Friday, May 6, 2016

Inspiring Fridays #5 ~ Inspired to Self-Publish

Inspiring Fridays is a post I've created to add something a little different to my blog. It's purpose is simple. Each week, it is my intention to feature a book, a song or a movie which inspires me. If you like, you can join in or just leave a comment below. I would love to see your thoughts on whatever is currently spotlighted, or discover what inspires you.

This weeks Inspiring Friday is titled:

Inspired to Self-Publish

When, for the first time, I seriously committed to writing a full blown novel, I gave little thought to how and when my 'baby' would be published. At the time, it wasn't about sharing it with the world, but rather, about proving to myself that I could write. For six months, I happily typed away on the keyboard as Samantha and Shadow's  story unfolded in my head. Some author's say that their characters speak to them. I... am in total agreement with that sentiment. Throughout the duration of Mystery Falls' development, Samantha and Shadow were ever present, guiding me on, guiding me forward.

As Mystery Falls slowly drew to a close, two things became clear to me. One, Samantha and Shadow's tale was only partly told, and therefore, a trilogy was in the making. And two, if for no-one else but my family and me, I wanted desperately to see my creation in print. So came the question... how to make that happen?

After hours and hours of research, I discovered several things:

One - I would need an Agent, and not just any Agent, one that was well known in the publishing industry and respected.

And Two - In order to acquire said Agent, I had to write a Query letter. (Yeah, not as easy as it sounds)

Spending more hours researching, I selected 25 Agents and accomplished #1. Then moving onto #2, I painstakingly drafted and re-drafted my Query letter. And then I took a deep breath and sent it. Long story short, most of my chosen Agents sent me a polite rejection, a few didn't respond at all, and one was interested, but unfortunately, their client list was full.

My hubby told me not to give up hope. And then... he made a suggestion which had not occurred to me. He said, "Why not publish your book yourself?"

At first, I was terrified of the idea. I mean, where did I start with something like that. I didn't have a clue. But my hubby was persistent, and after showing me several articles relating to Smashwords and self-publishing, he finally managed to convince me.

Smashwords is amazing. It provided me with reams and reams of information on how to format and prepare my manuscript for publication. And with the help of Photoshop, I was also able to design my own cover.

The day that Mystery Falls went live was awesome and very surreal.

And my publishing experience didn't stop there. No longer daunted by the idea of self-publishing, I also formatted and prepared my novel for KDP and CreateSpace.

When I finally held a physical copy of my book in my hands, it was one of the best moments of my life, and I owe that to my husband. He never let me give up on my dream, and now it's a reality.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Swoon Thursday # 183 ~ Sweet (Contours of the Heart #3) by Tammara Webber

Swoon Thursday was first bought to us by YA Bound.
Since they are no longer with us, Naomi @ Naomi's Reading Palace has kindly created a central meet up point for those of us who wish to continue to share our swoons.
So ladies (and any gents who feel so inclined) please leave a comment below, and then head on over there to link up and spread the love.

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My Swoon for this week comes from:

(Contours of the Heart #3)
Tammara Webber

First - The Blurb:

He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:

Second - The Swoon:

“It’s just me, Boyce. You don’t have to do anything to impress me.”
“Because you already think I’m awesome, or because you never will?”
“You saved my life. I’ve been impressed with you since I was five years old.”

* * *
“I’m gonna kiss you. Unless you tell me not to good and loud right now. I’m gonna kiss you, and I’m not gonna be sorry.”

“I was a man who’d loved this girl from the moment she’d come back to life and saw no one but me.”

Easy was the first novel I read by Tammara Webber. It was the first NA Contemporary after a very long spell of only reading paranormal. It was an awesome read and I have pretty much read everything written by Tammara since. All her books are great, and Sweet is no exception.

Told from both Boyce's and Pearl's POV, Sweet alternates between past and present events. Admittedly, there were times when I found the swaps a little confusing, but overall, I loved the story. It's sad, it's happy, it's emotional, and of course, it's sweet. Boyce and Pearl have both been through so much in their lives, some of it together, and some of it apart. Finally arriving at place where they begin to find peace, they are able to commit to their true feelings for each other, and what started out as a delicate and secretive friendship, develops into a deep and intense romance.

If you loved Easy, then you need to give Sweet a try. Although they are of the same series, they are totally different stories and each compelling in their own way.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

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Okay, so what do you think?

If you liked my Swoon, please leave a comment below!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday # 84 ~ Brave (Contours of the Heart #4) by Tammara Webber

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine which spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

This week I'm waiting on:

(Contours of the Heart #4)
Tammara Webber

Expected publication: There is no known release date or full description yet.

Courage means rising up to defend your beliefs… or daring to question them.

Get ready for Erin's story: A new standalone novel in the Contours of the Heart world.

Greed. Betrayal. Loss. Revenge. And that's just where it begins.

Add to Goodreads

So, what are you waiting for?
Please leave a comment below with your WoW link!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Teaser Tuesday # 188 ~ Allegiant (The Movie)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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(The Divergent Series)

Based on the novel 
Veronica Roth 

First - The Blurb:

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered - fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningliess. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature - and of herself - while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Second - The Teaser:

Last week, my daughter and I went to see Allegiant. We'd been hanging out to see this movie for a while and were quite excited by the prospect. Although we both enjoyed it, it wasn't quite as good as the first two, largely because this is only Part One and therefore left us with an incomplete feeling. I know the producers have gotten into the habit of doing this to the last book in a series, but honestly, I prefer it if they wouldn't.  I would happily have sat in the seat for a while longer to get the full version. I think I will need to see it again before viewing Part Two.

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Okay, so what do you think?
If you liked my Tease, please leave a comment below.

TBR Tuesday #146 ~ Taken by Love (Love in Bloom #16) by Melissa Foster

My good friend Sharrice from Reese's Reviews: My Addiction to Fiction came up with the idea of 'TBR Tuesday'

If you want to join in the fun, then just do the following:
From your book shelf or your e-reader, pick a book that you own that is still on your TBR list. Post it however you want to, then leave a link below so others can see what's waiting to be read.

This week for me its:

Taken by Love
(Love in Bloom #16)
Melissa Foster 

Daisy Honey fled Trusty, Colorado, after years of battling rumors sparked by her gorgeous looks and lust-inducing name. Now a physician on the brink of a promising career, she reluctantly returns home when her father is injured in a farming accident. Daisy expects the small-town girls who hurt her in the past to take cheap shots again--but she's completely unprepared for a run-in with tall, dark, and wickedly sexy Luke Braden, the only man who has ever stood up for her--and the man she's never forgotten.

Luke Braden is handsome, wealthy, and the best damn gypsy horse breeder in the Midwest. After a restless youth, he's finally ready to settle down--only connecting with women is nothing like connecting with horses, and he's never met a woman worth the energy. After an arrest in a neighboring town, Luke's past comes back to haunt him, and he realizes that his inability to find love runs deeper than he ever imagined.

A chance encounter sweeps Luke and Daisy into a world of passion. For the first time ever, Luke feels a connection, but Daisy's life in Trusty is anything but permanent, and Luke can't manage a future until he puts his past to rest.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

So now it's your turn.
Leave a comment and tell me what's waiting on your TBR pile.