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We did it! Naughty & Nice is a New York Times Bestseller

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Love Bug Blog, 17 December 2014 · 25 views

NaughtyAndNiceWe did it!


Thank you to everyone who purchased a copy of Naughty and Nice: A Holiday Collection. Not only did we hit the USA Today bestseller lists for books sold in the first week of December, 2014, but we also hit the New York Times bestseller lists. TWICE!

Naughty & Nice (my story, Eggnog and Candy Canes helped put the ‘nice’ in the set.) did as follows…



 

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.21.19 AMUSA Today #48 overall


 

 

 



Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 11.44.43 AM


New York Times #12 for ebook fiction


New York Times #16 for ebook and paperback fiction combined (And no, we didn’t have a paperback out!)


 

 

 



 

** Want to get in on this bestselling action? You can for only 99 cents–but hurry, this is a special holiday season gift from us to you and won’t last!

Christmas Box Set Includes Novellas by Some of my Favourite Romance Authors


Kathleen Brooks- Secret Santa
Sawyer Bennett – Off Season
Jean Oram – Eggnog and Candy Canes
M. Malone – Christmas with The Alexanders
Evelyn Adams – Wrapped
Lynda Chance – Staking His Claim
Melanie Shawn – My Love
Ruth Cardello – Twelve Days of Temptation
Skye Jordan – Rumor
JS Scott – Mine for Christmas
Cali MacKay – A Mermaid Isle Christmas

99 cents!! Get it before it’s gone!

Amazon US
Amazon UK
iTunes
Kobo
Google
B&N


The post We did it! Naughty & Nice is a New York Times Bestseller appeared first on Jean Oram.


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Some Comments Regarding Comments

  Posted by Deb Borys in Debra R. Borys, 17 December 2014 · 18 views

This blog doesn’t get an enormous amount of traffic, but the number of visitors does hold pretty steady, with an occasional spike in activity for certain posts.  The amount of comments any one post gets, however, is usually zero.  Unless, … Continue reading

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Wednesday Words: Do people really like the Oz books?

  Posted by DebsBlueRoses in The Writer Ambitious, 17 December 2014 · 19 views

I'm asking for a friend.

Technically, I am, because Theresa Paolo said she's reading The Wonderful World of Oz because it was free on Amazon, and it's one of those books you feel like you should've read.

I'm reading The Marvelous Land of Oz after a long hiatus from reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for the same reason.

These books are TERRIBLE. I wonder if I would've like them as a child. Obviously kids did love them, or Mr. Baum wouldn't have kept writing them. I'm in the Return to Oz (big ups to that movie; I love it) portion of the book, but Dorothy is talking like I guess adults think kids talk, and I'm like, "Is this supposed to be cute??" Because it isn't.

Wednesdays are the days I show you all a piece of what I'm reading using Random.org, so I'm going to do another non-traditional Random shuffle of the current chapter I'm about to start "The Heads of Langwidere." Man, I really want to watch the movie when I get home.

There are 22 pages in this chapter, so Random has chosen.........................................the first page.

Since I love the movie, I'm going to actually choose the lines this time, as this page highlights one of my favorite scenes from it:

As soon as the three Wheelers who were guarding the mound saw them, they began to shout their wild cries and rolled swiftly toward the little group, as if to capture them or bar their way. But when the foremost had approached near enough, Tiktok swung the tin dinner-pail and struck the Wheeler a sharp blow over its head with the queer weapon.

If you've seen the movie, Tiktok is so adorable, and I love that he was a one-man army. He actually isn't one in the book, but I'm glad this moment is still there.

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Scam Callers

  Posted by Professor VJ Duke in The Punchy Lands!, 17 December 2014 · 10 views

phone16The professor was sitting by the phone when it rang.

It was one of those phony numbers.

You know, a scam call of sorts, but I picked up anyway.

“Hello?”

The voice was foreign, hardly understandable.

“Hi…is this VJ Duke?”

“No,” I answered, “this is Professor VJ Duke. VJ Duke isn’t home.”

“Do you know when VJ Duke will return?”

“It’s likely never,” I said. “I kinda pushed him out of his house, you know.”

There was some silence.

Then finally: “Sir, do I have to call the police?”

“That wouldn’t be very nice of you,” I answered. “Plus, where’s your Christmas spirit?”

“Sir! What have you done with VJ Duke?”

This professor must admit: I was surprised by how this fellow was getting worked up by the whole matter. And I couldn’t resist being even more wicked.

“I’ve done with him as he deserves.”

“You either tell me, or I call the police!”

“Well, okay, I’ll tell you. See here, VJ Duke said to me: ‘Professor VJ Duke, I want you to kill me. For in an hour or so, some annoying scam caller is going to call here, and I don’t want to have speaks with a scam caller. I’d rather be dead.’ So, I killed him to save him from you—if that makes sense.”

Click.

The police never came. I suppose the fellow learned a lesson.

Icons made by Zurb from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC BY 3.0



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Holiday Query Hop Critique 7

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 17 December 2014 · 17 views

It seems like I've known Heather Van Fleet forever. We were in the query trenches together. I'm so happy to have her offer a critique.
Keep in mind that feedback is subjective by nature. What does and does not catch the eye is going to vary by person. Each writer must weigh the comments they get against their own judgement and make the changes that resonate with them.

The Holiday Query hop is closed. Please make sure you get your 10 critiques done.  
The random number generator picks 25!
Dear Awesome Agent,
When sorceress and Australian crime-boss Morgause hit-men fails to take out Artie before he discovers he’s the new ‘once & future king,’ Morgause implements plan-B: kill Artie’s spirit.

There is a LOT going on in this one particular sentence and you’ve kind of lost me, mainly because it’s extremely wordy. Also, I’d like to know more of Morgause’s stakes and why she wants to ‘take out’ the future king so badly. In queries, the simpler the better is what I’ve always been told. So maybe something like this might work instead:

After a failed attempt to assassinate Artie, the future king of (insert location here maybe?), Sorceress and Australian crime-boss Morgause must implement a plan-B. This time she must try to kill Artie’s spirit, before he discovers the truth about who he is.

She tasks her son to seduce Artie’s best mate and then uses the witless love-struck human to spy on Artie. Then, Morgause soon discovers ing Artie’s Catholic Priest is struggling with his vows and the woman of his sexual fantasies just so happens to be Artie’s girlfriend, Gwen. fantasies is Artie’s girlfriend Gwen, Morgause ply’s (I’d think of a different word than ply’s here.) Gwen and the Priest with a powerful tonic The potion one that fevers lust while diluting a mortal’s reason and moral compass. Gwen and the Priest spend a wild night together, but with the clarity of morning, both regret their actions. Ashamed, they agree to tell no one; however, a secret video of their night together quickly goes viral on YouTube.
Again, there is a lot going on here, more so a play by play of the story rather than little teases of what happens. Not to mention the abundance of characters. Is this Morgause’s story? Arties? Gwen?
Feeling b Betrayed and struggling with the world either vilifying Gwen or laughing at him, Artie is broken. (I think broken is not quite a powerful enough word here. I’d find a synonym or state exactly what Artie does. EX: Does he go off the deep in? Loose control? I need something more visual here.) Now, Morgause can finally destroy the man and the legend, while and also have her seeking revenge on the first King Arthur and her nemesis, Merlin.
This is, so far, the best written paragraph in the query. Great stakes. I just suggest a word change, some word replacement, and something more visual as far as Artie goes.
But Luckily Artie isn’t alone… (This would be a great standalone sentence adding to the tension and leading in to the final paragraph.)
With the help from a few mythical beings, of an invisible dragon and the mythical Rainbow Serpent of Koori legend, Merlin casts magic bullets (where do these bullets go? Morgause’s home? In her? I’m confused.) which should vanquish Morgause. But in order for the magic to bond, a final ingredient is needed… forgiveness. If Artie has truly forgiven his best mate, priest, girlfriend, and even his parents for their lies, (Since you didn’t mention his parents in the query, I would leave them out.) then the magic will work. The final body-count will determine the power of Artie’s forgiveness by who survives.
My suggestion here would be to combine the last two sentences into a simple sentence, for example: But in order for the magic to bond, a final ingredient is needed: Artie’s forgiveness to all who have wronged him. If not, then…
The rest is up to you. That last sentence though HAS to be pretty memorable for an agent to really feel it. You’ve got great bones here, but a little more tightening and simplifying will make this very intriguing.
Told for in dual point of view between Morguase’ & Artie, ARTIE AND THE DODECAGON is an (estimated) 80,000-word erotic contemporary adult, sexually explicit (straight and gay), dark, Arthurian re-telling set in Scotland and Australia.
No need to use contemporary, adult, sexually explicit, straight and gay, and dark. Erotic covers them all and simplifies the paragraph.
I was born in Croatia, raised in Australia, and have lived in France. In 2013 I placed in a worldwide short story competition. In 2015 I’ll and have a short story published in an anthology with a US publisher. (Agents will want to know this publisher name, so be sure to add it in the query instead of just saying US publisher.) I’m also a painter, a slave to my Feline Overlords and active on social media.
That’s wonderful you have such a fabulous background and were able to live in all those places. (I’m very jealous) but this is the paragraph where you tell your publishing background. If you want to say you were raised in Australia (since the book takes place there part of the time) then that might be okay. Otherwise I’d leave the rest of the locations out.
Per submission guidelines …..
Regards,
-----------------------------------
Young adult and new adult author Heather Van Fleet is an Illinois born native, raised in a town that borders both Iowa and Illinois. She’s a wife to her hubby (and high school sweet heart) Chris, as well as a mom to her three little girls. When she’s not obsessing over her fictional book characters, burning meals, or running around chasing her crazy kiddos, you can usually find her with her head stuck in her Kindle, or typing away on her laptop, sucking down White Chocolate Mochas like they were water. Heather is represented by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary. 




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Manhwa Review: Aron’s Absurd Armada Vol. #3

  Posted by Sakura Eries in Sakura Eries' Blog: Keeping It In Canon …mostly, 16 December 2014 · 18 views

An oft-used archetype in popular literature are pirates. Pirate stories are so numerous nowadays, you can find all sorts of buccaneers, ranging from romantic to sly to sinister, and joining the ranks of Captain Hook and One Piece’s Luffy is the idiot pirate Aron!

Yen Press has just released the final volume of the series, and you can read on for the review. (For those interested in my review of previous volumes, click here.)

Back Cover Blurb

It’s pirates…
It’s treasure…
It’s the raccoon god…
It’s a monster…
It’s the sea king and the turtle…
It’s Bell…
It’s the Cornwalls…
It’s the king…
It’s Luther and Dorothy and Admiral Nelson and Lady Grey and so on and so on…
Anyway, Aron’s adventures are still cruising along…

The Review

Aron’s misfit gang has become fairly sizable, and although they get their hands on new outfits and a new ship, they (thankfully) don’t recruit any new crew members in Volume 3. That’s not to say there aren’t new characters. Leading them into their next adventure is the young boy Bell. Quite simply, he is everything that Aron is not. The crew instantly falls in love with Bell, and when they learn he seeks revenge upon the sea monster that killed his best friend, everyone–minus Aron–insists on sailing along to help him. Although Aron generally gets away with his stupidity, everyone gangs up on him to deliver punishment both swift and brutal whenever Bell is around.

In embarking upon this quest, they cross paths with the Navy, which has also suffered losses from the sea monster. While the pirates and Navy sailors do cooperate against their common enemy, the interaction between Aron and the main Navy characters (i.e. the Nelsons) is minimal. Scenes involving the Navy generally focus on the Navy’s perspective of the sea monster problem, and instead of revisiting Aron’s “friendship” with Luther Nelson, they focus on Luther’s one-sided crush on Dorothy and his tenuous relationship with his father.

Then Bell drops out of the story, and a talking bear in an orange jacket comes alongside Aron’s crew as they seek  the legendary knife that makes its wielder the greatest chef in the world! Aside from jabs at poor Vincent’s inedible food, this arc sheds light on the relationship between Mercedes and Wendy and provides back story on the Phantom Thieves. We don’t, however, get much information about the talking bear. Creator Kim seems to have inserted him into the story just so she can have another cute furry creature to draw.

Nevertheless, the bear does point to the crew toward their next quest: community service at a remote welfare center. The welfare center, like the sea monster, is also the target of a naval mission so we again experience the journey from pirate and Navy viewpoints. In addition, the welfare center leads into the final conflict involving the king and Aron’s mom. The Marchioness’ plot and the events that draw Aron into the midst of it are far-fetched, and while the lengthy string of coincidences does match the tone of the series, the finale fails to build a heightened climax.

Manhwa extras include character profiles (although one set seems to be in the wrong section of the book) and parting remarks and artwork from the creator.

In Summary

Aron’s Absurd Armada sails into its final volume! The crew behaves a bit more like pirates with a battle against a sea monster and two quests–although the impetuses for these adventures are rather moronic. The series wraps up with a plot against the king of Aron’s home country. It’s convoluted how Aron winds up at the palace just at the right time, but it makes as much sense as everything else in this series. At any rate, this manhwa reaches its conclusion, and though it had entertaining moments, I’m not terribly sad to see Aron go.

First published at the Fandom Post.




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Interview on “Fearless Fifteeners” Blog

  Posted by LucidDreamer in LucidDreamer's Blog, 16 December 2014 · 32 views

My interview about CROWN OF ICE is featured on the “Fearless Fifteeners” blog today:  https://fearlessfifteeners.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/all-four-kids-an-interview-with-vicki-weevil-author-of-crown-of-ice/    

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YA Author Amy Nichols On Plotting, Agent Hunting, & Writing A Book Over The Weekend

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 16 December 2014 · 23 views

Today's guest for the SAT (Successful Author Talk) is Amy K. Nichols. Amy lives on the edge of the Phoenix desert with her husband and children. In the evenings, she enjoys sitting outside, counting bats and naming stars. Sometimes she names the bats. Her first novel, YA sci-fi thrillerNow That You’re Here, will be published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on December 9, 2014.

Are you a Planner or Pantster?

I started out a total pantser, but after starting a few manuscripts and fizzling out around page fifty, I knew I needed to try a different approach. I read a blog post by YA author Elana Johnson about plotting, and she recommended Save the Cat, Blake Snyder’s book on screenwriting. I decided to give plotting a try, and lo and behold, it worked! Since then, I’ve developed my own planning/pantsing hybrid, creating a loose outline while remaining sensitive and flexible with what the story wants and needs. I should say, I still pants short stories, but anything longer, I need a road map.

How long does it typically take you to write a novel, start to finish?

I can really crank out the words when needed. One of my first forays into writing was the 3-Day Novel Contest, a crazy writing marathon that takes place over Labor Day weekend, in which participants try to write a novel in a weekend, beginning on Friday at midnight and ending Monday at midnight. It’s insane, but so much fun. (The first year I participated was 2004, and I won third place, which I took as a sign that this writing gig was, in fact, for me.) Anyway, it taught me on how to get words down fast and worry about revising later. When I’m in a groove, first drafts typically take me a month or two. Revising, however, takes me much longer, at least when I’m not on deadline. I revised Now That You’re Here for a couple of years before querying agents. The sequel, While You Were Gone, took less than a year, though, since I was working with my editor and on deadline. I would love to get proficient enough to write and revise a novel every six months.

Do you work on one project at a time, or are you a multi tasker?

When I’m working on deadline, the contracted book takes priority and everything else has to wait. (I’m obsessive about hitting deadlines.) If I’m between deadlines, though, my writing is a bit like a horse race. I work on a number of projects, writing a little here and a little there depending on which story has me most intrigued. Typically one “horse” will gather momentum and pull away from the pack. Once that happens, I put all my money on that one and cross my fingers it makes it across the finish line.

Did you have to overcome any fears that first time you sat down to write?

I have to overcome fears every time I sit down to write. Looking back, I put off writing for years because I was afraid. A while ago I found some notes I’d scribbled down in college about what I would need to do to switch to the creative writing program. I never made the switch, though, because that would mean facing critique and rejection. Years later, it took a brush with death and a bout of depression to convince me to finally give writing a try. Sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Now when I sit down to write, those same fears of critique and rejection are still there, but I’ve learned that the magic happens in revision, and I can survive rejection. I don’t think I can survive not writing.

How many trunked books did you have before you were agented?

I wrote two complete manuscripts before selling Now That You’re Here (and started a number of others). One of the completed manuscripts will remain in the trunk (though two of the characters ended up in NTYH). The other I’m hoping to spiffy up to show my agent. Fingers crossed.

Have you ever quit on an ms, and how did you know it was time?

Yes, too many times to count. I can think of at least five manuscripts that completely fizzled out as I was writing them. It wasn’t a matter of me quitting them, but them quitting me. They probably got annoyed with me and went to find a better writer. Seriously, though, if I’m working on something and it begins to falter or I start to lose interest, I try to go back to the last place where the story was interesting and start over from there, making different choices. Sometimes that feeling that a story is failing comes when I’ve made a wrong turn and led the story in a direction it didn’t want to go. Then it’s usually a matter of backing up and trying something else.

Who is your agent and how did you get that "Yes!" out of them? 

I’m with Adams Literary, and Josh Adams is my agent. They do things a little differently than other agencies: rather than send a query letter, you submit your manuscript via a form on their website. So I sent my manuscript off to them and received a confirmation that said if I hadn’t heard from them in six weeks, it was a pass. This was around May of 2012. When I left for the SCBWI conference in August, I hadn’t heard from them, so I’d crossed them off the list. The night before the conference started, however, I got an email from them asking me to meet with Josh during the conference. It was such a surprise. We had a chat in that awesome lobby (if you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about), and he told me they were interested in my work. Hearing him say that was surreal, to say the least. A week later, I signed with them, and I couldn’t be happier.

How long did you query before landing your agent?  

I don’t remember how many queries I sent, but I do know the process went relatively quickly. I started querying in late April/early May and signed with Adams in August.

Any advice to aspiring writers out there on conquering query hell?

I once heard someone compare querying to dating. Having been through it, I can say it’s a fair comparison. You’re looking for a partner in this process, someone who will walk along side you, hopefully for your whole career. Yes, you want to get signed so bad you can’t see straight, but you don’t want to end up in a relationship that doesn’t work. You want to find the right partner, and that can take patience. It’s worth it, though, to take your time and make sure it’s a good fit. And for the record, this dating metaphor applies to taking a manuscript out on submission. You want to make sure you’re a good fit with your editor, too, that you share the same vision for the book.

How much input do you have on cover art?

Not a lot, but so far that hasn’t been a problem. I love the covers of both Now That You’re Here and While You Were Gone so much. The designers did an incredible job.

What's something you learned from the process that surprised you?

One surprising thing I learned was how much fun revising can be. I’d always heard “magic happens in revisions”, but I hadn’t experienced it to such an extent before. There’s nothing like seeing the pieces click together. When I wrote Now That You’re Here, there was a journal that showed up a couple of times. I wasn’t sure why it was there, so I just kind of left it alone. Then, during a round of revisions, I suddenly realized why it was there, and it ended up being a pretty significant part of the book. I love those moments. Revising may be difficult, but it really is magical.

How much of your own marketing do you? 

I try to do as much marketing as I can, though being new to this I’m not sure what’s effective and what isn’t. My original publicist quit a few months before my publication date, which left me a little panicked, and I ended up setting up a lot of guest blog appearances (such as this one!) on my own. My publisher did assign me a new publicist, who has been great, so I don’t feel as much pressure to make thing happen on my own. Still, I do what I can to partner with my publisher and make it a team effort. I’m on Twitter, and I blog at my own blog as well as my writers’ group blog, The Parking Lot Confessional. We also do a writing podcast called Curb Chat, which is so much fun! You should check out.

When do you build your platform? After an agent? Or should you be working before?

I began blogging and tweeting before I had an agent, mostly as a means of connecting with other authors. I think getting (somewhat) established online before I got my agent was beneficial, not only because it showed them I was willing to network and promote, but also because it gave them a sense of who I was before they reached out to me.

Do you think social media helps build your readership?

It’s still a little early to say yet, but I really hope so! Regardless, I like being on Twitter and blogging, so I’ll continue doing it even if it doesn’t increase my readership. I also like being on Tumblr, though I confess I’m mostly reblogging photos of Benedict Cumberbatch over there. Maybe that will help grow my readership!




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BLAST FROM THE PAST MONDAY: THE BIRTH OF QUERY 101

  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Chasing The Crazies, 15 December 2014 · 30 views

          When I started this blog I had three goals:   1) Connect with other writers 2) Learn about the publishing business 3) Share what I’ve learned along the way   While I’ve always kept these goals in mind with each post, sometimes I veer off the path. I share personal […]

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"Why I Write Inclusively as a White Woman" - Bronwyn Deaver

  Posted by SC_Author in SC Write--Writing, Publishing, and Harry Potter, 15 December 2014 · 24 views

Happy Monday everyone!

Today we have the amazing Bronwyn Deaver with a guest post on Writing Inclusively (#WriteInclusively). Seriously, I'm in love with this post. As I am also writing a book from the first-person perceptive of a man of a different ethnicity than mine, Bronwyn's words speak volumes to me - and hopefully, to you too.

Take it away!

Books are gifts. The words contained in them can carry someone through a rough time or open his or her eyes to a world that has never been experienced before.

Children's literature is even more special. The characters that you read in childhood often help shape a piece of who you become. You can stick those characters right in your backpack and carry them around - revisiting their words over and over again. They're frozen in time even as your own sense of self changes.

Fondness flutters around a whole cast of characters in my memory. I love them all! Anne Shirley and her temper, Jo March and her writing, Ramona and the pink worm ring, Kristy Thomas and her leadership qualities, James and his adventure in a peach. I could go on and on and on. Do you see a pattern though? They are all white. That never stood out to me as a child. My world was a white world. So, they fit. But I think I deserved more and my friends who were not white definitely deserved more.

When I started writing, I had every intention of writing books that children could pick up and connect with. If you are writer of children's literature, you have the same goal too. You want your story to stay with a child forever.

With that in mind, I need to write for my audience. My audience is not just a bunch of white children. I write for all children. I can't promise that in every book I ever write any person will be able to find a character in them that looks just like they do. But I do need to write so that more than one set of people can find themselves across my work.

I'm not going to say that writing characters from other racial backgrounds doesn't intimidate me. I want to get it right. I want to give respect to culture and heritage and I want to stay away from stereotypes. But it is my duty to the children who might pick up my words one day.

The first novel I wrote had a whole cast of characters from different backgrounds. It's a YA fantasy novel and crafting those characters and their personalities was immensely fun. When I write picture books, I tend to write characters that could be drawn any way possible in regards to race, ability, socio-economic background, etc. But I also think it is important that since there is not a lot of diversity in books, that I write characters whose race cannot be ignored or changed.

A while back, I had a character get stuck in my head unlike any I had written before - a biracial male teen. I let him sit in my head for months. Could a white woman of privilege write a biracial male teen whose story isn't one of privilege? The words "write what you know" kept circling in my brain. I didn't know anything about being male or biracial – not in a first person sort of way. But I wanted to write this story.

At first I found myself writing in third person. I realized that I was keeping distance from my main character. It wasn't going to work that way. I had to let the main character, Reece, tell me about his life. So, I switched to first person and it worked.

Then I came across thisby Keesha Beckford [please do read it, it's incredibly powerful - SC]. Her words just twisted my heart. I was angry that my fellow mothers had to have such fears. And they have every reason to have those fears. She solidified my resolve to "write what you haven't lived but are willing to learn about". Parents have so much on their plates these days. They deserve to be able to send their kids out to play and not worry that they will meet disaster for any reason. Skin color should never be a reason for disaster. And writers can help change that.

White kids need black role models. Make sure you read that sentence correctly.  Yes, black kids need black role models, but non-black kids do too. Children deserve safety and love and good books with characters that are similar to and different from them. We can't expect them to change the world if we don't give them stories that will help them learn what they don't know.

Our society is so divided. I think whites sit on the sidelines a lot because we don't know what to do. We think we will be seen as "invading" if we speak up. We don't want to intrude. It is the whole "I support you, but this is your thing and I don't want to get in the way." As writers of children's books we all have a right and a calling to provide the best stories possible for all children.

Books stick with people. The power of your keyboard could change perception. One character, one page, one story at a time – you could have the power to help change racial attitudes. You could help people feel valued. There may be a child right now just waiting for one of your stories to touch his or her soul in a way that nothing else will all because you decided to write for them. And maybe you will be teaching that child what he or she will need to know later in life to keep a tragedy from happening.

I am an ally. I will do what I can to promote diversity in books because that mirrors real life. The children are my audience. The children deserve no less.  

Bronwyn Deaver is a writer of children's literature. She is currently seeking representation for her work, but as she queries and stalks her inbox for positive news, she continues to write. She is currently working on a retelling of a YA classic as well as various picture books. She is a member of SCBWI. She Tweets.
 
YES. What an amazing post. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bronwyn!

These discussions aren't just for minorities, they're for everyone. It's not taking a 'stand' on the political spectrum - it's a human rights issue, since when did that become political?

How do you approach these issues?

(This guest post is part of a series of #WriteInclusively guest posts. If you would like to take the pledge to Write Inclusively, feel free to sign up!)

The Pact to Write Inclusively and the List:
(When you click the link below, it'll ask for a URL to a blog post - feel free to link to your main blog, or your Twitter!) ');

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Status: smoking in public places difficult

Posted by GarrettSmithson in Wholesale Cigarettes, 15 December 2014 · 23 views
Marlboro Cigarettes and 1 more...

Xinjiang Daily News (reporter Yang Shuhan shadow report) "Smoking is harmful to health," this smoking ads frequently appear in people's field of vision, but habitually overlooked.

The State Council Legislative Affairs Office of Health and Family Planning Commission recently announced the drafting of a "public place smoking control regulations (draft)", and public comment, this is the first time a comprehensive tobacco control and administrative regulations to be developed in the country. According to the regulations, Marlboro Cigarettes all indoor public places will be prohibited from smoking in non-smoking individuals place (region) smoking can be fined 50 yuan to 500 yuan.

In fact, from January 2011, our country in all indoor public places, workplaces, public transport and other outdoor public places completely smoke-free.

Three years later, the "ban" on how the implementation of our region? People on the "ban" hold what attitude? Forced to smoke in non-smoking area is illegal? How can we truly implement the smoking? Recently, this reporter conducted an interview.

Status: smoking in public places difficult

At 19:00 on December 5, when most people are still stuck in traffic complained 28-year-old girl Hao Xiaoyu (a pseudonym) has been sitting on a district located in Urumqi, a friendly restaurant window seat waiting for the arrival of a friend, the reason is not to avoid the first to reach the peak, but she had to pick a good ventilation and no ashtray on the table of the table, but it is clear that it was just her personal wishes, few drinks, table began someone puff.

"Some guests have the habit of smoking, after all, Newport Regular Cigarettes we are the service industry, we can not forcibly prevent smoking it." The restaurant manager Xiao Wang (a pseudonym) looks a little embarrassed.

Urumqi South Railway Station is located in the doorway stood a stove, a supermarket, several men were smoking together, and in the periphery of the three restaurants smoke glare, air pollution.

Cigarette smokers, life has become difficult to give up a part, then holding the smokers smoke their own kind of attitude? During the interview, Ma instruments account manager at a small loans company, told reporters that cigarettes as a way to narrow the gap between interpersonal relations, "before loading the bag every day, several packs of cigarettes, sometimes late into the night, may suction fifty-six are more than a pack of cigarettes! "interview, but 20 minutes, Ma instruments almost a chain smoker.

"Tar contains about a thousand kinds of carcinogens, which can lead to a bladder carcinogen." Talked about the dangers of smoking, Shen Yan-ling, deputy director of the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical TCO worried.

There are also many people who quit smoking perseverance.

Living in Urumqi Jiahong Wang Zhiyun Park District had 10 years of smoking history, and now, he is a truly a "smoking cessation experts", everyone introduced quitting experience, and we try to discourage smoking less, not smoking. "Now I have a few old partners around under my influence have successfully quit smoking, they also affect more people around!" Speaking of his influence, Wang Zhiyun overjoyed.

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The Ups and Downs of Self-Publishing

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 13 December 2014 · 40 views




My book launched about a month and a half ago. My initial response to that is rather cliché: where did the time go? It really does only feel like a couple weeks at most. But that's not unique. Time really does keep slipping away, at an ever increasing rate as I age. But this seems like an appropriate time to think about the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing.

I would have to say the biggest advantage is that I keep more of the money from every sale. The publisher, CreateSpace, keeps their share and that's it. I get the rest. No sharing with an agent. I know from reading other blogs that the author's share per book is much lower for agented writers.

The other advantage is that I have control over everything. No one is arguing with me over the cover of the book. No one is telling me I need to change the ending or hurry up and get pages in to meet a deadline. I have complete autonomy over the creative process and if the book succeeds, it's because the book as I envisioned it is well-received.

But there are drawbacks, obviously, and each is connected with an advantage. The first is that, while I keep a larger percentage per book, I have to imagine that an agent would have helped me sell more books by now. My numbers have been decent considering I've done it without outside help (though I have had mad assistance from Maria "Pepper" Delgado). I'm happy with exceeding 120 books sold in just six weeks, but I am now reaching saturation among family and friends and face the challenge of reaching beyond them without the connections afforded me by a professional representative. I was hoping more folks who had read and enjoyed it would review it for me, but that's just not happening, so I need to find some way to reach out to the public and that's on me.

The other disadvantage is that having autonomy is two-edged sword. While I have read a lot of good detective fiction, as well as fiction in general, and know what I like, the problem is that I only know what I like. Agents and publisher know what many, many people are likely to enjoy, so they could help me mold my work to reach a wider audience. While I think what I'm putting out there is good and I have a sense that people like it, having a professional opinion would be helpful.

All in all, I'm happy with the situation as it is. Would I consider an offer from an agent? Yes. But I wouldn't automatically leap on it. If they threw enough money at me I'd have to think about it, but it would have to be a good bit to pass up knowing that if I made it, it was because I really was a good enough writer and I worked hard enough at it to sell my books. And that would be a really good feeling.

But to all you agents out there--I'm listening.

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Wrapping it Up

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 08 December 2014 · 26 views

I'm finishing up my NaNo draft - 64k and counting. I've left myself tons of notes along the way about things to add, things to polish, and things to change.

The last few chapters are waiting for me and I have to plow my way through. While I have an idea what's going to happen (the main characters will live and get their HEA), it's the getting there that's tough. 

Endings aren't easy for me. Tying all those plot lines together isn't my strength - probably because I don't plot in advance. One of my MCs is currently in major trouble and the other is oblivious, but closing in.

The next few scenes need to be full of action and emotion. I think I'm good with the emotional part of it all, but the action sequences are more difficult. By focusing on the emotion of the characters going through the actions, my writing is getting stronger, but it's not there yet. I'll probably end up rewriting these chapters a dozen times. *sigh*

How about you, are you good at wrapping it all up at the end of your stories, or is it a challenge for you, too?


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Where does the time go...

  Posted by K McClelland in Teardrops On My Book, 04 December 2014 · 47 views

http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html
(Before we get into this, you must take time to check out the awesome Alex J Cavanaugh and then hop on over to HERE and see the co-hosts for the month. Also make sure to visit the Insecure Writer's Support Group website.) (And, PS, I so didn't win NaNoWriMo, but I'm hopeful I can win another year.)

Weeks, months, years...it all seems to fly by so quick these days. My kids talk like 1985 was so long ago and I say, not really, then I look up and it's almost 2015 and damn, I'll be thirty in a year. When did that happen?

Thirty and what have I managed to accomplish in the last several years?

I think what's getting me most about the time flying is that I have absolutely zero feelings of accomplishment. I haven't read in a while, I'm so dang behind on several book series' that I really love. I can't remember the last time I actually finished a draft of one dang book, much less a first complete edit. My kids are behind on their school (at least that's just a few lessons behind) and the house is barely hanging in there, just teetering on a 'I'm not cluttered, but please don't put anything else in me' sort of thing. I haven't critted anything and I don't even know if I'm still welcome in the crit group and rather than sucking it up and asking, I'm too ashamed. And that's where I am right now at the end of this year.

Ashamed.

Which I guess makes me a bit insecure this month. Maybe a lot. Here I am at the ass-end of another year and I'm feeling like a junkie who happened to find just enough laying around to get one last ride in. And I rode that high proudly as if it would never go away and I'd at least be able to maintain. But, like all highs, I was bound to come down eventually. Now, I need some rehab, a swift kick in the butt, and my feet planted firmer under me and my head screwed on tight (or at least on enough to use it productively).

Bottom line is my year was up, down, up, down, up, down and it's not just this year. This started happening last year and really it happened a few years before that. I'm tired of it and I hope it won't happen again. I hope that I can start 2015 off with a whole lot of positivity and a good up that doesn't bottom out suddenly. I don't want to keep having posts of nothing but me saying, "I'm getting some stuff done finally, yay." and then, "I suck this month and haven't done anything." I've got plans for this next year and I'm tired of feeling ashamed.

This may suck as an IWSG post(and it's probably a bit long), but as long as I get my head out of my ass and keep it out, I plan on having better posts for 2015.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, sorry for this blog being so sucky this year, hope I can make up for it. Have an awesome December and I'll catch you next year. :)

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Holiday Query Blog Hop: THE MIRRORMASTERS

  Posted by Lora Palmer in Lora Palmer's Blog, 02 December 2014 · 72 views

(A Huge thank you to Michelle for organizing this lovely blog hop and to the wonderful  critiquers who so generously offer their feedback!)

Dear Amazing Agent,


Leah Ellis never knew her origins, or why she was found on the beach
at two years old, all alone. Now fifteen, she has always focused on
her life with her adoptive family and best friends in their small town
of SeaCliff Heights. The past hasn’t mattered. That is, until 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. As she practices
mirror-gazing, she finds out 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. Brian, with the gorgeous ice-blue eyes,
and his father, were sent by her birth parents to take her from Earth
back to Jantyr, a planet she doesn’t remember. They’ve searched for
her ever since she disappeared. According to them, she is a
MirrorMaster, an alien with a gift that lets her travel through
mirrors, even to worlds light years away. Because of this rare
ability, Jantyr needs her help to locate and wield crystals that will
stop an impending cataclysm, a cataclysm triggered by a device on her
homeworld. Otherwise, the destruction will consume the entire galaxy,
including Earth and everyone she loves.


THE MIRRORMASTERS is a 98,000-word science fiction/fantasy for young
adults.Thank you so much for your time and
consideration.

Warmest Regards,


Lora Palmer


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AskDavid.com Features the Street Stories books

  Posted by Deb Borys in Painted Black, the novel, 02 December 2014 · 65 views

AskDavid.com has compiled all the links related to Painted Black (Street Stories Book 1) and gives you an opportunity to submit your review of the book right from their site. Bend Me, Shape Me (Street Stories Book 2) can also be found there. I’ll be adding Box of Rain to their list on December 15 […]

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How to Finish Your Novel (After NaNoWriMo)

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Helpful Writer, 01 December 2014 · 53 views

<p><a href="http://thehelpfulwri...9/NaNoWriMo.jpg"><img class="alignright wp-image-552" src="http://thehelpfulwriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/NaNoWriMo.jpg" alt="NaNoWriMo" width="290" height="290" /></a>There’s no doubt about it, <a title="NaNoWriMo" href="http://www.nanowrimo.org" target="_blank">NaNoWriMo</a>* is a rush.</p>
<p>And it’s over.</p>
<p>If you were participating this year you either made it past the 50,000 word mark or you didn’t. Yes, it is that simple.</p>
<p>The problem <em>isn’t</em> whether you got down your 50,000 words or not. The problem is getting <strong>stuck</strong>. At some point in the long haul to 50,000 words in 30 days (or even regular novel writing), the words slow down. It’s like a small pothole. It may not be honest-to-goodness writer’s block, but it also isn’t that fast paced OMG-I-am-writing-like-a-fiend type stuff that happens early on in the NaNoWriMo month–or any novel writing process.</p>
<p>So, what can we do to keep ourselves going when the end of our novel begins to feel farther away than Antarctica (and we’re in a row boat)? Here are five things that have helped keep me moving forward and finish writing that novel that’s sticking to me like a burr in my side.</p>
<h3>How to Get to the End of Your Novel–In Other Words, How to Finish Your Novel and How to Get Past Writer’s Block and How to Keep Your Writing Motivation Up</h3>
<p>(Wow. That was quite the heading.)</p>
<p><strong>1. Don’t take more than two days off in a row.</strong></p>
<p>Keep the momentum going. It’s much easier to stay in the rhythm and remember where you are going if you keep writing. Even if the first 1000 words per day feel like crap, keep writing. If you take days off it becomes easy to stay stopped, it gets more difficult to get back into the story and ultimately, to not finish. Plus, you spend all your writing time trying to recall where you were and where your story has been and is going.</p>
<p><strong>2. Allow yourself to write crap–it may act as fertilizer. &lt;–<a class="embedtweet" title="Click to Tweet This" href="https://twitter.com/...ovel-nanowrimo/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Click to Tweet This</a><br /></strong></p>
<p>You are writing the first draft. It’s an experiment. Characters are not going to be fully formed. There will be plot holes where you jumped ahead. That’s normal. Leave yourself notes (right in the document if you can) on where you are going, where you’ve been, what you want to change, but don’t go back to edit. You can change it, remove it, or edit it later. Right now, it is vital to keep it moving forward and not break your momentum.</p>
<p><strong>3. Allow yourself to change direction.</strong></p>
<p>Sometimes I stop writing because I’ve discovered I need to change direction on a plot line or internal character motivation. In NaNo there isn’t time to run back and change everything that has been written and will now be wrong. Shake it off. Keep going. Make notes to yourself. But don’t go back. Make your switch and keep going. (Sometimes that stuff you were going to change ends up being keepable in the end anyway!)</p>
<p><strong>4. Screw the details.</strong></p>
<p>I have one NaNoWriMo draft that literally looks like this: <em>She ran down the street [INSERT SEASONAL DETAILS]. Arriving out of breath…</em> Don’t stop to research or figure out tiny continuity pieces. Leave yourself a note, comment, or whatever you need and keep moving. You can fill in the seasonal/clothing/timing/right word/technical aspect/character name continuity bits later on. That’s what edits are for. Right now you need to keep the flow going and that story barfing onto the page.</p>
<p><strong>5. Ignore the blocks. </strong></p>
<p>If you feel blocked, ignore it. No, really. Keep applying fingertips to keyboard keys. Re-read the last 20 pages if you need to. Start writing a chapter or two ahead if it helps. (You can always go back and fill the in-between bits–there is no rule you have to write in the exact order it will be read.) And if all else fails, do the unexpected and push a character off a tower. No really.</p>
<p>I did this in a NaNoWriMo “now what?” moment. Turns out that it not only unblocked the scene, but it also provided insight into my characters, their relationship, and provided all sorts of great tension for the next couple of chapters. When I wrote it I told myself “It’s okay, nobody needs to read this. I’ll delete it later.” But it became an important pivotal moment in that story. So you just never know.</p>
<p><strong>Remember:</strong> You can’t edit a story you haven’t written down. Keep writing. Even if you have to trash thousands of words in edits, it’s okay. Just keep moving forward and don’t be afraid. I’m rooting for you!</p>
<p><strong>Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? What are your best ‘get through’ or ‘keep writing’ tips?</strong></p>
<p><em>*NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Writers from all stages of the game try to write a 50,000 novel (or more) in 30 days (November 1-30). Those who do it are able to claim a badge to display on their website or blog.</em></p>
<p>NOTE: This post was originally posted on my old writing blog.</p>
<p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thehelpfulwri...ovel-nanowrimo/">How to Finish Your Novel (After NaNoWriMo)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thehelpfulwriter.com">The Helpful Writer</a>.</p>

<a href="http://thehelpfulwri...ovel-nanowrimo/" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>

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A Season of Reflection

  Posted by From The Write Angle in From The Write Angle Blog, 01 December 2014 · 49 views

by J. Lea López

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Many of us just finished with the hectic schedule of NaNoWriMo (did you win??) and December will different, but not fewer, obligations. Starting with Thanksgiving at the end of November for our American members and reader,s and continuing through the end of December, this is often a season of reflection and reassessment. We spend holidays like Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years with family and friends. Social calendars fill up. We eat too much. Maybe drink too much. We kiss under mistletoe and exchange gifts with everyone from coworkers to lovers. We reflect back on the year that is drawing to a close and think ahead to the year that will be here before we know it.

For these reasons, we have decided to continue with our blogging break until January. In addition to spending much needed time with our families and friends and individually assessing our own writing goals, we here at From the Write Angle will take the month of December to reflect on how far FTWA has come and where we want to go from here. As always, we invite and appreciate any feedback on what you've liked in the past and what you'd love to see from us in the future. If you'll stick with us, there may be some fun things in it for you when the new year rolls around.

We hope you'll take this time to refresh and rejuvenate yourselves as well. Be charitable. Be kind. Be open to change. Be loving and caring. Be present in life. Be social. Be introspective. Be quiet. Be your own number one fan. Be and do all the things we sometimes forget to do when we let life sweep us up in the current.

But most of all, be here on January 1, 2015, ready to face the new year with a renewed sense of passion, and maybe even a makeover. See you then!

J. Lea López is an author who strives to make you laugh at, fall in love with, cry over, and lust after the characters she writes. She welcomes online stalkers as long as they're witty and/or adulatory. Kidding. Maybe. Check for yourself: Twitter, Facebook, Blog.

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A TURKEY SPEAKS

Posted by Stan123 in Stan123's Blog, 29 November 2014 · 66 views

I have never understood
why anyone would
roast the turkey
and shuck the clams
and crisp the croutons
and shell the peas
and candy the sweets
and compote the cranberries
and bake the pies
and clear the table
and wash the dishes
and fall into bed
when they could sit back
and enjoy a hamburger.

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Michael Clarke breaks down while paying tribute to Phillip Hughes

Posted by worthyy in worthyy's Blog, 29 November 2014 · 64 views
http://timesofindia.indiatime

SYDNEY: Captain Michael Clarke gave a graphic illustration of the raw emotions of the Australia team when he broke down repeatedly while paying tribute to former team mate Phillip Hughes on Saturday.

Making no mention of next week's test match against India, Clarke battled to hold back tears as he read out a statement on behalf of the players at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where Hughes suffered his fatal injury on Tuesday.

Hughes, 25, died on Thursday as the result of a catastrophic injury he sustained when struck on the head by a ball during a domestic match, triggering a wave of mourning in Australia and around the world.



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