Showing posts with label series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label series. Show all posts

Monday, July 16, 2018

"The Busy Moms Guide to Writing" by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley

REVIEW and EXCERPT
The Busy Moms Guide to Writing
by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley

The Busy Moms Guide to Writing by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley


The Busy Moms Guide to Indie Publishing by Angela Castillo and Jamie FoleyThe Busy Moms Guide to Novel Marketing by Angela Castillo and Jamie FoleyThe Busy Moms Guide to Writing Boxed Set by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley


The Busy Moms Guide to Writing is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a freebie. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Are you a busy mom who loves to write, but doesn't know where to start? This easy-to-read guide by two bestselling, award-winning authors will help you make your writing dreams a reality.
From finding time to write, to showing you how to get your kids involved, Jamie Foley and Angela Castillo (who happen to be busy moms themselves) will give you the resources - and the encouragement - you need.
This book will:
- Help you plan out your writing goals, time management, and financial budget
- Encourage you to enlist aid from the right people - critique partners, editors, cover designers, and more
- Guide you to making the best decision for you regarding independent and traditional publishing
- Give you questions to ask yourself at the end of each chapter to help you move closer to your writing dreams
- Steer you away from common mistakes

Excerpt
Supper should have been started half an hour ago, and a pile of laundry waits for you on the couch (well, it used to--now the kids have flung the clothes across the room in a free-for-all sock fight). Your baby is crying, and your oldest kid is yelling something about a science fair project being due tomorrow.
But what are you thinking about? A roving mercenary princess in your own made up land--the land of Flynn. You’ve dreamed about this land, pretended to live in it yourself. And more than anything, you want to write about it.
Your little girl grabs hold of your leg with sticky fingers. “Mommy, when are we going to have supper? I’m hungry, Mommy!”
If you’re feeling tempted to check your home for a hidden camera, the reason we know these things is because we are there. We have nights like this on a continual basis. Yet between both of us, we have fifteen published books (and three collections). These books help to generate an income to help with grocery money and even, sometimes, the mortgage payment. Writing and Momming can happen! At the same time!
What this book will do:
- Help you plan out your writing goals and time management
- Give you tools to do your personal best when it comes to writing
- Steer you away from mistakes we’ve made
- Encourage you to enlist aid from the right people--critique partners, editors, cover designers, and more
- Help you create a time budget, as well as a financial budget, so you don’t go overboard
- Guide you to making the best decision for you regarding independent and traditional publishing
- Give you questions to ask yourself (and hopefully answer!) at the end of each chapter to help you move closer to your writing dreams
What this book won’t do:
- Teach you how to write a New York Times bestseller (if you find a book that can do this, let us know)
- Tell you to neglect your family in order to write
- Expect you to have a ten-thousand-dollar budget for your first book
- Tell you how to come up with writing ideas. There are countless other writing prompt books available out there. We figure if you picked up this book, you probably have ideas buzzing around in your head already and are looking for a way to let them out.
- Give you a magic formula to make millions of dollars with your books (we don’t believe such a thing exists, but maybe. Of course, unicorns might exist too…)
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“… a professionally written and designed book that over delivers on value. This book is so aesthetically pleasing, so beautifully illustrated and flawlessly formatted that, for a brief moment, I thought I might be dreaming. What a pleasure to read!” ~ R. Smith
“I'm not a busy mom, but I AM a busy writer, so this book was still helpful. I already knew a lot of this, but there are ALWAYS new perspectives and ideas to be picked up. Insightful, well-written, and sometimes funny, it has lots of great tips and advice.” ~ Deborah O’Carroll
“The chapters are well polished and organized. I found it particularly interesting that although the co-authors write in different genres (historical romance vs fantasy/sci-fi) and styles (pantser vs plotter) the overall tone was extremely cohesive and conversational - like close, long-time friends chatting about their writing process.” ~ Katia Hart
“I was pleased to see that motherhood was not a requirement for reading this book. Within the authors give Suggestions for finding extra time in which to write. They also provide a run down of basic writing craft and a basic publishing primer. The prose was both informative and enjoyable. With this book you will not become a published author overnight, but it may help you decide if it's a journey you want to start.” ~ Cathrine Bonham
“This book is perfect for ALL busy people trying to find a way to make time for writing and prioritize what little time they have. Jamie and Angela help writers do things right from the start but cutting through the clutter and laying out the alternatives, no-nos, and how-tos from the very beginning! I highly recommend this book to all people who enjoy writing words, no matter how busy or experienced.” ~ Albert L. Ellison


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
Here’s a book that tells you that “Writing and Momming can happen! At the same time!” But the best thing is that this book isn’t just for moms. While the authors present tips on planning and writing a book while juggling a home and family, the advice they give is applicable to any writer.
Topics covered include: setting realistic goals, finding time to write, plotting your story, the length of books in different genres, writing a series, creating loveable characters, pitfalls to avoid, getting people to read your book before it goes to the editor, editing, and publishing.
This is a beautifully presented book, with a writer’s quote at the beginning of each chapter, cute notes in between, and questions for your consideration at the end of each chapter. The authors maintain a friendly, conversational tone throughout. A pleasure to read.

About the Authors
Angela Castillo
Angela Castillo loves living in the small town of Bastrop, Texas, and draws much of her writing inspiration from life there. She loves to walk in the woods and shop in the local stores. Castillo studied Practical Theology and Music at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas. She was home-schooled all through high school and is the oldest of seven kids. Castillo's greatest joys are her little girl and two boys. Castillo has been published in The First Line, Aardvark's Ark, Heartwarmers, Thema, and several other publications, and also has works available on Amazon.

Jamie Foley
Jamie Foley loves strategy games, home-grown berries, and Texas winters. She's terrified of plot holes and red wasps.
Her husband is her manly cowboy astronaut muse. They live between Austin, Texas, and their family cattle ranch, where their hyperactive spawnling and wolfpack can run free.


Freebie
Sign up for the Busy Moms newsletter to receive your FREE copy of 50 Websites Every Author Should Know About by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley.


Links

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

"Shadow Dancing" by Julie Mulhern

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Shadow Dancing
(The Country Club Murders Book 7)
by Julie Mulhern

Shadow Dancing (The Country Club Murders Book 7) by Julie Mulhern

Shadow Dancing is the seventh book in Julie Mulhern's Country Club Murders series set in the 1970s. Also available: The Deep End (read my blog post), Guaranteed to Bleed, Clouds in My Coffee, Send in the Clowns, Watching the Detectives (read my blog post), and Cold as Ice (read my blog post).


Shadow Dancing is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Visiting a psychic is outside the norm for Ellison Russell. Finding bodies is not. Unfortunately, the psychic’s crystal ball says she’ll soon be surrounded by death. Again.
Drat.
Now there’s a corpse in the front drive, a witchy neighbor ready to turn Ellison and her (not so) little dog into toadstools, and a stripper named Starry Knight occupying the guest room.
How did 1975 go so wrong so quickly?
Ellison must handle Mother (who’s found a body of her own), make up with a certain handsome detective, and catch a killer, or the death surrounding her might be her own.

Excerpt
“Ellison!” Mother’s voice was a mix of relief and exasperation. “Where have you been?”
Tell Mother I’d visited a medium? I’d rather hammer shims under my fingernails or wander around outside without my coat. “Out.”
“I need you.”
Time stopped. Mother never needed me. “What’s wrong?”
“I need you.” Apparently that was the only explanation I was getting. “Can you come over? Please?”
Please? What had happened? “Of course, I’ll come. Are you okay?”
“Hurry.” She hung up.
Aggie appeared in the doorway, a steaming mug of all-things-good in her hand.
“Would you please put that in a travel mug?” I asked.
“Of course. Problem?”
“She won’t tell me what’s wrong.” Mother was not given to crying wolf. Whatever the issue was, it was big. A trickle of dread chilled my blood. “The ambiance committee is meeting here at three. I’ll be back before then.”
“I’ll have everything ready.” Aggie was indispensable. How we’d ever gotten along without her was a mystery. With her sproingy red hair, vivid kaftans, and outspoken ways, Aggie was not Mother’s idea of a perfect housekeeper. Mother’s opinion didn’t matter. I thought Aggie was the best thing since sliced bread.
A moment later I was back in the car, snug in a fox jacket with matching hat. I settled the plastic travel mug filled with coffee between my thighs and wished I hadn’t. The plastic was hot. I turned the key and ELO’s “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” nearly deafened me. I sympathized. Even with hitting a pedestrian and Mother’s crisis, there was a man I couldn’t get out of my head. I turned off the radio and motored down the drive.
Mother’s door opened as soon as I pulled up in front of her house.
I took a quick gulp of coffee then hurried up the front walk. “What’s wrong?”
Mother looked from left to right as if her neighbors were hanging around in the cold, waiting to eavesdrop. “Come in.”
With the door safely closed behind me, Mother sighed.
“What? What’s happened?”
The color had leeched from her skin and the perfect helmet of her hair was mussed. “I found a body.”
Mother? A body? It was about time someone in this family besides me found a body.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Although almost all the characters in this series are “a cut above,” actually several socioeconomic levels above me, the author’s wry humor, use of irony, and judicious eliciting of empathy, make the series endearing, despite the cultural disparity.” ~ Mallory Heart’s Cozies
“I love the characters in this series. They are expertly written and feel like old friends. Their dialogues are fantastic.” ~ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book
“I started this book one night and I didn’t go to sleep till I finished, really, it was addictive!” ~ Varietats
“I love, love, love Ellison. Each time I get to read her latest adventure, I find myself adoring her more.” ~ Bibliophile Reviews


About the Author
Julie Mulhern
Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym, and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean - and she's got an active imagination. Truth is - she's an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog, and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.




Giveaway
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed print copy of Shadow Dancing by Julie Mulhern (US only).


Links

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Tail of the Dragon" by Connie di Marco

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Tail of the Dragon
(Zodiac Mystery Book 3)
by Connie di Marco

Tail of the Dragon (Zodiac Mystery Book 3) by Connie di Marco

Tail of the Dragon, the third book in the Zodiac Mystery series by Connie di Marco, will be released 8 August but is currently available for pre-order. Also available: The Madness of Mercury (read my blog post) and All Signs Point to Murder (read my blog post).

The Madness of Mercury by Connie di MarcoAll Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco


Tail of the Dragon is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


For another book by this author (writing as Connie Archer), please check out my blog post on Ladle to the Grave.

Description
San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought murder would be part of her practice, but when her former boss and current client asks for help she agrees to go undercover at his law firm. Three people have received death threats and the only common denominator between them is a case long settled–the infamous Bank of San Francisco fire. Julia’s astrological expertise provides clues but no one wants to listen. Before she can solve the mystery, two people are dead and her own life is in danger. Julia must unmask the killer before he, or she, takes another life.

Excerpt
I pulled up to the garage door and searched for the opener.  It wasn’t in my purse, the last place I had seen it.  I checked the glove compartment.  Empty.  Where had it gotten to?  I gave up the search, backed out to the curb and climbed out.  I’d have a search for it tomorrow.  I climbed the stairs, unlocked the door and called to Wizard.  He didn’t come to greet me.  I heard his bell jingle somewhere in the apartment.  It wasn’t like him not to rush to the top of the stairs to greet me.  I turned on the lamp on the hallway table and spotted his paws underneath. 
“Wiz, what are you doing?  Come on out for a hug.”  I petted his paws and made kissing sounds.  Wiz returned the affection with a gurgle and rushed out to my arms.  “What are you doing hiding there?”  I cuddled him as I walked into the living room.  I flicked on the wall switch and stood in stunned horror.  My apartment had been trashed.
The room was in shambles.  A ceramic vase lay shattered in a hundred pieces on the floor.  Books had been tossed off the shelves and two of the sofa cushions had been ripped open.  I couldn’t breathe and could barely move.  Wizard mewed and snuggled closer in my arms.  I went back to the hallway, terrified something might have happened to my bronze Buddha.  It was still in its place, probably because it weighs a ton and it’s impossible to lift.  I sighed, it hadn’t guarded my nest very well tonight.  In the kitchen, dishes from the cabinet were smashed.  Food from the refrigerator, what there was of it, had been thrown against the walls to drip on to the floor.  Bureau drawers had been dumped out, jewelry flung all over the room.  The pillows on the bed and the comforter were slashed.  The clothes hanging in the small closet, mostly just a couple of suits and some jeans and sweaters that I had been wearing that week had been ripped off the hangers and cut to ribbons.
I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  My hands started to shake.  I knew now why Wizard had been hiding under the table terrified.  Then the thought occurred that someone could still be in the apartment.  Perhaps I had just interrupted the intruder.  I lowered Wizard gently onto the floor and shushed him.  I made a dash for the small coat closet in the hallway where I keep a toolbox.  Opening the door as quietly as possible, I released the catches on the metal box and grabbed a long thick screwdriver.  It was the only thing I could think of in a hurry.   If I had to defend myself, there was a good chance I could do a job on someone with this.  I slipped off my shoes so I could walk silently and, against my instincts, returned to the bedroom where I peeked under the bed.  My hands were still shaking.  Wizard had followed me and now was hiding under the tall bureau, his tail sticking out.  I was tempted to join him.  I picked up the phone and dialed Gale’s number, praying she’d answer.  She picked up on the third ring. 
“Gale.  It’s me.  Can you come right over?”
“Julia?  Sure, honey.  What’s wrong?”
“Tell you when you get here.”  I hung up.  Tiptoeing softly, I walked to the end of the corridor and the office.  Nothing in there had been touched.  Thankfully, the computer was in one piece.  The charts were still stuck on the bulletin board, so whoever it was had either taken no interest in this room or had been interrupted.  I checked the desk drawer where I store my laptop.  It was intact.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  The filing cabinet with hard copies of client charts, just as a backup, was undisturbed.  Everything seemed in order. 
There weren’t too many hiding places in my apartment, and the ones that did exist I knew very well.  I looked in the large walk-in closet in the hallway where most of my clothes were stored.  As usual when I pulled on the knob, the door stuck.  I leaned all my weight on the handle and it released.  If that clothing had been destroyed, it would have been a real blow.  I checked the bathroom, the shower stall and peeked under the bed again for good measure.  I walked very softly down the hall to the living room, made a circuit of that room, checked the coat closet by the top of the stairs again, and the small laundry room next to the kitchen.  Then I went back to the bedroom and pulled out the small case I keep under the bed.  It holds a flashlight, a small radio and a pair of tennis shoes in case of earthquake.  There was only one possible hiding place left and that was the storage area under the stairway.  I tiptoed down the stairs.  The triangular-shaped door is painted the same color as the wall of the hallway and the handle of the door is camouflaged by color as well.  Anyone who wasn’t familiar with the apartment might not even notice this.  I steeled myself in case my intruder was hiding there and lunged out at me.  I pulled open the door and stepped back quickly.  Nothing happened.  I had been holding my breath.  I shone the flashlight around the almost empty space.  Nothing but two boxes of old tax papers and files and a large plastic storage container for extra blankets.  I shut the door and turned the hasp to lock it.  The doorbell rang.  I jumped involuntarily.  It took me a moment to catch my breath.  
I called out, “Who is it?”
“It’s me,” Gale called out from the other side of the door.  I opened it and let her in. 
“How did you get here so fast?” 
“I was just down the street on Clement having a drink.  Are you okay?  Gale took my hand.  What’s going on?” She glanced at the screwdriver I was clutching tightly.  “Holy crap, put that down.  You look like you’ve seen a ghost.  Let’s go up to the kitchen.” 
“Somebody broke in.  Go have a look.  You won’t believe it.” 

Praise for the Book
“The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. It is written in a such a way that the reader cannot help but be pulled into the story. I found myself reading much later into the night than I had planned.” ~ MJB Reviewers
“This author knows how to get a reader’s attention right from the start. Blood, mystery, murder within the first few pages sure gets a gal excited to read the rest of the mystery.” ~ Bibliophile Reviews
Tail of the Dragon is an edgy mystery that combines astrology and murder to create an engrossing, pulse-pounding tale.” ~ Cozy Up With Kathy
“... the protagonist is unique and the plot multi-dimensional, fleshed with a well developed main character ...” ~ Rosepoint Publishing
“I don’t know what it is about mixing the astrological stuff with murder but it really makes for a great mystery I must say.” ~ Books a Plenty Book Reviews
“If you want a surprise ending, this the book to read! I was blown away by the twist at the end.” ~ Storeybook Reviews

About the Author
Connie di Marco
Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mystery series from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti.
Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. Some of her favorite recipes can be found in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook
Connie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime. She grew up in New England and now lives on the other coast.



Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of five print (US only) or ebook copies of Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco.

Links