Category Archives: Uncategorized

Straight from an Agent: Why Did I Get a No?

Great article for querying writers…

Today we are lucky enough to have Mark Gottlieb, Literary Agent for Trident Media, guest posting on PsychWriter. Before we start I wanted to say how much I appreciate Mark sharing his time and knowledge with us. Seeing as rejection is very much part of the publishing journey for most writers, I thought it would be valuable to have an understanding of the factors that influence the ‘no thank you’s’ we receive – particularly when publishers and agents frequently don’t have the capacity to explain why (like all of us in this ever-changing industry, there’s only so many hours in the day and we all need to focus our time on the parts of our business that makes it sustainable and viable).

So, lets find out what some of the factors influencing the question – ‘Why Did I Get a No?’

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Slap on your virtual reality suit! A review of Arena by Holly Jennings

Wow. I really loved this book so much more than I expected to! This book takes place in the future, where virtual reality games have become a sport. 30687917It’s kinda disturbing, but these people have to get in really good shape, because they are their avatars in the virtual world, and they play a game similar to catch the flag, but they kill each other to get to the flags… but if they die, they just wake up and get to play again another day. The overall arc of the story is the protagonist’s team gets beaten pretty badly, and has to win every game after that to make it to the championship. While they are playing, they deal with real-world issues outside the virtual arena, like video game addiction, drugs, relationships, and dealing with the death of someone you care about (all in front of news cameras). I am not really into sports, and the idea of gladiator-like combat, even in the virtual world does not appeal to me, but this story really drew me in. I am looking forward to seeing where the next book takes us, because this first book did end very much like a stand alone. I would definitely look for another Holly Jennings book.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


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When you just don’t know who you are anymore… A review of Lost Girls by Merrie Distephano

29939399This book was not what I expected. I thought it was a paranormal from the cover. I kept waiting for the paranormal to happen, and as our main character walked towards “the door” I was biting my nails waiting for “it”.

Well, the “it” was a big disappointment paranormally, but by the time I realized it was a real-life contemporary, I was far too invested to put it down.

Despite the lack of paranormal elements, this is a really great book. This girl wakes up in a ditch with no memory of the past year of her life, but she’s only been missing for two weeks. It’s an awesome concept, and I enjoyed as the character had to re-learn who she was.

I ended up really liking this book a lot, and total kudos to the author for placing a public service message for troubled teens at the back of the book.

I must admit, I am a hard sell for contemporary, but this one won me over anyway.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


Catch up with me on social media!

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FREE on eBook today only! FIRE IN THE WOODS reads like a contemporary, but packs the punch of an action movie!”

FREE on eBook today only! FIRE IN THE WOODS reads like a contemporary, but packs the punch of an action movie!”  For the first time ever, book one in my FIRE IN THE WOODS series is FREE on ebook!

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Tell your friends there’s never been a better time to start their race through the woods!

Blurb below if you want to check it out.

Get your copy now at:

Amazon | Barnes & NobleKoboiBooks | Google Play


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Aliens, Armageddon, and Romance

Fire in the Woods is FREE on Ebook

Today only

 

 


Discover the high-action alien adventure that started it all!

Amazon | Barnes & NobleKoboiBooks | Google Play

When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally.

But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel.

Her father runs their house like an army barracks, and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. Ever. So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met? Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. That doesn’t mean she won’t do it. It just means she can’t get caught.

As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs and alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe.

Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she’s to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.

Fire in the Woods is the first book in a high-action contemporary science fiction series great for fans of Starcrossed, The Lux Series and Alienated.

Discover Fire in the Woods and start your race through the woods FREE today!

Amazon | Barnes & NobleKoboiBooks | Google Play

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Interview with Jennifer M. Eaton

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Originally posted on Bookish Mom Abroad:
It’s been a very exciting past couple of months! My heart is overjoyed for so many of my author friends who are celebrating the release of their new books. I’ve gotten to know Jennifer…

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The best of the 52 books I read this year

Book Twist

Wowzers! I am blown away that I actually read 52 books this year!

That is a new record for me, that I admittedly owe to listening to audiobooks in the car. There were 18 ebooks, 28 audiobooks, and five paperbacks in the mix (plus a four that I didn’t finish)

I actually read more books than I was able to review, so I’m only going to show 41 in this year’s ranking… especially because one of the books I just finished (Illuminae by Amy Kauffman) might be the best book I’ve ever read, but since it is fresh in my mind, and I frequently think a book is the best ever after reading it, I’m going to judge that one with next year’s books.

So here we are… of the 41 books I’ve reviewed this year, my ranking from most enjoyable to “not the best for me”. Click on any book cover to read the review.

Have you read any of these? What did you think? 


If you have any questions about a book, please feel free to ask!


 2016 most enjoyed at the top. Not for me at the bottom of the list

(Note: Being at the bottom does not mean it’s bad. It just means that I didn’t enjoy it as much as something else. Sometimes it is a bad match of reader to book.) Looking over this list, There weren’t too many I didn’t like. (Those would be the last four) Ranking was really hard this year.

Seven books in contention for number one

(I kept changing these around for one reason or another. I couldn’t name one of them the best, so these are the cream of the crop)

         

And some more awesome reads this year. Most enjoyed at the top:

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Have you read any of these? What did you think? 


Books I read, but have not reviewed yet:

   22895264 6635813  17455817  498139  1222403 23395680 Lost Girls 30687917

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Get your dragon on! A review of Fledgling by Nicole Conway

Fledgeling by Nicole Conway (Ebook) This is a fantasy adventure about a hybrid boy elf/human who kinda-accidentally binds himself to a wild dragon that no one else can tame.

While this book is middle grade, it did not suffer from all the juvenile mannerisms that would annoy the adult reader. Nope, no whining and sticking out their tongues in this one (thank goodness)

Our Half-Elf is in an interesting situation. As a dragonrider, he must train to be a flying soldier in an army bent on destroying the elves. That’s kind of a pickle, but this conflict isn’t touched on in book one. I hope they delve into it further in future books.

Anyway, this book deals with the prejudice that this boy faces in the world of men for being half elf, and you also see a hint that the elves don’t care for half breeds, either. Poor kid! The only ones who seem to like him are his roommate, his trainer, and his trainer’s daughter. (Yep, dangerous ground there, and the beginnings of what might be a love interest when these characters age-up a bit)

This book deals with the struggle of a middle grade boy who just wants to fit in, while he sets off on a pretty impressive (and almost believable) adventure to save one of the few people who’d ever shown him kindness. Throw in a couple of dragons, and this reader is totally sold. I wish I’d picked this book up sooner!


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


Catch up with me on social media!

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Is writing really a solitary endeavor? It doesn’t have to be. Maybe it shouldn’t be.

Read-hold up PKO_0016876I am running across more and more articles that talk about writing being a solitary endeavor. I see how it CAN be lonely… but really, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Yes, to an extent you need to write on your own (Unless two or more authors write a book together, but I’m not talking about that.)

Anyway, you write on your own, but if you find yourself a great group of writing friends, they are always there to bounce ideas off of, or to rant with when the words aren’t flowing, and to celebrate with when those worlds are flying like dandelion seeds in the spring breeze.

Spread_the_love!

Also – and this is the most important and fun part for me – when you are done writing your fourth or fifth draft… after you have taken the story as far as it can possibly go… you get to hand your baby over to these trusted friends and they can tell you all the wonderful things wrong with it!

And yes, they will be wonderful things, because every comment is an opportunity to make your great manuscript even better! And then you revise, and send it to someone else, and if you are lucky enough, they find even more wrong with it.

Plot hole? Really? Bring it!

Police in rural North Carolina don’t ride on horses? I did not know that!

You can’t see the Aurora Borealis in Florida? Wow! Good catch!

Okay, I made some of that up, but my beta readers find tiny little things like that all the time. Silly little things that read perfectly fine to me, but shout “No way” to someone else. Different life experiences bring something new to the read. It’s those little tweaks that excite me!

So yes, in the end my name is on the cover of the book, but it is really a team effort.

I am nothing without my beta readers. They way I look at it, the more eyes the better.

Don’t write in a little box all by yourself.

Find yourself a team.

It’s fun!

Happy_Writing!

 

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Fire in the Woods CoverYou can find Fire in the Woods at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |

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How to create a fully realized mythical world with Nicole Conway

Ummmm… excuse me, but DRAGONS, Baby! I never met a dragon I didn’t like. Today I’m welcoming the dragon lady… wait, that’s not right, but she is the author of three dragon books. Here is Nicole Conway talking about piecing together a bran new world.

A lot goes into creating a full and functioning mythical world. When I begin, I try to start with the basics of society before I even begin to fully flesh out the characters – because characters like people should be influenced by their culture. The roles of men and women are key. Is it male dominant? Female? Or neutral in gender roles? How are children viewed and what are there expectations as they mature? How are marriages performed? What influence do religious traditions have on daily life?

It seems daunting but I’ve found it’s rather fun to sit down and ponder it out. For instance, Maldobarian culture is very much like the standard Western European Medieval culture. Males are dominant, generally. People act and dress modestly. There’s a code of chivalry that one should adhere to. The gray elves of Luntharda, however, are very different. Their culture is more gender neutral, but with family lines being traced through the mother’s bloodlines.

People bathe together as a common social interaction because that kind of nudity isn’t viewed as scandalous. I suppose you could say that they almost have a “Garden of Eden” mentality where they don’t know they should be ashamed of their nudity. Children are raised by families and villages as a whole rather than only by individual parents.

I tend to focus more on the intimate details of a culture than the historical events. That’s not to say there’s any right or wrong way to do it. This is just my preference because it makes me feel as though I’m immersed in that world rather than reading a history book.

Want to read Nicole’s mythical world? You can find all the book at the links down below. Thanks for coming to hang today, Nicole!

Goodreads

Buy Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Click here for a chance to win one of Five copies of TRAITOR! Contest ends May 27, 2016

About the author

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. TRAITOR is the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |Goodreads

 

 

Making Fiction Come Alive! Using the Senses for Maximum Impact

Anything that talks to our senses feels a lot more real to us. It is through senses that we experience our entire world. We crave sensory experiences.

Click below- this is an awesome article for writers.

Source: Making Fiction Come Alive! Using the Senses for Maximum Impact