Meet Author @Shari_Nich and Discover Why MRS N Can’t Wait to Read Her #Books! #amreading #PNR


Author Interview

 

As many of you know, I’m a huge paranormal romance reader. It’s one of my all-time favorite genres so when I come across a paranormal romance new-to-me author, I’m all over their books like a honey bee to flowers. I met Shari through a fellow author, M. T. Magee, and we instantly connected. I convinced her to sit down for an interview and she agreed. I can’t wait to read her brand-new release, Haunted, from Liquid Silver Press. Take it away, Shari:

 

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

There are so many fabulous authors that have inspired me over the years with their words and their characters. I absolutely love Alice Clayton! Her books are filled with humor and heart. I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing Sylvia Day at an NJRW conference and got an autograph and a picture with her. She was so kind and lovely. Her writing style, voice and her ability to create off-the-charts sensuality between her characters are some of the many reasons I fell in love with her books. I admire the outrageousness and humor from the fabulous writing team of Christina Lauren. I’ve read Beautiful Bastard countless times, and still laugh hysterically. I’m always blown away by Kresley Cole’s world building. I was thrilled to meet her at RWA in NYC a few years back. She was very sweet! In my opinion, JK Rowling is an utter genius. I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books three- four times and will probably read all of them again. J Kenner’s characters are relatable and quite complex. I absolutely love her Stark series Iwill get to meet her at the Liberty States Fiction conference in March, which will be a thrill.

 

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

The first thing I do when I figure out who my characters are is to look through magazines or go online for ideas. I try to find out who best resembles the characters floating around in my head and then make poster boards and refer to them as I write. In my novel, HAUNTED, my hero, Thayne is based on the gorgeous actor, Ryan Reynolds .I’ve tried my best to vividly describe him as tall with golden brown hair, whiskey colored eyes, and a physique that would  make most women weep. He’s also incredibly witty, smart, and cool, a hero in every sense of the word. My heroine would be played by a young Scarlett Johannsen, a petite blonde with big, blue eyes. She’s sexy, sincere, and lovable, not to mention there’s a certain vulnerability that I think most women can relate to on some level.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are critical when it comes to creating believable, well developed characters. I remember my brother in law once told me about his uncle Thayne and described him as a tall, strapping man who had quite the reputation with the ladies in his youth. Immediately, an image began to form in my mind. The name sounded so masculine and unbelievably sexy, I knew I had to create this larger than life character and make him jump off the page. As for my other characters, some are based on people I might know, some are based on people from TV and film. Sometimes just hearing a name sparks my imagination and I plot who that character could be and what drives them.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Don’t give up! If I can do this anyone can. Publishing is a tough business and not for the faint of heart by any means. Develop a thick skin and never take it personally when you get rejected. It’s part of the process. Get into a critique group and submit your work on a regular basis. Be accountable for your writing, even when you’re not published. Try entering contests. Go to conferences and talk to other authors. Find out what they’re doing. Take writing classes, and workshops. Read everything you can in your genre and don’t overlook those books on writing as   well.

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I’m working on a three book contemporary series that focuses on three best friends from college who are navigating careers, and love in the Big Apple. I like to think of it as a modern day Sex in the City. There’s humor, fashion, gay best friends, over the top characters, and even a Mr. Big type of sexy alpha hero. As much as I love writing paranormal, it’s nice to step away from that world and focus on something completely different.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Boy that’s a tough one! There’s so many! I would love to have the power to know what people are thinking. It could save a lot of time and energy. I would also love to have the power to make myself invisible so I could spy on my kids.

 

What secret talents do you have?

Sadly, not many, but I still remember how to twirl a baton. Does that count? I guess it’s one of those weird talents you never really forget. I also have a photographic memory for recalling faces. I’m still wondering when this talent will come in handy.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

I’ve always wanted to go to Europe like my heroine, Karly. I hope to get there someday. Greece, Italy and France are at the top of the list. Oops that’s three.

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

I want to travel to as many exotic locales as possible, try the food, experience the culture, and learn about the people and the history. I’ve been talking about getting my Master’s degree for years. I’m still deciding in what. I would love to help my brother achieve his goals and participate in Special Olympics. I’ve always talked about taking a girls vacation with some really close friends and paying for the entire trip with all of my books sales.

 

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

That’s an easy one! I would be a golden retriever. My beloved, dog, Buddy is a golden and they have the sweetest and most loyal dispositions. I could only aspire to be that adorable.

 

hauntedcover

 

Title: HAUNTED

Author: Shari Nichols

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Liquid Silver Press

 

Blurb:

When medium Karly Matthews agrees to move into a haunted inn, she’s not sure what’s more dangerous, the ghost or the sexy innkeeper she tries to resist. She’s can’t deny the intense rush of desire she feels every time he’s near. When she agrees to embark on a no-strings-attached relationship, she finds herself thrust into a world of mind-blowing pleasures. Now she must face the aching truths of her past.

 

Hotel heir Thayne Harper has a laser-like focus on success that doesn’t include the help of his family. He’s always been the black sheep, living in the shadow of his dead brother. His dreams are put to the test when a supernatural entity threatens to ruin everything. The one bright spot is the woman who intrigues his mind and heats his blood. If only he can convince her that, despite his bad boy ways, he can change for the good. Her love becomes his only salvation. Passion burns white-hot as a dark threat looms. The ghost doesn’t want them to be together and sets her sights on Thayne, luring him to a place that goes beyond death. Will Karly be able to save him before it’s too late?

 

Excerpt:

Karly made sure to keep her head down, wanting to avoid another run-in. Her fingers tightened around her key chain with every step. She was almost to the main street, when she bumped into a solid wall of muscle that threatened to knock her on her ass.

 

Her keys flew from her hands as she began to fall backward. Before she hit the ground, two strong hands reached out and caught her around the waist. She glanced up and into the gorgeous face of the god she’d seen earlier.

 

Up close, he was even more stunning and taller than she’d calculated. He exuded strength and masculinity, and when he focused that intense magnetism on her, all the air left her lungs, along with her ability to speak.

 

Genuine concern flashed in his whiskey colored eyes. “I’m sorry. Are you okay?” His voice was like warm chocolate, melting her insides. When he dropped his hands, Karly could still feel the imprints on her skin.

 

“Y-yes, I’m fine. I’m the one who should be apologizing. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.” Her heart pounded wildly in her chest. The man smelled incredible, like sandalwood and clean laundry.

 

“No need for apologies. Maybe you should sit down for a minute and have a drink with me.” There was elegance in the way he spoke that made her think of old money and private school.

 

For a moment Karly thought about taking him up on his offer, but she wasn’t in the frame of mind to pull off light conversation or flirty banter at this point. “Thanks, but I have to pass. This night, well, it didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped so I think it’s my cue to go.” She did her best to school her features, but inside she was feeling raw and vulnerable. The only thing she wanted to do was go home, soak in a hot bath, and lick her wounds.

 

His searing gaze swept over her and made butterflies flutter in her stomach “Stay. Perhaps I can make it better.”

 

Karly glanced at his jacket for his nametag, but like her, he wasn’t wearing one. “I’m guessing you’re in either sales or politics, and if this is all for a campaign donation, I’m sorry. I already gave at the office.” Immediately she got a vibe telling her he was his own boss, which wasn’t hard to figure out. The man exuded confidence and power.

 

The throaty sound of his laughter raised goose bumps on her flesh. “So you’re funny and beautiful that’s quite a rare combo, Miss….?”

 

His words slid over her like a warm caress. A flush spread across her cheeks. She shook her head, a little dazed by the compliment. It would be hard not to succumb to his charms. If she was honest, his scent alone was driving her crazy. No, the man spelled danger. “I’m sorry. I should go. Good night and uh, nice running into you.” She sucked in a breath, turned and took a step toward the street.

 

“I don’t think you’ll get far without these,” he said in a bone-melting voice that forced her to turn around. He held up her keys in his hand.

 

“Right. Thanks.” She’d become so dazzled by his looks, she’d completely forgotten about them flying out of her hands

 

“My pleasure.” The way he said the word pleasure conjured images of their bodies tangled together, rolling around in satin sheets. The air sizzled with sexual tension. Slowly, he closed the distance between them and placed the keys in her hands. She purposely avoided touching him, but his fingers grazed hers, sending a spark of awareness up and down her arm.

 

“Don’t go,” he whispered.

 

“Why?” Karly was curious to hear what he’d say next.

 

“I can’t let you disappear into the night without telling me your name.” The words were spoken in a commanding tone that normally would’ve irritated her, but for some reason when he said them they hit every one of her buttons. “You can give me that much can’t you? It’s not every day I meet someone that captivates me and you have, quite thoroughly I might add.”

 

The scorching heat in his gaze made her shiver. She swallowed and tried to regain her equilibrium. It’d been a long time since a man had looked at her with such blatant desire. “I’m impressed— that’s quite a pick-up line. I’m curious, does it usually work?”

 

A guy that looked like him probably had women falling all over themselves to get his attention. It didn’t take a psychic to glean the man was a player. He was too smooth to be anything else. “You’re pretty sure of yourself. Do you always get what you want?”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Haunted-Shari-Nichols-ebook/dp/B077RMGLDM

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Haunted-Shari-Nichols-ebook/dp/B077RMGLDM

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.com/Haunted-Shari-Nichols-ebook/dp/B077RMGLDM

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-haunted-kay-nichols/1107745221?ean=9781622104529

Publisher http://liquidsilverpublishing.com/product/haunted/

 

Shari Nichols

 

Author Biography:

Shari Nichols grew up in a small town in Connecticut where haunted houses, ghosts and Ouija boards were common place, spurring her fascination with all things paranormal. Ever since she read her first Barbara Cartland novel, her life-long dream has been to write sexy, romantic stories. Shari has been married to her own alpha hero for twenty-five years. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, going to the gym, or hanging out with family and friends.

 

She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two teenagers, and her adoring golden retriever. She’s thrilled to spend her days in sweats, eating chocolate while pounding on her keyboard to create her next novel. Shari’s a member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, Liberty States Fiction Writers and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers.

 

Social Media Links:

http://sharinicholsauthor.com/index.html

http://sharinichols.blogspot.com/

https://www.instagram.com/shari_nichols/

https://twitter.com/shari_nich

https://www.facebook.com/sharinicholsauthor/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/29514513-shari-nichols

http://sharinicholsauthor.com/contact.html#newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

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Finding the Time to Write by @KWilkinsauthor #NaNoWriMo #writingtips #TuesdayBookBlog


youcanwrite_cover

 

Finding the Time To Write…

by Author Kelli A. Wilkins

www.KelliWilkins.com

 

Hi everyone,

 

My name is Kelli Wilkins and I’m an eclectic writer. That means I write everything—short horror fiction, steamy full-length romance novels, science fiction, and even non-fiction. People are always asking me, “How can you write in so many different genres and styles?”

 

It’s really not that difficult. Why? Because the basic mechanics of good storytelling are universal, no matter what genre you write. Every fiction story contains the same ingredients: an interesting and engaging plot, characters the reader cares about and roots for, supporting details, and background that draw the reader into the story.

 

I’m often asked: Where do you get your ideas? How do I get published? How do you write a book? What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out? Do you have any writing tips?

 

I’ve answered these questions many times in interviews and addressed them in guest blogs, but I always wanted to say more. One day, I started thinking about everything I’ve learned over the years, and inspiration hit me: Why not write a book on how to write? The result? You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.

 

This fun and practical book walks you through the story-creating process step-by-step: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work.

 

Each easy-to-read chapter is based on my years of experience as a writer, advice I’ve received over the years, and the technical “know-how” I’ve gained in writing classes and workshops. I also included helpful tips all writers can use, plus writing exercises to get you motivated. Once you have the basics down, you can write—really!

 

Here’s an excerpt from the book. This chapter is all about tossing aside excuses why you can’t write and gives you pointers on making the time to write.

 

I Want to Write, But…

 

What’s your excuse for not writing? No ideas? Not enough time? (This one is very common.) Not sure where or how to start? Afraid your friends or relatives won’t like what you write? Whatever excuses you have, it’s time to address them and work through them—that is, if you really want to write.

 

One Day, I’ll…

 

Let’s face it, the world is filled with people who like the “idea” of being a writer, but who don’t actually write anything. These people stare off into space and say, “One day I’ll write a book.” or “I’ll start writing when…” and they put the whole thing on hold, waiting for “someday” when they have more time, or when the kids are out of the house, or they’re retired, or (fill in the blank).

 

Most of these people never put a word on the page despite all their good intentions. And if they do start a project, they lose interest in it (it’s too hard, it was taking too long). Even fewer people see a project through from idea to published story. But they sure like to talk about it.

 

Do you know the difference between a “wannabe” and a “real” writer? It’s simple—and it has nothing to do with being published—writers write. They don’t talk about writing, they actually do it. If you ask three writers about their projects, each one can tell you where he or she is in the process (first draft, Chapter Four, editing) and actually show you words on pages.

 

If I had a quarter for every time someone told me, “I want to write, but…” and “Let me tell you my story idea…” I’d be a billionaire. Seriously. Writing is hard work and it takes a lot of self-discipline. Nobody will come to your house, plop you in a chair and make you write. Writing is something you have to want to do. You have to motivate yourself to stick with it through each stage of the project.

 

EXERCISE: If you could only write one story in your life, what would it be? Write it down and describe it in three to five paragraphs. This is the story that will motivate you to write.

 

Writing is like anything else you do in life. Suppose you want to learn how to surf. You won’t learn how to ride the waves by talking about it. At some point, you have to hit the water and get wet.

 

Get Motivated!

 

Writers must be self-motivating. Nobody will force you to write a novel. So how do you find the time or get motivated to write? First, if you like your idea and are excited about it, that in itself should be a motivating factor. (“I’ve got this great idea for a ghost story and can’t wait to write it!”)

 

Second, you need to schedule time to be creative. A writing schedule keeps you accountable for your time and helps “train your brain” to get used to the idea of writing at certain times. It may sound silly, but it works. You schedule time for other things in life like going to work, hitting the gym, etc., so if writing is a priority, why not schedule it, too?

 

Aim to write for an hour a day. It doesn’t matter how much or what you write for that hour, only that you put in the time. You can use the hour to brainstorm ideas, create character profiles, make an outline, or work on a few scenes.

 

Of course, it will be easier to write on some days rather than others, but push through any initial reluctance or procrastination, and keep going. When you’re fully engrossed in writing, time flies. You may find hours have vanished, you’re hungry, and it’s time to use the bathroom.

 

On days when you can’t write because you’re sick or it’s your birthday, don’t beat yourself up. When important life events happen, your writing time can (temporarily) shift on the priority schedule. Writing is a creative, mental process, and not everyone can write on demand every day. It’s okay to take a break when you need to, as long as you go back to your project as soon as possible. (That means within a day or two.)

 

EXERCISE: Create a writing schedule. Get a piece of paper (or use an online organizer) and write down the days of the week and your waking hours in the day. Fill in the spaces for each hour of every day with existing commitments (work, picking up the kids from band practice, eating, etc.) and see how many hours that leaves “open” for writing.

 

Give yourself a mini-reward for sticking to your writing schedule: have lunch with friends, buy new music, go to a movie, or do something that makes you feel good about achieving a goal. As you get used to writing on a daily basis, it gets easier. Soon, you’ll look forward to your writing time—and maybe increase the time you’ve blocked off to work on your story.

 

TIP: Limit distractions. Let friends and relatives know your writing schedule and ask them for privacy during that time. Turn off the phone and let calls go to voicemail while you write. Find a quiet place and get to work.

 

You can make time for writing by cutting back on watching TV, playing computer games, and trolling social media. You might be surprised at how easy it is to replace an hour of TV reruns with an hour of writing. If you sleep until 10 a.m. every weekend, set the clock for 9, get up, and write during the “extra” hour. Try it for a few weeks and see how it goes. Everyone on the planet gets 24 hours in every day—how you use them is up to you.

 

The bottom line is… all the writing advice, tips, books, and support groups won’t help you write anything if you’re not going to put in the time, energy, and effort to do the work.

 

Only you can write the story in your head, and if you are motivated and determined to get it written, your excuses will fall away. Work on your writing a little every day and before you know it, you’ll have a finished story—and that’s a worthy accomplishment.

 

Are you motivated yet? Here are three bonus writing exercises to get you writing:

 

EXERCISE: What do you want to write? Take a few minutes and think about the types of stories you like to read. Odds are, you’ll start writing in the same genre you read. Do you love cozy mysteries? Hardboiled detective stories? Spicy historical romances? Do you want to start with a short story or jump in and try a full-length novel? (If you only read short stories because novels are “too long” to sit through, the answer should be obvious.) Make a list of what you like to read and what you want to write.

 

EXERCISE: All characters want something, whether it’s a cup of coffee, a new car, to escape from jail, to eat lunch, or to finish a big project. Brainstorm five things your character wants, large or small. Here are some examples: woman wants to escape her abusive husband; man wants to bury a body; private investigator wants to find a blackmailer; fifth grade kid wants to get away with cheating on a math test.

 

EXERCISE: Write three to five dialogue exchanges where two characters meet for the first time. What do they talk about? What is happening in the scene or around them?

 

Happy Reading (and Writing!)

 

Kelli A. Wilkins

 

You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction

 

If you’ve always dreamed of writing and getting published, but have no idea where or how to start—THIS is the book for you!

 

You Can Write—Really! is an easy guide designed for beginner writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started.

 

Award-winning author Kelli A. Wilkins takes you step-by-step through the writing process, covering the basics of plotting, editing, revising, and submitting. In addition, she explores ways to get your creativity flowing, explains where authors get ideas, and shows you how to create interesting characters for your story.

 

Helpful tips and fun writing exercises throughout the book get you started!

 

Title: You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction
Author: Kelli A. Wilkins (www.KelliWilkins.com)
Publisher:
Amazon
Release date:
February 2015
Genre:
non-fiction/writing fiction/creative writing
Length: 167 pages/40,000 words


Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Write-Really-Beginners-Writing-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00THWLFQU

 

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-can-write-really-a-beginners-guide-to-writing-fiction-kelli-a-wilkins/1123383869;jsessionid=8403DC1337D6456F8555222CE5661D4C.prodny_store02-atgap01?ean=2940152785012

 

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1082226989

 

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/you-can-write-really-a-beginner-s-guide-to-writing-fiction
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/298448384/You-Can-Write-Really-A-Beginner-s-Guide-to-Writing-Fiction

 

Page Foundry: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/45c76c76-adec-4670-aa02-9273d44f172b

 

24 Symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=1061945

 

kell at mp 5

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

 

Her paranormal-comedy, Beauty & the Bigfoot, was published in September 2017.

 

Kelli released Trust with Hearts, a contemporary romance, in July 2017. Her third gay romance, Four Days with Jack, was released in June 2017. Kelli’s trilogy of erotic romance novellas, Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights was published in spring 2017.

 

Loving a Wild Stranger was published in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.

 

Kelli’s third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.

 

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative guide filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

 

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

 

She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

 

Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

 

Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins

Facebook Contemporary Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

Facebook Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/

Facebook Historical Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?authorid=61801

Meet Author/Poet/Dramatist @Steveshearbooks and Discover The Trials of Adrian Wheeler #books


SS photo

 

I first met Steve Shear several months ago. He introduced himself and requested a book review of his book, The Fountain of Youth. After reading it (and MR N reading The Trials of Adrian Wheeler), I knew Shear was a gifted storyteller. He’s not afraid to tell the truth and to speak about relevant topics. When I asked him for an interview, he graciously agreed. Sit down, grab your favorite beverage and enjoy! Take it away, Steve: 

 

What is your writing process?

I write every day from about 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon with regular breaks. I don’t make outlines and in the first draft I am never sure what’s going to happen and might materialize on front of my eyes. Apart from the time I spend at the computer, I spend often hours a day solving problems relating to the story I’m working on.

 

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

Good writers with good stories and with something to say like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Bernard Malamud, Noah Gordon, and Ken Follett.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I try to fit a name to a character if possible. For example in The Trials of Adrian Wheeler, I started with Wheeler because it is a strong macho name. Sergeant Major John Wheeler (Adrian’s father) is a retired Vietnam vet and a first class bully/bigot. I chose Adrian because it serves as both a masculine and feminine name and suits Adrian’s artsy and sensitive personality as contrasted with his father’s and his brother’s name, John-Mike Wheeler, who is just like his father. Otherwise, often I use the last name of someone I’ve grown up with.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

I assume you are talking about in my writing endeavors. Otherwise I might say my kids since they are great parents and have excellent careers. As for my “best” writing accomplishment, that’s hard to say. I am guessing it is the yet to be published Ira Neebest Trilogy that has taken over ten years to write, dozens and dozens of drafts, and a three generation story that morphed its way into its present state without my help I sometimes think. The three books are: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and Black Hearts and Hungry Bears.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Be careful with that question. I will be 75 this February.

 

Have you always liked to write?

I wouldn’t say I did much if any writing in high school, college, or law school. It wasn’t until I began my career as a Patent Lawyer that I started writing.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Love it or leave it! Writing is and must be an emotional drive that you are willing to take just about every day. For beginners who are interested in writing fiction, I would urge them to start out by writing and reading poetry, not the contemporary stuff that makes me crazy but the good stuff written by the English and American poets who’ve are long gone. Poetry forces you to deal with each and every word and to focus on imagery.

 

If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

First of all, if I were writing books for a living I no doubt couldn’t afford the small and reasonable fees charged by book reviewers and the like. As it is I write books strictly for the fun of it. I also paint and sculpt for the fun of it.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Yes, I read my reviews and so far I’ve not received any bad ones, I think in part because I have enough honest readers of my material long before I’m at the review stage. And I take serious what these people say. Besides I have a pretty good idea when my stuff stinks.

 

What is your best marketing tip?

First, don’t count on your publisher to do much for you, although that isn’t true for my present publisher, The Wild Rose Press. The marketing team there is quite active. Also, put yourself out there, as much as it hurts, especially on social media.

 

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Marketing, obviously.

 

Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?

Yes, my study. I think it’s important to have a single comfortable place with a good chair and ergonomic keyboard.

 

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

I have written a total of six novels (two published), five stage plays (two published), five screenplays (one under option), and over a hundred poems (a few published).

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

Presently I am putting the final touches on my Ira Neebest Trilogy.

 

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

I don’t fib … and that is my biggest fib ever, which no doubt in itself is even a bigger fib.

 

Do you write naked?

No.

 

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

No

 

Have you ever gotten into a fight?

No

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

I don’t drink (I did in college), I stopped smoking forty years ago.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I don’t want a tombstone.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The power to beam myself up and down so I can avoid airplanes and California drivers.

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

I have no bucket list. I hate the term. And I’m doing exactly what I want to do; write, paint, exercise, and most important be close with my grandchildren.

 

What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

I flunked out of law school because I never went to class and didn’t know where the exams were being given.

 

 The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

 

Title The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

Author Steve Shear

Genre Drama, Thriller, Mystery

Publisher L&L Dreamspell (originally) Catalina Sun Press (now)

 

Book Blurb

A young soldier faces a court-martial trial while dealing with PTSD, sexual inadequacy, and an unrelenting father.

 

Adrian Wheeler returns from Baghdad with a mangled knee and no left arm, ever mindful of a tormented past and even bleaker future. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. One chilly morning in February both participated in a reconnaissance mission that tragically failed; a mission during which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants. As the sole survivor Adrian carries the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious and drinks excessively in hopes of hiding from the visitors that torment his dreams.

 

In his compromised mental and physical condition Adrian does everything he can to avoid seeing Rachael, his girl since the first grade. But he can’t escape his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran who bullied him into joining the Marines in the first place.

 

When he begins turning things around and taking control of his life, he’s charged with murdering the innocent women and children. Private Wheeler finds himself the center of the most important court-martial trial of the Iraqi war; his only hope is to move beyond his trauma and the terrible secret that lies deep within the cellar of his psyche.

 

Excerpt

Adrian arrived home from the war a broken young man. No one was there to put back the pieces. Ma would have, for sure, but she died on his twelfth birthday. Had she been there to see his new knee and armless shoulder hidden within an empty knotted sleeve, she surely would have been sad, but she would have moved past the sadness quickly.

 

“You still have your mind and it’s a good one. Remember that, boy,” Ma would have whispered from the grave, if she could have.

 

No consolation, he thought as he lumbered once again up the old cement drive cluttered with weed-filled cracks and deeply embedded oil stains. The netless hoop still hung over the garage, and still seemed an insurmountable height from the ground. It wasn’t his thing, never had been. John Mike could always jump higher and was much quicker, but that didn’t matter. Adrian had to play and he had to win. Winning wasn’t everything, Pa preached—it was the only thing. Winning meant surviving, the Master Sergeant insisted with each war story he dished out at the kitchen table.

 

Adrian limped up the ramp through a sawed-off railing onto the front porch in need of painting. The porch, like the garden in the back, brought the fondest memories of his mother. On the long, dark green bench that hung from the rafters, he and Ma cuddled each time Pa beat him down for not doing this or that the way John Mike did it. Mother and son swung to the tune of Old Man River as it flowed sweetly and softly off Ma’s tongue. All the while, the real river meandered downstream behind the houses across the street, beyond the backyards of the Clyburn’s bungalow, and the Levi’s remodeled two-story. In his mind’s eye, whenever he thought of that porch swing and Ma, Adrian could see just a hint of the moving river and that always added a nostalgic backdrop to his recollections of her.

 

When he was just over three years old, right after Pa retired from the Marine Corps, his folks moved from Georgia to Virginia and bought the house on South Willow Street. At the time, South Willow was part of a welcoming middle-class neighborhood of white Christians, according to Pa anyway, but slowly changed into more of a melting pot as the city grew, a change the Master Sergeant was not happy with—and he let everyone know.

 

Not long after they moved in, Pa constructed the front porch and a door leading from there directly into the kitchen. From that day on few people entered or left through the front door. He added the ramp much later, after the accident that forced him into a wheelchair.

 

Adrian shuffled past Ma’s green bench around nine o’clock in the evening. The porch door was open and, late as it was, he smelled dinner through the screen door, fresh catfish stew in the pot and cornbread warming in the oven. Good old Esme was outdoing herself once again.

 

He swung open the squeaking screen door. Pa sat at the kitchen table; dread instantly swirled around in Adrian’s belly.

 

“You’re late again.” Pa gripped the edge of the table in order to pull himself up from his wheelchair ever so slightly, as if to use that contorted position as the exclamation point for his accusation.

 

“You’re late again,” Adrian mimicked the old man. “How are you doing, son? I’m glad you’re home. Really son, how are you doing?” he continued, trying his best to capture his father’s tired accusatory drawl.

 

“Well Pa, thanks for asking, I’m just fine, except maybe for a lost limb, a metal knee that doesn’t seem to be working right, and a bit of self-pity—but no big deal, right, Esme?”

 

Adrian dropped his backpack and crossed the room to hug the housekeeper who’d raised him, as he had done often since his return from the war. Esme was his surrogate mother, had been ever since Ma died. Back then, she was a Negro. Today she is African American, and in excellent physical shape for someone who just turned eighty.

 

“Well at least you’re alive.” The old man pushed himself back into his wheelchair.

 

“I know. I know, and John Mike isn’t. Right, Pa? Isn’t that what you were going to say—again?” Sitting across from his father, Adrian edged forward in his chair as if to make his own exclamation point. “I was there when he died! Don’t you remember me telling you that, Pa?”

 

“Enough!” Esme cried out standing by the oven with her back to the kitchen table. Pa might have been Master Sergeant John Wheeler in the United States Marines, but Esme Charles was and had always been the master of the house. She raised Adrian’s mother Lillian and she raised Lillian’s children. She took nothing off nobody—never. “Now, I is going to serve Mr. Adrian…”

 

Private Adrian,” the old man said. “He ain’t received his discharge papers yet.”

 

“All right, I is going to serve Private Adrian his dinner and the two of you is going to sit across from one another and speak respectfully. And you will not bring Mister John Mike—excuse me, Lance Corporal John Mike—to the table.”

 

 

Buy Links

https://www.amazon.com/Steve-Shear/e/B006ACALH4

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-trials-of-adrian-wheeler-steve-shear/1103486128?ean=9780615919393

www.steveshear.net

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21125822-the-trials-of-adrian-wheeler

 

Author Biography

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.

 

I am happy to say that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and I have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay.

 

The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, my second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

My wife, Susan, and I collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.

 

In addition, I have four novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, Black Hearts and Hungry Bears (a trilogy) and The Click. I have written screenplays on the first three and am presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

 

I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years (some of which has been published) and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and on line by Vango Art. My work can be seen at my website, www.steveshear.net.

 

 

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/steve.shear.967

https://twitter.com/Steveshearbooks

https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-shear-80a03727/

http://coldcoffeecafe.com/main/search/search?q=steve+shear

 

 

If No One Reads My Story, Does That Mean I’ve Failed As a Writer? #amwriting #WritersWednesday


Writing Sharing Coelho

 

A friend of mine asked me this past weekend, “What if nobody reads what I have written?”

 

I smiled and said, “But Jack (name has been changed), I will read it and MR N will read it.”

 

Jack is in a similar boat to a lot of writers out there.  He has a story to tell and he wants to tell it.  But when he tries to get it published, no one seems to be interested.

 

Have you experienced this?

 

As writers, we have to have a different mind-set.  We have a story to tell and need to use our natural storytelling ability.  Not everyone can write or don’t have the stamina to see it through or are afraid. What to do? We write, edit, rewrite, edit again until our fingers bleed.  We share it with a select few (beta readers) and then we try to sell it to the publishing world.

 

But what if the publishing world doesn’t want it? 

 

There’s a lot of options nowadays for writers. You can self-publish or go through a smaller publishing house.  You can also post it online to either your website, blog or even Wattpad.

 

In this day and age, there are many different ways to tell your story.  I am not going to tell you which one to use.  That is between you and your story.  What I am going to do is list five reasons why you need to be writing for you and no one else:

 

1- You are a storyteller.  You are the only one in the world who can tell your story.  Be brave and feel confident.

 

2-In order to be the best writer you can be, you cannot write about what is trendy.  Trends come and go.  Your authentic writing voice is what will draw readers in, not whether it is trendy.

 

3- Everyone is a critic and trust me, you will have people critiquing your writing.  Some will say hurtful things about you and your writing.  Some will praise you and call you the next big-time author.  You need to dismiss those that tell you that you are horrid and keep writing.

 

4- Writing, like all professions, is a continuous learning process.  The more you write, the better you become.  The more stories you tell, the more your writing improves.  It’s not about grammar and punctuation, although those things are important.  It’s about the story and how you captivate the reader.

 

5-At the end of the day, you need to own your story and be proud.  You wrote that.  Smile.  Give yourself a pat on the back.  You wrote it for you and in the end, that is all that matters.

[Infographic] 28 Boring Words and What to Use Instead by @Jack__Milgram #amwriting #writing


598c2e326456e

 

Infographic Creator Byline:

Jack Milgram is a freelance writer from Jersey City, NJ. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with others through blogging. Check out the infographic he created on 28 Boring Words Alternatives that will definitely come in handy to you.

5 Hacks That’ll Turn Your Book Idea Into a Manuscript #MondayBlogs #amwriting #writingtips


5 Hacks That'll Turn Your Book Idea Into a Manuscript

 

Many people ask me, “I have a great idea for a book…but what do I do now?”

 

My first response is usually, “That’s great!  What’s your book idea?”

 

They’ll tell me their book idea and then ask the dreaded question, “What do you think?”

 

With a straight face I ask them, “Do you really want my honest opinion?”

 

I have learned through experience that it is essential to ask this blunt question.  Some people don’t want an honest opinion.  They want me to pat their hand and tell them it’s a great idea, even if I think it’s crap.

 

If they say yes, then I will give them my opinion on their book idea and if it will appeal to the masses.  If they say no, I will smile and politely tell them good luck.

 

 

Let’s focus on you, the writer.  You have a book idea and for this blog post, I will assume that it’s a great book idea.  You need advice on how to proceed and I’m here to help. My qualifications? I’m an author, blogger, reviewer and have been in the industry for almost thirty years.

 

 

Hack One: Google your book idea

 

There is someone in this world who has written a book on every topic.  But if you narrow your topic correctly, there will not be any books out there dealing with your book idea. Even if there are books out there dealing with your book idea, you’ll have to figure out how your idea will stand out.

 

 

Hack Two: Talk to at least 5 readers in your circle of influence (family/friends)

 

Ask them (stressing your desire for them to be absolutely honest) if they would be interested in reading a book about your book idea.  Like in everything else in this world, people have varying tastes.  But if more than three people like the idea, then you are on the right track.

 

 

Hack Three: Create a rough outline

 

I know most of you are groaning here as this step reminds you of school.  But trust me, this is an important step and is a good exercise for you as a writer.  Start with a very basic outline and work from there.  If you need help with it, please let me know and I can provide you some guidance.

 

 

Hack Four: Start Writing

 

I know this may sound simple and it really is. Writers write. Whether you use pen/paper or are typing via a device, start writing.  Write whatever comes to your mind and get it down.  You can edit it later.  Ideas will start to flow and you will get a feel for where your book is going.  By the way, you don’t have to start at the beginning.  You can start anywhere.

 

 

Hack Five: Set up a writing schedule for yourself

 

I write in the afternoon Monday through Friday.  I have a goal of at least 300 words a day.  Set an attainable goal for yourself and stick to it.  Make it a part of your to-do list for the day.

 

 

The best thing about writing and having a really great book idea is that it is all yours.  Treasure it and just let the ideas flow out of you.  You can do it!

 

Have any writing hacks you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!

29 Ways to Stay Creative: A Fun Infographic #inspiration #creative #motivation #amwriting


29 ways to stay creative

 

I’m always looking for ways to be creative and so should you.

 

How do you stay creative and inspired?

 

Share in the comments below.

 

MRS N

Just in Time for #BacktoSchool: 26 Writing Tips for Every Writer! #amwriting #ASMSG


Writing Tips A to Z

 

Back to School fever has hit and I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to share some Writing Tips with you.  Writing, like everything else, takes practice.  Once you master one area, you become better at it until it becomes second nature.  So grab your yellow #2 pencils and let’s get started…

 

A- Advice is everywhere, thanks to social media.  30+ years ago, it was much harder to tread through the publishing waters.  You had to paddle your way through and it was very difficult to be a successful writer.  Today is very different.  I recommend asking a lot of successful writers, agents, publishers questions.  Most of them appreciate that you’re simply asking a question. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the more likely you will succeed.

 

B- Blogging is a great way to not only promote your writing but to improve your writing as well.  What should you write about? Many blogs are all over the place and as a reader, it can be confusing.  I choose to write about a few key areas (my book, my writing and inspiring thoughts of the day).  I find that keying in on a specialized area brings more followers and is not confusing.

 

C- Creative writing ideas can come from anywhere.  You could be walking down the street and BOOM, an idea hits.  You want to write it down so you don’t forget but you don’t have anything to write on.  Bring a notepad/sticky notes wherever you go.  Use your notepad app on your device.  Write it down as soon as it strikes you. Trust me, it helps immensely!

 

D- Dedicate a specific time of the day for writing.  I know that this may sound obvious but trust me, life tends to intervene in your writing time.  I schedule a block of time every day and call the appointment “writing”.  You will get into a routine and your brain will register that it is 2:00…time for writing.

 

diamond

 

E- Editing is hard.  It is one of the most gruesome tasks a writer has to do.  It is absolutely essential, though.  Think of it in terms of gemology.  All jewels/gems come out of the ground and they look very dirty/plain/ordinary.  Take a chisel and start peeling away layer after layer.  Once that is complete, you take a buffing stone and polish the jewel/gem to a brilliant shine.  When you are done, you have a shiny beautiful exceptional jewel/gem.  The same can be said for editing.  It’s painful but you have to do it to reveal the diamond in your writing.

 

F- Family/Friends are great support and I recommend that you tell them about your writing venture.  They will not only be your cheerleaders but will understand when you have to excuse yourself to write.

 

G- Grammar is obviously important in all writing.  There are many resources out there and I have a few.  I urge you, though, to not get caught up in proper grammar rules when writing.  It can stifle the creative juices and I recommend dealing with the grammar when you are editing/revising.

 

H-Harness your inner Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest writers in the 20th century and he is one of my favorites.  He approached writing in a logical way.  He wrote what he knew or experienced.  He was an observer of the world and it shows in his writing.  Do the same, no matter what your topic is.

 

 

I– Inspiration is one of the greatest tools a writer has.  Inspiration sparks a book idea, writing style, dialogue, plot and voice.  What’s your inspiration?  Whatever it is, clutch it tightly to your heart and never let it go.

 

J-Judge your writing as if you are a seeing it for the first time.  I am my hardest critic.  Most of my writerly friends are the same way.  We’re so harsh on ourselves and sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.  Take another approach and look carefully at your writing as if you were a literary critic.  Pretend it’s not your writing but someone you don’t know.  This works great, trust me!  You will see your writing in a whole new light.

 

K- Keep detailed notes about your book.  Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, you need to keep track of everything.  I find this extremely helpful when writing fiction.  I have a hard time keeping track of all the characters and their names so I write their names and a one sentence bio on them in a notebook.  It makes things a lot easier the further I get into the plot.

 

L- Locate your writing haven.  This may seem like a pipe dream but I promise you this works.  A writer needs a space where they can call their own.  It maybe outside or in your home office.  Wherever it is, make it yours.  I have a writing haven and it has everything I need: nice view of the trees outside, sticky notes, inspiring writing quotes, a writing bear figurine for inspiration and a few notepads.  Make it your own haven and then watch as the ideas just pour out of you!

 

M- Mentors are a great way to learn about the publishing business but writing as well.  I have several and I met them online.  They’re so invaluable to me and they truly make me a better writer!  Grab one and listen carefully to what they tell you.  Their insight and comments will make you a better writer, too.

 

N- Narrative is very important in writing, especially when writing a novel.  Be sure you determine ahead of time whether you are writing first-person or third-person.  The reader should never be confused by the narrative.

 

outline

 

O- Outline your book.  I know this may sound like work and in essence, it is.  Writing is hard work and if you don’t have a general idea of what you want to say, your writing will be all over the place.  It doesn’t have to be complicated and list every single aspect of your plot.  It should contain these five things: Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action & Resolution.

 

P-Publishing your writing is so exciting but it can be daunting too.  There are so many options out there and it can be confusing.  My advice, do your homework.  Research all areas of publishing before making a decision.  There are many resources on Twitter to help you out. If you need advice, send me an email and we can talk further.

 

Q-Querying can be a nightmarish task.  Many writers don’t know how to do it and I am here to help.  You have to think of it in business terms.  A query is like an application and cover letter for your dream job.  You’ve got to grab their attention, be professional and for pete’s sake, don’t query an agent/publisher on Twitter. A query is your first impression and trust me, it matters!

 

R- Revising your writing is hard and it can be emotional too.  I mean, those are your words and your dialogue.  It takes blood, sweat and tears.  Being a writer means you are willing to open your chest, lay your heart on paper and wait for the world to judge it.  Like editing, though, it must be done.  You want your writing to shine like a diamond, right?  You want to make an impact and inspire others.  Just do it!

 

S- Social Media is a great tool for writers but you have to be careful.  Everything you post is saved by Google and agents/publishers/readers/reviewers will see it.  I love Twitter and it can be a great tool for your writing platform and to also connect with other writers.

 

Plath writing quote

 

T- Trust in yourself and your writing.  I am guilty of being unsure of my writing and it has led to some self-doubt.  Trust in yourself and everything else will fall into place.  You are your number one cheerleader and no can tell a story like you!

 

U-Unleash Your Emotions.  As a writer, you need to be able to connect with your readers.  The only way to do that is to be free of any constrictions.  Let the floodgates go and let your emotions run free!  It is the key to being an authentic writer.

 

V- Visualize your scenes as if you were watching a movie.  When I am writing, I find it immensely helpful to close my eyes.  I let the scene I’m working on play out in my mind and then I let my fingers write it down before I lose the imagery.  In this age of YouTube, it is very effective for writing.

 

W-Warning to all Writers: Not everyone will love your writing and some may in fact hate it.  It’s a reality and as writers, we must remind ourselves of this.  Remember, just because someone doesn’t like your writing doesn’t mean it isn’t brilliant. Please also remember to remain professional and don’t lash out at those who don’t like your writing/story.  Go online and check out the reviews of your favorite author.  Then keep on writing!

 

X- Xchange ideas with other writers.  This may sound weird but it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to bounce ideas off other writers.  Writers understand better than a normal person.  You can do this virtually or live.  They include writing groups, workshops and conferences.  They are a great way to learn more about writing but also how to make your writing better.

 

 

Y- Yield to your inner voice.  This is your writing muse and it will tell you in a soft voice which path to choose.  I listen to mine and allow her to guide my writing.  She leads me down a path I didn’t know existed and it’s a wondrous place to be.  Can’t hear your muse?  Be still and maybe meditate/pray/sleep.  Clear your head of all distractions and your muse will appear.

 

Z-Zzzz.  When you are stuck in your writing, it helps to sleep on it.  I do this many times when writing my current book and trust me, it helps!  When you sleep, your subconscious is awake and working out the plot while you’re at rest.  In the morning, you will feel refreshed and the ideas will flow like water.

 

Calling all writers: share a writer tip using the comment section below. We all could use a tip or two to be better writers, no matter how long we’ve been writing/publishing.

 

Let’s Talk #Writing and What It Takes to be a Writer! #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG


writing writers

 

People ask me all the time how to write.  I think it must be one of those secret desires in people, to know how books get written.  People are fascinated with it and stare at me like I’m their favorite candy.

 

The truth is that writing is different for everyone.  It’s a very personal experience.  Ever since I was little, I’ve been writing.  By the time I was in high school, I had filled several journals, diaries and notebooks. Stories, poems, prose all poured out of me.  It’s like a tick, only with ink.

 

I write because I have to.  If I don’t write, my body will start to twitch and the voices will just consume me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to write and I feel so blessed by this gift.  The voices, or characters as I call them in polite society, speak to me and I write them down.  Many times, more than one character vies for my attention (think Real Housewives but in my brain).

 

When I met the Walking Man (the homeless man who inspired Princess of the Light), I knew that it was up to me to tell his story.  He was my daily inspiration and when I didn’t feel like writing, all I had to do was think of him out in the cold.  The words just flowed out of me.

 

Princess of the Light is published and next month celebrates its third book birthday.  Does that mean that the voices stop? No way! They are even louder and body-slamming each other for my attention. They want their five minutes in the spotlight in future books.  I’m writing book two as fast as I can but it’s not fast enough for Than, head demon. He wants his revenge and nothing will stop him… or so he thinks.

 

I write because I love it.  I love seeing people respond to my writing.  I love making a difference and spreading the Light.  I love inspiring others.

 

I write, most of all, for my survival.  I need to write like I need oxygen to breathe.  It is a part of my body, mind and soul.  Without writing, I am not quite myself.

 

If you have a story begging to be told, get writing! You may be like me and your very survival may depend on it!

 

Princess

 

Title: Princess of the Light

 

Author: N. N. Light

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Spiritual Romance

 

Tagline:

Mary’s the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.

 

Blurb:

Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth–Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer’s army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It’s getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer’s second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help.

 

Joe Deacons is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he’s the Warrior of Light–the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness.

 

Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself.  When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her.  But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?

 

Excerpt: 

I sunk into the water, and let the suds and scent of lavender engulf me.  The stress of the day finally began to melt away.

 

My body jolted.

 

I was in the middle of the desert. There were grass huts and women with hajjis walking quickly around me. Something whizzed past my ear, and a deafening explosion rocked me off my feet. I instinctively curled my body in a fetal position.

 

I listened for the screams to start, but it was eerily silent. I glanced around, but all I saw was water.

 

I was still in the bath. What had just happened? Was that a vision? Had I fallen asleep?

 

My headache was a dull thud now.

 

A knock on the washroom door made me gasp. I sat upright in the tub and heard my roommate, Amber, call in, “Mary, are you okay?”

 

“Yeah, I’m good. Just must have fallen asleep.”

 

“Hey, Amber, what time is it?” I looked down at my pruney fingers and wondered how long I was in the tub.

 

Amber said, “It’s five thirty.”

 

I leaned forward and turned on the hot water. The bath water had gotten cold while I had drifted off.

 

I leaned back as the warm water ran over my toes and closed my eyes, wondering what I should wear tonight. I wanted to look beautiful for Joe. I began to picture every outfit in my closet, and tried to imagine his reaction to it.

 

A shiver ran down my back and I faintly hear the water splash over the edge.

 

I opened my eyes and tried to scream. All that came out was a reverse gasp, and I pulled my towel in to cover my body.

 

A small child was in the tub with me. He couldn’t be older than five. Blood was running down his face, and his body was covered in sand mixed with congealing blood. He was clinging to my towel, and I didn’t know whether to let go of it or yank it back from him. His dark hair was wet with fresh blood. My heart filled with sadness and I quit trying to scream.

 

As I clung to my own towel, I didn’t know what was happening or what I should do.

 

The little boy raised his head and more sadness poured into my heart. His eyes were dark pools of grief and despair. They pleaded with me, begging me to help.

 

How? I mouthed silently.

 

I jumped when he began to move slowly toward me. He lifted one arm and spoke in a language I didn’t recognize. I knew I didn’t know exactly what his words meant, but I knew what he was saying: He was hurt and needed help.

 

The closer he came, the more my fear eased and the pain increased. He reached for my arm. His hand was bloodied, and it sent a jolt of electricity and agony throughout my body. I tried to pull away, but his grip was locked on my arm. His eyes turned black and murky, and a voice not his own spoke.

 

“Princess, help my people,” it said.

 

I shook my head.

 

“Let go!” I tried to scream again.

 

The little boy disappeared, and I jumped out of the bathtub, wet towel still wrapped around my body, and crumbled to the floor. The blood was smeared all around me, and I looked at my arm. The blood was still there, too.

 

I whimpered, scrubbed at my arm until it was raw, and yet I could still see the blood.

 

Buy Links:

Free on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/5008419

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

 

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

 

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

 

Sign up for their author newsletter and get exclusive content and prizes ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

 

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

50% of the proceeds of Princess of the Light go directly to food banks (US and Canada) in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

 

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

What goes into world-building? In @LiviaQuinn’s case, it’s personal… #paranormal #amwriting


Stormlakemap

 

What goes into creating an author’s world? In the case of Storm Lake, it’s personal…

 

When I was two, my parents took me to a 4th of July fireworks celebration in DC where I grew up. We left early. My father thought that was where my fear of storms began.

 

Fast forward to my first month in the South, when Mississippi suffered a record breaking tornado outbreak. Tornados were “walking the interstate” about a half mile from my apartment. I looked out my window in the dark, listening to the wind, asking myself, “Is that a train?” and wondering what kind of train noise I was supposed to recognize, the whistle or the clackety-clack of the wheels on the rails. It was horrifying.

 

Forward again to a town on the Mississippi River when I was performing in a bar on the top floor of a hotel overlooking the river, next to a wall of floor to ceiling windows as low gray clouds skidded past. In the middle of a Bonnie Raitt song with six couples hanging on every note and lyric, lightning struck a transformer across the river and light exploded through the room like a nuclear blast. The next thing I knew I was crawling across the carpet in my slinky black dress, my guitar was on the floor, my belt in a customer’s lap and the bartender was telling someone downstairs that the singer was having a nervous breakdown.

 

After a layoff in 2005, I decided to start writing my stories down. Each was set in a small town near a large lake in the South, possibly South Carolina. Then, Katrina hit here followed by Rita, and the following year when I was delivering the mail as a rural carrier, Gustav. That’s when my Rural Carrier Mystery/ Romance became a story about a storm witch/mail carrier who controls the weather, and Storm Lake was born. It’s rather cathartic for me to have a character who can control that which I fear, severe weather, and especially lightning 😉

 

Whether it’s Contemporary Romance on the east end or Cozy Paranormal on the west… dive in to Storm Lake… you won’t want to leave.

 

On the west side of Storm Lake in the middle of a super pulse of leylines lies Destiny, home to the Destiny Paramortals, a group of tempestaeries, fae, djnn, and others who are bound by an ancient pact to protect weaker species – like humans.  Unknown to the other communities outside of Destiny is the role the Paramortals have in keeping them safe.

 

Blame it on the Moon

 

Title: Blame it on the Moon

Author: Livia Quinn

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Southern Urban Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

*** Blame it on the Moon is book 4 in the Destiny Paramortals, a world of tempestaeries (storm witches), dragons, shifters vampires and fae. ***

 
Is it Mayberry or Middle Earth? Well, duh… Ages ago a pact was made between the supernatural species – shifters, djinn, dragons, vampires and fae – to protect humans. Just don’t tell the humans…

 

“ok…WOW!!!! All I can say is wow! I enjoy all of the Storm Lake Books but this is my favorite.” Blame it on the Moon

 
“Oh my God I just loved this book. I don’t know how I missed the first two books of this series. Do yourself a favor and run don’t walk to your one click button and buy this book. You want regret it, I didn’t.” Eve of Chaos

 

It’s the height of the Para-moon and Jack is up to his ‘six’ in alligators. Defending those weaker than himself is in his DNA which is what made him become a Navy pilot. But who is he kidding? Alligators he could handle! Supernatural bad guys… and ragtag doesn’t begin to describe his band of temporary ’heroes’. If he had to go to war with the troupe that showed up at dawn, he might as well start cutting up white sheets and attaching them to garden stakes.

There’s little time to worry about his future with Tempe as one crisis after another raises its head. He must find a healer for Dylan, relocate a lost elemental, make a formal request for help from the Fae, figure out what the hell his crazy ex Georgeanne is up to, and – very important – keep the humans in the dark. If worse comes to worse, he has a dragon on his side and a few surprises up his sleeve, “Yippe, ki, yi…”

But a lot can happen in twenty four hours and things… don’t always go as planned.

 

Universal Buy Link:

https://www.books2read.com/u/b5wQRm

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

About the Author: 

Livia Quinn is a DC native living on the bayou in Louisiana where she gets her inspiration for hunks, storms and all things supernatural. She’s been a plant manager, professional singer, mail lady, salesperson and business owner and has stored up many quirky stories to share with her readers. Visit her website at https://liviaquinn.com   or sign up for her newsletter here http://eepurl.com/W94bb

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://liviaquinn.com

Newsletter  http://eepurl.com/W94bb

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter    http://twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Goodreads http://bit.ly/22VXuev

Amazon Author page http://amzn.to/1T5qmhN

Google+ http://bit.ly/2guNZn9

Linkedin http://bit.ly/2dbYAP2

Instagram http://instagram.com/liviaquinnauthor

Independent Author Network http://bit.ly/2dlAr8L

Livia Quinns Facebook Reader Group http://bit.ly/2gBFQ12

Top 10 Tips for Writing #HolidayRomance by @RuthACasie #ROMANCE #BOOKS #GIVEAWAY #AMWRITING


Christmas in July Book Square - TMG

 

I’ve learned some interesting things about writing after releasing fifteen short stories, novellas and novels.

 

I thought I would be in full control of the characters on my pages—shape them into the people in my stories. Wrong. Many times I’ve found myself writing things I had not intended, finding out more about my character’s personalities then I originally thought, and always happily surprised.

 

I also learned that while the time from putting pen to paper to release day can vary, I’m usually working 4 to 6 months from start to finish. That means starting a holiday story in summer. Sitting on the back deck with a warm breeze or at the beach makes it difficult to think snow, cold and jingle bells.

 

So, here are my top ten tips for writing a holiday romance:

  1. Run through your playlist and find all your holiday music
  2. On YouTube find the yule log
  3. Mix up a cup of hot chocolate (ok, a frozen chocolate Frappuccino with a peppermint stick)
  4. Change your computer wallpaper to a snowy scene
  5. Turn up the air conditioner to EXTRA HIGH
  6. Choose a warm cozy romantic setting
  7. Put some holiday decorations around your writing area
  8. Include a holiday tradition you love in your story
  9. Incorporate holiday items into your story
  10. Use all of the above to get into the holiday spirit then put pen to paper

 

Title:  The Maxwell Ghost

 

Author: Ruth A. Casie

 

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

 

Book Blurb:

The Maxwell’s Caerlaverock Castle, on the Scottish border is in an uproar. Traitors, deception, murders and ghosts run rampant. The crops have failed and the granaries set ablaze. Rumors fly when servants Evan and his bride-to-be, Angel are found murdered and Evan’s ghost haunts the castle. Did Evan kill Angel then take his own life? Sonia, a young cook is sure everyone has it wrong. The ghost haunts the castle seeking justice. She will move heaven and earth to get to the truth, but she is helpless.

 

Laura Reynolds travels from England to her cousin, The Maxwell’s castle to put Evan’s ghost to rest. She has one week to complete the task or Evan’s ghost is doomed to haunt the castle forever. The Maxwell, while he loves his cousin, doubts her sorceress ways and has more important issues at hand, a traitor in their midst.

 

Jamie Maxwell Collins has finished his service to The Maxwell and eager for his promised farm. While long-time friends with Laura, he has little patience for her sorcery, but in order to get his farm The Maxwell requires Jamie protect and help her. Will Sonia’s information tip the scales and help them find the true murderer and bring justice to Evan and Angel? Will Sonia’s insight help Laura and Jamie realize their destinies are intertwined with hidden passions? All is in jeopardy when Laura becomes the murderer’s next target. Jamie will find he needs more than ghostly assistance to save Laura and realize they have a love that will last for eternity.

 

Excerpt:

After a silent hour’s ride, they arrived at a small clearing. The Bells Burn a few hundred yards ahead. Six riders emerged out of a thicket and blocked their way. Jamie’s men were in front of Laura and kept her hidden from view. Laura looked past her protectors and caught glimpses. The riders were from Ravencroft, the Mitchell crest clear on their cloaks.

 

“You’re on Mitchell land,” the leader of Bryce’s guards said. Looking between her protectors, she recognized the man. He often accompanied Bryce to Glen Kirk. Laura brought her horse around the others and caught Jamie’s men by surprise.

 

“We are not,” she insisted.

 

“Lady Laura,” the man sputtered. “I didn’t see you with these men.”

 

“Lord Bryce has you on patrol? You can’t see a woman among five men?” Jamie’s soft cough, which she knew well, concealed his laugh.

 

“And you have no idea of the Ravencroft boundary? Actually, you’re deep in Reynolds’ territory. What, sir, are you and your bullies doing on Glen Kirk land?” Her temper veered sharply to anger. Now she understood. Jamie’s route, while difficult, kept them on her father’s land until the border. Bryce. She had no illusions about his interests. They most definitely weren’t for her, but for Glen Kirk. He strutted around as if the heir apparent. Well, he wasn’t and, if she had anything to do with it, he never would.

 

The beads around her neck warmed. A soft gasp of surprise escaped her lips. Encouraged knowing she was right Laura walked her horse closer to the Mitchell patrol.

 

“How. Dare. You. Stop. Me.” She spat out each word. The men were silent, like reprimanded schoolboys. “I’ll make sure to tell my father how Lord Bryce takes liberties with Glen Kirk property or should I tell him a Ravencroft patrol lost their way in the forest and I needed to provide them with directions?”

 

Scarlet stains appeared on the leader’s cheek. Laura was aware of the enemy she’d made, but with good cause. The Mitchell men looked at each other, not knowing what to do.

 

Jamie and his men understood the situation. He pulled up beside her relaxed, his face with touches of humor around his mouth and eyes. His men on either side of them.

 

The Ravencroft leader looked at Jamie.

 

“Don’t look at me.” Jamie nodded to Laura. “I’m sorry for it, but I can’t offer you any protection. You’ll have to deal with Lady Laura.”

 

Bryce’s man stared at her baffled.

 

“Forgive me, Lady Laura. We thought something improper—”

 

“Improper. How ridiculous.” Laura’s horse reacted to her shout. She took a strong hand and calmed him. “Lord James is my mother’s cousin. Not that I need to give you an explanation. But,” she pretended to be soothed, “I do thank you for your concern for my safety and assure you your assistance is not needed. I can certainly handle one Scot and four of his men.”

 

Jamie sat his mount his hand casually on his sword hilt.

 

“Leave us now. I’ll let my father know what’s happened here and let him decide what to tell Lord Mitchell.”

 

“Yes, m’ lady.” He dipped his head in a quick bow and signaled his men. They wheeled around and made a fast retreat.

 

Their small company didn’t move. They waited until Mitchell’s men were out of sight and hearing distance.

 

Christmas in July Fete Sackful of Giveaways:

 

Grand Prize: $75 USD Amazon Gift Card

An e-copy of The Maxwell Ghost

(plus more prizes…)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db77506/?

Open Internationally

Starts July 1, 2017 12:01 am EST and ends August 1, 2017 12:00 am EST

 

Buy Links: https://amzn.com/B01M5JJB1I

 

Author’s Favorite Holiday Food/Tradition: 

Butternut Squash Soup

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of historical swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Ruth also writes contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager vice president, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/13GwuQ1

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ruth-a-casie

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

Ruth’s Newsletter Signup: http://www.ruthacasie.com/contact.html#newsletter

 

Meet Award-Winning Author @Rtranbooks as She Imparts #AmWriting Advice #IAN1 #TuesdayBookBlog


R Tran

 

It’s time for another author interview, this time from award-winning author R. Tran. I first met her a month or so ago. I was intrigued by her series and once I got to know her, I knew you’d love her, too. So grab your favorite beverage and sit down for an in-depth interview. She reveals odd writing habits, choosing character name and how to handle reviews, not to mention how cockroaches totally freak her out. Take it away, R. Tran: 

 

Do you have any odd writing habits?

I usually hand-write my manuscripts first. I read them at least two or three times editing as I go before they are typed. Even though it makes writing anywhere more practical it does make deciphering some notes and edits harder at a later point.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

For my fantasy novels, I use both methods. If the character is important I try to find a name with a specific meaning. Mara for example appears in folklore as a goddess of death and also a demon. It seemed fitting based on where her goals laid at the beginning of the novel. Other characters like Kess got his name in the first draft because I liked the way it sounded and I couldn’t imagine him with any other name.

 

In my novel For Their Sins I had to research names from all over the world making sure that each fit with their country of origin or heritage. A name or two belonged to friends or family as well.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

I hold two degrees including a doctorate. I have a nice house and a good job. My first two published novels reviewed well and even received an award a piece. Yet, none of that compares to my family. My best accomplishment, by far, is my two daughters. They just turned 4 and 6 and I don’t know where my life would be without them.

 

Have you always liked to write?

No, there was a time I didn’t even want to read. I hated it. If there were cliff notes when I was in school I would have had a whole set. Book reports were like pulling teeth for me. Then one day a friend suggested I read A Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind. I thought she was joking; it was three inches thick. But, I fell in love with it and with reading again. Soon after my dad died. That same friend was writing a story that she let me read. I thought I could do that. It was better than therapy. Anything was better than therapy when you’re 16. So, I started writing and haven’t stopped since.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Don’t be afraid to edit. Cut out dead weight so you can highlight the juicy bits. If it doesn’t do anything for the story or seems irrelevant, cut it.

 

Also get a beta reader or two or five before publishing. I had no idea what that was until about two months ago. My third novel was already advertised and out for pre-purchase on Amazon, it was too late for major changes. I lucked out and most of my problems seem to be small, but things could have gone horribly wrong.

 

Lastly, avoid “to be” verbs. They give a very passive tone to the writing. I think in writing that was the one thing that really stuck with me. My college English professor had a limit on how many we could use in a single essay and yes, she counted them. I’ve read other works that don’t follow this rule and what she said is true. ‘To be” verbs aren’t always necessary, well unless you’re Shakespeare.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I read all my reviews. I do not respond to them except to say thank you. Not everyone will like my book. It’s why I did not publish for so long. But, the reviewer not only read my book; they took that extra time that most readers don’t to tell others what they thought about it. I don’t always agree with what the reviewer says, but I try to see it from my reader’s perspective. Just because I intended something one way doesn’t mean that is how it was received. I try to learn from criticism; it’s the only way I will grow, learn, and do better on my next book.

 

What is your best marketing tip?

If you aren’t used to talking about yourself do so, and I mean now. You are you’re best salesman. I still have a hard time promoting myself in person, although I haven’t had any formal appearances or signings. Still, if some one sees me writing, I use that opportunity to promote myself. I still have a hard time working up the nerve.

 

If you have a Twitter account, pin a tweet promoting your book to the top of your feed. Anytime I look at new authors I want to follow or even help out by retweeting their books, I want to see that first without scrolling through a bunch of random tweets. If I don’t see one right away I give up.

 

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

The Rashade’ and A Guardian Falls combined is my first book. Originally they were written as one massive manuscript. I split it in two to make it more marketable. I prefer reading a long book. I am just getting into a book around 200 pages. However, I realize I am not the norm. So I followed general publishing consensus and split the book in two. The original manuscript was finished in 2002. Since then I have completed 5 more manuscripts and have 6 more in the works.

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

Currently I am working on Volume 3 and 4 in The Chronicles of the Coranydas series. I hope to have these published in February and July, 2018. I am also hoping to have the prequel to the same series ready for publication late next year. It will answer a lot of questions for those that read the series. Lastly I want to finish a manuscript that was inspired by the Exodus story in the Bible. That is, if I quit getting sidetracked by the sequel to For Their Sins.

 

And now for some more personal questions…

 

What is your biggest fear?

Cockroaches! I have an irrational fear of cockroaches. I know I am a thousand times bigger than them and all I have to do is step on them but they are gross. I see one and I jump. Even a dead one instills fear in me when my husband chases me with it or throws it at me.

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

I crossed a lot of them off before the girls were born. But I still want to ride a mechanical bull. I want to visit all 50 states. I want to see the ruins in Greece and Rome. Lastly, I want to ride as many famous and/or record setting roller coasters as I can.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have a scar on my right thigh that I’ve had since I was three. I was climbing out of an old galvanized pool and cut it open on the rim that had rusted through.

 

I have another set on the front of my shin that is nearly faded now. I got those when I was 13 and Three Non-Blondes had the biggest hit on the radio. I was canoeing with one of my best friends and our canoe was rolled by a tree branch under the water. As another group of canoers pushed our boat free the front bolts of the canoe scraped long gashes in my leg.

 

I have my C-section scar from my youngest daughter. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

 

Lastly, I have a scar on the inside of my right pinky finger from a wine glass breaking in my hand this summer. Sorry no fun tale there, just good old-fashioned clumsiness.

 

What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

I don’t have any recurring dreams now but when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter I did. I had very vivid dreams about zombies. Most of the time I was hunting them, but sometimes I was being chased. I would wake up occasionally still worried there were zombies lurking in my room.

 

 The Rashade award

 

Title: The Rashade’

Author: R.Tran

Genre: Epic Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

After her father was murdered before her eyes, Mara Coranyda traded a life of privilege, for one devoted to vengeance. Shortly into her quest to find the mage that murdered him, Mara discovered it wouldn’t be an easy task to accomplish. Not only would she have to find the magical artifacts to destroy him, but she would also have to raise an army to stop his conquest of her homelands.

 

Excerpt:

From her roost in the tree, Mara had a clear view of the mouth of the pass. She bent her head in silent prayer as she had so many times before.

 

Mara jerked her head up as dry leaves crunched under a boot. A scout was in the clearing once again moving slowly. Shiny helmets followed. Soon, helmets became men and men became archers entering the clearing. Most of them didn’t have their bows strung. They talked and laughed as they marched unaware of what lie in wait. When the bulk of the archers entered the clearing, Mara shot the man in the lead. His bow fell off his shoulder as he hit the ground. In the blink of an eye, the sky was thick with arrows and men were falling with loud screams. Those with strung bows began firing blindly into the trees but died first because they were the biggest threat. Those who were bending bows were the next to fall. By now, the enemy cavalry were entering the clearing at a run, trying to get past the hidden archers slaying their comrades.

 

Mara whistled loudly for Bishop and the other riders to join her. She waited for Bishop to pass below her as he ran down the trail and jumped onto his back. Leandra and Valaska led the riders. Drawing her sword, Mara saw the enemy directly ahead. Their lines broke allowing enough room for the Shiori riders to slip among them.  At first sight of women, the men were undeterred, but after Leandra and Valaska got away unscathed after killing a man each, they began to turn their horses and fight.

 

Valaska took off a man’s head in one clean swing. The horse continued to run out of fear adding to the chaos. Mara whistled twice to halt the reign of arrows as Valaska neared the archer’s range. Many of the enemy cavalry still remained. Those who had not scattered into the woods, herded into a tight circle for safety using their small shields to block the arrows.

 

Mara entered the clearing, veering right to pick off stray men leaving the mass of horses for the Shiori to attack as a unit. An enemy soldier charged at her raising his sword to strike. She ducked and held her sword low to her side. Bone cracked as it hit its mark nearly slicing the man in half. Rushing ahead, she swung in a wide arc catching another man in the neck. He fell off his horse grasping his neck in a futile effort to stop the blood. An arrow whizzed past Mara’s left shoulder killing the soldier ahead. Effortlessly, she veered right for another man. He saw her, though, and swung wide. He missed her, but she took his arm. Closer to the pass she saw the end of cavalry and beginning of the infantry. Still, there was no sign of the mage.

 

Mara glanced at the clearing to watch the mass of horses and people in its center. They had to break apart the enemy without risking their own warriors. “Wayette, fire into the center!” she yelled, pointing with her sword. Somehow Wayette heard her over the noise and four arrows caught enemy soldiers off guard. Those men did not break until four more men fell trying to defend themselves from Shiori blades. Mara rushed a few stray men and killed them easily. Storm’s cry overhead signaled the mage’s arrival.

 

Mara rode hard back to the tree line to retrieve Wayette. The mage was already on the ground running to meet her. Mara pulled Wayette onto the horse behind her and headed back to the pass. Mara killed three men as they rode past and Wayette knocked another two away with her staff. When they reached the pass, Wayette sent up a large light spell to signal their own infantry. Within moments, heated shouts erupted from the woods as Shiori warriors rushed onto the battlefield. Mara and Wayette jumped off Bishop’s back and sent him to the woods.  “I’ve got your back until help arrives. Go on,” Mara told Wayette nodding to the mage.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N211HHR

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N211HHR

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rashade-r-tran/1125475134?ean=9781542433303

 

Author Biography:

I started writing as self prescribed therapy after my dad died when I was 16. As a teenager I was too scared to admit I was depressed so it was my coping mechanism. It took years before I got the courage to publish. In the years between writing was my relaxation whether I finished the stories or not. I had to get them down before I forgot.

 

Twenty years later I have, two degrees, three published books, a husband who loves me, two little girls I adore and a spoiled dog.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: www.rtranbooks.com

Blog: https://rtranbooks.wordpress.com/

Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/Rtranbooks/

https://m.facebook.com/AGaurdianFalls/

Twitter: @rtranbooks

Email:  rtranbooks.com@outlook.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16335980.R_Tran

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/r-tran.html

 

#Romance Writer Seeks Hero – Must Be Willing to Work Odd Hours #guestpost #books #regency


Ginger

 

Romance Writer Seeks Hero – Must Be Willing to Work Odd Hours

A Guest Post by Anna D. Allen

 

If it were up to me, all my heroes would be beautiful, ginger-haired men… or “tall, dark, and handsome.” Of course, I can’t make them all ginger, and “tall, dark, and handsome” is relative to me—taller than me (I’m short), darker than me (I’m a shade darker than death warmed over), and handsome just means he’s got that something-something that makes me like him.

 

When the idea for a hero first takes hold in my mind, I can see him, but it’s like an impressionist painting with all the details burred (in keeping with my eyesight). So in order to describe those details, I seek out photos of men who fit that vision of my hero. This is purely a tool for myself.

 

It’s surprising how important these photos can be. In one story, the character had to be blond. No way around it. And thankfully, I found a photo to work from… because no matter what I did, no matter how I described him in print, in my mind, he had raven locks (and bore an uncanny resemblance to Duncan McLeod of Clan McLeod—aka Adrian Paul).

 

It can take some time to find the right image. And when I do, it never fails that I tend to describe the hero in negative terms—his ears were too long, his eyes too far apart, but she thought he was hot nonetheless.

 

For the novella A Light in Winter or the Wicked Will (published in Christmas Revels: Four Regency Novellas), the hero, Connor Grayson, had to be boyish and ginger. Easy. Eddie Redmayne! But as the story progressed, the heroine, Katherine Woodbridge, realized Connor was no boy and she was drawn to the “broad expanse of his back.” I needed another visual reference for that one… and discovered it while watching the latest version of Jane Eyre when Michael Fassbender, as Mr. Rochester, transplants a shrubbery. (What is it about 19th Century men in waistcoat and shirt sleeves? Okay, any man in waistcoat and shirt sleeves!)

 

Problems finding a suitable image arose while working on my novel, Miss Pritchard’s Happy, Wanton Christmas (and the Consequences Thereof). The hero was in his late thirties, very much a man, and had yet to hit that middle-aged spread. I could see the image in my head perfectly. I knew exactly whom to cast in the role. He was that British actor… I didn’t know his name. No problem. We live in the age of Google. I just had to Google something I had seen him in.

 

Only… what had I seen him in? There was that episode of Law and Order UK. No idea which one (but I bet someone was murdered). Well, he was in an episode of that mystery mini-series on PBS… No, I don’t know the name it. It was with…? With… oh, what is his name? That guy… from Ballykissangel… the one I associate with Robson Green. (Why didn’t I just pick Robson Green? After all, he is gorgeous! Probably because he wasn’t my hero.)

 

This was not working. Didn’t know the actor’s name, and what little I could recall about him would potentially require hours of searching through the casts of countless television episodes.

 

So I sought out other possibilities that were a close match to the image in my head. That guy who played the doctor in Bleak House (at least that one was easier to track down—Google Bleak House—the one with Charles Dance—and see who played the doctor). Sadly, the photos I found of him were blurrier than my eyesight. The only other prospect that immediately came to mind was… he played the handyman who married the older woman on Guiding Light. Good gracious! That was thirty years ago! Besides, I don’t remember anyone’s name from the show (I just remember everyone got food poisoning at their wedding).

 

Finally, I just started Googling actors with dark(ish) hair.

 

Rejects

 

Richard Armitage? No.

 

Colin Ferrell? Such a beautiful Irish lilt, but my hero is English.

 

Marton Csorka? Too broad…but let’s remember to use him in something else.

 

Hugh Jackman? Hmmm? Well? Maybe… No, no, no. I can’t do that. Way too obvious. Besides, he’s not right for the part. But I’ll scroll through photos just a bit more. No, nothing. You know, I don’t have anything more pressing right now, maybe a few more photos.

 

And then I found one specific photo that worked. Maybe it was the lighting, the background, the look in his eyes, but, yeah, he’d do in a pinch. Still not my ideal hero for the novel, but what girl would turn down Hugh Jackman as a stand-in?

 

Stand-In

 

I had my hero.

 

Or so I thought.

 

Two nights later, the British actor I originally wanted to cast in the role was in a movie on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries—Honeymoon for One. He played the cheating fiancé! (Alongside Greg Wise—why didn’t I just cast him as my hero?) Now I had his name—Patrick Baladi. True, he was a tad too old for the part, but I found some photos of him from a few years ago, and, ta-dah, I had my hero. And I described him in the novel accordingly.

 

Sadly, this meant I had to fire Hugh Jackman! The poor man. With a family to support. He never saw it coming. I felt bad. Really, I did. So I named the hero Hugh to make it up to him. (You know he’s thrilled.)

 

Meanwhile, as all this was going on, I had the artist, Adam Tetzlaff, hard at work creating an image for the cover. It was to depict the hero and heroine. Furthermore, my sometimes co-anthologist, Hannah Meredith, had read the opening chapters of my novel in progress. She had no idea of all I’d gone through to get the hero just right in my mind. When Adam finished the artwork, I showed it Hannah. She was impressed and said it was great… only…

 

“I imagined the hero as Hugh Jackman,” she confessed.

 

(Ah, sigh.)

 

Of course, by the end of the novel, I was imagining the hero as Henry Cavill, despite my careful descriptions to the contrary.

 

Clearly, this need for an image of my hero is purely for my benefit, because readers create their own image of the hero.

 

My Hero

 

For The Vicar’s Christmas (published in Christmas Revels II: Four Regency Novellas), it turned out much the same. I had the perfect image in mind for my vicar (with the receding hairline). I tracked down a photo, this time, casting an American in the role. Knowing nothing about the actor, I was shocked to learn he was approximately 60 years old! He could easily pass for my almost-40-year-old vicar. When I learned Hannah Meredith was a fan of the recently defunct television show he starred in as the side-kick, I told her, “Oh, I based the appearance of Henry Ogden on him.” Well, Hannah informed me, the actor bore no resemblance to the Henry she imagined!

 

Decide for yourself. Read the excerpt, and with what scant clues I’ve provided, decide whom you would cast in the role of my mild-mannered village vicar, Henry Ogden. I’m looking forward to reading your choices. Tomorrow, I’ll post my own comment and tell you who provided my inspiration.

 

 cr - print front 3cb with period

 

Title: Christmas Revels II : Four Regency Novellas

 

Author: Anna D. Allen

 

Genre: Historical Romance

 

Publisher: Singing Spring Press

 

 

Book Blurb:

 

Let the Revels begin-again! Four new stories with four distinctive voices:

The Vicar’s Christmas – Margaret Trent never needs anything or anyone, but when two London solicitors show up on her doorstep, she needs a hero. Enter Henry Ogden, mild-mannered village vicar. Hardly the stuff of heroes . . . until adversity brings out unexpected talents.

A Christmas Equation – A chance meeting between a reluctant viscount and a self-effacing companion revives memories of their shared past-a time when they were very different people. With secrets to keep, Sarah Clendenin wishes Benjamin Radcliff gone . . . but he’s making calculations of his own.

Crimson Snow – A trail of blood drops leads Jane Merrywether to a wounded stranger-the only person standing in the way of her wicked guardian becoming an earl. John Rexford, long-thought dead, has returned to claim his inheritance and his promised bride . . . if he can survive a murderous Christmas.

A Perfectly Unregimented Christmas – After years at war, Viscount Pennyworth returns to his ancestral home to find some peace and quiet and to avoid the holiday he loathes. But four naughty boys, a bonnet-wearing goat, a one-eyed cat, a family secret, and one Annabelle Winters, governess, make this a Christmas he’ll never forget.

 

Christmas in July Fete Sackful of Giveaways:

 

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Excerpt:

A violent tapping at his window startled the vicar out of his thoughts. On the opposite side of the glass stood a grinning Jack Carden, the stable boy from Edgecombe Hall, all rosy cheeked with ringlets and the vapor of his breath creating a very false cherub-like appearance. He waved a note clutched firmly between the hand and thumb of his mitten. Had it been summer, Henry would have just opened the window and taken the note—no doubt with Jack crawling through in the process to land in a jumble on the carpet. But with these cold days settling in and thoughts of summer far away, Henry was not about to open the window. He probably should not have even drawn the curtains but he couldn’t resist the sun pouring into the dark room.

 

“Go around,” Henry said and motioned the boy toward the back of the house. Holbein, Mr. Clarke, His Majesty the mad king, and even God would all have to wait for the more pressing matters of village life.

 

Henry met the boy inside the hall by the back door and took the note.

 

“You should hear Miss Trent!” Jack exclaimed with much too much eagerness. “If she weren’t a lady, she’d be swearing like a groomsman.”

 

“Ah. None of that, now,” Henry calmly scolded, then pointed toward the kitchen. “Have Mrs. Brown give you something hot to warm yourself. There may be a reply.” Between the boy and Henry’s housekeeper, the vicar knew the whole village would know of the goings on at Edgecombe Hall within the hour.

 

As Jack scampered off to the kitchen—Mrs. Brown shouting for the boy to walk and refrain from behaving like a little heathen—Henry broke the seal on the note.

 

It was a summons from Miss Margaret Trent. Or more precisely, from Mr. Jonah Henderson, the late Sir William’s London solicitor’s junior partner who had called on Miss Trent that morning. He reported the lady was quite hysterical—how Henry hated that word, especially as he doubted Miss Trent had ever been anywhere near exhibiting such symptoms in her entire life—and that she needed Reverend Ogden to come immediately to offer comfort and consolation in her time of bereavement.

 

A solicitor, especially one up from London, never boded well. And this note reeked of mendacity. While anyone and everyone in the village could more than happily lecture on what exactly Miss Trent needed, comfort and consolation in her time of bereavement were definitely not among them. If anything, the gossips said she demonstrated an unusual lack of emotion upon her father’s death. Never one to put store by gossips, Henry knew Miss Trent to be dignified, proud even, and that she would never allow for a public display of her feelings to all and sundry. Tears were a private matter reserved for intimates.

 

Margaret Trent, in Henry’s view, was probably the most self-reliant of all his parishioners and therein—he suspected—lay the reason for her continued spinsterhood. She managed quite well on her own, and whatever the situation unfolding today at the hall, Henry sincerely doubted Miss Trent needed him for anything.

 

He took out his pocket watch and clicked it open. Quarter to eleven. Blast and blazes! He would have to do without his eleven o’clock tea. Worse—well, maybe not worse—the farrier had told him not to ride his horse until after Christmas due to a recent bout of lameness. Walking from the vicarage to the church was easy enough, but all the way to Edgecombe Hall, a distance of at least two miles, in this cold, would be miserable. Still. Needs must. If Jack could manage it as cheerfully as he did, so too could Henry. And the lad could keep him company on the way.

 

Henry informed Mrs. Brown that he had been called to Edgecombe Hall about a matter and did not know when he would return home. He checked himself in the mirror; despite his dark, spiky hair and the ever-growing number of faint lines around his eyes, he would do. He bundled up against the cold, wrapped a muffler around his head, pulled on his gloves and hat, and, seeing Jack was finished with his cup of tea and biscuit, headed out into the gray frosty world with the boy tagging along beside him.

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://a.co/4ogrKbC

 

Apple iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/christmas-revels-ii-four-regency/id1047951334?mt=11

 

Barns and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-revels-ii-hannah-meredith/1122771468?ean=9781942470007

 

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/christmas-revels-ii-four-regency-novellas

 

Print – https://www.createspace.com/5739761

 

Anna

 

Author Biography:

Anna D. Allen is essentially half-Finnish and half-Southern, which means she has no sense of humor and will shoot you for wearing white shoes after Labor Day… unless you are attending a wedding and happen to be the bride. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Language and Literature. She is a recipient of the Writers of the Future award and a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, but she also has a great passion for Regency Romances. It is generally acknowledged that she spends way too much time with the dead and her mind got lost somewhere in the 19th Century. Along with her contributions to the Regency anthologies, Christmas Revels and Christmas Revels II, her available works include two collections: Mrs. Hewitt’s Barbeque: Seven Eclectic Tales of Food, Humor, and Love and Lake People and Other Speculative Tales; the novel Charles Waverly and the Deadly African Safari; the Regency Romance novelette “A Christmas Wager;” the Regency Romance novel Miss Pritchard’s Happy, Wanton Christmas (and the Consequences Thereof), as well as some boring scholarly stuff about dead people. Rumor has it she has run off with the Doctor—picking up Matthew Brady along the way—and was last seen in 1858 in a hoop skirt and running shoes, but she doesn’t believe it.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Webpage: http://beket1.wix.com/annadallen

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-D-Allen/366546213501993

 

 

 

 

Meet Blushing Books @author_vanessa Liebe and her Latest Release! #eroticromance #romance


Vanessa Liebe

 

Are you an erotic romance reader? Well, today you’re in for a treat. We’re thrilled to have Blushing Books author Vanessa Liebe on the POTL Blog. We first met her when she approached us about featuring her Blakeney Brothers Adventure Romance series a few weeks ago. She loves to blend historical romance with adventure and sizzling hot sex scenes. We asked if she’d like to sit down with MRS N for an interview and she agreed. We loved learning more about her and she provides some excellent insight into publishing and marketing. Take it away, Vanessa:

 

What is your writing process?

Research and a rough plan. Then write out on paper to type and edit later on.

 

What book do you wish you could have written?

Books – The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. Awe inspiring!

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are important. I try to fit them in with the time period if it’s a historical book and I have to like them 😊

 

Have you always liked to write?

Yes. I used to love writing stories as a kid and remember thinking it would be great to be published one day. I forgot about writing for a bit when I started work as an adult, but then I got into writing fan fiction. I enjoyed the responses I got and finally decided to submit some novels to publishers a few years ago.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Yes, I read my reviews and I respond to any on my blog tours. That is, I thank the person for writing them regardless of what they have written. I don’t respond to reviews elsewhere, especially Amazon as I was advised not to. I think that’s best, even though it would be nice to thank some people. As for bad reviews, I would sometimes like to know why someone thought what they did, but ultimately it’s not worth getting upset over. Someone told me that authors need a thick skin and it’s true. Although, I’m still developing mine 😊

 

What is your best marketing tip?

Start a marketing plan before you even submit a book or self publish, because it takes time to build a brand and to find what works best for you. I have tried several promotional techniques and some I wish I had discovered sooner.

 

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Writing the synopsis! I find it really hard to write a fantastic summary of my book. It’s always a relief not to have to write one as part of a submission process.

 

Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?

Out in the garden when it’s a beautiful sunny day. I have my pen and a notebook and that’s all I need.

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I’m currently finishing off a contemporary erotic anthology and then I’m going to write the final Blakeney brother adventure.

 

Do you write naked?

No, but I sometimes write in my PJs.

 

What is your biggest failure?

Failure to write and submit to a publisher sooner. I could kick myself.

 

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

Yes, but only for speeding.

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

I do like my wine and I’m rather partial to a rose or the fruit wines such as strawberry & lime.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The power to heal. It would be great to heal terminally ill kids especially.

 

What secret talents do you have?

I’m good at drawing and I can play soccer well.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

I want to tour China, especially see the Great Wall.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have a scar on the middle finger of my left hand. I sliced my finger open when cutting up carrots for some science experiment homework! It meant a trip to A&E.

 

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

I was very shy and not confident at all. My favorite toy was my Sindy doll.

 

 TheHighwayman'sProposal_500x755 (2)

 

Title: The Highwayman’s Proposal

Author: Vanessa Liebe

Genre: Erotic Romance. Mystery/Suspense

Publisher: Blushing Books

 

Book Blurb:

Gabriel Blakeney is a man who protects those he loves at all costs. If that means becoming a highwayman to help support the community that raised him, then that’s what he’ll do. Risking his life each night, he robs from the rich to redistribute among the poor. He does it to survive. But what he’d really like is to find a woman of his own to protect and love. Despairing of ever finding her, things change one night when he meets Lady Caroline Godwin. Here is a lady who needs protecting, all right – from herself.

 

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And Caroline Godwin is desperate. Her father has lost a fortune at cards and is bed bound after a stroke. Somehow, she must raise the money within a month or lose her home. Worse, she may be forced to marry the despicable Lord Shard – her father’s creditor – to protect the family name and pay the debt. Frantic, Lady Caroline remembers being held up a few weeks ago. She makes the audacious decision to rob the handsome highwayman. But Caroline gets far more than she bargained for.

 

With card sharps, traitors, and the militia to worry about, Gabriel and Caroline find danger ever present. He is determined to keep her safe throughout, even if that means a trip over his knee.

 

Excerpt:

“Stand and deliver!”

 

The demand came loud and clear, as Lady Caroline Godwin’s coach came to a sudden stop. She sucked in a deep breath, holding onto the sides of her bench seat to brace herself against falling off. Her maid did the same, looking up at her in fright. “Oh, my lady. It’s a highwayman. I knew we shouldn’t have travelled at night.”

 

Lady Caroline couldn’t have agreed more. However, upon receiving news that her father was gravely ill and had lost a fortune at cards again, she knew she must leave London and return home. Travelling at night to get there as quickly as possible had seemed worth the risk. Not only did she need to know exactly how much her father had lost, she knew that her mother wouldn’t be able to cope with the situation. Her father had suffered a stroke immediately after losing and was currently bed bound.

 

Lady Caroline tried to reassure her maid. “I need you to be calm, Maisie. If we do as the rogue asks, we will come to no harm.” Yet after the initial shout, there was no sign of the highwayman. Furious both at her father for gambling away his money, and for getting stopped like this, Lady Caroline was feeling brave rather than scared. She was about to get out of the coach and see what was going on, when there were a few muffled curses from above them, a few thumps and then silence. She frowned, straining her ears to hear more.

 

“He’s going to kill us all!” cried Maisie fearfully, before fainting.

 

Lady Caroline looked at her maid lying in a crumpled heap on the bench seat opposite and couldn’t help feeling even crosser. “For heaven’s sake,” she muttered. And what has happened to my coachman and footman? “Frank? George?” she called out. She was met with silence.

 

 

She gasped as the door was suddenly pulled open and a tall, masked figure appeared, holding a pistol. The man, dressed all in black and with a tricorn hat on his head, looked around the coach, before returning his gaze to her. The pistol was aimed at her. “Good evening, my lady.”

 

Lady Caroline stared at him. The moonlight shone down on him, but didn’t reveal much, due to his dark clothing and black eye mask. She could make out sensual lips though, her gaze drawn to them because it was the only part of his face she could clearly make out. Then her gaze dropped to the pistol aimed at her and she felt renewed anger. He’d caused her maid to faint, he’d done god knows what to her male servants and now he was aiming a weapon at her. She raised her chin and glared at him. “It was a good evening, until you came along,” she told him. “What have you done to my coachman and footman?”

 

The highwayman had the nerve to grin at her. “They’re gagged and bound, my lady. But unhurt.”

 

He climbed into the carriage, sitting down opposite her, on the edge of the seat, next to her unconscious maid. “Now, if you don’t mind handing over some of your baubles, I will leave you in peace.”

 

Thanks to her father, Lady Caroline didn’t have much in the way of jewelry. What she did have held no value. She looked down her nose at him. “I’m afraid you’ve robbed the wrong coach tonight.”

 

Buy Links:

Publisher http://blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=4157

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Highwaymans-Proposal-Blakeney-Brother-Adventures-ebook/dp/B06ZYWTJWT

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Highwaymans-Proposal-Blakeney-Brother-Adventures-ebook/dp/B06ZYWTJWT

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Highwaymans-Proposal-Blakeney-Brother-Adventures-ebook/dp/B06ZYWTJWT

 

Author Biography:

Vanessa Liebe is the author of fun, sexy erotic romance and erotica, both contemporary and historical. She mostly writes in the Fantasy and Paranormal categories as she likes a man with bite.

Vanessa is married with three children and resides in Hampshire, South East England. When not house training her children, reading or writing, she likes to sit in the garden with a glass of rose wine.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009945581362

Twitter: https://twitter.com/author_vanessa

Blog: https://vanessaliebe.com/

 

 

Opportunity is Always Knocking so Turn Down Your Self-Doubt! #inspiration #WednesdayWisdom


opportunity-self-doubt-station

 

Is your self-doubt preventing you from achieving your dreams?

Five years ago, I had the opportunity to write my first manuscript. MR N had just received a raise at his work and I could resign from my position and write. My self-doubt cranked up and all I could think is that I couldn’t possibly do it. I was too old, too inexperienced and wouldn’t possibly finish it. I’d start strong, like I always do when I start something new, and eventually drop it for something else.

This was a dream of mine and I was determined to see it through. This time, self-doubt wouldn’t win because I had a secret weapon: an accountability partner. I named MR N my partner and he helped me stay on track. He supported me in every way and soon my self-doubt shrunk to a whisper.

Opportunities are knocking. Tap, tap, tap. Can you hear it? No, then you have to turn down your self-doubt. Take control of the volume and you’ll be on your way to achieving your dreams.

MRS N

Writing Medical Mysteries: The Rules by @LinWilder #amwriting #writing #WriterWednesday


medical graphic
Photo credit: Big Stock Photos

 

 

When we start writing fiction, whether writing medical mysteries, romance, erotica or any of the rapidly increasing list of fictional genres, we expect a set of rules. After all, we’ve been taught to follow the rules ever since we were preschoolers.  That’s a good thing. Because all writers need to adhere to the basics of grammar, coherence, clarity. And for writers of medical mysteries, intrigue, surprise and suspense are paramount.

 

But in the now ten years that I have been writing fiction, the way I conceive of rules has changed. I think there are a set of rules which work for beginning novelists. But not too long afterward those rules must be unlearned. And last, there is a regimen, a critical routine which must be followed, even for the very experienced. Hence, we can approach the of writing medical mysteries in three phases.

 

Rules for the Novice Writer

 

By far, the primary maxim for someone who has decided she wants to write a medical mystery is to be clear about why. “I’ve always been told I write well.” Or, “Writing a novel is on my bucket list.” Or, “I think I’d like to be a writer,” won’t cut it.

 

  • Consider what your real goal is. Money? Fame? Recognition? Become another Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl, the book and the movie, Paula Hawkins, author of Girl on the Train, the book and movie) or Andy Weir (self-published author of The Martian, the book and the movie?) Be brutally honest here. And if these are the reasons, think again about why you want to engage in what one publisher has called The 10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing.

 

  • Lest you think that the former is meant to deter you from your dream, quite the contrary. My reasons for suggesting that you journey deep inside before you begin are from personal experience and are said to mitigate disappointment once you are finished. When the book is done and the awards do or do not trickle in, our feelings are generally a mixture of relief, pride in the accomplishment mixed with a bit of sorrow: “What do I do now?” “What’s the next act?” Simply said, the best part of any huge undertaking is the journey: the process, the challenge, learning, the highs and yes, the lows. It’s never the kudos, awards or the recognition, no matter how trivial or huge.

 

  • Make sure you like your story and your characters. You’ll be living with them in your head and on your computer for a long time. Although it is possible to get a book written and published in thirty days or less, I would not recommend following the directions of someone who promises this. The chaos in the formerly bounded book publishing business has attracted all kinds of people, some of whom you would not want to have dinner -or even a drink with. If the claim sounds impossible, it most likely is.

 

  • Write about what you know. I spent more than the first half of my life in academic medicine. I grew up with interns, residents, and all the associated paraphernalia of the teaching hospital. For me, then, writing a medical mystery was a natural. Although expertise in your chosen subject matter is not essential- it is fiction, after all, our readers can tell when we write from our own experience. It makes itself evident and therefore far more believable.

 

  • This is your story. Although your editor may be excellent in the technique of writing, you are the artist. You see the characters, hear their voices and know them…they become part of you. Of course, you would not consider publishing your book without hiring an editor, the boundaries between him and you must be distinct. If not, you risk losing essential components of your story.

 

There are far more tips than there is room here so if you will forgive the self-promotion, here are five more tips that may be useful to those of you considering writing your first novel.

 

Now That You Have Learned Them, Dump All the Rules

 

“John, I know you were a Marine, therefore you love rules. The rule you need to remember here is that there are no rules.”

My husband is a psychologist and told me about this simple piece of advice from the head nurse of an inpatient psychiatric unit where he was working as an intern. That nurse’s statement informed the more than twenty-five years that John worked as a psychologist with combat veterans. With many of his clients, particularly the suicidal ones, breaking the established rules was axiomatic in helping these men get their lives back.

Writing is exactly like that. The most important rule for a writer is to know-and believe- that there are no rules. One of my favorite quotes on this subject is attributed to Somerset Maugham. “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

 

However, there are a few myths or rules about writing which live on despite their falsity. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Excellent novelists are miserable, unhappy neurotics, on a good day.  One of the numerous reasons that I stuck with writing non-fiction for so much of my life is that I bought into this myth completely. The writers I loved as a young English major were either alcoholics, suicidal or psychotic. Think F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound. The cost of writing my novel would be too great. And then the dream slid to the back burner as the responsibilities of life accelerated.

 

My first book was arduous. Mainly because I believed that it would only be good if writing it was, an endurance test. Therefore, I made it so. Like any work worth doing, writing a first novel is worth doing poorly. My first novel was replete with problems which were corrected in the second edition.

 

But the subsequent four books have been a totally different experience. Certainly, hard work but not arduous. At times, fun. True because of the joy of getting—really describing a new character is such a high. Like an extremely challenging character so because he is totally out of your frame of reference. Like an assassin who became my favorite character in my third and fourth books.

 

  • To complete a book, you must schedule times and a place for writing it. And consistently adhere to that schedule. I don’t have a writing schedule. Nor do I have a specific place to write. Certainly, when I am approaching a deadline, like now, my writing schedule might be most of my waking hours or as much of them as I can devote to it. But other things interrupt-husbands, kids, holidays, life. As they should.

 

Perhaps because I’ve worked for myself for over fifteen years, the challenge of working from home is a norm for me. And grabbing a few hours here and there to write doesn’t drive me crazy. Anymore.

 

  • Beware of writer’s block. There is no such thing as writer’s block. Rather I think it’s fear. The assassin I mentioned earlier is a great example. Because I found this brand-new character intimidating, I was afraid of him. And knew I needed to take time, a lot more time than I normally do. And wrote him differently. I kept going back to read and re-read sentences and paragraphs sometimes taking days or a couple of weeks off before returning. Until finally, he had flesh and muscle. I could see him, even understand, how he got there: A killer for hire.

                   

                       Essential Regimen for All Writers, Novice or Experienced

 

  • When Not Writing, Read. Assuming we want each book to be better than the last, then we must read other writers interpretation of characters and story lines. Read better writers than you are. Why? Because that is how we learn- it is how they learned.

 

  • When not writing your novel, write anyway. I do a weekly blog and have for years because I enjoy writing non-fiction. If you don’t want the tedium of writing a blog, then use a journal or diary. Writing is no different from any other discipline. The more we do it, the better we get.

 

  • Exercise. There is no better antidote to a character who has you in a corner than going for a run. Or to the gym. Or a hike in the mountains. We writers are a sedentary lot, the body part we work the hardest is our brain. Once the sweat begins to pour down your face, it is remarkable how easily we can solve a plot problem or dismiss a poor review. Or decide to walk away for a day or a week.

 

  • Eat Reasonably Healthy Meals. Although junk food is tempting and yes, okay at times, if all we are feeding those remarkably efficient brain cells are carbs and sugar, our stories will suffer. None of us can create excellence without respecting and caring for our bodies.

 

  • Get 8 hours Sleep at Minimum. Insomnia is one of the most common health problems in the US. Costing billions annually in illness, accidents and accidents, good writers cannot afford to be sleep deprived.

 

 

apriceforgenius-cover-300ppi

 

Title: A Price for Genius

Author: Lin Wilder

Genre: Medical Thriller

 

Book Blurb:

Dr. Lindsey McCall’s worst fears are realized. Not only have both drugs been stolen but two women have been kidnapped- one maybe dead. Lindsey had known Liisa Reardon’s new drug was alchemy, only this time, the end product actually more precious than gold.

 

The desperate call from Hank Reardon in Switzerland came late at night causing too many questions. And no answers. Could Lindsey and Rich Jansen uncover who was behind the crimes? It was an inside job-could they figure out who had sold out the Reardons? All in time to save Reardon’s daughter and her chief tech Ariana? Were they risking their lives as well?

 

The evil words smolder in her mind, the contents of the letter delivered to Hank Reardon

 

Hello Mr. Reardon,

By the time you get this letter, it will be too late. We’ll already have her.

Here are the steps you must not take:

  • Do not call the cops.
  • Do not contact the FBI
  • Tell no one.
  • We’ll know if you or the FBI. We’ll and we’ll kill her instantly.

You must know Sir, there is a price for genius. We trust you will pay it if you want to see your daughter alive.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

 

Lin Wilder

 

Author Biography:

Lin Weeks Wilder has published dozens of articles, wrote a textbook, and has written four self-help books. Lin has written three medical thrillers situated in Houston, Texas where Lin worked for over 23 years.

 

The Fragrance Shed by a Violet, the sequel Do You Solemnly Swear? and the third in her series, A Price for Genius. The story of the return to faith, Finding the Narrow Road was an unplanned surprise. In her free time, Lin Wilder enjoys hiking, listening to beautiful music, gardening and last but certainly not least, reading. Lin is married to a former Marine and psychologist with 25 years of experience counseling ex- combat veterans. They reside in Nevada with their two dogs.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lincwilder?ref=hl

Twitter https://twitter.com/LinWilder

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/linwilder

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/linwilder

About Me https://about.me/lin.wilder

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Dr.-Lin-Wilder/e/B007L380OM

 

Where to Start If You Are Thinking About Writing by @DianeMoatAuthor #amwriting #FridayReads #kidlit


Writing post graphic Diane Moat

 

Throughout your life you’ve thought about writing, but it seemed too overwhelming. I’m here to tell you it’s not. That old cliché about everyone having a story to tell? It’s true. Your story may be true, or it may be one you’ve only seen in your mind, but it’s there.

 

When I turned 50, all of my friends were doing spectacular things to celebrate their big birthdays. One friend even trekked the Himalayas. Another parachuted for the first time. So along with the stress of my milestone birthday, there was this invisible bar set for me. I had to come up with something amazing.

 

I hadn’t written anything since my High School essays. Most of my adult life, I had been involved in dog rescue. There were countless times when I’d heard of an animal abuser who’d done something terrible to an animal. I (or another rescuer) would say, “If only I could get my hands on that person, he/she would never do that again.”

 

Over time, I had halfway created a story in my mind, where I was able to stop an animal abuser. Could I write that story? Could I? I began researching how to write, then how to publish a novel, and here’s what I found.

 

Anyone can write, and publish, a book. Really. Whether you put together your family recipes, write about your struggle with weight loss, or create an entirely new world. There are resources out there which can help you every step of the way.

 

The only thing you really need is desire. If you just know you could write something great, you are already there. The internet is a wonderful thing. You can find technical information on writing, support groups for writers, and every type of advice imaginable. Websites like POTL are invaluable.

 

But I would caution you, don’t research yourself to death. The most important thing to do it WRITE. Notepad, iPad, laptop, desktop, chalkboard, stickie notes. It doesn’t matter. Just write. I had only written a few paragraphs to Dog Gone when I fell in love with writing. Do your research when you have a question or hit a bump. Don’t let anyone actually tell you how to do the writing itself.

 

So whether you are 15 or 50, you have a story to tell. Take that leap; I promise you will be glad you did.

 

the-supernatural-pet-sitter

 

Title: The Supernatural Pet Sitter: The Magic Thief

Author: Diane Moat

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

Every animal can talk to you. You just have to know how to listen.

Pepper Neely is better at this than most, especially because she is in charge of pet sitting all the familiars in her neighborhood. A familiar is a pet magically linked to a witch or warlock. As a gnome, Pepper is no stranger to spells and sorcery. She also knows that, despite their special name, familiars aren’t all that different from regular animals. They get anxious when separated from their people, so Pepper uses her special gnome powers to calm them down. She watches Cranky the high-strung ferret, Frank the laid-back parrot, King Arthur the elderly tortoise, and many others.

Then, something terrible begins happening to the familiars. Someone is stealing their magic! It not only prevents Pepper from communicating with them but breaks their magical connection with their people. When King Arthur’s magic is stolen, his owner’s powers stop working too. Pepper can sense that the tortoise is very scared.

In order to protect the animal’s magic, Pepper decides to track down the culprit. With the help of her best friend, Luna, and her brother, Jax, Pepper fights to protect all of the special pets.

 

Excerpt:

Luna focused on the candle to her far left. Ten minutes later, the candle was still going strong. Pepper bit her lip, feeling sorry for Luna. She turned to stare at the uncooperative candle, and imagined a little wind blowing the candle out. Puff.

 

Suddenly, the uncooperative candle blinked out as if someone had snuffed it with their fingers.

 

Amazon 5 Star Review:

“Pepper Neely is a very special pet sitter because not only is she a little different in and of her own self—she’s a gnome—but the animals she’s responsible for are rather unusual, too. Most are witch’s familiars, and they’re magic. Now someone is trying to mess with them, and thirteen-year-old Pepper is on the case. This is a fun book with no rough edges for parents to worry about. The action is sweet but with many exciting twists and turns that show Pepper’s sterling qualities—and the gnome family is decent and tightly knit. Definitely something young people will enjoy and with nothing for a parent to worry about. Good story and I’m looking forward to the sequel.” – G. Miki Hayden

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Supernatural-Pet-Sitter-Magic-Thief-ebook/dp/B06XFQRV74

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Supernatural-Pet-Sitter-Magic-Thief-ebook/dp/B06XFQRV74

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Supernatural-Pet-Sitter-Magic-Thief-ebook/dp/B06XFQRV74

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34320532-the-supernatural-pet-sitter

 

diane-moat

 

Author Biography:

Diane is a Tennessee transplant, animal rescuer, and nurse. Dog Gone is her debut novel, born from years of hearing animal rescuers say about animal abusers, “If only I could get my hands on that person…” Diane is assisted by her many rescue dogs.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DianeMoatAuthor/

Website http://www.dianemoatauthor.com/

Twitter @DianeMoatAuthor

 

 

Are You Living a Fake Life? If so, Step Into the Truth; it’s More Fun! #inspiration


fake it

Are you leading a fake life, whether in person on online?

I read an article this morning about the prevalence of fake lives. I don’t mean people living two lives (due to infidelity or what have you) but people creating a whole new life in order to appear … well … better/happier/successful. It’s happening more and more in the blogging community. One mommy blogger confessed all back in 2016 and it made all the news circuits. Here’s her story:

http://nypost.com/2016/05/29/my-mommy-blog-ruined-my-life/

Do you know my first reaction to her story? Utter sadness. I mean, how much effort it took for her to create this “perfect happiness” when her own life was crumbling around her.

As authors/artists/creative folks, there’s an urge to create a fake life to go along with the author/blogger moniker. I mean, words are my talent so why not use words to create an ideal life to go along with the name N. N. Light?

Authenticity.

When I started this blog back in 2012, I hadn’t a clue what to talk about. I had zero followers and was basically talking to myself. So, I asked MR N what to talk about.

His response: talk as if the world is listening.

Pretty profound, eh?

From the start, I’ve been 100% me on this blog and with every inspirational thought, I shared a part of myself with the world. The more I shared, the more followers I gained (thank you from the bottom of my heart) and the more excited I was to blog. I shared life’s ups and downs and tried to be as positive as possible. My words became more than just words; they empowered people.

The world is listening and wants you to be truthful. Granted, it can be scary and fearful to live in truth. There’ll be people who won’t agree with you, will want to slam you and make you feel miserable. Live in truth and be honest. Whatever you’re going through, if you share your feelings online, you might just be helping someone else going through the exact thing.

Bloggers, I urge you to be yourselves. Share your heartbreak, frustrations, failures as well as the positive stuff, too. You’ll be much happier and at peace, without having all that extra stress about keeping your stories straight. Plus, it’s a lot more fun living an authentic life, both online and in person. 

MRS N

Meet David Gaughan @authorGaughan and Discover the Secret to Writing a Great Book! #FridayReads #SFF


DG_140618

 

I first met David Gaughan when he asked if I would read and review Aaden Bluestar – The Awakening several months ago. After reading it, I wanted to know more about the man behind the inspiring young adult science fiction adventure novel I’d just read. So, I asked David if he’d be willing to sit down for an interview. He said sure and I did a little jig. No, really. See, not only is David a prolific author but he shares the belief that each of us can make a difference in this world. So, without further ado, please welcome David to the POTL Blog. Take it away, David:

 

What is your writing process?

When I first started writing I found the story flowed better when I wrote longhand. I still have the handwritten original journal of my first attempt at writing, which was eventually published many years later as Star Bred Prophecy. However, my first published work was actually dictated and I find that method far more efficient and creative. I’ll sit comfortably in a chair with my feet up while I stare into space. I visualise the scene unfolding before me, like I’m watching a movie and I simply describe what I’m seeing. I’ve had feedback from several readers who say they feel like they’re watching a movie when they read my works.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are definitely important. In the original story that was published as “The Blue Star”, the key character’s son, who played a fairly minor role, was named Ajay. When I decided to rewrite the story from the boy’s perspective the name Ajay just didn’t seem right and it certainly didn’t go well with BlueStar. Even though it was based on the original Blue Star story, the tale took on a new energy and originality, so it seemed appropriate that a name change was needed. Aaden BlueStar emerged as an independent character in his own right. Even his name is spelt with double a, rather than the more commonly spelt Aiden.

 

Have you always liked to write?

My first urge to write was when I was only six years old. I was so enchanted by a children’s story book that I started copying it in long hand. At that young age the hand writing wasn’t that great, but when one of my brothers asked me what I was doing I immediately replied, “I’m writing a book”. It was almost as though I had an inkling of what I’d be doing in later years. Of course it was a huge joke to them, so I didn’t pick up the pen again until many years later. In my early twenties when I went on my first major overseas excursion and I started telling people about my experiences, I often got the comment, “you should write a book about it.” However, it wasn’t until years later I suddenly got the urge and I’ve been writing ever since.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I’ve always flown by the seat of my pants. There are a couple of occasions where I’ve plotted out the basic outline, but generally I find the story flows and takes on a life of its own when I sit back and watch it unfold. Even I’m surprised at where the story takes me sometimes. Although plotting the outline has helped on a couple of occasions, I find the creative forces flow better when I let it unfold as I go. As mentioned earlier, I tend to be like a spectator watching a movie. It can be quite fascinating at times. Of course, after the initial draft, that’s where the real work begins, with the honing of the story and the many rewrites.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I always read my reviews. I’ve learned not to take things too seriously because I’ve found that each reviewer has their own perspective and sometimes they contradict each other, where one reviewer sees an area where they take exception and another reviewer might praise that same part. It just goes to show that everyone has their personal likes and dislikes. However, if the same criticism arises with two or more reviewers, then it highlights something I need to consider for future work. In the end, I think any review is good, whether it’s high ranking or not. It’s all a learning process.

 

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

I’ve written several books, ranging from fiction through to self help. Having had several friends and family affected by cancer, I researched and wrote an alternative treatment e-book called “Is there a Cure for Cancer”. On a similar vein I’ve written an e-book called the Wisdom Wellness Diet, again targeting self healing through healthy eating habits. With the increase in world weather extreme events I wrote a book called Self Sufficiency Survival, all of which are available via Amazon.com. However, my passion is with the creative writing and the first one published in hardcopy was The Blue Star, later rewritten from Aaden’s perspective and published as Aaden BlueStar – The Awakening.

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

What I’m working on now is something totally different. Besides book two and three of Aaden’s story, I’m researching the interpretation of ancient prophecies, some of which are predictions that have already happened and others that are yet to come. I’ve got the basic outline of the stories in the Aaden Bluestar series and they’ll need more work at some stage. However, my current priority is finishing the interpretation of the ancient prophecies, a project that will no doubt be rather controversial.

 

What is your biggest failure?

I don’t look at things so much as failures, but more as learning experiences. Rather than failure, I think my biggest disappointment was when my first published book The Blue Star never really took flight. It wasn’t until much later that I realised it was a bit ahead of it’s time and targeted at the wrong readership group. It wasn’t until years later that I realised the story needed to be told from Aaden’s perspective and targeted to the YA market. Regarding so-called failure, I take my cue from Thomas Edison who, when asked by a reporter how he felt about failing over a thousand times to make a light bulb, replied “I don’t look at it as failing a thousand times – more that I’ve discovered that many ways how not to make a light bulb.” Actually, there are many interpretations of what he actually said, but that’s the gist of his message.

 

Have you ever gotten into a fight?

Yes, when I was young, growing up on the rougher side of town. Although I did my best to stay clear of confrontation I did get ambushed on a few occasions. I learned early on when the adversary is much bigger, it’s better to resort to negotiation and reasoning, rather than try and fight against the odds. If anything, it made me more observant of situations and peoples’ behaviour, which came in handy in later years as a writer.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I don’t really see the point of recording anything on a tombstone. I’ve left instructions for my ashes to be scattered at low tide on a beach – I’ve always received a lot of inspiration from walking the beach so I couldn’t think of a better place to end up. One thing you often see on a tombstone is the date of birth and the date of death, separated by a dash (-). I think it’s more important how you spend that dash while you’re alive rather than recording the dates on a tombstone. The only thing I’ll leave behind is my writing and I hope that will continue to inspire people long after I’m gone.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I think a great superpower would be having the ability to convince people to use their creative visualization energies solely for positive outcomes. Of course, doing so would override their freedom of choice, so I guess I won’t achieve that superpower until I’m advanced enough spiritually not to use it. In the meantime, I’ll concentrate on my writing to help people make that choice of their own free will.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

I can think of a couple of star systems that would be interesting to visit, but unless our scientists make rapid progress in the short term with their propulsion systems, I guess the only way I’ll make that trip is to hitch a ride on a visiting spaceship.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have a scar on my forehead that was more visible when I was young than it is now. I got it at the age of twelve when, riding my bike – I had a head-on collision with a truck. Needless to say, I came off second-best and I spent three days unconscious in hospital. I have another scar on my abdomen where I used black salve bloodroot paste to treat a skin cancer. I’ve always been a bit adventurous with trying alternatives and although I got a little nervous with the pain and the resulting crater it left behind when the plug came away, it healed up nicely, although it left a scar, mainly due to the size of the hole that had to heal. I think scars, both physical and emotional, are evidence of life trials that, if they don’t kill us, tend to make us stronger.

 

 Aaden Cover_titled_sm

 

Title: Aaden BlueStar – The Awakening

Author: David Gaughan

Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy

Publisher: Astar Print

 

Book Blurb:

Never feeling quite at home in this world, an ordinary boy discovers his extraterrestrial heritage and superhuman powers when he is confronted by an alien foe. Discovering he is here on a time travel mission, his grip on reality is stretched when he realizes his father, who is running for President, is also not of this world. His best friend Fleur and his sister Tiffany are the only two he can confide in. Together with their extraterrestrial friends, they not only have to combat their alien foe, they also have to convince humanity to change their ways to prevent destroying their home through an environmental disaster. With climate change and extreme weather issues increasing in frequency and intensity, the clock is ticking!

 

Excerpt:

With the memories still fresh in his mind of the destruction of the alien craft in his trance the previous night, Aaden struggled to concentrate during the history lesson.

“Okay,” said Brian Masters, catching Aaden’s attention. “We’ve covered the main battle in today’s lesson, but not what led up to this. For your assignment, I want you to research the main events leading to this confrontation. I want that returned by tomorrow.”

‘No!’ Aaden thought in panic, staring at the teacher. ‘I need time to check out Tunguska.’

Masters, who had turned to clean the whiteboard, suddenly turned back and said, “No, you need time to check out Tunguska.”

As soon as he’d said the words, he immediately baulked. The shocked expression on his face showed that he’d had no intention of saying such a thing. Aaden was amazed that he’d repeated his very thoughts. The other students, who were all preparing to leave the room, stopped and looked at Masters.

“Tun … what?” said one of the students. “Is that a hint of what we need to research?”

“No!” said Masters quickly. “I … uh … I’m not sure where that came from.” He shook his head, as though to clear a confusing thought. “Ignore that. Have the assignment ready by tomorrow.”

The students went back to clearing their desks, preparing to leave. Aaden continued staring at Masters, amazed that the man had repeated the words he’d been thinking. He wasn’t sure whether it was some strange coincidence, so he decided to test it. He thought, ‘Make it two days for the assignment.’

Masters immediately said, “Make it two days for the assignment.”

Again, as soon as the words were out of his mouth, his jaw dropped with the surprise of having said them.

“Two days?” one of the students repeated. “Not tomorrow?”

Masters looked around the room, appearing somewhat stunned. The students had all stopped and were looking at him for confirmation.

“Yeesss …” he replied, looking strained. “You can have two days.”

Aaden struggled to conceal his glee. He thought, ‘On second thoughts, make it three days.’

Masters immediately repeated, “On second thoughts, make it three days.”

Astounded by what he’d just said, Masters immediately grabbed his satchel and fled the room. The students filed out after him, all smiles at having gained such leniency on the timing of their assignment.

Aaden was still coming to terms with what had just happened when Fleur joined him as they walked from the room.

“That’s a bonus,” she said. “Three days for the assignment – we only need one.”

“Hey!” said Aaden, raising his hands in mock submission. “Who’s complaining? Have you heard of Tunguska?”

Fleur gave a sideways glance. “Masters mentioned that – what is it?”

“Let’s go check it out in the library.”

“But Masters said it wasn’t anything to do with the assignment.”

Aaden’s eyes sparkled. “Let’s check it out anyway.”

With a shrug, she followed him to the library and watched as he did a search for ‘Tunguska event’ on the computer.

“1908!” Aaden gasped. “It happened over a century ago.”

Fleur leaned closer to the screen. “Who cares?”

Aaden shook his head. “I didn’t know it was so long ago. But it actually happened. I thought it was just a dream.”

Fleur pulled a face. “What?”

Aaden ignored her questioning stare. “Ah … nothing. Let’s see what they say about it.”

“Tunguska is in East Central Siberia,” said Fleur, reading the text. “This has nothing to do with our assignment. What’s so great about Tunguska?”

“I heard there was an explosion there.”

“So? There have been explosions all over the world throughout history.”

“This was a major blast … bigger than the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.”

Fleur’s eyes widened. She looked closer at the screen. “No way! An atomic bomb in 1908?”

“Not an atomic bomb according to this info,” said Aaden, disappointed. “They think it was a meteorite.”

“There was no crater,” said Fleur, reading. “Meteorites are mainly rock, iron and nickel. Something that heavy would’ve made a massive crater. You reckon it was big enough for an explosion like an atom bomb. How can that be?”

“Because it wasn’t a meteorite,” said Aaden. The words were out before he could stop himself.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Paperback https://www.createspace.com/6550223

 

Author Biography:

Born on the same day and month as Mark Twain, this Sagittarius has always been the explorer, not only in world travel pursuits but also alternative fringe subjects. Having climbed the Great Pyramid of Cheops (and getting arrested doing so), some of his other world experiences included riding camels in the Sahara Desert, white-water rafting at the top of the Ganges river, fire walking on a weekend retreat, hot air ballooning in the Cappadocia Region in Turkey and visiting ashrams in Northern India. Much of David’s overseas travel has been fueled by his keen interest in metaphysical subjects.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter https://twitter.com/authorgaughan

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13428937.David_Gaughan

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KDZKOM

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/david.gaughan.967

 

 

Writing #InspirationalRomance With Heart Without Preaching Religion #99cents #FridayReads


christmas-wish-potl

“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.” – Herman Melville

When I sat down to write, Princess of the Light, I never intended on writing inspirational romance. I had just had a moving encounter with a homeless man and had all these thoughts running around in my head. I had to get them down on paper before they floated out of my head. Wait, I should probably start at the beginning.

Five years ago, I was out for my morning walk and I saw a homeless man sitting in front of a gas station. I looked at him, head uplifted to the sun smiling, and wondered what his story was. Why was he smiling? There was such a peace in his weathered face, I stopped walking and openly stared.  I watched him for a while and knew he was different from other homeless people.  He did not ask for money or hold up a sign. He kept to himself and avoided contact.

A voice suddenly entered my head, “What if you could help him? Would you? What if you were chosen to help him and others like him?”

I searched my heart and after a moment, I replied aloud, “Yes, I would.”

“This is what you were called to do.” The voice echoed in my heart.

I went home that very day and started writing. This simple encounter changed my life forever and inspired me to write Princess of the Light, an inspiring paranormal romance.

Writing inspirational romance can be tricky. I must admit I had some difficulty in the beginning. I wanted to inspire people to show kindness to people in their own city, especially those who are less fortunate and in need of food. I wanted to bring to light the hunger epidemic going on in America and Canada, two of the richest countries in the world. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to sound preachy.

The first thing I did was create a story of a woman who is destined to help someone like the homeless man I met. I wanted her to be strong and able to fight off the real and imagined demons tormenting a homeless man. Everyone likes a hero/heroine to root for and I made her female so I could relate to her.

The second thing I did was map out the homeless man and his story. I gave him a name and created a heart-breaking backstory for him. His story arc had to center on redemption and forgiveness, something everyone could relate.

The third thing I did was to write an edge of your seat novel with plenty of action. The story has action, adventure, romance, obstacles, battles, twists and turns. I wanted the reader to get lost in the story, not realizing they are being inspired.

Here are some writing tips I offer to writing inspirational romance:

  • Weave universal themes throughout your plot. You can be inspirational and reach a broader audience if you are universal. Every religion has many of the same morals and tenants to live by. Instead of mentioning specific religious names, use something more general. The main theme to Princess of the Light is Light versus Darkness. I use the term Light to convey spiritual goodness in a universal way. It does not matter what your spiritual belief is, you can relate to good versus evil.

  • Use everyday language. Being inspirational does not mean you have to sound intellectual or high and mighty. I have found when I write in modern English, I can reach more people than by using formal English.

  • Create real characters. I know this sounds like a no-brainer but stick with me for a minute. Creating characters who are human with flaws have a much bigger impact than having perfect-syndrome characters. Remember, you are trying to reach people. If the reader cannot relate to the main characters, they will not hear the message. They will scoff and mutter how that would never happen. Avoid this roadblock by putting your characters in a real situation and have them react in a natural way.

  • Consider donating part of the proceeds to a charity related to your book. Part of the proceeds of my book go directly to food banks and it’s something every reader can get behind. One of my characters is a homeless man and he relies on food banks. Homeless people all over the world need our help and when readers buy my book, they are helping those in need.

  • Never talk down to people. I cannot stress this enough, when writing inspirational, do not talk down to people. For as long as I can remember, I hated reading books where they preached at me about what I was doing wrong. Often, you can have a greater impact if you are on the same level as your reader. Use yourself as an example or if you are writing fiction, show your main character learning a valuable lesson.

  • Concentrate on the emotional arcs in your plot. Characters and circumstances inspire readers so let that be your focus. Ramp up the emotions in your reader by having your characters go through something. Part of my main character’s background is the emotional scarring from her father’s sudden death. It shapes who she is as a woman and explains her protectiveness over the Walking Man when battling the demons.

  • When writing non-fiction, be sure to do your research. With the birth of Wikipedia and Google, anyone can find out the truth about anything. Be historically accurate and be sure to give proper credentials.  There is nothing worse than reading about Joan of Arc and the weapon she uses isn’t invented for one hundred years after her death.

  • When writing a tell-all memoir, please consider changing the names to protect the innocent. We all have family skeletons, out of courtesy to your family while still being truthful, do the reader a favor, and change the names. Have some fun with it.  You will still be able to tell your story and inspire others; you just do not have to out your family to the world.

  • Consider using the journal/diary format for your story. I love the feel and intimacy of reading an inspirational diary. Even if it is fiction, this is a terrific way to tell your story. Everyone loves reading a diary and it draws the reader into the head of the main character so effectively.

  • Let the story tell itself. You have a story burning in your heart and the worst thing you can do is to get in the way of the story. Unleash the characters and let them use you to tell their story. Free yourself of your insecurities and fears. Do not worry if it is a good story or if you are a good writer. You are primarily a storyteller. Let the story be front and center; the rest of the details will work themselves out.

Writing inspiration is not complicated and anyone can do it. The key to writing a successful inspirational story without preaching is reaching people on an emotional level and showing them they can make a difference in their own corner of the world. Helping others is a characteristic inherent in every human being as is spreading the Light.

Princess

Title: Princess of the Light

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Spiritual Romance

Tagline:

Mary’s the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.

Blurb:

Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth–Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer’s army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It’s getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer’s second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help.

Joe Deacons is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he’s the Warrior of Light–the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness.

Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself.  When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her.  But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?

Excerpt:

I sunk into the water, and let the suds and scent of lavender engulf me.  The stress of the day finally began to melt away.

My body jolted.

I was in the middle of the desert. There were grass huts and women with hajjis walking quickly around me. Something whizzed past my ear, and a deafening explosion rocked me off my feet. I instinctively curled my body in a fetal position.

I listened for the screams to start, but it was eerily silent. I glanced around, but all I saw was water.

I was still in the bath. What had just happened? Was that a vision? Had I fallen asleep?

My headache was a dull thud now.

A knock on the washroom door made me gasp. I sat upright in the tub and heard my roommate, Amber, call in, “Mary, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m good. Just must have fallen asleep.”

“Hey, Amber, what time is it?” I looked down at my pruney fingers and wondered how long I was in the tub.

Amber said, “It’s five thirty.”

I leaned forward and turned on the hot water. The bath water had gotten cold while I had drifted off.

I leaned back as the warm water ran over my toes and closed my eyes, wondering what I should wear tonight. I wanted to look beautiful for Joe. I began to picture every outfit in my closet, and tried to imagine his reaction to it.

A shiver ran down my back and I faintly hear the water splash over the edge.

I opened my eyes and tried to scream. All that came out was a reverse gasp, and I pulled my towel in to cover my body.

A small child was in the tub with me. He couldn’t be older than five. Blood was running down his face, and his body was covered in sand mixed with congealing blood. He was clinging to my towel, and I didn’t know whether to let go of it or yank it back from him. His dark hair was wet with fresh blood. My heart filled with sadness and I quit trying to scream.

As I clung to my own towel, I didn’t know what was happening or what I should do.

The little boy raised his head and more sadness poured into my heart. His eyes were dark pools of grief and despair. They pleaded with me, begging me to help.

How? I mouthed silently.

I jumped when he began to move slowly toward me. He lifted one arm and spoke in a language I didn’t recognize. I knew I didn’t know exactly what his words meant, but I knew what he was saying: He was hurt and needed help.

The closer he came, the more my fear eased and the pain increased. He reached for my arm. His hand was bloodied, and it sent a jolt of electricity and agony throughout my body. I tried to pull away, but his grip was locked on my arm. His eyes turned black and murky, and a voice not his own spoke.

“Princess, help my people,” it said.

I shook my head.

“Let go!” I tried to scream again.

The little boy disappeared, and I jumped out of the bathtub, wet towel still wrapped around my body, and crumbled to the floor. The blood was smeared all around me, and I looked at my arm. The blood was still there, too.

I whimpered, scrubbed at my arm until it was raw, and yet I could still see the blood.

Buy Links:

99 Cents at Amazon.com until March 31, 2017

Free on Kindle Unlimited all year long

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N/dp/1502438453

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

Sign up for their author newsletter and get a free e-book ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

100% of the proceeds of Princess of the Light go directly to food banks (US and Canada) in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

5 Things to Help You Through Writing When You’re Sick by @RuthACasie #amwriting #romance


RAC 5 Things to Help With Writing When Sick

 

In a perfect world, I’d begin my writing day after eight hours of sleep, a large cup of my favorite coffee, a clear idea of my story, a perfect outline, and all day to write.

 

It’s not a perfect world. But you knew that already. The overwhelming reason why my perfect writing day went out the window (or down the toilet) had everything to do with being sick.

 

It’s been a difficult season here in the Northeast. One day you’re romping around in the park in 70 degree weather and the next you’re plodding through your driveway in fourteen inches of snow!

 

I did everything right. I got my flu shot. I kept myself hydrated. I got seven to eight hours of sleep every night. I ate right and exercised. Then how did I get sick! Not only did I get sick, but it hit me the day after my daughter came home from the hospital with her new baby.

 

Here is our new Caylee Eva. I was quarantined for a week while I got over the brunt of my cold and finished my antibiotics.

 

View More: http://cytbphotography.pass.us/babycaylee

 

Okay, so I shamelessly got a picture of my new granddaughter into this post. I digress.

 

Book blogs and seminars on writing stress that writing every day is key to sharpening your craft. It’s the old joke, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

 

But every day you don’t write your writing skills dull. It seems that writing dulls faster than it sharpens. After a week of not writing I knew I would have to work harder to get back into gear.

 

My cold had settled in my chest. Bouts of coughing and wheezing kept me up at night. Our new cold water humidifier helped some, but not enough. Cold medicines, cough medicine and even an inhaler got the symptoms under control by mid-week, but the rust was settling on my writing gears.

 

I was still tired, congested and chugging bottles of cough medicine but I made a large cup of tea with honey and lemon then sat down to write. So here is my list of 5 things that helped me along.

 

#1 READ

After a few days of not writing I found I was not close to the story. I read to get back into my character’s head. In truth, after I finish the first draft I usually step away from the story for a few days to get that distance. That way when I edit the story it’s with a fresh eye.

 

#2 Outline

I do this with all my projects, but after a few days of not touching the work it was the perfect time to update my outline and again, get back into the story. I use bullet points to note what generally happens in the chapter, identify the point-of-view character, and note in red anything that is missing. This gives me a quick view of what needs to be done.

 

#3 WRITE

Now, I’m ready to write. Depending on my energy level (and this time it was really low) I decided to add in those pieces that I identified as missing and removed them from the outline. Later in the week, when I felt better I was ready to move the story forward. I found that I tired easily and wrote in short spurts, but several short spurts were better than none.

 

#4 WORD COUNT

I keep my daily project word count on an Excel spreadsheet. I have a daily word count target and try to reach it. This is similar to having a deadline and surprisingly, I enjoy working toward the deadline. Last month, my local RWA chapter had its own writing challenge for the month, 30K words. I used my spreadsheet and was excited as I reached the goal.

 

#5 REST

Sometimes, no matter how much you plan or how diligent you are, your body tells you to stop. Another indicator is falling asleep at your desk. That’s not a pretty sight. Look. When you’re really sick, you need to put your work, as much as you love it, aside and let your body heal.

 

BONUS

One other thing you can do while you’re sick, journal. Think of it as research for a story that has a sick character. Write down how you feel, record how others respond around you, and dream. Your body may be defeated but your mind is fine. Dream out your story and when you’re ready to write it will be there.

 

Knight of Rapture Final Cover RACasie

 

Title: Knight of Rapture

Author: Ruth A. Casie

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Time Travel, Medieval

 

Book Blurb:

He crossed the centuries to find her…

For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the right combination of runes to create the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is only the beginning of his quest. He arrives in the 21st century to find her memory of him erased, his legacy on the brink of destruction, and traces of dark magick at every turn.

A threat has followed…

Bran, the dark druid, is more determined than ever to get his revenge. His evil has spread across the centuries. Arik will lose all. Time is his weapon, and he’s made sure his plan leaves no one dear to Arik, in past or present, safe from the destruction.

But their enemy has overlooked the strongest magick of all…

Professor Rebeka Tyler is dealing with more than just a faulty memory. Ownership of Fayne Manor, her home, has been called into question. Convenient accidents begin happening putting those she cares for in the line of fire. And then there’s the unexpected arrival of a strange man dressed like he belonged in a medieval fair—a man who somehow is always around when needed, and always on her mind. She doesn’t know who to trust. But one thing is certain. Her family line and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall, not on her watch… in any century.

 

Excerpt:

Unsure, she touched the shield again. It was still. The scream, she was certain it caused the tremor. She searched Arik’s face. He wasn’t aware of it. The beat echoing in her head was almost a steady tone. Fear twisted around her heart. His blood stained the barrier. She was certain he would die if he kept this pace. She couldn’t wait.

 

She gathered her strength and with lightning speed built the chant inside her. When she couldn’t hold it back any longer she let it loose in a grief-stricken scream.

 

Everything stopped. The wind. His pounding.

 

They stood facing each other.

 

“No, Beka. No,” he screamed his arms spread out across the barrier. She watched the glazed look of despair spread across his face.

 

A small portion of the shield fractured, then another, and another. The tiny explosions gathered momentum until they built into a frenzy and every inch of the shield was cracked.

 

Then silence.

 

She hesitated but at last placed her hand on the shield. Arik did the same. Their hands separated by the splintered magick. The fractured shield trembled, small pieces tumbled around them. For a brief moment their hands touched and she felt his warmth and love.

 

A great force pulled them apart as if they were puppets at the will of a puppeteer. They struggled to their feet and ran to each other but before they could get to the opening the portal snapped closed and vanished.

 

His roar echoed through the mountains. “I will find you.”

 

“I love you,” she sobbed as the portal took her away.

 

Away from him.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon:

http://amzn.to/1CtC7ad

Amazon Print:

http://amzn.to/1EN0Hhk

BN:

http://bit.ly/1McK4oC

KOBO:

http://bit.ly/1NaqW7Q

iBook:

http://apple.co/1M5o92x

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

 

 

Meet Award-Winning Author @ChristineBened5 + Her #Thriller! #IARTG #IAN1 #books


Christine Benedict

It’s out great pleasure to welcome Award-Winning Author Christine Benedict to the POTL Blog. We first met Christine when she contacted us about a book review. MRS N is a huge thriller fan so she read Anonymous. She loved it so much that MR N had to read it also. We begged and pleaded with Christine to sit down with us for an author interview and after many months, she agreed. Please give Christine Benedict a warm welcome to the POTL Blog. Take it away, Christine:

 

Do you write naked?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood naked, dripping wet from a shower, writing as fast as my pen will go. What is it about taking a shower that gives the creative mind a nudge. It’s not a widely-known fact but our best ideas come in the shower. Google it. You’ll be amazed.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have this scar on my forearm an inch and a half long in the shape of lips. I don’t remember how old I was, maybe four or five, when we lived with Grandma Wilson who watched us while my mother worked. I don’t know why it such a big deal to get the mail either, but when I saw the mailman that day pull off Route 82, I yelled, “I’ll get the mail!”  Me in my summer clothes, flip-flops and all, I opened the wooden front door.

My older sister, who would never let me ‘one-up’ her, yelled back, “No I will!” She dodged past me and flung the screen door open. My feet in motion, my arm outstretched, she slammed the storm door shut. I wonder to this day how she couldn’t have done it on purpose. My hand and arm broke all that glass, the only parts of me to make it outside.  I stood there bleeding, Grandma’s English bulldog, Beauty, licking up the blood and the glass on the floor. Grandma kept hitting that dog with a broom, yelling, “Git!” all the while, afraid it would cut its mouth.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

I think Eudora Welty could inspire any writer as she certainly has for me. It’s little wonder why universities everywhere bring attention to Eudora and her stories. ‘Death of a Traveling Salesman,’ for example, still gives me goosebumps, something I aspire to give my readers.

There are so many other authors who inspire me, Jodi  Picoult, author of The Storyteller, for her depiction of the human condition during the holocaust.  Amy Tan, author of The Valley of Amazement, for her expression of detail, taking you to China at the rise of World War II. And most importantly Sarah Willis, author of Things That Stay; I was fortunate enough to take part in her writing workshops sponsored by Community Partnership for Arts and Culture – Talk about inspiration.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

I’d like to tell aspiring authors to read read read. Spread out to other genres, not just the one you write. Delve into cultures around the world through their stories. Open your mind to the new and abstract.

There’s so much more you can learn about the crafting a story, no matter what your education level.  Seek out writing workshops in your area sponsored by universities and art counsels. Dr. Neal Chandler lead the fiction workshop at Cleveland State University where I had the privilege of learning above the grade.  I even had the chance to sit in on a few sessions with Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife, at a workshop sponsored by The Ohio Arts Counsel. A one of a kind experience.

 

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

It’s been said that I’ve always had a bubbly personality, even as a kid in the 1950s. I don’t know how that could have happened seeing that I lived in an abusive home. Except by the grace of God. I was friendly to everyone, the kind of kid who would gladly sit in a stranger’s lap just because he was nice to me.

I don’t remember a favorite toy, but I do remember when we moved to the country we had a huge trailer that sat empty in a grove of willow trees. The trailer had two wheels in the center and was closed at both ends, the perfect seesaw for 4 little kids.  Together, I, my sister and the two neighbor boys climbed inside the trailer and ran to one end, the metal clanging under our bare feet. It came down so hard the jolt made us jump involuntarily which made up laugh hysterically. We did it over and over again, until someone bit their tongue.

1875-farmhouse
This is the farmhouse that inspired my story. I lived there 36 years and the neighbors still say it’s haunted. – Christine Benedict

Title: Anonymous

Author: Christine Benedict

Genre: Thriller Suspense

Publisher: Loconeal Publishing

Book Blurb:

Debra Hamilton faces the fear of inheriting her mother’s insanity when her husband insists on moving into a fixer-upper farmhouse that’s a hundred years old, not an easy place for Debra to live, what with its creaks and bangs, and strange shadows, a house that even scares the neighbors. Debra befriends Julie, and learns that Julie has a stalker who writes her anonymous letters about the sexual fantasies he sees with her.

The story was inspired by the author’s own 100-year-old farmhouse where the neighbor still say it’s haunted. All the letters in the novel are letters from the man who stalked the author. He remains anonymous to this day.

 

Excerpt:

Having to pee, Debra unzipped her jeans in the bathroom before remembering that Greg had turned off the water.

“Geez-oh-Pete.” At this point the gas station was too far. She traipsed down the corridor that led to the basement. A quick flip-of-the-switch was all she wanted, just enough water to flush. The stairwell was dark and steep; the light-bulb’s pull-chain at the bottom. She clicked on the flashlight from Greg’s toolbox, and holding her pants up, cautiously stepped down the narrow stairs. Every inch she eked past spider webs meshed in between the cracks of hand-hewn quarry-stone walls. She stopped at the bottom step where she could finally reach the light, not wanting to take the last step onto the broken cement, muddied from the last rain. It smelled like the bottom of a creek bed, like earthworms and sludge. Spider webs were draped from the ceiling to the walls, and hung like shelves in every corner. The quarry-stone walls dating back to the 1800s were pitted blocks of sandstone—every bit her idea of a dungeon. From where she stood, Debra scanned the walls, trying to see the water valve. But she didn’t know where to look. A wolf spider the size of a quarter sat very still at the bottom step, then scurried across the floor. She shuddered right down to the bone. Another spider sat like a brooch on a jacket that Greg had hung on a hook. And in that moment before the light flickered off when all she could hear was her own heart, she swore that something was crawling up her leg. She let out a piercing yell, kicking wildly. She kicked off her shoes. She kicked off her jeans and dashed up the stairs in her panties, wanting to nail the door shut right then and there. At the top of the steps she eyed a yard stick that she’d used to stir paint, and picked it up. Then she made a mad dash to the basement and flogged her jeans to death right there in the sludge. Holding them at arm’s length, she brought them upstairs and looked them over. She begrudgingly pulled them on, and ran outside to the back field.

The sun shining off the white of her derrière, she squatted behind a briar bush where no one could see.

At least that’s what she thought.

Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Benedict/dp/194046613X

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/anonymous-christine-benedict/1118033610?ean=9781940466132

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/405526

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20263470-anonymous

 

Author Biography:

Christine studied creative writing at Baldwin Wallace University and Cleveland State University. She has had the privilege of working with authors Karen Joy Fowler, Paula McLain, and Sarah Willis.

Her debut novel Anonymous had earned:

  • 2015 Clue Award (Chanticleer Reviews) Winner (1st place)
  • 2016 Wishing Shelves Bronze Book Award Winner
  • 2015 Eric Hoffer Book Award Winner
  • 2015 First Horizon Book Award Nominee
  • 2015 IAN book of The Year Nominee
  • 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award Nominee

Her short story A Normal Life, a finalist for Perigee Publication for the Arts, is the fictional rendering of the visit to the mental ward where her mother had been undergoing shock treatment therapy in the 1980s, which is also a chapter in Anonymous.

Christine’s short stories, taken from her working novel The Girl in the Willows, have also been finalists for The Fish Short Story Prize.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.authorchristinebenedict.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristineBenedict/

Twitter https://twitter.com/christinebened5

Friday Book Round-Up Lassos 11 Great #Writing Reference Books! #amwriting #FridayReads


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Writers/Bloggers/Authors, this is for you. Writers are always looking for ways to improve our skills as well as write faster, better and for today’s market. I gathered the top eleven best writing reference books from Amazon for you to peruse. They sound fantastic and have added them all to my TBR (to be read) list.

 

 

How to Write a Children’s Book: Tips on how to write and publish a book for kids or writing children’s books by an award-winning author of the Amazon Bestseller How to Promote Your Children’s Book by Katie Davis (Editor), Jan Fields (Editor) [FREE as of January 12, 2017]

 

Do You Want to Know How to Write a Children’s Book?

 

Have you ever said, “I’ve always wanted to write a book for kids!” but then never got around to it? Maybe you didn’t know where to start, or how to get a good idea. Now you can start to write your book for children when you read How to Write a Children’s Book, brought to you by the Institute of Children’s Literature.

 

There are so many different kinds of children’s books, from picture books to chapter books, middle grade novels, and young adult, it’s hard to know which way to go. Should you decide you’re going to write for a particular age group and then come up with an idea that fits them? Or should you decide to write a story or article about a particular idea, then choose the age group that’s right for it? Almost anything can become a nonfiction topic for young readers, given their curiosity and appetite for facts about the world around them. But each topic has to be aimed at the right readership. You’ll have a much better handle on all this and more once you read the chapter “How Old Is Your Reader?”

 

How to Write a Children’s Book Will Start You on Your Way to Being an Author

 

Whether you you want to have a full-blown career writing children’s books, be traditionally publish, self-publish, or simply want one book to hand down to your own children and grandkids, How to Write a Children’s Book will help you.

 

Here’s What You’ll Learn from How to Write a Children’s Book:

 

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? Bestselling children’s authors like Judy Blume, R.L. Stine, Jane Yolen and more share their answers. You’ll find out how to know when an idea is worth following, and how to write a smart book.

How to figure out which readership is right for you.

How to target and hit the mark with your reader and make sure you’re writing to the right age.

How to get going, using writing prompts provided

How to get to know your main character

How to plot a great story

What editors wish writers knew

Five good tools that can get you into bad trouble

 

Whether you’re a first time or advanced writer, you’ll love how inspirational and educational How to Write a Children’s Book is, and how much it helps you! All the way to the very end, where you’ll find

 

  • Your Organization Checklist

 

  • Character and Settings Checklist

 

  • Sentence Structure Checklist

 

  • Mechanics Checklist

 

 

 

The Business of Writing for Children: An Award-Winning Author’s Tips on Writing Children’s Books and Publishing Them, or How to Write, Publish, and Promote a Book for Kids (Kidwriting 1) by Aaron Shepard (Author)

 

#1 AMAZON.COM BESTSELLER IN PUBLISHING & BOOKS (NOV. 2013)

#1 AMAZON.COM BESTSELLER IN AUTHORSHIP REFERENCE (OCT. 2013)

******#1 KINDLE (US) BESTSELLER IN WRITING SKILLS (NOV. 2013)******

AMAZON.COM’S ALL-TIME BESTSELLING GUIDE TO CHILDREN’S WRITING

**************************NOW UPDATED***************************

 

Writing books for children is both art and business. If you dream of becoming a children’s author — or even if you’re well on your way — this handbook can help you in writing sellable stories, getting them published, and promoting your books.

 

Topics include common myths about children’s writing, children’s book categories, elements of successful stories, manuscript format, submission strategies, contract negotiation, the publishing process, career building, and children’s writer resources. Also included are specialized subjects such as querying for multiple manuscripts, promoting a first book, and self publishing.

 

Read “The Business of Writing for Children” to learn the secrets you might spend years discovering for yourself.

 

 

Aaron Shepard is the author of “The Legend of Lightning Larry,” “The Baker’s Dozen,” and sixteen more picture books and early readers, along with several chapter books for middle grades, extensive resources for storytelling and reader’s theater, and a graphic novel. His publishers have included Atheneum, Scribners, Clarion, Lothrop, Dial, and HarperCollins, as well as Cricket and Australia’s School Magazine. Aaron’s work has been honored by the American Library Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, the American Folklore Society, The New York Public Library, and the Bank Street College of Education. He has been a judge for the Golden Kite Awards of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

 

 

“BRAVO! I thought it had pretty much all been said, but I was wrong. All the nuts and bolts are here as well as rules that bear repeating, PLUS insights not usually found in how-to books. Clearly and concisely written, this is an invaluable resource for both beginning and more accomplished writers.” — Susan Pearson, Editor-in-Chief,  Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books

 

“Aaron Shepard has written one of the most comprehensive guides available to anyone wishing to enter the competitive field of children’s books. It’s all here, from initial idea to successful sale, and then beyond to the essentials of contracts, promotion, and the ABCs of building a successful career. If you’re starting out, start out here.” — Stephen Mooser, children’s author

 

“Here’s clearly-written, no-nonsense help for children’s writers by a craftsman. Every fledgling author should own this book.” — Stephen Fraser, Executive Editor, Aladdin Paperbacks

 

“Aaron Shepard’s The Business of Writing for Children is a wonderful resource. His experience-based insights into the art and business of children’s writing will save beginning writers years of wasted effort — and help published writers achieve long-term success.” — Kathleen Duey, children’s author

 

“The Business of Writing for Children is a one-stop shopping center, a complete how-to-do-it guide for the writer who wants a jump-start on looking professional even though he/she may be turning out a first book. Editors will love you if you do it Shepard’s way.” — Audrey Baird, Editor, Once Upon A Time

 

“A clear, concise, straight-ahead starting place for a new writer or a newly-published writer. Shepard knows his stuff!” — Jane Yolen, children’s author and editor

 

“I carry around a file folder of materials which I share with unpublished writers and illustrators. This book is so comprehensive, I plan to replace my file folder with it. Whether you are a novice or a professional, The Business of Writing for Children needs to be in your library. DON’T write a book without it!” — Leslie Tryon, children’s author/illustrator

 

 

Writing Romance: The Top 100 Best Strategies For Writing Romance Stories (Romance Stories Book & Novel Writing Guide) by Alessandra Bancroft (Author)

 

Break Into The Biggest, Most Lucrative Writing Genre of Them All!

 

Are you looking to get into publishing and increase your chances of becoming a successful author? Why not start with romance? Romance is the most popular and best-selling genre of all fiction stories, accounting for the majority of all book royalties in the United States. Anybody can write and publish a romance book with just a good word processor, some great ideas, and some passion! Although the romance writing market competition is fierce, that shouldn’t stop you from getting your ideas out to the world!

 

This book covers an incredible variety of romance writing strategies, techniques and secrets that can help you climb to the top of the rankings. Even if you already have the next best idea for romance, it is equally as important to write a well-structured, well-planned book! In this helpful guide you will discover exactly what you need to do, step-by-step, in order to be successful.

 

Learn how to take your idea from good to Great and start earning Royalties Now!

 

Here Is A Preview Of What You’ll Discover…

 

Things to Do to Prepare For Romance Writing

How to Pick the Right Subgenre of Romance

The Importance of Your Setting

How To Write Stunning Dialogue and Love Scenes

The 5 Key Elements of Romance Writing

The Roles of Your Hero and Heroine

How to Develop Unique Characters

Romance Story Goals and Ideas

How to Write The Ending Your Readers Want

Much, much more!

 

 

 

What are you waiting for? If you are still reading this you are obviously motivated to get all the benefits this book has to offer. Stop thinking and take ACTION.

 

 

 

Travel Writing 2.0 (Second Edition): Earning Money From Your Travels in the New Media Landscape by Tim Leffel (Author)

 

Completely revised edition of the ground-breaking travel writing book that provides a road map to success in the digital age. It dives headlong into the entrepreneurial world of blogging and digital books, while still acknowledging the real money to be made in declining print forms. Drawing on interviews and survey responses from more than 100 successful travel writers and bloggers, this is the definitive guide to creating success instead of waiting for permission.

 

 

Generating Story Ideas: Tips and Techniques to Hatch Book Ideas from Scratch by Rachel Shane (Author)

 

Need an idea for your next novel? Or maybe you’re blocked on where to start? This writing guide will show you how to generate story ideas out of thin air using a variety of tried and true techniques. Each technique includes an exercise you can try yourself. The methods work for any genre! You can also use these tips and tricks to combat writer’s block or help you dive deeper into a scene to make it come alive. Inside the book, you’ll learn: – Fool proof methods for finding inspiration when nothing inspires you – Tons of different techniques to quickly help you generate ideas, including the X meets Y method, using targeted research to hatch an idea, combining tropes or formulas to prompt a unique idea, the What If method, and loads more! – Examples of ideas generated from the various techniques to illustrate just how easy they are. – Over seventeen easy exercises to help you come up with a new idea from scratch – Instructions on how to write an effective, hooky log line – Methods for expanding your log line into a full length pitch or blurb to help you raise stakes and enhance conflict – Tips and tricks for taking your initial premise and fleshing out the idea into scenes, chapters, and a full outline – Tactics for writing an effective first draft based on your new idea Other books give you writing prompts with pre-written ideas, this book empowers you with the tools you need to create your own ideas!

 

 

 

How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis: A Step-by-Step System for Enticing New Readers, Selling More Fiction, and Making Your Books Sound Good by Bryan Cohen (Author)

 

Struggling to find new readers? Learn how a compelling synopsis can make your book fly off the digital shelves!

 

Do you hate writing blurbs? Do you wish there was an easier way to summarize your novel and get more sales in the process? Author and copywriter Bryan Cohen’s book descriptions have hit both the Kindle Store’s Top 50 and the USA Today Bestseller list. Let him show you exactly how to craft the copy you need to hook new readers.

 

After writing hundreds of book descriptions for other authors and helping thousands with informative training, Bryan has learned what all the best book synopses have in common. Through easy-to-follow tips and helpful examples in a variety of genres, How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis gives you the tools you need to get a steady stream of online book browsers to click the Buy button every single day.

 

In this book, you’ll discover:

 

How to simplify your plot to create a short, engaging synopsis

Why using certain words can make customers fall in love with your story

How to shed unnecessary subplots and make writing your blurb a joy instead of a chore

The step-by-step system for writing and editing your synopsis for rhythm, momentum, and clarity

Why you need a synopsis cliffhanger, and much, much more!

 

Finally, you no longer have to take on the challenge of copywriting alone. With a more intriguing synopsis in place, all your future promotions, ads, and marketing campaigns can perform significantly better. You want more readers to buy your books, and Bryan’s system is a great way to make it a reality.

 

If you like detailed writing guides, plenty of examples, and a touch of humor, then you’ll love Bryan Cohen’s look behind the scenes at how he creates copy that sells.

Buy How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis today to get new readers excited to buy your books!

 

 

 

Outlining Your Novel Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises for Planning Your Best Book (Helping Writers Become Authors 2) by K.M. Weiland (Author)

 

Learn How to Make Your First Draft Easy!

 

Award-winning author K.M. Weiland’s previous book, the bestselling Outlining Your Novel, showed writers how to embrace outlines in a way that makes the writing process fun, inspiring, and easy.

 

Now it’s time to put those lessons to use! Building upon the principles you’ve already learned, the Outlining Your Novel Workbook presents a guided approach to getting the bones of your story down on paper, identifying plot holes, and brainstorming exciting new possibilities.

 

Containing hundreds of incisive questions and imagination-revving exercises, this valuable resource will show you how to:

 

Create your own personalized outlining process

 

Brainstorm premise and plot ideas

 

Discover your characters

 

Choose and create the right settings

 

Organize your scenes

 

And so much more!

 

 

This accessible and streamlined workbook will empower you to create a powerful outline—and an outstanding novel. Start writing your best book today!

 

 

 

Shoot Your Novel: Cinematic Techniques to Supercharge Your Writing (The Writer’s Toolbox Series) by C. S. Lakin (Author)

 

Want to write a visually powerful novel? Shoot Your Novel takes an in-depth look at cinematic technique for fiction writers. No other writing craft book teaches you the secret of how to “show, don’t tell.”

 

Best-selling authors of every genre know the secret to hooking readers—by showing, not telling, their story. But writers are not taught how to “show” scenes in a cinematic way. Without a clear, concise, and precise method for constructing dynamic scenes, a writer will likely end up with a flat, lifeless novel.

 

Filmmakers, screenwriters, and movie directors utilize cinematic technique to create visual masterpieces, and novelists can too—by adapting their methods in their fiction writing.

 

By “shooting” your novel, you can supercharge your story!

 

Sol Stein, in his book Stein on Writing said, “Readers, transformed by film and TV, are used to seeing stories. The reading experience . . . is increasingly visual.” Novelists today—regardless of genre—need to learn cinematic storytelling because that’s what readers want!

 

Inside, you’ll learn:

 

 

The real secret to “show, don’t tell” and how it’s all about “the moment”

 

More than a dozen “camera shots” novelists can borrow from screenwriters and directors to create powerful, active scenes

 

Instruction on how to piece camera shots together to create cinematic scene segments

 

Examples from novels and screenplays showcasing each facet of cinematic technique

 

How to devise a thematic image system of key shots, motifs, and images

 

Ways to use colors, shapes, sounds, and angles for purposeful subliminal effect

 

 

Shooting your novel with a filmmaker’s eye will transform your good novel into a great one and will change forever the way you approach constructing your scenes. No other book gives you such deep, thorough instruction in cinematic storytelling for fiction writing.

 

Here’s what some best writing instructors and best-selling authors have to say about this essential novel writing book:

 

“With such an extensive amount of experience in the screenwriting process (since childhood), it comes as no surprise that C. S .Lakin writes with a trustworthy authority and wealth of insight when it comes to the craft of building dynamic scenes within novels. The pace and flow of Shoot Your Novel makes it easy to follow and the various tips and pointers strewn throughout are succinct. Of particular note is the smart curation of novel excerpts, authors, and filmmakers she cites as examples for the tips she suggests. If you have trouble understanding some of the pointers/tips theoretically, the excerpts always make it more clear. Having myself adapted The War of the Roses for both film and stage I can say that I have actually used quite a few of the techniques Lakin discusses and the one I like the most is the use of portraying “daydreaming” when writing from the POV of a character, effectively blending past, present, and future in one single scene—there is a lot of this going on in The War of the Roses and it is one of the aspects of the story flow that has made the rendering of the character a success. Well worth the read!” —Warren Adler, best-selling author of The War of the Roses and Random Hearts

 

“With Shoot Your Novel, Susanne Lakin does something wonderful and unique. While lots of us in the business of helping writers and storytellers recommend adding vivid images to scenes, Lakin goes much further to reveal how employing the tools and techniques of movie directing, editing and cinematography will give your fiction deeper meaning and greater emotional impact. Her book is an essential tool for any serious novelist.” —Michael Hauge, Hollywood screenwriting coach, author of

Writing Screenplays That Sell

 

Write Faster, Write Smarter (4 Book Series) by Chris Fox

 

From Book 1: 5,000 words an hour. Total BS, right? Check the reviews and you’ll see that some people exceed that. Those that don’t still write faster and more consistently after reading this book. It really works.

 

The fastest way to succeed as an author is to write more books. How do you do that with a day job, family, school or all your other time commitments? The secret is efficiency.

 

5K WPH will help you maximize your writing time by building effective habits that both measure and increase your writing speed.

 

  • Create an effective writing habit

  • Track and improve your Words Per Hour

  • Stop the endless editing and tinkering so you can finish your draft

  • Use voice dictation software to dramatically increase words per hour.

 

It’s time to shift your writing into high gear. Write Faster, Write Smarter!

 

“A lot of people talk about writing faster. Chris Fox takes action. His new book and the corresponding app will help you to train yourself up to finish your first draft copy in less time. It’s such a helpful tool that could really change the game for authors. I just wish I’d thought of it first!”- Bryan Cohen, best-selling Author of Ted Saves the World, and co-host of the Sell More Books Show

 

 

 

Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings (Author Tools Book 1) by Nicholas C. Rossis (Author) [I’m reading this now and it’s incredible!]

 

Because of the way our brains are wired, readers empathize more strongly if you don’t name the emotion you are trying to describe. As soon as you name an emotion, readers go into thinking mode. And when they think about an emotion, they distance themselves from feeling it.

 

A great way to show anger, fear, indifference, and the whole range of emotions that characterize the human experience, is through beats. These action snippets that pepper dialogue can help describe a wide range of emotions, while avoiding lazy writing. The power of beats lies in their innate ability to create richer, more immediate, deeper writing.

 

This book includes hundreds of examples that you can use for your inspiration, so that you, too, can harness this technique to easily convert your writing into palpable feelings.

 

 

 

47 Mind Hacks for Writers: Master the Writing Habit in 10 Minutes Or Less and End Writer’s Block and Procrastination for Good by Karen Dimmick (Author), Steve Dimmick (Author)

 

CURRENTLY ON SALE

 

Has writer’s block or procrastination stopped you writing?

 

Is your inner critic sabotaging your success and making you think your writing is dreadful and no one would ever read it?

 

Imagine, no more procrastinating. No more interruptions. No more feeling you’re not good enough to be the writer you long to be. No more conflicts with family. No more writer’s block.

Awareness + Solution = Mind Hack

 

Rather than “feel good inspiration”, 47 Mind Hacks for Writers takes you through the simple steps you need to shift your mindset so you can write on your terms.

 

We asked over 100 writers what their biggest obstacles were around writing. This book gives you a mind hack for each one.

DISCOVER 47 Mind Hacks that Will Make You a More Productive Writer

 

The book will help you:

 

Put an end to writer’s block… forever

Uncover the real reason you’re procrastinating and start writing today

Discover a fun way to get your family to help you reach your writing goals

Stop feeling like you’re not good enough

Shut down the overly-critical self-talk that holds you back

 

Karen & Steve Dimmick have been using belief change techniques, coaching and Neuro-Linguistics since 2004, and have been helping authors since 2007.

 

“Essential reading for writers ready to go pro.” – Tom Morkes, CEO of Insurgent Publishing

 

You know what life hacking is, now it’s time to hack your mind, get out of your own way and be the writer you know you can be.

DOWNLOAD 47 Mind Hacks for Writers, today, and get back in control of your writing life!

 

Have a writing reference book to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

#Authors: Get Real on #SocialMedia and Readers Will Respond #ASMSG #IARTG


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“Marketing is first and foremost about connecting.” – Wendy Paine Miller

Today’s publishing market requires authors to wear several hats, one of them being marketer. For many authors, they haven’t a clue what to do or how to get the word out about their book(s). I see it all the time on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn; authors posting about their books in an unending stream of impersonal tweets and posts.

“BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK, PLEASE!”

I shake my head because these authors miss the whole point. Social media is at its core, social. It’s a powerful marketing tool, if you know how to use it. Let me give you an example:

Back in 2012, I wrote my debut novel, Princess of the Light. When the time came to edit and publish it, I started chatting with some of my Twitter followers about it. Nothing major, just musings and observations. People started asking me more about it and I shared the story behind POTL. They were intrigued and as a result bought it when it was released. I’m proud to say they were my first readers and have been loyal ever since.

How did I do it? I made a connection and readers responded.

When I’m on social media, I’m a real person, not some robot. I talk about more than my books. I talk about baking, sports, what I’m reading, writing, editing, cooking, interesting articles I’ve read, news, politics, supporting food banks, the weather… the topics are endless. I’m being social and in this day and age of automation and technology, the simple act of saying good morning makes a huge impact.

So, what about book marketing?

I’m a writer and as a writer, I take great pride in crafting attention-grabbing tweets. Words are my thing and especially on Twitter, it’s a challenge to grab the reader by the collar so that they’ll want to click-through to learn more. I love it, though, because it hones my writing skills. I encourage all authors to try it.

Here are ten quick tips to help you get real on social media:

  • Use this formula when posting on social media – 20% book marketing, 10% small talk (weather, exercising, cooking, etc.), 30% retweets, 20% personal (I use this to post baking/cooking pics), 20% other interests (sports, hobbies, news, politics, etc.)

 

  • Post consistently on social media. I know time is a rare commodity for all of us. So whether you’re on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook, post consistently. The so-called experts tell us that we should only be posting x number of times per day/week. Listen, do what works for you. For me, I post on my blog 5 days a week, tweet every 20 minutes or so (thanks to Triberr) and post to Pinterest at least once a week. It’s all I have time for but it works for me. Consistency is the key.

 

  • Use graphics/images in all of your posts. Humans are, as a rule, visual people. We eat with our eyes first, or so says my husband (Retired Chef MR N). People identify with an image and sometimes that image has a bigger impact than the wording below.

 

  • If a follower/reader asks you a question on social media, respond. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tweeted an author and get no response. Listen, you’re not as busy as Harlan Coben or Jamie Oliver. Yet, both of these authors have responded to my tweets. It takes a few moments and yet has a huge impact on the reader.

 

  • Retweet/Like/Reblog on social media. Not only is this a great way to meet new people, it’s a sneaky marketing move to gain new followers. The more followers you have, the bigger your social media reach, the more likely you’ll find new readers to buy your books. I employ the Golden Rule on social media (do unto others as you would like done to you) and it really pays off.

 

  • Be real on social media. I know this sounds obvious but I’ve encountered so many authors who tell me they can’t be themselves online. “I can’t be myself, I’m an author.” Why not? I’m sure if Ernest Hemingway were alive today, he’d be spouting honest tweets in the middle of the night for all of us to see. My point is, you have to be yourself or else no one is going to read your books. Readers are attracted to a story, sure, but they first want to know about the author. Be real and let your followers see a little piece of yourself. I do this with my pics of baking/cooking and chatting with others on Twitter.

 

  • Don’t spam complete strangers on social media. What would Miss Manners say? We all hate spam and spammers are all over social media. I see a lot of authors send tweets to complete strangers about their book, myself included. It grates on my nerves because I’m receiving book sale info about a perfect stranger. Instead, start following people you’re interested in connecting with and once a conversation has been initiated, then maybe mention your book.

 

  • Use hashtags. I can’t emphasize this enough. We’re all busy and lead jam-packed lives. We sometimes only have a few minutes while waiting to pick up the kids from school or on a lunch break so we scroll through our feeds. We subscribe to hashtags and see what’s new. Hashtags are a great way to connect with people of similar interests. Some of my favorite book-related hashtags include: #books, #amreading, #FridayReads, #TuesdayBookBlog, #bookboost, #goodreads, etc.

 

  • Don’t ever, ever respond to a blogger/reviewer negatively on social media. It’s bound to happen. A reader/reviewer/blogger will not like your book. In fact, they may even bash you personally for no reason whatsoever. You’ll feel tempted to correct them or defend yourself. STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD/DEVICE! I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen authors taking to social media in response to a bad review/comment. I call this authors behaving badly. Listen, there’s going to be plenty of readers who won’t love/get/understand/relate to/respect your book(s). It’s part of the being a writer/storyteller. How? Vent to your inner circle via email/text/phone but never by social media. You’ll never convince them and it will make you look unprofessional. Instead, go read a few raving reviews.

 

  • Use the Tupperware marketing approach.

In 1942, Earl Tupper developed his first bell shaped container; the brand products were introduced to the public in 1948. Tupperware pioneered the direct marketing strategy made famous by the Tupperware party. The Tupperware Party allowed for women of the 1950s to work and enjoy the benefits of earning an income without completely taking away the independence granted to women during the Second World War when women first began entering the labor market, all the while keeping their focus in the domestic domain. (Wikipedia)

Word of Mouth marketing is one of the best marketing strategies, especially for authors, because it’s organic and driven by honest customers. Imagine you’re at a dinner party and the topic turns to books. What’s everyone been reading? You then begin to share with everyone at the party about that book you just finished. People pay attention because there’s nothing false about it, just your opinion. No hidden agenda, no secret business dealings, just one reader’s opinion. Authors need to tap into this marketing ploy and here’s how: Ask your readers to leave a review online and if they liked it, tell at least two friends about it. Now, there’s no way to track it but that’s the beauty of it. You’re asking the reader to help you in a very important way. Suddenly, they have an active role, not a passive one. Think organic, think natural, think honest. At the end of the day, that’s how books sell: word of mouth.

 

It’s time to take these easy marketing techniques and put them into practice. Get real on social media and watch your readership grow. It might take some time and planning but then anything worth doing takes time. It takes years of pressure and patience to create a diamond. Trust me, it’s worth it.

 

Do you have any questions and/comments about social media marketing? I’d love to hear from you. If you know someone who might enjoy this article, please share using the buttons below.

Let’s bring back the social in social media!

couple N N Light

N.N. Light is the best-selling husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

Top of 2016 #5: Ways to the Support the Author in Your Life #ASMSG #IARTG #amwriting


Fellow Author Charles E. Yallowitz nails it on the head with this post. I see many authors nod their head in agreement. So many times, people don’t understand how important it is to support authors/writers.

MRS N

Legends of Windemere

(Originally posted HERE.)

Yahoo Image Search Yahoo Image Search

Many of us have seen the above picture and it’s right.  That is a great way to support an author that you enjoy and want to see them continue.  Yet, there is another area of support that I wanted to touch on.  What do you do if the author in question isn’t a favorite, but part of your non-cyberspace circle?  Maybe a spouse, a sibling, a friend, or somebody that you interact with outside of a computer.  Is there anything else you can do besides the following phrase?

“I support you and know you can do it.”

This is a powerful phrase, but you have to be ready to back it up with actions such as simply telling others about the book or even beta reading if asked.  Don’t say it and follow up by asking about the author’s Plan B, grilling them…

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