I really enjoyed this post and follow Rachel by email. Check out her post below and the short story challenge. ❤
I really enjoyed this post and follow Rachel by email. Check out her post below and the short story challenge. ❤
Looking for somewhere to submit that great poetry or short story? Look no further. Click the link below to see my great find. ❤
Currently accepting submissions to Issue 5 until June 13th. Categories may close early as they fill up. **Our monthly Submittable-allotted free submissions limit has been reached for this month, but free submissions will re-open again on June 1st. You may still submit via the Tip Jar for a within-a-week response.**
One of my favorite things to do is to introduce authors who I consider to be exceptional writers and story tellers. Please meet my friend and author, P. C. Zick.
It all happened when I joined an online romance writing class several years ago. Curiosity brought me to the course because I felt stalled with my next project. I occasionally read romances, but had never considered writing one. Even after I enrolled, I considered it a lark that might spark inspiration for a new novel, but not one in the romance genre.
Up until the class, I wrote contemporary fiction and created my own form of eco-journalism within the novel form. That sounds rather snooty, doesn’t it? Someone described it that way in a review for one of my novels. I just wrote about topics that interested me, and environmental issues remained at the forefront of my career as a journalist and editor. Writing a novel with dozens of characters involved in several different subplots meant a year or more of drafting, revising, shifting, editing, revising, and finally publishing.
Even though I wasn’t sure where it would direct me, I prepared to take the class. I studied the romance genre. I interacted with other writers, some of them experienced romance authors with several books to their credit. I read romance novels endlessly. Some of them weren’t very good, and some of them made me sigh with envy at the ease in which a story unfolded.
I learned from the good as well as from the bad. I knew what I didn’t want to do. A glimmer of an idea for writing a romance emerged.
The more I studied and listened, the more interested I became in working on a fictional world where my characters could live and love. I created a town populated with dysfunction as its slogan. Within in the community, I designed a central location for those characters to gather at the Victory Tavern. And my first romance, Behind the Altar, was born.
The prodigal son, Dean, returns home to find his estranged brother engaged to a newcomer in his hometown of Victory, Florida. His best friend owns the local tavern and his former girlfriend still pines for him ten years later.
The beautiful newcomer, Leah, is bent on helping the area’s homeless. It’s almost too good to be true until it all starts to fall apart. Leah and Dean are irresistibly drawn to one another, the homeless project is in jeopardy, and Dean vows to help Leah.
Attraction, complications, lock-in, more complications, a breakup, and finally the “happily ever after” or HEA—all the elements of the genre. Why read it if we know the ending? Because we want to know how it all comes together. It’s why we still go see classic plays or movies redone. We know Hamlet’s fate, yet we don’t know how a particular director will present the drama, and we don’t know how a certain actor might interpret the character. We watch to see how craftily it’s done. Same thing with reading a romance. We all know how it will end, but we don’t know how the author will get us to that end.
As I delved into writing Behind the Altar, I relaxed more than I ever had in my writing. In some ways, writing romance taught me more about writing fiction than the other genres. It’s a process that must be followed, and with its rather streamlined form, the elements of plot are on display. Do it wrong, and the readers are displeased.
Some members of the class suggested we write our romances for a multi-author box set—another first for me. I rushed to complete Behind the Altar. I had three months from writing the first line to having a finished product. As a result of the quick turnaround, the final product in 2014 was considered a novella—a shorter form of the novel. But I was satisfied with the final product and the response from readers. However, I knew I could do better.
When I finished, I missed the town and the characters, which led me to write another book in the series. In Behind the Bar, the Victory Tavern owner and Dean’s best friend, Reggie, finds himself at a crossroads with his girlfriend of five years. Susie, who happens to be Leah’s best friend, wants to get married, but Reggie can’t bring himself to make the commitment. The other characters all return—along with a few more added to create more complications.
When I finished, I once again found myself not wanting to leave Victory. Thus, Behind the Curtain came to life. In this story, it’s Susie’s sister, Lisa, who stirs up the town when she brings a TV crew to Victory to film a reality show. Lisa and her friend, Tommy, spar over the ethics of such a production, and sparks fly.
She interfered in relationships, yet it was clear Sally Jean was misunderstood. And behind it all, she was a nice person. I kept putting it off. I thought I’d run out of things to write about everyone. And I didn’t know if I had enough to write about Sally Jean to sustain a novella, let alone a novel.
Early this year, I received some advice from a marketing expert: Change the covers, lengthen the first three books into full-length novels, and write a fourth book in the series. I’d never gone back to one of my novels before, except to do minor edits. I’d never considered doing a major rewrite with the objective of lengthening the story. But then again, I’d never thought I’d write a romance or a series of romances.
What I was told stayed with me. I started with the covers, which hadn’t previously been romantic enough. Lots of romances these days have naked torsos and muscular pecs, but I couldn’t bring myself to go that route. I don’t judge anyone else who uses that type of cover, but it’s just not my style. However, I could go more romantic. My new covers all contain couples. I chose the pictures to depict how I think my characters would look in romantic poses.
Then I started Sally Jean’s story. It came easily. I really did know Sally Jean better than I thought. Simultaneously, I began rewriting the first three.
I loved going back to Leah and Dean’s story and deepening their characters because they’d become integral to the stories that followed. And it was also interesting to know what happened to the other characters after Behind the Altar ends. I could then strengthen their characterizations.
And now I have a series of four books—all full-length novels and all with some type of social consciousness. Romance doesn’t have to be all fluff and silliness. Real-life issues and solutions can be woven into the plots.
I plan to write another series—this one with six stories about the Crandall siblings of Chicago. The first book, Love on Trial, releases May 23, 2017, with the second one already in draft stage. I’m also branching out from contemporary romance and am currently drafting a paranormal romance this summer.
And then there’s a book simmering in a notebook. It will take me back to contemporary fiction—or women’s fiction—as it follows a group of friends who have known each other for forty years. The time has come for them to face some truths about their lives when one of them dies. The characters are all facing sixtieth birthdays, yet they are still fighting the same demons that have plagued them since college.
Did I hear someone mention murder mystery? Thriller? Sci-Fi? Young Adult?
Author, P.C. Zick
Bestselling author P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.
The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”
Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love series are also set in Florida. The novels in her most recent series, Smoky Mountain Romances, are set in in Murphy, North Carolina. She is currently working on a new romance series, Rivals in Love. Join the Crandall family of Chicago as the siblings find love despite their focus on successful careers. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.
Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.
Behind the Altar – https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Altar-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B00N2WPFD0
Behind the Bar – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V41FL26
Behind the Curtain – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JTHQ5I
Behind the Door – https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Door-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06XK79QZK
Subscribe to P. C. Zick’s Newsletter and never miss a thing! – http://bit.ly/2neozgi
Website: P.C. Zick
Blog: Living Lightly
Follow on Twitter: @PCZick
P.C. Zick is also an editor. Her services include editing, proofreading, formatting, coaching, and consultation on publishing. Please visit her website, The Manuscript Doctor, to find out more about her services and rates.
Thanks for stopping by to meet P. C. Zick. You will LOVE her books! ❤
I am honored and blessed to be featured on Sarah Mallery’s blog today. If you haven’t met Sarah, you will want to pay her visit. ❤
About two years ago, I met this wonderful blogger/reviewer/author on Twitter. I do occasionally exchange messages on there, but for some reason, when Colleen and I started communicating, we simply clicked. One thing led to another, and not only was she reviewing my books on her blog, bless her heart, she was featuring me as well. And, in spite of her extraordinarily busy schedule, she always kept in touch with me, asking me about my work, how I was doing, etc. As each new book came out, there she was, waiting in the wings to read and review. So, thank you Colleen for your open arms…and your open heart.
Oh, I suppose I should also thank Twitter, for bringing us together!
Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy series called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles –…
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Important information to read about Amazon & CreateSpace. ❤️
The first news I heard about KDP Print was in an email from Amazon on February 15th. Since then, I’ve read articles, blog posts and comments about it and watched the praise given by Amazon for this service dwindle quickly.
In the email, Amazon announced they were making print book publishing easier for writers. They stated, “KDP prints your book on demand and subtracts your printing costs from your royalties, so you don’t have to pay any costs upfront or carry any inventory.”
That’s what CreateSpace does. Sort of. I believe CreateSpace takes the cost of the printing of the book from the sale price, then takes a cut of the royalties. Until I see the numbers and do the math, I am unsure which service will offer a better financial deal for authors.
The message also stated, “It also enables you to receive consolidated royalty payments for paperback and…
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ATTENTION POETS! This looks like a great opportunity. Click the link below to learn more. ❤
“The Black Napkin, an online poetry journal launched in 2016, is now seeking submissions for their upcoming issues. They are looking for poetry penned with urgent strength, poetry that needs to be heard. They like writing that disrupts the borderlines of genre and identity, and they actively seek work by marginalized poets–people of color, people who are disabled, women, people who identify as nonbinary, people who identify as neurodivergent, people who identify as asexual, immigrants, people who are undocumented, trauma survivors, atheists, agnostics, members of underrepresented religions—any poets whose voices are often unheard in the media, The Black Napkin wants to hear them. They publish a variety of poetic styles and tend to favor feeling over formal considerations. To get a sense of what they like, you can read past issues online.”
I have been looking for a way to autograph my ebooks. Guess what? Debby Gies to the rescue again! Check out this cool app called, Authorgraph. I added it to my book page today. Thanks for the great idea, Debby. ❤
Authorgraph app is designed to send readers your autograph to add to their ebook!
I just updated my page, About the Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy! Harmony’s instructions worked perfectly. YOU will want to do this! ❤
Hello, SEers! Harmony here 🙂
Recently, I had to update my webpage to reflect a book release due out soon. I realised that I had forgotten completely how to make the book previews that I’d done for my other books, lols. So, good old Google came to the rescue. Then I thought that it might be useful for folks if I outlined the process of Embedding Amazon Book Previews into your website here. If you know all this already, then of course feel free to ignore me! The other benefit of sharing this is that, in writing it all out, it might actually embed in this brain of mine! (Miracles have been known to happen.)
Happily, unlike donating digital gifts (including ebooks), this feature works on both Amazon UK as well as Amazon US. Yay! (Sorry, but being in the UK, that’s one of my gripes, ha ha.)
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I wrote a book review the other day and wanted to find a way to link to the author’s kindle and paperback so that if anyone wanted to read the book all they had to do was click the link. My issue was that I had purchased the book and it said I did. I had no idea how to share a clean link! Debby has the solution below. It is a must read for ALL book reviewers! ❤
How to clean up your #Amazon links before sharing book pages on your blogs. And make sure your book reviews don’t get removed.
Author’s Publish shares: “Flash Glass accepts submissions year-round. They are looking for flash fiction, micro-essays, and prose poetry, and each author may submit up to three shorts. What is flash writing? Flash Glass defines it by what it isn’t: it isn’t more than 500 words; it isn’t a complete narrative; it isn’t plot or character, and it isn’t poetry without line breaks. Rather, it’s an opportunity to speak through silence, to seek what’s essential, and to use boundaries to create something entirely outside of them. Flash writing is well-pruned and expertly curated, a single, quick bite that leaves a lasting taste.”
Click this link to learn more:http://www.authorspublish.com/flash-glass-now-seeking-submissions/
Enter your fantastic piece of writing! We have over $400 of valuable prize packages!
YOU will have the month of April to enter an amazing piece of your own writing to our contest.
Here’s what you do:
Enter a piece of your writing in the contest. That’s it!
Here’s what you GET:
The FIRST PLACE Winner will receive THIS prize package valued at over $200:
** requires a quality high-speed internet connection and a good camera on your computer or phone. Maybe other stuff. I’m not doing this at 3 am, okay?
The SECOND PLACE Winner will receive THIS prize package valued at over $150:
The THIRD PLACE Winner will receive THIS prize package valued at over $50:
EACH OF THE FIRST 25 ENTRIES WILL ALSO RECEIVE:
A CRITIQUE OF THEIR WORK BY Dan Alatorre!
Yep, he’ll critique your work (up to 3,000 words), whether you win or not.
Dan will spend an hour of his time giving you the Dan Treatment of your 3,000-word piece, just like I do in my critique group.
Dan says: “Don’t worry, I’m pretty friendly and very encouraging. Most people like my crits. Not all, though. Some people are just babies.”
“I might spend more than an hour if it’s really amazing, and you can send more than 3,000 words, but I’m only human, and I’m not gonna be able to wade through 10k from you for this contest, okay? Doing 25 critiques is a LOT of freaking work.”
EACH OF THE FIRST 50 ENTRIES WILL RECEIVE:
VALUABLE INPUT FROM Dan Alatorre ON THEIR PIECE!
Dan says: “I’m reading it anyway, so I’ll give you an abbreviated version of a critique, or I’ll enlist the help of one of my trusted critique partners to do it, but it should still be really helpful to you. Again, you can send more than 3,000 words, but I can’t get through all that for this contest.”
“DOOR” PRIZES just for entering!
How awesome is that? Lots of stuff for you to win!
* Dan’s goal is to have ALL the entry fees go to prizes, not to make a profit on this contest, so he may use entry fees to buy and award more prizes. They won’t all be Ammy; that would get a little annoying, and even though he personally HATES Starbucks, you might like it.
HERE are some of the AMAZING AUTHORS whose books will be in these packages
Allison Maruska, The Fourth Descendant, the Project Renovatio trilogy
With over 550 reviews on Amazon, a signed copy of Allison’s runaway bestseller The Fourth Descendant should be part of any book lover’s collection.
Allison’s amazing Project Renovatio trilogy has captivated audiences around the world. You want to win that, too.
Hugh Roberts, Glimpses
28 short stories that will take your mind on a roller coaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns. You REALLY wanna win that!
Phillip T Stephens Cigerets, Guns & Beer; Raising Hell; Seeing Jesus; and The Worst Noel
Is murder, sex, buried bank loot and legends of UFOs your cup of tea? Or maybe a clueless optimist who “ruins a perfectly good hell” Phillip T. Stephens offers crime, dark fantasy, young adult – and a good dose of humor.
Jennifer Weiner, 24 Love Letter Ideas
Love letters are a nearly lost art form, but they are the easiest and least costly way to show your partner love and romance. Plus, it’s quick to do! I’m a fan of quick!
24 Romantic Date Night Ideas
Jennifer’s beautiful companion book is a terrific way to round out your romantic evening.
Colleen Chesebro, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy
Come on, who doesn’t enjoy a fairy story? Plus, it’s set in Florida, a win-win. Then along comes a primeval nymph, who explains young Abby’s true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.
T. A. Henry, Scripting The Truth
Any story that takes place in post-WWII Britain and has the phrase “She’ll try to do it all while trying to keep the seams on her stockings straight” has to be read. You’ll agree.
and of course, ME, Dan
A few folks will be selected to receive a signed paperback of Dan’s hilarious, sexy romp through Italy. It’s not available in stores yet so these will be hot commodities. Probably. 😀
A few other folks will win Dan’s fantastic sci-fi thriller The Navigators as a signed paperback or an eBook. Don’t even ask him if he’ll sign the eBook. Just. Don’t.
HERE ARE THE RULES
You must enter an original piece of your own writing and pay the entry fee. Please don’t exceed 3,000 words; entries can be as short as you want.
THEME: To promote the end-of-April release of Dan’s upcoming book Poggibonsi: An Italian Misadventure, which involves traveling, entries need to touch on the theme of travel. In some way, shape or form, your entry has to address travel. Somebody can be traveling. Somebody can hate traveling. Some character can be missing from the story because they are traveling. Doesn’t matter. “Where’s Bill?” “Traveling.” That counts. Dan says he is pretty loose on this.
There is NO restriction on the genre. Go crazy.
You may submit a chapter or passage from your book if you so desire (I would – this is great publicity), but it should be an unpublished work.
HOW TO ENTER
You MUST submit your entry via the Contact Me button and pay your $10.00 entry fee (USD) via PayPal to email@example.com . If your entry is too large to submit that way, simply send me a message using the Contact Me button, and I’ll email you back; from there you’ll be able to attach your piece.
You can waive your entry fee by subscribing to Dan Alatorre’s newsletter right now AND by Liking his Facebook author page! You must do both things on or before midnight EST April 17, 2017, and you don’t get $5.00 off for doing one of them. Dan says it’s okay to tell friends about the secret discount fee waiving thing but DO NOT go crazy with that. Reblog and RT and all that, sure. Those are friends. Can you go crazy sharing this info on Facebook? Yeah, what the heck.
Does Dan rock, or what?
Void where prohibited. ALL entries will be subscribed to Dan’s email list. Don’t worry, Dan won’t spam you. (He said he don’t know how.) Winners will be notified on his blog in a big announcement, and they will be contacted by email, either by Dan Alatorre or by the sponsor donating the prize, to make arrangements to get their prize – that might include an address to deliver a paperback to. Winners outside the continental United States will be eligible only for prizes that can be emailed or sent electronically, like an Amazon gift card. You still get your work published here, and the profile, etc., if you win those things, but sorry; mailing a paperback to Canada and other places is super expensive, so we’re letting you guys into the contest, but we have to limit the costs that way. I’m sure you understand. One entry per person. If you cheat, you’re toast. Play fair. By entering you agree to all this stuff.
Dan says he gets free reign in selecting the top 3 winners, but it’s gonna be stuff that appealed to him (typos matter but content matters more). The rest of the winners will mostly be selected in a random drawing, but he said he’s not above awarding stuff to a really great fourth place person. Or not.
unless he receives an overwhelming amount of entries, and then he said he would delay that part but trust me you’ll know because he will be whining about it on his blog.
Something tells me Dan will let us know if he has too many entries to read!
It is Dan’s desire to help each, and every one of us to succeed as authors and writers, so get busy!
Tick tock. April 30 will be here before you know it.
CLICK HERE to read Dan’s Post and find the LINKS. ❤
DAN SAYS – REBLOG this! And please SHARE this post on Facebook and Twitter! Your friends need to know about this contest, too.
Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the amazingly great sci-fi action thriller “The Navigators.” Click HERE to get your copy of The Navigators – FREE on Kindle Unlimited!
Available in paperback and audio book formats, too!
Wow! Come on! You know you want to enter this contest! I do! AND… look at all the prizes! **HINT, HINT… See you there! ❤
Enter your amazing piece of writing! We have over $400 of valuable prize packages!
Here’s what you do:
Uh, enter a piece of your writing in the contest. I thought that was obvious.
Here’s what you GET:
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This is an excellent tool for editing, authors. Guess what? IT’S FREE! 😀
Let me preface this post by saying that in my opinion, there is no app anywhere that will ever replace a good editor. Not everyone agrees with me, but I think the writers out there who can get away with skipping a professional editing are few and far between. If you are one of them, I apologize, as I don’t mean to imply there are none. But generally, I believe in a final edit by a qualified human being, the two operative words being “qualified” and “human.” 🙂 Now, having gotten that out of the way, on to what I wanted to share with you today.
I use beta readers (9, actually on a private blog) and they read my draft, chapter by chapter, as I write. This lets me know when a chapter is doing what I need it to do, so I can make immediate tweaks or changes, if I’ve…
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Are you interested in entering your writing in some legitimate contests? If so, you will want to read this! ❤
What a great opportunity for authors and writers. I’m in! ❤
your humble host
First, the writing challenge. Hey, no pain, no gain.
Here is a road rage scene from the movie Marathon Man. Watch it…
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I confused Kindle KDP and Kindle Unlimited the other day. Here is the scoop on these two programs from Amazon. ❤
Amazon KDP and Kindle Unlimited: A Primer for Authors and Publishers
As an avid reader, I have spent the last few years reviewing books on my blog and on other websites that help to promote Indy Authors. It has been an honor to read and review over one hundred and forty books in the last couple of years.
There are several reasons why I engaged in the review process:
Image Credit: ElizabethNoyesWrites.com
Image credit: DeborahJayAuthor.com
Check out these links for more information on writing reviews:
So, the next time you are reading a novel, think about leaving a review. Indy authors everywhere will thank you.
I am always looking for reviews of The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy. If you’re interested, leave me a reply in the comments section.
ATTENTION AUTHORS & BOOK REVIEWERS
In fact, if you are an author looking for a review, leave a comment with a link to your book. That will enable readers with a way to contact you. HAPPY REVIEWING! ❤
Gotta DASH! Time to write some more reviews!
This article breaks down step by step how to set up your Facebook author page to sell your books. I just completed the process and am happy to share that you can now buy my book from my author page. Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/CMChesebro/. Click the shop now button and it takes you to the Amazon link. ❤
Facebook was the most popular social media platform in 2016. Take advantage of its large audience by optimizing your Facebook author page to sell books.
There are some amazing Pinterest boards listed in this post. Check it out. ❤
Find out how the visual platform can inspire, teach, tempt and entertain writers.
A great reminder from Hugh, to check out how friendly your blog is… besides these are just good habits to have in our community. ❤
Just imagine it’s your first day here on Planet Blog and you and everyone else with you hears the words “Hands up all those that want 1,000 followers.” What percentage of people in your group do you think would put up their hand?
When we start our journey in the world of blogging, getting as many followers as possible is very important to all of us. Why write and blog if nobody is going to read what we have to say?
So we’ve managed to gain lots of followers and we want more, yet we seem to also be losing followers. I wonder why?
I learned very quickly that building and maintaining your very own blogging community is an important aspect of blogging and one of the easiest ways to start losing followers is by not acknowledging those followers that leave comments. In my time as a blogger I’ve seen this…
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