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Monday, February 29, 2016

Pirates of the sexy kind, and a word about research #RB4U #MFRWauthor

Research – Bane or Boon?

For most authors the need to research is either a love or hate relationship, at least in my experience. There are those writers, and I am one of them, who feel that research is an integral part of telling a good story. The old adage about writing what you know isn’t as cut and dried as it can sometimes appear, but in the end, the more you know about your setting, customs, political atmosphere, and simple geography can make your story go from pop to fizz the moment someone spots the errors.

Realistically, we are none of us perfect storytellers, we make allowances, take liberties with locale and language and a myriad of other things. If you acknowledge those devices your readers will understand you are taking creative license to tell your story, and if the story is one they like, it’ll be forgiven. If you come across as simply too lazy or indifferent to learn the layout of your world, those same readers will roast your artistic ass until you cry. They will see it as an insult to their intelligence if you think you can fool them, or worse, talk down to them by pretending it doesn’t matter. It does. A lot!

The other side of this argument is that sometimes to make the story work, to serve it best, you have to allow the imagination freedom. Nothing in this world is etched in stone, except perhaps monuments. A creative liberty that makes your story flow and thereby come to life with a bit of magic and mystique, is certainly acceptable to readers and other authors. Research will help you shape the mythos you need for your creation. That doesn’t mean you get to reorganize the known world, but if you rearrange a distance in a city to make your plot flow more smoothly, and you acknowledge that, you’re not likely to get the citizens of that city ragging on your book telling you you’re an idiot who can’t read.

Apart from making your story more authentic in tone, research can often lead you to ideas you might never have entertained otherwise. Often, it is in the small details of research that you find gems to mine for your tale. Use them! Readers love the little details that flesh out a story and make it zing. I’ve written a couple of novels in which the backdrop was Victorian London of Jack the Ripper era. The murders are fascinating to read about, even though they are of course gruesome in detail. However, if you look at some of the facts, and marry it to the myth, you can find a wealth of unrelated material upon which to base stories. That’s a reality for most notorious events in history if you’re using them as a backdrop of any kind.

I’ve seen a lot of argument and discussion about “pantsters vs. plotters” but nothing makes a stronger case for plotting than the research you need for some stories. Historical books require realistic background, and social rules of the day. Fantasy worlds need to be built from the ground up, and that means you have to create religious cultures, political situations and climates, if there are intrigues driving your storyline, they have to been carefully presented and understood by your audience. ALL of this goes back to research.

So, is the research a bane to your creative muse, or the boon? That is as varied as the authors we read, but in my opinion only–you can’t have a story that lives and breathes for people if you don’t do the homework before you begin the writing process. The words flow better, like a river, if they know what direction to go. Meandering might be fun for a while, but too much of it gets you–and your readers–lost in a sea of confusion. And, that gets both annoying and betraying to the audience that’s invested their time and money into your ability to entertain them for a time. I think that’s a thing worth consideration, and a bit of invested time on the part of writers who care about their stories, and their readers. It’s a bit like a sacred trust to the readers who return over and over to buy our books.

PIRATES
* Best-seller *


Three stories, one kind of hero, pirates anyone? Includes the short stories:

Angel-Fire: A short intro to the world of Captain Jack Stanton, an honourable man with a tarnished reputation. Stranded in Nassau, caught up in a pleasant interlude with a barmaid, Jack has a vision that will lead him to his past and his future, if he can survive to get back Tortuga to discover what it all means…

Storm-Singer: The Isle of Nyx has become the dread of all sailors who must dare the waters surrounding the mythical island. Local legends say a vampire prince resides in the ancient castle that can be seen from the harbor of the island. At his side is a powerful sorceress whose song can control and summon storms.
In a desperate attempt to end the eternal threat looming over them, the people of the Aurora Islands sacrifice their greatest treasure, the princess Sarita, entrusting her with the task of seducing and destroying the dark prince who has been plundering their wealth and their people for centuries?

The Phantom’s Lair: Upon her arrival in the pirate port of Tortuga where her father is acting as Governor, Katheryn Hollinsworth is determined to choose her own path, and follow her heart wherever it may take her. On the streets of Puerta de la Plata, she encounters the mythical buccaneer known as The Phantom, and very quickly loses her heart to the handsome rogue.


Jack Stanton is a man who has never fully come to terms with his past, and in the Governor's pretty daughter he finds a most unlikely champion. But when his past threatens her life, and any chance of a respectable future, The Phantom must face the demons of his past, and accept the dictates of his own reawakened heart...


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunshine Reads visits #RB4U and shares her services @SunshineReadsFL

Hello, 

Thanks for having me as a guest here today. My name is Trish and I just wanted to let you all know what I’ve been up too. We’ve recently moved to Florida to live on hubby’s family ranch. Lots of cows out in the field let me tell you. I must get used to living in the boondocks. LOL
I decided to start doing some marketing, graphic work and other things for authors.

So with a little help and some big shoves by some close friends. Thank you Les, Carol, Lori and Bill.

I have made a website and Facebook page. Bear with me as it is a work in progress for sure. Especially the website. I appreciate any pointers and ideas as I weave my way through this maze.

I’m on Facebook , Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads. Feel free to hit me up.

You all are a bunch a great people, readers, authors and editors and I wanted to do something to give back.

~ Trish 
Here is some information on my services: 

Banners: Faceboook,Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Tsu, etc.
*Author must have ownership of any pictures used*
If you already have pictures purchased we can get the Banners done for about $7.00 a piece.
If you want me to search for pictures then it will cost a bit more (TBD) as that is a pain in the butt and can take a lot of time. Plus then the costs of the pictures. Here are a few photo sites you can use:
Teasers: Faceboook,Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Tsu, etc.
*Author must have ownership of any pictures used*
If you already have pictures purchased we can get the Teasers done for about $7.00 a piece.
If you want me to search for pictures then it will cost a bit more (TBD) as that is a pain in the butt and can take a lot of time. Plus then the costs of the pictures. Here are a few photo sites you can use:
Blog Tours
$40-$60
I will make a google sign up form to be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. As well as with the author to share. I will share the sign up form daily is as many groups as I can without getting put in Facebook jail as well as twitter and Google+. I would suggest the author share as much as possible also as well as asking their street team/fan group to help share.
I can’t anticipate how many bloggers will sign up but I will share as much as possible.
The blog tour sign up needs to start about a month before posting date to give time to reach as many bloggers as possible.
I will put together the blog post to be sent to all the bloggers including an html to be sent to them about 2 to 3 days prior.
Newsletter Creation/Maintenance
I use mailchimp.com to create newsletters. If you need one designed or help maintaining one please contact me and we can discuss your needs and wants and determine the costs from there.
Print Materials including bookmarks, pull up banners, postcards, etc.
Contact me with your needs and we will come up with a plan and pricing.
If there are other needs you have please feel free to contact me and we can discuss it. If I can’t do it I will do my best to help you find someone who can.

Trish Bowers Sunshine Reads
sunshinereadsfl@gmail.com




Saturday, February 27, 2016

How to write then lose and write a novel again: Windswept Shores Two





How to write then lose and write a novel again

by Janice Seagraves

 
I lost the first early draft of a story when it was still titled The Journey Home.

Darn computer.

Bought a external hard drive, but forgot to save another version of my story. The only thing left was an old version that I had decided not to use.

Sulked and refused to write for nearly a week.

Forced myself go back and write it the way I remembered it, and then took the editpalooza workshop on Savvy Writer.

I posted an early scene when Megan got snippy with her husband. The class love it.

Felt proud of myself.

Lost that version too. I'm not even sure how that happened. I know I had save it on my external hard drive.

Went into mourning.

Finally went back to hammering out the story based on my notes from editpalooza, since they were the only parts that survived.

Finished Windswept Two. Keep checking to make sure it didn't disappear again.

Worked on other projects. Published the Matrix Crystal Hunters and Matrix Crystal Christmas. Then two short stories for anthologies: Weather Witch and Werecat Love.

Decided not to use any more titles with a W in the beginning, since they're down at the end of the list of any book searches. 

Checked on Windswept Shores Two. Yep, this time it was still there.

Read through Windswept Shores Two.

Not bad.

Hired a professional cover artist: Winterheart designs. 

http://www.amazon.com/Windswept-Shores-Two-survivors-story-ebook/dp/B01BPLNHTI/
Admired the cover. Its perfect.

Rationalized with myself that if I didn't publish Windswept Shores Two it would disappear forever.

And hired an editor.

Went through the edits. 

And then sorted through the book over and over to fix any leftover grammar and formatting errors.

Finally it was as perfect as I could get it.

I hit publish on the kindle direct publishing.

Didn't sleep.

Checked for it to be published all day long.

Finally got the email.

All systems are go!

Published.

I am thrilled to introduce my newest release, Windswept Shores Two. It follows my first published novel, Windswept Shores (one). It is the second and last book in the series.



http://www.amazon.com/Windswept-Shores-Two-survivors-story-ebook/dp/B01BPLNHTI/ 

Blurb: Megan and Seth are finally rescued off their little island, but things are far from idyllic as they’re treated to one nasty surprise after another, which puts all plans of a wonderful future in jeopardy.

Will they ever get back together again or see the life they envisioned?

Excerpt: 

Megan charged back inside the boat’s cabin. Her heart hammered against her ribs and pounced on her lover. “Seth, Seth. Wake up!”
“Hmm?” Seth murmured, still curled around the pillow. His sleepy head normally wouldn’t move for at least another hour.
She yanked the sheet from his naked body and admired his finely sculpted ass. Although much thinner now, it was still a pure pleasure to look at. She gripped one muscular butt cheek and gave it a good hard pinch.
“Ow!” Seth jumped.
“We’ve got company.”
He rubbed his eyes then blinked over his shoulder at her. “It’s the natives again, is it?”
“Nope, it’s not them.” Megan slapped his rump. “Come on. Get your butt in gear!”
“Orright, love. I’m getting up.” He sat and ran a hand over his short beard. “I don’t reckon you’d be this excited about pirates?”
“It’s someone else. Come on. Get your clothes on.” Jerking open the built in Chester drawers, she tossed a T-shirt and shorts at him.
Seth eased into the shorts.
Megan grit her teeth. He’s taking too long. As he pulled on the T-shirt, she grabbed his arm and hustled him out of the cabin, Seth stumbling behind her.
Once on deck, he popped his face out of the shirt and stared open mouthed. “Bugger me dead.” He shaded his eyes. “Is that a ‘copter?”
“It certainly is.” She bounced on the balls of her feet. Finally, we’re going to be rescued.
The small helicopter floated along the beach and landed. A cloud of sand and grit filled the air.
Seth grinned at Megan. They climbed the ladder out of the boat and hurried down the slope and across the beach to greet the new arrivals.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, February 26, 2016

Amazon's New Error Free Book Policy - How it May Affect All of Us

March 11, 2016!
What's that saying, Hell is paved with good intentions? While I wouldn't call Amazon Hell (not today anyway) their new stated policy to take down books with an excess of typos/mistakes might create a hellish scenario for those of us who put the time, money and effort into trying to create professional, high quality books.  How you ask? It's simple.

Amazon has stated that they will take down books that have reviews complaining about mistakes. Some reviewers complain about mistakes in nearly every review. Some think there are mistakes where there are none. Sometime, in our greater creative wisdom (ahem) authors make up our own words and a reader without vision might see those creative tidbits as mistakes.

I've already had a conversation with a very sweet lady who tended to mark all her reviews down a star and mention typos as the reason. She admitted my books were really pretty clean, but she found one or two things and didn't think anything of mentioning it in her reviews. Like a lot of people who don't write books, she assumed that books which had been professionally edited should be entirely clear of mistakes. She doesn't know how impossible this is.

As proof, I give you this story. A group of editors once decided that they would finally do the impossible and release a completely error free novel. They put the book through a hundred different edits with several different editors. When the day came that they finally thought the book was ready, they released it. Within the hour they got the dreaded feedback...there was an error. The title had a typo in it. LOL I feel their pain.

None of us likes to find out we've used the wrong word or have a typo in our work. I, for one, will go right in and fix whatever's wrong immediately and resubmit the book. (One of the great benefits of publishing your own work!) But realistically, nobody can expect perfection. Well, apparently nobody but my reviewer. LOL Unfortunately, when reviewers mention a typo it's kind of a permanent fixture in a book's review bank. And if you get a few of these, you're going to draw the attention of Amazon's grammar police. Hopefully they will take the time to check the actual quality of your work before gonging you, but they've stated that they'll be using actual human type people to check for errors. And Amazon has how many books on its cyber shelves? It seems there might be some mistakes made along the way. In fact if you go with Amazon's history of trying to manage (read control) reviews, you KNOW there will be mistakes.

My advice is to let your readers know how their absolutely reasonable observation about a typo in a review might affect you. Do as I did and very politely ask the favor of getting an email outlining the mistake instead. And hopefully your reviewer will be as kind and wonderful as mine and do you that favor. If you take great care to put out the best possible work, you should be fine. But we all know how best intentions can bite you in the boohind. So a few precautions might just be in order!

Happy reading/writing everybody!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

PROMO OP: #Authors - Don't wait! Schedule your spot now for 2016 on #RB4U!



Romance Books 4 Us is scheduling for guests in the upcoming months, but our spots fill up quickly so don't put off securing those spots that you need! 

Why post on RB4U? What are the benefits? 

We will promote your guest spot on the RB4U's TwitterFacebook and Google + pages. If you haven't already, please follow and join us on our social networking sites by simply clicking on their link in the previous sentence. Our blog receives thousands of visitors and has a balanced viewing of industry professionals as well as readers.

Helpful links for RB4U:
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Additional advertising opportunities and information about the website can be found here: 

For scheduling and questions, please contact the blog scheduler at: nicolemorgan_1@yahoo.com and reference RB4U in the subject line. 


Don't forget to check out our monthly contests as well: 




Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fun Facts for February


February is the month of love and romance. As romance authors and readers, we celebrate that. But February has a lot more going for it than hearts, flowers, and chocolate.

Check out all these fun National Days for February, along with my suggestions on how to celebrate the days. Any and all other suggestions welcome.

February 1—National Baked Alaska Day, National Serpent Day. Baked Alaska and serpents. Sounds like the makings of an interesting paranormal romance.

February 2—National Groundhog Day (Hello, Punxsutawney Phil and Bill Murray), National Heavenly Hash Day. Groundhogs and hash. Yuck!



February 3—National Day the Music Died Day, National Carrot Cake Day. Guess you could eat some carrot cake while trying to figure out what the heck is National Day the Music Died Day.

February 4—National Thank a Mail Carrier Day, National Homemade Soup Day, National Create a Vacuum Day. Give your mail carrier some soup. My mind’s a vacuum on trying to figure out what the heck National Create a Vacuum Day is.

February 5—National Shower With a Friend Day, National Weatherperson’s Day, National Wear Red, first Friday in February. Erotic romance authors, think of the possibilities. A beautiful, sexy woman takes a shower with her local hunk of a weatherperson. She’s wearing a red thong he soon peels off. Oh, the possibilities!

February 6—National Lame Duck Day, National Frozen Yogurt Day. Eating yogurt while talking to a lame duck? I agree, that one’s lame.

February 7—National Periodic Table Day, National Send a Card to a Friend Day, National Fettucine Alfredo Day. Send a card to that hunky chemist you’ve been crushing on and invite him over for some Fettucine Alfredo.

February 8—National Boy Scouts Day, National Kite Flying Day, National Clean Out Your Computer Day. Volunteer to help some Boy Scouts fly kites, then go home and clean out your computer.

February 9—National Pizza Day (Ohh, I’ll go for that), National Toothache Day (Yuck), National Bagel Day (Yay!) You may get a toothache if you bite down on a hard bagel.

February 10—National Home Warranty Day (What?), National Umbrella Day, National Cream Cheese Brownie Day (Yum!). Carry your umbrella while eating a cream cheese brownie.

February 11—National Make a Friend Day, National Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, National White Shirt Day, National Shut-In Visitation Day, National Peppermint Patty Day, National Inventors Day. Lots of things going on this day. Wear a white shirt while cleaning up spilled milk at your new friend’s house. Later, take a gift of peppermint patty when you visit a shut-in who’s an inventor.

February 12—National Plum Pudding Day. Poor February 12. Only one item. Oh, well, enjoy some plum pudding today.

February 13—National Tortellini Day. Combine February 12 and 13 and invite your significant other, or someone you’d like to be your significant other, over for a dinner of tortellini and plum pudding.

February 14—National Organ Donor Day, National Ferris Wheel Day, National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day (of course), Valentine’s Day. Have cream-filled chocolates with your Valentine on a Ferris wheel. Not gonna touch the organ donor thing.



February 15—National Gumdrop Day, Single-Awareness Day, Presidents Day, third Monday in February. Gumdrops for all those singletons who didn’t get to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

February 16—National Almond Day, National Do a Grouch a Favor Day. Give some almonds to those poor souls whose significant others broke up with them Valentine’s Day.

February 17—National Random Acts of Kindness Day, National Cabbage Day. As an act of kindness, please don’t give anyone a cabbage.

February 18—National Battery Day, NATIONAL DRINK WINE DAY( My favorite!!), National Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day. Have some wine, or a lot of wine, with your stuffed flounder. Make sure your Uber driver’s car battery is charged so he/she can get you to the restaurant.



February 19—National Lash Day, National Caregivers Day, third Friday in February, National Chocolate Mint Day (I can get behind this one). Bat your long lashes at the guy behind the candy counter when you buy your chocolate mints. Take some mints to a caregiver you know. They need the candy.

February 20—National Cherry Pie Day, National Love Your Pet Day. Hug your kitty or doggie while eating a piece of cherry pie.


February 21—National Sticky Bun Day. What is it with all the food days?


February 22—National Margarita Day, National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Sweet potatoes and Margaritas? I don’t think so. Just give me the Margarita.

February 23—National Banana Bread Day, National Dog Biscuit Day, National Spay Day, last Tuesday in February. Have some banana bread while your poor doggie is eating a dog biscuit. Then, it’s onto the vet’s for her.

February 24—National Tortilla Chip Day. Why isn’t this combined with National Margarita Day?

February 25—National Chocolate Covered Nut Day, National Clam Chowder Day, National Chili Day, fourth Thursday in February. Also my husband’s birthday. I guess this means I need to serve him clam chowder and chili with chocolate covered nuts for dessert.

February 26—National Pistachio Day, National Tell a Fairy Tale Day. Promo alert! Eat some pistachios while reading one of my fairy tale romances (see below).

February 27—National Kahlua Day, National Strawberry Day, National Polar Bear Day.  Have some Kahlua with your coffee while eating chocolate-covered strawberries and watching a Nat Geo show about polar bears. Or give to a wildlife fund that’s committed to helping the dwindling polar bear population.

February 28—National Public Sleeping Day, National Chocolate Soufflé Day (again with the chocolate), National Flora Design Day, National Tooth Fairy Day. Public sleeping? I don’t think so. I could eat some chocolate soufflé while admiring a floral design and dreaming of the tooth fairy.

February 29—National Leap Day, National Rare Disease Day, last day in February. Leap Year is cool. Rare diseases, not so much.

This was fun. I hope you enjoyed it.

To celebrate National Tell a Fairy Tale Day, February 26, I’ve got some sweet fairy tale romances for you.

A Cinderella Christmas


Jessica Gallo no longer believed in fairytales or happy endings. And she certainly didn’t believe she’d find her Prince Charming at Saks Fifth Avenue. Her Fairy Godmother thought differently. 


Her Snow White Christmas (Snow Globe Magic Book 1)



A Christmas snow globe from a mysterious stranger swirls holiday magic for a sophisticated New York woman with a broken heart and a handsome Iraq War vet with a secret. 




Her Frog Prince Holiday (Snow Globe Magic Book 2)



The gift of a magical snow globe from a mysterious stranger paints the scene for romance between a Manhattan art gallery manager and a sexy man who isn’t what he seems.
(Note: This story is included in the Season of Surprises Holiday Boxed Set)


Her Red Riding Hood Valentine (Snow Globe Magic Book 3)

A magical snow globe sets the stage for romance between a drama teacher who no longer believes in love and an enticing photographer picturing a different life.





Read excerpts and learn about all my books at http://www.caramarsi.com

Or Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/author/caramarsi
















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