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Category Archives: New Writer Tips

Tips and tools for new and established writers

What is MFRW?

MFRW is Marketing for Romance Writers, a peer-oriented mentoring group open to the entire literary community. Ask marketing-related questions, request help, advice, and opinions. You can ask for opportunities to join other authors in promotional efforts. You can learn the business aspects of writing. What’s it cost? Nada, zip, zilch, zero — just come join up and share.

Marketing for Romance Writers promotes for its members on most social media. Get your book cover pinned on one of the MFRW Pinterest boards, and share your tweets on MFRW’s monthly Retweet Day. The hashtags #MFRWorg #MFRWauthor and #MFRWhooks help you promote.

If you have questions about marketing your books, join us. The MFRW motto is “seek, teach, share, learn, succeed.”

MFRW was founded in 2006 by Kayelle Allen, who heads the group to this day, guiding its direction and overseeing the numerous volunteer staff members that help it run. The group began with a dozen friends, and today boasts over 2400 members, and over 7000 members make up our Facebook group. We have a multiple award-winning magazine. We have over 400 followers on Goodreads and feature our members books there in the MFRW Book Place group. On Pinterest, we are followed by over 1500 people, have 55 genre related boards, and almost 1000 pins. Want your book cover pinned on our site? Even if you don’t have a Pinterest account, you can take advantage of our presence there. Join our Yahoo group today and you’ll get information. Services and membership are free.

MFRW Volunteer Staff

Alice Orr, Barbara Donlon Bradley, Carmen Stefanescu, Emerald, Jessica Cale, Kayelle Allen, Libby McKinmer, Lisa Lowe, Lyncee Shillard, Michelle Davis, Mona Karel, Nicole Morgan, Paloma Beck, Reet Singh, Rochelle Weber, Tina Gayle

MFRW Online

Yahoo group (where you can get help) https://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/
Twitter https://twitter.com/MFRW_ORG
Kayelle Allen on Twitter https://twitter.com/kayelleallen
Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/mfrwauthors/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/161092-the-mfrw-book-place
Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/mfrworg/

The Werewolves and Me: To Break a Warrior King's Curse by Kryssie Fortune @kryssiefortune #RLFblog #PNRGuest post by Kryssie Fortune
“Write what you know,” people say.
“It makes your writing come alive,” they say.
But I write about werewolves, vampires, former military men, and regency heroines. I don’t know any of them personally.
So, for my Scattered Siblings series, I cheated.
In my book, To Wed a Werewolf, the beta wolf, Giles, whose lies come home to roost is getting married. My son had just had an upmarket wedding at a five-star hotel. That went straight into my book – only with a werewolf bride and groom.
My second Scattered Siblings book, To Break a Warrior King’s Curse – formerly Curse of the Fae King – explains why the siblings are scattered and what the Fae’s Warrior King is doing about it. Then there’s my heroine, Meena. She lives in Whitby, the homeland of British Goths. I know the place well. Every place mentioned until Meena and Leonidas end up in the otherworld is visitable and beautiful. Also, my heroine’s a witch. Well… I’m no witch, but I have pagan leanings and Wicca fascinates me. The bit about it being too cold to work sky clad came straight from a talk I heard at the British Pagan conference a few years back.
In To Mate a Werewolf, Ellie, my heroine is a cook who tempts the werewolf alpha with her cakes. If I’m not writing, I’m baking. Add in that I’ve coached athletics and my daughter ran the London marathon, then it’s no surprise Ellie likes to run. I felt like I knew Ellie before I put pen to paper.
Another of my heroines, Viola in To Seduce an Omega has crippled knee. While I am no cripple, I’ve had trouble with my right knee for years. Adding her pain into the story came easy to me.
I’m Sagittarius, which means I get itchy feet. A few years back, I did a tour of the historical sites in Greece that I thought I’d only ever get to read about. Of course, there was fodder there for another story. In Seduced by the Vampire, Claimed by the Werewolf my vampire is a former Spartan. My werewolf is a former Macedonian prince, and although it’s never mentioned in the book, I had him pegged as a forefather of Alexander the Great. He certainly has the same coloring.
While I didn’t know many witches, werewolves, fae, or vampires, I can still put reality into my fantasy novel.

To Break a Warrior King’s Curse by Kryssie Fortune

Leonidas can fight anything except dark magic.
He inherited his father’s curse along with the Fae throne. Thanks to a rogue witch, if he doesn’t bed a different woman every month, he’ll turn feral. A man can only stand so much meaningless sex. No wonder he hates witches.
When he meets Meena, he intends to seduce her, not love her.
Meena’s a witch who never developed any powers.
Banished to the mundane world, she masquerades as human. When she accidentally bonds with an escaped war dragon, Leonidas comes to reclaim it. His enemies strip him of his powers, and his month’s almost up.
What happens when he discovers she’s a witch? And how will this warrior king cope when his curse kicks in and forces him into another woman’s bed.
Please note this book was previously sold with the title Curse of the Fae King.
Amazon USA https://www.amazon.com/Break-Warrior-Kings-Scattered-Siblings-ebook/dp/B079JTG5B9/
Amazon Uk https://www.amazon.co.uk/Break-Warrior-Kings-Scattered-Siblings-ebook/dp/B079JTG5B9
Amazon Canada https://www.amazon.ca/Break-Warrior-Kings-Scattered-Siblings-ebook/dp/B079JTG5B9/
Amazon Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/Break-Warrior-Kings-Scattered-Siblings-ebook/dp/B079JTG5B9/

Kryssie Fortune Social Media

Kryssie reads everything and anything, from literary fiction to sizzling romance. Her earliest memory is going to the library with her mother. She can’t have been more than two at the time. Reading, especially when a book’s hot and explicit, is more than a guilty pleasure. It’s an obsession.
Kryssie loves to visit historic sites, from Hadrian’s Wall to Regency Bath. The first book she fell in love with was Georgette Heyer’s The Unkown Ajax. After that, she devoured every regency book she could. After a while, they went out of fashion, but part of Kryssie’s psyche lives in Regency London. She longs to dance quadrilles and flirt behind fans. Of course, Kryssie’s heroines do far more than flirt.
Kryssie lives in Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast –about thirty miles from Whitby, where Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. She enjoys gardening, travel, and socializing with her author friends. You’d be surprised how many erotic romance authors live in the North of England.
Website http://kryssiefortune.wixsite.com/kryssie
Blog http://kryssiefortune.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter https://twitter.com/KryssieFortune
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KryssieFortune
Pinterest http://bit.ly/1OGFnjc
Goodreads http://bit.ly/2kxqabJ
Amazon Author Page http://amzn.to/2hA0ZVO

Going Indie by Cailin Briste @CailinBriste #RLFblog #amwriting #SciFiRomanceGoing Indie by Cailin Briste

As a traditionally published author, I’ve done most of the marketing for my sci-fi suspense romance novels. My publisher advised that I spend my time writing more books. That’s good advice. But I wasn’t ready to leave it at that. Going indie means having freedom.

Initially I focused on getting my name out there and building my author platform. (Social media, newsletters, and such.) Book sales would follow like B follows A. At least I hoped so. Hearing how well other authors had done in Kindle Unlimited, I decided I needed to take the plunge and gain new readers through that service. It Takes a Cat Burglar was written with that in mind.

The learning curve for Indie publishing was both easier and worse than I expected. The marketing wasn’t difficult because I’d done many similar things with my Sons of Tallav series published by Loose Id. There was just more of it. Hiring a professional editor was a no brainer, duplicating the process at my publisher. The real booger was formatting. Eventually I managed to create a beautiful Amazon eBook edition and release It Takes a Cat Burglar on May 7th.

Within days I realized the cover wasn’t right. I redid it but not in time for the first round of advertising. Cover matters. In June when the book went on sale I had a fabulous new cover. Still no huge rush to buy the book followed. Hmmm. A decision had to be made. Continue doing what didn’t seem to be working or change things up.

Thus, I’ve pulled It Takes a Cat Burglar from Kindle Select, so it will no longer appear in the Kindle Unlimited catalog. It also allows me to drop the price from $2.99 to $0.99. The book is also now available through Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play. My run in Kindle Unlimited wasn’t successful. I’m still a new author. If the program continues it may be more worthwhile for my books sometime in the future.

Meanwhile, I’ve taken my publisher’s advice and continue to write more books. I’m working on Rand: Son of Tallav the third in the Sons of Tallav series. Educated by the Master will release in October in the Cosmic Love Cabaret anthology. It’s a prequel to the fourth Sons of Tallav novel which will feature Master Trey. I’ve also started on Cade’s story in the A Thief in Love Suspense Romance series.

With It Takes a Cat Burglar priced at 99 cents I hope many more readers will discover the sexy thieves Darcelle Lebeau and Sebastian St. Croix.

 

Today’s featured book is It Takes a Cat Burglar: A Thief in Love Suspense Romance, a sci-fi suspense romance by Cailin Briste.

When Darcelle Lebeau throws off the invisible chains that keep her bound to her family, she discovers a new vocation. Tempted to enter the illegal playground of a man she nicknames Matou, she becomes a cat burglar in training. Deeply ensnared with each task he entices her to fulfill, she fails to discover his identity and true intentions.

Sebastian St. Croix, a wealthy businessman, has a dark side. He’s a thief, a cat burglar who steals art and historical objects. For one year, he trains Darcelle to become his assistant, remaining incognito, observing her from afar. His admiration grows along with his desire for her with every phase-one challenge she completes. Phase two will test the limits of his control. Hands-on personal training? Yes. Sex? No. With his sister’s happiness at stake, nothing, not even the tempting Darcelle Lebeau, can interfere with accomplishing the biggest break-in of his career.

Genre Sci-fi Romance, Romantic Suspense

Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R

When Darcelle Lebeau throws off the invisible chains that keep her bound to her family, she discovers a new vocation. Tempted to enter the illegal playground of a man she nicknames Matou, she becomes a cat burglar in training. Deeply ensnared with each task he entices her to fulfill, she fails to discover his identity and true intentions.

Sebastian St. Croix, a wealthy businessman, has a dark side. He’s a thief, a cat burglar who steals art and historical objects. For one year, he trains Darcelle to become his assistant, remaining incognito, observing her from afar. His admiration grows along with his desire for her with every phase-one challenge she completes. Phase two will test the limits of his control. Hands-on personal training? Yes. Sex? No. With his sister’s happiness at stake, nothing, not even the tempting Darcelle Lebeau, can interfere with accomplishing the biggest break-in of his career.

Publisher Hot Sauce Publishing
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Takes-Cat-Burglar-Thief-Romance-ebook/dp/B0727MJK45/

Cailin Briste Social Media

Cailin has been writing fiction for six years and non-fiction for two decades. Her non-fiction work has been published in magazines and in a non-fiction anthology. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, the RWA Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter, and the RWA Passionate Ink Chapter.

Cailin likes to flip convention on its head, creating a universe in which each planet is a study in different what ifs. What would happen to alpha men on a matriarchal planet? How would society handle it if girls born on their new planet developed empathic senses?
Website http://cailinbriste.com/
Blog http://cailinbriste.com/category/all-posts/
Street Team http://cailinbriste.com/cailins-street-team/
Twitter http://twitter.com/CailinBriste
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cailinbriste/
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/102592935378667862505
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/cailinbriste/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7413817.Cailin_Briste
Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cailin-briste
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Cailin-Briste/e/B00GSX9QVW

Liza shares a bit of history.
Why did humans come to Hope?
Because they not only destroyed Earth but then they ruined the first planet they escaped to, which called originally called Hope (then renamed it Hopeless as it became crammed full of formally rich and totally useless people). Always the optimist, or perhaps, simply lacking creativity, they name this planet Hope as well.
What did the fairies think about them naming their planet Hope?
They couldn’t care less. Frankly, naming a planet just seemed silly. But it amused them enough that they would name little rocks silly names like ‘Rocky’, paint them and give them to each other on the human’s silly holiday.
Since when the ship first arrived, the Fairies welcomed them and let them name the planet, the humans assumed they were the new masters. The three to four foot tall fairies, who looked like humans, since their wings were hidden, had happy demeanors and were most helpful finding them nice places to live. Thus, the humans were not frightened by the little people. In fact, due to a serious shortage of human women, the men were most happy to mate with the taller of the little women.
And this is exactly how Rana, our soon to be Teenage Queen came to be. Her father was a human, but her mother was a powerful fairy, and so is Rana. She’ll need it for the troubles ahead.
Rana is only sixteen when she becomes queen. Her first challenge is to quell an internal coup while a massive army storms the gates of her castle. Her enemies believe her to be a child, but she has powers they’ve never suspected. She also has great dreams for her people, and she will do whatever is necessary to make them happen, even marrying a prince she does not want.

Liza O’Connor Social Media

Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

 

An editor is a crucial piece of the publishing puzzle and your relationship can make or break a project. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.

There is something to be said about the rush you get when you finally type the words “THE END” into a manuscript. You have put your heart and soul into the page and for me, it was like I finally reached the top of a mountain. Little did I know it was just the first plateau.

I had been fortunate by this time to have worked with some of the best self-publishing authors in the business and knew that editing was going to be a beast. I was a first time author for goodness sake. I thought it would be perfect to team up with a good friend who wanted to get into editing. This played out like a bad horror movie where everyone could see the monster behind the curtain but you.

I first want to go on record that the editor in question is an amazing editor. She really did help polish The Awakening into what it is today. Also, had I continued working with her it would probably be 1,000 times better. Yet, I know it would have lost the harried style that I was truly going for. We ultimately parted ways amicably and I shelved my book for four years because I lost all confidence in the project.

Finally, I couldn’t stand seeing all the Facebook Memories showing me a project that I truly loved. I went through and got the story edited and finally pushed publish on it. I figure that it was never going to win a Pulitzer, but it is a fun addition to vampire lore that is worth telling.

So what advice do I have for someone who is finishing up their novel?

Do your research! Talk to your editor about what they like to read and do a first chapter edit. It gives both of you the opportunity to see if you want to work together.

Remember that as a self-published author, you are the boss. Don’t let anyone discourage you from publishing if that is what you want to do.

The editor is ultimately out to create the best version of the story. If you have done your research and know that they are a good fit, then trust what they are saying.

The Awakening by JP Adkins

What would you do if you found out you were genetically a Vampire? Would you embrace it or run? I have found that power is a strange
thing – sometimes it pulls you into places you never knew you would go. I have done things that most have only dreamed of; ran through walls, jumped off buildings but it all seems like folly.
I am what happens when genetics mutate, when the species collide, when the beauty can’t resist the beast. I can’t infect with my kiss, but I can awaken with my seed — if they are a mutation such as I.

JP Adkins Social Media

JP Adkins sees it as his mission in life to help you realize your dreams and to uplift your mood. He is a celebrated graphic ,web , and clothing designer, has helped many authors publish their books, and has recently published his first novel, The Awakening.

JP Adkins gets pleasure in finding ways to make life more beautiful for himself and those around him. His dream is to travel the country writing inspirational stories and leading meditations wherever he goes. He believes too many times we allow ourselves to quit trying because we tell ourselves we don’t know how, we don’t have the money, and we aren’t good enough. He wants to inspire others to take the inspired action required to design their lives. In his quest to serve the world, he has taken the first steps in ordainment in the Order of the Jedi. You Are Loved!

Dancing Fawn 

Author Ginger Simpson shares an opinion piece about reviewing books.

Sometimes I wonder if as an author
I should review the work of others. Before I was published, I read for the sheer
enjoyment, but now, after going through so many editing sessions and being whipped
into an actual author, I cannot read without my internal editor whispering in my
ear. I read with an eye for pitfalls I’ve been advised to avoid rather than losing
myself in the story as I once was able to do. Heck, before my debut novel, I hadn’t
even heard half the terms I hear now–headhopping, passive voice, transitions, etc..
Now the simplest mistakes keep me from really connecting with the characters. It
could be that the books I read all those years had been finely edited so assuming
a place in the heroine’s shoes came naturally.
Don’t get me wrong. I think editors
are an essential part of the process, and now when I read, I can definitely tell
the novices from the professionals. Is it fair to report to readers that I’ve found
areas in a story that should have been caught by an editor and the reader advised
to fix? I’m not sure. Does it make me come across as a “know it all?”
Trust me, I don’t. I learn a new rule every day, and the scary thing is that I’m
never sure that the rule is hard and fast.
It’s a fact that the majority of editors
working in small press are authors as well, and possibly some that haven’t been
writing very long themselves. Could it be they are just passing along what they’ve
learned? I’ve found that some of what I’ve been told isn’t exactly true, but I think
some of the examples I can share with you today make sense. For example: Overusing
He/She if you’ve made it clear whose POV your in at the moment. Read these two paragraphs
and see which sounds more polished.
John smelled Joan’s perfume as she
twirled by him on the dance floor. He envied the man who held her in his arms. He
believed she was the most beautiful woman in the room, and he vowed to ask her to
dance the next time the orchestra played a slow song. He intended to be the one
to take her home tonight.
John inhaled the sweet smell of Joan’s
perfume as she twirled by him on the dance floor. The man who held her in his arms
was one lucky guy. Before the evening ended, John intended to share a slow dance
with her, and if his prayers were answered, he’d be the one to take her home.
See, you don’t need he envied, he
believed, he intended. You’ve let the reader know by John enjoying the aroma of
Joan’s perfume that we’re in his POV, so anything you type should be interpreted
as his perspective.
Another pet peeve are needless tags.
It’s always best to use an action tag in place of he said, she said, but if you
end the dialogue with a question mark, do you really need to say, she asked? I think
the punctuation is a big hint. *smile* When only two people are in the room, using
the character’s names over and over becomes redundant. The reader is usually smart
enough to determine who is talking, and if you need to clarify, you can say something
like: “Are you crazy?” John’s eyes widened beneath a furrowed brow.
Editors become very important in keeping
the redundancy out of the story line. Authors don’t usually write an entire book
in one setting, so it’s very hard to remember everything you’ve already written.
For example: If you’ve pointed out to the reader that the heroine broke her leg
by falling off a horse, it isn’t necessary to repeat that information again in dialogue
with someone and then add it in a descriptive paragraph pages later. Readers, me
included, roll their eyes and say, “enough already…I know, I know.”
Since I don’t plot my stories and
find my memory isn’t what it used to be, I’ve taken to making notes about the physical
attributes of my characters. It’s quite easy to describe sky blue eyes in one chapter
and chocolate brown in another further down the line. Unless you’re writing from
the perspective of an Australian Shepherd, both eyes should be the same color and
remain that way throughout the story.
As an historical author, I learned
long ago, and I’m still learning, that you really need to be on guard to assure
your language is appropriate for the period about which you write. I’ve read some
love scenes lately that left me shaking my head because of the present day terminology
used for body parts. It’s really not believable that an Indian brave would bust
out with the word “clitoris.”
I’ve found the online Etymology dictionary
most helpful in determining the origin of most words, but judgement helps too. Think
about your story’s time period and how people spoke. While you might find word origins
described from the 1500s, that doesn’t mean they were used all over the globe. Example:
Ma/Maw/Momma is how a child addressed their female parent rather than just Mom in
1840. Although “kid” has been a word for a long time, the manner in which
it was used in the 1800s most often referred to a baby goat. Children were not kids,
but you could kid with them (tease). Historical credibility is all a matter of knowing
your time period and doing your research. Trust me, if you make a mistake, someone
will notice and let you know.

My most recent editor pointed out
her amazement that my heroine still had a bottom lip as she constantly chewed on
it. *lol* It’s so easy to utilize the same action without realizing you’ve overdone
it. Here again, that’s because we don’t write books in one sitting nor do we usually
go back and re-read the previous chapters. Thank God for those who devote their
time and talents to making us stop and think about our writing habits. What would
we do without our editors…internal and external?

Reviewing Books, Yay or Nay? by Ginger Simpson was first blogged here and is used with permission.

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About the Author

Ginger Simpson — Writing with a dream for bigger and better
things.

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