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Thursday, February 28, 2013

5 Life Rules Help You Be Happy by Joan Reeves


I create characters in romance novels that have been popular with readers. By the end of each book, my characters have learned how to be happy.

That means that I spend a lot of time thinking about human nature. One thing that's true for fiction and real life is that most of us seem to make the same mistakes as we bumble our way along the road of life.

Want to be happier? Here are some "rules" I came up with that might help. See what you think of them.

1. Don't take advice from anyone who's more screwed up than you.
Everyone likes to give advice, but always ask yourself if the person dishing out the advice is living life more effectively with less hiccups than you. If not, smile and nod and feel free to ignore what they say. Unless what they tell you is based upon what they learned from their own bad experience of doing the opposite.

2. Do learn from others who have been where you want to go.
Model their behavior. Find out how they did it and adapt their method to your efforts.Unless the way they achieved it was dishonest and goes against your own beliefs and integrity. You can't model negative behavior without far-reaching consequences.

3. Do stop working so hard; learn how to work more effectively.

Unless you assess your efforts and realize you really aren't working hard - you're just giving lip service to the idea of working hard.

4. Do enjoy yourself more.

Unless you're already spending way too much time in the pursuit of pleasure. You have to have a good balance between hard, effective work and play.

5. Do change your attitude about work. Sometimes when we describe an activity as work -- even though it's something we truly adore doing -- the activity, in our mind, becomes linked to work equals unpleasantness. The more you enjoy something; the less it should seem like work. Unless you already view your work as play so much so that you have a slipshod attitude about what you do. Never forget you want to achieve something with the investment of your time, energy, and brain power.

Post Script

To feel like a success, figure out what success means to you.

(Joan Reeves writes funny, sexy Contemporary Romance like Scents and Sensuality, her new book, which is being formatted as you read this. Look for it live, on sale, by March 3. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers with audio editions available at Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free subscription newsletter for writers, and Wordplay, a free subscription newsletter for readers. Please visit http://www.JoanReeves.com or her blog http://SlingWords.blogspot.com for information.)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What's Your Poison?


Why do you read?  Personally, I read for pure pleasure.  I have no interest in educating myself nor do I plan to make drastic changes to my lifestyle.  I just want to be swept away!  Back in the school years when I was forced to read whatever my inconsiderate English teachers forced down my throat, my pleasurable experience took some major hits. Thankfully, those years are behind me and I can pick and chose as I please. 

What genre do you find yourself engaging in most?  For me, it’s paranormal – time travel, vampires, werewolves and demons.  Fiction all the way. My mother’s genre of choice is true crime, one that gives me nightmares if I happen to read a few paragraphs.  I am constantly amazed by my mother’s ability to read about such horrific crimes and not hide in her bedroom secreted under the bed. Mom always had her true love magazines and mystery books, and my father his Louis L’Amour westerns, suspense and war stories.  The love of reading was instilled in me at an early age.

But again, I read for pure pleasure.  What draws your interest?

P. L. Parker is the author of two 99 cent E-books – Fiona and Riley’s Journey.  Both time travel romance novels.








Buy Links:http://www.amazon.com/Fiona-ebook/dp/B005SV2838/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361506418&sr=8-1&keywords=Fiona+by+P.L.+Parker

http://www.amazon.com/Rileys-Journey-ebook/dp/B005SV26KS/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1

It's National Hot Breakfast Month!



 By: Stephanie Burkhart

Who doesn't enjoy a nice, hearty breakfast? Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day because it gives you the energy your body needs to get the day going.

In the US., February is National Hot Breakfast Month. It was the brainchild of Jimmy Dean's foods which is known for making heat-and-serve breakfast foods. They wanted to promote hot breakfast options.

Some hot breakfast choices include:
Pancakes
French toast
Breakfast sandwiches
Bacon,
Pork links
Crepes
Eggs
Hash Browns

Question for you: What's your favorite breakfast? I'd love to hear your menu.

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She loves chocolate, needs coffee and will eat bacon with just about anything.

A Polish Heart
Spring/Easter themed
Contemporary/Inspirational Romance
99 cent Novella
Blurb: Can Sofia's faith give Darrin his heart back? 

*****

Dracek crossed his arms and glared at Darrin, jealousy laced in his eyes. "Because of Sofia?"
"Yes."

"You will only break her heart, American. You will go back to your country and leave. I see how she looks at you. It's you she wants."

"Not you?" asked Darrin, tersely. Anxiety coiled around his limbs.

"I have known Sofia since we were children. I just want her to be happy, but I am not convinced of your sincerity."



************

BOOK TRAILER LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC6_397PerU

Review:

"Sofia and Darrin's story is a heartwarming one. Totally enjoyable read." - Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON:http://amzn.com/B007AS29AO

BARNES & NOBLE:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-polish-heart-stephanie-burkhart/1111503774?ean=2940033247875

SONY EBOOK STORE: https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/stephanie-burkhart/a-polish-heart/_/R-400000000000000712746

SMASHWORDS:  
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/164429

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Please Borrow Me!

Girl of My Dreams
by Morgan Mandel
Since I haven't made it a secret, by now almost everyone knows that my latest freebie event for my romantic comedy chick lit,  Girl of My Dreams turned out to be a smashing success, with the book reaching #13 in Free Kindle Books during that period, and resulting in 16,465 downloads in the US/India, 3024 in the UK, 388 in Germany, 84 in Canada, and lesser amounts in other countries. Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled with that result!

Still, I realize there are still some readers who missed out on the event. Fortunately, Girl of My Dreams is still available to them for less than a dollar, 99 cents to be exact.

And, if you're an Amazon Prime member, I absolutely encourage you to borrow the book! Why? This month authors actually get paid more for borrows than for sales! So, if you don't know which book to borrow, or sometimes don't bother using up your borrow ability, Girl of My Dreams is saying to you, "Please borrow me!" 

For those who've already used up your month's borrow, I and Girl of My Dreams would still be very happy if you bought her at http://amzn.com/B0065R11QO

Follow the madcap adventures of a straitlaced assistant who sneaks onto the set of a reality show to win a billionaire.

When the producer discovers her ruse, he’s beside himself with rage. He’d thought better of her, but it looks like she’s only a gold digger.

What’s worse, she’s advancing in the rounds. She may even win the billionaire, but is he the guy she really wants?


Excerpt:
“NOT THAT.”
Groaning, Hollywood producer Blake Caldwell brushed a strand of black hair from his eyes. The latest news from his assistant, Jillian Baker, was grim. Scores of contestants from his premier television show had rushed from rehearsal and were crammed into the ladies room upchucking.
“I’ve called an ambulance. Do you want me to go with them?” she asked.
Her voice was muffled. He could hear toilets flushing in the background, along with other  unmentionable sounds he didn’t care to identify.
“Can you give me a head count? How many are left?”
“Wait a minute. I’ll check.”
Blake’s heart pounded. His shirt stuck to his back as he awaited the verdict. A few days ago, before the power outages, he’d had time to spare, but now he was up against the wall. It was two hours before the audience shoot. The stage and script were set for twenty-five contestants. Could he deliver them?
“Twenty-six are gone between the originals and alternates,” was the answer.
Fresh perspiration sprang to Blake’s forehead. “We’re one short. We’ve got to do something.”
The ratings were down. Mecca was dying. It could not survive another season without a hit. Neither could he. He’d sunk time, money and effort into this project. The boys upstairs had given it a go, only if he’d produce and direct it. This was his chance to prove he could make it without the connections of his actress-mother Barbara Branton. A foul-up would turn him into a has-been at the age of thirty.
“Blake, should I go with them?” Jillian asked again.
Her voice was alert and in crisis mode.
“You’re not a doctor. I need you here. We have a show to run.”
Almost as soon as he’d hung up, he found Jillian standing before him. Through all the commotion, her hair was still pushed back from her face and her glasses perched firmly on her nose. He had to hand it to her for keeping her cool.
“I’ve called food management and alerted them of the situation. They’ve closed the cafeteria,” she said.
“Good. We don’t need anyone else sick. The coordinators were hit, too. What about the survivors?”
“They’re already in Makeup.”
Blake rubbed his chin. “Fine. Now, all we need is number twenty-five.”
Thinking, he stared straight ahead. He had a feeling the answer was right in front of his nose, if he could only see it. His loyal assistant stood at attention, ready to spring into action. Hard-working, intuitive, creative, Jillian was a miracle worker. She always came through for him, but this time he couldn’t fault her if she failed.
      A gleam flashed in her eyes.


FOR MORE, YOU KNOW WHERE TO FIND THIS BOOK! 
You Don't? Here it is again: http://amzn.com/B0065R11QO


Find Morgan's Chick Lits at
http://www.chicklitfaves.com

All of Morgan Mandel's books are at
http://www.morganmandel.com

Connect on Twitter at
@MorganMandel

Friday, February 15, 2013

Everybody wants some...reviews, that is!



 "Review Word On Stage" by Stuart Miles
pic by Stuart Miles
As writers, we live in hope (or dread) of one thing: reviews. Those little bits of code that equal praise. We send our books out—or someone else does—to various review sites and bloggers hoping for the best. Sometimes it comes; sometimes we get coal. It’s the nature of what we do. Writing is art and as such, subjective. Some people will love what we do; some people will hate it—or worse, rip it to shreds.

Getting those reviews are sometimes just as big a struggle as getting our work out there to begin with. Let me take you back a ways and give you a little perspective. I’ve been writing reviews of books I’ve enjoyed for about ten years now. A few years ago, I opened a blog and said publicly I’d like ARC’s if anyone thought my opinion worth a darn. Not knowing the deluge that would ensue, I said yes to a few titles. I enjoyed them so I posted my thoughts on site. Then I got more requests, and more, and more. Soon I was backed up six months, and the authors’ release dates flew by before I could get to them. It soon became a pain in the neck. Then life intervened with its own pain. Yet, I was obligated now to keep reviewing, so instead of pitching a fit, I said “sorry” and shut down my bloggy inbox and plastered big ole “NO ARC’s” signs on my sites while I dutifully worked on the backlog. Because it’s time consuming and when you’re walking through hell, it’s even worse! I know, believe me, I know!

 However, reviews are lifeblood to writers, right?

As soon as I published, I went looking for those reviews. Stupid, you might say? Well, I went out knowing some might turn me down.

I also knew what I think we could call the “Guidelines instead of rules” of seeking said reviews. 1) Be patient. The reviewers might have a year-long backlog, heck they might not even get to you, but even a posted review six months down the line might garner you a sale. Second rule: apparently, this is from Amazon. Doesn’t matter how many 5 star reviews you have, they might remove a few just to give you a new gray hair. I’ve seen this happen to friends of mine, and boy, is it frustrating!

Guideline #2: I’ve seen myself: Don’t sweat 1 star reviews. Even they can garner you sales. Yes, I’ve seen folks get sales from 1-star, “absolutely hated this book!” reviews. I’ve even been known to purchase a book from such a review, so, there. Woohoo for bad publicity! ;)

Heck, even Anne Rice gets a balance of bad reviews and look at her.

Yet, as writers, we still hope and pray to get those good reviews. I guess my best advice to authors seeking those reviews is, as with the whole relay race that publishing is, just be patient, don’t sweat the timeline, or the ratings, no matter what anyone tells you.  Reviews will come when they come, and readers, if you read a book?? Help us gals out, please review it somewhere, anywhere!! (Amazon!) (pretty please?) *lol*

Just a little something I’ve learned in my short little published life that I thought I’d pass along in case it’s of any use. ;) Good luck, and may all your reviews (and reads) be five stars!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hooks or an introduction to a new fantasy???

Some refer to the first line of a story as the hook. I like to think of it as the introduction to a new fantasy.
I don’t know how many times I’ve had an idea pop into my head that wouldn’t go away. Today, you can see many of them in the opening lines of my books. Or I have filed them on my list “New Ideas” for a project in the future. I’m not saying that they are still the exact phrases, in fact they very seldom are.


I remember for My Cheeky Angel that it all started one morning when I woke up and thought about how happy I was with my life. I laid there for some time seeped in my good fortune and the thought came to me—what if a heroine woke up feeling the opposite. What if she hated her life, herself and her future?

My original line had undergone a huge metamorphosis because it had been more like… Annie Hynes hated everything about her life. I changed it repeatedly until I found a positive way to write what she was feeling without saying those ugly words. This is how the sentence reads in the book…

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Many times, when I take my notes to enter the lines on my list, I realise that they aren’t as catchy as I had originally thought. Sometimes it’s just a matter of revision but oftimes, I’ve lost the enthusiasm the words first inspired. Guess that happens to all of us. I suppose it depends on our mood, or the circumstances of where we’re at in our work. But when I can’t get rid of the image the words evoked, almost always there’s a book that will follow.

The other day, as we were travelling along the highway, I was reading a wonderful story written by one of my favorite authors and she had mentioned a puppy. Instantly the following line came to me and I had to grab my purse for the notebook that’s always there and jot it down.

The ball of white fur had sharp teeth. And at this precise moment they were embedded in the material of his jeans.

Immediately, I could see the action happening and an inner smile followed. I knew I wanted to write a story with this opening. At the moment, I have three books plotted and rolling around in my head, needing to be written. But this could be a short story…...??


Visit Mimi Barbour on her blog for more about "hooks"!! http://mimibarbour.blogspot.com

 
*****Today is the last day of The Valentine Free Partay where the books are still FREE!!! Best-selling Amazon authors giving away wonderful books to help celebrate the occasion! Come and fill your e-readers…

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cats are characters, too - By Vijaya Schartz

Bandit
 I love cats, and they always find their way into my stories. Small pets, big cats, even man eating tigers... In my mind, all cats are cats. Their grace and agility never ceases to amaze me.

When you understand the little ones, you get a glimpse of what's going on in the mind of the great predators.Observing house cats as they stalk a bird in the backyard, or the way they play with a toy, tells me how a great feline acts with prey. Knowing how much they love meat, and how hungry they get when I'm late for dinner, gives me an idea of how dangerous a hungry tiger can be.
Spunky
Their indifference is a front. They pretend not to care, but they are watching every move I make. They are aware of the smallest sound and will react only to unusual ones. I know someone is at the door when Bandit dives to hide under the couch.

If something is not right, they now how to get my attention and they let me know. Whether I left the garage door open, or one of them is locked out wanting to come in, they'll come to me and miew until I figure out what's wrong.
Jasmine
When Spunky, as a kitten, was caught in the vine covering the wall, Jasmine, my calico, fetched me and although I had no idea anything was amiss, I could tell she was very upset. She didn't stop miewing and turning in front of me, until I went checking every room. When I realized the kitten was missing, I went outside with her, where she led me to the kitten in trouble.

Cats are wonderful creatures, beautiful and noble, elegant and proud, and if they look at us with disdain sometimes, it's just to remind us that they are the kings and queens of this world, and we are here only to serve them... which we do, and we thank them for the priviledge.

Find out more about my cats on my website. Just click on "cats" at the upper right at

Find my books with cats in them on:
AMAZON  -  B&N  -  ARE  - and in eBook everywhere.

Happy Reading

Vijaya Schartz
Romance with a Kick 

Monday, February 11, 2013

What NOT to Give Your Valentine by Joan Reeves


Okay, all you guys and gals out there who are looking for love in all the right places (I hope), Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

Here's a little advice to guide you in shopping for a gift for your beloved.

Things NOT To Give

1. A kitchen appliance.

2. A diet book.

3. Music or movie that is your taste, not your Valentine's.

4. Men: never give your wife/girlfriend any apparel that your mother would be likely to wear. Women: the same holds true for giving your guy something your father would wear.

5. A nighty so slutty that your woman feels ridiculous in it.

6. An exercise machine - unless your Valentine really wants one.

7. Men: never take her to Hooter's for Valentine's. Women: don't take your guy to some artsy-fartsy tearoom or other female haunt.

8. Two tickets to any event that only you can really appreciate with the thought that if your Valentine doesn't go, you can take your best friend.

9. An I. O. U. and a note that says you couldn't think of anything. Come on. You'll get more respect if you just admit that you forgot.

10. Any gift that hasn't been wrapped. Don't ever, never, give something in the store bag. What's the matter? Don't you care enough to take a few minutes to wrap it or or pay a couple of bucks for gift wrapping service at the store?

Post Script

You've always heard that it's the thought that counts. So in each of the above, what is that thought?

(Joan Reeves writes funny, sexy Contemporary Romance. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers with audio editions available at Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free subscription newsletter for writers, and Wordplay, a free subscription newsletter for readers. Info? Visit Joan's Blog, SlingWords.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Why are blog hops popular for the authors?


 ***

 

I can only tell you why I think they are from my own experience.

 

I’ve been involved in a few recently and tho I hesitated at first to take the time away from my writing, I had become feeling a bit secular in my little office. I mean there’s a real world out there and I’ve lived in my characters heads for so long, I’d begun talking like them at home. And trust me; the gritty language used in “Roll the Dice” didn’t sit well with my family. LOL

Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!

So…when I had a chance to get involved in the First Love Valentine blog hop with S.J. Bourne I jumped at the chance. Although there was some work involved, it was different from my daily norm and pulled me out of the rut I had nestled into so happily. I guess the best thing about the whole process—and trust me, this part is invaluable—you can make a whole bunch of new friends. I have. People who I probably would never have met if I hadn’t taken the leap. Plus, I have no doubt the reason my book sales are rising is from the group efforts at advertising.

 

And then Jeff Bennington came up with another chance for me to put “Roll the Dice” in The Horror/Suspense Kindle Giveaway. I just couldn’t resist. I liked the idea of being involved with other suspense authors a lot. 

 

And that is plus I couldn’t ignore. I’m always on about how important it is to belong to groups. And that’s true. But the reason is – that promoting within a group gives you a heck of a lot longer range than one person trying desperately to push their own work. And blog hops are all about the group. They’re a little like doing a blog tour without all the expense that one has if they sign up for a professional one. I’m not saying it’s as effective… I have no doubt it isn’t. But it’s fun and helps you to see other’s work at the same time.

 

Let’s face it. If you’re like me, there are days when you sit in front of the computer looking at the blank page of your blog and wondering what the hell you can blather on about today? Thankfully, I can honestly say that it doesn’t happen to me very often because I’ve become fanatical about writing down any and every idea no matter where I am. Therefore, I have a list I can choose from.

 

But it is always fun to have a little something extra to offer the readers. Like a chance to win a Kindle or maybe some free books. Or heck – just a great new website to find a lot of fantastic authors.








***And while I'm at it, I should mention that today and tomorrow the Kick-Ass Promotions will be sheduled with a nice selections of different books by many best-selling Amazon authors and they are all.........FREE
 uh huh!!! that's what I said. Free!!!

Including the new Vegas release - Book #3
Vegas Shuffle