Monday, April 16, 2018

You're never too old

I'm feeling all my years this month. All those doctors visits I've been having speak of my age and my son turns eight this week! Where is time going?

I just need to remember...

Monday, April 9, 2018

Review for The Fall Girl

In the news business, owning the headlines comes with a deadly cost.

JJ Cavendish thought she'd escaped her dark past. After publishing her tell-all memoir, she's ready to settle down with Claire and devote her attention to running a scrappy online news venture. But when her new business partner exploits JJ's notoriety to keep the company afloat, avoiding the limelight becomes impossible.

As JJ keeps hungry movie producers at bay, she fields an intriguing offer from an old enemy that could help her expose a cyber bully, stop a string of suicides, and get her company the scoop it needs. To bring the story to light, JJ and her team must brave the darkest corners of the web and hope her own name doesn't make the headlines in the process.

My review:
It has been a bumpy ride, but JJ Cavendish is right where she wants to be. She's about to marry the love of her life, has a thrilling career, and a family that she adores. But it's all shattered when her new company teeters on the edge and someone from her past comes out of the shadows. JJ's business partner weaves secrets trying to save their business, but JJ is trapped in the worst of it. If they manage to pull it off, they could save not only their company, but people's lives as well. Yet is it all worth it if JJ loses the woman and the family she loves?

Another amazing novel from T.B. Markinson. Fantastic intrigue with a mystery hanging over JJ's head. I loved that I didn't know who to trust. It was wonderfully tangled and could have gone so many ways, but it all came together perfectly at the end. My favorite thing about Markinson's writing is her extraordinary characterization. Each character is complex with many layers. I loved seeing JJ's professional drive and how she is in the quiet family moments. I'm in awe of Claire's dedication to JJ and her family, her immense strength even when everything is coming down around them. Cora, JJ's business partner, can be ruthless in business, but underneath it all, she has a good heart.

I also liked the way Markinson tackled the issue of cyber bullying. It's a serious problem in our modern age. While the cyber bully didn't actually kill anyone with their own hands, they still ruined lives. More than just the lives of the poor teens that committed suicide. There were the friends and families too.

Buy links:

Find T.B. here:

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

#IWSG for April 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan!

April's optional IWSG question: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

Years ago, I would have given up when things were bad. Yet I always came back to writing. I couldn't help it. I'm a writer through and through. These days, I'm more easily motivated. I read a good book, watch a great show, take a walk, try something new, or talk with supportive writer friends. I will keep on writing even if no one ever reads what I write because I love it. I'll keep writing until the day when I can plug my mind into a computer and just download my stories that way. Though, I'm not certain I'd really want that sort of implant. But that's a question for another day!

This month's insecurities: Time is being pinched. So much to do away from the computer, and I have two big projects I want to work on. I'm trying to multitask these two manuscripts, but one is dominating the other. I let it have its way because I know I must take advantage of the flow when it's strong. Yet I feel guilty about letting the other sit. Both will get done, but not as soon as I'd hoped. And it's driving me batty.

IWSG news: Unfortunately I had to step away from being part of the IWSG admin team. It was a difficult choice, and I agonized over it. I love what the IWSG offers the writing community. It's such an incredible group. And the admins, holy crow! They are hardworking, organized, and awesome. I learned a lot from being part of the team.

Please welcome Shannon Lawrence as the new IWSG team member. She'll be taking over the newsletter. Be sure to send her all your news to celebrate with the group. Good luck and have fun, Shannon!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Signup for Free Romance Promo

Attention Romance Authors!

Don't miss out on your chance to get involved with this awesome free promo opportunity. Fantasy Book Giveaways is hosting a bit sale and giveaway. When a big group of writers get together to promote an event, we have a huge social reach. All you have to do is shout out about it and make certain your romances are free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

Find a new book boyfriend and have a spring fling!

You can sign up HERE.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Word Witch Wednesday - three marketing myths

It's one of our responsibilities as writers to research things. Not just stuff we'll need for our stories, but marketing, websites, covers, etc. There are a wide range of things we need to keep on top of to remain marketable. And it can be exhausting.

Many articles tell us the things we must do. But as I've cruised around the internet, I am reminded there is nothing we must do. There are things we should do, but every writer's journey is different. What works for one person might not work for others. We each must try out various strategies to see what works for ourselves. It's frustrating there's no magical formula, but if you're determined, you'll find a way.

Here are three marketing myths I've discovered in my research adventures:

1. "Create an author tagline." I've heard again and again this is essential in branding yourself. It does help in letting readers know your genre, but what if you write in more than one genre? It doesn't work for you. Many of the bestsellers' sites I've visited do not have author taglines. The majority of them have "New York Times Bestseller" to accompany their name on site banners. It says nothing about their genres. They use other aspects of their sites to let readers know what they write, and you can too.

2. "The newsletter is the new, big thing. Every writer must have one." Nope. Not essential if you have another way you're connecting with readers. Newsletters are bigger with some genres than others. Romance readers love them. Horror readers, not so much. Most bestsellers have newsletters, but they maybe send them out twice a year. I've signed up for ones that I have never received an email from.

3. "If the story is fantastic, it will sell your books." There are so many amazing stories that get buried under the millions of other books out there. What helps is to have a professional cover. It tells the reader what kind of genre it is at a glance and what to anticipate in the story. While I've seen authors that sell well with simple covers consisting only of text and maybe a symbol or an object, they usually already have an audience. A gorgeous cover can draw readers to you even if they don't know your name.

Don't exhaust yourself trying to figure out your marketing formula. Trust me. I know from experience how maddening it can be. Do what you're comfortable with. Do what you enjoy. Because if you lose your joy, you might lose you drive to write. Marketing has chased many aspiring writers away. Don't let it crush you.

What marketing myths have you discovered?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
None of us may see a leprechaun or find his pot of gold, but I hope to give you something just as good. Free books!
For five days only, you can get the first three books of my thrilling urban fantasy series, TOTEM for free!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations Release!

Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations
by Shannon Lawrence

Release Date: March 15, 2018
Horror short story collection

A collection of frights, from the psychological to the monstrous. These tales are a reminder of how much we have to fear: A creature lurking in the blue, sludgy depths of a rest area toilet; a friendly neighbor with a dark secret hidden in his basement; a woman with nothing more to lose hellbent on vengeance; a hike gone terribly wrong for three friends; a man cursed to clean up the bodies left behind by an inhuman force. These and other stories prowl the pages of this short story collection.


From Shifting Sands:

"When the next day went much the same--sand slid out of his phone receiver, his laptop--he left wok early, citing an appointment. But when he opened his car door to leave, his seat was full of sand, two words etched into it: NO ESCAPE."

Buy the Book

Also available from Apple and other countries through Amazon

About the Author

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes mostly fantasy and horror. Her stories can be found in magazines and anthologies, including Space and Time Magazine, Dark Moon Digest, and Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things. When she's not writing, she's hiking the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there's always a place to hide a body or birth a monster.

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