Thieves… plagiarists and scammers

by Kathryn Jane

Yesterday was my day to blog, and I tried, really tried to write about the recent blowup in the writing world. I wrote and deleted two long, wordy attempts to address the horrors of people stealing a writer’s hard work, and how thieves and the dirty underbelly of the writing world affected me personally…then I gave up and put it away for the night.

Here instead, a day late, is the simple version.

Around a week ago, a plagiarist was caught stealing the work of over thirty writers. Bringing this to light also exposed other scammers and thieves preying on readers and writers, and the entire situation was mind-boggling enough… and then I discovered my books being offered for free on a pirate site.

And I started to wonder whether this writing gig was worth what it was costing me–literally, and figuratively.

Is it worth my time to try and compete for readers in a world where scammers hit bestseller lists with fake books? Where book stuffers collect thousands of dollars while real authors barely scrape by? Where readers have been conditioned to search for free or 99 cent books and don’t care if they are stolen?

And what about the dollars? Each book I publish costs me at least $2000 for editing, cover design, and basic marketing. Can I make that money back? Probably. But can I make enough to pay myself for even a small portion of the hundreds of hours I spend writing, revising, formatting, uploading, advertising…

Not when I can’t get my books noticed because the market is flooded with fake books, plagiarized work, and other scams.

So I’m considering other options right now. Considering going traditional. Giving up the creative control I cherish, for a chance at having a big publisher marketing my work.

Why? Because I love writing, I love giving readers an emotional experience, and I don’t want to quit. But seven years into self-publishing I’m still operating at a loss, and it is time for a change.

In the nature of one last ditch effort to get my work out there, I’ve put a six book bundle of books on sale for just 99 cents.  Yep, the first SIX full-length books in my Intrepid Women series, for a grand total of $0.99 … Grab them HERE right now.

If you would like to find out more about the plagiarism and other scams, go to,  Nora Roberts blog, Fall Into The Story.  A kickass woman I have always admired, Nora lays it out beautifully…such a way with words!


Kathryn Jane, novelist, artist, educator.

Want to know what else I’m up to in my life? The books, the painted rocks, the workshops?  Click here to  visit my website.

 

 

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Celebrating a Milestone- Anniversary Edition #amwriting #Romance @jacqbiggar

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Celebrating a Milestone

Five years ago, I decided to quit feeling sorry for myself and do something about it. You see, I’d recently moved away from home and was lost and lonely.

But, I had a dream.

One I’d carried in the back of my mind for years. I wanted to write a book. Deciding the genre was the easy part. Romance. I was an avid reader of romance novels. They took me to faraway places, fed my spirit and thrilled my heart.

Yep, romance it was.

Okay, now what?

I had a computer that I used for my bookkeeping, but had no idea how to use it as a writing tool. I needed to learn though, my lefty handwriting was atrocious- that wouldn’t work.

I searched online and found RWA® Romance Writers of America, a group of thousands geared toward helping authors better their craft. I also managed to find a local writing group and gathered up the courage to go to one of their meetings where I immediately felt at home. I joined both and began to take classes to learn the art.

It took time (I’m still a work-in-progress) but finally, FINALLY I published my first book in September of 2014.

Pride.

I could barely contain the excitement blooming in my chest to see a book with MY name on it for sale. But then came the realization. People were going to read it. My heart and soul on those pages and they were all out there– I felt sick.

The reviews trickled in, some good, some not so much, but the addiction was born. I loved to write!

This week I’m celebrating that momentous moment by sharing my first book with you- free!

Jan 11-15

Click the picture to go to Amazon

Excerpt

Nick jogged through the early morning streets, Jake trotting by his side, enjoying the peace and quiet before the town woke for the day. Little songbirds greeted him as he passed a cedar hedge on his way to the park. The air was fresh and cool at this hour. He was glad his strength had returned, his breathing even and stride long. It’d been an uphill battle. For a while after the ambush he’d shut down. Closed everyone out. He wished now he’d made it his business to keep in touch with all his old teammates. The faint sounds of a dog’s bark had Nick looking down at Jake, loping alongside. He’d healed up well, and only flinched at sudden loud noises these days. His hip had taken the brunt of the damage. When the explosion had thrown them, Nick worried he’d need to put him down, but he’d pulled through. Tough mutt.

After his run, he would head over to Sara’s and have a look at those files, see what they were looking at here. Nick had a bad feeling that Tommy boy was into some heavy shit. They needed to solve that first, before there could be a chance for him and Sara.

A sudden sharp pain stabbed him behind the eyes, causing him to falter. Jake whined, sensing his distress. Squinting through slit eyes he spotted a nearby bench, and slumped onto the seat. He pushed a shaky hand through his hair, and then using his thumb and middle finger squeezed in towards his nose, relieving the pressure. “It’s okay, boy. I’m fine. Let’s just take a little break, hmm.” The doctor had explained in excruciating detail while he lay in that hospital in Germany, how lucky he was. The explosion had hit him and sent him flying right up against the stone wall of a nearby house. Shrapnel had gouged a deep line on his forehead, right above his old bullet wound. A centimeter farther to the left and it would have been lights out, of the forever kind. Unfortunately, it’d taken his short-term memory away from him. He’d been told it would come back in dribbles, or one big slam––or maybe not ever. Nice. It angered him that he couldn’t break through the fog to discover the truth of what happened to him and his team. There was something there he could feel it.

He supposed he should be grateful he could remember his childhood, though those memories he could have lived without. Years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of his old man had sent him down nothing but a path of trouble during his high school years. Alcohol, substance abuse, vagrancy, you name it he tried it. His motto had been if you’re not living on the edge, you’re just taking up space.

Then he’d met Kendra in one of the few classes he’d decided to show up for and they’d fallen in love. She’d been the only child of lawyer parents, sweet and innocent. The odds had gone against him when they’d had unprotected sex on a hot summer’s night. She’d gotten pregnant. At least he’d done the right thing and proposed. And though her parents of course hated him, they agreed the marriage should take place. Maybe if they’d stopped it, or if he’d just walked away, Kendra and his son would still be alive today.

They’d been too young, and in the end, it tore them apart. He couldn’t even recall what the fight had been about––no doubt his lack of a ‘respectable’ job. He’d been working at a local garage at the time––all he did remember was getting up to answer the door, only to see two uniforms on the other side. Devastated, blaming himself, he spent the next couple of months shit-faced drunk. Coming out of an alcohol-induced daze one day he saw a poster for enlisting in the marines. Not caring much whether he lived or died at that point, he’d signed up. They sent him to Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, where he met Jake. They’d been inseparable ever since.

The searing pressure eased enough for him to open his eyes. Jake sat with his head cocked to the side, his ears laid back in commiseration. Nick nudged him with his knee and gave his sides a good hard rub, Jake groaning his thanks. “Okay, big guy, what do you say to finishing our run?” He’d learned a long time ago that pushing through the pain was often the best medicine.

He had that in common with Sara. She’d gone through both a physical and a mental trauma that would have crushed most. She was doing great, but he bet a violation like that was something from which no woman ever fully recovered.

It humbled him that she had trusted him enough to allow him to make love to her last night. Nick would never hurt a hair on her head, but there was no real way for her to be sure of that. He hoped and prayed no one would ever crush her again, and swore to do everything in his power to make sure of that, starting with Sheridan. If those files contained half of what Sara had intimated they did, he’d need some help. Checking to make sure no one was around, he pulled his cell out of his sweats and made the call.

“Hey, Chief, how are you? It’s Nick, Nickolaus Kelley. Long time, sir, too long. Shit, I’ve missed the team. How’s the whizz kid?” A big grin split his face as he listened to Frank describing Jared’s latest and greatest.

“No kidding, trust Martin to take the term, Land of opportunity, to a whole new level, right?” He laughed. Man, it was good to talk to the chief again. Why did people always let the important ones in their lives fall to the wayside, while they went about the business of life?

He could well believe Jared had almost shut down the strip; the man was scary good with electronics. “I understand that you’re out of the loop these days, sir, but I was hoping I could ask you, and Jared if he’s still with you, for a helping hand. I have a situation here and could really use your input.”

Relief coursed through his veins at the quick response to his plea. “I’ll tell you all about it when you arrive. Tomorrow then, and thanks—Frank.”

Blogging- Why all #Writers should be Using this #Free Venue #Writertips #RSsos @jacqbiggar

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To blog or not to blog; I hear this question often. There are many demands on a writer’s time. Most of us have families, day jobs, pets, houses to clean, yards to maintain, the list goes on and on, so how are we supposed to keep up a regular blog as well?

And why should we?

 

 

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I get it, I really do.

But, on the other hand, as authors we want to be recognized, right? There’s no sense (other than personal satisfaction) to waste our precious time writing those stories if we aren’t going to do our best to get noticed.

 

WordPress Now Powers 26% of the Web

The most recent stats are showing that since March 2016, WordPress is actually powering 26.4% of the Web, and it’s on the rise. It is still by far the most used CMS, with 59.4% market share. Also interestingly on a daily basis there are over 500 sites being created on WordPress.

https://managewp.com/blog/statistics-about-wordpress-usage

 

 

As you can see, these numbers are already a couple of years old, but it’s safe to say blogging is a crucial– and often under-utilized– tool in marketing our product.

One of the best things about blogging– it’s free!

Just think, all those users out there, all you need to do is provide them with content.

 

 

In this post, Nicholas Rossis shares a graphic made by Websitebuilder on the phenomenal growth in the blogging world.

18.7 million blogs on WordPress alone! That’s a lot of people and possible eyes on your books. (You have your blog connected to your website with a listing of your books, right?)

 

“But what am I going to say?” you ask.

Well, that’s the beauty of it, your blog, your rules. 🙂

 

 

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The biggest thing is that you’re going to make connections around the world. And if those people like what you have to say, chances are, they’ll check out your books, mention you to their workmates, their friends and family.

See?

All that because you took the time to #blog.

Come on, what are you waiting for? Let’s get connected!

 

Speaking of spreading the word, here’s some shameless self-promotion on two new releases I have coming in the next few weeks. Shares appreciated 🙂

 

 

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Available 01.30.18

 

What happens when two of Tidal Falls’ most beloved citizens have second thoughts just before they get married?

Jared Martin can’t wait to tie the knot with the woman of his dreams and become a real father to his son, Chris.

Annie Campbell is finally going to marry the man she’s loved for most of her adult life and she couldn’t be more excited–and anxious.

An unforeseen event will test their devotion to each other and bring the entire town in on the action. Will Jared and Annie’s love stand the test, or is their relationship doomed?

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0788BB53H

International: https://books2read.com/WithThisHeart

Add to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37830620-with-this-heart

 

Excerpt

She yanked the door open and then jumped backward with a shriek as a brown and white shape hurtled through the gap and stumbled in the drive.

“Dad, save Bambi,” Chris cried from inside the cab.

“What was that?” Annie whispered, hands clenched to her chest.

Jared was torn between taking her into his arms or checking on the injured animal for his son. A further cry from Chris as he scrambled to get out of the pickup cemented his decision. He sent a quick glance Annie’s way before hurrying to kneel beside the fawn and stop its frantic movements. “Son, bring that blanket with you. His scent is on it now, it may reassure him some.”

“Is he okay?” Chris hopped down from the crew cab, tugging the blanket behind him. “Hi, Mom,” he chirped on his way by, “guess what Jared did? He hit a baby deer.” The last was said with a mix of nervous tension.

Jared looked up in time to see Annie’s scowl turn to concern. He held out his hand for the quilt. “Here, I’ll cover him up and then you keep him still while I call the vet. Deal?”

“Deal,” Chris agreed, plopping onto the grass and startling the fawn. He scrunched his shoulders and shrugged. “Sorry.”

Jared smiled. “Just take it easy around him for the first few days. You have to remember he’s not used to people. This is all very strange for him.” He wrapped the trembling body, careful to avoid the bad leg. “Pet his head like I showed you before and I’ll be right back, okay?”

Chris nodded without looking away from the delicate face of the deer. “Sure, we’re friends already, see?” He proceeded to rub between the fawn’s ears. “He likes me.”

“Well, sure he does. What’s not to like?” Jared rumpled his son’s red hair—so like his mother’s—and rose. After making sure the fawn was content, he turned to Annie. “Sorry we couldn’t call. Reception was bad out there.”

“What if you’d been injured?” Annie sniped under her breath so as not to alert Chris. “I had no idea where you’d gone. Where to search. It was an irresponsible thing to do.” She folded defensive arms across her chest.

“Whoa, where is this coming from?” Jared grasped her forearm and pulled her resisting body to the front of the truck. “Sweetheart, it’s not like I planned on driving home in the dark and clipping a fawn during our first father-son road trip. You’re not being fair.”

“Fair?” she cried. “Chris is my son, Jared. I have the right to know he’s safe.”

Stunned, he released her arm. “Actually, I thought he was our son. What’s going on, Annie?”

She stared up at him with tear-drenched eyes. “Maybe we’re a mistake.” She looked at his dented vehicle, and at Chris caring for the injured deer, before meeting his gaze with a defiant lift of her chin. “I don’t think I can marry you anymore.”

 

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Available 02.13.18

 

Take two humans who pretend they can’t stand each other and one matchmaking canine and the fun is nonstop!

Val Hodgins is on the road to success. His architect firm handles some of the biggest contracts along the western seaboard. He doesn’t have time to babysit his aunt’s aging house or her pain in the butt dog, but when she falls ill with pneumonia he drops everything to go to her aid.

Sierra Johnson’s dreams of owning a catering company go up in smoke thanks to a bad choice in boyfriends. Now, she’s stuck working for a tyrannical boss, care-taking an aging townhouse, and being tormented by the owner’s aggravating, caustic, way-too-attractive nephew.

Will these two get over their prejudices in time to realize love comes without a price tag?

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078QFJH4H

Universal: https://books2read.com/Valentine

Add to TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38088692-valentine

 

Excerpt

Val stepped closer to the crazy woman guarding her virtue with a kitchen utensil. He’d been enjoying the view for the past five minutes as she swayed to the music, her back to him while she worked at his sister’s kitchen sink. Even though she wore the required hair net, he could see she was a fiery redhead, her body slim and compact beneath the wraparound apron. He should have announced himself sooner, but he hadn’t expected to freak her out so badly. Normally, Sam’s kitchen was a hub of activity; he was surprised to find it empty except for the pint-sized warrior.

“You can put down the weapon.” He hid his amusement behind a placating smile. “I’m harmless, though my sister might be tempted to disagree. Is Sam here?”

When the woman stared at him like he was the creature from the black lagoon, Val waved a hand in front of her eyes and grinned at the resultant snap of temper. He was right, she was a feisty one. “Sorry, I’m in a bit of a hurry. Is there a chance I could get you to answer me any time soon?”

She glared at him, threw the rubber spatula unto the counter, and swept the net from her hair, allowing the coiled layers to flow down her back. “You have a bad habit of sneaking up on people,” she snapped, reddened fingers moving to untie her apron.

What was she…?

Oh.

He snapped his fingers and pointed at her. “You. The klutz that destroyed my dinner the other night. What are you doing here? Don’t tell me my sister was foolish enough to hire someone who can’t even hold onto a pot without it becoming a catastrophe.”

Her eyes narrowed and she stared past him to the big block of knives sitting on the stainless-steel countertop. Val hurried to block her view. “Uh, uh, uh, temper, temper. You don’t really want to stab me, just think of the mess.”

 

JACQUIE BIGGAR  is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love. 

Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her web site:

http://jacqbiggar.com

You can follow her on at http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggar, http://Twitter.com/jacqbiggar

Or email her via her web site. Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

You can also join her street team on Facebook: Biggar’s Book Buddies

Or her exclusive Review Crew: https://jacqbiggar.com/join-my-review-crew/

And sign up for her newsletter-

http://www.subscribepage.com/jacqbiggar

 

Betrayed!

by Kathryn Jane

Betrayed:

Powerful Stories of Kick-Ass Crime Survivors

Some months ago I was asked if I would like to contribute a short story to an anthology. But not just any anthology. This one was being produced to benefit survivors of violence, and ALL the proceeds would be going to help those in need.

Seemed like a good idea for a worthy cause, so I said yes.

That’s when things got really wild because I started to see the names of the other authors participating. OMGoodness! Cream of the crop thriller writers were signing on.

Surprised is a mild word to express how I felt. But really, considering the woman at the helm was Pam Stack, of Writers on the Air, I should not have been surprised. Pam interviews amazing upper echelon writers all the time.

But pinch me, I am part of this team, and my story is one of twenty-two between the covers of this awesome project.

And speaking of covers, isn’t this one by participating author, Elle J Rossi, spectacular?

Oh, and besides the short stories, did I mention a complete novella by the amazing Allison Brennan is also included?

I hope you pick up a copy so you can enjoy a great read. Every cent of the purchase price goes to a wonderful charity that supports survivors of domestic violence.

Buy now as an eBook

Available in print within 24 hours.


Sisterhood of suspense'sBountiful HarvestGiveaway

ENTER HERE

Enter the Sisterhood of Suspense’s Rafflecopter #Giveaway for your chance at some page-turning reads!

Print Edition of Cats, Vol 1, by Kathryn Jane

The Rebel’s Redemption by Jacquie Biggar (audiobook edition)

$5.00 B&N Gift Card donated by Marian Lanouette

Season of Promises by Vicki Batman

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall

$10 B&N gift card donated by S.A. Taylor

$10 Amazon gift card donated by Marsha R. West

Vermont Escape by Marsha R. West (e-copy edition)

My Fascination with the Devil #amwriting #Suspense #RSsos @jacqbiggar

It’s not what you’re thinking. Okay, maybe it is.

I’ve fallen in love.

He’s Handsome, smart, charming, and oh yeah, he’s the devil.

And I’m not alone.

Thousands tune in every Monday night to watch what is quickly becoming a craze on Twitter and various other social media platforms.

That’s right, it’s Lucifer.

So what is this phenomenon all about?

Based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, this series follows Lucifer, the original fallen angel, who has become dissatisfied with his life in hell. After abandoning his throne and retiring to Los Angeles, Lucifer indulges in his favorite things (women, wine and song) — until a murder takes place outside of his upscale nightclub.

For the first time in billions of years, the murder awakens something unfamiliar in Lucifier’s soul that is eerily similar to compassion and sympathy.

Lucifer is faced with another surprise when he meets an intriguing homicide detective named Chloe, who appears to possess an inherent goodness — unlike the worst of humanity, to which he is accustomed. Suddenly, Lucifer starts to wonder if there is hope for his soul.

Like Lucifer-played by the amazing Tom Ellis, I think we all go through phases where we don’t feel good enough (He thinks he was sent to Hell as punishment from Father. His older brother, Amenadiel- played by D.B Woodside, tells him it was actually because He trusted Lucifer to keep the evil ones down there and so protect humanity.)

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Lately, I’ve been struggling with personal self-esteem. That’s the problem with being an introvert, you spend way too much time in your head.

My sales are down. My writing is slo… ow going, each word is like pulling teeth, and my family has been having medical problems.

Hard to stay positive in the face of all that adversity.

But, then hope appears (much like Lucifer’s guiding light, Chloe). A good review here, a kind word there, and the darkness falls away. Maybe I can finish this story. Find new readers. Make my mark in this crazy world of writing.

Maybe.

If you haven’t watched Lucifer yet, you should. It’s surprising what the devil can teach us. 🙂

By the way, I have a new release coming out!

July 1st 2017 is the one hundred fiftieth birthday of Canada’s Confederation and our local writing/critiquing group decided it would be fun to do an anthology to celebrate.

My contribution, My Baby Wrote Me A Letter, stems from a news segment I watched. A woman bought an old desk at a yard sale. After bringing it home she began the process of refinishing the wood and happened to find a letter taped to the back of a drawer.

When she read the message, she realized the note could be important to someone, and with little more than a faded name to go on, began a search for the writer of the mysterious letter.

It was placing a picture on Facebook that led to the son of the man who had written that long ago message to his family. He had recently been diagnosed with cancer and feared he would never survive to see his children grow, so he wrote them a letter from the heart.

The news story had a happy ending; the man survived the cancer and lived not only to see his children to adulthood, but several of his grandchildren as well.

His story was an inspiration to me,

Jacquie

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Older Characters

What do I mean by those words? For some people, 35 is older. I’m sorry, I really have a hard time wrapping my mature mind around that concept. 40? Yeah, I can go there. Except I was really in my prime during my 40s and 50’s. I ran for the school board for the first time when I was 40. (and lost–not fun, but ran again when I was 44 and won. Much more fun. 😊)

IMG_3312 kids hate this pic.:)

I was in my 50’s when I went back to school to get principal certification. And I didn’t begin writing until I was in my 60’s. Maybe I’m just a late bloomer? Well, yeah pretty sure. But I’d argue age and our perception of age has changed. Even for women.

Women in the real world anyway, perhaps not in Hollywood. But the last I checked, I don’t live there. 😉

I write romances with heroes and heroines in their 40-s and 50’s. Second chance love, but always with danger thrown in. My tag line is “Romance, Suspense, Second Chances. Experience Required.” My stories almost always have the parents of the main characters in them, too, as supporting characters, so folks in their 70’s. I like the generational thing.

I remember attending my first RWA convention. It was in Dallas, and I’d just retired from being an elementary school principal. I went not knowing a soul, not even belonging to a local chapter. Everyone was welcoming and friendly. One of the sessions was put on by Harlequin, I think, and they were touting their new line of romance with older characters. I can’t remember its clever name, but I do remember thinking, Yea! There’s a place for me. LOL Remember, I was very green.

I didn’t even know that I don’t write category romance. I believe that line fell by the wayside. But as we’ve all grown older (a thing, if we’re lucky. we do), the idea of reading about folks who are closer to our own age falling in love and solving problems and getting into scrapes and getting out of them has grown in popularity.

On Facebook, I belong to a group for writers of Seasoned Romance. I understand at RWA this summer there will be a panel on this subject as there was at the recent RT conference.

This makes me happy. Partly because maybe there will be more readers for my books, but also because there will be more books for me to read.IMG_3926

My husband read a recent NY Times article about the importance of reading and raising kids to be productive adults. The author accepted a challenge to read 100 books a year—of all kinds. He and his wife challenged their teenagers to accept the challenge. They haven’t yet made it, but that’s one of those goals that even if you don’t make it, you accomplish a whole lot with the attempt.

I confess to not reading a wide variety of books, but even when I was laid up all last summer with my broken ankle resting above my heart, I didn’t read 100 books in that year. That’s a huge goal, but a worthwhile one for a person of any age to set.

So, where do you fall in your reading? Only read books with younger heroes and heroines? Do you read multiple genres? How about the number. Are you in the 100 Club?  Love to hear from you.

Please sign up for my Newsletter http://eepurl.com/bBcimz , contact me at marsha@marsharwest.com ,and follow me on my social media sites.

http://www.marsharwest.com 

https://authormarsharwest.wordpress.com/ for my Blog

https://www.facebook.com/#!/marsha.r.west  @marsha.r.west

http://www.twitter.com/Marsharwest  @Marsharwest

https://www.pinterest.com/marsharwest/

https://sisterhoodofsuspense.com/blog

Mother's Day Giveawayw Sisterhood of Suspense

Celebrating my first featured @Bookbub #Sale #MFRWauthor #RSsos @jacqbiggar

For an indie author, the tough job of writing a book, editing, choosing covers (all of mine are done by the fabulous Kim Killion), learning how to format (if you’re doing your own I highly recommend Vellum!) and uploading to your chosen vendors can seem overwhelming.

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Fortunately, there are many informative blogs, such as Kristen Lamb, Writer Unboxed, and Bookbub to guide our tottering steps through an unfamiliar territory.

One of the main pieces of advice I’ve heard over and over again is the importance of building a backlist. It only makes sense; how can you keep a reader’s interest if you only have one or two books to share with them?

To this end, I’ve been hard at work the past couple of years and just listed my ninth book, Missing: The Lady Said No for pre-order!

 

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Another tip I’ve learned thanks to the mentorship of two special ladies, Mimi Barbour and Anna Markland, is the importance of building connections in the writing world. One of the best ways to do this is multi-author box sets.

I’ve been blessed to be involved with some very fine authors in these sets and made friendships that I treasure. I can’t recommend this enough-if you get the opportunity to join a box set, go for it!

One caveat I have to make to this- do your research. I went into one set where I didn’t know the coordinator, but was familiar with some of the other authors. A few months later, after many unanswered emails and Facebook messages, we found she had taken our money and our manuscripts, and skipped out on her obligation to the group. It was only through the hard work of some of the other members we received our money and a legal letter that she would never publish our books in any part.

So now, how do you get the word out about your new book babies?

One way is to post on blogs like this. Another is to promote on the many Facebook reading groups and tweeting five or six times a day (yes, they recommend at least that much!), or you can apply to book promotional sites.

Some are easy and not too expensive, but they also don’t have the benefits you can reap from the granddaddy of advertising: Bookbub

There are many different rumors about the difficulty of landing an ad with Bookbub, and to be honest, I tried a LOT before they finally accepted me, yay!

One thing I can say, it’s NOT true that you need a bunch of reviews (I heard everything from 50-150) I have 5, yep, 5.

It’s also NOT true that you need to be on all vendors sites before they will accept you. I’m loyal to Amazon.

It IS true that a professional cover is critical. As is a good blurb- one without grammatical errors and isn’t five pages long 🙂

It IS true that Bookbub is expensive to advertise with, but then, they have hundreds of thousands of followers and almost always propel a book into the top hundred in Amazon (Fingers crossed!)

It IS true that you can advertise internationally for a minimal upgrade. (I did, hoping to gain a new readership)

I’ve tried to benefit from this promotion by booking some smaller sites before and after the big day. I also set one of my other books to #Free during that period, The Guardian.

#FREE Feb 5-9 2017

her-taste-reminded-him-of-blue-skies-and-endless-meadows-of-songbirds-and-bubbling-brooks-she-was-his-fire-when-he-got-cold-and-food-when-he-was-hungry-she-made-him-weak-yet-superhero-strong-all

 

And don’t forget the pre-order for Missing: The Lady Said No. The book doesn’t release until April 25/17, but I thought this would be a good chance to gain early interest 🙂

So, I bet you’re wondering what book made it through the rigid Bookbub criteria?

 

JacquieBiggar_WoundedHearts3D_HR

Available for a limited time at just .99 pennies

BUY NOW!

And watch for it February 6 as Bookbub’s featured sale!

How about you? Any advice on writing or promoting you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you 🙂

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Enter the Sisterhood of Suspense’s Rafflecopter #Giveaway for your chance at some page-turning reads!

It’s #ReleaseDay for Love, Christmas #HolidayRomance #RSsos #mgtab @jacqbiggar

Love, Christmas

by Bestselling authors from The Authors’ Billboard

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Release Date: October 18, 2015

Holiday stories that will be a song in your heart!
You’ll love this heartwarming collection of 20 all-new Christmas stories from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Every title in the set is from a Christmas song suggested by a reader. Here’s just a sample of the wonderful variety in these pages: In LAST CHRISTMAS, after a year of heartache, a young woman confronts the man who ran out on her the December before. Can SILVER BELLS bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the Christmas gift she wants most? HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS showcases a young couple confronting the dilemma of an unwanted pregnancy. In FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, the collection turns from angst to humor when two strangers and a cute but mischievous Samoyed puppy are stranded by a freak snow storm in the Alaskan bush. And then there’s the shopkeeper in WHITE CHRISTMAS who’s hit by a car and goes into a coma—or is she really at Santa’s workshop? All these and the rest of the collection will launch you into the Christmas spirit.
♫♪Put a song in your heart with 20 all-new Christmas Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Each brand-new title is inspired by a Christmas carol and will lift your spirits and bring on the holiday cheer.♫♪

We Need a Little Christmas by Leanne Banks

When hard-edged, Christmas cynic, Justin Dane Burgess encounters Christmas fan, Lilly Johansen, he doesn’t know what to think. Can this Christmas cynic fall for the human equivalent of a Christmas angel? More importantly, can he be the man she needs?

Frosty the Snowman by Mimi Barbour

Stranded in an Alaskan snowstorm, strangers Hali and Terry are forced to rely on each other for survival.

Due to a freak snowstorm that forces him to land his small Cessna, strangers, Hali and Terry, and a cute but mischievous Samoyed puppy are stranded in the Alaskan bush. From the beginning, she’s never known a man so independent and rigid in his need to have things done his way. And he’s never known a woman so willing to help, stepping on his pride in such a lovable way that he can’t take offense. The frigid temperatures are brutal and when he falls through the ice to save a puppy, the stakes for survival become enormous. Can their blossoming mutual attraction withstand their multiple challenges?

Last Christmas by Joan Reeves

Annabelle fell in love at first sight with a mysterious stranger. After a week of unforgettable passion, he walked out of her life.

A year of heartache accompanied by the dirty tricks life can serve up finds her back in her hometown, determined to forget the man who still haunts her dreams.

Who should walk into her grandmother’s Christmas party? Why the man who seduced her, lied to her, and betrayed her. He has a new name and a new identity, but his effect on her is as old as time.

Rick Lassiter thinks he can woo Annabelle back to him—and his bed. But, he didn’t count on the passionate sweet-tempered woman he remembered as having a will as strong as his and a desire to make him pay for breaking her heart.

Holly Jolly Christmas by Mona Risk

This novella is a prequel to the Holiday Babies Series

Heather and Jeff have always been in love. But to find herself pregnant now, at eighteen, before she starts college and he joins MIT for a master’s degree… Talk about the wrong time. Besides, the news might kill her father, who is battling cancer.

Although the decision to give up her baby is breaking her heart, Heather contacts an adoption agency. Except that Jeff absolutely refuses to consider her solution and their perfect relationship is slowly deteriorating.

How can they revive their loving bond and protect their baby’s future?

Do You Hear What I Hear? – Patricia Rosemoor

The song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the middle of the Cold War. Now Christmas is just around the corner, and live-in-lovers Shelley and Jake are in a cold war of their own. Detective Shelley Caldwell has all wonderful memories of Christmas, while Jake DeAtley, born of a mother turned vampire while pregnant with him, has none. They’ve come to a compromise inthat she can decorate “her half” of every room, but no Christmas tree. Then a case of hit-and-run leaves a dead body and a magical Christmas tree that Shelley can’t resist bringing home, heating up the war between her and Jake. There is more to the tree than either knows. When they discover the truth about it, will it bring them together or keep them farther apart?

White Christmas – Rebecca York

The snow is coming down so fast, Amelia Parsons doesn’t see the speeding car until it’s too late. One moment she’s crossing an ice-rutted street in St. Stephens, Maryland. In the next, she’s flying into the air, and the world goes black. She wakes, confused, in what appears to be Santa’s workshop during the holiday rush. If that’s not strange enough, a hunky FBI agent named Daniel is there, demanding to know why she’s involved in a plot to ruin Christmas. Can she convince him she’s not the villain and then work with him to find the real saboteur?

So This is Christmas – Denise Devine

Annabelle Lee—is looking forward to a weekend of catching up, munching cookies and enjoying Christmas cheer with her childhood girlfriends. She hasn’t had a vacation since this time last year and desperately needs the time off. Her business has taken a toll on her life, leaving her exhausted and questioning the price of success. She arrives early at Ellie Stone’s family cabin to relax and decide the direction of her future, but to her dismay, she’s not alone. Ellie’s twin brother is also there and declares he isn’t leaving until Friday.

Christopher Stone—is the boy who mercilessly teased her when they were kids. He has grown into a handsome man with a career in professional baseball and a pop-star girlfriend. He appears to have an idyllic life, but the longer they talk, the more Annabelle suspects his love life isn’t as perfect as he claims. She can’t deny her attraction to him and knows he’s attracted to her as well.

Best Friends Forever—will this week be like old times or the beginning of a new chapter in her life?

Grown Up Christmas List – Donna Fasano

Dina Griffin is on the run and wants only one thing this Christmas—to feel safe. However, Officer Gav Thomas tries to arrest her. Arrest her? Yes. But the two become friends, and soon the attraction they feel is unmistakable, even though Gav senses Dina is hiding something. Is he really a local cop… or her guardian angel?

Blue Christmas – Traci Hall

Librarian/waitress Tamsyn Lee is all about accepting change, while Evan Hawke must do everything just the same in order to find his muse. He hopes the seaside grill he wrote his first mystery masterpiece in will kick-start his third book before his publisher drops him. Tamsyn has zero tolerance for divas, but she’s read Evan’s novel and knows he has the talent. Besides, helping him takes the focus off of spending Christmas without her family. Evan realizes he needs a miracle—could feisty Tamsyn be an angel in sneakers and a ponytail?

Santa Baby – Taylor Lee

Dancing to Eartha Kitt’s sultry list of all goodies she expected Santa Baby to put under her tree, Lily slid down the pole and stifled a sigh. A blue convertible? A sable? A Tiffany ring? Right! Like Lily could expect anything remotely like that under her tree! How about first making sure she had a tree.

At that moment she saw him. The big man with the shaggy blond hair and gleaming dark eyes was leaning casually back in his chair. His narrowed expression was hard, knowing. It was clear that he was studying her. Stunned, she quickly looked away, her carefully honed rules fleeing in her panic. The imposing man had “cop” written all over him. Squashing down her terror, Lily pasted a professional smile on her face, waved to the screaming crowd, and fled the stage.

Anyone who’d ever tangled with dirty cops knew that the hard blue line protected the most egregious acts committed by one of their brothers. If anyone doubted that was true all they had to know was that Aiden was a free man and Lily was on the run.

Lily’s only hope was that this time she and Gabriella had run far enough, fast enough, that he wouldn’t be able to find them.

If he was any judge of women who shed their clothes for a living, and Zach most certainly was, he recognized her startled wide-eyed expression. He’d seen it far too many times in his line of work. It was fear, pure and simple.

The Vice Cop reminded himself all that meant was that the beautiful woman had something big to hide.

Let it Snow – Stephanie Queen

Guilt and sorrow eat at ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise like kryptonite until he can’t remember why he wanted Shana, his ex-Scotland Yard partner and former balm for his soul.

Shana can’t reach him and she’s desperate until a stranger, a padre from South America shows up in a snow storm on Christmas Eve. The stranger claims he’s there to help, but what can he possibly do…

Merry, Did You Know? – Jennifer St. Giles

MC Love has decided to give her soon to be born baby up for adoption. In her experience, the cons of growing up in the Love’s family dynasty far outweigh the pros. She wants her baby to have stable parents and a normal life, far from her family’s dysfunctional insanity and the paparazzi that hound her and her seven sisters, all of which are step except one (Her mother, True Love, is still looking for the love of her life). None of the Loves are lucky in love. Her sisters Pure and Sweet had a reality TV show, Love’s Truth about the Loves’ romantic tragedies.

MC does not want her own misfortune in the gossip columns or on her sisters’ show. She has kept her pregnancy a secret as is currently hiding on St. Simons Island, Georgia while her family thinks she is vacationing in a villa in France. She has a week to choose the parents for her child which is due in one month. Everything is on track.

What MC doesn’t plan on is Doug Warren, the man who lives in the condo next to her. The man whose music in the middle of the night makes her heart sing and weep. The man who changes everything.

Doug Warren is trying to breathe again. After the tragic loss of his wife and daughter three years ago, he has his head down, focused on surviving one day at a time. Christmas is the worst time of year. He can’t afford anything to shake the fragile balance he has gained. Two things happen to throw him into the deep end. His family tells him they are descending in mass at Christmas and his neighbor’s adoption papers smack him in the face.

Once he meets MC, he is unable to go back to his status quo. How could she give away what he would die over and over again to have back? He sets on a mission to find out why. And as she helps him prepare for his family’s arrival, his mission changes as the impossible unfolds. Doug’s not only breathing, but his heart is beating, stronger than ever for a woman and her unborn child.

Can he convince her to believe in miracles and trust in him?

O Christmas Tree – Alicia Street

Blaming himself for the collapse of a storm shelter that took the lives of his wife and son in a violent tornado, Cody has spent the last three years running, moving from place to place, taking whatever odd job is available to sustain his empty life.

Piper knows what it takes to endure and hope in the face of the odds, especially at Christmas, so when the ruggedly handsome man with the desolate look in his face steps into her cat cafe to deliver a box of stray kittens, something tells her it’s going to be a very interesting holiday.

Sleigh Ride – Katy Walters

Having lost her father, The Reverend Stuart Vale, the third son of an Earl to yellow fever, Miss Sophia Vale, faced a life of genteel poverty. Not for her the whirl of balls, routs and clandestine meetings in Vauxhall Gardens, nor for her the thrill of meeting that special beau. Yet being of strong will, she determined to banish such frippery dreams and help her bereaved mama to rear her brood of six daughters and one young son.

However Baron Jude Hawsley, a lecher with a penchant for young maidens has other ideas for the unwitting Sophia.

Enter Lord Wells, the Earl of Breconbridge, renowned as a rakehell, his saving grace being a conscience. Yet he guards a secret life, involving much danger for himself and those close to him. Will his conscience win the day? Will he save Sophia from the horrors of enslavement to the baron.

Deck the Hearts – Rachelle Ayala

Holly Jolly lives for Christmas. It’s the only time of the year, as far as she’s concerned.

Gordon Gills doesn’t need a reason to hate the holiday season. He doesn’t see the point.

Gordon returns to the mansion he inherited and finds Holly making a mess with her Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, his great-aunt’s will stipulates that he must make merry every Christmas if he wants to keep his inheritance.

Holly is determined to infect the grouchy Gordon with every dose of Christmas cheer she can muster up and show him what Christmas is really about, while Gordon doesn’t believe Holly can be truly that cheerful. He’ll make the entire ordeal anything but jolly for the redheaded elf, if only he wasn’t so attracted to her.

Will Gordon prevail and turn Holly into a Grinch, or will a sprinkling of Christmas magic show Gordon that there’s no fighting love, especially when it’s wrapped up in a gorgeous red-headed package of jolly holly?

Silver Bells – Jacquie Biggar

Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.

Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that is her landlord, Joel Carpenter.

Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants most?

A family of her own.

Hark the Herald Angel Falls – Michele Hauf

To earn her halo, angel Merit must convince the person who holds her earthly soul in limbo—her husband—to stop loving her.

Little Drummer Boy – Dani Haviland

Reduced to becoming a drummer boy at half wages, the young scout shows his worth when a small band of post-Revolutionary War soldiers and citizens become lost in the worst winter storm of the late 18th century. Will the unexpected arrival of his malcontent father help or hurt their situation?

I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Nancy Radke

Fleeing an invading army in the Middle East, Sofia Morgan and Lee Trahern meet in a rowboat in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. They have barely enough water to make the trip across, and when bullets fly, most of their containers are shot full of holes. Can these two make it to safety, and even be home for Christmas?

Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Cynthia Cooke

Santa Claus is coming to town, and so is Nicole Flattery. When this big city girl must return to her small hometown, she runs headfirst into the handsome boy next door—who is none other than the town Santa. And he needs an elf. 1.Nicole better Watch Out for her father has taken a fall. 2.She better Not Cry when she has to wear an elf costume and be at Santa’s beck and call. 3.She better Not Shout even when she has lost it all. Santa is making a list, and he’s checking it twice. He’s going to make sure she’s naughty and nice. So, hold onto your heart, because Santa Claus is coming to town!

Interested in having a sneak peek into the box set?
Get the first chapter of each book at any of these three sites for FREE.

Leanne Banks

Leanne Banks is a national #1 best-selling author with over fifty romance novels to her credit. Leanne was born and raised in the wonderful town of Roanoke, Virginia. Growing up in “the star city of the south” had a huge impact on her outlook and her writing. Her B.S. in Psychology only qualifies her to treat fictional characters and she began writing when her two children were very young. Leanne believes in the transforming power of love, so writing romance novels comes naturally to her. Her muse is a 4.5 lb Pomeranian who is happy to snooze beside Leanne while Leanne creates. Leanne loves travel and trips to the beach, but what’s most important to her is family. Leanne’s home on the web is www.leannebanks.com. To get the most up-to-date scoop on Leanne, visit her on facebook.

Mimi Barbour

New York TimesUSA Today, Best-selling author – Mimi’s been heard to say: “I’m an author who loves to write uplifting stories about romance. Add in some time travel, or maybe an angel, or even a little romantic suspense and it makes the story more fascinating because of the incredible possibilities.”

Mimi is an Amazon best-selling author who’s sold over 500,000 copies of her books world-wide. Her five romance series: The Vicarage Bench/ time travel at its best, Angels with Attitudes / angels love romance, Vegas / fast-paced plotting, Elvis / make a song a book and her newest, Undercover FBI / with sizzling conflicts and lots of humor.

Joan Reeves

Joan Reeves is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. Available as ebooks and audiobooks, her romance novels all have the same underlying theme: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.” Joan lives her happily ever after with her Hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Sign up for Joan’s email list/newsletter for readers.

Mona Risk

A tireless traveler, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mona Risk writes contemporary romance, medical romance, and romantic suspense novels, all simmering with emotion. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visits— or in Florida, her paradise on earth.

Patricia Rosemoor

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor writes “dangerous love.” She has had 98 novels with 8 publishers and more than 7 million books in print. Patricia has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she taught Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing at Columbia College Chicago.

Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her new romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.

Denise Devine

Denise Devine has had a passion for books since the second grade when she discovered Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at age thirteen and has been writing ever since. She’s been a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) since 1991 and has won or placed in numerous writing contests. In 2008, her contemporary inspirational romance, This Time Forever, was a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers.

Denise lives on six wooded acres in East Bethel, Minnesota with her husband, Steve and her three problem (feline) children, Mocha, Lambchop and Tigger. She loves to read, write, study and travel.

Donna Fasano

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR DONNA FASANO is a three-time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a two-time winner of Best Romance of the Year given by BigAl’s Books & Pals Review Blog. Her books have sold 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her novels have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #1.

Donna has a website, and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Contact information can be found inside Donna Fasano’s books. She loves to interact with readers.

Traci Hall

With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it’s a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.

Taylor Lee

USA Today Best Selling author Taylor Lee writes Suspenseful Mystery Thrillers – with a heavy dose of Sexy to Sizzling HOT Romance.

In the four years that she has been writing, Taylor has written more than forty books. Her eight, series track her Special Operatives, Covert Agents, Cops, Firefighters and other iconic heroes and heroines, through the harrowing situations that make up their lives. From human trafficking rings to corrupt politicians, Taylor investigates the underbelly of society and the criminals who flourish there.

Taylor says: “From the residue in my personal blender of mixed races, cultures and world views, my characters emerge. It comforts me to know that while evil slinks in the shadows, the “good guys and gals” of the world sniff it out – and snuff it out.

My characters are arrogant alpha males and the feisty women who bring them to their knees – and vice versa… They fight hard, love hard and don’t mince words. They are dangerous men and women in dangerous times. Love, passion and ridding the world of evil? What’s not to like?



Stephanie Queen

A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she’s lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.

Jennifer St. Giles

USA Today Bestselling author, Jennifer St. Giles, aka Jennifer Saints, J.L. Saint is a Golden Heart, three-time Maggie, two-time National Reader’s Choice, Marlene, RT Reviewer’s Choice and Daphne du Maurier award-winning author. Jennifer writes in multiple genres, including: romance, paranormal, contemporary, historical and military and paranormal crime. She is a nurse in a surgery center and the Vice-President of a charitable foundation which helps women and children’s causes. Jenni believes fervently in following your dreams and never giving up.

Alicia Street

Alicia Street is a USA Today Bestselling Author and Daphne du Maurier award-winner. She writes both sweet romance and sexy romance and sometimes collaborates with her husband, Roy. Her years as a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher provide the inspiration behind her Dance ‘n’ Luv contemporary romance series. A compulsive reader of every genre, Alicia loves watching old black-and-white movies and inventing new recipes for soup.

Katy Walters

I began with a publisher but loved the freedom of Amazon and so I am an independent author living on the South Coast of the UK. Previously, I enjoyed a career as a research psychologist and psychotherapist, As the children grew and flew the nest, I decided to write about my experiences to help others, but as I began writing, my pen spelt out a different course and I was soon writing novels. These are historical romance suspense, with an underlying theme that I hoped inspire those who long to overcome their inhibiting fear, and reach their goals. From the reviews and private emails from readers, this has worked and I am so glad. It makes my writing even more worthwhile. I am now on the twentieth book and love it.

I get a lot of my inspiration for plots whilst walking with my dog Lily along beaches and in the nearby woods. She features in all my books under pseudonyms and is portrayed as her own wonderful zany self.

Rachelle Ayala

Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book. Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, and A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award.

Jacquie Biggar

JACQUIE BIGGAR is a bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want, that is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls.

She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.

Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

Michele Hauf

Michele has been writing romance, action-adventure and fantasy stories for over twenty-five years. Her first published novel was DARK RAPTURE.

France, musketeers, vampires and faeries populate her stories. And if she followed the adage ‘write what you know’, all her stories would have snow in them. Fortunately, she steps beyond her comfort zone and writes about countries she has never visited and of creatures she has never seen.

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, an Alaskan recently relocated to Oregon, loves writing, gardening and photography. She’s ‘stuck in the 80’s’ – the 1780’s,that is – where many of her colorful characters struggle and/or survive, love and/or argue, but always persevere.

Nancy Radke

Author Nancy Radke, started out writing full-length, modern romance and suspense stories, then switched to novella length for her western series, The Traherns, and now writes both, usually two or three books at the same time. She has published ten Sisters of Spirit books, thirteen Trahern books, and one book of a new Brothers of Spirit series. Born on a wheat and cattle ranch, which included riding, shooting, and milking cows, she has lived in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington state. When she went through the Peace Corps outward-bound program, she learned to rappel off mountainsides and survival swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Her books are G-rated, no sex, no swearing.

Cynthia Cooke

First published in 2003, Cynthia Cooke is an award-winning author who has published 18 novels in 12 different countries with Harlequin, Entangled, and Amazon Kindle Worlds. She has a deep affection for romance stories and playing in the ocean. On her best days you can find her on the beach with her notebook, a novel in hand, and her dog, Angel, by her side.

Embrace the Seduction and prepare to get a little naughty and have a fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Kiss Me Like You Mean It”: 3 Tips for Writing a Better First Kiss

“You should be kissed and by someone who knows how.”

Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind  


There’s nothing like a first kiss. Right? Especially when it turns out to be everything you’d expected.

But what happens when it falls flat?

When writing my WIP, Follow Me, I wanted the couple’s first kiss to be spectacular. A moment where the reader feels the kiss right along with the characters.

kiss in the rain

Unfortunately after reading the first draft, my scene didn’t evoke any kind of emotion other than BORING.

So before revising, I needed to determine what was missing. I reread the first kisses in several of my favorite novels and found a common theme.

Here’s a list of 3 things that made these scenes memorable.


  1. Setting: The location played a huge role in the entire feel of the scene. It increased the urgency of the kiss, and in some cases, added more conflict for the characters.  Just think about the emotions evoked with a kiss happening in a dark alley, a life or death situation, or maybe in the pouring rain.
  2. Senses: My favorite scenes engaged many, if not all of the senses. The writer described the character’s surroundings, such as the scent of cologne, taste of minty toothpaste, the textures against the skin, or even a song playing in the background.
  3. Type: The best ones didn’t involve the average peck on the lips. The type of kiss had a specific meaning and was packed with emotion, like a passion-fueled “I love you/I hate you kiss” or a sweet forehead kiss.

Bonus Tips:

Videos are a great resource for choreographing character body language during a kiss. Beware. This proved to be really tough work.  Can we stay steamy?

I also found several helpful websites for writers.

https://writeanything.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/how-to-write-a-kissing-scene/

http://blog.xlibris.com/author-advice/kisses-and-their-meanings/


So I’m dying to know, what are your favorite types of kisses to read about or write? What made a kiss in a particular novel or movie memorable for you?


STaylor photo

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Baby Boomers Rejoice the birth of Seasoned Romance!

 

KathrynJane_DanceWithMe_800px

I was born at the tail end of the baby boom. I grew up in the sixties to: the tune of the best music; girls finally being allowed to wear pants at school; and slightly less expectation that we make one of only three choices for our future–become a teacher, become a nurse, or get married and have children.

I sense nodding among the crowd.

Graduating from high-school in the early seventies meant I was the generation riding the wave of freedom hard won by my sisters just a few years older… Not that I went out and conquered the world, but the possibilities were there, and devouring romance novels set me up to dream.

Fast forward forty years, and here I am still in love with reading. Okay, so what’s the rejoicing part you say?

Seasoned Romance … because love is ageless!

For those of us who aren’t interested in reading about romance between twenty-somethings, there is a new, burgeoning genre. One where the heroes and heroines are at least thirty-five, and (hallelujah) much older!

I’ve heard from plenty of readers who feel no emotional connection to stories about people the ages of their children and grandchildren. These are women who glance at the bookshelves and ask, “What about us? Why can’t there be stories about older women who’ve kicked butt as executives, pilots, wives, mothers, jockeys, nurses, doctors, dog walkers, and everything in between. Why can’t we read about the kind of women we are or want to be, and the heroes we’d love to meet.”

Good news, older generation heroes and heroines do exist in the world of romance books.

Better news, a group of authors already writing this kind of story have banded together to get our Seasoned Romance genre recognized by agents, publishers, and booksellers.

Meanwhile, there are Seasoned Romances already available. Great stories about women finding love for the first, second, or seventh time, single moms, empty-nesters, divorcees, widows, financially secure women looking for adventure, married couples rediscovering each other after retirement…

My own brand new book set to release in a few weeks, Dance With Me, is about a married couple in their early sixties. Julia and James, the mother and father in my Intrepid Women series have some serious issues to get past, plus a mystery to solve before they can get on with a romantic reconciliation.

I’d love to hear what you think about Seasoned Romance. What is your favorite age range to read about? Young, to relive your youth? Older to feel a connection to the characters? Tell me, tell me, so I can get the word out to other authors 🙂

If you’d like to be kept up to date on my new Seasoned Romance releases, as well as those by the Sisterhood of Suspense authors (and many others), hop on over to my website and sign up for my newsletter. Easy peasy.

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Addicted to the ocean, award winning author Kathryn Jane lives on the west coast of Canada with her fabulous feline assistant, and a devoted mutt to keep her charming prince company while she’s busy penning fast-paced mysteries and adventures about Kickass Women and the Men who Dare to Love them…

 



Psst…. have you heard about our Big Summer Book Giveaway?Big Summer BookGiveaway

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