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In My Mailbox IMM & Mailbox Monday 3/6

One new story in my mailbox this week. This is both sad and refreshing. While there are countless titles I’m drooling to get my hands on, I needed time to finish a WIP for conference in June and also work on setting up my new author site and Facebook author page. You can never start too soon with self-promotion LOL. So, while I did miss having a new book every other day, I’m making great progress in other literary related deeds. Lucky for me the one book I did get was PHENOMENAL.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

In My Mailbox is a meme from the Story Siren designed to help book lovers unite, meet, greet and follow one another in our quests to find the next most awe inspiring, tear jerking, mesmerizing or just entertaining new tome.

Mailbox Monday is a meme hosted this month at I’m Booking It. This is one more incredible way to get to know one another, build your following and find great new sites to add to your dashboard.

What was in your mailbox this week?

Bloggers! Be sure to follow me if you like what you see. I always follow back!!  & I love making new bookish friends!

Don’t Limit Yourself By the Little Picture

I spent the first year of writing trying to learn the ropes. That in itself is quite a feat. There’s endless things to set up and then juggle. Research takes as much time in the beginning as writing. Luckily there’s an enormous writing community online just waiting to embrace you. Seriously. Ask. If you can’t figure it out, just ask. Join Twitter and find a crit partner. Read blogs. You know the routine.

Here’s something I didn’t know when I started.

You don’t have to be signed by the biggest agent in the biz to have a career. Also, you don’t have to contract with the biggest publishing house to be an author.

I’m not saying to discount those options. What I’m saying is to follow all that advice you read about thinking long term and seeking a perfect match for you and your work. You need to really think of your writing as a career, as in long term, what do you want from this hobby turned obsession? Do you know?

I was so determined to have my debut novel in hardback and an interview on Oprah, I missed a lot of opportunities. But I never really wanted to be an overnight sensation or a one hit wonder. I wanted to do this forever. Do you?  I want to encourage you guys to look for opportunities to be published with small or even micro publishers. Get in on an anthology. Check out Chicken Soup for the Soul. It only takes a couple months to write a novella. You can do this while pursuing big houses for your larger works too.

Gathering publishing credits to reputable sources is a brilliant career move. Heck, freelance. Write articles for national magazines, or papers. You love to write, right? So, throw a few irons in the fire, let your precious sit a while and do some side ventures. It will give you experience, open your mind and career to the bigger industry picture, and boost your confidence. Even if its all rejected, you’ve learned, grown and gained for doing it.

Think big. Look beyond the box. Establish yourself by putting it out there. A writer needs to give themselves a break, shake out the wrists and breath sometimes. Don’t count out the small presses, or the new agencies. Make connections. Think about what your dream career will be like in a decade and lay a plan to get there. I really think the majority of great writers burn out before ever getting published. They shot for the stars, didn’t make it with their one and only completed novel and put it in a drawer. Now, they say things like “I wrote a novel once.”

Don’t be that guy.

Do it. Write it. If no one wanted that one, write another one. This is YOUR dream, No one else will make it happen for you.

There’s a verse in the Bible I love. It’s like my life verse playing somewhere in my subconscious all the time. “Run the race set before you. All the runners in the race run. Run as if to obtain.” I’m paraphrasing of course, but do you see? We’re all running this race. There’s a clear goal. Run for it as if you’re going to win it.

Don’t settle for the over-hyped pre-set method everyone blogs about everyday.

Customize your plan.

Make your own race and get there.

Welcome to the Blog Hop & Follow Friday! 3/4

It’s time for the Blog Hop & Follow Friday again! I love this part of the week because  I’m meeting so many awesome bloggers, writers, readers *sigh*. So to all of you hopping with me I’m smiling widely like a doofus and waving frantically as always!!

Blog Hop is hosted over at Crazy-for-Books and Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee. These memes were created to help make the web smaller, and introduce us bloggers to one another. We can find sites and meet people and follow those we love! We increase our followers and we get some fun new sites to add to our dashboards too. Its a big win-win and I am thrilled to be taking part again this week.

So the question this week at Crazy for Books is: Who is your all time favorite book villain?

Wow. This question has completely stumped me. The first antagonist to come to mind is almost not, but I did a quick google and he is in fact classified as villian, so I’m going with Eric Northman from the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) books. I always have a soft spot for those bad boys. A hope they’ll switch sides, just enough to be with the MC, but never enough to make us believe they’re “good.” Also, it doesn’t hurt that they’ve cast Alexander Skarsgard as him in the HBO series. I’m just sayin.

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Leave a comment and tell me if you follow! I always follow back!!!

I’m Getting Published!!!!

Time for my scoop! After a couple years of writing obsessively and blogging about all the little hiccups and hangups along the way, I’ve written a piece that found the perfect home! SQUEEE!!!! Let me tell you about it…

The title of the work is Bloom (unless that is changed along the way which I hear is not uncommon). Bloom is a sweet romance written very specifically for a new line of books at the Turquoise Morning Press. All of the titles in this line will revolve around the same lovely small town in rural Ohio. Because I am so Midwestern it hurts, I literally bounced and clapped and told all my girlfriends when I saw this line was being created. I couldn’t wait to write something, and then I prayed – a lot- that I’d written something they wanted.

I got the good news last week. They want Bloom for their Honey Creek line, and I’m going to be a published author!!!!!! SQUUUEEEE!!! Most of you probably heard me scream last week when I got the offer. You might not have know what it was then, but now you do. It was me.

Bloom will be published in eBook format. It’s very short, weighing in at only 24K words. However, now that I’ve gotten a taste of Honey Creek, I promise you I’ve already laid out the framework for another in that line! (Like I needed to tell you. Of course I did, right?)

In preparation for Bloom‘s, debut, I’ve set up a Julie Anne Lindsey Author Site on Facebook and also a separate website Julie Anne, where I can update the deets on Bloom as they come. I’ll post cover art, book trailers, release dates, giveaways, etc over there. So, please stop and check it out! Like my Facebook page. Let’s be girlfriends and writerly besties, okay? My new website…I love it so much. It is totally Julie. I imagined up what I wanted it to look like, then literally drew it on cardstock in colored pencils and glued on the Facebook badge and twitter link etc. I brought the craft to hubs and said. “I need an author site. Can you make it look like this?” He lifted a brow and nodded. Then, 12 hours later, tuh-duh! <– My husband is scary-crazy-good. Yeah.

Meanwhile, in keeping with the spirit of my baby, Musings From the Slush Pile, I’ll be posting about writing over here every day like always. On that note: I’m always looking for other writers and authors who want a sounding board, and some promotion, so let me know if you’d like to be a guest! I interview or feature a different writer every Wednesday, and if you’d like to simply write a guest post, send it over with a pic and your links!

That pic at the top of this post is one of the many headshots I had taken this week by a local photog and I think maybe a magician LOL.  You can find more pics by her at Rebekah Pizor Photography.

*Let me know if you want to guest post, book review, plug your work, or be featured on a Wednesday!*

Writer Wednesday Welcomes Shirley Kennedy!!!

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to another amazing writer. Her name is Shirley Kennedy and she is flat out fabulous. She’s got a new book on shelves and I’m turning over my blog to her so she can tell us about it!

Hi Shirley! I’m thrilled you made time to stop and see me today! Please! Tell us about your newest novel, Heartbreak Trail.
It’s 1850. Lucy, a pampered New Englander, is dragged by her husband and cold-hearted brother-in-law on a wagon train bound for California. After her husband dies, she longs to return home, but that would mean abandoning her little stepson. How fortunate then that rugged Clint Palance, a former trapper and Indian scout, is watching over them both!

Sounds delish! I’m already thinking there will be adventure and mischief. Was this your first western romance?
Yes. My previous novels, published by Ballantine and Signet, were all about Regency England.

What drew you to write in that period?
Aside from a lifetime interest in the history of the Old West, I found that few time periods in history offered more plot opportunities, especially the wagon trains that crossed our continent. What with Indian attacks—deadly snakes—dangerous river crossings—grizzlies—buffalo stampedes—violent weather and more, where else could I find so many treacherous situations to throw in the path of my hero and heroine? Add to that the conflicts that inevitably arose when a group of people from all walks of life were forced to live together for months at time with no outside help, completely dependent on one another. Plot situations abounded on a wagon train. In fact, I plan to write another.

I’d never thought of the old west that way. Those wagon trails really were in for some peril. Now, I need to read it! Where can we get our hands on Heartbreak Trail?
Several ways. The print version can be ordered from Camel Press. It’s also available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format. The e-book format can be found on Smashwords.

And by the way, I went from knowing nothing about book trailers to producing my own. I hope you’ll take a look at :

Are you working on something new? Are you willing to share a bit about that?

I’m working on another wagon train saga. Don’t laugh, but it’s tentatively called Wagon Train Cinderella (I love that title, so there!) Meanwhile I’m revising two completed novels: Deadly Gamble, a paranormal romance about Las Vegas, and The Last of Lady Lansdown, a spicy Regency historical. My agent will be receiving both very soon.

Before your first publication, you were a regular aspiring writer like us. LOL. Do you have any advice for those waiting to get it
right? Or is there something else you’d like to share about the journey to seeing your name on shelves one day?
My best advice would be, keep writing—and read, read, read. Study your craft. Join writing groups. Attend writing conferences because they are invaluable and always inspiring. And most of all, never give up despite those hurtful rejections.

Well said Shirley! Thank you so much for coming by today and sharing with us. I’ll never look at the old west the same, and excuse me but I’m loving that book trailer! Nice job!

Shirley Kennedy wrote and published Regency romances for several years for both Ballantine and Signet.  Researching the Regency period, she traveled to England, Ireland, and Scotland several times.  Now, switching genres to western romance, she has done extensive research on that fascinating period of time when wagon trains crossed the continent on a perilous journey, some headed to the California Gold rush.

Born and raised in Fresno, California, Shirley has lived in such diverse places as Denver; Houston; Torrance, California; Bogota ,Colombia; and Calgary, Alberta, Canada where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Sciences at the University of Calgary.  She worked as a computer programmer/systems analyst for several years before she went back to her first love, writing.

Shirley currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.  She belongs to The Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Las Vegas Writers Group.

You can hear more from Shirley and her new projects by stopping by her website Shirley Kennedy or by following her on Facebook

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