Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday Tips: editors and more

Hello everyone!
Welcome back to Thursday Tips. Today we have a website to help with tracking down an editor: Fiver!

www.fiver.com is a site that is aptly named. Most of its services cost  start at a mere $5. On there you can find help with just about anything! For authors needs there are people to help with editing, proofreading and critiques with different levels of skill offering an array of options.

Being hooked up with the wrong editor could be stressful and hinder your growth as a writer. Finding an editor you click with can make your writing journey educational and possibly pleasant. Once your editor gets to know your style of writing and you establish a report the flo and ebb between you two becomes easier.

My editor and I have been together since 2006, long before the birth of this site. If it was around back then I would have surely used it. I started out writing shorter stories, 10-15k, no longer than 20k. This site seems to be perfect for that word count.  Fiver offers many more services for minimal prices. 

It is a worthwhile site to check out for the novice author all the way to the best selling author. 

Come back and let me know what you think of the site. See ya next week! 

Dana
www.danalittlejohn.net  










Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wicked Wednesday- VL Locey: Tape to Tape, Venom #3

Tape to Tape, Venom # 3
V.L. Locey
M/F Erotic Hockey Romance

Buy Links:
Amazon- http://tinyurl.com/zt8vncq 
Smashwords- https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/646762

Blurb:
Venom defensive coach Dot "The Shadow" West has made a nice life for herself. She's found a new position on an up-and-coming women's professional hockey team, her daughter is thriving, she gets along well with her fellow coaches and her players admire and respect her. She's proud to have accomplished so much by herself. Everything is running smoothly in her life with no help from anyone, thank you very much.

Sadly, there's one annoying glitch in Dot's new life, and it's in the form of good-looking Theo Grier, former Wildcat goalie and co-host of a controversial sports talk radio show based in Philadelphia, home of the Venom. When Dot loses her cool and calls in to spar with Theo on the air her structured and solitary existence takes a sudden unexpected turn. Before she can hip check the smug fool out of her life she somehow ends up working with him on a new talk radio sports program.

Can she defend her heart against the unwanted feelings Theo is stirring up? Or will she continue to guard herself, and her past decisions, against the offensive moves being made by the ex-goalie? The only man to ignite her passions - and ire - in years?



Excerpt:

"Security lets you down here?" I asked.
"I'm an old 'Cat. They love me down here," he informed me. I walked past him and began to pull on a mitten. "I thought maybe we could grab a cup of coffee and discuss the show next Monday." That made me pause for a scant moment but just for a moment. I kept walking and dressing. Theo caught up to me with ease. His legs were as long as a thoroughbred's. "Did you hear me?"
"Yes, I heard you. I then chose to ignore you." I wrapped a red and black scarf around my neck, nodded at Eddie the security guard stationed by the staff/players entrance, and then stepped out into a freezing cold Philadelphia night.
"You plan on treating me this coldly forever?" Theo asked as I slid past him. If he thought holding the door open for me would chill me out, he was sorely mistaken.
"Probably," I said with my eyes locked on my blue Honda Pilot. "My grandmother always said that the best way to deal with a wart was to freeze it."
"Ouch," Theo chuckled while keeping up with my pace easily. Each breath out clouded in front of my face. "I hope I'm just a finger wart and not an anal wart."
"Oh, you're an anal wart. One of the biggest ones that I have ever had the misfortune to encounter," I parried as my Honda got closer and closer. Theo jumped ahead of me to bar my path. I gave him a lethal glare. He smiled and held out his hand. I eyed it warily as if it were an asp ready to strike.
"Coach West, I think we need to start over," Theo said as his hand hung in the cold air. I raised my eyes from his big hand to his face. Then I gave him a strong "Please spare me" look. The man didn't have the sense to stop trying to be sexy. A gust right off an iceberg howled around the Houseman, lifting Theo's white scarf high into the air behind him. "It's a pleasure to meet you in person, Coach West. I'm Theo Grier, ex-goalie and world's largest walking anal wart."
I snorted and glanced up at the LED parking lot light wobbling overhead.
"Could that have been a smile I saw on 'The Shadow's' face?" Theo asked. I rolled my eyes then shook my head.
"It was a tiny sneeze."
"Right, a sneeze," he said with just a hint of skepticism. "Maybe you should shake my hand so you can get out of this nasty cold weather. A hot cup of coffee at the Black Boar Bar & Grill might be just what you need to help thaw out, Coach West."
"For your information, Mr. Grier, I do not need to thaw out. I'm quite comfortable, toasty warm, hot even," I replied keeping my arms crossed over my chest.
"Yes, that you are," Theo said in a vibrating voice that had dropped just a smidgeon. There was something about his voice, the way he held himself, and that damned large hand of his still waiting for mine that made me feel a trifle too warm inside my coat.
"Flattery will get you nowhere, Mr. Grier." I pushed around him.
"How about honesty then," he said and then planted his massive self in front of me once again.
"You're persistent, I'll give you that," I sighed.
"When I see something I want, I go after it."
"And you want me?" I asked.
"Yeah, I want you to shake my hand and join me for coffee," he countered smoothly. I studied his face then with a huff extended my hand, all toasty warm in my mitten, to him. His fingers curled around mine, making my hand glow like a red coal in a fire pit. We shook slowly, one could have said sensuously, but handshakes with mittens blocking the skin-to-skin can't be sensual, can they?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and two Jersey steers.
When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

Author Links:
Website:  http://vlloceyauthor.com/ 
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/VL-Locey/124405447678452 
Twitter- https://twitter.com/vllocey 
Pinterest- http://www.pinterest.com/vllocey/ 
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807700.V_L_Locey 
My blog- http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/ 
tsĂș - https://www.tsu.co/vllocey


Gone Writing Publishing Backlist Books and Upcoming Releases
Pink Pucks & Power Plays (Book One of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
A Most Unlikely Countess (Book Two of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
O Captain! My Captain! (Book Three of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
Reality Check (Book Four of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
Language of Love (Book Five of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
Final Shifts (Book Six of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
Clean Sweep (Book One of the Venom Series)
Twirly Girl (Book Two of the Venom Series)
Tape to Tape (Book Three of the Venom Series)

Coming Nov. 16…Roster Addition (a To Love a Wildcat hockey romance novella)

Torquere Press Backlist and Upcoming Releases
Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse (Part of the He Loves Me For My Brainssss anthology)
Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 2: It Came From Birmingham
Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3: He's a Lumberjack and He`s Undead
Love of the Hunter
Goaltender`s Penalty
All I Want for Christmas - A Toms & Tabbies Tale
Early to Rise - A Toms & Tabbies Tale
Every Sunday at One (Part of the 2013 Charity Sip Anthology)
Night of the Jackal
An Erie Halloween
An Erie Operetta
Back to the Garden (Also part of the Mythologically Torqued Anthology)

Ellora`s Cave Backlist and Upcoming Releases
Bound, Boarded and Bagged
Two Man Advantage
Game Misconduct
Full Strength
Shutdown Pair

Independent Releases
Coming October 5, 2016…On Broadway (part of the Changing on the Fly M/M hockey romance charity novella)
Coming Dec. 20, 2016…Holly & Hockey Boots (a gay erotic holiday hockey romance)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tasty Tuesday: Shrimp













  • Hello everyone!
  • Welcome back to Tasty Tuesday. This week's recipe has simple, healthy and delicious ingredients. I loved it! I hope you do too. 
  • Remember, if you have a recipe you'd like to share please feel free to contact me so I can post it. If you've tried one that I've posted  please leave a comment on how you liked or didn't like it.
  • Bon Appetite!

                               1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 (12.8-ounce) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
  • 2 ears corn, each cut crosswise into 4 pieces
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons cajun seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

  • Preheat a gas or charcoal grill over high heat.
  • Cut four sheets of foil, about 12-inches long. Divide shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes into 4 equal portions and add to the center of each foil in a single layer.
  • Fold up all 4 sides of each foil packet. Add olive oil, cajun seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste; gently toss to combine. Fold the sides of the foil over the shrimp, covering completely and sealing the packets closed.
  • Place foil packets on the grill and cook until just cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.*
  • Served immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday Tips: Tweet to your advantage

11 Twitter Tips for Authors:
Hi everyone! I've been a Twitter-o-holic for about four years now. In fact Twitter informs me that I've tweeted something like 16,600 times(!). I owe a lot in my writing life to Twitter: it's where I found my trusted circle of beta readers, it's where I found my literary agent, and it's where I've connected to so many other authors who've shared opportunities and information with me.
As you can guess, I'm a huge fan of Twitter! So I thought I'd take a moment and share a little of what I've learned. Hopefully there's something here that every author can use, whether you're published yet or not, already active on Twitter, or debating whether to join. (This is all based on my personal experience and what's worked best for me.) So remember, as with everything in writing and publishing, there is no one right way.
So...here we go!

1. Twitter is about making connections, not about selling books.
Yup. If you join Twitter thinking people are going to flock to your feed and you'll sell millions, think again. Fellow tweeters respond to actual interaction. Your goal here is to make friends first, which will ultimately help you sell books. And this leads to . . .

2. Be real. Use your personality.
Okay, that's two tips in one. You're so getting your money's worth here! Wait, this is free. Never mind. Anyhow, what should you tweet about? Tweet about drafting and editing. Join the conversation on the #amwriting or #amediting hashtags. Tweet about books you've read and enjoyed (and tag the authors!). Talk about other things that interest you. Respond to other writers' tweets about books and writing and well, anything. Just don't -- and I repeat don't -- tweet direct sales pitches for your book. (See Tips #4 and #7 for when and how to do sales pitches.) Genuinely interacting with other writers on Twitter is what will make you friends. And friends are what we're after here. These are the people who will help spread your good news and who will exchange marketing opportunities with you. You want them in your corner!

3. Lurk for a while.
This is for the newbie Twitter users out there. I get that it's overwhelming. And I get that you feel the need to jump in right away. But, my biggest piece of advice is to create an account, and then lurk for a while. Follow people who interest you. Find your favorite authors and follow them. Interested in self-publishing? Follow the big names there. Want to check out traditional publishing? Follow agents who represent your genre(s). Curious about small presses? Follow them and their editors. Follow people who organize writing contests, follow those who give solid writing and publishing advice, follow people who are interesting to you! And take some mental notes about how they tweet. Then, when you're ready, finish setting up your profile and start interacting with them. Wait, a profile? That takes us to . . .
4. The necessaries.
You need a real picture, not the generic egg, or else you'll look like a bot. Profile pictures that'll make you look professional: your author photo or your book cover (if you're published). If you don't have those and don't want to use a selfie, put up something that reflects your personality but still looks professional: your dog, your coffee mug, a stack of your favorite books. You need a link to your website in the website linky spot. You need that big banner behind your profile pic to actually have something in it. (If you're published, this is a great spot to show off all those book covers or a close-up of that gorgeous cover art!) And your profile blurb needs to be professional. This means you should include something about what genres you write, the title of at least one book (if you're published), name of your publisher (if you're with a publisher), and something that'll make you seem human (this can be something funny or something you love or whatever strikes your fancy -- just keep it professional). And for the love of the sweet baby Jesus, avoid the hashtags in your profile, unless they're conversation-related. (See why and what I mean about conversation-related in Tip #9.) Finally, you need a pinned tweet. This is the tweet that'll show up at the top of your feed whenever someone clicks on your profile. Here is a great place to sell your book! How you do that is up to you. I change mine every month or so, and I don't always do a direct pitch. For instance, my pinned tweet as I write this is a picture of ARCs of my upcoming book. So you've got your necessaries. Now what?

5. Don't Sell. Engage.
Yup, I already said this, but it bears repeating. Constant sales pitches are why people will unfollow you on Twitter. You do not want to be that writer who thinks Twitter is their own personal used car sales lot. Instead, you want to be that awesome person everyone invites to their parties because they say fascinating things and are genuinely interested in other people. DO: respond to other people's tweets, share others' good news, share your own good news (see Tip #7 on how to do this), talk about stuff that isn't related to books or writing, encourage people who seem to need encouragement, be a joiner (whether it's writing contests or a call for blog posts or someone asking for book suggestions or whatever). DON'T: auto-DM new followers (unless you want to be immediately unfollowed), get stalkery and respond to everything someone else tweets, tweet grumpy stuff, join in Twitter flame wars, get upset if people don't respond to all of your tweets. Basically: Do unto others and be positive. Always. Save your rants about the guy who cut you off this morning for your personal Facebook page.

6. Know your audience.
This is really important. And it changes depending on where you are in your writing and publishing journey. When I started on Twitter, I was pre-published and my audience was other writers. And that was about it. So we commiserated about querying and revisions and plot bunnies and it was all great fun. Then I became published. Suddenly, my audience also included parents of readers, teachers, librarians, book bloggers, my editors, my agent. Let's just say I do a lot less complaining these days because I'm super aware of how these people will perceive me on Twitter. And because I write children's books, I'm conscious of my language and the content of my tweets. Not because kids will see them, but because the people who might buy my books for kids will see them. I don't get political on Twitter. I don't get involved in any arguments on Twitter. Twitter is my public face and it remains professional. But, because I write funny books, I let that side shine. I joke with writer friends and tweet silly things that happen to me. The takeaway here? Marry your professional self with your human self in a way that'll appeal to -- and not alienate -- your audience.

7. The Three-Times-Per-Day Rule.
Okay, so say something awesome happens. Your book is out! You've got a great new post on your blog! You win an award! Yay!!! Of course you want to share this with your Twitter pals. And you can -- carefully. For one day (ONLY one day), tweet the news three times. Once in the morning, once at mid-day, and once in the evening. That's it. Why? Because since you've been interacting with people and being interesting and non-sales-pitchy and therefore building up your followers and friendships, these people will help you spread the news. They'll be excited for you and retweet it and reply to you. Your news will spread without you coming across as HEY LOOK AT ME BUY MY BOOK! See how awesome this is? Speaking of retweets . . .

8. Don't go retweet crazy.
Because it's annoying and people will unfollow you if you fill their feed with sixteen retweets in a row. Instead, carefully select what you want to retweet. Make sure it'll appeal to your audience. Retweet people's good news, or something funny they've said, or the link to a useful blog post. But here's the catch -- don't just retweet it. Be sure to add a little something in the comment space above your retweet about why you're retweeting this. People are far more likely to click, engage, or retweet if you make it personal.

9. Hold the hashtags, Heather.
Have you ever seen a tweet like this? "Buy my #book! #Thriller #Romance #Suspense On #sale for $7.99 on #kindle, #nook, #kobo! #deal #amazon #authors" Can you even read that? It looks even worse on Twitter with all the hashtagged words showing up in a different color. You can bet people's eyes will glaze right over it before they move on to something more interesting. Bottom line: no one clicks on non-conversation-oriented hashtags, so you're wasting your time and possibly annoying your followers for nothing. When should you use a hashtag? Only when you're engaging in a conversation. For example, I use #5amwritersclub when I'm chatting with tweeps writing at 5 a.m. Or #pitchwars when I'm talking about the Pitch Wars writing contest. Or #amwriting when I want to chat with other people who are drafting. Why use hashtags then? Because the hashtag will make sure your tweet shows up not only in that specific hashtag's feed on Twitter, but also in programs like TweetChat, which people use to isolate and participate in Twitter conversations. It's harder for people to respond to you in these conversations if you forget the hashtag.

10. Check out your stats.
At the bottom of each of your tweets, there are a group of vertical bars that look like the old iPhone signal bars. Click on that, and it'll show you how many people saw your tweet, how many clicked on it to expand it, how many then clicked your profile, how many commented or liked your tweet, and how many clicked a link you included. You can use this to help gauge what time of day is best for reaching people and what kinds of tweets people find most interesting. Also, on your profile page, there's a "Your Tweet Activity" graph that'll show how interactions vary from day to day. And followers? Don't stress if you lose some. There are a ton of bots on Twitter that'll follow and unfollow you and mess with your numbers. Best advice is not to pay attention to your number of followers at all. 

11. Have fun! And disengage when you need to.
Everyone needs a social media break every once in a while. I love Twitter, but I can admit that it gets tiring and overwhelming. Sometimes everyone else's good news can make you feel not so great about yourself and your work. Take time off if you need it. Your followers aren't going anywhere.
I'm on Twitter as @gailecn. Tweet me about this post, and I'll be sure to follow you back!

My Bio:
Gail Nall lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family and more cats than necessary. She once drove a Zamboni, has camped in the snow in June, and almost got trampled in Paris.
Gail is the author of the Aladdin/S&S middle grade novels BREAKING THE ICE, the YOU'RE INVITED series (co-authored with Jen Malone), and the upcoming OUT OF TUNE (11/8/16) and SEVEN SIDES TO EVERY STORY (co-authored, Summer 2017). She is also the author of the young adult novel, EXIT STAGE LEFT (Epic Reads Impulse/HarperCollins).
Links:
Twitter / Facebook / GailNall.com
Buy Links:
EXIT STAGE LEFT (ages 14+)
BREAKING THE ICE (ages 8-13)
YOU'RE INVITED series (ages 8-13)
OUT OF TUNE (ages 8-13; available for pre-order)
Gail Nall
Author of Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction
Books for Ages 8-13 (with Aladdin/Simon & Schuster):
Breaking The Ice (available now);You're Invited (available now) and You're Invited Too (available now); Out of Tune (November 8th, 2016); Seven Sides to Every Story (Summer 2017)
Books for Ages 14+ (with EpicReads Impulse/HarperCollins):
Exit Stage Left (available now)
Want to get the latest news about my new books, giveaways, & more fun stuff?
Sign up for my newsletter!
Twitter / Facebook / GailNall.com / Kidliterati

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wicked Wednesday with A. D. Ellis

The Bryan & Jase: Something About Him by A.D. Ellis

EXCERPT:
I walked through the terminal of the Austin airport, just taking my time before I headed to baggage claim. I was very happy with my life in Indiana, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to be back home in Texas for a long visit.
I was looking forward to meeting up with old friends, seeing former military buddies I hadn’t seen in over a year, and especially spending time with my family. Getting my fill of my momma’s home cooking was at the top of my list of must-dos.
“Keating!”
The voice behind me startled me from my thoughts of mom’s biscuits and gravy.
I knew that voice, but there was no way it was him.
Turning around slowly, bracing myself for disappointment when I saw a face other than the one I hoped it would be, I scanned the crowd.
And there he was.
Jase Rafferty.
It had been over a year since I’d seen him.
Things had been pretty intense between us before we’d parted ways, and it was obvious my heart and body recalled that intensity.

About the Something About Him series
I started a short story in the winter of 2015/2016. It was called Bryan and Jase: The Beginning and it was simply to give my real life Bryan and Jase a story they could enjoy. But, while writing the short story, I realized Bryan and Jase’s story could go much further. Once I checked with Bryan to be sure he was okay with me publishing this story, I got to work on the full-length story. During the planning, I decided Something About Him could be a four book (or more!) series because I had some real-life scenarios bouncing around in my head. The stories will all be male/male romance (because I’ve fallen in love with that genre since writing my first male/male Sawyer) and I hope to release them all in 2016. The stories will be Bryan & Jase, Brody & Nick, Barrett & Ivan and Braeton & Drew (and at the writing of this blog post, I have an idea for a fifth book bouncing in my head!)

Side note-- As an author, I let the characters’ behaviors run true to who they are and what they are telling me. Do I always agree with their actions? Heck no! If you’ve read my very first book, For Nicky, you know that Audrey does something really bad. I hated what she did. And I wanted Nate to get revenge on her, make her pay. But that isn’t the way he wanted to play it out.
In Bryan & Jase, I didn’t really like the way Jase handled a couple things. But, again, that’s how HE wanted to play things out.
My point with this note is this: Bad things happen. Good people screw up. We won’t always agree with everything every person does. And we can’t say we’d never do something unless we were in the exact same situation. Even then we have to realize everyone responds in different ways.
So, I won’t apologize for my characters being REAL people and making REAL choices (and mistakes!)
I hope you’ll enjoy the journeys these stories provide.

LINKS to books by A.D. Ellis (contemporary male/female romance and male/male romance books are available) Books range from FREE to 99¢ to just $2.99 with some great box deal sets as well.
author.to/ADEllisAmazon
bit.ly/ADEllisiBooks
bit.ly/ADEllisKobo
bit.ly/ADEllisNook

Torey Hope series:
For Nicky
Because of Beckett
Christmas in Torey Hope
Loving Josie
Torey Hope: The Later Years series:
Decker
Sawyer
Zach
Kendrick
Something About Him series:
Bryan & Jase
Brody & Nick

Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday contest

Hey everyone!
What time is it? It's CONTEST TIME! That's right. Readers, lurkers, authors, EVERYONE is welcomed to enter! If you're an author that would like to join in on the hunt please feel free to email me.

Rules:

Every two weeks there will be another contest uploaded with a different prize. All contests will be from Friday to Thursday with the winner announced the next Friday. Winners will be chosen randomly. Those that do win can only win once a month. They must sit out for 30 days to give others a chance to win.


Okay, now for the contest.

Look through my website for 3 pictures at the bottom of the page. All the items bring one word to mind. Tell me what you think that word is in an email. Send your answer to  authordanalittlejohn@gmail.com
Next Friday come back to see who was randomly selected for the prize.

This week's prize.... this beautiful summer hat!

GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thursday Tips: business cards

Hello everyone!

For those who are still with me welcome back and for all my new followers welcome to my blog!
Let me tell you what you will find when you visit on Thursdays. This is the day set aside for tips to help you in your quest to be author extraordinaire! (I know that's not really a word, but work with me)

So, to make that journey less rocky I will share tips and I have invited some extraordinary authors to share what they have learned and tricks that work for them.

Since today is the first post I will share a little trick an author shared with me once that I continue to do because it's help my hometown popularity.

Most authors bring swag to book signings and pass them out during author events. Post cards, business cards and the like whether you're out of town or in your home town. When you're out socially consider putting a business card in with your tips. People are more open to support a name they recognize especially when the are hometown folk. When you're doing something locally you could be the next human interest story for the local paper or news. You never know who may pick up your card.

That's my Thursday Tip!
Come back next week and see what new tips we have for you. And please, if the tops have helped you leave comments and let us know! Remember like videos via periscope coming soon! Periscope/danalittlejohn