Best and Worst Things About Being a Writer, and Ten Things I Wish Every Aspiring Writer Knew by @Laire_McKinney @XpressoTours @BHCPressBooks #Tuesdaybookblog #bookblitz #newrelease #fantasy #destinyfulfilled #womensfiction #romance #faeries #druids #writingadvice

Destiny Fulfilled
Laire McKinney
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Only love can save them…

Wren O’Hara is waiting for the day she succumbs to mental illness like her mother. When she is attacked by a psychotic client at work, and saved by what must be an angel, she fears the time for insanity has come.

Little does she know, her savior is an immortal warrior druid named Riagan Tenman, and that he will challenge everything she ever thought she knew about reality.

Now Wren must decide if the fantasy unfolding before her is true, or if she has finally lost her mind.

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Guest Post by Laire McKinney:

Best and Worst Things About Being a Writer, and Ten Things I Wish Every Aspiring Writer Knew

The best things about being a writer are seeing my name in print, fulfilling a childhood fantasy, and letting my mind run wild, knowing it will only make a story better.

The worst things about being a writer are the slow pace of publishing, the uncertainty of any outcome, and the at-times debilitating self-doubt.

Ten Things I Wish Every Aspiring Writer Knew:

1. Your first attempt at a novel will not likely be the one. (There are always exceptions, but I know several authors who did not snag the publishing contract until book #2…or #3…or #4…). As for me, I was offered a contract on the second full-length novel I wrote, but that was already two years into the writing experience. One year was spent writing the novel that will never been seen. The second year was writing the one that got published. It is not a quick-turnaround business so reevaluate if that’s what you seek.

2. Community matters. I am as introverted and socially-awkward as they come, but I do venture out to writers’ groups and conferences, and am active on online forums. Having a peer group is essential to survival. I use them to bounce off plot ideas, to beta read, to cheer me on when I’ve been given good news, to cheer me up when I’ve been given bad news.

3. And there is a lot of bad news, so thicken that skin. Rejections. Rejections. Rejections. Then if you do land the contract and sail your way (via tumultuous seas) to the published novel, then there are the reviews—hopefully good, sometimes bad, occasionally downright mean. Then, if you’re one of the few, you’ll sell a lot of copies and make a lot of money. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, and this can vary month to month. Sometimes you might very well find yourself at the bottom and that sucks but it’s reality.

4. Do not be competitive with your peers. My writer friends have been some of the most supportive and encouraging and non-competitive people I could hope to know. A perfect example: I was at a workshop and the speaker wanted those in attendance to create a story together. Her disclaimer: do not worry that someone will steal the idea you’ve thrown out. Even if they started with that idea, their story will be vastly different from yours. Not to say there isn’t plagiarism and piracy, but among the writers you choose to call friends, be supportive and encouraging. You’ll appreciate that when it’s reflected back to you.

5. Be fearless. There is something to be said for writing for the masses. Agents and publishers know what’s trending, what has sold in the past, what is expected to sale in the future. But there is always the break-out novel that’s just different. In a cookie-cutter world, be a free-styling carver and you’ll land on your mark. (I hope that last statement makes sense!)

6. Enjoy the writing. I know from personal experience if I get bogged down in the business of writing (which you must learn), then I lose the creativity. It’s a balance. You can’t have one without the other, and if you no longer find you enjoy it, take a step back and write something for your pleasure only. There is a chance it might very well be your best yet.

7. You will have to spend money marketing, even if you have a publishing contract with a big agency. You need a website, social media, head shot, etc. It helps to join one or more organizations. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America (an excellent place to begin), as well as Women’s Fiction Writers. If you write YA, there is Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

8. If you want to write a genre but are embarrassed or afraid of how it’ll impact your day job or your image, use a pen name. It’s all good, but it’s best to decide that before you get published. If you want to write erotica, it’ll be hard to turn around and write YA under the same name. Not impossible, but tricky.

9. Understand there will be times when the words do not flow, the mind will not concentrate, and the writing timeline falls by the wayside. This happens to me all the time. I have three children, a dog, a hubs, a job, and sometimes it’s just not happening. What do I do? I don’t stress about it. It could be a day, a week, sometimes a month. That recharging period will help you come back renewed.

10. Writers are often introverts. I know I am, and I love to live in my head, to watch tv alone. I love to be in my house when it’s as quiet as an early morning in snowy December. But living your life is essential to good writing. We need experiences to draw from, ideas that simmer and stew and eventually become plot…we need to live life so we can retreat and create.

If you’ve already stepped onto the writerly path, what suggestions would you give to a new writer?

Many thanks for hosting me today. Cheers, Laire.

 

Author Bio:

Laire McKinney is the author of contemporary and fantasy women’s fiction. She believes in a hard-earned happily-ever-after, with nothing more satisfying than passionate kisses and sexy love scenes, endearing characters and complex conflict. When not writing, she can be found traipsing among the wildflowers, reading under a willow tree, or gazing at the moon while pondering the meaning of it all. She lives in Virginia with her family and beloved rescue pup, Lila da Bean.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Guest Post: Alena Des – Heartless

Treason has consequences and Riley knows them all too well. He has betrayed Lucifer and now he is on the run.

As an Angel of Deception and the son of The Sex Goddess, Riley has always been reckless; and it’s finally catching up with him. With his heart encaged by the Demon Lord himself, he is slowly losing his soul, but when he meets Oriana something in him stirs. Used to women falling all over him, Riley becomes captivated when she is able to resist his charm.

The unlikely pair is thrust together while murder, intrigue, and mayhem runs rampant during a newly raging Vampire war. Can these two souls save each other in a world that’s crumbling around them?

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I created Riley in the second book of my Kings series as a dark angel and the brother of my main female character. He was supposed to be a side character, a character that played his role and then jump back into non-existence. But Riley I created soon became much more. He was rebellious enough to take off on his own, defy my plans for him to be nothing more than a side character. Soon, he was backstabbing me as his creator, talking to my readers, making his secretive connections to a large fanbase. Every time he talked, he was mysterious, manipulative. I knew he was the King of Deceptions and soon began to believe he was playing with all of us.  Readers kept asking:  Is he good? Is he bad? Who is he?

The sexy, humorous and cocky angel soon had my readers panting after him. By the time I was done with my second book, I faced desertion by them unless I wrote his story, the angel who had captivated their hearts.  Oh, well…So, I was stuck with Riley. He almost screamed in my head as I was writing his book. I stopped apologizing to my readers for his vulgarity, rudeness and shallowness. He couldn’t help it, he was the son of the Sex Goddess. And, I was merely his voice. Besides, my readers wanted to know more about him, right? This was it. They were free to hate him.

It didn’t really work that way. Riley effused a natural charm. Who am I kidding? There was nothing natural about it. Women were after him. And he just didn’t give a damn. I almost didn’t like him. Almost. But as I scratched the surface with Riley, I found out so much more about this dark Angel.

I knew I was dancing with death. But I was gonna play the game until it claimed me. And eventually it would. There was no escape.”  

I began to wonder: Who was he running from? And why was he behaving this way? I had to find out.

I needed help to bring out the fun, vulnerable side which was bottled deep down Riley. For that, I needed to save him from himself and from the one who was after him. I found the help I needed in Oriana. The woman who lived among the humans but was so much more. The woman who was immune to his sex appeal. The woman who held her own secrets. I knew she would be my savior. And, she would be his.

“Hi there, luv,” I said, turning on the charm. From up close, she was an even better catch. Though she was shorter and not as curvy as I desired, there was something about her which made me pause. “My name is Riley, baby.”

“Get lost, Riley,” the woman said.

I had misheard her. There was no other explanation.

“C’mon,” I said, making sure I touched her. It was done.

I had her. I was sure. “I’m rather impatient, honey. What’s your name?” I asked, knowing full well I would not remember it a few seconds after she told me. It was still polite to ask.

“My name is Oriana,” she said politely, but I noticed the sarcasm. “Now get lost,” she repeated. I watched in amazement as she raised her middle finger.

She was making a ‘fuck off’ sign.

I was confused. I was shocked. There were only a few things that generated those feelings in me. I was having a truly weird moment right now. I liked it.

I can tell you that this whole book blog is all part of his plan. It is nothing but his masterful Deception. Read him at your expense, available since 15th of September, beware that he is waiting to charm you.  And, no one, but Oriana, is immune.

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Check out Heartless here.

 

Author Interview: C.K. Brooke

Today, I’m fortunate to present C.K. Brooke, author of the Jordinia series with 48fourteen Publishing, and the American Pirate Romances with Limitless.

Hi, C.K., thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Thanks for having me! I loved meeting you at Rust City Book Con in Detroit this summer.

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

CKBrookeAuthorHeadshotI originally grew up in Maryland, but have spent the last ten years of my adult life in the Midwest. Washington, Michigan is my current home, but I can’t lie, my heart is still in my other former home of Toledo, Ohio!

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

A good story, in my opinion, isn’t one-note. It strikes lots of chords. I love stories that incorporate not just adventure and intrigue, or a mystery that keeps me turning the pages, but heart, humor, romance, interesting characters, and good pacing between it all!

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

The-Duchess-Quest-Kindle-and-PrintMy debut novel, The Duchess Quest, was born of my fascination with Anastasia Romanov – the last Grand Duchess of Russia – and adventure romance stories like The Princess Bride. I thought, what if we could combine a lost duchess myth like Anastasia’s story with an adventure-quest between three men who couldn’t stand each other? I combined these ideas (and a few more) to create my first published novel.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

As a stay-at-home mom of a young child, I used to get all my writing done while he was napping or in bed for the night. Now, I try to write while he’s at school, or when my husband gets home from work to take over the parenting for a little while!

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I outline EVERYTHING! I leave nothing to chance or unaccounted for. I am extremely anal and detail-oriented about it; I have to have at least 20 pages of outline before beginning a new story, if not a notebook full drawings and notes. Other writers think I’m crazy, but I swear, it works like a charm to stave off writer’s block – or writing oneself into a corner.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

Duchess3_Final_500x750My latest release was The Duchess’s Descendants via 48fourteen Publishing in June 2017. It’s the third full-length novel in my Jordinia series, and is an upper-YA romantic fantasy adventure like its predecessors. My next release will be out on 26 September 2017 and is a clean adult romance, Commanding His Heart, the second installment of my American Pirate Romance series with Limitless Publishing.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

Creating my first book was full of surprises. 164 rejection letters were VERY surprising. Having the tenacity to try a 165th time and receive my first offer letter from a publisher was an even bigger – and much more welcome – surprise. 😊

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
I’m currently working on the final book in the Jordinia series, The Emperor’s Daughters! Here’s an exclusive excerpt, just for you:

Gathering her nerve, Benedicta made up her mind, broke apart from the prime minister, and followed him. “Mr. Petigya?”

He didn’t turn.

“Mr. Petigya?” she repeated firmly.

He stopped.

There. That wasn’t so hard. Benedicta softened her tone. “I was wondering what I might do to help.”

At last, he turned to look at her—really look—and Benedicta felt her cheeks burn under his scrutiny, even beneath the cool shade of her parasol. When he spoke, his words were as flat as the Bainherd Plains.

“You can watch.”

Benedicta scrunched her brow. “But, there must be some mistake. I didn’t take the locomotive all the way down here just to sit and watch your crew work. I came here to be of service. Like you asked me.”

He lifted an eyebrow. “Like I asked you?”

“Why, yes. You came to Pierma, recruiting volunteers, and I…” She faltered, already feeling foolish in her prim clothing, under her lacy shade. Abruptly, she lowered the parasol and snapped it shut. The sun blared in her face, but at least she could look him in the eye now.

“Want to help, princess?” He sounded irritated. “Give out water.”

Her mouth hung agape as he stalked off again. “Isn’t there something I can build?” she asked after him.

“Nothing that won’t soil those fancy gloves of yours.”

She looked down at her hands and hastily yanked off her gloves. Stuffing them into her skirt pocket, she bounded after him.

“Water’s over there.” He bobbed his chin impatiently, indicating a few barrels resting under a cluster of palm trees. Drinking gourds and empty coconut shells littered the ground, some crawling with flies, all looking used and unwashed.

Benedicta frowned. “But—”

“That is helping.” He flashed her a sudden smile, yet it was obviously forced, for her sake. “Working men need hydration, no?”

Benedicta stared at him. He didn’t look away.

So, it would be like this, would it?

Stromberg was right. When Raul Petigya had asked for volunteers, he didn’t mean her. Why would it matter to this Heppestonian man who Benedicta was? Regardless of whatever Prime Minister’s Uxo believed, Halai had no real need for a Jordinian duchess. It needed able-bodied workers who could pull their weight. And what did Benedicta appear to be, other than a delicate young woman? It would always chalk down to her appearance, would it?

Not if Benedicta had anything to say about it.

She straightened to her full height, although she had nothing on the man in front of her. “Mr. Petigya, I may not seem strong or powerful, but I assure you, I can be.”

Though he remained stoic, a flit of curiosity darted in his eye.

“And anyway, you were the one who said there wasn’t a thing I could not learn,” she reminded him.

She thought he might smile, was almost sure she saw the beginnings of one. Alas, he offered no change in expression, only facing her off in the sand, waiting for her to finish.

Benedicta narrowed her eyes, all pretenses dropped. “Now, I’m going to rinse out those filthy gourds you call drinking cups, and give water to your crew. Excuse me.” She turned on her heel, heading for the barrels.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

Expect the final Jordinia book, as well as an all-new upper-YA urban fantasy (with romance) in 2018!

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

The best money I’ve ever spent as a writer has been registration to every book convention I’ve attended, as well as my RWA (Romance Writers of America) membership. The friends I’ve made and professionals I’ve networked with have been a priceless font of support, friendship, and resources.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

If you’re reading this interview, I’d love to hear from you! There’s a contact form on my website, www.CKBrooke.com, and my email address is on there as well. You can find my books on Goodreads, Amazon, my website, and my publishers’ websites. Check out all my social media links below.

And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter at CKBrooke.com/VIPClub for freebies and fun!

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Free eBook of The Last Empress: A Jordinia Prequel Novella at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072MHXFRH

About the Author
C.K. Brooke is an Amazon bestselling, award-winning indie author of over a dozen romantic fantasy novels and novellas. Her books have been published by 48fourteen and Limitless Publishing, as well as self-published. Her debut novel, The Duchess Quest, was selected by Shelf Unbound Magazine as a Top 100 Notable Indie Book of 2015 and received five stars from Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Awards Contest. In 2017, her YA novel, Secrets of Artemis, received the Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Award. More of her publications have been nominated in the 2017 RONE Awards and Global EBook Awards. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and son. Visit CKBrooke.com and subscribe for a free eBook!

Links
Website: www.CKBrooke.com
Newsletter: http://ckbrooke.com/vipclub
Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/ckbrooke
Facebook: https://facebook.com/ck.brooke
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorckbrooke
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/+ckbrooke
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ckbrooke

Books by C.K. Brooke

JORDINIA SERIES
The Duchess Quest (48fourteen, 2014 and 2017)
The Duchess Inheritance (48fourteen, 2015)
The Duchess’s Descendants (48fourteen, 2017)
The Last Empress: A Jordinia Prequel Novella (2017)

WORLD OF JORDINIA NOVELS
The Red Pearl (48fourteen, 2015)
The Wrong Prince (48fourteen, 2016)

AMERICAN PIRATE ROMANCES
Capturing the Captain (Limitless, 2016)
Commanding His Heart (Limitless, TBR September 2017)

TEEN GODDESS
Secrets of Artemis (2015)

NOVELLAS & OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Fool Moon (2015)
Heiress Heist (2016)
The Golden Dove (2016)
Deepwood: A Haunting (2017)
Elphame Realms E-Zine #1 (Elphame Press, 2017)
Elphame Realms E-Zine #2: Something Witchy This Way Comes (Elphame Press, TBR October 2017)

ALSO AVAILABLE

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The Duchess Quest: The Album
Audio CD

Enjoy a musical soundtrack to the story! Includes over 30 minutes of 14 original songs written, performed and produced by the author.

Full Audio CD on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Duchess-Quest-Album-C-K-Brooke/dp/B01KWB2CHK/

Listen on YouTube to 7 FREE tracks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLupAA1FZu8AVce1WI34p0LKnnt6EIWH4X&v=HRWQ-Bpme9

Introducing Romance Between The Pages Weekly Podcast

Ever wondered about the personalities behind your favorite books? Victoria Danann’s new podcast with Riley J. Ford has an incredible lineup of authors booked through the spring. No question is out of bounds. Check it out!

THIS WEEK’S BEST SELLING AUTHOR…

Laxmi Hariharan!

I am a New York Times bestselling author of Paranormal Romance.

Listen on Itunes (Subscribe so you never miss an episode! It’s FREE!)

Author Interview: D.H. Gibbs

Today I’m fortunate to present D.H. Gibbs author of Nika and upcoming book A Touch of Kindness.

Hi D.H., thanks for agreeing to this interview!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

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I was born and raised on the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. We are the southernmost islands of the Caribbean.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

A good story is built on a solid environment and amazing characters. Once the two are cohesive it sets the foundations for readers to have a wonderful experience.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

41uTzTQqeGLWriting, in general, came at a time when I wanted a career change. I had to consider what was the one thing I loved above all else. It turns out I loved storytelling and I’ve been doing it off and on for many years. Once I made my decision two stories began stalking me: one Children’s and one Young adult. Since I could not get them out of my head I had to write them. Thus Danny the Firefly and Nika came to fusion.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

My work schedule overall is hectic. I’m not a full-time writer yet so I work full time which can average 8 to 12 hour days. Most of the time I write whenever I can squeeze more time out of the day. Which is usually early morning or late nights.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Recently, I realized I pace a lot. Lol. Sometimes when I try to work out a detail I get up and walk it out. Then jump back in my seat to write it down.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

A-Touch-Of-KindnessMy latest book is called A Touch Of Kindness. It’s a sweet romance where the main character saw someone being mugged and helps him out. I won’t say any more because I don’t want to spoil it but there are secrets and drama that everyone will love.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

That I can actually create a book. That I can sit and write so many words that people enjoy.  Not to mention have it published.  I didn’t think I could do not at first but now I’m a junkie. I can’t stop.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

From A Touch of Kindness:

Turning back she looked up at his six feet tall frame. By the look on his face and the slight flush in the cheeks, his apology was genuine. Releasing her pent up breath, she settled her shoulders and faced him fully. A sucker for a real apology, she gave in and asked, “How’s your face?”

He gingerly touched the discolored circle around his eye. “Much better than it looks.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re OK.”

“Thanks. My Name is Ro… er, Quin.”

Her brows gathered. “Did you get hit in the head and forgot your name?”

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?

After my sweet romance, I plan on publishing the second installment in the Seychatka Series, my YA Fantasy. I also have another short story romance in the works, but that one won’t be as sweet.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Scrivener and buffer. They are both useful apps that help me to reduce me long list of things to do.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I can be found at any of the links below

www.facebook.com/dhgibbsauthor

www.dhgibbs.com

tweet to @dhgibbsauthor

www.goodreads.com/author/show/14098357

 

Or

 

www.facebook.com/dhgkids

www.dhgkids.wordpress.com

tweet to @dhgkids

About the Author

Hailing from her native Trinidad and Tobago, Author, Illustrator, and lifelong bibliophile D.H. Gibbs found a way to blend her creative abilities with her love of the written word.

From her early days, she spent many waking moments crafting tales, honing her graphic design skills, or dreaming up elaborate vacation plans to satisfy her love of exploring new locations. Her creative endeavors have afforded her many opportunities and inspired her to take her love of new and different worlds to craft Childrens’ and New Adult books for readers everywhere.

When not writing, she can be found dreaming up new, fantastical stories for her fans or indulging her love of art, reading, or planning her next great adventure.

Book Spotlight: Mary Crawford

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Genre: Romance

Book Description

https://www.amazon.com/Paths-Taken-Hidden-Beauty-Novel-ebook/dp/B073ZP48N7

Jordan Shepherd has regrets. Big ones. When she makes a seemingly rash decision which potentially costs her everything, she must come face-to-face with her family and start rebuilding her life.

Cristiano Romero knows a little bit about starting over after a catastrophe. He is trying to make it as an on-air talent covering the X Games, yet he still has the heart of a competitor. When he crosses paths with Jordan, he finds himself wanting to compete in a whole new game.

Can Jordan and Cristiano come to grips with the paths not taken and begin a life together?

About the Author

screen-shot-2017-07-21-at-10-34-15I have been lucky enough to live my own version of a romance novel. I married the guy who kissed me at summer camp. He told me on the night we met that he was going to marry me and be the father of my children. Eventually, I stopped giggling when he said it, and we just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary. We have two children. The oldest is in medical school, where he recently found and married the love of his life, and the youngest is now tackling middle school.

I write full time now. I have published over a dozen books and have several more underway. I volunteer my time to a variety of causes. I have worked as a Civil Rights Attorney and diversity advocate. I spent several years working for various social service agencies before becoming an attorney. In my spare time, I love to cook, decorate cakes and of course, I obsessively, compulsively, read.

Social Media Links

Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Crawford/e/B00KRGWI3Y

Website
http://marycrawfordauthor.com

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/authormarycrawford/

Twitter

www.twitter.com/MaryCrawfordAuthor

Other Books

The first book of the Hidden Beauty series is free.

https://www.amazon.com/Until-Stars-Hidden-Beauty-Novel-ebook/dp/B00UPEUXBM

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2nd series. Hidden Hearts

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First book in this series is also free.

https://www.amazon.com/Identity-Heart-Hidden-Hearts-Novel-ebook/dp/B012JXZS20

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