Wednesday, December 7, 2016

INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP AND TUMBLEWEEDS

Welcome Wednesday, IWSG DAY!

 
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.




 
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG
 
Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of IWSG.
 
 
The question for today is: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what's your plan to get there?

 
Interesting question. I don't look five years ahead for my writing career or any part of my life. I do good to keep up with today and maybe next week. I hope I'm still writing five years from now. I hope I've had several more novels published by then. My plan to get there is just to keep writing, as long as ideas pop into my head. I'm with some great publishers now and hope they'll like my future work. So I write and write and hope someone reads my writing. (That's a lot of hoping.)

 
I'm changing the subject for a minute. Since I'm seeing all sorts of lovely Christmas trees decorating stores and homes, it brought to mind the tree below.
 
 
Have you ever seen a Tumbleweed Christmas Tree?
No? Then take a look at this one.
 
 
"This unique Chandler, Arizona, tradition began in 1957, when Chandler resident Earl Barnum raised the idea of a tumbleweed tree after he saw a similar one in Indiana built out of cone-shaped chicken wire with pine boughs stuck in the holes. Many members of the community helped create the first tree in Chandler using tumbleweeds that they gathered from around town. Little did these folks know that they were the first to do such a thing and that it would continue as an annual Christmas tradition from then on. In fact, Chandler is the only city in the southwestern United States that has such a tree."
 
I find these trees fascinating. In fact, one day I was out walking when a tumbleweed rolled across the path in front of me. Well, as a writer, I knew I had a story. So I turned that tumbleweed into a picture book/early reader for young readers.
 
 
 
 I did decorate a tumbleweed one time. They have sharp spikes on them, so it's kind of hard without wounding your fingers. Most kids I ask if they're seen a tumbleweed say, "No." Now you have.

Monday, December 5, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE SECRET FILES OF FAIRDAY MORROW


Happy 1st book birthday to THE SECRET FILES OF FAIRDAY MORROW! It's been a year since the mystery of the Begonia House was revealed to the world, and now the paperback will be available January 3rd, 2017. The new cover stays true to Fairday's snazzy style, sprinkling in a few added charms. Can you spot the differences from the hardcover? ;) 
Catch the book trailer to find out about the mystery...
Planning to pick up the paperback? Pre-order a copy and you could win a $50 VISA card to treat yourself after the holidays. Contest is open to all! For more details on how to enter, click here.
For more information about the book, visit the DMS at fairdaysfiles.com


The Process of Publishing a Book
By Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson
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Be ready to put forth a lot of effort!

When we started the publishing process we had no idea what we were getting into. Our book was written, but what were the next steps after having it edited and “ready to go”? We learned a lot along the way, and we'll share some of the highlights here. 

Stephanie Robinson, Unicorn Writers' Conference
1. If you want to write books, start going to writers’ conferences. We gained something from every one we attended, and it’s also awesome to be surrounded by so many people who share your passion for writing. Very inspirational!  
2. If you decide to go the traditional route, it is important to research the agents you would like to query. You want to make sure the person representing your book loves it too! Be patient. After you write your query and send it off- you’ll have to wait for 1-3 months before you hear back about whether they would like to pass, see a partial manuscript, or read the whole manuscript. During this time- keep writing. Work on your next book!
3. Once you connect with the right agent, you will sign a contract with them. Read it over carefully and check it with other professionals before you sign your name. Make sure you understand what you are agreeing to and what they will do for you. We were thrilled to sign our contract with Talcott Notch Literary Agency, but we’ve heard nightmare stories from friends who had contracts that weren’t acceptable.
Gina Panettieri, Talcott Notch Literary
4. Your agent will start querying editors. After you’ve found the right agent, they will know what to do during this process and will check in with you to let you know where and when they are sending your work. When you hear back from editors, you will typically receive general remarks that you’ll need to consider. Remember, reading is subjective and even JK Rowling was rejected before her first Harry Potter book was published.
Signed contract with Delacorte Press
5.  When you sign with an editor you will most likely do a happy dance and run around screaming, like we did. Depending on the size of the publishing company the time frame to begin edits will vary. We signed our contract in October, but didn’t begin working on edits until March. The editing continues as the art department works on illustrations and cover art for the book. Once all the pieces are in place, the book is printed as an ARC- advanced reader copy.
 
6. ARCs have errors and the publishing company is working to fix them, but time is limited to get them done and errors cost money to fix. We read through our ARCs and made a list of all the mistakes we found. We were able to fix one of them because it isn’t easy to fix them at this stage, but luckily the editors had already fixed the other mistakes we had found (though we didn’t know for sure until the book was out).   
The ARCs for THE SECRET FILES OF FAIRDAY MORROW
7. After the ARCs you will keep working on your other writing while you wait for trade reviews to come in. Ours came a few months before the book was out.
8. Release day! You'll be a bundle of nerves seeing your book out in the world. It's exciting, but you may feel a little vulnerable. Make sure to celebrate and enjoy the moment!
Voila! The finished product.
If you decide to publish traditionally, take your work seriously and protect your creative space. You are your own best advocate, so believe in yourself and fear not the unexpected! ;)

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

FADING INTO THE SHADOWS and PIPER MORGAN TO THE RESCUE

Welcome Wednesday. What better way to end the month of November, which has been a busy, busy month, with a peek at a couple of interesting and very different books. Here are my thoughts. Enjoy.

 


FADING INTO THE SHADOWS Review

By Kelly Hashway

 

 

In the news we hear of missing children or teens, and we wonder how they can just disappear without a trace. Surely someone knows what happened to them. People don’t just vanish into thin air? Or do they?

 

That is the question readers will be asking themselves in Author Kelly Hashway’s latest YA novel FADING INTO THE SHADOWS. Sixteen-year-old Avery is missing. Ella, his best friend, saw him just a short time earlier. So what happened? Where did he go?  Was he kidnapped, as several other teens had been recently? Officer Bobson, the cop that questions Avery’s parents, along with Ella, the last person to see him, doesn’t act too concerned. So begins the mystery of Avery’s disappearance, and Ella soon finds herself in another world, where she learns the fate of the missing teens, including Avery.

 

Kelly Hashway has created a fantasy world that will enchant you and yet leave you wondering who are the good guys and who are the bad. Add a touch of romance between Ella and Avery, along with Hercules and Melanie, as well as the handsome Gabe, and you have a story of adventure, family, and the lengths some people will go to in order to achieve their goals. And sometimes, people are not what they seem. Fading into the Shadows is a great read for teens and also for the young at heart. The novel would make a great addition to high school libraries. Recommended.
 
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PIPER MORGAN TO THE RESCUE Review

By Stephanie Faris

Illustrations by Lucy Fleming

 

Children. Dogs. Cats. A perfect combination. They just go together. In PIPER MORGAN TO THE RESCUE, the latest story in the Piper Morgan series by Author Stephanie Faris, Piper has always wanted a dog. When her mother starts a new job at a rescue center, trying to find homes for homeless dogs and cats, Piper is excited. Maybe now her mother will let Piper have a dog of her own.

I was hoping with every page I read that Piper would soon be the happy owner of the puppy of her dreams.  And when she meets Gonzo, a little Maltese, it’s love at first sight. The perfect puppy for Piper, I thought. I could picture them together. I’m not going to give anything away, but moms and kids sometimes disagree about what the family needs.

Speaking of pictures, Lucy Fleming’s black- and-white illustrations throughout the book are adorable and just right for the story. Also, at the end of each chapter the reader learns “Fur Facts” about dogs and cats. Did you know that a “Dog’s nose is so unique it could be used to identify him, like human fingerprints?” I didn’t, but I know it now, along with other interesting facts about our furry friends.

Stephanie Faris has written a touching and fun story about family, moms and daughters, friendship, and learning how to take care of your pet. This book would be a great addition to elementary school classrooms and libraries, public libraries, and your own library, of course. Highly Recommended.
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So now you have some great stories to read on the cold, snowy, winter days that lie ahead. Books make wonderful Christmas gifts too. Remember these as you shop for family and friends. PIPER MORGAN TO THE RESCUE is perfect for young readers on your list. And teens and older folks will enjoy FADING INTO THE SHADOWS. Yes, we don't have to be a teen to like to read about them. We were there, once, you know.

Happy Reading.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Quote for the week: “Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.”   Robertson Davies

Now that Thanksgiving is over and we survived the crazy shoppers and we've had our naps, it's time to start thinking about, yes, you got it, Christmas.

How about a hatful of books for the young readers you know.

 
 
Or maybe a stocking full for those cold snowy days to keep the kids entertained.
 
 

 Visit me at AMAZON  BARNES  & NOBLE
 
and see what you like. Books make great gifts for older readers too.
 
Or, if you'd like a signed paperback of any of my books email me at Beverlysmcclure (at) aol (dot) com. Free shipping too, my gift to you.
 
Now I'll stop advertising. I think all the ads I read this weekend have gone to my head.
 
It's taken awhile to write this because Tiger keeps interrupting me to play ball. Then Patches gets jealous and gives him her look that says she's gonna get him when he's not looking. Cats are so sweet.
 
Oh, I might mention, I've had trouble commenting on some blogs lately and have sent many messages to whoever's in charge, without a reply. Hope they get the problem fixed soon.
 
Happy Reading.



Monday, November 21, 2016

SEISMIC CRIMES and X DARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN

Quote for the week:

“For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!” -
Ralph Waldo Emerson



This week I have a couple of lovely books to tell you about. Then I'm taking a holiday, so will be back next Monday.  The first novel is SEISMIC CRIMES by Author Chrys Fey.





SEISMIC CRIMES (DISASTER CRIMES BOOK 2) Review

 

By Chrys Fey

 

 

A hurricane, a murder, and crooked cops don’t sound very romantic, do they? But events sometimes work together in unusual ways. In Author Chrys Fey’s novel SEISMIC CRIMES (DISASTER CRIMES BOOK 2) Beth not only survives Hurricane Sabrina, she finds herself helping Donovan, a man she meets under unusual circumstances, prove he did not kill his brother.

 

And that’s just the beginning. Told from both Beth’s and Donovan’s points-of-view, the reader becomes a part of their story. Donovan’s brother was a police officer, like Donovan, and dirty police officers, killed him. Hidden cameras recorded the murder so they had proof of the guilty officers. Beth took one out, but the other one got away, and Donovan is determined to catch him and make him pay.

 

The author doesn’t make it easy for Beth and Donovan. They meet one obstacle after another and don’t know who to trust in their quest. Even though there are some violent scenes, there’s also humor. I really liked Beth and her loyalty to Donovan. The romance between them is a nice change of pace from the action scenes.

 

SEISMIC CRIMES will keep you reading and wondering if and how the characters will get out of the situations they get in. They’re honest people, likeable but not perfect, which makes them even more interesting. So come along and meet Beth, Donovan, their friends, and their enemies. I think you’ll have trouble putting the book down once you start reading.

 

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And here's Author P. K. Hrezo's latest novel, X DARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN, that we recently saw a cover reveal for. 




X DARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN Review

 

By P K Hrezo

 

 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit another world, another galaxy? You think it’s impossible? Well, maybe, but strange things do happen.

 

For example, in XDARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN, Author P K Hrezo’s latest novel for tween/teen Readers, fourteen-year-old Xavier Dare, better known as X, is playing a game given to him by a tattooed man named Seville when he’s suddenly pulled into a cold tunnel and soon finds himself in another galaxy. To add to his surprise, early legends say that one day an outsider will arrive and he is the one. To return home, he must find the Keys of Nin.

 

P K Hrezo has created a magical world of characters and creatures like you’ve never before met. The more X learns about this new world, the more complicated his life becomes. He ends up having a world to save and a friend to rescue, a lot for a teen age boy to do. Will he succeed, or is he doomed to failure, never to see his family again?

 

XDARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN should appeal to teen readers who enjoy playing games that I’ve never heard of, but are popular with today’s teens. There’s plenty of action and never a dull moment to keep readers reading. This novel would make a nice addition to school libraries and classrooms, as well as great gifts for family and friends.

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Now these should keep you reading for awhile. Congratulations to Chrys and P K.

Friday, November 18, 2016

FADING INTO THE SHADOWS COVER REVEAL

Today, we have another beautiful book to show to the world. Authors sure have been busy lately. Take a look at Kelly Hashway's latest. All I can say is "Wow." A gorgeous cover.

 
 
 
Synopsis:
 
When sixteen-year-old Ella Andrews’s best friend, Avery, goes missing, she’ll do anything to get him back—starting with punching the no-brain cop who couldn’t care less about the disappearance.
 
Ella’s convinced Avery’s been kidnapped, and she tries everything to find him—even following a strange shadow to another world where the constellations are real-life figures in the sky. But three star groups have fallen and are destroying the world.
 
The fallen constellations are not the only enemy. Melanie, the princess of Stellaris, is forcing Ella, Avery, and an army of other kids kidnapped from their world to fight the rogue constellations, even as the land is draining away their life. The longer they stay, the more they fade into substanceless shadows—a fate worse than death.
 
Stay up to date: Facebook.com/KellyHashway
 
#YALit #Paranormal #NewBook













 
 
Congratulations to Kelly. Review coming soon.

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

PIPER MORGAN TO THE RESCUE BOOK BLAST

Do I have a treat for you today. Meet the adorable Piper Morgan, star of the Piper Morgan series for middle grade readers by Author Stephanie Faris. You may already know her. If so, see what she's up to now. Say, "Hello" to Piper.

 
Isn't Piper precious. And those fur babies. It's love at first sight.
 

Blurb:


Piper helps some four-legged friends find the perfect home in the third book of the brand-new Piper Morgan series.

Piper is super excited to help out at Bark Street, a local animal shelter in town. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by adorable puppies and dogs all day? And when Piper sees Taffy, the cutest dog she has ever seen, Piper is determined to find a way to bring Taffy home. But it won’t be easy—especially when she finds out someone else wants to make Taffy a part of their family, too!
 
Author Bio:
 
 
  

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

 

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, as well as the Piper Morgan series. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 


Links:






 
 


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