Book Launch: New Adult Paranormal Thriller

Looking for paranormal thriller authors to read? Look no further! Kristina Rienzi is relaunching her Ensouled series, and the first book to hit the spotlight is Choosing Evil.

Cursing Evil
Serafina Murano is no stranger to the paranormal, nor to evil. All her life she’s lived Choosing evil ebook coverharmoniously alongside demons despite the rage living inside of her. Damon Serpe is a conflicted demon on the ultimate mission: to infiltrate Serafina’s world. When their lives collide, they’re inexorably drawn to one another. But they’re forbidden to be together.

Chasing Evil
Dark, deadly secrets, gut-wrenching betrayal, and elusive questions that have haunted Serafina since childhood resurface in a wicked wrath. Damon holds the key to her understanding it all, as well as to her existence. If she decides to trust him, he will help decipher her recurring nightmares and unravel the lifelong mysteries tormenting her. Only Damon is harboring secrets far darker than Serafina ever imagined.

Choosing Evil
Time is running out. Serafina is forced to make an impossible decision. To save humankind, she must sacrifice her soul, choosing to become the very evil she has raged against her entire life. Embracing her truth won’t be easy. It’s a fate that will change her, and perhaps the world, forever.

Get started on this paranormal book series today!

Choosing Evil quote

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Guest Post: Story Ideas Are Like Autumn Winds

We finally have the joyous occasion of celebrating a long-awaited release: Haven Divided by Josh de Lioncourt! If you haven’t read Haven Lost and its short prequel Harmony’s Song, now is the time to grab them—they’re free starting today through August 3! Haven Divided, the second book in The Dragon’s Brood Cycle, launches tomorrow, July 31, so grab these freebies while they’re available and start reading.


Story ideas are like autumn leaves. They swirl and dance in an October wind, fleeting, colorful, and almost always beautiful. You can reach out to them, try to touch them, but most drift away, barely brushing your fingertips before they’re gone. If you happen to catch one, it is as likely as not that you will crush it before you’ve scarcely had a chance to examine it. Ideas are fragile things.

Every now and then, though, you snag a whole fistful of them, only to find they aren’t distinct stories at all, but merely fragments, puzzle pieces that might form something even more beautiful—if you can figure out which ones fit together and where.

My new novel, Haven Divided, is constructed very differently from its predecessor in The Haven DividedDragon’s Brood Cycle. There are four main POVs (and a couple of minor ones) that the story moves between. Keeping track of that many threads is challenging all on its own, and that’s before you factor in your job as the writer to make sure you don’t overwhelm or fatigue your reader.

Many seasoned authors tell new writers to just keep getting words down onto the page (or screen) and not worry too much if they’re any good. “That’s what rewrites and editors are for,” they say. In fact, NaNoWriMo is practically built on that entire concept, and a little more than one-third of my first novel Haven Lost was written during NaNoWriMo.

While the idea is a sound one that has certainly worked well for many, it has never been what works for me. In general, I write a chapter or scene, then go over it at least once, sometimes twice, trying to see it from my reader’s perspective. I edit and revise; I condense superfluous sections and add color to others. I don’t linger long over it, but I let it settle in my mind and become something independent of my imagination, something that can stand on its own. And then I move on to the next chapter.

This strategy was absolutely essential when juggling multiple POVs, and in fact ended up expanding. Whenever I would return to a character whose POV I hadn’t written in a while, I went back through his or her previous section, allowing their perspective to become my own as a reader would. Only then would I resume their tale. This made, I think, for a much more cohesive story, and keeps the reader fully immersed in each character’s world. When done well, a reader can often identify whose perspective a chapter is entering before the text itself even makes that explicit, because each POV should carry the flavor of its protagonist’s voice.

HAVEN LOST is free July 30 – August 3

Around the halfway mark of writing Haven Divided, I accidentally stumbled into another important part of the process, at least for me. I’d needed to put the book aside while working on another project for an extended period of time. When I returned to it, I went back and reread all that I had written so far, and I realized that the pacing could be better. Before continuing, I rearranged the first half of the book, establishing a rhythm to the story and POV changes that improved the way in which the story unfolded from the reader’s perspective. Never be afraid of moving things around. Stories and plots, just like the language itself on the page, have a beat and a tempo that matters, even if your reader is not consciously aware of it. Once I’d made those changes, maintaining that rhythm for the remainder of the book became natural and effortless, and the book itself was far better for it. Sometimes it seems that the puzzle pieces fit one way, when in fact, that bit of sky is over there, not over here.

All of that is a long way of saying this: when the evenings come sooner and the first chill and smell of woodsmoke comes to you on the autumn winds, reach out for the leaves that flutter by and try to catch a few. See if they make a picture, and don’t be afraid of rearranging them a thousand times over. Even if you crush one or two, there are always more—and they are all beautiful.


Before... de Lioncourt quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Featured Fantasy Book Series: Thrice Nine Legends

Looking for fantasy book recommendations? Get comfy—Thrice Nine Legends fantasy book series will entertain you for a while! Fantasy authors Joshua Robertson and J.C. Boyd have created worlds of adventure with dragons, unique creatures, and complex relationships that blur line between heroes and villains.

Thrice Nine Legends is shown below in chronological order. Note that anthologies include short stories that are part of the timeline.

Anaerfell ebook coverWarden of the Ash Tree ebook coverThe Highborn Longwalker ebook coverMelkorka ebook coverOf Life and Death ebook coverStrong Armed ebook coverWhen Blood Falls ebook coverDyndaer ebook coverThe Name of Death ebook coverMaharia ebook coverHeshayol ebook coverRagged Heroes ebook cover

*Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting our small business!

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Magazines for Writers of Children and Teen Stories

If you write books for children and teens and you’d like to get an agent or be traditionally published, consider writing for children and teen magazines. Publishing houses and agents are more likely to consider your book if you’ve got some genre-appropriate publication history behind you – and most magazines pay, so it’s a win-win for authors!magazine-806073_1920

These magazines accept a variety of work, including fiction, poetry and nonfiction, so most likely you’ll find a niche for your writing. Many popular traditionally published authors have gotten their start writing for magazines.

The website Authors Publish has just released its latest list of 23 magazines that are looking for writing aimed at children and teens. Take a look, and submit your best, most polished pieces. Remember that grammatical errors, typos, misspellings, poor punctuation and the like can ruin your chances of acceptance, so feel free to contact us to edit or proofread your work so it shines!

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Haven Divided by Josh de Lioncourt – Coming Soon

Josh de Lioncourt’s next epic fantasy book is currently in editing! Haven Divided is the highly anticipated second book in the Dragon’s Brood Cycle. Here’s a taste of what’s to come. If you haven’t read the first book, catch up on Kindle, paperback, or audiobook.

Before... de Lioncourt quote

Email Proof Positive to work with your ideal editor.

 

*Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting our small business!

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~ The Importance of Rewriting ~

Fantasy author Amie Irene Winters is launching the final book in her Strange Luck series on Friday, September 22. A Darling Secret is an adventure full of unusual landscapes, new magic, and constant twists and turns. Pre-order here! In the meantime, here’s her wonderful and positive guest post on initial drafts and rewriting.

A DARLING SECRET_FullJacket_JPG

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The words poured effortlessly from my fingertips and onto the page completely free oThe Importance of Rewriting_1f grammatical errors and typos, forming a perfect, succinct, and intriguing story that everyone in the world wanted to read…said no author ever. Rewriting and editing comes with the job and there’s absolutely no way around it, but luckily there are ways to make it less painful.

Since finishing The Nightmare Birds, I re-read the entire thing a half dozen times on my laptop, then another two times printed out, then passed it off to a few beta readers, re-read it again, and then sent it off to my editors for a final polish. When I got it back, I had more editing, more rewriting. Then, there was another reading or two printed out and then a final ARC read through. It takes forever and is incredibly tedious, but it’s well worth it, especially if you compare what you originally wrote to the final thing. Just take a look at this massacred page from one of my Strange Luck edits.

The Importance of Rewriting_2

My first drafts are terrible. They’re slow and peppered with lots of unnecessary scenes and words. I also have a tendency to think a particular word, but type a similar sounding word with a completely different meaning instead. It’s super fun going back and finding those (*eye roll). The worst is when you think you’ve finally tamed the beast, but you open the Word doc to find it covered in red.

If there’s one piece of solid gold advice I’ve learned from rewriting and editing over the years it’s this: TAKE BREAKS FROM YOUR STORY. As soon as it starts to feel like “work,” becomes boring, you stop looking forward to working on it, things stop making sense, and/or you begin losing track of important details (dates, ages, hair color, etc.), then it’s time to put the manuscript down and walk away. I know it may seem counterintuitive because you’re in “the zone,” but trust me, you’ll end up doing more harm than good. I had to force myself to walk away from The Nightmare Birds probably a dozen times to recollect myself. Sometimes it was for a few days, other times a few weeks. This meant pushing back my launch date, which has really sucked, but I’d rather have a well-written book that comes out a little later than a garbled, incoherent story.

Even if you’re not experiencing any of the symptoms above, YOU STILL NEED TO TAKE BREAKS from your work. Only you will know when and for how long. Just make sure it’s at least a few times.

The Importance of Rewriting_3

Why get up and walk away? Because you’ll be able to look at your story with fresh eyes. Taking a break also rekindles the passion for your story and characters. It took me a long time to implement this practice, even after I had read Neil Gaiman’s quote when I first started writing seriously:

“The best advice I can give on this is, once it’s done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. Finish the short story, print it out, then put it in a drawer and write other things. When you’re ready, pick it up and read it, as if you’ve never read it before. If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that’s revision.”

Walking away is one of the most critical things you can do as a writer, but it’s not to say that you shouldn’t write at all, just go write something else. Anything else. Your characters will still be there when you return. Your lumpy desk chair will still be there when you return. Your keyboard peppered with food crumbs will still be there. I promise. The point is that you need to clear your head so that when you return you’ll be at your absolute best.

The Importance of Rewriting_4

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Bio

Amie Irene Winters HeadshotAmie Irene Winters was born and raised in California but now lives and writes in western Pennsylvania. She is the author of the bestselling Strange Luck series.

When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dog, baking desserts, or breaking a sweat in kickboxing class.

To learn more about Amie and her books, visit amieirenewinters.com.

Sign up for my mailing list here! You’ll only get emails when I have a new release coming up, a sale, or a giveaway.

* * *

Social media links

Website: http://www.amieirenewinters.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00XZ88V5A
Blog: https://golden-cricket.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aiwinters
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13851542.Amie_Irene_Winters
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amieiwinters/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmieIWinters
Website: http://www.amieirenewinters.com

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PRE-ORDER LAUNCH: A Darling Secret by Amie Irene Winters

We can finally look forward to the next—and unfortunately last—book in Amie Irene Winters’ Strange Luck series. Up for pre-order now, A Darling Secret will be released September 22, and it’s quite a shocking conclusion to the series! Grab your copy today!

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A Darling Secret (Strange Luck series, Book 3)

Coming September 22, 2017 

Learn the fate of your favorite heroes and love-to-hate foes in the thrilling conclusion to Amie Irene Winters’ bestselling Strange Luck series.

Before the Theater of Secrets was formed, before the Nameless was built, before DaisyA DARLING SECRET_AMIEIRENEWINTERS_FRONTCOVER Darling learned of her magical bloodline, there was the Realm of the Shadow Gods—ruled by the most powerful and wicked creatures known.

For nearly two decades, Daisy’s twin sister, Rose, was held captive by the Shadow Gods and survived. Now Rose has come to find Daisy to stop their impending evil from spreading into the human world. But Rose bears a terrible secret that has the power to destroy everything.

In the devastating Realm of the Shadow Gods, dark magic holds no bounds. Daisy will risk everything to save those she loves, but will the truth finally break her?

Unlock the final book in the Strange Luck series with A Darling Secret.

Pre-order today, read it September 22, 2017.

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A Darling Secret excerpt

A slow, creeping fear wound its way around me.

Tiptoeing around the mysterious plain, too afraid to call out, a surprising wisp of music came floating through the air. It was a jingly little melody—like a music box—followed by soft voices.

I paused. Through the violet-stained sky and swirling rainbow mist I saw something moving. My eyes narrowed as I stealthily approached an illuminated cave.

Shadows were gathering there.

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A DARLING SECRET_FullJacket_JPG

A Darling Secret Amazon link:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074JVRWH4?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

* * *

Bio

Amie Irene Winters HeadshotAmie Irene Winters was born and raised in California but now lives and writes in western Pennsylvania. She is the author of the bestselling Strange Luck series.

When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dog, baking desserts, or breaking a sweat in kickboxing class.

To learn more about Amie and her books, visit amieirenewinters.com.

Sign up for my mailing list here! You’ll only get emails when I have a new release coming up, a sale, or a giveaway.

* * *

Social media links

Website: http://www.amieirenewinters.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00XZ88V5A
Blog: https://golden-cricket.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aiwinters
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13851542.Amie_Irene_Winters
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amieiwinters/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmieIWinters
Website: http://www.amieirenewinters.com

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Author Chat: Romantic Comedy Author Elle Viviani

Summer is the perfect time to find your new romantic comedy book addiction. Enter Elle Viviani! This new author is publishing a book a month of light, sassy reads with great sparks of humor. Plus her debut novel, Fiancée Forgery, weaves in her fascinating former career. Meet her here!

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Is Fiancée Forgery your first book? How long did it take you to plan it before you began writing it?

Fiancée Forgery is my first book and it only took me a day to plan it. Once I get an idea, I tend to move quickly until the idea is out of my head and onto the page. In fact, it only took sixteen days to write! I saw Archer and Quinn so clearly. All I had to do was share their love story.

Is this book part of a series? How often do you plan to publish new books, whether part of a series or not?

This book is part of a “Fake Relationship, Real Love” series. I love the fake relationship Fiancee Forgery covertheme and find them so fun to write. There will be three books in all—the second will launch on July 22nd.

Do you mostly write in the romance genre or do you dabble in other genres? If so, which ones?

Romance all the way! I’ve written in suspense as well, but didn’t find it as enjoyable as writing about saucy heroines and devilishly handsome heroes.

What do you think makes your work stand apart from other works in your genre?

I tend to make my heroines stand on their own two feet. They have lives, personalities, and jobs of their own before they meet Mr. Hunk. Although they’re stronger with their leading man, I make sure they are more than just a beautiful face. They’ve got gumption to boot!

You and your main character, Quinn, have something in common—you both had fascinating careers working for important museums. How did your career experiences influence your story?

It was so much fun writing Quinn. I was a front-line fundraiser at a national museum before quitting to write full time, so you could say I’m intimately acquainted with the highs and lows my heroine went through. Although I never had an ornery co-worker quite like Valerie, I did have my fair share of Archers and Marisas!

Two of your favorite authors are Gillian Flynn and Charlotte Bronte. Their works are extremely opposite—is there anything that you find in common between them or is it their differences that you like?

Although a hundred years separate the two authors, they both write the best hero stories. Oh—I’ll also add Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. The heroines have to overcome insurmountable odds to come out the other side alive (literally). Their journeys are heart wrenching and real and impassioned. I truly feel like I’ve stepped into Jane’s or Amy’s or Tess’s shoes whenever I crack open their stories.

What inspires you to write? Music? Other books? Real life events? Just an incredible imagination?

I’d love to say “incredible imagination” and leave it at that! But it’s more like a combination of real life, books, and talking with my husband—a fellow romance author. We go on long walks every day and talk about a random idea that popped into our heads. Usually, by the end of that walk, it’s turned into a full-blown idea that one of us is dying to write!

Do you plan your writing with outlines, character development exercises, and other pre-writing activities? Or do you just write as it comes to you?

Oh my goodness, I’m a bonafide outliner. I spend no less than a few hours and no more lights camera fiancee coming soonthan a day outlining my stories down to the chapter. I don’t know what I’d do without my roadmap!

I use Libby Hawker’s method, found in her wonderful book Take Off Your Pants to write character arcs, identify the theme, outline, and plot my books. Once I started using Libby’s method, my writing pace skyrocketed.

I stick to a religious writing schedule. I get up early and write roughly 6,000 words a day (never less than 5,000). It lets me complete my books in just over two weeks, leaving a few days for editing before it’s off to my beta readers. Some days I finish right after lunch. Others, just before quitting time, which is before 7pm. I need that buffer between work and sleep to let my brain quiet down.

Do you read the kinds of books you like to write? Do you watch movies similar to or the same genre as your writing? 

You bet! Before I start writing in any genre or trope, I take a week to binge read all the bestsellers in that category. I like to get my toes wet before jumping right in. By the end of this “research,” I’m usually bursting with storylines of my own. I also love romantic comedies. Give me a bowl of ice cream, my fur child, and an enemies-to-lovers romcom, and I’ll be your best friend!

When can we look forward to your next book?

Lights. Camera. Fiancée. comes out July 22nd. Join my mailing list for freebies, previews, and release info!

Lights. Camera. Fiancee. Quote_rectangle

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Connect with Elle Viviani

ElleViviani.com
Mailing List
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

About Elle

elle viviani logoElle lives in Texas with her husband and adorable beagle/corgi mix (it’s an interesting combo! Check him out on Instagram). Elle spends most of her days thinking of new storylines and hunky heroes, but when she’s not writing, you can find her curled up with a glass of red wine and a steamy romance novel. She also loves cooking up culinary creations, traveling to far away places, or hitting the running trails with her pup.

Elle invites you into a world of steamy kisses, brawny arms, and feisty heroines. If you like an out-of-this-world happily ever after, then you’ve come to the right place. So sit back, grab your own glass of wine (and maybe a few pieces of chocolate), and enjoy!

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Killer Stories: Pick Your Poison

grim reaperIf you’re a crime writer, a mystery novelist, or you just need to bump off a character without violence or bloodshed, using poison might be your cup of tea…or maybe in their cup of tea.

Sometimes writers think it’s easy to just pick out any poison and use it to kill off their characters…but it’s not that simple. Some poisons work more slowly while others are almost instantaneous; some have strong flavors or don’t dissolve in liquid; some are more easily accessible than others. And that just scratches the surface.

The point is that you need to do some research to make sure the poison you choose works in your scenario.

What doesn’t work…

Say you pop a belladonna berry into your character’s smoothie, then have him thrashing about in agony before blood spurts from his mouth in a final gruesome death scene. Well, there’s one problem with that – small amounts of diluted belladonna are actually used for medicinal purposes and wouldn’t cause death, let alone a dramatically violent death.

Or maybe your character lives in the northeastern US and you have her picking wild sneezeweed in a city park. The problem is that sneezeweed only grows naturally in portions of the western US and only at certain elevations.

So as you can see, you need research to make your story believable.

How to make it work…

Research, plain and simple. But be careful of your sources because some websites haven’t double- and triple-checked their information – they’re just taking the first thing they come across as gospel, and some of that comes from forum discussions where “facts” are debated and debatable. Find reputable sources and double- or triple-check that information.

Here are a few sites we’ve found helpful:

~ Encyclopedia.com – just put in the name of the poison orpoison hemlock poisonous plant you’re interested in, and you’ll find out everything from where it’s grown to how it works.

~ Some gardening websites, like Gardening Know How.

~ Poison Control: lists common and dangerous poisons.

~ USDA has an entire section on poisonous plants.

~ ListVerse: 10 Poisons Used To Kill People.

~ Earth-Kind Landscaping: lists common poisonous plants AND the parts of each plant that are toxic.

There are others, of course, but these can get you started.

One word of caution – always, always double check (at the very least) information you get from Wikipedia. Wiki entries can be modified by just about anyone, so you never know if the information you’re getting is 100% accurate.

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Got Writer’s Block? 3 Outside-The-Box Ideas To Break Free

If you’ve ever had writer’s block – and what writer hasn’t? – you know how frustrating it is.

You’ve got a story to tell, it’s banging on the walls of your brain trying to get out, but you writer's blockjust can’t hear what it wants to say.

Or you want to enter a writing contest and the deadline is looming. You know you have a story in you – you’ve written in that genre plenty of times – but the ideas stubbornly remain hidden in their cozy nooks.

We’d like to suggest a few unique block-breaking methods that you can add to your arsenal. Because we don’t just proofread and edit, we truly want to see indie authors succeed.

In her YouTube video, 3 Unusual Ways to Break Writer’s Block, Proof Positive owner Christie Stratos shares her own outside-the-box ideas on how you can break the block that binds you. Warning: she admits that some of her suggestions are “kinda weird” and might draw odd looks from your family, but hey, what’s a little weirdness between friends?

 

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