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July 16, 2004 Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
Lazy days -- Summer Fun!

We've been on the web since '96, but was August of last year when BLP went 'official' since then it was anybody's guess as to how readers would react to our reviews , comments, advice, and helpful suggestions, as well as resources.

We have our answer....

Only the middle of July, just one month shy of our first anniversary and already have acquired over 3000 subscribers. We also have our first author guide handbook - still in the works - and co-authoring with Shirley Roe of Allbooksreview. We haven't yet decided on which publisher, but guaranteed you'll be thrilled with all the info.

Needless to say, the welcome has been overwhelmingly insane!

On a higher note! 6 celebrities have requested and received my book ^_^

I'll let you know what - if any comments are returned.


From Book to Screen
  recently acquired

Girlfriends Guide Book Series
Type of Material: Book - Feature
Genre: Drama / Comedy
Author: Iovine, Vicki
Buyer: DreamWorks Team Todd
Purchase Price: $3 mil.
Producer: Todd, Suzanne Todd, Jennifer Iovine, Vicki
Logline: Seven non-fiction books on such subjects as pregnancy, surviving the first year of motherhood, and toddlers.

Strange Son
Type of Material: Book - Unpublished
Genre: True Story
Author: Iverson, Portia
Buyer: Revolution Studios
Producer: Roberts, Julia Goldsmith-Thomas, Elaine Schindler, Deborah Sherak, Tom
Logline: Story of two mothers -- one who lives in a mansion in Los Angeles, the other in a one bedroom flat without running water in Bangalore, India -- who unite in a tireless search to find help for their severely autistic sons. Together they make breakthrough discoveries which help their sons.

Additional Information: Julia Roberts will produce through her Red Om Films and possibly star. Riverhead Books will publish the book next year.

Escape From Libby Prison
Type of Material: Book - Feature
Genre: Drama
Writer: Wolpert, Jay
Author: Gindlesperger, James
Buyer: Warner Bros.
Purchase Price: Mid-six figures / high -six
Producer: Sellers, Dylan
Agency: Writers & Artists
Logline: Set in 1864 at the Confederate Army's notorious lockup in Richmond Virginia, the book tells the true story of the escape of 109 Union soldiers from the dreaded institution.

Additional Information: Script, originated by Scott Abbott ("Queen of the Damned"), has since been rewritten by scribe John Orloff and Charlie Mitchell.

The Akhanaten Adventure
Type of Material: Book - Feature
Genre: Children
Writer: Kerr, Philip
Buyer: DreamWorks
Purchase Price: Seven-figures
Logline: Story of Manhattan rich twins whose new wisdom teeth hold secret powers understood only by their eccentric Uncle Nimrod. He explains to them that the adolescents are actually genies. Their powers are put to the test in Egypt, where they must fight against an evil genie.

Additional Information: Book was written by British thriller writer Philip Kerr. Steven Spielberg might write or direct.

Reviewed by Juanita Reynolds   The Tale of Chadizah by Shanna Mawavise
Publisher: PublishAmerica; (March 2004)
Genre: Adult Fantasy
ISBN: 1413710921
Paperback: 141 pages

Rating: Consider

Unreasonable fiction....

July 15, 2004

This is a bizarre tale of a world known as, Lyantho, in which the rulers are Amazon-like women with strange magical powers. Lyantho consists of several denizens, The Mother source, The three Na-salom, The Keepers, The Elements, The Winds, The Guardians, and The Talents. Each one of them performing a very important function within this fantasy realm.

The Tale of Chadizah unfolds when Adula Zabada, a young graduate from Nerrovar School of War, is kidnapped and taken before the High Guild Mistress of Chadizah (All-High Oracle of X), mighty mortal, first witch, Amaquaba.

Here in the great temple Amaquaba reveals the past, present, and future to Adula through telepathy so that she may know who she is and her place within the kingdom. Can Adula accept her faith? Or will she choose her own destiny?

This adult fantasy spun tale is filled with domineering female characters, whose mystical talents range from collapsing building's with one's voice, to impregnating another female with thought. In addition, there is constant battles and betrayal not only between denizens, but also between lovers, as well as mothers, daughters, and sisters.

I found the characters and plot somewhat chaotic, like the story itself, it was difficult to tell which character was speaking or thinking to whom at times. Moreover, after reading this novel of enigmatic murder and mystery, I found I was more enlightened by the front cover depicting the Knowledge Tree, thus finally understanding Aggippa.

Much of what is revealed in The Tale of Chadizah, I'm unable to comment on. One thing is for sure; this book is too unrealistic and far-fetched even for the fantasy world. Be advised- due to its queer and violently graphic descriptions, this novel is for mature adult reading only!

Reviewed by Demetria Harris   Good Morning Darkness by Ruth Francisco
Publisher: Mysterious Press; (September 2004) Genre: Fiction/Mystery ISBN: 0892968079 Hardcover: 305 pages $23.95 US/$34.95 Canada

Rating: Highly Recommended

It's okay to murder for the ones you love!

July 15, 2004

Laura Finnegan is the type of woman a man could easily love beautiful, graceful, mysterious, vulnerable, and missing.

The three men in her life are haunted by her disappearance.

The scorned lover, who evolves throughout the novel, will make you think twice about the one you share your life with.

A Mexican Fisherman, who watches her daily through the kitchen window, wonders about whom she is and sees the beauty in her and around her. He is also the one who found a severed arm, washed up on Venice Beach the same day Laura goes missing.

The tragic LAPD Detective is caught in a mid-life crisis, doubting himself and his marriage of twenty years, believing he has fallen in love with Laura. Lusting after her is causing him to loose his marriage, sons, and quite possibly his job and sanity.

What makes this story captivating is that the author writes for diverse ethnic groups. You'll begin to see the characters mannerisms and impressions on daily life and relate due to the savvy nature, style, and flow of the author's speech.

A lot of research went into this book and it shows making this story enjoyable and believable. Thank you Ruth!

You'll root for the bad guy, but... who is the bad guy?

Reviewed by M. Romero  

Witch Hunt by Ian Rankin
Publisher: Little, Brown; (September 2004)
Genre: Mystery/ Crime -Thriller
ISBN: 0316009105
Hardcover/Paperback: 368 pages
Also available as Audio Cassette or CD

Rating: Highly Recommended

You'll find yourself dissecting fact scenarios from each character's point of view!

July 14, 2004

The Cassandra Christa - not just an exotic name, but also a well-known pleasure boat. Its owner deep in debt, that is until its final destination and delivery of cargo, an enigmatic young woman.

The sinking coincides with that of another ship, on the same night off Calais. The accident captures Jack Constant's attention that in turn passes this information up the ladder to Michael Barclay, an intelligence technician. Barclay who doesn't consider himself a spy or any part of the Secret Service reads between the lines, thus pushing the case further up, bypassing his own boss, Joyce Parry.

The information reaches London's Scotland Yard Secret Service - Special Branch. They have only a hint that a terrorist named Witch may have snuck back home. Few within the bureau even believe she exists. Even so, Commander Bill Trilling pairs John Greenleaf, a quiet man with an arrogant Hardman Doyle to investigate.

It doesn't take long for Parry to point out Barclay's grave mistake and brings in a retired agent named, Dominic Elder. Witch is a known ghost from Elder's past. Elder, is an obsessed British agent who longs his career hadn't ended, but is persistent in freelancing this final assignment. This time to lure the enemy to her ultimate defeat.

Witch, herself has the ability to change her identity, seduce her opponents, and complete the kill. She is the ultimate cold-blooded professional assassin. Her very life depends on keeping up a charade, on cloaking her intentions. She can trust no one but herself, and keeps an eagle eye on Elder himself!

Elder joins Greenleaf and Doyle at the end of one trail, while Barclay hones in from another direction with the help of an attractive Parisian novice detective named, Dominique Herault.

Characters, each with their own agendas, wage shadowy war against one another with the highest stakes imaginable. The counterspy agencies and police force eventually come to work as a team in turning over stone upon stone from Paris to Germany and back. Racing against time, leaving only few questions unanswered: Is the target a delegate to the International Summit, or does Witch have a personal agenda?

If you're not accustomed to reading spy thrillers, and you can handle a gritty story, you might want to give this a try. If you are a fan of the genre, and you haven't read this one, you're probably missing something.

With a cynical sense of humor Witch Hunt moves forward quickly with several plots tied together. Every part of the story is interesting and engaging. Where other novels would still be setting up the premise, Witch Hunt has already started playing the game!

Want To Get Published For Free - Online?
  These sites accept cutting edge short fiction, political satire, and reviews

Creative Writers' Corner
Send your stories, screenplays, poems and essays to this site for free posting, author credit and possible feedback from other writers and readers.

Copperfield Review
Seeks stories and reviews with historical fiction slant.

The online magazine that accepts anything and everything in the humor genre.

East of the Web
Short story display site primarily for fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, romance, humor, crime, children and non-fiction, where writers can show off their work.

Only accepts submissions of original high-quality fiction.

4 No-Cost Ways to Track Your Media Placements

There are tons of helpful media clipping services (like Burrelle's/Luce Press Clippings), but they charge over $200 a month for the service and over $1 a newsclip. A budget minded Publicity Insider might try any or all of the following no-cost news retrieval methods:

1) Google News Alerts ( Simply tell Google News Alerts what topics or specific companies you'd like them to monitor, and they'll send you an email when news articles appear. Simple & elegant.

2) Go to the Newspaper's Website - If you know that a story appeared in a particular newspaper, chances are that the paper's website will have it. This works with television & magazines, but it isn't as reliable.

3) Clip & Copy - This service automatically scans over 300 publications to find keywords, names and phrases which you pre-designate. When Clip & Copy finds a news story that meets your criteria, it emails the headline and creates a summary of the story. html

4) Beg, Borrow & Tape - If you ask upfront, many sympathetic reporters will provide you with a "tear sheet" (a news clipping) when the story appears. Just make sure not to push too hard, and offer to send a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Flying Cow ProductionsI am looking for writers to write on spec for a smart slasher-horror film in the vein of 'Jeepers Creepers', 'Section 9'.

Budget range will not exceed 1 mil.

Note: I am only accepting submissions from writers that have had notable coverage and/or received awards from festivals. Recent film school grad is a plus. In the subject of the email please put the genre of the script you are submitting and in the body of the email at the top include your notable script coverage info and/or awards from festivals received and synopsis.

I was named one of '10 Digital Directors to Watch' by Daily Variety. My most recent film was titled 'DJ' (Fox 2000). Some of my other credits include 'Better Living Through Circuitry' (Showtime & Sundance Channel) and 'Cleopatra's Second Husband' which screened at many festivals, winning Best First Feature at Cinequest. I have also directed numerous award winning music videos and documentaries.

Please email your coverage and/or awards info, logline and synopsis to: Jon Reiss


Open Door Contest Deadline: September 13, 2004 scr(i)pt magazine's Open Door Contest sponsored by The Brant Rose Agency. Don't miss this great opportunity to work with one of the leading boutique literary agencies in Hollywood.

The first-place winner of this contest receives $3,000 CASH, consideration for literary representation by The Brant Rose Agency, screenwriting software provided by Final Draft, a $200 gift certificate from The Writers Store, promotions from and, plus much more!

Deadline: September 13, 2004 Entry Fee: $45 For more information visit:

The Brant Rose Agency has established itself as one of the leading boutique literary agencies in Hollywood for discovering, growing and nurturing some of today's most distinctive and commercially viable voices in writing and directing for film and television. The company signs, sells and services its clients across all mediums. To proactively market its clients, The Brant Rose Agency develops and sells spec scripts, secures feature and television assignments and packages and sells TV shows. The company sets itself apart with a low client-to-agent ratio and by successfully crossing over clients into different roles and arenas as individual goals dictate.

Celebrity Contacts
  Filming for all began: July 2004

Whether you're looking for an autograph or endorsement... Here's your chance to contact your favorite star!

Hydraulix (Action/Drama)
July 11 (Los Angeles, San Diego)
P & A Films, 1626 North Wilcox Blvd., Suite 621, Hollywood, CA 90028. Phone: (323) 960-5217. Cast: Glenn E. Plummer, Miguel A. Nunez Jr., Steven Williams. Executive Producer: Tim Matthews. Producers: Al Franklin, Pamela J. Richardson, Preston Holmes. Writers: Pamela J. Richardson, Al Franklin.

A Class Divided (Drama)
July 15 (Iowa)
Porter Productions. FAX: (310) 276-8130. Cast: Susan Sarandon. Producers: Pliny Porter, Susan Sarandon. Writer: Jeremy Pikser. Distributor (U.S.): Buena Vista.

Epiphany (Drama)
July 15 (Brooklyn, NY, Long Island, NY)
Brooklyn Dreams Productions, c/o Drake Media Network, 1670 Old Country Rd., Suite 115, Plainview, NY 90232. Phone: (516) 236-2184. FAX: (516) 756- 3344. Cast: Anthony Mangano. Producers: Anthony Mangano, Michael Goldfinger, Donna McKenna, Donna Drake, Heidi Friedman. Co-Producer: Anthony Erico. Writer: Anthony Erico. Casting: Donna McKenna, Donna Drake.

The New World (Drama)
July (Virginia)
New Line Cinema/Sunflower Productions/Sarah Green Film Corp., 116 North Robertson Blvd., #200, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Cast: Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer. Producer: Sarah Green. Co-Producer: Trish Hoffman. Director: Terrence Malick. Casting: Francine Maisler. Distributor (U.S.); New Line.

Herbie (Comedy/Adventure)
July (Los Angeles, Vancouver)
Walt Disney Pictures/Robert Simonds Company, 500 South Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521. Cast: Lindsay Lohan. Executive Producer: Tracey Trench. Producer: Robert Simonds. Director: Angela Robinson. Writers: Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant. Distributor (U.S.); Buena Vista.


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This week we were going to add stuff like web traffic secrets... 28 day checklist (climbing the ladder to bestseller list)... 7 steps to great PR... Amazon secrets... etc. But we felt no here really needs this junk....

Feel free to sound off!!!

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We appreciate and hope you continue to send us your comments, opinions, articles and suggestions. Remember if you submit anything to our newsletter - include a link back to your site.

Betsie's Literary Page is where readers and shoppers are respected, books are cherished, aspiring writers are encouraged and authors are adored.

Copyright by Betsie, 2004 All contents of this email are for the use of Betsie's Literary Page subscribers and may not be reproduced in any way and/or posted on websites without prior express written permission. If you would like to have friends or associates receive our emails, rather than forwarding this, please have them subscribe.

Thank You for reading, see you next week!


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