Thursday, January 18, 2018

#IWSGPit for January 2018

It's time for the January 2018 #IWSGPit!
This event is an amazing opportunity for writers. The first pitch last year was a trending topic on Twitter. We have a ton more agents and publishers involved with this one.

I hope you have your tweets polished and ready to go. The pitch goes from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Create a Twitter length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript. Leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. Tweet your pitch. If your tweet receives a favorite/heart from a publisher or agent, check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.


1. Writers can only send out one tweet per hour per manuscript. You will be monitored by the IWSG team to make certain it is fair for everyone.

2. Publishers and agents will favorite/heart the manuscripts they are interested in. Writers, please do not favorite anyone else's pitches.

3. No images allowed in pitches.

4. Pitches must include genre/age and the hashtag #IWSGPit.

#C - children's
#MG - middle grade
#YA - young adult
#NA - new adult
#A - adult

#AD - adventure
#CF - Christian fiction
#CO - contemporary
#F - fantasy
#H - horror
#HI - historical
#LF - literary fiction
#MCT - mystery/crine/thriller
#ME - memoir
#NF - non-fiction
#PB - picture book
#PN - paranormal
#R - romance
#SF - sci-fi
#WF - women's fiction

Good luck!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tick Tock Cover Reveal!

The clock is ticking...

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglas, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

Release date: May 1st, 2018

Isn't the cover fantastic? Congratulations again to all the winners of the IWSG short story contest. It's an awesome collection.

Don't forget the next IWSG Twitter Pitch is this Thursday on the 18th. Writers, polish up your pitches and prepare your tweets. There are a ton more agents and publishers involved this year. It's a great opportunity. For the #IWSGPit rules, just click on the image.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Word Witch Wednesday - hooray for Story Genius

I'm starting off the year reading an incredible book on writing from Lisa Cron called Story Genius. I don't think I've ever been this excited about a book on the craft. While other ones have inspired me, Cron has opened my eyes and changed how I write for the better.

It's difficult to find a book on writing for pantsers. Most are for plotters, and many insist that pantsers will never be able to write good stories. This raises my hackles. Comments like that will make me put a book down and never pick it up again. One of my idols, Stephen King, is a pantser. A fact I delightfully discovered only recently.

When I write, I have the protagonist already forming in my mind. I know where the story starts and where I want it to go. How it gets there is always a surprise, but I love it. I write organically. The opening event happens, and it all flows from there. Action, reaction. Consequence, reaction. Action, reaction. Consequence, reaction. The story drives itself for me that way.

So how does Cron's book help me when I just let it flow like that? She bases her book on neuroscience. Of course that interested me in itself, but when she explained stories with science, it clicked with me. It's not beautiful prose or a clever plot that makes for a good story (though those things are the cherries on top), it's how the story connects to the readers emotionally. More particularly, how the protagonist connects to the readers emotionally.

There are no detailed character bios or elaborate plotting to be done in Cron's exercises. She helps bring you to the core of your story with the essential elements that make up your protagonist.

I did this with my current trilogy and totally blew myself away. I discovered what drives my story. It was the core of my story all along! No wonder my protagonist gives me trouble. She was fighting it and I was fighting it. But now I know how to write it so it's a specific internal conflict instead of something I knew was there, but couldn't properly get on the screen.

I want to rattle on and on, but you'll just have to read the book for yourself. I highly recommend it.

Have you read any of Cron's books? Is there a book on writing that has affected you this way?

P.S. I'm so excited that in February, Lisa Cron will be writing a short article for the IWSG newsletter. If you haven't signed up for the newsletter, click here. You don't want to miss it!

And don't forget that next week is the #IWSGPit. Polish up your manuscript pitches! It's a great opportunity and free for all writers. I'll see you then!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

#IWSG for January 2018 and the Flaming Crimes Blogfest

Happy New Year! Here's hoping that 2018 is a fantastic year for all of us. Cheers!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria!

We're starting off the year with great news. The IWSG short story contest last year had many amazing entries, and bravo to everyone who submitted a story. But the judges could only choose ten. Congratulations to the winners!

"Reset" by Tara Tyler
"Until Release" by Jemi Fraiser
"Center Lane" by Christine Clemetson
"One More Minute" by Mary Aalgaard
"The Tide Waits" by Rebecca M. Douglas
"Three O'Clock Execution" by S.R. Betler
"Cypress, Like The Tree" by Yolanda Renee
"The Little Girl in the  Bayou" by J.R. Ferguson
"Gussy Saint and the Case of the Missing Coed" by C.D. Gallant-King

Special mention - "Heartless" by C. Lee McKenzie

And the grand prize winner - "A Stitch in Crime" by Gwen Gardner

Look for the anthology, Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime late this spring!

January optional IWSG question: What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

It depends on how you define schedule. I have a loose schedule for what I want to do this year. I don't want to put any more stress on myself than I already do, so I haven't set deadlines for the two novels I want to release in 2018. I will make them the best darn novels they can be, and if that happens later rather than sooner, so be it. I'm trying to be okay with that.

* * * * *

Congratulations to the awesome Chrys Fey on the release of her newest book, Flaming Crimes. In celebration of her release, she's having a fun blogfest which requires participants to answer one question.

What is something ridiculous you would save if there was a fire? (This is after you've saved your family, pets, and other important items.)

I'm including books as important items. It's not ridiculous to save them! As for the silly item, it would be my dice. Yes, I'm such a geek. But there are so many dice that have memories attached to them. And they roll well! It's not easy to find a set of dice that roll well for you.

Click on the badge above to find a list of the other participants and see what things they would save.

Series: Disaster Crimes #4
Page Count: 304 
Digital Price: $4.99 
Print Price: $16.99
Rating: Spicy (PG13)


BLURB: Beth and Donovan are now happily married, and what Beth wants more than anything is a baby. Her dream of starting a family is put on hold as fires burn dangerously close and Donovan becomes a victim of sabotage.

Donovan escapes what could've been a deadly wreck. Their past enemies have been eliminated, so who is cutting brake lines and leaving bloody messages? He vows to find out, for the sake of the woman he loves and the life they're trying to build.

Amidst a criminal mind game, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight to keep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither of them expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.

Their lives may just go up in flames…

About the Author: Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Book Holly-Days Promo and Giveaway!

It's the day after Christmas, when all through the house,
There's a big mess of boxes, and too many cookies for a giant mouse.

Settle in with your ereader and under the covers you stay,
Relax and enjoy a happy Book Holly-Day!

Yeah, no one ever said I was a poet.

Fantasy Book Giveaways is hosting this spectacular holiday event. We have 30 fabulous authors participating, and all of their books are free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

Plus there's a big giveaway for books and an Amazon gift card! Just click on the image above to take you to the site.

Many of the authors are having sales on their books too. Like me! All the books in my thrilling TOTEM series are 99 cents now through January 1st.

Indulge yourself.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Christmas! All the books in the TOTEM series are 99c until January 1st!

Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

Enjoy the fun and festive times with your friends and family.

As a big thank you to all my wonderful readers, I have put all the books in my thrilling urban fantasy series, TOTEM, on sale for 99c.

True Shifter

The series is always free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Word Witch Wednesday - reviewing 2017's goals and looking to 2018

It's that wonderful time of the year where we sit down with holiday treats and make plans for next year. I'm sharing my cookies, if you'd like one.

2017 Goals

1. Write and published the TOTEM books. Done! A nine novella series. Yikes! I had a lot of fun with it, but I don't think I'll take on a series as long as that again. Trilogies sound perfect in my mind right now.

2. Self-publish the nine books I had with my publisher. I did that at the beginning of the year. Will I be writing more in the erotic romance genre? I don't know. I might if I'm in the mood for something light and funny.

3. Write the first drafts of the second two books in the Of Blood and Sorrow trilogy. I didn't do this one. My feet have been dragging these past few months. I will finish one before the holidays. I'm right at the big climax, but I won't start on the final one until January.

4. Read and review 100 books. I'm right on track with 93. Only 7 more to go!

5. Write and submit six short stories. Done. I'm constantly learning and improving. I wrote a lot of speculative fiction this year.

6. Study and try various marketing techniques. Ugh. This was my big time suck this year. I lost a lot of writing time to trying to figure out how to market my work. The only lesson I learned that will work: write more books.

7. Improve my writing speed and focus. I started the year off well with word sprints, but it got lost under my worrying about marketing.

2018 Goals

1. Write and release the second two books in the Of Blood and Sorrow trilogy. I haven't set release dates yet for my own sanity.

2. Read and review 100 books. This is a good number for me. I will try to do it every year for the rest of my life.

3. Write and submit ten short stories. I'm upping the number for this coming year. I can do a flash piece in an afternoon. It will be a nice break from the dark world of my trilogy when I need it.

4. Write more, market less. This year, I only wrote in the afternoons... if I had any time left. Next year, I'm making time in the morning and afternoon. Marketing will be scheduled for very limited times. Hopefully that will decrease my anxiety over it.

5. Take up the word sprints again and increase my writing speed. I'm hoping I'll write more with less marketing anxiety to weigh me down.

6. Work on new project. I have several written down I want to write. I'm not going to name one right now, because I might come up with something new and want to work on it! I'll go with what I'm feeling passionate for in that moment.

Did you meet your goals this year? What are yours for next year?

I'll be back on Christmas Day with a special surprise!