‘Past events can be changed but one must be careful of how one does it because it’ll impact on the rest of one’s life.’—Dáire Quin, Modify your Destiny if you Must, 2003 Wide Awake Asleep No one saw Julie’s car … Continue reading
Free on Kindle Unlimited… Wide Awake Asleep If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up where you least expect Village girl Julie Compton couldn’t wait to leave Potterspury, her mum, boyfriend and best friend when they turned against … Continue reading
Coming soon… Village girl Julie Compton couldn’t wait to leave Potterspury, neither could she wait to turn her back on her mum, boyfriend and best friend when they cruelly conspired against her and turned her cossetted life upside down and inside … Continue reading
‘I’m not angry, moody or resentful. I just don’t like people.’ – Valerie Anthrope. ‘Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love! comes a warm, tear-jerking story of strong women, bad-turned-good men and the power of friendship. Valerie’s life has been one of … Continue reading
I love a well written love scene, and I make a concerted effort to read a lot of them. Why? Because when I write a hot scene I want it to be hot. I don’t want it to fall flat, and for the reader to roll their eyes with a grumbling “Eh…” tumbling from their lips. But not everyone is comfortable writing the kind of scenes like that of Christian Grey’s “playroom”. As for me, I find myself walking a very vigilant line. Let me explain…
When I published my first book, Deadly.Com, I informed my husband over dinner one evening that there were a few “suggestive” scenes within the pages. He stopped with his fork almost to his mouth, looked at me over his glasses, and said, “What do you mean by suggestive?” Uh, oh, I could see this was going to be a problem. You see my husband and his family are an extremely conservative group of people, and I could see in my husband’s face that he didn’t want to have to explain to his family that his wife was writing dirty books. In fact, after Deadly.Com was published and the family read my book, they have never mentioned my writing or my books again. It is sort of a taboo subject at family gatherings. Hmmmm.
Okay, so while I was writing my second book, Hot Coco, my husband decided to broach the very sensitive subject over breakfast on the deck one morning. He very casually said, “I hope you’re keeping those suggestive scenes in check. I mean you spent twenty-six years as Miss Cindy, the dance teacher in this community. People entrusted their children to you. What would they think?”
Wow! That put a whole new spin on writing romance—which is exactly what Hot Coco is, a romantic comedy. And yes, there are suggestive scenes in the book. I was taken aback. Should I concern myself as to the position that I used to hold in the community? Is this a problem for romance writers in general? Are their reputations in the community tarnished because they write books with sex or suggestive moments? I had never thought about it before. When E.L. James’s neighbors see her in the grocery store, are they wondering if her playroom is red? Are they speculating as to how many different kinds of whips she might own? Yikes!
You may be asking yourself, what is this writer going to do? Is she going to allow her in-laws and her former occupation to dictate what she writes? Nope.
When I posted the excerpt from the third book of my series, Dangerous Deception, on my website I featured a very sensual scene between Ava and Lugowski. As a matter of fact, it is also the featured excerpt announcing the book at the end of Hot Coco as well. That said my scenes are of a sultry suggestive nature. I have never written an in-your-face sex scene naming body parts or taking the reader into the steamy tangle of desire between the sheets with the characters—yet.
My Unbridled series has been mainly murder/suspense storylines with one romantic comedy thrown into the mix for fun; however I have an ardent desire to write a romantic suspense series, and have decided to do so in 2013. I have some decisions to make as I write my new series. Will I cross that line to pen those hot sex scenes? Or shall I protect my sweet Miss Cindy dance teacher reputation and remain steadfast on this side of the line: very sensual yet strictly suggestive scenes?
I think through it all an author has to find his/her own comfort level, without becoming too comfortable, too complacent in one’s creativity. I truly admire writers like E.L. James, Cindy Gerard, and Maya Banks. They are able to toss all inhibitions aside and write smokin’ hot romance. I am toeing the line. My eyes are fixated on it like I am waiting for someone to shoot a pistol into the air so that I can leap forward. Can I cross it? Do I want to cross it?
Vic Deveaux’s glory days as a winning jockey have ended, but he refuses to accept that pile of horse hockey!
When the West family asks Vic to take an easier position at their Thoroughbred farm, Westwood, he becomes enraged and teams up with two greedy stable hands in a scheme to kidnap the youngest son, Shane.
Things turn ugly when Vic discovers that his new-found friends have murder on their minds. Suddenly Vic finds himself between a rock and a hard place. He has betrayed his good friend, Eric West, but will he participate in his son’s murder as well?
Not content to sit at home and wait for her men to bring her brother home, Kate West convinces homicide detective, Carl Lugowski, to check out a hunch at an old abandoned mansion. Soon they’re trapped in a hornet’s nest of a notorious biker gang.
Oh yeah, Vic’s deception has placed the West family in more danger than they know what to do with!
|Author Cindy McDonald|
|The Girly Book Blog Hop Main Site|
How important are secondary
characters? Put it this way wouldn’t a novel be flat without them? Who would
your character fight against? Fall in love with?
Ellen Simple, as
main character Valerie Anthrope calls her, is far into middle-age, has
no interest in fashion, wears bobble hats and long woollen scarves, calls everyone ‘dear’,
and is bossy, interfering and downright annoying! Yet she almost became
the star in my latest chick lit novel The Fall of the
Misanthrope: I bitch therefore I am.
to worry whether your readers will like or dislike a secondary. They can be
hateful, annoying, evil and downright unpleasant. It’s brilliant!
about secondary characters that take over? Or try to? Should we have written
THEIR story instead? Oh no, no, no. It doesn’t mean that at all. If we did that
we’d have to make them ‘sympathetic’. That means they will need to have redeeming
qualities and have something that readers can connect with.
secondary characters in books you’ve enjoyed. It’s the MAIN character you
loved, the secondary were either the baddies—and they died or got their just
deserts in the end, or they are someone your MAIN character bounces off. In other
words, we need strong second characters to carry the main one, without them our
characters become flat and one dimensional.
Ellen Semple that I loved? All she wants from life is to help people. She and
her husband went to places like Ghana and Afghanistan to help
build hospitals and schools. They were the type of people to march the streets carrying banners for
better sanitation in prisons or stop animal experiences. They’d tie themselves
to railings for their beliefs. When her husband died she vowed to carry on his
life work. It took her away from home for long periods, so when she discovered
her nephew (she never had children of her own) had split up from his wife and
she didn’t even know, she was horrified and came home
immediately. She decided she’d stay home and keep an eye on her beloved nephew,
Alex. But, and it’s a big but, she couldn’t’ stop ‘helping’.
spotted Valerie putting flowers on a grave when she was there visiting her
late husband’s resting place. She saw her again the following month and the
next. Valerie looked so lonely, Ellen thought, and so decided to help her.
was looking for staff for her brokerage and Ellen bustled her way in and practically
employed herself. She decided that Valerie was poor and needed financial help,
so she coerced Alex into buying insurance from Valerie’s brokerage, but didn’t envisage him
falling for her!
rich playboys and one of the reasons why his wife divorced him, Ellen thinks,
and she worries that Valerie will get hurt and become even more damaged
than she already is.
together but now she has to part them! Sometimes it’s hard being a busybody.
you’ve garnered a book deal with a major publisher and you’ve written the book;
but that’s just half the work. The most challenging work is about to begin.
Most writers do just that, they write; but with today’s competitive book
market, good writing is only half the battle. Nowadays, writers are encouraged
to be active in social media and other forms of marketing so they can ramp up
their book’s presence-to stand out on the bookshelves and increase sales.
embarking on the ride of my life: with 12-hour work days, writing the book and
“getting the word out” about my book in any way I could.
that I would be responsible for my own “tour” expenses, I decided to
build my presence in social media as a way to reach my target audience of busy
moms, so that the sponsorship money I raised would be best spent traveling to
book tour events. Knowing that many moms like to connect online through social
media, I began making connections and generating useful and trustworthy content
to build my following.
good comes easy and it’s been a daily challenge to garner followers
(legitimately) who appreciate and value my content. Through my networking and
connections I decided to partner with SocialMoms.com, a popular moms online
social media community filled with articles, content and great mom networking.
With the power of social media, we created a book launch virtual party and
contest with over 100 mom bloggers who participated.
acquired book tour sponsors who donated prizes for our contest so that all
participants would have incentive to be a part of the fun and excitement. I
love to get involved with contests and communities and I wanted to create that
for the moms who took the time to be a part of this special project; within
weeks of my book’s launch, there were thoughtful blog posts about my book,
spanning the internet, from real moms-the demographic I was hoping to tap.
spread like wildfire and on my book’s launch day, and the throughout the month
that followed, my book was a best seller in two categories on Amazon. The mom
bloggers agreed to Tweet, FB and share their blog posts and in exchange, we
offered sponsored goodie boxes of book-inspired products (all garnered from
months of product partnering sponsorship deals), exposure on our blog and cross
promotion through social media. We had a multi-prize drawing the night before
the book launched, and announced winners via a private newsletter designated just for
the participating bloggers. All-in-all, it was a successful book launch, thanks
primarily, to the hard work and support of the mom bloggers in our book tour
contest, social media and my tenacity to get the word out.
When people ask me, “How did you know what to do to promote your
book?” I always tell them that I networked with other authors, researched
what other authors have done in the past and trusted my judgement. I know that
I love prizes, so I spent weeks and weeks, acquiring products that I knew I’d
love to receive as a participation gift goodie box. I also understand the power
of communication, so I interacted with the registered participants regularly,
sharing all of the steps of my book tour publication, along the way.
I often connected with the moms on Twitter, through Twitter parties (where we had, yes, more prizes), and on Facebook. I made sure I was following everyone that was following me on social media and I always tried to re-tweet their tweets, etc. With consideration and on-going communication, relationships were built with new mom friends throughout the process. The folks at SocialMoms.com were so supportive, offering advice and ideas, making the launch everything that I hoped it would be. Some of the mom bloggers even agreed to help me host in-person parties in their cities, making my ground tour a huge success. We used the power of social media to get the word out about our on-location book events, which helped raise attendance and bring more awareness to my book’s brand.
Real Moms Love to Eat: How to Conduct a Love Affair with Food, Lose Weight and Feel Fabulous (Penguin Books, NAL, January, 2012), had a fantastic launch and I can certainly say that the power of social media helped contribute to its kick off success.
Beth Aldrich, bestselling author, Real Moms Love to Eat: How to Conduct a Love Affair with Food Lose
Weight and Feel Fabulous(New American Library-Penguin Books Imprint,
Beth Aldrich wants you to conduct a love affair with food and still look fabulous by simply working through her easy-to-follow 10-part plan of making over your entire outlook and relationship with food. You have to eat at least three times a day, so why not love what you’re eating and feed yourself food that will love you back? Discover new and interesting ways to prepare and “get involved” with food; complete with 21-days of satisfying and delicious meal suggestions, this funny book will find a permanent spot on your bedside table or kitchen counter. Real Moms really DO love to eat!
Beth Aldrich, Certified Healthy Lifestyle Counselor and Nutrition Expert, engaging speaker, media personality and author of the book, Real Moms Love to Eat (New American Library-Penguin Books imprint, January,2012), delivers health, nutrition and environmental fundamentals through keynote addresses, lectures and as a media spokesperson. As an expert health and nutrition columnist for Diet.com, SocialMoms.com, Hotmomsclub.com and RealMomsLovetoEat.com, Beth shares her wisdom, experience and knowledge about all things eco and health. From food coaching, and living a balanced life to, the energetics of food and finding your passion, Beth delivers her message in a charismatic yet compassionate way.
She is the founder of For Her Information Media, LLC (FHI) established in 2003, with productions such as the PBS TV series, For Her Information (aired in Turkey, Israel and 60 cities, nationwide), the radio shows, A Balanced Life with Beth Aldrich, and Real Moms Love to Eat with Beth Aldrich, and the online magazine and newsletter, FHI Online. Her company’s mission is to be a life guide for conscious-minded women. Beth is also the founder of Restoring Essence Nutrition, LLC and a Certified Holistic Health and Nutritional Counselor through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). Beth received her education from Columbia University’s Teachers College and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City.
Real Moms Love to Eat is on tour with Virtual Book Tour Cafe