Welcome Christine London

Winter Blog Hop – Week Six – Holly Jolly Blog Festival – My guest today is Christine London. She’s a very clever author of exciting spicy romance reads and she often throws in a dash of British flavor. So, let’s turn this blog over to Christine.

Hi Sharon. Thanks for hosting me this week. Question one requires a crystal ball, but let’s hope the desire behind it makes it comes to fruition! Here we goooooooooo….

So now it is June 2013: what have you accomplished since Christmas 2012?
In a perfect world, I will have completed a book I began but never finished, sold the three books I have completed and/or self published them and be well on the way to publishing the eight short stories I have written about the tenants of one Nottinghill block of flats, 55 Portabello Road, a series. Realistically? Lucky to get one of those projects birthed. 55 Portabello Road is well on its way.

Through the seasons of a year the residents of one block of London flats come to terms with the obstacles that have kept each of them from finding what makes life most precious— true love.
Two in the series are already available: Nottinghill Scrooge and Happy New Year, Baby
What would you give Santa for Christmas other than cookies and milk? 

Orthopedic shoe, or should I say boot, inserts. Spending all night on his feet with all those precarious rooftop situations; the poor man must have aching feet. Good orthotics would make the world of difference! Merry Christmas, Santa and a good rest to you after the big night!

* * * *
Happy New Year Baby
 Pregnant without a boyfriend and possibly without a roof over her head, if her miserable landlord has anything to say about it. She only has herself to blame. After all, hadn’t she sent the father of her unborn child packing? Happy New Year Baby? Hardly.

Up to Date, at Last

 Lots of Exciting Things Going on these days. January and February are always busy months for me.

January consisted of several trips down to Quartzsite, Arizona for the Reader’s Oasis Book Fair hosted by book store owner and entertainer Paul Winer. Met so many interesting folks and sold lots of books.

February I moderated three classes during the annual Lake Havasu City Spring Frenzy. I had full classes forNovel Writing, Short Story Writing and Journaling. Had lots of fun and again met so many interesting people and future writers.

Our local writer’s group The Lake Havasu City Writers Group hosted a booth at the annual Havasu Winterfest weekend downtown. Met some new readers and had the thrill of folks dropping by to tell me they enjoyed one of my books so much, they wanted to buy another!!

A new monthly author’s event was initiated last fall at The Book Exchange, our local used book store here in Lake Havasu City. Anywhere from 6 to 15 authors set up tables on the second Saturday of each month from 11 am to 3 pm for the opportunity to chat with potential readers dropping by to pick up some reading material. One of the incentives for the readers is the chance to win a $25 gift certificate just by talking to at least five authors. We’re finding more and more folks are turning out with each passing Saturday.

As for my writing, despite the hectic schedule, I’ve completed book six of my Farrell family saga that started with my first novel After the War, Before the Peace. And, I’ve started on the seventh and final book of the series about someone from the Farrell clan venturing out into space.

I reckon I’ve rattled on long enough now. When I experience these busy times and so much of my energy must be spent on marketing my name and novels to the public, I find that I come dangerously close to losing focus on the love of my life – writing. So, I’ll sign off with this little gem from Albert Einstein. “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledg

Over 7,000 folks have my book!

Such an exciting week! We put Hannah up on CreateSpace a couple weeks ago. We gave it away free for a few days and 6,904 folks downloaded the book. Yahoo!!! Since the free period ended another 165 books have been purchased and I’ve received 2 five star reviews. I repeat, YAHOO!!!

Still no word from my agent on After the War, Before the Peace and Mama played for the King. But, there’s always tomorrow.

Been having some book signings and have met some interesting folks, but only sold a few books. Nothing like what’s happening at Amazon with Hannah.

Started a new book club at The Book Exchange, our local used book store. We discuss an author rather than a particular book. Last month it was John Grisham and next month it is my hero, Leon Uris.

My quote for the day comes from the movie Home Run. I just saw it last Friday and I highly recommend it. A little boy at bat for his Little League team get this advice from his coach. By following it, he hit a home run. The quote: “Nothing great happens when you hold back.” Cory Brand, character in the movie Home Run.

Thursday at Hastings

Today was my day with my fellow writers and friends at Hastings Books and Music. What a fun group! Every Thursday morning nearly a dozen of us gather, order coffee and such, then sit and discuss movies, books, life in general and quite often sex talk sneaks in, all PG rated of course. One of the things we discussed today is that while we are all eligible for senior citizen discounts, there was not one mention of a doctor appointment or medications we are taking. We all commented on the fact that many of our conversations with friends and relatives seem centered around our deterioration. Not so with this dynamic bunch of creative folks. So Stimulating!

We did have our sad moment though when we all had to say farewell to Ann. Her primary home is in Colorado, but she spends the winters here in Havasu. This very talented writer publishs under the name A.E. Connors and is the author of Anzac, a novel about the relocation of English children to such far away places as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It’s available at Amazon.com . I suggest you check out this often warm, sometimes sad fictionalization of an actual chain of events.

My sales of Hannah are keeping me so jazzed. Right now I have 249 ebook sales and 2 print books. Yahoo! I can only hope this sales buzz lasts a few more days.

Got an interesting bit of observation from a fellow writer today. We were talking about a rather famous author and how he is so good at character development and yet some of his books seems to fall below his talent level. My fellow writer, Jim, made the comment that he felt I was on the verge of a ‘break through’ in my writing. I’m not sure exactly what he meant, but I felt complimented.

Had a woman show up today who heard about our writer’s group and decided to drop in for a visit. Laurie fit right in and seemed to enjoy the stimulating conversation. I didn’t get a chance to talk with her before she left, but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of her.

Guess that’s it for tonight. I’ll close with this bit of wisdom about aging – “To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Nothing Great Happens When You Hold Back

Nothing Great Happens When You Hold Back!!

Had a very busy summer – 2 more books published (Finding Amy and Mama Played for the King), working on marketing the three books I have on Amazon, finalizing a book of short stories to go on sale at Amazon within a week, vacationing in Calif. with kids and grandkids and just plain having fun.

The sales for Hannah have been so rewarding. Lots of good reviews are coming in to the Amazon site.

As for works in progress, I finished the sixth book in the After the War, Before the Peace series. The working name is the The Band. It was a fun, yet challenging endeavor as I took a character that starts out as the rock of the family, turn him into a vile creature that most of the family walks away from and finally turning him back into the family member the entire clan once depended on. I’ve gotten some great critiques from my writer’s group that have helped me to fine tune this on one of the best of the Farrell Brothers series. Now, I’m working on what will be the final book of the series. It’s working title is Space. I hope to bring my readers full circle as to the impact of Carmenalita, the young Mexican girl in the first book, through the accomplishments of her namesake and great, granddaughter.

I saw a wonderful film this summer – Home Run. It was a study very similar to what I put the character J.J. through in my novel the band – moving a character from good to bad, then back to good. I came away from that movie with a lovely motivational quote that I keep and read in my daily calendar. The man character, a pro baseball player, advises a little league boy that “Nothing great happens when you hold back!!!”

Great Review for my novel REGARDLESS

Received a great review from reviewer Tracy Riva today.

You can read more of the review and check out her blog at http://tracyriva.com/?p=3351 .  Here’s part of it:



I loved Regardless by Sharon Poppen! It is just a touch Science Fiction; it is first last and foremost a love story that will have you rooting for Michael and Tom from the early pages clear through the end of t…he book, but be forewarned, this book is a tearjerker and in more than one place I found myself pulling out a box of tissues.

Poppen’s talent never ceases to amaze me and this may be her greatest book to date, although it is hard to determine if it beats her stellar After the War, Before the Peace because the two books are so different. It was really interesting to see how Tom, a heterosexual male deals with his attraction to Michael, a homosexual male. The inner struggle as he realizes he really likes Michael. His peace of mind when he decides to let to Michael into his life and his total conflict when he realizes what he feels for Michael goes beyond mere friendship.

(for more go to http://tracyriva.com/?p=3351)

I’m so pleased that the reviewer liked it so much. I can only hope it brings some sales.

It was a good day all around as to being a writer. Not only did I get a good review, but I ran into two folks at our local Hastings Book store today who recognized me as being ‘the writer’. One wanted info on my book club at the Book Exchange and one wanted to tell me about how much his wife enjoyed ‘After the War, Before the Peace’ and wanted to know when the sequels will be available. It was a good day.

I’m giving ‘Finding Amy’ away again, just for today. So far there have been 78 downloads. It sure doesn’t seem to attract the readers like ’Hannah’ did. Still it got to 9th place on Amazon’s 100 free books, so I’m happy. Now, I hope I see some sales.

On another note, I saw the new movie ‘Star Trek into Darkness’. Loved it. I think what I like most is that the new actors seem to have studied the characters from the original TV show and bring them to the screen just like the original actors did. Hope they make more movies with these characters!

Because my efforts at writing brought such a fun day, I’ve thought about how I’ve felt about writing for many years now. Sure, I’d like to have a ‘best seller’, but the truth is I’d write even if no one ever read my work. So, I’ll close with this little bit of wisdom from Ben Sweetland, “Success is a journey, not a destination.”

Great Weekend

Had a great weekend. One of my book clubs met on Saturday and we discussed the books of J.D. Robb. Very mixed reactions. Overall, most of us felt that the quality of the writing fell below the standards the author uses when she writes as Nora Roberts. I admire her ability to attract two different kinds of readers – Roberts with her romance and Robb with her crime stories. She certainly stretches her talents.

Finding Amy has been downloaded by over 200 readers, so far. It will be interesting to see if it does even half as well as Hannah is doing. Still no reviews. I can only hope the readers are finding it worth their time.

I’m doing a final edit on ‘Mama Played for the King’. Is it just too weird that I’m enjoying my own writing. I wrote it so long ago that some of it even seems new to me. I hope to have it on line by June 1st.

Had a mother’s day lunch at Denny’s today with Jo and Patty. Both my kids had already called to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. Love talking to them. I’m truly blessed to have such great kids.

Then, tonight went to Karaoke. The regular crowd was there. Good people, all. I sang ‘I’m from the Country’. It’s short and I don’t think I strain ears with my flat singing voice.

Oh, and I’m so bummed. Just found out that the TV show ‘Smash’ has been cancelled. I love it. The musical numbers are wonderful and they have had so many guest stars. It reminded me of the old variety shows of the past like Dean Martin, Glen Campbell, Sonny and Cher and so on. I will really miss it!

In thinking about Robb’s book and the lack of reviews I’ve received for ‘Finding Amy, I found this from Aldous Huxley. “A bad book is as much a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author’s soul.”

Finding Amy now on Amazon

My latest novel ‘Finding Amy’ is now available in both print and ebook format on amazon.com . I’m giving it away free for two days and as of a few minutes ago, there have been 154 downloads. It was years ago, but the story of a young man who follows his heart instead of his head is timeless. I hope my readers enjoy the story.

I posted the info regarding ‘Finding Amy’ on Facebook and sent an email to many folks in my email address book. It has been so rewarding to hear from so many people I haven’t heard from in ages. Each brings to mind a thought about how much we learned from each other as we began writing our short stories/books.

The sales of ‘Hannah’ are staying consistent, so that makes me happy. I’m now working on my novel ‘Mama Played for the King’ and hope to have it out by June 1st. And, I’m still moving the last book in my Farrell Brothers saga forward in my ‘spare’ time.

I’ll close tonight with some thoughts on perseverance by William E. Hickson . “‘Tis a lesson you should heed, try, try again. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Another Book on Amazon

So very excited! Patty and I have completed the administrative process for another book to go live on Amazon.  This one is Finding Amy. I wrote it quite a few years ago. The romance publishers wouldn’t take it because it had too much plot. Go figure! Anyway. the success with Hannah encouraged us to go forward with it. The cover is awful, but I learned something in that process. I hope the book blub and the story will attract readers.

Speaking of Hannah sales are now over 450, so it looks like JoAnn’s goal of 500 may be achievable. Got my fingers crossed. Also, the reviews have been so very positive!

Been attending some meetings around town lately featuring a couple of ladies who managed to escape from a polygamist sect up in Utah. Very sad tale of how women are treated in that community. Again, it makes me question the existence of a God who would allow such things. If adult women buy into such nonsense, then that’s free will and I don’t have an issue with God not interfering. But, according to these women, girls hardly into their teens are regularly molested, even by the fathers. Those young girls have ‘free choice’? I hardly think so. Very sad, indeed.

Got feedback on another section of The Band. It’s so interesting to read the varied opinions of the main character J.J. My plan is to work the character from being the ‘rock’ for his family, to a totally self-indulgent fool and then turn him back into the ‘rock’. It’s been fun. Some of the critiques treat J.J. harshly while others resent his wife for not being at his side. I’m enjoying their comments and seriously considering their suggestions. Once it’s published, I can only hope that my readers will be fascinated by J.J.’s wild ride and end of liking him when ’The End’ is written.

Got to close for now as I have a meeting in the a.m. with my web mistress. So, here’s my quote of the day. “Belief is desecrated when given to unproved and unquestioned statements for the solace and private pleasure of the believer… It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” – William James

Success is Motivating

I know in the overall assessment of things, the fact that over 7,000 readers now have ‘Hannah’ to read is a pittance to what well known authors have achieved. But, the numbers are motivating me to do more in the way of submissions and moving the story line in my current novel forward. As of a few minutes ago, ‘Hannah’s’ sales numbers are now 201! Yahoo!!!

Got more feed back on Leon Uris today from a friend who is reading ‘Redemption’. She is having trouble getting hooked as far as plot and/or characters. She is not fond of the usage of colloquial Irish dialog because it sometimes makes her miss the meaning. I hope it gets better for her. I know I liked Uris’ ‘Trinity’ better, but I still loved ‘Redemption’

Had lunch today with a fellow writer who specializes in poetry. His poems are often dark and based on experiences during a career in law enforcement. He’s a highly intelligent man, so he tends to want to ‘educate’ with his books. I think it’s good that overall their are writers for every reader need. I focus on those who want to be entertained – those who want to voyeur into how others react when put in the positions I often set my characters into.

So teach or entertain? Both have merit, but after the horror that occurred during the Boston marathon, I’m looking for entertainment. Something to take me to another place. The horror will always be there, but to have a few minutes/hours of fiction often makes the other easier to deal with.

So, my quote of the day deals with escapism. “listen: there’s a hell of a good universe next door: let’s go.” e.e. cummings