Ways to Inspire Your Writing #WritingTips #WritingCommunity


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Ways I’ve found to inspire my writing

I often get asked where I go for inspiration. There are literally a million different storylines out there- you just have to be open to ideas.

The other night, on America’s Got Talent there was a trapeze act where the woman flipped in mid-air over a fiery pit of spikes. It made me wonder what her backstory was; why would she risk her life for a moment’s glory that way?

I follow a couple of amazing photographer blogs; Tofino Photography and Steve McCurry. Both of these men delve deep into the souls of their subjects. They fill me with awe and endless ideas for stories.

Another way that I get story ideas is from news clips. Whether you write murder mysteries, romance, paranormal, or true life there’s a story waiting to be told. Here’s an interesting story from my home province:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/possible-meteor-alberta-1.5457429

Many know my obsession with covers. I truly believe a great cover can lead to sales and the trickle effect of having your book noticed and talked about, but that’s not all. As a writer, if you decide on a cover prior to starting the book it can serve as inspiration for the story.

This is true for my contemporary romance, Valentine: A Hearts and Kisses Romance

Free from Feb 12-16

When I came across this cover, I immediately saw a rom-com and couldn’t resist snatching it up!

Blurb:

Take two humans who pretend they can’t stand each other and one matchmaking canine and the fun is nonstop!

Val Hodgins is on the road to success. His architect firm handles some of the biggest contracts along the western seaboard. He doesn’t have time to babysit his aunt’s aging house or her pain in the butt dog, but when she falls ill with pneumonia he drops everything to go to her aid.

Sierra Johnson’s dreams of owning a catering company go up in smoke thanks to a bad choice in boyfriends. Now, she’s stuck working for a tyrannical boss, care-taking an aging townhouse, and being tormented by the owner’s aggravating, caustic, way-too-attractive nephew.

Will these two get over their prejudices in time to realize love comes without a price tag?

Excerpt:

Val opened the door to the brownstone and ushered Norma Jean inside. What a fiasco. He was just glad it was over.

“Thanks for accepting my apologetic dinner. My aunt’s dog isn’t usually so…”

“Cute?” she supplied, smiling as he helped her remove her wet coat. Of course, it had to be pouring when they left the restaurant.

“Troublesome,” he corrected. Though really, he’d only been living here a week, so what did he know?

“It’s strange I never saw him here before your aunt became ill.” A horrified look crossed her pretty face. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories.”

He shrugged, uncomfortable. She couldn’t, he barely knew his great-aunt. “It’s fine, we aren’t that close.” He hung her jacket by the door. “Maybe next time we go out we can avoid setting off the fire alarms.”

He’d meant it as a joke, but when he turned and caught the hopeful expression in her sky-blue eyes he cursed his loose lips.

“That sounds amazing,” she sighed, then glanced down the hall. “Something smells good.”

Oh, hell. He’d left his roast slow-cooking while he took her out, but he hadn’t planned on the delay with the water sprinklers and the firemen who wanted to know what happened. He’d be lucky if it wasn’t beef jerky by now.

“Thanks,” he said. “I’m stocking the freezer for those days when I don’t want to cook after work. Do you want to join me for coffee and a sandwich?” he offered reluctantly.

She gazed longingly down the hall, but shook her head. “Maybe next time. I need to study, mid-terms are coming up soon.”

He sighed his relief. She was nice, and would make a great friend, but he wasn’t interested in anything else. He’d been burned by women enough to last a lifetime. He’d give love a pass.

“Okay, well… have a nice night,” he ventured, waiting for her to go up the stairs to her room.

She laughed softly and leaned close to brush his cheek with her cherry red lips. “Don’t try so hard,” she murmured, before sashaying away on the stilts she wore for shoes.

Val rubbed his jaw and strode down the hall. Maybe they could just be friends.

He entered the kitchen expecting smoke, and instead found himself staring at the shapely bottom of a woman bent over his oven basting his roast while the mutt who’d ruined his day sat nearby, a sloppy grin on its narrow face.

Now what?

Your turn; what inspires you to write?

Don’t forget, Valentine is FREE until Feb 16th!

happy valentine's day

Meet the Author @SarahMallery1 #NewRelease #Writertips


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It is my pleasure to introduce a friend and fellow writer, Sarah Mallery, to the blog today! I met Sarah a couple of years ago when we participated in a box set together. She’s talented, kind, and hard-working.

Please welcome Sarah!

What do you write?

For the last ten years, I have mostly written historical fiction. BUT I have now dipped my toe into different waters. “Tea, Anyone? Book 1 Brooke & Abby Cozy Mystery” is a modern mystery––with a bit of time travel (Gotta get in some historical research, don’t I?)

What genre do you favor?

I am very eclectic in my tastes in music, movies/TV series. And books.  Although historical fiction has played a big part in my life, I really am open to any genre––if the characters and plots grab me.  In fact, it sometimes surprises me how much I end up liking a book that I thought I’d never get into, because of the author’s skill of reeling me in.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?

I actually have a little story about that. First off, you have to understand that I come from a family of writers. My dad was a television writer from the Golden Age of Television up into the 1970s, my grandfather and great uncle were both Pulitzer Prize winners, my grandmother, aunts and uncles were all editors. The result? I wasn’t going to touch writing with a ten-foot pole! But then something happened…at the age of fifty.

My very first short story was written just outside of a Macy’s Foundations department, where I waited for my then teenage daughter to select a few bras. She was taking her sweet time, so, as I sat on a leather couch nearby, I got out a little pad and pencil and started scribbling a short story. Forty-five minutes later, my daughter appeared, apologizing heartily for taking so long. I looked up at her, dazed, my mind exploding with inspired thoughts and images.

            “It’s okay, honey,” I told her. “Why don’t you go back and check out some panties?”      

Twenty years later, I feel the same way. Once I start writing, time stops for me.

Talk about having a legacy to live up to! But you managed just fine 🙂

Are you published?

Yes. Through Amazon Digital Services LLC.  Check out my Amazon page below.

Where can you be found on social media?

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/S.-R.-Mallery/e/B00CIUW3W8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Website or blog:  https://www.srmallery.blog

Newsletter:  https://www.subscribepage.com/t6s5a7

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/s-r-mallery

Twitter – @SarahMallery1

Facebook – https://bit.ly/2BTGs8H

Goodreads – https://bit.ly/2k9tefZ

Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.com/sarahmallery1/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mallerysarah/

Audible – https://adbl.co/2MsT23o

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

Having had the experience of being published through a small press that didn’t do much for me promotion wise, and after talking to a few authors who were published through some pretty big houses then left to be an Indie, I realized I, too, was happy being an Indie.  I get to see exactly how much money I make every day, both from sales and pages read, I can easily set up sale prices, and I feel I have complete control over my book cover and manuscript. I was once told by a potential agent that my western romance, “The Dolan Girls,” could possibly be accepted by a big publishing house, and was I interested in signing up with them? I was just about to release it myself as an Indie, but after looking at the covers on the publisher’s site, I decided I didn’t want to change mine to look like so many of theirs. Besides that, I knew that if my book were actually taken, the book probably wouldn’t have come out for at least another year or two. Nah. That wasn’t going to work for me…

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

Again, I like them all. I even read a couple of Zombie books and was amazed by how much I got into them. It was all because the author had made the characters very appealing and the story compelling. Bingo. A no brainer…

How do you approach starting a new book?

At first, I come up with an idea of what I want to write about. It can come from anywhere. From an article I’ve read, a quote I saw at some point, a picture that grabbed me, a book with plot suggestions. Then, I start thinking of scenes. I write them down on little pieces of paper or 3 x 5 cards and shove them into a large manila envelope. Every time I watch a movie or television show, look at a picture book, or just observe something in my life, I jot down my thoughts and throw them into that envelope. Maybe it’s a throwback to when I was a quilt designer and put together all these little pieces together to create blocks. Who knows? It’s just how my mind works.

What a unique idea!

I ALWAYS make sure I know pretty how much how I’m going to start the book…and how I’m going to end it. Once I’ve at least settled on that, I can relax and proceed. After I have amassed quite a lot of little tidbits, I take them all out, paper-clipped them into categories/characters/plot, and start thinking of where they’ll go in chapters. Basically, I’m a Planner with a Pantser Rising. In other words, generally, I want to know where I’m going, but I’m not opposed to changing my mind at a moment’s notice.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

I use a lot of different books, but these are the three I consistently use:

“Master Lists for Writers” by Bryn Donovan

“The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression” by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.

“The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits” by Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D.

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

1) Sometimes, to de-stress, I just go onto my Youtube app and watch all kinds of videos. Puppies, kittens, parrots, toddlers dancing to music, funny Late Night opening monologues, scenes from comical movies––whatever does the trick. Or maybe watch a comedy with hubby where we both howl with glee. Forget meditation. For me, letting those laughing endorphins loose hits the spot!

2) I also like to water my plants because I listen to music while I’m doing it and I’m outside (negative ions, negative ions).

3) I enjoy having family and friends over (once I’ve cleaned up the house, that is!).

4) I like my Senior and Fit exercise class. Not only is it helping me physically––as someone who is past thirty (WAY past)––before class and after, it is like walking into a cocktail party, everyone is so chatty and friendly.

5) And lastly, I love to cuddle with my cat, Junebug. She’s actually featured in my “Tea, Anyone?” So now, I write notes on what cute things she does for future books in the series. Does she realize why I’m taking out a pad and pencil as I coo at her? Maybe. But chances are, she’s just wondering when I’m going to feed her next.

Do you have any personal heroes/heroines?

I’m going to just name some groups of people.

1) Fire fighters who continually deal with great danger all the time. We owe them so much!

2) People who stand up against injustices in the world, no matter their jobs or politics.

3) Scientists who work tirelessly to discover cures for horrendous diseases.

4) People with crippling conditions who fight every day just to survive.

5) People who quietly donate great sums of money to charities without any fanfare.

Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations?

Well, once at a job interview, the guy took one look at my resume and said, “You’re either amazing because of how many careers you’ve had… or you’re insane.”

Before entering the writing world, I’d been a singer (both classical and pop/disco), a calligrapher, a secretary, a waitress (a singing waitress to be exact), a production artist, a composer for educational films, a quilt designer, an English As a Second Language teacher, an accent reduction teacher, and a reading teacher.

Wow! When did you sleep? lol

What was your best date ever?

I know this sounds corny as all get out, but it was with my husband, some forty years ago. At the time, I was the female singer of a little band, playing in all kinds of small establishments. One of them looked like the set of the TV show, “Cheers.” Charming place. Anyway, my then non-hubby was in the crowd and came over to talk to me on each of my breaks. Finally, he asked me for my phone number, but being cautious, I took his number instead. When I did call him several days later he said he was happy to hear from me, and could I meet up with him on the commercial set where he was working? Turned out he designed and built props for commercials. And being a creative sort, I loved seeing what he had designed, and how clever his little village looked. After the shoot was over, we went out for dinner and drinks. Why was it the best date? Not because we did anything so special. No high-speed racetracks, no skydiving, no watching a fabulous Broadway show, no moonlight drive with the top down. It was just a simple date with a handsome, intelligent man who made me feel unbelievably comfortable––and safe.  

Sounds wonderful to me.

Tell us something you are really proud of.

I know I should be proud of having written ten books, with two of them receiving READERS’ FAVORITE gold medals. But if I really think about it, I think I’m most proud of staying involved with the wonderful world of authors online. People who not only are talented, but are also kind, sympathetic, and full of great stories. I’ve met men and women who have sometimes had to deal with unbelievable hardships in their lives, yet still soldier on, writing, and supporting other authors. It truly touches my heart.

Can you confide something you wish you were better at?

I wish I was better at promoting…but I’m learning, learning every day.

Chocolate or chips?

Chocolate chips, particularly in ice cream. Or chocolate chip bars. Yummmm.

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?

I would immediately change the basic personalities of all the nasty, greedy people in the world who only care about themselves and no one else. Don’t get me started…

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Well, I’d start with a picnic. But at the first sign of ants, it’s off we go to a fancy restaurant!

Beer or wine?

Wine––preferably white.

Favorite author?

I have several, but if I had to narrow it down to one, it’d be Harper Lee. Love her simple yet lyrical words, her “show don’t tell” writing, and her amazingly touching characters.

Smooth or hairy?

We’re talking about men, right? LOL

Face, chest, or butt? All I can say is if it’s the bottom of their feet, that’s a real problem…

Lol, great answer 🙂

And now for some promo:

“Tea, Anyone? Book 1 Brooke & Abby Cozy Mystery Series”

http://BookShow.me/B07Z59QTMC

AMAZON BLURB :

How do two modern, quirky, twenty-something gals solve murders in a small, cozy USA town?

Easy. With a little time travel, some humor, and a lot of hard work. When the skeptical Brooke first meets the psychic Abby, she’s not impressed. But with the help of her comfort cat, her middle-aged roomie, her childhood friend, and a hunky detective hinting at a sweet romance, Brooke not only accepts that Abby has real gifts, it’s clear that these five people and one cat make up a crack team.

 
Got tea, anyone? In 1773, the Boston Tea Party sure did. Find out why going back in time helps break the case!
#Cozy mystery, #Time travel, #Paranormal, #Murder, #Cats #US History, #Humor

Excerpt

4)  It takes a small Village…the Gang of Five’s meeting

The pizza dinner that night was a free-for-all. Henry, Brooke, Larry, Tony, and Abby couldn’t shut up for one second as they each tried to tell everyone the facts they had unearthed. Brooke likened their words to the twelve-tone music Henry had once forced her to hear at New York City’s Lincoln Center. In both cases, there was a mix-master of chaotic noise.

Finally, Larry placed two fingers in his mouth and blasted out a high-pitched whistle.

Dead silence. Except for June’s questioning meow.

“Okay. One at a time,” Larry commanded. “And raise your hand if you want to be heard.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Brooke snapped.

“Especially you, Brooksy. Now, who wants to speak first?”

Everyone shot up his or her hand at the exact same nanosecond.

Sighing, Larry shook his head. Meanwhile, Abby ripped up little pieces of paper, wrote numbers on each one, crumbled them up, and mixed them together in an empty bowl.

“Let’s do it like they do in first grade.” Abby handed out one crumbled paper ball to each person. “Let’s see who has number one.”

Brooke held up her wrinkled paper, triumphantly. “I do, I do. I go first!” she called out.

“See? First grade,” Abby said.

Everyone laughed.

“Okay. Here’s what I found,” Brooke said. “I have a document from the Sheffield Company that includes a few names and initials of their customers. Also, we’ve got an old journal page that gives out names, possible events, and now I’ve got some possible DNA proof that evil can run in families.”

Larry raised his hand. “I’m number two. According to Henry, the Whitman family, who has a history of some pretty shady business practices, now has a lawyer––Ruth Novak’s ex-husband, by the way––who also practices some under-the-table dealings. Turns out, after Cathy and Wynnie were murdered, their dear brother, Michael, made out with millions. Almost instantly. To me, that smells.”

Tony slowly raised his hand. “I’m next. What about Collin? Have we forgotten about him? I know he passed a polygraph, but I found out from an interview with the Whitman maids that he used to be there at their mansion all the time, in his––” He pulled out a small note paid and read his notes out loud. “His fancy suits and expensive shoes. That’s a far cry from the groundskeeper position he has now. I say he had a definite motive for murder, even if he doesn’t come from a––” He added the next two words in air-quotes, ‘evil family.’”

Henry raised his hand halfway. “Since Larry took over my little speech…” He shot a fake dirty look at the detective. “I’m now going to add something about Michael Whitman. He not only got a large inheritance. He left their home years before. In fact, in his high school yearbook, when asked what his goal was in life, he actually wrote, ‘To leave home and my family as soon as possible.’ To me, he wasn’t so thrilled with any of them. And boy, one look at his photograph back then, and you could see the anger written all over his face.”

After some general mutterings, everyone turned to Abby.

“Okay, my turn,” she said. “I’ve been thinking about all of this. A lot. I keep coming back to one thing, besides the evil family, I mean. And that is, what’s the significance of the journal? How can we connect that with our modern life?”

As everyone sat still, even Junie paused during mid fur-washing lick to gaze up at the clairvoyant.

Brooke shot up her hand. “Ooooh-oooh! I know!”

“She’s definitely in first grade,” Larry said.

Jacquie, thank you so much for having me on your blog today. I so appreciate it!!

Sarah

I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

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Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque #amwriting #BookReview @tammi_ninja


Are you struggling with email? Newsletter numbers getting you down? Fewer people opening your messages? No real reaction when you launch a book?

There’s another way—better way.

Imagine having a large list of happy readers who devoured every email you sent. Or launching a book and activating an army of fans who did the selling for you. You could be that person, with the help of Newsletter Ninja.

Newsletter Ninja is a comprehensive resource designed to teach you how to build and maintain a strongly engaged email list—one full of actual fans willing to pay for the books you write, rather than free-seekers who will forget your name and never open your emails.

• Learn new ways to think about your email list
• Re-energize your existing subscribers
• Embrace not just the basics, but next level methods
• Improve engagement and watch those open/click rates soar
• Build a happy list of passionate readers
• Launch your books into the charts

You’ll get a handle on open rates, click rates, and engagement—while also learning about yourself, your readers, and what you’re really selling when you send an email. (Spoiler: it’s not your books.)

Whether you’re building a mailing list, want to grow an existing one, or simply want to raise your email game, Newsletter Ninja has solutions that will work for you.

Biography

Tammi Labrecque lives in Bangor, Maine with two kids, three cats, and dozens of fictional characters that keep her awake nights.

She writes under a few pen names across several genres, including romance, fantasy, urban fantasy, mystery, LitRPG, and horror.

Under her own name, you can find her writing romance novels that no one reads or teaching at newsletterninja.net.

My Review

This book has been on my radar for quite a while now. It was highly recommended by marketing guru David Gaughran and The Creative Penn.

I’ve been actively working toward a strong mailing list/author website as I agree with the importance of not counting on social media as a reliable marketing basis.

Tammi explains how to build your newsletter from the ground up. She’s smart, funny and uses easy-to-implement techniques. She also added a host of helpful links in the back to reference just about any questions you might have.

A big section of the book relates to the behind the scenes work needed to set up a successful newsletter (I found some great tips here!) and then she walks us through the best ways to connect with our readers, once we have them, and how to keep them from hitting that unsubscribe button. Also, she explains the importance of gaining an active fanbase as opposed to those who never open our newsletters and therefore bring down our rankings with email providers.

There’s a ton of useful information here. I know I’ll be going through it again and again!

I give Newsletter Ninja 5+ lovely kisses- Add this to your Writer’s Toolbox!

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Spinning Tires #WritersLife #amwriting


Spinning My Tires

Lately it feels as though my writing has come to a standstill and I’m just spinning tires without going anywhere.

We were talking about this at my local critique group meeting and I realized- thankfully- that at least I’m not alone with this dilemma.

Some call it writer’s block or writer’s slump, maybe winter doldrums, but whatever you name it, it can lead to depression and feelings of anxiety. I know I’ve been questioning why I put myself through this lately.

But, this is the thing… If you’re a writer, you write. It’s almost as important as breathing, so I’ve decided to search the internet for some inspirational quotes to help me (and you) feel better.

Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors – it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.

Wolfgang Puck
BrainyQuote.com

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

Benjamin Franklin
BrainyQuote.com

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

E.L. Doctorow
BrainyQuote.com

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

Ray Bradbury
BrainyQuote.com

Today, I’m celebrating a landmark birthday and rather than allowing myself to dwell on getting older, or the fact my pen seems to have temporarily run dry, I’m going to concentrate on the positives- I have my health, a supportive family, fantastic writing friends, and it’s spring- anything is possible!

Newsletter Goodies

If you like deals and steals, check out my newsletter here: https://app.mailerlite.com/g7j1r2/

Celebrating a #CoverReveal with a #Free day! #mgtab


view of books in shelf
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Celebrating a New Cover!

 

If you’re an indie author, like me, you know there’s a lot more to creating a successful marketing plan than writing the book. While an engrossing story is important, it doesn’t do you any good if no one knows about it.

Editing, beta reading and critique groups are a good start and a necessary set of steps in order to make your book baby look the best it can (on the inside.)

But what do you do after that?

 

GET A PROFESSIONAL COVER ARTIST!

 

I can’t say how many times I’ve been turned off of what could have been an award-winning story because of a weak cover.

One of the first things any potential buyer is drawn to, whether online, a library, or in a brick and mortar store is a standout cover. It is critically important that YOU, as a hard-working writer, DO NOT skip this important marketing step.

Okay, you have your masterpiece and the perfect frame for it, now what?

I recommend creating 5-6 memes that you can switch out in your social media posts. Try Canva or Covers Sell Books, both are great. Yes, you need to play nice on Facebook and Twitter 🙂

Seriously though, having a strong social media presence is crucial if you want to get the word out about your books.

Next, set up a newsletter–you’ve been building up subscribers at the same time you’re building SM contacts, right? :)–and send it out with the big news. It’s recommended not to push your sales, so take the time to be personable. Your followers want to know you, share a piece of you and they will respond, trust me!

We’re doing great!

Books are selling, reviews are trickling in, but then as time goes by the initial excitement wanes, now what?

 

 

pexels-photo-1051744.jpeg
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

 

 

Placing your book on sale is a good marketing strategy. Not only do you regenerate interest in the product you’re promoting, but it often gains you readers for the rest of your backlist, as well.

Again, this is where your growing social media connections can count. Rather than shoving the sale in their faces though, use those pretty memes you made and share them on Twitter and Facebook group pages in your chosen genre.

I also like to book professional sites to share my sale, such as ereader News Today, Book Gorilla, and ebook Discovery, to name a few. Just make sure to decide on a budget beforehand, and stick to it. Keep in mind that while on the dace of it, your sale book may not pay out the cost of the fees, subsequent sales on all your books will continue for days or weeks after as your name moves up in Amazon (or other retailers) algorithms.

Another choice you can make is upgrading to a new cover. Maybe, for whatever reason, the old cover isn’t doing its job of catching the attention of new readers. This is a guessing game, of course, but sometimes a cover with brighter colors, or a stronger image can make all the difference.

I’ve decided to take that course of action with my 1950’s murder mystery, Missing: The Lady Said No. The title was clunky, so I dropped the Missing and added An Augustus Grant Mystery subtitle to define the series.

The original cover was dark and moody, and didn’t explain the era as well as I wanted it to.

 

Missing The Lady Said No eBook

 

The new cover is flashy, using a bright, bold color palette and an eye-catching image that does a much better job of hinting at the genre and storyline.

What do you think?

 

TLSNlarge

In celebration of this cover, which I love, The Lady Said No is Free one day only, Saturday, Sept, 1st.

Get your copy here!

 
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Finding Your Voice #Writertips #amwriting


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When I first began my writing career I took a LOT of online classes on craft, editing, revision, grammar, technique, and the one thing that kept coming up was the need to discover your voice. The unique something that distinguishes your work and keeps your readers coming back for more.

But how?

What do the experts mean by voice anyway?

Do you have a favorite author? One whose pages you could read without seeing the cover and you’d STILL be able to say without a doubt, yes, that is definitely their book?

I thought so 🙂

That’s voice!

 

It’s a distinctive style that sets the writer’s work apart from anyone else. Some use setting, such as bestselling and award-winning author Louise Penny. Her books are set in and around the scenic mountain town of Three Pines, Quebec. If a fan were to read a brief passage from any of her books they would know who wrote the novel.

Other writers have a certain way with characterization that’s a dead giveaway, such as Jill Shalvis. Her writing style is part sass, part angst, and a whole lot of heat!

 

 

One of the best styles of voice comes with deep POV (point of view).

Military romantic suspense author Suzanne Brockmann does this better than most. Deep point of view is when the character acts, thinks, or talks and there is no need to add a name tag because we know this character. He/she is as real as if we were watching them on our favorite television series. Suzanne does this by creating distinct mannerisms that we immediately associate with that person. She does this so well, she can write entire passages without a name/ and frequently does, and yet it’s easy to know who is talking at any given moment.

Voice is something a writer gains with time. It can’t be forced, but for readers it’s that magic thing that will make them your fans. If you have a backlist take another look, you might be pleasantly surprised 🙂

I’m currently working on a summer romance set on an island in the Pacific Northwest. A theme that runs through my stories is the value of family, and this one is no different.

Here’s the blurb for Sweetheart Cove:

Josie Sparks is looking for escape after a disastrous relationship. A summer job on a small Pacific Northwest island seems perfect. That is, until she meets her irascible new boss. She thinks she can help his sweet little girl–he’s another story.

Jacob Samuels needs someone reliable to care for his special needs daughter, but is sorry he trusted his sister with the task when help arrives in the shape of a too-young, too-tempting therapist with pain-filled eyes he can’t ignore.

Sand, surf, and soft island breezes bring two lonely hearts together in this heartwarming tale of second chance romance and a love that lasts forever.

 

SClargeFront

 

Exclusive excerpt

Josie wasn’t sure how she got through the next few days. She must have acted reasonably normal because no one questioned her absentmindedness, even when she set the puppy’s food in the refrigerator instead of the pantry where it belonged. Jacob’s kiss lived front and center in her thoughts, and his hard, masculine body encompassed her dreams. A moody, short-tempered grump who made her pulse skyrocket.

How could she feel this way about him when she’d been hours from marrying another man a month ago? She added fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies to the picnic basket she’d prepared and glanced down at the pup sitting quietly at her feet. “If you’re looking for handouts, you’ll just have to wait. No offence, but I don’t trust your stomach in the car.”

“Is it time yet?” Jane wheeled into the kitchen, her face expectant. The dog, thinking it was playtime, crouched, nose on his front paws, butt in the air and tail wagging a mile a minute. He let out a couple of excited yips, then raced around the room and jumped against Jane’s short-clad legs. “Ow, Mischief, that hurts,” she cried, then stopped in shock and stared at the red marks already fading from her skin. “It hurt,” she whispered.

Josie pushed the dog out of the way and crouched at the little girl’s side. “Honey, this is great. I’m so happy for you. We better tell your father, so he can get you into the specialist for a checkup.”

Jane shook her head and gripped Josie’s wrist. “No. Can we keep it a secret? Please, Josie? Just for a while. I want to get better and surprise Daddy by walking. Please?”

Her pleading eyes undid Josie. How was she supposed to say no to that? She nodded. “Okay, but if you have any pains at all, you tell me, understand?” She patted Mischief’s silky head. “Guess your dad knew what he was doing, getting you a dog. Maybe we should name him Miracle instead of Mischief.”

Jane giggled. “It’s not Mischief, Josie. It’s you. You’re the miracle.”

 

 

I’d like to think I’m gaining a voice, but you the reader are the only ones who can tell me whether I’m right. What do you think? 🙂

Help, my secondary character is taking over the book! #amwriting #Romance #mgtab


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Have you ever started to write a book and had a secondary character try to take over the story? It doesn’t matter how hard you work at putting them on the sidelines, they keep popping up at the most inopportune times.

I’ve found it’s better to go with the flow and see where it takes me– usually into another book and thereby creating a series I hadn’t actually planned on writing!

When I was working on The Rebel’s Redemption, book two in the Wounded Hearts series, the hero’s best friend stepped up and insisted I do his story at the same time! I had a lot of fun with those two and the side benefit was interlocking stories that practically wrote themselves. I wish it was always that easy, but truthfully, most books take a lot of blood, sweat and lots of CHOCOLATE before they begin to take shape.

 

Maybe it’s because I’m a pantser. I never know what’s going to happen until it does, and then I say, “That’s brilliant!” lol. Sometimes, it’s a great first line. One of my favorites is from The Beast WithinHer skin was tender as the belly of a kitten. And just as fragile.
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And other times, it comes from a picture I’ve seen:

 

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Like this one I used as inspiration for Missing: TheLady Said No, a mystery set around the Kentucky Derby.

 

And then there’s the ones that emerge from a cover you fall in love with. This one was made by Michele Hauf.

 

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This is Sophia Shaughnessy’s book. She first showed up as the cute sister of Matthew Shaughnessy in Hold ‘Em, but her character became important to the story and readers connected with the young woman desperate to prove herself in a man’s world.

Here’s a short excerpt:

Sophia lightly flirted with Rico—as they’d done all their lives—and pretended not to watch every move Tony made. She absolutely didn’t notice his tough farm hands closing into fists when Rico grasped her waist, or sense the tension emanating from his powerful body as he watched the two of them acting like frisky colts. She’d feel guilty, except the big jerk should know there hadn’t been anyone but him for her since she’d reached puberty.

Damn him.

“I thought I’d take Cleopatra out for a ride,” she said to Rico, making a conscious effort to ignore Tony’s glower. “Do you have time to join me?”

“Sure.” Rico nodded. “Just give me a few minutes to finish these stalls, bueno?”

“Weren’t you supposed to exercise the yearlings today?” Tony growled. “Just because the princess deigned to visit, doesn’t mean the ranch is on holiday. Get to work, Juarez.”

Rico bristled. “I can do that later, they aren’t going anywhere.”

Tony took an aggressive step forward and Sophia hurried to step between the two men. “Stop it,” she hissed. “It’s my fault, I wasn’t thinking.”

She turned and forced a smile for Rico. “I’ll meet you later and we’ll catch up. It’s been too long.” She squeezed his arm in reassurance. “See you at dinner?”

Rico glared at his boss, then gave a slow shrug and dragged his attention back to her. “Yeah, sure. It’ll be like old times, ?”

Sophia saw his intentions in the mischievous glint of his eyes. She braced herself for the fallout as he leaned in and gave her a big, smacking kiss on the lips before jauntily wandering away with a tip of his hat. She’d get even with him, the tease.

She glanced up at Tony and cleared her throat, subduing the instinct to rub suddenly sweaty palms on her pants. “I didn’t mean to create problems, I know this is a working ranch.” That much was true, anyway. She’d tried so many times to insert herself into the business, to be a valued member of the team, but her ideas were brushed aside as the dreams of a young idealist. After a while, she’d given up trying.

Tony met her gaze and sighed. “I probably overreacted. I tend to do that a lot around you,” he admitted. Sophia didn’t have time to enjoy the warm glow his words wrought, before he added, “But you should know better than to come down to the barns dressed like that. You’re distracting my men.”

She wasn’t sure which rose faster, outrage or pleasure. She went with outrage, it was safer. “I’m wearing blue jeans, they’re hardly haute couture. And most of your men have known me since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, you’re exaggerating my appeal. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see my horse. At least she doesn’t judge me.”

She’d stomped past three stalls, the horses within staring at her with inquisitive eyes, before Tony caught up to her. “It’s been a long time since you’ve been on much of a ride, I don’t like the idea of you going out alone.”

Sophia huffed out a strangled laugh. “I was born on this ranch, I’m pretty sure I know my way around it. Besides, it’s your own fault I don’t have a companion, you got rid of him, remember?”

Tony grabbed a couple of bridles on their way past the tack room. “That idiot would be too damn busy showing off to protect you,” he snapped. “And I wasn’t worried about you getting lost so much as getting bucked off and, if you were lucky, landing on that delectable keister. I’ll go with you.”

“No.” She swung around to face him. “I want a fun, relaxing ride. You’ll just mess with my Zen.”

“You want to go, princess, then I go too. End of story.” He opened the stall for his bay and entered, mumbling sweet nothings to the horse while he swung the bridle over the gelding’s head.

Oh, yay.

 

 

I have a secret; I love secondary characters. They have a sense of mystery about them. You need to find out their story and they leave all sorts of possibilities open for future books. 🙂

Crazy Little Thing About Love releases Tuesday, May 15th. I hope you’ll buy a copy and see if you can pick out the next character who needs his/her story told.

What about you? Do you have a thing for secondary characters? It’s okay, I won’t tell 🙂

The BadReadHead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge #BookReview #WriterTips @RachelintheOC


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THE SINGLE BEST TOOL every writer needs NOW to build, boost, and grow their author platform.

Unsure how to market your book or feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of author platform options out there (or not even sure what the term means)? Ever wish someone could break it down for you in simple steps?

Then this is the book for you!

Over the course of one month, Rachel provides you daily challenges containing a wealth of information, and easy to follow assignments to help energize your book sales. If you haven’t released your book yet, this book will help you set the stage necessary to build the strongest foundation possible for success.

Topics include:
* Twitter secrets
* Facebook page must-do’s
* Social media ideas you might not know or haven’t thought of
* Promotion, giveaways, and other book marketing secrets
* Website, blogging, and SEO tips designed just for authors

All writers, bloggers, and small businesses can benefit can benefit from this guide.

 

 

 

About the Author

Site: RachelintheOC.com
Twitter: @RachelintheOC
Facebook: facebook.com/RachelThompsonauthor

Rachel Thompson is the author Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival and Los Angeles Book Festival and 5/5 Readers Favorite), and the multi award-winning and best-selling Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed.

She is humbled to be part of two gorgeous Feminine Collective poetry anthologies. Her final Broken book, Broken People, will be released Winter, 2018. She’s also currently finishing up the next BadRedhead Media book, the 30-Day Twitter Challenge. Look for both very soon!

She released the BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge in December 2016 to rave reviews, where it has remained in the top #100 on three lists and is a 5/5 Readers Favorite. She released an updated version late 2017 with many new tips and tricks.

Rachel founded BadRedhead Media in 2011, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader, FeminineCollective, BookMachine, BlueInk Reviews, and TransformationIsReal.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the blog-sharing hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, the weekly live Twitter chat, #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish (Tuesdays, 6pm pst), and #BookMarketingChat (every Wednesday 6pm pst) to help writers learn how to market their work.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. A single mom, Rachel lives in California (with her two kids and two cats) where she daydreams about Thor. And sleep.

My Review
This is an easy to follow course on upping your social media presence. It has daily exercise links to guide you through the maze of SEO, blogging, making a good headline into a GREAT headline, and so much more!
I found some really great information here and plan on going through it a few more times. It’s one of those books every author should keep next to their laptop!
I give The BadRedHead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge 5 lovely kisses- A Must Read!
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Hearing Your Hero For the First Time #AudioBook #mgtab @Audible_com


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It’s hard to express the feeling I had this week when Audible released Missing: The Lady Said No to audiobook. Hearing your hero speak for the very first time is indescribable.

I’ve been waiting for ACX- (Audible Creation Exchange) the company that produces audiobooks for leading suppliers such as Audible, Amazon, and I-tunes to allow Canadians into their marketplace and this June 1, 2017 it happened!

 

 

 

Here’s a little background info on the increasing popularity of audiobooks from the Publishers Weekly site:

A new report issued by the Audio Publishers Association found that 2016 was another good year for audiobooks. The findings show double-digit growth for both audiobook sales and title output.

Total sales rose 18.2% over 2015, to an estimated $2.1 billion, while unit sales did even better. According to the report, unit sales rose 33.9%, to 89.5 million. Sales are based on reports from about 20 audiobook publishers. The APA then extrapolates from those figures, to derive an estimate for the entire market. The title output from reporting companies was 50,937 in 2016, a 43.1% increase over 2015.

I think that’s cause for a celebration, don’t you? 🙂

The process is easy. ACX walked me through the steps of loading my book, choosing passages with a variety of characters for the auditions, and setting up my contract with them. You can choose to be exclusive to Audible for seven years (keep in mind they do upload to the three biggest suppliers in the industry) or you can buy your rights and load the book wherever you like.

There are also a variety of ways to pay your narrator.

  • You and your Producer can agree to a Pay for Production Fee (a one-time flat fee) or a Royalty Share Deal (in which case your Producer won’t earn money up front, but will instead share in the proceeds from the sale of your audiobook 50-50).
  • Want a higher royalty rate on sales of your audiobook? You can opt for a significantly higher ACX royalty rate by granting Audible exclusive distribution rights to your ACX-produced audiobook. If you want to keep more distribution options open, you can distribute your audiobook through ACX on a nonexclusive basis and receive the standard ACX royalty rate.

Then you wait for the auditions to pour in (wishful thinking :)) or you can search through the ACX database of narrators and place your offer with the one you like.

I was extremely lucky to have Daniel F. Purcell find me and agree to perform my books. He’s simply amazing! His vast repertoire of voices brought the characters to life.

I’m so impressed!

As he read the chapters, he loaded them onto the ACX site so that I could listen and give input on any areas I thought needed changing. There were very few 🙂

Next, there was a wait of about a week while ACX checked the files over to make sure it all sounded good, then they published!

Oh yeah, they also give the author and the narrator 25 codes each for review and promotional purposes so if you’d like to hear Gus’ story comment below and I’ll pick someone to receive a #Free copy!

This has been a positive experience from the start. I highly recommend ACX and Audible to any authors who have been on the fence about producing an audiobook.

Do it!

 

Start your #Free Audible Trial today with Missing: The Lady Said No!

 

Missing The Lady Said No audio cover

Missing: The Lady Said No

 

The Race is on to find a Killer in the heart of Kentucky horse country

Detective Augustus Grant is faced with his most baffling case to date. Well-respected race horse breeder, John Jorgenson, is murdered in his den days before the Kentucky Derby and the list of suspects is growing.

Complicating matters, Gus’ ex-girlfriend is the last person to have seen the victim alive.

Rebecca Hayes owes the Jorgenson family her loyalty. They gave her a new life after a disastrous affair leaves her alone and pregnant.

With all the evidence pointing in Becky’s direction, will Gus do his duty?

Or follow his heart?

 

http://books2read.com/u/3Lrqre

http://amzn.to/2jXEbAP

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34033805-missing

And Now on Audio Book!- http://a.co/23uX6b8

Harness the power of Hollywood… Storytelling Made Easy by @Michael_Hauge #BookReview #Writertips


HARNESS THE POWER OF HOLLYWOOD STORYTELLING MAGIC

 

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Renowned Hollywood story expert Michael Hauge’s Six Step Success Story formula gives your potential clients and buyers the emotional experience of success—and will move them to take action.

 

 

 

 

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MICHAEL HAUGE is a script consultant, story expert, author and lecturer who works with writers, filmmakers, marketers, business leaders, attorneys and public speakers, both in Hollywood and around the world. He has consulted on projects starring Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon, and for Overbrook Entertainment, where he consulted on the scripts for (among many others) I AM LEGEND, HANCOCK, THE KARATE KID, SUICIDE SQUAD and BRIGHT, which is currently in production.

Michael is the best selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read, as well as the 20th Anniversary Edition of his classic book Writing Screenplays That Sell.

Michael has presented seminars, lectures and keynotes in person and online to more than 80,000 participants worldwide. According to Will Smith, “No one is better than Michael Hauge at finding what is most authentic in every moment of a story.”

 

My Review

I’ve been hooked on Michael Hauge since taking an online video conferencing course with him a few years ago on the art of storytelling.

He is friendly and charismatic and knows how to get his point across without ramming down your throat.

This book confused me at first as it seemed geared more toward toward entrepreneurs than authors, but I recommend persevering as there are many invaluable nuggets of information here to benefit everyone.

This will be a re-read for me!

I give Storytelling Made Easy 5 lovey kisses

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What I Learned From Lucifer #Writer #Suspense #mgtab


It’s not what you’re thinking. Okay, maybe it is.

I’ve fallen in love.

He’s Handsome, smart, charming, and oh yeah, he’s the devil.

And I’m not alone.

Thousands tune in every Monday night to watch what is quickly becoming a craze on Twitter and various other social media platforms.

That’s right, it’s Lucifer.

So what is this phenomenon all about?

Based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, this series follows Lucifer, the original fallen angel, who has become dissatisfied with his life in hell. After abandoning his throne and retiring to Los Angeles, Lucifer indulges in his favorite things (women, wine and song) — until a murder takes place outside of his upscale nightclub.

For the first time in billions of years, the murder awakens something unfamiliar in Lucifier’s soul that is eerily similar to compassion and sympathy.

Lucifer is faced with another surprise when he meets an intriguing homicide detective named Chloe, who appears to possess an inherent goodness — unlike the worst of humanity, to which he is accustomed. Suddenly, Lucifer starts to wonder if there is hope for his soul.

Like Lucifer-played by the amazing Tom Ellis, I think we all go through phases where we don’t feel good enough (He thinks he was sent to Hell as punishment from Father. His older brother, Amenadiel- played by D.B Woodside, tells him it was actually because He trusted Lucifer to keep the evil ones down there and so protect humanity.)

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Lately, I’ve been struggling with personal self-esteem. That’s the problem with being an introvert, you spend way too much time in your head.

My sales are down. My writing is slo… ow going, each word is like pulling teeth, and my family has been having medical problems.

Hard to stay positive in the face of all that adversity.

But, then hope appears (much like Lucifer’s guiding light, Chloe). A good review here, a kind word there, and the darkness falls away. Maybe I can finish this story. Find new readers. Make my mark in this crazy world of writing.

Maybe.

If you haven’t watched Lucifer yet, you should. It’s surprising what the devil can teach us. 🙂

By the way, I have a new release coming out!

July 1st 2017 is the one hundred fiftieth birthday of Canada’s Confederation and our local writing/critiquing group decided it would be fun to do an anthology to celebrate.

My contribution, My Baby Wrote Me A Letter, stems from a news segment I watched. A woman bought an old desk at a yard sale. After bringing it home she began the process of refinishing the wood and happened to find a letter taped to the back of a drawer.

When she read the message, she realized the note could be important to someone, and with little more than a faded name to go on, began a search for the writer of the mysterious letter.

It was placing a picture on Facebook that led to the son of the man who had written that long ago message to his family. He had recently been diagnosed with cancer and feared he would never survive to see his children grow, so he wrote them a letter from the heart.

The news story had a happy ending; the man survived the cancer and lived not only to see his children to adulthood, but several of his grandchildren as well.

His story was an inspiration to me,

Jacquie

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The Birth of a Hero #NewRelease #ChandlerCounty #amwriting


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Readers often ask where do writers come up with ideas for their characters? In my case, the birth of a hero comes from a variety of sources. News reports, television programs, books I’ve read; all are great resources.

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But my favorite characters grow organically from stories I’ve already written. For my new release, Missing: The Lady Said No, the idea for my hero, Augustus Grant, came to me from a previous book where the main character was a mystery writer suffering from writer’s block.

Gus is the character my hero, Joel Carpenter, (in the holiday romance novel Silver Bells) was writing about. I fell in love with the bumbling detective and decided then and there he needed his own story!

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Gus is smart, irreverent, a little bit clumsy (okay, a LOT clumsy!) and still in love with the girl he let get away.

Rebecca Hayes.

Here’s a short excerpt. Gus is investigating a murder at a horse ranch and runs into the one person he never thought he’d see again.

Becky stood at the top of the grand staircase and felt the world give way.

Augustus.

It had been too long.

And not long enough.

She couldn’t believe he was here. Or maybe she could. It had always been his dream to become a detective. After all, that was the reason they had split up, wasn’t it? He’d craved the excitement, and she’d needed stability. Safety.

Well, it was too late now, on many levels. The best thing she could do would be to put on a brave face and escape with her pride.

“Hello, Augustus,” she called. Careful not to let him see her trembling, she gripped the banister and reluctantly went to join the man who had stolen her heart. He was every bit as tall as she remembered. Still just as handsome, too. A few more lines around the eyes and mouth maybe. She shied away from his lips, focusing instead on the crooked tie and wrinkled shirt. A wry smile touched her mouth.

“I see you still haven’t figured out the right side of an iron,” she murmured.

He glanced down and ran a strong, tanned hand down his chest. Something fluttered to life in hers.

He met her gaze with a grin that slowly faded away. “I looked for you,” he said.

Oh, God.

This wasn’t what she expected. After leaving Bourbonville and moving here, to Balmoral, she’d second-guessed her decision often, but never realized maybe he did too, just a little.

“You’re the cop. You could have found me if you tried.”

As you can see, there are a lot of unresolved feelings between these two. The question is, can Gus make it right? You’ll have to read on to find out. 🙂

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Get Your Copy Here

Add To Your TBR List

This is part of a branded series set around the running of the famous Kentucky Derby. I hope you’ll enjoy my story and give the other books in the Chandler County series a try!

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How Writing Is Like Hair Color #amwriting #Writertips


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This might get a little longwinded so bear with me 🙂

 

How many of you remember arguing with your parents when you were a teen and desperately wanted to color your hair?

My daughter used to drive me crazy with these requests.

“Please, Mom, Stephanie’s mom let her do it.”

Or my personal favorite.

“You just don’t understand.”

No amount of talking would persuade her that it was a fad and it would pass. And I refused to allow her to change that beautiful golden-brown she’d been blessed with at birth.

Stale-mate.

Years later she became a mom and when her son wanted his hair shaved on the sides and colored blue on the top, she bought removable dye and did it for him.

The lesson?

Times change. People change.

Aiden almost 7 yrs old-March 2014

 

What does this have to do with writing you say?

Maybe nothing, but recently I’ve been hearing lots about author branding and when I delved further into what this mysterious identity might mean, this is what I found.

From a Google search:

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets.

business – The Basics of Branding – Entrepreneur

Makes sense; we all want an edge right?
Except, it’s not that easy, is it?
How do we decide our ‘brand?’ What does it look like? How do we promote it? Does it mean we can only write in one genre?
Many professionals tell us this is the case. Pick one road and ride it to the top.
Sounds good, right?
Except the top is a very slippery slope. It changes almost as fast as those hair color fads.
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When you pick up a story to read, what do you choose? Is it the same genre time after time? Is it the genre you write in, or something completely different?
How does this affect your writing?
One of my favorite posts on finding your voice/brand comes from Chuck Wendig, who is a master at getting his point across.
This is another great post from The Writer’s Digest:
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that voice is as unique as you are, so don’t try hiding behind the latest fad.
Be who you are, and people will follow.
Jacquie Biggar

Who will save the hero? Roman Rescue by Michelle Gilliam #Summerreading #Romance #MFRWauthor @GilliamMichelle


Roman Rescue: Who Will Save The Hero?
Michelle Gilliam
Publication date: May 21st 2016
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Romance

Maggie has always been a sassy, headstrong Southern girl. But running off to Rome, Italy on summer break from college is the most impulsive thing she’s ever done. Her brother is in trouble, and she’s determined to rescue him- after all, he’s the older, wiser, military officer who has never needed her help before. Paul is in a mess with an Italian ex-girlfriend who has cut ties with him…but is pregnant with his child. Maggie thinks she can fix it.

After all, a break from her life would be nice, too. She just broke up with her long time boyfriend, and her estranged mother keeps hopelessly trying to reconnect with her. Italy sounds like the perfect refuge. Until she meets Paul’s best friend, Marine Sargeant, Luke Seager. He complicates things in every way. He persists to play tour guide and asserts his way into her plans at every chance. Maggie prefers to become a hero on her own, but as she digs into the truth about Paul’s predicament, danger builds around them. While the tension and mystery grows, so do her feelings for Luke- a man with his own shrouded past.

Nothing is as it seems when Maggie gets more than she bargained for with the girlfriend’s mafia ties, Luke’s dangerous connections, and unexpected guests from home. Finding out the truth lands Maggie in more trouble than she can escape. Who will save the hero now?

Look what People are saying about Roman Rescue: Who Will Save The Hero?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I strolled further down until I found a pizza place and dove in for a slice of basil, mozzarella, and sausage. I ordered a Coke, but it came at room temperature, so I changed it to water instead. But, pizza and water weren’t the right combinations. Maybe I tasted the tomatoes more, or the sauce’s bright red color made it look too eerie. Again, I blamed it on Fear whispering warnings of stares from unsmiling eyes. Wasn’t Rome the city of romance? Then why did I see figures in the shadows, taxi drivers with guns, and blood in the pizza sauce?

On the way home, I tried to ignore the shadowed alleys and drivers staring me down as they passed by. I double-checked that my debit card hadn’t fallen out of my bra. It was still there, safe from thieves.

The night air, fruity and moist, smelled unlike the air back home. I walked, taking deep breaths with my nose to the sky. Going through the park, a breeze whipped by, causing me to imagine the world before cars, a time when the Roman statues were real. I could see it. I could see me in it, wearing a long tunic. What did Dr. Francisco call it in English class? A stola, yes. I would look good in a stola, gold chains strapped around me. I imagined the horse dung in the streets and stopped romanticizing. I wouldn’t call it pessimism but realism. Life had taught me not to believe in the wonderful, magical, or romantic. Not that I hadn’t tried.

I pulled the key out of my bra and entered the apartment. I glanced around for a television and spotted the floating stairs. At the top of the stairs was Kayla’s and Luke’s bedroom, tidy and simple with a triple-tier shelving of masculine books: Shooter, Abraham Lincoln, and various spy novels. I also found a TV. I smiled and threw myself into a chair after emptying the clothes from it.

That is where Luke found me, asleep in his bedroom chair. His wide shoulders and his body blocked out the light. It alarmed me. Only a dark sketch of him stood there, looking down at me.

“According to this note, you must be Maggie.”

“Please, tell me your name is Luke, so I won’t have to kill you,” I managed to get out while stretching my arms and rubbing my eyes, barely awake—barely thinking—but not afraid.

“Yep, you’re Maggie. I’ve heard of your quipped tongue.”

I sighed. “Great, my reputation has preceded me all the way to Italy. At nineteen, I’m not sure that’s a good thing.”

“Nineteen, just a baby.”

That riled me. When I should have asked to stay on his couch, I couldn’t. I stood. “I’m not a baby.” I squinted at his dark silhouette and tried to look him straight in the eyes. I stood on my tippy-toes, but his eyes were still inches away, taller and higher, out of my reach. “Well, damn, are you six-four, or what?”

“Maybe six-three,” he said with pride.

I composed myself after a thick swallow. “Must be hard to be that tall.”

“Sometimes.” His insecurity showed. His voice wavered or his shoulders dropped; it was so subtle and so quick. I don’t know, I could just tell.

I took the clothes from the bed and put them back on the chair.

“You don’t have to mess with that.”

“I moved them; I’ll return them. What time is it?”

“Twelve-thirty.”

I took a deep breath, walked over to the top of the stairs, and looked back. That’s when I noticed Luke’s face: soft reddish-tan complexion and pool-water blue eyes. I paused, wordless for too long.

 

Author Bio:

Michelle Gilliam, BSN lives in Tennessee with her husband and three sons, two of which are college football players. She was raised by a southern mother and a British father and her accent is quite a mess with California, Florida, and Texas influences. She loves to read, analyze, and create. But all of that comes after a good cup of coffee and a conversation with a close friend or while treating her patients. That and her dreams are the source of her stories. She first began writing poetry and it is apparent when you see the use of descriptive launguage as she paints rooms, international settings, and people.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

Michelle took time from her busy schedule to answer a few questions on the blog today. Welcome Michelle!

How do you deal with writer’s block?

 Writer’s block is simply not focusing. If you submerge yourself into the scene, the world, or the mind of your character, you see what happens next. So being blocked is just being distracted. And most writers are good a tuning out everything around them. When I watch a movie, you could talk to me and I wouldn’t hear you- I’m submersed 🙂

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

 Falling in love with my Characters.

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

 If it’s not something you can walk away from, then do it. But get a thick skin and be prepared to be in class all the time. You never stop learning.

What are you currently working on?

 I am working on my second novel, Untitled. About a New York Literary agent who lost her daughter in the Afghanistan war. She has lost love, a broken heart, yet a lucrative business. She walks away to start over on her Family’s estate bequeathed to her and turn it into a bed and breakfast. But something else happens (first chapter) that will send her on another journey that challenges her heart to heal in ways she didn’t think she could.

How do you get inspired to write?

 I get plenty of sleep and dream. I listen to people and their stories. I question the world, people and the relationships in between. I think, analyze, and think again.

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

 Roman Rescue is an inspiration after a writing class I took with a friend. We challenged ourselves to the NaNoWriMo the following month and boom 50,000 words of this came out at first. I cut 25,000 of them but that is writing.

Thank you, Michelle, and best of luck!

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A game of cat and mouse turns deadly: Hunt Me by Heather Long #Suspense #Summerreading #mgtab @Barclay_PR @HVLong


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HUNT ME

by Heather Long

 

Their sensuous game of cat and mouse turns deadly when a third player turns up the heat, but can these two liars come clean with each other or will they lose it all?  HUNT ME is perfect for fans of Love Thy Enemy (Red Stone Security Series #13) by Katie Reus, Constant Craving (Task Force Hawaii #3) by Melissa Schroeder and Steal the Light (Thieves Book #1) by Lexi Blake

 

Praise for the Love Thieves series:

Treasure Me starts off with a bang and keeps your heart racing until the very end. – D. Antonio

 

A very well written tale of romance and intrigue, with all kinds of twists and turns along the way. – R. Aiken

 

The storyline is intense and compelling. The characters are fantastic! – Roxie’s Romance Reviews

 

Title: Hunt Me

Author: Heather Long

Series: Love Thieves #3

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: July 12, 2016

Publisher: Self-Published

Print Length: 90K

Format: Digital

Digital ISBN: 978-1- 68361-055- 7

 

Synopsis:

One Thief…

Wealthy, titled, and very privileged, Lady Katherine Hardwicke successfully eluded some of the best thieves in the world in a quest to obtain the Fortunate Buddha. Her time is running out and her enemies are closing in, and one deliciously enigmatic man seems determined to get in her way. Will he save her or end her quest forever?

One Hunt…

Jarod Parker wears many faces and lies for a living, but when the same thief steals the Buddha out from beneath his agents not once but twice, this handler returns to the field. His target? The last woman anyone would suspect of being the thief. But is he really after the Buddha or has this brilliant woman stolen his heart?

One Choice…

Their sensuous game of cat and mouse turns deadly when a third player turns up the heat, but can these two liars come clean with each other or will they lose it all?

Find out more at: Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | ARe

 

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Read an Excerpt from HUNT ME:

 

He sat silently. She forced herself to eat three bites of the salmon in quick succession, followed by a forkful of the steamed spinach and grilled zucchini. Her lack of appetite did not do the meal justice, but her audience forced her to play the part. Their air of civility wore on her. She’d rather be curled up, snacking on her dinner in bed and watching the latest movies she’d missed thanks to the whirlwind schedule she’d been maintaining.

But, no. She sat at a table with a perfectly respectable, smoking-hot- should-be- licked- often stranger. Damn her father.

Hell, if her father hadn’t sent him, she could have indulged in one of those carnal impulses which used to land her in the scandal rags during her university years. When the heat in her body continued to spread, warming her cheeks and breasts, she reached for the wine again. Maybe a glass or three would knock the temperature off her libido.

“You seem very relaxed, considering our present circumstances.” He sounded almost curious.

“I’m used to it.” She sighed and ran her tongue along her teeth, hoping no bits of veggie were embarrassing her. “Unfortunately.”

“Well, if you’re used to it, maybe you should consider a change in careers.” The odd comment, coupled with his pursed lips, dragged her attention away from her raging hormones to stare at him again. He watched her with no attempt to disguise the shrewd predator in his eyes. A fresh wave of awareness rolled over her.

He wasn’t any ordinary businessman, and his attempts at vanilla engagement, from his relaxed dress to his mannerisms, couldn’t disguise the difference anymore. Something far more dangerous than an unwanted matchmaking attempt lurked in his gaze.

Intrigue and wariness clashed inside.

“Why would I change careers? I’m destined to inherit the entire organization. I have to know how it works from top to bottom. Or are you one of those men who thinks marrying me will be your key to the executive office, and I’ll be at home hosting tea while popping out the requisite heirs?”

Jarod tugged his ear and set his utensils down. “Kit Kat, what the hell are you talking about?”

“My father, Mr. Parker. And stop calling me by that horrid nickname.” Irritation rose to the top of her desire and flamed. “I asked you to call me Katherine.”

“No. You told me to. I prefer Kit Kat. It suits your mercurial moods. What does your father have to do with my being on this plane?”

“Everything.” She leaned forward. “Miles told me Daddy sent you to the meeting and here. I am used to my father’s matchmaking—although he’s generally a great deal subtler than this. I suppose my birthday last month and the engagements of several of his associates’ children has him thinking.”

“Miles told you I’m here as a—”

“Seriously, Mr. Parker? A stud service. Yes, my father sent you to stand stud for his recalcitrant princess who will not settle down. Granted, you’re an exceptionally fine specimen, but I have no desire to wear the reins which undoubtedly go with your promising physique.”

Jarod’s mouth opened briefly then snapped shut. To her amazement—and ire—he started to laugh.

“What’s so funny?”

“You’re not mad your father might have sent me, Kit Kat. You’re mad you wanted me, and now you think you can’t have me.”

 

Other Books in the Love Thieves Series:

 

Catch Me

 

CATCH ME

Set in Morocco, London and Switzerland, The Love Thieves takes Anya and Max on a powerful journey full of passion and chemistry that sparks on the page from their first dance to their last.

Maxwell Sauvage was born into a life of privilege…and boredom. As a “security consultant” to the powerful, he enjoys pitting his wits against the most intricate of security systems for business and pleasure.

Anya Swift is a woman with high-class tastes and a high-octane need for adventure. As an operative for International Art and Antiquities Recovery she stays just on the “right” side of the law, while satisfying her desire for the finer things and her thirst for adventure.

When a high tech camera catches Anya taking The Fortunate Buddha from the French Ambassador’s vault, Max is eager to help the provocative thief for his own reasons, not the least of which being that he set the camera. But after one stunning night of passion, Anya disappears. Now Max must find Anya before the Ambassador’s men and claim the thief for his own, but they are running against a clock, danger and deception.

 

Book 1 Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | ARe

 

Treasure Me 

TREASURE ME

Discover nail-biting action in New York when the hunt for the Fortunate Buddha traps Sophie Kingston in a life and death struggle where the only man who can save her is playboy Pietr Sauvage.

One Treasure…
Some would kill to know what Sophie Kingston knows. Rich and powerful people will do anything to possess the secret, but not even Sophie realizes how much danger she is in—or how far they will go to hunt her down and take it from her. But when she sees a murder no one can prove, the threats to her life keep coming.

One Hunt…
Pietr Sauvage is neck deep in the hunt for The Fortunate Buddha when a lead draws him to New York and thrusts him into the life of art history specialist Sophie. What began as a favor turns into a desperate need to protect the sexy curator from the dark web of deception threatening to pull her under.

Too Many Thieves…
Lost in the shadow of intrigue and danger, Sophie must learn to trust Pietr, a man with an agenda, a man she can’t help but desire, before the ruthless thieves steal their only chance.

Raising the stakes heightens the attraction…

 

Book 2 is available at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | ARe

 

 Heather Long

 

 About Heather Long:

National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

Connect with Heather: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

I was lucky enough to get Heather to sit long enough for a short interview today. Thanks for joining the blog, Heather!

 

 

  1. What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

As in all things, there is no one best way, it’s what’s best for each individual. I am a hybrid and I like working with publishers and self-publishing.

 

  1. What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I love all genres, I’m very eclectic in my reading tastes. I think horror is the only one I don’t like to read, though I do love thrillers.

 

  1. How do you approach starting a new book?

I put my arse in the chair and get writing!

 

  1. What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

Stephen King’s On Writing is pretty damn on point.

 

  1. What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

What is this relaxing you are speaking of? I walk a lot, I hang out with my kiddo, and we watch lots of movies. I also love to quilt.

 

  1. Do you have any personal heroes/heroines?

My grandmother and my daughter are my best heroes. I adore them and they inspire me.

 

  1. Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations?

I’ve worked in the tech industry, for an attorney’s office, and as a freelance writer. So not really that exciting.

 

  1. What was your best date ever?

Every date is the best date ever, especially when I’m with my husband.

 

Aw! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule, Heather. Best of luck with Hunt Me, it sounds fabulous!

 

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She Doesn’t Know a Thing About Baseball: Change Up by Elley Arden #Contemporary #Romance @Barclay_PR @ElleyWrites


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Readers looking for something a little different will love The Change Up by Elley Arden, a twist on the traditional billionaire romance.

Out now! The Change Up (Arlington Aces #1) by Elley Arden

Title: The Change Up

Series: Arlington Aces #1

Author: Elley Arden

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 16, 2016

Publisher: Crimson Romance

Length: 66k words

Format: Digital

Digital ISBN: 978-1-4405-9151-8

 

Synopsis:

Commercial real estate mogul Rachel Reed is the one person her father can depend on, so when he walks into her Philadelphia office two weeks shy of her fortieth birthday to drop a personal and professional bomb, she rises to the occasion. She will help get his independent professional baseball team up and running before the inaugural season, and then … she will sell the team to recoup his substantial investment. It’s a tall order, but Rachel knows one thing for sure: a sexy nuisance from her past and a few acres of trees won’t stand in her way.

 

Former minor-leaguer-turned-landscaper Sam Sutter is surprised to find his brother’s ex in the woods behind the house he bought when he cashed out his signing bonus and said so long to baseball. He’s even more surprised to learn “his” trees are on her chopping block. There’s no way he’ll desecrate his nature-loving mother’s memory by letting that happen. But butting heads with the beautiful business woman is a tricky task that leads Sam to accept a position as head groundskeeper at her father’s stadium. Working under Rachel’s watchful, smoldering eyes might be Sam’s undoing.

 

She doesn’t know a thing about baseball. He swore off the sport ten years ago. But strange things happen when field dust gets in your veins.

Find out more at: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

 

The Change Up Cover

 

 

 

Excerpt:

She thought about that for a minute, thought about him, standing there, looking at her like she was the only woman in the world, and the heat was undeniable. The attraction unmistakable. Sam Sutter was a mouth-wateringly beautiful man. Five years younger and without a discernible life plan, but damn it, libidos didn’t care about those things. And honestly, the only thing holding her back from taking out all her recent frustrations on his blessed body right now was the fact his crew was just outside the leftfield wall.

To neutralize the lust bubbling in her veins, she asked, “Do you miss baseball?”

He looked broadsided by the random question and didn’t rush to answer.

“I know that came out of left field …” she grinned at her cleverness, “but I’ve been wondering about it ever since the festival. When my dad was asking you about baseball, you looked very uncomfortable.”

His gaze shifted away from her and anchored onto something in the grandstand, but then he shrugged like she hadn’t hit a nerve. “I was uncomfortable because I was worried about your father. I wasn’t sure what was going on. That’s all.” But his jaw pulsed, and she knew better.

“Sam …” She stepped closer, narrowing the space between them. “I saw that same look a minute ago when I asked you to help me out with the coaching prospects. You miss baseball. It’s okay to admit it. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be human. God, you played every year of your life until you were how old? Just because you were ready to hang it up professionally doesn’t mean you don’t miss the game personally.” He looked at her then with a hurt in his eyes that seemed to be saying maybe he wasn’t as ready to hang it up as he pretended to be.

“I miss some things more than others,” he said. “There’s a rush you get from playing the game.” Silence stretched out between them as the warm wind wrapped them in the sun-dried fragrances of spring. All the while, his eyes roamed her face until they focused on her lips. “Fortunately you can get that rush from other things.”

“Like?” she asked, breathlessly, knowing damned well she was encouraging him.

“This,” he whispered before he leaned in and kissed her, a brush of his lips, soft as the breeze that carried the heated scent of his skin to her nose and then to her brain.

 

Elley Arden

 

Author Bio:

Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.

Elley has been reading romance novels since she was a sixteen-year-old babysitter, sneaking Judith McNaught and Danielle Steele novels off the bookshelves of the women who employed her. To say she’d been sheltered up to that point is an understatement. No one had ever told her women could live bold, love freely, and have sex lives that were exciting and fulfilling. (They don’t teach these things in Catholic school!) Now that she knows, she’s happy to spread the word. The women she writes about may be fictional, but the success, respect, and love they find on the page is a universal right for women everywhere.

Elley writes books with charming characters, emotional stories, and sexy romance. Visit The Bookshelf for a detailed listing.

You can also visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | Amazon

 

Elley took a moment out of her busy schedule to sit down and answer a few questions on her writing process with us today. Thanks for stopping by, Elley!

 

  1. What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

The best way to publish is whichever way is best for you, the writer. We all come into this for different reasons with different goals and different personalities. Both traditional publishing and self-publishing have their positives and negatives. “The best way” to publish these days is in a well-informed manner that empowers you. If you try one way, and it doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to try another.

  1. What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I’ve been a reader of contemporary romances since I was in my late teens. I like the modern-day setting, the relatability, and the feeling that these people could pass me on the street at any given moment. I also like historical non-fiction. I’ve been fascinated by the world’s power struggles for as long as I can remember. Royal history is my absolute favorite.

  1. How do you approach starting a new book?

With each new idea, there is an initial burst of excitement that is hard to contain. The characters and the potential storylines invade my mind and make it very difficult for me to concentrate on anything else. (Ask my family. Whatever they say goes in one ear and out the other.) But then reality crashes in, and I know I need a reasonably complete outline to stave off the panic that happens at the mid-point of every book. I then spend several sometimes unenthusiastic days working on this outline and character sketches. After that, the actual writing begins.

  1. What is your writing process?

My strongest work comes when I’m in a sort of symbiotic relationship with my characters. If I can feel when they are feeling, then I know I’m on the right track. I spend a lot of time listening in on their conversations in my mind, and then I analyze those conversations for deeper insight into their personal issues. Honestly, it’s sort of crazy how it works, and so much of my “writing” is done off the page.

  1. What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

I love Steven King’s On Writing, Donald Maass’s The Fire in Fiction, and Jenny Crusie’s blog posts on writing romance. So much good information there!

 

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Loss and betrayal: Two Hearts in Winter by Donna Fasano #Contemporaryromance #mgtab @BPICPromos @DonnaFaz


 

Two Hearts In Winter
by Donna Fasano
Series: Ocean City Boardwalk, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 15, 2016

 

 

Loss and betrayal have caused Heather Phillips to give up on love. She’s thrown herself into running The Lonely Loon, her Bed and Breakfast located on the boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland. The “off season” in this tourist town is usually a time of rest and reflection for her; however, DB Atwell, a famous author, arrives at The Loon for the winter to finish his long-overdue novel. Daniel, too, has faced grief, and tragedy continues to haunt him. Once Heather and Daniel meet, their lives will never be the same.

Reminiscent of Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks and culminating in a happily-ever-after similar to the great Nora Roberts, Two Hearts in Winter is a story about learning to let go of the past, about realizing that, though hardship affects us, it need not define us, and about coming to understand and truly believe that beauty is sometimes covered in scars. The human heart has an amazing ability to forgive, to heal, and to hope, especially when touched by love.

 

 

 

What are you reading now or what do you have in your TBR pile?

I just finished Learning to Swim by Sara Henry. I’m currently reading Julia’s Daughters by Colleen Faulkner. On my TBR pile you’ll find A Reluctant Hero by Jackie Weger, Creatus by Carmen DeSousa, The Neighbor by Dean Koontz, Three Junes by Julia Glass, One Way or Another by Elaine Raco Chase, Love Me Tender by Mimi Barbour…should I go on?

What flavor is your writing style?

I always tell people I write cotton candy for the mind. Think back to when you were a kid and you took a bite of that delectable confection. What did you do? You smiled. That’s what I’m going for in my romance novels.

Was writing always the first thing you wanted to do in life?

No, I wanted to be a teacher, but then I met and fell in love with my husband. We married and began raising a family. It wasn’t until my children started school that I started writing.

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? 

I believe there’s a lot of me in my protagonists. I write about women who are strong, yet vulnerable. My main characters and my secondary characters have flaws and make mistakes (don’t we all?), but then most of them do all they can to learn, grow and become better people.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

One piece of advice I often give to writers is to READ. Don’t just read in the genre in which you write. Read everything. And then figure out what you liked and what you didn’t…and then think about why. Reading and analyzing the writing of talented people can help you perfect your own skills.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

I bow down to readers! I am so appreciative that they spend their hard-earned money on my books and then take the time to read my stories. I am so blessed to have a job I love, and I wouldn’t have this job if there weren’t readers who love romance novels.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

I came to writing through my love of reading. I spent many a Saturday as a kid in the local library. I loved books, but I never imagined I would ever write one. My husband gets the credit for my becoming a writer. When my children started school and I decided to find a part-time job, he looked around at the piles of romance novels in our home and said, “You’ve read a lot of those. Why don’t you try writing one?” So, you see. It’s all his fault.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not my latest book, but one of my titles—Where’s Stanley?—features an ending that I didn’t come up with. I handed in the completed manuscript, and my editor suggested a different ending. I wasn’t happy, but I did as she asked. Personally, I think the book suffered for it, but readers seem to enjoy the story.

What books have most influenced your life most? 

Old Yeller, Sounder, The Bell Jar, To Kill a Mockingbird…how can people read these books and not be influenced? There are so many titles that inspired me and moved me, molded and shaped me, there isn’t time to name them all. The characters in these wonderful books help young readers to decide what kind of individual they want to be.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? 

There was a time when I’d have said no. I have a plant-your-butt-in-the-chair-and-the-words-will-come attitude. But I did suffer writer’s block while my dad was battling cancer. It’s difficult to write feel-good happily-ever-after when your beloved father is dying.

Do you write an outline before every book you write?

I do, yes. I equate an outline with a road made; how do you know where you’re going if you don’t have a map? I might write the first chapter or two on the fly, but I always take the time to plan out where I want the story to go. Now that’s not to say that the characters are going to stay on the straight and narrow. They decide to veer off the highway every now and then, and that’s when I have to do a quick reroute.

Have you ever disliked something you wrote? 

I’ve never published anything that I disliked. I have started projects that haven’t seen the light of day, either because I couldn’t figure out where to take the story, or I couldn’t make the protagonist sympathetic or likable. It’s a rare occurrence, and when it happens, I just set the story aside and hope I can someday come up with a solution.

Tell us why you’ve decided to set a series of book at a seashore location.

I love the ocean. There’s just something about a large body of water that induces a great calm in me. I think many people feel the same, so I decided to come up with a series that involves three women friends who live and work in Ocean City, Maryland. The first, Following His Heart, is Sara and Landon’s story. The second, Two Hearts in Winter, is Heather and Daniel’s story. I’m currently plotting out the third book of the series.

 

“The worst of it was the stroke of midnight.” Heather sighed. “Everyone got a New Year’s kiss but me.”
“Well, that’s not quite fair, now is it?”
The tone of his voice had her gaze lifting to connect with his. Merriment sparkled in his eyes. Was he laughing at her? Poking fun?
She slid her fingers from between his forearm and hand, meaning to pull away from him, from the situation that could very quickly turn both awkward and embarrassing for her. Feeling vulnerable was not something she enjoyed. She mentally kicked herself for not keeping the conversation light and fluffy. That’s what he’d expected, wasn’t it? It’s the only kind of conversation that most guys liked. Nothing too intense. Nothing too sensitive. Frivolous. Insignificant. Superficial. That’s what—
He reached out and captured her jaw between his gentle fingers, and she went stock still. With light, steady pressure, he guided her toward him. With excruciating slowness, he leaned forward.
He was close, so close she could feel his warm, vanilla scented breath against her cheek.
What the hell was he doing? She should stop this. She should place her hand on his shoulder and give a good, hard push. But her muscles had gone all spongy and useless. She had no idea what he planned to do, but every cell in her body wanted him to do it.
Daniel tipped up her chin and closed the small gap between them.
His lips were soft and hot against hers. The kiss was—
…over before she had a chance to really enjoy it.
“Everyone deserves a New Year’s kiss.”
His silky soft voice sent shivers spiraling down the full length of her body. She felt giddy, and drunker than any rum runner could ever account for.
“Ha…Happy New Year,” she stammered.
Before she could finish, his mouth was on hers again. This kiss was longer, more lingering, and teetered on the edge of hungry.
When he broke away, Heather heard a strange whooshing, and she realized it was the sound of her blood throbbing at a wild rate through her veins. She swallowed, exhaled slowly, and blinked.
He smiled broadly. “That,” he told her, “was for telling your friends that I’m perfectly nice.”

 

 

 

 

 

Reviews of Book 1: Following His Heart

“The pleasure of Fasano’s style lies in the scrumptious descriptions… and her characters’ sincere, mature desire to make things work.” ~ Publishers Weekly

“Following His Heart made me go “wow”. . . I found it thought-provoking in ways I’d have never anticipated.” ~ BooksAndPals.com, 5-Stars

 

 

 

 

USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano has written 35 romance and women’s fiction titles. Her books have won awards, have been translated into two dozen languages, and have sold 4 million copies worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Hearts in Winter by Donna Fasano #Contemporary #romancebooks @mgtab @DonnaFaz


 

Donna Fasano

Two Hearts in Winter

Ocean City Boardwalk Series, Book 2

 

Genre: Contemporary romance

 

Add the book to your “Want To Read” shelf on GoodReads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29754379-two-hearts-in-winter

 

Reviews of Book 1 of the series:

“The pleasure of Fasano’s style lies in the scrumptious descriptions… and her characters’ sincere, mature desire to make things work.” ~Publishers Weekly

 

“Following His Heart made me go “wow”. . . I found it thought-provoking in ways I’d have never anticipated.” ~BooksAndPals.com, 5-Stars

 

Loss and betrayal have caused Heather Phillips to give up on love. She’s thrown herself into running The Lonely Loon, her Bed and Breakfast located on the boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland. The “off season” in this tourist town is usually a time of rest and reflection for her; however, DB Atwell, a famous author, arrives at The Loon for the winter to finish his long-overdue novel. Daniel, too, has faced grief, and tragedy continues to haunt him. Once Heather and Daniel meet, their lives will never be the same.

 

Reminiscent of Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks and culminating in a happily-ever-after similar to the great Nora Roberts, Two Hearts in Winter is a story about learning to let go of the past, about realizing that, though hardship affects us, it need not define us, and about coming to understand and truly believe that beauty is sometimes covered in scars. The human heart has an amazing ability to forgive, to heal, and to hope, especially when touched by love.

 

Two Hearts 500 x 750

 

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-939000-32-3

eBook ISBN: 978-1-939000-33-0

Buy Links:

US Kindle: http://amzn.to/1ooYAyR

UK Kindle: http://amzn.to/235L56Z

Nook: http://bit.ly/TwoHeartsNook

iBook: Coming Soon!

Kobo: http://bit.ly/TwoHeartsKobo

Google Play: http://bit.ly/TwoHeartsGoogle

Paperback: Coming very soon!

Excerpt:

“The worst of it was the stroke of midnight.” Heather sighed. “Everyone got a New Year’s kiss but me.”

“Well, that’s not quite fair, now is it?”

The tone of his voice had her gaze lifting to connect with his. Merriment sparkled in his eyes. Was he laughing at her? Poking fun?

She slid her fingers from between his forearm and hand, meaning to pull away from him, from the situation that could very quickly turn both awkward and embarrassing for her. Feeling vulnerable was not something she enjoyed. She mentally kicked herself for not keeping the conversation light and fluffy. That’s what he’d expected, wasn’t it? It’s the only kind of conversation that most guys liked. Nothing too intense. Nothing too sensitive. Frivolous. Insignificant. Superficial. That’s what—

He reached out and captured her jaw between his gentle fingers, and she went stock still. With light, steady pressure, he guided her toward him. With excruciating slowness, he leaned forward.

He was close, so close she could feel his warm, vanilla scented breath against her cheek.

What the hell was he doing? She should stop this. She should place her hand on his shoulder and give a good, hard push. But her muscles had gone all spongy and useless. She had no idea what he planned to do, but every cell in her body wanted him to do it.

Daniel tipped up her chin and closed the small gap between them.

His lips were soft and hot against hers. The kiss was—

…over before she had a chance to really enjoy it.

“Everyone deserves a New Year’s kiss.”

His silky soft voice sent shivers spiraling down the full length of her body. She felt giddy, and drunker than any rum runner could ever account for.

“Ha…Happy New Year,” she stammered.

Before she could finish, his mouth was on hers again. This kiss was longer, more lingering, and teetered on the edge of hungry.

When he broke away, Heather heard a strange whooshing, and she realized it was the sound of her blood throbbing at a wild rate through her veins. She swallowed, exhaled slowly, and blinked.

He smiled broadly. “That,” he told her, “was for telling your friends that I’m perfectly nice.”

 

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Author Bio:

USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano has written 35 romance and women’s fiction titles. Her books have won awards, have been translated into two dozen languages, and have sold 4 million copies worldwide.

 

Find Donna Fasano on social Media:

Blog: http://donnafasano.blogspot.com/

Sign up for her newsletter: http://madmimi.com/signups/110899/join

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DonnaFaz

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/DonnaFaz

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/donna_fasano/

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/donnafasano

BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-fasano

GoodReads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1111480.Donna_Fasano

 

Donna took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions on her writing routine. So happy to have you on the blog, Donna!

What are you reading now or what do you have in your TBR pile?

I just finished Learning to Swim by Sara Henry. I’m currently reading Julia’s Daughters by Colleen Faulkner. On my TBR pile you’ll find A Reluctant Hero by Jackie Weger, Creatus by Carmen DeSousa, The Neighbor by Dean Koontz, Three Junes by Julia Glass, One Way or Another by Elaine Raco Chase, Love Me Tender by Mimi Barbour…should I go on?

 

What flavor is your writing style?

I always tell people I write cotton candy for the mind. Think back to when you were a kid and you took a bite of that delectable confection. What did you do? You smiled. That’s what I’m going for in my romance novels.

 

Was writing always the first thing you wanted to do in life?

No, I wanted to be a teacher, but then I met and fell in love with my husband. We married and began raising a family. It wasn’t until my children started school that I started writing.

 

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? 

I believe there’s a lot of me in my protagonists. I write about women who are strong, yet vulnerable. My main characters and my secondary characters have flaws and make mistakes (don’t we all?), but then most of them do all they can to learn, grow and become better people.

 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

One piece of advice I often give to writers is to READ. Don’t just read in the genre in which you write. Read everything. And then figure out what you liked and what you didn’t…and then think about why. Reading and analyzing the writing of talented people can help you perfect your own skills.

 

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

I bow down to readers! I am so appreciative that they spend their hard-earned money on my books and then take the time to read my stories. I am so blessed to have a job I love, and I wouldn’t have this job if there weren’t readers who love romance novels.

 

What inspired you to write your first book? 

I came to writing through my love of reading. I spent many a Saturday as a kid in the local library. I loved books, but I never imagined I would ever write one. My husband gets the credit for my becoming a writer. When my children started school and I decided to find a part-time job, he looked around at the piles of romance novels in our home and said, “You’ve read a lot of those. Why don’t you try writing one?” So, you see. It’s all his fault.

 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

Not my latest book, but one of my titles—Where’s Stanley?—features an ending that I didn’t come up with. I handed in the completed manuscript, and my editor suggested a different ending. I wasn’t happy, but I did as she asked. Personally, I think the book suffered for it, but readers seem to enjoy the story.

 

What books have most influenced your life most? 

Old Yeller, Sounder, The Bell Jar, To Kill a Mockingbird…how can people read these books and not be influenced? There are so many titles that inspired me and moved me, molded and shaped me, there isn’t time to name them all. The characters in these wonderful books help young readers to decide what kind of individual they want to be.

 

Do you ever experience writer’s block? 

There was a time when I’d have said no. I have a plant-your-butt-in-the-chair-and-the-words-will-come attitude. But I did suffer writer’s block while my dad was battling cancer. It’s difficult to write feel-good happily-ever-after when your beloved father is dying.

 

Do you write an outline before every book you write?

I do, yes. I equate an outline with a road made; how do you know where you’re going if you don’t have a map? I might write the first chapter or two on the fly, but I always take the time to plan out where I want the story to go. Now that’s not to say that the characters are going to stay on the straight and narrow. They decide to veer off the highway every now and then, and that’s when I have to do a quick reroute.

 

Have you ever disliked something you wrote? 

I’ve never published anything that I disliked. I have started projects that haven’t seen the light of day, either because I couldn’t figure out where to take the story, or I couldn’t make the protagonist sympathetic or likable. It’s a rare occurrence, and when it happens, I just set the story aside and hope I can someday come up with a solution.

 

Tell us why you’ve decided to set a series of book at a seashore location.

I love the ocean. There’s just something about a large body of water that induces a great calm in me. I think many people feel the same, so I decided to come up with a series that involves three women friends who live and work in Ocean City, Maryland. The first, Following His Heart, is Sara and Landon’s story. The second, Two Hearts in Winter, is Heather and Daniel’s story. I’m currently plotting out the third book of the series.

 

Donna is celebrating the launch of 
TWO HEARTS IN WINTER
with a Rafflecopter Giveaway! 

Enter to win a 7″ Kindle Fire OR 

$50 Amazon Gift Card ~ Winner’s Choice!
Open through April 30th.

 

ENTER HERE

 

Getting It Back by Elizabeth Harmon #Contemporary #Romance #MFRWauthor @Barclay_PR @romanzwrter_grl


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He needs a comeback, but is it in his career, or love?

In this second-chance romance, a former top men’s figure skating champion is willing to risk everything for a comeback – except a new start with his long lost love…

 

 

About GETTING IT BACK

 

An unexpected phone call from the man who broke her heart offers Amy Shepherd an opportunity to return to the work she loves, training elite figure skaters. Except it’s just one figure skater: Him. Can she finally forgive and forget?

Figure skater Mikhail “Misha” Zaikov once had it all: medals, money and the adoration of millions. But a devastating injury put an end to his career and his romance, leaving him with nothing but regret over what could have been. His last chance to re-join the world’s top skaters is now. And there’s only one person who can help him: Her.

On Russia’s unyielding ice, Misha must reclaim what he’s lost while facing off against a talented young rival and risking further injury. But Amy soon discovers Misha’s much bigger challenges lurk off the ice. And she’s determined to keep Misha whole and healthy, even if doing so ends his shot at the gold.
On Sale in Digital: April 4, 2016

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

Getting It Back Cover

 

Add GETTING IT BACK to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

 

GETTING IT BACK by Elizabeth Harmon – Excerpt 

The day Misha arrived at the University of Delaware’s training center for the first time, the pretty red-haired student caught his eye.

She’d worn a fitted blue t-shirt and khaki shorts that displayed shapely legs, still with a trace of a summer tan. Her hair was in a single braid, worn off to the side. Pert breasts. Nice ass. Everything a guy could want, but it wasn’t just her looks that grabbed his attention. It was also the way she carried herself, moving through the room with calm assurance that seemed to fill more space than she actually did. Watching her efficiently coach a surly wrestler through his floor stretches left him with no doubt in her ability. At the end of his first day, he’d asked the professional trainer in charge of his rehabilitation to assign her to work with him, and when she’d greeted him in Russian at their first session, he’d been beyond impressed. Her stilted grammar and atrocious accent made it obvious she wasn’t a native speaker, but to hear someone speak his language, even badly, had meant the world to him.

“Why did you decide to learn Russian? I thought most Americans learned Spanish or French,” he’d asked, as he lay face down on the training table, turning his head so he could look at her.

Her face brightened with a pretty smile. “I took French in high school. But since I want to specialize in athletic training for figure skaters, studying Russian in college seemed more practical.”

“An excellent idea,” he said, liking Amy Shepherd’s common sense almost as much as he liked her looks. Not only did he want her working on his case, he wanted to know her on a deeper level. Everything in his life felt so unsure, he hoped a bit of her unflappable, steady confidence would rub off on him.

He wanted it then, he wanted it now.

That had been behind his crazy, pain-addled decision to text her two nights ago. He hadn’t known what he expected. Medical advice, punctuated by emoticons? Any response kinder than ‘fuck off,’ was welcome, though that had never been Amy’s style. All he knew was that he was hurting in pretty much every way it was possible to hurt, and it compelled him to reach out to the only woman who’d ever made him feel whole. The fact she’d responded by coming to be at his side, especially from so many miles away, only served as further proof of what a fool he’d been to leave her.

 

Check out other books in the Red Hot Russians series!

Pairing Off

 

PAIRING OFF

2016 RITA® Award Finalist…Best First Book!

American figure skater Carrie Parker’s Winter Games dreams were dashed when her philandering partner caused one of the greatest scandals in skating history. Blacklisted from competing in the United States, her career is over…until she receives a mysterious invitation and is paired with the most infuriating, talented—and handsome—skater she’s ever met.

 

Russian champion Anton Belikov knows sacrifice. He gave up a normal life and any hope of a meaningful relationship to pursue his dream. And he’s come close—with a silver medal already under his belt, the next stop is the gold. All he needs is a partner. While he’s never forgotten the young American skater he seduced one long-ago night in Amsterdam, he never expected to be confronted with their past…never mind share the ice with her.

 

When what starts as a publicity stunt grows into something real, Carrie and Anton’s partnership will test their loyalties to family, country and each other. With only a few months to train for the competition of a lifetime, can they master technique and their emotions, or will they lose their footing and fall victim to the heartaches of their pasts?

 

Order this title at these online retailers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Google Books | Kobo

 

Turning it On

 

TURNING IT ON

Book editor Hannah Levinson couldn’t be happier. This “Nice Jewish Girl” is ready to marry the man she’s longed after for half her life. When her fiancé suggests they audition for Last Fling, a steamy new reality show for engaged couples, she lets herself be swayed. Maybe she’ll learn a thing or two.

 

Vlad Shustov’s fall from a once-bright career as a competitive figure skater was swift. Now trapped by a shameful past and an uncertain future, “Vlad the Bad” strips for cash. Joining the cast of Last Fling could earn him a fortune—or at least enough to finally leave stripping. But to win the show’s prize, he must seduce an engaged woman, something he can’t even bear the thought of.

 

Hannah’s not like any woman Vlad’s met before. Betrayed by the man she thought she loved and relegated to the ugly-duckling role she’d worked so hard to shed, can she trust there’s more to Vlad than meets the eye? With sleazy TV tactics shattering the last shreds of the contestants’ confidence, they’ll have to believe true happiness is not only possible…it may be looking right at them.

 

Order this title at these online retailers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | iBooks 

 

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Author Bio:

Elizabeth Harmon loves to read and write romances with a dash of different.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to have a career that allows her to spend her days imagining “what if?” and a loving family that keeps her grounded in the real world. Her debut novel, Pairing Off is a 2016 RITA Award Finalist.

An adventurous cook, vintage home enthusiast, occasional actress, and entry-level figure skater, Elizabeth makes her home in the Midwest, where life is good, but the sports teams aren’t. She loves to hang out on her front porch, or at her favorite local establishments, enjoy good food and wine, and talk writing with anyone who will listen.

 

Follow Elizabeth: Website |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  | Goodreads | BookBub |  BookLikes  | Google+

 

I’m honored to have Elizabeth on the blog today, and took the opportunity to beg, plead, cry for an interview. She felt sorry for me and agreed to answer my nosey, interesting questions 🙂

Interview – Elizabeth Harmon

 

How do you approach starting a new book?

I often start with a scene that’s in my head and which I just have to get down on paper. It’s not necessarily the first scene in the book, though in the case of Getting It Back, it fell pretty close to the beginning. I was driving on a two-lane highway, and passed a rundown motel in a small town. That motel, the stormy gray sky and the wide farm fields made such an impression, and I knew it was where my figure skater hero was going to begin his journey back to the top.

What is your writing process?

I work from a loose outline and try to hit a minimum daily word count while I’m writing the first draft. For the second and third drafts, which are primarily editing and rewriting, I set a daily page count, which varies, depending upon the level of editing I need to do. I try to write/edit every day and confine most of my marketing work to “Marketing Monday.”

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

Two books that changed my writing life are Stephen King’s “On Writing,” which helped me learn to rely on my instincts as a storyteller, and Blake Snyder’s “Save The Cat,” which taught me how to tell a tight, well plotted story. Two writing blogs I love are paranormal author Jami Gold’s blog and Romance University. Both offer great posts on craft, marketing and writer’s life.

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

I love to cook, and try new recipes. I also love to eat. Exercise is a continual struggle, but I try to run a few days a week, and ice skate. We have a great rink in town and I’ve made some wonderful friends among the adult skaters who skate Friday afternoons. I take lessons and though I’m nowhere near the level of the skaters I write about, it helps with the sensory details of what they experience on the ice. I also love acting, and hope to have more opportunities to do it in the future

What was your best date ever?

When my husband (actually my fiancé at the time), and I went for late night drinks in the bar on the 97th floor of the John Hancock Building in Chicago on a snowy night. We sat by the window and watched the snow come down on Michigan Avenue, caught in red and green Christmas lights. It was a spur of the moment decision to go there, and I’m so glad we did. It’s one of our favorite memories.

Tell us something you are really proud of.

My two sons, ages 17 and 22, are smart, talented and best of all, kind young men. My husband and I are proud of them every day, and can’t wait to see what’s ahead for them. Career-wise, I’m still walking on air after learning that my debut novel Pairing Off is a 2016 RITA Award finalist for Best First Book.

(Congratulations!! This is a huge accomplishment!)

Can you confide something you wish you were better at?

Figure skating! I loved it as a kid but never pursued it until a few years ago. As an adult, learning to do things on the ice is so much harder.

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

Cowboy…preferably one who plays guitar and/or writes poetry. Or paints amazing landscapes of the wilderness he rides through. I find the combination of rugged and sensitive very sexy. 🙂

Chocolate or chips?

I like both. Chocolate probably…as long as it’s dark.

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?

Teleportation. As a writer, it would be great to be able to go anywhere in an instant.

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Fancy restaurant, definitely!

Beer or wine?

It depends on the weather. I love beer in the summer time, wine when it’s cold out.

Favorite author?

I consistently enjoy books by Kristan Higgins, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Kleypas, Courtney Milan, Gillian Flynn, Stephan King and John Grisham. A diverse list, but what they all have in common is that they’re great storytellers.

Smooth or hairy?

We’re talkin’ chests, right? 🙂 Hairy, for sure!

 

 

CELEBRATE THE RELEASE WITH A GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: $30 Amazon gift card

2 Runner-up Prizes: Digital copies of any one (1) book by Elizabeth Harmon from her backlist

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t Sweat the Little Stuff #mgtab #MFRWauthor #Writer


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The past couple of months have been a series of ups and downs, and anyone who knows me knows I don’t handle stress all that well, hence the gray hair, or so I like to tell myself 🙂

Normally, my life runs along a pretty even keel, with a routine that suits me fine. But then, stuff started to pile up.

February came and reminded me tax time was right around the corner and of course my paperwork was far from being ready.

 

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I’d booked myself into not one, but two online writer’s workshops and quickly fell behind on my assignments because I’d also agreed to participate in two multi-author box sets, both releasing in May!

This meant I had to get a new novella written, edited, formatted, and cover picked out for the one box set,

Summer Heat: Love on Fire.

 

 

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Pre-Order Summer Heat – Love on Fire : 16 Bestselling, 16 all-new romances guaranteed to make your blood run hot! Only 99c

Guaranteed to make your blood run hot. Passion, steamy nights, excitement, and suspense. Something to suit every reader’s taste. Grab a cool drink (you’ll need it!), find a hammock, and curl up for an unforgettable escape.

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C68B7W8

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1QVFyh8

Apple: http://apple.co/1TVjEcN

BN purchase:  http://bit.ly/SuHtBN

BN UK: http://bit.ly/SuHBNUK

Kobo purchase:  http://bit.ly/SuHKb

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/SuHtGdR

SummerHeatAuthors.com: http://bit.ly/1oI4s7c

Summer Heat Release Party FB: https://business.facebook.com/events/246899868978700/

 

And for the other, To Protect and Love, I had to make sure my book came out of Kindle Select in time to go up on all venues when we set the pre-order date, and of course help with promotions on both sets.

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Protect and Love

 

When the oath to protect and serve tangles with love, expect sparks and lots of heat! 

Hot firemen, alpha cops, sexy detectives, and dashing federal agents…this anthology from 9 best-selling and award-winning authors will have you rooting for your favorite heroes and heroines as they step up to the greatest challenge of their lives–to protect and love.

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CVXT194 

Short link: http://amzn.to/1RYa8ng

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/to-protect-and-love

on B&N! http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-protect-and-love-mimi-barbour/1123531064?ean=2940157689483

Google play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mimi_Barbour_To_Protect_and_Love?id=xUS6CwAAQBAJ

Ibooks-https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/to-protect-and-love/id1092817148?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29221804-to-protect-and-love

This includes daily teasers to Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook groups. As well, we planned guest blogs, blog tours, advertising, and Facebook parties.

 

Then I had the wise idea, 🙂  to get another book out there and published in time to pick up new readers from these sets, so I kicked it into high gear to finish the story I’d been working on for a few months, The Guardian, a paranormal romantic suspense novel.

 

 

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.*´¨) ¸.*¨)

(¸.´Pre-Order NOW

The Guardian – Book 1 of Mended Souls

Lucas Carmichael and Scott Anderson had it all, money, fame, and fortune. But one night’s stupid mistake takes everything they thought they cherished and dumps it upside down.

A car accident ends Lucas’ life and leaves Scott injured and bitter. 

As the local ME, Tracy York, investigates the case, discrepancies begin to point to more than a simple drunk driving incident. When threats are made to Tracy’s life can Scott and his guardian angel, Lucas, protect her, or will she become another casualty?

Pre-Order Jacquie Biggar‘s

The Guardian 

Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B01D4D3LMS

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29510815-the-guardian

Whew, finally all caught up and able to breathe again, except wait… I still never got my tax stuff together!!

And, I joined another group of writers for another boxed set with another brand new novella,

Love, Christmas.

 

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We have a fun contest going on Fresh Fiction until the end of March, so hurry and enter soon!

Calling all Christmas lovers!
Do you love the music of the holiday season? If so, the Authors’ Billboard needs your attention! This coming 2016 Christmas, twenty of our authors—New York Times and USA Today Bestsellers—will be putting together a multi-author box collection of brand new, never before published stories to dazzle everyone, but we require your participation.
The theme of our bundle will be CHRISTMAS CAROLS. And we want to use YOUR favorite holiday songs. If you and your song title are chosen, one of the novellas will be dedicated to YOU.
Sound like fun? Please enter the contest by naming your special carols in the box below. You may enter as many times as you like. So what are you waiting for?
Here’s what the winners will receive:
1. Twenty winners will have his/her favorite song chosen as the title and possibly the theme for one of the novellas.
2. That particular story will be dedicated to the winner— twenty in total.
3. And the winners will receive a free copy of the box set (eBook only).

ENTER HERE

 

From all of this, my take-away is that it doesn’t pay to sweat the small stuff. Just focus, make a list of priorities, and get ‘er done.

Oiy, whoever said the life of a writer was easy!

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Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

Jacquie writes Romantic Suspense with tough, alpha males who know what they want, until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them that what they really need is love.

Jacquie has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happy-ever-afters.

Follow Jacquie’s website below – if you check out her giveaways page you’ll find tons of great prizes every month!

http://jacqbiggar.com

http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggar

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