Monday, July 13, 2020

Book Launch Q&A: Daryl-Jarod Author Pain In My Heart #booklaunch @daryljarod @pumpupyourbook

Daryl-Jarod is an Amazon best-selling author, recording artist, and actor. Born and raised in Hopkins, South Carolina, he always had big dreams of pursuing a career in entertainment.

As a child he’d write short stories and songs, which later aided him in transitioning into the talented storyteller he is today. His writing career all began with a short poem he composed in third grade entitled, “My Teacher is Neat”, which was selected to be featured in a publication of poems from talented students throughout the state. The encouragement of his mother, teachers, and peers, pushed him to continue writing.

Years later, he is now the author of Silk, an acclaimed erotic series that debuted atop of Amazon’s Best-Seller Erotica charts. With many more book releases in the works, he has also displayed his skills as a singer-songwriter and rapper on his debut mixtape, “The Liberation of Daryl-Jarod”. Despite consistently maintaining a busy schedule, he always kept his acting goals in sight as he graduated from Coker College with a BA in Theatre Performance.

Daryl-Jarod is hard at work promoting his latest and most personal offering, Pain in My Heart.



Pain in My Heart is a candid and honest journey through the eyes of a hopeless romantic. Each poem
serves as part of a puzzle that not only pieces together heartache and love, but also the vulnerable parts we fearfully conceal from the world.

Poems that cover topics of self-love, depression, anxiety, and life as a gay black male in today’s society, all await you as Daryl-Jarod unlocks his heart to yours, one page at a time.


Google Play:

After your book was released, what was the first thing you did when getting ready for your book launch?

The first thing I did was launch the Pain in My Heart Podcast. I found it to be an effective approach to reach my readers and also give them a backstory on some of the most thought-provoking poems.

After that, what was your next step?

My next step was to promote, promote, promote! Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter were my go-to platforms to get the word out.

Did you do anything different to spice up your website in lieu of your upcoming book release?

I did. I revamped the site to bring awareness to the book and podcast.

Did you ever consider using a PR agency to help you promote your book or did you prefer the DIY route?

I’ve mostly used the DIY route. It’s quite satisfying to later be able to look back on all your hard work. But I am open to the idea of a PR agency. I’m sure that could serve as a useful aid in reaching new audiences.

Were finding reviews a top priority for you and, if yes, how did you approach that?

Reviews can be super important, especially when a new reader stumbles upon your work. This time around, I figured gaining a review from a professional source could be a beneficial asset for promotion. So, I reached out to Kirkus Reviews for their services.

What are your views on social media for marketing your book?

Social media can be one of your best marketing tools, especially for a self-published author. It’s free networking and promoting to thousands of potential readers, besides the option of paid ads.

Did you write a press release and do you think it worked for you?

I’ve had them written in the past. I do think they help in spreading the word about your release.

Did you revamp your author’s page at Amazon in any way to prepare for the launch (

I did that as well. I updated my author photo and also added the book to be displayed with other titles on my author page.

Did you have other books you offered for free in order to help sell your present book?

I offered a discount for a few of my titles on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Just as a way to also encourage readers to explore my other work.

Did you time your book launch around a certain holiday?

Pain in My Heart was released a few weeks before Thanksgiving last year, without the holiday in mind. It was my intention to have it released much earlier in the year.

What was the best money you ever spent on your book launch?

Blog tours! It’s such a fun way to connect with readers, all from the comfort of your own home.

Any tips for those authors wanting to set up a successful book launch?

The best advice I can give is to plan ahead before your launch. Do all your research before the release date. That way you’re ready to hit the ground running as soon as the book drops!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Book Launch Q&A: Susan Wingate, Author HOW THE DEER MOON HUNGERS #booklaunch @susanwingate @pumpupyourbook

Susan Wingate is a #1 Amazon bestselling award-winning author of over fifteen novels. Susan writes across fiction and nonfiction genres and often sets her stories in the Pacific Northwest where she is the president of a local authors association. She writes full-time and lives in Washington State with her husband, Bob.



For those who enjoy reading books like Where the Crawdads Sing and My Sister’s Keeper
MACKENZIE FRASER witnesses a drunk driver mow down her seven-year-old sister and her mother blames her. Then she ends up in juvie on a trumped-up drug charge. Now she’s in the fight of her life…on the inside! And she’s losing.

HOW THE DEER MOON HUNGERS is a coming of age story about loss, grief, and the power of love.

HOW THE DEER MOON HUNGERS Won “Best Fiction” in the 2020 Pacific Book Awards.


Amazon →

After your book was released, what was the first thing you did when getting ready for your book launch?

I hired two publicists. Dorothy Thompson with for an online blog tour, and David Johnson with Strategic Vision PR for national coverage.

After that, what was your next step?

After that, I had more direction from the publicists so I got a account for a book giveaway and set up a Book Launch Party on Zoom. After that, I set up a Facebook Book Launch Party to announce the Zoom meeting and giveaways.

Did you do anything different to spice up your website in lieu of your upcoming book release?

Yes, I did! I created a landing page that highlights my latest upcoming book with an option to get a pre-order copy or to enter the site.

Were finding reviews a top priority for you and, if yes, how did you approach that?

Reviews, in my opinion, lead in priority for readers of novels. If books get great reviews, if they win awards by far those novels get read more often than books that do not get good reviews or awards. So, for me, getting reviews is of the utmost importance for a book’s success.

What are your views on social media for marketing your book?

It’s the way we do book marketing now. Especially, during these COVID times. But I’ve always seen social media as a way to market my work.

What social media has worked best for you?

Facebook and Pinterest are leaders in book marketing for me.

Did you write a press release and do you think it worked for you?

I wrote one press release for HOW THE DEER MOON HUNGERS after it got a 5-Star Review from Foreword Reviews. My publicists has and will be putting out more press releases until (and after) the book launch.

Did you revamp your author’s page at Amazon in any way to prepare for the launch (

Not much. I only refreshed what was already there.

Did you create a book trailer?

I actually did! It’s a short, 30-second thematic. Here’s the link:

Did you time your book launch around a certain holiday?

Not for this novel. Although, I have in the past. And, unless my birthday becomes a national holiday, HOW THE DEER MOON HUNGERS will be released a couple weeks before my birthday.

What was the best money you ever spent on your book launch?

I think anytime you hire a publicist is money well spent. They’re so much better at these things because that’s what they do all day long. Plus, they help with your book launch, attend the party and, with David Johnson, will manage the goings-on of that party. Thank goodness too because I’m going to be a nervous wreck!

Any tips for those authors wanting to set up a successful book launch?

Here are a few steps I took for the book launch of HOW THE DEER MOON HUNGERS:
1.      I went online and downloaded tons of information about how to create a successful book launch,
2.      I paid for ads around the date of the launch,
3.      I entered several book awards,
4.      I hired two publicists―one for an online blog tour and one for a national tour
5.      I got reviewers to read my novel (start early here),
6.      I ordered swag (bookmarks, mugs, goodies with DEER MOON imagery) for the party but also for book club gifts,
7.      I did a ton of work that I can’t list right here but promise to for a blog post.

Thank you so much for having me and for allowing me to tell you all about the book launch of HOW THE DEER MOON HUNGERS. Sincerely, Susan Wingate.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Book Launch Q&A: Darryl A. Woods, Author THE SUMMONED ONES #booklaunch @darrylawoods @pumpupyourbook

Darryl Woods is a storyteller who hones his craft entertaining coworkers. He also enjoys regaling family and friends with stories of his upbringing in rural Ohio, of the motorized contraptions his father fabricated, and of the timber cutting and sawmill work he did with his father-in-law. With an appetite for reading fantasy, it was inevitable he would choose to write about an epic journey in a world dominated by magic and sword fighting.


Website Address:

Can a group of college-aged friends from a small Kentucky town actually be the Summoned Ones of prophecy, called to a strange world filled with magic and devastated by war? Can they save the lives of the desperate inhabitants and help them defeat a wicked tyrant? Their epic journey will push them to the limits of their endurance. This unlikely group will discover truths about themselves and experience another world beyond their imagination.

During their journey, they will explore this new world, discover new talents and previously hidden abilities, develop friendships with people they couldn’t have dreamed possible, and will be forced to take actions they would have never considered in any less dire circumstances.


Amazon →

 Barnes & Noble →

Kobo →
Fishpond →

After your book was released, what was the first thing you did when getting ready for your book launch?

After I had the book published, I spent 2 months with it on prerelease. Prior to that and during those 2 months, I did the following:

·        Set up my social media accounts
·        Created my website (
·        Set up my newsletter using Convertkit to send out a short story every 15 days (
·        Wrote several stories for my newsletter
·        Engaged with several ARC readers to read and review my book
·        Began identifying and contacting book bloggers and making personalized review requests

After that, what was your next step?

·        My primary focus was a continued outreach to book bloggers.
·        I have also worked to increase my following on Twitter while still maintaining a presence on other social media sites.
·        I continue to write short stories for my newsletter. So, far I have written stories for 14 newsletters and have a few others in various stages of completion.

Did you do anything different to spice up your website in lieu of your upcoming book release?

I spent a lot of time working with a professional website designer. I had already written most of the content for the website, short and long author bios, short and long book descriptions, 3-D book images, author photos. So, my work was mainly focused on layout and color choices. Also, because I contacted so many bloggers, I spent extra time developing a robust media page.

Did you ever consider using a PR agency to help you promote your book or did you prefer the DIY route?

I have yet to hire a PR agency. I was burned badly by a so-called publishing firm I was forced to fire and never received any form of refund. Encounters such as this have created a distrust of companies in the industry. I might be open to it, but it would have to be a recommendation from a person I trusted.

Were finding reviews a top priority for you and, if yes, how did you approach that?

Reviews from book bloggers to date is my primary form of outreach. Through Twitter, Instagram, and referrals, I have built a spreadsheet of bloggers who are open for review and who review adult fantasy. I have been primarily focused on those with a blogging website. These typically have more information in the form of request criteria, content about pages, interviews, and a list of reviews. I spend time getting to know the reviewer and read several reviews. If I feel it is a match, I send a customized and personalized review request.

What are your views on social media for marketing your book?

Social media is a necessary tool but drives very few direct sales. It simply is a tool to allow you to engage fans, book enthusiasts, and fellow authors. I view it as a means to further project results from outreach. If I have a book review recently published and I retweet that review to my 5,000+ Twitter followers, then a handful of my fellow authors and blogger followers retweet that yet again. It projects that review far farther than having no social media presence.  I will add, however, that it can be a black hole that sucks away precious time needed for other projects that would be far more effective for marketing.

What social media has worked best for you?

I found that Twitter has been the most receptive tool for me. The writing community there is strong, helpful, and willing to engage. Though I must say, I have yet to fully engage on other platforms.

Did you write a press release and do you think it worked for you?

I did not do a press release. Too much going on. I may look into that for book 2.

Did you revamp your author’s page at Amazon in any way to prepare for the launch (

Because it was my first book, I had yet to create the page, but for The Summoned Ones I spent time creating a professional author page.

Did you have other books you offered for free in order to help sell your present book?

I did not. The Summoned Ones is my first book. I am giving away short stories every 15 days via my newsletter. These are primarily stories of my rural upbringing, with a few speculative fiction stories mixed in. I use this mechanism for potential fans to see my writing style and imagination.

Did you set up book signings and, if so, how did that work for you?

Unfortunately, I released The Summoned Ones on February 29th. Because of the pandemic, physical book signings were not an option. I released in both paperback and eBook internationally, but I made no effort to get my book into brick and mortar stores. So, if I were to do a book signing it would be at local independent bookstores.

Did you create a book trailer? (Please provide a link to trailer if you have one.)

I did not but have been looking into creating one for The Summoned Ones, and will definitely produce one for book 2, Perilous Path.

Did you time your book launch around a certain holiday?

I did, I thought Leap Day was fitting. A rare day for a day a long time in the making.

What was the best money you ever spent on your book launch?

By far my best money was spent on Miblart. This company (@miblart) was inexpensive, professional, and good to work with. They took an oil painting I had commissioned from a local artist and crafted it into a nice cover. They also did a great job on interior layouts and social media banners. For what little I spent, it was well worth the professional results and relieved me of that burden.

*Any tips for those authors wanting to set up a successful book launch?

DO NOT RUSH IT. It is easy to fall into this trap. You’ve spent so long on the manuscript, you want to rush the launch. Take your time. A full 2 months after launch, I am still getting things set up that I should have had in place long before the launch. I learned my lesson and will have a much better launch of book 2. It would have been better for me to have pushed the launch of The Summoned Ones out 2 or 3 months.

New Release! Slow Down by Lee Matthew Goldberg @leematthewg @pumpupyourbook

How far would you go to make your dreams come true? For budding writer and filmmaker Noah Spaeth, being a Production Assistant in director Dominick’s Bambach’s new avant-garde film isn’t enough. Neither is watching Dominick have an affair with the lead actress, the gorgeous but troubled Nevie Wyeth. For Noah’s dream is to get both the film and Nevie in the end, whatever the cost. And this obsession may soon become a reality once Dominick’s spurned wife Isadora reveals her femme fatale nature with a seductive plot to get rid of her husband for good.
Slow Down, a cross between the noir styling of James M. Cain and the dark satire of Bret Easton Ellis, is a thrilling page-turner that holds a mirror up to a media-saturated society that is constantly searching for the fastest way to get ahead, regardless of consequences.

Here’s what readers are saying about Slow Down!

“Slow Down is a frenetic first novel…full of unedifying characters scrambling for the elusive, perhaps imaginary, brass ring.”
Publishers Weekly
“Lee Matthew Goldberg writes like a young Bret Easton Ellis doing a line of uncut Denis Johnson off the back of a public urinal. Memorable in the best possible way, also mostly illegal, Goldberg’s Slow Down is a mad man’s tour of Manhattan’s vices, follies, and ultimate betrayals.”
–Urban Waite, author of The Terror of Living and Sometimes the Wolf
What would happen if one of Raymond Chandler’s 1940’s femme fatales were to join forces with one of Jay McInerney’s enfant terribles? Lee Matthew Goldberg wrings every delectable trope imaginable out of this mashup while still managing a fresh spin. A writer to watch out for.”
–David Kukoff, author of Children of the Canyon
“Slow Down starts fast and gets faster quick, gunning through yellow streetlights on its way to a full collision with your shattered soul. Lee Matthew Goldberg takes on the American Zeitgeist in this stunning debut.”
–Stephen Jay Schwartz, LA Times bestselling author of Boulevard and Beat
Slow Down is a brilliant rush of a work charting the rise and fall of Noah and other pretentious losers. Savor this book.”
Foreword Reviews
“Dark and hard-boiled writing that grabs you by the throat. Slow Down is one of those rare novels that’s so good you want it to go on forever!”
–Nick Pengelley, author of Ryder: An Ayesha Ryder Novel
“The plot takes off…there’s no denying it’s fun to watch rich snots destroy themselves.”
“Goldberg’s portrayal of the New York demimonde is one of the book’s strengths and brings to mind Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero. He also succeeds in marshalling a complicated plot.”


Amazon →

About the Author


Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming, along with his Alaskan Gold Rush novel THE ANCESTOR. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press, Monologging and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.




Monday, July 6, 2020

An Excerpt from 'Stepping Stones: A Memoir of Addiction, Loss, and Transformation,' by Marilea C. Rabasa

Marilea C. Rabasa is a retired high school teacher who moved west from Virginia eleven years ago. Before that, she traveled around the world with her former husband in the Foreign Service. She has been published in a variety of publications. Writing as Maggie C. Romero, Rabasa won the International Book Award, was named a finalist in both the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards and the USA Best Book Awards, and earned an honorable mention in The Great Southwest Book Festival, for her 2014 release, A Mother’s Story: Angie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.  She lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a number of years and now resides in Camano Island, Washington. Visit her online at: 

                                                   About the Book

Addiction is a stealth predator. Unrecognized, it will grow and flourish. Unchecked, it destroys.

Marilea grew up in post-WWII Massachusetts in a family that lived comfortably and offered her every advantage. But there were closely guarded family secrets. Alcoholism reached back through several generations, and it was not openly discussed. Shame and stigma perpetuated the silence. Marilea became part of this ongoing tragedy.

Her story opens with the death of her mother. Though not an alcoholic, it is her inability to cope with the dysfunction in her life that sets her daughter up for a multitude of problems.

We follow Marilea from an unhappy childhood, to her life overseas in the diplomatic service, to now, living on an island in Puget Sound. What happens in the intervening years is a compelling tale of travel, motherhood, addiction, and heartbreaking loss. The constant thread throughout this story is the many faces and forms of addiction, stalking her like an obsessed lover, and with similar rewards. What, if anything, will free her of the masks she has worn all her life?

Read Marilea’s inspiring recovery story and learn how she wrestles with the demons that have plagued her.



The Woods  

            Whether it was thirty degrees with two feet of snow on the ground or ninety degrees and humid, I learned to fashion a life for myself outdoors, usually in the woods.

Areas hollowed out by the wind became the rooms in my make-believe home fashioned on tree stumps and big granite boulders. Draping an old, tattered sheet over a low horizontal branch, I cut squares in it to make windows. Bits and pieces in the garage that had been left for the dump found new purpose in my imaginary home. Rusty tin cans, smashed under my feet, became ashtrays. An oversized bottle was turned into a lamp. A couple of old crates were repurposed as chairs. A broken old radio left near the brook added a nice touch to the kitchen table, itself a small scrap of plywood. Playing out my fantasies was a favorite pastime.

            Inside the house, there was no escape. My family had moved into a converted schoolhouse in Massachusetts when I was six months old. There were four bedrooms upstairs, and since I was just a baby, my parents gave me the littlest one, the size of a large walk-in closet. As I grew, I felt terrible resentment toward my sister, Lucy, not only because she had been awarded the room with a window facing the lake and was a graceful dancing student but also because she was so much closer than I to our father. Still, I tried tagging along with her, though I felt she didn’t want me around.

One day I snuck into her room while Daddy was working in the basement and Mom was napping across the hall. I could do anything! I started by smashing one of her ballerina statues on the floor.

I looked at all her ballet costumes and pretty pink tutus. My sister was such a star, but I wanted attention too. I gazed at the perfumes and talcum powder on her dressing table. Just for a little while, I can be a princess too.

She had a growing collection of Joyce shoes, all carefully lined up in her closet. I just wanted to wear them in her room for a few minutes. I hoped that by putting on her shoes her magic would rub off on me. Maybe my parents would love me as much as they loved her.

I shuffled around, but the shoes were swimming on me as I struggled to keep them on my feet. So I gave up and put them back in her closet. Lucy would be home soon, and my princess time was running out. As I heard her approaching the stairs, I returned to my place in the corners of the house. Lucy went right into her closet.

I hadn’t been careful to put the shoes back where they’d been neatly placed.

Why had I been so careless?

Exploding out of her room, Lucy confronted not me but our mother, who was awake by then, about my latest theft. Tears streaming down her face, she implored:

          “Mother, Mary has been in my closet. She took my favorite shoes again. And she
smashed my favorite ballerina on the floor. You always let her get away with this. Please do something this time!”

          “Lucy, you’re the older of the two of you. You do something.”

          What could my sister do? There was no justice to be found in our house.

Hiding in my little room with the door closed, I listened to my mother and sister. Eventually I left and went outside to my home in the woods. There I performed a mock trial:

Using one of my father’s hammers, I banged my pretend gavel on a large granite boulder.

“You know why you were bad, Mary,” bellowed the judge. “You went into Lucy’s room

without permission. You wore her shoes. And you broke her statue. What do you have to say for yourself?”

“I just wanted to feel special. I thought if I put on her shoes, I’d feel special

like she is. And I’m sorry I broke the ballet statue, but I’m so angry. Daddy loves her more than me!”

“That’s not an excuse, Mary. There is no excuse for what you did.”

“But I just wanted to get her attention!” I cried, breaking out in sobs.

The judge thundered back at me, unmoved, “You are guilty of jealousy and theft.” Guilty, guilty, guilty . . .

Unable to convince the judge of my innocence, I went back inside the house, ran to my room, and slammed the door.

But I wasn’t punished.

Guilty, guilty, guilty . . . those words buried themselves in a pocket next to my heart. And there they remained, like a ship’s anchor, weighing me down for the rest of my life.

Mother busied herself making dinner, and my sister remained in her room. Invisible walls, unaddressed resentments, perpetual isolation.

I learned from a very early age a terrible lesson: I could get away with things. If I were sneaky enough, or had enough enablers around me, my behaviors might yield no consequences. With no one slapping my wrist, the naughtiness continued. And my frustration and anger continued to chip away at my self-confidence and cloak itself in chronic depression.

I wasn’t always a brat, though. Mother wrote in a diary entry dated 2/26/56: 

“L and M quarreled, and I smacked them both. L stayed in her room and sulked. After a while M went into the kitchen, got out a plate of cookies, and poured a glass of milk. She carried up the cookies and on the way said to me, ‘I’m going to take these cookies up to Lucy and make her feel better.’”


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Book Launch Q&A: Rev. Terry Allan Christian, Author WHAT DID JESUS SAY #booklaunch @revtchristian @pumpupyourbook

Since dedicating his life to Jesus at the age of 23, Terry Allan Christian has been reading the red lettered version of the 4 Gospels as recorded in the KJV Bible. Even though Terry reads the whole Bible, his primary focus is on the words of Jesus and the example of His actions.
Terry grew up in a violent dysfunctional family where he quit school at 16 and left home. He stuttered so bad he could only say 3-5 words in a row. His family and friends mocked him and that caused much stress in his early life.

At the age of 23, he had a near death experience and in which he had a dream. In this dream, he was told that one day he would be a teacher for Jesus. Needless to say, he was scared at first because of his stuttering and lack of structured education however, he always had a child-like faith and trust in Jesus as Lord.

After the dream, he was soon hired by the Dale Carnegie Organization and trained in sales and public speaking, where he met a man who taught him how to visually read. During the next few years Terry read several hundred books on the subject of personal growth.

At the age of 30, Terry became a professional Motivational Speaker and Executive Trainer and over the next 20 years he would deliver more than 2,500 presentations to private and public audiences across America and Canada.

Several years ago, Terry retired as a public speaker after feeling the Holy Spirit redirecting his life. He was led to do what Jesus told him many years earlier. After researching the 4 Gospels he composed the book What Did Jesus Say: The Seven Messages from the Master, using only the Words spoken by Jesus as recorded in the 4 Gospels, without adding any personal comments or opinions.
As in all God called missions it took longer, cost more and challenged him to the edge of his faith. He would later say, he had to read the Book of Job just to understand why this was happening to him and was he being tested or penalized. In the end, he was being tested and by the grace of God, he prevailed.

Now after 12 years of study, obedience, difficulty and struggle, this book is now available in Paperback, eBook, Audio Book and Kindle.

Today, Author and Counselor, Rev. Terry Christian is founder of Foundations for Life ‘Online’ Ministries and he presently lives at Negril Jamaica where he does local missionary work in schools and churches while counseling Christians worldwide online thru his program Christians Helping Christians.

Negril, Jamaica is where Rev. Christian went to fast & pray while seeking divine healing for Bladder Cancer. His doctors gave him 3yrs to live so he created a healing sabbatical and after fasting & praying, and walking the beach for 21 days, he returned to his Doctors and they released him ‘cancer free’.

Terry calls this program: The Life Walk –aka- The Miracle Walk and now offers this ‘restoration’ program online or in Negril, for everyone seeking Life, Health or Marriage Restoration.

Terry believes: WITH GOD, all things are possible, all the time, wherever we live and at every given moment, when we pray, believing.



This incredible book organizes the teachings of Jesus using only the words spoken by Jesus and nothing more. The book puts readers into an imagined walk with Jesus on the beach, allowing readers
to hear over 500 passages spoken by Him as recorded in the 4 Gospels.

“I was asked one time, where did this book idea come from?” says Christian.

“Well, when I was suddenly called away from motivational speaking at the top of my business career, I knew, I was being called to do what Jesus told me, 30yrs earlier. When I asked Jesus what He wanted me to do that wasn’t already being done, Jesus said; ‘Tell them, what I told them and nothing more, add no comments or opinions.’ With those instructions, I composed What Did Jesus Say: The Seven Messages from the Master containing over 500 scriptures spoken only by Jesus to those who loved and followed Him and I’ve added no opinions or comments. Whoever reads this book will know and understand what Jesus said to those who loved and followed Him and what’s expected from those who call Him their Lord and Savior.

Featuring the “best of the best” of what Jesus said, this book is a ‘one of a kind’. The scriptures, stripped of everything save for the words spoken by Jesus, have been composed into seven primary messages and serves as a daily Teaching Devotional.


Amazon →

After your book was released, what was the first thing you did when getting ready for your book launch?

I gave away as many copies as I could for more endorsements and book reviews.

After that, what was your next step?

I started contacting Public Relations Firms to see who wanted to help me with this ‘one of a kind’ book. I finally found one and that took me in a more specific direction.

Did you do anything different to spice up your website in lieu of your upcoming book release?

No because at the time, I didn’t have a website but I would later create one to allow me to download my ePub and Audio Book formats.

Were finding reviews a top priority for you and, if yes, how did you approach that?

I gave away copies in paperback and then offered it freely as a ePub download thru my FB pages etc. I now have book reviews worldwide.

What are your views on social media for marketing your book?

Personally I believe it’s the only way to go!

What social media has worked best for you?

I’m still discovering and researching that answer.

Did you write a press release and do you think it worked for you?

I’ve had several done and yes, I believe PR’s are very important.

Did you revamp your author’s page at Amazon in any way to prepare for the launch (

No because they both happened at the same time.

Did you set up book signings and, if so, how did that work for you?

It worked minimally!

Did you create a book trailer?
Here’s the Book trailer:

Did you time your book launch around a certain holiday?


What was the best money you ever spent on your book launch?

Hiring a PR firm

Any tips for those authors wanting to set up a successful book launch?

PRAY and ask God for wisdom and understanding 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

New release: The Rising Place, by David Armstrong

Genre: Historical Romance
Author: David Armstrong
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

About the Book:

The Rising Place is based on an interesting premise: What if you found a hidden box of letters from World War II that belonged to a reclusive old maid who had just died—would you read them? And what if you did and discovered an enthralling story about unrequited love, betrayal, and murder that happened in a small, southern town over seventy years ago?

When a young lawyer moves down south to Hamilton, Mississippi to begin his practice, one of his first assignments is to draft a will for Emily Hodge. “Miss Emily” is a 75-year-old spinster, shunned by Hamilton society, but the lawyer is intrigued by her and can’t understand why this charming lady lives such a solitary and seemingly forgotten life.

After Emily dies, the lawyer goes to Emily’s hospital room to retrieve her few possessions and bequeath them as she directed, and he discovers a sewing box full of old letters, hidden in the back of one of her nightstand drawers. He takes the letters back to his office and reads them, and he soon learns why Emily Hodge died alone, though definitely not forgotten by those whose lives she touched.

About the Author:

David Armstrong was born and raised in Natchez, Mississippi. He is an attorney, former mayor, and former candidate for the U.S. Congress. Currently, he serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the city of Columbus, Mississippi. David received both an undergraduate and a master’s degree in political science from Mississippi State University, before going on to receive a law degree from the University of Mississippi. 

The Rising Place Place, David’s second novel, was made into a feature film by Flatland Pictures before it was published by The Wild Rose Press. His third novel, The Third Gift, will be released by The Wild Rose Press this summer. He has also written four screenplays.

David is the father of two grown sons, William and Canon, and lives in one of the oldest and most haunted antebellum homes in Columbus with a snarky old cat named Butch.

Find out more: 

Read an excerpt! 

When Emily Hodge died, I assumed I would be one of the few people at her funeral. She had lived such a solitary life. She didn’t really seem like a loner, but that was before I learned about the murders and Miss Emily’s past.

She had no family that I was ever aware of. Once, though, when I went to see her in the retirement center before she moved to the hospital, she said something about a “Mr. Wilder” who had visited her years earlier when she used to live in her little yellow house. But I wasn’t sure who this Wilder fellow was or where he was from, and I doubted he was still alive. That was a long time ago, like Miss Emily had said.

And that yellow frame house of hers on Monmouth Avenue has gone through several tenants since Miss Emily moved out and went to the Methodist Retirement Center. Most of the asbestos shingles on the front bottom of the house were covered now with kudzu vine and badly cracked, and Miss Emily would have hated they were so noticeable, so I never told her. I realized several years ago that there were some things it was best Miss Emily never know about.

I never understood why Miss Emily didn’t marry and have her own children. She certainly was attractive enough, in her younger days. She showed me an old picture of herself one Sunday afternoon at the General Hospital when I went by her room to visit. She was a “striking woman,” as she herself commented. But it was more than just a striking woman I saw in that faded, seventy-year-old photograph. She was beautiful. Standing on the running board of an old Ford in a long, pink dress with a cream-colored, flapper hat on her head, she reminded me of someone from that old Bonnie and Clyde movie. It was hard to believe the pretty young woman in that photo was her. I probably stared at it too long, and it seemed to make her uneasy that I thought she was so beautiful.

“You were a lovely girl,” I awkwardly told her. When I handed the picture back to Miss Emily, she replaced it in a brown sewing box and slid it into the bottom drawer of the nightstand next to her bed. After she closed the drawer, I somehow knew Miss Emily would never show anyone that photograph of herself, again.

On the day of her funeral, it started raining about eight o’clock that morning. It was to be only a short, graveside service—just like she wanted—with no open casket, and she specifically requested that no flowers be sent. It was the only request of hers I didn’t honor. I couldn’t bear the thought of that precious lady, who had lived and died all alone, being buried without flowers. It just wasn’t right, so I ordered the finest arrangement of yellow roses I could find. I thought the color was appropriate, considering how much she loved her yellow house on Monmouth Avenue, and she always liked roses. As I’ve matured, I’ve learned that sometimes people want things but just don’t know how to ask for them. I do believe Miss Emily would have liked those yellow roses.

It was a simple, Methodist prayer service that lasted only twenty minutes. No one cried during the service. I don’t think Miss Emily would have wanted that. It’s hard to cry for someone you don’t really know. But the old black people there seemed to know her as they passed by her casket after the last prayer. And when Reverend Elton read the quote from Saint Theresa (Miss Emily’s favorite saint), “Let nothing disturb you; let nothing frighten you. Everything passes except God. God alone is sufficient,” all the black people shouted a loud, “Amen!”

But the most intriguing thing of all was that gray-haired stranger who kept staring at the small headstone next to Miss Emily’s grave that read, “Baby Boy, 1942,” and who then stayed after everyone else had left. As we were leaving, I noticed from my car that the old man was crying. He picked a single yellow rose from the arrangement on top of Miss Emily’s bronze casket and then gently placed it on the small grave, in front of the headstone. When my wife and I drove away, I looked back before we left the cemetery. The gentleman was limping away in the rain with his cane.  

Before she died, Miss Emily had already disposed of most of her possessions, but there were two beautiful paintings and an antique rose vase still in her hospital room that she had left to a friend. She had given away all her clothes to a couple of nurses who promised they would take them to the Salvation Army for her, but I doubted that would ever happen. I remember commenting to Miss Emily years ago, when I was still a young lawyer, that a friend had once promised to retain our firm and then sought legal services elsewhere. Emily said, “Don’t put too much stock in other people, David—they’ll just disappoint you.”

As I was about to turn off the light and leave her empty room, I remembered the sewing box of letters in the bottom drawer of the nightstand next to her bed. I also remembered that wonderful old photograph of her leaning against a car on the beach, which she had shown me several years ago. I didn’t know why at the time, but I wanted that picture. I would keep it as a remembrance of this dear lady I had come to love.

I didn’t open the letter box until after I had returned to my office. I don’t know if Miss Emily would have liked my reading her letters, but I think I finally understand her now and why she died alone, though definitely not forgotten. I know I’ll never forget her. How could I?