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!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  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

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

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!

#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.