Guest Post: A Heart Not Easily Broken by M. J. Kane

Every Woman Needs Their Friends…

Today I visit my good friend, author LV Lewis and ask, What would you do to protect a friend?

 

Guest Post: A Heart Not Easily Broken by M. J. Kane.

#8Sunday- How do you like YOUR man?

Every woman her idea of the ‘Perfect Man’. Some want men who remind them of their fathers. Some prefer the Bad Boy’, and others, ‘The Geek’.

What type of man attracts Ebony Campbell? Listen in as she muses about the eye candy at the night club she’s hanging out at with her friends. 

Excerpt:

He was attractive all right, but not the physical type I preferred. I was attracted to men who were tall, had thick lips, and eyes that peered into the depths of my soul. A man with the body of a sex machine, yet had no problem working hard for a living and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

One of the first things I noticed about a man was not his shoe size, but his hands. If they were too pretty and soft, the man didn’t believe in hard work. If they were overly calloused with visible dirt under the nails and full of scrapes and bruises, those were signs that a man didn’t take care of the little things, which meant the rest of him would be questionable. Now, a man with hands somewhere in between, calloused from work with no traces of dirt under his nails, those were signs of a hardworking man who could clean up nice. Everywhere.

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If you haven’t read the Amazon Bestseller, A Heart Not Easily Broken, buy your copy today! It’s $3.99 and available for Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and on Smashwords. If Paperback is what you prefer, find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble! 

 

M.J.Kane- Women's Fiction/Interracial Romance/Contemporary Romance

Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond-haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge.

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust.

ONE CLICK for REVIEWS, FREE CHAPTER READS, ALL SALES LINKS!

For more information on The Butterfly Memoirs Series and a sample of the next book, Jaded, visit this link! 

Looking for more #8Sunday Samples? Visit this link! 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

 

#8Sunday- Looking good isn’t always comfortable!

Have you ever let your girlfriends talk you into wearing an outfit that wasn’t your style? The night Ebony meets Brian, that ‘little  black dress’ is magic…as soon as she gets comfortable that is!

Excerpt:

“Stop fidgeting. You look uncomfortable,” she added, winking at the bartender who handed us our drinks.

No matter how many times I adjusted the hem of my dress, it was impossible to ignore the warm air tickling the backs of my thighs as people pushed past me in the crowded bar. It would take more fabric to keep my shapely derriere from involuntary exposure.

“Thanks.” I slipped money into the bartender’s tip jar, and he rewarded me with a gorgeous smile. “For the record, I am uncomfortable.” I turned to face Yasmine. “Freakum dresses are your thing, not mine.”

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Follow this link to read the rest of Chapter One!

If you haven’t read the Amazon Bestseller, A Heart Not Easily Broken, buy your copy today! It’s $3.99 and available for Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and on Smashwords. If Paperback is what you prefer, find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble! 

M.J.Kane- Women's Fiction/Interracial Romance/Contemporary Romance

M.J.Kane- Women’s Fiction/Interracial Romance/Contemporary Romance

Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond-haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge.

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust.

ONE CLICK for REVIEWS, FREE CHAPTER READS, ALL SALES LINKS!

For more information on The Butterfly Memoirs Series and a sample of the next book, Jaded, visit this link! 

Looking for more #8Sunday Samples? Visit this link! 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

 

#TeaserTuesday- Sometimes your friends know you better than you know yourself.

This week’s teaser is from Jaded (Book 2 of The Butterfly Memoirs). Falling in love is easy. Knowing when to step up and put your cards on the table can be hard. Though you may be willing to except your situation and ignore the fact you want more when the one you want doesn’t, it’s often up to our friends to kick us in the butt and motivate us  not to settle.

Excerpt:

When the call ended, I stared at the screen until her picture faded.

“Oh shit, you are whipped.” Nick slapped the table in deep laughter.

“What are you talking about?”

“‘It’s not just about sex’? You say that to a woman you really care about.”

“So?” I glared at him.

Nick stopped laughing and sipped his beer while watching me. “You’re finally over Melissa’s selfish ass. Good for you.” He toasted me with his bottle. “If this dry spell of yours lasted any longer, I was going to stage an intervention at the barber shop.”

I shook my head and looked away.

“All jokes aside, man. I haven’t seen you this relaxed in…months, actually. I’m going out on a limb and assuming it’s because of this new woman. What’s her name?”

“Yasmine Phillips. Her family owns the chain of bed and breakfast hotels.”

The Phillips’ Family Inns? Wow, so she’s got some money, huh?”

I shrugged. “It’s none of my business.”

“So, what is it about her you like?”

I glanced over at my best friend who now ignored the table full of women he’d been eyeing. Nick and I met in the fourth grade when his family moved from Virginia. He was an awkward kid, shy and lacking confidence. Other kids teased him, but I thought he was interesting. We’d been tight ever since. He knew my secrets, and I knew his.

I was at his house the night my father died.

“She’s everything, Nick. Everything Melissa should have been and more. She’s smart, outgoing, willing to help others. I swear she doesn’t have a selfish bone in her body. She’s got class and style and an attitude that …” I smiled to myself. “The day she walked into my store, I wanted her. Do you know how long it’s been since I gave a woman that kind of attention? I mean, Nick, every time I’m near her I’m ready to take her to bed. Her laugh, her smile, and oh man…that body of hers is—”

Nick dropped his head and laughed. “Damn, man, I bet if she walked in here right now and told you to lick her shoes you’d do it.”

“Uh, no. It’s not like that between us. We’ve got this…I don’t know how to explain it. We understand one another. Both of us have been hurt before so we know what to do to avoid it from happening again. That’s why we…” I realized Nick was staring at me. I waved it off. “It’s not important. The fact of the matter is, what we have works.”

“What you have? Okay, you’re sleeping together. What’s so special about that? Men and women sleep together all the time. What did you guys do, re-invent the wheel?”

I chuckled. “Not exactly. We’re friends, really good friends. I feel as though I can talk to her about anything and she’d understand. The sex is…” There was no need to explain. “I couldn’t imagine being with another woman. Neither of us wants a long term commitment, so…” My eyebrows creased in thought about the words I uttered. I lifted my bottle and drained it dry.

“Hold on a minute. You’re having hot sex with a woman you see as a great friend, she’s obviously what you need or else you wouldn’t be gushing over her like this. What’s stopping you?”

I glanced at him. “From what?”

“From marrying her. Let’s face it; between the two of us, you’re the marrying type. Me, I fool around. If you guys have no intention of walking down the aisle, it’s a waste of your time. And you my friend,” he pointed his bottle at me, “are not the type to waste time. You go for what you want. What are you waiting for?”

I didn’t have to think about it. I knew the answer. Yasmine made it clear what the parameters of our relationship would be.

Seeing this as anything more was my problem. Yeah, I was tired of putting my body on lock down every time she came near me and pretending my feelings didn’t exist. If I told her what I wanted…

“She’ll leave me, Nick. I can’t lose her. For once in my life I’ve found the perfect woman. If I lose her then…” I rubbed my eyes. “If no commitment is what it takes to keep her in my life, then I’m willing to sacrifice what I want to make it work.”

Nick shrugged. “Okay, so it works for now. What about six months from now? A year? Are you sure you’re willing to sacrifice your long-term happiness for good conversation and hot sex? What about family? Are you going to be able to walk away and find someone else willing to make that kind of commitment?” He tapped his bottle on the table. “That, my friend, will be the ultimate screw, except it won’t be her doing it. Where would you rather be in six months? Waiting to see her or going home to a woman who loves and gives you what you really want?”

Damn. He was right. I sighed and ran my hand over my head. My boy, the player, had hit the nail on the head.

There was no one else I wanted in my life besides Yasmine. I didn’t want to lose what we had. Not to another man, and not because she didn’t want the same thing as me.

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Jaded

BUY YOUR COPY TODAY for $3.99!

A devastating breakup leaves Yasmine Phillips in shambles. Unable to trust another man with her heart, she focuses on the one thing she can control—starting her own business.

When her computer crashes, taking months of hard work with it, she must rely on computer genius Zachariah Givens to save her. A complete opposite of men from her past, she doesn’t expect the passion that ensues. But just as she finds happiness, she learns the truth about the other women in Zachariah’s life.

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Smashwords     iTunes      Paperback 

 First chapter, Character Bios

New to The Butterfly Memoirs Series? Catch up with A Heart Not Easily Broken (Book 1 of The Butterfly Memoirs)

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

A Heart Not Easily Broken(Butterfly Memories) by M.J.Kane

Check out the latest review of A Heart Not Easily Broken(Butterfly Memories) by M.J.Kane! Thank you, Kim! 🙂

A Heart Not Easily Broken(Butterfly Memories) by M.J.Kane

Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge. 

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust. 

BUY YOUR COPY TODAY  for $3.99! 

#TeaserTuesday- Jaded (Book 2 of The Butterfly Memoirs)- Zachariah’s introspection

This weeks #8Sunday teaser post got great feed back. One reader stated she loved the introspection. As I said before, it’s one of my favorite scenes of the novel. Watching him beat himself up over something as simple as a kiss was very entertaining,  especially since he was getting drunk at the time. With that said, I decided to share a bit more of that scene to show more of Zachariah’s character. Enjoy!

Excerpt:

My eyes traveled up from where I stood in the kitchen to the rail that marked the end of the bedroom. Visions of Melissa wearing lingerie to entice came to mind. One look at what she wore and I would be upstairs in a heartbeat.

Back then, the place was full of furniture, life, laughter, and love.

Melissa liked to decorate. Nearly every paycheck she brought home went towards something new to make this place ours. If electronics were my vice, shopping and decorating were hers. I didn’t mind because I made enough to pay the bills.

Man, she knew how to make a house a home. Pictures, flowers …everything modern and clean.

When she decided she didn’t want to wait around to see if my mother lived or died, she cleaned the place out, taking everything except for the bed and kitchen table. Guess those items were too big to move.

I finished off the second beer, rimmed it into the trashcan, and screwed the top off a third.

Now it was a man cave, a place where my friend, Nick, came to hang out and watch the game. A flat screen TV and a large sofa were the only pieces of furniture occupying the living room.  Bedroom furniture consisted of a bed and dresser. My computer desk sat tucked in a corner of the living room. Melissa bought that too. I guess she considered it an act of mercy to leave it behind.

Another empty got trashed. Grabbing two more bottles and putting the rest in the fridge, I headed upstairs.  I stripped and threw my tuxedo to the bottom of my closet. The only reason I had it in the first place was because Melissa insisted on me buying a tailored tux for our wedding instead of renting one. That monkey suit was proving to be bad luck.

Wearing nothing but boxer-briefs, I sat on the edge of my bed and stared into the depths of my brew.

That kiss.

What the hell had I been thinking?

Everything up until then went smoothly. I did my job. I distracted her, made her laugh and smile. As a result, the intoxicating fragrance of her perfume and feel of soft flesh as my hands slid over her body while we danced blew my mind.

Caught up in the moment, I got cocky and insisted we continue dancing when the music slowed.

It had been so long since I’d held a woman in my arms it had been hard to let go. Then there was the way she had looked at me. I could tell she enjoyed being in my arms as much as I enjoyed holding her.

Involvement in a relationship that led to anything emotional or physical was out of the question.

Wasn’t I the one who’d said we’d be friends who never slept together?

No matter how hard I tried, it was impossible to ignore how the soft curves of her body against mine felt…right.

Sex wasn’t my goal, though. Correction, sex wasn’t the only thing I wanted. My thoughts leaned towards a relationship that would…

I drained the bottle in my hand and reached for the last one on my nightstand.

Continuing this train of thought would lead to nothing but heartache. One time around that block was enough.

Unfortunately, I inherited my parents’ love of romance.

I was pathetic.

After barely looking at a woman to appreciate her appearance in over a year, the moment I got close to Yasmine, the first thing going on in my head wasn’t sex. Oh no, I thought about building a future and family.

Damn. I could see her wearing my ring and becoming my wife.

The most beautiful, smart, confident, opinionated, arrogant, and hardheaded woman I had ever met.

I stared at my cell phone, willing it to ring. After calling twice and getting kicked to voice mail, I refused to call again. I wouldn’t become that guy – the one who called begging like a wimp for a woman to answer her phone. She didn’t owe me anything. If Yasmine wanted to call me, she would, plain and simple.

The bottle depleted, I reached absently for another before realizing I’d drunk the ones I brought upstairs. Damn, half of the twelve-pack was gone, six beers in less than an hour. I hadn’t drank like this since the night Melissa left.

Tomorrow morning, I would be screwed.

Whatever. For now, I needed to forget the mistake I’d made tonight and pray Yasmine would forgive me in the morning.

Unable to ignore the buzz and light-headedness any longer, I turned out the light and sat in the dark. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t forget the softness of her lips, the taste of her tongue, and the way she kissed me back.

Damn. It was going to be a long night.

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I have to say, what happens next makes me laugh every time!

Buy a copy of the  5 Star Reviewed Bestseller  to find out!

Autumn landscape

A devastating breakup leaves Yasmine Phillips in shambles. Unable to trust another man with her heart, she focuses on the one thing she can control—starting her own business.

When her computer crashes, taking months of hard work with it, she must rely on computer genius Zachariah Givens to save her. A complete opposite of men from her past, she doesn’t expect the passion that ensues. But just as she finds happiness, she learns the truth about the other women in Zachariah’s life.

New to The Butterfly Memoirs Series? Catch up with A Heart Not Easily Broken (Book One of The Butterfly Memoirs)

Reviews, Free Chapter Samples, All Sales Links

Let’s Talk About It!: Friends with Benefits…Can There Be More?

Friend with Benefits, cut-buddies, booty call…you name, some where someone is doing it. (Pun intended!)

Movies, books, songs, and many blog posts have tackled the subject, some with funny stories that end in true love, others end with dire circumstances. But the question remains: Can two people remain friends once they have sex?

Are there really benefits to the relationship?? Can a man and woman really walk away and find that significant other and leave their ‘friend’ behind for good?

Every relationship is different.  Depending on personalities, wants, needs, desires, short-term and long-term requirements, if each of you are not of the same ‘sex only’ mindset, someone is going to get hurt. Then there are the requirements…do you stay monogamous in your relationship, or have multiple partners? What type of protection is used? Has anyone been tested for STD’s?

And last but not least…what are the rules?

Sleep over, don’t sleep over? Once a week or as often as possible?  What happens in-between? Can you hang out as friends or only text when you want to hook up?  How long will this arrangement last?

Google ‘friends with benefits rules’ and you will find all kinds of articles. Rules for men, rules for women, rules about kissing…the 10 best rules, the 25 best rules….

But in the end, it comes down to what it is you want out of a relationship.

In Jaded, Book two of The Butterfly Memoirs, Yasmine Phillips has a history of friends with benefits relationships. Her past dating experiences have all ended in disaster, leaving her to believe the only way to find her way to physical gratification is to play a man’s game. Her little ‘red’ book is full of numbers, though while selective, she makes sure she keeps her heart on lock down and out of the game. But what happens when she finds herself in a relationship with a man who is nothing like what she’s used too? What happens when someone breaks the rules and lets love in? Can a real relationship begin?

Jaded will be available March  7th! In the meantime, get to know  Yasmine and her friends, Ebony and Kaitlyn in the Amazon Bestseller, A Heart Not Easily Broken

#8Sunday- Jaded- A Peek into the Mind of Yasmine Phillips

This week marks the beginning of  excerpts from the second novel in The Butterfly Memoirs, Jaded, which will be released by 5 Prince Publishing on  March 7th!

When A Heart Not Easily Broken ends, Yasmine’s world has come crashing down.  She’s no longer the carefree woman she once was.  Her story picks up two months later as she struggles to recover from the effects of her fiance’s betrayal.

Autumn landscape

A devastating breakup leaves Yasmine Phillips in shambles. Unable to trust another man with her heart, she focuses on the one thing she can control—starting her own business.

When her computer crashes, taking months of hard work with it, she must rely on computer genius Zachariah Givens to save her. A complete opposite of men from her past, she doesn’t expect the passion that ensues. But just as she finds happiness, she learns the truth about the other women in Zachariah’s life.

Excerpt:

It has never mattered what I’ve done in my life. Being the daughter of a bi-racial marriage has always haunted me. With my fusion of graceful features I’d inherited from my white mother – the slender nose, cat-like eyes, vibrant smile – and the take-no-shit attitude of my black father, people didn’t know how to deal with me.

Guys in school wanted to date me as if I were a trophy. Girls hated the color of my eyes and the texture of my hair.

Things got worse as I got older. Why? Because I love my body and I love sex.

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If you haven’t read book one of the series, A Heart Not Easily Broken, buy a copy today!

Get to know Yasmine Phillips in A Heart Not Easily Broken! BUY your copy of this Amazon Bestseller for $3.99 today! For REVIEWS, SAMPLE CHAPTERS, and LINKS of all formats…all with just ONE-CLICK! 

For more #8Sunday Samples, check out these other authors! Weekend Writing Warriors

What You Don’t Know About Queries CAN Hurt You!

Recycle Those Old Manuscripts, Don't Trash Them!So, you’ve written your story and want to share it with the world. But first, you have to query.

What is a query?

A query is a presentation of your manuscript shortened into brief paragraphs in the effort to draw an agent/publisher’s attention to your work. A well-written query letter can lead to a request for more information about your project: a full synopsis, a request for the first couple of chapters, or the entire manuscript. The goal is to receive a request for representation (agent) or publication (publisher). But like writing, in order to tell a good story, it takes research and planning  in order to make the process flow smoothly.

So, what steps should you take?

First of all, research the agent/publisher you want to submit your letter to. No two agents or publishers are alike.

  • Agents:  Visit the personal pages of agents on the company websites. Most will tell you if they are looking new clients.  Some welcome new, unpublished clients, while others prefer to work with already-published authors. Some have a wish list with the types of stories or genres they are looking for. Knowing this before you waste time sending them your work saves time on both of your parts. Submitting a query of a Sci-Fi story to an agent interested in only Romance novels is asking for rejection.
  • Publishers:  Whether you’re looking to self-pub through a vanity press, Indie Press, or Traditional Publisher, you MUST read the submission guidelines. No two are alike. For example, one publisher may want your manuscript  typed and submitted in 12 point Times New Roman font, while another may request 11 point Calibri. (Yep, I had that happen!). If I hadn’t read the submission guidelines and assumed they wanted the manuscript written in standard Times New Roman, my manuscript would be ignored for not following their guidelines before they read the first line!

Prepare various files ahead of time to save time. While researching agents/publishers, make note of what type of file they want you to send. (Note: this is the age of digital. Gone are the days of only mailing your manuscript or query letter. Most require emails, not snail mail. ‘Snail mail’ –traditional mailing- can add longer wait time to getting a response to your request).

Here are the various requests I ran across:

  • Query letter– that’s all they want. Keep it short and simple, to the point.  Open with a hook that leaves wanting to know more. Talk briefly about your writing experience (if applicable) and where samples of your work can be found. Leave with a respectful and professional closing. Be sure to include correct contact information for phone, email, mailing. (Note: if including social networking information, know that they WILL research you before contacting you. Having an unprofessional presence online can cause them to lose interest, regardless of how great your story is.)
  • Query and Sample Chapter (s) or Pages In addition to the standard query, some want to sample your writing voice. Here is where having a strong opening to your story comes in. The first three chapters are your make or break it points in your novel. If an agent or acquiring editor can’t get hooked then, then they push your work to the trash pile and send the dreaded ‘rejection form’ letter. Create separate files for the following page counts: 5 pages, 20 pages, 50 pages. (or 1st chapter to 1st-3rd chapters).
  • Query and Synopsis The dreaded synopsis letter can take more work to write than the 350 page novel it’s being written about. The point is to share the highlights of your story, from beginning to, yep, the actual end…not the lead up to the end. They want to know how the story ends to decide if what happens in the middle is worth the time to read. Synopsis request can be as brief as one page, to as lengthy as 4 pages. Prepare a one-page, three-page, and four-page to have on hand. No need to pull hair out after writing a one-page synopsis and run across a request for a four-page and have to start all over again.
  • Query, Synopsis, and Full Manuscript:  Not many will ask for a full manuscript from the get go, but some do.  Be sure to have your manuscript completed BEFORE submitting it. Agents/Publishers want to see a finished product, not one that is incomplete. If they like what they see, they will want to jump on it. If they have to start working with you by giving you a deadline to finish the project, it could be a turn off.  As a rule, most manuscript requests come in the form of the following:*12 point Times New Roman font  *1 inch margins (all around) *double spaced (entire document, without space between paragraphs)

***Be sure to have your manuscript edited and as clean as possible. DO NOT SEND ROUGH DRAFTS! Try to have your work as close to professionally edited as possible. Not doing so and having blatant misspellings and punctuation errors can result in rejection of your work! ***

Once you have these things in place, you are nearly ready to start querying! With so many agents and publishers out there, it’s hard to keep up with what information was sent to which publisher and when. I suggest creating a spreadsheet to make note of the dates and information sent. If you don’t have time to make your own, visit QueryTracker.com. Create a profile, make notes of sent responses and request, as well as look up information about the agents/publishers you’re interested in. There’s also an area that allows you to view comments from others about their experience with those agents/publishers and turnaround time for responses.

The query process is time-consuming and a real test of your will and patience. The pay off; seeing your work in the hands of readers.  This is the time to grow thick skin. Prepare to get rejection letters, either as form responses or the very rare letter with actual feedback.  Take it with a grain of salt and look for the good part. No, I am not saying being told NO, is a good feeling, but sometimes it’s comical. I got one that said, “No, not interested.”…that was it, no hello, no Ms. Kane, nothing.  I laughed my butt off because it appeared that particular person was having a bad day.  I could only imagine what it’s like to trudge through a ton of emails day after day in search of a line that catches your attention. Just because they said no didn’t mean it was about me or my work. Remember my above comment: Wish List. If looking for the next hot book about Vampires is what is on everyone’s list, your next love story that’s about the average Joe won’t get a second look, no matter how well it’s written.

Don’t be afraid to explore your publishing options. If you don’t have the time or patience to look into self-publishing, then look at Indie Publishing companies.  They still request the same type of information as the big publishers, but you have a better opportunity to have your writing voice heard. The beauty of going Indie is being able to tell your story the way you want to without being told what you can or can’t write.

I survived the query gambit,  kept my writing voice, and ignored the negative responses that told me ‘no’. And now I am an Amazon Bestselling Author. 🙂

Here are a few links to articles on writing query letters synopsis. Good luck!!

MJ

eHow.com- Query Letter Sample Search

eHow.com- How to write a Synopsis Search 

Query Tracker.net  

I AM GETTING PUBLISHED!

Guess who’s joined the title of “published” author!
I am proud to announce that the The Butterfly Memoirs series has found a publishing home!
5 Prince Publishing has signed the entire six-book project! The tentative publishing date for book one, A Heart Not Easily Broken, is this fall! 
So what happens next?
Remember when I spoke about edits, edits, and more edits on previous blog posts? If you follow me on Twitter, or are a friend on Facebook, you know I have already edited this book several times. The fun does not stop here, though. Now it is time for revisions.
5 Prince Publishing has paired me with an editor who is as enthusiastic about this project as I am. What a blessing! I am sure together we will get an even better product ready for our readers.
As I write this blog, I realize I am referring to my manuscript as ‘the project’ and ‘the product’.
Is it because I no longer see A Heart Not Easily Broken as a story, my sweat and tears for the last three years?
Yes and no.
No matter where my writing career takes me, this will forever be a story that is near and dear to my heart. I have learned so much about writing due to this manuscript. For the past three years, it has seen numerous re-writes. I have scraped, pulled out, brushed off, and revised repeatedly. Names have changed, desires have evolved, until finally, I found something that worked. This is a story I could not avoid telling, period.
If there is one piece of advice I can share with other authors who are working to see their writing dreams fulfilled, it would be this: never allow anyone to tell you how to tell your story. Do not believe there is only one style of writing that best suits your genre.
There is one thing I learned from the experience, thanks to family and friends:
Querying, while time consuming, dreaded, and a test of one’s patience and perseverance, is another way to perfect your craft.
YES, rejections are a way to perfect and hone your craft.
Receiving a response from an agent or publisher in your email always makes your hands tremble and heart race. Do they like it? Is this ‘the’ offer? Opening to the words: ‘Thank you for your allowing us to read your project, but it’s not what we’re looking for’, or simply, ‘No thank you,’ (I had to laugh at that one!), can often hurt. Every now and then, an agent or publisher will take a moment of their precious time and share a little bit of information as to why they aren’t interested. Once your tears dry up and you find that second layer of tough skin, go back and actually read what they said.
Are they giving clues as to what steps, or changes, you can make to put your project closer to what they are looking for? Could making those changes result in drawing interest in the future from the next agent or publisher you query and eventually the most important person—the reader? Will those suggestions change your writing voice or story to the point you feel your writing voice is lost? Are they basing their suggestions on personal tastes or their expertise of publishing? Would making those changes hurt or tighten your prose? 
Following through, making the necessary adjustments, will perfect your craft. Think of it as a way to get ‘free’ editing advice from a professional. That way if you decide to self-publish, you will have already taken steps to perfect your product. 
Here are words that inspired me, my mantra, if you will:
“Sometimes you gotta break the rules and stand apart. Ignore your head and follow your heart” -Anonymous
I ran across this quote one day when I was struggling to figure out how to take my characters on their journey. At first, I thought the words fit my heroine, Ebony Campbell, best since her story revolves around an interracial romance. Her decision to ignore the color of her, and her love interest, Brian Young’s skin, allows her to let love into her life.
Before long, I realized those words also held meaning for me. Learning the rules of writing in your genre does not always mean you have to follow them to the letter. Developing your writing style and voice comes from taking the basics and twisting them ever so slightly to make your work stand apart.  I have done that and cannot wait to hear feedback from readers to tell me what they think.
Now as far as my ‘project’ is concerned…
My focus now is to find my business muse and prepare to work with my editor on revising the story. It is time to set emotions aside and clear my mind so this process can run smooth. Easier said than done, I know…
Now it’s time for marketing, making new friends, expanding my social network reach beyond Twitter and Facebook. Now the real work begins! And to think, three years ago, I thought learning how to write was work. That was gravy! Now that I have a publisher behind me, continuing to see success is up to me.
In the coming months, I will continue to share helpful writing tips because hey, writers never stop learning. I will also share my continued journey to publication and beyond; after all, the title of this blog is…
This Writer’s Life!

MJ Kane, soon-to-be published author! 

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