Are you a Part-Time Writer Looking for Inspiration for 2014? You’ve Come to the ‘Write’ Place!

I’m starting of the year with a guest post from Nikolas Baron, from Grammarly.com. Have you heard of them? It’s a great site for writer’s who need help proofreading their work. From blog posts to essays, they’ve got the tools you need! But first, get inspired to start 2014 off the ‘write’ way!

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The Part-Time Writer

part_time_writerBeing a writer is, for many, a lifelong dream. Writing for payment is a thrilling accomplishment, but it’s usually soon followed by the realization that most writers do not make a living from writing alone. In fact, many writers pursue a separate, unrelated career while writing part-time, whether as a hobby or as a secondary source of income. For the part-time writer facing deadlines, a quality online spelling, grammar, and plagiarism checker can be a valuable tool. Saving time is just one aspect of creating success as a writer, however. Writing takes dedication, patience, and a willingness to learn the craft.

Being a writer is an admirable goal, but it’s not a realistic one. How does one become “a writer”? There is no pill, no bottled potion to be ingested, that will magically bring about the transformation. Becoming a writer begins with picking up a pen; but, having taken that first crucial step, the aspiring writer will discover that the journey has just begun. First, the writer must decide what type of writing he or she wants to do. Fiction or nonfiction? Short stories?

Articles? Novels? Each type of writing requires a unique skill set, and there is a distinct path to follow to the individual definition of success for every writer. It’s important to study the craft and read within and outside the genre to become a well-rounded reader and a better writer. Wanting to be a writer isn’t enough. It’s important to decide upon a genre and a style that best suits the writer’s individual dream. Becoming a writer is a dream. Transforming an abstract desire into a concrete success takes deeper thought.

Once the budding writer has decided upon writing mystery novels, for example, the next step is to set some goals. Novices may want to keep the goals reasonable, setting themselves to the task of writing for a set amount of time per day or obtaining a certain word count, depending on the time that can be found in between other obligations. Some professionals suggest that writing every day is critical to success, while others claim that a certain amount of time must be invested. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Time and discipline are important, but the definition of success is an individual one that only the writers themselves can create. Goals create personal milestones, giving the writer a measuring stick against which to check progress. Setting the goals is entirely up to the writers themselves.

Time can be a precious commodity in our fast-paced world. Between work, family obligations, hobbies, volunteer work, and other commitments, the idea of finding time to write might seem out of reach. However, it can be done. It may be necessary to write out a simple schedule, noting work, family obligations, and other time constraints, and then consider the blocks of time that are not already committed to other pursuits. Television viewing might have to be sacrificed. Getting up a little earlier in the morning, for a morning person, or staying up a little later in the evening, for a night owl, might be an option as well. Moreover, a shorter lunch break might provide some time to indulge the muse.

Time, however, is not always the only consideration. Many writers need to “warm up” to the page, to shift gears from their day jobs into the mental work of writing. It is necessary not only to find time to scribble a few words on a page but also to find long enough blocks of uninterrupted time suitable for writing. Indeed, protecting the quality of one’s writing time is as important as finding time to write in the first place. If writing is not a priority and if the commitment is not as firm as the Saturday-morning golf game or the monthly martini lunch with the girls, it will never get off the ground.Marjorie Facklam, author of numerous children’s books, began writing while raising her five children, with several still in diapers. If a harried mother of five can find time to research and write rhyming science picture books like Bugs for Lunch while chasing toddlers and maintaining a household, any writer can find time in their schedule. Often, the question isn’t one of time, but of commitment.

Connect with  Nikolas Baron on Google+      Plagiarism Checker

nick-Grammerly Guest posterAbout the Author:

Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown childrens’ novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, travelling, and reading.

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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!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter and follow this blog!

MJ

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#GuestPost- Is the Grass Really Greener? by C.Michelle Ramsey

I’m proud to be feature a member of my writers group, C. Michelle Ramsey, and her new release, Is the Grass Really Greener? Her novel explores the relationships of five friends who secretly desire to have what the other has. Intriguing, right? Take a sneak peek at an excerpt, then buy your copy today!

Is the Grass Really Greener Book Cover_Final

Five women, five lives, five secrets. Each woman is battling her own personal demons, and hiding a secret from her friends and family.

Each of them envies another’s life, wishing her life was different, wishing she had what the other woman had. But what happens when what appears to be real, is all a façade?

Battling breast cancer, single parenthood, infidelity, the loss of a child, and managing the single life, can become overwhelming for these ladies.

Not satisfied with their lives, looking for something better, they contemplate alternative choices to improve their lives; crossing over to the other side of the fence is a very real possibility. We can’t see beyond the choices we make, but we must be held accountable for them.

And after they have crossed the fence, they realize two things simultaneously. Yes, the grass was greener on the other side; and also their grass could have been just as green had they taken care of it.

Amazon     Kobo     Smashwords

EXCERPT:

Courtney found herself nodding her head to the beat of the music, more than she was focused on her report. Anita Baker’s “I Apologize” was on the radio playing softly in the background on KSTORM. She had to get this report done for tomorrow morning’s budget meeting. Stretching back in her chair, she let out a long yawn and shook her head to shake the sleep off. It was 11:55 at night and she knew that she had to be up at four in the morning. But these numbers just weren’t shaking out right.

The right thing to do would be to put it away and go upstairs with Nate and go to bed. She found herself going to bed after her husband more and more these days. She used to be the one who was knocked out by eight or nine o’clock, but not anymore. Some nights she was still up until two or three in the morning, if she didn’t have an early day at the office. Nate didn’t question it, because he didn’t want to be bothered with her anyway. She couldn’t remember the last time they had sex. She stopped to ponder that thought, had it really been five months now? Damn, it had. Seems as if she was always attempting to get him in the mood, and the last time she had done that he had brushed her off and he didn’t show even the slightest interest in her.

“Lonely hearts, find someone to love. Fellas, take care of your women; remember to love them long and strong, ‘cuz if you don’t, another brother will. And to all my lovely ladies, I’m wishing you a good night out there in the ATL; thanks for spending another night with me. And come back tomorrow for another night of love with Hypnotiq on the Storm.”

And with that he blew his traditional kiss and Pierce was off the radio for the night. As if this were some subliminal cue, Courtney closed her folder, switched off the radio on the bookshelf behind her, walked over to the doorway, switched off the light in her office, and walked upstairs to her bedroom. She was halfway up the steps when it hit her.

Damn, she thought to herself, I’ve been staying up half the night every night to hear the voice of a stranger. I’m falling for a man who I don’t even know. She started walking back down the steps to her office and flicked on the light and sat in her chair behind her desk.

Courtney furiously ran her hands through her hair shaking her head in disbelief. What the hell is this? I’m falling for a man I don’t know? He’s a kid from the old neighborhood that’s what it’s got to be. He brings back pleasant memories for me at this rough time in my life. Hell I had one cup of Joe with this man and ran into him at my art exhibit, and I sit up every night to hear his voice on the damn radio, how pathetic am I? He might have a girl, hell for all I know he might not be interested in women anyway, or black women, she shook her head laughing at that one. The way he came on to her that night she highly doubted it.  “This is crazy, it doesn’t even matter. I’m a married woman…not happily, but I’m married just the same and I love my husband with all my heart,” she said aloud, “I’m taking my butt to bed, I’m tired…that’s what it is,” and once again she repeated the steps she had just taken, not even three minutes earlier.

But this time when she got to the bedroom Nate wasn’t asleep. He was sitting in the bed staring at the TV. She could tell he wasn’t watching it. Courtney decided it would be best to not say anything, because she didn’t want to argue. All of their words turned into arguments these days and they couldn’t have decent communication. But it wasn’t to be.

“Courtney, I want a divorce,” Nate said.

Thinking she must have lost her mind, or maybe forgot to clean the wax from her ears, she turned over in the bed to face him. “Huh?” she said, a little befuddled.

“I want a divorce,” he repeated in that same monotone he had just used.

“Why?” she asked with panic rising up in her throat.

“I don’t wanna be here anymore, I can’t do this,” he explained.

“Do what Nate?”

“Do us, this thing we call a marriage, this faking it we’re doing day by day, I can’t do it anymore,” he said with a little emotion coming into his voice.

“Look Nate, I know that you’re hurting, I’ve been hurting, too. And what’s hurting the most is that you’re shutting me out. You won’t even talk to me. I know you’re grieving baby, we’re both grieving, but you didn’t suffer this loss alone. I did, too and just like we lost him together we have to find a way to heal together, to go on with our future,” she pleaded.

“I don’t think you heard me. There’s no future for us,” Nate responded a little more passionately this time.

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Author PicAbout the Author: 

C. Michelle Ramsey takes your emotions on a roller coaster ride, one page at a time, with every story she creates. Author of “Reflections of Promises” and “Real Secrets,” she has now released her third novel, “Is the Grass Really Greener?” Her stories take a look at real life situations, real drama, and real people, in a fictional story.

A writing consultant for Bleu Skies Writing Services, she enjoys reading mystery novels, African-American fiction, and chick lit. Her favorite authors are: Terry McMillan, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, and Stuart Woods. Michelle is an Atlanta native born and bred, where she currently resides with her husband and three children.

Website     Facebook     Twitter

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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!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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#NewRelease! Creatus by Carmen DeSousa! Romantic Suspense with a Supernatural Edge!

Here’s a novel I’m excited to share as I’ve had the opportunity to watch Carmen go through it’s creative development.  With that said, check this out!

In every myth there is a modicum of truth…

CREATUS - Final Front Cover

Creatus

The reason we believe in Fairy Tales—and Monsters.

As the sun’s rays peeked above the horizon, lighting the abyss below her, she inhaled a deep breath, closed her eyes, and jumped. She didn’t scream; she didn’t look down. As much as she hated her life, she hoped it wouldn’t end this way. She’d really like to see him one more time.

 Her life didn’t flash before her eyes as she’d always heard. Just an image of her mother covered in blood and her Dark Angel telling her he was sorry.

 Creatus, by best-selling author Carmen DeSousa, is a new romantic-suspense novel with a supernatural edge that answers the myths and fairy tales you’ve heard about preternatural sentient beings.

Prepare yourself to believe.

Download your copy TODAY!

Amazon US     Amazon UK

In order to spread the news, we are also giving away a $50 gift card! In order to qualify, just share this post’s URL in the Raffle Copter and on any social website you choose. The more places you share, the more entries you earn!

Contest ends midnight, Monday September 2, 2013. The drawing, which includes all participating websites, will be held Tuesday, September 3, 2013. The winner will be posted the same day.

Raffle Copter $50 Giveaway

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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!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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Page Turner Book Tours Celebrates it’s First Year of Service!

page turner cover

PTBT opened their doors a year ago and has grown from strength to strength working with some amazing authors along the way. This year the official .com site was opened, a dedicated team of graphics designers joined the team and PTBT became the official host for all tours under 5 Prince Publishing.

The story doesn’t stop there…

There are already plans for further improvements and many more tours to be held in the future along with further charity work.

We hope that you will check them out at this link: http://pageturnerbooktours.com

During July PTBT are offering the following discounts:

1 week tour – 1 additional day

2 week tour – $63.75 – 2 additional days

3 week tour – $85 – 3 additional days

4 week tour – $170 – 4 additional days

These discounts are good for a year AS LONG AS the tour is booked and paid for in July 2013.

Working for Page Turner Book Tours has been amazing. I have met some amazing people, worked with some fantastic books and been privileged to be part of some amazing journeys. I know there will be great things to come for PTBT and I am excited to meet every request, author and to discover the wonderful books that I work with. Thank you to everyone on the past year who has worked with PTBT you are all amazing and I am so have been part of your journey. Here’s to the next fantastic year!” ~ Kate, Owner/Tour Coordinator PTBT

 I have been blessed to have had a long professional relationship with Kate and Page Turner Book Tours. Her organization of the tours and cover launches has always exceeded our expectations. She is thorough and knows what she’s doing. I believed enough in the company that Page Turner Book Tours is the official coordinator for 5 Prince Publishing. Kate sets up tours for our cover/book launches, for each of our authors, as well as book tours. Her prices are very fair and that helps individuals and small businesses. I give Kate and Page Turner Book Tours 5 STARS, for their consistently good service, well managed tours, and comfort level when working with them. If you are looking to promote yourself or your book I highly recommend Page Turner Book Tours.” – Bernadette Soehner, CEO, 5 Prince Publishing, Lost And Found Tour Details

 I enjoyed working with Page Turner Book Tours in 2012 for my second Lash Series Book, Shadow Man. Kate was able to arrange far more stops than I’d initially hoped for, and also garnered my book several five star reviews! The spreadsheet she gave me to work from had all the relevant contact information to write tailored engaging posts for each site, and she fulfilled every part of the agreement to create and deliver signature prizes for the tour. She tried her very best to make my tour the best it could be. The best recommendation is that I will be using her services again this summer to promote another coauthored work!

 Service: At least half of service is value for the money spent. Kate gives great packages and I feel I got a very good value for the money I spent with her. She was knowledgeable and answered my questions in a timely fashion. I especially appreciated the reviews as part of the package, of which almost all were favorable.

 Communication: the other half of service for this type of promotion is communication, and Kate was very good in that aspect as well. For my tour, I had a total of 5 interviews to complete, along with 12 guest posts. She got me info for topics and interview questions as soon as she had them, which helped me stay ahead and on time with my side of the tour.

 Overall tour running: 5 starsTara Fox Hall, Author, Lash Tour Details

I have had the pleasure of working with Page Turner Book Tours for just a few short months. When I first contacted Kate and told her what I was looking for, she helped walk me through everything that they could do, what it would entail on my part as well as what was to be expected from her and Page Turner Book Tours.

Every time I have any questions Kate is sure to replay quickly. I have not encountered many problems while working with Page Turner Book Tours other than a few Bloggers did not follow through on their end. Which, I by no means, hold against Page Turner Book Tours.

Kate does a wonderful job communicating what is needed by all her bloggers, if you are interested then you just let her know and she does the rest. All you have to do as a blogger is set it up to go on your scheduled date.

Overall I think Kate and Page Turner Book Tours do a wonderful job with their Press Releases, Interviews, Book reviews and scheduling who needs to be where and what time.  I would give Page Turner Book Tours 5 out of 5 stars!” ~ Marie, 5 Prince Publishing

 Page Turner Book Tours is a great resource for authors and I have personally found Kate and her tour company to be worth their weight in gold! I have worked with Kate on book tours for myself and I have even joined book tours for other authors as a host. Each time I have found Kate to be absolutely wonderful to work with. With many tours running consecutively Kate is adept and masterful as she customizes each tour to the specific author and his/her book.

 Kate is a marvelous coordinator and I can’t wait to work with her in the future on a book tour.  If you are looking for a company to schedule a tour, than I recommend working with Kate at Page Turner Book Tours. She will customize a tour specifically for you and work with book bloggers making your tour run as easy as possible leaving you with a sense of satisfaction and a great tour experience!

 Page Turner Book tours is definitely a five star company!” M.M. Shelley, Murder On Mars Tour Details

 Click here for more information! 

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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    Pinterest     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

 

#WriterWednesday- Intervew with Belinda Nicoll!

This weeks featured author is Belinda Nicoll, and does she have an interesting story to tell and wonderful advice for aspiring authors! Sit down with your cup of coffee and get to know her!

Belinda Nicoll

Welcome, Belinda!

What inspired you to write?

I grew up in South Africa in an era of storytelling as television viewing wasn’t an option. The National Party (apartheid) government of the time saw television as a potential threat to their control of the broadcasting media—nationwide service only commenced in the mid-70s. Injustice aside, listening to the radio, reading books, telling stories and stargazing were our main forms of home entertainment. I guess it was thanks to this influence that I excelled at literature as a high school student. My formal writing career started as a copywriter in the advertising industry. While I loved the creative process and being part of an innovative team, I really wanted to tell stories. But that opportunity, ironically, only presented itself years later as a compulsory career change, details of which form part of my memoir: Out of Sync.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

My first published book is a memoir. It chose me through the circumstances of my expatriation from South Africa to the United States in 2001. It was a period of upheaval in my life: a divorce and empty nest followed by an unexpected romance, an expatriation motivated by my second husband’s career, arriving in the U.S. on the day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and multiple relocations and career changes over the next ten years thanks to a declining global economy. Working as a life coach for a big part during this period, I was familiar with the dynamics of change, so I decided to write about the impact my own transformation together with the changes in a post-apartheid South Africa and post-9/11 America had on my life, career and relationships.

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

I make myself comfortable in front of the computer with my first cup of coffee as early at 7am. I break for a gym session or a walk either late morning or early afternoon; I try to be disciplined about this as all-day sitting tends to take it’s toll on my body. There was a time when I’d work some more after dinner and over weekends, but these days I’m more inclined to give myself a break from the computer by catching up on reading, watching TV, going to movies with my husband and socializing with friends. As much as I sometimes allow myself to become preoccupied with a writing project, I believe the world’s obsession with work is more a need to be fashionable than a necessity and has given rise to blatant abuse in the workplace. Everyone seems to be driven by deadlines and social media obligations. Meanwhile, the world is engulfed by information. Have we lost our awareness of the need for balance?

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I tend to over-think things before committing thoughts to paper.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

 I am so NOT a pantser!

Are your stories based on experiences or someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share an example?

 In the case of my memoir, I’d probably answer YES to both questions. I guess my work-in-progress novel can be considered historical fiction, though I’m exploring both historical events and universal concepts. The Anglo-Boer war in South Africa and Hurricane Katrina would be two historical events that feature in my book; the concepts of war, rape and intergenerational shame are examples of universal phenomena that I’m exploring.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Think things through: What are your real motivations for writing? What type of writer do you want to be seen as? What kind of stories would you like to be known for? What can you do to ensure that your writing rises above the clutter, and jewels, out there? Do you aspire to entertain, educate or change the world? Understanding yourself better can only lead to works of greater depth.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I am an Indie author. At one point, my manuscript was under serious consideration; in the end, it did not crack a sale—the writing was already on the wall with regards an industry collapse. I wanted to move on, not only with my book but my career. I don’t regret my decision at all. I don’t expect a literary agent or publisher to back an author unless they feel passionate about the project, but that the chances of perfectly capable newbie authors are jeopardized by the industry’s greed is despicable.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on the novel that I’ve describe above as well as a creative writing guide, which is my first priority and should be published by the end of the year.

About the Author: 

Belinda Nicoll is originally from South Africa. She expatriated to the United States in 2001 and has been a citizen since 2010. She holds a BA degree in the social sciences and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Belinda was a talent agent and drama coach before venturing into the advertising world as copywriter. These days, she works as a freelance writer and teacher of creative writing. She’s an active blogger, and her favorite subject to explore and write about is change.

 Website     Blog     Amazon Author Page     Facebook Profile     Facebook Page     Twitter    LinkedIn

book cover

In 2001, when a couple leaves South Africa for a stay abroad, they land at JFK International Airport on September 11th, unprepared for the sight of smoke billowing from the Manhattan skyline or the horror of a second plane exploding into the North Tower.

Over the next ten years, as their host country confronts fundamental change of its own, their marriage buckles under the strain of their disparate experiences. With the international economic crisis making it all but impossible for them to return to their country, they relocate from California to the North, the South, and the Midwest searching for a place they can call home.

Out of Sync is an insightful tale about marital endurance that promises to enthrall anyone, expatriate or not, who has ever felt at odds with themselves or the world.

Out of Sync (where to buy)        Out of Sync (Amazon)

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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

#WriterWednesday- Interview with Dianne Harman!

Today I welcome author, Dianne Harman. Grab your coffee, sit back, and get to know her!

Dianne Author Pic

Welcome, Dianne!

What inspired you to write?

I’d always wanted to write but I didn’t feel that I had enough credentials, you know, the how many workshops have you attended, how many writing groups are you in – and then my husband gave me Stephen Kings seminal book, On Writing. It gave me the freedom to just do it.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I really struggle with that question because I just don’t have an answer. My first book, Blue Coyote Motel, has been called a romance, a mystery, a thriller, a travel story, Americana, Alfred Hitchcockian and Twilight Zone like. Other than a basic premise and a couple of characters who immediately fit in the book, the rest evolved.

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

Blue Coyote - Dianne Harman for ad2I generally split my time between writing, marketing and editing and re-editing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I sit down and write. I have a very general idea of what the plot is and where it’s going, but what I find is that the characters begin to take over the story and tell me where it’s going. It’s fun because I get to read a novel while I’m writing it!

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

I think if writers were honest, and if they’re writing contemporary fiction, there is going to be an element of their experiences in the novel. Two examples come to mind.  In Blue Coyote there is a scene where Jill treks to the Mani Rimdu festival in Nepal. I did that and it was one of the more interesting experiences in my life. In Tea Party Teddy, the main character is a composite of many of the Senators and Assemblymen I came to know when my husband was a California Legislator.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Edit, edit and re-edit. Ask people to be Beta readers and ask for feedback from them. We often are so caught up in our slant of the book that we miss things that will make it better. There’s a tendency not to share our writing, kind of like what if someone said your firstborn was ugly, but it’s critically important to get feedback.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

Tea Party Teddy by Dianne Harman ebooksmI am self-pubbed. A mentor of mine was very strong about self-publishing since he had lost a lot of money because he had gone with a publisher. I have complete control over everything and I make more money.

What are your current projects?

I am in the process of re-editing books two and three in the Coyote series as well as the sequel to Tea Party Teddy. I’m about halfway through a boomer novel about women and what they deal with as they begin the second stage of life, plus I’m playing with doing a series based on one of the characters in Tea Party Teddy, a private eye who has captured my imagination. But ask me tomorrow, it will probably change as something new captures my interest!

Connect with Dianne on these links!

Twitter     Facebook     Google+     Goodreads     Smashwords     Amazon     Email

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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

 

Have you heard of AuthorsDB? If not, you have to check this out!

adb_badgeRecently, I was directed to a website that offers free author promotions. In the digital age of Indie authors, it’s up to us to find ways to promote our work in order for our creative voices to be heard by millions of readers. I’ve signed up for a variety of sites, but this one in particular stands out from the rest.

Have you heard of IMDb (Internet Movie Data Base)? They are the biggest source of information regarding television shows, movies, and actors. AuthorsDB is the same, except that its a  Data Base for finding authors on the web. This site  not only allows you to post your biography, books, blurbs, and sales links, it also gives you the freedom to share every available social networking sites your connected to, list your publisher information, and share specific details about your books. The site also offers services for authors, contests, and even shares your information across the web via Twitter, Facebook, and the other major sites where readers can be found! Did I mention this service is FREE?????

Interested? Stop by and visit my page. And while your there, I’d appreciate your support in a book cover contest that is being held. I’ve submitted both covers, you can see the samples on the right hand side of your screen. Take a minute and cast a vote. I’d love the support! Don’t forget to ‘Like’ and ‘Share” the page as well.

Vote for A Heart Not Easily Broken Cover           Vote for Jaded Cover

I hope you find this tip helpful. Good luck with your book promotions!

MJ

 

 

#WriterWednesday- Interview with Tammie Clarke Gibbs!

Welcome! This week I introduce you to author, Tammie Clarke Gibbs who writes in several different genres. Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and get a chance to know her!

author pic

Welcome, Tammie!

What inspired you to write?

 I’ve always loved to read. When I was a junior in high school, I had one of those teachers who recognized something in my ability. I had a short story class and after my first story, my teacher was hooked and told me I’d “found what I should do with my life.” That was something heavy for a teenager to hear, but it was a turning point for me that changed the direction of my life.

 

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

 My first three novels have all been romantic suspense, gothic and time travel.  I love all of those elements and enjoy writing them. My upcoming release will allow me to return to my roots. The first book in my Legends Series is a Paranormal Thriller that will have a love story, but isn’t a romance in the more traditional sense of the word.

 

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

 I’m very entrepreneurial which means that I’ve owned several businesses. It’s helped me juggle multiple tasks and projects so when I sit down to write I usually write a few thousand words.  The challenge is balancing my full time real estate career with my full time writing career.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

Well, I plot for sometimes weeks just in my head, but then I’m pretty much a pantser. I call it “mulling it over and letting the story percolate”.

 

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share an example?

My novels have been inspired by accounts in some family history books.

 

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Write. The only way to improve your craft is to exercise it. Then once you feel that you have mastered it write some more and improve some more.

 

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

All three.

 

What are your current projects?

I touched on this above, but I’m really excited about the current work in progress.  Society of Blood: The Immortals, will allow me to write across the genres I love in a fresh new way.

Connect with Tammie!

Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads     Blog     Website     Email

 

sworn to secrecyn1band

 

Their arrival was foretold in a journal and protected by one family for generations.

The time has come and one woman will succeed or fail –

She’ll have to help to fulfill the past, but they’ll have to protect her future.

Dak Bartholomew is a US Secret Service agent. When he wakes up locked in a dark room, it’s just another day until he realizes that he’s not alone. Protecting the woman covered in dirt comes natural, but the feelings she stirs inside him are anything but ordinary.

Elizabeth Porter would like nothing more than to plunge her knife through the stranger’s heart for all the trouble he’s caused, but he doesn’t seem nearly as bad as they said he was. When he looks at her, she fears her heart is the one in danger. .

Together they’ll take an unexpected journey to a time and place they could never have imagined and discover a secret they’ll be sworn to protect.

An unlikely alliance…a love born from the ashes of adversity….but will it be enough to preserve the past and guarantee their future?

 Amazon      Barnes & Noble

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

MJ

#WriterWednesday- Interview with Chicki Brown!

This week I am happy to introduce you guys to one of my writing mentors, Chicki Brown! I met Chicki at Writer’s Workshop that was held at my local library in 2010 when I started writing. Chicki was kind enough to take me under her wing and bring me into her critique group, introducing me to several other very talented women. She guided me as I floundered around, trying to find my writing voice and style. This was just about the time she self-published her first book, Have You Seen Her? I’ve had the privileged of watching Chicki continue to grow as an author, friend, and mentor. So grab that cup of coffee and take a few moments to get to know Chicki Brown!

My Author Photo 

What inspired you to write?

Honestly, it was pure boredom. At the time I worked on a job that was so slow that I was desperate to find something to do to keep myself awake. When I’m bored, my mind wanders, and the idea for a short story about an interracial couple popped into my head. I hadn’t written anything in two decades, but once I started I couldn’t stop. That short story turned into a four-hundred-page manuscript I entitled, Lyrics. I never published the story, because it required too much work to make it publisher-ready.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I write contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and inspirational romance. There are the genres I read, so I suppose they chose me.

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

 I get up around six AM, make a cup of tea and go through my e-mail and check my online sales numbers for the previous day. Next, I go to my social networks and respond to messages, retweet for followers and post book promos for the day. That all usually takes about two hours. Around eight o’clock, I’ll shut everything down, make my second cup of tea, read my Bible or daily devotionals and pray before I start writing.

For the rest of the morning I write/research, break for lunch then write until I have to break to fix dinner. After dinner I watch TV or read until I crash, because by then my brain is so fried I’m useless.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

This probably isn’t all that interesting, but I have to work with music. Complete quiet stifles my creativity. Vocals are distracting when I’m writing, so I listen to smooth jazz, New Age or classical instrumentals. When I work out in a public place, my headphones are standard equipment.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

I am definitely a plotter. My normal process when I begin writing a new book is to start with a general outline, fill out character profiles for each of my main characters, find photos that represent what the characters look like, where they live, what they drive, etc. and create a collage. This helps me to keep everything fresh in my mind. Recently I even purchased a copy of Scrivener, a well-known writing software program to help me with my plotting ways.

MJ: I must say thank you again, Chicki, for staying on me about the panster thing! I remember numerous conversations on the phone and in your car about why I should stop flying by the seat of my pants and plot it out! When I did, I really did see a difference. Now I can’t write any other way!  J

Are your stories based on experiences or someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the character/stories you write? Can you share an example?

I have included some childhood memories in my stories and have thrown in a character or two based on someone famous. For instance, in Have You Seen Her? Dani Reynolds recalls happy days as a young girl with her family in Atlantic City, one of my father’s favorite places to take our family when I was young. In Hot Fun in the Summertime, Kinnik was loosely patterned after an infamous former video dancer who made a name for herself by sleeping with famous rappers and music moguls.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become better writers? If so, what are they?

I talk to a lot of aspiring authors online, and the main point I always try to stress is that being a published author is a business and it is a LOT of work, particularly when you are self-published. They will need to learn how to go from creative mode to analytical mode, from artist to businessperson in order to do the necessary e-book formatting, marketing, promoting, accounting tasks. As authors we thrive when we’re in the creative zone, but the business tasks can’t be ignored.

Getting the story down on paper is only the start. They need to learn as much about the craft and about the industry before they jump out there. Things are changing in the publishing industry at the speed of light, and if they don’t know what’s going on, someone will inevitably take advantage of them.

If they understand the basics of their genre and sub-genre and the basics of how the publishing business works, they will have a much better chance at success.

MJ: Great advice! Yes, being aware that being an author is more than just writing, it’s about marketing and selling your product (yes, once it’s published, it’s a product!) and time management – and that’s before you add in real-life responsibilities – is something every aspiring author needs to know. Learning that too late can make the dream of becoming a published author turn into a quick nightmare! Thanks for the warning! J

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

After trying to go the traditional route for almost ten years, I made the decision to self-publish. Back in 2008-2009 I had been following the rise of electronic publishing and was fascinated by author Joe Konrath’s Great E-book Experiment (http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2009/08/great-ebook-experiment.html.)  The more I learned about his success, the more I wanted to try it for myself. I released Have You Seen Her? which was actually the sixth book I’d written, onto Kindle in 2010. It became my bestselling book up until the release of Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.

What are your current projects?

 I had an idea about writing a family story about a large family with several sons. As I began searching online for pictures that represented my idea of each of the sons, I ended up with eight men that looked similar enough to be related. Eight was too many, so I cut it back to six and decided that each brother would have his own story.
The patriarch of the Stafford Family is a successful doctor who wanted all of his sons to follow in his footsteps. Three of them went into medicine. The youngest has just finished college with an undergraduate degree focusing on pre-med courses, but is still undecided about making medicine his life. Only two of them went against the grain – Greg, who became an on-air television host and Marc, who went as far from traditional medicine as he possibly could.

A Woman’s Worth, the first book in the series, is Marc Stafford’s book. He is a personal trainer and raw vegan who lives in Las Vegas.

AWW REVISED COVER

When Marc comes home to Atlanta for the first time in four years for a family celebration, he meets Gianne Marvray, a woman who hijacks his heart. He soon discovers she’s recovering from a catastrophic illness and that she is his father’s patient. I can’t tell you too much more without giving spoilers. J I anticipate a late summer release

Where can readers find you online?

Blog      Twitter     Facebook     Amazon Central Author Page     Pinterest

Thank you so much for stopping by!

MJ

Interview with Lisa Logue!

Welcome! Today I interview Sci-Fi/Fantasy Bestselling author, Lisa Logue! A poet, mother, and writer, Lisa dived headfirst into writing and self-published her debut novel, Cursed Secrets (Legacy of Secrets), which quickly became a bestseller…and that was just the beginning!

Welcome, Lisa!

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I’ve been writing for so long and it’s become such a big part of my life that I can honestly say, I simply love it. Yes, it’s hard work, but it’s my passion. How can I not love it all?
What genre(s) do you write?
Primarily, my books fall into the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category. I plan to write other types in the future, but I’m the most comfortable sticking to what I know.
What genres and authors would we find you reading?
I like paranormal books the best. Some of the YA are better than the adult, but I think that’s partly because the lines have been blurred a bit. Some of my favorite authors are Amanda Hocking, Autumn Dawn, Terry Spear, PC Cast, Janet Evanovich, Colleen Houck and oh so many more. I don’t mind reading indie books and I’ve found that some are better than the traditionally published books. Not to mention I love supporting my fellow writers!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
With Cursed Secrets, it was mainly just being able to get through it. The concept was so new to me and when I started writing it, I hadn’t intended for it to be a full length novel. It was surprising that I had that much floating around in my noggin to complete it! Now, I’m almost finished with the sequel and lobbying for two more full novels and several novella companions for Legacy of Secrets.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Hmm, mostly a plotter, but I don’t restrict myself. I thought I knew where the series was going when I started and now it’s completely taken a life of its own. I can’t say I’d have it any other way.
Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?
If I’ve done nothing else, I have stretched the boundaries of characterization. Conversations aren’t monotone and typical; they’re reminiscent of real life with sarcasm and emotion. Relationships aren’t instantaneous and destined, rather they’re tense and dramatic and full of passion. The characters and situations come to life on the pages.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
Love takes work. No matter the relationship, no matter the person, love doesn’t come as easy as movies and most books dictate. You can have love at first sight, but you have to work to make it last. But once you find it, you’re crazy if you let it slip away.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
While writing it, I didn’t have a message. However, the ultimate message once it was finished, was that sometimes you have to make the best of what life gives you, even if it isn’t what you want at that moment.
How long have you been a writer? 
Since I knew how to read. Writing is something that kind of runs in my family. I have an uncle and a grandmother and also my father who have all written poetry or short stories. As far as I know, I’m the only one that’s ever published. When I was in first grade, I wrote a completely fictitious story about a man who beat his wife and the drama around it. Needless to say, my mom got a call home from the teacher!
How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?
Since I went the self-publishing route, it was mere weeks. I’m not one of those individuals who busted the pavement sending queries to the Big Six. I simply decided that I wanted to get it out there and see where it took me. Within the first two weeks, it became a bestseller!
MJ: Congratulations!!
What other careers have you had?
Currently, I have a full time job for an office supply company. I work in the customer service department and I order custom products like stamps and business cards. I’ve pretty much worked in customer service since I was 16. Aside from that I’m a full time mommy.
Do you write under more than one name? Why?
I write under Lisa Logue only, for now at least. I’m not interested in writing children’s books or anything like that where I’d want to separate the voice from the adult books. Maybe some time in the future.
Are any of your characters based on real people or events?
I would say they’re loosely based. Really, I take traits from people I know, characters from books I’ve read and maybe movie stars and meld them together. It’s easier creating a character if you can compare them to a real person and then decide what fits and what doesn’t. At least that’s my outlook.
MJ: I do the same thing! Actors can be great template to pull voices, mannerisms, and movements from! 
How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers?
I’d like to say I’m funny, but that only happens on occasion. So I try to be funny. I am incredibly loyal to those I love and I do my best to lookout for everyone. I’m 5”5’, but I’ve learned to live with it. Being Italian, I have dark hair and eyes and olive skin and a temper to boot. My children are from my previous marriage and I’m dating a wonderful man named Brian. We’ve been together for five years. Being a mom isn’t a handicap to me. It’s become as much of who I am as my name. Rarely do I hold a grudge because I try to see the best in people (one of my flaws, too). I’ve grown up a lot in the last few years and I see life on a whole new level. But I am rather impatient and I can sometimes be pushy. I try to be humble and I also don’t take compliments well. Simply put, I am who I am!
What’s something fans would find fascinating about you?
Being a full time student, mommy and employee becomes daunting, but I manage to write and keep up with all of my social obligations online. That includes: Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Website, Indie Author Network Website and Group and many more. I tend to stay connected no matter where I am!
What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
I’m not one of those authors who feel like the world owes me something. I know I need to grow and I welcome it. I don’t like bad reviews, but if they happen I look at it as something to learn from and use it to my advantage. I’ll never be able to please everyone, but I can definitely learn how to better myself in the process.
What books or authors have most influenced your life?
This really is a great question I just wish I had a better answer! I have never read anything that altered my way of thinking or impacted me in a life-changing way. However, reading all of the books I’ve read I definitely knew that I wanted to write and publish. I always knew in my heart that it was what I was supposed to do.
How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
I am lucky to have very supportive friends and family. Some of them haven’t read my books, but those who have are happy I finally published. I’ve come a long way since keeping a poetry journal. Honestly, I’ve met some really amazing folks since I published that have also become great friends. I wouldn’t be the same without them.
Where are you from?
I was born in Selden, Long Island, NY. My family moved to Tennessee when I was nine and I’ve lived here since. I hope to move out west one day. I have my eyes on Colorado, somewhere up in the mountains.
How do you come up with the titles?
That depends on the story. I’ve made pretty good friends with the dictionary and thesaurus as well. Your vocabulary is really never extensive enough!
Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?
I’m a lot busier now, but it hasn’t changed too terribly much. Recently, things have been picking up, but that’s because I have some pretty awesome writer friends who are also my fans and love promoting my books. I don’t write for fame, I write because I love it!
Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
I wish I could multi-task with writing! I tend to have a lot of ideas all at once, but I can really only work on one project at a time. It becomes irritating when you have stories begging to come out that you have to keep under wraps!
When not writing, how do you relax?
My boyfriend and I love movies so we usually see the noteworthy new releases. I also tend to read when I want to relax. Other than that I watch some senseless TV every now and again.
Check out Lisa’s books!
Cursed Secrets (Legacy of Secrets #1)
Ten years ago, Lia’s life had been normal, until she witnessed a murder. Since then she’s been plagued by reliving that horrible night in a dream. But that wasn’t the worst of her problems. A force had awakened inside her, unleashing something so frightening, she couldn’t bear being close to anyone. Until she met Christian. Intrigued by her power and the strange connection between them, Christian is determined to find out what makes her tick. Struggling to keep his urges under control, he vows to stand by her. But as her past is revealed, he uncovers secrets that shake him to the core, forcing a decision that could lead to her death.

*Includes some language*
*Includes minor sexual situations*

**Bonus material!!!**

Fire & Ice: A Legacy of Secrets Novella
With a past fueled by blood, sex and death, Christian vowed to be different. The things he witnessed left him hardened, turning his body and heart to ice.A tiny sliver of humanity remained, leading him to Lia like a moth to a flame. Mortal desires awakened inside him, chipping away the cold. He tells Lia his story, realizing she’s the one who revived him. She’s the fire to his ice.

*Includes some language*
*Includes some sexual situations*

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Lisa Logue has written everything from poetry and short stories to her debut novel Cursed Secrets. Originally from Long Island, NY, she now resides in Tennessee with her family including her two sons.

At the age of seven, Lisa began writing short stories depicting dramatic scenes of abusive relationships and murder/mysteries. After several calls home from the teacher, Lisa made it clear that while the stories seemed real her imagination created the drama. But it didn’t stop there. After the short stories came poetry with which she received many awards including winning several contests. Her earlier poems were published in coffee table books and various online websites, proving she’s no stranger to the written word.

After a long two years, her first novel Cursed Secrets has finally been published. Lisa is constantly working to improve and adapt her writing to intrigue and entice readers. As an avid reader herself, creating “real” characters has been an important part of the project. While Cursed Secrets encompasses a variety of supernatural characters, the human element is prominent and relatable.

When Lisa isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her family, working, or attending classes for her degree. She also loves to read and often finds herself curled up in a snuggie with a glass of wine. Spending time with her boyfriend of almost five years and their friends is another enjoyment and break from crazy daily life.

Connect with Lisa on the following sites: