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Gift Ideas for the Avid Readers in Your Life

Gifts for Christmas
Looking for some fun gift ideas for the avid readers in your life?

Good news. You’ve come to the right place.

I’ve teamed up with some fellow authors to share our picks for the perfect gifts (in a variety of price ranges!) for readers to cozy up with. The only other thing they’ll need is a great book.

Without further ado, here is our roundup of the top gift ideas for readers:

Huhuhero Fineliner Color Pen Set

These color pens are perfect for bullet journaling, coloring and notetaking in general. At just $6.98, they come in a 10-pack of vivid colors. They write smoothly and are just plain fun!

Product suggested by L. Danvers, YA Paranormal Romance Author

Literary Candles

Have you ever seen anything so adorable? These bookish candles feature custom scents designed to evoke fond memories of your favorite literary tales – from Sherlock Holmes to Jane Eyre. Sixteen bucks for a gift your loved one will rave about? Yes, please!

Product suggested by Cecelia Mecca, Paranormal Romance Author

Long Distance Friendship Lamp

This gift is on the high end, price wise, but as I have several loved ones who live far away, I love the idea behind it and it seems like a lovely way to touch their heart!

Product suggested by D.M. Marlowe, Paranormal Romance Author

I Love Reading Fleece Luxury Blanket

Know an avid reader who simply wants to snuggle up with a good book and be left alone? Then this blanket is sure to make them smile. (Mental note to self: do not mess with L.G. Castillo when she’s reading.)

Product suggested by L.G. Castillo, Paranormal Romance Author

Mismatched Fingerless Mittens

Keeping your hands warm doesn’t have to be boring. These fingerless gloves are colorful with a bit of whimsy. Perfect for long winter nights.

Product suggested by Beth Caudill, Paranormal Romance Author

Aqua Love Notes Waterproof Notepad

Since I do all my best thinking in the shower…

Product suggested by Shelley Munro, Paranormal Romance Author

 

We hope you found this list helpful. We’d love to know – are any of these products on your Christmas wish list this year? Let us know in the comments below.

PARANORMAL ROMANCE AUTHORS | GIFT IDEAS | GIFTS FOR READERS | CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS FOR READERS PARANORMAL ROMANCE AUTHORS | GIFT IDEAS | GIFTS FOR READERS | CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS FOR READERS

Authors, Grab a Coffee and Tackle Social Media

Last year, author Amy Denim visited my blog with a post about Business Plans for Writers. It’s an excellent post and I recommend that you check it out. After hosting Amy, I decided to check out some of her other books, and I purchased The Coffee Break Guide to Social Media for Writers: How to Succeed on Social Media and Still Have Time to Write (Coffee Break Guides Book 1).

Coffee-Break-Guide-to-Socia-200x300I read it during my recent holiday, hoping for help, since I’m struggling with social media. There never seems to be enough hours in the day, and I don’t have time to get sucked down an internet hole!

Amy’s book covers all types of social media, some of which I’ve never heard of. It’s easy to understand and set out well. The book starts with an introduction and explains the concept of the coffee break mentality. We take short breaks for coffee in order to relax and recharge before we start our writing session again, and Amy says this is the length of time we should spend on social media – five to ten minutes at a time.

With the swift-moving world of social media, some of the information is slightly out-of-date, but that doesn’t take away from the usefulness of this book. There is a list of resources, an example of a social media plan plus a glossary of social media terms.

This book is perfect for the beginning author who wants to solidify their position. While I’m not new to social media, I found this book very useful and busily bookmarked sections to refer back to at a later time. I’m a convert and intend to put what I’ve learned into practice this year.

Amy has written several other books in her Coffee Break Guide series, and posts useful promotional tips at her website Coffee Break Social Media.

Purchase The Coffee Break Guide to Social Media for Writers: How to Succeed on Social Media and Still Have Time to Write (Coffee Break Guides Book 1)

Other Coffee Break Books:

The Coffee Break Guide to Business Plans for Writers: The Step-by-Step Guide to Taking Control of Your Writing Career (Coffee Break Guides Book 2)

The Coffee Break Guide to Self Publishing: The Step-by-Step Guide to Successfully Writing, Publishing, and Promoting Your Own Books (Coffee Break Guides Book 3)

I recommend The Coffee Break Guide to Social Media and urge you to check out Amy’s post on Business Plans.

13 Mistakes I made on the way to publication by Martha O’Sullivan

I’d like to welcome a special guest today – Martha O’Sullivan. Like me, she is a writer, and today she’s talking about mistakes she made on the road to publication. I’ve made some of the same mistakes. Have you? Over to Martha…

Thursday Thirteen

13 Mistakes I made on the way to publication by Martha O’Sullivan

1. I thought I needed an agent.

2. I thought I had to go through traditional publishing and print channels.

3. I thought Harlequin ruled the world.

4. I should have brought The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglist before I wrote my first book instead of when I was editing my second.

5. I underestimated how generous, supportive and welcoming writers were.

6. I should have gone to RWA Nationals the year I started writing. I should have joined TARA from the get-go.

7. I should have kept reading. I started writing at night instead of reading.

8. I should always write the last chapter first. I should have known this since I find myself reading the last few pages of a book midway through chapter two.

9. I should have joined a critique group.

10. I should have shouted that I was writing from the rooftops instead of keeping it to myself.

11. I should have known the last rejection hurts just as much as the first one.

12. I should have known that writing the book was the easy part.

13. I knew how bad I wanted it, so I should have known I would do it.

But the one thing I did right? I never gave up! And here I am!

Have you made any mistakes during your writing journey? Are there things you would have done differently?

The Chances Trilogy by Martha O’Sullivan

Second Chance Chance Encounter last chance cov

Second Chance, the Chances trilogy opener, is a reunion/love triangle romance that keeps the shores of Lake Tahoe blazing hot long after the sultry summer sun has set. Chance Encounter, the trilogy’s second installment, heats up San Francisco’s chilly days and blustery nights with white-hot passion and pulse-pounding suspense. And in Last Chance, the conclusion of the trilogy, the snow-packed Sierras melt into lust-fueled puddles despite the single-digit temperatures of the Lake Tahoe winter.

Please visit Martha’s web site at www.marthaosullivan26.wix.com/marthaosullivan for excerpts, reviews and more.

The Chances trilogy by Martha O’Sullivan (http://twitter.com/@m_osullivan26)  available at: www.marthaosullivan26.wix.com/marthaosullivan

http://eredsage.com/store/OSULLIVAN_MARTHA.html Also available on: Amazon, BN.com, AllRomanceEbooks, Kobo Books and Bookstrand

BIO:

Martha O’Sullivan has loved reading romance novels for as long as she can remember. So much so that she would continue the story in her head long after the last chapter was read. Writing her own novels is the realization of a lifelong dream for this stay-at-home mom. Martha writes contemporary and erotic romances with traditional couples and happy endings. She is the author of the Chances trilogy available now from Red Sage Publishing. Her current work-in-progress is a sweet and steamy Christmas novel set in Florida. A native Chicagoan, she lives her own happy ending in Tampa with her husband and two daughters.

Writer Tip: Sandra Hyatt

“Have faith in your own story and your own process. When I first started writing I heard talks from authors who’d written practically since they could hold a pencil, and I heard about authors who plotted out entire stories before they wrote a single manuscript word. I, on the other hand, came to writing late, and I start a story, sometimes with as little as a single sentence, and having little if any idea of the path my characters will take to get to their happy ever after. I had to learn to trust that my way was okay. It works for me and that’s the only thing that matters.

Related to this point is not comparing your journey to, and through, publication with anyone else’s. To quote from the Wear Sunscreen song, The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”

Visit Sandra Hyatt’s website
Purchase Sandra’s upcoming release, His Bride For The Taking

Writer Tip: Ashley Ladd

“Find a good critique partner (or two) that you trust and work closely with them. A second set of eyes to view your work and give input is invaluable.”

Visit Ashley Ladd’s website at www.ashleyladd.com
Purchase one of her releases or read excerpts at Ashley Ladd’s book page.

NB: Note from Shelley. Want to find a critique partner? Want to know what to expect from a critique partner? For more details about critiquing or finding a critque partner check out my article – To Critique or Not to Critique

Writing Tips

This month I’m bringing you a series of writing tips from some of my favorite authors. There will also be tips from my writer friends. You might even find the odd writing tip from me.

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Come back every day for writing advice from authors such as Shiloh Walker, Nalini Singh, Larissa Ione, Sarah Mayberry and many more…

Dear Author – A Note From Your Heroine

This post is inspired by Heather at The Galaxy Express and her post, Attention, please! This is your heroine speaking.

Dear Author,

I salute you. You sit for long hours in front of the computer as you labor over our stories. Without you none of us would be here. Mostly, you do us proud but I’d like you to consider the following:

1. Please, please don’t make me go down to the basement when there is a killer on the loose. Credit me with a little common sense and help me do something intelligent. Heroine
I don’t want readers to snigger at me and call me Too Stupid To Live. I deserve more than that, don’t you think?

2. I know popular opinion says heroines are slender and pretty, but how about making me stand out from the crowd? Make me sexy–sure, I like sexy as much as the next girl, but I can be sexy and an average size. Give me a few curves. Don’t you know I enjoy food? Oh, and if you give me curves, don’t go on and on about my size. I’m happy, really I am.

3. Please don’t take a stereotype and foist it on me. I’m not a hooker with a big heart. I’m not an ice princess. I’m not a geeky librarian. Give me individuality.

4. I like alpha men–really, I do, but at least give me a spine so I can stand up to them. No wimps should apply here.

5. I’m not perfect. I know that, but do you know it too? Give me some flaws and balance them with some of the good stuff. Make me human because readers will like me better that way.

6. Give me a snarky voice. I’m cool with that, but don’t make me snark all the way through the book. Readers won’t like me if I do that. They might call me a bitch, you know, and wonder what the hero sees in me.

7. Likewise, if my hero is going to be a bastard, let him fall off his high horse at some stage. Make him see the error of his ways or at least let me use my knee in his private parts. It might hurt him, but it would make me feel better after all the verbal abuse.

8. And finally, if you’re gonna make me have anal sex, please, please, please give me some lube.

Yours faithfully,
A Heroine.

What would your heroine write in a letter? Readers, what do you think the heroine should write?

Over and Over

I’ve heard readers comment about authors who write a variation of the same book over and over again. Each new release is a rewrite of the same story. I know I’ve stopped reading a couple of authors because I felt their stories were pretty much identical. Maybe the characters were different, but the conflicts and plot were similar. It didn’t feel as if I was reading a different book.

I’ve written over thirty books now. I’ll admit I think about originality when I’m writing a new book. I like to think each story is distinctly different, but I’m also aware that an author’s upbringing colors their perceptions. Their books may contain the same theme. Many of my stories deal with finding a home and security. I hope my books are different enough that readers don’t think I’m a one-book wonder. It’s hard to judge your own work sometimes.

What do you think? Does an author tend to write the same story over and over?

The Wait Between Books

Last week Kaye Munro did a post about writing and author productivity. I’ve been thinking about this, and I want everyone to put on their reader hats while they read this post about author releases.

It used to be that authors would write one book a year and sometimes one book every two years. These days authors tend to have a higher rate of productivity. Some authors write three or four books a year, depending on the line they write for and also if they write for traditional or e-publishers.

The good thing for readers is this means there are a large number of books available to choose from. We’re spoiled for choice. I don’t know about you, but as a reader, I love the trilogies or connected books by the same author that come out in three successive months. I think that’s reader heaven. I like my favorite authors to have releases at least every six months. That’s a good length of time for me. If the wait is much longer, I forget to look for the next release because I have a lot of favorites. If I can’t find a book written by one of my favorite authors, I tend to look farther afield, and I explore the books of new-to-me writers. Sometimes I find new favorites, so there’s a danger if an author doesn’t have frequent releases, they’ll lose me to another writer or writers.

How long are you willing to wait between books? Can an author have too many releases in one year? Do you think quality is sacrificed in favor of quantity these days?