Thursday, January 16, 2020

Maintaining the Mojo

Posted by: Maureen

 by Maureen Bonatch

I have way too many story drafts that I’ve started, but not finished.

These characters remain suspended in time, waiting for their story to end, or the saggy middle to be crunched away, so the story can be released into the world. There’s not much better feeling for a writer than seeing their story out in the world.

So why hasn’t my mojo kept me in that story until it’s finished before I move onto something new?

New seems better. It seems more fun and exciting. It’s an adventure rather than…well…work. Because the fun was jumping into that story (Panster here) meeting those new characters, envisioning that new world—it’s so exciting. Rather than looking at the old story that needs extensive edits and rewrites. That’s not always as fun. I already know those characters, I know how that story ends. I know there’s a lot of work involved in that process.

Finish What You Started

The same thing seems to happen to many this time of year when it’s already half-way through January. Many New Year’s resolutions and goals are already long forgotten, or perhaps left in the dust before the confetti cleared. It’s fun to see the results, but sometimes it’s no fun to do all the work to reach that finish line, not when It’s much easier to start something new.

A week into that diet and you might think that new shiny diet would work better if you just try that  other diet instead, or a different exercise regime than the one you’d committed to. That clutter you’ve accumulated isn’t going anywhere, so you put it off. 

If you could just find that magic easy button, it would all come together perfectly.

Maintaining Motivation

For many years, I got up before the sun even thought about getting up and made time to write. It was an ingrained habit. Then, life happens, habits change, other demands take over your time. So how do we maintain the mojo that so many of us get at the start of a new year? To change bad habits, and master new ones for this year? 

Something motivates us to make that new goal, start that new adventure, but then what happens to that motivation? How can we keep that fire burning?

A few ways to include:
  • Know your high energy times and take advantage of them
  • Ride that mojo when you hit a wave- you might be flying high one day and unwilling to get off the couch the next day
  • Remember past victories- have you done it before, if so, how did you succeed?
  • Take baby steps and reward your efforts
  • Revaluate to ensure your goals are realistic
  • Remember your ‘why’ for the reason you made these goals in the first place

Your Goals are Your Own

Most importantly, know what works for you. What works for one person, may not work for someone else. You may be struggling with those goals and resolutions that seemed possible at the start of the year but now seem impossible. Don’t shove them aside to plod through the rest of the year and then wonder where the time went, and make the same resolutions for next year.

Why not work to ignite your motivation now and finish what you started?

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

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

5 Things to Help You Through Writing When You’re Sick

Posted by: Ruth A Casie

In a perfect world, I begin my writing day after eight hours of sleep, a large cup of my favorite coffee, a clear idea of my story, a perfect outline, and an uninterrupted day.
It’s not a perfect world, but you already knew that. The overwhelming reason why my perfect writing day went out the window (or down the toilet) had everything to do with being sick.
It’s been a difficult season here in the Northeast. One day you’re romping around in the park in spring-like weather and the next you’re plodding through your driveway knee-deep in snow!
According to Medical News Today, “many people associate cold weather with the common cold. While the weather is not directly responsible for making people sick, the viruses that cause colds may spread more easily in lower temperatures, and exposure to cold and dry air may adversely impact the body's immune system.” In addition, we’re confined in spaces with air heating system which recirculate the air from those who have the virus which, in essence spreads the virus around.
I was prepared for this cold season and did everything right. I got my flu shot. I ate right and exercised. I kept myself hydrated. Washed my hands. I even made sure I slept seven to eight hours every night. I still got sick. The kind of achy, sneezy, restless, lack of attention, all-you-want-to-do-is veg sick.
My cold settled in my chest. Bouts of coughing and wheezing kept me up at night. Our new cold water humidifier helped some, but not enough. Cold medicine, cough medicine and even an inhaler got my symptoms under control by mid-week, but ‘rust’ was settling on my writing gears.
Book blogs and writing seminars stress that writing every day is key to sharpening your craft. I understand the rationale. Every day you don’t write your writing skills dull. To be honest, they seem to dull faster than they sharpen, but I digress. My point is I tried to write, but the more I tried, the more difficult it was to maintain my attention. My mind wondered, I got caught up on social media, or I just nodded off. There was no sense sitting at my desk. I wasn’t accomplishing anything but watching my deadline loom closer without any progress on the work-in-progress.
I needed to figure out how I could help myself. I was still tired, congested and
chugging bottles of cough medicine. Determined, I made a large cup of tea with honey and lemon then sat down determined to get back to my writing. I came up with 5 action items and found that each one helped me get back to my writing.
After a few days of not writing I found the intimacy I had with my story and characters was gone. I decided to read my work from the beginning and get back into my character’s head. In truth, after I finish a first draft I usually step away from the story for a few days to get some distance. That way when I edit the story it’s with a fresh eye. Here I read from the beginning to ignite the fire that made me write the story.
#2 Outline
I write an outline with all my projects. After reading my story (#1 above) I found things to add, delete or move around. Rather than edit my draft yet. Instead I edited my outline and highlighted the new information in red. Here the excitement was in identifying new scenes or taking out ones that didn’t work. My outlines are narrative documents, almost like a synopsis. I don’t worry about ‘show and tell,’ choosing the right verbs. Sometime I even add dialogue. This gave me a quick view of what needed to be done.
Now, I was ready to write. I began by tackling the notes I made on the outline. This isn’t usually massive changes, but enough to get my writing started, back into the groove. With my head back in the story, I was ready to move the story forward. I still wrote in short spurts but I felt a sense of accomplishment. Several short spurts were better than none.
I keep my daily project word count on an Excel spreadsheet. I calculate when I want the book finished and polished and estimate how long the story will be. I also decide how many days I have to write the story. I take family time and vacations into consideration. From there it is a simple math calculation, number of total words divided by the number of writing days. I enjoy working toward short goals. Being sick, I knew I couldn’t reach my daily goal so I adjusted my word count goals and made it reasonable.
As a note: Each year, New Jersey Romance Writers, my local RWA chapter has a one month 30K writing challenge. I use my spreadsheet to keep track of my progress and get excited as I reach my daily goals and move closer to the 30K target.
Sometimes, no matter how much you plan or how diligent you are, your body tells you to stop. I realized that when I found myself asleep at my desk. That was not a pretty sight. Pushing myself was not going to help me recuperate or produce a good story. I needed to let your body heal. So I scheduled a nap into my day. The short rest did wonders. I woke refreshed and eager to write.
One other thing you can do while you are sick is journal. Think of it as research for writing a sick character. Note down how you feel, record how others respond around you, and plot. Your body may be defeated but your mind is fine.
If you can’t sit at your computer or pick up a pen, think about recording your story thoughts on your cell phone. Plot out your story and when you’re ready to write, it will be there.
I hope you don’t get a cold, but if you do I hope some of these suggestions will help you.

Happily Ever After …
He was the cause of her fall from literary stardom until he became her salvation.
From a fall from literary stardom to becoming the heroine in her own romance story, Beth Holmes has turned around her career and her love life. She owes it all to one very special person.
Jarred Watson has loved Beth since he read her first novel and suspected the heroine was the embodiment of the author. But the road to romance was fraught with pitfalls. He almost lost everything because of a conniving agent and a little white lie that got out of hand. At the eleventh hour, with honesty and hard work, their book sales are off the charts and a movie deal is in negotiations.
Interfering families and changed plans take their toll. Will they go their separate ways, or will Holmes and Watson continue their literary collaboration and personal partnership in order to find their own happily ever after?
Praise for Happily Ever After …
There were so many layers to this story that I couldn’t help but be drawn to the pages, kept on turning them as soon as I started. The flow was consistent, and nothing felt rushed or anti-climactic. This book held the right amount of surprises that kept me on my toes throughout.” ~ NKD
“I really loved the background information on the characters and the how, when, why answers! This is a really good story line and I enjoyed reading it!!” ~ LL
“This is a great romance with a amazing storyline and characters. The authors writing style keeps you reading all night “~ BALF
“Casie has a true talent for storytelling!” ~ N.N. Light, Goodreads
Happily Ever After is a Kindle Unlimited book and also available as an e-book or paperback at Amazon.
About the Author
Storyteller  |  Blogger  |  Creative Thinker  |  Dreamer  |  Good Sport  |  Teammate
Hi – I’m Ruth A. Casie and I write historical and contemporary romance. You might be wondering what I’m about. Sit back and let me tell you.
I’m happiest when I’m telling stories either chatting in a group or writing them down. I love to put my hero and heroine in tough situations and dare them to work it out—together, always together. They haven’t disappointed.  Oh, they complain but in the end their love and relationships are stronger than ever.
Here are five things you probably don’t know about me.
1.  I filled my passport up in one year.
2.  I have both historical romance and contemporary romance series. I also write stories in the connected world the Pirates of Britannia.
3.  I did a rap to “How Many Trucks Can a Tow Truck Tow If a Tow Truck Could Tow Trucks.”
4.  When I cook I dance.
5.  My Sudoku book is in the bathroom. I’m not saying anything else about that.
My stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Their stories will keep you turning the pages until the end. I hope my stories become your favorite adventures.
I’m a USA Today bestselling author.
My hobbies:
* counted cross stitch
* ballroom dancing - not just between the fridge and stove
* reading almost anything
* Sudoko - I'm still staying quiet about that
For more information, visit Ruth at

Monday, January 13, 2020

HERE BE NEWS for January 13, 2020

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author


Monday, January 6 
"HERE BE NEWS" - Short but sweet, our first newsletter of the new year AND a new decade! 

Tuesday, January 7 -

MY FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2019” -  Need some ideas for what to read next? Author Nicole Luiken read an amazing THREE HUNDRED books last year! Paranormal romance, epic fantasy, sci-fi romance, YA, urban fantasy, historical romance and MORE. See which ones made Nicole’s list of favs. 

Saturday, January 11 -
This week's Bring It Back(list) feature is a twosome: CUT GLASS: JEWELS, dark and gritty urban fantasy/paranormal romance ebooks by Linda Mooney. And they're on SALE! Scroll down for all the details.


Noir Fairy Tales, Book 1
(Based on "Beauty and the Beast")
Paranormal, Fantasy Romance

By Linda Mooney
Word Count: 40.1K
$0.00 KU /$3.99 e / $9.99 p

Beldon Chase and Aura Dagger, of Chase and Dagger Detective Agency, are hired by Estin Ragg, a troll whose brother, Durif, was discovered dead under the 82nd Street Bridge. The coroner calls it a suicide, but Estin swears it was murder. The cops seem to be sitting on their hands because he’s a troll, and everyone knows how much trolls are castigated and despised in the realm.

Aura and Beldon are partners. He’s an ex-cop who was framed for something he didn’t do and kicked off the force. Soon after hanging out the shingle of his detective agency, he found Aura homeless in the streets after the death of her father. Something about the young woman touched him deep inside, and he took her in and trained her how to be a gumshoe.

They’re in love with each other, but it’s Beldon who’s put the skids on their relationship from becoming anything more than professional. Mostly because he's a Static, a man-beast unable to convert completely into a man or an animal.

As Bel and Aura are digging through clues as to whether or not someone killed Durif Ragg, their relationship comes to a head. Aura wants a commitment from Beldon. He would do anything to give it to her, but his own insecurities are holding him back.

Things eventually reach a breaking point when they discover who is actually behind Ragg’s death, and why. Which culminates in Aura giving Beldon a choice—either they make this a permanent partnership in all ways, or she takes a hike, leaving him and the detective agency.

Warning! Contains an ambush, foot chases, hoofprints, missing evidence, corruption, a slinky gold dress, and a perfect alignment that finally grants the wishes of the heart.

Excerpt and Buy Link

During the month of January,
get both ebooks for 99 cents each!

Book 1 - Diamond
Book 2 - Ruby 
by Linda Mooney

Forget everything you think you know about mass murderers and crimes of passion, because now you’re going to learn the truth. People don’t decide one day to go out and kill as many people as they can, or wake up one morning, grab the nearest shotgun or axe, and proceed to hack apart their loved ones. They do it because they’re infected with a jewel, a creature of intense beauty and danger. Once the jewel takes over a host’s body, that person dies, leaving the jewel in total control to thrive on fear and horror.

Read the blurbs:

Buy links: 

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