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Fantastic Tools for Writers

These days there are many tools available to help in the writing of a book. Here are a few that I use and recommend. Some of the tools overlap, and I don’t always use everything in the intended way. I adapt my usage to suit my needs and writing habits.

1. 4 The Words https://4thewords.com/

I’ve posted about 4 The Words before since I use this to write my first drafts. This is an incredible community where the writing is gamified. You set goals and battle monsters while traveling through different territories. Discovering this online writing game has genuinely helped me to get down my word total every day.

2. One Stop For Writers https://onestopforwriters.com/

This is another tool I’ve mentioned before. From the thesauruses to the plotting and planning tools, there is plenty to help a writer structure, plan worlds and characters, keep timelines and map their stories.

3. Plottr https://plottr.com/

While I’m not a plotter or an outliner, I still need to have a basic framework before I start writing a new story. I use Plottr to do this and keep track of my characters and story bible. Check out their free trial if you’re a serious plotter because this is a fantastic tool.

4. Fictionary https://fictionary.co/

I’ve recently started using this editing software to analyze my scenes and try to knock my work into better shape before sending it off to my editor. Check out the Fictionary channel on Youtube as well. They have heaps of helpful advice when it comes to editing your work.

5. ProWriting Aid https://prowritingaid.com/

I use this grammar and style check during my editing stage and find it very useful. While I don’t always follow the suggestions, this helps me battle wordiness and other bad habits that can creep into my writing.

6. Grammarly http://www.grammarly.com/

Another grammar checker that I use in conjunction with ProWriting Aid. It checks grammar and style, and this app helps me with my comma problem. I have improved in this area tenfold!

While I use other tools, these are the ones I use regularly and, as such, recommend. Please note that they are all paid tools, but each has a free trial for the user to figure out if this product works for them. Do check them out!

A New Cover For Middlemarch Shifters, My Plan B

Last month, I decided it was time for a new cover for MY PLAN B, book 11 in the Middlemarch Shifters series. This book features an older hero and heroine, and I’m thrilled with the end result.

My Plan B by Shelley Munro

Here is a short excerpt from the book:

“I’ll follow her,” Jacey volunteered. “You said that the logical place for her to stay is in the holiday cottages. Why don’t you two go back to the vehicle and bring my clothes?”

Leo gave a decisive nod. “If she glimpses you, she’s more likely to assume she saw a dog. If she sees me, Saber and the Feline council will get pissed because a sighting might spark rumors of black cats again.”

“You’ll pick me up near the holiday cottages?”

“Yes,” Leo confirmed.

“See you there? Henry, you’re taking Geoffrey?”

“Yeah. I’ll whistle for him once you’re closer to her.”

“Plan,” Jacey said, and seconds later, he sneaked from behind the schist in his wolf form, every sense focused on the orange-blossom woman. Behind him, Henry summoned Geoffrey, had a whispered exchange with Leo before the pair, too, shifted to animal.

Jacey used the available cover, a few longer clumps of grass and smaller schist rocks, to creep closer to the woman. The scent wafting from her filled his senses, filled his thoughts with unexpected ideas of seduction. He wanted a clearer view of her face.

She scanned the panoramic view in front of her, her gaze flitting over him. Jacey dropped and froze in position, praying she hadn’t glimpsed the paleness of his belly and chest. As a youngster, his fur had been a glossy black. These days, a fair amount of white decorated his belly and chest. In his human form, his hair and stubble when he didn’t shave was silver.

His heart pounded, a fraction faster than normal, and he frowned as he absorbed the information. Strange. Something in this human woman pulled at his senses and drew him. Part of the reason he’d volunteered for this job. Curiosity and the urge to regain his balance.

The woman stood and shoved the white pad—a plastic bag—into a pocket. Her coat and winter gear still hid her identity and shape, giving him peekaboo glances of her profile and flashes of blonde hair, but her scent…
Jacey breathed deeply, his wolf and his human part wallowing in orange blossom. Now that less distance separated them, there was an underlying earthiness to her aroma. A familiar wolfish scent. No. That made little sense. Another wolf would have scented them, become aware and likely bristled at their intrusion into her solitary state.
No, the woman was human.
This imaginary mystery scent was a puzzle to fill his mind with business. He liked puzzles.

She walked with her shoulders hunched, her head bowed. She sniffed and dragged a hankie from her pocket.

He couldn’t see what she was doing, but seconds later, she thrust the hankie back into her pocket and hurried along a narrow path that wound through a stand of native bush. Or at least, Henry had told him the trees were native to New Zealand. Their pungent scent made him want to sneeze.

The path turned, and he glimpsed her face as he followed. She swiped the back of her hand over her eyes with an impatient sigh, knuckling away moisture.

The woman was crying. Ah. That accounted for her absently snapping photos. Her mind lay elsewhere, treading in misery.

Sympathy engulfed Jacey. Empathy. He’d wanted to cry for Henry’s loss, for his son’s obvious pain. Without a second thought, he let out a doglike whine.

The woman’s head snapped up, her shoulders tense, even beneath the heavy jacket. She whirled around, and he glimpsed her blotchy face. The woman was older than his first guess, possibly ten or fifteen years younger than him. Blue eyes like his. Blue eyes swamped with unhappiness.

He whined again, trying to making himself smaller and more doglike. A handy skill. He wagged his tail, wriggled his body. Without taking his gaze off her, he inched closer and tried not to scare her.

“Hey, boy.” Her soft voice caressed, even though it held a layer of tears. “Do you belong to the farm or are you lost too?”

Read the blurb and another excerpt. Check out Plan B!

A Visit to Grytviken, South Georgia

The island of South Georgia was first discovered in 1675. It was named Roche after Anthony de la Roché, the ship’s commander who found the island. In 1775 Captain Cook made the first landing, renamed the island after King George III, and it subsequently became a British territory.

The first whaling station was founded in Grytviken in 1904 by Norwegian Carl Anton Larsen. Grytviken was one of seven whaling stations on the island and the largest. During the summer months, from October to March, up to 300 men worked at the station.

By 1960 whalers had depleted the area of whales, and the station became unviable. Grytviken closed in 1964. Much of the equipment and several ships still lie where they were left.

These days, Grytviken is a popular stop for cruise ships. There is a museum, a shop, and a post office, and the cemetery here is the last resting place of the famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Rusted ships at Grytviken

Old Rusted Ships.

Equipment for the Processing of Whale Blubber

Old Storage Tanks

Some of the Local Residents

View of Settlement

View of Grytviken Settlement and the Locals

A view looking back toward Grytviken with some of the locals.

Shackleton's Grave

Frank Wild

Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Wild, his friend, are both buried in the Grytviken cemetery.

Shop and Post Office

The shop and post office do a brisk trade with the tourists.

The Church

The church.

Shelley

A pic of me exploring the area beyond Grytviken. As you can see it’s very barren and craggy. I loved our visit to Grytviken, and it turned out to be an inspiring one, because I used the settlement as the setting for my recent release. While it’s difficult to travel to South Georgia, try an armchair visit and check out Snow Moon Dragon today!

A New Book in the Dragon Investigators Series

Yay! At long last, I have a new addition to my Dragon Investigators series: Snow Moon Dragon. My trip to visit Antarctica and the island of South Georgia gave me the inspiration for this story, but as always there is also a touch of my home country New Zealand.

Here is the cover, designed by the wonderful Kim Killion at Killion Publishing.

Snow Moon Dragon

The blurb:

Love is a curse but also a blessing…

Dragon shifter Nyree Wirihana escapes an abusive relationship and travels to the far-flung island of South Georgia for a fresh start. No more dating for her. She’s finished with men. Instead, she’s content to work and explore the island while photographing the cute penguins and seals.

Dragon shifter Tāwera suffers from a curse, and for hundreds of years, he has lain in a rock pool with no hope of escape or revenge on the brother who turned him to stone.

A chance encounter changes everything, and suddenly Nyree is experiencing unique problems. Dragon problems. Romantic problems. Her peaceful man-free life becomes complicated, then danger strolls into her sanctuary and the situation becomes so much worse.

You’ll enjoy this dragon romance because it contains a sexy tattooed warrior from the past plus a strong heroine who has regained her mojo and isn’t afraid to kick dragon butt and face threats head-on. Sit back and enjoy the sensual sparks.

Snow Moon Dragon is available for pre-order from your favorite online store, and releases on 18 May 2021.

Operation Flower Petal Now Available for Pre-order

Operation Flower Petal, Military Men #6

Operation Flower Petal, book 6 in the Military Men series is now available for pre-order at all online retailers.

Read an excerpt here.

Purchase links here.

Cover Reveal: Operation Flower Petal

 

Military Men #6
Release date: 25th February 2021

 

Hero: Matt Townsend – Ex NZSAS soldier and currently training soldiers.

Heroine: Adelaide Buckingham, known as Ada. Farmer and flower grower.

He falls for her… literally.

Operation Flower Petal, Military Men #6

 

The blurb:

Since her husband’s murder, Ada Buckingham’s life has comprised one calamity after another, and the hits keep coming, yet each day, she picks herself up and begins again.

Military man Matt Townsend, AKA Frog, expects a challenging assignment when he agrees to train soldiers in tough country terrain. The rules: stay away from the old lady’s flowers and notify her of days or nights with flash-bang.

Easy, right?

On arrival via parachute, he plummets into the lady’s flowers. The sexy spitfire who confronts him isn’t the maiden aunt-type he imagined, but man, she intrigues and entices him, and he’s eager to learn more.

Matt is quick to insert himself into her life, and his mission evolves once he learns something is hinky and dangerous in the world of Ada. While he fell arse over teakettle, Ada is slower to believe or trust, but Matt is confident in his charm and brings his A-game. Now all he needs to do is keep her safe.

You will love this latest addition to the Military Men series because it contains a charming, confident, and audacious soldier known for his singing voice—not!—and a brave and determined heroine with a love of flowers. You’ll also find skullduggery in a country town, danger, and gossip aplenty. Sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the romantic adventure.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a copy of the Military Men box set, which includes books 1 – 3 in the series.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next Dragon Isles Adventure – Meet Cherry

Dragon Isles 2: Cherry

Cherry, the next book in the Dragon Isles series is due out very soon. Grab your copy today!

Here’s the blurb:

Love is a mystery, but dragons are real.

Cherry is gutted when her friend Liza disappears, presumed drowned. She has no time to mourn, however, since she must keep Liza’s daughter safe from Liza’s ex. Cherry sneaks away to Holy Island, where she meets a big, sexy, tattooed man washed up on the beach. A big, sexy, deluded man since he insists he’s a dragon.

Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Martinos has escaped the dungeon only to wash up on the mainland. Returning to the Dragon Isles is not his most immediate problem, though, since his dragon is bound, and he cannot shift.

Unlucky in love, Cherry is surprised when Martinos returns her growing lust and camaraderie. While the man has a flawed mind, he’s excellent with Liza’s daughter and not one of Cherry’s internal alarms ping. With Martinos, her life is stimulating, and she’s falling for him. Then, everything she thought she understood about dragons pops like a balloon, and her real adventure begins.

You will love this second book in the Dragon Isles trilogy because it introduces a courageous and curvy human, a sexy dragon suffering through hell through no fault of his own, and an unfamiliar world full of mystery, magic, and mayhem. Plus one or two dragon-caused incidents when tempers race out of control.

Read an excerpt or get your copy here: https://shelleymunro.com/books/cherry/

Dragon Isles: Liza Out Now. Grab Your Copy!

Dragon Isles: Liza by Shelley Munro

Now Out!

Get your copy of Liza, the first book in my new dragon shapeshifter series.

The Dragons are Coming!

 

The Idea Behind the Dragon Isles series

One of my favorite TV shows is Escape to the Country, where English city-dwellers want to purchase a country property. The presenters are always enthusiastic and, as well as showing prospective buyers around three properties, they do a special interest item based on the area where the show is filmed. When the presenter visited Wales, they filmed a story about Newcastle Emlyn, which is purportedly the site of the last dragon slaying in Wales. This fascinated me, and I stored the idea away to percolate.

Holy Island (or Lindisfarne) off the coast of Northumberland drew my interest too, so I threw that into my percolator. I let my ideas stew for many, many months before the Dragon Isles plot emerged, and the world became real to me.

Ta-da! The first cover…

Liza by Shelley Munro
And introducing the blurb:

A dragon shifter and a human woman meet…
…Two worlds collide.

The encounter shouldn’t have occurred, and the dragon species must battle the consequences.

Elizabeth Carrington: single-mother with a daughter and an obnoxious ex who refuses to leave without a chunk of her inheritance. An aspiring writer, she glimpses the unbelievable during a research trip, and when she awakens after the resulting car crash, she isn’t in England any longer. Not that she understands this calamity, because a knock to the head has stripped her memories. She is a woman with no past and no perception of dragons or their danger to her.

Dragon shifter Leonidas, Champion of the Skies, is the youngest son, and his parents have arranged a betrothal for him with Nan, The Strongminded. He rejects this betrothal his parents insist will bring peace and cement bonds between the Dragon Isles.

Once Liza crashes into Leo’s life, everything changes. While his family, friends, and neighbors are baying for her death, instinct propels Leo to protect this attractive stranger.

Their friendship deepens from respect to love as they attempt to discover how and why they met. What they learn will rip apart the dragon world and propel the inhabitants of the Dragon Isles into an unknown future.

You will love this first book in the Dragon Isles trilogy because it introduces a courageous and sexy dragon, a feisty human battler, and a new world full of mystery, magic, and mayhem. Plus one or two dragon-caused infernos when tempers race out of control.

Release date is 19 September 2020 (In honor of my sister’s birthday)

Pre-order your copy today so you can start reading the instant LIZA is available.

Do You Like Pets in Your Romances?

We all love our pets, but what about reading about pet sidekicks? If you’re like me, you think a pet in a romance adds an extra unique element, which means this promotion is perfect for you and me!

Get your paranormal romances and fantasy romances here. Each book contains a pet sidekick for you to coo over. *grin*

Two of my books are part of this promotion: JANAYA, Alien Encounter 1 (a dog) and SNARED BY SABER, Middlemarch Capture 1 (a plump blue bird).

Get your pet sidekicks here!