Steeling My Haart by Lizzy Roberts

Steeling my haart Lizzy RobertsSteeling My Haart by Lizzy Roberts
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 13th March 2015

Synopsis

Eight years ago Emma’s life is ripped apart when Charlie saves her life from a devastating tornado and walks away. Left with nothing, she moves from Glen Springs, Oklahoma to New York. She finds success, but the only thing that feels like home is M’s Place, the diner near her apartment.

A trip to Las Vegas changes everything. Things are looking up then tragedy strikes. Emma moves back to Oklahoma with more on her plate than she ever imagined. Can she finally get her life together and put the history between her and Charlie to rest?

About the Author

30 – something Mum of two from the North of England (Yorkshire to be precise AKA Gods own Country) who regularly seeks refuge in fictional characters minds.  Prefers the hot and hunky men with a romantic side but not averse to a dominant man, nor ones with a dark side too!

She decided, after much persuasion from both her friends and especially her husband to pursue her dream of one day publishing her own book!

So after much deliberation (and nagging from him indoors), her first book Steeling my Haart due for release March 2015! Continue reading

Lori Adams on Plain Talk

Lori Adams iconToday I thought I could do some serious Plain Talking about the writing process.

Every writer was a newbie once, and every writer has things they wished they’d known or done before it was too late. Or at least things that would have helped the process run smoother.

I’ve been developing my craft for some years now (always wishing I had started sooner) and am constantly learning new styles, techniques, and do’s and don’ts. I studied English Lit and Shakespeare in college but must admit that I am a self-taught writer. To this day I cringe thinking about college essay assignments. Something about being forced to write on a certain topic felt strangely stifling. I won’t say I didn’t learn a thing or two, but writing a short, confining essay was like a trip to the dentist.

Which leads me to the topic of the day: plain talk about writing a trilogy.

There is a certain amount of faith you must have in yourself to tackle writing a trilogy your first time out. As a paranormal romance, my debut novels involved heavy world building, tons of research, and roughly 288, 300, to 400 pages respectively. I can’t help it; I think big.

My editor thought she bought a single title with ‘possible’ sequels but I knew it had to be three books. I had already envisioned the ending. She said to put it all in one book and I thought Gah! I can’t do that! Lucky for me, she agreed (after hearing the full idea) and, as it turned out, the entire storyline filled up every bit of three books! In one phrase of ‘let’s do it’, the single title of Soulkeepers expanded into The Soulkeepers Series: Forbidden, Awaken, and Unforgiven.

So many of my non-writer friends tell me they can’t imagine writing a novel. I tell them I can’t imagine not writing one.

So, the first Plain Talk suggestion is: do not underestimate the demand for self-discipline. Huge amounts of self-discipline! If you have no contract and no real deadline, it’s all you. So I would suggest creating an artificial deadline. Be realistic. Set a goal based on how many words you can write per day.

Next, if you are serious about writing, take your writing seriously. Don’t view it as a hobby but as a career. And then act accordingly.

Third, find beta readers, people who will tell you the honest truth about your work. And listen to them! Heed their warnings and seriously consider any problems or holes they find in your writing or storyline.

Finally, once you’ve ‘finished’ your novel, put it away for a month and then read it with fresh eyes. I read somewhere that Stephen King puts his away for an entire year! I don’t have the patience for that so maybe somewhere in the middle will work. Read it objectively. Whatever you trip over, fix. Whatever doesn’t make sense, change. Be your own editor. If you want it bad enough, you’ll get there. Someone once told me, the best advise on writing they ever heard was simply . . . get your butt in the chair. Sounds like a great start to me.

(Thank you to Plain Talk Book Marketing for the guest blog invitation!) Continue reading

Ciara Knight’s Dream Cast

Fools rush book coverCiara Knight stops by with her dream cast for her new novel Fools Rush.

Oh, I love to picture actors in my head as I’m writing my stories. I know some day they’ll bring my books
to life on the big screen, right? :-)

When I was writing Fools Rush, I actually didn’t have a certain actor in mind. I knew Jason Akles (Jensen Ackles?) would do him justice, but it wasn’t exactly him, but I saw Thomas Nolan clearly in my head. It wasn’t until we did casting for the movie that I met him. ;)

First, let’s look at Thomas Nolan. He’s a tough, yet damaged guy who needs some lovin’. He’s gotta be built well, but not over the top body-builder frame. Most of all, he needs that cowboy swagger, charming smile, and eyes that’d melt a woman’s resolve.

There was a long line outside casting, but since Jensen Ackles didn’t show for the audition, we had to choose another leading man. The minute this young man said his name, I knew it had to be him.

Meet our readers’ choice for Thomas Nolan. Scott Eastwood!

Scott Eastwood Fools Rush

Next up, Bethany Cook. She’s a woman any man would sell their only horse to marry. A beauty, full lips, well-proportioned, soft voice, but a fire inside her that keeps men guessing. No woman of her time compares to Bethany’s will to be her own person. She’ll yield to no man.

There was so much drama during casting. I knew Angelina Jolie wanted the part, but we couldn’t hold production for her to finish her twelve other projects. I knew I wanted a fresh, young woman who possessed that mysterious mixture of innocence and sensuality.

The actress cast in the role of Bethany Cook is: Liz Solari.

Bethany Cook Fools Rush

What do you think of our leading couple? I think they’ll make magic on the big screen together. I tried to play the part of Bethany, but the casting director said I was too old. Ugh, when did that happen?

I hope you enjoy Fools Rush!

Check out Ciara’s soda biscuit recipe and cowboy etiquette.

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Getting to Know Sabrina Rawson

Sabrina Rawson Blood OathHow did you start your writing career?

I began writing my first novel four years ago, however I spent many years before that taking a class here and there writing essays that I felt were phenomenal, but nothing had ever been published. I have always enjoyed writing.  My first book has a ton of errors in it and my second book is better, but my recent book, Blood Oath, is my baby.  I spent so much time perfecting the storyline, grammar and the character development.

Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

Survivors.  It doesn’t matter what type of adversity a person could be exposed to, they are my inspiration.  Recently, two women who went through cancer with me were my source of inspiration.  It was at that time I said why not, I’ll give my dream a try.  When they became terminal I cried because I was battling and winning when they were battling and losing.  One of them, Kim, she tells me to finish writing my book because “there is nothing wrong with having the time to follow your dreams.”  I spent two years writing my book in which six months was spent seeking professional advice and support stepping outside my comfort zone to achieve my dream of self-publication.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Having to turn life off and put my headphones on.  Once I turn social media off and open up my files I am ready to go.  My storyline becomes my playground.  I have to be very diligent about what happens with my time when I am creating.  With this novel I took up the challenge of NaNoWriMo and completed my 50,000 words in 30 days.  Through that writing process I discovered if I became diligent with my time daily during the creation process of writing a novel, I could set aside several hours a day just for writing.  Some days I would write more and others I would just use for research, but every day I write no less than 1500 words.  I spend more time now working to brand myself with my audience, market my novels and creatively write than I did when I worked full time!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing this book?

That I could discipline myself to write daily.  By testing myself to adhere to this standard I found myself able to delve deep into the characters allowing the story to unfold in front of me.  My writing contemporary romance became fluid and visual.  I had a wonderful time exploring the depth of my character development with my daughter as she helped me to develop the difference between the psychopath and the sociopath.  It was fantastic to banter with someone about the book.  There was a time when we lived, ate and dreamed character/plot development.  Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!

What was the scariest moment of your life?

When my son died.  I thought, “What will life be like without him in it?”  I laughed when the men lowered him in the ground.  When he came into my life I thought, “What will life be like with you in it?”  Our time had come full circle and I knew when his beautiful white casket was lowered in the ground I would see him again.  That was twelve years ago this year and he passed when he was twelve.  It is no coincidence I remember that moment writing this to you having forgotten that thought until this very moment.

Continue reading

Ready, Set, Drama! The Family Portrait Series so far

We’re 4 books into the Family Portrait series and I thought I’d chat about the series so far and what’s to come ;-)

Ready Set Drama special

In Changes you were introduced to the Banovics and DaCostas. You got a brief history of these families and it left you wondering how they would all tie together.

Changes fits the name of the book as the Banovic Family experienced many changes from their life as a family and individually. Add to the mix, there’s the DaCosta family who’s also experiencing changes in their life. – Musings of Fictional Ally

My favorite: I loved the dialogue between Astrid Wilson and Adriana Banovic. Astrid is the queen bee at Westwood Academy and when Adriana reluctantly returns to school, Astrid’s reign is threatened and she goes out of her way to make Adriana’s life at Westwood Academy, horrendous! Adriana is no shrinking violet so hatches a plan to put Astrid in her place. Ready, Set, Drama!

Banovic Siblings Family Portrait

Banovic Siblings took you deeper into the lives of the Banovic Siblings and how they crossed paths with the DaCosta girls. Claws came out as well as the dark side of the second generation Banovic siblings.

I loved this one! This was my favourite. This is when the Banovic and the DeCosta children start to come into their own. They are not innocent like other NA book characters. Rachel P

You also got to experience the relationship between the first generation Banovic siblings; Robin, Roxanne and Adrian (who remains a mystery).

This book set the stage for the other books to come. Readers loved “Siblings” the most and it has the most reviews.

I’m sad that the book ends on a cliffhanger but it’ll make picking up the book 3 much more exciting! Jolanta Daab

My favorite scene: Adriana encourages Leighann to try pot for the first time, the result is a hilarious mix of hijinks and close calls. I laughed when I wrote that scene in the television script and a year later when I rewrote the scene for the book it still had me in stitches.

Bastard's Brew promo

Bastard’s Brew is my favorite so far. I loved that this book focused on 3 major characters and really gave readers a lot of meat. Adriana, Kevin and Haze all had major events happen in their lives. A lot of ethical issues were addressed, but knowing these characters, what is ethical to you and me, flies out the window by their standards.

What I really like about these books is that Ms. Felix delves deeply into the lives of each character. She doesn’t just skim the surface of everyone; I feel like I really get to know each of them really well. – Tina VanDynHoven

My favorite scene: This scene is my favorite because it broke my heart. Haze is one of the better behaved characters in the series so I celebrated with him when he got his well deserved big break, but it was overshadowed by a horrible incident. His relationship with Adriana was put to the test and we got to see a different side of her as she proved her love for him.

Perfect Escape promo

Perfect Escape was really hard for me to write. It dealt with the relationship with Leighann and her father… my own dad passed by the time I finished writing this book.

This book was about Leighann, who people loved since Changes and they really got to know her in “Escape”. We got to see how mean her mother can be making readers love Leighann even more. She got to experience her first crush, taking readers back to their first love in high school.

Being a mom, it was hard for me to read how heartless Savi is with Leighann. – Karen-Anne Stewart

My favorite scene: Zax sitting on Leighann’s stoop waiting for her to come out and talk to him. He orders chinese food, pops on his headphone and casually dines, like it was the most natural thing in the world.

That’s where we are are so far in the series. What’s to come?

  • More Frankie, Kristin, Zax love triangle.
  • Can Adriana continue to hide her secret from Haze?
  • Will Joel’s facade crumble?
  • Did Kevin really create the perfect escape? Will his “business” dealings catch up with him?

All will be revealed in Book 5 releasing in the summer 2015.

Learn more about the series here.

 

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A Highlander’s Passion Highlander’s Beloved # 2 – Book Promo

A Highlanders Passion coverTitle: A Highlander’s Passion Highlander’s Beloved # 2 by Vonnie Davis
Release date: April 7th, 2015
Publisher: Loveswept

Synopsis

Two of the wildest hearts in Scotland fight for their destiny in this searing-hot romance, sure to be devoured by fans of Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series and Shelly Laurenston’s Pride Stories.

As a bear-shifter in a pack roaming the Scottish countryside, Bryce Matheson embodies brute force and untamed abandon. As a widower, he’s running scared. When Bryce attempted to open his scarred heart to another, she grew tired of waiting for him to state
his intentions, and the unearthly beauty spurned him for someone who wasn’t worthy.

But now that fate has conspired to set Kenzie Denune free once again, Bryce vows to finally win her love.

Kenzie is a witch who summons her powers to protect those too weak to care for themselves. After surviving an abusive husband, she swears off men—even men like Bryce, whose iron muscles make her knees weak, and who’s piercing eyes fill her with longing. Her life’s purpose is to help others. However, dark forces have different plans
for her gifts. To save herself, Kenzie must team up with the shifter who has always stirred her soul—and trust in a passion powerful enough to set her blood aflame.

Add A Highlander’s Passion Highlander’s Beloved # 2 to your Goodreads shelf. Add the series here.

Purchase A Highlander’s Passion Highlander’s Beloved # 2 on Amazon | B&N | Kobo| iBooks

About Vonnie Davis

Author Vonnie Davis

Vonnie Davis, who studied English at Penn State, likens herself to a croissant: crusty, wrinkled, flaky—and best served with strong coffee. After a career as a technical writer, she’s spending her retirement playing fairy godmother to her characters, giving them their happily-ever-afters. Six fantastic, talented kids call her “Grandma” and brighten her world in so many ways. She lives in Southern Virginia with her husband, author Calvin Davis.

Connect with Vonnie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win $25.00 Gift Card to the eBook Retailer of Your Choice + A Loveswept Mug and Nail Polish

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Revising Your First Draft

How to Revise Your First Draft and Actually Improve It

Michael DaltonYou’re done! At least, you just typed “The End,” and you’re flush with pride at completing this thing you’ve been struggling with for months. But now what? How do you get from there to something that’s worth reading?

Just as with writing itself, you have to experiment to find the revision methods that work best for you. The key thing, though, is that you must have a method. Writing is a creative process; revision is a deliberate one. You cannot revise effectively unless you approach it in an organized, disciplined fashion.

First, however, you need to wait. Why? Because, however excited and proud you may be to have finished your draft, you’re too close to it to start revising right away. You need to give yourself some time to forget it.

When you come back a month or so later (minimum), you’re ready to start reading this thing you’ve created. But you aren’t just reading. You must read with purpose. You aren’t doing it for your enjoyment; you’re on a search-and-destroy mission for things that need fixing. But with so many things to think about, you can’t look for them all at once.

This is why seasoned editors employ the approach of editing at different levels, which is to say, editing only certain things at a time so as not to divide their attention. Editing for style and plot is a very different thing from editing for spelling and grammatical errors. You’re going to need to do multiple passes with different targets.

Further, the order that you do this matters. You can’t do your copy-editing first, then go back and make major changes in the plot, because you’re just going to be introducing more errors with the new things you’re writing. That’s why it’s best to go from large to small: Do a read as if you’re a reader: Does the overall plot work? Are there holes and inconsistencies? Is it engaging? Then, when you start to be satisfied with the structure, look at smaller stuff: Is the dialogue realistic? Does the prose flow? Are there uneven sections that need smoothing out? Then, and only then, should you get into serious copyediting. Continue reading

The Story of Changes

The Story

Changes marketing

The Banovic family is on the brink of financial ruin. Robin, the patriarch of the Banovic family, makes the heart-wrenching decision to sell the business he’d spent most of his life building.

Just when things couldn’t get worse for the Banovics, Robin’s father dies, leaving Robin nursing a world of guilt over years of things left unsaid. Just like in real life, sometimes a curse can become a blessing.

Turns out Viktor Banovic left his winery and prime estate for his children, but there is a catch. Viktor’s will stipulates that Robin, the eldest, cannot sell any of the properties without the signatures of his siblings. Sounds simple since all of the first generation Banovic siblings have gone on to build lives of their own, but nothing is simple in the Family Portrait Series. Robin’s brother, Adrian has been missing since after the death of their mother. So Robin hires a detective to find his him. 

In the meantime he steps to run the winery with absolutely no experience under his belt and hits resistance from people who are loyal to his father. Robin goes from one extreme to the next in a nano second. Luckily he has his wife Jayne by his side.

Leighann is confined to bed rest after she collapses during a hectic tour schedule. She sees her failing health as a way out of the spotlight and decides to commit career suicide, much to the chagrin of her momager. But walking away from her commitments has consequences that Leighann isn’t aware of. She leaves her mother and the only life she’s ever known to live with her sister in Los Angeles. There she enrolls in the prestigious Westwood Academy. 

For the first time Leighann gets a taste of traditional education and kids her own age. 

“High school is a lot like what I imagine prison is like. If you don’t have the right friends, you could be killed or raped in the shower.” ~ Leighann

But her problems haven’t even started yet, because unknown to Leighann, Savi has followed her to Los Angeles and where there is Savi, there is trouble. Bored and looking for a little action in her old stomping ground Savi hooks up with college boy Kevin Banovic. Can a hook up just be a hook up? Not in the Family Portrait series.

The Cast

Jayne & Robin Banovic, Adriana Banovic, Kevin Banovic, Zax Banovic, Leighann DaCosta, L’Wren DaCosta, Savi DaCosta, Haze C. Lyndon

Supporting Cast

Roxanne Banovic, Carys WilsonAstrid Wilson, Kristin Newman, Frankie Malone, Joel O’Leary, Warren Voss, Principal Johansson.

The stoners: Chellon, Kai, Jason

The changing faces of Changes

Changes Family Portrait covers

As you can see Changes has undergone lots of changes over the year it has been published. The first cover I felt was too dark. I wanted something with an actual picture on the cover. When Jovon Tucker did the trailer she used a Polaroid photo of Haze, which was Adriana’s mystery man and one of the major story lines that carried through all the books. So I got the idea to use a Polaroid.

The 2nd cover was never used, it was a mock up for the 3rd. I changed from the 3rd cover because I wanted to start branding the books. Then came the birth of cover #4. Cover 4 was actually a mock up to the final cover.

Changes Dec cover

This cover is the template for all the books in the series.

Changes Milestone

My greatest accomplishment and what I will always remember will be when Changes hit #1 on the Amazon bestseller chart in it’s category. Prior to that, the highest it had ever been was #25, then it rose to #11, which I was thrilled with. Until it popped up to #1. I was losing my mind with excitement. I checked later in the day and it was still there.

Changes number 11 Amazon

Changes on the rise again.

Changes #9 Amazon

Two days later I began to wonder if Amazon had made a mistake. After about a week I was over the moon. The feeling you get when your book hits #1 on Amazon never gets old. That was on April 25, 2014. I still celebrate that every year, that’s how much it means to me.

Changes #1 Amazon

Changes is free on Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks

Good to Know

The FASHION and Location play a very big part in the series.

Click to rummage through Adriana’s closet, Leighann’s closet and Astrid’s locker. 

Westwood Academy is actually modeled (location wise) after Albuquerque Academy.

Check out the locations that inspire some of the scenes. 

My favorite scene from Changes has to be when Haze goes to meet Chellon, his childhood best friend for the first time. They are going to room together, but Chellon is not the same guy Haze knew growing up. Here’s the scene:

Haze pulled up to the curb of a two-story, four-apartment complex.

The exterior looked nice enough; his mother would be happy. He was an only child, and his mother wasn’t exactly thrilled about him moving out to Los Angeles even though she grew up there. She felt a little better knowing that he would at least know Chellon, his high-school buddy. She comforted herself knowing that Chellon was a good, wholesome boy. Chellon called his mother every week. Chellon went to church, and Chellon studied hard.

Haze rang the door bell and waited. Chellon came to the door; he immediately bear- hugged Haze.

“You made it! It’s about freaking time!” Chellon beamed at his friend. “Come on in, meet the guys.”

The guys were Jason and Kai. They sat on a beat-up couch, rolling a joint on the coffee table. The inside of the apartment was messy … After all, they were college boys.

“They don’t live here; they’re just hanging out.” Chellon pointed out. “We party’n tonight!”

The one called Kai nodded at Haze. He seemed already high.

“You wanna hit?” Jason asked Haze.

“No,” Haze replied.

The boys lit up, and a cloud of smoke engulfed them.

“Lemme show you your room.” Chellon beamed. “I think you’re going to love LA. The girls out here are a different breed, man. Every one is better looking than the next. It’s like a feeding frenzy!”

My favorite character writing moments: any scene with the Stoners. Also Astrid and Adriana’s dialogue are hilarious.

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Victim Souls by Andrew Terech

Victim Souls Andrew TerechImmoral. Victim Souls centers on Sam, a young criminal with a loose set of morals. Lucky for him, he’s paired up with his ruthless brother, Johnny, and Johnny’s psychotic girlfriend, Ash. Three characters that would easily fit into the antagonist role, but here they’re the ones you’re rooting for.

Relentless. Victim Souls forces you to root for the bad guys because the alternative is something far worse. Once the trio hits the road, the plot barrels forward never letting up, never allowing you to come up for air.

I wrote the book with those two concepts in mind. Once Sam finds himself mixed up in a battle against an inhuman, evil force he has no choice but to fight headlong or die trying.

The story gives a nod to almost every sub-genre of horror, explores elements of my own true fears, and contains enough violence to plant its foot in the action genre as well.

Prepare yourself to be taken on a journey through hell with characters you’d probably hate if you ever met them. I just hope you have fun along the way. Continue reading

Excerpt from Linda Kage’s Perfect Ten

Click to read how Perfect Ten came about.

A Perfect Ten (Forbidden Men Book 5) by Linda Kage

Book cover Perfect TenSynopsis

Let your hair down, Caroline, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

I know I’ve closed myself off in a major way in the past year, ever since “the incident” where I messed up my life completely. It’s past time I try to live again or just give up completely. But this is quite possibly the craziest thing I’ve ever done. In a last ditch effort to invigorate myself, I’m standing outside Oren Tenning’s bedroom, I just peeled off the sexiest pair of underwear I own, and my hand is already raised to knock. My brother would disown me for doing anything with his best friend, and he’d probably kill Oren. But if I play my cards right, no one will ever know about this. Not even Ten.

Maybe after tonight, I’ll finally get over this stupid, irrational crush I hate having on the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Or maybe I’ll just end up falling for him even harder. Maybe I’ll discover there’s so much more to my crude, carefree hunk than meets the eye. Continue reading