Friday, June 27, 2014

Big Dreams Bloghop

The Big Dreams Blogfest is hosted by Misha Gericke and me. And I'm still partially drugged from double oral surgery today, so hopefully this is coherent. LOL.

My goal for this month was to finish rewriting Perfect Harmony and get it to a CP. Before I did this I needed to finish writing character studies. I got through several character studies but didn't finish them and never started on rewrites. But a couple of stressful situations in my life are quickly dissolving so this month I should have more time. And next week the ELF is going to preschool all day, all week! So I'm hoping to get through the character studies and some rewrites.

But I havea question for you. I never count rewrites in my word deposit. (A million words is one of my goals). Should I be? Should I be counting words of character studies and rewrites?

Also, I'm teaching a blurb writing class in August and space is limited. Sign up here.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wishing for Washington Cover Reveal

So this is MG not romance, but my friend and CP Shelley Sly wrote it and I can't wait to read it! She's an awesome writer. And without her I'd still be unpublished.

As punishment for playing doorbell ditch, twelve-year-old Tallia Thompson and her goofball brother Isaiah are shipped off to their grandparents’ house for half the summer. There’s nothing fun about being stuck in Maryland, a.k.a. Snore-a-land, except for one thing: the close proximity to Washington, D.C.

Tallia would do anything for Isaiah, and what he wants most is to meet the President of the United States. So together, they formulate a plan to get to the White House—-a plan that involves spending a bit of money and concocting a bunch of lies. And, ultimately, a plan that ends up changing Tallia’s perception of her family forever.



Thank you so much!!

When Not to Self Publish

"Should I self publish this?" is a question I hear a lot from other writers, from students. My usual response is "Without having read it, I can't tell you much." This is true. But what I'm about to say is, I think, also true.

If you're asking this question, you shouldn't self publish.
I know. Mouths just dropped. Everyone and their brother self publishes. Why shouldn't I? Well, you should, maybe. Just not now. If you're not confident enough in your book to self publish without seeking input from others, somewhere in the back of your mind a voice is telling you this could be better. Listen.
In 2010, I wrote this book I loved. My betas loved it. My teen beta said she would cry if it didn't get published. (It was YA). It garnered 100+ rejections. Screw it. I was going to self publish it. Who needs an agent, anyway?  My husband and cp were both encouraging me to self publish. But I was hesitant. Self publishing was new at the time and everyone said if you put out a bad book you'd never write again. I couldn't afford a freelance editor and even as a newer writer I understood no good could come from publishing without an editor. And one thing I hoped an editor would be able to tell me was if I should self publish. By situation, I was forced to shelve it. Thank God! My writing has improved so much since then.
Flash forward a year later and I queried a novella to a handful of small presses with an overwhelmingly positive response. When I decided to publish The Fate of A Marlowe Girl, I never doubted it. There was nothing wrong with the writing because others were interested. An editor wanted a second round "revise and resubmit" and I felt like this could go on forever without a contract ever being offered. So I self published. As an MFA student now, I can see how going back and forth with that editor years ago would have shaved lots of time off my journey, and if I had it to do over I might well do a few more rounds before one of us called it quits. Still, the story and language were solid.

P.S. You can sign up for my August plot and blurb class here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Romance Roundup

I'm more excited than normal about this week's books! Why? Because there is a YA romantic suspense (a subgenre that really only started popping up a couple of years ago about the time I sold A Missing Peace) and a clean NA! (Another rare breed). So this is a #cleanromance triumph week!

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that's great . . . as long as you don't die.
Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left.
Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.
Little do they know someone's determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.
To seventeen-year-old Aiden Ortiz, letting the dead walk through his body to reach the other side comes with the territory. Being a Gateway isn’t an easy job, but someone’s gotta send Bleeders where they belong. Heaven. Salvation. Call it whatever you want. Dead is dead. But when his search for Koren Banks––the girl who went mysteriously missing seven months ago––leaves him with more questions than answers, he finds himself involved in something far more sinister and beyond his control. 
With the threat of the Dark Priest's resurrection, and his plan to summon his demon brothers from hell, Aiden is left to discover his identity before the Dark Priest's curse infecting his blood consumes him, and before the world as he knows it succumbs to the darkness of hell on earth.

Quiet college sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when cute Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters. 
Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. 
Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a young father determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Net Galley Gone Wrong

Net Galley is awesome tool that allows writers and publishers to upload ARCs for bloggers to download at no cost and review. It's win, win. It's an easy way for book promoters to get their books into the hands of reviewers and a great way for bloggers to find free books they're looking for. You can even search by genre, to avoid weeding through a thousand things you're not going to read. (If you're indie, indie arcs might be a good choice for you. It's the same concept, much cheaper, and I'm a moderator)! 
If Net galley is so great what's the problem? Well, there are some wrong ways to use net galley and if you're doing this you're hurting yourself or your authors or both. I've been using this handy dandy little site A LOT  lately because it seems to be the easiest way to find romance books yet to be released for my weekly roundup. I've found Landline by Rainbow Rowell in YA, I guess to appeal to her YA fanbase. Then I found another adult romance in YA. No idea why on that one. Maybe because it was relatively clean for adult romance? Yeah. If someone goes through requesting YA romances without reading the blurb you're going to annoy them with an adult book.
Then there is the whole rejection email thing. I get it. You can't give a free book to every person who asks, or you'd make no money. And bloggers with large platforms are to be desired. But how you handle that rejection email is all important and too many well respected publishers are doing it wrong. Getting a rejection that says my profile is not "strong" enough for you (read: not good enough) annoys me. It makes me not want to pay for the book and many times I won't. If it's something I really really want that I didn't think I would get approved for anyhow, I might. More importantly, it makes bloggers less willing to do free promotion for you. After all, why should they? Their profile is lacking anyway.
The e-arc world is awesome. Use these tools. Just use them right.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Romance Roundup

Here's what I'm looking forward to this week:

Congrats to my CP, Kelly Hashway on this one!

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side--a completely unfair shot at life.
But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.
She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.
But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson.
Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend.
While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques?
Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.

What are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Romance Round-Up

Here's what I'm looking forward to this week.

Jane Austin is like the godmother of romance, so how could you not want this?
Emma has it all - looks, money, and luck. It's not like she keeps it all to herself - she's totally committed to helping those less fortunate. AKA, everyone. She invites her heartbroken friend to help with a weekend charity event with an eye to matchmake, but when that friend turns her eye toward the guy Emma wants for herself, how will she choose between friendship and her own feelings?
* * *
Dive into the fabulous, fun lives of six Academy girls as their friendships are tested, torn and ultimately triumph...
The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it's about to turn the Academy--and the lives of its students--totally upside down...
Available now!


Discover beautiful South Africa in this sweet, heart-warming Cinderella story about a blogger, a billionaire, and one chance meeting.
When it comes to men, if physiotherapist Caitlin Sutherland didn't have bad luck, she would have no luck at all. To help cope, Caitlin starts blogging in her spare time, about the types of men she meets and the bad dates she goes on.
While on duty during the annual Wines to Whales bicycle race, a gorgeous, sweaty cyclist walks in and sets her hormones dancing. But he is Don Cavallo; one of the four Cavallo brothers — hotel tycoons, famous as much for their business skills as for the number of beauties regularly seen on their arms.
Don Cavallo has his own issues with the other sex. He has yet to find one who is interested in him and not in his money or hotels. But when this sexy physio puts her hands on his back she not only touches his body, but also his heart.
They've both been burned before, but neither of them can stop themselves from playing with fire.(less)
Expected publication: July 1st 2014 by Escape Publishing

What are you looking forward to this week?