Friday, 31 August 2012

Kindle Fire Giveaway and guest post on "How To Get Your Book Going Again"

- Guest Post by Lynne Cantwell

I suspect every writer has run into this.  You tell someone that you write novels, and the person’s reply is along the lines of, “How wonderful!  I keep thinking that I should write a book.”  Well, maybe they should.  And maybe they’ve tried, but the book isn’t working and they can’t figure out why. 

I’m happy to help diagnose the problem.  What I’ve observed with beginning writers is that usually the problem is one of two things: either they have a plot but no characters, or characters but no plot.

Plot but no characters:  A good example is the fantasy gamer book, in which a thin plot is devised as a way to string together a series of scenes where stuff blows up real good.  The Good Guys are trying to save something – a kingdom, a princess, whatever – and the bad guys are Evil Personified and Must Be Stopped.  If you suspect this is your book’s problem, you can fix it by asking yourself one question:  “Why?”  Why should your reader care?  What will happen if the evil guys win?  (Hint: “The good guys will lose” is not a sufficiently compelling answer.)  What kind of person is the princess that she’s worth starting a war over?  And what personal stake does the hero have in it?  Is he in love with the princess, in love with his country, or interested in not being beheaded? Answer those questions, and your book will immediately become more compelling.

Characters but no plot:  I get that there are plotters (writers who work from an outline) and pantsers (writers who let the characters lead the story), and I admit that I’m a plotter (at least at the outset – unruly characters can, and do, lead the best-laid plans of plotters astray).  But even a pantser must have some eventual ending in mind.  So I think the best way to solve this problem is to ask yourself, “Where?”  Where are your characters headed?  What do they need to learn in order to get there? What challenges will they face along the way?  How will the journey change them?  When you begin to answer those questions, with any luck, scenes will start popping into your head and you’ll be off.

A variation on this problem, particularly in speculative fiction, is when the world where the story is set begins to become a character.  Some writers get quite wrapped up in world-building, and that’s great.  

But you have to remember that the world is really the stage for the main action of your story, and there’s a fine line between providing just enough of your world’s backstory and doing an info dump.  

“Just enough” lets your reader figure out what’s going on without slowing down the action; an info dump brings the proceedings to a screeching halt.  If you feel compelled to share your world-building in its entirety, put it on your website.  Your casual readers will thank you.

That should be enough to help you get your book going again.  And remember, National Novel Writing Month starts November 1st.

Buy Now @ Amazon Kindle & Smashwords
Genre - Urban Fantasy
Rating - PG13
More details about the book
Connect with Lynne Cantwell on Twitter & Facebook


This giveaway and post is a part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash tour.

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

5 STAR Review: The Curse of Borage-Doone

Original Title: The Curse of Borage-Doone
Series: Merryweathers Mystery #2
Author: R. A. Jones
Publisher: Lucky Bat Books
Release Date: June 16th 2012
Genre: Mystery

Book 2 of The Merryweathers Mysteries by YA author RA Jones takes Sam and his Gran deep into the dark alleys of Edinburgh.

The trouble begins when Sam's Gran wins a competition set by her favourite TV chef, and she's over the moon. But things aren't at all what they seem when it comes to prize-giving. There are things wandering Edinburgh's dark alleys that would love to turn Sam into their dish of the day. Old grudges surface and Sam's growing knowledge of the cunning ways is about to be severely tested. But what he doesn't realise is that there's a much bigger prize at stake…The Curse of Borage-Doone.


Sam's journey with his grand-mother continues. Gwladys Merryweather, 10-year old Sam's gran, gets a mail from some TV show contest saying she won the prize. In spite of Sam's suspicions, his gran is determined to go to the show. Gwladys stays in her friend's house, before going to the show. Her friend is cursed, when they were in school and she always was suffering from ailments. Nobody can take back the curse and her friend still suffers after all this time. Sam makes friends in their home and accompanies his gran when its time for the show. But, there awaits the biggest shock for all of them and it may even cost their life. How are they going to escape it this time?

This one will be very great for the kids to read, enjoy and learn. Sam has become mature due to his experiences from the last book. Gran is as usual great. And the new characters just rock. Nothing to complain - I love the narration and I am sure it will be loved by kids.

As good as its predecessor!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Review: Wilde's Fire by Krystal Wade

Original Title: Wilde's Fire
Series: Darkness Falls #1
Author: Krystal Wade
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: May 13, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

“There is no pain in this death, only peace, knowing I am going to die with the one I love the most.”—Katriona Wilde.

Katriona Wilde has never wondered what it would feel like to have everything she’s ever known and loved ripped away, but she is about to find out.
When she inadvertently leads her sister and best friend through a portal into a world she’s dreamed of for six years, she finds herself faced with more than just the frightening creatures in front of her. Kate’s forced to accept a new truth: her entire life has been a lie, and those closest to her have betrayed her.
What’s worse, she has no control over her new future, and it’s full of magic and horrors from which nightmares are made.
Will Kate discover and learn to control who she really is in time to save the ones she loves, or will all be lost? 


*** Thanks to Curiosity Quills Press for the review copy. *** 

Kate Wilde was thrown into a world, she was dreaming about for about 7 years.  In those dreams, she is in love with a guy, who always ends up dying.  When Kate, her sister and her best friend (Brad) goes to camping, Kate finds herself drawn to another world through a portal.  When all of them gets through that portal, what they see there is horror.  Somehow, Kate pushes her sister back to 'our' world, but locks herself and Brad in that other world.  In that deadly situation, Brad confesses that he is in love with Kate for a very long time.  But, Kate already is in love with her dream boyfriend.  So, what would you do, if that dream boyfriend comes to rescue you in that other world and he claims to be your protector?

Kate's life changes after her dream boyfriend - Arland, comes into her life.  Brad was wounded and in the world where they are, there are no enough medical facilities.  Will she lose Brad in these no-light-only-dark world.  Will she lose her own life and Arland's too, due to some unnecessary rival between the Gods?

The lead male characters are Brad and Arland, and they are both great characters in their own and completely opposite way.  I liked almost all the characters of the novel, except KATE (see reason below).  The author made me curious with the blurb and the introduction.  And did you see the cover?  Looks interesting, right?  It made me want to read this book in the first place.  These are the pros of this novel.

Although I was curious as to how the plot moves, the writing doesn't create a bonding between me and the novel.  This obviously became the major flaw of this novel. 

I love my fictional female lead characters to be strong.  But, the heroine in "Wilde's Fire" is not strong, she is made to look strong by the author.  And that is the second thing, that I hated.  Kate's courage felt fake.  Yep, there are some more flaws in the novel, that will make the readers get annoyed.  But, I think I will judge this author after reading her next book in the series.

Will read the next novel, but just to finish the started story and to give the author, a second chance.

Rating: 2 stars!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Feature & Follow #22

  • To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
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  • Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
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  • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
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Monday, 13 August 2012

Writing to me is...

- Guest Post by Acamea L. Deadwilder

Writing to me is therapy. I have never been the best at verbally expressing my emotions or making myself vulnerable. I have frequently kept things bottled up inside, even to my own detriment. So, imagine the relief I felt the first time I put my most guarded feelings into words. I never knew how badly I needed an outlet for expression, until I used writing to express myself.

In crafting my memoir: Life, Love, and Lack Thereof, I laughed, I cried, I became angry and there was no one there to judge me or define the validity of my feelings. So, I could say whatever I wanted to say. I could be completely honest with no reservations about how the listener may respond. I knew that my words would be read eventually, but during the writing phase this was not an issue. It was just me and the computer. Once done, I felt completely free; as if years of weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

It is not in just writing about my own life that the art frees me. If I feel strongly about an issue or simply wish to add my opinion on a subject, I write. For a person that hates to be misunderstood, I find that this is the best way to ensure that your thoughts are expressed clearly.

How often do we engage in a discussion or disagreement, and afterwards, think of a million things we wish we would have said? Or kick ourselves for saying the “wrong thing.” In the heat of an exchange it is very easy to say things that we don’t mean or poorly express what we do mean. Writing out our thoughts helps eliminate this. We can sit down, ponder over what we have said, alter and change it as much as we’d like. Whereas, once a word has been spoken it is gone and can never be taken back.

Aside from the self-expressive aspect, what I love most about writing is the way that it can touch you. Even in reading, I can appreciate a well-written, brilliant assembly of words; but what I enjoy above all are those works which move me. I like to feel the words and the conviction behind them. Because writing to me, is ultimately a place where I can lay my burdens down.

Buy Now @ Amazon Paperback
Genre - Memoir 
Rating - PG13
More details about the book
Connect with Acamea Deadwilder on Facebook & Twitter

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Author Interview with Derek Blass

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
An iPod full of every song that was ever created.  Gotta have the music!  I assume we aren't including something like a plane, right?  I'm thinking a Kindle loaded with all the books that were ever written.  Got my sounds and reads covered.  Lastly, I'm gonna need a hammock.

What is one book everyone should read?
White Noise by Don Delillo.  My favorite author, and my favorite book of his.

If you were a superhero what would your name be?
Raffy Miller.  Oh, wait, that is my porn name.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
This question always stumps me, because I'm not sure if immortality is a superpower.  That's what I'm going with!

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Honestly?  Lucky Charms.  I'm high class.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Marketing as Having a Conversation

- Guest Post by Cora Russell

My hubby is a very good salesman. Always has been. Remember the kid in school that always outsold EVERYONE during fundraisers? That know no strangers? That was my hubby. And my mom. And my daughter. My daughter not only sold frozen pickle juice during a charity event, she sold a lot of it. There are natural born sales people.

I'm not one of them.

So when it came to marketing my books I had to decide what I was comfortable with. I was going to have to talk to someone and ask her to read my book eventually. My hubby's advice was to treat it as a conversation. You weren't going to ask for anything just start talking and see who joins in. Pay attention and listen to what they say. Then try see if what you have fills their need/want. So I stopped tweeting that my book was on sale. Because frankly that's not listening to see if anyone even cares. Instead I have something to give. I do KDP select so it's free every ninety days. It's an awesome feeling that I can give it away like that and people respond.

Conversations have started because of it. Hey, I got your book for free. Where can I get your other titles? I loved that story! I've always wanted to try ghost hunting! How do you put together an anthology? Where did you find the time to get all those links/information? All the proceeds go to charity? That's great!

And it snowballs from there.

If you as an author feel out of your league, replace marketing with conversation and only do what feels comfortable. That way you'll always feel positive about what you're doing.

Buy Now @ Amazon Kindle
Genre - Horror 
Rating - PG13
More details about the book
Connect with Coral Russell on Twitter & Facebook


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Friday, 10 August 2012

ARC Review: Tools of Prophecy by Michael E. Rothman

Original Title: Tools of Prophecy
Series: Heirs of Prophecy #2
Author: Michael E. Rothman
Publisher: M & S Publishing
Release Date: August 1st 2012
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

The TOOLS OF PROPHECY is the second volume in an epic saga which describes a prophecy that has placed the Riverton brothers in the lead roles of a struggle to save their world from being overrun by unspeakable horrors. This destiny requires that they face off with the demons that nearly destroyed their world over five centuries ago.

In the first book, the population of wizards had been practically eradicated by the former tyrant. The Rivertons are now charged with creating an Academy of Magic, recruiting qualified students, and furthering their own training with secrets that have long been held by the reclusive elves.

Despite their youth, a mysterious spirit has engaged them in an epic struggle to gain mastery of their newfound skills, help raise and train two armies, and stay alive long enough for their final showdown with destiny.

The only things that stand in their way are the assassins hired to destroy them and the Demon Lord’s minion who holds a personal grudge and intends to witness the young boys’ deaths.


*** I received an advanced review copy of this book from the author in exchange for honest review. ***

In a war against Gods, the Riverton family has a job to do.  For those who are new to this series, there might be some spoilers in this review.

The story starts right where "Heirs of Prophecy" ended - after the Riverton family, along with their friend, Throll, killed the evil wizard, Azazel.  Everyone is busy.. Throll is now the King of Trimoria.  Ryan and Aaron Riverton are no longer kids..they are more mature now.  They are both facing more menacing things than Azazel, which makes more training of their abilities - a necessity.  The Riverton brothers are trained by elves and they discover more about their powers.  Jared Riverton (head of the Riverton family) is busy forming the proper school for new wizards, which will train them for the war.

Meanwhile, The evil God sends new minion again (as Azazel is now dead) in Trimoria.  That minion has set up two assassins to finish off the Riverton family.  How are the brothers going to face this new threat?

This book feels like a gentle friend, who will tell you old stories, just to enjoy being the time with you.  I am happy that the author has brought out the characters of this novel as so polite and good-hearted, because it will really help kids realize, how things SHOULD be.  As decades come and go, the bonding within most families is reduced to nothing.  That is the one thing that I want people to consider from the author's view - family bonding!  The Riverton family is the perfect family anyone would want.  Their manners, their politeness, respect towards each other - everything amazed me.

Okay, apart from the learning that is achieved from the book, the plot was really good.  It was simple, but gentle and strong.  The characters are endearing.  The book was printed in good line spacings and clear font, making it easier for the eyes.

My only small complaint is its slow pace.  But, this shouldn't be a problem for younger readers.

Cover thoughts:  Excellent front and back cover design.  Happy to have received the paperback ARC..I keep looking the covers every time I take a break from reading.  Here are the cover snaps for you!

Quote Time
"I wonder my counselor would have predicted "wizard" as a career path, when I was in high school."
- Jared Riverton

Satisfying read.. Highly Recommended!


1.  Heirs of Prophecy - Read review here
2.  Tools of Prophecy - Read review here
3. Lords of Prophecy

Guest Post & Giveaway: Open Heart by Emlyn Chand

Original Title: Open Heart
Series: Farsighted #2
Author: Emlyn Chand
Publisher: Blue Crown Press
Release Date: March 15th 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young-adult
Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Simmi Shergill's life is a mess. Her powers of psychic feeling are on the fritz, and Grandon Township's sudden population boom has brought quite a few unsavory characters to town. She also looks like an over-blown balloon in her size 14 pants, but not even starving herself seems to be working as a diet plan. Well, at least her boyfriend, Alex, loves her so much he'd do anything for her. Last summer he even risked his life to protect her from the mysterious boy everyone was convinced wanted to kill her.

The problem is, she's not so sure she feels the same way. Is Alex really the man of her dreams? And why can't she stop fixating on her would-be killer, Dax? Whenever he's around, part of her wants to run screaming in the other direction while the other part longs to run into his embrace, no matter who she’d hurt or what she’d risk.

Simmi's loyalty is on the line. Who will she choose—the blind seer who loves her, or the charming telekinetic with "bad idea" written all over him? Emotions run high as the tension mounts in book two of the Farsighted series.

WHY I WRITE YA:  10 Reasons Young Adult is the Genre for Me

- Guest Post by Emlyn Chand

I am 26-years-old, and I ♥ YA books. Now here I sit on the cusp of my big debut as a published author (squeal), but it probably never would have happened if I hadn’t found my affinity for YA.
In fact, the first novel I wrote was multicultural literary fiction— it’s never going to be published. I wrote lit fic, because I was trying to prove something to myself, to the world, to somebody. But the book didn’t encapsulate who I am or what makes me a strong writer. So naturally, the story fell flat.

I have no idea what made me decide to write YA the second time around. I even remember trying to avoid it. I spent months trying to convince myself that Farsighted was too ambitious of a project. I was this close to writing a historical fiction novel instead. I’m glad I didn’t listen to my inner worrywart, because writing Farsighted is the best thing I’ve ever done.

When you find that genre that speaks to you and allows you to speak through it, don’t let that go!

Now I’d like to share 10 reasons why I love writing YA. It’s okay if YA isn’t your genre du jour, but don’t force yourself to write something just because the genre is popular or well-respected. Write what your heart wants to write, and the rest will turn out okay.

I write YA because...

1. I wish I had a chance to do my teen years over again. To live them more fully. Writing about teens gives me the chance to do so vicariously.

2. YA is a broad genre. The sky’s the limit. I can write a dystopic novel this year and a romance or mystery next year. YA is not confined by specific plot conventions like other genres. It’s more focused on the characters.

3. YA has a broad readership. The primary audience is, of course, teens. But younger kids also enjoy reading about what the big kids are doing, and adults like reliving their glory days too.

4. The language is fun and approachable. Sure, you could write literary YA, but the candid and easy-to-read style of YA is part of its appeal.

5. First person POV is where it’s at. YA doesn't have to be told in the first person viewpoint, but a lot of it is. Adult literature sticks more to the third person. I love writing in first person. It’s easier for me to develop a character that way, and I enjoy the writing process more.

6. The characters are sympathetic. It’s easier to forgive the misdeeds of someone who’s “just a kid,” making it easier for readers and writers alike to identify with YA characters.

7. The characters can change and grow. They aren’t yet set in their ways. Growth is an expected part of teendom, and it’s wonderful helping your characters achieve that potential.

8. The readers of YA are incredibly devoted. If they like what you’ve written, they will tell the world. Can you think of any books that have a greater cult following than Twilight, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games? Because I can’t.

9. YA readers WANT to enjoy books. They’re not looking to tear a book apart and flesh out all of its flaws. They are willing to overlook weaknesses within a book and focus on what they love about it. Their pleasure in reading is free and much more pure.

10. It’s what I most enjoy reading. Write what you love to read. Don’t force yourself to write a romance if writing sexually suggestive scenes makes you uncomfortable. Don’t write literary fiction as a way to show off your intellect. Write what you want to write. Write was fits your talents and enthusiasm. That’s your best chance at success (no matter how you define the term).


The author is giving away e-copies of OPEN HEART to the winners of the Rafflecopter.  Winners will be chosen using

Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and ends August 26th.

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Feature & Follow #21

  • To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  • (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee and Alison Can Read}
  • (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  • Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
  • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
  • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers.
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Thursday, 9 August 2012

Write From Your Soul..

- Guest Post by Derek  Blass

I'm reading Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian right now.  I read No Country for Old Men before that and knew instantly I had to read everything this man had ever written.  The title of the latter book is somewhat of an irony to me, because the violence in it pales in comparison to Blood Meridian.  Blood Meridian is one of the first books I've ever read where I nearly had to put it down, the distaste and rawness pooling for too long in my mouth.

Which gets me to my point.  There's nothing better than an author who writes from his or her soul.  Conversely, there's nothing as unconvincing and trite as one who doesn't.

I wonder where to go from that conclusion.  I'm not attempting to hold myself as an author that can deliver the stark human nature that McCarthy renders.  I'm simply a reader that has seen the pinnacle on a few occasions, and who wonders at those who don't try for it.

Which...gets me to my point.  I'm trying, I swear.  Especially as an indie author, it's a confusing world.  We hear about numbers of book sold and envy those authors.  We see high Amazon rankings and we ache for the same.  We see books that we know are churned out to create a “backlist” and we wonder if that's the path to success.

My point is that there's a light shining out in the middle of this waste.  A light lit by the likes of Homer and maintained with the written pages of Shakespeare, Melville, Hemingway, and McCarthy.  You can turn around one hundred and eighty degrees, and walk into the darkness.  Or, you can strive to reach that light, despite the fact that it may seem to move further out every time you get close.

My advice to authors who are just putting pen to paper for their first or even twentieth book is to leave a little part of your soul in it, whether it be in a single sentence or the whole damn thing.  We owe it to the people fending back reality with our novels.

Buy Now @ Amazon Kindle
Genre - Thriller 
Rating - R
More details about the book
Connect with Derek Blass on Twitter & Facebook

Buy Now @ Amazon Kindle
Genre - Thriller
Rating - R
More details about the book
Connect with Derek Blass on Twitter & Facebook


This giveaway and post is a part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash tour.

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

What Are Writers Trying To Sell?

- Guest Post by David Mark Brown

There could be a lot of answers to this question. If you've ever gotten as desperate as I have, you've considered selling your wife's prescription drugs (sorry, honey). But seriously, are writers these days better off to see themselves as purveyors of the written word, or shameless hustlers of their own person?

As I see it, there are two basic options.
Am I selling the books I produce? Or am I selling my personal brand? You may ask, "What's the difference, you delusional freak?" Well, gentle reader, I'll tell you.

If I'm trying to sell books or written word products seen as separate entities from myself then anything I write or spend time on which does not contribute to the sale of said books should be stopped (or not started to begin with). Rarely, if ever, should I embrace selling products at the $0.00 price point since that results in a net loss and devaluation of my labor hour. Blogging is a time and therefore money drain for a product difficult to monetize. Etc.

In contrast, if I'm trying to essentially sell myself as a brand name my work focus shifts dramatically. Now apparent time drains such as a personal blog, social media sites and reading communities such as Goodreads become viable marketing and platform development tools.

Price points become fluid and "giving it away for free" becomes an everyday assumption. A writer selling themselves (rather than products) provides advice, friendly tips, comments, encouragement, reviews, ideas and even prose (short and long) for free on a daily basis. The undergirding philosophy is most often called "content marketing."

Content Marketing
For a writer, content marketing basically means letting your writing advertise for you. (Rather than some expensive and/or annoying advertisement that gives the potential reader no enjoyment at all.)

Of course the trick is to employ content marketing as a means of personal brand building while still managing to make money. If a writer opts to sell her own personal brand how can she go about making money if she regularly gives work away for free or next to it?

Most people would say something like by building trust or providing convenience. Personally I'm still trying to figure this last part out. Honestly, I'm not currently making enough money to sustain being a full time writer supporting his family (not for much longer anyway).

But if I understand the idea, I am to make myself available enough and valuable enough to readers until they are willing to plop down a few bucks for a cleaner formatted product (over something they might read on my blog or on a free reading site like Wattpad), and/or until they trust that my next product will be worth a few bucks. And the next one after that, and so on and so forth.

Converts Over Sales
At that point I've made a convert not just a sale. There is no doubt in my mind converts are harder to make than sales. I've seen very poorly written and wonderfully marketed books generate momentary sales (quite a lot of them actually). But these sort of sales make a career will not. Ultimately a career as novelist is what I'm striving for. So for now I'll continue to strive for selling myself as a personal brand, even if the profit margin is low. When my brand becomes a shining beacon, people will be more than willing to pay.

To sample my brand, head on over to my blog where my Lost DMB Filessplash page will enlighten you, or check out my author page on Amazon. If in the long run I make a convert or two from this post, then the blood, sweat and tears* shed during the writing will all be worth it.

(*the sweat and tears are figurative.)

Buy Now @ Amazon Kindle
Genre - Action Thriller / Horror / Zombie 
Rating - PG13
Connect with David Mark Brown on FacebookTwitter & GoodReads


This giveaway and post is a part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash tour.

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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Marketing: Creating the Perfect Online Dating Profile

- Guest Post by D.S. White defines marketing as
“the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.”

To have any degree of success in the online dating arena takes a certain amount of savvy but most times it seems to be just trial and error. So what if we understand and employ the techniques of marketing within our online search?

For instance, if we see enrollment on a dating Web site as the process, our introduction and/or description as our sales pitch, the man or woman we aim to attract as the market, and ourselves as the product–we’ve identified the key factors in our marketing plan and we are then ready to begin.


As with any marketing plan in order to promote our product, we must know our product and to whom it appeals. Now marketing ourselves differs from marketing other products in that, due to survey results or consumer reaction we can’t overtly be recalled, discontinued or revamped; however, if we are not true to ourselves the results will be adversely affected and our profile may not be recalled like an object but ignored and still end up in need of a revamp.

The solution? Knowing ourselves, our style of communication, our dating/relationship do’s and don’ts and staying within those parameters--the honesty of being true to ourselves will ring true loud and clear. That being said, how does that translate into a plan of action?

Here are some questions we must ask ourselves before setting up a profile:

  1. Why am I using the online arena? Lack of time, shy, overweight, last resort, no prospects in my immediate vicinity? Why?
  2. Which dating site should I choose? Have I done the necessary research to choose the one(s) that suit(s) me?
  3. Do I have realistic expectations of what enrollment means?
  4. Do I have a targeted deadline or am I in it for the long haul? Am I just dating or relationship minded?
  5. What are my deal breakers? Kids, pets, smoking, religion, weight, ethnicity, location, relocation, financial income, education? What?

Once you’ve answered those questions (honestly) you’re ready to begin your enrollment. Whichever site you choose the following tips work across the board as ingredients for the “perfect” profile:


  • Upload clear, concise, recent picture (no cutoff arms or hands, no blurry resolution, within a year, three months preferable)
  • Make sure it represents the you, you would like to meet (no photo shopping)
  • Use your mental attributes (sense of humor, proper spelling/grammar)
  • Hobbies (create a meeting ground by mentioning your hobbies)
  • Be positive, reinforce likes not the dislikes
  • Practice honesty but not info dumping (unless you’re a contestant on the TV Show Baggage, a bullet list of your virtues/flaws should be nowhere in sight.)

Right about now, someone is probably thinking, now she’s really taking this thing way too seriously. To which I say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire or Evan Marc Katz of, Dr. Phil of and Star Jones of AOL would all be out of jobs.


We’ve answered all the questions, Chosen site(s), Uploaded fabulous photos and made witty engaging statements in our profile.  Now we just sit back and wait for the emails to roll in….right?


Our distribution of our product to the customer stage is crucial, especially if you’re a female. We outnumber males horribly on most online dating sites.  Ergo, if you are not logged on, you will most likely not get much email. Now there are a few discerning folk who will email anyway, however the majority work with who are visible.

Log in once or twice a day. Check out the forums, groups and chat rooms. You want to ease into it, observe the lay of the land, make a few witty comments and then leave. That way you are able to suss out if it is a desirable thread, group or chat room before it gets associated with you. There are liars online as well as in the real world, so despite whatever attraction you may feel, please use common sense and caution. If it quacks like a duck, it’s usually…a duck.


This giveaway and post is a part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash tour.

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Monday, 6 August 2012

Guest Post & $10 Gift Card Giveaway: The Marshals of Journey Creek series


An auditor seeks protection for her daughter from an ex-fiancé after an irate client threatens. Does it add up to trouble or love?

A Routine Audit? Hardly.

Red flags—including some goon who's following her—raise McKinley Frasier's suspicions that numbers don't add up at the insurance firm. When someone tries to snatch McKinley's daughter from school, she turns to police officer and ex-fiance, Renner Crossman—the cop who walked out on her a month before their wedding. But Renner's not the same guy who broke her heart ten years ago. He calls himself a "new man." She trusts the new Renner with her daughter's safety...but what about her heart?


A brutal murder...a devastated life rebuilt...where one journey ends, another begins.

Short Blurb: A Deputy US marshal suffers remorse over his role in an innocent man’s death. A widow finally pieces together the shattered fragments of her life. A runaway teenager brings them together. An angry father wrenches them apart. Can God heal their hearts and shower them with blessings of forgiveness?


Devastated after the brutal murder of her husband, Chelsea Hammond vows never to love another lawman. Intent on rebuilding her shattered life, she turns her focus to helping troubled teens. But when an angry father bent on retaliation, threatens her, Chelsea must turn to the one man she never thought to trust: Deputy U.S. Marshal Trey Colten.

Trey wants only to protect Chelsea, but she blames him for her husband’s death. Trey can relate. He blames himself, also. As danger lurks, Trey begs Chelsea to heed his warnings. He let down one Hammond. He won’t let down another—especially one who now holds his heart.

When Chelsea is snatched from her home, can she put aside her fear, and trust Trey with her life? Can she forgive him for destroying her past and let him help to rebuild her future?

Where one journey ends, another begins…



After an injury forces Deputy U.S. Marshal Sage Michaelson off duty, he heads to his hometown with two things on his mind: recuperating and reevaluating, but Sage can’t refuse his best friend’s plea to keep a protective eye on his little sister after someone ransacks her house. But Delaney’s not so little anymore—and definitely not the young “Dane” Sage remembers.

Flight Medic Delaney Hunt has loved Sage forever. But, he’s all about control and order while she embraces life and takes risks. As much as the idea appeals to her, she doesn’t need Sage looking over her shoulder. But when things go wrong and she finds herself hanging by her fingertips, who does she call to rescue her?

Will Delaney ever be the woman Sage wants by his side? Can Sage learn to live by grace, recognizing that God is in control? Can they overcome their fears to embrace life together?

My Journey into the Literary World

- Guest Post By Dora Hiers

I’m not one of those writers who dreamed of putting words on paper from an early age. I spent my entire life in the job force working my way up from the bottom, starting with a beverage distributor, then the apartment industry, and later a school district. I moved up the corporate ladder, from bookkeeper to Accountant II, where I performed and reviewed hundreds of audits, earning an Associates Degree in Accounting in the process. 
When our oldest son developed an extreme intolerance to school, I dropped out of the workforce to become a stay-at-home mom. When he graduated (thank God!) and my younger son didn’t want me hanging out at school with him anymore, I knew I needed something else to do.
My husband suggested that I should be a travel agent. We could travel around the globe for free or at a reduced cost. Not a good idea for a homebody.
My heart said write.
What? After spending more than ten years writing and reviewing audit reports, why would I want to write? And unlike most writers will tell you, I was not born with a pen in my hand. Unless you count a red pen.
But, ideas bounced around in my head, like angry ping-pong balls and wouldn’t leave me alone.
Have you ever read a book and thought you could write it better?
Well, I actually tried it. I wrote my first manuscript. I sent it out to a handful of publishers and agents, but after a few generic rejections, I tucked it deep in the closet. I was finished.
Mmm. Not quite. You need to practice before you get good at something, right? Well, I told myself that first book was my practice, but it’s still buried deep in the closet.
I soaked up a few online fiction-writing courses and attended a writer’s conference. I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, Carolina Christian Writers, and a critique group.
The writing bug kept stinging. The idea for my second book, Journey’s End, germinated from a newspaper article. Intrigued, I played the “what if” game until I came up with the premise, which ended up nothing like the original article, and I wrote another book.
I submitted Journey’s End and received a few more rejection letters. This time, though, the rejections cited specific issues or problem areas to change and offered recommendations.
I made the changes and pressed on. In 2010, a friend from CCW directed me to White Rose Publishing. I submitted to them, and on New Year’s Eve in 2010 some five years after I started down this crazy writing road, I received this response, “I’d love to add Journey’s End to the White Rose Publishing line-up.” Can you think of a better way to end one year and to begin another? Who needs fireworks?
The first two books in the Marshals of Journey Creek series, Journeys End and Journey’s Edge, are available now. The third book, Journey’s Embrace will release soon.
Life has changed since I started writing. My fire chief hubby seems almost scared to go to lunch with me. 
One day, we were eating at Buffalo Wild Wings. I needed his expertise and contacts in plotting my current book, which at the time was Journey’s Embrace.
“So, honey. I could use your help. I need a way to crash a plane.” I said.
His eyebrows practically arched off his head. His gaze darted around the room. A couple local police officers sat a few tables away. Hubby nodded at them, then leaned back and inhaled, deep and shaky. “OK. Crashing a plane. Hmm.”
“Yeah. Or maybe a poison.” That swirled around in my head for about thirty seconds. “Yeah, poison might actually work better. Just enough of a drug to make the pilot a little woozy, but not enough to kill him.”
My husband scrunched his face and hunched his generous body lower in the bench. In the smallest voice he’s capable of, which would still be booming, he said, “Poison. OK. Give me this afternoon. I’ll make some phone calls and find you something to work with.”
A head from a nearby booth swiveled in our direction and frowned. The man leaned toward his lunch partner and whispered, began frantically punching numbers into a cell phone.
My husband bolted to his feet and held out a hand. “You ready to go?”
He threw a desperate glance over his shoulder, waved apologetically at the police officers, and hustled me out the door.
I’m thankful for my real life hero. And that we live in a small town.
What an exciting journey this has been! Whatever road you’re traveling, I pray God blesses your journey!


Meet Dora Hiers:
After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son didn’t want her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing heart racing, God-gracing books. Dora belongs to the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Carolina Christian Writers. Her first inspirational romance, Journey’s End, released with White Rose Publishing in 2011, and her second, Journey’s Edge released in March 2012. White Rose also contracted her third book in the Marshals of Journey Creek series, Journey’s Embrace, and her first short romance, Small Town Treasure. Dora and her husband make their home in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

AUTHOR ONLINE: Website | Email | Blog | Facebook | Twitter


Dora will be awarding one $10 GC to to one randomly drawn commenter at every stop during the tour as well as to the host with the most comments.

Giveaway open INTERNATIONALLY and ends August 10th, 2012!  All you have to do is comment in this post to enter this giveaway WITH your email ID.

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