Tag Archives: Amazon

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Does your Character Have a Mirror Moment?

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Make sure you include a critical middle moment for your character…

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others🙂. But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

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Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

This is not actually ‘my’ tip, it came from James Scott Bell from his fantastic book, Super Structure: The Key to Unleashing the Power of Story  If you want to check out another of his writing books, he goes into more detail in: Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between

Super Structure is probably the best book on plotting I’ve ever read (including my own… :)). While the process is technically the same as in most of the other plotting books, the way the steps are laid out in this one clicked for me and made it easier to understand and follow. Even if you are a pantser and not a plotter, this book is fantastic. It teaches you how to basically go from signpost to signpost (14 in all), to create a tighter, more richly in-depth story that will keep readers engaged. He even speaks specifically to pantsers and plotters, explaining how both camps can apply his advice.

One of the most interesting things I discovered was what Bell calls the “Mirror Moment.” It is a moment, almost always halfway through a book or movie, where the character figuratively looks himself or herself in the mirror and states/questions/discovers what they need to do, how they need to change, in order to reach their goal, to survive. Some examples he gave were in Casablanca, halfway through the film, after Rick is mean and hurtful to Ilsa and she walks out, Rick is full of self-disgust and basically asks himself the question: “What have I become? What kind of man am I?” At that point, he knows he must change in order to preserve his humanity. Another example; about halfway through The Fugitive, Richard Kimball is holed up in an apartment, surrounded by police, with nowhere to run. He realizes that he’s going to die, and he wonders how he ever thought he could survive such odds. It was his mirror moment. Why did I think I could do this? I’m doomed… As it turns out, the police are there for someone else, Kimball escapes, and he now knows he has to make something happen in order to survive.

Bell suggests writers figure out the Mirror Moment for their main character before they write the book. If you do that, you will know what point the character must reach in order to change, and writing all the events up to and after this realization should come more easily.

I decided to take a look at a few of my books and see if my main characters had a mirror moment. In Devil’s Promenade, the below appeared about halfway through. My MC (main character) is intent on debunking a supernatural phenomenon, the Spook Light (which is a ‘real’ phenomenon in Northeast Oklahoma),  for a non-fiction book she’s writing. However, certain events unfold that make her realize she might be mistaken:

Brief excerpt:

Packing a blanket, a sandwich, cookies, a Coleman lamp, and coffee, I took the golf cart out to the road and parked on the shoulder, next to a wire fence. Nervous anticipation filled me at the thought I might actually see the spook light tonight. And, I now believed it, completely. How could I write a book debunking something that I knew to be true? Jillian would be furious. On the other hand, maybe she would be satisfied with a book written from another perspective, a book about true paranormal sightings? Not likely. Jillian didn’t have a reputation for being flexible.

I did know that I could no longer write the book I had planned to write. If ghosts were real then I couldn’t deny this spook light could possibly be real. I would stay out here all night if I had to. I wasn’t sure how I would keep from freezing to death in the process, but I was going to give it a shot.

The blackness around me was broken only by the blinking of the cell tower lights ahead and the glow of moonlight. In spite of my coat and the blanket I’d wrapped around my shoulders, frigid air seeped through my skin all the way to my bones. From a distance came the low rumble of cars and a keening sound I was growing accustomed to. The possibility of coyotes no longer frightened me—at least not as much as it had in the beginning—but the haunted wail still sent a shiver through my body.

The second paragraph ‘shows’ that she’s changed, it shows her new realization, and that her goal has now changed as well. Although I wrote this before I read Bell’s book, I suppose that, instinctively, we sometimes realize that a Mirror Moment is an important factor for the mid-way point of a book. I got lucky and just happened to include one. :) I checked a few of my other books and didn’t find that specific moment, but going forward, I plan to pin it down in the beginning and see if it makes a difference in how the story flows and whether or not it makes the book stronger.

Try this…take one of your books (or a few), and flip to the middle. See if your character has a Mirror Moment, then let me know in the comments what you find. Come on, it’ll be fun! :) 

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

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16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

11 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Welcome, Guest Author Tena Stetler today! Author of ‘A Witch’s Journey’

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A Witch’s Journey  –  Blurb:

Pepper McKay comes from a long line of powerful witches. Unfortunately, magic brings her nothing but trouble. She learned the love of wildlife rescue and rehab from her Aunt Ashling. After graduating from college, Pepper works for Salem Wildlife Sanctuary and lives from paycheck to paycheck until she inherits the McKay property in Lobster Cove. With the family land and resources, she dares to dream of starting her own wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center.

Lathen Quartz, a former Navy SEAL turned handyman maintains the enchanted McKay property for the McKay estate. But someone is trying to steal the McKay magic. Lathen offers to help Pepper achieve her life-long dream of building a wildlife center. During the long hours spent together on the project, their mutual attraction can’t be denied. But each harbors a deep, dark secret. Will they overcome their demons and give love a chance?

Psst – I’ll let you in on a little secret. The sequel to A Witch’s Journey will be out during the holidays 2016. A Witch’s Holiday Wedding.  Don’t miss it!

 

 

Buy Links:

 

A Witch’s Journey  – New Release

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B01F0LRJ7U

The Wild Rose Press: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4349-a-witch-s-journey.html?search_query=A+Witch%27s+Journey&results=2

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-witch-s-journey-1

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-witchs-journey-tena-stetler/1123770497?ean=2940158155598

All Romance Books:   https://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html

 

Excerpt:

Leaning over, Lathen’s arms enveloped Pepper calming her angry energy. “You okay?”

She nodded. A faint orange glow emanated from her palms slowly spreading to her fingers. A tiny spark snapped at the tip of her pinky.  His large hands eased over hers to stop the progression of sparks. A vibration of feet pounding the ground had them both glancing up as a uniformed police officer sprinted toward them.

Lathen listened while Pepper gave her statement. He added what he saw and they were released. On the drive to the cabin, Pepper rested her head on his shoulder, his arm wrapped around her. Nostrils flared as he inhaled her citrus and wildflower scent mixed with the adrenaline that fueled her flight or fight response, now diminishing as she relaxed against him.

For the first time since that terrible day his SEAL team’s mission had gone horribly wrong, the sensation of phasing had thrummed through his body as he shoved his way through the crowd to get to Pepper. He actually had to restrain the response. Could I have phased? Was the overwhelming desire to protect Pepper so ingrained, his wolf’s physical ability to shift kicked in? He didn’t have the answers tonight, but… Restless in the seat, he flexed his torso and leg muscles. A coiled ready-to-spring sensation felt familiar. A slight smile crossed his lips.

Pepper tilted her head up to peer at him. “Uncomfortable?” She tried to slide over giving him more room, but his arm tightened around her pulling her closer.

“Never felt better in my life,” he said confidently. The predator awareness was back, and he reveled in it.

Her eyebrow arched in question as he felt her eyes linger on him and shot her a quick glance.

“So has trouble always followed you around?” he wanted to know.

“…Nooo, well, not exactly. At least not to this level. You’re aware of the final incident in Salem, but the ten years prior was calm, except for deadbeat boyfriends.”

“Which, I am guessing, is why you learned to defend yourself so well. Magic didn’t do it for you?”

“Magic is hard to use in the presence of mortals. Besides, it’s forbidden. You know that.”

Lathen raised an eyebrow. “Someone forgot to tell Mr. Green or Mr. Bonchard. And what about those flying feathers the night Tom showed up at your place?”

She shook her head. “I still have no idea what happened that night. Must have been the cabin or land, some kind of protection enchantment that triggered it. Glad no one else saw. Need to talk to Ashling. Seemed the feathers took on a life of their own.”

“Oh—Green saw, all right. He was babbling about all kinds of things as they took him away.”

She shrugged. “Strange, if he’s any type of magical creature, he’d know better than to say such things.” Pepper looked up at him, her forehead creased. “Things just don’t add up.”

The truck slowed to a stop in front of the cabin. “We’ll remember this Fourth of July for years to come,” Lathen commented with a frown.

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Ten Moments That Changed My Life.

 

  1. Losing my job due to downsizing in 2014.  I’d written stories most my life, but when this happened after being at the job over 14 years, I decided with my hubby’s support it was time to live out my dream of being a published author. After the initial shock of losing my job,  I polished up A Demon’s Witch manuscript. After overcoming my fear of book submission.  Yes, people, it’s a real phobia, a close friend and my hubby insisted that I submit a query letter and synopsis.
  2. Request for a full manuscript and The Wild Rose Press contract that followed.  My husband was out of town when the email arrived that TWRP wanted to contract A Demon’s Witch. I was so excited I called and could do nothing but squeal in his ear.  Finally, I settled down enough to tell him I hadn’t lost my mind, but A Demon’s Witch had a contract.
  3. Holding that debut novel in my hand was beyond my wildest dreams.  I was a published author, now I wanted more.  The rest, as they say, is history.
  4. Promotion. What a learning curve!  For a person who didn’t facebook, thought twitter was for the birds, this was foreign territory. I took a class on building web pages, signed up for Facebook and figured out how to tweet with the help of other authors. I built and maintain my own website at www.tenastetler.com, post three times a week to FB and Tweet daily. What a shock to the system. LOL
  5. Additional contracts for Charm Me, A Witch’s Journey and my 2016 holiday release, A Witch’s Holiday Wedding made my first year with TWRP fantastic!! I’m working on the second book in the Demon’s Witch series, now.
  6. The purchase of a fifth wheel trailer and RVing over the country as vacation time allowed.  I love to hike, kayak, go whitewater rafting, and bicycling in the state and national parks of our great country.  In fact, this past weekend, on a camping trip to Cheyenne Mountain State Park, I finished the first draft of the second book in the Demon’s Witch series.  Yippee!
  7. First real date with a wonderful man who became my husband. We went to see the original Star Wars movie.
  8. It was a whirlwind courtship, he proposed and we were married four months later.
  9. The death of my mother changed me in so many ways. I miss her every day. It changed the way I looked at life.  Life is short, don’t put off enjoying it, because you’re not guaranteed tomorrow, no matter your age.  It changed my tolerance for mean-spirited people.  And made me realize the value of kindness and paying it forward.
  10. It’s not changed my life yet, but I am so enjoying planning our wedding anniversary celebration to Disneyland (Star Wars Adventure) and Universal Studios (Harry Potter’s World). Our long time best friends will be joining us!

BIO:

Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination.  She wrote her first vampire romance at the age of twelve, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-year-old box turtle.  Any winter evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn, unless a deadline looms.

Contact Information:

Website: http://www.tenastetler.com

Blog: http://www.tenastetler.com/my-blog

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/tenastetler.author

Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/TenaStetler

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14187532.Tena_Stetler

The Wild Rose Press: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/1264_tena-stetler

Amazon:  www.amazon.com/author/tenastetler

Newsletter: Sign up at www.tenastetler.com

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/tenastetler/

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, Entertainment, Uncategorized

A Plethora of 99 Cent Ebooks!!!

99 Cent Ebooks galore

Check out our monthly list of 99 cent reads. All different genres, all great bargains!

***Just click on the cover to be taken to the purchase page.

PLEASE CONFIRM BEFORE ORDERING!!! – We are not responsible if prices are no longer 99 cents

Hope you discover some enticing reads!

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1

Revenge, rescue, redemption, romance equals space adventure in The Pilot.

Find Diane Burton here: www.dianeburton.com

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2

Naughty Lovers includes Swing Follies (Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory Chronicles 3) a Steampunk erotic romance by Regina KammerBlimey. Delia’s besotted. With Edward. But when an old flame from Edward’s revolutionary past swings by and steams up the laboratory, has Delia missed her chance at love?

More Steampunk & historical erotic romance by Regina Kammer: http://kammerotica.com/

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3

Brenna knows exactly which guy she wants to win with her love charm. But her night at a masked Venetian ball offers up two intriguing men.

More from Carly Carson here: http://www/carlycarson.com

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4

1,400 miles.  3 countries.  2 men she can’t trust.  What could go wrong?

Find out more about J.J. DiBenedetto and his books at http://www.writingdreams.net

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5

Mystery, marriage, medical school – and murder!

Find more books by J.J. DiBenedetto at http://viewauthor.at/JJDiBenedetto

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6

A sensual Regency romance. A former governess has no desire for a man in her life until she meets her cousin’s lover. How can she refuse his offer to teach her about pleasure?

Find Cynthia Clement at www.cynthiaclement.com

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7

Riding hard and loving harder… Cowboys, Bulls, and Buckles…

Where eight seconds means the difference between winning and love…

Six new stories by some of the hottest Contemporary Western Romance Authors… 

Find out more about Stephanie Berget’s books here. http://amzn.to/2ch3UyZ

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8

Cash and Keith, find their marriage of forty-five years unraveling amid apathy and retirement. A time traveling Volkswagen van cast them back to the 1969 Woodstock festival where they first fell in love. Can they rediscover the peace, love, and harmony they once shared?

Find Cornelia Amiri here http://celticromancequeen.com

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9

Amid the politics of war, a lady’s-maid-turned-spy and a dashing American captain find romance and intrigue in the French Quarters of New Orleans 

 Check out all of Patricia Preston’s book and follow her https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Preston/e/B0060DJ5W0/

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10

Tour guide Sophia overhears the secret surrounding Lord Heaton’s parentage. How long can she stay at Heaton Abbey knowing what she does?

Find Lorna Peel at: https://lornapeel.com

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11

Will the son of a gambler follow his heart or his father’s footsteps?

Follow me on Facebooks- https://www.facebook.com/jmdragonfly/

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12

A family curse. A lifetime grieving. Jinny Richards’ past and future are about to collide. Ethan Montgomery lost his wife to breast cancer, but now he’s ready to move on, and he has Jinny in his sights.

Stalk Catherine Mede on www.catherinemede.com where you can link to all her social media sites.

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13

A Touch of Romance…A Touch of Regency…A Touch of Murder… 

Find Miguelina Perez at www.miguelinaperezauthor.com

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14

One boy. One girl. One genie.

You can find Sandra at: http://tinyurl.com/zj7pbgt

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15

Finding love is tough, especially if you’re a mutant.

You can find Sandra at: http://tinyurl.com/zj7pbgt

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16

A contemporary Gothic mystery set on a windswept peninsula in Ireland…

You can find Gemma Juliana at http://www.amazon.com/author/gemmajuliana

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17

One desperate stripper. A mysterious billionaire with a really hot, indecent proposal. The perfect plan until everything goes terribly wrong.

Find more about Kathy Kulig here: http://www.kathykulig.com

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18

Three SCUBA instructors, who happen to be sexual dominants, are about to take the ultimate plunge. If you’re extraordinarily lucky, you’ll be invited to join them on The Divemaster, where work and pleasure go hand in hand. Welcome aboard!

Check out more of Jayne’s work here: http://www.jaynerylon.com

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19

From critically acclaimed author, Sydney Jane Baily, comes the first three stories in her American-Victorian Romance series, Defiant Hearts. From cultured Boston to rugged Colorado to the wild San Francisco coast, it’s a rollicking good read!

You can find Sydney at http://www.SydneyJaneBaily.com.

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20

Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries is a collection of 10 full-length mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by 10 critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novel in this set is the first book in an established multi-book series—a total of over 3,000 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, and cozy mysteries, with a combined total of over 1700 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4 stars. Authors include Lois Winston, Jonnie Jacobs, Judy Alter, Maggie Toussaint, Camille Minichino, Susan Santangelo, Mary Kennedy, RP Dahlke, Heather Haven, and Vinnie Hansen.

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21

What do you get when you combine cowboys and ghosts? A collection of eight (stand-alone) amazing stories from the Old West with haunts of every variety.

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22

John Bristol Smith needs a job, any job, but is he willing to do the job Tess Van Pelt wants him to do?

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23

 A one-night stand changes Leslie Turner’s life forever when she discovers she’s pregnant.

You’ll find Lorraine at:  http://www.LorraineBartlett.com

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24

One hot September afternoon, Annie Henderson’s life changed forever. That was the day she was raped.

Visit Tonya’s website:  http://www.TonyaThomas.net

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25

Loving Lorayna could cost Dominus his sacred power…and the results of their passion will echo through many sabbats to come.

Find J. Rose Allister at http://jroseallister.com

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26

Vampires, shifters, demons, witches and ghosts…

Ten delicious tales of paranormal romance—by USAT/NYT/Amazon best selling authors—just in time for Halloween. Get your calorie-free tricks or treats for this limited introductory price of 99 cents and before this boxed set disappears. Those who dare the darkness will find the true heart of supernatural love.

Find Regina Morris Here: http://www.reginamorris.com  FB: @ReginaMorris

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27

Opposites attract, but secrets divide…

Find Liv Rancourt here: http://bit.ly/2b903HM

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28

Maggie’s got history, Randy’s got baggage, and they’ve got a weekend to get their rhythms in sync to turn their solo lives into a beautiful duet.

Find Liv Rancourt here: http://bit.ly/2b903HM

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27

A nurse moves back home in midlife and runs into a childhood friend who’s a park ranger. Suddenly they’re caught up in unraveling the mystery of a young researcher who’s gone missing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 5-time Top-10 in the USA best selling author.

Find Carolyn’s books at https://www.amazon.com/Carolyn-Jourdan/e/B001JP1U4A/

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28

When Jenny Seaver escaped from her worst nightmare, she hoped she had found a refuge with Decorah Security agent Grant Bradley. But deep in her heart, she knew safety was only an illusion. Could she risk the night of passion they both wanted before she disappeared from his life?

Find Rebecca’s books at: https://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-York/e/B001HD37X6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473788246&sr=8-2-ent

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29

Cassie Lang, had murder on her mind when she walked into Rory’s Bar under dressed and under cover to research her latest crime novel. Researching the cool, blue-eyed and dashingly handsome man at the end of the bar stirred her senses. But was this man of leather armor all he appeared to be?

Find Lisa Mondello’s books at:

https://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Mondello/e/B001KHOG3Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_2

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30

Extra! Extra! Read all about it … and Londoners do, not knowing The Tattler is actually owned and edited by the Earl of Fennington. After he kisses Lady Emelia at a garden party, he decides he wants to spend more time with her than her father will allow. A bit of blackmail ensures she’ll meet his alter-ego, but at what price?

More information on books by Linda Rae Sande can be found at http://www.LindaRaeSande.com

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sto

A pro hockey player with a rough reputation.

An American looking for a taste of adventure.

A chance to turn an intense attraction into something more.

More about Rebecca Hunter’s books at http://www.rebeccahunterwriter.com

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32

A chance meeting in a hotel bar…a few sexy dances…and Carina and Rico head upstairs to see where their sexual chemistry leads. But in the light of day…and 200 miles away, will their differences pull them apart?

Find Layla Chase here: https://www.facebook.com/layla.chase

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33

Illustrator Tara Henning travels to Ireland to carry out an embarrassing obligation—return the brooch her great aunt stole years earlier. Horse breeder Keefe McMurray is intrigued by the American who stirs something  deep within. When Tara enacts a family tradition, will she make the choice that links to future with Keefe’s?

Find Linda Carroll-Bradd here https://www.facebook.com/linda.carrollbradd

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34

Can the big city girl convince the small-town cowboy to give Christmas a second chance? Or will the secret she hides destroy any chance of a relationship between them? This clean, inspirational love story proves that opening our hearts to others can be the greatest gift of all.

Find Corrissa James at http://www.corrissajames.com/

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35

Do you like hot Italians? Fiery British chefs? Do you like FOOD?

Find Irene at http://www.irenepreston.com/

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36

The awakening of his dragon soul twin brought Dragshi Lord Branin the freedom of flight and near-eternal life, but not happiness. For eons, he feared he would never find a woman with her own dragon soul partner—until one day another’s mind touched his.

Find Helen Henderson at helenhenderson-author.blogspot.com

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Happy Reading!!!!

 

6 Comments

Filed under Ebook Deal, Uncategorized

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 85 – 50 Years Ago Today & Other Tidbits

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

 

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September 9, 1956 – Elvis performed “Love Me Tender” for his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show “Toast of the Town.” He was shot from just the waist up during the performance. Elvis would make a total of three appearances on the show.  Record stores were swamped with requests for the record, which had not been released yet.

Songwriter Ben Weisman has the honorable distinction of having written more songs for Elvis than any other songwriter. Guess how many? That’s right…57!! (See how much faith I have in you?) Elvis called him The “Mad Professor.”

s-l300

On Elvis’ right, Sid Wayne, on his left, Ben Weisman

Some of my favorites he’s written are: “Slowly but Surely” – “As Long as I Have You” – “Fame and Fortune”

Here is As Long as I have You from King Creole. Very sad moment😦

Quote from Ben:

“I approached writing for Elvis differently than I did for any other artist. The songs had to have a combination of blues, country, rock and pop [what came to becalled ‘rockabilly’]. It was like walking in his musical shoes. With each new Elvis movie, more of my songs were being recorded. It became more and more exciting, for I was becoming the only songwriter to have so many songs recorded by him.”

And, finally, just a random quote I love:

Elvis was the only man from Northeast Mississippi who could shake his hips and still be loved by rednecks, cops, and hippies.
– Jimmy Buffett

Have a wonderful weekend!

~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*

EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan.🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

3 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing (Marketing) Tip – A Week’s Worth of Goodreads Suggestions for Authors

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ A day by day Goodreads plan

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others🙂. But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

I  haven’t been very active on Goodreads, but I am a member of several groups. The problem is, I do not participate in any of them. I intend to make some changes, and while I’m not sure how beneficial they will be in terms of marketing (and therefore you might be wondering why I’m sharing them now :)), I am still going to do it, because not only am I an author, I’m a reader. And, if participating in Goodreads never leads to sales, it will still give me the opportunity to meet other book lovers and discover new authors/books. Since we are all SO busy, we don’t have time to try all of these at once. My recommendation is to try one per day. In a week’s time, you will have dabbled in each one.🙂

Here are some steps I plan to take…

Day One: Offer a giveaway. Goodreads provides the opportunity for authors to do a giveaway of a PRINT book. I did so a while back, and it introduced me to some new readers. My writer friend Kathy L Wheeler has been utilizing this promo tool recently, and she inspired me to try it again. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/new

Day Two: Join a FEW select Goodreads groups, preferably related to the genre you enjoy reading and writing, and actually participate in discussions, rather than pushing your book. You will eventually make some nice contacts with whom you can share that you’re an author. This type of promo is more like a seed you plant and give it time to grow. Don’t drown it immediately, or it will die. (Nor should you give it to me to care for, because I am a notorious plant killer, and it’s demise will be imminent). As I mentioned above, I belong to too many groups. I am going to pare that list down and participate in just a few that truly interest me. A tip: Choose a group or groups that are recently active. I’ve noticed some groups haven’t had any activity in a year or more.

Day Three: Make sure you mark on your author profile that you accept author questions. And, it might be a good idea to ask other authors questions from time to time. This page will show you how to set up an author discussion:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/featured_groups

Day Four: Link your blog to Goodreads. This can be done from your author profile page. Be sure to make your blog description engaging.

Day Five: Update your bio from time to time and make it current and engaging.

Day Six: Recommend books. You can recommend books to your Goodreads friends, which is not only fun and will help you interact, but you are also helping out your fellow authors. https://www.goodreads.com/recommendations/new 

Day Seven: Update your ‘My Books’ frequently. My shelf is very old, and I need to pay more attention to actually listing the books I’m reading and have read. You can easily add and rate the books you have in your Kindle library: https://www.goodreads.com/amazon_purchases?source=r – Which reminds me…don’t be afraid to review on Goodreads and to ask for reviews there. Unlike on Amazon, your reviews will not be removed. And, the more reviews, the more attention a book will get. Even negative reviews will bring your book more attention. 

I know that some authors shy away from Goodreads because of nastiness and trolls, but I don’t think we should let them keep us away. They may or may not target you, but if you do what’s right and don’t push yourself on others, that shouldn’t be an issue. And, if it is, just ignore them. Intelligent, discerning readers can recognize trolls as well as we can.

So…what do you think? Have you or will you try any of these? If you have any tips or feedback, or just plain comments, be sure to share in the comment section.

Until next time…Happy Writing (and marketing)!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

13 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Visual Writing

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Using images and boards to visualize your story

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others🙂. But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Many writers are ‘visual,’ which can be very handy in our business. I am not as visual as I would like to be, but I have a few tricks to help me pictorialize my stories.

1 – Character Models: I MUST have a ‘model’ in mind for my main characters,and sometimes for secondary characters. They do not have to be celebrities or someone I know, and they don’t have to look like my character, they just need to personify them in some way. I have a current WIP (Pretentious: Martini Club 4 – The 1940’s) and an upcoming WIP (Evil Eye). Here are the models for my heroine and hero in Pretentious:

Nina Taggart - Jessica De Gouw Sylvester Morello - Raul Bova

I’m not familiar with either one of these actors, but they have the look, the demeanor I’m going for, just in these images.

Evil Eye is not a romance. I mainly needed an image for my protagonist, and I chose these two: (Different people, but the image I’m going for is a combo)

400px-B99_0119_MFumero

A beautiful police detective woman on the job with a gun

2 – Promo Images/Covers – Even if I don’t yet have an actual cover, I try to find examples of promo images and cover images that I might want for the story. I put something together in the early stages, so I can visualize the cover and the book seems more real. Here are a few for Evil Eye:

Evil Eye MEME

Eye of terrible man

3 – Image Board: I use a board to place images and notes I need to keep in mind as I’m writing. The notes might be about character traits or habits, scenes I’ll want to add but I’m not sure where, so they aren’t necessarily in my outline, and I also post notes about secondary characters I don’t want to forget about.

Here is an image of the Evil Eye board, although it’s not complete yet. I also like to include a few images of setting, which I have not yet done. (My color printer was running out of ink, so the images aren’t great, and the notes might not make sense to you, but they do to me. :))

IMG_0379

4 – Pinterest: Lastly, I create Pinterest boards of images, setting, etc. I’m afraid I don’t keep up with these as well as I should. I have not yet created one for Evil Eye, but I am working on becoming more active in the Pinterest arena.

Here is my Pinterest board for my latest release, Devil’s Promenade:

https://www.pinterest.com/aliciamdean/creating-devils-promenade/

Here is a board created by Kathy L Wheeler for our Martini Club 4 – The 1940’s series:

https://www.pinterest.com/kathylwheeler/martini-club-4-1940s/

 

Visual writing is not only fun, it really helps bring your story to life. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend you give it a shot. If you have tried it, please share some of your tips and methods in the comments.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

9 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 84 – Prince is no King

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

Elvis at Graceland v0uzrjoznppfcs

Bremer Trust, the same company that manages Graceland tours, has made a deal to oversee tours of Paisley Park, Prince’s mansion/studio/concert hall outside of Minneapolis. Not to disparage Prince, I know he was a huge talent, and I have a lot of respect for him as an artist. However, I cannot imagine that the tours of his estates will be as successful as those of Graceland. I am certain the tours will be quite prosperous for the first few years, but I can’t see them having the longevity of the Graceland tours. Prince has a ton of fans, but I don’t believe they span generations the way Elvis fans do. Elvis fans of all ages travel from across the world to see his home, still, nearly forty years after his death.

elvis early 70s97729cd47f5510b256f6

50s07-ElvisSnaps

 

Prince performs at half time during Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears at Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Florida on February 4, 2007. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Graceland was opened to the public in 1982, five years after Elvis passed away. It draws more than 500,000 visitors annually. And has for nearly thirty-five years. I doubt people will flock to Paisley Park every year for decades, but maybe I’m wrong. While I’m sure the company who handles the tours is doing a great job, I don’t believe their business acumen is the reason for the huge turnout of visitors to Graceland. As in life, Elvis in death still has a magnetism that draws people to him in droves.

Of course, it’s not a competition. I hope the venture is successful. I’m sure it will be great for the economy. Visitors to Elvis’ home bring in around 150 million dollars per year to Memphis. Not a bad chunk of change.

From an article on the venture: Paisley Park tours will include Prince’s video editing suites, rehearsal rooms, private NPG Music Club, and a massive soundstage and concert hall where he rehearsed for tours and held private events and concerts. Visitors also will see thousands of artifacts from Prince’s personal archives, including his concert wardrobe, awards, musical instruments, artwork, rare music and video recordings, concert memorabilia, automobiles and motorcycles.

Here is a photo of Paisley Park:

download

It looks more like an office complex than a home, doesn’t it? From what I understand, inside the home is much more appealing.

What do you think? Would you travel to Minneapolis to see Prince’s estates? If so, more than once?

I’ve been to Graceland five times, and I will go as many more times as I can. Most fans who visit have visited several times. There’s just something about Elvis that keeps people coming back. We’ll see if Prince has that same kind of draw.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan.🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

9 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment