New York Times best-seller Melissa de la Cruz, noted for the critically acclaimed Blue Bloods series dives into the 18th Century romance of Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler. Out flows a historical saga that teens and young adults are sure to find filled with intrigue and delight. Read an excerpt of Alex and Eliza: A Love Story, due for release by Penguin Random House on April 11.
“Hamilton,” the Broadway play is likely to be on the must-see list for years to come. The popularity of that representation of George Washington’s brash young aide and statesman bodes an even greater reception among youth. Hamilton is now back on many Americans’ radar.
De la Cruz targets Eliza, a rebel as the youngest of three daughters one of the fledgling nation’s leading families, and shows how that nature drew her to the rakish Col. Alexander Hamilton. She is part of one of New York’s most elite families. Hamilton, born on the West Indies island of Nevis, is exuberant that his appointment as chief aide to the leader of the Colonial Army in 1777 affords him a chance to marry into a high society.
Orphaned by an unwed mother, Hamilton, whom John Adams once described as, “the bastard brat of a Scottish peddler,” is from the wrong side of the blanket, yet bright and ambitious. Eliza Schuyler is a child of privilege to the manor born. What happens when they met according to historians became an epic love story.
Cruz is more than able to excite young hearts. Her Blue Blood series sold more than three million copies. Also, her Witches of East End series became an hour-long television drama on the Lifetime network.
AVeronica Benoit Short
Terra Stellar Press
Veronica “Ronnie” Benoit is a self-described “testament” to her family’s “tenacity,” but the Louisiana teenager has no idea that she is a linchpin in its legacy.That, briefly, is the plot in the first entry in CG Powell‘s MISS short-fiction series. The Virginia author breathes the Louisiana Bayou onto the page in this work as if she were a native. At the least, she has probably been there because her bio boasts that she has “traveled everywhere – thanks to her innate curiosity about the world and the Navy.”
In style, Miss Stake: A Veronica Benoit Short is a clever nod to the days before television when imagination reigned, and adventure junkies got their fixes through radio serials such as The Shadow, or paperback books sized to stick into the back pocket on a pair of jeans. Those penetrating adventure and thriller stories popular from the 1930s to the Sixties were woven around the plight of characters as familiar as the curiously odd person next door, up the block, or down the street. That is how pulp novels and story collections gained credibility as page turners, or pot boilers.
The brief story is set in the swamps with more than enough references to all things New Orleans. The first chapter is a little slow, but readers will be seduced to read more because “Ronnie” Benoit and the other characters are obviously headed for something not good. The opening leads the reader to believe that the 17-year-old heroine’s biggest worry is how to maintain her virtue against the sometimes not very polite hits from a trio of ordinary outback romeos. The fact that most of what the reader thinks the tale is about is way off from the truth is a tribute to Powell’s gift for storytellng. By the middle of this paranormal saga, Veronica discovers that her reality is a very carefully constructed charade. In the best tradition of Louisiana stories,”Ronnie” is tumbled into a world for which she is far under-prepared as her grandfather reveals the family’s most tightly held secret.
The only downside to the work in style and story is that the tale ends about the time the adventure shifts to a new level of intrigue in the story. It’s what we hate most about serials. We have to read more. E-books are available FREE OF COST through the author site, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
AMAZON BARNES & NOBLE SMASHWORDS
Independent Publishing pioneer Jana Oliver’s keynote message – publishing is in a paradigm shift and authorship is in new day – launched an Orlando celebration
|(l-r behind table) YA fiction authors Jana Oliver
Susan Burdorf, Raine Thomas, Nadege Richards
and Tricia Zoeller discuss techniques and ideas.
of independent authors and publishers at Indie Bookfest this weekend.
The July 31 to Aug. 2 event featured dozens of authors on panels. Writer after writer, as well as some of the 80 authors who displayed their works, greeted fans and introduced themselves to new readers, declared the days when writers pinned their hopes for exposure on agents and tried to woo their way into a few stodgy mainstream publishing houses have gone the way of the electric typewriter.
Travel author Lee Foster laments the decline of the traditional publishers, yet confirms that the shift is more than theoretical. The technology offered by outlets such as Amazon and CreateSpace have kicked open the markets.
“A critical aspect of the rise of independent publishing is each author’s answer to the question, ‘Who actually sells my book today?'” he writes in , “Independent Book Publishing: Is it the Viable Future for Books?” an essay on his website In the past, the publisher was a major seller. A bookstore would stock every book in a given publisher’s lineup. Now the author himself or herself is the main seller, aided by Social Media reach.”
Technological developments have allowed authors to publish and market themselves. That opens the industry to a wider variety of stories and perspectives.
“If an author needs to create the market, why not take 100% of the profit?” writes Foster. “That’s what I get from BookBaby for my ebooks, 100% of the net ebook sales, vs a “generous” 25% from Countryman Press. I use the word “generous” because Countryman upped the payment to me from 15% of net for printed books to 25% of net for ebooks. As mentioned, for my print-on-demand books, I earn about $4.25 per sale of a book through Amazon or Ingram, vs about $1 some six months later for a sale of a printed book from a traditional publisher, such as Countryman Press. Given these dollar disparities, it may be increasingly difficult for traditional publishers to attract authors.”
During the weekend participants explored methods to develop ideas and write for Young Adult, New Adult, Erotic, Adult and Mystery, Science Fiction, Paranormal, and Romance genres. Beyond that, various panels addressed the nuts and bolts of the business of being an author, Published writers and experts gave pointers on editing, promotion, formatting books and covers, as well as sales.