Tiffany’s© Jewlery Pre-Giveaway Choice

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Invidious Betrayal 826kbI will be having a giveaway to promote my new release INVIDIOUS Betrayal. Shea’s Favorite Things Giveaway will include an item from Tiffany’s and Co. If you know me, you know that I am a freak for THE silver trinkets and own not 1, not 2, but several loved and valued pieces (love the blue boxes too). I want one lucky winner to enjoy her own Tiffany’s piece but would like to know what you all like best so I can purchase it for the Giveaway. Here are the options. Which ever has the most likes will be in the giveaway.

All Tiffany’s jewelry is the exclusive property of and owned by Tiffany, its licensors or its content providers and is protected by copyright, trademark and other applicable laws.

So You Want That Book?

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As an author I am curious to know the process readers go through when choosing their next book to read. What was it that had you deciding to read a particular book? What is your process? Of course I am interested in your process but first allow me to tell you mine.

If you aren’t interested in knowing my process I would say stop here… But if you’ve made it this far you may as well stick it out.

Seriously…stick it out. Obviously you have a minute or two to spare.

Most of the books I find are recommendations that the merchant site attaches to my previous reads. So the first thing I notice is the cover and title. The cover is what draws me in but if the title is a turn off, I will pass the book over. (I will elaborate on this point later). If the title is agreeable, I read the Blurb or book description.

This is the most important factor in securing my purchase. If the blurb is interesting, if it points out the plot without giving everything away, if I am curious as to how the author will present the story, then I am sold. Even if it is an old tale, a retelling, or a popular fad, I will consider buying this book. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years is that there are few original ideas in the world today. But there are different, fresh, and interesting ways of conveying/translating these ideas.

Side thought: sometimes I will read a blurb with errors. This has little to do with my decision for the most part.

Note: I am not saying that there are no original ideas.

If I am slightly interested, I go to the reviews. Now my view on reviews is not in any way normal. I have seen too many books with an impressive amount of 5 star ratings that once I read the Sample, I was so damn confused that I was almost angry. Almost. I get that this is the review of the reader and their review is their point of view. And no…I will not agree with everyone. I accept that. What I can’t take is the Mass Friendly Push Reviews.

Hey, we all have friends and family in our corner and they want to help. As an author I have mixed feelings about this. For other authors it’s your choice. But I try not to allow it? Do other authors allow it? Of course. Is it right? I don’t know. If my friends buy my book I accept this as supporting me. I suppose they can review it the way want. Do I ask them to refrain from leaving a review? Yes. Why, because I would like unbiased reviews based on my writing and story, not our relationship. Do they listen? Not all the time.

What irritates me is when I buy books based on these Fam/Friend reviews unknowingly and I read it and the plot is spotty, the characters are under developed, the POV isn’t clear, when it’s one character’s POV but I am in every other character’s head. If it isn’t a series and all minor plots haven’t been resolved. That is when I can pretty much tell that I have been a victim of MFPR support syndrome.

To get around this, I read all the low rated reviews first. Starting with the 1’s, I read what the reviewer didn’t like. If the review was vicious on a personal level, their opinion having nothing to do with structure of the book in whole, I overlook it and move to the next low review. If the reviewer points out annoyances that would totally irritate me, I may pass the book by. Whiny characters are a no go for me and if they provided examples I will pass the book by. In some cases, the worst reviews may have me buying the book. If something in the book was so horrible or the reviewer is determined to bash the book for whatever reason, I may buy the book to see if it caused the same reaction in me. (shrugging…I’m funny that way)

The sample is next. I have gotten to this point a million times and the sample was good but I still decided not to buy the book. It could be that the book seemed good but I didn’t feel drawn to the characters. Or the sample was good but not long enough to determine anything. Maybe it was that I had several samples to read and I want to see if another book/sample pulls me in more. With these books, my ehhhh books, it may take me seeing the book several times before I purchase it or delete the sample from my library. If the sample is intriguing and pulled me in, I buy the book.

The worst, is deciding to buy the book because all these points I’ve made were great but the book was a plot sore and or the characters were wickedly unlikeable. I view these books as the annoying relatives of my amazing reads. You know the ones, the ones you would never befriend if you weren’t related to them. You know, them…and no, I won’t judge you if you suddenly scream their names out for therapeutic necessity. Go ahead…admit it and own it.

This is my process.

Oh…the titles that repels me. DISCLAIMER: I mean no disrespect or to demean any authors that use these titles. I also would like to point out that I have never read any book with any of these titles but I have read tons of stories that use these plot devices. I love these plot devices; I just can’t bring myself to buy a book with these words in the titles.

As PromisedPromises!  

Billionaire! Any book with the word Billionaire in its title I immediately overlook. YES…I may be missing out. I love books that feature rich characters…I just don’t need that in the title. And let’s be honest, it’s been done to death.

Stepbrother! Again, I love this plot device. LOVE IT! But in the title…I just can’t. I can’t.

Now put them together and I cringe.

Bae…No. Just No.

Ghetto….Nope. Don’t need to read about it…nor do I want to experience it…much.

If you care to change my mind about my No Go book titles then make a suggestion.

Old Ways for the New Generation

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So, one day I was sitting on the couch watching television and had a thought. I missed the days of playing with my sisters and friends as a child. We’d be out all day, 10am until the street lights came on, only going in our houses for drinks (if we couldn’t find a water hose), food (if we couldn’t bum something from a friend’s mom), and bathroom breaks (if you weren’t the squatting in the woods type). Seeing our parents in fleeting moments when we checked in, avoiding their questions about if we knew if Ms. So and So was home for fear we’d have to run an errand or giving one word answer so not to be drawn into a long conversation.

I remember having loads of fun outside. Playing Hop Scotch, Red Light-Green Light, Jaxs (Jacks), Bat and Ball… Coming inside and seeing my mom scrunch up her nose and saying “Jeez, you smell like outside.” I would smell my shirt and give her a confused look because…I was confused. What the hell did “Outside” smell like? Now I know.

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Those were the days but as I reflect, I realize that my little ones are missing out. Gone are the days that your children can go out in the neighborhood and have free rein. One can argue that the world has gotten worse or is it that the crime is just on display for all to see. My point, in this careful climate we parents who keep a protective grip on our children will notice that outside play or playtime in general has moved inside.

Yes, my children go outside. They have bikes, scooters, bubbles, and we go to the playground. But if I am being honest, my little ones have all the luxury toys money can buy and those are usually electronic in some way or another. So what I’ve decided to do is teach them the way I played….for the most part. No, my neighborhood isn’t like the one I grew up in. There aren’t hundreds of kids littering the streets and knocking on our door to play like when I was a child but I can share some of the fun I used to have.

I set out to find the toys of old. The games we once loved. Now, beside the television with every electronic you could imagine, I have Jaxs, Pickup Sticks, Marbles, Bat and Ball.. Whatever I can find, I purchased to give the new generation some old school flavor. My children are actually enjoying the games of my youth. Those games require a different kind of skill but they are loving them. Go out…get some Jaxs and teach those techies some tricks.

Things I Don’t Understand About Blogging

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Writing Madness

So I’ve been blogging for almost a year now, and I feel like I’ve learn a lot in that time. However, there are still some things I don’t understand. Maybe some of you can help me out.

1. I don’t understand people who follow everyone they can.

I mean, I get the concept. If you follow people they may follow you back, and that can increase your audience. That’s great. Only, who cares about the numbers? A good number of my followers are fashion bloggers and lifestyle bloggers that clearly were just following to try to get a following of their own, but I didn’t follow them back. I don’t care about fashion. I don’t need posts like that showing up in my reader. If you follow me, it doesn’t mean I’m going to follow you back. If it seems like you blog about writing I may check you out…

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How to Get Back on the Writing Wagon

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Need a push sometimes

Studio Mothers: Life & Art

Cathy YardleyCathy Yardley is an author, mother, and the brains behind Rock Your Writing, a terrific online resource for novelists. Cathy’s ebooks and audiobooks — Rock Your Plot, Rock Your Revisions, Rock Your Query, and Write Every Day — are full of accessible, well-grounded strategies. While Cathy’s focus is genre fiction, writers across the board will benefit from her advice. (I keep the audio versions of Rock Your Plot and Write Every Day in my Audible app for frequent hits of inspiration.) Writers among the Studio Mothers audience will appreciate the article in Cathy’s latest newsletter, which is reprinted below, with Cathy’s generous permission. Enjoy!


Ah, February. The month when the shiny, sexy promise of New Year’s resolutions turns into the dreaded “morning after” of everyday life… when the dream meets the routine.

Suddenly, getting up at 5:00 am every morning to bang out a few pages isn’t as enticing…

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