Friday, March 29, 2013

Spotlighting Inspirational Author Pamela K. Tracy

Pamela Tracy
by Connie Flynn

My March Spotlight author is inspirational author, Pam Tracy, who also happens to be my good friend and one of my critique partners.  

Welcome to Much Cheaper Than Therapy, Pam, and can I ask you to tell readers what makes you unique?

Let’s see.  I’m married (ten years) I have one son (age eight).  We live in Arizona where I teach college English and my husband is a plumber.  My son’s job is making sure the living room is filled Legoes.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Free time?  What is that?  Outside of family and church stuff, I love to read.  I just purchased a book called The Haunting of Maddy Clare.  It was a RITA finalist for best first book.  It looked good; it is good.  I’m just over halfway through.  I also crochet and truly miss doing it since I don’t have much time anymore.  Oh, and lunch and a movie with friends is a high point in the year.

Of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite and why?

My favorite is my March 2007 release Pursuit of Justice.  Why?  From the moment I started it, it felt different – like I’d finally found my voice.  Then, it sold to Harlequin.  Selling to Harlequin had always been my goal.  Then, it finaled in both the RWA’s RITA contest and the ACFW’s Book of the Year contest.  I felt like a princess.
Tell us a little about your next book . . .
The idea for Katie’s Rescue,  the book out in August from Harlequin Heartwarming, came to me at the zoo.  I was looking at the black panther that was resting on netting just above my head and an idea formed.  By the time I got home, I had my heroine, a daughter of an animal trainer who’d been hurt by an animal and who must come back and save this animal.  If not, the zookeeper, who she was falling in love with, would love everything.  But, it might be Katie who loses, to fear.
Of all the characters you’ve created, which one do you identify with the most and why?

They say, write what you know.  I’m a teacher, so I really identify with Lisa in my book Fugitive Family.  Years ago, a decade really, I had a novella out called Letters to Timothy.  I identified with the teacher in that one too.  Many of my h and h’s are either being chased or are the cops.  I don’t identify with them but even better, I’m fascinated by them.
How did you get involved in writing?

I’ve always loved to read.  I started writing while in junior high and high school.  Then, all my stories had to do with either David Cassidy or the boys at Skateland.  In college, I wrote Sci Fi.  Then, I took a creative writing course at a community college and persevered.
What do you enjoy most and least about the writing process?

  • Most:  The first 100 pages and the last 50.
  • Least:  Pages 101 – 249.
What advice would you offer an aspiring author?

Get involved in the writing community.  Make friends.
What story ideas would you like to explore in the future?

I’m toying with an artist and a cop, I told you I love cops.
What has God been teaching you lately?
That he should be, and is, more important than a writing career.  Put him first.

Click Here to Buy

Pam has been writing for many years and the lovely anthology below that includes Pam is from Barbour, one of her early publishers.

Treasure this keepsake collection of nine historical romances. Faced with finding the right fit in life and love, nine young women seek the courage to stitch together romance. But when unexpected obstacles abound, will love unravel before their eyes?
Check out Pam's most recent Harlequin Love Inspired and look from Katie’s Rescue, from Harlequin Heartwarming later in 2013.

Click Here to Buy

Raising three sons and running his ranch keeps single dad Jared McCreedy busy from sunup to sundown. Becoming involved with feisty single mom Maggie Tate is not on his to-do list. But he needs her help dealing with his youngest son's learning problem. Like Jared, Maggie doesn't want any romantic complications in her life…especially with a man whose take-charge attitude makes her temper flare—and her pulse race. But the risk of opening her heart is great and she has her daughter to think about. Then again, it is the season for faith and miracles….

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

April Writer U classes

MASTER CLASS: From Plot To Finish
by Laurie Schnebly Campbell
April 1-12, 2013
$65 ($60 by check) at

Prerequisite: Must have completed Plotting Via Motivation class worksheets at some point

A continuation of the Plotting-Via-Motivation process, this limited-enrollment group gets every member plotting a brand new book (with the 14-point worksheets already on hand) from start to finish. No need to prepare a story idea, character bios or anything else, because you’ll learn how to plot an entire book -- and actually have it ready to type -- by the end of this hands-on workshop. The two-week session will include:

    * Defining the motivation of each main character
    * Recapping your original 14-point worksheet
    * Completing the new Plot Chart from beginning to end
    * Distributing the highlight scenes through each segment
    * Choosing an outline or a free-flowing format
    * Setting up your book’s unique structure for completion
Laurie Schnebly Campbell ( always finishes a Plotting Via Motivation class wishing for the chance to see what happens to the wonderful stories begun there — and wondering how long it’ll take to see the finished books for sale. So she’s excited about speeding the process along, and getting to watch while the plots and characters take on their full shape.

~ ~ ~

INDIE TRACK: Building Your Blog
by Ginger Calem
April 1-26, 2013
$40 ($35 by check) at

So you want to start a blog but you don’t know the difference between a widget and a gravatar. That’s okay! Ginger Calem is living proof that if she can do it, so can you. You will go from “no blog” to “blogger” in 30 days. Through lectures, homework, class discussion, and step-by-step instructions for using WordPress -- the system this class is designed for -- you’ll build  your own blog, customize it, launch it and firmly splash into the blogging waters. (Goggles and floaties are optional.) During the month you’ll learn about:

    * Considering why to blog and whom you want to reach
    * Researching what the “blogs that work” are doing right
    * Choosing your blog’s name and theme so it’s YOU
    * Adding widgets and fun personalization to customize your WordPress blog
    * Management: creating posts, adding images & videos, handling comments
    * Launch: publishing your first blogs, sharing on Facebook & Twitter
    * Tools for moving forward: topics, followers, creating “blog buzz”
Ginger Calem is in hot pursuit of her writing career and has been a presenter at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. When she’s not cavorting with her fictional characters, she’s hanging out with a plethora of awesome people in the Social Media arena. Ginger discovered blogging was a fun way to keep her writing muscle pumped, her creativity unchecked and the best way to interact with readers and writers. She loves it (really) when people visit her blog and hang out with her on twitter @GingerCalem.

~ ~ ~

MASTER CLASS: Body Language
by Mary Buckham
April 15-26, 2013
$65 ($60 by check) at

Prerequisite: Must have a manuscript that you are actively working on.
If you think you have a good handle on the intentional body language your characters use on the page but want to create more depth, greater subtext, clearer messages for your readers, then consider EMOTIONAL BODY LANGUAGE. Along with fascinating material like non-verbal greetings and some of the subtle (but oh so fun) differences between the body language of men and that of women, you’ll also learn:

    * The differences between aggressive and defensive body language
    * Dominant and Submissive body signals
    * Negative and positive body messages
    * Open, closed or relaxed positions
    * Power body language and leadership body messages
    * Reading deception through body language
Mary Buckham is the author of WRITING ACTIVE SETTING: Book 1; the best selling book in a three-book series on the craft  of writing and an award-winning romantic suspense author. Currently she presents writing workshops online and nationwide. Mary encourages you to visit her website at for more information about her and her current writing projects including her newest releases!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Win a copy of DOUBLE ENCHANTMENT by Kathryne Kennedy

That's right! I'm over at Dark Faerie Tales giving away a copy of Double Enchantment with it's fabulous new cover! Stop on by before April 4th to get in your entry at
Good luck!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bella Media Management Can Help You Self Pub

This month we have been discussing Indie Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing. As I have mentioned before, traditional publishers will do the hard work, other than writing, for you. They select covers, approve titles, create a blurb for the back of your book, publish your book in print and most likely digital formats. If you self pub (Indie) then you will need to do all of this yourself or get help.

If I ever decide to go the self pub route, I will turn to Carol Webb at Bella Media Management. The book cover above is an example of her work. She also updates our blog and my website at BooksbyTina. Not only is she creative, she is intelligent, reliable, and easy to work with.

You can check out more of her covers at

Until next week,
happy writing and reading.
Tina Swayzee McCright

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spotlight on author K.T. Roberts

Elusive Justice
Book Two in the Gerard-Kensington Detective Series

Two detectives, two cases . . . seemingly unrelated until a baffling discovery entwines them forever . . .

Tate Kensington thought she was out of homicide for good. Missing Persons is hard on the heart, but it gives her the resources and spare time she needs to help a young girl desperately searching for her beloved brother.

Meanwhile, with a murder case that has him stumped, Zachary Gerard is beginning to resent all the time Tate's been devoting to her pet project instead of him. Zachary's murder victim is turning out to be way more than anyone ever suspected, and the red tape isn't making this case any easier.

When it suddenly becomes clear that the two cases are not as independent as Kensington or Gerard thought, secrets long buried will be revealed, and the pair will team up once again on the hunt for . . . Elusive Justice.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Indie Published and Happy About It!

I'm indie published and I have been previously published with small presses. For years I've tried knocking on New York's door. Either my books were too paranormal or not paranormal enough. Well, last year I decided the heck with it and to go the indie route. So far I haven't regretted a moment. It gives me control and if I fail at it, it will be because of me and only me. I plan on getting my rights back on 5 other books I have.

I can publish what ever length I want. I recently published the first in a short story series. I was in charge of the formatting, cover design, editing, marketing and more. It can be super time-consuming, but it is also very rewarding. It also helps that I have a company, Bella Media Management, that specializes in indie publishing.

Here is a short blurb of the first in my Shades Series, Shades of Gray. (Yes, I know it's the same title of the hugely popular erotic novel, but I couldn't for the life of me think of one that was equally appropriate.)

Kennedy Sinclair is given a pair of simple sunglasses. Or so she thinks. Within twenty-four hours, she discovers they are far from simple or normal. The lenses open a door to the dark side of her personality and a serial killer, who turns his focus on her. Can she outwit, outrun a murderer? And if she survives the night, does she have the strength to become the person destiny has created for her

Barnes & Noble

As an indie author, I can decide when my book will be published. I don't have to wait a year. I know a number of New York published authors who have only the one book coming out this year.

There are a couple of downsides to indie. I believe there is still a stigma out there about the quality of indie published authors. I'm hoping that will change. There is also another downside, and it's major. Distribition. New York buys placement on Amazon and on other online bookstores along with storefront bookstores across the country. I don't have that ability. Not yet. Rumor is that Amazon is planning to offer advertising for indie authors. We will wait and see.

I have heard alot of traditional publishing houses picking up indie authors once they've gotten their platform together and have gotten a readership. Hugh Howey and his Wool series is a case in point. He has a huge best-seller series on his hands and New York came knocking. My understanding is that he sold his print rights and kept his electronic. I think that was a very smart move on his move.

With Barnes & Noble closing one third of their stores, times are a changing. It's going to get harder and harder for readers to get print books unless they order online and that's really going to hamper mid-list authors.

But there is one thing I know whether it be traditional or indie, sales for a author in today's market comes down two major factors: visibility and a good product. At least this is my opinion...and I'm sticking to it right now. ;)

H.D. Thomson

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Indie vs Traditional Publishing

The Valley of the Sun Romance Authors gave out these tote bags when readers bought our books at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire. Every name on the tote is a published author. Some writers went the traditional route and sold their books to a big publisher like Harlequin, Random House, St. Thomas Press, etc. These authors received advances and will eventually receive royalty checks. They have editors and deadlines. They have the added pressure of keeping their sales up in order to receive future contracts. The added bonus with traditional publishers is they send out thousands of copies of your book to bookstores and perhaps supermarkets.

Some of these writers sold to small digital presses like The Wild Rose Press. Authors who haven't been able to sell their books to the big publishers because they don't have an agent, their book is different than the books these editors are looking for, or they don't want the pressure of dealing with a big house, will often choose a smaller press. These publishers have editors and will send out copies for reviews. They do some promotion for you, but not a lot. The downside is some offer print copies and some don't. The Wild Rose Press does. Also, they often don't send out mass quantities to bookstores. If you choose this route you must make sure you are dealing with a reputable company. Ask other writers about their experiences. I believe every writer should join a professional organization like Romance Writers of America to help you guide your career.

Last, but not least, some of the writers listed on the tote are self-published or "Indie" writers. They usually hire someone to create a cover, then they format the manuscript and download it onto sites like Smashwords and Amazon. They basically cut out the middle man. The upside is the author will receive most of the profit for the book. The downside, besides paying hundreds of dollars to prepare your book for publishing, is the author is in charge of marketing the book. Some authors have found great success, but they also spend hours a day on promotion, and there is no guarantee readers will be interested in your book. Also, you must make sure your book is edited. I suggest getting a critique partner, but there are professional editors out there.
I know a few New York Time's authors who have decided to give up their big contracts in order to self-publish. These authors already have a following and are finding they make more money now.

How do you decide which route to go? There are many writers asking themselves that question daily. It depends on your goals and how much time you want to spend on promotion. Can you handle deadlines or do you want to set your own deadlines? Is your dream to make The New York Times list or do you simply want to see your book in print? Where do you see your writing career ten years from now? Once you answer these questions, you may be able to start down one of these paths.

Until next week,
happy reading and writing.
Tina Swayzee McCright

Friday, March 15, 2013

Introducing Shobhan Bantwal

It is my pleasure to introduce another member of the Valley of the Sun Romance Writers, Shobhan Bantwal, and her book The Reluctant Matchmaker.

Publisher: Kensington Publishing

When petite Meena falls in love with her strikingly tall and older boss Prajay—a man who's determined to find a bride who will complement his remarkable height and age—how can she convince him that she's the right match for him? Is she strong and tenacious enough to make some sacrifices to fight for the giant she loves?



I hope you will visit Shobhan on Facebook.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Alternative Publishing

There's no doubt about it. If you talk to anyone in the publishing industry, nearly everyone would say this is a great time to be an author. With open venues via amazon, apple, kobo and barnes and noble, anyone can publish a book.

But with opportunities come hard choices.

And each author must decide which road is the best one to travel for them.

Traditional publishing houses are now actively seeking authors, opening their hallowed halls to unagented manuscripts. And where just a few years ago, ebooks were looked upon as a fad, they're now being embraced with ebook first options. For the first time in quite a while (if ever), this ebook option is allowing editors and publishing houses to take a chance on books they might not have been able to justify before. But... The advances aren't there for ebooks, neither are the traditional houses offering bigger royalties to the author. However, there is clout behind being published by one of the big six.

Small presses can vary widely. Some will publish only an ebook; others will offer Print On Demand (POD) books via such outlets as Lightning Source and Createspace. Many will offer large ebook royalties (up to 50%) but small presses are popping up like mushrooms after a hard rain. The author must, must, must do their own due diligence very carefully.

Just like self-publishing is the third most popular way to go and like the small presses, companies are appearing faster than small presses. Some charge exorbitant fees, others are not so bad, and lots of folks I know are being their own general contractor as it were and finding experts to help or doing it all them selves. And self-publishing is all about doing it yourself. Succeed or fail, there's no one but the person in the mirror to blame.

So what's an author to do?

Ask yourself some very hard questions and answer truthfully. Here are some to get you started:

What are you willing to do?
What can you do? Are you willing to research what you don't know?
How big is your online presence? What are you willing to do to increase it?
How much time are you willing to spend on the business side of publication?
How good are you at time management, writing vs promotion?
Is having a big six publisher back your writing part of your dream?
Can you write while editing, promoting, and building your brand?

There are a ton more, many of which will be tailor made to your situation and that only you can answer. I know I've found my answer in the hybrid model. I have small presses publishing my works as well as going on my own. To me, having a publisher back my writing gives me legitimacy to readers and helps me to do what I feel compelled to do: write and not focus on the business side so much.

It works for me, and I hope you can find a system that works for you too. Happy writing.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A bit of St. Patrick's Day Trivia for you

With St. Patrick's Day fast approaching, I thought you might like to see a bit of trivia or history about the day we celebrate, Irish or not.
(Courtesy of
(Shamrock by artbymichelle)

The Shamrock

The shamrock, which was also called the "seamroy" by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. By the seventeenth century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism. As the English began to seize Irish land and make laws against the use of the Irish language and the practice of Catholicism, many Irish began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their pride in their heritage and their displeasure with English rule.

The Leprechaun

The original Irish name for these figures of folklore is "lobaircin," meaning "small-bodied fellow."
Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Though only minor figures in Celtic folklore, leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure.
Leprechauns had nothing to do with St. Patrick or the celebration of St. Patrick's Day, a Catholic holy day. In 1959, Walt Disney released a film called Darby O'Gill & the Little People, which introduced America to a very different sort of leprechaun than the cantankerous little man of Irish folklore. This cheerful, friendly leprechaun is a purely American invention, but has quickly evolved into an easily recognizable symbol of both St. Patrick's Day and Ireland in general.

Corned Beef

Each year, thousands of Irish Americans gather with their loved ones on St. Patrick's Day to share a "traditional" meal of corned beef and cabbage.

Though cabbage has long been an Irish food, corned beef only began to be associated with St. Patrick's Day at the turn of the century.
Irish immigrants living on New York City's Lower East Side substituted corned beef for their traditional dish of Irish bacon to save money. They learned about the cheaper alternative from their Jewish neighbors.

So there you have it.  Enjoy the day from all of us here at Much Cheaper Than Therapy.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Spotlight on author Connie Flynn

Dana rushes to the Arizona mountains to save the wolves she has vowed to protect. They aren't the ones killing hikers and campers, but something is, and before Dana knows it, that 'something' is hunting her.

Lily wasn't born a predator, someone made her that way and she managed to escape, but her past is chasing her -- the Shaman who's vowed to avenge his dead wife and the werewolf who made Lily and intends to drag her back for punishment.

A Cajun woman returns for her mother's funeral to a bayou she fled from so long ago. Unspeakable evil lives in that swamp and the only hope for the town residents is the Fire Opal that she must get back. But not alone. The childhood sweetheart she deserted has returned to stand by her side.

All she wanted was a beautiful remodeled home, but when digging brings up a skull of unknown origin and her rebuild is put on hold, she finds herself racing for her life inside the natural history museum with no idea who or what was chasing her.

Author blurb:

 The books of Connie Flynn, a bestselling, award-winning author of ten novels and several short stories. She has been putting her legacy books on Kindle as time allows and is also working of several new novels. She writes in several genres, including paranormal romance, romantic comedy and action/adventure, contemporary fantasy. She also writes mystery/suspense as K.C. Flynn. Look for several new releases in 2013.

Amazon author page: -- link for books
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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Books We've Found and Use When We Need a Refresher by Tia Dani

Every once in a while we need to give ourselves a refresher course on various writing techniques. Here's a short list of books we've found to be helpful. Check them out. If you have other books that you like, drop us a note, leave a comment and write the book title/author. We'd really love to expand our list.

All the best.
Tia Dani


1.  Make Your Words Work by Gary Provost
2.  Writer’s Mind Crafting Fiction by Richard Cohen
3.  Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
4.  Creating Characters by Dwight V. Swain

Show Vs Tell

1.  The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them) by Jack M. Bickham
2.  The 28 Biggest Writing Blunders (And How to Avoid Them) by William Nobel
3.  Show, Don’t Tell by William Noble
4.  Make Your Words Work by Gary Provost  
5.  How To Write a Damn Good Novel (Book 1 and 2) by James N. Frey
6.  Building Fiction How to develop plot and structure by Jesse Lee Kercheval
7.  Techniques Of The Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain
8.  Writer’s Mind Crafting Fiction by Richard Cohen
9.  Description by Monica Wood   


1.  Characters And Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
2.  Creating Characters by Dwight V. Swain
3.  Techniques Of The Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain
4.  Beginnings, Middles And Ends by Nancy Kress
5.  Make Your Words Work by Gary Provost
6.  Writing To Sell by Scott Meredith

View Point                 

1.  The Art & Craft of Novel Writing by Oakley Hall
2.  Setting by Jack M. Bickham
3.  Characters And Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
4.  Show Don’t Tell by William Noble
5.  Lessons From A Lifetime of Writing by David Morrell

Rounding Off A Chapter With A Hook

1. Crafting Scenes by Raymond Obstfeld

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tucson Festival of Books is This Weekend

March 9th and 10th, the UA Tucson will host hundreds of authors from around the country (and even the world) --- R.L.Stine, Diana Gabaldon, J.A. Jance, and Jodi Picoult. Betty Webb, Pam Tracy, Donis Casey, Elizabeth Gunn, Kristen Lamb --- and so many others I can't even begin to cover.

Fortunately, I don't have to because THIS LIST says it all. The Tucson Festival of Books is the largest in the country.  Everyone who is anyone will be there, presenting free writers workshops and signing books.

So join us this weekend in Tucson. The weather promises to be lovely and you'll enjoy meeting old friends and maybe making new ones.  Meanwhile, for more information about the whole event, check out this link to the festival homepage.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Is There Gold In Them There Hills?

Part II
by Connie Flynn     
The second in a three to four part series on the wisdom of pouring your heart and soul into an Indie Publishing business on Amazon.
Since you're back I'm assuming you decided a Kindle career is worth the effort or at least the exploration of it is. That means that you now have a slot in the Kindle bookstore. And an aggressive writing plan because there's strong evidence that it takes a minimum of four novels to build traffic to your books.

If you're a published author who regained publishing rights on your earlier work, you're now entering a world much more daunting than writing a book. You now have to convert them to Kindle format. If they are from pre-digital times, you'll have to scan in and convert them.  You can hire someone to do this work, but the expenses add up quickly and you aren't yet making money. Eventually you might choose to do the work yourself. Hello, learning curve.

But you're still in this, right? In that case this is a good time to investigate social media and how it will work for you.  The big three are Facebook, your personal blog, and Twitter.  These links will take you to the sign in pages and you can follow their instructions after that.

I advise you to start with a Twitter account. It opens up the whole internet world if you take time to browse and to click on links that call to you. Do take time to consider the questions you're asked before providing the information. I discourage cutesy or social commentary names. Your real name or your well-thought out pen name works the best.  Keep it short. - seven to twelve characters is great and, yes, spaces do count as characters. Hopefully there isn't more than one of you using that name because then you have to use numerals or dashes. For instance, my pen name is KCFlynn2 because someone beat me to plain old KCFlynn. My business partner, Linda Style is @lindastyle_. Very smart choice, most people put the underscore between the two names, but that's harder to remember. The rule for social media names is simplicity and remember-ability.

Facebook truly is a time-suck but it's where you can build personal relationships fairly quickly. The link for signing up is above and the site will tell you what you need to do. Again, give the questions some reflective thought before you answer. Once you get in . . . well, you're just there and here are a couple of things you need to do.  First, put your picture in the small box, then start trolling for friends. Why in that order? Well, people are much quicker to friend you back if they know what you look like. Yeah, it's no reliable proof that you're a good person, but people are funny that way. I know I am. I'm very reluctant to follow anyone on Twitter who doesn't have a photo up.

So, okay, you're nervous about everyone knowing your face. In that case do a slice of your face, preferably showing some eyes. I'm serious, because now you need to reel in those friends. And that, if you want to sell books, is what Facebook is all about. Here are Facebook's guidelines on how you go about it finding these friends.

This leads into the third of the big three, the blog or web page or both. Unless you're an internet whiz, and I'm guessing you aren't because otherwise you wouldn't be reading this post, I advise you to skip the web page and just do a blog. There are two major free blog sources, Wordpress and Blogger, which is provided by Google.

The free Wordpress is very basic and doesn't even let you change fonts without paying for the privilege. It's also very complex, and while the simple things are still simple, it takes some time to find that out. But some people swear by Wordpress. I suggest you talk to several types before you decide.

I've tried both. Started with Blogger, went to Wordpress, then back to Blogger. The 'blog' link above goes to Blogger. You have to establish an account with Google before you can use the Blogger function. Here's a tutorial to help you get started. Keep your first blog simple. You can always update your design later.

Blogging is not for everyone and how often you need to post becomes an issue. But frequent blog or web page posts are one of the most reliable ways of getting high search engine placements.. If you choose not to do regular posts, then let the blog serve as your quasi-webpage. List your books, your accomplishments, your bios and use it to draw in Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

While I obviously haven't touched on the many new social media sites opening up, and might do that in a later post if time permits, there is one last place I need to send you before you have your social media tools fully in play:'s author page.
Click Here For Free Download

This little tool is often overlooked by Kindle authors and it offers so much. Click on the link and explore. You'll discover a place for your bio, which can be a chatty little mini-blog. You can link in your blog and Twitter posts so new content automatically posts to your 'page.'  There's a section to list your booksignings and appearances, and you can personally insert your book descriptions. The authors page links to every book you list and many readers click in to see what the author has to say.That's just a glimpse of what the author page offers, so take the time to at least peruse the basics.

Next month's blog will touch on the basics of tweeting and how you actually use these tools to make money without getting everyone ticked off at you for always promoting your platform. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Which Way Do I Go?

Whenever I complete a project, I have an idea of where I want to go next. This time, the day I sent my proposal to my agent to begin pitching, a brand new story fell from the heavens into my lap. It is more intense than anything I've written before. But...I had plans to go down another path, a lighter path. What do you do? My grandmother often said, "When you don't know what to do, don't do anything at all." That lasted half a day and then the rest of the story came to me. The new story, the one given to me on a silver platter is the one I have to write. Even when I needed to do a bit of research, the perfect article came to me on the first try. I've decided that if there are times this story becomes too intense, then I'll take the other one out and work on it for a half hour or so to lighten my spirits. We'll see what happens.

Writing is a journey. You never know where it's going to take you.

Until next week,
happy writing and reading.
Tina Swayzee McCright

Friday, March 1, 2013

Author Spotlight - Gabrielle Bisset

Today, in our Author Spotlight feature, we have Gabrielle Bisset!  

Born and raised in the northeast, Gabrielle married young, moved to Europe, and planned to live the life of a military wife.  But as often happens, life had different plans. With a young daughter, she returned to the United States and began life anew. Four years later, she graduated summa cum laude from Marywood University with a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in history. In love with books but just as in love with the study of the past, she chose to pursue a graduate degree in history at the University of Scranton, graduating magna cum laude with a master's degree in history.  

Here's a look into Gabrielle's unique view of the writing process and of her latest series, THE SONS OF NAVARUS...
I began writing years ago because I wanted to emulate the stories I'd loved. Now in an age that seems to glorify everything fast, I'm a bit of a relic. I believe that great things take time (you know--Rome wasn't built in a day). I take my time as I write and edit as I go because after a decade of being an editor and English composition instructor I know of no other way. Much of the joy of writing for me comes in the choosing of the exact word that can deliver just what I want a character to express to affect the reader the most.

And now I've begun a new paranormal series called The Sons of Navarus series that begins with Blood Avenged. Anyone who read Vampire Dreams will remember Vasilije, Brandon's sire. Blood Avenged is his story. The second book in the series, Blood Betrayed, was released in May 2012, and this fall 2012 the third book, Blood Spirit, was released. I've even reworked the original Vampire Dreams to be an official prequel to the series, Vampire Dreams Revamped. As the series progresses, readers are drawn into the civil war between the Sons and the Archons who seek to take over the vampire world. It's a power struggle to the death, for only one side can win this battle.

The joy of storytelling isn't in the end result but the journey, not only for the writer but also for the reader. In a world that seems increasingly disposable, I work to create tales that find a home in readers' hearts and memories. 


Powerful and manipulative, Vasilije does as he pleases. A vampire beholden to no one, he takes what he desires, drinking deeply the pleasures this life has to offer.

When one of his own is staked, Vasilije must travel to New Orleans to exact his revenge. There he meets Sasa, a beautiful woman who arouses him like no other has for centuries. Vasilije’s need for vengeance is equaled only by his passion for her, but what he finds in his revenge is just the beginning...