Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Living the Thin Life on Sale!

I'm excited to announce a special promotion for Living the Thin Life! From November 4 through November 10, the ebook will be on sale for only 99 cents! (Click here to buy)

I lost weight over 15 years ago and wrote the book to share my story about how I've been able to maintain a healthy weight. Here's what I looked like right after I lost weight in 1999:

(Sorry about the dorky pose - it wasn't my idea.)
And here's what I look like today:

So tell your friends if they'd like to find some real tips on losing weight or maintaining weight loss, check out Living the Thin Life. Oh, and don't forget about the free recipes!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Amazon Gift Card Drawing Winner

And the winner is... Stephen M.!

Thanks to everyone who submitted reviews for the contest. I still need a few more before I can run my promotion but this really helps!

Stephen, your Amazon gift card is on its way!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Chronicle of the Mound Builders in Missouri S&T Magazine

I'm so excited to be featured in my alumni magazine, Missouri S&T Magazine. Way back when I went to school there (class of '77), it was called the University of Missouri - Rolla, and before that it was the Missouri School of Mines. But whatever you call it, I'm proud of my alma mater. Check it out online. Lots of great articles!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chronicle of the Mound Builders on Sale!

I'm excited to announce that Chronicle of the Mound Builders is on sale for only $.99 through August 4. If you've been putting off buying your copy (I know you're busy!) here's your chance.

Click here to order your Kindle copy!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Books Are For People Who Wish They Were Somewhere Else

"Books Are For People Who Wish They Were Somewhere Else" - Mark Twain

Though I've lived in many different states across the US, I've called Missouri home for the past 25 years. It's where I grew up, but also where I wanted to settle down with my family. The Midwest is the beautiful heart of the country, with rolling farmland, big cities, rivers, caves, and a huge diversity of people to keep things interesting. The city of St. Louis has a lot to offer, too - free museums and a world-class zoo, the greatest baseball team (go Cards!), gooey butter cake, and of course the Gateway Arch!

Mark Twain, a fellow Missourian, is one of my favorite authors. I love his quote "Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else." While I'm happy where I am, I do love reading a good story that takes me away to another world, or at least another person's perspective.

Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else. - Mark Twain

I'd like to recommend some books from a diverse group of fellow St. Louis authors. You'll find adventure, romance, mystery, and more that will definitely take you someplace else! The mini-interviews below can help you decide which books to explore first.

Each author picked two of the following questions to answer:

1. What is your book's or your personal connection to St. Louis?
2. Which scene in your book might a fellow St. Louisan recognize?
3. If your book was made into a movie, who would play the part of your hero/heroine?
4. What Missouri activity would your main character enjoy most: a float trip, a Cardinals game, or a winery visit?
5. What's Missouri's best season?
6. If your book was on death row, what would it choose for its last meal?

Read the authors' responses and check out their books!

The Waiting Room, by Piper Punches

The Waiting Room
by Piper Punches

What is your book's or your personal connection to St. Louis?
Although The Waiting Room takes place in the fictional farming community of Marion, Missouri, I wrote my debut novel with the intention of highlighting the various flavors of people that make up the rural communities that surround the St. Louis Metro area, which give it its one-of-a-kind hometown atmosphere. Readers that grew up outside of the city limits, even outside of the major suburbs of St. Louis County, will find that they can relate to the pull of the big city, while still finding equal amounts of comfort and aggravation living in a small town that refuses to accept anonymity.

If your book was on death row, what would it choose for its last meal?
Oh, that's easy! My book would choose a home-cooked meal of mashed potatoes, smothered steak, and green beans drenched in bacon fat and butter. For dessert? Oh, yes! There would be dessert. My book is not a diet book. It would enjoy every last morsel of a cherry pie topped with whipped cream and a heaping side of vanilla ice cream.

Genre: Women's Fiction

Buy now or read the book's description:
Paperback: $11.95 | Kindle: $0.99

Connect with Piper:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+

On The Buckle, by Candace Carrabus

On The Buckle
by Candace Carrabus

What is your book's or your personal connection to St. Louis?
On the Buckle, Dreamhorse Mystery #1 is set on a horse farm in Missouri about an hour and half from St. Louis. The main character, Vi, and the hero, Malcolm, go the art museum in an early scene, and later, Vi meets a friend at the symphony. Guess what? We live on a farm outside St. Louis, and we enjoy our beautiful art museum and our fantastic symphony, too!

If your book was made into a movie, who would play the part of your hero/heroine?
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, who plays Penny on The Big Bang Theory, would be perfect as Vi Parker. She's the right age, smart as a whip, funny as heck, and--the icing on the cake--she's an accomplished equestrienne.

Genre: Humorous romantic mystery

Buy now or read the book's description:
Paperback: $12.99 | Kindle: $3.99 | B&N $12.99/$3.99Kobo: $3.99 | Smashwords: $3.99

Connect with Candace:
Website | FacebookTwitter | Goodreads

Looks That Deceive, by Braxton DeGarmo

Looks That Deceive
by Braxton DeGarmo

What Missouri activity would your main character enjoy most: a float trip, a Cardinals game, or a winery visit?
Lynch Cully would certainly be the typical St. Louis sports fanatic, supporting the Cardinals, Rams, and Blues. He's likely to go to as many games as he could fit into the consuming, unbalanced schedule of a police detective working with the Major Case Squad. Amy Gibbs, on the other hand, is definitely the winery aficionado. With a variety of friends, she's managed to visit every winery in Missouri -- no small feat -- and she has her favorites. Yet, like Lynch, her schedule as a flight nurse doesn't allow much time for this pleasure anymore.

What is your book's or your personal connection to St. Louis?
Looks that Deceive is a thriller based in the St. Louis area. From scenes in Ladue, at Mercy Hospital, in Creve Coeur Park, and involving the region from Troy, MO, in the north, to the Big River, west of Hillsboro, MO, in the south, how much more connected could it get? I frequently get comments from St. Louis area readers about how much they enjoy the local flavor. Yet, readers outside of St. Louis won't find that flavor off-putting, as the pace keeps them moving and the characters pull them into the story.

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Buy now or read the book's description:
Paperback: $16.95 | Kindle: $4.99 | Nook: $4.99

Connect with Braxton:
Website | FacebookTwitter | Goodreads

Catskinner's Book, by Misha Burnett

Catskinner's Book
by Misha Burnett

What's Missouri's best season?
October. The continental United States has five distinct weather patterns, and four of them collide in the air above the central Mississippi flood plain. In practical terms, this means that we usually get the wor st weather that this country has to offer. We get Gulf Coast summers and Great Plains winters and springs that are downright schizophrenic - rain and scorching heat and snow, sometimes all in the same week.

However, for one brief shining moment, usually from about the middle of October to Halloween, St. Louis - like Mars - is Heaven. Clear, dry days, nights just cool enough that you can sleep with the windows open if you have a comforter or a lover of a dog to keep you warm. Don't blink - you'll miss it.

What is your book's or your personal connection to St. Louis?
I am from a lot of different places, but I call St. Louis home. It's where I decided to settle down and raise a family. My books are almost set here. I say "almost" because I never come out and say that St. Louis is where James & Catskinner and all the other characters live. If you know the town, though, you'll recognize the neighborhoods, South City and West County and the Riverfront.

Genre: New Wave Science Fiction

Buy now or read the book's description:
Paperback: $8.99 | Kindle: $2.99

Connect with Misha:
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Chronicle of the Mound Builders, by Elle Marie

Which scene in your book might a fellow Missourian recognize?
Most people from Missouri or eastern Illinois will recognize the mysterious Cahokia Mounds. A lot of action and excitement in Chronicle of the Mound Builders takes place there, in both the ancient and the modern timelines.

What Missouri activity would your main character enjoy most: a float trip, a Cardinals game, or a winery visit?
Definitely a float trip! Angela Hunter is a very outdoorsy girl, which is one reason she chose a career in archaeology. She loves hiking and exploring when she's not solving mysteries.

Genre: Mystery/Action-Adventure

Buy now or read the book's description:
Paperback: $14.99 | Kindle: $4.99

Connect with Elle:
Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl, by Vicki Lesage

What Missouri activity would your main character enjoy most: a float trip, a Cardinals game, or a winery visit?
Well, I'm Confessions of a Paris Party Girl's main character, so on a trip back to St. Louis from Paris, I would most enjoy an afternoon at a winery. Not just because of the wine (but that's a definite plus for this party girl!) but because of the beautiful Missouri scenery. A Cardinals game is a close second, though!

If your book was on death row, what would it choose for its last meal?
A huge pot of fondue. The melted cheese deliciousness is a running theme in my book and several scenes take place in my favorite fondue restaurant in Paris. And of course a glass of red wine!

Genre: Memoir

Buy now or read the book's description:
Paperback: $14.99 | Kindle: $4.99

Connect with Vicki:
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Excelsior, by George Sirois

by George Sirois

If your book was made into a movie, who would play the part of your hero/heroine? Matthew Peters is an ideal spot for either a young television star making the transition to the big screen or someone brand new to the industry. The characters around Matthew, however, are perfect for bigger stars. My editor and I have ideas for his mentor, Katherine Sierra. I think Mariska Hargitay would be a great fit, and my editor wants Marg Helgenberger. (Either one would be terrific if they ever want to do it, of course.) My wife's "second husband," Jeffrey Dean Morgan, would be the older Denarian known as Radifen. And I'd love to see Adam "Edge" Copeland play the ambitious Danaak.

What is your book's or your personal connection to St. Louis?
I always envisioned Excelsior as a coming-of-age story, but it never really kicked into gear until my wife and I made the decision to leave New York City (where I was born, and where I went to college and spent more than 15 years) to move to St. Louis (where my wife was born and raised). Matthew is the next in line to become a god on another planet, but that means he has to leave everything he has ever known, and leave his dreams to become a famous writer & artist behind. And even though I didn't reach the heights that Matthew does, the move to St. Louis – away from my friends and family – got me a great job, a great house, and opportunities I could never get in New York City.

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi

Buy now or read the book's description:
Paperback: $12.95 | Kindle: $2.99

Connect with George:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Reduced, by Robin Tidwell

by Robin Tidwell

Which scene in your book might a fellow Missourian recognize?
Reduced takes place mainly in Jefferson County, but also in St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis. The Arch, of course, makes an appearance, as do Grant's Farm and St. Mary's Hospital. Several roads and highways are mentioned, and the characters are surviving at "an old, abandoned" Girl Scout camp - which is, at present, still in use.

What is your book's or your personal connection to St. Louis?
My family has been in the St. Louis area since 1847, when Friederich Kuhlmann arrived from Germany and bought a lot in what would become the city of Clayton - the Sevens Building is there now. A few years later, he purchased farm land in St. Louis County - several scenes take place there. I was born and raised here (Parkway Central), moved away for a while after college (the first attempt), and returned seven years ago. St. Louisans almost always come home...

Abby did the same - moved out West for a few years, then returned; she and her group go way back, decades even, and stick together through the collapse of their civilization. So many dystopian stories are set in LA or NYC, but STL is right in the heart of the country, and that makes all the difference.

Genre: Dystopic

Buy now or read the book's description:
Paperback: $13.95 | Kindle: $3.99

Connect with Robin:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Which of these books appeals to you? If you live in St. Louis or have ever visited the city, I'd love to hear what your favorite thing about it is.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Make Chronicle of the Mound Builders Next Month's Book Club Pick!

Consider Chronicle of the Mound Builders for your next book club selection! It's sure to spark a lively discussion on a broad range of topics. Discussion questions are below, and I would be happy to chat with your group on Skype, Facetime, or by speakerphone.

Book club orders of five or more receive a discount. Contact me at ellemarie@ellemarieauthor.com for the discount code and ordering instructions.

Book Club Discussion Questions

1. Do you think many Aztecs shared Chipahua's views on human sacrifice?

2. Which of the 2 stories did you find more compelling – Angela's search for the meaning of the chronicle or Tototl's experiences in the 14th century?

3. What did Chronicle of the Mound Builders teach you about the history of the Aztec and Mississippian cultures?

4. If you have ever lived in or visited St. Louis, did you recognize any of the locations in the book?

5. Did you find Angela's enthusiasm for archaeology annoying or endearing?

6. Was it difficult for Chipahua to accept his loss of nobility status?

7. Do you think Tototl and Mina's relationship was typical for their culture and the time period?

8. Did you initially feel the secret society was evil or good?

9. Were you surprised to learn that the Mississippian Indians had knowledge of astronomy and dentistry?

10. If Chronicle were made into a movie, which actors would you cast as Angela and Joseph? Whom would you pick to play Franklin Oettendorf, Chipahua, and Tototl?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Author Interview for Chronicle of the Mound Builders

I often get asked by my readers what inspired me to write my adventure novel, Chronicle of the Mound Builders. So here's an "interview" with some of my most frequently asked questions:

Q. What gave you the idea to write a book about the mystery of the Mississippians' disappearance?
A. The original idea came from a newspaper article about an archaeological dig in my hometown of Chesterfield. Evidence of the long-lost civilization of the Mound Builders was found there, which piqued my curiosity.

Q. How much of the story is true?
A. I've tried to provide accurate information about the culture and lifestyles of both the Aztecs and the Mound Builders through careful research. The Chesterfield Valley dig site, known as the Dampier Dig, is real, but many of the artifacts described in the book are invented. Although numerous ancient Native American settlements have been unearthed in Chesterfield, the Chesterfield Indian Affairs department is fictional.

Q. How did you learn about archaeology?
A. Dr. Meredith Hawkins of Archaeological Research Center of St. Louis graciously showed me around the Dampier Dig site and provided basic instruction on archaeology.

Q. What genre is Chronicle?
A. It's hard to categorize. I'd say it's mostly adventure, but there are elements of mystery and romance, as well as historical fiction.

Q. How did you develop the premise?
A. My husband Doug, to whom I dedicated the book, brainstormed ideas and plotlines with me. My daughter Vicki also had great suggestions. Our combined creativity resulted in the basic outline. We had a great time doing it, too!

Q. Does this book target women readers specifically?
A. Absolutely not. I hope it will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good story with a few surprises.

Q. What was the writing process like?
A. Writing is a part-time hobby for me, so I tried to fit it in on weekends and evenings. It took about 6 months to develop a workable outline, and another 2 years to complete the writing.

Q. Who was your editor?
A. Vicki Lesage edited Chronicle of the Mound Builders. It has been a real pleasure to work with her. She also edited my first book, Living the Thin Life, written under the pen name Elle Meyer.

Q. Where is Chronicle available?
A. You can order it online through Amazon. It is also available as an ebook for Kindle through Amazon or through the Kindle app on the iPad.

Q. What 4 words would you use to describe your book?
A. Exciting, mystery, adventure, fun!

Q. What are some of your favorite books?
A. I love all the Dan Brown books, especially the Da Vinci Code, the Hunger Games trilogy, Aztec by Gary Jennings, Game of Thrones, Fall of Giants, and many more. I love to read.

Q. Will Angela Hunter, your main character, go on any more archaeological adventures?
A. Time willing! I have 2 more books in the works in the Hunter Archaeology series, which will also be adventure novels.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What's Inside?

Curious about Chronicle of the Mound Builders? Here are a few excerpts...

From Chapter 13
...Troy returned to his spot and knelt on the damp earth, unconcerned about the mud caking on his knees. He whistled tunelessly to himself as he filled the bucket again and again.

He dug his spade into the ground. This time it hit something solid.

What's this? he thought, his heart beating a little faster. Carefully digging around the area, he uncovered the jagged edge of a hard object.

"Hey, guys!" he called excitedly. "I think I hit the jackpot!"

Carl and Nancy rushed over to see what Troy had uncovered. They watched as he patiently removed the soil around the object, gradually revealing it.

From Chapter 2
...Chipahua waited until the hall emptied, then made his way to the city center where all the temples stood. He entered the Temple of Quetzalcóatl. Ichtaca's words troubled him. It was not the first time they had exchanged angry words. I know the gods require human blood. It is necessary to bring balance to the world. I just do not believe they need the blood of people forced to die before their time.

Inside the temple, Chipahua stood before the statue of Quetzalcóatl, the feathered serpent god. He reached in the folds of his tilma for a small ball of twisted grass. From it protruded several spines from a maguey plant. He withdrew one and raised it high to the statue. "O great Quetzalcóatl, wise creator of all life, please accept my humble sacrifice," he prayed. He quickly stabbed the sharp spine into his elbow, which began to bleed copiously. He pierced his knee and again drew blood. It is my privilege and responsibility as a noble to give blood to appease the gods. This will satisfy them more than sacrificing a desperate man.

From Chapter 53
...Franklin stood in the center of the small cavern and turned in a circle, as if trying to catch a scent. He headed for the back of the room to a pile of rubble. The rest of the group followed.

"What's this?" asked Troy.

"It looks like maybe there was another opening here, but it's filled up with rocks and pebbles," suggested Angela. Franklin began grabbing handfuls of pebbles and tossing them aside. The others joined in, pulling away the larger rocks to reveal a slit in the wall.

Nancy groaned. "Not another room!"

They continued to clear the opening until it was just big enough to squeeze through. Franklin went in first.
As each of the archaeologists broke through the opening, they focused on an object on the floor.

Nancy's eyes opened wide. "Is that what I think it is?"

Interested in Chronicle of the Mound Builders? Pick up your copy today!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Reviews for Chronicle of the Mound Builders

It's always nice to hear what people think of my work. Here are some reviews for Chronicle of the Mound Builders:

Kudos for an Entertaining Book
"I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing is tight and the story is well constructed. The story consists of two story lines -- the first being the story of an Aztec father and son who are forced to flee their home, and the second being the story of a modern day archeology team that discovers a well-preserved jar containing a codex depicting the ancient story. The codex is sought by others, hoping it will lead to a talisman with supernatural power. Both stories draw the reader in and make you eager to find out what happens."

Awesome and Fresh Read
"I loved this book. It is a new concept on history facts and was a wonderful read. Kept my interest for the whole book. I live in St Louis and loved that it was incorporated into the book. Also learned some new facts about St Louis history. I would recommend this to people who love history with a new twist. Very well written and you can tell research was done."

I LOVE IT!!!!!
"I just finished the Chronicle and really loved the story. Fascinating! I liked the back and forth in time with each chapter. It was definitely my kind of story line. When does the movie come out?"

Read more reviews at Amazon.com (average 4.5 stars) and goodreads.com (average 4 stars).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Reviews for Living the Thin Life

I put a lot of time into writing Living the Thin Life, with the hopes that it would help my readers lose weight and then maintain that healthy weight for life. So I love hearing their reviews of my book and their success stories!

Entertaining and Informative
"This little book is designed for REAL people. Easy to read, entertaining, informative - a departure from the "one-size-fits-all" mentality of most diet books, it offers practical solutions that can be adapted to any lifestyle. I especially enjoyed the chapter on eating personality - it really helped me figure out the best diet plan for me. If you're frustrated with complicated diets, punishing exercise routines, and lack of motivation, this book's for you!"

Handy Reference Plus Recipes
"What I really loved about this book is that the author is not a professional nutritionist or fitness instructor. Elle Meyer is a woman who has figured out how to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and is sharing her tips and tricks in this book. There are also a lot of recipes at the end of the book, that I can't wait to try out. This book is a easy read with loads of great information and I feel like this will be a handy reference for the rest of my life."

I Am Lion - Hear Me Roar!
"I am always trying to eat less, exercise more - something. So I loved the tips that this book and website have. The recipes and downloadable forms are great to help keep you on track - if nothing else to make you think about what you are eating. And I loved finding out my eating personality.....apparently I am a lion...roaaar! Which means I need a high protein low carb diet plan. Interesting! Which one are you?"

Check out more reviews on Amazon!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Author Interview for Living the Thin Life

Want to learn a bit more about Living the Thin Life? Check out this interview, conducted by my daughter, Vicki Lesage:


Have any more questions about Living the Thin Life? Ask in the comments!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Say What?

Got your tongue in a twist from trying to pronounce the Aztec and Mississipian characters' names in Chronicle of the Mound Builders? You're not alone! While these names are typical of the time period, they can be hard for modern speakers to pronounce. Listen to the audio samples to get an idea of what the Chronicle world sounded like.

Aztec Characters
Chipahua        Tototl
Nenetl        Ituha
Ichtaca        Milintica
Xipilli        Itztli

Native American Characters
Kaga        Gawonii
Midanga        Mina
Habatu        Nonnunge

Quetzalcóatl        Huitzilopochtli
Mictecacihuatl        Kwan'wala

Zempoala        Tizaapan
Mexìcâ        Acólhua
Migaduha        Hiwaziki