Thursday, October 19, 2017

Jumping Genres With Gleeful Abandon!

I've always enjoyed moving from one time period to another with my writing. There was always something challenging about pulling yourself out of a post-Civil War historical mode and tossing yourself helter-skelter into a steamy contemporary theme.

I'm fortunate enough to actively write for three great publishers who indulge my creative need for challenge and my desire to not be tied to one specific genre. I do have books with a fourth publisher but haven't written for them in a couple of years simply because they prefer to authors to focus on one particular genre and, unfortunately for our partnership, my brain just isn't wired that way.

My current contracted works-in-progress include:

  • Waking Up in Oz - a vintage retelling of the Wizard of Oz
  • Her Highland Hottie - a contemporary erotic novella sequel to my winter release, Kilty Pleasures
  • Secret Santa's Surprise - a 2018 holiday novella sequel to Bewitched
  • And an untitled time travel/fantasy sequel to my latest release, The Vessel

I just returned from a wonderful weekend in Manchester, NH where I attended Fall In Love With New England, an author/reader get-together centered on the reader, rather than the writer. Authors gave workshops and played games geared toward the reader. We had a costumed dinner party (my Egyptian Pharaoh costume took second place), and held a book signing which was also open to the general public.

I hadn't done a reader event in years and this smaller, more intimate conference was a great way to get my feet wet again. One of the many comments I heard from new-to-me readers were that they were anxious to see how well I moved from one genre to the next. Hopefully, given they either bought or won books from four different genres, they won't be disappointed.

I'm writing this at the end of a long travel day so I'll keep it short. I'd love to hear from you on how you feel about authors writing in more than one genre. Do you think it helps or hinders their ability to create a good book?

Until next month.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Magic Time @Liz Flaherty

From USA Today:
Actor Jack Lemmon was known as “America’s Everyman.” Before every take, he used to say, “It’s magic time.” Then he’d go to work, and he was right — it was magical. Writing (and reading!) romance novels provides that kind of magic for me, but like anyone else, I sometimes forget where the joy comes from. What could be a better reminder than having “Magic Time” embroidered on a Christmas stocking? – Liz Flaherty, author of Miracle on Joyful Street
It was, I felt, a rare moment of profundity for me. I did indeed have stockings made with "Magic Time" embroidered on the cuff. I must admit that I love them so much I'm finding it extremely difficult to give them away, but that's why I had Missy Hileman make them for me, right? 
Magic stockings were part of our theme in this year's Christmas Town anthology, Heartwarming Holiday Wishes. The first one was found last year in my novella, The Magic Stocking, and the other Heartwarming writers ran with the idea. And ran very well. I love the stories in this year's collection. I hope you will, too.

It has been a difficult year in a lot of ways. Not just for me, but for many people I know and care for. There have been so many losses, so much illness, so much emotional pain. Many of us are so exhausted we're having trouble determining which end is up. 
I hope and pray that we all find--and keep--the magic.
The Christmas Town residents have a Facebook page all their own we'd love to have you join. We even have a web page with all kinds of cool things on it like coloring pages and giveaways. 
Speaking of giveaways, in the spirit of all things magic and of all Heartwarming Holiday Wishes, I'm giving away one of my precious stockings and signed copies of two of my books to a person who comments here. Tell us where you find the magic.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Finding Mercy on Kindle Scout @BonnieEdwards #GemsinAttic

I just realized that the title for this blog tells a story in itself. Finding Mercy on Kindle Scout...and I guess that's actually what I'm asking for.

I am excited to share the news that my book Finding Mercy has been selected for the Kindle Scout program. I need all the help I can get! The competition’s tough, and it’s an honor to be included.
I would appreciate your nomination for Finding Mercy. Every single click helps. 

You'll be able to read a sample from the book to see if you'd like to see it published by Amazon.

Here’s a bit about the story:

Can a child bring two people together?

Mercy Talbot left Welcome on a high—a golden-girl. But now she’s a broke failure. All she wants is a new start, but her precocious niece sends Mercy on a journey into her past that will change everyone’s future.

Clay Foster was once the town bad boy, but marriage and a daughter transformed him into a devoted father. 

Widowed and struggling to be the daddy Dilly needs, Clay fears his attraction to Mercy will put Dilly’s heart on the line. Because women like Mercy always have an exit strategy.

With my appreciation, you can vote for Finding Mercy here:

For readers, this program exposes them to fresh, new writing from authors they may never have heard of before. What reader doesn't delight in finding new books to read? They get to sample books and have their say in which books may be offered a publishing contract. If a book they nominate is chosen for publication, they'll get a copy to read and enjoy as soon as it's released! 

For authors, it means thousands of new-to-you readers will read your work. For writers who are publishing their own work, that kind of exposure is golden. about helping a girl out? Let your vote count on Kindle Scout!

Friday, October 13, 2017

I’ll never write another blurb! by Jan Scarbrough

Have you ever spent months or sometimes years writing a novel? By the time you’re finished with it, you’re brain dead—so involved with character and plot that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Then you must write the back-cover blurb for your self-published work or for an editor. That’s when I find myself trying to come up with a concise description of what I’ve just slaved over for so long.

Thank goodness, I found the “BlurbWriter” Kat Sheridan. She’s written and refreshed blurbs for me, spotting elements that I overlook and making my blurbs so much cleaner and crisper. It amazes me what she can do with only my filled-in form to go from.

Here’s an example from my revised book Secrets:

My blurb: With her daughter all grown up and married, single mom Kelly Baron can start her new life in North Carolina, responsible only for herself. But first she must help her mother by returning to the small Indiana town she fled years ago.

Newly divorced lawyer, Rob Scott, seeks solace in his small-town roots. The last thing he’s looking for is a relationship—until he runs into Kelly, and the secret she’s been keeping from him for twenty-one years.

BlurbWriter blurb: Schoolteacher Kelly Baron raised her child alone. Now that her daughter’s grown and married, Kelly can finally start her new life in North Carolina, responsible only for herself. She has just one more thing to do: help her mother. To do so, she must return to Heritage Springs, Kentucky, the place she’d fled years before. Back then she’d been nothing but a small-town girl from the wrong side of the tracks, hiding a secret that could have destroyed lives.

Newly divorced lawyer Rob Scott seeks solace for his heartache in his small-town roots. Maybe being an incurable romantic isn’t smart for a lawyer who has to deal with hard facts. The last thing he’s looking for is a relationship. He’d made millions in Chicago, but in his heart, he’s always kept a secret dream, a desire he’s never told anyone. Then he runs into Kelly, the girl who’d disappeared from his life years ago, leaving behind only hurt and unanswered questions.

Kelly’s kept her secret all these years. But sometimes the only way to build a future is to face the past.

Kat says, “I love helping authors bring out the best in their books. My goal is to have every potential book buyer think "Oh, I just have to read that book!" after they've read one of my blurbs. I strive to help authors by writing blurbs that turn book browsers into book buyers!”

So, the next time you have a blurb to write, check out Kat’s website And for authors who rather do it themselves, take a look at her book on Amazon: Blurb Your Novel: How to Write Book Descriptions for Fiction.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Treat of a Retreat By Kathleen Lawless

It seems funny to think that authors might need and benefit from a writing retreat. After all, isn't that what we do every day?  Retreat to our office; retreat to our own world; a world of people and places we have created?

Even though we have all those friends in our head, it's still a very solitary pursuit.  And often real life gets in the way.  From a broken appliance to a broken ankle to a sick friend or an empty refrigerator..... the list goes on and we crave that escape.  That place where nothing interrupts the muse.  Where tea and wine and snacks are close at hand and no one is asking, "What's for dinner?". 
The bonus is the like-minded writer friend or posse, always at the ready to help brainstorm and problem-solve a stubborn or thorny plot point.

I've been to retreats with one or two others, retreats that numbered fifteen or more, and everything in between.  Each experience brings an invaluable dimension to my work.  As I write this it feels like time to make plans for my next writing retreat.  My favorite is when there is a spa booked at the end of the day as a reward for all my hard work.  What about you?  What's your ideal retreat experience? 

Kathleen Lawless is the award-winning author of over 20 novels, and is busy anticipating her next retreat with some long stretched of writing time spent on her up-coming series.  Sign up for her newsletter for updates and receive a free novella.

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