Monday, February 25, 2013

Cover Reveal: Pandora's Mistake

Just thought I'd share the cover with you guys for my next book (a novella and prequel) called Pandora's Mistake. It will be available for free.

It's about Pandora and the real reason she opened the box-to save her true love.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Interview with Georgina Hannan

I'd like to welcome YA Horror Romance author, Georgina Hannan to our blog.

1.      When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was about fourteen. I started a romance story in a collection of notebooks and my friend joined in with me for a bit. Unfortunately a lot of that story was lost so I have been re-writing it and updating it ever since.

2.      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
No, I used to want to be a teacher!

3.      What drew you to writing young adult stories?
Well as I started when I was fourteen it was my age group and still is just. I like writing about the way younger people see and feel about relationships and situations as it’s a lot different to an adult.

4.      Where does your inspiration for these stories come from?
Good question! I’m not really sure, sometimes it’s just a random idea or its adapted from a dream or an advert or something in my life.

5.      What has your experience been like publishing with
They have been very good and very helpful. There have been a few teething issues but mostly they have been very accommodating and I would recommend them.

6.      What was your favourite chapter to write and why?
My favourite chapter would probably have to be Chapter 8 as I enjoyed writing it from different views. I won’t say any more than that J

7.      Where is your favourite place to write?
My favourite place is my bedroom at my desk, which I just recently set-up J

8.      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
My only routine is I sit at my desk and I have to listen to music otherwise I become distracted by the TV programmes.

9.      Do you use a computer/laptop for your first draft or are you a pen and paper writer? 
I used to use pen and paper as I knew I’d always have it with me, however I hated typing it all up so I use my laptop now.

10.   How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
The characters are usually a mixture of names I like and surnames of random people or first names of people I know with different surnames.

11.   Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it?
I learnt more about the Dartmoor area and the places available to visit there. I also learnt that editing is very hard but very rewarding.

12.   How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Not that long a few months or so really. It’s the editing that takes the longest for me.

13.   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?
I was ecstatic! I was so very excited and I kept touching it and showing it to everyone.

14.   Who are some of your favourite authors? 
Lauren Kate, Karen Mahoney, JK Rowling, and many more.

15.   Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Yes I have, not sure there are many writers out there who can say they haven’t! I tend to do a few things; mess around on Facebook for a bit, text a few of my friends and family, make a nice hot chocolate and re-read what I have written. If that still doesn’t work then I put a film on and go back it after it. There has only been one occasion where I had to give up trying for the day as it just wasn’t happening.

16.   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Keep at it. Try editing your own work before giving it to a professional as it makes you so much closer to your own work and teaches you a skill.

17.   Would you share a deep dark secret about you with us?
A deep dark secret, gosh I’m not sure I can think of one! Let’s see... I once tried writing a raunchy scene but I made myself feel embarrassed so deleted it!

Georgina Hannan's novel, Cursed, is available in both paperback and ebook formats. It's worth taking a look at.


A young adult story about a group of four friends who embark on a holiday together to the gorgeous countryside of Dartmoor, Devon. Each of them hoping for an adventure, something they will always remember. However it isn’t long before they get want they want.

The group are plagued by noises after hearing the myths and legends of the area. Is it just their overactive imaginations or is there a visitor in the spare room who is trying to get their attention?

Join the group on a spectacular journey as they discover what Dartmoor has to offer.

Purchase on Smashwords or Amazon.



Visit the author online.


Monday, February 18, 2013


Visit T.J. Loveless' blog within the next four days to enter a contest to win a copy of my novel for free, a mousepad, and a mug!

Click Here To Visit TJ Loveless' blog to enter the contest

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Four Tricks For Getting More Retweets

Besides making your tweets interesting, here are some tricks to get people to retweet you more...

1. Don't tweet the same thing over and over again.

I don't use any sites where I schedule tweets ahead of time, so they can be posted for me. If you see me tweeting something it means I was at my computer during that very moment typing it up. While I think there is nothing wrong with scheduling tweets, if you're going to do it, make sure no one can tell that you do.

There's this guy that I follow and I remember laughing at a quote he posted and retweeting it. The thing is, I saw that quote again the next day and the day after that and the day after that. He had obviously scheduled that same quote to be posted over and over again. I almost unfollowed him for it because I didn't feel like he was really there. I knew he used some web-site to post his thoughts, while I wanted to talk to a person.

I didn't unfollow him, but I never retweeted him again. He's already retweeting himself, so he doesn't need me to help him with it.

Even announcements of your book can be reworded every time. One day, talk about how cheap your book is and provide a link to it. Another day, post a link to a blog review. You can also post various quotes from the book or reviews, changing them daily. Or write a new short blurb every time. Write interesting facts about your book or announce a price drop.

Change it and don't do it too often, so people feel like they are talking to a person instead of a robot.

2. Tweet Quotes or Funny Thoughts

Liuks are nice and I click on them occasionally when I'm on twitter, but far more than anything, I enjoy reading a short sentence about people's thoughts or a funny quote they came across.

On twitter, everything happens so quickly that even someone with a great attention span has trouble concentrating on any tweet for long.

So don't post links all the time. Break it up with your thoughts or silly ideas you've come across. People will remember you more and be entertained by you. They'll be more likely to retweet you and read your links when those do show-up.

3. Make it into a game.

One way I get a lot of retweets is by making my tweets into a game. "Retweet this if you believe in ghosts, favorite it if you disagree." People love to give their opinions and it only takes a second for them to do so. So they'll love participating in this challenge and you'll get several retweets about it!

Relate the question to you as a person and what you are trying to represent on twitter. For instance, I am a writer and I want to reach readers, so I might ask something like "Retweet if you love e-books, favorite if you prefer paperback." I make the retweet about e-books because all I have available is e-books and I want people who like e-books and their friends to read my tweet.

Try it! It's fun to read people's opinions too!

4. Retweet other people

People are more open-minded to giving back to people who gave to them first as well.

And a list of things not to do . . . 

1. Do not beg for retweets

It makes you seem desperate. Not only that, but people might judge you. Why should I retweet someone who has to beg to get retweets?

2. Do not demand retweets

If you demand that someone retweet you because you retweet them all the time (or feel that they owe you a favor in some way), then all you are going to do is lose a friendship. They'll think you have a bad attitude. Do things for others not expecting anything in return and they'll often give you stuff in return anyway. But not everyone will.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Romantic Reading Challenge 2013 Canceled

For personal reasons, I have decided to delete my romantic reading challenge reviews for this year. I will not be posting anymore. But I will still keep reading and hope you read along with me!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mika and Izzy Howling

This is something I do with my dogs almost everyday. I start howling with them and they howl, too.

I played this video for them after I uploaded it and they started howling after listening to themselves howl. It was very funny.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Interview with T.J. Loveless

I'd like to welcome author and editor T.J. Loveless to my blog. She's a good friend, who has supported me on a lot of occasions. I've read some of her writing and she's excellent at creating stories. Her blog posts are often humorous and enjoyable to read!

I'm also featured on her blog today, doing a guest post:

And on February 18th, you can visit her blog again to enter a contest she is hosting where you could win a free copy of my novel, a mug, and a mousepad!

Here's the interview...

1. Name three random things about yourself.

Trying to think of things I haven't said yet! LOL  1.) I am an extrovert now, but until the age of 10, I was painfully shy.  2.) I have a secret penchant for cartoons. Including Spongebob.  3.) I would be more than 80% gray, at the age of 40, if I didn't color regularly.

2. What made you want to be an editor?

I discovered as a Critique Partner and Beta Reader that I love to watch, and be a part of, the birth of a book. I adore watching the story, and getting a peek into someone else. I wanted to be a part of the publishing process, to point to a book on the shelf and say, "I helped with that!"  Plus I get to help others break all the rules. Must be the rebel in me...

3. What's your favorite thing about being an editor?

After I've sent the book to the author for revisions, I have to say my favorite thing is when I receive it for a beta read. To see their voices no longer cluttered amid redundancy, repeated phrases, etc. To watch the strength of the book make it stand on its own, the author's vision of the book now loud and clear.

4. What is the most common mistake you see writers making?

Redundant phrases. Granted, we all write in passive, etc, but redundancy is the biggest mistake. Adds to the word count and can be frustrating to read over and over. Repeated thoughts and actions from earlier in the MS, sometimes causing timeline issues. Or the MC and second character walking and phrases such as "we both"  ...

5. Is it hard to balance being a writer and an editor?

It can be, for me. When I'm assigned a book, I dive in headfirst. I'll spend fifty or more hours on it, even the very well written. It's hard to balance strengthening the writing and ensuring the voice isn't lost. I am obsessive, so I end up analyzing every word, phrase, dialogue, etc. I've been told I'm a pretty tough editor, but no complaints about the end result.

The writing side of me is losing at the moment. It is very hard to go from editor mode and switch into The Writer's Zone. I tried writing after editing, found myself editing the WIP in rough draft - something I promised myself I wouldn't do. It can take two days for me to get out of Editor and into Writer. So now I am prioritizing the days off, ensuring I can switch gears. It seems to be working. I wrote 10k words over 10 hours the other day. With no current assignments, I might be able to continue and finish Going Thru Hell.

6. What writing projects are you working on right now?

I am finishing Going Thru Hell, a full length novel about a mother's choices and starting a short story about a psychiatrist to creatures of fantasy. Researching and asking a lot of questions about self publishing. I'm going to dive in with the short stories, simply because I don't think I could find a publisher for 30k - 40k length novels.  And enter the query trenches with Going Thru Hell by mid February.

I'm also starting a monthly spotlight of self published authors, complete with giveaways and guest blogs, in an effort to dispel the myths and stereotypes. I think its time to show the options available, either as a writer OR a reader.

7. What things have you had to give up in order to have more time for writing and editing?

Sanity and sleep. I take pride in my editing and writing, and can get a little obsessive when a project is in front of me. I also have a husband and teenager, and the balancing act can be intimidating at times. 

I also lost a few friends when I announced my new position...they tried to use it as a way to circumvent the process. It hurt. I'm not an Acquisitions Editor - I'm a Copy/Content Editor for starters. And if I have to trudge through the muck and mire to be published, it is part of the journey. I resented others trying to use me to fly over the mud for their own work.  I ended up not saying another word, although I'm very proud of what I do.


Where to find T.J. Loveless online...

Friday, February 1, 2013

I'm finished!!!....Oh wait! I'm not....

There's nothing more satisfying than writing the last two words of any manuscript: "The End." You've slaved for weeks, months, or maybe even years to type up the ideas that swirl around in your head. You've agonized over trivial things like punctuation and what words should be used to express your point in the best way. You've come up with conflict until it snowballs at the climax near the end. Now you rest with a blissful smile on your face because you're done....

...Except that you aren't done at all.

Soon, you find out that you need to re-read that whole 50,000+ word document and self-edit. As you go through it, the rosy glasses you once wore fall off your face. You realize that chapter ten isn't emotionally compelling enough, but you can make it moreso by adding a thousand words to chapter nine. You need to change the gender of the best friend of your main character and add romantic tension between him and someone else to spice up the story. You're already getting a headache just thinking about the mess you have to clean.

But then you re-write it. I'm done! You scream to the world! You want everyone to know how hard you worked and how ridiculously difficult doing all that was. You've worked hundreds of hours and been paid nothing, but it doesn't matter because now the whole story is complete.

And then you give it to your critique partners. Your face falls as you receive your manuscript back all marked in red. But I just finished it, you whine. And one of my critique partners wants me to change the main character's best friend back into a girl? So what if they have a good point?! All that hard work will be for nothing!

You groan, but you sit down. You've come so far, you can't give up now. As you follow their critiques, you see your manuscript getting better every day. Your heart swells up in pride again until you're finished.

This time, you tell everyone that you're done more hesitantly. I thought I was done two other times, but I was wrong. What if I'm wrong again?

And the cruel trick of the universe is that you are absolutely correct that you're wrong! Because once you figure out how to publish your book, you give it to your editor and they scribble notes across all the margins. It's like all that work you did before didn't matter. Your main character should have two best friends, both a boy AND a girl and the romantic tension should be between the two of them. It will make the story great, your editor insists!

You sigh as you do more revisions, glaring at the computer screen. You hate your manuscript now and you just want to be finished with it already.

Once you run out of red marks and notes, you stare at it anxiously. You ask people if it's ready to be published. Did you re-read it? Yes, you say! Did an editor read it? Yes, you shout! Your voice gets louder and joins a chorus of well-wishers. It's time to publish your book. It was like this would never happen! Finally, you're done....

Except you're not really done. Now that you've completed the first book, it's time for book number 2...

Welcome to an eternity of running through a hamster wheel! Don't try to get off because you love it too much to stop!