Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG - Wednesday and Three Questions Every Author Should Ask


Happy July! And since it's the first Wednesday of the month, it's also IWSG day! Yay! Click on the pic above to get to IWSG HQ at Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog.

So last weekend when I went to Nashville I had the pleasure of front row seats for the keynote speaker Sylvia Day. She was stupendous. Everything she said was just pure gold. She talked a lot about being an author meaning having a business, and making smart business decisions. It's no surprise she's one of the highest paid authors in traditional publishing today, considering how savvy she is. She also self-pubs some work, most of which has been picked up by traditional pubs because of her success.

She said authors should always ask themselves these three questions before making any business decisions regarding their writing--whether it be to self-pub, accept an offer from an agent, or sign a contract with a publisher:

1. Are you saying yes or no because you're afraid?

2. Are you saying yes or no because you don't understand your options?

3. Are you saying yes or no because you think the outcome will validate you?

If you answer yes to any of these, you're making a bad business decision. It's never been a better time to be a writer and the options are abundant. Make sure you're aware of all of them, and make the best choice for each project. Don't feel like every project has to take the same path. Explore, and be smart.

Empower yourself to take charge of your career, and make the best choice for YOU.

I thought it was great advice, especially if you're in this writing gig to make a living from your work. She also cautioned on selling your work too cheap because then that's what readers and publishing houses will come to expect from you, and you could have trouble ever making what you're worth.

Admittedly, I've never read any of Sylvia's books, but I plan to now because she's such a smart lady.

That's it for me today. Short and sweet. But very important.

Look who's got a book out: It's from blogger buddy Carrie-Anne Brownian.



In the world Adicia Éloïse Troy is from, life is more like a Grimms’ fairytale than a Disney fairytale. But sometimes even the darkest, most twisted fairytale has a happy ending, even for a poor girl from the Lower East Side. 


Available now on Amazon
                       Barnes & Noble
                       Kobo  

Congrats Carrie-Anne!

Thanks so much for stopping by!Tell me, have you ever stopped and asked yourself any of those three questions? Have you made a bad business decision in the past? Or have you caught yourself from making one? Maybe you're not at that point yet, which is great because now you can write these questions down and return to them when it's time. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Has Nice Gone Out of Style??

This question has plagued me for awhile now, and I'm not sure if anyone can really answer it. But seriously, what is happening to our society? I'll admit, I may have some bitterness harbored up inside my soul from years of working for an airline and dealing with the public. But it's not just about my job--it's life in general.

It's like the art of being nice, polite, and considerate have fallen to the wayside. They're luxuries our modern day society can no longer afford. Who has the time? And why bother when there's nothing in it for us?

I feel like that's the mentality, and it's everywhere from kids to neighbors to strangers in the parking lot of the nearest supermarket. People don't take the time to be courteous anymore. And what's worse, the negativity that's circulating in our world as I type this, is damaging our children in a way that can't be repaired. It's damaging ourselves. The cycle is getting darker and deeper with each go round.

It's why I can't watch the news anymore. The hatred and violence is too much. But I don't have to watch the news to be aware of violence and anger. It's everywhere. It's the guy who flicks me off because I have the nerve to beep my horn when he cuts me off driving. It's the woman who doesn't bother to hold the door open for me when I'm two steps behind her. It's the couple who refuses to lower their voice in the row behind me at the movie theater so I have to listen to them talk instead of getting lost in the film I just paid half an hours paycheck for.

These courtesies and niceties used to matter. People used to be aware of them. Now, if you make mention of someone who may be disturbing or rude, you risk getting your brains blown out when they pull out the gun they're packing.

How did we get to this point? And what will it take for nice to be in again?

In some ways, we've come so far, and in others, we've regressed in an awful, ugly way.

The other day I was walking my dog in my neighborhood, like I always do, and we passed a house that we pass everyday, but on this day, the garage was open and a little scrappy dog came bolting out and jumped onto my dog. Now, my dog is big, but he's a teddy bear. Sweet and calm. A teenage girl was standing in the driveway with her mom and they passed it off, called their dog, Princess, back to the garage. But Princess didn't go. She began biting my dog in his hind legs and back. Literally biting and growling. Such a vicious little thing. I pulled my dog away but Princess followed, still sinking her teeth into my dog.

The girl was beside us now but made no motion to pick up Princess. "Come on, Princess," she said. "Come here."

"She's biting my dog," I told her.

"Oh she's just a little dog, she won't hurt him."

"It doesn't matter, she could have something," I said. "Please don't let her bite him."

The girl glowered at me, still making no motion to pick up her dog. "She ain't got nothing."

"I don't know that. Get her off my dog."

 I led my dog all the way down the sidewalk to the stop sign with Princess still biting him and the girl still NOT picking up her dog. I told her I'd have to call someone if she didn't take care of her dog and pick her up. She told me she didn't care and I could go call whoever I wanted f***ing b***ch.

She still hadn't picked up her dog. Finally I stopped in front of her and said, "PICK UP YOUR DOG."

You know what she said to me? "Don't you tell me what to do you f***ing b***ch I'll knock you on your ass." And she got in my face to threaten me.

This from a teenage girl. Huh?

If you're curious to know how I handled it, I was pretty irritated by that point and told her to go ahead and knock me down and see what happens. She picked up her dog by then and my dog and I turned down the next street. But all the time I was wondering what in the world could've possibly put so much anger into that teenage girl? To physically threaten an adult who had done nothing but walked past her house with her dog?

I was mystified. I never would've even considered speaking to an adult that way when I was a teen. My mom woulda slapped me upside the head so fast I'd seen stars. You know what that girl's mom did? Nothing.

Could that be the problem we're facing as a society? Hmmm. I'm not condoning domestic violence or anything like that, but where is the line? At what points do parents need to step up to the plate and teach their kids how to be respectful?

Where do these violent tendencies in teens come from? I don't have to mention the recent shootings because they're fresh and obvious. But how about the teen serving a life sentence for assaulting a teenage girl at the library five years ago? I'm writing her mother's memoir right now--the mother of a once healthy vibrant girl, now confined to a wheelchair and eating through straws, no longer with use of her speech or legs, or even full vision.

All because she returned books to the library, and this teenage boy decided he'd rape and strangle her til her brain suffered a stroke. He was sixteen years old when he committed this act of violence. And left her for dead in an alligator infested swamp. He went back to the library the next day. As if nothing happened.

Huh?

What's happening to our children, to our society? How do we fix it? Were these teens mean and quick to violence because someone wasn't nice to them? A lot of people maybe? How much did they themselves have to endure to make them into such hateful beings?

My daughter is seven. She just finished second grade. You know what she told me a few months ago? "My friends aren't really all that nice."

"Huh? They're not nice?"

"No," she said. "They're my friends, and I like them, but my best friends in my class are rude to me and each other. No one is nice."

She told me this again in different variations throughout the rest of the school year. Yes, she liked her friends. Yes, she remained friends with them. But did they make her feel loved as a human being. No. They weren't nice kids.

Why? What's happening? Why aren't we nice to each other?

A few years ago I had to change my job function with the airline so I could only speak to people in the UK. Why? Because they're nicer. Sorry, but it's true. Not everyone, of course, but in general, they still mind their manners and maintain politeness even when upset. I'm not saying all Americans are rude, and it's certainly not only an American issue, but it is what it is.

I'm in no way suggesting I'm above anyone else. I have my moments of improper manners just like everyone else, but I try really hard to be courteous and polite at all times. And respectful. Maybe it's just that we don't respect each other anymore. How do we get that back? What do we have to do to teach our kids respect? That it's not all about me, me, me?

I fear for my children. I really do. If they're having to deal with rudeness now in elementary school, what does the future hold?

Being nice does not mean you have to let people walk all over you. You can teach a child to be thoughtful and courteous and still stand up for themselves. Are we doing this? Are we setting the right examples?

Are we being nice to each other? Are we taking the time to be nice to kids and teens so they'll in turn be nice to each other?

Niceness is not a sign of weakness. It's a sign of peace and friendship and beauty. And it spreads like wildfire when given the chance!

Next time you have the opportunity to go out of your way and be nice to someone, I hope you take it. I hope you don't skip over it because you're in a hurry, or because it's not important. It IS important.

This is our world we're talking about--our children and future. If we're not being nice, why should they?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Starry Nights EPIC Giveaway!


 I'm so excited to be a part of the Sci-fi Romance Brigade's annual Midsummer Blog Hop!This group has been a treat to find-- Authors who love sci-fi and love romance and aren't afraid to mix it all together. If you haven't stumbled onto the group blog, check it out HERE.

And wait til you see what's in this epic giveaway! But first read on ...

We all know THIS starry night, right?                         
But what about this one?


This one?


Or this one?


Here's a fun one ...


Thought it was really cool to see one man's artistic version of a starry night altered in so many creative ways. Stories are like that too. We can take someone else's general idea and retell it in our own way. Happens all the time, and fairy tale retellings are some of the most popular. 

Stars have a significance in Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc because my main character, Bianca, has two small star tattoos on her face. Here's a close up of one of the Bianca ornaments I made for swag:


And here's a pic I stumbled onto of a girl who just happens to have star tats on her face:


And I'll have some pics to post of my own star tats this weekend (temp of course) because I'll be at UtopYA in Nashville while this is going on. Many pictures to come! Please check back and/or check out my Twitter feed with the hashtag #UtopYA2014 for lots of great pics. You might just see some more authors you know!


Now for the giveaway! Wait til you see all the prizes!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


And be sure to check out all the other bloggers so you can enter again and again.


Thank you SO much for stopping by and tune in next time for my UtopYA recap, BIG thanks to the SFR Brigade for a stellar blog hop and giveaway! And check out my previous post for a separate NA giveaway! So much to win! So many amazing authors!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Your How-To Audiobook Guide and Summer Reads Giveaway!

Summer is here! Thus begins the ultimate juggling act of kids, work, and all things writing. Luckily, my kids are old enough now to entertain themselves, but that only lasts so long before those dreaded words emerge from their lips, "I'm bored."

I can't even remember what that word means, can you? lol (side effects of parenting)

Aside from that, we get to sleep in and that makes it all okay. :)

So earlier this year I put Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. up on ACX to turn it into an audiobook. Many of you asked me how it works and what to do, so I thought I'd share the basics, because it's finally out for sale! Yay! (Linked in my sidebar)

This was a pretty big project, and while I initiated everything on my own, I was fortunate enough to connect with a fantastic narrator to partner with. Bryarly Bishop found Butterman and sent me an audition, and right away it was a win/win. Seriously, you gotta check out how cute she is. I'm so thrilled with her voice for Bianca Butterman.

So how did I make it happen? Well this is basically ACX 101--the very basics of how to get started. Mind you, Butterman is an indie pub, so if you don't own your own rights to your story, you need to check with your agent and/or publisher.


  1.  First off, you put your title up on ACX.com and confirm your rights and create a profile. You'll need to upload part of your story as a word doc, and this is what the narrator will read from when you need a sample.
  2. Next, you need to find a producer. A producer is the person who will narrate and create your actual audiobook. You can certainly be your own producer if you have the time and equipment to do so. Only you know exactly how your story should be told, so this is an excellent project to take on if you can make it happen. Plus, there's a real market for it if you're any good. ACX has in depth how-to instructions and will help you get started with equipment.

           * Finding a producer can be a tad tricky. There are a couple of ways to handle it:

  • You can search for one on the ACX site. Browsing producers is fun and most have sample readings on their profile pages so you can get a feel for their voice. If you find one you like, simply make an offer through the ACX site. 

         Note: You will first need to decide how you want to go into this contract. You can pay your producer          upfront (anywhere from $3000-$6000)and keep all the profits from the audiobook sales, or you can            opt for a Royalty Share contract, where you pay nothing upfront and share all profits from the sales. If          you go the way of a Royalty Share, be aware some producers will not accept. There is also something          called a stipend and that's where ACX will pay a bonus to the producers for taking on your project as          a royalty share. In order to get a stipend on your project, you need to upload your work when it's
         selling the best. If you hit any Amazon bestseller lists, that's the perfect time to get your project up on
          ACX  and hopefully a stipend will appear as the perfect bait for awesome producers. (I learned about           the stipend later so I did not have it available on mine when I went into a contract)

      3.  Instead of searching for your producer, you can sit back and let them come to you. Many are eager              to work on interesting projects, and if they find one they like, they'll send you an audition. Everything              is done directly through ACX for legal purposes. Auditions, messages, and offers are all logged and              part of the legal contract.

At the time I uploaded Butterman, I didn't have time to search for producers, I just sorta put it up and left it aside. Nor did I have the finances to pay someone upfront, so I listed the project as a royalty share. Within a few weeks, I received two auditions, and they were both fabulous. Both producers were willing to do the royalty share, and Bryarly seemed a great fit.

            NOTE: Once you receive an audition, you can ask for more of a reading before going into a                         contract. I did that with Bryarly, because I wanted to hear how she handled the male voices, and she              sent me an  additional 15 minutes of narration before I made my decision.

After we agreed to work together, we officially started the project. We got in right before the big royalty cut back on Audible was announced, and since then, there's been a lot of controversy about ACX. Just be sure to read all the fine print and know exactly what you're agreeing to. ACX is very easy to navigate and quite interesting, at that. I highly recommend taking time to delve into all their info before making any decisions.

So I gave Bryarly two months to complete the project, and on the day of the deadline I had a full 7 hours of audio to listen to and approve. That may seem a bit daunting at first, right? Who has all that time? But it's the nature of the beast, and hearing your own words read back to you is all kinds of exciting. The audio is broken into chapters for easy listening. I made notes on any mistakes or mispronunciations and noted the exact time on the audio feed. I sent all the edits back to Bryarly and she handled the corrections.

After I approved the corrections ( I didn't have to listen to the whole book again--I could go to the exact time on the audio feed to verify) the project went to ACX administration for final approval, which took two weeks.

And now I'm the proud half-owner of Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. audiobook. What's cool about the royalty share program, is that while I give up half of my profits, I also gain a partner in marketing. Bryarly has as much to gain in promoting this project as I do, and that was something I took into consideration before going into this agreement.

ACX also gives you a little welcome basket of gift codes to get you started, and I'm looking for a few people who enjoy audiobooks to gift to. If you think you'd like to listen to Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. and can provide an honest review afterward on the Audible site, please email me at pakazo77@gmail.com and I'll get you set up. This is a $20 value for free!! But supplies are limited, so let me know asap, and only if you genuinely have time for it.

Hope some of this info helps. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask.

Now for a stupendous giveaway!!!


It is my honor and pleasure to share with you the 2014 NA Street Team Summer Reads List. To celebrate this occasion, we are conducting a rafflecopter giveaway.
Grand Prize Package (One Winner)
  Signed paperback copy of Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. (US Only) – Sponsored by Author PK Hrezo
  Signed paperback copy of Another New Life & $10 Starbucks Gift Card – Sponsored by Author Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
  Ebook version of Winning the Player & $10 Amazon Gift Card – Sponsored by Author Leesa Bow
  $25 Amazon Gift Card – Sponsored by Author Katlyn Duncan
  Signed paperback copy of Adam’s List – Sponsored by Author Jennifer Ann
  Ebook version of Walk with Me & $10 Starbucks Gift Card – Sponsored by Author Kaitlyn Stone
  Signed paperback copy of Impulsion & $5 Amazon Gift Card – Sponsored by Author Jamie Magee

Is that great, or what! This giveaway goes live at 8pm Eastern tonight. Enter to win below:

        a Rafflecopter giveaway

And come back to enter as many times as you like!

A BIG shout out to Mary Weibel for her release of The Mystery Prince:


Tristan enjoys being in the shadows as Prince Rand's bodyguard. Similar in looks, the two often exchanged places in their youth, but he never expected the king to order him to impersonate the heir to the throne in order to win the hand of a princess.


Princess Zoe needs to find a husband. After a year of searching with no success, her father insists on hosting a masquerade ball for the eligible princes of the nine kingdoms. Not one prince piques her interest, until she meets the mysterious stranger who won't tell her his name.

When Tristan meets Zoe he finds the girl of his dreams. The only problem? She's a princess and he's impersonating a prince―a crime punishable by imprisonment and floggings. Unable to tell Zoe his real name, he gives her a special navigation device. One that leads to the owner's true love. Will this magic device lead Zoe to Tristan, or will her true love forever remain a mystery prince?

Available now HERE.

Find Mary on her BLOG, FACEBOOK, TWITTER 

And Jessica Bell has a brand new writing guide out, Polish Your Fiction:


BTW I've got a little blurb in here.

Here's where you can purchase:

AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE, , iTUNES, KOBO

Tune in later this week for another epic giveaway!This month is full of prizes!!!

So tell me have you considered creating an audiobook or have you already made one? What are your thoughts or concerns on the process? Interested in listening to and reviewing mine? Limited time offer!

I'm over at Jessica Bell's blog talking about adding emotion to our work. Hop over and say hi!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

IWSG - and Write It Right


Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month when writers across the blogosphere share their ups and downs and come together for a virtual group hug. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for setting this successful event up, and to all the admin who keep it running smoothly. Facebook IWSG has over 1K members now! Wow!

Okay, I confess ... I've been struggling to keep up with everything. Busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. I won't bore you with the details, but believe me when I say, if I survive my to-do list this year without burning out, I'm taking a huge load off in 2015.

But we're all busy, right? I'm not special by any means. Being an indie author has opened up many doors, and while I don't have any astronomical sales to brag about, I've been able to connect with so many different people and the fact I can own the title of author has given me opportunities I didn't have before. That makes it all worth it.

I want to be careful not to overlook my wonderful writer friends, though. So for the month of June I'm opening up my Write It Right Review window all month long. What's Write It Right? That's where I'll read over your pitch, query, or cover blurb privately and offer feedback. Learn how it works by clicking HERE. (And don't worry ... I'm never too busy to help friends and I love doing these!)

So if you're feeling insecure about any of those, now is your chance to hit me up for a little support.

My Butterman sequel, Induction Day, is finished and in the hands of beta readers. I'm about to upload the prequel, Diary of a Teenage Time Traveler, to Amazon, and I'll be headed to Nashville later this month for a book signing and fun at UtopYA.

Also, I'm working on a mother's memoir for a local mom of a survivor. You may've seen me mention it before. Here's the link if you want to learn more about Queena and her story. I've been meeting with her mom while she relays events and I'm recording in the form of a memoir. I've never done a non-fic project like this before, but I've read lots of memoirs, so this is one endeavor that's taking me out of my comfort zone in a really demanding and uplifting way. I'll share more on that as I go. http://www.joinqueena.com/

How about some new releases??



Four brand new covers for S.J. Pajonas' Nogiku Series. I did a review on Removed a while back and it's full of awesome. Right now you can get it for only .99 and the novella Revealed for free! She's also got a GIVEAWAY happening so check it out ....



You can find Revealed: Part One: New Year’s Eve with Jiro and Mark on Goodreads You can buy Revealed here: - Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Kobo - iBooks

Also, Alicia Kat Vancil has released Beautiful Stranger. A novella in the Marked Ones trilogy. Isn't it striking?


We all have that one thing—that one thing we wish for on every first star of the night. Wealth. Fame. Love. For geeky artist Patrick Connolly, it is the attention of his beautiful and seemingly unattainable classmate Nualla Galathea. There’s just one problem—he’s got less than a snowball’s chance in hell, and that’s being generous.

However, when a heated argument erupts in the halls of Bayside Academy forcing Patrick and Nualla’s paths to collide, Nualla surprisingly jumps at the opportunity to be his date. Patrick may think his wish has just come true, but this gentle boy will need more than artistic talent to combat the deadly secrets lurking behind his dream girl’s veil of normality. Like the fact that she isn’t even human.


Find it on AMAZON and KOBO

And a BIG THANKS to all who participated in the How I Found the Write Path blogfest! It was a huge success and I'm still trying to get around to read them all. So exciting that it will soon be a part of a free ebook available to anyone! Be proud of your awesome work!


                                                            ^^ LOL... Isn't this guy great?? ^^

I'm so glad you stopped by. I'll be going on tour to do some guest blogging over the summer so if you'd like me to guest blog for you, let me know! Email me at pakazo77@gmail.com or leave your email in the comments and I'll be in touch. 

Is there anything you're feeling insecure over right now? Need an extra pair of eyes on your query/pitch/blurb? Or just tell me how you've been and what you're working on ....

Monday, May 19, 2014

How I Found the Write Path ...

It's here! The week of epic writerly advice from writers across the globe at every stage. Please join Carrie Butler and myself as we journey around the blogosphere to read what some amazing and talented writers have to say about how they found the Write Path. 


Dear New Writer,

I know how you're feeling: Fired up and bubbling over with ideas. Eager and Motivated. And maybe a little freaked out at the same time.

I welcome you to the ranks of writer-dom. 

I wish I could say it gets easier as you go, but the truth is, there are only different degrees of difficulty. But it's important that throughout all of it, you lock a way a tiny bit of that passion you're now feeling in a safe place deep inside you, because you will need to unlock it again and again to remember why you started this journey.

Let me start with the bad news:


  • There will be rejection.
  • There will be readers who don't get your work.
  • There will be missed opportunities because you can't do everything.
  • There will always be some other writer with a better book deal, more sales, faster production, etc.
  • There will be other writers who don't consider you the same caliber of writer because of your unique path.
  • There will be insecurity because you missed a typo, or ignored sage advice, or published or submitted too soon.
  • There will be days when you don't know what to write, or how to make your story work.
  • There will be days when you don't know why or how you ever thought you could be a writer and be good at it.
  • There will be days when everything feels like crap.
  • You can't, nor ever will be able to, please everyone. 


Welcome to writer-dom.

But don't run away screaming yet. Remember that little treasure chest of passion you locked away? Good, because you will be able to access it whenever you want. It's all yours. And no one can ever take that away.

It will remind you of everything good:


  • You're a creator.
  • You have unlimited access to your imagination.
  • Every word, sentence, and paragraph you slave over will make you into a brilliant writer.
  • You spun an intricate tale out of nothing. Like magic!
  • You've laughed, and cried, and got pissed off all because the characters in your head came to life--a life that YOU gave them, and now they're as real to you as your next door neighbor. Others will find them real too.
  • You can spend hours alone, creating, and never once feel lonely.
  • The feeling of accomplishment that gives your body a full rush after typing THE END is all yours. You did it yourself. 
  • Total satisfaction when a critique partner, beta reader, reviewer gets your story--and maybe even sees things you never realized before. That's because something magical and inexplicable happens when you create a piece of art--like casting paint over canvas, from blank page to finished story--each person will see something different.


The ups and downs of being a writer elude no one. So I warn you now, if your vision consists of sitting in sunshine while putting your feather plume pen to parchment, wake up and smell the coffee stains. Then, roll up your sleeves and prepare to get dirty in your own blood, sweat, and tears. And above all, remember the three Ps:

Persistence
Passion
Patience

  • Never give up--because you'll never be able to tell how close you are to getting there.
  • Remember why you started writing in the first place. Always and forever. Remember it, and revisit it. Matter of fact, write it down right now and tuck it away or post it over your desk.
  • There will be so many times when you think you're there--when you've worked so hard--but the truth is, you're just not. You won't see it. You'll be frustrated. You'll want signs you're moving in the right direction. There's a reason why they say it takes a million words to become a decent writer. Remember your passion, and remember that no matter how much of a failure you feel like, KEEP WRITING. 

Always keep writing. Use your emotion to create new stories.

And read, read, read.

A writer MUST read. After every story you write, read a bestseller. Figure out why it's a bestseller. Take notes. Then go back and re-read your story. How can yours be better?

Find reliable, honest critique partners and hold onto them as if they're gold. They are. Don't fall into a trap of negative partners. The only negativity you should have to endure from a critique partner, are their polite suggestions for improving your stories. And that's not negativity--that's growth. Don't fall into the trap of partners who are TOO polite either. Honesty is key, and always have at least one writer who's more skilled than you, read your work. At every stage of your writerly path, find someone who knows more, and who has been at it longer, to critique your work.

And in conclusion, I'll leave you with my favorite piece of advice to writers at all stages--advice I came to on my own, from years and hours of trial and error at the keyboard:

Not every story will turn into something great, and that's okay. Write it anyway. With all your heart and soul, write it. Because although it may not be the masterpiece you'd hoped, it's a necessary step along the path to making YOU into a great writer, and looking back on those stories that amounted to nothing, will show you how far you've come.

In the end we regret most, the chances we do not take. 

Now go ye forth and write! Create! Unleash the passion!

Peace, love, and inspiration,

PK Hrezo
Author of the Butterman Travel series
Join my email list here : http://eepurl.com/O0s5b

"I give permission for my entry to be included in the e-book compilation without royalties and/or separate compensation."

For more letters like this one, please head over to Carrie Butler's blog for the list of participants. And there's still time to sign up. All week, writers of all stages will be sharing their advice and encouragement. And you are most definitely welcome!

Did you find any of my advice relatable? Do you have any of your own to share in the comments? I love hearing from you ...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IWSG - Wednesday .... Treading Water

Happy May, friends! And it's that time again when writers around the sphere come in for a virtual group hug.


Click on the pic to get to IWSG HQ at Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog.

So now that A-Z is over bloggers are getting back to their regularly scheduled programming. I took most of the month off to focus on finishing the first draft and first round of edits on my sequel, which is due out late August. Plus I was on a special assignment at the other job.

And now here I am, still treading water to stay afloat. I'm not feeling insecure about my writing lately, but now that I've taken the leap from writer to published author, I'm feeling insecure about juggling the marketing aspect with productivity. Which is a conundrum of sorts, since from what I've learned, writing more books IS the best way to market.

That's where patience comes in. I don't want to burn out, so I'm limiting myself on social media while I'm writing, but I can't help feeling I'm not doing enough. Rationally, I know that's not that case, and I remind myself to go easy. Yet, those insecurities tend to sneak in sometimes. I'd love to know what you all do to keep a level head.

Aside from that, here's what's been going on ...

Last week, I revealed my brand spankin' new cover for the Butterman Travel sequel,
INDUCTION DAY! I gave the folks on my newsletter mailing list the first peek, and if you haven't signed up for my newsletter already, I hope you will. The form is right over in my sidebar and it's the number one way I'll be sharing author news and events, as well as sneak peeks and prizes. Not that I'm forgetting about my blog buddies here, but just that the newsletter will be my first and foremost form of communication.

If you missed this last one, not to worry! I'd love to have you get in on the fun and help reveal my cover.


Add this to your GoodReads shelf by clicking right HERE.

The year 2069 is coming to a close, and eighteen-year-old Bianca Butterman's pilot license is finally official. She's ready for the Induction Day she’s waited for since she was a kid—the one that will secure her name on the Butterman family tree of time travelers. But ever since the media discovered Bianca is pop superstar Tristan Helms’ latest new honey, everything Bianca does or says becomes a target of criticism. Having her professional credibility topping the gossip sites across social media is an open invitation for the government to step in and regulate Bianca’s Induction. Now she will have to ask herself if saving 1500 people from drowning is worth losing everything she’s ever worked for, including the Butterman family biz.

I'm trying something different for this cover reveal--a sort of free for all, to make it easier. I have no idea how it'll work, but I'll let you know. All you have to do is share my cover any time by the end of the month and tag me or email me to let me know, and I'll include your name in a very special acknowledgments page of the book. You can share on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, Google +, you name it! Just let me know that you did so I can record it. If you want to include the blurb, be my guest! Even just the cover is great for me. 

Now, for some more great news! Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. was nominated for Best Debut at the upcoming UtopYA awards! What a surprise that was. And I'm so looking forward to being in Nashville for the event. You can vote HERE. I'm in some excellent company, so the nomination alone is a treat. 

Also, I've been listening to my audiobook for Butterman Travel, Inc. all week and it's almost ready to go into final edits. It's been so amazing hearing my book narrated back to me. The narrator did such a fabulous job. If you've been thinking about listing your book on ACX and have any questions at all, feel free to email me and I'll tell you what's in store. 

Enough about me, let's see some good news from around the blogosphere:

SJ Pajonas just released her contemporary romance, Face Time, and it's available now:


After the best first date ever, Lee thought Laura was funny, intelligent, and impulsive; a whirlwind of bright laughter and happiness. Laura loved Lee's sweet smile and the way he expertly filled in every awkward pause. He held her hand and then pulled her in for the most perfect kiss she’s had in years. What could possibly be wrong? Just the 7000 miles that separates them the next day.
Even though Lee has gone home to Seoul, Laura can't stop thinking about him. What starts as an innocent text thanking him for their dinner date becomes something much more: someone either of them can't live without. But Laura's got a live-in mother going through a midlife crisis, and Lee's stressful traveling schedule means they'll be apart for some time. Life, family, and a complicated past also get in the way, and they're both going to need actual face time to figure it out.
Told from both Lee and Laura’s point of view, FACE TIME is a funny, romantic, modern-day story about two people who connect across the world.

More links on SJ's website HERE

Also, Margo Kelly's debut cover reveal, Who R U Really


Thea's overprotective parents are driving her insane. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so severely that Thea feels she has no life at all. When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. She's living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can't defeat his loneliness and near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends.

Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really "gets" her. Is he frightening, the way he seems sometimes, or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit's allure, and hurtles toward the same dark fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a real-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea's life spins out of control.

Add to your Goodreads shelf HERE
Find Margo on her website HERE

And last but never least, Brandi Hall is revealing Tempted:

A Sweet Upper YA / NA Paranormal Romance.

What if the very thing to save you—is the one thing beyond your reach?

Torn between the two men who have fallen for her—and the evil who wants to possess her—twenty-year-old Chloe Bishop can no longer remember the fatal vision which threatens her future happiness. But when the magical link is severed between Chloe and her Wiccan family, they must find a way to save her before temptation leads her into darkness—and into the welcoming arms of Mr. Wrong.

Add it to GoodReads HERE
Find Brandi HERE

Thank you so much for stopping by here today! Don't those books look and sound great?? Are you feeling insecure about anything? How do you remind yourself you can't do it all? Did you sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar? Don't forget to tag me when you share my new cover!