Wednesday, July 17, 2019

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop July 2019

Welcome to the July 2019 version of #AuthorToolboxBlogHop organized by the amazing Raimey Gallant. To join or just enjoy all the great ideas you'll discover on this tour, find the entire list of participants here.

I shared in last month's Toolbox that I was having my knee replaced a few days after the hop. All went well and recovery is going smoothly and ahead of schedule. That doesn't mean I'm out jogging around the neighborhood yet, but I'm happy with the progress. On the not so good side, I can't sit at my desk for extended periods of time because my knee swells no matter how I try to prop it up and ice. So my writing progress on my current WIP is slower than I'd like.

My contribution to the Toolbox this month is likely a familiar craft item that all of us have dealt with throughout our careers. I received a contract for my 23rd romance novel from the small press who have published all  my romance novels. Each time I receive a contract, my publisher asks me for a blurb, a short excerpt to share on their website, and a one-liner or a logline. Some authors call it the 'elevator pitch', meaning it can be shared at short notice. Even after 23 novels, I revert to a formula to create my loglines. Here are the two I use most often.

When __________ happens to ____________ (he/she/they) must ___________ or face ___________.

When situation happens, protagonist must act to defeat antagonist and prevent disaster.

The five things I figure out before I write the logline are:
Situation, protagonist, the action, the antagonist, and the disaster. Once I am satisfied with the logline, I can use that same sentence  and expand it into the back cover blurb. Each of those five things can be expanded to a few sentences or combined into short paragraphs.

Do you use another formula for your loglines? Do you find them easy or do they drive you crazy? 




Monday, July 8, 2019

Connie C. Scharon: Protector of the Highlands

A warm welcome to Connie Scharon, a very good writing friend and someone who works hard on her career. Her books are exciting and her characters heroic while still being realistic. If your looking for strong heroines and men smart enough to appreciate them, her Scottish Historical books are for you. Take it away, Connie:

 For Readers

Ever since I was a child I have had a little of what people call second sight, weird dreams that later come true and some non-explainable premonitions. This made me fascinated by the power of the mind, so I decided to make my latest heroine learn how to hypnotize people in order to save herself. I interviewed a hypnotist to make her powers realistic, and I think this gave my latest Scottish Historical Romance, Protector of the Highlands, an interesting twist.


For writers

I self-published my first book in June of 2013 and was lucky enough to have it and my subsequent releases hit Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers’ List. I have published nine books since then. Eight in my Highland Legends series, and one crazy Time Travel Murder Mystery, which I loved, but no one bought. Bottom line is I still haven’t figured out what can make one a magical moneymaker and another have lack luster sales. Every time I do a release, I try to create interest in the book on my social media platforms, do paid advertising, and book signings. Recently, advertising my back list on Amazon has created increased sales across the series. You can do this if your book is Amazon exclusive.

Blurb 

A medieval romance and a murder mystery rolled into one twisted tale of love and betrayal!


Bio

A fan of dark and dangerous medieval Scotland, Connie C. Scharon writes Highland Legends, a Scottish Historical Romance series set in the fourteenth century. Multiple trips to the British Isles have continued to fuel her imagination and produce more stories, but that is not her only interest.
After spending thirty-four years in the medical field, she is weaving some of her hospital experience, visits to the morgue, and crime lab into some new mystery novels with a medical twist. No release date yet.



Have you ever been hypnotized or witnessed someone being hypnotized? Have you visited anywhere in the British Isles? Do you have any marketing advice to add to what Connie shared? Don't you love that book cover?


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

IWSG: July 2019

Slow down, 2019! It's the first Wednesday of the seventh month meaning the year is more than halfway gone and it's IWSG blog hop day. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the online writing community of Insecure Writers Support Group is going stronger than ever. Find the entire list of participants here.

First of note, thank you to the IWSG administrators for spotlighting me in the most recent newsletter. You really brightened my day.

Second of note, thank you to the administrators for all they do. I was once among their numbers and there is a massive amount of work that goes on behind the scenes of IWSG to make sure the group remains dynamic and offers so many FREE services to writers. I'm on the board of another writing group and I'm currently buried under responsibilities to help run that group. Anyone who volunteers in such a way, sacrifices a lot of their own writing time to give to other writers.

Third of note is the monthly optional question:
What personal traits have you written into your characters?
Are we supposed to do that? LOL I do write my characters to have qualities that I hope I have. Loyalty, honesty, and love of family. Add an burdening sense of responsibility and you have a too perfect character. (Not that I'm perfect or even close) So, always add a helping of traits I hope I don't have. Mistrust, wariness of relationships, and of course, the damage that caused all that.

Fourth note for today, I apologize for not haunting the blogs I usually do. About twelve days ago, I had knee replacement surgery so I've had trouble sitting at my computer for any extended period of time. No worries, I feel great. My top-notch surgeon used high tech robotic surgery. I was in pretty good shape going in. Surgery at 10 am. Woke up at noon. Got out of bed at 2 pm with the nurses' help. Went home the next day at noon. Six days later and I was walking without any assistant devices like a cane or walker. 30 staples are coming out today and then it's just a matter of finishing physical therapy. Unfortunately, my new knee is not bionic and I can't run 60 mph.

Is the year flying by for you? Have any fellow writers or bloggers you really appreciate? Does your personal character show up in your fiction writing? Would you be comfortable with a robot wielding the knife in the operating room?




Wednesday, June 19, 2019

#AuthorsToolboxBlogHop June 2019

Thanks to Raimey Gallant, this monthly bloghop of writers sharing resources is going strong. Happening the third Wednesday of the month, check out all the great advice and knowledge provided by the participants on this list.

Writer, Take Care of Thy Self

It's summer in my neck of the woods. The outside calls to me, and I answer as often as I can. Two days from now, I'm having some orthopedic surgery. It's a good time to remind myself of the things we all should be doing to take care of ourselves. Writing requires one to sit down at the keyboard but sitting too long and too often isn't good for our health. Neither is being alone with all those rejections and frustrations. I've put together a list of the ways I'll be taking care of myself during the next few months of rehab while still keeping on with my writing.

*Drink lots of water. So simple but many of us don't drink enough. Remember coffee and tea can be counted toward our fluid intake but watch out for too much caffeine.

*Get around eight hours of sleep and never less than seven. Sleeping is essential for our health. Our bodies need that down time to make repairs. Not enough sleep is linked to things like weight gain, diabetes, emotional health, and more. Read about a few of them here.

*Find your tribe of writer friends who know what your job is like. Avoid people who tear you down with negativism and toxicity. Have coffee with a fellow writer.

*Eat healthy. Summer means more fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat greens. Make a smoothie and throw in some Greek yogurt.

*Get away from the phone, the computer, and electronics in general. Even if only for a few hours.

*Exercise. Walk out in the sunshine. Enjoy an early morning stroll or an evening when the stars start to peek through. In my neighborhood, either time of day means deer and their new fawns are out and about. But watch out for skunks. LOL

*Read. Read. Read. Visit the library. Dig into that TBR shelf. Check out all the books on your Kindle. I read about two books per week even when I'm writing a thousand words per day. Vary the genres too. Read everything.

"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." Stephen King

Can you add some healthy advice for your fellow writers? How much do you read every week? Do you have a favorite smoothie or salad dish?




Monday, June 17, 2019

Windy Hollow by Tara Tyler

Tara had a long journey to get this book published!

WINDY HOLLOW
Beast World MG Fantasy Series, book #3
by Tara Tyler
Available NOW!

In BROKEN BRANCH FALLS, Gabe and his friends go on a quest to save their school, blowing up all the rules, and discover their origins.

Then they go to CRADLE ROCK and meet some real live humans, scaring them into attack mode. The Beasts realize they have to spread the truth ASAP.

Now, school's out, and Gabe is ready for a break from all the drama...

Gabe and his friends fly over the Great Sea for the wedding of the century: a dragon prince and a beautiful harpy. But Gabe can't relax on this vacation. Besides competing in rigorous wedding events, he overhears the nearby human village WINDY HOLLOW is in danger from an evil human scientist and a vengeful were-ogre experimenting on beasts. Gabe and his friends risk crossing the mountains to help, despite several warnings. 

Maybe he's going too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!


Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over the US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her husband and one boy left in the nest. She has two series, Pop Travel (sci-fi detective thrillers) and Beast World (fantasy adventures), plus her UnPrincess novella series where the maidens save themselves. She's a commended blogger, contributed to several anthologies, and to fit in all these projects, she economizes her time, aka the Lazy Housewife—someday she might write a book on that... Make every day an adventure!

twitter: @taratylertalks
Instagram: taratylertalks

newsletter: tara tyler news

Check out the WINDY HOLLOW Release Blog Tour schedule:

6/20 - Heather Holden - How does she Create such Awesome Art?
6/22 - Ellen Jacobson - Interview
6/24 - Patricia Lynne - Keeping Magic Alive
6/26 - MJ Fifield - Fantasy World-Building
6/30 - SA Larsen - Special Newsletter & a Vlog?!
7/1 - Tara's IWSG post with updates and a Special Guest!
7/3 - Alex J. Cavanaugh - IWSG Day - Fantasy Movies
7/4 - Tonja Drecker - Kids in Books
7/8 - Christine Rains - Levels of Romance
7/10 - Heather M. Gardner - Binge Watching TV
7/15 - Tyrean Martinson - Hiking!
7/17 - Julie Flanders - Gotta Have Friends

And of course, there's a giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

IWSG: June 2019

It's the time of month again when this awesome group of writers join in the IWSG blog hop. Alex J. Cavanaugh started this group where everyone gets to share issues with their writing careers, good, bad, and just fun. Fine all the participants on this list.

This month's optional question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

I write in two genres, science fiction romance and epic fantasy. I love both. Science fiction gives me a chance to include my science background and the space to make up some science. Almost all my science fiction is space opera though I have one dystopian series. I love epic fantasy with the chance to build a word and invent a magic system. I also love the idea of heroes and heroines that go on a journey to grow into the people who will defeat evil so good can triumph. I really like the tales where the protagonist starts out as a nobody who becomes the most important person in the world.

When the chess game is over, the pawns, rooks, knights, bishops, kings, and queens all go back in the same box.  Italian proverb

Hope your summer, if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, offers you some time to relax. I also hope you're not getting wet every day like we have been in the northeast USA. We had nearly twice the average amount of rainfall for the month of May. I have one more week of watching my granddaughter before summer vacation is here for her parents who are both teachers. I love her, but I'll enjoy some time without my adorable little shadow on my heels.

The new season of Luther is here and next month we have Stranger Things season 3, so something to look forward to. In the meantime, I'm doing some re-watches of my favorite shows like Haven. Poldark's most recent season is on Amazon Prime, so I'll take that in also. Anything you're binge watching or catching up on during the summer months.

Do you write in more than one genre, and if you do, do you prefer one over the other? Have any vacations planned for the near future? Are you in a part of the country that has been inundated recently?


Monday, June 3, 2019

Vickie Fisher: Tulips of Love


I attend one writing conference every year. It's great to meet new people and reconnect with friends from previous conferences. Once in a while, I meet someone who is instantly a friend. Let me introduce you to one such person. Vickie Fisher is the most amazingly upbeat person I've ever met. She meets life head-on and with a deep well of humor and understanding. It's dangerous to have dinner with her as she'll have you laughing so much, you might choke on your food. Her books are on my shelves forever. Here's Vicki:

For Readers

It’s common to hear stories about women leaving their jobs to become caregivers for their loved ones. But I wanted to tell a different story. A story of how a man loves his wife so much, that the thought of anyone else taking care of her is unthinkable. I truly believe that love is God’s greatest miracle, so I wrote Tulips of Love, a story filled with love, hope, and miracles.

For Writers

Recently, a friend threw my own words back at me, “not writing your book is you just being selfish.” It was like a slap to the back of my head. I am being selfish. What! How can you say that? Think about your favorite book, how it made you feel, how happy you were to be reading. What if that author had decided not to write? What if they were afraid and never put the words to paper? Instead of sharing it with you, they were selfish and hoarded it inside their head. You would have been deprived of their wonderful book. Being told I am selfish is the motivation I need to push me to write, to get my book onto paper, and to become another wonderful sharing author on the book shelf. How about you, will you share your story with me?


Blurb 

He was never so happy as the day they met, now he’s never been so scared to lose her.
Jeff and Michelle’s lives had felt as perfect as their love for one another. A successful family business, wonderful children, and the hope of a long life together… until an inoperable brain tumor threatens to destroy the happily ever after they thought was guaranteed. 
Will faith and sacrifice be enough to save the woman he can’t imagine life without?


Bio

Vickie Fisher writes inspirational fiction and devotionals. She also works for Amtrak as a Chief Entitlement clerk. She has three awesome children and adorable grandkids. After her husband died, she inherited nineteen beautiful acres and a whole lot of work in Carroll County, Maryland. She is waiting for her “Sam Elliot” to come riding in on his white horse. In the meantime, you can find her chasing goats from her flowers.

Have you ever had someone say something as motivating as Vickie's friend who told her she was being selfish? Have you known a relationship where the man was the one to give up his career and stay home to care for an ailing loved one? Have you read a book that gave you hope and inspiration?