Saturday, June 30, 2007

We're Double-Checking

Disregard this post. We're just making sure Technorati has claimed us and we've claimed them.

Tag: Technorati Profile

She's Teaming Up With Mother to Give Away a Computer Device

My fantasy author is giving away a nice little computer device, and she's got Mother in on the act. I'm rather impressed, actually.

If you visit, you'll see Kora Taiman's blog currently lists a post with instructions on how to enter a contest to win a Sony MicroVault 2 gig USB flash drive that Sandy Lender picked up a week or so ago for the purpose of rewarding new fans of the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods. Beneath this instructional post, Mother has posted a list of ten questions (and they're fairly easy, too) for fans to respond to. To answer them, you need to have either been paying attention to the CMFG Online Book Tour or read the fantasy novel. You can still get a copy at What you do is cut and paste the list of questions into an e-mail, provide your answers, then send the e-mail to Mother at prior to midnight, July 20. Then Sandy and Mother will put the entries into a hat (what do you mean mixing bowl?)... Ah, all right... Then Sandy and Mother will put the entries into a bowl from the kitchen and Sandy will draw a winner. She'll announce the winner Saturday, July 21, the last day of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour.

Now how clever is that? She has a few other surprises planned for the final day of her tour, which, at first, I thought was a little silly because it's the day the final Harry Potter novel is released and, well, no one's going to be paying attention to anything except J.K. Rowling. Am I right? But she's determined to maintain a presence on the internet, whether Harry Potter is selling like hotcakes in the brick-and-mortar stores, as she calls them, or not. Supposedly this is part of her online marketing scheme.

I'm behind her all the way!

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Friday, June 29, 2007

She's Forcing me to Post This

I can't believe I'm posting this for her, but, you know, she hasn't finished Book III in the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy yet, so I have to appease her to be sure everything turns out the way I'd like...

Fantasy Author Sandy Lender would like to appear on the Craig Ferguson Show to p-- (WHAT!? Surely you don't want me to use that word!? I don't care if it is an industry term.)...

Fantasy Author Sandy Lender would like to appear on the Craig Ferguson show to promote her epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods and to "drool" on Mr. Ferguson. Apparently, she adores the man. (What? No, I'm not including anything about his blue jeans.) He has a fantastic accent, according to Sandy. (Accent? Didn't you say accent?)

By the gods. Anyway, anyone wishing to start a letter-writing campaign to help her get on the show is welcome to do so. I'm stepping out of the way.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

She Gave Me Permission to Cross-Post Henry's Interview of Me

Wednesday morning, as part of Sandy Lender's Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour, Henry Bakerson interviewed me on his blog site, Friends of Dragons. You can view the entire interview at Here is the meat of the interview:

Henry Bakerson: Fantastic! Now then. Tell visitors what it’s like being the new master of Arcana. I mean, that’s a crazy one for me.

Nigel Taiman: Well, let me back up and answer your first question here. I’m Nigel Taiman, the son of Kora Taiman and her husband. When her husband dies in the novel Choices Meant for Gods, I, as the heir, take over the Taiman estate. You’re right, though; it’s surreal to walk through the front door of Hleo-Arcana knowing I’m the one making the final decisions as to what’s taking place around me instead of that ogre.

Henry Bakerson: Was taking Chariss in - by the gods, Man, it’s not like she’s here - Was taking Chariss in your decision?

Nigel Taiman: I was actually away from Arcana when Amanda Chariss arrived. Mother is the one who made the decision to give her sanctuary. It was a good decision.

Henry Bakerson: Agreed. How soon after you met her did you fall in love with her?

Nigel Taiman: Sandy approved that question?

Henry Bakerson: Sure did. She actually re-worded it from what I used to have here. I was going to ask when you knew you wanted to bed–

Nigel Taiman: By the gods, Man, this is a public forum. All right, then. When did I know I was in love with Amanda? The moment I set eyes on her. She came bounding into the family’s dining room after a day of training with Mia and Hrazon, and she looked like a goddess from Mahriket. You should have seen her, Henry. Absolutely beautiful. I sort of avoided her for a bit, though, because there was so much worry surrounding her, and I assumed she’d be running out with that blasted sorcerer after her any day. It wasn’t until Jake started flirting with her like an idiot that I decided I best get her attention.

Henry Bakerson: I think you succeeded. Now, let me ask a couple questions unrelated to the story, but about you, directly. How long have you known your author?

Nigel Taiman: Interesting. I’ve known Sandy Lender for about 20 or 22 years. But I didn’t realize I could speak to her and influence her decisions and the story that Amanda was telling until just a few years ago…Maybe five or six years ago. I’ve been working with Sandy on marketing and promotion since February.

Henry Bakerson: How does it feel to have your author sharing your innermost thoughts with the world in the novel Choices Meant for Gods - telling your deepest, darkest secrets - shining a light on all your crimes - exposing your–

Nigel Taiman: All right, now, I’m not the villain in the story, you know. And your past is just as questionable as mine. Sandy’s actually been very discreet. As you know well, my teen years were hardly admirable, and I’d rather all the sordid details not be spelled out for the world, Amanda in particular, to read. Sandy has done an excellent job of hinting at what needed to be revealed without telling all my deep, dark secrets, as you put it. I have enough secrets that have to be revealed in Choices Meant for Gods that we don’t need travesties from the past muddying the waters.

Henry Bakerson: Oh, that’s right…Well, folks will just have to read the book to get all that, won’t they?

Nigel Taiman: Indeed.

Henry Bakerson: So how do folks get a copy of the book to read?

Nigel Taiman: Why, Henry…that was almost smooth. Did Sandy teach you how to market while I wasn’t looking? People can go to to order a copy from Amazon or they can visit her publisher’s site at to order the book and see the banner ad that she’s so keen on. It includes her slogan.

Henry Bakerson: I don’t think I know what a slogan is.

Nigel Taiman: You need to interview more characters.

Henry Bakerson: Thanks for stopping by Friends of Dragons.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

She Went to New York

So when she was in New York, she let random people use her camera. The image above was one result. There were more, but this is one of the few she'll allow me to post. She says she doesn't look intoxicated (but I beg to differ).

I think this proves she's still human under all that writing exterior. But, if you'd like to know what the writing exterior produces, you can get her fantasy novel (what? that was as smooth a transition as I could make it; don't complain. If you want bad transitions, go read Henry's ridiculous interview at that friends of dragons thing he has going today. ) You can get her fantasy novel at I recommend the novel, not my interview. But you can also read my interview at It's part of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour that Sandy Lender is so pleased with.
Anyway, the people in the picture are fellow Duranies Jennine (on the left) and Christine (in the center). Then there's "the dragon" looking not dangerous at all (on the right).

Monday, June 25, 2007

She's an Inconstant Criseyde

I couldn't believe my eyes. At first, I was thrilled to find my fantasy author at her desk in the writing den, typing away last night as if her fingers had been set on fire, totally "in the zone," as she's said in the past. In the den sat a new muse that I'd not seen before (we muses can recognize a kindred spirit in an instant, you know; just ask Jen Nipps's Kiernan). I looked at this nice young lady, puzzled by the fact that she had sort of wispy looking wings (wings, I tell you), and I asked, "Are you in Book Three?"


Oh, no, nothing so benign as that. Sandy Lender was typing away at something completely foreign to the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy. She was working on some other book that I am not at all happy about. She's wasting time flitting about with this Lyndia whatever she is creature instead of completing my bride's story and now I have to compete with not just…wait…

(No, I'm not being unreasonable. You were wasting time on something you have no business wasting time on until that trilogy is complete. And I daresay you ought to have that prequel complete before you mess around with this little winged chick, too.)

Inconstant woman. Never trust a fantasy author to sit in her writing den alone. Let this be a lesson to all you muses and all you fantasy characters. If your author isn't finished with your story, or the story of someone you care deeply about, make sure you're watching his or her every move. If he or she isn't working on marketing materials and promotion of the books, then he or she should be working on the sequels and the prequels. You can best believe there'll be no more messing around in this household. I'm not the master of Arcana for nothing you know. I can handle this problem, and that winged strumpet from wherever she's from won't be visiting again until my bride's story is complete and off to the publisher.

I'm quite put out over it.

To help keep Sandy on task, you can fan the flames by purchasing your copy of Choices Meant for Gods at Thank you for your support.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

She's at The Blog for Her Interview

For those of you visiting Nigel Presents Sandy Lender for the first time, drawn here by the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour, she wants me to explain two things before we get started so you won't be lost. I am Nigel Taiman (oh, come on, I have to tell them my full name?). I am Joshua Nigel Taiman, but no one uses my given name. I am the lead male character from Choices Meant for Gods and the fantasy author, Sandy Lender's, current muse.

Sandy takes today during her online book tour to visit this blog and answer a few questions about her writing life.

Nigel: First question: if you have this blog for me to manage, and it's supposed to be about you as a writer, why are you so quick to censor it and keep me from talking about you as a writer?

Sandy Lender: Please tell me this interview isn't just a bid for leniency in your postings. Nigel Presents Sandy Lender came about because my publisher, Bob Gelinas of ArcheBooks Publishing suggested to all of his authors that we set up blogs for marketing and branding purposes. I was hesitant because I'm a fairly private person, and what writers aren't? I've got you managing the blog because I felt kinda silly journaling my daily life for people in first person prose. I'm censoring it because I still don't feel entirely comfortable sharing "stuff," and I know you can relate. I mean, should we develop a blog called Sandy Presents Nigel Taiman where I talk about your escapades in your youth when you and Henry used to frequent--

Nigel: I understand completely. Next question: Is purple your favorite color, and why did you select it for Amanda Chariss's eyes and gem?

Sandy Lender: Ooh, good question, Love. Yes, purple is one of my favorite colors (I'm also keen on blue and I wear a lot of Cardinal Red, which I'm sure you've noticed). The lighter purple, closer to lavender, is Chariss's typical eye color, as you're vividly aware, and for your guests who might be stopping in for the first time, Chariss is the main character in my fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods. She was born with an amethyst on her cheekbone, high up near the corner of her right eye, and no one knew what it was a sign of until she and The Master Rothahn travel to Tiurlang and find its meaning, and her purpose, in the prophecy scrolls guarded there. I've recently picked up a book called Love Colors by Pamala Oslie that details the different personality traits inherent in the different colors that we're attracted to.

Nigel: We should have Pam at our blogs for an author interview.

Sandy Lender: I tried to contact her a couple months ago and received no response. I'll try again at the end of my CMFG Online Book Tour.

Nigel: Now you hadn't read Love Colors back when you selected Mandy's eye color, so how did you know about the properties assigned to color? And, along this same vein, how did you come up with some of the other larger themes and smaller details in Choices Meant for Gods?

Sandy Lender: It's good that I can read your mind, Honey, because that didn't make much sense. I think you're asking where my ideas come from, and that answer is you. You. Chariss. John Taylor. Charlotte Bronte. Basically, the muses in my life offer me constant inspiration. My pen is never motionless, oh you who disturbs me with ideas in traffic. If the insurance company only knew... The color knowledge is something I picked up over the years. You read and learn that sort of info on your own because they don't exactly teach college courses on which color groups are more likely to attract artistic persons to your life. Now the Anglo-Saxon theme of exile that Chariss and Hrazon portray in Choices Meant for Gods I learned in my Old English literature classes. The mead hall look of Arcana's family dining room (and please note the significance of you and Chariss meeting at the mead hall table without me having to come right out and call you Hrothgar) comes from my Old English studies. The Thornfield Hall feel of Arcana in general comes from my channeling of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. So I would say the ideas come from my muses and my sources of inspiration coalescing in my brain at random moments when I have a pen to write them down.

Nigel: After watching you for months, I've also learned that one of your sources of inspiration is Duran Duran. Now they're a--

Sandy Lender: That took you months to learn?

Nigel: Well, a couple of days. I wasn't exactly well-versed with your society or its music scene when you first pulled me in so it took a bit to figure out why people always said the band's name twice. My question about this is how do they relate to fantasy literature?

Sandy Lender: Ummm, have you looked in a mirror?

Nigel: What?

Sandy Lender: We're gonna leave it at that. And if Dawn is reading today, she can share Carol's comments about Master Rothahn. Just keep in mind that CMFG is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and indications depicted therein are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Nigel: Getting back to a writer's life question, I want you to tell our visitors how your current life events affect your writing style and the events that take place in the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy.

Sandy Lender: Sting once quoted some philosopher saying that artists are at their most creative or do their best creating when they are in the most pain. He said this of himself when creating the Soul Cages album after the loss of his parents. It was a fabulous album. I have been going through a lot of crap and depression and whatnot for several years, and there's a very dim light at the end of a very long tunnel, so I have a lot of creativity in my life yet to come.

Nigel: Is it true that it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

Sandy Lender: I don't want to give the impression that I was talking about love in the answer I just gave. Love is over-rated and not worth the effort all these poor sots put into it. But that's an interesting question for you to phrase that way... I should have expected it from you. I had to give a speech in speech class in high school where I convinced the audience of something. This was the topic I got. I kid you not. I had to convince my classmates that it's better to love someone and lose them - get your heart ripped up and trampled - than never experience love at all. I succeeded because I can manipulate people's heartstrings. It's a gift writers must have. I ask your forgiveness now for manipulating you, Dear.

Nigel: I hate it when you make me nervous like that. I have no more questions because you've crossed all these others off my list, so let's just end with how can folks get a copy of Book I, Choices Meant for Gods?

Sandy Lender: You're so good at marketing, Darling. You see why I invited you here to do this? Folks can pick up their copy off of Amazon and get free shipping at They can also get it from my publisher's site, but they have to pay shipping there...

Thank you for taking the time, Sandy. If any visitors have questions for the author, or for me, just put them in the comments field and we'll be checking in during the day.

She Posts a Guest Blog

Choices Publisher Chooses Green

By Guest Blogger Sandy Lender, author of Choices Meant for Gods

It's all the rage in the publishing industry: print your books with text pages that are some-odd percent recycled paper. It's good that J.K. Rowling is having her however-many-million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows printed with partly-post-consumer-recycled paper. Luckily, she's not the only author sending press releases to Greenpeace announcing this environmentally-conscious public relations move. But what's her publisher doing on the front end to make Harry Potter green?

Considering everything I do for marketing and promoting Choices Meant for Gods is lavender, to match Chariss's eyes and the amethyst on her cheek, it may seem a touch odd that I'm suddenly spouting about how green the process was to bring the book to fruition.

The natural explanation: I'm also an environmentalist. It's sort of an obsession for me. I have more sea turtle conservation knowledge packed into my brain than can possibly be healthy for a human. And I'm willing to spout it to anyone who'll listen (or who is unfortunate enough to get trapped with me on a slow-moving bus). So there's no surprise that my marketing efforts included buying cloth bags with my book cover and my "some days, I just want the dragon to win" slogan emblazoned on them so people would use those instead of plastic bags. You see, the plastic bags end up in either landfills or our oceans, and the latter spells trouble for sea turtles who mistake them for yummy jelly fish.

A great thing that my publisher, ArcheBooks Publishing ( does on the front end of the publishing and marketing process not only to save trees, but also to save production dollars, is use electronic files instead of paper files whenever possible. Bob Gelinas, co-founder of ArcheBooks, explained, "We only accept submissions at ArcheBooks electronically to eliminate the excess use of paper." Ninety-nine percent of the submissions that come through the mail on nice, bright paper, get rejected.

What more happens to keep ArcheBooks green? "We all work from virtual offices, thus there's no commuting and no carbon emissions from our cars," said Gelinas. This facilitates the use of electronic files throughout the editing, proofing, galley and printing cycle. To keep production green all the way to completion, Gelinas explained: "Since we use both digital and offset manufacturing, we only create as many printed books as people actually want. We don't print more than twice the demand, thus wasting paper."

Now the paper used for Choices Meant for Gods? I'm happy to announce it's acid-free. For those who are still uneasy about the trees that sacrificed it all to make Chariss's story available to you, there's an eBook edition available on the Archebooks site at

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

She'll Be Here Tomorrow

Any of you who visit this blog site regularly know that my fantasy author is usually hovering over my shoulder, reading and censoring what I'm posting in support of her fantasy novel and my bride's story, Choices Meant for Gods. But tomorrow, she'll be here in a more planned and official capacity. As part of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour (or virtual book tour, as some tour people call it), Fantasy Author Sandy Lender is stopping by Nigel Presents Sandy Lender. (Seems fitting, doesn't it? makes you wonder why we didn't do it sooner... oh, she says she had too many other stops... wait a minute... I, the official marketer for Choices Meant for Gods, got a back seat to all the other tour hosts since May 21? I should be completely offended. )

Well, we'll start the day off with a guest post and then an author interview. I hope you'll stop in for the light reading (because I doubt she's submitting anything heavy about her life; you regular visitors know how closed she is on that subject) and for the interview. Now, let me tell you, I did manage to get some good information out of the interview. We're not talking Amanda Chariss level of interrogation here, but I at least got her to respond to a few questions that weren't just about the book.

Wait, I'm getting lectured. Okay, turns out I made a reference to an interrogation scene from Book II above and I had to go back and remove part of the sentence. Now we have something you all can be allowed to read. Yes, I've read Book II. Heck, I lived it. Figure that one out...

See you all in the morning.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

She Became Someone I Didn't Recognize

I don't think I can express how alarmed I was when my fantasy author literally changed before my eyes. It was Sunday night, her birthday, and she had been sitting in a line for about 10 hours to get into a venue in New York City to see the Duran Duran concert. So now it was time for the show. And she morphed into this insane creature. (So did everyone around her, by the way. It was frightening.) I couldn't believe my eyes. My ears are still ringing...and not from the music.

I learned a new word that I had to look up in the dictionary. The meaning is something I don't believe I'll type here because, as Sandy has pointed out before, youth under the age of 13 may access this site. What I can't quite understand is why she screamed this word randomly at the stage... Uh-oh. We're about to get censored. No, I haven't typed anything lewd.

Sandy Lender would like me to state that she sold copies of Choices Meant for Gods, signed copies of Choices Meant for Gods, and handed out tons of business cards and bookmarks while in New York, so her trip was also productive, not just the scream-fest I'm making it out to be in this post. I think I'll continue this another time when she's not hovering, because there's so much more to tell. (It was truly insane. I've never seen so many scantily-clad women in my life. Henry would have been in Paradise, which is probably why we didn't tell him we were going... )

Saturday, June 16, 2007

She Trusted These People in This Machine

Okay, I can't tell you much about why I understand flying or my fantasy author will take a sword to me, but the woman got on a giant bus-like contraption that she had absolutely no control over and these people hurtled it through space. Space. They lifted this monstrosity off the ground and flew through the air as if they knew what they were doing. Do you have any idea the number of muscles that must be employed in a dragon's wings alone to accomplish liftoff? And these people think they can accomplish this with metal and wires? And I'm not talking about the legs and the abdomen and the neck muscles of a dragon. Just the wings. Then there's soaring.

Wait, she's complaining.

Sigh. Apparently, for those of you who haven't read Choices Meant for Gods yet, I'm giving away too much information by demonstrating my knowledge of dragon flight and so I have to stop complaining about her trusting airplane pilots. Instead, I have to just report, for Sandy Lender's life today, she's made it safely to New York, she's going to be selling a few copies of the fantasy novel tonight at the hotel before all the Duranies (is that truly what you call yourselves? That sounds a little off. ) all go out clubbing, which I am told is not violent, but fun. Yes, you can all rest assured I'll be hanging out in the background with my sword. I won't let anything happen to her or her friends.

All my best,
Nigel Taiman

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

She's Taking No Prisoners

Imagine my complete surprise when we opened the door to Sandy's house last night to the sight of one of those enormous wolf spiders on her ceiling...and she didn't scream. In fact, she spoke to it in one of those voices that sounds a bit demonic. I don't remember her exact words, but it was something to the effect of, "No, you don't get to live. And you get to die now." The bird was screeching, the spider was trying to lie flat against the ceiling (which is difficult when they're so amazingly large), and she was brandishing the can of UltraRaid. She marched over, lifted the can, and wasted the thing. Of course it tried to get away, which is the point where she usually starts screaming again.

I'm rather proud of her. She says she's had enough crap coming at her in life. She's done accepting it.

No more prisoners.

I think I'll lay low this weekend while she's traveling and just make sure she doesn't land herself in jail...

All my best,



Wednesday, June 13, 2007

She Promotes, Too

She doesn't leave all the marketing to me because she's a nice little fantasy author. So Sandy Lender has been doing this online book tour to promote Choices Meant for Gods. Today, she had a guest post at anotyer site, mentioned in the post below. Enjoy. (Oh, and it's supposed to be somewhat educational. It's one of those, you-can-learn-from-my-experience-if-you-wish kind of articles.)

How New Fantasy Author Sandy Lender Gets Noticed
By Sandy Lender

When I announced in an online group that I planned to put together an Online Book Tour for Choices Meant for Gods, the list administrator watched in the wings for a few days before saying something to the effect of "Woman. Do you want to explain how you're doing this on my blog?"

My response was "you better believe it." I'll just add that date to the tour list here.

So here's how I did this, which is not a guidebook, by any means, although I'm turning it into a pretty doggone long article for my publisher's website at the moment so all his authors have it to go by. What I did was pretend I was important. I think that's the first step. If you exude confidence, people are going to think, "hmm, who is this?" Honestly, I learned that from a few years in the public relations field.

I put together a professional-looking group page on Yahoo where potential hosts of the Online Book Tour could download images, my bio, a short and long synopsis of the book, some FAQs (read: an already-prepared interview), two guest blog articles, a press release announcing what we were doing that they could send to their local newspapers if they wanted to get themselves local publicity, and a blog announcement to post on their site to get folks aware that they were having an author stop by. That group site also contains a calendar where each host's tour stop date is listed with a nice little reminder that pops up and "pings" them on their special day (at least it pings them if they signed into the site when they got their invitation). The site has links where each tour host is listed. In a separate file in that Links section is a list of special links where hosts can find my page on and my page on my publisher's site, a link to a review, a link to my page on, etc. Important places are highlighted for the hosts' convenience, is what I'm saying, and when the hosts were invited to join the group, these things were pointed out.

I stay on top of the blog the day of the event. Notice I'm calling the activity an "event." My tour isn't a blog tour. It's an Online Book Tour. I'm supporting a book, not a blog. The book is called Choices Meant for Gods (and it's available now at B&N, plug plug plug). And I'm not just doing interviews on blogs. I'm also doing guest posts, like the post you saw at on May 25 or the post you'll see tomorrow at (or this one today!). I'm also doing author chats like the one you can participate in at 8 p.m. eastern June 28 at I'm participating in Author Day when I'm the guest author at I have a web presence at all through the month of June. So, it's not just a blog tour with interviews of me answering the same questions all the time. On the days when you see interviews, like yesterday at, you're seeing different people asking different questions with different groups of visitors asking different follow-up questions. I was really impressed with the questions from the New Zealanders at on June 6.

So gearing up to do an Online Book Tour takes getting confident and getting creative to get noticed. There are a ton of us authors trying to make a splash online these days. I've said this before on this tour; there are more than 400 titles being released every day in the book publishing industry. Think about that competition for a minute. It's enough to make you cringe. How do you compete for space on the book shelves at the brick-and-mortar stores? How do you get noticed there? One way is to call up and beg.

In my current hometown, the Barnes & Noble in the center of downtown is local-author friendly. Praise the Lord. So I called up the PR gal and introduced myself as a new local author. Fabulous! I asked if I could do a book signing some day this summer to help her move some books through her store. Her answer was yes. I nearly fell in the floor.

But how to get noticed in that huge store? First, they set my table up by the front door. Phew! Next, I set up a display that would knock your socks off. I'm a fantasy author, so I dressed the part. I put on a long purple gown with the exaggerated handkerchief sleeves and slapped an amethyst appliqué on my cheek (like the main character Chariss in Choices Meant for Gods) and had myself looking the part. Next, I put an ancient wood box on my table for people to put their entry cards in so they could win the SWORD I had on the table. Let me tell you folks something. Books…you expect to see books in a book store. Swords…you don't expect to see shiny weaponry in a book store. The sword garners attention. It gets noticed.

How else does a new fantasy author get noticed in the book publishing industry? Well, I've got this blog called Today the Dragon Wins at But as my friend Jamieson Wolf will tell you, you can't just build a blog and watch traffic arrive. You have to excite that blog and get people to notice it. I have eight blogs now (four of which don't get the attention from me that they should). The two that do are managed by me and my main male character Nigel Taiman. Nigel manages Nigel Presents Sandy Lender at Between the two of us, we're registered with and and we use html metatags like they're going out of style. We link back and forth and we comment all over the blogosphere (both of us…yes, Nigel has his own e-mail address and blog account).

Now how about My ranking there is currently making me suicidal, despite all the truths I know about it, but I've got an article up on Amapedia and I've got a couple conversation topics started and "watched". I've got nine 5-star reviews (a few from people I don't know!) and a list of tags and search words (which I've added to) that will make your head spin.

I could go on but Nigel Taiman would probably shoot me for making this guest blog too long. These are just some ideas and suggestions that my publisher and I have gone over to help get a new author noticed "out there" amid those 400 new titles a day. The Online Book Tour, the big presence for a book signing, the exciting blogs, and using various elements on the page at Amazon are just a few things I've tried so far. Choices Meant for Gods isn't selling like hotcakes, but it's not cooled off yet, either. And it's sitting on the new fiction table at the front of the store at Barnes & Noble right now looking pretty doggone fancy, if you ask me! Woo-hoo! Now, if you're not walking into a B&N today, you can get your copy at

I wish everyone much success with these and other ideas!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Monday, June 11, 2007

She's Having a Banner Day

(It's not a silly title.) She's making fun of me when she should be pleased with my use of your society's little colloquialism there. Check out the banner ad for Fantasy Author Sandy Lender's book at Or, you can go to and refresh the page until the ad pops up there. That confused me at first, but she explained that there are several folks who have purchased ads for the front page of that site, and they each share the space, thus the ads scroll through. Whatever. What you want to do is (what? I've heard you say that to me before. Whatever. You say it all the time.)

Anyway, she's very pleased with the look of the banner, and, if you watch all the phases of it (yes, I'm going to tell them about the slogan, relax), if you watch all the phases of it including the one with her slogan "some days, I just want the dragon to win," there's one phase that includes the publisher's URL. Click on that and you get magically transported to (what? why is that humorous?) you get magically transported to the exact page on the publisher's site where you can purchase the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods. As Sandy says, "how cool is that?"

All my best to you,

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Friday, June 8, 2007

She's Manic

I don't know what to do with my fantasy author right now. I'm pretty sure she's going to burst into tears any second, and then she giggles about something mundane and gets back to working on items for tomorrow's book signing. See, the idiot she should have let me put a sword through took the printer when he abandoned her and the house last week so she has to put these files together and get them printed at the copy shop. Let me express to you what a pain in the...wait. (Why can't I tell them he ran out like a mongrel dog?)

Oh, apparently this blog that's supposed to be about the fantasy author Sandy Lender isn't going to tell you what's going on in the life of the fantasy author Sandy Lender. I'm just going to observe her and write about...what? The bird? She has this beautiful pet bird that you all have heard about before.

All right. She's focused on the book again. As I was saying, she's a bit manic this evening preparing for tomorrow. She's made lists and gathered supplies (like the sword she's giving away at the signing tomorrow and the fancy book stand that will hold a copy of Choices Meant for Gods on the folding table, etc.) and put everything in a nice little pile in the living room so it's all set for tomorrow, but the actual printing of the final elements is happening...well...right now, it seems. She's rather upset about that. You may not know this, but Sandy does not like to wait until the last minute for anything. Being prepared ahead of time keeps her sane. That's why there's a bag in the bathroom with supplies already going in for next weekend's trip to New York City...wait. (No, I'm not telling them anything personal. Packing for a trip is not personal information. Oh, by the gods...) Fantasy Author Sandy Lender is not just manic this evening, I think she's lost her mind. I'll check the bag in the bathroom.

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

She Says Celebrity Endorsements Work--Once in a Blue Moon

I can tell by the glint in her eye when she's teasing me. But I decided to take the bait the other day anyway. So I asked, "What's a blue moon?" I could deduce what celebrity endorsements are, but wasn't sure why she was talking about them while flipping the page on her Duran Duran calendar to June. She took a few minutes in responding because she was admiring the picture…

Turns out the moon (and you only have one in orbit around your planet) goes full once per month here. From time to time, though, that happens twice in a month, and the second time it happens, it is called a blue moon. It's not frequent, thus she was using it to illustrate that she is not frequently influenced by celebrity endorsements. Turns out John Taylor is wearing a pair of boots called New Balance Tennis Shoes in his (What? Then what are they called if not boots?) Sorry, Everyone. I thought men in this society wore boots and women wore shoes, but it appears I had my terminology wrong. John Taylor is wearing a pair of shoes called New Balance tennis shoes in his picture for the month of June and that's why fantasy author Sandy Lender elected to buy that brand of tennis shoe when she had to purchase said item a few months ago for a Duran Duran concert she was going to att… wait. (You wore tennis shoes to a Duran Duran concert? I don't think I believe you. Ohhhhh.) I have to explain that she had so injured her feet in a pair of high-heeled boots at a Duran Duran concert in October that she had no choice but to wear comfortable tennis shoes to one of their shows in November. By the gods.

What was this article supposed to be about?

Oh, yes, celebrity endorsements. She's going to see if she can get Simon LeBon to read Choices Meant for Gods and endorse it so all the other fans will go out and buy it. He (or you) can do so at

Here's my assessment of the whole situation: Fantasy Author Sandy Lender has lost her pretty little mind.

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She Reviewed Hunted

Fantasy Author Sandy Lender has prepared a review of the online-serial-novel-turned-eBook Hunted by Jamieson Wolf. The novel is now available at multiple online sites, which I will list at the end of the review.

On the Hunt for Wolf's Paranormal Satire
By Sandy Lender, author of Choices Meant for Gods

A madman is killing little girls. Beautiful, full-of-life little girls who belong to families that love and adore them. The man is a serial killer bent on not just acting out the script from the soap opera "Hope Falls"—he's intent on using black magic to force the armies of the dead to rise up and destroy the lovely Susan Halliway who used to play Carrie Jones on the set of "Hope Falls." But Susan left the bright lights of that set to get away from the craziness and voodoo mystery that had started to plague her and her co-workers. She left that world behind.

How has it found her again?

Author Jamieson Wolf has created a supernatural satire in the novel Hunted. But don't go into it expecting your typical mystery thriller. Go in expecting quite a bit more. This is a clever satire. It's an extraordinary paranormal. If you enjoy watching soap operas, you'll love all the "pokes" at daytime drama; and if you enjoy paranormal angst and tension, well, then, hold onto your seat.

Hunted shows that gruesome thrillers about soap stars seeking a quiet life away from the big-city lights of a television film set can be hilarious, too. The story takes the reader from laughing to cringing to gasping to fanning over the steamy little romance between Susan and Investigator-to-the-Rescue Derrick. And there are enough pop culture references to make the average reader laugh out loud, whether the reader is working her own references into it or not. For instance, when the heroine awakes one morning after "imbibing" to reduce the effects of one frightening adventure, she "groaned when the sun hit her eyes. She remembered booze and pills but not much else." All I could picture as I read those lines was Edwina from "Absolutely Fabulous."

Anyone in the mood for a fun romp through soap-opera land with some zombies and voodoo and romance thrown in for good measure needs to check out Hunted. To do that, you can visit Write Words Inc under New Books; Fictionwise; or the original carrier, Mobipocket

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Monday, June 4, 2007

She's All Worked up About this Poem

I was contentedly waiting for her to turn the computer over to me so I could do my job of marketing Choices Meant for know...telling all you visitors how to get your copies...telling you where to find her on the Online Book Tour tomorrow, etc., when she came flying out of her writing den with this book of poetry giddy with excitement saying, "Oh, Nigel, just listen to this!"

Fine. The dragon in me is interested in poetry. I'll listen. It's by Emily Bronte:

Riches I hold in light esteem
And Love I laugh to scorn
And lust of Fame was but a dream
That vanished with the morn--

And if I pray, the only prayer
That moves my lips for me
Is--"Leave the heart that now I bear
And give me liberty."

Yes, as my swift days near their goal
'Tis all that I implore--
Through life and death, a chainless soul
With courage to endure!

Now, Sandy's read this poem before, she said, but it never struck her before as it did this evening. She asked me, eyes alight and this look of almost rapture about her: "Doesn't it just fit the arc you go through perfectly?"

What? I nearly fell off the couch. If that's my character arc, I demand to see this Book II she's written. Now. But she told me not to fret and scampered back into the den as if she didn't just set every nerve in my body on edge. These fantasy authors don't realize what they put us characters through.

Well, until I can get my hands on the manuscript and tell you what's going on, you'll have to content yourselves with the first fantasy novel in the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy. You can pick it up at your local book store or at

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

She's Going International On the Tour Again

For the section of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour that takes place June 4 to 8, Fantasy Author Sandy Lender goes international again. So far her international dates have been just north of the border in Canada, but this Wednesday, June 6, Sandy goes to New Zealand to visit Yvonne Eve Walus at her web and blog site A Novelist Speaks..., and Sandy's pretty excited about it. She says Yvonne was very kind and seemed a wonderful gal to get to know when setting up the tour stop, so it seems like a very positive day of energy that Sandy's looking forward to.

She's also looking forward to Thursday and Friday (look, is there any day you're not excited about, because I could save everyone a lot of time and just list the sites for them...). Nice. I've been told not to be fussy.

So she's looking forward to Thursday because her friend Linda Rucker is hosting the tour stop that day, and Linda is just on fire for this...wait a minute (are you sure that's the right phrase? That's not a colloquialism that makes any sense.) So Linda is on fire for this book and her enthusiasm lifts Sandy up when she's down (which is far too often in my estimation. What? No, I'm not taking that part out. Deal with it. This is a blog about you as a writer.)

She stops at her publisher's blog on Friday, and that could be interesting...

Monday: (click on Fantasy in the menu on the right)
Monday: (guest post)
Tuesday: (the interview)

We hope to see you all around the blogosphere this week during the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour. Next week will be slower, we promise, because she's prepping to go out of town for her Duran Duran concert weekend...

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She Wishes to Thank the Academy

I've no idea what that title means, but she suggested it. She also suggested she'll be watching me post until I can "settle back down and stop doing things behind her back." I guess the interview with Mr. Wolf at Author Alley last week and the post Tuesday have made her nervous. (They won't believe that if you're standing over me...) I'm supposed to tell you that she trusts me implicitly; she's just paranoid. (That's one of the most cynical and Amanda both say the most cynical things sometimes.) She says only the paranoid survive.

Anyway, Fantasy Author Sandy Lender wishes to extend her gratitude to the following incredible people who hosted her this past week during the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour:

Dee Owen
Jamieson Wolf
Charlene Leatherman
Nancy Hendrickson

Sandy says that without you, she'd be floundering without anyone knowing her name, so she's grateful and appreciative and she wishes to let you know that you're her heroes for the week.

And, Jamieson Wolf, who hosted me at May 29 has my nod of thanks. (Sandy's not really upset over that, by the way. She got a chuckle out of it all, even the Duran Duran comments.)

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