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Cover Reveal! Sprinkled with Sabotage by Allison Pearl

I’m so happy to have fellow Anaiah Press author’s new cover release at my blog! Isn’t the cover beautiful!

Sprinkled with Sabotage: Book 3

By Allison Pearl

Genre: Contemporary Romantic suspense

Lizzy Bennet loves life as a lawyer in the city. And not just because of the miles it puts between her and her ex. However, when she’s attacked on the street just hours after learning her identity was stolen, she tries to call home for help and ends up with the last person she expects: the very same high school boyfriend who broke her heart. He says he’s there to help, but she’s not so sure, and now, all the endless questions and regrets are clouding her judgment and preventing her from seeing the dangerous saboteur closing in.  

Small-town auto mechanic, Koby Knightly, is looking forward to seeing a car show in the city. But when an unexpected call from his old girlfriend disconnects suddenly, he rushes to her apartment only to find her limping and bleeding. Throwing his plans out the window, Koby makes it his mission to protect her and discover the identity of the person trying to frame her. Will he also be able to figure out what went wrong between them back in high school or will a killer get to her first? 


About the Author:

Allison Pearl is a small-town girl who’s lived just about everywhere. She loves books, tea, chocolate, and watching old movies with her husband, black lab, and orange tabby. To keep in touch and get updates on new releases follow her Facebook page ‘Books by Pearl’ at www.facebook.com/allisonnicolepearl/ or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonPearl5 and Instagram at @allisonnicolepearl.

Book Events/Festivals I’d Love to Go to Someday: #TopTenTuesday

Welcome back to #TopTenTuesday hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl! Today I will share which events and festivals I’d love to visit someday!

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  1. RWA – This has been the number one event I’ve dreamed of going to. Romance Writers of America has been my go-to since I started writing back in early 2000’s.
  2. ACFW – Of course, the be-all-end-all of Christian Fiction conferences is a definite dream. I’m sure I could learn much and meet up with so many great friends!
  3. Book Expo America in NYC – First of all, I have a love for NYC, so just the fact that this expo is in NYC … ahem, yes!!!! But this is a great expo for anyone in the publishing world.
  4. Texas Book Festival – This one isn’t so far from home (in Austin) and I almost went last year. Now, I regret not going. It’s now virtual this year, so we shall see.
  5. Book Lovers Con – This year it’s in Nashville! How fun! This conference is the old RT conference and I’d love to be there!
  6. Indie Book Fest – This year it’s in Orlando — or was to be in Orlando.
  7. Starfish Writer’s Conference – Every year, I mark my calendar and then get so busy with work. It is literally around the corner from me (only 15 min. drive). I guess the introvert in me is making excuses, but one day I WILL GO!
  8. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference – I’ve heard so many great things about this one!
  9. Re:Write Conference – Held in Austin, so it’s doable. It’s supposed to be a small boutique conference, which I’m sure I’ll like.
  10. She Speaks Conference – A huge conference covering speaking, writing and ministry for women. What fun!

Have you attended any of these conferences/events? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Cover Reveal – Dear Maddie by G. Parker

I’m happy to have a fellow Anaiah Press author’s book at my blog today and it’s a beautiful cover reveal! Check it out!

Isn’t it gorgeous! Here’s what the book’s about:

“Dear Maddie – My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years, but…”  

Maddie never dreamed she’d be writing a newspaper column to the lovelorn. Her co-workers think her nights are filled with glamourous dates, but in reality, her life is boring. Until the day her boss insists on running a contest to win a dream date… with her. 

Now Maddie is searching for someone genuine in the mountain of letters from fame-seekers, braggarts, mama’s boys, and stalkers. Does God’s plan include finding true love through a marketing stunt? Or will she only have more loveless fodder for her column? 


Coming in August, so keep your eye out!

www.anaiahpress.com

Top 15 Overused Words in a Manuscript #wordchoice #fillerwords #editing #amediting

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Choosing Words that Make Your Writing a Masterpiece
How do you choose the best words for your writing? Do you write and then go back to edit the words? Are you one of those brilliant writers who has a dictionary/thesaurus embedded in your brain and the right word comes when summoned?

As I work on my newest WIP, I can tell when I am having a bad day. I use and reuse the same words or phrases all the time. Here are my favorites this week:

Come on!

Why all my characters are saying this is beyond me!


smiled

 I promise to try not to use this anymore as a tag. My characters are just happy!


I was just saying…

I don’t even know where or why this came about.


Generally, most authors keep a list of overused, passive or filler words to run through their manuscripts as they do final edits/revisions. To tighten your writing, search for the following words: 

  1. very
  2. -ing words
  3. just
  4. really
  5. simply
  6. started to
  7. began to
  8. all adverbs
  9. rather
  10. feel/felt
  11. saw
  12. realize
  13. heard
  14. was/were
  15. that

Even better, try these free online tools to help tighten your writing:
Writer’s Diet Test: http://www.writersdiet.com/test

Pro Writing Aid: http://prowritingaid.com/en/Analysis/Editor#


Now, for a bit of fun for those of you with a sense of humor. In honor of WORD CHOICE, check out this funny (and maybe familiar) video clip from Friends.

How about you? What are your favorite words when you write? Which words have you overused? 

Newbie Romance Writers Advice

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I signed my first book contract in August 2012. This was a HUGE deal for me, as I had almost given up on publishing and just continued writing for myself. Without my husband’s push, I never would have made it. Since then, I published six other books, all in mainstream romance category, and then moved into Christian Romance, published one book with Anaiah Press and now almost finished with the second in my Hill Country series.

As I remember back to my first year of signing a contract, I think back at how much I had to learn. So, in honor of those who were like me, hanging in the balance, here’s a bunch of newbie tips for newbies out there! 


Tip #1: Don’t give up! Yeah, yeah, this is completely clichéd, I know. But, I almost gave up. I began writing my first mainstream novel more than 15 years ago while on maternity leave with my third son. Then mothering got in the way and I had to put it to the side. If it weren’t for my husband giving me a little push to finish the novel, I wouldn’t have. He had such faith in me! (Having a support system could be a whole tip in itself!) So, even if you have to put your writing to the side, don’t forget to get back to it once the inspiration hits again.


Tip #2: Do your research on publishers! I’m a Harlequin girl. Since I was a teenager, I had stacks of Harlequin category romance next to my bed. After receiving a rejection from them on my first book – I was heartbroken. A few years later, I entered a Harlequin Romance contest and was a runner up! I had an interview (speaking to my favorite editors of all time!) I didn’t win — heartbroken again! What we writers need to realize is that there are more than one romance publisher out there. Actually, there are many fabulous publishers – including small presses who I’ve had the best experiences with. Check them out on Duotrope.com or google the different sites. Research is KEY! With my books, I’ve worked with at least 5 different publishers. Some were awful (like closed-down awful – a whole other story to awesome and amazing!) You’ll find a good match somewhere!

On the same note, I do want to advice that vanity presses are not the way to go. I don’t understand the concept of paying someone when you do all the work. You can do your own research and self-publish which is so viable in today’s world. This is just MHO.


Tip #3: Find untraditional ways to submit your work! I love this tip, because with my first two publishers, I did not take the traditional route – sending a query and partial through email, waiting months for the news, etc. With my frist novel, I saw a pitch contest on www.romanceuniviersity.com website which has since closed. So, I decided to go for it (see Tip #1). I’m so happy I did. I pitched my story and within a few weeks had contract in hand. I secured my second contract with Crimson Romance (also recently sold to Simon & Schuster who eventually closed the line) through a Twitter pitch session the following year. Yep. I sold my book to the editor with a 140-line pitch. Two weeks later, I had a book deal! So, again, find untraditional routes. It’s quicker, it’s fun and it’s great practice.

Some example Twitter Pitch sessions are:

#FaithPitch

#PitMad


Tip #4: Know the editing tricks of the trade! I had a major newbie fail with my first novel. I’d never heard of Track Changes in word, so when I first edited my novel, I didn’t use track changes. FAIL! I had to teach myself how to use the program and I’m glad I did. This is the way editors work with writers in the industry. Here’s an excellent explanation I used afterwards to help: http://www.geoff-hart.com/resources/Using-revision-tracking.pdf


Tip #5: You will have to kill your little darlings! When you first get your edits back, be ready to cry, shout, scream, yell, throw things – because it’s painful. Your ‘baby’ will be practically eaten alive. Opening up your edits and seeing red marks all over it is quite disarming at first. My advice is to sit down with a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, open the document and read through. Then set it aside for a day – take it all in – and realize that your editor knows what he or she is doing. They’re the expert. Their goal is to sell your book, not torture you. Then when you’re ready, get to work. As Steven King said, “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

Believe it or not, your book will be better for it!


Tip #6: Make your presence known! You want exposure and you want to find out all you can about the industry. Create an online presence. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Pinterest are all great places to create your brand. You can also make lifelong author friends. Most of my editors have told me that a writer’s online presence is important to them. They check writer’s out before signing them. If you need to create a blog, do it NOW! And if you want to follow me, find me on Instagram (my fave) at http://www.instagram.com/melindadozer, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melinda.dozier.9 or Twitter www.twitter.com/melindadozier.



I hope these tips help you out. I’m by far an expert, but I have lived and breathed the newbie romance author life. Plus, I’m still learning! If someone can learn from me, then I’ll be satisfied. 

Drop me a line below and provide any tips you have or let me know if you learned anything from this post!

Welcome to Melony Teague, author of A Promise to Keep!

What is the first line in your novel? Describe how you decided to start your book with it.

Only a promise to a dying man would make her attend her twenty-year high school reunion.

As you might have guessed from the title, A Promise to Keep, promises have a big part to play in this story so it was only fitting to start with the promise that started it all for Savannah Sanderson. One that would end up changing everything for her. 


Please describe your writing environment. 

My desk is tucked away in a corner of our living room so sometimes it can be a challenge to write when everyone is home. We don’t have a large house, so the livingroom is where we all tend to gather. Thank goodness for headphones. 


What main genre do you write in?

I write Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor.


Do you write full time? 

Yes, I am a freelance writer and I do communications for clients, and some editing and coaching on the side. My fiction writing fills up the rest of my time. 


Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know what you’d call my writing style exactly, but I like to include humour in my writing, mostly just because I laugh a lot and see the funny side of life on a day-to-day basis anyway. However, that is delicately balanced by deep and meaningful writing too. 


Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet? One day I’d LOVE to write a YA dystopian or fantasy novel, but it seems like a dream that is far, far away. 


Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?

I found my critique partners on the ACFW critique loop and I love them to bits. A Promise to Keep would not be a reality without them. They were encouraging and honest and I’ve grown to respect and admire each of them and their work. 


Do deadlines help or hinder your muse? 

They don’t affect my muse as much as my time management. When I have a deadline, I have something to work towards and that motivates me. There’s nothing like the adrenalin of that panic you get when the deadline looms to get you into gear. But, I’ve learned over the years not to rely on that and get going on a project earlier, rather than later. 


What was your first published work and when was it published?

My first published book was written with my writer’s group and we had a heart to encourage and inspire writers, so we wrote a devotional for writers which includes writing prompts. It was published by Judson Press in 2016, and it’s called, As the Ink Flows, Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers. 


How can readers find out more about you and your books?

They can find me online here, I love to hear from readers. 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | BookBub | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

About the Book: 

Research librarian Savannah Sanderson wants nothing more than to escape into her happily-ever-after novels with their larger-than-life fictional heroes. But a promise to her late husband has her attending her dreaded twenty-year high school reunion, drinking ghastly punch, and taking desperate measures just to keep her vow, even if she has to hide behind the décor to do it.

Once a reckless troublemaker, Michael McCann fled town after graduation. Now a professional technical rescuer, he’s back for the reunion, but on his trip down memory lane, he soon comes face to face with unresolved issues, namely Savannah.

Before the night is over, a pact between these two old friends will lead them on an adventure into uncharted emotional territory where Michael must confront his past regrets and find the courage to reveal the truth. But can Savannah fly from her sheltered nest and risk her heart on a real-life hero?


About the Author: 

Melony Teague is a freelance writer who believes everyone has a story to tell.  As co-author of As the Ink Flows, she loves to inspire and motivate others through her written words. She writes Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor, her debut A Promise to Keep released in Jan, 2020. Teague us a member of ACFW. She has never met a Starbucks she didn’t love and has been known to eat vegetables for breakfast—well, pumpkin pie—same thing. Melony was born in South Africa and now lives in Toronto with her husband, their two teenagers, and two cats.

Buy Links: 

BUY THE BOOK FROM ANAIAH PRESS

ADD THE BOOK TO GOODREADS

BUY ON AMAZON (e-book) 

BUY ON AMAZON (Paperback)

BUY ON AMAZON.CA

BUY ON AMAZON.AU

BUY ON INDIGO.CA

BOOK DEPOSITORY

BARNES & NOBLE

The Christmas Ranch Release Day!

The day is here! My book baby, The Christmas Ranch is out in the world!

Megan Palmer, a T.V. journalist for True Faith Network, is assigned to report on Flying B Ranch, known for its Christmas lights and tree farm. When Megan meets owner Brody Blackstone, a single father and cowboy, she has to come to terms with deciding what’s truly important — her career or her heart.

With his ranch in jeopardy and family responsibilities, Brody Blackstone has given up on relationships. When Megan Palmer shows up, he has to move forward and learn to listen to God — the city-girl, Megan, might be the one. 



About the Author:

Melinda is Louisiana born, New Mexico raised, Guatemala adopted, and recently a newcomer to Houston, Texas. Though Melinda has only lived in Texas for four years, she feels she’s a Texan at heart. Melinda has been known to watch too much reality T.V. or sit by the pool in the hot Texas sun.  

www.booksbymelinda.com

www.twitter.com/melindadozier

www.instagram.com/melindadozier

 

#TopTenTuesday: Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Book Lovers

1. Book-Related Mugs: If you’re going to get a coffee mug (because you know you will), at least let it be book related. I love this one:

2. Book Scarves: I absolutely love scarves during the winter months. How about a book themed one? Here’s a scarf I found on Etsy that would be perfect. Click the photo and it also has a Jane Austen themed scarf!

3. Book Jewelry: Any type of jewelry with a book theme is fun! I love this “Book Worm” ring with a unique design and it’s only $10 on Amazon.

4. Book Ends: What a fun way to add a bit of fancy to your book shelf! Look at these book ends with the famous first and last lines.

5. Pillows: Besides using pillows to get comfy while you read, how about book-themed pillows to please your eyes? I am so in love with these library card pillows!

6. Book Lover’s Journal: This little black book isn’t what you think. It has a page for each book you have read with ratings, checklists and notes section. This particular book is hardcover and spiral and only $11.00.

7. Reading Socks with a book theme! Yes!

8. Book Record Poster: This is my all-time favorite! A poster with 100 scratch-off book covers. You scratch off once you’ve read the book.

9. Book Name Plates: These old antique name plates bring back many memories.

10. Book Marks for those of us who still like to read real books.

What are your favorite book-themed gifts? I’d love to hear about them!

Follow the #TopTenTuesday blog hop every Tuesday which is hosted by Artsy Reader Girl.

Carol Underhill, author of Angelica’s Christmas Wish, Shares Her Inspiration!

 Idea and Inspiration Behind Decorating Cookies Scene

Since decorating cookies was a tradition in my family, I decided to include it in Angelica’s Christmas Wish. My mom would roll out and cut the dough. My sisters and I decorated them with sprinkles, colored sugar and tiny silver beads. We made gingerbread men, reindeer, Santas and bells. I still remember the tin cookie cutters Mom used.

When my sisters and I had children of our own, we shared the tradition with them. After our kids were grown and Mom was gone, my sisters and I got together for a few years and baked all kinds of Christmas cookies and candy.

In my novella, I include a cookie-baking scene. After Angelica’s mother passed away, her father, the hero in the story, steps in and decorates cookies with his daughter and her grandmother. Since they have an unexpected guest for Christmas, they invite her to share in the fun.

***

A tabletop covered with baked sugar cookies greeted Mark when he walked into the kitchen, but the sight and sounds of the three females melted his heart. Angelica wore her child-sized apron, she had flour on her cheek, and her hair was up in a high ponytail. His mother-in-law—a standard figure in his life for the past ten years—wore her Christmas apron, her hair in a bun.

He had to admit, though, that neither of them set his heart racing like the sight of their unknown guest. She wore a white apron with a ruffle, and her hair was pulled up in a high ponytail like Angelica’s. He wondered whether she had done his daughter’s hair or whether Geneva had tried something new. Undoubtedly, it was their guest. She had flour on her cheek, also, and he wanted nothing more than to wipe it away with his thumb and feel the soft skin underneath. 

They all looked at him, three smiles of greeting. He couldn’t help but grin. “Looks like I’m in time to help decorate the cookies.” 

“Wash your hands first,” Angelica said in her little bossy manner. 

“Of course.” There wasn’t a lot of space to get past their guest, and their shoulders brushed. He stifled the urge to put his arm around her waist and stand close. He could smell the light scent of shampoo. Thankfully, it was not the kind of shampoo Lily used. Geneva had listened to his request to wipe that trace of Lily from his life and switched shampoos and soaps to a scent that didn’t remind him of Lily. 

He washed his hands, and soon, he was absorbed in icing and decorating reindeer, Christmas trees, bells, and snowmen.