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Sunday, January 27, 2019

#writinghacks #writingadvice Writing Hacks by Janice Seagraves





Here’s are some ideas that might make writing a little easier. I know they’ve helped me with my writing, and I hope they can help you, too.

*One scene one POV. This simple reminder has helped me to keep from head hopping, especially when I was a new writer. (Not that you do that.)

*You should sprinkle in backstory like cookie crumbs. A little goes a long way.

*Make sure all your threads are tied up by the end of the story in one nice neat bow.

*Avoid adverb abuse in dialogue tags and use said instead. It is nearly invisible to the reader.

*There are times when you don’t need or want to use said, so use an action tag instead.

*Be careful not to use duplicate words. Too many looks, stared, arched eyebrow or frowns etc., catches the writer’s eye and pulls them out of the story.

*Don’t say your character blushed. Say his or her face heated since they can’t see their own face.

*This is one of mine: Avoid a saggy middle by using the middle of your story for the big reveal. That means a sudden death, a body found, or something scary happens, or if you're like me and write romance then you can use the middle for the first kiss, first sex scene, etc.

*And my new favorite and one that I learned from a revision work shop: When working on revisions, if there is a favorite scene or sentence that you’re not sure if you want to delete, open a file and name it deleted scenes, then saved that scene or sentence. If your story reads better without that section then leave it out, but if your story needs it then nothing is lost, and you can add it back in.

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aliencover333x500
Alien Heart, the first of a whole new SF series.
https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Heart-Chronicles-Arcon-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0N73OF/

Blurb: Divorcee and single mom, hardworking Audrey Westberry is the host of a cable TV show called Miz Fixit.
Romance was the last thing on Audrey’s mind when two handsome extraterrestrials join the audience of her show.
Soon Audrey finds out a single word “mated” has different meaning when you are born a galaxy away. After a wonderful night of passion, Audrey finds herself far from home, impregnated and her life turned upside down.
Will she ever be able to leave the alien compound, see her son again, or get home in time to film the fall season of her Miz Fixit show?
But what’s a girl to do with two aliens that smell like candy, and their kisses taste like it, too?

Janice's website:  https://janice-seagraves.org/

Janice's Twitter: https://twitter.com/janiceseagraves

Janice's FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/JaniceSeagravesAuthor/

Thursday, January 24, 2019

THE HISTORY OF PEANUT BUTTER




January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day. Although not writing-related, unless you’re an author who eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while penning your books (and what’s wrong with that?) I thought we’d all like a little fun.

The history of peanut butter is interesting, and other than those with peanut allergies, most of us like peanut butter. I confess to not eating it often now due to its fat content, but I loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as a child. And I still love peanut butter ice cream. And  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Yum! I’m partial to Smuckers Uncrustables, which are pockets of white bread filled with peanut butter and jelly. They come frozen so I keep them in my freezer and treat myself to one when the mood strikes or if I want to reward myself. They make a great breakfast too!



From the National Day Calendar:
Creamy or chunky, with chocolate or with jelly, peanut butter has been an American staple for generations. Peanut butter is a good source of vitamin E, B6, niacin, calcium, potassium and iron, is packed with protein and is rich in healthy monounsaturated fat.

The Aztecs and Incas made peanut butter around 1000 BC but it was more of a paste and not the creamy stuff we have now.

The peanut was considered animal feed until the late 1800’s. Peanut butter didn’t become widely used until the 20th century. At the turn of that century, inventions in planting, cultivating, and harvesting the legume (peanut isn’t a nut at all), made it possible to see the peanut as a retail food.
Contrary to population belief, George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter. Washington Carver discovered over 300 uses for peanuts and made the peanut a staple in American diet.
We can thank four men for the inventions and processes that bring us the creamy, smooth peanut butter we enjoy today: Marcus Gilmore Edson of Canada; Dr. John Harvey Kellogg; Dr. Ambrose Straub of St. Louis, Missouri; and chemist Joseph Rosefield.

In 1884, Edson developed a process to make peanut paste from milling roasted peanuts between two heated plates. The famous cereal maker and health food specialist of the time, Kellogg, patented a process with raw peanuts in 1895. Dr. Straub is responsible for patenting a peanut butter making machine in 1903.
Peanut butter was introduced to audiences at the 1904 Universal Exposition in St. Louis at C.H. Sumner’s concession stand.
But the man who brought us the peanut butter we know and love today was Joseph Rosefield.  In 1922, through homogenization, Rosefield was able to keep peanut oil from separating from the peanut solids. He later sold the patent to a company that began making Peter Pan peanut butter. He went into business for himself selling Skippy peanut butter through Rosefield Packing. He also supplied peanut butter for military rations during World War II.
Use #NationalPeanutButterDay to post on social media.

Other peanut butter facts:
  • ·        The U.S. is the third largest producer of peanuts (Georgia and Texas are the two major peanut-producing states). 
  •      China and India are the first and second largest producers, respectively.
  • ·        More than half of the American peanut crop goes into making peanut butter.
  • ·        U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter and Thomas Jefferson were peanut farmers.
  • ·        It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
  • ·        Americans eat around 700 million pounds of peanut butter per year (about 3 pounds per person).
  • ·        An average American child eats 1,500 PB&J sandwiches before graduating from high school.
  • ·        The peanut butter and jelly sandwich was originally a fancy-pants treat, but the invention of sliced bread in the 1920’s made it an everyday staple. The first reference to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was made by Julia Davis Chandler in 1901.

  •       Now you know. If you’ve been hard at work writing your next blockbuster, take some time out today and celebrate National Peanut Butter Day with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Or a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

 For you writers of historical romance, if you have story set around the turn of the 20th century, wouldn’t it be cool to have your characters eat that new gourmet treat, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

Valentine’s Day is coming, and I have a sweet treat for all of you.

Her Red Riding Hood Valentine (Snow Globe Magic Book 3) is my sweetly sensual novella with a touch of magic, like biting into a rich, dark chocolate Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. And it’s only 99 cents!

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.



Manhattan drama teacher Carlyn Cameron used to be a firm believer in happy-ever-after, but since the last smooth-talking charmer devoured her heart, she’s sworn off men, especially those of the arrogant, too-good-looking variety. And the “wolf in an Armani suit” hired as photographer for the school play she’s written and is directing definitely falls into that category. Like the Big Bad Wolf, she fears he’s hiding his true self.

Photojournalist Wolf Martinez has seen more than his share of ugliness through the lens of his camera. The nomadic life he leads doesn’t allow much time for serious relationships, especially now, but the feisty red-headed drama teacher looks good enough to gobble up. Once he finds his way out of his current forest of troubles, he’ll be back on the prowl to his next adventure.

Carlyn can’t seem to escape this particularly scrumptious wolf, especially after he moves into the apartment next door and charms her grandmother. He may be smokin’ hot, but can she trust him not to steal her heart? And Wolf finds himself irresistibly drawn to Carlyn, but can he picture a new life for himself, with room for two?



Universal Link: 
https://books2read.com/u/31M0OD










Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Author Events, Book Signings, Cruises Oh My!

Hi there! Sharon Hamilton, here.

Just came back from a fantastic cruise with several great authors like Angie Fox, Heather Graham, Marina Adair, Karen Rose, Darynda Jones, Tonya Kappes, Tina DiSalvo and many others. We toured the Western Caribbean, along with nearly 100 readers. It was, in short, fantastic.

Now, let me first give a huge disclaimer. These events don't pay for themselves. Just like book signings, I never sell enough books to pay for all my fees, especially when you add in the cost of travel and event costs/swag. BUT this last cruise gave me the opportunity for 5 days to have a nice dinner with a table full of readers and other authors. These are people who worship books! They are my kind of people.

We played games during two structured "game mornings" while out to sea, and hung out in the coffee houses and lounges at various times during the event. Some authors did a scavenger hunt. Others played Head's Up and Reverse Charades, and we did a clue-like "WhoDoneIt". During the time author angels passed out book bucks so the readers could participate in a huge auction the afternoon before we left the ship.

I think treating readers to special events is a worthy cause. It is a form of giving back to all those ladies who love and help promote our books. And I got some good one-on-one that you don't get with a regular book signing, plus got to talk to authors I myself stalk.

During the cruise one new reader to me read 3 of my books. Everywhere I saw her on the ship she was reading MY BOOK! Nothing says thank you more than that...

We do a lot of things for promotion. We do cross-promotion, pay for thousands of dollars of ads and worry about who we are reaching, chasing new shiny things and windmills sometimes to excess. I like the idea of coming to the readers (within reason), when we can afford to.

I know those ladies will remember it for life, and most are itching to do another one. It's something that doesn't give a monetary return, but sometimes the return we receive in our hearts is even better.

That's me through and through.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

What if... I blog, therefore... I am? #BloggingChallenge #2019 #blogging #Resolutions #Authors #Fiction #Challenge


We've all heard the famous quote by Rene Descartes, right? 
I think; therefore I am.


But have you ever thought of what he meant? I know I hadn't really, at least not until I wrote this blog post. 

I mean, sure... I knew the jest. I had a general sense of what he meant and where he was going with his thought process. But, again, I never gave it a lot of deep thought and consideration. 

For those who aren't familiar with Rene Descartes, he was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. Basically, he was wayyyyyyyy smarter than me. LOL 

It is said that his thought process was that by saying, "I think; therefore I am." was meant to mean, 
that he could not - or rather, should not - be doubted. In fact, it is said that he found that he could not doubt that he himself existed, as he was the one doing the doubting in the first place. 

Make sense? 

Good. Me neither. *whew*

Maybe that's what makes him a philosopher and me just some random gal living in 2019. 

In Latin (the language in which Descartes wrote his famous quote), the phrase is translated to “Cogito, ergo sum.” 

Now, being a fan of Latin, finding it to be a romantic language that sounds much more exciting than my native tongue, I love the way it sounds. But, again... what does he mean? Does he, in fact, mean that he cannot be doubted because it was he himself who first doubted himself? Or was it his way of asking others to not doubt him, because how can we really believe anything is real? 

What does all this mean, though? And why on earth am I writing about it? 

Well, it got me to thinking... as authors, we have so much to do. We plot. We write. We edit. We interact with the public. We promote. We try to keep current with the times by finding out what is the latest and greatest in terms of social media. We even... blog. 

Yes, that's right. Blogging is an integral part of writing. That is if you hope to reach an audience. But, should that be all it's about? It can be... if you allow it to. You see, that's where I went wrong. I lost sight of the job that comes along with the written word and forgot about all the good things that come along with those jobs. 

Blogging could be, should be, and can be again, a rewarding experience. Even cathartic. As writers, what is the one thing we love? Well... words! We love words! All sorts of them. Of varying lengths, meanings, and purposes. 

Words give us life. Our stories breath. Our characters soul

Words are... a part of us. 

So... it's a new year. And 2019 could be any other year, no different from another. 
But, what if it's not. 
What if we make it something more? 
What if we make it the year of words. 
Written words. Spoken words. Thoughtful words. 
What if we made blogging a part of our world of words? And what if... hear me out... what if we stuck to this 'resolution' and made it a part of a bigger movement? 
What if we made it a group effort? 
What if we wrote for nothing more than the joy of the written word? 

Would that then mean that we blog... therefore, we are




Wouldn't that be an amazing thing? 

Let's blog! 

Let's blog often, with meaning, and with passion.

So... Who's with me? 

2019 is the year... to blog! 


BECOME A PART OF THE 2019 BLOGGING CHALLENGE

Would you like to blog with Romance Books 4 Us

Contact me by leaving a comment below so we can set you up with a guest slot! 

Nicole Morgan is an author of erotic romance novels, which more often than not have a suspenseful back story. Erotic romance mixed with good old-fashioned whodunit. While she's written everything from contemporary to paranormal her leading men will more than likely be wearing a uniform of some kind. From military to police officers, she has a love for writing about those who protect and serve. From her very first novel about Navy SEALs to her more recent releases, you will be sure to find a few twists and turns you were not expecting.

She is a proud member of the Romance Books 4 Us Gold Authors and also the founder of Romance Collections.  


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