Something on Sunday-Free Reads

Kissofdeath

Kelly Hashway has a great series out there.  A new twist on some old Greek mythology-Medusa.  The Touch of Death series is wonderful!  Just ask all the readers that have reviewed it.  I really loved it too. So imagine my excitement finding a free prequel. Kelly has had a free read on her blog for awhile about Medusa herself and now you get to read about Alex.  GO check this out.  It’s FREE so you have nothing to lose and only a great new series to gain!

Download Kiss of Death by Kelly Hashway for FREE and fall in love with Alex & Jodi #YA #PNR

~~~<3~~~

Other Free Reads to Check out:

Campus Crush

00021-rowena

Roane Free Reads5bed9-curseofdeathcover

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Throw Back Thursday Blog Post?

I am trying something new.  I have neglected my poor blog.  It isn’t that I don’t love to share.  It’s certainly not because I don’t love to write.  It’s more like life.  I’d love to get back to the simpler times.  Who doesn’t feel like sometimes the worlds problems are so large you might suffocate under the worry and the stress.  <Raises hand.>

Let’s all breath.  In and out.  In and out.  There.  That’s much better.

Ignoring the world for the next five minutes, what was the first book your remember reading?

For me, it was Green Egg’s and Ham.  I should say, it’s the first book I ever read on my own.  No help.  It was the best day of my life.  I struggled with reading.  Crazy right?  There’s a small ghost from my past spilled.  So when I finally read this wonderful story of one Sam I AM never giving up and a grouchy person realizing changes can be good, I truly felt like I’d accomplished something.  Granted at the time all I noticed was green eggs and ham; trying to decide if it was rotting or dyed for St. Patrick’s day.

What was your first book you remember?  Fond memories or trauma?

green eggs and ham

For the Love of Murphy Tour

What’s a blog tour?  Well, in short it is a virtual book tour.  Questions will be answered.  Excerpts will be shared.  In the end you can sort of feel like a groupie! Just kidding, well, sort of.  Here’s where you can cyber stalk the authors of For the Love of Murphy, a sweet romance anthology. Don’t forget about the giveaway.

Murphy_TourButton

Here are the stops!

For the Love of Murphy Blog Tour Schedule

March 17th

Release Day Blitz

Girl Who Reads  –  Author Interviews

March 18th

Tattered Pages  –  Promotional / Excerpt #1

March 19th

All Things Bookie  –  Author Interviews

The Book Drifter  –  Review

March 20th

Bex Book Nook  –  Review

March 21st

Michelle’s Blog  –  Author Interviews

March 24th

Author DC Stone  –  Author Interviews

March 25th

You Gotta Read  –  Author Interview with Lisa A. Adams

March 26th

Romance Writer Sara Walter Ellwood  –  Promotional / Excerpt #2

Good Friends, Good Books and a Sleepy Conscience: This is the Ideal Life  –  Review

March 27th

Scribbler’s Sojourn  –  Top Two List

March 28th

Shout With Emaginette  –  Favorite Five List

Back Porchervations  –  Review

March 31st

Shaya Roy’s Blog  –  Promotional  /  Excerpt #3

April 1st

Long and Short Reviews  –  Author Interviews

April 2nd

Machenwood Chronicles  –  Top Two List

April 3rd

Reader Girls  –  Promotional  /  Excerpt #4

You Gotta Read  –  Author Interview with Michelle Ziegler

April 4th

You Gotta Read  –  Author Interview with Annabelle Blume

Lorraine Nelson’s Writing Blog  –  Author Interview with London Saint James

April 7th

Harlie’s Books  –  Review  /  Excerpt #5

April 8th

You Gotta Read  –  Author Interview with Rebecca Hart

In A Dream Beyond  –  Promotional Post

April 9th

Musings About the Writer’s Life  –  Author Interviews

April 10th

You Gotta Read  –  Author Interview with London Saint James

April 11th

London’s Scribbles  –  4 Excerpts from her fellow authors

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Book Blitz and Tour-wide Giveaway
$10 Amazon Gift card & paperback copy of
For the Love of Murphy
Ends 4/11/2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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For the Love of Murphy
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: March 17, 2014
Key Words: Adult, Romance, Sweet, Contemporary, Anthology
They say love conquers all, but whoever “they” are, must not have heard of Murphy’s Law — whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
These five tales of sweet, accidental romance prove Cupid’s arrows are a lot tougher than they seem, and sometimes it pays to be unlucky.

No Wrong Turns by Lisa A. Adams
Jessica Brannah is escaping from her last heartbreak with a loaded car and a new address. But, when Murphy’s Law finds her stranded in a back country town, she realizes there’s no outrunning love.
Falling For You by Michelle Ziegler
Darci’s ready to move on. Too bad the dating pool stinks. Until, a ghost from her past resurfaces—the man she missed out on in college.

Andrew was the one man she’d always loved, but neither of them ever made a move. But, old feelings aren’t the only thing resurfacing of late. Darci’s ex comes crawling back at the most inappropriate time, and with all the testosterone flying, she might not end up with either man.

Coffee and Cufflinks by Annabelle Blume
Fresh out of a failed relationship and exhausted by a constant barrage of fiascos at work, Olivia Johnson doesn’t see the man of her dreams standing right in front of her. She tells herself the morning coffee meet-ups with Daren are nothing but coincidence, but even she can’t deny his unequivocal attractiveness. When a night entertaining clients takes a turn for the worst, and Daren shows up where she least expects him, failure starts to look more like fate.

A Slippery Slope by Rebecca Hart
Anne Montgomery is psyched for her girl’s only weekend, despite her friends’ choice of vacation locale—the snowy slopes of Harris Peak Ski Resort—where someone as notoriously accident prone as she has no business being. When Murphy’s Law finally catches up with her, Anne is forced to consider there may be times when it pays to be unlucky.
The Shamrock Incident by London Saint James
Florist, Marissa Carmichael isn’t usually a klutz, but she’s in a hurry and having a bad day. In her haste, she loses her balance and tumbles from the back room of her shop, arms flailing. Her less than graceful entrance halted by a headfirst crash into a display case chock full of silk flowers.
Trey Cleary didn’t think his day could get any worse, until he finds. himself picking the side view mirror of his BMW up from the ground. On a mission to do something about it, he locates the flower shop matching the name on the back of the van that mangled his ‘baby’. But, his car is forgotten when a beautiful woman bursts into the room like an out of control whirling dervish, and takes one mother of a wipeout into the shop’s counter. Coming to her aid brings out the hero in him like no one he’s ever encountered, and leaves him with a need to know more.
For Marissa and Trey, this just might be the one time it pays to be unlucky.
~~~oOo~~~
Purchase Links:

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Less is More

I thought I wouldblah break my once a month posting rule on writing.  This just might help someone.

Just because people say they want every detail doesn’t mean that they really do.  What I have learned through the editing process – with an editor, is that less is actually more.  Cut words.  Cut phrases.  Get to the point.  So what if you can write a beautiful paragraph on the snow and it’s movement.  Did it do anything to help move the story along?

So it hurts to cut paragraphs.  Lick your wound and get over it.  The editor I had the pleasure of working with at Still Moments Publishing helped me cut out 5000 words.  Yes you heard that right.  5000 words.  That was for a short story.  Why 5000 words?  Well.  Lets see.  I had a few paragraphs that although fun or cute, didn’t move the plot.  No one cares that she was wearing a hat and she was fighting with it and static electricity.  Did it help give you an image of her?  Well yes.  The difference was that I had established her personality already in the two paragraphs before.

I’m not sure how many people have heard rules about establishing what a character looks like off the bat.  Well that rule apparently isn’t really a rule.  After I cut out the paragraph on her hair issues there is no mention of my characters looks for several chapters. No one found this disconcerting.

Next, cutting her actions from five sentences to two helps tighten things up a little.  Everyone got she was cold in sentence one.  Commenting on how she handled said cold in sentence two and three is efficient. No need to add some flowery sentences or elaborating.

What i learned – I am wordy.  I love to talk, or write. Some of the pre-edit additions were because of critiques and others were because I liked the visual they gave.  If there is anything i am learning, its that editing is subjective.  The one rule that all editors seem to agree on is that less is more.  Getting there might be a little different, but you will hear it from all credible editors out there.

As a reader what do you do if there are too many details?  As a writer, how do you notice you are being too wordy? I don’t know that I will ever be able to really edit myself in full.  Thank goodness for Editors.

 

Related articles:

http://kellyhashway.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-much-is-enough-or-too-much.html

http://ajbooks.blogspot.com/2010/12/ajs-3-rules-for-successful-writing.html

http://calisarhose.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/wednesday-wrap-up-with-editor-stacy-holmes/

 

Is There a Stigma to Publication for Readers?

I think it is good to keep an open mind to all versions of publishing.  What am I talking about?  Well, Big Publishing Houses, small publishers, and self-publication.  A large publishing house is the one everyone out there wants to be a part of – the place where millions are made (or sometimes not.)  Then there are the small presses, which apparently most agents don’t like because authors can submit directly.  And third on my list is self-publication – the inspiration to this post.  There are lots of little details in each category, but the question remains is there a stigma to each? books

I suppose each method of publication has its stereo-types.  As a reader though, how does method of publication affect what you are going to read?  Obviously most small presses and self published authors won’t be found in book stores, so for traditional paperback reading that might cause a small problem.  For readers like me, and the fact I shop mostly online, this doesn’t bother me as much.  Do you scroll down to see who the publisher is before buying on sites such as Amazon or Barnes and Nobel?  Maybe you didn’t even know you could do that.

The reason I bring up the stigma, is that is appears even with the growth in popularity to self-publishing there are still a lot of people apprehensive to buy these books.  I had a self-published author share a fun fact about her current series.  Now it’s obvious that she has a smaller fan base as of right now and therefore participation would inherently be slower.  Why do I think that it is obvious she had a smaller fan base?  Well, most self published authors are their own marketing team, editing team, cover design team, etc etc.  They have to do it all on their own which can start out slower unless you have some big name connections.

The question I want answered is, is it a turn off to most people to hear a book is self published or even small publisher?  Would it be best to avoid these key words when marketing books in the aforementioned groups and why?  I know what my opinion is, but I would like to know what others think when looking for new books.  With the growing popularity in e-books, it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference of publishers vs self,  except in the case of the big six,  so maybe it is just a matter of time before any prejudice is forgotten.

Related Web sites and posts:

http://vintagevonnie.blogspot.com/search?q=self+publish

http://blog.karenwoodward.org/#uds-search-results

http://www.lafreeland.com/?s=self+publish

http://www.rachellegardner.com/2013/02/are-self-pub-books-the-new-slush-pile/

Who is Your Audience

How does one appeal to their indented audience? Reading the genre that you write could be a start, although I do hear from a lot of writers that they don’t like to read that particular genre. My question is, how then can you understand what your intended audience wants to read?
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Sure you know the mechanics. Sure you know the sequence of events, but what If you are missing some key elements that only stick out when you read. I understand reading other genres while in the midst of a story because subconsciously we sometimes copy ideas we’ve read. I don’t agree that you can write the best book possible if you are not familiar with what your audience wants to read. I am not telling you to read one genre exclusively either.

How do you relate to your audience? I for one love reading the genres I write. I am inspired by the good books and am motivated to outdo the bad ones. The key is I can identify what books are bad to understand how to make them good. I then incorporate that into my own writing. When I get tired of contemporary romances, I head over to paranormal.

Do you know who your audience is? Just because you have a story in your head does not mean it is marketable. Remember that when starting out. Try and see who you are writing for and this may curtail the elements of your story and appeal to a real type of person. If you can’t find a category for your story who is going to read it? I know we are writing for ourselves – but isn’t the end goal to hopefully find someone who wants to buy it too?

So I ask again, how do you appeal to your intended audience?

Fun Fact Friday – Laura Monahan and Candy

I just got done with a “Mom’s Night Out”  photography class.  A full-time job, writing, and being a mom isn’t enough to keep me busy I guess.  While there the photographer, Laura Monahan, gave away a great secret. flowers laura

Distract a child with candy and you will get a smile. No the child isn’t going to do exactly what you wanted, but you will still capture a memory to last a life time.

I put that into my own words, but isn’t it a great point?  If you distract someone with a few great points you get the outcome you wanted even if there are some shortcomings.

So although she isn’t a writer, she is an artist with a few of her own tricks. Add the things that someone wants to read and whatever you fail at will be ignored.  I’d love to give you a list of what the ‘must haves’ are, but that depends on you, your genre, and how you write.  I’d say for me, readers would expect some sarcasm and a crazy and headstrong heroine.

What do you think?  What elements can you throw out to your reader like candy to give them enough distractions no matter what our weaknesses are?

Fun Fact Friday – We are Still Here and Fun Holiday Reads

I think it is a fun fact that the world did not end on the 21st as promised . I still think that all the dooms-dayers out there need to remember – if the Mayans could predict our end why didn’t they predict their own? So celebrate that there are now officially only 2 days left till Christmas!!

I thought today would be a great day to share some holiday reads. It’s a fun fact that Christmas is celebrated around the world and is one holidays most people share in common.  Now get into the mood by reading some fun and festive stories.

On to holiday reads you may want to check out:
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For the love of Christmas
*
Christmas Magic

(Others from Still Moments Publishing)

That Holiday Feeling

christmas magicfor the love of christmasHoliday Feeling

Thoughtful Tuesday – ‘Tis not the Season for Weight Loss or Anything New

Baking was so much more fun when I didn’t have a toddler.  She seems to inhibit the process – then again she inhibits a lot of processes these days.  Still I preserver.  It’s all about time management.  She’s been good at watching my weight for me though, since I can’t find a lot of time to bake.cookies

Along with my baking others seem to equally enjoy the excitement of the holidays and sharing.  This morning I ate a 500 calorie homemade bear-claw.  Thank goodness that I don’t really watch my weight around the holidays; I do love my holiday sweets.

Aside from watching the calorie counter rising the closer we get to the night of magic and lights- Christmas, I also find my time being drained.  Note to self.  Do not try and start any new hobbies, books, projects, or anything else new because somehow time disappears during the holiday seas

I will continue to try and write after all creatures are out and no longer stirring, but there are no promises on how productive I will be.

How is your holiday going?

The Parts of a Story – Mostly a Romance

In as few words as possible what do you think the natural parts of a novel are?  Namely the romance novel?

After thinking about it I think you can break the romance novel into these 5 parts:pieces

1.  Boy meets Girl:  Old friends, new friends, and anything in-between.  They meet sometime.

2. First issue:  What is making it so they don’t fall in love the second they meet?  Fear of failure, different lifestyles, personal motivations, etc.

3. They fall in love:  Did they sold the issue?  Maybe not , maybe they just ignore it.   Either way they start to date and move forward.

4. Second issue:  This is the clincher.  This issue can be resurfacing of the first or something all together new.  It will prey on the doubts of the couple.  This is what will make the reader see what your characters are really made of.

5. Happily ever after:  well duh.  A Romance by definition must end happily.  This is where the knight rides in to rescue is damsel in distress – or sometimes it is the other way around.  Point is, they overcome the misunderstanding or the second issue.

This is a pretty basic chronological order of events.  You can play with things to make your book they way you want it.  I have started stories with the couple already in love but then something splits them apart. That isn’t really having a boy meets girl; it’s more like a boy un-meets girl to meet with her once again someday.  The being said I still had all these elements in order to make the story work.

Do you have anything to add on the order of which events should appear?  The above can be curtailed to all genres, you just have to play with the wording.

Other related posts:

http://alijayd.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/the-eight-point-arc/

http://thejinx.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/stay-tuned-for-the-exciting-conclusion/