Tuesday, April 23, 2019

New Digs

Posted by: PG Forte
So I mentioned last month that I was re-doing my website. It's not quite operational yet--there's a tiny issue with migrating my business email, which is associated with my old host. Yikes! I'm at the point now where I'm seriously considering publishing the new website as pgforte.xyz and not mess with the dot com site at all.

Crazy like a fox? Or just plain crazy? You decide!

HOWEVER, I am loving my new site. Which you can get a sneak peek at here:

Inked in OakTown has all new covers. And the Oberon series, which is on hiatus while I try and figure out how much work needs to go into bringing them up to date, has a whole new look--including covers, banners, and new products in my store. 

This is the fourth set of covers for these books, and I think they finally have a cohesive look that accurately mirrors the stories.  The Arts & Craft font, in particular, is exactly what I always envisioned for the town of Oberon. 

Now, if I could just find time to update and re-release them in between trying to write and publish NEW books...


Monday, April 22, 2019

HERE BE NEWS for April 22, 2019

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author
In Case You Missed It:

Monday, April 15 

"HERE BE NEWS" - All the latest from the gang at Here Be Magic, including two new releases.

Wednesday, April 17 -
THE SOUNDTRACK OF WRITING” – Some authors need silence to write and others listen to music. Linda Mooney reveals a type of music that has become the soundtrack of her creative process. 

Thursday, April 18 -
CAN ORGANIZING HELP YOU CREATE YOUR OWN STORY?” – Author Maureen Bonatch discusses how some things serve a purpose for a time in our lives, but may not serve the person we are today.

Saturday, April 20 - 
#IndieApril: Try New Authors for Free! – Find out how to get a free copy of Shawna Reppert’s novella “Raven’s Blood” plus learn ways to discover new authors without spending money – and without encouraging piracy!


Saturday, April 20, 2019

#IndieApril: Try New Authors for Free!

Posted by: Shawna Reppert

Okay, so those of you who lurk in the writers’ and readers’ Twitter attic may know that there’s push to support the hashtag #IndieApril. Some of you may like the idea of supporting indie writers but aren’t sure you want to risk your hard-earned cash on an unknown when you could buy another book from someone you already know you like, or at least someone a publisher that you’ve heard of has vetted. I know how you feel (although I’ve been equally disappointed on occasion by both indie and traditionally published books, for what it’s worth.)

Anyway, in honor of #IndieApril, I thought I’d give you a list of ways to try out indie authors for free (without encouraging piracy.)

First one I can think of is one that many people know about, but forget to avail themselves of—the ‘look inside’ feature available on most books on Amazon. You can read a small section of the book before you decide to buy. No, it’s probably not enough to show you if the writer can handle plot structure or bring a plot home with a satisfying and dramatic ending, but it will tell you if they are a competent writer with a style you enjoy and characters you’d like to spend some time with. Just look on Amazon for the novel you’re considering. Go to the product page and click on the ‘look inside’ icon you’ll see near the cover image. If you look closely at the page, you may also see the option to download a sample. Also, for you Kindle Unlimited readers, keep in mind that many indie books are enrolled in that service (almost all of mine are). Authors are paid per read page when you ‘borrow’ a book, so no need to fear that you are somehow depriving the author when you use the service.

Another risk-free place to look for new authors you might like to try is Book Funnel. While some authors use this as a way to vend books for sale, it is also a place you can find authors giving away books and stories as a way to encourage you to give their writing a chance. Sometimes you may have to sign up for their newsletter to get the freebie, but you can always cancel later if you find the author is not to your taste. If you want to see how it all works, try it out here and get a free copy of Raven’s Song, a novella in my award-winning Ravensblood urban fantasy series. (You will have to sign up for my newsletter, but I don’t spam and I try to include deals from other genre authors in each newsletter, as well as exclusive unpublished vignettes and stories from the Ravensblood universe.) Instafreebie/Prolific Works offers a similar service, only readers can browse for new authors or sign up for email notifications.

Another popular way to find free and discounted books is to sign up for BookBub. You will get a daily email of select books, a mix of traditional and indie books curated for quality and filtered to your stated genre preferences. Freebooksy, Bargainbooksy, and Fussy Librarian are lesser-known lists that offer similar services.

So, there you go. You are out of excuses. Go find a promising indie author to try and celebrate #IndieApril!

Shawna Reppert is an award-winning author of fantasy and steampunk who keeps her readers up all night and makes them miss work deadlines.  Her fiction asks questions for which there are no easy answers while taking readers on a fine adventure that grips them heart and soul.  You can find her work on Amazon and follow her blog on her website (www.Shawna-Reppert.com).  You can friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter, where she posts an amazing array of geekery.  Shawna has on occasion been found in medieval garb on a caparisoned horse, throwing javelins into innocent hay bales that never did anything to her.

(My website is currently undergoing renovations. Please check out my newer, fancier, easier-to-navigate version here in a few days!)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Can Organizing Help You Create Your Own Story?

Posted by: Maureen
by Maureen Bonatch
I started this year on a mission to organize stuff

Those who know me may be a little surprised at this since I’m already a person who doesn’t like clutter and is constantly getting rid of things. 

But this time it was a little different, this time it was personal. 

Almost Anything Can Have Sentimental Value

Often many, or even most, of the things we seem to always be sorting through and putting back on the shelf or in the closet have a sentimental value. I use the term sentimental loosely because we can usually find sentimental value in just about anything. Ticket stubs, cards, gifts from someone all bring up a nice memory—or so we tell ourselves. 

What happens when those ‘memories’ of yesterday burden us from making room for new ones? Or they feel more like an obligation to constantly move them around so we can’t find what we really need for today or make room for tomorrow? 

It’s as if we have a book that we love and keep reading it over and over and never read something new. As if we think that nothing could ever compare to this book so we never pick up a new one.

Your Story Starts Today

At the start of the year I read Marie Kondo’s book about the magic of tidying up (it's always been magical to me) and one thing particularly stuck with me to help me realize and embrace letting go of things that may have become baggage instead of bringing joy. 

It was to recognize that some things serve a purpose for a time in our lives, but that may not serve the person we are today. So it’s not that we didn’t appreciate and love something, we’re just ready to move on to find new joy. (Although I can’t fully support Marie’s beliefs on how many books we should keep—that’s where I draw the line.)

These concepts also connect to the characters I love to write and read about. If a story only ever focused on the past, and the characters never moved forward, the story may not be as interesting. We want to see our characters break out of their shell, make progress, and discover new things. So why don’t we apply these same principles to our own lives? 

Live Through the Characters- or Become One

It’s comforting to hold onto the past, but sometimes it’s more exciting to see what the future might bring—even if it’s just the joy of having a closet that we can open and know what’s in there and where to find everything. 

I did take this a step further this year and changed my job after working in a position for 16 years. This decision was both terrifying and exciting. It wasn’t something I would normally do. It’s something I would make my characters do in my stories. 

But I thought perhaps it was time that I faced that inciting incident and let a new adventure begin. While other times, it’s enough to live vicariously through a character in a book and enjoy a quiet, organized space of my home.

How Are You Writing Your Story?

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

Be the first to know about Maureen’s book sales and new releases by following her on BookBubAmazonand/or signing up for her newsletter 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Soundtrack of Writing

Posted by: Linda Mooney
Some authors like to listen to music when they're writing, mostly to block out extraneous noise that would interrupt their stream of concentration. Other authors need absolute silence. Me, I fall into the former category.

However, I cannot listen to songs. As a professionally trained singer and musician, listening to a song means I pay attention to the lyrics and the melody. Yes, I love songs, especially when I can relate them to the hero and heroine in my book. But for general writing, I turn to movie soundtracks. More specifically, to the orchestral versions. But, again, I found myself being distracted at times because I'd recall the specific scene going on in the movie during that musical interlude.

It was by accident that I discovered trailer music. You heard me.

Trailer music -- music specifically written for movie trailers that studios can use in their trailers when the movie's actual soundtrack hasn't yet been solidified.

This is fully orchestrated music, written in song-length excerpts of 2-3 minutes each, and featuring everything from soaring dynamics to upbeat tempos. From gentle measures that almost caress your inner soul, to harsh and pounding drumbeats that sound like advancing armies or themes of war.

So if you have eclectic tastes like I do, and if you enjoy this kind of music, I heartily recommend you check out the following four artists: Audiomachine, The Immediate (look for their Trailerhead series), Position Music, and Two Steps from Hell

These are the soundtracks to my books.

A Sensuous Paranormal Romance

Word Count: 42.2K
$3.99 e / $9.99 p

It started with a winning lottery ticket, and could end with her death.

What would you do with $597 million?

Despite her estranged fiancĂ© raving that it’s a waste of money, Maren Padgett decides to try her luck and buys a lottery ticket with the last few bucks in her wallet. What could it hurt? What Burke Shavet wasn’t expecting was for Maren to actually win. With dollar signs in his eyes, he starts making big plans for the big winnings, contrary to Maren begging him to slow down. She’s uncomfortable with how fast he’s moving, with good reason. 

She should’ve trusted her instincts. Pushing a spur of the moment trip to the Grand Canyon, Burke had it all planned out… 

Maren owes her life to the people living at the bottom of the canyon. Especially to the mysterious black-haired man named Thann who rescued her. The problem is she doesn’t remember why her life was in danger to begin with. She can’t remember anything actually. But slowly, her memories are returning, and no one is happy with what she’s recalling.

Warning! Contains lumpy soap, a shopping spree, a heavy load, an Oscar-worthy performance, five hundred million reasons, white water, petroglyphs, and a devastating act that brings two people together seeking justice...and love.

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