It’s May, winter is over, and the sun is—hopefully—shining. I’m in a great mood and celebrating with a special deal. For the first time ever, the award-winning Charmed By Charlie is on sale! May 2-22, 2018, you can find the book for just $.99 cents on:
This is a great price but it won’t less forever. But if that doesn’t convince you, here are five great reasons why you might want to check this book out:
It won a bronze medalist in the 2016 Cleveland Rocks Romance Writers Contest.
It was the recipient of Books & Benches Reviewer’s Choice Seal of Excellence.
Library Journal calls it “A lighthearted and engaging read.”
Long and Short Reviews gave it five glowing stars and named it “Book of the Month” for November 2017.
It may be a long while before you see this price again.
But if that’s not enough to convince you, the book is featured as part of this special Love and Laughter Contemporary Romance Giveaway. Enter May 2-22 for your chance to win. You could be one of 7 lucky readers to take home a Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire 7, ebook prize pack, or Amazon gift card.
(Sponsored by the 34 authors listed below)
Allyson Lindt • Amanda Uhl • Chiquita Dennie • Christine d’Abo • Daphne James Huff • Diane Louise • Donna R. Mercer • Eva Winters • Holly Cortelyou • Jacqueline Diamond • Jacquie Biggar • Jennifer Vester • Joanne Dannon • Karina Kantas • Karly Morgan • Kat Drennan • Leigh LaValle • Lori Sizemore • Lucy Lakestone • Marlow Kelly • Michele Barrow-Belisle • Michelle Jo Quinn • Mimi Barbour • Monique McDonell • RM Alexander • Robyn Neeley • S.L. Sterling • Shaniel Watson • Soraya Naomi • Stephanie Queen • Tara Wyatt • Victoria Pinder • Weston Parker • Aileen Harkwood
Plus, shop the book fair where you’ll find Charmed By Charlie for 99 pennies and plenty of other books for $2.99 or less. There’s even a bonus giveaway!
The title of this blog post came easy. The rest I’ve rewritten at least a dozen times. And that’s pretty much how its been with me lately. It’s all a little twisted. Like I put my shirt on backward or got out on the wrong side of bed.
Not that I’ve done those things. But every time I start to write, the words seem somehow wrong. No sooner do I type, I’m hitting the delete key. I write, rewrite, edit, write some more. Then I scrap the piece and start over.
It’s frustrating, annoying, downright depressing.
Why do I do it?
Sabotage my writing before it has time to sit on the page. This week, it’s due to a large dose of negative feedback.
The first came on Monday from an agent I had queried a while back for my newest work, Charmed By Charlie. “I couldn’t connect to the story as much as I wanted to,” she wrote.
Okay…I get it. Not everyone will like your work. But I had such high hopes for this one. I’ve been offered a contract from a great publisher. How could the agent not see how beautiful, wonderful, special this story is?
She seemed nice when I met her back in June. I really wanted her to be the one.
And then on the heels of this email, I received word the manuscript also failed to final in a contest I entered. What? I was so sure it would do well. I read over the feedback. The judges made statements such as, the goals, motivation and conflict weren’t clear.
But I plotted out the goals, motivation and conflict before I began writing. What went wrong?
Before I knew it, I found myself sliding, slipping, drowning in a sea of self-doubt. How could I write another word of my current manuscript, which is only sixty-six percent complete, with this kind of feedback?
The answer is I couldn’t. I stopped writing, walked straight to the freezer and downed the rest of the vanilla ice-cream left over from my son’s birthday party. Then I gorged myself on cottage cheese and granola bars–two late night snacks that have no business mixing together. And the next day…well, you don’t want to know how I felt the next day. Let’s just say, it wasn’t good. I’m grateful I can work from home.
Getting back in the chair
I started thinking about what drives me to write. From where does the passion come?
I love the feeling of starting a new project–the spark of inspiration, which motivates me to type for hours when I should be sleeping or doing laundry. Or the surge of excitement I feel listening to a favorite song or movie or reading a good book. Or the exhilaration of seeing the sun set or spotting the perfect piece of Lake Erie beach glass.
A favorite shot of beach glass I gathered from Lake Erie with a quote from my upcoming release, Mind Waves.
These are the stuff of creativity. They stir the pot of ideas and keep me moving. They’re a jolt of energy telling me I can take on the world or at least my small piece of it. Nothing’s gonna hold me back.
Until someone throws out a negative comment about something I’ve written, and I come crashing back to earth with a resounding thwack.
And then I calm down
Time brings perspective. I go back and reread the letter from the agent.“I’d definitely be open to seeing something from you in the future,” she wrote. “So please keep in touch and hopefully we can work together on a different project.”
Hmm…she must like my writing to offer to look at new material.
I also take a closer look at the contest feedback. The final question asks for overall commentary. Here are excerpts from the judges:
“The important points being brought up indicate a strong storyline being crafted: a boring boyfriend, disappointment at work, an unpredictable best friend, a hot new co-worker…all these are excellently introduced. I think the story will be very compelling once some pacing issues are addressed and the hero makes his GMC known to the reader.”
“This is a manuscript worth pursuing. The setting is interesting, the characters compelling, and the writing make me want to turn the pages!”
“This is really nearly there. Your voice is good, easy to read and entertaining, and you do banter well. Some very funny lines.”
Okay, so the manuscript needs some work. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a great story. Stop listening to the world and listen to your gut. It knows what no one else does.
A writer’s life is filled with some highs, lots of lows and even more waiting around in between. The glacial movement of the publication process can be frustrating, especially for doers like me.
When I began the writing journey two years ago, the only thought in my head was whether or not it was possible for me to finish a novel and have the story make sense. I gave little consideration to what comes after.
I didn’t know I would spend a year querying agents and editors, attending meetings, reading and learning about the craft of writing and rethinking the work until I could barely look at it again without feeling a dead weight in the pit of my stomach.
But that is, indeed, what happened.
Frustration spurs creativity The greatest source of my frustration during this period was how difficult it was to be heard and seen in such a crowded marketplace. Ironically, this led to renewed inspiration. I wondered: What could I write that would make me stand out from the crowd? What is the hardest story to tell?
A star is born
It would be an office romance with several colorful side characters. Charlie, the hero, would be a flirt and a creative genius. Val, the heroine, would be a math whiz, who is wary of charmers due to a bad experience. There would be a mystery to solve–someone is embezzling money from the firm–which can only be resolved by the hero and heroine joining forces. Val would have to confront and adjust her prejudices about Charlie. Charlie would need to give up his freedom-loving ways for Val.
The first chapter wrote itself, and every chapter since has rolled fluidly from my keyboard onto my iPad. I began sharing chapter installments with several beta readers who were enthusiastic about the work. Write faster, they told me.
I, too, want to write faster. I, too, want to know what will happen next.
Last week, I flew into Phoenix for the Desert Dreams conference, where I met with two agents. I had intended to pitch my paranormal romantic suspense series, Mind Hackers. But a few weeks ago, I signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for Mind Waves, the first book in the series, and as a result, neither of the agents were interested in that world. So, I pitched Charmed By Charlie instead, and both agents I spoke with asked for sample chapters.
One of my critique partners suggested I enter the first few chapters into the long contemporary category of the 2016 Cleveland Rocks Romance Writers Contest. On Monday, I learned that Charmed By Charlie was a finalist in that category. Winners will be announced on May 21. I couldn’t be more excited.
When the going gets tough
Sometimes, when we feel like giving up, we just have to keep going. We have to ignore the naysayers (we all have them) and the little voices in our head that keeps us from going after what we love. We have to use the roadblocks in our way as fuel to take a different stance, look at the world a bit differently, and try something new.
It could be our greatest hurdle will produce our next big idea.
Mind Waves: 2015 Rudy Bronze Medalist
Charmed By Charlie: 5 Stars, Long and Short Reviews
Mind Waves Publisher
Proud To Be a Local Cleveland Author
Charmed By Charlie Publisher
You can order directly from the publisher.
Mind Waves: Finalist in Paranormal/Sci Fi/Fantasy Category