.”

Side by side they walked through the tall indigo grass, heading for a hillock in the middle distance. It gave him the perfect opportunity to study her more closely. Her hands were sky-blue, like her face, but the strand of silky hair that had escaped from her scarf was as green as the ocean on Earth. A fragment of a poem surfaced in his memory. “Far and few, far and few, are the lands where the Jumblies live. Their heads are green and their hands are blue, and they went to sea in a sieve.” Edward Lear, his grandpa’s favorite poet. Gramps would have loved to see this planet and this woman. She was as beautiful as a fairy.

They’d reached the hillock. She bounded up the path with a lithe, otherworldly grace, and he lumbered after her, encumbered by his protective gear. He wished he could cast off his suit and take her hand. He wished he could run with her through the blue prairie, with the sun on his face and the wind in his hair.

But he would die if he so much as removed his mask. Everything on this planet was deadly for him.

Including her.

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