Friday, April 24, 2015

#MFRWorg Authors Do You Need A Blog?




Big question. There are as many opinions on this one as there are, well, you know how that adage ends…

The question always comes down to, will this bring me more readers? Will more people buy my books if I’m blogging?
Let’s explore.

Advantages:
  • Trust: In order for readers to buy your books, they want to trust you, the author. So if you are continually serving up great content on your blog, then a potential reader might e more willing to buy your books. 
  • Writing skills and time management: blogs are a great way to get out short, great messages, as well as a way to improve your dedication. 
  • SEO: You want to be on the first page of Google, right? Well, blogs are liked by the magical Google spiders because they are updated more regularly than a static site. 
Disadvantages:
  • Time: Ah, if only we had days and days filled with nothing but time to do what we wanted. But in our crazy writer lives, we are limited. So in between Facebook, Twitter, updates to our regular website, and actually writing, do you need another weekly commitment? 
  • Platform: what are you writing about? It’s great that you have kids, recipes, and writing in your life. But do others want to read about that? (this is not meant sarcastically at all – some people have great blogs on all of the above. But is that your platform?)
  • Reciprocity: A big part of blogging is the reciprocal aspect. Blog hops, sharing other’s posts, gaining new followers by posting comments to others’ blogs, linking to Google+ and Goodreads blogs, Triberr…it’s a long list, once you go down the rabbit hole of blogging. Do you have the time and energy for it? 
There is no easy answer for this question. For me, personally, I know that my readers like to read paranormal romances. But I don’t feel that I read enough in this genre in order to generate new content on a weekly basis.

My compromise with myself has been to write for others’ blogs or group blogs (like Heroes and Heartbreakers). This way, I’m reaching a larger viewership with established readers. And, the pressure is off for a weekly (or monthly) commitment.

However, I still need to relate everything back to Erin Moore, the author. That means keeping my messaging consistent – any of my readers could read anything I wrote. Here are some other general rules for writing for others: 

1. Google Authorship: You want to make sure that you own your content so that Google searches for your name or books will link back to you. Here’s a very detailed explanation of how to do this.

2. Search for blogs in your genre with a large readership, but don’t neglect the small or medium blogs, either. These may have very dedicated followings. Trying to land a big blog? Try these tips.

3. Promote your guest post as you would for your own blog.

I know, I know…I still haven’t answered the essential question. Unfortunately, hard data on whether blogging promotes sales seems extremely hard to come by. If anyone has seen any real numbers on blogs increasing book sales, would love to hear about it!

For authors with their own blogs, the only way to determine if it is truly bringing in readers is by measuring traffic. Do blog readers click on buy links after finding your post?

In the end, like everything, it is a personal decision. Hope some of this information has been helpful.


Tell us what you think!
Is a blog necessary, or not? How do you negotiate the world of blogging?

Sources: Small Blue Dog  |  Jane Friedman  |  Savvy Book Writers  |  Boost Blog Traffic  |  Weblogs  |  Pushing Social

POSTED BY ERIN MOORE
Erin has been writing her entire life, but only recently found her voice in the paranormal romance world.

She's an avowed chocoholic, loves travel and good tea, and finds her inner peace by meditating and writing. Fantasy, historical fiction, and romance are her inspirations.

This is a repost from http://mfrw.blogspot.com/

I encourage you to check out the group,

Anita

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Can I Have Some Spring Showers by @LyndiLamont #SpringFling




I grew up just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where spring was much appreciated after a long, hard, cold winter. First the hardy crocuses would push up from the earth, sometimes with snow still on the ground. Then came the yellow daffodils and multi-colored tulips, a cheery sight after the gloom of winter.  

My mother loved to garden and I used to help her plant the spring flowers. One year, a neighbor’s dog came to visit and helped her dig holes for the tulip bulbs. He was a cute little mutt named Andy. But he didn’t quite get the point of why she was digging the holes, so the next day, he came back and dug up all the bulbs! She was so angry at him, but I thought it was kind of funny.

Spring here in Southern California is a little more subtle. Our winters really don’t deserve the name, and when the offshore winds blow, spring weather feels more like August, with temperatures in the upper 80’s or even into the 90’s. Around here spring flowers include tropical plants like hibiscus and bird of paradise. Though I kind of miss having four distinct seasons, I can’t say I miss winter in Pennsylvania. Brrr.

I do wish it would rain, though. Some spring showers would be very welcome in this fourth year of drought.

Author bio:

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it's only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O'Farrell.

You can find her online at http://lindalyndi.com 
Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont 


Lady Elinor’s Escape
By Linda McLaughlin
Sweet Regency Romance


Blurb:

Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a rescuer of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled by guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with the secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.

Buy links:




Read an excerpt at http://wp.me/p4zj2u-w2

Thanks Lyndi, for stopping by,

Anita

Monday, April 20, 2015

Banished #Shapeshifter's Box Set

Banished Hero

A hot shapeshifter series

Blurb:

With no memory of her past, Faye Lynn Berton clings to a father who curses her ability to shape-shift, then uses her special skill to scam local villagers. The only freedom she knows comes as she soars through the sky in falcon form. A chance meeting with another changling turns her world upside down. Beyond satisfying the powerful sexual cravings that follow transformation, he reveals a surprising dimension of sex between their kind…one to unlock the secrets of her soul.

Havyn Westmore has questions…Faye Lynn holds the answers. Determined to unravel her secrets, he must strives to gain her freedom and trust. Teaching her the finer techniques of transformation keeps her close while sex strengthens their bond. But on the trail of discovery, Havyn must confront his own past. Accused of a heinous crime, he was banned from his homeland. Now, he must choose between returning to face certain execution—or robbing Faye Lynn of her birthright and a life in Paradise.

To read excerpts and reviews for Banished Hero 

Banished Scoundrel


Second book in the shapeshifter series


Blurb:

Known scoundrel Jack Avery must earn the queen's forgiveness by rescuing her missing daughter from the human world. His sources reveal the Princess Noelani is being held by a powerful man who likes a good game of chance. So with twenty borrowed pieces of gold Jack enters the high-stakes game. Only the lady he encounters is no princess. This pretty Kitty makes him want to hear her purr.

Under a memory spell, Kitty recalls nothing before the governor bought her from her parents and offered her protection from those he claims would kill her kind. So what if, in order to control her, he forces Kitty to morph then deprives her of sexual release after transformation. But the crafty card player she is assigned to “entertain” reveals himself as a kindred spirit—a shape shifter—and unravels the lie she’s been forced to live.

Together Jack and Kitty risk it all, for the stakes are high and the prize is worth it...freedom, forgiveness, love.

To read excerpts and reviews for Banished Scoundrel 

Banished Witch 

Last book in the shapeshifter series


Blurb:

Once a princess of Ardenia, Danella, left her homeland to warn her childhood sweetheart only to be kidnapped and sold into slavery. Learning the dark magic from her keeper, she grew to accept her role as a witch to protect her family and track down the traitor to the crown. But when Omar Mandel, the love from her past, arrives to bring her home, she realizes she can never go home. That doesn't mean she can't use his assistance in her plan for revenge and, in the meantime, live out a few unfulfilled fantasies.

The queen wants her daughter to come home and Omar’s job is to see that it happens. However, Danella isn’t the same sweet girl he remembers. In her place is a sexy woman who excites his lust and claims his heart. He must teach her to trust in his love and face the sins of the past if they are to have a future together.

To read excerpt and reviews for Banished Witch 


Get all three for $2.99



Find at:
Amazon | UK | CA | AU |

B&N | Kobo |
All Romance 

Thanks everyone, I hope you enjoy,

Anita

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Logline: Who Needs It? How Can I Write One? #MFRWauthor



This post is syndicated from Whitley Gray: The Logline--Who Needs It? How Can I Write One?


This is right up there with synopsis and query and cover letter. It’s the secret weapon that says you know what your story is about and can sum it up in one sentence. It’s the jewel you can memorize and blurt out at any time.

Otherwise known as the “elevator pitch,”—something you might pull out when you have a captive audience, such as an editor while attending a conference—the logline is a twenty-five to thirty word summary of your story. It needs to indicate the main characters, the conflict, and the story question. Whole workshops are given on the topic, and I strongly recommend you sign up for one before you start to pitch your logline to anyone, especially to a captive audience. Elevators work, but so does an impromptu pitch session over dinner, waiting for a bus, etc.

Okay. Let’s take a formulaic approach:
(heroine) must (action) with (hero) to (conflict) or (consequence).

A witch on the outs with her coven must work with the demon she put in jail twenty years ago to extinguish a virus before it annihilates all paranormal creatures. (thirty words).

This logline tells us the heroine is a witch, and she’s done something to alienate her own kind.

The hero is a demon, who likely hates the witch for what she did to him in the past. He also has done something that landed him in jail back then.

These two have to work together, which is going to set up all sorts of conflict.

Their mission is to wipe out a virus. Failing has huge consequences for both of them. As they’re both paranormal creatures, they’ll be susceptible to the virus (danger) and their own kind (both witches and demons) will be wiped out. There’s time pressure in there too. If they don’t succeed in time, the virus will have taken its course.

See how that works?

So our editor in the stalled elevator now knows what your book is about—it’s a paranormal romance with elements of suspense. Two different kinds of paranormal creatures are involved. The premise lends itself to conflict, with a lot of potential for escalation—it’s there from the get-go. They have a larger-than-life mission involving a communicable disease, which is a fresh idea (we hope it’s fresh to her). The consequences are huge, and mean all sorts of friends and family will be at risk and could die—always a crowd pleaser.

Now let’s look at the wording.

witch on the outs with her coven must work with the demon she put in jail twenty years ago to extinguish a virusbefore it annihilates all paranormal creatures. (thirty words).

On the outs with” This could be worded as “alienated by her coven.” Why not word it that way?

“Okay…” you say. “What’s wrong with that? We’re saving words, and we don’t get many to start with.” Because now the coven is doing something to the witch. “Coven alienates witch” is the active construction. But we don’t care about the coven in the logline—they’re not the heroine.

“Witch alienated by her coven.” This is a passive construction. Do we want passive construction? No! We want nice active construction. Both ways mean the same thing, but “on the outs with” is active.

Must work with” It’s not optional. She has to work with him. Not a friend, not a colleague. A specific guy, and from the sound of it, they don’t like each other. It could be “work with,” and that would save us a word. But it also suggests that the situation may be optional—like they’re choosing to work together. And what’s the fun in that? “Must” is the stuff conflicts are made of.

Put in jail” This goes to plot. When you’re thinking about plot, think about what generates strong conflict. Minor infractions seldom lead to the type of situation strong enough to carry a book. If we said “the demon she turned into a toad for a day” sounds like he could be irritated, but probably not enough to strongly dislike her. Plus it eats up our word count. It could be “the demon who jilted her five years ago.” That would still be conflict—just not as strong, not as much.

So, a criminal act of some kind. It has to be something egregious enough to warrant a jail sentence. It has to be something she did that’s bad enough to make him angry. The fun is you get to decide what that was, and how to weave it into the fabric of your story.

Okay, let’s examine the mission. “Extinguish a virus.” Not “kill,” not “eliminate,” not “cure.” Not “give a ten day course of antiviral medication.” Extinguish is a strong verb. Strong words are your friends. Strong verbs do the heavy lifting in writing. Adverbs—words that modify verbs—weaken construction. Stephen King said “The way to hell is paved with adverbs.”

“Why would Mr. King say that?” you ask. “My eighth grade English teacher Miss Fluffermuffin didn’t say that. She liked adverbs.”

Okay. We could say “Totally wipe out” or “completely eliminate” or “cure in a timely fashion.” Note the –ly, the calling card of the adverb. Editors have strong feelings about adverbs, mostly of the negative kind. If you’re tempted to use one, look at your verb.

Example: How about “ran?” It’s a nice verb, gets us from point “A” to point “B” faster than walking. Maybe “ran quickly.” That makes it more exciting. But look what happens…

The editor is frowning, has out her computer-generated red pencil. “I hate adverbs. Stephen King was right!”

How about “bolted?” or “charged?” “Raced?” The difference is real, and it grabs attention. “Bolted” grabs your attention. “Bolted?” you say. “My, that’s fast. That’s quick. That’s…getting my attention.”

Now we’re getting to the end of our logline. The consequences.“Annihilates all paranormal creatures.” As you’ve no doubt discerned by now, “annihilates” is stronger than “kills.” It’s stronger than “destroys.” The word “annihilates” brings up images of atomic-level destruction, of utter disaster, of cataclysmic consequences. If they fail, it doesn’t mean creatures from werewolves to vampires will break out in an unsightly purple-spotted pox. Nope, they’ll be gone. Finito. Never to be seen again. It’s a big deal if you’re a paranormal citizen.

“It could be ‘annihilates the world,’” you say. Okay, I’ll agree with that. But then why did it require a witch and a demon? How about an accountant and the waitress at that dinner where he goes for lunch every day? It could, but then something has to motivate them to save paranormal creatures. Why would these two humans care about the paranormal inhabitants?

Okay. This is the end of my dissection. Now you try it.

(heroine) must (action) with (hero) to (conflict) or (consequence).

Sit down with your story.

Write down the heroine, and one thing about her. A big thing, not her flaming red hair or startling fashion sense—not unless they impact the plot.

Write down your hero, and a defining characteristic. Keep it tied to the plot.

Why might these two not get along? (Conflict) Write it down.

What is the big thing they need to do? (Action) Write it down.

What happens if they can’t accomplish their goal? (Consequence) Write it down.

Likely you have more than thirty words at this point, but that doesn’t matter. Put these parts together in a sentence that explains your plot. Count the number of words. Don’t despair, we’ll pare it down until it’s svelte.

Look at every word, starting with the nouns. People places and things. Look at your verbs. Look at them again. Are adverbs tagging along? Get out your thesaurus and find a strong verb. Annihilate the adverbs. Make the verbs able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Look at your clauses. Now this isn’t grammar, and I’m not getting into that. I’ve put the descriptive phrases into brackets here:

A witch [on the outs with her coven] must work with the demon [she put in jail twenty years ago] to extinguish a virus [before it annihilates all paranormal creatures.] (thirty words).

Without the clauses, the logline still reads as a coherent sentence. Not a very exciting one, but still a sentence. Use your words wisely in these clauses. The clauses tell about your characters and your consequences.

I’m not a big fan of names in loglines. Some people are. Names tend to use up words, as you still need the descriptions in there. Unless the name has to do with the title or the plot, I leave it out.

Keep chugging away on that logline. Tweak it until it shines, tape it above your computer. Memorize it—you never know when you’ll have to pull it out.

WHITLEY GRAY BIO:
Once upon a misspent youth, Whitley read and wrote stories under the covers at night. At some point, real life intervened, bringing with it responsibilities and a career in the medical field. After years of technical writing, Whitley became enamored of romance and took on the challenge of giving it a try. Inventing characters and putting them through paces in interesting ways turned out to be addictive, and along the way, Whitley discovered that two heroes is twice as nice. A pot of coffee, quiet, and a storyline featuring a couple of guys makes for a perfect day. Stop bywww.whitleygray.com and feed your fix for heat between the sheets with erotica and M/M romance.

This is a repost from http://mfrw.blogspot.com/

As a proud member of the group, I encourage you to check out the site,

Anita

Friday, April 17, 2015

Why Pam Likes Spring by @psthib #SpringFling

I’ve often said I have bear blood in me because at the first cold snap I’m ready to hibernate for winter LOL! Cold, rainy, dreary days make me want to curl up under a blanket and/or next to a fire and read or sleep. My energy level & mood sink with the short, dark days.

Spring, however, is that time when the days get longer, warmer and brighter. Of course, balmy days make me want to curl up like a cat on a window seal, but like the flowers and trees bursting with energy and new life, so am I when there are several more hours of sunshine on a daily basis.


Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”


Links:
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com  
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

 A Hero for Jessica



Blurb: 
Anthony Paul Seville is known as the ‘most eligible bachelor’ in New Orleans, possibly even the entire state of Louisiana, but finds himself alone—completely and explicitly alone. Jessica Aucoin is a writer on her way to fame and fortune, but is haunted by a man from her past. Will the “champion” lawyer and the author of romantic suspense find love written in their future? 

Excerpt:

“Mr. Seville; how very nice to see you again.”
“The pleasure’s all mine,” Paul assured. He lifted her hand to his lips and watched her visitor through lowered lids.
A dark flush crept up the man’s neck. Anger clouded his face. His eyes took on an ominous glow. The guy spun on his heel and stormed off while muttering under his breath.
“Friend of yours?” Paul queried.
“Hardly,” Jessica answered, and disengaged her hand from his. The icy tone of her voice warned him not to pry.
He supposed now was neither the time nor place for such a discussion. There’d be enough time for that later; he’d make sure of it.
“Would you like me to sign those for you?” she asked, indicating the books under his arm.
He handed her the books without another word, watched and waited while she stepped over to the table, slid into the chair and searched for a pen. When she didn’t find one right away, Paul watched her beautiful eyes grow watery with unshed tears. No woman would cry over not being able to find a pen; that guy had truly upset her.
He reached into his pocket and then handed her a pen. Like an electrical conduit, her warmth permeated the slender, gold tube. She smiled her thanks, hurriedly wrote a greeting and signed her name, then handed him the books.
Paul was not immune to the changes in atmosphere. The icy tension had dissipated, only to be replaced by one of a more intimate nature. He sensed her tremble, noticed her heightened color and felt the breath back up in his lungs. The woman was too beautiful for words. A tiny, but vital--very vital--step back, broke the sensual charge between them. He knew he’d never forget the moment of awareness that sparked between them nor the quick spurt of longing that surged through his system at the sight of her sitting there, those fathomless green eyes swimming with tears and a wealth of conflicting emotions.
He took the books, read the inscription, whispered his thanks and strode to the checkout counter as readers gathered and vied for her attention.

Purchase Links:
Pelican Book Group http://pelink.us/16uzi4c
Kindle http://amzn.to/1c4BFl7

Thanks Pam for sharing your book with us,

Anita