Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Becoming a Book Blogger - Design Considerations

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today, we're going into design considerations for your blog. Step four in becoming a book blogger. I do hope you're getting excited as you follow along and create your blog. By now, you've chosen a name, have a URL, and have picked a publishing platform. More than that, you have your review policies (what you will and won't review and how to submit)! You should also be a little bit familiar with your hosting service. This post is going into your blog design (layout) and content. So, grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

First, a recap of the past posts and what's coming:

Now, take a close look at my blog. You'll see there's a background that encompasses my logo and color/design scheme. On the sidebar, I don't have a ton of clutter for folks to wade through. One thing I have going on right now is my UtopYA con author interview posts. Because of that, I have two additional images on the right hand side. But, as you can see, my subscribe box is above the fold (this is referencing the part of your blog that's visible before the scroll).

Moving on down, you'll see another couple of ways to follow me and my posts (you do want your blog to be read, right?), then it goes right into my archive. Not having an archive where people can browse your past posts isn't a good idea. You want them to stay and look around a while.

Let's go back to the top!

You see my banner telling you what my blog is about, then a set of links I think are pertinent for everyone on social media to make as easy to find as possible. Note they're above the fold.

Because I'm OCD, and my blog is my haven for all the information I impart to my fellow Indie authors, I have a categorized link list. This is a whole separate page on my blog I use to sort posts into categories (with a little snap of what the post is about) so people don't have to wade through my archive to find specific information.

But my blog loads fast on a browser. Six seconds. Ideally, you want five or less, but I'm okay with six. I've visited blogs that took over a minute to load because there was all this extra "stuff" all over them. I waited, but only to take a look at the mess, click away, and never return.

You have about fifteen seconds to catch someone's attention. They won't wait much longer than that (if they wait at all). So, keep the clutter down and increase your load times.

Black text on a white background in an easy to read font is the next thing you need to consider for your design. If you make it hard to read your posts, people will be turned off and not come back.

You want them to come back. That's why you're blogging.

Make sure all your stuff is harmonious. Not that everything has to be identical, but when someone clicks on the link to your Twitter page, make sure it at least resembles your blog, website (if you choose to have one), and Facebook page. Don't let them doubt they've found the person they're looking for.

The Chicken Coop can have one chicken image on their blog, a different one on Facebook and Twitter, and still another on their website, and (as long as the look and feel is the same) they'll connect the dots.

Remember your name! If you've chosen The Chicken Coop for your blog, be @TheChickenCoop on Twitter as well. Be facebook.com/TheChickenCoop or facebook.com/ChickenCoop. Sign up for TheChickenCoop [at] gmail!

Be consistent and keep it simple.

If you want a couple more tips and tricks on making your public appearance gel, grab my free PDF on branding here. Feel free to download, study, read, print, and redistribute at your leisure. As long as you don't charge for it, I'm good.

What do you think? Have you built up your blog yet? Got any subscribers?

Go on and get those signup boxes going! I'll be back later in the week with advice on structuring your rating system.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, September 29, 2014

Becoming a Book Blogger - Picking a Posting Platform

Happy Monday, everyone! We're continuing on our journey to you becoming a book blogger. If you've been following along and working with me, you'll have a review blog name, policies, and an idea of your branding imagery. Today, I'm gonna talk about choosing a platform. No, I'm not gonna choose a platform for you, this is just gonna be an introduction to the various ones out there. Once you find a blogging platform you like and it's easy for you to use, then you go get a book on how to use the darn thing and go from there (there's a great one at the library - title to come at the end of the post). Grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

As always, a little recap of the series and links to previous days:
Now we can get into the various platforms available for you to choose from. These links will take you to the main page for each service. There are no affiliate links on the Jo Michaels blog, so you can click freely here. I get paid when I see you being successful.

FREE Blogging Platforms
PAID Blogging Platforms

How to choose? Well, go check each one out! Play with them or take a peek around their control decks. See which one is the most user friendly and customizable for your needs.

Maybe you'll want to have more than one. I have two: Blogger and Tumblr. Each has a very different audience, but readers nonetheless. Like choosing anything, go with the one that makes you the most comfortable and won't have you tearing your hair out after a few hours of setup time. Still not sure what you're doing? Call someone who does or check out these books from your local library:

Blogging for Creatives: How Designers, Artists, Crafters and Writers can blog to make contacts, win business and build success. by Robin Houghton
and
Blogging all in One: For Dummies by Susan Gunelius

Speaking of libraries! You can find books in the how-to section on almost everything having to do with blogs.

Moving on!

Now that you've chosen your platform, go register your new blog name (get your URL - something like TheChickenCoop.blogspot.com) and get your pages set up. At this point, you should have at least two pages: Home (where your blog posts are) and Review Policies. Get those two up and going, and we'll go into design choices you'll make for your blog tomorrow.

Baby steps!

What's your preferred blogging platform? Why?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, September 26, 2014

Becoming a Book Blogger - Branding Yourself with Imagery

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Continuing on with my Becoming a Book Blogger series, today I'm gonna talk about choosing the imagery to go with your name. If you've been with me so far, you have a great name picked out, a tagline, and a review policy. As I stated yesterday, I'll be using The Chicken Coop as the name for the example review blog. Grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

Recap!
  • Choosing a Name and Review Policy
  • Branding Yourself With Imagery (you're there now)
  • Picking a Platform for Publishing
  • Design Considerations
  • Structuring Your Rating System
  • Building an Audience - Social Media Crazy
  • Writing Reviews
  • Money, You Say?

When considering branding yourself with imagery, keep this post in mind. While you want to be different and exciting, be sure you aren't cluttering your blog up with stuff that'll keep it from loading quickly. Remember, you have three to five seconds to make an impression. Use it wisely.

Here's a quicky for The Chicken Coop Book Reviews:


Now, this doesn't take into account any kind of color scheme you may have going on, and you may want a smart looking chicken, standing up, reading a book behind the banner, but you get the idea. This will matter when we get to structuring your rating system, too. Themes are fun!

Monday, we'll go into picking a platform to host your amazeblog.

What do you think? Are you coming up with some great ideas? Want to share?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Becoming a Book Blogger - Naming and Policies

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, we're continuing the series on how to become a book blogger. Why am I doing this series? Because I've had so many people come up to me and tell me they're readers that consume at least three to four books a week, and don't write reviews for those books. What a loss for all those Indie authors out there! I know I'd give my book to someone who wanted to read and review it, and there are plenty of us out there who need those reviews. So, for those of you who love to read and have ever considered starting to write reviews, this series is for you. Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

First, a recap of the series:
  • Choosing a Name and Review Policy (you're there now)
  • Branding Yourself With Imagery
  • Picking a Platform for Publishing
  • Design Considerations
  • Structuring Your Rating System
  • Building an Audience - Social Media Crazy
  • Writing Reviews
  • Money, You Say?

I'm starting with choosing a name because that's something that'll probably take you the longest, define your brand, and what everything else will follow. It's the single most important thing you have to consider. If you aren't creative like that, here are a couple of cool names not yet in use:

The Chicken Coop
Flower Power
The Book Gardener
Razing the Page

All of those can have awesome taglines that tell potential readers you're a book blog and here's why. Of course, The Chicken Coop would probably center on Hen-Lit. *grin* I'll use this name for the duration of the series for example purposes.

So, make a list of potential names and do a Google search to find out if the ones you like are already in use. When you find a suitable one, come up with your tag line (something like The Chicken Coop - Scratching Around for Great Books) and write it all down.

A WORD OF WARNING: Book bloggers are very protective of their babies. Don't steal a name from someone else or create a name that's too similar to one that exists. You'll be in for a war. Consider the information imparted.

Once you have your new, exciting name chosen, start on writing out your review policy.

This is for authors who find your blog or website, like your review/rating system, and want you to review their book. They need to know how to submit to you, how long it may take you to review the book, and your policy on rating books you can't finish (do you leave them alone or review and say you couldn't finish and why). How do you choose among the hundreds of submissions you get?

Also write a disclaimer about what you do when you're unable to finish or review a book. Will you contact the author privately, or will the title just fall away into the ether? No one really likes to coast along without knowing if they'll be reviewed or not, so be sure you're clear.

I think I've given you enough to think about for one day, so get busy and get that name chosen!

Anything you book bloggers might want to add about naming or policies?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Review - The Strange Marriage of Anne de Bourgh

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today, I have yet another book review for you all from my Indie Fever 2014 reading list. There's still time to join in the fun of the challenge. Just go here, add your name to the linky thing with your pledge level, grab the badge, and read on! I always choose my books in December (and some are added along the way I find on my own) so I know about how many I can promise to read over the next year. I've already hit my goal for 2014, but I'm gonna keep going until the end. *grin*

Here's a recap of my review list:

Skylar Hamilton Burris The Strange Marriage of Anne de Bourgh REVIEW BELOW
Tamar Hela Feast Island REVIEW HERE
Rebecca Trogner The Last Keeper's Daughter REVIEW HERE
Scott Marlowe The Five Elements REVIEW HERE
L.K. Evans Keepers of Arden: The Brothers Volume 1 REVIEW HERE
Sarah Mäkelä The Witch Who Cried Wolf REVIEW HERE
Felicia Tatum Masked Encounters REVIEW HERE
David T Griffith The Bestiarum Vocabulum REVIEW HERE
Thaddeus White Sir Edric's Temple REVIEW HERE
Heather Topham Wood The Memory Witch REVIEW HERE
N. L. Greene Illusions Begin REVIEW HERE
J. A. Huss Tragic REVIEW HERE
Pauline Creeden Sanctuary REVIEW HERE
Casey Bond Reap REVIEW HERE 
Casey Bond Devil Creek REVIEW HERE
S. G. Daniels The Druid's Doorway REVIEW HERE
Misty Provencher The Fly House Amazon Kindle $3.99
Peprah Boasiako The Hitman Amazon Kindle $0.99
C. S. Janey Surrender To You Amazon Kindle $2.99
Gloria Piper Finnegan's Quest Amazon Kindle $4.99
Elle Todd The Elect Amazon Kindle $3.99 
Morgan Wylie Silent Orchids Amazon Kindle **FREE**
Laura Howard The Forgotten Ones Amazon Kindle $0.99
Christina Marie Morales Ambience Amazon Kindle $2.99
Molly Taggart Off Target Amazon Kindle $2.99

Title: The Strange Marriage of Anne de Bourgh
Author: Skylar Hamilton Burris
Genre: Historical Romance
Length (print): ~ 106 Pages
Buy LinkAmazon Kindle $2.99

Synopsis:
When Mr. Collins leaves his living at Rosings for a higher (or at least more lucrative) calling, a lascivious new rector takes his place. Mr. Darcy fears this handsome man of the cloth may have designs on his sickly cousin Anne, and he races to rescue her from a fate worse than death: marriage. In addition to the title novelette, this collection also includes three Pride and Prejudice inspired short stories that offer playful glimpses into the future life of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy.  These short Regency romance selections will provide you with an enjoyable introduction to the writing style of Skylar Hamilton Burris, who has also authored two popular, novel-length sequels to Pride and Prejudice.

**Will not appear in review elsewhere. I think the newest version of the cover does the most justice to the book inside. It depicts Anne looking sheepishly over her shoulder. How awesome is that? You can check it out by clicking on the Amazon link above.**

Review time!

I read P&P about once a year. I love the characters, and always wanted to know what happened to poor Anne after Mr. Darcy chose Elizabeth.When Skylar Burris appeared on my blog to pitch The Strange Marriage of Anne de Bourgh to me, I snapped up the sample right away, and I enjoyed it so much I bought the book. Without further dawdling...

From a Reader's Perspective:
What I love most about Pride and Prejudice is the language. I get caught up in the flow and rhythm of Austin's words on the page. While this is a collection of short stories based on the P&P characters, it doesn't have the same cadence (which I firmly believe is one of the major reasons so many of us love the root story). Even so, I enjoyed the easy banter between Lizzy and Mr. Darcy, further rooting their odd relationship as one that works. Both were overly witty in P&P, and that was both a blessing and a curse. My favorite short was the letters the couple exchanged, as it displayed a lot of their nature and gift with words. There was no backstory, so if you aren't familiar with the original, you probably won't enjoy these short tales. Writing was well done and flowed smoothly, but was missing that je ne sais quoi I was looking forward to.

From an Editor's Perspective:
There was one instance where the author lost her character's name (Jonson became Johsnon), but there were only three or four other errors.

Rating:
1 Star for giving me laughs with some of my favorite P&P characters
1 Star for the letters short (which was very well done)
1 Star for giving Anne a happily ever after
1 Star for writing that had few errors
- 1 Star for not capturing me with prose that had cadence
Overall 4 out of 5 stars. Enjoyable read with fun shorts that'll keep you entertained.

Do you love the original? Ever read a spinoff? What did you think?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How To: Start a Book Review Blog - Series on Becoming a Book Blogger Introduction

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm giving you some information about a new post series that'll walk you through the steps of creating your very own book review blog. So, if you haven't subscribed yet, and you're interested in reading great, free books (and making money doing it) get on it. You may subscribe on the right ------------>

For this first of many posts to come on this topic, I'm giving you all a topic list that'll be updated as we go through the process. Why? Well, it's so I can show one link (to this page) and folks can find the information they're looking for. I love simplicity and organization (yeah, have you seen my link list?). Haha! In order, here are the post topics I'll be covering:
When you see the following image, you'll know you're on one of the building a blog pages:


I can't wait to get started. May the odds be ever in your favor!

What do you think? Interested?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, September 22, 2014

Author Interview - Liz Long

Happy, happy Monday, everyone! *cheers* I'm back with yet another interview with a lovely UtopYAin. Today, I'm pleased to welcome Liz C. Long to the blog. She's got a quirky sense of humor, and we have stuff in common (which means we're like sisters)! So that's awesome. If you don't have your tickets to the con yet, what are you waiting for? The theme next year is time travel, and I'm positive Janet Wallace (the mastermind behind UtopYA Con) and her crew are gonna bring us some awesome stuff. Get your tickets here. Right now. So you can come meet awesome authors like Liz (and me! *waves hands around*) and go to panels to learn stuff. Pssst! There's a giveaway on the bottom of the page!

Enough rambling! Let's get going.



Jo: LIZ! Welcome to the blog of Jo! It’s super awesome to have you here, and I can’t wait for my readers to get to know you. Ready?

Liz: So ready! Let’s rock this interview!

Jo: And the congregation says, "Amen!" So, a little bird told me your book made it to the semi-finals in the KBR Best Indie Book 2014 Awards. Congratulations! How did you feel when you found out, and which book was it? Why did you enter?

Liz: First off, thank YOU because you were MY little birdie who told me the good news! My standalone title WITCH HEARTS was the submission that made semi-finals and I am beyond blown away by that fact. With nearly a thousand submissions, the fact that my book made it into the Top 20 is a huge honor. I entered mostly just to see how I’d do – I honestly don’t think I expected to make it that far! LOL I think the day I found out, I double- and triple-checked the website to make sure I wasn’t reading it wrong (you know 500 times in a row).

Jo: I know what you mean. The Bird hit the semi-finalist list last year and I stared and stared at the title; wondering if it was really sitting there. How exciting for you! *squee!* Tell me about the section of your website that gives authors tips and tricks on writing (my readers are totally your audience). How did the idea come about, and what do you hope to accomplish with it?

Liz: Part of the reason I write those pieces is for authors like me who are just starting out. I remember googling every little question and sometimes there’s so much information out there you aren’t really sure where to start. My background is in marketing and I’ve been writing for publications on and off since I was a teen, so I’m relatively familiar with tricks we should all learn as indie authors. There’s always room to grow, so I’m always hoping to learn something new to pass along to my readers! I’ve had such great feedback from both writers and readers who get something out of those posts and I’m always tickled to receive an email thanking me for one of them. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy!

Jo: I love to see Indies helping Indies. It makes me happy how we all share. You have really great reviews on Amazon! I have to ask who your editor is. Everyone talks about how well written the books are.

Liz: Thank you! Actually, my editor is my best friend from high school, Morgan Wall. She was a newspaper journalist and editor for several years after college and is now a high school English teacher, so I’m really lucky to know someone with such a keen eye. We’ve always gotten on well due to her blunt honesty and similar humor, so not only do I understand how to take her critiques but I always know that she’s doing everything she can to make the book better (because eventually, I will have to pay her!).

Jo: It's awesome to have such a killer editor in your corner, huh? I have one, too! *shoutout!* She knows who she is. *nods sagely* So, I must know! What magazine do you work for, and how did you get the job? What kinds of things do you enjoy most about working there?

Liz: I am the Social Media & PR Strategist for LeisureMedia360, and we publish several publications, including the Virginia Travel Guide, THE ROANOKER, BLUE RIDGE COUNTRY, and BRIDEBOOK magazines. I’m really lucky in that I love my job – it’s a great 8-5 M-F gig that not only gives me a great writing schedule at nights and on weekends, but also gives me opportunities to meet great people in the area for interviews and networking. It sounds weird to my ears, but here in Roanoke, I’m supposedly a social media expert, so it’s also a good way to tie in what I learn with marketing my writing. I really love supporting my city in such a big media-based way and of course being a magazine writer is pretty much a dream come true!

Jo: What a perfect job for a writer. Hell yes, dream come true. Rock on, lady! Talk to me about getting your BA in English (yeah, I cyber-stalked you a little - don't judge). *grin* What prompted you to major in that subject, and what were your favorite classes?

Liz: I actually started out as a Communications major at Longwood University; I wasn’t crazy about the program, so I figured the next logical step was English because obviously I wasn’t too bad at it ;) I had a few fantastic classes I still think about years later, including my YA Literature class and American Literature with a tough-as-nails teacher who really shaped a lot of my senior year. My creative writing courses were of course favorites too, even if the homework wasn’t for the faint of heart!

Jo: I did almost the same thing (but with different majors). Ha! Cool. Okay, I’ll stop harassing you about your personal life for a moment. *bats eyelashes* Rapid fire question time! Lime green or hot pink?

Liz: Hot pink!

Jo: Sparkles! Amen! Toilet paper - over or under the roll?

Liz: Oh god, over. I’m totally in the middle of a toilet paper war with an unknown coworker who is a MONSTER and puts it under. She doesn’t know about the war, but it’s there.

Jo: I'd be doing the exact same thing. Only I'd call it to her attention. Haha! Puppies or kittens?

Liz: Puppies. My family raised dogs when I was a kid, so my entire childhood was based around puppies!

Jo: Puppy breath! *awwwwww* Now for the time travel question of the interview! Hey, we gotta have a theme, no? If you could go back in time and meet just one person, who would it be and why?

Liz: For real?! Oh my god, that’s too much pressure. Um…normally my celebrity is Justin Timberlake, but I feel like that’s inappropriate here. Someone dead…hmm…how about – no he’s a fictional character, Long…let’s go with Queen Elizabeth I. Can you imagine a woman in her time ruling an empire? I’d love to hear her advice on how to deal with bitchy coworkers. (Fun fact: In kindergarten, I brought in old coins for show and tell, one with Queen E on it. Because I’m also an Elizabeth, my clever classmates called me Queenie until the 8th grade!)

Jo: Now what are the odds that you and I would have the same historical figure? I freaking LOVE Elizabeth I. Obsessed a little. Wrote a huge paper on her in college and made a family tree and everything. Awesome. Oh, and you shall now be called Queenie for the duration of this interview. *evil laugh* Which of your books was the most difficult for you to write? What was so hard about it?

Queenie: That’s a tough one! I’d probably have to say BURNED, the second book in the Donovan Circus Novel. It was a bit tougher than I expected having to pick up in a series – not only do I want a reader to be able to pick up any title out of order and still understand what’s happening, but I also knew there’d be some choices readers would be annoyed about (ie a boy choice when I have two teams) – so I have to leave things open-ended for the third book to let them know a lot more will be going down! It’s fun to think about how things will develop for the characters over time, but you can’t reveal too much or too little. There’s a balance I had to find, but luckily, I think I found it in time for publishing!

Jo: I get the reading out of order and leaving dangles requirement. It's a fine line. Where’s one place you’d like to visit if you had unlimited money? And would you set a story there?

Queenie: I’ve been watching a lot of Outlander lately, so Scotland is pretty high up there. Then again, some of my family is old Irish, so Ireland has always been at the top of my list. And you bet your bonnet I’d set a story there once I visited and had plenty of details to go off of!

Jo: My husband is Irish, and we're planning to visit there later in life. Hope it's all I've built it up to be. Haha! Remember, if you base a book there, you can probably write the trip off on your taxes as research. *grin* Did I miss anything? Something you’d like to add?

Queenie: I’d actually like to let everyone know I’ll have a new book release coming out October 30th called A REAPER MADE. It’s a clean NA Fantasy about a new Reaper who has to go back and save her family from demons. It’ll be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in time for Halloween!

(Liz Queenie gave me the synopsis - and a very pretty banner - which I'm now sharing with you all)
Grace had finally gotten used to her new afterlife as a “Made” – a Reaper who used to be human. When Made Reapers and souls begin disappearing, however, Grace and her mentor Tully suspect demons. Grace’s worst fears are confirmed when her living family is threatened.

She’ll have to break every rule in the Reaper book to save them, including using a little magic to become temporarily human. With the help of Tully and her witchy friend Tessa, Grace goes undercover to save the fates of kidnapped souls – only to discover that demons aren’t working alone. Betrayal and distrust runs deep and Grace discovers that sometimes even Reapers are prone to humanity.

Jo: Sounds amazing. I'll be sure and check it out! Thank you so, so much for joining me on the blog today. It was awesome having you here and I can’t wait to squee with you at UtopYA 2015.

Queenie: Thank you for having me! Expect a tackle hug in June!!

Now, it’s time to tell all you lovely readers about the featured book of the week!

Title: WITCH HEARTS
Author: Liz Long
Genre: Paranormal/Horror
Length (print): 212 pages
Buy links: Amazon ~ B&N ~ KOBO  ~  $2.99

Synopsis:
How does a witch stay safe if a killer can get through her protection spells?

Witches like Ruby and Courtney can take care of themselves. So when Courtney is murdered, Ruby’s world crashes to a halt. The only thing keeping her grounded is the return of Courtney’s brother, Cooper. He seeks revenge, but Ruby wants to help other witches stay alive. To do that, she’ll have to reunite with her old coven’s High Priest, who also happens to be her cheating ex-boyfriend.

If that wasn’t awkward enough, when the killer gets too close, Cooper temporarily moves into Ruby’s place while a police officer tails her every move. Cooper’s presence distracts Ruby as they fight their desire against their need to stay safe. Then Courtney begins to haunt Ruby’s dreams and secrets are spilled, things from Cooper’s past that could get them both killed. The killer continues to stalk Ruby and the more she discovers, the more she fears she won’t be able to keep her heart in her chest.

While your fingers are in the clicking mode, why not give Ms. Long a follow on alllll these awesome social media sites?

Twitter: @lizclong
Facebook: Liz C. Long Author
Pinterest: LizCLong
Website: http://lizclong.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBsxIcJsG0L3owWYOzNhczg
Google +: LizCLong
Goodreads: Liz C. Long
Amazon: Liz Long Author Page

Wait! Don't go yet! Liz has graciously offered to give away a copy of Witch Hearts for one lucky reader.

No, there was no torture involved! Okay, maybe a little...

Now that you know I could get in trouble for my persuasion tactics, don't you want to enter even worse? Perfect! Here you go:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
If you have any questions, pop them into the comments below!

Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, September 19, 2014

After Twilight Releases Today

There's an exciting new limited edition boxed set OUT NOW!
Only .99!!




After Twilight: Six Tales of First Loves, Extraordinary Heroines and Daring Adventures is a YA multi-author boxed set comprised of authors: Julia Crane, Sophie Davis, Lizzy Ford, Ella James, Tara West, and Morgan Wylie.

This special Limited-Edition boxed set includes not only six FULL-LENGTH novels, but also four brand new, NEVER-BEFORE RELEASED companion stories. The cover was beautifully done by Eden Crane Designs.

After Twilight includes:

Freak of Nature (IFICS #1) by Julia Crane, plus a special short story prequel
Talented (Talented Saga #1) by Sophie Davis, plus Condemned (A Short Story Prequel )
Cursed (Voodoo Nights #1) by Lizzy Ford
Here (Here Trilogy #1) by Ella James
Sophie's Secret Crush (Whispers Book 5) by Tara West, plus Krysta's Cursed Cat (A Short Story)
Silent Orchids (The Age of Alandria: Book One) by Morgan Wylie, plus The Rise of the Paladin (A Short Story Prequel)


BUY Links: AMAZON iBooks Smashwords

~~~
These authors are incredibly excited to announce that After Twilight is participating in a .99 boxed set campaign offered by iBooks!! It is listed among the "Teen and Young Adult" category. You can get After Twilight along with a couple other sets (that's a LOT of books) for the cost of a latte!! 

Discover a great new book with Book Bundles. 99c for a limited time on iBooks. http://tw.apple.com/bookbundles

~~~

Help these authors reach their "BOOM" via Thunderclap! 

Thunderclap: It's what happens after the lightning strikes when the thunder BOOMS and is the result of a sonic shock wave that shoots out.  It's called Thunderclap. 

Have you heard of it? Check it out...


"Thunderclap is a "crowdspeaking" platform that lets individuals and companies rally people together to spread a message. The site uses an "all-or-nothing" model similar to crowdfunding sites such Kickstarter, in that if the campaign does not meet its desired number of supporters in the given time frame, the organizer receives none of the donations.
On Thunderclap, backers donate tweets and social media posts rather than money." ~~Wiki
Except it's FREE!!
Please consider donating a tweet or FB or Tumblr post. It's super easy and (we love this part) it's FREE. Just click the link!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Join zOctober for a ton of Zombie Fun!

Happy Thursday, everyone! Well, it's mid September, and that means one of the most awesome events ever is about to happen. It only takes place once a year in October, and I had the very distinct pleasure of meeting the mavin behind the fun at UtopYA con 2014. She's awesome and very into zombies! So sit back, relax, and get your clicking finger ready to help you join the events!

Do you love zombies?

How about a whole month of them?

I'm proud to take part in the brain eating goodness happening over on...

My Book Addiction
With the always awesome Toni Lesatz!

Here's the cute little event icon for you to share:

I'll have a guest post rocking along over there, and I'll be hosting one day of the party on Facebook with some great zombie prizes to give away. There will be some exclusive I, Zombie swag, too!

Anxious yet to find out where you can join in and possibly win some awesome zombie books and swag?

Okay, okay.

Join by:

Be sure and follow the hashtag on Twitter:
#zOctober2014

And give Ms. Lesatz a follow over there while you're at it:
Or on Google Plus, where I know she'll be sharing all the zombie goodness!

Excited yet? Are you gonna go? What will you be looking forward to most?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review - Feast Island

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Heck yeah! Today, I have another book review for you all from my Indie Fever 2014 reading list. I'm making one hell of a dent in my list, and I've scheduled myself a review a week (sans November, because of NaNo) until I get them all done. Then, I'll have a new collection coming at me in December from my 12 Days event. If you're an author, you don't wanna miss that fun! I only take review requests once a year, and if you miss it, you're out of luck.

Now, if you're a reader, join us over on the Indie Fever Challenge! So far this year, we've reviewed over 300 Indie books! Wow! That's a lot of awesome for self-pubbers right there. You can join in the fun here. Just add your name to the linky thing with your pledge level, grab the badge, and get to reviewing. Here's mine so far:

Tamar Hela Feast Island REVIEW BELOW
Rebecca Trogner The Last Keeper's Daughter REVIEW HERE
Scott Marlowe The Five Elements REVIEW HERE
L.K. Evans Keepers of Arden: The Brothers Volume 1 REVIEW HERE
Sarah Mäkelä The Witch Who Cried Wolf REVIEW HERE
Felicia Tatum Masked Encounters REVIEW HERE
David T Griffith The Bestiarum Vocabulum REVIEW HERE
Thaddeus White Sir Edric's Temple REVIEW HERE
Heather Topham Wood The Memory Witch REVIEW HERE
N. L. Greene Illusions Begin REVIEW HERE
J. A. Huss Tragic REVIEW HERE
Pauline Creeden Sanctuary REVIEW HERE
Casey Bond Reap REVIEW HERE 
Casey Bond Devil Creek REVIEW HERE
S. G. Daniels The Druid's Doorway REVIEW HERE
Misty Provencher The Fly House Amazon Kindle $3.99
Peprah Boasiako The Hitman Amazon Kindle $0.99
C. S. Janey Surrender To You Amazon Kindle $2.99
Gloria Piper Finnegan's Quest Amazon Kindle $4.99
Elle Todd The Elect Amazon Kindle $3.99 
Morgan Wylie Silent Orchids Amazon Kindle **FREE**
Laura Howard The Forgotten Ones Amazon Kindle $0.99
Skylar Hamilton Burris The Strange Marriage of Anne de Bourgh Amazon Kindle $2.99
Christina Marie Morales Ambience Amazon Kindle $2.99
Molly Taggart Off Target Amazon Kindle $2.99


Here's a little about today's book:

Title: Feast Island  (Spirit Lake Book 1)
Author: Tamar Hela
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Length (print): ~ 192 Pages
Buy Link: Amazon Kindle $2.99

Synopsis:
Seven teenagers from Northern California are assigned a seemingly innocent group project for their freshman English class. Little do they know, this project will literally take them on a journey out of this world. Cantelia appears much like Earth, until the kids realize magic is as plentiful as the danger surrounding them. A dark and evil ruler has placed a curse on the tribal people of Sikuku Island—the same island where the teens have been transported. Now, they must help the tribal people break the curse if they ever want to see their own planet again. Join Alex and her friends as they learn that there is so much more beyond their comfortable lives in Pollock Pines and its legendary Spirit Lake. 

**Will not appear in review elsewhere.  While the cover does capture the story on the pages, it's a bit too dark overall, in my opinion. This is YA and I feel like it needs to be a bit lighter. That being said, it's just an opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.**

I picked up this book when the author, Tamar Hela, pitched it to me on my blog during my Twelve Days of Christmas event. She was looking for reviews, and her book got me from both the pitch and the sample. I ran out and bought it, as I do all books I review, and the rest, as they say, is history. Enough about how I came upon the title! Let's get to the good stuff.

From a Reader's Perspective:
This book has a lot of heart and a great story. I enjoyed the main character, and felt like she grew as the book progressed. It's a standalone in the beginning of a series, but there's no crazy cliffhanger at the end. Everything is wrapped up in a pretty bow. Plot-wise, Feast Island was spot on. Teens getting whipped away into another world? Yes, please! I also adored the idealism of the youngsters. I felt the story was paced well, and will be a great read for younger people. All that being said, I didn't really connect with any of the characters. I think it's because there were too many for me to get a firm grasp on one. I did like that I got to hear Alex's thoughts (she's a typical teen with a snarky process), but I found myself wishing for more of the Spirit Lake legend to be intertwined with her journey. There were also a ton of redundancy issues. Head hopping happens a lot, and there are at least three POVs (though the only one I could put a finger on whose head I was in was Alex's). There were a few times the author's voice intruded, and pulled me out of the story. Dialogue felt forced with names spattered in often. Which leads me to...

From an Editor's Perspective:
Very few pronoun issues. I was pleasantly surprised by that. However, the issues I found were redundancy (as mentioned), lack of comma lists where needed, author's voice intrusion, and confusions/dropped words. Examples: She had long, white hair that was braided and pinned close to her head and looked younger than she was. This translates to: her hair looking younger than her face. Nominated and voted. Same meaning in two words. Use of ?! and ?? happened often. Corporal and corporeal. Two very different words, the first used where the second should've been. I dismounted and chained my bike to a tree and made my way... Needs commas to improve flow.

Rating:
1 Star for giving me a fun read with great pacing
1 Star for making me laugh at some of Alex's inner monologue
1 Star for tying up all the loose ends and an interesting plot
-1 Star for redundancies and forced feeling dialogue
-1 Star for confusions of words and phrases and for head hopping with no focus
Overall, 3 out of 5 stars. A good read for a teen (very clean), and something to enjoy on a rainy afternoon.

What do you think? Have you read it?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stereotypical Stuffed Shirts - Changing Cliché Characters

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Excuse me. I seem to have alliterated. *grin* Okay, all grammar nerd jokes aside, I bet you're all knee deep in the work week and looking forward to a little break, eh? Well, today I'm bringing you a post all about using stereotypes to your advantage. People tell you never to use a typical character, but I think using common folk as a base is a fantastic place to start. This is gonna be another work with me post, so grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

First, let's list some stereotypes:
  • Crazy aunt who pinches cheeks and laughs too much.
  • Shy, smart, eager to please teen who's bullied in high school.
  • Bad boy who smokes, drinks, and gets in fights all the time who turns good with love.
  • Good girl who has no one and nothing, but does everything right (perhaps even playing nursemaid to a sick parent or other relative).
  • Southern idiot with a drawl, a gun, and a coon hound.

Okay, that should be enough to get us through this exercise. Now, stories with these characters are abundant. You can find at least one in every three books you read.

They make great secondary/forgettable characters, because there's nothing about them that stands out from the fray. People forget them easily (especially if you don't name them).

That being said, you don't want to slap this kind of person into a tale and put the spotlight on them.

Unless...

You add a little something to make them twisty to the reader. Take the stereotype and flip him/her on their heads. Throw in a surprise for your reader that's like a nugget of gold hidden in the pages. After all, riches kept miners going to the deadly land of Alaska looking, right?

Reward your reader; they'll come back for more.

How can you do that? Well, let's use the characters from above (yeah, you knew that was coming) and work out how we can make them more than they seem. I'll give typical traits, then how you might be able to give that character a twist.

Crazy Aunt - Now, this cliché lady crochets, makes jam, and probably has a fruit pattern on her plastic dining room tablecloth. But the twisty lady might keep kids in cages in the basement, men tied up in the barn to torture (perhaps she was a victim of abuse and this is her revenge on the male species), or she's a spy for a foreign government.
Bullied Teen - Typically quiet, excellent students (because no social life), and usually dress down so as not to draw attention to themselves. If you gave them a twist they could bully others anonymously, enter beauty pageants in other states, or run for class president (now that would be a shocker).
Bad Boy - Women are drawn to him, he's crazy sexy, and he has some sort of tortured past. Flip him and make him rich with great parents and un-saveable, someone who's doing a social experiment by acting like a bad boy (your reader will gasp), or have him be really bad and kidnap girls who fawn over him because he was always fascinated by the way women look.
Good Girl - She goes to her job every day like clockwork, never gets in fights, and makes perfect grades. Change her by giving her a twisted fetish she has to hide, visions of dead people she shakes when she sees but hides because she's actually crazy, or let her go on a murder rampage and kill everyone who ever expected her to be perfect.
Southern Imbecile - Hunts, fishes, not playing with a full deck of cards, drives a dirty pickup truck. Make him different by giving him a secret lab and off the charts IQ he hides, making him an alien, or let him be an over the top wealthy guy who's a brilliant artist in hiding.

Now you try. List each one on a piece of paper and try to come up with three things you could do to make them different. After that, come up with your own cliché characters, and change them, too!

No matter how you accomplish the twist, keep it fresh, keep your reader guessing, and do something folks don't see all the time.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to change characters up and make them more.

What do you think? Ever used a stereotype in a different setting? Tell me about it!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, September 15, 2014

Office 365 - Good, Bad, and Awesome

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! Do you remember that post I did a while back on MS Word vs Scrivener? Well, I may have mentioned something about Office 365 playing a huge part in the decision on whether I'd take the leap and learn Scrivener or just stick to MS Word. So, I invested in the Office 365 suite, downloaded the app, and the results are in. If you've been on the fence, this might be the tipping point. Of course, my experience with the program may not mimic yours, so remember to take everything you read (no matter the source) with a grain of salt. Grab your comfy chair, a cup of Jo, and let's get going!

When I saw the editing and portability power of Word in the 365 suite, I knew it would be the game changer for me. I can't begin to tell you how amazing it is to be able to write on my computer, pick up my iPad and go outside to sit with my daughter while she swims and write some more, and then come back in and have the words I wrote magically appear on the screen in my manuscript. Can you say freedom? No longer am I tethered to my desk.

But writing in two different places and having it all sync up is something Evernote could do, right?

Yes.

However...

I'm also an editor (and if you're a writer, you kind of are, too). No other program holds the MS I'm editing, allows me to make inline changes and comments, and keeps it all in a format most people have the program to open (.docx). Best of all, it can also be saved out as a .doc.

Now for the one downside so far:
On my iPad, it's difficult to highlight a specific place in the text because I don't have a mouse. It requires a few more motions to get to where I need to be because of the press/hold/select function. I kinda wish it was adaptable to highlight whatever I hold my finger on without me having to go into select/select all.

But, I can also see how that might be an annoyance. Hello? I just clicked to put the cursor there, not select the word! Right? So, six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Also, I'm not losing as much editing time when I have to hold my finger as I would be if I needed to be chained to my desk to work.

Make sense?

So, the pros outweigh the cons for me. But, allow further elaboration. Here are some screenshots of my WIP in Word 2013 on my iPad (click to enlarge):

Here we have the HOME screen.


You can see, it looks a lot like the traditional Word. No huge learning curve, and nothing to be alarmed about. You won't be able to format your page like you can in Word, but if you take a moment and set it up beforehand, it functions just fine. Or, you can always open on your laptop or desktop and select all and format. It'll save the changes over automatically.


When we click on the INSERT tab at the top, we get this:


It lets you add pictures, shapes, a text box, and all sorts of goodies.

Next up, is LAYOUT:




Just like in the older version of Word, you can change the margins, headers and footers, and numbers.

Then, we have my favorite, REVIEW:





Ahhhh, the power of the editor is here. This screen. You can turn on Track Changes, leave inline corrections, comments in balloons, and do so much more. See that tiny icon in the top right? You can add editors to the document if they have the program. Their edits show up in different colors when you look at the document again. How cool is that?

Last, is VIEW:


This is where you can choose what Word shows you as you write or edit. You know we all love word count! *grin*

Another awesome thing is how this program (on your desktop or mobile device) will take you to the place you left off when you return. It happens automatically on the iPad version, and you just click a ribbon that resembles a bookmark on the desktop version. My app crashed on me one time so far (knock on wood) while I was editing. But the changes were automatically saved as soon as they were made, so I lost nothing. Yeah, awesome.

By the way, the desktop version functions like MS Word 2007. Not a bunch of new stuff to learn before you use it.

Everything is stored in the cloud, and you're giving a ridiculous amount of storage space with the home version (I have 1TB). I mean, will I really ever use a terabyte of storage? I think not.

It is a per-year cost, so consider yourself warned. But every single one of you are writers or editors and will be using it for work, right? Ask your tax rep if you can write it off. My version is Office 365 Personal and will be $70 a year. It includes one desktop and one iPad license.

Anyway, now you have more information and a personal account of this new software. As always, I get no kickbacks from anyone, and there are no affiliate links on this blog. I just tell it like I see it and let you make your own decisions. You can get more information here or do a Google search for Office 365 and go from there.

What do you think? Have you considered changing? Any questions about the software for me?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Review - The Last Keeper's Daughter

Happy Friday, everyone! Today, I bring you another book review from my Indie Fever reading challenge commitment. I know this post is a bit late, but I do like to finish the books before I review them. If you aren't familiar with the Indie Fever reading challenge, check it out here. So far this year, we've reviewed over 300 Indie books, and still have three months to go! You can still join us. Just visit the link, add your name and commitment level to the linky thing, and get to reading. It's a wonderful event that celebrates my favorite people in the world: Indie authors! I'm gonna give you a quick recap of the reviews I've written so far, and the list of books on my TBR (in no particular order), before we get to information about the book and my review. So grab your comfy chair and a cup of coffee, and let's get going!

Rebecca Trogner The Last Keeper's Daughter REVIEW BELOW
Scott Marlowe The Five Elements REVIEW HERE
L.K. Evans Keepers of Arden: The Brothers Volume 1 REVIEW HERE
Sarah Mäkelä The Witch Who Cried Wolf REVIEW HERE
Felicia Tatum Masked Encounters REVIEW HERE
David T Griffith The Bestiarum Vocabulum REVIEW HERE
Thaddeus White Sir Edric's Temple REVIEW HERE
Heather Topham Wood The Memory Witch REVIEW HERE
N. L. Greene Illusions Begin REVIEW HERE
J. A. Huss Tragic REVIEW HERE
Pauline Creeden Sanctuary REVIEW HERE
Casey Bond Reap REVIEW HERE 
Casey Bond Devil Creek REVIEW HERE
S. G. Daniels The Druid's Doorway REVIEW HERE
Misty Provencher The Fly House Amazon Kindle $3.99
Peprah Boasiako The Hitman Amazon Kindle $0.99
C. S. Janey Surrender To You Amazon Kindle $2.99
Gloria Piper Finnegan's Quest Amazon Kindle $4.99
Elle Todd The Elect Amazon Kindle $3.99 
Morgan Wylie Silent Orchids Amazon Kindle **FREE**
Laura Howard The Forgotten Ones Amazon Kindle $0.99
Skylar Hamilton Burris The Strange Marriage of Anne de Bourgh Amazon Kindle $2.99
Christina Marie Morales Ambience Amazon Kindle $2.99
Tamar Hela Feast Island Amazon Kindle $2.99
Molly Taggart Off Target Amazon Kindle $2.99

Title: The Last Keeper's Daughter
Author: Rebecca Trogner
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
Length (print): ~ 242 Pages
Buy Link: Amazon Kindle $4.99

Synopsis: To the outside world Lily Ayres is the privileged daughter of an old moneyed family. She is young, beautiful, and a talented horsewoman. All of which are enviably qualities, but few know that beneath this thin veneer of societal perfection lies a deeply troubled young woman. For Lily rarely speaks and is incapable of normal, human interaction.

Unable to understand why she is this way, she further retreats inside herself, until memories and suppressed emotions begin to bubble to the surface. Murder, revelations of her family's hidden purpose and dark secrets are revealed as she is thrust into the supernatural world of Krieger Barnes, Vampire King of North America.

Now that you know about the book, how about that review? *grin*

***Will not appear in review elsewhere. You all know how much I love covers. This one is pretty as all get out, but it's hard to read the title at small sizes. I'd also like to see the author's name in a larger point size. Your books are your chance to make a real stamp on your author platform. Be proud, not meek.***

Rebecca Trogner answered a call last year to pitch her book to me during the Twelve Days of Christmas event on my blog. This is the only time of the year I take requests for reviews, and buy the books that capture my attention. Well, her pitch and sample snagged a purchase. I loved the intrigue building behind the opener, and I had to know more. Let's get going about the rest of the story, eh?

From a Reader's Perspective:
Humans and vampires. But, then, there are Others. Let me tell you, I had no idea what to expect out of this story, but I loved the twisting and turning of paranormal creatures. Vantors were my favorite! Descriptions were very well done, and I liked how the main character, Lily, came into her own over the course of the novel. I didn't care for the back and forth between Lily and Krieger, hot one minute and cold the next, but I did appreciate the moments when the two were together and he seemed deep and caring. On characters, I got confused a number of times when reading about Walter, Winston, Henry, and Hunter. Their names were a bit too close to one another, and I kept having to stop and think about who the heck the subject of conversation was. Not fun. I liked the pacing (no dawdling here), and was able to finish the book in a week. Surprises abound. This tale is a twisty one and will keep you guessing until the end. I did have to shut off my editor's brain, but the errors I noticed probably would go unseen by the casual reader. Speaking of that...

From an Editor's Perspective:
There were several places I lost traction. Sentences like this one: "The bladed was forged with magic," and "Randolph convinced him to let him investigate it." Use of the word wracked in place of racked. It was little things like these that lose half a star, but the book is well written despite. Great plot that doesn't dawdle.

Rating:
1 Star for giving me lots of paranormal folks besides vampires
1 Star for bringing Lily from weak and meek to awesome
1 Star for the twists and turns
-1 Star for names that were too similar and the weird romance/not romance thing happening
-.5 Star for editing of sentences, grammar, and pronoun misuse
.5 Star for a unique plot and good pacing
Overall 3.5 out of 5 stars. We all know I round up, so this book gets a 4. Recommended to fans of vampires, mysteries, and other paranormal creatures.

What do you think? Have you read it? Plan to?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Announcement - UtopYA 2015 Official Bloggers

Happy Hump-Day! Wow. I can't even begin to tell you all how excited I am! Today was going to be a book review, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow. I have some amazing news to share with you all. If you're a writer, you'll be excited. If you're a reader, you'll be happy dancing. Best of all: If you subscribe to my blog (or follow me in any way) you'll have opportunities to win some amazing things, and you'll be one of the first to get information about things happening at UtopYA Con in 2015.

Why?

Because, the announcement has been posted on the UtopYA Con blog...

AND I MADE THE LIST!

That's right! In tandem with three other amazing bloggers, I was chosen to be one of the official news folks.

Plus, I get to display this awesome badge on the blog (look top right)! *drools over the pretty*


Along with myself, here are the other awesome ladies bringing you news and prizes from the event:

Maria Pease
 
Ashley Bodette

Shana Benedict

Go subscribe to their blogs, because you don't want to miss a thing.

Are you going to UtopYA Con 2015?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Story Designs

Happy Tuesday! Wow. We're into day two of the week and already it looks like it's gonna be five days that feel longer than they should be. But, as always, we must continue to press on. Today's post may lighten your mood a bit. I'm discussing plots. That's right, those timeless things we all have to consider when beginning to craft our novels. NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, and I know we're all gearing up to take part in the most fabulous writerly collective to ever happen. Maybe this post will spark some ideas for you. So, grab those pens and pencils and let's get going!

There are several structures you'll see used in novels. I'm gonna go over the most common ones.
  1. The Boy She Can't Have - A female meets a male, and something is keeping them apart. We read on to the end to find out if they can ever resolve the obstacle and end up together. Many variations of this have happened, and there could be more than one thing the two need to overcome before they can be together. A sub-plot often includes another male the female may have an interest in, and she ends up having to choose. As an aside: This can also be male meets male or female meets female (LGBT romance). It's becoming more popular, and shouldn't be overlooked.
  2. Taking Down the Bad Guy - Your society has a tyrant in control and he/she must be brought to justice somehow. This can also be Taking Down the Regime.
  3. All Grown Up - How the protagonist matures to find inner strength through the span of life. A twist on this could be they can't die and end up having to live more than one life. May be physical or emotional aging.
  4. Oh! The Grass is Greener. . . Right? - Your protagonist dreams of a brave, new world where everything is rainbows and butterflies, and everyone thinks he/she is the best. This person is probably feeling trapped, ostracized, or enslaved. But, once they get to their salvation, they realize what they had before wasn't so terrible after all, and they long for nothing but to return to life the way it was.
  5. The Cinderella Syndrome - Poor girl/guy comes to fabulous riches through some means. It can be hard work, a fairy godmother, or a stroke of luck (like a winning lottery ticket). Your protagonist must be rewarded greatly. Be sure it doesn't turn into a Grass is Greener situation.
  6. Cold to Hot - When the bitter heart of another is morphed into love once again. We all like to think people can be saved (even when at their worst), so this tale is about the most terrible villain brought to love once again by the most unassuming thing. Usually works best with something you never thought could bring a baddy to his/her knees.
  7. The Little Engine that Could - Someone from humble beginnings sets the world right again. Basically, you're crafting a future hero for the people. 
  8. Obtaining the Unobtainable - Many people have tried, and failed. But your protagonist succeeds. Think of lost treasure or a super power/bit of knowledge others have died trying to own.
As you can see, there are many structures for novels. When you get crazy fun, you can twist the plot to look like you're taking down the bad guy, only to have the worst person not be the one in the line of fire.

I suggest letting that happen organically. If you see it coming, your reader will, too.

No matter what structure you use, be sure you're writing in the genre expected by the reader. You don't want to bill it as a romance then kill off the lover at the end, or have your heroine running for her life while being chased by a mainiacle killer the whole time. Make sense?

What's your favorite structure/plot? Are you a Boy She Can't Have fan, or do you tend more toward The Cinderella Syndrome? Inquiring minds wanna know!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo