Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pacing, Pacing, Pacing... Fixing

My entire summer will be spent editing and revising 2 of my dragon shifter books for Entangled. First drafts are done, now it's time to make them good books and not just words on virtual paper. Lol.

One of the things I'm running up against in one of them is pacing. I didn't realize it was an issue until my first read-through after I finished the first draft.  It's hard to tell over the weeks/months I write the first draft how the pacing is going because I'm "reading" the book over such a long period of time. So I was surprised to find it needed help in this area. I feel like lots of things happen to move the plot forward, but the pacing is still bogged down. So I turned to my lists (I'm a major lister) for help. 

Here are some ways I analyze and adjust the pacing of my books...

Quick Read
One way to look for pacing problems is to do one fast read-through of the book. Pay attention to where things feel rushed and where thing slow down and you're tempted to flip ahead.

Understand the Key Events & Timing
What are the six or seven key events in your book and when should those happen in the course of the book to keep the reader going? You can go by instinct and stay simple with this, or you can subscribe to various beat-related techniques. Look into "Save the Cat" or workshops by the likes of Michael Hague or Larry Brooks.

Every Scene is Relevant
Look at every scene in the book and ask yourself if it's relevant to the story and moves the plot forward. Cut or fix anything that doesn't. Be ruthless.

Create Stakes/Time-Limits/Tension
An easy way to up the pace is to add more stakes or give the characters a time limit. This will make you as the writer write to their new pace, and the reader will feel it.

Passive vs. Active Scenes
Make a list of all the scenes in your book (not chapters, but scenes) and identify them as passive (mostly discussion or thinking) vs. active (snappy dialogue, action, new revelation, etc.). Look for large chunks of passive scenes in a row and see how you can squeeze in a more active scene or two to break them up.

Skip the Boring
If you're bored writing a section or reading it, likely your reader will be bored too. Sometimes that scene can be skipped altogether. If you can cover it in a few short sentences, then skip it. 

Scene Cuts & Temporary Cliffhangers
Break up scenes by cutting to a different scene or different POV which can change the dynamic. Even better? Incorporate a small cliffhanger in the scene you are cutting away from. If you do that, though, make sure the scene you cut to is equally compelling.

Scene & Chapter Hooks
End scenes and chapters with a hook, something that, if you were the reader, would make you want to continue reading, even if it's 3am and you have work tomorrow.

Chapter & Scene Length
Look at your chapter and scene length. Compare to similar genres or if it's a slow spot, consider breaking it up or shortening.

White Space
Look at how the page looks. Is there very little white space for long chunks? You might have too much description or introspection. Is there tons of white space? You might have too much dialogue with not enough information in between. 

Sentence Structure
Look at your sentence structure. Are most of your sentences short and choppy? Or longwinded with a lot of commas? Do they all start with the subject? Or do you mix it up? Aim for a good mix of sentence types.

Hint: Do a search for "He" and look for places where there are a ton (more than 3) grouped closely together. Consider revising a few to mix it up more. Do the same with "She."

Info Dumps & Overwriting
Look for long passages of information or descriptions that go on and on. If you can't say it in a few sentences or 1 paragraph without breaking it up with dialogue, action, or something else, you might be spending too much time on descriptions or information or introspection.

Author friends, what techniques do you use to help you with pacing problems? Finding new ways to approach my writing is one of my favorite things about this career. I will totally conquer this issue before the book goes to my editor!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Trends in Book Publishing by Elizabeth Alsobrooks

The most obvious questions in the mind of authors and publishers are always: who’s reading and what are they reading? Some might be surprised to find that nearly 73% of adults read a book or at least part of a book last year. What may be even more surprising is that the majority of readers are in the 18-29-year-old category (80% of them have read a book), and the 30-49-year-old category (71% have read a book), which means that millennials are the largest group of readers.  

Who’s publishing books?
It’s a great year for small press and indie publishers, as they again steal more of the market from the big traditional publishers (43% vs 34%). Gone are the days of mid-list authors. Not only are small presses able to fill niche markets, when traditional publishers are focused on strictly mass-market appeal, but small publishers are able to provide the opportunity for the next up and coming star authors at a time when the big publishers are only signing authors who already have their own fan base, like celebrities, politicians, and authors who are already best sellers.

What are they reading?
Though nonfiction books are dominating the market again this year, the largest fiction markets are still the young adult, with a fast-rising increase in fantasy and science fiction. Take a trip down memory lane and recall hot trending movies such as Divergent and Hunger Games, Twilight, City of Bones, and Beautiful Creatures. Angels, Demons, vampires and dystopian themes are still hot paranormal markets for young adult readers, but millennials, known for their tech-savvy ways, are also sparking new interest in science fiction and fantasy genres. Genre fiction is also seeing a resurgence in thriller and Whodunnit genres, as One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, and Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco illustrate. And wasn’t it Shakespeare who claimed all stories were just retellings? That must be why they’re trending now. Books like Cinder by Marissa Meyer and A Court of Thornes by Sarah J Maas are leading the way.

How are they reading it?
With so many readers owning notepads (50% of Americans), and phone screens getting larger so that reading on them is much more pleasant, eBooks are still selling, but digital sales seem to have stopped growing and paperback sales are again on the rise, with 20% more independent bookstores opening their doors, a welcome sight after so many large chain stores folded. Readers are stating that they like the feel, the smell and the look of actual books in hand. However, the biggest trend in book sales is not paperbacks, but audio. Audio sales have risen over 500% in the last year and show no signs of slowing down. Readers are becoming listeners, and state that with their busy lives audiobooks are more convenient. They also like the additional story-telling element of narrators who give the various characters unique voices. They listen when they drive, walk, exercise or even while they do chores or other work.

How are books reaching readers?
More and more authors are discovering that books direct to readers is not only a way to increase sales but a necessity.  Emailings are on the rise, more book clubs are popping up (the biggest being Amazon’s, but kobo and smashwords are also rising, as are groups on Goodreads—owned by Amazon) and social media interactions. Facebook and other venues are charging more for ads, Amazon is offering less to associates (once you’re number one, you don’t need to search for new readers), and though authors are able to demand more for eBooks without affecting volume, they need to continually reach new readers. Some authors are banding together to run contests and offer giveaways to get exposure to new readers, and small pubs offer the benefit of growing sales from one book’s PR to another. Smart authors realize that in this visual/audio age, everyone is exposed to videos. Book trailers, video author readings, and interviews are trending and are continuing to grow in popularity.

Visual Appeal
Good editing is now demanded by readers who are used to over a million eBooks that glut a market where shelf-life is now eternal. The visual appeal to set books apart extends beyond videos to the design of the covers themselves. If one great image is good, more is better, if one is to believe the trend of today’s collage covers. Also trending are 70s and 80s retro, and what is known as millennial pink, muted pinkish mauve with black or gray lettering. Bold, artsy lettering on minimalist backgrounds, original drawings, and fancy touches, such as metallic or cutout covers are also eye-catching.

Nothing replaces good writing, but new writers should understand that finishing the book is . . . only the beginning.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Cowboys and Indians

Though none of the cowboy stories in our anthology The Cowboys of Clark’s Folly has any Native Americans, Texas was home to hundreds of tribes of American Indians. I’ll only name and discuss a few, living around the location in Texas where our fictional town, Clark’s Folly, would be.

The Apaches dominated almost all of West Texas and ranged over a wide area from Arkansas to Arizona. Two groups of Apaches, the Lipans and the Mescalaros, were of primary importance in Texas. Apaches were among the first Indians to learn to ride horses and lived a nomadic existence following the buffalo.
The Biloxis gave their name to the area around Biloxi, Mississippi, where they first encountered European explorers. They began to migrate westward in the 1760s to avoid white interference. By 1828, a group had settled along the Neches River in present-day Angelina County. The Biloxies became allies of the Cherokees and were caught up in the violence in 1839 that drove the Cherokees out of Texas. 
The Cherokees were one of the principal Indian nations of the southeastern United States. Wars, epidemics, and food shortages caused many Cherokees to migrate west to Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas in hopes of preserving their traditional way of life. Those who remained behind in the Southeast were eventually removed forcibly to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in the incident known as the “Trail of Tears.”
Cherokees settled in Texas near the Red River. Pressed further south by American settlement, in 1820 about sixty families under Chief Bowl (Duwali) settled in Rusk County near the Caddos. As Americans settled that area, distrust grew between them and the Cherokees. Hoping to gain a legal title to their land, the Cherokees invested a great deal of energy in cultivating a relationship with Mexico. Hoping to protect this relationship, they remained neutral between Texas and Mexico during the Texas Revolution.
The Comanches dominated a vast area of North, Central, and West Texas. There were at least thirteen active bands of Comanches, with five playing prominent roles in Texas history. These unparalleled horsemen led a nomadic lifestyle following the buffalo. They controlled trade in produce, buffalo products, horses, and captives throughout their domain. In the 1700s, the Comanches made their presence known in Texas by warring with the Apaches and the Spanish. Fearing that they would lose Texas to the Comanches, the Spanish negotiated a peace treaty with them in 1785. When the Spanish were unable to keep their promises in trade goods and gifts, Comanche raiding against the Spanish resumed, with many of the stolen horses being traded to newly arrived Americans.
There is also mention of the Cheyenne and who could forget the Kickapoo Indians?

The Cowboys of Clarks Folly is an anthology of four stories of love and romance in the Lone Star State.  Interestingly enough, three of the authors are from Georiga—MM Mayfield, MJ Flournoy and Carol Shaughnessy.  I’m a transplanted Texan, originally from South Carolina.  The settings are interesting seen from different views of the landscape of Texas.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Writing in Different Genres by Diane Burton

This blog is devoted to those who enjoy reading and writing paranormal romance. Paranormal is one of those genres that can include so much. Futuristic romance (now called science fiction romance) is a part of paranormal. So are vampires, ghosts, shifters, angels, demons, reapers, dragons, and many more. The paranormal world encompasses so much.

I’ve made no bones about how much I love science fiction romance. It’s a far-reaching glimpse into the future. It gives me hope for humankind. We will get to other planets, we will reach stars (and their planets) that are only specks in our sky. Maybe not in my lifetime, possibly in my grandchildren’s.

Science fiction romance give me so much flexibility as an author. I can devise my own worlds. My characters don’t have to be human or come from Earth. Faster-than-lightspeed (FTL) is possible. Wormholes allow us to skip over the universe.

As much as I love reading and writing science fiction romance, my reading tastes are eclectic. I love the here and now, too. Mysteries, romantic suspense, military adventures, along with the usual paranormal romances. My mind is a catchall for varied ideas. If I enjoy reading other genres, why not write them?

When I first started writing, I wrote romances. With each attempt, I discovered that I included a mystery, action, an adventure, something more than a romance. The more I wrote, the more I stretched my creativity. And that was exciting. Stories with a contemporary setting meant not having to make up a whole new world. I could take certain things for granted—like not having to let the reader know what cell phones and cars are. Even more fun is setting stories where I live (or have lived).

I love reading books set in places I’ve visited or where I’ve lived. Instead of imagining scenes, I can recall the last time I saw that beach, mountain, shop. Since my husband’s job took us around the Midwest and we love to travel, I can easily visualize stories in set in Chicago, Detroit, Phoenix, Colorado, Missouri, Florida . . . I think you get the picture. 😊

My mystery series (the Alex O’Hara Novels) take place in a fictional resort town similar to where I live along the Lake Michigan shoreline. It’s been fun including the things I love most about living near a beach, and also including those less than desirable reasons (like extra traffic and long waits at restaurants.

Years ago, I wrote a romantic suspense, One Red Shoe, starts in Iowa, goes to New York City, and returns to Iowa via Michigan. That was quite a road trip. LOL My upcoming release takes place in and around Grand Rapids (Michigan’s second largest city). Numbers Never Lie is a romantic suspense with action and adventure, what I include in every story I write. And, of course, a romance.

I love exploring different genres, setting stories in the present as well as the future, in places I’ve been or wish I could travel to. My stories will all include action, adventure, and some romance. I will always return to space and science fiction romance.

Do you read different genres? Do you write in different genres?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Guest Author Veronica Scott Talks Scifi Romance

By Veronica Scott

Thanks for having me as your guest today! I’m very nostalgic returning for a visit at Paranormal Romantics since I spent a couple of fun years blogging here earlier in my career.

I always like to include an element of the ‘inexplicable’ in my science fiction, something that my hard headed military heroes or the other human characters can’t explain but accept when they encounter it. I’ve had reviewers refer to it as my element of mysticism. I just know that part of me craves a universe where all things cannot be known.

 For the Badari Warriors series, which deals with genetically engineered soldiers created by an alien race to fight my Sectors civilization, there are various mysteries. The Badari feel they have ancestral memory, passed down from the race originally used by the evil Khagrish scientists to be the template for, and DNA donors to, this twisted science project.

One of the beliefs the Badari hold especially tightly is that their people worship the Great Mother, a benevolent, nature-based goddess. She often manifests her presence in dreams. The excerpt below the blurb is one such dream episode.

The blurb:  Taura Dancer has been pushed to her limits by alien torturers known as the Khagrish and is ready to die when suddenly the lab where she’s held as a prisoner is taken down by an armed force of soldiers.
The man who rescues her from a burning cell block is Jadrian of the Badari, a genetically engineered alien warrior with as many reasons to hate the Khagrish as Taura has. This set of shared past experiences and the circumstances of her rescue create an unusual bond between them.

Safe in the hidden base where Jadrian and his pack take her, Taura struggles to regain her lost memories and overcome constant flashbacks during which she lashes out at all who come near. Only Jadrian can recall her from the abyss of her visions and hallucinations.

As the war against the Khagrish continues, it becomes increasingly critical to find out who she really is and how she can help in the fight. Until she can control her terrors and trust her own impulses, Taura’s too afraid to pursue the promise of happiness a life with Jadrian as her mate might offer.

When he’s captured by the dreaded enemy, will she step forward to help save him, or will she remain a prisoner of her past?

This is the third book in a new scifi romance series and each novel has a satisfying Happy for Now ending for the hero and heroine, not a cliffhanger. Some overarching issues do remain unresolved in each book since this is an ongoing series but romance always wins the day in my novels!

The excerpt:
Being in her own bed in the familiar cave was a balm to her nerves after the tumultuous events of the day and Taura soon fell asleep, tumbling into a dream. She stood in the middle of an endless grassy plain, surrounded by wildflowers. Birds of all colors flew overhead, singing and chirping with abandon. Feeling something was missing, she put her hand to her neck and realized Jadrian’s amulet was gone. Spinning in a slow circle, she tried to figure out which direction she’d come from, so she could retrace her steps in an effort to find the precious necklace.  In the distance a grove of beautiful, tall trees grew in a perfect circle. She wandered in the direction of the trees, deciding that was as good a choice as any and wanting to see the glade enclosed by the sturdy sentinels. In the blink of an eye, Taura found herself walking past the first tree, strolling in the welcome shade and heading for the sunlit opening ahead. Now a sense of urgency overtook her and she walked faster through the ring of trees. As she entered the clear area at the heart of the grove she caught a glimpse of a woman leaving. Taura only saw her long white hair and the edge of an elaborately embroidered lavender gown.

“Hello? Wait!” She hastened toward the spot where the other had exited but as she approached the trees, she became confused and skidded to a halt. There was no path through the grove she could see. Immense trunks blocked her progress and no matter how she maneuvered or where she stepped, Taura was unable to leave the sunlit central area to follow whoever had been waiting here.

Baffled and frustrated, she retraced her path to the center of the grassy area and perched on a smooth boulder, which was shaped as if to be used as a bench. Why am I here?

There was no answer but as she glanced at the grass surrounding her seat, a flash of bright blue drew her attention. Rising, she plucked the amulet she’d been seeking from the greenery and placed the black leather thong around her neck with a sigh of relief. The stone was cool to her touch, reassuring in its unchanging appearance.

When she raised her eyes to the trees again, she inhaled sharply. Jadrian stood there, smiling at her. She stretched her hands out to him and took a step—
And sat up in the bed, surrounded the soft glow of the nightlight and the sparkling mineral accents in the rough stone walls. A bit disoriented, Taura stretched and glanced around the chamber. At least it was a peaceful dream.

A few minutes later, she strolled out of the bedroom area, more rested than she’d been in months. Jadrian was making tea over the fire, and he glanced up at her approach. “A smooth night then, finally? No dreams?”

Taking the steaming mug from him, she settled on her chair and leaned against the cushion. “No bad dreams anyway. The last one I had was lovely.” Since he showed more than polite interest, she described her dream to him in detail right through to the end, when he’d appeared in her vision. Taura chuckled a bit self-consciously.  Dreams never made much sense when the scenes were recited to another person. “And then I woke up.” 

Surprised by his silence, she glanced across the fire at him. Jadrian’s eyes were wide and glowing with golden fire. He’d risen to his feet. Afraid she’d upset him without realizing it, she set her cup on the nearby rock serving as a table and reached out to him. “What? It was a good dream, I swear.”

Buy Links:  Amazon    iBooks   B&N    Kobo      Google

Author Bio and Links:
USA Today Best Selling Author
“SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog
 Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!
 She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Book one of the series, AYDARR, is currently on sale for $.99!
Amazon      B&N  Kobo     iBooks

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Jumpstarting by Jane Kindred

If you’ve seen my recent posts, you know that I’ve been going through an extremely dry spell. The well of ideas I’ve been dipping into since childhood has been coming up with a ladle full of nothing but dust. Though I tried to drag two murky characters up to the surface and into the light (okay, so it’s a mixed metaphor; just go with it), “Armand and William,” mentioned in my previous blog post, refused to speak to me. Even after I threatened William with being called “Billy.”

I took a week off from work at the end of May just to make myself write something, anything…and did nothing but work puzzles on my iPad and color in my mandala coloring book while watching Hallmark mysteries and romances. (In other words, the same things I’ve been doing for months.) Since finishing the final book in the Sisters in Sin series in February, I hadn’t written a single word.

But this past Sunday, I decided to go to a cafĂ© down the street and try to write. Part of my difficulty with writing in recent months is dealing with my elderly cat and his literal caterwauling every moment that he’s not sitting in my lap, so I thought maybe a change of scenery with less howling would work. I honestly didn’t think it would, because I usually can’t write with other people around, but I was sick of hating myself for doing nothing. I got a latte and a pastry, perused social media until the pastry was done, and then set the timer on my phone, telling myself that I had to write for 15 minutes, no matter how stupid the words, and then I could look at Twitter again for 5 minutes as my reward. (A dubious reward, but these are dubious times.)

And despite the fact that there was music playing in the cafĂ©, another thing I usually can’t write with, I just started writing a completely new story. And I wrote for three hours.

It’s some serious crap at the moment, but it’s crap with promise. Two new characters (not the sulking Armand and pouting William—who can just sit there and think about what they’ve done until I’m good and ready to listen to them should they deign to speak) just came out to play like they’d been there all the time. I wrote 1,800 words, and on a second day at the cafĂ©, I managed another 2,000.

I’m still mostly unable to write at home (thanks, cat), but my head is no longer echoing like a new apartment without furniture or rugs while I wander around in it aimlessly. There are unpacked boxes in the corner to go through and interesting clutter lying about that needs to be assembled into something usable. And I’m also channeling my rage at current events into this new space instead of trying to keep it clean and nice for company, so things could get interesting.

I still don’t know where or when the story takes place or any of the specifics of the plot beyond a very vague beginning and a fairly definite end (and, of course, a love story), but I’m hopeful that those will come. I might not have any idea where I’ll end up, but at least I have a beginning. Sometimes you just have to piece together a bunch of disembodied parts and apply a little voltage and see what happens. Even if what you end up with turns out to be a little misshapen, the important thing is that it’s alive.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Everlasting Love and Romance Supernatural Style

In ninth grade one of my assignments in English class was to read Romeo and Juliet—loved it!Then we watched the movie during class—also fabulous!I might have been one of the few students in the
class to be thrilled with the assignment and love every minute of the movie. 

Despite a true love of paranormal and the supernatural, there’s just something about a story of never-ending love. 

Therefore, when I find an awesome paranormal /supernatural everlasting love story, I’m buying the VHS tape…and then I’m buying the DVD/Blue-Ray once VHS players bit the dust just like my copy of… 
Bram Stocker’s Dracula.

A Horrific Romance

Sure, this film based on the novel by Bram Stocker is listed as a 1992 American Gothic Horror Story, but to me it’s truly the supernatural version of Romeo and Juliet, a story about true love. And even though I’m all for a love story between Johnathan (can you say Keanu?) and Mina, by the end, I totally felt for Vlad, I.e.: Count Dracula. This is saying a lot when most of the movie depicts Vlad appearing about four centuries old, and the centuries hadn’t been kind. 

This Dracula wouldn’t fit in with the sexy, vampires of Twilight. Perhaps in his time boasting a hairstyle uncannily resembling one’s pale, white buttocks was in style, and it appeared as if his nails hadn’t seen a manicure, well—ever. 

But the way the film subtly allowed the love story to grow… a few words, a look, a gentle touch. Granted there was the whole Dracula turning into a hairy werewolf-like monster, and some blood—he is a vampire after all, and it is considered horror, but I thought the love story was so spectacular that I watch it again and again.

Then how once Mina realized she discovered he was her true love from centuries past she certainly displayed how true love can be blind, and everlasting (again, keep in mind she was giving up her fiancĂ©—Keanu).

Runner-Up Ghostly Love

My runner-up paranormal love story would be the 1990 Romantic Fantasy Thriller, Ghost

There’s some fun comedy thrown in, but the scenes of the ache of love lost and how their love didn’t die with death—well, put it this way, I can’t listen to songs from the soundtrack without tearing up, and the scene where they must ‘push a penny’…sniff…

if you’ve watched the movie you probably remember. I’ve watched this movie more times than I can count, but if it’s on, I’m watching. 

Do You Have a Favorite Supernatural/Paranormal Love Story?

P.S. Today is my day at the The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads Party. 

It's going on the whole month of June with tons of fun and prizes, but you can check out my game today!

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Of Babies and Books by Sorchia Dubois

Launching, birthing, releasing—all terms we use to describe that magical time when something new comes into the world. Though glorious and life affirming, such events tend to be turbulent, overwhelming, and terrifying. For me, this year is going to be filled with such events. Not only will my daughter present me with my first granddaughter, but also I hope to release no fewer than three books by the end of the year.

The granddaughter will change the world as I know it, and you’ll be hearing plenty about that as the blessed day approaches (October 8—the day before my birthday.) Today, however, I want to talk about those lesser adventures—the books.

Launching a book, like launching a ship, carries great portent. But, with around 300,000 new books released each year, how are my little stories going to attract any attention?  Here's the blurb and a very fuzzy cover--since I've not done the cover reveal yet.

 Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen

Zoraida Grey needs help. With the witchy Logan clan holding her best friend hostage in
a haunted Scottish castle, she can’t trust anyone—certainly not beguiling but dangerous Shea Logan. And Al, her overprotective boyfriend, doesn’t believe in magic. 
Only one creature strikes fear in the blackened hearts of the Logan witches. Trouble is Jock disappeared five centuries ago leaving a trail of destruction across the Gulf of Mexico. Now he’s stepped into a steaming pile of Voodoo.

Can Zoraida drag wayward Jock back to Scotland? And what’s she supposed to do with two men who promise completely different futures?

A Scottish wizard, stripped naked and painted blue—a Voodoo priestess bent on immortality—a yacht-load of Caribbean pirates. What can possibly go wrong?

Now, I don’t expect to sell a million copies and be catapulted into fame overnight, though I wouldn’t squawk it if it happened. I spent most of my life as a teacher, so my financial standards are low. On a good day, I and any one of my teacher friends would sacrifice our honor for a pack of post-its and an operational Sharpie. 
I’ve spent a good deal of time considering how to get my books off to a good start. I’ve thought of it with the write side of my brain and the read side and here are a few things I’ve found.

  • Get Reviews: I’m already sending out the ARC to all those who’ve reviewed my other books and mining lists for new victims. As a reader, I look at reviews before I purchase. The more reviews the better and the more 4 and 5 star, the better, too. 
  • Do a pre-launch blog sequence on my blog and as a guest on other blogs. I’ll do a cover reveal as soon as the book is available for preorder and a few other posts at that time. I’m working on a theme for these—maybe witches in history since my book is about witches. 
  • On launch day and for about a week after, I’m planning a series of posts about birthstones and astrology and tarot cards—The posts will tie the traits of particular signs and stones to my characters. 
  • A giveaway. I’m going to giveaway free e-books, signed print copies, and jewelry. To tie in with the birthstone angle, I’ve found a local gal who makes beautiful tree of life birthstone pendants. She’s agreed to give me coupons for 10% off of her merchandise to anyone who attends one of my events or my website. 
  • Freebies on the website. I want to be able to direct readers to some nice little gifts—nothing spectacular (see note about financial standards) but a free story, a crystal magic guide, and a legendary creatures guide—all things I already have. When I have time, I could even make them into e-books. 
  • FaceBook launch party. What are your thoughts on this? Do they work? What are the best things to include in such a party? I sometimes offer tarot readings and usually get a good response. I also enjoy meeting other authors as well as readers. 
  • Teasers and Promos. I use Canva and other software to make quick images that I can tweet or post on FB. I’m thinking about ten to get the ball rolling. These I share in groups and basically blast out into the ether every day. 
  • And, there are the paid promotions. Places like Goodreads and LibraryThing will do giveaways for a fee and then we have Instafreebie or Bookbub which are a bit more exclusive. Blog tours put together by services are sometimes helpful and expand the reach of my posts. 

If you are writers, what have I forgotten? What works and what should I avoid at all costs. 

As readers, what kind of info catches your eye and makes you want to plunk down money for a book?

Honestly, compared to launching a book, having the granddaughter is going to be a piece of cake—at least for me. My daughter might have a comment or two about that, but—hey—I’m the granny here.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Whaddya mean it's May 30th?

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me. So busy in fact that I almost missed my normal post day for the Paranormal Romantics blog! May 30th tried to sneak by me without being noticed, but I caught it two hours before the day was over. Needless to say, this is going to be short and sweet. I only have two things to tell you about, anyway.

First, I need your help. You see, today is the final day of the Blue Book Cover Brigade’s efforts to raise money for the ALS Association, and we’d like to end the project on a bang. That’s where you come in. There are three ways to help:

1) Go to our web page, peruse the selection of out-of-this-world SFR and PNR titles. Purchase one…or two…or more, and 25% of each sale will benefit the ALSA. (Note: some authors will donate 100% of their book’s May sales—Prophecy is one of those books.)

2) Have you read all these books already but still want to help? No problem! Go to our ALS team page and make a tax deductible donation to the team, or to the author of your choice.

3) Share this information and links with your friends on social media!

Remember, the project ends May 31, 2018!

Second thing, the third book in my Prophecy series is now available for pre-order!

Collision, Book Three of the Prophecy Series

A heart-rending loss…
Flora Bock will never forgive the Anferthian invaders for murdering her birth-parents. Growing up with the grandson of her sworn enemies is living a nightmare—until the day she sees him through the eyes of a young woman. But giving her heart to him is the ultimate betrayal of her parents’ memory.

 A life in peril…
There are precious few places in the galaxy where Fander K’nil is safe. One look into Flora’s beautiful, hate-filled eyes is proof enough that Terr is not one of those places. He must keep her at a distance and stay alive long enough to fulfill his destiny. No matter what his heart desires.

An empire at stake…
Just as Fander and Flora begin to discover the depth of their feelings for each other, they are thrust into a deadly game of politics and assassination with an enemy who stops at nothing to stay in power. With the lives of everyone they love at risk, they must find a way to avert a new invasion before it’s too late—even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.

Haven't read books one and two in the series yet? Check 'em out...

Prophecy, Book One of the Prophecy Series

A woman who's lost everything, a man betrayed by his own, but together their destiny is greater than ever imagined. 

Salvation, Book Two of the Prophecy Series

One incurable disease, two reluctant Healers, three worlds on the brink of war. What could possibly go wrong?

And, boom! I finished my May blog with about an hour to spare. See you all next month with a well-prepared and informative blog. I hope.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Embracing His Roar by @meganslayer #gayromance #pnr #paranormal #shifters #bobcat #lion

Embracing His Roar by Megan Slayer

Sanctuary, Book 11

Gay Paranormal Erotic Romance


From SuperNova Indie Publishing

A bobcat who doesn’t think he belongs and a lion who believes he is unlovable…can they make a relationship work?

Avan has made his share of mistakes, but those are in the past. Moving forward means forgiving himself and having a life at the Sanctuary. He wants just one shifter—Oscar. The bobcat shifter soothes his soul and seems to see the best in Avan. But will he want to be with Avan, even after everything Avan’s done?

Oscar’s lusted after Avan since he first saw him. He doesn’t care what Avan’s done because he believes everyone deserves a second chance. But Oscar’s got a past, too. He’d never felt like he belongs, even at the Sanctuary. The one place he feels safe is with Avan.

The odds a bobcat and lion should be together are low, but the passion between them sizzles. Can they find common ground and embrace their roar or will their differences destroy the blossoming relationship?

Available at


Barnes and Noble:


Google Play:

In Print: