Books That Change the World

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes

~ Books and Change ~ The ability to change is essential for survival. Those who refuse to change become dull, boring, and left behind. One force for change is literature. Ever since people learned to write and read, books have had the power to change the reader, and if read by enough people, a community, … Continue reading Books That Change the World

Are you more likely to read a book that has won an award?

Close to the Skin by Zara West

~ Book Awards ~ This week my romantic suspense Close to the Skin is in a competition to win a Rone Award from InD’Tale Magazine– a beautiful and well-known e-magazine dedicated to romance writing. This award is one in which readers vote for their favorite book or author. This process is similar to a number of Reader Award contests for … Continue reading Are you more likely to read a book that has won an award?

Writing a Series – 6 Tips for Success

~How to Extend the Story~ When I started writing my first romantic suspense Beneath the Skin, I had no plans to make it into a series. But it didn't take long for me to start imagining the lives of the secondary characters and wondering if they could win true love too. So when I pitched … Continue reading Writing a Series – 6 Tips for Success

Editing for Sensory Language Part 2 SMELL

girl smells a sunflower

~ The Olfactory Sense: Using Our Nose ~ Smell is one of the most powerful of our senses. Smell forms and solidifies memories and evokes the emotions. A familiar odor can bring back an image or event from the past. Smells influence the choices we make and can change our mood and our behavior. Real estate … Continue reading Editing for Sensory Language Part 2 SMELL

Marathon Editing

Editing Tricks

Editing Tribulations and Tricks For the last several months, I have been stuck in editing mode. It's not that I dislike editing. I just like creating new stories better. Editing becomes a tribulation when all you do is edit from morning to night. That's what happens when you fast draft three books in a row … Continue reading Marathon Editing

Time Management versus Creativity in Writing

Notebook Zara West Suspense

Or Why Hitching Creativity to the Clock is Doomed to Failure Yikes! Where did the time go? My last post was when - December? So much for keeping a writing journal. It was such a good idea - writing down what was going on in my writing. So what happened?  Well, now that I am … Continue reading Time Management versus Creativity in Writing

Forgive My Long Silence…

My Journal

Dear Readers, I have been busy. In June, my first romantic suspense Beneath the Skin was published by Wild Rose Press. I have just signed the contract for Close to the Skin, Book 2 in the Skin Quartet series. I have discovered that it is not the writing that is time consuming. I love writing. … Continue reading Forgive My Long Silence…

Favorite Places to Read

Places to Read

Where do you like to read? I’m a compulsive reader so I enjoy reading anywhere. I have been known to read while stirring the stew and in the few seconds it takes to microwave my tea. One of the reasons I like to read paperback books as opposed to e-books is that it is actually … Continue reading Favorite Places to Read

How I made a Book Trailer for Beneath the Skin

Beneath the Skin

How I Made a Book Trailer for Beneath the Skin! Book trailers are the hot new thing in book marketing. With my background in making videos, I just had to try my hand at creating one for Beneath the Skin. It was terrific fun! How I Made the Book Trailer This is the first time I … Continue reading How I made a Book Trailer for Beneath the Skin

Beneath the Skin is Available for Pre-Order

Beneath the Skin

Beneath the Skin is Here! Look what arrived yesterday! A whole box of my hot off-the-press romantic suspense Beneath the Skin. I have published books before, but I think this was the most exciting of all my books. It has taken me seven years to move from non-fiction writing to fiction writing. I have taken … Continue reading Beneath the Skin is Available for Pre-Order

There’s a Party Going on for Beneath the Skin!

Beneath the Skin

It’s coming. It’s almost here. My first romantic suspense, Beneath the Skin, will be available for pre-orders any day now, and I am having a Pre-Order Round-Up party on my Facebook Fan Page. Come join the party! Every day there will be a new question, a new poll, a new challenge, or a request for an … Continue reading There’s a Party Going on for Beneath the Skin!

Beneath the Skin Coming June 17th

Beneath the Skin Romantic Suspense Book Cover

Calling all readers! I have just heard. The worldwide release date for my romantic suspense Beneath the Skin is June 17th, 2016. On that date, Beneath the Skin will be available for purchase through Wild Rose Press as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other major book distributors. It will be offered as an e-book … Continue reading Beneath the Skin Coming June 17th

Graffiti Art in Beneath the Skin

  "Traditionally artists have been considered soft and mellow people, a little bit kooky. Maybe we're a little bit more like pirates that way. We defend our territory, whatever space we steal to paint on, we defend it fiercely." Sandra "Lady Pink" Fabara in Chang, Jeff (2005). Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop … Continue reading Graffiti Art in Beneath the Skin

Beneath the Skin is different

Beneath the Skin romantic suspense www.zarawestsuspense.com

Now I read a lot of romantic suspense novels. I love them. Why else would I write them? I like the fact that there is mystery and threatening villains along with the love story. I like the complexity of the plot and the challenging of binding the romance so tightly into the suspense plot line … Continue reading Beneath the Skin is different

Zara West’s Romantic Suspense Book Review

Blood Code by USA Today bestselling author Misty Evans definitely fits the requirements for a romantic suspense. The heroine is a Russian princess who has lived in the United States from childhood. Suffering from a severe blood clotting disorder, she is now a geneticist focused on finding a cure. But when her grandmother is kidnapped … Continue reading Zara West’s Romantic Suspense Book Review

Food Moments in Fiction

Fornino Pizza www.zarawestsuspense.com

Characters have to eat too. Today is National Pizza Day so I thought I would give a plug for Fornino in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This is where my romantic suspense hero in Beneath the Skin likes to eat. Aristides Stavros might be a famous artist, but he's not much of a cook. It also proves a great place to escape … Continue reading Food Moments in Fiction

Do what characters wear add to the enjoyment of a romantic suspense?

Fair Trade tote www.zarawestsuspense.com

So what do you think? Does it matter what characters wear in the novels you read? Is it worth the time for writers to search the Internet for just the right outfit? Today I needed to describe the handbag my character Bella Bell, a tattoo artist, carries. The bag had to fit her flamboyant sense of style … Continue reading Do what characters wear add to the enjoyment of a romantic suspense?

Let Them Wear Red: Ethical Clothing for My Characters

Today is National Wear Red Day in honor of women. So I thought that I would share some red outfits my characters might enjoy wearing on this day. Note: In keeping with my new awareness of ethically made clothing, all the gorgeous garments featured here are made in conscience to worker's rights and the environment or from … Continue reading Let Them Wear Red: Ethical Clothing for My Characters

Zara West’s Author Bio for Beneath the Skin

There is nothing more difficult then writing about yourself. Nobody likes to brag. Nobody wants to pat herself or himself on the back. So composing a bio about myself to include in Beneath the Skin was a real challenge. I decided to do some research on what authors are supposed to include in their "About the Author" page. Neil Patel advises … Continue reading Zara West’s Author Bio for Beneath the Skin

Beneath the Skin Book Cover Just Released

Beneath the Skin Romantic Suspense Book Cover

The book cover for Beneath the Skin is here! Back Cover Blurb Ex-Olympic wrestler and reclusive billionaire artist Aristides Stavros has one mission—to rescue his sister, a popular tattoo artist from the old enemy who has kidnapped her. But at every turn, he is confronted by anthropologist Melissa Dermot. Is she just an innocent girl … Continue reading Beneath the Skin Book Cover Just Released