Tuesday, October 29, 2013

21 Ways

This came up on BookBaby, so I thought I'd share, maybe it can help some of our newer members or even some of us older ones.
"21 Ways Readers Will Discover Your Author Website1. Search on Google, Bing, etc. Someone types in your name, pen-name, book title, or a keyword phrase into a search engine and your website shows up in the search results. Click! Bam.
2. You announce your website’s URL at readings, signings, panel discussions, etc. And it’s a memorable URL, right? (Preferably “YourAuthorName.com”)
3. Real-world conversations. At the library at a bookstore, on an airplane, you tell someone you’re a writer. They ask where they can read your books. You say “check out my website at… ”
4. Business cards — simple, simple.
5. Your URL is included on your printed book (jacket or interior) — simple, simple.
6. Your URL is listed on posters and other printed material announcing a reading or other event — simple, simple.
7. Your website content gets shared on Twitter, Facebook, other blogs, etc.
8. You link to your website from your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.)
9. The signature of your email has a link to your website.
10. The footer of your email newsletter (and lots of the content within the email) leads to your website.
11. Link exchanges, blogs swaps, oh my! Do a guest-post for another author’s blog or literary-interest site. Link back to your site in the article. Voila!
12. Your URL is displayed on all your promo materials: press release, one-sheet, and press kit.
13. Your website URL is written right at the top of your YouTube video descriptions. (What kind of author videos? Well, book trailers, taped readings and interviews, behind-the-scenes mini-documentaries, video poems, etc.)
14. Annotations in your YouTube videos mention your website.
15. The YouTube video itself displays your URL.
16. Your URL is mentioned in TV or radio advertising.
17. You or the show’s host mention your website in a radio or podcast interview.
18. Your website gets mentioned by a book reviewer/literary critic. This could include magazines, journals, newspapers, blogs, etc.
19. Your URL is listed on the website or catalog for a publisher, writers group, professional association, or author collective. 
20. Paid online advertising (Google ads, Facebook ads, etc.) links back to your website.
21. Sky writing, Telepathy, Hypnotism, Prophecy — because you’ve got to cover every angle, right?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hmmm. Peter Pan I presume?

      It happened again....the coffee cup hit the table as I asked the computer, "Are you outta your pea-pickin mind? You can't do that...you've gone nuts!" Followed by muttering and then, "Oh don't you start with me...I said no." Shadieux, one of my dog herd, looked at me with eyebrow Olympic warm-ups in gear- you know, first one goes up until her head is mired in wrinkles, and then the other one. My husband wandered out and looked all around trying to decide who I was speaking to and looking as confused as the dog. The son strolled through, sized up the situation and removed the cup, it reappeared- freshly filled as he commented,
"You brought them in, you can erase them too?" Now the hubs looked really confused, he's figured out the kid is in the loop when he followed with "which one is it?"  And knew which story it was by the name of the character given. He had to explain it to his dad.
     I always say I'm not going to argue with my characters, I mean, it's just arguing with myself...right?? Yeah, I don't care if no one else can see or hear them, I can. Which is why I write their stories. I know them...I like them. Sometimes I like them more than real people. There are people who look at me funny when they ask where the stories come from and I answer, from the characters. They tell me who they are and where they've been and then its up to me to guide them on a journey someone else would want to read about.
   Over a lunch with my friend Holly, we were having a discussion over the current series when she lamented that she couldn't even manage a decent email some days and then repeated a section from Rebel Child and followed it with, "I could close me eyes and see it, smell it, it was like I was there too." She shook her head and said she couldn't do that. So it became an exercise.
     "Close your eyes, do not snore, and see a tray of cookies coming out of the oven...what do you smell?"
      "What else?"
      We went on like this for maybe five minutes until she got to the nuances of flavors in said cookies, the tell-tale smell of gas from the oven, the warm on the oven mitt releasing a bit of the odor from a scorched spot. I stopped to scribble a couple words on an envelope and she asked if it was characters
leaving me love notes. (Yeah, she's catching on.) Then she asked a question that stumped me.
"This is like being a kid and having an imaginary friend...talking to them, having tea parties and then...poof, they're gone. How do you keep that part alive?"
    In truth, she's pretty close. In reality...I have no clue- maybe writers are just part Peter Pan? We're observant...it shows when we create a character or a place in a new work, we're nosy- we want to know, what happens next...so why not?
   I asked the current crop of characters what they thought...they're arguing over it still...I need to go ground them- it worked with the kids when they argued.

I'm Carissa Marks, mom, grandma, wife,sister,friend, pain in the neck, author of The Realm of Night Trilogy, Confessions of a Rebel Child, Beastly Beauty, and under my alter ego-Cici Adams, I wrote Samaria Blair and The Secret in the Abbey.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My writing quilt

I found this diagram in Writer's Digest. It's a witty take on the writing process. Also, it fits me since I spend more time procrastinating than writing. I showed it to my friend at work. She's an avid quilter and I joked that she should make a quilt of the diagram. To my surprise, she was eager to try it and now it's the newest addition to my office. (She got permission from the author). Whenever I get discouraged, I glance at it and I can't help but chuckle.

Here's a sample of one of the procrastination/distraction branches:

         -Water-----Here's hoping your prose is more interesting than your vices

          -Alcohol----Read biography of Hunter S. Thompson-----Proceed with caution; avoid Vegas

          -Coffee---Just know that your readers can tell when you've had more than 3 cups

Follow the green circles in the next two pics.

Follow the blue circles in the next two pics.

Quotes were intertwined for an added touch.

To read more about a writer's journey feel free to visit my blog at Lynn Doezema.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Introducing the Emblazoners!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m Lisa Orchard the bestselling author of the Super Spies series, and I’d like to introduce you to a coalition of authors who have banded together to “Emblazon Stories on the Hearts of Children.” We call ourselves the “Emblazoners” and we write for that Upper Middle Grade/ Lower Young Adult Market or succinctly put the “Tween” Market. To check out the Emblazoner Website, click this link:   http://emblazoners.com/

I love writing for this age group and I know the other Emblazoner authors feel the same way. It’s such an exciting time full of new experiences and emotions. There’s also a lot of angst associated with these years. To alleviate some of that angst we strive to keep our stories entertaining, while at the same time teaching with them. Whether it’s a life lesson weaved through out a suspenseful mystery, or a history lesson with a time travel thread.
Many of the Emblazoner authors use humor to tell their story and this age group loves that, especially the physical humor found in many of our comedy movies today.  So if you’re looking for some great books to give to the tweens in your life. Check out the Emblazon Website, I’m sure there’s something there for even the most reluctant reader. Here’s the link: http://emblazoners.com/

Below is a sample of some of the books found on the site and there are many more! So check out the site, you’ll be glad you did!

 This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…


When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they’re given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn’t a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.
Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers–legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial–Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don’t, then history itself may be turned upside down.

amazon Cycles-cover-ebook with kindle book review

When Renee discovers that her neighbor, Dr. Dawson, has bags of his dead daughter’s frozen blood stored in his basement, she decides it’s up to her to uncover the doctor’s mysterious past. What she learns, however, is not what she expects. Now she and her friend Sam Miller are on the run, hiding from scientists who want to use what the two teenagers know to change human life forever.

The Candle Star

After a moment of high spirits—a tantrum, her mother called it—Emily is sent from the plantation to her inn-keeping uncle in Detroit. There she meets Malachi, the son of freed slaves, who challenges everything she’s grown up believing. With plenty of bumps and humor, their abrasive relationship develops into respect, then friendship. But when Emily stumbles upon two runaways hidden in her uncle’s barn, she finds that old ways die hard. And Mr. Burrows, the charming Southern slave catcher, is lodged in the hotel.

Over the sound of the snapping fire, she heard Vontu whispering, “But why do they hate her? Why did he call her ‘Death’?”
Marki held her breath and picked at the scrapes on her arms, listening to how Isbi would answer. The reply came carefully.
“She has been unfortunate throughout her life in that death seems to follow her bursts of temper. She blames herself—says she made the people die, but she’s never hurt anyone. She only throws words.”
“She made them die?”
“That’s what she believes…and so do others in The Village.”
What Marki doesn’t know is that she is one of the legendary lost Ancients, and she is the Governor of Death–and that she will take part in saving her whole world.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. There are more books available over at the Emblazon site. I'm sure you'll find something that will appeal to your tween. If you'd like to check out the books just click this link: http://emblazoners.com/our-books/

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How do you know when it's done?

That's a question I hear a lot when teaching people to bake for the first time. Lately I've been asking myself that question.  Every time I think I have the absolute last recipe for my cookbook, I get stressed out by yet one more thing and end up coming up with some new recipe that I just "have" to included.

My alpha tester all along has been my husband. He's honest when something isn't working and doesn't oversell a recipe that is tasty but not truly outstanding. My beta testers are the crew at a local diner (Red Geranium) and they've been awesome as well.

I've got beta testers to proof out the recipes all lined up and I'm planning on getting them the recipes before the end of the month. I've refined my oldest  recipes, making sure I have the steps and methods outlined correctly. Section titles have been determine, a book title has been selected, and formatting has begun.

So, how do you know when your book is really done? I'm not sure. I'm still new to this self-publishing business. My best guess is to set an absolute, drop dead date for getting the book formatted and ready to be proofed by an editor. Or perhaps it's the fact that I just had another cover shoot for the book - which involves a flurry of baking for models. Either way, I need to wrap up this book soon. Which means I need to quite baking for awhile and find another form of stress relief.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Changing Tides - Soon!

Okay, so aside from writing the story in the first place one of my favorite parts is seeing the cover. I've been really lucky and pretty much all of my covers are wonderful. This one is too! Changing Tides, a New Reality Book from Resplendence Publishing comes out October 16th!


Growing up in a world where change is feared, life is planned and predictable. The final step into adulthood is celebrated at age 25 with three life-altering choices.

Brett DeMarco is a First Lieutenant in the country’s Security Forces and is pretty sure he knows what his choices will be. When his lover dies, he throws himself into his work until he runs into gorgeous Orion Hellman, a manual laborer on base who never talks and changes everything he thought he knew.

UNEDITED Excerpt -

The gray, early morning sky matched his mood.

First Lieutenant Brett DeMarco pushed himself harder. The same cloying emotions that had motivated him in the field and helped him secure his promotion into the intelligence arena grabbed hold of him, driving him through the base along an increasingly difficult course. Familiar terrain slipped away as images of Teran Prescott’s battered body pushed its way forward. Brett ground his teeth and clenched his fist, his chest tightened and tears fell fast.

No! He chastised himself.

No. He was stronger than this. Stronger than a memory. Stronger than images that would never leave him. Grasping for other emotions and memories, he pushed his body harder, needing to outrun the pain. Brett stumbled and fell. He landed awkwardly, sprawled over the ground and a body. Shaking his head, he tried to make sense of what had happened and where he was.

“What the—” he started to say, pushing himself up. Brett stopped and stared at the man beneath him until he started squirming. Carefully Brett pulled himself to his feet and held his hand out to help the other man up. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t watching where I was going. Are you okay?” Brett asked looking down at the man in the dirty tan coveralls. Shorter than himself, haunted golden brown eyes looked up at him before turning away. His dark brown hair was long enough to be pulled back. Very few men he’d met had hair that long and certainly no one on a military base. “Excuse me, are you okay?” He asked again, laying a hand on the man’s arm.

The man shrugged and tried to turn away.

“I’m Lieutenant Brett DeMarco. Are you hurt anywhere?”

Concern flooded Brett. A head injury maybe. He’d never heard of injuries that rendered a person conscious but speechless. Brett worried the inside of his cheek. He wasn’t a doctor and his knowledge of medicine was limited to little more than what was needed on the battlefield. Medicine had been Taren’s plan. His lover had wanted to be a trauma surgeon, but the state education counselors hadn’t thought his aptitude high enough for that. Two weeks before his twenty-fifth birthday, his fiancĂ©e had learned he’d been assigned to general medicine instead. Teran had been irate. Brett pushed the memories aside.

“Are you okay?” Brett asked again, not hiding his concern or softening the demand.

The man shrugged again.

Brett tried again. “What is your name?”

The man frowned and shook his head.

“What is your name?” Brett insisted. Taking a deep breath, he ran his fingers up the other man’s arms, watching for signs of pain or discomfort.

The other man flinched and stepped back.

Brett instinctively tightened his grip on the man’s biceps. “I’m not trying to hurt you. I just want to make sure you’re not injured. I don’t think you’re okay.”

The man frowned again, but stepped forward.

“Do you understand what I’m saying?”

The man nodded.

“At least it’s not a language issue,” Brett muttered. “Where are you hurt? Point to it, if you won’t tell me.”

The man shrugged again.

Frustration welled up. Brett took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “If you don’t answer me, I’ll have to take you into the base hospital.”

The man’s features contorted into fear and he pulled back, struggling to escape.

What the hell was going on? Brett asked himself. “Okay. Okay. Stop. No hospital.” Brett frowned and rubbed the back of his neck with one hand. The man understood him, but refused to answer his questions. “Can you talk?” he asked finally.

The man shook his head no, giving Brett one of the first definitive answers since he’d bumped into him. “Okay, so you can’t talk. Do you have a name?”

A nod this time.

Brett rubbed his neck again and returned his hold on both of the smaller man’s arms. It was a start. It didn’t answer the big questions though. “Can you write your name down? In the dirt maybe.”

A head shake no.

“Do you have anything that tells me who you are?”

The man stepped back, pulling against Brett’s grasp.

Brett blew out a breath. Something was seriously spooking the other man. “You look about my age.” Brett bit his cheek again. “You don’t have to show me your ID.” Muscles flexed under Brett’s fingers. “Since you can’t tell me if anything hurts, I want to check you for injuries. I landed pretty hard on you. Okay?” Brett softened his voice. “I promise, nothing more than that.”

The man hesitated then nodded.

Brett ran his fingers along the other man’s arms and shoulders, down his back, up his neck and over his head. Pushing occasionally, watching him closely for any reaction. It was a technique he’d learned from Taren. The man stiffened, flinching when his fingers traveled to close to the man’s ass. “Does it hurt from the fall?”

The man shook his head.

“Do you hurt anywhere else?” Brett asked, standing in front of him once more, rubbing his thumb over the other man’s hand. “Thank you. I wish I knew your name, you’re cute.”

The man shook his head and opened his eyes wide. Unzipping the coveralls to his waist, he pushed the fabric to one side and pointed to a patch on the right side of the shirt above where a pocket had been at one time.

“Hellman? Your name is Hellman?” Brett asked. “This is your last name?”

The man nodded.

Brett smiled then frowned. The man’s brow furrowed in response. The shirt under the coveralls might have been military issued at one time, but the slight fading and missing pocket meant it should have been thrown away. It wasn’t something security forces personnel would wear. Nor were they ever allowed to have long hair. Most civilian males didn’t even have long hair, the government frowned on it. “You aren’t in the military,” Brett said flatly. “Who are you and why are you here?”

A look passed quickly over Hellman’s face and disappeared before Brett could pinpoint it. Hellman blew out a breath and showed him the other patch. He pointed to himself and the ground, then to Brett and away from them.

Brett hesitated before nodding. Special staff personnel were civilians assigned to the security forces and as far as he knew there were only a handful. It was a special position reserved for certain selected people.

Brett mentally stepped back. The other man was gorgeous. He wasn’t ready for a relationship of any kind. But sex was something he could handle though, if the other man was willing. Sex without a permanent relationship was encouraged by government officials, who in the interest of limiting the number of children people had and the drain on resources, had ruled that anyone not married underwent sterilization the day after they turned twenty-five. Brett ran his thumb across the man’s arm slowly, hoping for a sign of encouragement from him.

Hellman stepped back breaking all contact. He pointed at Brett again, then to the road he must have come down.

Brett looked around. At some point he’d left the main road and had taken a hard dirt-packed trail. “What is it?” Brett asked, reaching for Hellman.

The other man slipped from his grip and pointed from him to the road and stomped his foot. Brett backed away as anger and fear chased each other across Hellman’s face. There was no mistaking what the smaller man was trying to tell say. Brett needed to leave. Now.

“Okay, I’ll leave,” Brett said, raising his hands. “Will you be safe here alone?”

Hellman nodded.

“Can I see you again?”

He shook his head no vehemently and picked up the shovel.

Brett nodded, reached out and cupped Hellman’s cheek, wincing internally at the man’s flinch and weary gaze. Stroking his thumb along Hellman’s face, Brett closed his eyes briefly and memorized the sensations before turning and running back toward the main part of the base. Something was off about the entire situation, Brett knew it in his gut, the same way he knew there was something special about the smaller man.



Sunday, October 6, 2013

Not all social media is friendly

      This weekend has been an eye opener. As me, myself, and I- I am quite vocal & political and I have no filter. A response I made to someone on a friend's page was reported, after she removed all of hers and I got a ban from facebook. Okay, no biggie. That's what I thought until I went to my author page. This is a separate entity from my personal page...no posts on anything except books, release dates, characters, works in progress, signing dates and public appearances. That was shut down also. So I nosed around to another friend who writes for a newspaper and has an author page. She's been shut down for thirty days for the same thing. They did this less than 2 weeks before her book released which really screwed that one up.
     Of course they have also made it nearly impossible to contact the wonderkids at facey placey, so I can only wait it out, in the meantime, I'm also moving my author profile to Google+. I'm not crazy about it but a back up plan is better than nothing.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Merry Christmas?

by Patricia Kiyono

In another two months I'll be knee deep in Christmas preparations for our family. But in the writing world, the holidays begin much earlier. The publisher through which my first seven books were released has a July 31 deadline for holiday books, and even though I started the story in May, I was nowhere near finished by July 31. So I had three options: A, self-publish, B, save the story until next year, or C, find another publisher with a later deadline.
While I don't consider myself totally inept using my computer, I don't want to spend time learning all the ropes for self-publishing. I know several GRRWG members have been very successful going this route, but I don't believe this is what I want to do. Saving the story for next year is an option, but since I had already written most of the story I decided to shop around. I queried two other ebook distributors who have released books by writers I know, and found their deadline was in September. So I decided to finish the book and submit it elsewhere.
For some reason, once I made my decision, the words stopped coming. I had to make myself sit down, turn off the internet and write. I found a critique partner online who read each chapter as I sent it – sometimes two at a time, and she gave me immediate feedback. I got two other writers to read the whole thing once it was done and give me feedback about the flow, and my 26 year old daughter was fabulous at keeping my characters dialogue true to their age, and not my age.

So with a lot of help, I got the story submitted, and I actually got a contract for Christmas Wishes from EsKape Press, hopefully to be released at the beginning of November! But I don't advocate doing it the way I did – I really, really hate being last minute. It's kind of like doing all your Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve!