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Trope Awareness: Twitters to Follow

  Posted by Mia K Rose in Mia K Rose | Forsaken Illusion, 28 February 2015 · 2 views

If you’re on Twitter and want to see some tropes […]

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Back to My Other Full Time Job

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 28 February 2015 · 13 views

My student teacher finished her placement on Friday, which means it's back to my other full time job, the one that actually pays. That's not to say that writing doesn't pay. Just not enough yet that I can do anything with it other than plow my meager profits back into promotion.

In a way, I feel like I have three full-time jobs, or, more accurately, two full-timers and a part-timer, with writing itself, sadly, being the part-timer. Teaching is obviously the first one and the other is book promoting. It feels like all my spare time is spent doing things on various social media outlets to get my brand in front of as many people as possible. And when I'm not doing that, I'm making phone calls to set up signings and such.

The big emphasis this week has been Twitter. I realized that sales had come to a complete standstill, so I started reading blogs and websites with ideas on how to increase traffic on social media, specifically on Twitter. One suggested that I start following at least 25 people a day, which I did, beginning last Sunday. Actually on Sunday, I probably followed upwards of 100. I searched for the hashtag #booklover and followed a bunch of those folks in the hopes that they'd love my book too. I also followed fellow writers and anyone that seemed in any way about or interested in books, indie authors, or publishing. And it worked well. I started Sunday with 224 followers. As of this writing, I'm at 496 followers, so I've well more than doubled my following.

Yes, there were some glitches along the way. I started out just blindly following back anyone who followed me. That led to some rather embarrassing tweets filling my feed, such as ads for erotica and even pornographic videos. I had no idea how many sweet little old ladies are writing adult fiction and trying to sell it on Twitter. So I got a little more careful about who I followed back. There was also the issue of a constant stream of private messages advertising other authors' books. One of the first things I learned in a blog about Twitter etiquette was that you should not barrage people with PMs trying to get them to buy stuff. Apparently, not all authors read that post.

I've also done some work on Goodreads and Amazon with giveaways. There are three ways to get free copies of books. First, on Goodreads, you can go here and just register. No obligation whatever. You don't have to follow me or write a review or agree to receive a bazillion emails from me (I don't send out a bazillion emails anyway). But hurry--there's just one day left! You can also go here to enter to win one of five books from Amazon. The only requirement in this case is that you have to follow me on Twitter to be entered. Finally, and this one takes a tiny bit of work on your part, you can go here and ask me a question. I'll answer your question and one person will receive a free autographed copy of Harsh Prey or my next book, Kisses and Lies when it comes out in a couple months. But again, hurry--it ends soon.

So the good news is that I do have more people following me and retweeting my tweets. The bad news is that it's resulted in exactly zero sales so far. But I'm not losing hope. I'm banking on the idea that I'm planting seeds that will pay off in sales over time as I publish more and more books. By making people aware of my name and by putting free books in the hands of as many people as possible, the plan is to build a loyal following that will become my core audience as time go by.

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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 28 February 2015 · 17 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description RC Lewis and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot us an email.

We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.

If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at AgentQueryConnect. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in green.

A girl who’s memories were made for her. A boy who’s choice nearly cost him everything. Double check who's vs whose And a death that no one saw coming. Your hook is a little vague, I'm curious how someone's memories can be made for them, but a choice that cost "everything" is a bit cliche.

Three months ago, Tara Shock died in a tragic car accident that stunned her small town of Red Hawk, Colorado. No one took her death harder than her boyfriend, Nash Adams. But now, Nash is ready to try to regain some sort of normalcy in his life...until the day that Tara shows up at his baseball game. This is good, succinct and to the point. Work on getting this kind of voice into your hook.

However, the girl that Nash sees isn't actually Tara: She's Natalie Grey, the sassy new girl who’s not exactly happy with small-town life....and just happens to look exactly exactly echo like Tara. But there’s just one thing Natalie can’t quite figure out: Besides herself and Nash, no one sees Tara when they look at her. Like, no one else thinks the two look alike? Or Natalie literally appears differently to everyone else? Enlisting the help of Red Hawk’s somewhat deranged golden-boy Nash Adams, this sentence feels like you're introducing Nash all over again, and like it's been inserted from a different version of the same query. Natalie searches for clues to the mystery that’s plaguing both their lives.

Meanwhile, Nash is still trying to come to terms with what happened to himself "him." Also... what happened to him? The car crash? last September--- and reconciling his relationship with his former best friend would be a bonus, too. Why are they at odds? Does it have something to do with the crash? Answers are hard to come by in this secluded town, but that’s exactly what Nash and Natalie need if they’re going to unravel the supernatural and personal secrets that Red Hawk is housing...

Told in alternating points of view, AFTER SHOCK is part contemporary and part paranormal, totaling at 86,000 words. In this e-mail, I have attached a brief sample of my novel, so that you can examine my writing style. My entire novel is available for review. Also, I am submitting my work to other agents. I attended the AWP Conference in Seattle, Washington, in 2013.

No need to mention that it's a simultaneous submission, it's to be expected. Also if the writing sample is specifically asked for by an agent in their submission guidelines, it's fine to paste it after the query - but most won't accept attachments. It's also assumed that since you are querying that the novel is finished and therefore available for review -- no harm stating these things, but you don't necessarily need to either. If you don't have much of a bio, don't worry about it -- just let the work stand on its own.

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Coming Out . . . of Hibernation

  Posted by Rick Pieters in Room to Wonder, 27 February 2015 · 20 views

It's been another long, cold winter. I'm so ready to come out of hibernation. Today, though it won't, again, get above freezing, I went looking for signs of Spring.

What I found outside my door perfectly showed, to me, the essence of this season. Snow in retreat. Warming earth pushing back the white blanket. Abstract yin and yang. And in the center, emerging leaves of new life, damaged, burned by the cold, promise of blooms that will rise from the wreckage.

When all the snow has gone and Spring has come, with the leafing out of trees and shrubs, I will, no doubt, discover what more damage the bitter cold has wreaked. Last year, I lost limbs from two prized plantings: an azalea and a Japanese maple. Yet the plants survived, and the damage resulted in a reshaping, of new form. In the maple, more open spaces, the killed branches  pruned away, left a more spare and possibly more beautiful tree.

Somehow the damage done enhances the value, the beauty of what remains, of what survives. The golden daffodil that rises above burnt leaves.


If only we could remember, more often than we do: such is our lives. 


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QUITE THE QUERY: GAIL NALL & BREAKING THE ICE

  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Amy Trueblood's Blog, 27 February 2015 · 27 views

    If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few authors say writing their query took […]

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Fast Five Friday: TV Shows

  Posted by DebsBlueRoses in The Writer Ambitious, 27 February 2015 · 16 views


Happy Friday! It's time for another Fast Five, created by the Cover Girls, Dani and Jackie!

This week, we are listing our Top 5 Favorite TV Shows.

I don't know if they have to be on right now or not, so here are 5!

Scandal

Grey's Anatomy

Friends

Family Guy

Futurama


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Mini-Contest Coming

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 27 February 2015 · 27 views






Not much information yet, but I have a mini-contest coming in March. So far five agents are signed up. Looks like the submission will be March 16th. Stop by for all the details on Monday.




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You're A Part of the Scene

  Posted by From The Write Angle in From The Write Angle Blog, 26 February 2015 · 36 views

by R.S. Mellette

I've been binge-watching the Foo Fighter's series, Sonic Highways, on HBO. It chronicles Dave Grohl's journey with the rest of the band to record a song, inspired by and recorded in a different city around the country. While in that city, they delve into the evolution of the music scene that is unique to that part of the world.  Jazz in New Orleans. Blues in Chicago. Go-Go & Funk in D.C. etc. Not only is the history fascinating, I found the series inspirational for artists of all kinds, including myself as a writer.

But nostalgia is useless if it doesn't teach us something about today, or guide us toward a better tomorrow.

I got to thinking about those music scenes. For a brief moment, I wished I had been involved in something as cool as grunge in Seattle, or Willie Nelson in Austin. Then I said to myself, "You idiot! You are. Right now. Right here at From The Write Angle."

Sure, our Moveable Feast may not be in Paris, but this isn't the 1920s. None of us may be as famous as Hemingway, Fitzgerald or Joyce, but neither were they at the time. If they were, or if we were, then it wouldn't be a scene would it? All great "you should have been there back when" scenes start before the artists become household names. For those involved, it's not necessary for their peers to make it big. They are mythic not for what they will do as famous artists, but what they did last Tuesday when they couldn't afford breakfast.

So whether this little band of writers is destined for greatness or not, I thought I would provide my portion of the yet-to-be-made (or never-to-be-made) documentary on our little scene. Those who are a part of it, as participants or audience, feel free to chime in with your own angle of the story in the comments.

For most of us, From The Write Angle started with AgentQuery Connect, which is a scene unto itself. The head of that little movement is the mysterious AQCrew. No one knows who AQCrew really is, but his or her guiding hand has been a big influence to writers, published or not. The mystery of AQCrew's real identity adds to the mythic aspect of AQC's tale.

For me, From The Write Angle started when Robert K. Lewis, aka Thrownbones, got an agent. This was around 2008 or '09 on the first incarnation of Agent Query Connect. Not only was I completely jealous, which is my highest compliment, but he wasn't around the boards as much and I missed his posts. Shortly after that, I got an agent and I missed his posts even more.

There are a whole new set of problems a writer encounters once they make it to the next level, but to complain about them to writers on the level below is kind of rude. I had never been the type to think I needed a support group, but Agent Query Connect had become that as sure as if it were held in the rec room of a local community center. Once I'd found an agent I felt like I'd lost my support, so I asked AQCrew if I could form a password protected group for writers who have agents.

When ACQ moved to the new site, this group became The Class of 2009. Most of us moderated (or still moderate) forums on that site. At some point, AQCrew mentioned that writers were forming blog groups and that we should consider doing something like that. From The Write Angle was born.

My biggest contribution after that was writing the statement of purpose:

We learn best, not from our bigger than life heroes, but our big brothers and sisters. We run fastest to catch the person just in front of us, not who has already finished the race. We seek The Write Angle to help you, not because we have reached the summit, but because we are in arm's length, and when you are arm's length ahead of us, we hope you'll remember how you got there.

In 2012, Matt Sinclair started publishing short stories via his Elephant's Bookshelf Press. As I say in the acknowledgements of Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, he is our Sun Records. Thronebones went on to have his Mark Mallen noir series published. Mindy, R.C., Sophie, Cat, etc. have all done well and still blog here along with the rest of the team. Others, have moved on to emeritus status, but like any members of a scene, they are with us in our thoughts.

What scenes are you all currently a part of?  What are you doing now that will be a fond memory in a decade or so?

R.S. Mellette's new book is Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand. He is an experienced screenwriter, actor, director, and novelist. You can find him at the Dances With Films festival blog, and on Twitter, or read him in the anthologies Spring Fevers, The Fall: Tales of the Apocalypse, and Summer's Edge.

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Evolution Cover Reveal

  Posted by Stephanie Diaz in Stephanie Diaz, 23 February 2015 · 26 views

Hi guys!! The cover reveal for Evolution, the third and final book in the Extraction series, happened today over at YA Highway! Check it out below and let me know what you think!




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Planning on planning to plan...

  Posted by K McClelland in Teardrops On My Book, 23 February 2015 · 30 views

Well, here we are, toward the end of February, and how many weeks since I posted a blog? Ugh. I keep planning on having things happen and they don't. I'm not much of a planner so I guess maybe planning on doing better is making me unsuccessful. Or maybe like just really wants to be in the way of things lately. Or maybe I just need to use my time more wisely. Whatever it is, I want to do better.

We're just over a month away from the A to Z challenge and I really want to do it this year, but I keep telling myself I don't want to plan on another failure for myself. Then I get annoyed for thinking so negatively. So I guess I'll try to do it and hope for the best.

All of my lack of productivity is really getting to me. Even more now that Lent started because one of the things I wanted to do was write and edit more, be better with getting crits done, read more, and blog more...I haven't accomplished any of those things. Hell, I also planned on only having soda once a week during Lent (which would hopefully keep happening once Lent was over) but I've already had soda twice and it hasn't even been a week since Ash Wednesday.

I'm not even sure what the actual point of this blog is. I'm not intending to come off whiny or like I'm searching for more excuses for why my plans have all been failing. I'm not looking for someone to make me feel better about my lack of following through on things I keep saying. I guess what I'm doing is just writing something in attempt to have some sort of a post since I haven't had one in a while. I would've had an IWSG post, but I forgot about my post for February and so there that went.

I think I need to find the balance between the offline side of life I have now and the online side of life I had a couple years ago. Yeah, I'm going to go try to find that...Catch you all next time-sooner I hope. :)

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Must-Watch Scenes from the 2015 Oscars

  Posted by SC_Author in SC Write--Writing, Publishing, and Harry Potter, 23 February 2015 · 20 views

Surprisingly, the 2015 Academy Awards were the most empowering Oscars I've ever seen. Here are some of the highlights. Trust me when I say, watch them all. These speeches/performances saved the night. I'm excited. Please watch them all!











After Sean Penn (jokingly, but still) announced Alejandro G. Inarritu as the Best Picture winner by saying, "Who gave that son of a b*tch his Green Card?" this great acceptance speech happened:



And this,  because Eddie Redmayne was so excited to win :D


Things are a-changing :D I can't help but be excited. Hopefully I'll replace these videos with actual official YouTube Oscar videos but I can't find them yet. 

Did you watch the Oscars? How do you feel about it? Any videos you'd like to add?


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THE END(ings)

  Posted by mlebleek in Bleeker Street, 18 February 2015 · 50 views

My sister is one of those people who reads spoilers. She always takes a sneak peek at the end of the book or reads a blog about the whole plot of a TV series before deciding if she’ll watch it on Netflix. I am NOT one of those people. I want to guess at the ending of anything I’m reading/watching/obsessing about. I want to talk about possible outcomes and character choices. I want to dream out what I’d do with these characters if they were mine. Then, I love finding out what really happens in the story and say “AH HA!” if I was right or “duh!!” if I was wrong. Or, “I liked my ending better,” if disappointed.

This is what makes books FUN and what makes me reread the same book over and over and over again (which my husband still can’t understand).

Here is the thing with endings, I guess it goes for the whole book but I feel it most in endings. How you feel about them is very personal. Whether I close the book and sigh, “ah, that was awesome” or “NO! How did it end like that?!” to me it doesn’t matter. As long as a book makes me feel something more than– “Thank HEAVENS that is finally over,” then the author has done his/her job. Because, if I care enough to have any strong emotion then I’ve connected with the story and characters.

Take the end of Gone With the Wind. This is one of my favorite books ever. I first read it when I was twenty-years-old and other than a few slow spots in the beginning I couldn’t put the seriously thick novel down. It was also the first time I crazy-girl sobbed because of a book (Bonnie!!!!). I hated Scarlett with a passion and the end of the book REALLY bothered me. I mean I put 1,037 pages of my time and then…no pay off? For real?

I knew there was no sequel so I read up on Margaret Mitchell’s life, read one of her earlier works which was published posthumously and attempted to read and watch the “sequel” written many many years later by a modern author. None of these attempts quelled my frustration at that original ending.

Fast forward fourteen years. I’d read and reread my favorite parts of the book hundreds of times but I’d never sat down and reread the book from page 1 to 1,037. Every word. So I did. About a year ago I read Gone With the Wind as a real live grown-up and it was an interesting experience.

This is the same edition of GWTW I own from a 1937 reprinting. LOVE IT!

1. I still couldn’t put it down. I just wanted any reason to get back to reading even though I knew the whole story by heart.

2. Realized the book is kinda racist…probably pretty realistic of the viewpoints of the people from that time and place but also pretty stink’n racist.

3. I disliked Scarlett less this time around and Melanie a little more. I realized that Ashley is kind of a wussy jerk and Rhett is a totally flawed “hero.” But I LOVED how real these people were. Flawed, horrible and at times pretty racist/misogynistic, but real.

4. Still sobbed like a baby at…you know…that part…**sniff**

5. I loved the ending. Oh my gosh, it was PERFECT. If you haven’t read the book/watched the movie/been alive in the past 70 years then I don’t want to spoil it for you BUT I suddenly had this new perspective on the whole story. This ending, though depressing, was SO like real life. Scarlett realizing what she really wanted only to find out that it was too late to get it. Anyway…could write a whole paper on the stuff I realized when I closed the back cover of that book but suffice it to say, it was much more satisfying the second time around.

That experience showed me that feelings about books and characters and even endings change as we change. And not just a little, a whole lot! I’m excited to pull this book out again in a few years and reread it with fresh eyes. I wonder what new bit will strike me then.

This is why, in my opinion, books are more universal than movies. You cast the characters and you interpret the story through the lens of your own personal experiences. Also why you can go into a book club or classroom and discuss a good book for hours on end.

So maybe pick up a book you read ten or twenty years ago and give it a go. I bet you’ll have a whole new experience and maybe find a new favorite ending.

Which book has your favorite ending? Let me know in the comments :)




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Website Update

  Posted by LucidDreamer in LucidDreamer's Blog, 17 February 2015 · 42 views

So, I’ve been MIA for a while. Busy with some writing projects, among other things. But I promise to get back to blogging on a more regular basis soon. In the meantime, I updated my website. Striving for clarity and simplicity, rather than bells and whistles. I hope I’ve achieved that! You can take a … Continue reading Website Update

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Not all sunsets, rainbows and unicorns

  Posted by Deb Borys in Debra R. Borys, 17 February 2015 · 37 views

Sometimes I feel  like people don’t understand what I’m saying.  Or maybe that I’m not saying it right.  Then I find an article or hear a story about someone that hits it right on the nose. These are the people … Continue reading

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Sun Vs. Snow Critique Workshop Entry

  Posted by Lora Palmer in Lora Palmer's Blog, 17 February 2015 · 46 views

(Thanks to the amazing Michelle Hauck and Amy Trueblood for hosting this amazing workshop. Also, a huge thank you to everyone who takes their time to leave amazing feedback here. The link to join with a blog post of your own -- including your query and first 250 words -- is open until February 21st, so come check out this post to add your link, join in, and leave feedback for each other!)

Title: THE MIRRORMASTERS

Genre: YA fantasy

Word Count: 98,000


QUERY:


Dear Amazing Agent,


Leah Ellis never knew why she was found abandoned on the beach at two years old. Content with her adoptive family and small town life, she hadn't thought much about it over the years. That is, until her life takes a bizarre turn when she begins seeing images in mirrors she can’t explain--cloaked figures using powers that manifest like lightning bolts, or flash-frozen beaches on another world beneath a purple sky.

She practices mirror-gazing, driven to understand these images and their possible connection to her forgotten past, and discovers that it’s kind of addictive with its wild, boundless power coursing through her veins. Soon, she learns to control what the mirror shows her.

When new neighbors move in, Leah is shocked that they're dead ringers for the people in her visions. According to Brian, with the gorgeous ice-blue eyes, and his father, she is a MirrorMaster--an alien with a gift that lets her travel through mirrors, even to worlds light years away. Her birth parents sent them to take her from Earth back to her homeworld of Jantyr, a planet she doesn’t remember. They’ve searched for her ever since she disappeared.

But Leah’s long-lost birth sister, a sorceress, activated an ancient device to trigger a cataclysm on Jantyr as a bid to consolidate her own power. Leah must return to Jantyr, master her newfound ability in order to locate and wield crystals that will disable the device, and thwart her sister’s plans. Otherwise, the destruction will consume the entire galaxy, including Earth and everyone she loves.

THE MIRRORMASTERS is a 98,000-word fantasy for young adults. I have earned a graduate degree in Psychology from Widener University and work at a local residential facility serving autistic children and teens. My short story, "Unfinished," was published online on author Samantha Mabry's website, Flash Paranormal Fiction. My short science fiction/apocalyptic story, “Defying the Darkness,” is published through Novelty Fiction. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Warmest Regards,


Lora Palmer




FIRST 250:

Chilling music, followed by strangled sobs and hitching breaths, sent a shiver down my spine. On the television screen, the killer claimed his next victim. Flinching, I covered my eyes too late to avoid the sight of a woman’s body sprawled on pavement, blood-soaked hands clutched around her throat. I wrinkled my nose and turned to my brother David and best friend Kara, who sat on the love seat engrossed in this cheesy old movie. The screen faded to black. As the end credits rolled, I grabbed the remote and changed the channel.

“Let’s watch something light when Jenny gets here,” I said.

“Leah, Leah, Leah.” David shook his head. “Don’t tell me you want to watch some lame comedy when we can have a slasher fest. Besides, it’s tradition.”

“Come on!” I shot him a pleading look. “I’m sure you breezed through finals, but I took three AP exams this week. I deserve a break from crazy.”

Every single year on this date, June 15th, strange things happened. Mysterious pulses of light flickered in the forest. Not-quite-solid figures appeared in the cemetery one second and disappeared the next. All day, I couldn’t shake the intuition that this year would bring something much worse than the usual weirdness, but it was easier to blame my anxiety on normal things like school.

By the basement’s dim recess lighting, I checked the grandfather clock. It read 10:50 pm. Oh, no. Oh, no. Jenny should have showed over an hour ago.


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Rachael Thomas - Critique Partners are Invaluable

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 16 February 2015 · 42 views

Please Welcome Rachael Thomas to the blog today!

***
One of the best decisions I made as I began my writing journey was to join The Romance Writers of Australia. Apart from the great competitions they organise, I discovered the Critique Partner scheme. It definitely helped my writing and made me look at my work through different eyes. Having another writer read and critique your work is so much more beneficial than simply asking a friend or family member to do the same. After all, who would be more honest?

Critique Partners are exactly the right person to go to if you hit a sticky patch and don’t know where your story should go, or to have chapters read and critiqued and best of all, to bounce ideas around with. Whatever it is, having another writer read you work and offer constructive advice is invaluable. Why? Because as the writer, you are too close to your work. Not only do you not see those silly mistakes we all make, you can be forcing your story in a direction it doesn’t need to go. Just having someone suggest an alternative can bring you back and set you off on a much better storyline.

CP’s can also be helpful if you have deadlines for competitions or submissions and can help to keep you motivated when the going gets tough. Together you can build a nice relationship, one that can span oceans, which is exactly what happened for me. I was lucky enough to be matched with three fabulous Australian writers, Joanne, Louise and Kathi and over the years we’ve built brilliant relationships. I really hope that one day I’ll get to a RWA conference and meet them in person. I’m also very fortunate that I have several writing friends here in the UK too. We often rent a small cottage in the middle of the Welsh countryside and spend the weekend reading through each other’s work as well as writing.

So, if you are writing romance and need someone to bounce ideas off, join RWA, it doesn't matter where you live and you can select who you'd like to be partnered with on the Critique Partner scheme. It's also really helpful to link up with other writers you meet and organize your own retreat weekends.
***
About Rachael: I grew up in the Midlands, but when I moved to Wales, over twenty years ago, I found a place to finally put down roots. I married into a farming family and embarked on a massive learning curve which also saw me learning Welsh when my two children were small. 

Writing is something I have always wanted to do and I can still remember the thrill of one of my short stories being held up as an example to the class when I was about nine. It wasn’t until my own children were in school that I seriously started to pursue my dream. I joined a local writing group which met every Monday afternoon and being with like-minded people was the boost I needed. 

Reading romance had always been my first love, and just about every short story I wrote was romance, so I decided to write my first book. During that process I also attended my first weekend writing course with Kate Walker and joined the RNA’s fabulous New Writers’ Scheme. A short time later I joined Romance Writers of Australia and learnt a lot from entering their competitions. I sought out courses and you can imagine my joy when I discovered Sharon Kendrick’s course in beautiful Tuscany. 

 Behind the Scandalous Façade, my So You Think You Can Write entry, is my thirteenth book and although only eight have those magic words ‘the end’ written on them the others are definitely part of the learning process I have enjoyed over the last six years. 

 I love escaping to distant shores with my characters, entering their glamorous world and feeling all the emotions they experience as they discover their love for one another. A love so strong it will overcome all obstacles eventually, leading to that promised happy ever after. 

Connect with Rachael Thomas on the web: 
Website         Blog        Facebook                Twitter              Goodreads


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Claimed by the Sheikh by Rachael Thomas

Claimed by the Sheikh

by Rachael Thomas

Giveaway ends March 02, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
***
Thanks Rachael! I agree - CPs are amazing and impossible to live without. My 2 crit buddies (Jean & Cali) are amazing ladies and together we've become much stronger writers. Can't imagine doing this without them!

How about you? Want to give your CPs a shoutout in the comments? How did you meet up?

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2015 Tuscany Prize for Catholic Fiction Seeks Manuscripts

Posted by thevip in thevip's Blog, 13 February 2015 · 97 views
Literature, Prize, Money and 4 more...

The Tuscany Prize for Catholic Fiction is a literary prize to promote writers and great undiscovered stories of Catholic fiction. What is Catholic fiction? Stories that capture the imagination of the reader and are infused with the presence of God and faith — subtly, symbolically or deliberately.

Think of Flannery O’Connor, Graham Greene, J.R.R. Tolkien and G.K. Chesterton and many others whose writings reflected the thoughts of the great writer Gerard Manley Hopkins: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” This is the “stuff” of literature that wins the Tuscany Prize.

Do you have a manuscript? A Novel? A Young Adult Novel? A short story? Would you like it published? Does your story have themes of faith and struggle, of grace and nature, atonement, courage, redemption and hope? Whether it is fiction, historical fiction, mystery, fantasy or humor, the Tuscany Press is open to all genres. We seek original great stories of unpublished/self-published works of fiction. Are you the next great writer of Catholic fiction? We invite you to send in your manuscript.

Submission Deadline: June 30, 2015 - See more at: http://tuscanypress....h.7p36baCX.dpuf

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Win Champagne and Lemon Drops–The Audiobook

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Love Bug Blog, 13 February 2015 · 54 views

I have a new giveaway to tell you about! This one is simply massive!

Giveaway runs February 13 to February 20, 2015.

Author Marissa Dobson and over thirty other authors–myself included–have teamed up to present over 30 giveaway items to several lucky winners. Will one of them be you? (Marissa has even offered up a Kindle Fire for one lucky winner!)

Are you feeling lucky?

Champagne and Lemon Drops the audiobookEnter for a chance to win the funny and heartwarming tale of Champagne and Lemon Drops in audiobook format to keep you company while you drive, workout, or clean the house. With 9 hours of laughs, I think a road trip with the girls is in order!


Enter the Giveaway Here:


Giveaway includes over 25 ebook romances to be won, several audiobooks, gift cards, paperbacks, as well as swag and Marissa’s Kindle Fire. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




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Did you know my newsletter subscribers just got a free book from me? Don’t miss out. Get in on it here: www.jeanoram.com/freebook.


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Psst. Want to tell your friends? You can tweet this post by clicking here: A chance to #win over 30 #romance prize items in this massive #giveaway via @jeanoram.


The post Win Champagne and Lemon Drops–The Audiobook appeared first on Jean Oram.


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The truth about how to be great at content marketing

Posted by carolkennemer in Carol Kennemer, 13 February 2015 · 48 views

There are a lot of cure-alls circling the web all claiming to be able to solve all your content marketing problems. This isn’t one of those articles. The truth is, the key to content marketing success depends a lot on the nature of your product and your target audience.

For some products, content marketing will be your marketing bread and butter. For others, it will be a side business but not your main revenue source. Here are some other truths about content marketing all marketing directors should know.

You don’t need a team of specialists to make content marketing work

Yes, big businesses tend to hire big teams to run their marketing and they’re able to see correspondingly large returns on their investment. But small businesses can have success too, even without teams of writers, researchers, and editors. Even marketing departments of one can find that content marketing is successful, but Business2Community.com warned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to businesses bigger than yours.

B2C also reported, “60% of B2C small business marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months, knowing that it can be a very effective strategy for brand awareness and lead generation.”

You don’t have to go viral to be successful

Viral marketing can be very profitable and really good viral videos create great press for your brand. But you shouldn’t focus too much on the numbers. B2C said that some publishers, like The Verge, “discourage their writers from even looking at traffic numbers so they don’t get too caught up in the numbers and forget the goal they initially set out to achieve, which is to deliver great, original editorial content that speaks to the reader.”

Ignore numbers, focus on message

It’s tough to ignore the numbers when it seems hard to measure your success in any other way, but an important thing to remember about content marketing is that its success isn’t always quantifiable. Sometimes it’s just another exposure in a customer’s purchasing journey and they haven’t made up their minds to buy something yet. Sometimes it’s what introduces someone to your brand for the first time, but they’re far from loyal customer as of yet.

Set realistic goals

The more often you can create good, quality content the better, but if you have a small team of marketers, don’t force yourself to come up with 3 blog articles a week, a daily social media post, along with several marketing emails. Start small and don’t try to do more than you can maintain at a high level of quality.

Marketing News brought to you by ClickToCallMarket.com

Source: business2community.com/content-marketing/content-marketing-7-myths-uncovered-01142302

content marketing, marketing success, target audience

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Millennial marketing: start online

Posted by StephanieSmith91 in StephanieSmith91's Blog, 12 February 2015 · 60 views
millennial marketing, millennials and 3 more...

Millennials are unlike any group that has come before, and they are changing the way businesses run. Some businesses have tried to stay away from them and just stick with an older audience, but it has gotten to the point where Millennials are a huge part of the economy, and ignoring them means ignoring huge sales. That is why you need to work on Millennial marketing and trying to increase sales with a younger audience.


Go straight to the source


One of the best ways to advertise to Millennials is by actually working with them, according to Tech Radar. Many Millennials make their living by blogging and building rapport with an online audience. That means they can reach a lot more people than you and bring you a lot of new customers. Rather than messing around trying to build your own audience online, just let them do the work. One of the best ways to do this is through pay per call marketing. They do all the online advertising for you, and all you have to do is pay them every time a new customer calls in for more information. It is one of the best ways to use Millennials to reach each other on the internet without your business even having to get involved.


Legitimate businesses online


If a Millennial cannot find your business online, they will not even consider talking to you. This is because they believe that a legitimate business will be on the internet. It’s not even just being online though. You also have to have a really good website that shows who you are and what you are doing. The more information a Millennial can find out online about your business, the better. You might want to give your website a little makeover or spend some time fixing up your social media. Better yet, focus on getting better online reviews for your business.


Online reviews


One thing Millennials love is looking at reviews to figure out whether or not your business is good enough for them. It is easier than ever to simply Google a company or even just check with friends to find out whether or not a business is any good. People don’t feel the need to try new things without first having someone else recommend it. With better reviews, you’ll get more business. Legitimize your business by boosting your online presence, and you’ll find that Millennial marketing works for you.


Marketing News brought to you by paypercallmarket.com


Source: techradar.com/us/news/world-of-tech/why-the-future-of-content-marketing-lies-with-the-millennials-1281514



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