Authors and Aspiring Authors!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Recognize the Differences and Enter to Win!


Back when I was a kid there was a really cool activity in the paper where they asked you to spot the differences. Two seemingly identical pictures sat next to each other and it was the viewer’s job to figure out the subtle differences. It’s a fun challenge to test your powers of observation.

These days you can take part in this challenge online, through Apps, or maybe even still in some newspapers across the country.

In my paper you could circle the variations and send it in to win a prize before the next one was published the following week.

Did someone say, “win a prize”?!

But I hate winning things…

Said no one ever.

And I’m in the mood to give stuff away. Plus have a little throwback fun. Let’s do a spot the difference photo challenge right here on the blog!

The following is the original and a modified version of a few mountains that I snapped on a recent trip to Bartlett Lake area doing research for my next book. So pretty right?



How to Enter

Here’s the skinny:

1. Study both pictures and make a note of the differences.

2. BEFORE MIDNIGHT APRIL 3, 2015 - Go here and sign up with your email to receive my monthly newsletter and FREE download – Does My Book Suck? And other no-nonsense questions you need to answer before self-publishing your fiction.

3. Then, leave a comment on this post with the following information:
  • Four or more of the differences (HINT: there are seven total)
  • The date you signed up
  • Your name
  • The word eleven
  • Your email address so I can reach you in case you win!


So what fabulous prize could you win?

Three winners will receive an autographed copy of the first book in my Shaw McLeary Mystery Series -  Reckless Abandon!

Yup, you read that right – I’m giving away THREE signed copies. So tell your friends!

Here’s a little teaser about the book:

In Reckless Abandon Young Adult fiction Author, Shaw McLeary, returns from grocery shopping to discover her husband, Danny, is missing. So is their stash of cash but little else. She knows he took off fast. When the guys chasing him show up at her front door, Shaw flees to the only person she can trust to help - JJ Anderson. Private investigator, and her ex-fiancé.

A retired Phoenix cop turned P.I., JJ grudgingly agrees to take the case and help find Danny. They chase the clues from Phoenix to Manhattan to upstate New York. In such close quarters Shaw is confronted with her past head on. And she isn’t sure which one she wants to face less – the bad guys with guns right on their tail or her long dormant feelings for JJ.

Ready to win your free signed copy?

Just click here to get your entry started per the rules above and come on back on April 10 to find out if you’re one of three lucky winners!

Good luck!

The fine print you need to read

One entry per person.

Open to residents of the United States.

Entries posted on 4/4/2015 12:01 or later will not be counted (so get in early!)

All requirements must be completed to qualify so read the skinny carefully before entering.

I’ll randomly select the winners.

Winners will be notified by email and their names will be published in a post on April 10, 2015. If the winner doesn’t respond by April 15 with their mailing address, a new winner will be selected in their place.

Open to residents of the U.S. only.


And just so you know, I will not sell, rent or otherwise distribute your information  to anyone. Ever.

Due to a severe spike in spam, I no longer accept comments from Anonymous users. All comments made on posts 3 days or older will be moderated. Spam will be deleted (it is up to the blog administrator to determine if a comment is spam). A new window opens when you click to comment.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Getting it Done and Giving it Away


Hey folks!

Another 6 weeks of furious fiction typing is behind me, and I have to say that I’ve loved every second of it!

Back at the beginning of February, over on Facebook, I posted about my monthly agenda. It included writing content for Blogging Your Book, posting and promoting blogs, 4 admin days, Newsletter & opt-in creation, a writer's meeting, and 13 full days of working on book 2!

Goals. Set realistically.

However, before I even started working on the book this year I knew I needed a refresher on self-publishing and what comes before that stage. Because it has been ages since my last piece of fiction was released!

So I started researching for and writing a blog post.

When I got to 3,000 words it finally hit me that the thing was taking on a life of its own.

I knew there was zero chance it would be released as a blog or even a series of blogs. It was way too meaty for online life.

There was so much information spilling out of my fingers on the questions you need to ask yourself (and answer!) before you self-publish.

There are quotes from people who live the dream of writing every day.

When all was said and done I knew it needed to be an eBook.

But I certainly wasn’t going to charge anyone for it. The eBook weighs in at about 15 pages – too short for a saleable how-to...

…but the perfect length for…

The low, low price of free to Newsletter Subscribers!

Yup, you’re getting 2 lovely free bits of awesome when you sign up.

First, your own downloadable copy of Does My Book Suck?


All the pre-publishing advice you need to make sure your writing is the very best it can be when you release it!

And second, my newsletter “Become a Successful Self-publisher” will be delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Also for free of course!

Next blog post, you don’t want to miss it!

Stick around for my next post in 2 weeks because I’m hosting a giveaway of my novella – Reckless Abandon the first book in the Shaw McLeary Adventure Series.

In fact, I’m giving away 3 signed copies so you won’t want to miss that!

Need a reminder? No problem!

Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll never miss an update!

And now, back to book writing…



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Friday, February 27, 2015

Will Work for Wine



Or something like that!

Basically, I’m in the furious stages of editing and completing my second novella in the Shaw McLeary Adventure Series. Hence the desire for a wine glass that holds an entire bottle.

But as tempting as it sounds, I refuse to allow myself the distraction. Not when I’m so close to the end!

Of course, there are always things to share, learn, study that help us become better writers. And I don’t consider that distracting. Not when it helps us grow.

Recently, after an interview with Karen Yankovich, I started thinking about smart marketing. Her advice was spot on and made me actually want to market my work.

Marketing will be the mountain I conquer!

But first I need to conquer the last few chapters of this book.

So here’s a quick list of 7 marketing tips I recently picked up while doing the interview with my business partner, Kate. More from our interview with Karen is coming next month so be sure to stop on by.

These tips for using a blog as a marketing tool will hopefully help you bring your strategy to another level as well. Enjoy!

1. A blog is a powerful tool when it’s used to share information and not focused on sales.

2. Posting just once a week can establish authority in your niche.

3. Daily news stories are a great place to get inspiration for fiction or blog posts.

4. People love to connect with authors because it’s cool! (Love her for this one!)

5. Your blog drives content, everything else should branch from your blog posts.

6. Blogging is a first step to an author platform to encourage credibility.

7. Start conversations with anyone who inspires you to do better work; social media is there to help you!

This year I’m making a pledge to do the marketing in the right way. No sleazy selling, no pushy tactics. All I want to do is connect with people who are like me – authors who choose to self-publish or other people who understand the value in reading an Indie Author.

I recently started a newsletter called Become a Successful Self-publisher and I’d love to have you check it out! Just for signing up you’ll get a free copy of my eBook:

Does My Book Suck? And other no-nonsense questions you need to answer before self-publishing your fiction

So go sign up right now and never miss an update. You’ll be well on your way to successful self-publishing in no time!



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