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Tag Archives: New Writer Tips

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/

Kayelle Allen here. Wow, has Marketing for Romance Writers grown! Back in 2006 when I started this group, I was a busy author with four books. I was promoting, learning more about promoting, and asking friends about promoting. All the ins and outs of book marketing were starting to gel and I was beginning to understand the overall concept. That said, I had a constant list of questions. Facebook was two years old. Twitter had been founded that year. Pinterest and Instagram were four years away. How was I supposed to promote on social media? Did I need a blog?

I had friends who had similar questions, and we would email each other and ask. Often, I’d get the same question several times in a row. I found myself going back to my “sent” file to copy an answer and resend it. Not that I wasn’t asking questions myself, but I think because I’d take the time to go find an answer if someone asked and I didn’t know – I started getting more and more questions.

It was Halloween, and I was busy with all sorts of details of writing, and I got the same question from two different people. I remember thinking that there had to be an easier way to handle this. I needed a way to let everyone know what I’d discovered at the same time, and if I had a question, get an answer from someone who knew. Yahoo Groups was established and well-used, so I decided to create one that all of my friends and I could use together. We could post a question there, and anyone who knew the answer could reply.

I set it up as Marketing for Romance Writers because that’s what all of us were at the time. Our members are not just romance writers, however. They come from all genres. Looking back, I’ve often wished I’d named it Marketing for Every Writer. Of course, then the initials would have been MEW vs MFRW and our symbol might have been a black cat!

In 2006, we had 12 members. Eleven years later, there are 2420 of us, plus 6781 on Facebook, 3875 on Twitter, untold numbers on Goodreads, and 1492+ on Pinterest with 54 boards and over 790 pins. Our staff of volunteers produces an award winning newsletter and in 2018, we will publish a montly magazine. How can we promote for you?

About MFRW

Marketing for Romance Writers is a peer-oriented mentoring group open to the entire literary community. Ask your marketing-related questions, or request help, advice, or opinions. You can learn how to create a professional image and use it effectively, as well as ask for opportunities to join other authors in promotional efforts. You can learn the business aspects of writing.

News about pitch sessions and calls for submission are posted on the Yahoo group. As a member, you can attend exclusive, member-only pitch events with publishers. Members can attend free, online workshops and seminars.

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 show off your cover models. Share your tweets with the MFRW street team and get them shared on Twitter. The hashtags #MFRWorg #MFRWauthor and #MFRWhop promote for you. You can get interviewed on BlogTalkRadio. Link your blog to a community hop via a unique software “ribbon” with exciting themes, and draw readers to your site.

Find and Join MFRW

Marketing for Romance Writers Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/

Marketing for Romance Writers Website http://marketingforromancewriters.org

Marketing for Romance Writers News https://www.facebook.com/mfrworg

Marketing for Romance Writers Promo https://www.facebook.com/groups/mfrwauthors/

 

Free Promotion for MFRW Members

Follow us – we follow back.

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/mfrworg/
Goodreads http://is.gd/mfrwgoodreads
Google+ http://bit.ly/mfrworg-gplus
LinkedIn https://linkedin.com/company/marketing-for-romance-writers-organization/
Twitter http://twitter.com/MFRW_ORG our hashtags are #MFRWauthor #MFRWorg #MFRWhooks

MFRW Volunteer Staff

Kayelle Allen, Founder https://kayelleallen.com
Emerald, Facebook Coordinator and Editor http://www.TheGreenLightDistrict.org
Mona Karel, Moderator, Blog Hop Coordinator http://mona-karel.com
Paloma Beck, Blog Director http://www.romancebeckons.net/index.html
Rochelle Weber, Newsletter Publisher http://www.rochelleweber.com
Barbara Donlon Bradley, Newsletter Editor http://www.barbaradonlonbradley.com
Michelle Davis, Newsletter Editor https://twitter.com/michelle40768
Libby McKinmer, Newsletter Editor http://libbymckinmer.com
Mari Anne Christie, Newsletter Editor http://marichristie.info/
Reet Singh, Goodreads Coordinator http://www.reetsingh.in
Lisa Lowe, Goodreads Coordinator (website under construction)
Zeenat Mahal, Goodreads Coordinator http://www.zeenatmahal.com/
Tina Gayle, Twitter Promo Coordinator http://www.tinagayle.net/home.html
Carmen Stefanescu, Blog Coordinator http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.com/


If you have questions about marketing your books, or you want to share an opportunity such as being a guest on your blog, join us. It’s okay to ask for guest spots too. The MFRW motto is “seek, teach, share, learn, succeed.” Services and membership are free. Are you part of the Marketing for Romance Writers success story? Please share in the comments.

 

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

Neverwylde by Linda Mooney @LindaMooney #RLFblog #SciFi #romanceToday’s featured book is Neverwylde 6 by Linda Mooney. Tell us about your story. We’ll have other questions in a moment.

Finally rescued from the half-world, Kyber and Kelen believed the worst was behind them.

They were wrong.

Another ship has landed on Neverwylde, but are the visitors friend or foe? Kelen, Kyber, and the crew are hoping for a rescue, but preparing for a battle. The fight between Terrans and Seneecians has been put behind by those on the half-planet in order to survive, but the newcomers are not of the same mindset.

Even if they are rescued, where will that leave Kelen and Kyber? With neither being accepted by the other’s race, will they be forced to go their separate ways?

Everyone is hoping for their own happily ever after once and for all. But sometimes the worst terrors don’t come from alien worlds.

They’re closer to home.

What species/races of people are in your book?

There are two main species of people in this book. The Terrans are from Earth, and the furred Seneecians from the planet Seneecia. For this romance, Kyber, the hero, is Seneecian, and Kelen, the heroine, is Terran.

Do you have non-sentient creatures or animals in your story? If so, what are they?

There are several creatures in this series, deadly and vicious, but the ones that resonate the most are the furries. They’re considered to mostly likely be the dominant species of the half-planet. One in particular, who is named Five because he has five instead of six legs, becomes almost a mascot.

Language and Culture

What languages are spoken in your story universe?

The Seneecians have their own language, as do the semi-sentient species on Neverwylde. But for the sake of the series, the Seneecians speak “Terranese”. Five and his kind have a language consisting of squeaks and whistles, and the only other species that converses have a translation necklace.

If you created a language for the story, what is it called?

The Seneecians speak Seneecia.

Please give us a few words in this language and their translation .

When Kyber says “Eelo nok torus nor” to Kelen, it translates to “You are my only one”.

In the culture of your story world, what is different from ours?

There is no basic culture on Neverwylde. This is a half-planet where both Seneecians and Terrans have crash landed, and they spend the series discovering and learning how to survive. Of the few things they’ve realized is that everything comes in threes, or in multiples of three. Everything. Knowing this, they’re able to make some valid guesses and take action, which enable them to endure.

At the same time, however, the Seneecians continue to adhere to the laws of their own world. Although they don’t place such restrictions on the Terrans, they maintain them among themselves.

What special laws are important to your story world?

As mentioned, the number 3 plays an integral part of this series. Not coincidentally, there are six books in this now-completed series.

As a whole, Neverwylde should not exist. It appears to break all rules of physics and science. In short, it is a half-planet, missing one entire portion of the world, yet is still able to maintain an atmosphere, gravity, and sustain plants and wildlife. Our survivors spend the series learning how to adapt to such a planet as they continue to discover new things. And face the dangers within head-on.

What rights (such as equality) are challenges for your characters?

Seneecians and Terrans are mortal enemies, and have been for decades. But on Neverwylde, they are faced with the very real possibility that, unless they call a temporary truce and join forces to combat the dangers that appear, no one will survive.

What makes things more intriguing is that Kelen and Kyber are drawn to each other, to the dissatisfaction of the others. How they learn to love is a testament to the heart, as they take the time to learn and accept their differences. Inevitably, the others come to accept the couple, and their union further cements the truce and growing friendships between the species.

Story Setting

Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place .

Five of the six books take place on Neverwylde. This half-planet looks as if someone with a galactic-sized knife sliced the world into two pieces. In several scenes, the survivors stand on a slab that extends outward into space itself, where they can see nothing but the universe above, around, and below them.

There are temples on the planet’s surface. They later discover these temples house a transporter device that can take them to various locations deep within the planet’s core.

The planet’s interior is laced with interconnecting tunnels and corridors, some of which are high enough to enable them to walk upright, and others which require them to crawl on hands and knees. These tunnels lead to larger rooms, each of which is bathed in a particular color (which they discover corresponds to a button on the teleportation slab.)

It’s within those tunnels and rooms that they are confronted by dangerous creatures, as well as natural catastrophes such as earthquakes and rock slides.

What makes this world unique?

What makes Neverwylde unique is that it defies the laws of science and physics that both the Terrans and Seneecians are accustomed to facing. Which means they have to suspend their initial beliefs and re-learn in order to survive. That includes the types of creatures they face.

Tell us about the age of the culture in your story, i.e., are the people part of an ancient civilization, a newly formed group within an established culture, pioneer colonists, etc.

This story takes place in the far distant future. People of Earth have become a major power in space. Although it’s not made clear how advanced these people have become, to know there is now only one major language from the planet gives one an idea of how much society has changed.

The last book of the series spends time on Seneecia itself. Even though Seneecias are a war-like race, their cities are ultra-modern, consisting of towering, spiraling buildings and wide open plazas with little to no visible vegetation.

What food or drink is available to your characters?

Upon crash landing, both species rely on packets of emergency rations. But once those are gone, they’re forced to drink the planet’s water, and eat from the vegetation they find there (after the doctor has deemed it safe to eat or drink). Later, they learn to eat the creatures they have to kill, as well as other life forms they find along the way.

In what ways was it helpful to have a map (or sketch of one) for your story? (Provide a link to an image, if available)

I’ve uploaded several images which I used as reference when writing this series.

http://lindamooney.com/NeverwyldePics.htm

Character Physiology

What are the physical characteristics of the race/species of your main characters?

Seneecians are humanoid, but they look nothing like Terrans. Every inch of their muscular bodies are covered in short fur. Some of their pelts are curly, while others are smooth. Differing colors/variations of shades and hues make them easy to tell one from another. Kyber, the hero, is pure black.

Their hands and feet bear massive claws and talons. Similar to cats, they’re able to extend those razor-sharp talons from the tips of their fingers. In addition, their spiked teeth can also extend from their gums, making hand-to-hand combat ferocious and bloody.

Their genitals are kept within their body cavity and covered with a genital cup until the need to procreate. They wear sandals and a leather-like, sleeveless uniform with a short shirt that resembles that of ancient Roman soldiers.

What physical differences exist in the way your characters communicate (i.e., telepathy, empathic abilities, etc.) with each other?

Although Terrans cannot speak Seneecian, Seneecians can speak Terranese.

What differences, if any, exist in the way your characters reproduce?

Terrans and Seneecians are capable of having sex, with some differences. For one thing, male Seneecians don’t have nipples, although Kyber does inform Kelen that females of his kind do have breasts.

In addition, once penetration takes place, the male does not “rock in and out” like a human male. His hips do not move. Instead, he firmly holds the female steady, and his erection moves in and out like a piston.

Are there more than two genders in your story world? If so, what are they?

Among the furries, such as with Five, it takes three to procreate. It isn’t explained any further, but it falls neatly into the category of “everything in threes” that is a major component of the series.

Sharing World Building Expertise

Please give us three tips you find helpful when creating a story world:

Literally, the sky’s the limit. When it comes to topography, geography, creatures, or circumstances, you have carte blanche. However, a few things have to be taken into consideration. For example, not all planets are like Earth. Reference the atmosphere, the gravity, even the color of the sky and sun(s).

Also, when you refer to aliens, not every species is going to look like someone who resembles an Earth woman or man. Unless, of course, that person is a descendant from Earth, or is able to transform their body to look like one.

Finally, don’t feel as if you have to explain every little difference in your new world. You don’t have to give details as to why such-and-such exists or happens. Some things are meant to remain a mystery. Let the reader come up with their own conclusions.

When you researched for your story setting, what kinds of things did you learn?

I’m always trying to find something new, that is still clear to the reader. For example, in the lower inland pools, the huge “sheet” suspended between the mountain-sized pylons on either bank is found to be a power source for the planet’s inhabitants, similar to hydro-electric generators.

What things should writers avoid when building a science fiction world?

Try to avoid stereotypes. Some similarities are good, to enable the reader to get a grasp of whatever concept you’re trying to get across. But try not to emulate other well-known franchises such as Star Wars and Star Trek.

What’s your advice for writers who want to create a solid background for their story world?

Build in limitations. That way you have the ability to create a crisis or build tension when something doesn’t work, or doesn’t move as fast as it should. Put obstacles in the way. And don’t be afraid to challenge or hurt your main characters.

Specific science fiction genre: romance
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
Publisher : Music And Press
Amazon http://amzn.to/2s0J5PV
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/neverwylde-linda-mooney/1121910173?ean=2940158554728
iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1251677669
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/neverwylde-8
Print http://lindamooney.com/Neverwylde.htm

Linda Mooney Social Media

Linda loves to write sweet and sensuous romance with a fantasy, paranormal, or science fiction flair. Her technique is often described as being as visual as a motion picture or graphic novel.

A wife, mother, grandmother, and retired Kindergarten and music teacher, she lives in a small south Texas town near the Gulf coast where she delves into other worlds filled with daring exploits, adventure, and intense love.

She has numerous best sellers, including 10 consecutive #1s. In 2009, she was named Whiskey Creek Press Torrid’s Author of the Year, and her book My Strength, My Power, My Love was named the 2009 WCPT Book of the Year. In 2011, her book Lord of Thunder was named the Epic Ebook “Eppie” Award Winner for Best Erotic Sci-Fi Romance.

She also writes naughty humorous romances under the name of Carolyn Gregg, horror under the pseudonym of Gail Smith, and elementary teacher workbooks as L. G. Mooney.

For more information about Linda Mooney books and titles, up-coming releases, contests and giveaways, and to sign up for her newsletter, please visit her website.

Website http://www.LindaMooney.com
Blog https://lindamooney.blogspot.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/LindaMooney
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MusicAndPress
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/lindam54/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/Linda_Mooney
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Mooney/e/B002BMES1W
Newsletter http://www.LindaMooney.com
Instafreebie http://lindamooney.com/ (Check out the available titles under each pseudonym.)

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!

Hey Readers,
Thanks so much for joining me today at the Romance Lives
Forever Blog, and thank you, Kayelle for having me.

Writing an NA Novella Series

I’ve been at this writing/publishing thing for a while now
and one of the most common questions I hear from readers is “How do you
come up with your ideas?” The second most common question I hear is, “What
made you want to write for young adults?” The answer to both of those
questions is the same. I had a crazy teenaged life! Writing allows me a kind of
do-over by taking my experiences and helping my young characters learn, grow,
and find a hopefully ever after end. It’s been very cathartic for me. It also
allows me to impart to readers some hard lessons learned without being preachy.
I tend to write books I wish I had had to read as a teenager. Like many of us,
I went from reading Nancy Drew Mysteries to Stephen King with very few options
in between. I am thrilled to be part of the phenomenon of great young adult and
new adult stories exploding onto the book market.
When I first wrote Savage Cinderella back in 2010, I had no
idea it would lead to a series of novellas six years later. Brinn’s story came
about after I’d been walking in the woods with my dog. I had a vison of a young
girl running through the forest in tattered clothes, dark hair flying.
Alongside her ran a bear (I live in the Berkshires where this seemed logical
somehow). The questions that followed led me to pen the story of a kidnapped
girl left for dead in the High Country of North Georgia, where she survives in
the wild for several years…until a young nature photographer, Justin Spencer,
finds her and convinces her to come back to the world. More a Tarzan story than
a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale—and far-fetched perhaps—but it became
a Holt Medallion winner and grabbed the imagination and hearts of 3.6 million
readers on Wattpad!
Being that my character, Brinn, was eighteen and living on
her own, the story fell into the New Adult category—a change from my other
novels which fit neatly into the young adult genre. Although it is contemporary
and a romance, there are also elements of suspense/thriller, since Brinn is
soon stalked by her kidnapper and must face off with him to truly gain her
freedom. As much as I enjoyed telling this story, it was difficult to write
parts of it from the perspective of the villain and live in his sick and
twisted head for so many months. But when I was done, I always had in the back
of my mind that Brinn’s story wasn’t over…it was only just beginning. I stewed
on where to go with the character for quite some time while working on a
dystopian trilogy and a non-fiction project for the next few years. And then
novellas (shorter novels about 20-40 thousand words, or half the length of a
full novel) became popular again and the ideas for more of Brinn’s journey began
to flow.
Finding Hope, the first in the novella series, picks up a
year after Brinn’s return. Well into her recovery, nineteen-year-old Brinn finds
her life with Justin has become a safety net she relies on, but something is
missing. After years of living wild in the mountains, taming her need for
danger and independence turns out to be her greatest challenge. When Justin’s
friend Cody—now in the FBI—asks for her help in solving a kidnapping case, it
sparks new purpose for Brinn—as well as major complications in her relationship
with both men.
Lost Boys, the second novella in the series, follows Brinn
and company when Justin’s friend Cody has disappeared, and Brinn is determined
to find out why. Despite an escalation in the tensions between them over Cody
and Brinn’s complicated friendship, Justin agrees to join her on a journey that
leads to the mysterious jungles of Colombia, where whispers of human
trafficking bring them face to face with an old enemy.
Brinn and Justin join forces with friends to do the
unthinkable—enter the dangerous jungle on a rescue mission, sparking a battle
for the lives of nine young boys and a fight for their own survival. Brinn’s
haunted past rears its ugly head as she is forced to once again take on a
brutal killer. But in risking her life to save her friend, will she lose the
one man who has sacrificed everything for her?
Yes, there is a bit of a love triangle which has spurred a “team
Justin” vs. “team Cody” rivalry among my Wattpad readers, but the
underlying theme is Brinn’s growth, recovery, and discovery of herself as an
individual—themes I think need more focus in Romance—especially for young
adults. I’m currently working on the third novella, Sacred Ground, which will
pit Brinn and friends against a crooked mining company in Wyoming while on a
search for a ghost from Justin’s past. I’m expecting a late Spring release and excited
to have a few more ideas for future adventures.
If you haven’t yet found the joy of reading novellas, think
of them as a quick, tasty, and satisfying reading snack…without the calories! I’d
love to give away an e-copy of the original novel that started it all, Savage
Cinderella, to one lucky commenter.
Do you read novellas?
Why or why not? Discuss…
Be well, keep reading, and let your favorite authors know
how much you appreciate their stories by leaving a short review on Amazon, Barnes
and Noble, or Goodreads.
Peace and blessings,
PJ

Savage Cinderella

Eighteen-year-old Brinn Hathaway has survived on her own in
the Northwest High Country of Georgia since she was left for dead in a shallow
grave by the man who kidnapped her as a child. When a young nature
photographer, Justin Spencer, catches the wild girl on film and the two form a
tentative friendship, Brinn must decide if coming out of hiding is worth the
hope—and the danger—that may await her.
If you enjoy this journey of romance, suspense, and hope, follow
Brinn, Justin, Cody, and a cast of new characters through a series of novellas
(30-40k word short novels). Each story will bring a new adventure, another
crime to solve, and more danger for Brinn and company as they delve into the
world of human trafficking and beyond.
Genre: New Adult
Author: PJ Sharon
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG 13
Buy Savage Cinderella
blisher: PJ Sharon Books

PJ Sharon Social Media

PJ Sharon is an award-winning author of young adult books,
including Pieces of Love, Heaven is for Heroes, On Thin Ice, and Holt Medallion
winner Savage Cinderella. Follow the Savage Cinderella Novella Series with Finding
Hope and Lost Boys.
Healing Waters completes her YA dystopian trilogy, The
Chronicles of Lily Carmichael, which RT Book Reviews calls “An
action-packed read with a strong female lead.”
Her debut non-fiction title Overcome Your Sedentary
Lifestyle (A Practical Guide to Improving Health, Fitness, and Well-being for
Desk Dwellers and Couch Potatoes) is a holistic living, self-help guide packed
with easy to implement tips sure to motivate today’s sedentary masses toward a
more balanced and active lifestyle. For more info on PJ’s books and updates on
new releases, sign up for her newsletter
or visit her website.
In her “real life” job as a Massage Therapist,
Personal Trainer, and Yogi, PJ has been called “a powerhouse of positivity
and productivity.” Her mantra is “find balance in all things, and
live every day to the fullest.” A black belt in the art of Shaolin Kempo
Karate, avid kayaker, and singer of Italian art songs, PJ has two grown sons
and lives with her brilliant engineer of a husband in the Berkshire Hills of
Western MA where she writes YA…because every teen deserves a hopefully ever
after.
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