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All the Voices

  Posted by Jemi , 14 April 2014 · 11 views

I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about infusing your query with your Voice. Hope you'll pop on over and check it out!

Voice is hard to describe yet it's very obvious when it's there ... and when it's not.

I like reading a wide variety of different Voices. I definitely enjoy some Voices I could never emulate or create. I remember reading Erma Bombeck's hilarious accounts of her real life when I was in elementary school. Love her stuff but it's not a style/voice I could ever write.

I like the flowing fantasy style of Tolkien, the literary loveliness of LMM Montgomery, the darkness of so many dystopian writers.

But would my Voice be able to pull off any of these? Nope.

Not yet.

Maybe some day.

What about you? Do you enjoy reading Voices that are very different from your own?

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Jacqui Jacoby

  Posted by Jemi , 07 April 2014 · 37 views

Please welcome Jacqui Jacoby to the blog today!

***
With my book coming out I started to Google “launch parties” and everything I found dealt with large venues that were rented and inviting the businesses in town with the town’s officials. It was all about sales and presence.
And that is not what I wanted. I didn’t want an “event”. I wanted a celebration with my close friends and family of what I had accomplished.
I took the concept of”launch party” and I pulled it into an intimate setting and started planning what I saw as the perfect way to celebrate years of hard work. 
Invitations were done word of mouth and by Facebook.Nothing fancy.

Food was planned; just a cake and ice cream with a variety of beverages.For the cake, it took three calls in town to find a baker who could make one with a photographic image on it instead of mere icing.
  
Suggested decorations for the venue:
·         About six or eight small place cards set around the room with character facts. In my case “Jaime doesn’t like chocolate” (above) and “Stephen doesn’t listen to anything produced after 1979.”
·         A playlist that represents your book playing softly in the background. For us, it was Stephen’s classic rock.
·         Recipe cards might be featured.One recipe that works for him, one for her. I made the Sangria that Jaime loves and served it in cups the color that matched the cover of the book. Guests took the cards home.
·         8.5X11 covers of the book displayed in acrylic frames.Not only for this book, but others, if you have them. I put them around the room with a note on two: “Ask Me about My Next Book.” It was a great conversation starter.
·         A couple of disposable cameras for guests to use to capture spontaneity.
·         Balloon bouquets, steamers, silk rose petals here and there. Things that say “party”.
·         Most important: Your new release displayed. Stacks standing next to one that stands alone and strong. Keep a pen handy if someone wants a copy autographed. We sold ours at cost to our friends and family.
A Launch Party doesn’t have to be an official occasion to promote name and sales. Sometimes it can be a mere celebration of this wonderful thing you worked so hard to achieve. Let your family be there with you. Have your friends come and see why you were always so busy. And have fun. In the end, that’s all it is about sometimes!!
***
Award winning author, Jacqui Jacoby lives and writes in the beauty of the Valley of the Sun. Currently adjusting to her new digs, Jacqui is a self proclaimed, self–defense hobbyist. Having studied martial arts for numerous years she retired in 2006 from the sport.

She is a working Mom, whose career includes writing books, teaching online and live workshops and penning short non–fiction. She can be reached via her website.

Connect with Jacqui      Website  Facebook   Twitter  Author Page

WITH A VENGEANCE

The more she wanted out, the more they dragged her back in!

Daughter to murdered CIA officers, niece to a deputy director, Jaime Walsh has never known
life outside the world of espionage. Until a high-action case in Buenos Aires leaves her gutted. Physically, emotionally…and professionally.

She’d planned for her long-overdue vacation to be a time to rest and reassess. With her longtime partner Stephen not far behind, it’s a tropical paradise away from work. A paradise where boundaries will be tested.

From their training days, Stephen Reid has watched Jaime kick ass while performing what has become his second job—watching her back. But now his feelings have grown.

As best friends look at each other in a new light, they like what they see. And Jaime dreams of a new life outside “the company”.

Except someone from their past won’t be satisfied until Jaime and the man she loves are hunted to the brink of death. Now Jaime must find the strength to trust her heart and let go of her fear. Before she loses everything…
  
Read an Excerpt     Read Reviews
  
Buy Links:   The Book Depository     Samhain         Amazon          B&N           PowellsBooks
***
Jacqui's book is a fun read! I really enjoyed the combination of suspense, action and romance!
Any tips to add for a fun launch party? 



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Robyn Rychards - Tougher Than You Think

  Posted by Jemi , 26 March 2014 · 36 views

Please welcome Robyn Rychards to the blog today! I really enjoyed Her Knight in Shining Armour - great characters and an intriguing plot line!

***

Most authors’ journeys to publication are a long, winding, rocky road.  I know
mine was.  Therefore we have a love/hate relationship with writing because the journey to finishing the book is just as difficult as publishing it.  Anyone who gets published must have a good amount of grit, guts and tenacity.
We start off writing as children because it’s fun, little knowing where the road will take us.  For some the road is a short one and ends when life becomes busy.  But there are those of us who have stories running through our heads at the strangest times.  A few of those stories become imbedded in our brain where they grow and grow and grow until they are screaming to get out.  Really, to a certain degree, we have no choice but to be a writer.  We HAVE to tell those stories so they will just SHUT UP. 

My first full-length novel was that way, and it is still a work in progress that I am determined will be published someday.  My debut, Her Man From Shilo was a story that started with a dream.  I wrote about half a chapter before life (read children, etc. here) got in the way of my being able to write for quite a while.  It didn’t stop Daimee and Raff from telling me their story though.  For over a decade I imagined them in different scenes until life gave me a chance to get it out of my head and onto virtual paper.  Since it was in my head so long, it will most likely be the easiest (relatively speaking of course) book I’ve ever written.
After receiving such positive feedback from those who read it, including some people I didn’t know, I decided to put my toe back in the ‘let’s-get-published’ sea.  It wasn’t my first foray into these deep, dark, scary waters, so I was familiar with the sting of rejection and willing to take the risk again.  Which helps you appreciate the kind of breed we authors are.  We are willing to take a painful shot to the heart when a publisher tells us they don’t want our book and throw ourselves back in the shark-infested waters ready to get chewed up again.  I wanted to be published by Harlequin SO BAD I was willing to put myself out there again and again.  And willing to wait an eternity to get those rejection letters.  And willing to rewrite, rework, redo my story until one glorious day I got a letter from Kate Cuthbert at Harlequin Escape that said ‘We would like to publish your book’.  We writers may live a lot of our life in our imaginations, but we are tougher than you think on the inside.      
***

Her Knight In Shining Armour
She may not need a knight in shining armour to save her, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to look a gift knight in the visor...
Paisley doesn’t need a knight in shining armour to rescue her from her high-powered, abusive ex-husband. She’s got it covered on her own: she's changed her name, liquidated her assets, and has a plan to disappear in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Psychiatrist Sterling James has absolutely no intention of being anyone’s saviour. The only woman he has any time for is his sister. But circumstances change when Sterling finds Paisley in an unexpected and life-threatening situation. Brought in to the drama of her escape, Sterling finds himself invested, and he can't move on until he knows Paisley is going to be safe.

It should be a simple enough exercise to get Paisley out of the park and into her new life. But nothing is ever as simple as it should be, and Sterling soon discovers that even if her ex-husband buys the set-up, he might not be able to watch Paisley go...

Amazon      B&N    
Robyn Rychards

Robyn Rychards grew up in the granola bowl of the United States, Boulder Colorado, a town filled with fruits, flakes and nuts. She considers herself a Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none and has taught herself to sew, paint, play the piano, garden, cook, the list goes on. But now that her books are published, she’s thrilled to finally be considered a master of one. At least as much as a person can be, for the learning never really stops.

She feels her active imagination is a blessing and a curse, with the blessing far outweighing the curse since it has led her to fulfil her dream of writing for Harlequin. Robyn started writing stories when she was a teenager because she didn’t have enough books to read. Sometimes she finds it hard to believe that people are willing to pay her to do something she enjoys so much, but mostly she’s happy to have such a wonderful excuse not to cook and clean. And a job that means you can stay in your jammies as long as you want? Priceless. 
Website         Twitter        Facebook       Goodreads

***
How about you? Has this publication journey made you tougher than you were?


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Spring?

  Posted by Jemi , 24 March 2014 · 17 views

They tell me it's Spring...
Still waiting for the proof.
It's -29 Celsius this morning. Brrrr!

How's your spring so far?


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Self Lovin' Bloghop

  Posted by Jemi , 19 March 2014 · 33 views

The lovely Tara Watson over at Feel of Something New is hosting The Self Lovin' Bloghop all this week (so there's still time to sign up if you'd like to join in!).

Tara's asking us to share something we're good at. It's SO easy to focus on the negatives and Tara wants us to do the opposite and give ourselves a little boost. Great idea!

So, what am I good at? ACK!

Okay. I think one of my strengths is creating likable (but not perfect!) characters people enjoy reading about. I've received good feedback from crit buddies and agents on my characters and I like spending time with them so that's got to be worth something!

Now just to work on increasing that conflict...

How about you? What's one of your strengths as a writer?

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Are You in There?

  Posted by Jemi , 14 March 2014 · 20 views

I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about the Non-Autobiographical You. Sounds weird, I know, but if you pop on over, you'll see what I'm talking about!

I've never used a real event from my life in my writing and I doubt I ever will. So far I haven't even taken a real event and twisted it.

My life isn't great fodder for fiction. Thankfully! I don't want or need to live a life where I suffer like Main Characters always seem to do!

But if I had to take one event and use it, it might be my tendency to use swing sets a little differently as a kid. Sure I liked to swing and jump off like everyone else, but I also liked to shinny up the poles and hang upside down from my knees off the top bar. The most fun though was shinnying up to the top and then walking along the top bar as if it was a beam.

Might be a fun scene if I ever decide to write one of those MG ideas spinning around in my head!

How about you - what's something you've done that would make a great scene in a novel?

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Wormhole Science!

  Posted by Jemi , 10 March 2014 · 29 views

Stephen Tremp, Alex J Cavanaugh & L. Diane Wolfe are hosting the 2nd Annual National Wormhole Week Blogfest ... Wormfest for short!


For this year's festivities, participants are asked to look at both sides of science and technology. How has one aspect enhanced humanity and how has another (or the same) caused us trouble.

So many to choose from!!!

One of my favourite technological advances is portable music! From the good old Walkman back in the day to the numerous iPod versions, it has made life better. Sure I could be talking about vaccines and adaptive devices and artificial limbs and other serious topics, but I LOVE having my music with me. It makes working out livable and walking so much more enjoyable! On a more serious side, the technology has also made it SO much easier for kids who live kind of on the fringes at lunches and recesses. Some kids find it incredibly difficult to find friends to hang out with at these times and the technology has helped them. Not only do they appear busy and like they're choosing to be alone but they have something to focus on other than their solitude. That's a huge plus in my book!

On the down side, I generally find it's not the technology or the science itself that causes humankind problems, but the humans who choose to abuse it. There seems to be a need to turn almost everything into a weapon of some kind. Chemical warfare and biological agents are some of the most terrifying we've managed to create. The most insidious are probably the recreational drugs that cause so much damage. While some may not agree that these are weapons, I would show as evidence the kids with the damaged psyches, injured brains & bodies, and irreparably broken hearts I've met over the years. Weapons indeed.

For other entries in the blogfest, click on the 3 links at the top of this post. Good luck to Stephen with Escalation - his 3rd book in the Chase Manhatten series! You'll love his use of wormholes in these books!!

What's your favourite or least favourite technological advance?

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Luck & Gratitude

  Posted by Jemi , 03 March 2014 · 24 views

I'm one of the lucky ones.

I grew up knowing a lot of things:
  • my parents loved me
  • my sister was also my best friend
  • my job was to do my best
  • the world was a safe & fascinating place
  • I didn't have to have the same interests as everyone else
  • being quiet was okay
  • losing wasn't a big deal ... neither was winning
  • money was earned
  • laughter was vital
  • doing right was the only option
See? Lucky.

I still believe in all those things. I still know them deep down in my bones.

Feeling gratitude for all these things (and so many more) is important. Acknowledging that gratitude equally so.


The lovely Sheri Larsen is hosting a gratitude hop this week. There are so many people in this writing community I'm grateful to:
  • my amazing crit buddies
  • blog readers and blog writers (many of whom have become friends)
  • readers and writers
  • the awesome folks over at Agent Query Connect
  • agents and editors and publishers (oh my!)

And I'm grateful for a couple of 'things' as well:
  • creativity
  • passion
  • hope
  • joy
Of course I'm grateful to Sheri too! Thanks for helping us focus on what's truly important!

What about you? What are you grateful for?

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Ubuntu

  Posted by Jemi , 21 February 2014 · 24 views

The lovely Michelle over at Writer in Transit is hosting this very cool blog hop. In Michelle's words...

THE UBUNTU BLOGHOP 
What is ubuntu? "In Africa, there is a concept known as UBUNTU – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others." – Nelson Mandela.
So in the spirit of ubuntu, I invite you to join me in celebrating my 3rd blogoversary!
Date – 18th to 21st February. I've allowed 4 days to make it easier for you guys, since some people only post once a week… save the date that coincides with your blogging schedule!

I'm lucky to be a teacher. I'm so often surrounded by joy and hope and the future. Kids are powerful and creative. At our school we obviously focus on the academics but we also focus on helping our students become kind and caring citizens. This has created some of the most amazing acts I've been lucky to witness over the last few years.
  • One student wrote out Anti-Bullying trading cards (complete with a logo and tips) and stood in the main hallway handing them out to everyone who passed by. When she ran out, she made more - eventually hand making over 300 cards!
  • Another student had noticed some sad peers so she created a Smile Box which she left outside the office. She left a card on the top asking people to "Take a Smile and Pass it On". Inside the box were small pieces of paper with hand drawn smiley faces. The box was soon empty except for a few Thank You notes left inside.
  • Over 2/3 of our students use our breakfast program which runs on volunteers. Parents, grandparents and students give generously of their time each and every day to prepare the food and clean up afterward.
  • During our Random Acts of Kindness week I caught dozens of kids giggling as they scooted away after performing a RAoK so they wouldn't get 'caught' and the act would remain anonymous.
  • Our older students do so much in the school to help out the community. Teens often have a bad rep but from where I'm sitting, they're super role models and citizens!
  • Two students worked together to create a craft they could sell to raise money for a student with cancer and raised almost $500...
My students are always my inspiration for trying to be a better person each and every day!They are awesome!!

Thanks Michelle for celebrating your blogiversary in such a thoughtful fashion! Be sure to click on her link for access to other entries in the fest!

What RAoK have you witnessed lately?

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Slow Mo

  Posted by Jemi , 17 February 2014 · 30 views

I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about the Joy of Slow.

My journey so far in this publishing venture might seem incredibly slow to some people out there. I first considered trying to become published 5 or 6 years ago. Since then I've written a variety of novels (9?? 10??) in a variety of genres (4?). I've sent out a grand total of about 20 queries divided between 2 books. I've got 5 complete drafts I hope to send out into the world one day. None of them are ready. All of them have been through at least 2 rewrites. All of them need at least one more. I'm about to start a 5th rewrite for one story. And I'm looking forward to it.

I don't have a published book. I don't have plans to do that within the next few months. Maybe not within the year.

Yet I'm happy with my progress.

Am I nuts? Maybe, but that's okay with me too.

I've learned a LOT over the last 5 years. I wasn't ready to publish 5 years ago. I'm not now. I want to be SURE when I put my stories out there. I want them to be ready and I figure I'll be able to tell when they are. My gut will finally stop pestering me with the Maybes and the What Ifs that lead me to yet another round of revisions.

How about you? Are you in the slow lane with me? Are you okay with it?

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