Monday, August 31, 2015

New Release - For the Memory of Dragons

For The Memory of Dragons
Dragons of Eternity, (Book 2)
By Julie Wetzel

This is a Crimson Tree Publishing Title
Release Date: August 31st, 2015

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction


What do you do when a dragon crash-lands in your backyard?
That's the question Terra's faced with when one of these creatures plows down into her cornfield. Should she help out the hunk of a man the dragon turns into, or turn him over to the trigger-happy 'authorities' that have come looking for him? The deciding factor—he has no memory. Giving him up just doesn't seem right… at least until she knows the truth of who he is.
Alex has forgotten a thing or two—his name being one of them—but he knows there is something important that he needs to remember, if he could just get his battered brain to work properly. A little rest might help, but there's no time for that when the bullets start flying.
Now he has to follow the few clues he has to discover who he is, and why people are trying to kill him. But that's the easy part. The hard part will be keeping his hands off the lovely lady helping him.






Julie Wetzel is a mother of a hyperactive red headed boy, and what time she’s not chasing down dirty socks and unsticking toys from the ceiling she's crafting worlds readers can get lost it. Julie is a self-proclaimed bibliophile and lover of big words. She likes hiking, frogs, interesting earrings, and a plethora of other fun things.

Release Day Post Hosted and Organized by:

Sunday, August 30, 2015

New Release - The American and The Brit

Happy Sunday! Here's a super special post for you all about a new release from two awesome young ladies! Hope you enjoy it :)



The American and The Brit ~ K.A. Young & Julie Bromley.

Available NOW!

Special offer ~ 0.99c. for a limited time.

K.A. Young has joined forces with her hilarious PA Julie Bromley to bring us a light hearted comedy that you won't ever forget.
Life isn’t easy.
Just ask American born Phoebe Hawkins and British born Lizbeth Bates, two insecure women in their mid twenties who are trying to stay positive in the face of their own awkwardness, chaos, and utter humiliation.
Friends for nearly ten years, Phoebe and Liz are well aware that neither of their brains possesses a filter. After Liz moves from the UK to America the two accidentally land jobs at an up and coming media company that is testing their very own version of a modern day Dear Abby/Agony Aunt advice column.
Laughter, tears and inappropriate behavior follow as the two desperately try to live up to their role as The American and The Brit.

~~~~~

Links –

~~~~~

Foreword


Penning a foreword is something that I can now cross off on my bucket list. This book is a perfect fit for me. Why you ask? My Dad is a Yank, aka American and my Mum is a Limey, aka Brit. Yes, I'm very blessed to have my feet in both worlds. 

The co-authored The American and The Brit is seamlessly written and I appreciate this as I’ve collaborated on four books with my son, Adam and can understand how difficult these type projects can be. 

Hilarious from start to finish, you will surely be entertained. Phoebe and Liz draw you in from the first page with their relatable situational dilemmas.


I wish the authors, a real American and a real Brit much success, what am I saying? It will be a success.

~ Carol Kunz aka USA Today Bestselling Author Amanda Jason aka the C. in C.A. Kunz



~~~~~

Authors



K.A. Young

K.A. Young writes fantasy. Dark, edgy and sexy fantasy books with a strong female lead for adults, exciting adventurous fantasy books for teens and a fun comedy series for New Adults. K.A. is a non-conformist with a coffee and dark chocolate addiction. She loves the ocean, the sun, traveling, reading and spending time with her kids and hubby. 

You can keep up with her at...



Adult 18+ 
The Nephilim Warrior Series is available: Prophecy Of The Female Warrior, Destiny Of The Female Warrior, Blood Kiss and Warrior Redeemed. Wicked Night (A Nephilim Warrior Novella) Should be read after Blood Moon.

The Elise Michaels Series: Coven, Dead Spell and Blood Moon

The Molly Maddison Series: Crypt Keeper, Legends Of The Crypt and This Side of The Crypt 

(Stand Alone) Eternally Bound 

YA 14+ 
The Valkyrie Diaries: Awakening and Revealing

Comedy series:
The American and The Brit: Unsolicited Advice (Releasing August 30, 2015)

~~~~~


Julie Bromley

Julie lives in the West Midlands, UK with her husband and two young boys. 
She has never once thought of becoming a writer until K.A. twisted her arm up her back and convinced her that it was a great idea. K.A and Julie have been friends for just over two years and believe that they are each others Doppelganger. 

Happy to be behind the scenes, Julie owns Signed Books and Stuff, a boutique UK marketing and distribution service along with support services to authors all around the globe. She P.A's for several authors and manages Street Teams and author pages.

You can follow her here...

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorJulieBromley


You can also keep up to date with Phoebe and Lizbeth (The American and The Brit) here...

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/TheAmericanandTheBrit




Friday, August 28, 2015

Character Posts

Happy Friday, everyone! Because I'm running around like a crazy person, trying to get caught up on things today, I'm giving you an awesome list of all the character posts I've written since starting this blog. Yeah, there are a lot! Get your clicking fingers ready, and let's get going!!

From the archives:
Characters, You Say? - A breakdown of characterization
Writing as the Opposite Sex - Getting into the mind of your character
Character Flaws - Why perfect characters, aren't
What's in a Character? - Character bios and what they should include
Flipping the Switch - Good guys, bad guys, and where the lines blur
Knights in Shining Armor - Causing your hero to have a fatal flaw
Is Your Character Sexy or Beautiful? - Know the difference, use it to your advantage
Character Arcs - More on creating great characters that feel real
Bringing Truth to Fiction - All about being true to your character even when writing BS
Your Supporting Cast of Characters - Talking about minor characters and how to keep them from taking over
Complex Villains - How to keep reader empathy in check when crafting a super villain
What's in a Name - Why the names you choose matter
3D Characters - More on making rounded characters
Coffee and Writing - How to use coffee to add dimension to your characters
Female Protagonists - Why Women Love Them - How to connect with women
EnneaApp - One way you can give your characters depth by clicking a couple of buttons
Being Emo - Emotional Triggers for Creating Rich Characters - Exactly what is says
Stealing Characters - How to use a character from life and other places
Character Bios - Visually - How to keep up with all the stuff about your characters with ease

I hope you enjoy the heck out of these :)

Which one is your favorite?

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

Jo

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Character Bios - Visually

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, I'm going to give you a tip to help you keep those characters you're writing about straight (and maybe even the places they live). This is gonna change the way you write forever
I hope. It's a way to keep your characters (and their details) visible so you never have to stop writing and look something up. Ready? Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

If you've been here before, I'm going to assume you've downloaded my free PDF on Novel creation. If you haven't, get it here. There's a wonderful section in the back that'll help you create a character bio. This is what you need right now. My PDF is free to download, print, and redistribute as you see fit, but please, do not sell it. It's meant to be a free tool for authors.

I tend to write character-driven fiction, so my buddies in the story are key to making things feel real to my readers. There's a requirement that I know those folks inside and out.

So, once I've decided on some details, how do I keep them straight without going back to that document every single time I want to give some goodies to the reader?

Well, this is where Google and a color printer are your friend! Do a search for your character (brown haired male with blue eyes, for example), and put it in a Word document. Size the image so it takes up most of the top. Beneath it, type out the character's height, weight, birthday, location, parents' names, and any other nuggets of fun you think you'll want to reference. Make those details BIG and BOLD.

Click print.

Create one for each character, and print those reference sheets out.

Tack them on the wall behind your desk so you can see them!

Now, go do the same for locations (these can be general or scene-specific).

Boom! All that pretty info is right there for you. All you have to do is look up!

Here's an example of one of mine (for the upcoming novel I'm writing with the Fractured Glass ladies):

Doesn't that make it so freaking easy?

Because you aren't redistributing the images, you don't have to purchase them. These are for YOU, not the world. Even if they have a watermark on them, you can see the details well enough. If you decide to use the photo for something else, please, PLEASE be sure and purchase the full sized image and correct rights.

Same goes for location scenes.

If you take the time to do this, you'll never have an inconsistency issue, and your work will gain a ton of momentum!

Have you ever done anything like this? What do you use? Discuss!

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

Jo

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Interview with UTOPiAcon Founder Janet Wallace

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Oh man, do I have an awesome thing for you today! Yesterday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Janet Wallace, founder of Utopia and Social Deviants. You won't believe the mind-blowing discussion we had over on the radio show. Janet is such an inspiration to so many people.

You simply must listen.


Head on over to my interview with Janet on A Daily Cup of Jo via Blog Talk Radio here.

OR

Find the episode on iTunes!

Open the app with this icon on it:


And click on search in the bottom, right-hand corner.

Type in: A Daily Cup of Jo

Listen to all the awesome!

What did you think? Was it fun and informative?

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

Jo

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Author Events Around the United States and Abroad

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm talking about author events. If you've published a book or you're a fan of awesome writing, you'll want to know where you can go to sign or meet your favorite authors. There are some amazing events right here in the U.S. for you to attend. Even if you're in the U.K. and have always wanted something authorly, you'll want to check out this site!

Ready? Let's get going!

If you've never heard of Indie-Visible: Literary Justice for All, I have to wonder if you've been hiding under a rock. These ladies and gents are making waves in the book world with their pub hub and book hub sections of the website.


I did a writeup on the pub hub not too long ago. You can find that post here.

But today, I'm guiding you in a new direction. This is the place where you'll find author events happening all over the place. Get going!


I do hope you'll consider attending one (or more) of these awesome author and reader events!

Did you know that page existed? What are you most looking forward to?

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

Jo

Monday, August 24, 2015

Novel Research - How Much is Too Much?

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! Welcome to another week of fun. Yeah, it's Monday, but you now have five whole days to get in your writing groove. Today, I'm talking about research. You know, that stuff that makes your book seem plausible to your reader. Ready? Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

As you all are probably aware, when I was writing M, I had to do a lot of research for a few topics and scenes included in the novel. Here are a few:

Buying explosives online (yes, you can!).
What the range on a GPS tracker is.
Best sniper rifle.
What genes are responsible for reproduction.
What genes/chromosome strands are associated with malformations of the heart.
How to pick a lock (actually picked a lock to learn what this was like).
Self-contained cities (how they work).
Moving sidewalks and how one steps onto them.
What genes are responsible for "giantism."

And those are just a few. I've asked other sci-fi writers, and they have pretty much the same experience. You have to learn as much as possible so your story can ring true. Sure, you can ask an expert or read an article about how to pick a lock, but until you do it, you don't know what pitfalls may happen or how it feels.

I've talked about this before on my post Writing What You Don't Know, but sometimes you need to get into the meat of your story by heading out and experiencing things for yourself.

Don't leave your words to someone else. The way I describe something might not be the way you describe that same thing.

As a bonus, the next time you want to write about what it feels like to walk over hot coals, you'll already know. Those little tidbits will be stored in your memory bank or feelings workbook.

It's not just sci-fi that demands research. If you're planning a book where you deal with legal issues or historical facts, you have to look that up, too. Writers are born researchers, and we usually have a thirst for first-hand knowledge of topics.

What's been the most fun/interesting thing you've ever had to research for a book? What book was it?

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

Jo

Friday, August 21, 2015

Atmosphere Feels - Helping Readers Feel the Characters and Setting

Happy Friday, everyone! Holy cow, what a week, huh? It's been blazing trails here on my desk. Huge edit, schedules for bloggers, handling the radio show, and blogging every day have me so confuddled, I'm not sure whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt. But! Today, I'm all about the writing tip! I had a discussion with Teal Haviland, creator of the awesome website My Endless Endings (it's like a smashup of Facebook and Goodreads), and she suggested a post on atmosphere and feels. So, we'll be talking atmosphere and all the feels your character can get from their surroundings (and how to communicate that to the reader). Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

So, your character is on their journey, and they walk into a room. Let's do this via examples. My character will be named Teal, and she's going to her grandmother's house.
     Teal stepped into the room and plopped down on a sofa, putting her feet on the coffee table. A teapot was sitting nearby, and she snagged a cup, filling it with the hot liquid. She took a sip, and relaxed as she waited for her grandmother to come downstairs.
     After waiting for half an hour, Teal wondered what was taking Grandma so long. Something felt off. She usually made an appearance within five minutes or so, and Teal was getting worried. Carefully, she put down the cup, rose to her feet, and walked back to the foyer to look up the stairs.
Okay, there's Teal in her environment. You all know I'm not one of those writers that goes into a ton of description. However, there's a time and a place for everything. You need tension in this scene, so description and engagement of the five senses will help. Remember this post. Yeah, only this time we're talking about how the environment impacts the character's feels. If you have your Feelings Workbook, pull it out now. Let's edit!
     Teal stepped over the threshold to a dimly lit foyer. Shivers ran down her spine when she inhaled and the musky scent of the house assaulted her. Moving to the living room, she sat on the flower-print couch, wondering where the plastic cover went, and put her feet on the antique coffee table. A silver tray with a porcelain teapot and cups was nearby, and she tossed a sugar cube in one of the cups before pouring over the liquid. She took a sip, wrinkling her nose at the bitterness of the drink, being careful not to burn her tongue, and sat back as her eyes scanned the room and she waited for her grandmother to come downstairs.
     Time ticked by, increasing the unease Teal felt when she entered. Where was Grandma? She always arrived within five minutes to spread the latest gossip from the other blue-haired ladies in the neighborhood.
     Teal's shoes clicked on the floor when she put her feet down. In the absolute still, it was like a gunshot. She winced, carefully put down the cup, and removed her shoes. Holding the slingbacks by their straps, she rose and tip-toed back to the foyer. Her heart pounded in her chest and echoed in her ears.
     One of the floorboards in the ancient wood creaked, and she paused, ticking back her ears. Dread slammed into her, and she let her gaze float up the stairs, tracking the fresh boot prints on the beige carpet.
In the first passage, you understand something's not quite right at Grandma's house. In the second, you feel like it's something sinister. Smell, sight, sounds, touch, and taste are all engaged.

Why? What's the difference?

In the first passage, there's little to no description of the environment or how it's impacting the character. If the surroundings don't have a feeling, your reader won't feel. Sure, you can tell them, but they want to feel it, too. You have to show in this case. If you noticed, from the content of passage two, we're now aware plastic is missing, the lights are dim, the tea is hot, it's too quiet in the house, and there are fresh boot prints on the carpet.

What do you think Teal will find based on the first passage? How about the second?

What do you feel when you read each one?

We can bring a lot out by describing the atmosphere of the character's environment, and it'll translate to the reader. I do ask that you use this tactic sparingly. Pages and pages of description will bog your reader (and your story) down.

Now you try it. Start with a passive scene, and make it an active scene.

Let's see your results. Don't be scared to share!

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

Jo

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bring Your Knowledge to the Classroom Virtually with Nepris

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, I'm talking about a way you can interact with students via a platform that lets you do it all from the comfort of your office. That's right, you can go to classrooms virtually and share all the amazing knowledge you have stuffed in your head. I'm gonna start off by talking about my experience, why I think Nepris is so awesome, and how it works before we jump into links. Ready? Get those clicking fingers ready and let's get going!

***DISCLAIMER: No, I don't make money for referring you, that isn't how my blog works. I recommend things based on my own experience and appreciation. I only talk about things I've tried, good or bad.***

My first experience with Nepris was last school year (November, 2014), and I spoke to a classroom full of third and fourth grade readers. Our objective was to get the children excited about their upcoming project: creating a book of their very own!

I was nervous, of course, but the kids were so enthusiastic and wonderful. They weren't afraid to ask questions or jump in and talk about books and writing. It was something I'll never forget, and I sent them each a copy of book one of The Abigale Chronicles (my middle grade series). Not being a huge class, it wasn't a stretch to send them a keepsake to remember the session. It only took about an hour from beginning to end, and I felt like they learned a lot about the publishing and creation process.

It's awesome because these kids get to meet real-world people who are in the industry they're interested in. They find out, first hand, how things work and learn stuff they couldn't otherwise. Plus, they get to say they met someone in the industry and know that's the avenue of study they want to pursue. Pretty cool, huh?

No, you don't get paid for your appearance/talk, but you're doing something that's bigger than that. These kids are the next generation of adults, and this is just one more way you can pay it forward. Your compensation? Knowing you made a difference and helped educate the youth of today, to make more knowledgeable adults tomorrow.

It's not just for authors! It's for anyone with knowledge of a topic.

How it works:
You use your computer's built-in camera and mic, and you sit down and talk. If you've ever had a Skype session with anyone, you'll understand the process. Log in to Nepris on the day of your session and get to talking. The teacher who sets up the meeting will have the ability to communicate with you on the Nepris platform prior, so he or she can ask any questions and help you prepare. Easy peasy!


What you can do to get involved:
Go to the Nepris homepage here and sign up (it's FREE).
Create a profile, add your expertise, and search for a requested session (there are a TON).
Like the Nepris Facebook page here.
Follow Nepris on Twitter here.

I do hope you'll all take part in this amazing venture.

Did you know about this website? Did you join?

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

Jo

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Q&A With Listeners of A Daily Cup of Jo

Happy Wednesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm going to be asking you all some questions I'd love to have a few answers to. These will all pertain to my podcast, so if you haven't listened, I'll be linking you up to a couple of short productions and a couple of long ones. Ready? Get your typing fingers and your ears ready and let's get going!


Here are the links:
Introduction to the podcast (10 min) Hosted by Jo Michaels
Utopia Veteran Interview (45 min) Hosted by Jo Michaels (and Ren Reidy when possible)
Utopia Resolutions (30 min) Hosted by Ashley Bodette and Maria Pease
Utopia Revolutions (30 min) Hosted by Christina Marie
Utopia Revelations (30 min) Hosted by Jo Michaels
Interview with The Indie Pub Podcast - SM Boyce and JN Chaney (45 min) Hosted by Jo Michaels
Roanoke Author Invasion - Liz C. Long (45 min) Hosted by Jo Michaels

I'm going to start with a list of specific questions, then move on to general ones.



Thank you so much for your time!

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

Jo

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Creating Your Own Blog Tour - Step Five - Facebook Party

Happy Tuesday! Yeah, okay, yesterday was Monday, and there are still three days left in the week, but this is the last post in my series, so that's a great reason to smile! Today, I'm going over how to throw a Facebook party that rocks, why you should do one, and how to set one up. Ready? Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!


In this series:
How to Sign up Bloggers
Creating Promotional Materials and HTML
Finding Reviewers
Creating a Thunderclap Campaign
Throwing a Facebook Launch Party

Why should you throw a Facebook Launch party along with your blog tour?
  • It gets people engaged with your content (in this case, your book).
  • You can help drive traffic to the blogs that hosted you (what's in it for them).
  • Interaction with fans and potential fans.
  • Getting other authors involved and expanding your circle.
  • Creating a ripple effect across Facebook so more people see your stuff.
There are a few things to remember when setting up your Facebook party:
  • When asking other authors to join, be sure they write in your genre.
  • Book swag is great, books are great, but not everyone wants book swag or books.
  • Have a schedule, and be sure and post the link to your party on your blog post for the tour (might even want to send it to the other bloggers).
  • Don't just invite anyone and everyone on your friends list. Be specific.
  • Be sure and share the event where you shared the ARC invite or where you hang out.
Now that you have a grasp of the rules, let's talk about how to run a Facebook party.

Usually, these things are filled with games like:
  • Caption This - You (or one of the authors helping) post a funny picture and ask attendees to give it a caption.
  • Scavenger Hunt - Have attendees find information online and post their results.
  • Your Facebook Profile Picture to My Book Cover - Everyone who changes their profile picture to your book cover is entered to win something.
  • Say Thanks - People go to Facebook pages or blog posts and thank the host for their time or donation.
  • Meme Me - Everyone shares their favorite meme.
There are so many possibilities! Have the authors helping you come up with some other ones.

Here's how a Facebook Party usually goes:
Set up an event on Facebook (I'll go into that here in a moment) with a time and date.
Create a graphic (instructions can be found on this post) 851x315 pixels in size for the event image.
Create a list with time slots for authors who may want to help out (don't forget yourself).
Make a poll with the question: Who invited you? And decide on a giveaway (this should be something awesome).
Start your invitations.
Fill your list with authors.
Be sure all runs smoothly day of the event (you really need to be there, keeping an eye on things).
Don't worry, folks understand how it works.

Now, how do you set up an event on Facebook? Let's get into it!

Go to your Facebook home page and click here:

Click Create:

In the dropdown, choose Create Public Event:

Fill out the form and click Create:

You'll have something that looks like this:

Let's upload that header you created! Click here:

Choose Upload Image and get 'er done. You shouldn't be able to drag it at all if you created it at the correct dimensions above, so click Save Changes:

Now, click Ask Question:

Type in your poll question:

Click Add Poll Options:

Be sure "anyone can add options" has a check mark by it:

Add yourself as one of the options:

Click post:

Click on the little arrow on the top right corner:

Select Pin Post:

This will keep the poll question at the top of the event, no matter how many other posts are made. It's labeled Pinned Post:

Remember, if you pin another post, it'll replace the poll! Click on Invite:

Share the event, and then invite your friends!

That's really all there is to it. I hope this series of posts helped you in some way.

Have you ever hosted a Facebook party? What games did you play?

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

Jo