Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Retweet Day for #MFRWauthor #Romance

MFRW graphics photo MFRWThunderclap_zpse01964cf.jpg

For this month's Retweet Day on Twitter, we'd like to invite all Marketing for Romance Writers to set up tweets for their books.

Go into Twitter and create a tweet. Once the tweet has been posted. Click on the ... (three dots) in the right hand corner.

This will give you the option to (copy link to tweet). Copy this link and put it in the comment section of this post.

On Dec. 9 click on each link and share everyone's post on twitter. Also, make sure to have #MFRWauthor in the tweet.

Here's to a great day of retweets,

Tina Gayle

Thursday, December 3, 2015

How to Use SEO for Authors @kayelleallen #MFRWauthor #writingtips

Let's begin with a brief explanation of terms, so everyone understands what we're talking about.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization - the process by which we gear our websites to be searchable by search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.
Keyword: a significant word used in indexing or cataloging, or in labeling other text. For example, some genre keywords are romance, historical, fantasy, scifi, highlander, etc.
Label: These are similar to keywords, but are brief descriptions given for purposes of identification.
Hashtag: a word embedded in a searchable text on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. These words (or tags) are preceded by the symbol # which is also called a hashmark, hence the term, "hashtag".

How do I use SEO?

How do you make your website findable by a search engine? First, you need to give it content that can be searched. If you are a photography site, your content is photographs and words about the photos. If you are an author, information about your books is your content. It might also be info about you, your genre, and any other material that pertains to books, writing, the genre you write, and so on. To optimize the searchability (SEO) you want to have a strong combination of terms (keywords, labels, and even hashtags). More on that in a moment.

Putting SEO together

Do you have the right material to be found? Here are some basic rules I follow to make sure.
1. Decide on a theme for the post (an article on using SEO for example).
2. Have at least 300 words about SEO in the post.
3. Pick a main word (not to belabor a point, but SEO would work) that will be your keyword.
4. Use the word SEO in the title.
5. Use the word SEO in the labels for the post.
6. Use the word SEO multiple times in the content. (see the pattern?)
7. Have a photo for the post and put SEO in the alt tag.
8. Use a short URL with the keyword in it. Yes, it can be edited. The one for this post just says how-to-use-SEO.

If you use Wordpress, get the Yoast SEO for Wordpress plugin. It will teach you these very things. If you do them, your article is going to be much more findable by search engines. Use the checklist, and write good content that contains information people want to find. It's that simple.

Kayelle Allen is the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers, and a best-selling author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Beyond Aesthetic Attraction: The Romantic Relationship Is More Than Skin-Deep #MFRWauthor #WriteTip #Writers #Authors

We all appreciate beauty. How can we not, when it's all around us? From babyhood, we are attracted to pretty things, and as adults this partiality continues. As romance authors, we try to bring beauty to our readers. Who doesn't admire the stunning heroine? Or fall in love with the smoking-hot hero?

But is this what romance really is about? A simple equation with few variables easily solved? Stunning Heroine + Smoking-hot Hero + Major Hots For Each Other = Happy-Ever-After? If you're thinking: sure, why not? Keep reading.

Lust is not romance   

Let me ask you this...are you in a relationship? What made you fall in love with the person you're with? Was it his amazing eyes and fabulous hair? Her tinkling laugh, and impressive waist-to-hip ratio? I'm willing to guess that you fell in love with your beloved's core qualities. Don't get me wrong, attraction is a huge part of the falling-for-you stage of any relationship, but it isn't what makes us commit to a lifetime with this one person above all others. The same should be true for our hero and heroine. Have you ever read a story/book and wondered what on earth the H/h saw in the other person? I have! We might fall instantly in lust with the way someone looks, but getting to know that person dictates how we will feel about them long-term. The same ought to be said for our H/h. 

We might fall in lust with looks, but we fall in love with personalities 

If your hero is horrible to your heroine on almost every page the reader will wonder what on earth the heroine sees in him, and what sort of glutton for punishment she is.

I remember years ago when I was trying to crack a particular category romance line, I would read almost every book in that line each month and more often than not hate the heroes. They tended to be coldhearted toward the heroines--except when they wanted to cart them off the bed!--and I so desperately wanted to read about wonderful, caring heroes who showed the heroine love and affection while still having big enough internal conflicts to keep them apart. So I wrote these type of heroes, hoping to change the romance world with my wonderful, fun heroes. Needless to say, these guys never managed to get me picked up by the publisher. I still write this type of hero because this is the type of man I love. If I can't fall in love with my male lead, how can I expect my readers to love him?

So what makes people fall in love?           

We've already establish that it's beyond aesthetics. It's more than skin deep. It's the many layers that make up a person's character--their very essence. It's their hopes and dreams, virtues, interests and skills, ambition. It's the connection between the two central characters--yes, most definitely physical attraction should play a fundamental part, but also a meeting of their minds--mutual admiration (even while they butt heads), compassion, affection. Not only do you want your reader to see why these two people would fall in love, you want the reader to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that your H/h's HEA will last forever, and not until the first hiccup that comes along after the reader has closed the book.  

A few years ago, my husband and I were on our way out for the day when we came to a set of traffic lights that were on red. We were six cars behind the first car. The lights changed to green and the first car didn't move. Being British, we waited politely until the light turned back to red and no one had moved. With some neck-stretching, and head bobbing and ducking, we managed to see that the driver of the first car was a woman and she had her friend with her. I know some men who would have started griping about women drivers, but not my hubby. He said he was going to check to make sure the women were okay and, as he got out of the car, I hopped into the driver's seat. 

I can't tell you how big my heart swelled in my chest as I watched my beloved walk past four other male drivers in front of us on his way to the first car in the queue containing the two women. My hero-hubby spoke to the woman driver, then as the light changed back to green he moved to the back of the woman's car and pushed her around the corner, and off the road. Would you believe me if I told you that none of the other men in that queue even attempted to help those women, or even helped my hubby to push the car??? 

At that moment, as I watched my beloved rescue the female driver, I fell deeper in love with him. Until that instant, I didn't think it was possible for me to love him any more than I already did.

Once back in our car, hubby told me the woman had flooded the engine and was so upset it brought her to tears. She kept thanking him for his kindness and help, and I suspect she probably fell a little in love with him, too.

It's these sort of actions that make our central characters fall for each other and creates the magnetic pull of deep attraction. And it's what makes our readers believe the love story we tell them.      

Give your characters scenes which show them in action doing the things that compel them to fall in love with each other. At the heart of your romance story is the relationship, and this relationship is a collection of layers that run far beneath the surface appreciation of beauty.

Until next time, write with clarity and style!

Monique x 

Author/Screenwriter Monique DeVere currently resides in the UK with her amazing hero husband, four beautiful grown-up children, and three incredible granddaughters. 

Monique writes Romantic Comedy stories some call Smexy—Smart & Sexy—and others call fluff. Monique makes no apologies for writing fun, emotional feel-good romance! She also writes Christian Suspense with a more serious edge. 

Monique loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her by visiting her HERE to learn more about her and check out her other books.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Retweet Party for #MFRWauthor - Join the Fun

MFRW graphics photo MFRWThunderclap_zpse01964cf.jpg

For this month's Retweet Day on Twitter, we'd like to invite all Marketing for Romance Writers to set up tweets for their books.

Go into Twitter and create a tweet. Once the tweet has been posted. Click on the ... (three dots) in the right hand corner.

This will give you the option to (copy link to tweet). Copy this link and put it in the comment section of this post.

On Nov. 11, click on each link and share everyone's post on twitter. Also, make sure to have #MFRWauthor in the tweet.

Here's to a great day of retweets,

Tina Gayle

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Why #Authors Use Hashtags in Blog Titles #MFRWauthor @kayelleallen #bookmarketing

A Romance for Christmas 
Have you noticed on social media that many authors use words with the # symbol in them? Wondered why? Here's the reason.

What Are Hashtags

Hashtags are words which denote topics of interest. By placing the symbol # in front of a word, it becomes a tiny search program on Twitter (or other sites using the system).
Hashtags are important because many people on Twitter only use hashtags. They logon, bring up their saved hashtags, and follow, like, and respond on those. I follow #Thranduil #Hobbit #Loki #TheFlash #Arrow #AgentsofSHIELD #RLFblog #MFRWauthor -- and don't see much else. I just added #StarWars though. I'll be all over that. So if you tweet something with no hashtag, I'm unlikely to see it.
Are hashtags necessary in a blog title? No. However, when people share your title on Twitter or Facebook, the hashtag will become part of the message.
If the blog is linked to Triberr, it can be vital. Most of the posts going out do not have them, and it means they are going to be seen by a limited number of people. Namely, only those who use Twitter by actually reading posts of certain people, or if they happen to catch your post as it zooms by in the feed. By the time 20 tweets load, another 60 are waiting. When you refresh, the feed can jump right past them. I don't bother with the feed. I might glimpse it now and then, but I spend serious time on the hashtags. They are what interest me. I can save hashtags in my search menu and bring them up at will.
On Tuesday nights, I watch Flash, Agents of SHIELD, Limitless. It's three hours of glorious fun for a geek like me. On Mondays I watch Supergirl. Wednesday s I see Arrow, and Thursday it's Big Bang Theory. During those shows, I'm on Twitter, RTing and liking tweets with the hashtags of my fave shows. I've gained followers that way, but I do it because I love the shows and enjoy the interaction during the program. Commercials are when everyone posts, so it's a flurry of fun.
There's no way to keep up with all that unless you use hashtags. Give it serious thought.

Mentioning Guests

Do you host guest authors on your blog? If so, why not use their twitter name instead of or in addition to their name? When your post is shared on Twitter, they will get mentions and that will expand their reach. I do that on Romance Lives Forever blog, and it gets guests about 50-75 mentions per visit for each person. That's a huge reach. I also do it on my own blog, using hashtags that target my reading audience. For me, that's often #scifi.

If you have tips for making your titles work well, please share it in the comments.
Kayelle Allen is a bestselling, award-winning author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Writing Through Adversity @barbbradley #MFRWauthor #amwriting

We all have rough days - I know I have had my share this year and I hope I'll give a little inspiration as I vent over what I have been through. We all handle adversity differently. I like to escape, by sleeping, writing, and working. Whatever helps me forget what is going on for a little while.

So lets look at what's been happening in my life. Back in March I was told that my mother-in-law probably won't make it a year, She's 88 and has COPD, congestive heart failure, AFIB, and pulmonary hypertension. I've been her caregiver for the last few years and have learned more about these diseases than I want to know. The doctors recommended that we get her in the Bridge to Hospice program so as she deteriorates we have something in place.

Dealing with this put a weight on my shoulders I didn't need, but I took it in stride and continued to write every night.

When I called the company in my area to set this up they told me that home hospice would keep her care at home. No more trips to the emergency, no more doctor calls. I said great because I know she doesn't want to go in a hospital.

So the nurse came to the house to start the enrollment, The rules for home hospice are quite strict. She must be home bound although she could go out every once in a while. Well she wanted to go to the YMCA one time because they were having a luncheon, but she didn't say it to the nurse that way. My MIL said she was going to the Y. She also has restless leg syndrome and it chose the moment when we were enrolling her into the program to get up and walk around the room. The nurse felt if she was going to the Y and that mobile she wasn't ready for home hospice.

Not what I needed, but I squared my shoulders and kept writing.

Now along with all the other things my MIL has Macular (sp) degeneration so her vision is failing. There were several more trips to the ER but I think when her eye doctor declared her legally blind she finally realized we needed the help home hospice can give us.

A little less stress and more writing.

In the middle of August my dad had back surgery and had a disk replaced. Well at the beginning of October I got a text from my step-mom that the disk collapsed and he was back in the hospital. The disk was contaminated when it went in him and he got this weird infection from it so they put him on antibiotics and said he'd be there for six weeks before they could replace the disk. He lives about eight hours from me so I was worried and stressed but still wrote.

My mom, who lives near me, had knee surgery on Oct 8th. I learned she was getting a little confused and it worried me. More stress. She went into a rehab center for her rehabilitation and I try to visit her every day. Trying to balance the two mom's can take some juggling, but still found the time to write every day.

Now that's a lot isn't it? But I've kept writing. It gives me relief from all of this. But I'm not done.

My MIL's hearing is gone. I had to have her tested and they show a strong hearing loss, A hearing aid does help her, but with her oxygen tube, and her glasses, there is no place for the hearing aid. When we borrowed it from the office to see how she would do with it, within the day she it had popped out of her ear too many times or I would find it dangling next to her ear like a weird hairpiece. We're going to try something else.

The day after this I went down to see my dad in the hospital. We had a great visit, but the poor thing is allergic to the antibiotics. Broke out in hives just before I arrived. Oh and he lost his cell  phone and his upper teeth, but that's a story for one of my books. On my way home my car broke down. At the time I write this it is about four hours away being worked on. I still have to go back after it.

It started losing power halfway between where my father lives in SC and my where my sister lives in NC. I was able to find a place and found out my battery was bad so I replaced it and was on my way, except that wasn't the problem. I passed the exit I normally take to see my sister and my car died again. I was able to get it to her mechanic and he said it was my alternator. I had to stay with my sister for the night (and I did some writing) then the next day after I got my car I got on the road once again. About an hour and a half down the road my car started loosing power again. I had no clue where to go or how to get the car to a repair shop but I put on my big girl panties and got it done.The hubby and I are planning a trip to go after it once it's fixed...again.

Now, I didn't write this to make you feel sorry for me. I wrote this to show you can't let the crapstorm that life serves you from time to time stop you from doing something you love. I love writing and I'm not going to stop, no matter what.


Timeless Desire - Book 9 of the Vespian Way Due out at the beginning of Nov.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Are You Ready for a Retweet Party?

MFRW graphics photo MFRWThunderclap_zpse01964cf.jpg

For this month's Retweet Day on Twitter, we'd like to invite all Marketing for Romance Writers to set up tweets for their books.

Go into Twitter and create a tweet. Once the tweet has been posted. Click on the ... (three dots) in the right hand corner.

This will give you the option to (copy link to tweet). Copy this link and put it in the comment section of this post.

On Oct. 14, click on each link and share everyone's post on twitter. Also, make sure to have #MFRWauthor in the tweet.

Here's to a great day of retweets,

Tina Gayle

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Should Authors Blog? Why? @kayelleallen #writingtips #MFRWorg

Button for Kayelle Allen's blog 
Recently on the Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW) Yahoo Group, someone asked "What am I missing?" The topic was about blogging. She wanted to know what was in it for her as a writer. Wasn't it a better use of her time to be writing books? If blogging didn't do any good, why should she spend time doing it? It's a fair question, and one many authors have had.

As a writer who's been published for eleven years (with fifteen books including two anthologies and one boxed set), I've had a bit of experience in the area. I'm also the founder of MFRW. People share their stories with me. Here's my take on blogging.

A blog is a way of having fresh content on your website every day. How often can you release a new book? Probably not often enough to get people to come back to your website on a regular basis. Blogging brings people, and can generate followers for your blog, and for your social media.

Ask yourself -- so what? 

Why does that matter? Because those people who come back are people who have heard of you. When people buy books, they buy books that interest them, and they buy books by authors they know. They've learned that the author will give them a good read. Name recognition in this business is a major key to success.

When readers see your name, if they've been to your blog and/or followed you on social media, there is name recognition. That's crucial, epecially when thousands of books are released every day. If you have a choice between buying a book by someone you've never heard of, and someone you know, which will you pick?

As much as we'd all like to say that we write for the joy of writing and because it's in us and we just have to write, the truth is, we'd like to make some money doing it. We'd like to have a best seller.

Blogging is part of the overall marketing strategy a writer needs. Do you have to write in-depth articles every day? Certainly not. You can have guests, post videos about cats, have a puzzle spot, do a post with pictures of your vacation, anything you want. It doesn't have to be every day. But you need fresh content to keep readers coming back. Experiment with it. Is it three times a week? Once a week? Twice a month? Be consistent, and talk about things you love. Do what works for you.

The other -- and to me, this is the number one reason for blogging -- is to get people to sign up for your newsletter. If you don't have one, start it now. I use Mailchimp. There are other programs. Find what works for you, and use it at least once a month. Why? I'm glad you asked.

If you are consistently sending readers to Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, or ARe, or any book seller, that's great. It's nice when they buy. But wouldn't it be great if you knew who those people were? Wouldn't it be awesome if when your next book comes out you could send them a direct email and let them know personally? They already bought your other book. Why wouldn't they want your next one? Of course they would. But if you only send readers to the book sellers, you will never know who those readers are. So create a sign up sheet via MailChimp (or another site) and invite people to give you their email address. You won't get a ton of sign ups, but you will get some. It takes time, but build up your list. Have a contest now and then. You don't have to spend a ton of money on this. But get started now.
Create a simple graphic 

Create a Graphic

An easy way to get people to sign up is to write a short story based on characters in a current book, and offer that as a giveaway for signing up. They sign up, and MailChimp sends the confirmation, with a link to your book's download site. Easy peasy. Create a graphic that invites people to sign up for your newsletter, and place it on your blog and website. Link it to your sign up page. Want to see one in action? Try mine.

All you need to get people to come to your site on a regular basis is a reason for them to be there. That is where blogging comes in.

Remember, the number one reason to have a website is to sell books. You do that by having fresh content, a way for people to sign up for your newsletter, and information on the site about those books. It's simply another way to connect with readers.

Yes, it takes time and organization to set up. Once you get over the fact that you will have to work at being an author, just like any other job, you'll do well. It wasn't easy to write the book. It wasn't easy to publish it. Blogging is just one more step in the process of making people aware of you, your talent, and your stories.

But hey, you got this far, didn't you? You got this.
Kayelle Allen is a best selling author, and the Founder, Marketing for Romance Writers.
Website http://kayelleallen.com/ Twitter http://twitter.com/kayelleallen

Monday, September 28, 2015

Triberr: to Share or Not to Share #Triberr

I’m taking a break from my editing/writing blog as I try to figure out what everyone would be interested in.

I do love triberr. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure about it in the beginning, but I have seen my blog hits grow as well as my followers.

Like others I was afraid it would take too much time. I wondered if it would be worth it and to be honest I’m still learning about the program.

Each time I go to my tribes – I don’t use the main stream but the drop down box on that stream page and bring up each tribe. It registers with the tribe itself and shows other people on that tribe that I’m sharing and hopefully they will share mine. I know some authors only go to triberr when they have released a blog and that works for them. I try to go to triberr at least three times a week. On a good week I go there every day.

So how do I make the choice of who to share and who not to share?

It depends on how much time I have that day. I have a tendency to do it late at night, just before I got to bed. When I go to the stream I first look for those who have released my blog. I look for the infinity symbol. I have my stream set up to show these people first so I can be sure to release theirs. Sometimes that’s all the time I have.

When I have more time I’ll hover over the image of each tribe mate so I can see if they have released something of mine. Sometimes people will release your blog but it doesn’t put the infinity symbol on their post because it might not have been one of your latest blogs.

Once a week I try to release one of every person who posted on all the tribes I’m on. My goal is to get them to share my blogs like I am sharing theirs.  I have been very happy with the way this has work for me. Will it work for you? The only thing I can suggest is to try it then tweak it until you find a way to make it work for you. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Day in the Writing Life of #MFRWauthor @Jill_Blake_

I'm a type-A personality. I make lists and plan things out to the very last detail. When all else is chaos, my systematic approach to writing is often the only thing that keeps me sane. (Not to mention it’s cheaper than therapy.)

I start with a character or premise that strikes my fancy. Around this, I build a world, populating it with composite portraits of friends and neighbors, family and coworkers. I fill in my characters’ histories, make family trees, create life plans. Often I do a lot of background reading on whatever topic or environment is relevant to my story.

Then comes plotting. True to form, I keep timelines of important events in my characters’ lives, and use an actual calendar to keep track of their activities in the ongoing present.

Then I go back and write. Each session begins by re-reading the last scene or chapter, making a few edits if needed, and then mapping out a bare-bones outline of the next chapter, fleshing it out, and finally jotting some notes for the following writing session. This continues—two to three sessions a week, each several hours long—for four to six months. That’s how long the process takes me from start to finish for each book. The editing, beta-reading, cover design, formatting, and marketing all come later, often overlapping with the planning stages for my next book.

Sometimes I look around at fellow writers who are incredibly fast and prolific, and wonder how they do it. Some are pantsers. Some are able to multi-task, or write despite distractions. 

Alas, that is not me. I need complete quiet and freedom from interruptions in order to write. That’s hard to come by in a house with husband and three small kids. Not to mention the time constraints imposed by my day job. Did I mention I’m a physician? I average fifty hours a week seeing patients, and also take (thankfully infrequent) call.

So, slow and steady it is. At least for now.

Contributed by Jill Blake
Jill Blake loves chocolate, leisurely walks where she doesn’t break a sweat, and books with a guaranteed happy ending. A native of Philadelphia, Jill now lives in southern California with her husband and three children. During the day, she works as a physician in a busy medical practice. At night, she pens steamy romances.

blog: http://jillblake.blogspot.com/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/jill.blake.3386
twitter: https://twitter.com/Jill_Blake_
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00B1ZIHKS
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6899971.Jill_Blake

Beyond the Ivory Tower... coming in November 2015

If there’s one thing math professor Anna Larazev believes in, it’s the value of higher education. So when her younger sister announces she’s dropping out of college, Anna places the blame squarely on the man who inspired her sister’s rebellion.

Venture capitalist Ethan Talbot claims the US academic system is broken. His solution? Pay top students to “opt out” and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams without wasting time and money on a university degree.

In a passionate battle for the hearts and minds of a new generation, Anna will do whatever it takes to prove Ethan wrong. But when his demands take a more personal turn, will she sacrifice her principles to come out on top?

Ethan ignored the first few emails. Likewise the faxed letter, the phone message slips, and the envelope delivered by registered mail.
Ever since his usual assistant, Margaret, went on medical leave, he’d been saddled with a series of temps who had neither the wits nor the will to guard his inner sanctum. What he really needed was someone who not only knew how to organize his schedule and take dictation, but could also screen out and deflect all the noise of the outside world. There were simply too many people asking for money, or looking for a job, or hoping for an interview or sound bite, or just eager for the opportunity to rub elbows with the man of the moment.
Frankly, he was tired of it. But until Margaret returned from getting her hip replaced, he was unlikely to catch a break.
Maybe, after this weekend’s summit, he’d take some time off. Fly down to Belize and do some diving. Or visit his parents in upstate New York. He hadn’t seen them since Christmas. And even then he’d spent most of his time taking meetings by Skype and reviewing business plan executive summaries, financial projections, and capitalization tables.
Sighing, he turned away from his contemplation of San Francisco’s skyline. He needed to make one more pass through his PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow’s keynote address.
He was nearly halfway through the slides when the door burst open and he found himself facing an interruption he couldn’t ignore.
She was five foot five--but that was the only average thing about her. She swept into the room with rapid, angry strides, dark brows drawn together over almond shaped eyes, nostrils flaring. Her hair was caught in a casual twist from which glossy black strands escaped to tumble past high cheekbones and bare neck. A V-cut T-shirt that stopped just short of displaying any cleavage was tucked into a pair of close-fitting jeans.
Ethan’s latest assistant—Tina? Trisha? something with a T—scurried in after her. “Dr. Larazev—”
The woman shook off the restraining hand and continued to advance.
“Ma’am, please.” The assistant cast Ethan a nervous glance. “I’m sure we can schedule you in for an appointment. If you’ll just come with me…”

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why #MFRWauthors Write Romance... @ColleenSMyers #amwriting

Have you ever read a Romance novel and then been disappointed in the ending?
That is why I decided to write. I remember reading a book that I shall not name. I loved the characters, the plot, everything and then end just totally sucked. At least to me it did. And i decided then and there that I wanted to write my own.  I had written for years for pleasure but at that moment, it became my calling.

I think that no matter what you write, there is a little bit of the writer in every aspect. Knowingly or not, we tend to include real life quirks of ourselves and those around us in our writing.  I try to hide this from my family with varying degrees of success.

I write Fantasy and Romance in contemporary settings. I think everything needs a bit more love and whimsy in their lives.

I write what I like.

My first book comes out November 2nd and I can't wait.  I honestly don't know where the idea came from but before I started writing the first book, I had all three plotted out and the 'ending' ready. I created the lore of my world first and went from there...

Coming Soon...
Must Remember
Erotic New Adult Romance
Champagne Book Group

Nineteen-year-old Elizabeth ‘Beta’ Camden is a survivor.

When the E'mani—those pale alien freaks—destroy Earth with a plague of madness and scoop up the remains, Beta is one of the ‘lucky’ ones. For years, she endures their tortures, experiments and games. Then one day, she manages to escape their ship with her life, and no memory of her time with them.

Stranded on their world, Beta wanders the mountains, looking for a way home. She stumbles onto the Fost—the E'mani’s ancient enemy.  Their war with the E'mani is old and rooted in magic that the Fost once had and the E'mani crave. Magic Beta soon discovers she’s developing along with strange tattoos and disturbing glimpses of her past. The Fost take her in and train her in their ways. As she spends more time with them, she falls in love with their culture and with Marin—he of the hot hands and slit eyes.

But the E'mani took her for a reason and they want her back—dead or alive. If Beta doesn’t remember that reason soon, they’re all going to die.

ABOUT Colleen S. Myers
Colleen plays many roles. Not only is she a veteran, a mother, and a practicing physician, but she is a writer of science fiction and contemporary romances. Colleen’s dreams include surviving her son’s teenage years, exploring every continent on this planet, except Antartica, cause that’s way too cold, and winning the Nobel peace prize. Dream BIG! Currently she is getting ready to publish her first novel, MUST REMEMBER in November of this year (cover reveal soon.)  Until then look for her at Three Rivers Romance Writers, at FacebookPinterest, and on twitter at @ColleenSMyers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

#AmWriting SEX In ROMANCE Novels @AnnaWriter #MFRWauthor

To Write SEX or Not To Write SEX...

I have been quoted on saying we are most vulnerable when we are naked, and never is it more true than in a romance novel. As a writer, I can do deeper into a characters psyche, motivations, and potential conflicts when I've put them skin to skin with another person. Will they reveal truths to their partner they never have before, or will they hide their true nature? Was their world changed forever? I want to know.

Now the explicitness of how that part of the character's journey is told will vary by taste, but for me, the love scenes are vitally important, no matter how hot they are portrayed. The characters will either grow closer together or be driven apart. How can that not be exciting?

When an author has done their job well, the reader will see beyond the titillation to what is going on beneath the surface. The connection the two characters are making, and that is a beautiful thing.
Contributed by Anna Alexander
Award winning author Anna Alexander is the author of the Heroes of Saturn and the Sprawling A Ranch series. With Hugh Jackman’s abs and Christopher Reeve’s blue eyes as inspiration, she loves spinning tales of superheroes finding love. Anna also loves to give back and has served on the board for the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America as chapter president and on the committee for the Emerald City Writers Conference.

Sign up to receive news about Anna's latest releases at http://eepurl.com/Q0tsz.
The Decadent Divas - http://www.thedecadentdivas.blogspot.com/
Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Alexander/282170065189471?ref=hl
Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1335912.Anna_Alexander

To Have Faith
Ben Castillo was every woman’s fantasy. More precisely, Faith O’Leary’s fantasy. Tall, broad, oh-so handsome, and the best part of all – he was just as kinky as the rumors suggested. Even kinkier. When he agreed to help Faith explore her submissive nature, she mistakenly thought her biggest obstacle would be in getting Ben to believe her when she said she wasn’t going to walk away after his tutelage was over. Instead she finds herself facing the scorn of their conservative community when it’s discovered that their relationship also included time spent with his cute roommate Colby.

Ben was convinced his time with Faith was limited, and the vicious gossip going around town is a sign for him to walk away from the woman he’s come to love, but Colby thinks Ben’s a fool, and will do whatever he can to ensure a happy ending. For all of them.

When an arrangement becomes more, the ranch takes the heat when the town finds out about their illicit affair...      Amazon BUY LINK

“Little girl, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
“What do you think I’m doing? And I’m not a little girl. I’m thirty. I’ve been around the block a few times.”
“Have you?” He rose to his feet, all six-foot-four of him, and towered over her. The little shop shrunk even more around them as he filled every corner with his sex appeal. “I think you’re trying to entice an older, stronger man to have his way with you.”
So he had been picking up on her vibe.
If he had appeared angry or disinterested in any way, she’d lie and tell him he was imagining things. But if that light in his eyes was what she hoped it was, now was not the time to back down. “As I said before, I find you very intriguing.”
His brow furrowed. “What do you want, Faith?”
Ooo. Her gut tightened. That’s it. Just cut right to the chase.
She drew in a breath, hoping to hell she didn’t pass out from the nerves, and voiced her secret wish. “I want you to teach me what you know.”
He stilled and then cocked his head to the side. “Know about what?” he asked slowly.
“About being a submissive.”
He sucked a breath in through his teeth and rocked back on his heels. “What makes you say that? What have you heard?”
She licked at her lips. “That cattle aren’t the only thing you rope. That you’re a Dom.”

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sept. Retweet Day at Marketing for Romance Writers #MFRWauthor

For this month's Retweet Day on Twitter, we'd like to invite all Marketing for Romance Writers to set up tweets for their books.

Go into Twitter and create a tweet. Once the tweet has been posted. Click on the ... (three dots) in the right hand corner.

This will give you the option to (copy link to tweet). Copy this link and put it in the comment section of this post.

On Sept 9, click on each link and share everyone's post on twitter. Also, make sure to have #MFRWauthor in the tweet.

Here's to a great day of retweets,

Tina Gayle

Tina Gayle writes stories with strong women fiction elements. Visit her website and read the 1st chapter of any of her books. www.tinagayle.net

Where Do Story Ideas Come From? ASK #MFRWauthor Donna Figueroa @FallAgainSeries

Fall Again: Beginnings is the first book in the Fall Again Series. My original plan had been to write a short story entitled Time for Coffee. In this story, two actors who have not seen each other in years meet as they're both leaving an audition.(These characters would eventually become Marc & Lauren in the Fall Again Series). Both are short on time, but decide that they do have time for coffee. Over the next hour they discuss their lives, careers and eventually why things could never work romantically between them.

The problem was that I am the queen of procrastination. By the time I finally started to write, I had too many ideas to write this story as a short story. That's when I decided to write a stand alone novel.  The novel eventually grew into a series.

My story is set in the world of working actors. I naturally drew from my own experiences in the industry (I began working professionally as an actor while still in college) and from the experiences of other working actors. We work in a profession that is often misunderstood. I wanted to present a realistic glimpse into the lives of hard working artists as opposed to glamorous celebrities.

But this is also a Romantic novel. Shortly before I began writing I went to a girls night where the conversation turned to the subjects of first loves and the"" one who got away"". Several women on this night wondered what would have happened if they had met someone from their past at a different time in their lives.

Not long after this girls night, I began writing to the theme: what if you met the perfect person- your best friend, your soul-mate and the great love of your life…but at the wrong time?

As a hopeless romantic, I love the idea of a good love story and can see myself writing more romance projects in the future. However I am open to writing in other fictional genres. Last year I completed a first draft of a novel about a family funeral. The novel explores the humorous aspects of an event that most of us will go through at least a few times in our lives.

I love writing because their are no limits and you can go as far as your imagination will take you. At this point my own imagination is an endless sea of possibilities.

Contributed by Donna Figueroa
Donna Figueroa is an actor living and working in Los Angeles CA where she has worked on stage and on the big and small screens. Her credits include several television commercials and voiceovers for animation, commercials and industrial projects. She is a graduate of Emerson College in Boston MA where she majored in Dramatic Arts and Speech.

Donna is a producer and performer at Story Salon, Los Angeles's longest running storytelling venue where she has developed and performed three one person shows.

website  |  facebook  |  twitter  |  goodreads
Fall Again: Beginnings
Contemporary Romance

What if you met the perfect person- your best friend, soul mate and the great love of your life. But
what if you met this person at the wrong time?

This is the question is at the heart of the Fall Again, a romantic series about two working actors The story takes place in New York, LA and places in between over two decades.
In Beginnings, Marc and Lauren meet in New York City when they are young and starting to build careers. While there’s an obvious attraction, decorum dictates that their relationship remain within the boundaries of a platonic friendship.

Over time, Marc and Lauren will struggle to maintain the fa├žade of friendship to their closest friends and to each other which will become increasingly difficult.  Despite their best efforts to remain friends, they fall in love…and the consequences will change the course of their lives for years.

""This is not a modern romance novel, it is something more - a love story. A love story that weaves us into the lives of the characters until we don't want to leave their world, a love story that engages us to cry at their fictional pain and laugh at their triumphs."" - Amazon Review

   He heard her quick footsteps coming up the three flights of stairs before she finally came into view on the landing at the bottom of last flight of stairs.
   As Lauren Phillips turned the corner she looked up at Marc and stopped, seeming surprised. “Marc?”
  Marc responded as he took notice of the striking woman at the bottom of the stairs. “Yeah.”
   An expression of pleasant recognition crossed her face. “Oh my God… Marc Guiro! I didn’t realize that Mel’s friend Marc… was you!” She confidently bounded up the last flight of stairs seeming   very happy to see him.
   But Marc was confused. This girl appeared to know him, but as far as he knew he had never laid eyes on her.
  Lauren quickly realized this. “I’m Lauren Phillips. I went to NYU and we lived in Weisman Hall at the same time the last two years you were in school. We were in different towers but I saw you in the cafeteria and in the laundry room from time to time. You were two years ahead of me… but we were in a dance class together one semester.”
   Marc looked at her closely. “I only took two dance classes while I was at NYU.” He continued to look at her blankly.
  Lauren tried not to take this personally and attempted to play off the situation with humor. “Well whichever class you’re thinking of now… I was probably in the other one.”
Lauren flashed a cool controlled smile at Marc as Mel came into the hallway.
 “Lauren…you made it!”
  Lauren ran to her roommate giving her a big hug. “Thank you for today! It was wonderful!”
   Mel didn’t want to take credit for booking Lauren on her show. Casting liked her look and personality. All she had done was to deliver Lauren’s photograph and resume to the Clayton’s Crossing’s casting department. “No, Lauren that was all you. I just gave casting your photograph. Once they called you in for your interview I was out of it.”
   Lauren was suddenly aware that she was ignoring Marc and looked back towards him.
  “Mel got me a day of background work on Clayton’s Crossing today!” Her excitement was getting the best of her.
   “So I’ve heard. That’s great! Why don’t you both come inside?”
  Marc ushered them both into the apartment while still questioning  himself. Had he ever met this girl? He would have remembered.
 Lauren was attractive. She had deep set dark brown eyes and dark hair which she was wearing pulled back into a perfect lose ponytail. He could see that she was wearing a lot of makeup, but she would be after a day on set. The makeup only enhanced her high cheekbones and smooth skin. She was dressed nicely in a gauzy long Indian skirt and blouse that she wore belted which showed off a tiny waist. She was slender. Over her shoulder she carried a large tobacco colored leather satchel.
   But Marc found himself looking beyond her physical appearance. She had what some might call a sparkling personality, not to mention a bright and wonderful smile. Lauren’s energy was contagious. When she came up the last flight of steps toward him, it was as if someone had turned on an incredibly bright light.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dealing with Email without Going Crazy @kayelleallen #MFRWauthor #authortips

Have a system for your files 
Are you drowning in email? I average less than a dozen items in my inbox at the end of almost any workday, but I get nearly a hundred emails a day, every day. How do I keep up with it? I have a system, and it has five basic components.


Who emails you the most? (family, friends, groups, publisher, promo assistant?) Give the people who email you most their own folder. It might be okay to put all book reviews in one big folder, but if you have a promotion assistant who follows up with you and you constantly go back and forth about material needed, you will want a folder for that assistant. Sort your email inbox by sender and see who is sending you the most stuff that you either want or need to keep. Make a list. After you've completed your list, combine folders that make sense to combine. I have one for family and one for friends, but I have separate folders for each of my blogs where I have guests. I need to be able to differentiate emails for the various sites.


Most email programs have a filter system. What this means if you can set up email to come in and be pre-labeled with a folder name. For example, everything from your newsletter service goes right to the folder for your newsletter. All your Twitter messages go right into a Twitter folder. Instructions depend on what email program you use. Remember, Google is your friend. Search your email program name plus the word "filter". When something goes to the folder where you are going to eventually store it, it saves time twice. You don't have to put it there, and it's out of your inbox in the first place.


Name your folders in such a way that you can easily see what's in them. If you abbreviate, be consistent. Number folders and they will float to the top in email. Use your email's search program to find things you need. You can often search by sender, which is a big help.


File as soon as you've read your email. Don't wait. Don't think about it. Just put it in the folder and move to the next thing. It feels great to complete something and move on. Should you have a "pending' file? I have one where I put work that's going to take more than a day to do. I keep it listed as unread, so the folder is Bold and it reminds me that I have pending work there. But everything else is filed and marked as read.


At the Mercy of Her Pleasure 
It's not hard to decide whether to keep or toss an email. Stop and think: will I ever need this again? Will I need it to prove I did something, or to prove I paid for something? Does it make me feel good to read it? Will I need to refer to the information in the future? If any of this is yes, keep it. If no, toss it.

In conclusion, whatever system you use, be consistent. Apply simple filters and then file when you complete your work. Toss what you don't need. It's work, but it's not impossible. Do you have tips for handling email? Share it in the comments below.
Kayelle Allen is a best-selling, award-winning author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr. She is the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Making Your Reader Like Your Characters #MFRWauthor #MFRWorg #WriteTip #Authors

Have you ever read a story and absolutely hated one or both of the main characters? 

This month I’m looking at how we can make our readers like our character.

The first thing the reader will want to know is who the character is and why should s/he root for them. Why should the reader care what happens to the character?

Recently I saw the film Interstellar with Matthew Mcconaughey, one of my favorite actors. If you haven’t seen this movie—a: I highly recommend it! It was amazing, so emotional and touching. And b: I’ll try not to ruin it for you so in the interest of giving you a heads-up…Spoiler Alert…

I was thoroughly enjoying the movie when it got to the part where one of the characters died. Sadly I didn’t care because I didn’t really know him, which is always a warning that that character will more than likely be the first to get bumped off. But what made it worse is that the character became too stupid to live (TSTL) just before he died. I positively disliked him for his sheer stupidity. After his untimely exit, I didn’t give him a second thought.

In contrast, when the main character almost died I was on the edge of my seat. The difference between these two characters? I never really got to know the first guy, so I wasn’t invested in him or really cared about him, and it was easy to dislike him for his stupidity because there was no reason for his actions. 

Meanwhile, I’d gotten to know the main character, empathized with him, cared about him, so I was invested and wanted him to survive. Plus he fought for his life. The other guy stood around like an idiot and did nothing! 

Don’t get me wrong, we want our characters to be flawed. Without flaws, our characters have no way of changing or growing. 

The flaw is the external representation of the internal fear. What I mean is the flaw is the result of the internal conflict, and internal conflict usually results from a past emotional scar.

For example, what if your hero is overprotective because somewhere in his past a loved one got injured or killed because of something he did or didn’t do. Say, maybe, as a teen he had a girlfriend and they got in a fight while driving home. She demands he pull over and let her out. He’s so mad he does exactly that and leaves her. She is attacked and possibly murdered. The hero has to live with this for the rest of his life. So now he won’t let the heroine out of his sight because he wants to protect her and make sure nothing bad ever happens to her. 

Now, if we make the flaw too dominant we will make the hero unlikable. In order to make your reader like him, you need to let the reader see the reason for his fear and you need to make your hero begin to fight the impulse to be overprotective along the way.  

Don’t make your characters’ issues so deep and dark that you create jerks. On the other hand, if you do have deep dark issues, you need to work extra hard to show the reader why the character is like this and give glimpses of a softer side—hint that this character can change. 

So How Do You Make Your Character Likable?

Start with the core competencies of your character, made up of three aspects: strengths, skills, and desires. As well as having bad experiences from the past that gives us our internal conflicts, we also have happy moments that might inspire us to do, or be something. I like to think that for every bad moment of the past there is a good. As authors we often focus on the bad in order to get a hold of the internal conflicts, but when we let the reader see the good moments that influenced our characters we allow the reader to bond with, and therefore, care about and like, our characters on a deeper level. 

Our overprotective hero from above may be a rescuer at his core. You can give him a job to reflect this and maybe he beats himself up so much because he feels guilty that he couldn’t save the past girlfriend. His black moment can come when we place him in a redemptive situation and give him an opportunity to redeem himself from the past by now saving the heroine. This guy can have a lot of layers, and if we show them to the reader, she will not only understand him, she will fall in love with him. 

The trick is to show the character’s niceness before you show the flaw. That way the reader is already invested and will stay to find out if this character finds her/his happy ever after. 

Do leave a comment in the comment section below. Even if you just want to say "Hi!", I'd be thrilled to know you stopped by.

Until next time, write with clarity and style!

Monique x 

Author/Screenwriter Monique DeVere currently resides in the UK with her amazing hero husband, four beautiful grown-up children, and three incredible granddaughters. 

Monique writes Romantic Comedy stories some call Smexy—Smart & Sexy—and others call fluff. Monique makes no apologies for writing fun, emotional feel-good romance! She also writes Christian Suspense with a more serious edge. 

Monique loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her by visiting her HERE to learn more about her and check out her other books.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Where Do Story Ideas Come From? ASK #MFRWauthor @SaschaIllyvich

The idea for SLOW BURN came from me playing "what if" while watching Burn Notice. About that time, I discovered the metal band Devildriver.  Loving their groove metal sound, I wondered about a female version of the same sort of band, and what that'd look like if she had magical powers and had to be protected. Sonja and Derrick were born of Dez from Devildriver and Michael Westen from Burn Notice!

I am the author of over 52 published titles throughout sixteen years of my career.  While I possess talent, I've been lucky since day one and I remember that lesson every day.

Sascha Illyvichok'sest book is Slow Burn, a Sexy Spy Thriller with Ardent Books.

Tempting secrets of an angel
Seductive mysteries of the beast

Derrick, a former spy, has been asked to protect the sultry Sonja, a death metal singer whose magical voice grabs him by the balls and won’t let go. He’ll protect her, all right…with every part of his body tight against hers.

Sonja uses her voice to purge her fans of their darkness, their hate and hopelessness. But evil forces want to use her magic for their own ends. All she wants, at this point, is safety for herself and her band.

When Derrick and Sonja team up, Sonja does her best to resist the lure of safety he represents, until a radical league that wants her dead propels her into his arms. Will his help be enough? Or will she lose her heart to him, only to be killed in the process of saving the world?

Tears streamed down her face.
He wanted to kiss them away.
She opened her mouth and screamed; power flowing out from her in a torrential force that clued him in to just how terrified the images were that she saw.
Then he saw them, the faces of the sad, the lonely, the angry, those who had taken their lives. He'd seen a very brief glimpse of the men who captured her, then his mind went fuzzy. Quickly stilling his mind, he leaned over her and did the one thing he could think of to distract her from whatever horrors raced through her head.
He kissed her, muffling her cries.
She sobbed but gave herself openly to the kiss. The power flowing from her stilled, calmness now settled around them. She still shook, her body convulsing in his arms while she tried to flail this way and that, turning from him with such force he had to use his puma strength to overpower her and force her back to the kiss.
Somewhere in that haze of their mingling tongues, the air changed again, this time the scents of terror and agony fading to give way to something dark, yet sensual. Derrick tasted her, pressing against the sweet plumpness of her mouth against his. Eyes open, he gave her hand a light squeeze.
She settled, blinked and looked at him through her wild gaze until her breathing slowed and she seemed to return to the here and now. Sonja shifted against him. She reached for his face, lithe fingers stroked along his chin.
He hardened instantly at her touch. Careful to steady his reaction against rising hormones, Derrick moved, feeling the softness of her breasts beneath his jacket. ""You're still wearing my coat,"" he licked her chin, then bit her neck.
The tears stopped, and she sniffled. Sonja laughed and kissed him back, taking his face in her hands while she slid beneath him. ""It fits. Perfectly in fact. I think I'll keep it.""
ABOUT Sascha Illyvich
Sascha, who was proclaimed by the publishing industry as The Bad Boy of Romance, started writing sixteen years ago. His erotic romances have been listed under Night Owl Romance’s and Road to Romance’s Recommended read lists, and he’s been nominated for a CAPA by The Romance Studio.  Recently, Torn to Pieces was a USA TODAY Recommended Read.

Sascha is a trained and experienced public speaker, and enjoys giving talks and teaching, particularly on aspects of romance, erotic romance, and writing.   He was the former host of The Unnamed Romance Show on Radio Dentata, and is fond of doing guest spots and interviews, on both traditional radio and podcasts.

Sascha writes for Assent Publishing, Red Sage, Secret Cravings Publishing, Sizzler Editions, Totally Bound, and Decadent Publishing.

Find him at http://saschaillyvichauthor.com.

Friday, August 21, 2015

#MFRWauthor HOW TO: Get The Most Out of Conferences @AliceOrrBooks

A Whole Lot of Being Nice
Question: What does it take to get the most out of a writers’ conference?
Answer: "What it takes is a whole lot of being nice."

I put that response in quotation marks because I heard those words from another author. Sabrina Jeffries giving an uplifting talk at – you guessed it – a writers’ conference.

Summer is conference time. Small retreats and huge gatherings punctuate June through August for many writers. Civilians – as in non-writers – are off to the shore or the mountains or the campsite. But we pack up our notebooks and our hopes and head for a convocation of scribes.

What most of us are hoping is that we’ll find the key to getting our work published or better published. I say that isn’t the most important thing we find at these gatherings whether they take place in a grand hotel or a modest cabin or anywhere in between.

The most important thing we find is each other. We make the most of a writers’ conference by maximizing that discovery. We writers are our own most natural allies. Why is that so true? It’s true because we understand one another from the inside.

We understand what it’s like to labor in the formidable publishing marketplace. We understand what it’s like to struggle toward getting our work published and keeping it published. We know how it feels to suffer rejection and disappointment. We also know how it feels to experience the joy of our accomplishments whether they’re large or small.

We also understand we need support in these hard struggles we’ve chosen. We understand that because we need the same support ourselves. With this understanding comes an obligation. Our obligation is to reach out and give what is needed – a little bit of niceness to our writer friends.

All it takes is a few words in a few sentences of encouragement and kindness. Over the several days or even the single weekend of a conference these few words at a time will add up to what Sabrina inspires us toward – a whole lot of being nice.

Our need to succeed tells us to be nice to the max to the agents and editors and instructors we line up for to pitch our projects or sit in front of taking notes. We long to recruit them to become our allies on the inside of the publishing world. In the meantime let’s not forget the allies we already have on the inside of the writing world.

Give what you can. A word of advice or a commiserating ear or a shared laugh – and definitely a hug. As you scurry from class to class or from appointment to appointment take a moment to touch another writer ally with your own whole lot of being nice. I guarantee you will experience a whole lot of feeling good in return.


Contributed by Alice Orr
Alice Orr loves to write. Especially Romantic Suspense novels of danger and romance. She's well known as a workshop leader, book editor and former literary agent. Now she lives her dream of writing full-time, especially romantic suspense. Alice has published thirteen novels, two novellas and a memoir so far. About her novels, Amazon says, "Alice Orr turns up the heat."

Alice has two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and lives with her husband Jonathan in New York City.                                                              website  |  blog  |  facebook


Riverton Romantic Suspense Series Book 2
Mainstream Romantic Suspense
Alice Orr Books

Hailey Lambert loves the North Country though she doesn't love some of her North Country memories. Now her estranged friend Julia is accused of murder and Hailey has no choice. She's got to help.

Mark Kalli has wanted Kalli in his bed forever but she won't give him the time of day. Now she's mixed up in a killing and Mark has no choice but to get involved - whether Hailey wants him around or not.

"This book is the perfect combination of suspense, mystery and romance and will have you turning the pages unable to put the book down." 5 Stars, Amazon Reviewer