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#IWSG How Does Reading Affect Writing?

Writing can be lonely and disheartening, and I’m thankful for our monthly support group to lift up writers everywhere. Alex Cavanaugh started the group and has a great admin team to keep it going.

Thank you to these intrepid co-hosts:


This month’s question:
It’s been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don’t enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?


I’ve only heard about how much reading can help writing, and I’ve experienced those benefits myself, so I disagree with the notion that reading may interfere with originality in writing. Our imaginations are infinite–even if we read an idea that inspires our own work, we will produce a much different take on the story than any other writer.

It is true that particular genres sometimes flood the market (like paranormal romance around the time of my debut novel in 2010), but this phenomenon is probably more about following trends than about too much reading.

How has voracious reading made your writing better? Here’s how it has helped me:

1) Familiarity with the genre helps me improve my story’s structure (including pacing, voice, length, characterization). 

2) Reading increases my vocabulary and clarity. Occasionally, I jot down words or phrases that resonate with me, like in the murder mystery Defending Jacob that I just finished reading. The author described a TV news van barnacled with satellite dishes and antennae–a cool description, I thought. 

3) Reading absolutely stimulates my writing! When I read an amazing book, I can’t wait to get back to my manuscript and try to create a teensy bit of magic myself.
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Oh! The Places You’ll Go! #GIVEAWAY $10 #giftcard

Thanks to The Kids Did It & The Mommy Island for hosting.


How’s your return to school? I’m sad the days are getting shorter but otherwise excited to dive into the back-to-school energy of working as a psychologist at a university.

My sports romance BLOCKED features a Latina starting as a scholarship volleyball player at the university where her crush also plays. I’m giving away an ebook of Blocked, Aced, and Spiked, as well as a $10 gift card.

Enter on the Rafflecopter.

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Then be sure to hop over to these amazing places!

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New Release: CHAOS by Jen Locklear @RandomCran #romance


Title: Chaos
Series: Constellation #2
Author: Jennifer Locklear
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 17

Congratulations, Jennifer!

He’s older, sophisticated, and harboring secrets. She’s intelligent, beautiful, and emotionally numb.
On the surface, advertising executive Jack Evans has it all. Blessed with striking good looks, a thriving career, a stylish wife, and an adoring daughter, he’s still struggling with personal turmoil. And when his wife abruptly leaves, it’s up to Jack to care for his child alone while picking up the pieces of his broken past.
While doing so, Jack is drawn to the up-and-coming executive, Kathleen Brighton. She’s stunning and intuitive—and everything he needs now that the divorce is finalized. As he falls for his sexy colleague, Jack worries that Kathleen may not be able to handle the chaos of his life. Will Jack escape the mistakes of his past to capture the future he deserves?

AMAZON * AMAZON UK

AMAZON CA * AMAZON AU

Jennifer Locklear lives in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. She married her high school sweetheart, Morgan, in 1995. She is the mother of two children, a son and daughter.
Jennifer enjoyed creative writing as an adolescent, but set aside her favorite hobby to concentrate on college studies, career and family. In 2010, she rediscovered her passion for writing when her husband recruited her to edit his own stories. They co-authored and published their debut novel, Exposure, in 2014.
Since 2000, Jennifer has been employed in fundraising and development for a non-profit organization. She has been a contributing reviewer for the “Bookish Temptations” book blog and is a founding moderator of “Argyle Empire,” an approved fan site for author Sylvain Reynard. She also enjoys participating in charitable activities, both locally and online.
Constellation is Jennifer’s first solo novel.
Hosted By:
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Cover Reveal FOLLOW YOUR ARROW by @AMWillardAuthor #romance

Release Date: May 22, 2018

Cover Design: MadHat Books

Synopsis

All I wanted to do was run my bookstore, forget my failed marriage, and escape my past. But life on a tiny island makes that tough, especially when rumors are swirling that Justin Albott, famous mystery writer and my first love, is returning to the island.
I’ve watched his career. Stocked my bookstore with hardcovers that bear his glossy photo. There seems to be two sides to his personality. The online persona, who smiles when prompted, and the one that I remember—the thief of hearts. The one who just walked into my store and crooked that familiar grin.
We’ve both changed over the years. I’m no longer married, and he’s no longer the boy who left me behind.
I’d give anything to know why he’s really come back and if that kiss between us was real.

 

Goodreads

Pre-Order NOW on iBooks https://apple.co/2nFCR7S

 

Excerpt

Running my hands through my hair, I look up toward the sky like I’m asking someone for a story. Someone to give me the words to write. Right as I look back down, I see her walking down the shoreline. Her hair is blowing in the light breeze, while her arms are wrapped around her waist. I study the way Leslie is lost in thought. I can’t help but think she’s trying to figure out our little exchange today. Or is she wishing she never had to see me again? Carefully, I watch her like I’m taking notes on a private moment. One that I’m not invited to know about. A part of my chest hurts, and I don’t know why. I’m unsteady when it comes to her. The mixture of protection, lust, and mystery hangs from the aura of Leslie Owens- Powell.
With my eyes on Leslie and my fingers hovering above the keyboard, it hits me. The story that I need to write. The one that will be the best of them all.
Before I can blink I’m typing.

Giveaway

One of Five ARC’s for Follow Your Arrow

   

About the Author

Bestselling Author, A.M. Willard resides in Savannah, Georgia. She joined the Peach State many years ago after leaving the crystal blue waters and sugary white sand behind from the Panhandle of Florida. She’s also known for being a wife, mother, and caretaker for her farm animals. A.M. loves anything sassy, glittery, and is a sucker for the Hallmark Channel. That last one might be the reason she believes in soulmates or it could be because she married her high school sweetheart for twenty years ago. After releasing her first novella series back in 2014, A.M. set out on a new goal to bring her readers a broad range of romantic stories from her desk. This includes Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance, and from time to time some Sexy Romance. A.M. is an active member of RWA (Romance Writers of America).

Get Social with A.M. Willard

Newsletter Sign Up: http://bit.ly/2eIn2wHFacebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2s1tFLrFacebook Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2eDhrnMGoodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2xN42BVTwitter: http://bit.ly/2w4ovjPInstagram: http://bit.ly/2j10sRzAmazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2xMQV3HBookBub Author Page: http://bit.ly/2iZUbW6
 
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Rain Rain Go Away #Giveaway Hop


In Ohio, I’ll retitle this the Snow Snow Go Away Giveaway Hop. Where the heck is the spring? Hopefully it’s warming up this week. Thank you to The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It for hosting.


In addition to a $10 gift card, I’m giving away two Jennifer Lane ebooks of your choice. If you like sports romance or romantic suspense with a psychological twist, then I hope you win!

My latest release, psychological thriller Twin Sacrifice, is only $.99 until 4/16.



Enter to win on the Rafflecopter, then hop over to all the blogs to scare the rain away!


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#IWSG Reading Pet Peeves


Crap, where did June and July go? It’s time for the August edition of Insecure Writers Support Group where we share our fears and successes.

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and this month’s co-hosts!
Co-Hosts:


IWSG Question: What are your pet peeves when reading / writing / editing?


After working with professional editors for seven novels, I’ve become a stickler for grammar and spelling. One word I see consistently misspelled (even in traditionally published novels) is BLOND.

My editor taught me that the only time to use the spelling BLONDE is describing a female as a noun. 

The sassy blonde approached me.

When using blond as an adjective (or as a noun for a blond man), THERE IS NO E!!!

The sassy, blond woman approached me.

I fell for the blond dude in a heartbeat.

Holy Leo DeCaprio, he’s hot! I fell for that blond in a heartbeat.


Speaking of pet peeves, do you ever read an early work of yours and cringe? Adverb abuse was rampant in my debut novel, romantic suspense With Good Behavior. So I edited the hell out of it and we re-launch it on 8/14/17.

If you have a moment to share my re-release the week of 8/14, signups are HERE. Thanks!
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#CoverReveal MARKED BEAUTY by @SA_Larsen #paranormal #romance



MARKED BEAUTY by S.A. Larsen, Digital Cover Reveal Information


Title: Marked Beauty
Author: S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.

Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.
Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.

After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.

As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.


About the Author
S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. 

Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.
Connect with her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads


Giveaway
This is a #hashtag giveaway, where two lucky winners will receive a FREE eBook of Marked Beauty upon its release.
To participate:

  • Share one of the premade images via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or write up a blog post using one of the images.
  • Include #MarkedBeauty in your description.
  • Optional for extra entry: include Add to Goodreads (with link) in your description.

***Posts MUST contain the hashtag #MarkedBeauty for entry into the giveaway or we won’t be able to find you.

Pre-made tweets (you add the image)
“A lust 4 life energy. An ancient curse. One soul’s journey thru death 2 find the cure.” #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0
“Uncovering some secrets can kill you, or worse … steal your soul.” #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit
An ancient race. A timid girl. And a journey to the in-between. #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit
The giveaway begins May 17th and will be open until May 23rd. Winners will be announced May 24th via social media.

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Flash Drive #Giveaway and April #KU Challenge: SPIKED


Lots of giveaways and news to share from Jennifer Lane Books!

I’m pairing with USB Memory Direct to offer a giveaway of three flash drives loaded with a Jennifer Lane ebook of your choice.

Enter on the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, SPIKED (Blocked #3) is part of the Love Kissed Books KU Challenge. We struggle to like each other in this heated political climate, and the NA Sports Romance Blocked series is about finding love despite our differences. Love across the aisle!

Have you participated in the Kindle Unlimited Challenge? You can win a Kindle and Amazon gift cards by reading awesome books.

Finally, are you a Prison Break fan? I’m a HUGE fanatic and writing fan fiction for the show is what started my crazy author adventure. I’m so psyched for the show’s return this April! If you haven’t seen it, check out season one on Netflix.

Prison Break inspired my debut novel WITH GOOD BEHAVIOR, which will be re-released soon after a fresh, new edit.

My work in progress is a romantic suspense novel: Twin Sacrifice. Stay tuned for excerpts from this psychological thriller.

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#IWSG How Does Writing Affect Your Reading?


Welcome to February’s edition of Insecure Writers Support Group, the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. Hop on board at Alex’s blog!


How was your January? I had to replace my furnace/AC/water heater and let’s just say I’m relieved I don’t have to survive on my measly author income after getting that bill. Luckily the system died when we had unseasonably warm temperatures in Ohio.

Are you ready for Singles Awareness Day on February 14th?


February Question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

Positive change: A greater appreciation for well-written books.

Negative change: Less enjoyment of many books. Before starting as a writer, I didn’t notice misspellings (like blond/blonde) or excessive verbiage. In the past, I skipped over cliches and telling instead of showing. Now those errors disgust me.

I feel fortunate fellow authors had the patience to read my debut novel, considering all my fledgling writer mistakes. I just re-edited With Good Behavior and chopped off 33,000 words, yahoo! The manuscript is with my publisher for a copy edit before we re-release it.

Speaking of revising, my website is over six years old and in need of an overhaul. Any web designers you’d recommend?

Thank you to this month’s co-hosts:

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#NewRelease USE SOMEBODY by @BeckAndersonID #romance


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Use Somebody is Beck Anderson’s
newest Hollywood standalone!


Now Available!


I loved the third book in the Fix You series and give it FIVE STARS! Review to come.


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Blurb
Jeremy King, Hollywood über-agent to the stars, knows that sharks gotta swim. He’s one of them, after all. He’s never met a deal he couldn’t strike or an argument he couldn’t win. LA is his kind of town—they both never stop moving.


So when his friend and client, movie star Andrew Pettigrew, invites him on a “man-cation” to the wilds of Idaho for a little fly-fishing, Jeremy’s not so sure. He might not have cell service. There’s no way there’ll be any supermodels to woo. And his idea of the great outdoors is a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in his Tesla Model S—moose definitely do not factor into the picture.


Fitting then that because of a moose, he meets Macy Shea Summerlin, the best fly-fishing guide on the South Fork. Jeremy’s surprised and tantalized, but Macy isn’t having any of his alpha male posturing. She gives as good as she gets, and she knows how to throw a mean right hook.


As the two of them get tangled up in each other’s lives, both Jeremy and Macy must come to terms with winning and losing and letting love in. And Jeremy has to find the answer to his own question: Is he simply “using” Macy or could he really “use” someone like her? Find out in Use Somebody, book 3 of the Fix You series.


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About the Author:
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Beck Anderson is a two-time Rita© finalist and author of four novels including the Fix You series and The Jeweler. She’s also a wife, a mom, an educator, and a walker of a small, bossy dog-slash-evil genius.


THANK YOU!
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