Wednesday, June 3, 2020

IWSG: Secrets and Bloo Moose

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.




Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


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June 3 question - Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

Before I get to the rest, I have to say it was really difficult to put this post together amidst all the difficulties in the world. I hope you are all well and safe. I hope you are working in your own way to make the world a better place, a kinder place, and a safer place. Racism and prejudice have no place in our world. Ever. Black lives matter. LGBTQ+ lives matter. Stay safe. Stay kind.

On to IWSG

Secret #1

This probably isn't a secret to my bloggy friends because I've mentioned it before. But if a person only knew me from reading my books (nonfiction on dementia and contemporary romance), they'd be surprised to find that I am also a huge Speculative Fiction (SciFi and fantasy) fan. The movies I watch and love all tend to fall into that genre.

Secret #2

One of my jobs as a teen was to teach cartooning to kids. I'm not an artist but I've always enjoyed doodling and cartooning. They couldn't find an instructor who was qualified so I got the job. We had a lot of fun over those weeks!

How about you? Any secrets you'd like to share? Any SF fans or cartoonists out there?

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PS: My Bloo Moose romances are coming out in July! If you'd like to read an ARC or you would like more information, check out THIS POST. Thanks!


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Bloo Moose Coming Soon!

Exciting news - my Bloo Moose romances will be hitting the shelves in July!

The first 3 books in the series are ready to go and I'm looking forward to having my characters out in the world.

I love this town and these characters have been hanging out with me for years. So glad they're finally going to get their Happy Ever Afters!


Reaching For Normal

After a childhood spent in hospitals and foster homes, Myla’s freelance adventure writing suits her perfectly. A couple of weeks trying out new things then move on. Now, if she can only get her guide to all things winter interested in helping her lose her V-card.

Sawyer’s lost his parents, his SEAL team, and his legendary Spidey senses. Now he’s faced with a sexy, secretive woman who makes him want things he has no business wanting.

When someone starts butchering the wolves Sawyer is trying to reintegrate, he ends up in the bush with Sexy City Girl whose titanium attitude is more than enough to compensate for her weak leg. 

 If Sawyer and Myla can’t learn to trust each other and themselves, they might not make it out alive.

Amazon -- Reaching For Normal


Reaching For Risks

Darby Banks’ yearly Reno List for her B&B is legendary. When her octogenarian guests give her fashion advice, she realizes she needs a renovation of her own. So along with fixing toilets and painting walls, she decides to buy some sexy lingerie and learn to flirt. If only her Risk List didn’t terrify her as much as the reason she’s been hiding in plain sight.

Quinn Charters has turned CharterGear Sporting Goods into a thriving business to spite his family. When they start contacting him with demands he wonders if its time to leave town. But there’s a certain B&B owner who makes him want to stay. If only he could figure out why she’s so wary around him.

An accident that damages Quinn’s store has him staying at Darby’s B&B and helping out with the renovations. And wondering what sexy secret is hidden in that renovation notebook of hers. When Quinn’s brother appears to strong-arm him into helping out the family business, Darby’s anxiety jumps and Quinn digs deep to discover the cause.

Darby should have added Stay Alive to her Risk List.

Amazon -- Reaching For Risks


Reaching For Everything

Love Means Nothing in tennis, but Kami chooses it as a tattoo after her heart is shattered. Her mom’s death and a car crash that causes a career-ending injury make everything worse. Tired of the heartache, Kami decides it’s time to channel the dream she and her mom created. It’s time to open Kami’s Kamp, a tennis school for kids.

Being patient is a vital skill for Rayce LaChance. As a contractor and furniture maker, he knows that rushed decisions never pan out. Especially not in his personal life. When he broke up with Kami, he thought he was freeing her to pursue her career unhindered. Now, Kami’s back in town and proving the Ice Queen reputation she earned on the court carries over into her daily life.

When an obsessed fan becomes threatening, Rayce proves he’ll do anything to help, but Kami isn’t sure her heart is up to the risk.

They’ll both have to take chances if they’re going to find out if Love Means Nothing or Everything.

Amazon -- Reaching For Everything

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I'd love to have some early readers. If you'd like an ARC of any of the books, please click here! (Warning - steamy scenes included so if that's not your thing, don't click! 😊)

If you'd be willing to host me on your blog for a spotlight, guest post, or interview, click here (same link)!

Books will release July 21st. Preorders for all 3 are $0.99. The first book will go to perma-free once I figure that out, but the other 2 books will go up to regular price in August.

Reaching For Normal
Amazon.com           Amazon.ca.         Apple.         Kobo.         Barnes and Noble
BookBub                  Goodreads

Reaching For Risks
Amazon.com.          Amazon.ca          Apple.         Kobo.         Barnes and Noble
BookBub                  Goodreads

Reaching For Everything
Amazon.com.          Amazon.ca          Apple.         Kobo.         Barnes and Noble
BookBub              Goodreads


Thanks for your support!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Amy Ruttan and Writing Courses

Please welcome Amy Ruttan back to the blog today!

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I’ve taken a lot of writing courses since I was first published back in 2007. A lot. How to plot, how to plot in thirty days, how to plot in a minute, stronger this and stronger that. And some were great and some were not so great.

The best writing course I ever took though, was hands down, Write Better Faster by Becca Syme. In fact, she has a series of books relating to this course. The books are fantastic, but the course really gets to the meat of you.

It’s not a course about how to write better, faster. It’s a course that looks as you. As a whole, through a series of personality tests. We’ve all had to take the Meyers Brigg test in our life. I’m an ISFJ (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging). I have been that pretty solidly throughout my life.

Then there’s the DISC test, which was very median for me and I still don’t know much about DISC, but then there’s the Clifton Strength’s Finder and my Top 5 Strengths blew my mind. And it’s with these 3 personality tests that Becca delivers a course for you to explore those strengths. She has further courses which I’ve taken that just delves straight into the heart of your top 5 Clifton Strengths, but this is after you take Write Better Faster.

And I’m attending her online conference (was supposed to be in person but PANDEMIC) this July to go even deeper into my strengths.

I was on a road to burn out in 2018. My mother died after a long, long battle with cancer and I was lost. A writer friend of mine said “You should try Write Better Faster. It changed my life”. I was skeptical, I’ve taken courses that talked about “writing faster” and it never worked.

It’s not about that.

It was about recognizing how my unique strengths help me write a book, what I should do if I’m stuck and recognizing things I have to say no to.

It put me on this completely different path.

Being a #1 Intellection, I need to think. I need two weeks at minimum to percolate an idea. I may not be thinking about it actively, but it’s there. It’s always there. Other writers telling me to be writing EVERY DAY, no, I need thinking days. So now I take breaks from the computer.

I don’t check social media first thing. I do other stuff first. That was a huge time suck.

And having #4 Empathy meant, I may not know what others are feeling, but I sense emotions just the same and it drains me. Days that I’m at the hospital with my Dad (in the past with my Mom) are days I’m not going to write. I’m just not going to write.

After a conference, I’m not energized. I’m overwhelmed. I need to decompress.

Having strategic and context in my top five also means I need to fully form my characters and visualize them, way before I think of plot.

And being a Learner in my top five means that to keep my mind from burn out, I need to learn , read nonfiction, watch a documentary or learn a new craft.

I’m still learning every day how to maximize my strengths and I’m getting back on my feet. Grief over my Mom is a part of my life and I’m learning to deal, because it will never go away. That the price of love, but I’m learning how to avoid burn out and keep doing what I love doing.

If you’re stuck, lost, not producing and you feel like you’re on the path to burn out I can’t recommend Write Better Faster enough, but again…it’s not for everyone.

What works for me as a writer, won’t work for you. There is no secret formula to it, I wish there was! Trust me.

We’re all different and you have to find your own path.

WRITE BETTER FASTER: http://betterfasteracademy.com

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Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Amy fled the big city to settle down with the country boy of her dreams. When she's not furiously typing away at her computer, she's a mom to three children.
Life got in the way, and after the birth of her second child, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a romance author.

Connect with Amy Ruttan over the web:
Website       Twitter        Facebook

Baby Bombshell for the Doctor Prince
His secret: he’s a prince!

Her secret: she’s carrying his baby!

After ER doc Lev Vanin shared one unforgettable night with gorgeous Dr. Imogen Hayes, he never expected to see her again. He couldn’t tell Imogen he’s actually a prince! But when a revolution at home forces Lev into hiding, he ends up working in Imogen’s hospital and his secret is out! Plus, Lev’s life is about to be turned upside down once again…because Imogen’s pregnant with his heir!


Buy on:

Amazon Aust
                Amazon UK

Harlequin US                M&B UK

Kobo          
                        


Apple Store                   Harper Collins UK
 


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Thanks, Amy!

I'm so sorry about your mom - sending hugs your way.
I'm often drained by emotions and when Mom was in the early stages of dementia and her hubby had both dementia and cancer, that burnout took me a long time to get through. I could write down snippets at times to help me process the experience, but putting it into a book form took much much longer. Feeling human, even longer.

The course sounds intriguing! I alternate between INFJ & INFP but I don't know much about the other tests. Definitely something I'd enjoy looking into!

How about you? And other INFJ/INFP (like me) or ISFJ (like Amy)?
Anyone else fascinated by personality tests?
What courses have you taken that have resonated with you?


Monday, May 11, 2020

Patricia Lynne & A Quick Bite

Please welcome my friend Patricia Lynne to the blog today!

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I had some questions for Patricia...

What attracts you to the paranormal genre?
I'm not entirely sure to be honest. I think it's the possibilities. You can take the myths and creatures and add twists and turns, but you don't want to worry about it being unrealistic as much as if you were writing about something we see in every day life.
Love that - the possibilities are endless and entertaining!!

After writing some of your scarier work, do you ever find it hard to sleep at night?
Nope because I used to read about serial killers before bed and that was scary.
EEK! I can't imagine! My nightmares would be endless!

What's next up?
Next is a collection of 3 short stories about the angels and devils who sit on our shoulders and whisper in our ears called Influenced. The first story in the collection is already available for free.
What a cool concept!! Can't wait to read that one!

What's your favourite Quick Bite? (food not story!)
That is easy: grilled cheese sandwiches as tomato soup. I requested that for nearly all my birthdays growing up. Sadly because of an autoimmune disease, I can't eat it anymore.
Awww! Grilled cheese is one of my all-time faves too!


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Blurb
Vampires.
Werewolves.
Zombies.

These monsters tickle our imagination.

Sink your teeth into a collection of tales about paranormal creatures that go bump in the night. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to give you a quick bite no matter how busy your day is.

Are you hungry?


Buy Links
Amazon: http://mybook.to/aquickbite






About the Author
Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow. 


Social Media Links: 
Website: - https://www.patriciajosephine.com
Patreon - http://bit.ly/2sHZ3Vr
Twitter - https://twitter.com/pattyauthor07
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pattyauthor07
Newsletter - http://bit.ly/2qOsvbm
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13460894.Patricia_Josephine
Amazon Author Page - https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00UH7GAK0

Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/patriciajosephine

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My review:

While this isn't my usual type of read (I'm a guaranteed Happy Ending type of reader!) I really, really liked it! This book completely pulled me in. I enjoyed the format of 200 word stories. These are fascinating snippets from a variety of viewpoints.

From spooky to serious to silly to thought-provoking to heart-felt, you'll find it all in these snippets.

I'm a reader who reads because of the emotions in the words and A Quick Bite is full of emotion and a fun read! Pick up your copy - I bet you'll enjoy!

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Thanks Patricia! Loved your answers and the stories - Good luck with the release!

How about you? Any other paranormal fans? Grilled cheese fanatics? Anyone read scary stories before bed?


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

IWSG & Zoning In

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


***

May 6 question - Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

Because I started writing when I had 2 young kids who were involved in multiple activities and a full-time job that averaged closer to 60 hours a week than 40, I learned early on to Zone In quickly and without a lot of fuss.

Give me a mug of tea and a laptop and I'm good to go.

It helps that my Tigger Brain tends to focus on something in my subconscious while I'm doing other things. Gotta find some positive uses for that bouncy brain! So when I have the time to write, I can usually dive in.

If not, rereading the last few paragraphs get me back in the swing.

How about you? Any other Tigger Brains out there? Tea drinkers (Chai or Green for me!)? Rereaders?

Monday, May 4, 2020

Rosanna Leo & A Good Man: Handymen Book One

Please welcome my good Twitter buddy Rosanna Leo to the blog today!


Blurb:


Contractor Michael Zorn is one of the leading men on the successful home improvement show Handymen. He is also revered for an act of bravery he’d rather forget. The press may hound him, but all he really wants is to help couples realize their home renovation dreams.
One of these couples is Emily Daniels and her fiancĂ©, Trent. When Emily inherits an old home in Toronto’s Little Italy, she sees it as the perfect location for her small business. The house needs a lot of work, but her appearance on the Handymen show means Michael and his contractor brothers will help her renovate at a reasonable cost.
When Michael and Emily meet, their chemistry is intense. Emily wants to stay true to Trent, but her fiancĂ© has done nothing but disappoint her. Michael recognizes Trent for what he is—a cheater. And it isn’t long before he breaks Emily’s heart.
At first, Michael only intends to comfort Emily, but their friendship soon flares into passion. Unfortunately, Michael has secrets and wounds of his own, ones he has never trusted to another. Emily is determined to break down his walls, but can she trust her heart to a man who can’t trust himself?



He tears down walls for a living. She’ll tear down the ones around his heart.

Emily threw herself at him and wrapped her arms around his torso, cutting off his words and his breath. Only when he hugged her back did he realize how hard she was quivering.
She wasn’t just crying about the old photos.
“It’s okay, Em. Let it out, sweetheart.”
The collar of his shirt grew wet but he didn’t care. Wardrobe had tons of shirts. Besides, she felt good in his arms, all soft and warm. He rubbed her shoulders and the back of her waist, exploring and familiarizing himself with her luscious body. He breathed, drinking in her scent. His nasal cavities had never known such bliss. It was like that first clear breath after a long period of congestion. His fingers were pretty happy too, enjoying the give of her body. It was all he could do not to slide them down, cup her sweet ass and pull her up against him.
Just not while she was crying over another man.
She lingered in his arms and he did nothing to push her away. In fact, it surprised him how badly he wanted to keep her there, so much so that when Emily finally extricated herself, he wanted to pull her back into his embrace. Instead, he wiped her cheeks clean of the remaining tears.
“The makeup ladies are going to kill me for making you cry.”
It might have been his imagination, but her tears made her eyes appear even greener. In fact, her entire face seemed a riot of tempting color. Each shade called to him. The crushed roses in her cheeks. Her strawberry lips, so plump and moist. Even the doeskin brown of her freckles fascinated him to no end. He wanted to count them, to kiss and mark them all.
Kissing her made a whole lot of sense right now. Kissing her senseless seemed even better.
Emily’s eyes widened. Her lips parted in invitation. Michael paused, knowing it was wrong, even though every raised hair on his arms told him it was right.
As he debated with himself for a split second, she brushed her lips against his. It was quick and soft, hunger masquerading as something platonic. Even though a spectator might have called it a friendly kiss, he knew the truth. As brief as it may have been, he felt her yield to him, even if just a little.
From the startled look in her eyes, Emily knew it too.
She took a step back. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
“You’re right. I should have been the one to do it.” Michael licked his lips. “Your lips really do taste like strawberries.”


Preorder/Buy Links:



Rosanna Leo writes contemporary and paranormal romance. She is the First Place Winner of the 2018 Northern Hearts Contest (Contemporary Romance) for A Good Man.
From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her husband and their two sons, and spends most of her time being tolerated by their cat Sweetie. When not writing, Rosanna works for her local library, where she is busy laying the groundwork to become a library ghost one day.


Social Media Links:






Totally Bound Publishing Page: https://www.totallybound.com/book/a-good-man 


Reader Group (Rosanna Leo’s Pride): https://www.facebook.com/groups/RosannaLeosPride/



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I love this book! Here's my review...

Loved it! Michael and Emily are complex and believable characters who are dealing with a lot of stress. I was particularly impressed by the way the author handled a very serious topic (no spoiler alerts!) with grace and sensitivity. Can't wait to read more by this author - a great read!!

***

How about you? Any Handymen or Handywomen out there? Anyone else a fan of Rosanna's writing? 

Happy May the 4th be with you day to all my fellow Star Wars fans!!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Beverly Stowe McClure & Gabe's Guardian Angel


I've invited the lovely Beverly Stowe McClure to the blog today to answer some interesting questions. Gabe's Guardian Angel is her latest release!

1. Gabe sounds like a fascinating young man. How did you create the character?

It's really more like Gabe created himself. I kept reading and hearing about the problems in some schools and towns about bullying. Had never thought about it much, until one day I remembered something that happened in our town. Some boys had been bullying another boy in middle school, and one day they told him to just go and kill himself. I did not know them personally, but he did it. I can only imagine the pain that family went through. Ad then, the writer in me took control. I had to write a story about bullying and hopefully help students see there are ways out of the situation. Gabe's story was born.

Wow - that's such a powerful story! As a teacher, I've seen the impact of bullying. It can be devastating.

2. Do you prefer writing first drafts or revising? Why?

I prefer to revise. The reason: when I have an idea in my head, I need to write it as soon as possible. If I wait too long my brain might travel somewhere else and I've lost the main idea. Then there are lots of revisions. The reason I'm so slow in writing a book.

I am learning to like revisions, but I adore that first draft!!

3. If you had your own Guardian Angel, what would you want help with? (I'm with Gabe and would appreciate a boost in the confidence area!)

Like you, I think I'd want help to be braver, bolder, and more outgoing. Not be afraid to follow my thoughts and ideas, even if they sometimes were not the best. I'd learn from my mistakes.

That sounds great, although I'm okay with being an introvert - and I can pass for an extrovert when necessary!

4. I see you play the piano, too. I've picked it up again in the past couple of years. I'm enjoying learning all kinds of Broadway music. What's your favourite type of music to play?

I don't play the piano often, but when I do I prefer the "Oldies" that I grew up with. Okay, I'm giving away my age now, but that's okay. I am what I am. The Fabulous Fifties like Sixteen Candles, Sincea MOBI rely, Magic Touch, Too Beautiful to Last, I Believe. You see.

The oldies are such fun!! I'm learning music from the 20s t0 50s for my mom (in a nursing home with dementia). I like music from all the eras!

***

Beverly is offering a tour-wide giveaway. More information on the giveaway is listed below.

GABE’S GUARDIAN ANGEL
by Beverly Stowe McClure
* Paperback: 214 pages
* Publisher: Freedom Fox Press
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1939844665
* ISBN-13: 978-1939844668

Gabe Montana is clumsy. He's overweight, and he's dyslexic. Worse yet, the bullies make his fifteen-year-old life even more miserable-so miserable he wants to die.

Charley, his guardian angel, says no to that idea and comes up with a different plan. He'll give Gabe self-confidence so he can solve his problems, not run away from them. But Gabe wonders why the angel doesn't just help with the bullies. What's with this self-confidence stuff?

Can Charley help Gabe stand on his own two feet? Will Gabe give up hope life can improve for him? Or will he finally listen to the angel's advice?

GABE'S GUARDIAN ANGEL is available at the following sites:
AMAZON PAPERBACK
AMAZON KINDLE
BARNES AND NOBLE PAPERBACK
BARNES AND NOBLE NOOK BOOK
KOBO

For those who aren’t familiar with the author, here’s a bit of background on her.

Most of the time, you’ll find Award-Winning Author Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories young voices whisper in her ears. When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers, and clouds.

She’s affectionately known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why. To relax she plays the piano. Her fur babies don’t appreciate good music and hide when she tickles the ivories.

Beverly is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She also teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church.


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Author Beverly Stowe McClure is giving away one print copy of GABE’S GUARDIAN ANGEL to a lucky US winner.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to follow Beverly on her week-long tour HERE. You never know what you might find out. Do you think Guardian Angels come in all shapes and sizes?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***

Thanks Beverly for playing along with the questions!

How about you? How would your guardian angel help you out? First drafts or revisions? Any other piano players out there?