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Corfu, Greece
Liana Metal lives in Greece, on the island of Corfu. She is an EFL teacher(MAEd -Applied Linguistics), book reviewer and freelance writer. Liana is also an artist. Her drawings/paintings can be found both online at www.aggelia-online.gr and at several shops in Corfu town. To contact the artist visit http://LianaMetal.tripod.com or her blog at http://LianasKerkyra.blogspot.com Η Ηλιάνα Μεταλληνού διδάσκει Αγγλικά στην Κέρκυρα, γράφει άρθρα και ιστορίες για έντυπες και ηλεκτρονικές εκδόσεις σε όλο τον κόσμο και ζωγραφίζει. Μπορείτε να την επισκεφθείτε στην ηλεκτρονική διεύθυνση http://toasprosaligari.blogspot.com και http://www.coffeetimecorfu.com


A book for kids/ 3 stories in English

Friday, July 31, 2009

Welcome Gayle Trent!

This month I have the pleasure to present Gayle Trent, the mystery author.

Enjoy her interview!

Interview with Gayle Trent, the author of Murder Takes the Cake

Tell us about yourself first.

When did you start writing?

I've been writing since I was in high school. I've always loved storytelling.

What genres have you written?

Cozy mystery, romantic suspense and romantic comedy.

Is Murder Takes the Cake your current book?

Tell us about it. What is it about?

When Daphne Martin turned 40, she reevaluated her life and decided she wanted a do-over. She left her job in Tennessee and moved back home to Virginia to pursue a career as a cake decorator. Unfortunately, she finds her first client dead. Daphne then has to find out what happened to the client and clear herself--and her baking--of any wrongdoing.

What inspired you to write this book?

The cake decorating aspect came from my daughter and me taking a cake decorating class together. We had so much fun! The turning 40 part is, I suppose, an aspect of my own do-over. Although I started earlier than 40 when my children were in preschool, I decided to leave my full-time job and write from home so I could be home for them. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

How long did it take you to write it?

It took about six months to write.

Who is the publisher of your book?

Bell Bridge Books, a subsidiary of Belle Books. The book has also been accepted for publication in large print by both Thorndike and BBC Audiobooks.

Where is it on sale?

Here's an Amazon link, complete with reader reviews. :-)


Tell us about your other books/work.

The sequel to Murder Takes the Cake, called Dead Pan, is due to be released in November, 2009. I'm also working on an embroidery mystery series for NAL/Penguin under the pseudonym Amanda Lee.

What are the major challenges that you have faced in your career?

Major challenges right now are writing mysteries in two different locations with two very different characters. I recently found myself getting the town names confused between books. "No, wait, this character is in Brea Ridge, not Tallulah Falls." :-)

Has the Internet helped you in your writing career?



For one thing, it makes it easier to reach more people. Blog tours are the best!

Plus, it makes researching so much handier. Instead of having to stop what I'm doing, I can click from my Word program into the Internet, find what I'm looking for and go right back into the story with minimal interruption. For example, while working on Dead Pan, I needed to know if there was a recipe "out there" for guinea pig cookies (for guinea pigs, not made from!). I clicked over to my browser window, typed "guinea pig cookies" into the search bar and within seconds had a recipe for cavy biscuits. Who knew?! Which is another thing that makes the Internet so much fun.

What do you advise new writers to do?

Read the genre they're interested in writing. For instance, when my agent pitched my first three chapters of the embroidery mystery to the editor, the editor said she liked it but didn't love it. I needed to revise it to make her love it in order for her to buy the book. I asked my agent who the editor had published recently. With two names in hand, I went to the bookstore and bought two books. I read them and found they were more descriptive than my own books. I went back, added more description and gave the heroine a bit more spunk, and the book sold. Sometimes you have to be flexible.

Thank you!

Thank you, Liana. It's a pleasure to visit you on your blog!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Meet Claude Bouchard, the author of Vigilante

Interview with Claude Bouchard, the author of Vigilante

Tell us about yourself first.

I was born in Montreal, Canada in 1961 which is where I still live with my lovely partner, Joanne and our two black cats, Midnight and Krystalle. I completed my undergraduate studies at McGill University in management and have worked in human resources for most of my career. I love to paint in both oils and watercolours and have been playing guitar for over thirty years. I read quite a bit, mainly mystery/crime/suspense fiction which is also what I love to write.

When did you start writing?

I started writing in 1995 which is when I wrote my first draft of Vigilante.

What genres have you written?

My four books, all of a series with recurring characters, are mystery/crime fiction.

Is Vigilante your first book?

Yes. As I mentioned, Vigilante was my first serious attempt at writing back in 1995.

Tell us about your book. What is it about?

Vigilante is set in Montreal in 1996, reflecting the time when it was written. It's the story of a serial killer who has taken it upon himself to get rid of the criminals in this world as a self administered therapy to ease the trauma of a domestically violent childhood. At odds with the Vigilante is Lieutenant Dave McCall who is desperately trying to catch the killer and put an end to the onslaught of murders. When the killer sends an email to the police, in comes business executive and computer guru Chris Barry to assist McCall in tracing the electonic transmissions. Cop and businessman hit it off and work together to track down the killer. I can't say more lest I ruin the shocking ending for my eventual readers!!

What inspired you to write this book?

I have been reading all my life and one day starting toying with an idea I had in mind which I believed would make a great story of my own creation. As my thoughts became more concrete, I felt that I had enough to start putting them down on paper, so I did.

How long did it take you to write it?

The actual writing time of the first draft was approximately eight weeks. I was working fulltime in the day and would write several hours every evening and many hours on the weekends. Before actually writing, I was laying out the general plot in my mind for about a month.

Who is the publisher of your book?

I have self-published this book as well as my three others, all via Lulu.com.

Where is it on sale?

My four books can be purchased on line via my storefront at: http://stores.lulu.com/ceebee308

Tell us about your other books/work.

Following the completion of Vigilante in 1995, I wrote The Consultant (1996) and Mind Games (1997). These were all reviewed and revised several times, most recently in 2009 prior to my self-publishing them. I recently completed my fourth of the series, entitled The Homeless Killer, which is also now available. Still set in Montreal, my last book takes place ten years later, in 2006, with the main characters (McCall, Barry and others) back in action.

What are the major challenges that you have faced in your career?

We did not have the technological possibilities back in in the mid-nineties which we have today. I'm speaking of research possibilities with the internet and POD possibilities for self-publication. I had attempted in 1996 to get some interest by querying a number of agents but let the project drop after a while due to the lack of response and rejection letters. I obviously was not counting on selling books to put food on the table

Has the Internet helped you in your writing career?


As I alluded to in my previous response, I believe that writing today is made so much easier, specifically when it comes to researching for a book. While revising my first three books earlier this year and more so while writing The Homeless Killer, I frequently had half a dozen internet tabs opened up at the same time where I could find the information I needed for what I was writing at any particular times. With satellite images of locations, cities, streets, down to specific buildings, it isn't as necessary now to go on location to ensure accuracy of what or where we're writing about. I might add that even interviews such as this one would not be possible without the internet!!

What do you advise new writers to do?

Write well - proper spelling, punctuation, grammar and so on are key as is presentation. Make your work a quality product because readers want quality, especially if you expect them to pay for your work. Most importantly however, write because you love it!!! That MUST be your primary reason for writing!!!


Thank you!

Actually, I thank you, Liana, for granting me this opportunity to tell you and your readers a little bit about myself. I hope that it was as interesting for you as it was fun for me! Thank you!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Helix Nebula

Hello there,

This is my latest painting-in acrylics.

The Helix Nebula, also known as NGC 7293, is 3 light years wide and appears nearly half the size of the full Moon in our sky.

Source: Astronomy magazine

I am preparing a series of paintings about the universe. It really looks like surrealistic art but it actually is impressionism-the way I see them.

What do you think?

Thanks for visiting,


Saturday, July 18, 2009


Hello Artists,

We at 3rd Ward are pleased to announce our first ever GROUP SHOW Open Call for Photography. This call culminates in an AMAZING group exhibition of the top 25 submissions - PLUS - one photographer will be awarded $500 & a 3rd Ward bike (www.3rdward.com/freebikes)! This is YOUR chance!

The Group Show at 3rd Ward

A search for the best emerging Photographers!

Submit Now: http://www.3rdward.com/fallgroupshow09/aw

Photography has been reinventing itself since its inception. From daguerreotypes to glass negatives, instant Polaroid film to unlimited digital shots, images are our reflections, our fantasies and our teachers. This competition is a search for the best new work from emerging photographers.

One photographer will be awarded $500 & a 3rd Ward bike and the top 25 photographers will receive:

- A group show in 3rd Ward's gallery
- A feature in 3rd Ward's Quarterly Publication
- 1-month Basic Membership at 3rd Ward with access to our four photo studios
- NYC wide exposure - post cards, flyers, press!

For this call we are joined by judges Peter van Agtmael, Magnum Photographer, Sean Fader, Photographer, FIT Professor & Solo Show Artist and Amani Olu, Co-founder & Executive Director of Humble Arts Foundation.

Submit Now: http://www.3rdward.com/fallgroupshow09/aw

Accepting Submissions Through August 7, 2009, 11:59 p.

Please feel free to forward and repost this email.


3rd Ward
Join our Mailing List: http://www.3rdward.com/mailing-list

3rd Ward
195 Morgan Avenue
Brooklyn New York
United States

Friday, July 10, 2009

Self promotion

Hello visitor,

I've just read the article about self promotion on Crysralle's blog and I agree with her. Promoting ones' book is very hard work and who can tell which way is the best?

Read the article at


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A book review

Dear visitor,

I usually publish my book reviews on my site http://LiaMetal.tripod.com, but this time I wasn't able to do so due to technical problems. This blog can definitely host my latest book reviews for the time being...

Thank you for visiting!



Color is Everything

Beginners to Advanced Painters Can Learn What All Great Artists Know

Dan Bartges

The Oaklea Press, 6912-B Three Chopt road, Richmond, Virginia 23226


ISBN: 978-1-892538-36-9, 2009,

Paperback, pp.96, US 14.99

Non fiction/art

Reviewed by Liana Metal


Dan Bartges, a full time artist since 1996, has produced oil paintings and water colors that have been acquired by private collectors nationwide and by a number of Fortune 500 companies. He currently lives in Virginia with his family.

Color is Everything is a useful mini guide that is a valuable tool for every artist. The book is in full color, illustrated, and gives step by step instructions on how to learn about colors and their use in different mediums. Dan illustrated his points by quick exercises that are easy to do and enjoyable as well.

This mini color guide is a must for every artist who needs a fast seminar on color combinations. Mastering color is made a lot easier to learn by following the author’s tips and advice. It also stimulates the desire to use the new hues one learns and create unique pieces of art! A very enjoyable and useful book that will become the bible of the artist!

Get it from http://www.OakleaPress.com

Friday, July 3, 2009

Anita's book!

Here is Anita's book about space.
Have fun!

Book description

Looking up at the sun in the sky it’s hard to imagine that it’s just another one of those stars we see at night. In fact, the whole solar system, the grouping of planets and other bodies revolving around the sun, is pretty amazing. And hard to understand. After all, the world feels huge, how can kids comprehend the sheer size of outer space?

Explore the Solar System! introduces kids ages 6–9 to the planets, moons, and other celestial bodies that surround our star, the sun, as well as the universe beyond. Combining a hands-on element with history and science, kids investigate solar eclipses, phases of the moon, Jupiter’s rings, and what astronauts wear. Who named the stars? What is the Milky Way? Why is there night? While discovering the answers to these questions and more, kids will have lots of fun with activities that range from creating an origami model of the solar system to playing a race-to-the-moon board game. Projects are easy-to-follow, require minimal adult supervision, and use primarily common household products and recycled supplies. By combining a hands-on element with riddles, jokes, fun facts, and comic cartoons, kids Explore the Solar System!, and have a blast along the way.

Book review

"Explore the Solar System! is chock-full of fun and detailed facts and activities about planets, moons, asteroids, and comets. Experiment and learn!--Jim Bell, lead camera scientist for the Mars rover Spirit and Opportunity and Professor of Astronomy, Cornell University

"Full of great information, lively illustrations, and activities, well suited for upper elementary and middle school students."--David Hagan, Science Museum of Virginia

Book links

Amazon Canada Link


Amazon America Link



Chapters Canada

YouTube Book Trailer for Explore The Solar System