Introducing… Megan Mayfair.

MEET MEGAN MAYFAIR.

Megan is an Australian writer who likes her fiction with a dash of romance and a spoonful of family intrigue. Mum to three kids under seven, she writes around her own chaotic family life and job in higher education, fuelled by coffee.

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Buy a copy of Megan’s amazing new book here:  https://mybook.to/leaveunsaid

 

Or you can find out more about Megan here:  www.meganmayfair.com

 

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THE THINGS WE LEAVE UNSAID

Is it the things we don’t say that haunt us the most?

Ambitious café owner, Tessa has more family drama than a soap opera. While she might be an open book, her parent’s ill-fated marriage has scared her away from long-term relationships.

Her employee, shy and unassuming Clare just wants to create a family with husband, Pete, but finds herself in a family history search that challenges everything she thought she knew about her life.

As both women face untold truths, will they realise the path to true love, happiness and family?

The Things We Leave Unsaid will be published by Crooked Cat books on 22 August 2018.

Launch day!

Today is the launch day for my latest book, If you love me, I’m yours! This is the second book I have launched this year and it’s been a rollercoaster of excitement and a lot of hard work to get to this point in my life. I hope you will take a look at my book, enjoy finding out more about the characters and if the story intrigues you, purchase a copy of your own. Update: It’s now on the Amazon bestseller’s lists on it’s first day of publication!

I began my career working from a market stall and worked my way up to owning two retail shops and a wholesale business. Due to my youngest daughter’s ill health, which lasted for seven years, I had to make a change to my life and career, as I needed to be at home. From this dark time, blossomed a new career and I have met so many talented authors and amazing readers. I don’t know where I would be without you all, as you make me smile even day and I’m very grateful for your support and encouragement.

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I really hope that my books make you smile and that you get as much pleasure from reading the stories, as I do from writing them. Have a great day! From Lizzie.

Book description:

‘If you love me, I’m yours…’

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

 

Book launch photos:

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Introducing… Jess B Moore.

Today’s Introducing feature welcomes author Jess B Moore.

Introducing Jess:

I play the flute, and loved marching band.  Proud band geek here.  My high school aptitude test recommended I study library science, which I scoffed at, but probably should have pursued.  My degree is in dental hygiene, which seemed like a good idea at the time.  I stay at home with my kids – we homeschool – and read/write every chance I get.  My favourite food group is berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, you name a berry and I’ll wish I had some to devour.  
 
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I can’t remember how old I am in this old photo, but I’ve always loved it and thought it captured me well.  It took some digging to find it, as it we pre-digital photography.  Haha! 

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Jess is a writer of love stories.  When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her talented and stubborn children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.

Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family.  She takes too many pictures of her cat, thinking the Internet loves him as much as she does.  She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.

The Guilt of a Sparrow is her debut novel combining her interests in family, music, and small towns into a thoughtful tale of growing up and falling in love.  Her second book, Fierce Grace, follows similar themes in a whole new way, and will be available later in 2018.

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Find out more about Jess from her social media pages:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book blurb 

Magnolia Porter has spent the entirety of her twenty-four years satisfying her mother’s guilt. She was the good girl to her trouble making brother, Lucian – the one left behind to hold her mother together after he died. She is an invisible girl in a small town carrying the burden of her family’s loss and pain. Maggie was nobody trying desperately to be somebody.

Cotton MacKenna is the one with the temper. Of the five MacKenna boys, he’s the one most likely to throw the first punch. Never mind all those fights were a decade ago, all in an attempt to save a sweet girl from her bullying older brother. Now, Cotton has grown up, with his own photography business, yet as the fourth in the line of MacKennas, he would only ever be known for his past. Time for a change.

Maggie and Cotton are more than the labels placed on them, put there by their families, the town, and themselves.

A meddling best friend. Bluegrass jams. Small town gossiping. Love, loss, and family ties. Learning how to be who you are outside of who you were told to be. With humor and plenty of romance, of course.

Easter Treat!

Happy Easter weekend everyone. My publisher, Crooked Cat Books have put lots of their author’s books on sale, as a treat for book lovers, this Easter. Ninja School Mum is currently ranked #9 on the Best Sellers List in it’s category and it’s very exciting!

If you haven’t already downloaded your copy, it’s 99p/99c this Easter weekend. Here is the link: viewBook.at/NinjaSchoolMum

 

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Book Blurb:

Obsessive-compulsive school mum, Skye, is a lonely elite spy, who is running from her past whilst trying to protect the future of her child. She tries hard to fit in with the other parents at her son’s new school, but the only person who accepts her unconventional way of life is new mother, Thea.

Thea is feeling harassed by her sister and bored with her life, but she suspects that there is something strange about the new school mum, Skye. Thea has secrets of her own and, although the two become unlikely friends, she hesitates to tell Skye about the father of her own child.

Zack’s new business is growing faster than he could have dreamed but, suddenly, he finds himself the owner of a crumbling estate on the edge of a pretty village, and a single parent to a very demanding child. Could he make a go of things and give his daughter the life she deserved?

When three lives collide, it appears that only one of them is who they seem to be, and you never know who the person next to you in the school playground really is.

 

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The Creation of a New Series by guest author Staci Trolio.

Hi, everybody. I’m glad to be here today. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me.

The second installment of my Nightforce Security Series, Gamble, just released. I have a few standalone pieces, but I mostly write series. Over the course of my fiction career, I’ve been asked about my decision to write series rather than single titles. So, I thought I’d share my process with you.

Quite often, when a storyline forms in my mind, it develops in discrete chunks. When I link them altogether, the true story forms. Each installment is the “short game” or, in other words, what the villain hopes to accomplish at that particular time. But the series on the whole is the “long game” or the resolution of the overarching problem—the villain’s ultimate goal and whether it is achieved. In the case of my Cathedral Lake Series, the stories followed the Keller family. The first novel started with a family tragedy, and the last novel ended with all the mysteries solved. The process was similar with my Medici Protectorate Series. The first book began with a family in peril and ended with the danger revealed and dealt with.

But I started the Nightforce Security Series with a different goal in mind. There was a secondary character in my Medici Protectorate Series who really spoke to me. He had a story of his own, and not just as support for other main characters. This guy, Danny Caruso, was a lead character stuck in the background, and he really needed to be put in the spotlight. That’s how Password came to be. Funny thing was, Danny had supporting characters in his story who also had lives worth examining. And that’s how my new series was born.

Instead of shorter installments as the overarching problem was resolved, these are standalone stories all linked together through character association. All of my heroes are employees at Nightforce Security, and every one of them is a magnet for strong women and dangerous situations.

If you’re a novelist with a list of standalone titles and you’re considering writing a series, you’ve got a few options.

  1. Make the same character your hero in each standalone work. (Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
  2. Follow a different character in each story, starting with a problem in book one and solving it in the end of the last novel. (Sign of Seven Series by Nora Roberts)
  3. Or, and this might be easiest for you, mine your existing novels for secondary characters that seem to have more to say, then write their stories. In other words, a spinoff. (Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them, a spinoff of the Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling)

I usually follow the second option, but with my newest series, I’m following the third, and I have to say it’s been a lot of fun taking supporting characters and making them stars. Even better, I get to revisit beloved characters whose stories are over. My readers and I miss them, so their cameo appearances are enjoyable for all of us.

If you’re thinking of making the move from standalone novels to series writing, maybe this method will make for an easy transition for you.

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Blurb for Gamble:

Sometimes stakes are too high to gamble. Other times they’re too high not to.

Noah Crawford is a consummate bachelor—until a one-night stand piques his interest in something more. The only problem is, she wouldn’t give him her name, and he has no way to find her.

A week later, resigned to forgetting her, he accompanies his friends to a casino. Floor traffic promises to be light while everyone clusters at the sportsbook for the college basketball championship game. But Noah isn’t in the mood for frivolity and sets off on his own. No one is more surprised than he is when he bumps into his mystery woman.

He’s playing a far different game than cards when armed criminals take over the poker room. Noah is separated from his friends, and somehow the room has been cut off from security. Help isn’t coming. It’s up to him to keep everyone safe while he tries to thwart the gunmen.

Noah quickly realizes he’s trying to prevent more than a simple heist. And he doesn’t know who he can trust. The stakes have never been higher, and he’s all in. But one of the thieves might have an ace up his sleeve, and that could cost Noah everything.

More Information | Universal Purchase Link

About Staci:

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Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

Web | Blog | Newsletter | Facebook Group | Twitter | Facebook | Other Social Media Links

Get writing!

Happy new week everyone. Today’s post is about motivation. What motivates you to get up in the morning and then sit at your desk and create your products, or write your books or blog posts? For me it is the feeling of accomplishment when I see a finished manuscript. At present, I am only about 5,000 words into my latest novel, which is the sequel to Ninja School Mum. It’s hard to stay motivated when you still have 75,000 words to write, but the thought of holding that book in my hands when it’s ready, is worth the time it takes to write it.

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After a lengthy and exciting book launch for Ninja School Mum, it has taken me a while to re-energise and get back to my routine of 1,000 words a day if I can, as a minimum. This week, to motivate myself, I have written a ten point list of goals for the week and scheduled writing time into each day. This might sound silly, but writing time is very easily overlooked when the washing needs doing, the school run organising, the dinner prepared and the housework and shopping completed. Actually writing a weekly plan for when I will sit down at my desk without interruption, gives my week structure and makes me push other tasks aside for after my writing time.

I have been known to write 5,000 words in a day, or as few as 50, so I will let you know how my plan works. The main point here, is to stop procrastinating and to get writing!

You can’t edit a blank page.

My 10 point goals for the week: Schedule time for each point.

  1. Write 1,000 words a day of my latest manuscript.
  2. Write a blog post for Monday.
  3. Post in my Facebook group, Lizzie’s Book Group.
  4. Visit 4 other blogs to support them.
  5. Write the questions for my networking hour #CreativeBizHour on Twitter.
  6. Post to my author Facebook page.
  7. Post to my author Instagram page.
  8. Write guest posts for other blogs.
  9. Update Twitter feeds daily.
  10. Cover design for my latest book, out in July.

 

Meet Award Winning Author Heidi Catherine!

About Heidi Catherine:

Heidi Catherine is a writer with a weakness for stories that encourage readers to see the world in a new light. Her debut novel, The Soulweaver, explores the possibility of loving the same souls over many lifetimes. This novel is the winner of Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award and will be released by Crooked Cat Books on 19 January 2018.

Not being able to decide if she prefers living in Melbourne or the Mornington Peninsula, Heidi shares her time between both places. She is similarly pulled in opposing directions by her two sons and two dogs, remaining thankful she only has one husband.

Heidi loves to hear from readers and can be found at www.heidicatherine.com


The Soulweaver by Heidi Catherine

The Soulweaver Blurb

She’s loved and lost him a hundred times across a thousand years. She can’t bear to lose him again.

Lin’s dreams are haunted by faces of people she’s never met. Unable to shake the feeling she’s lived before, she’s drawn to Reinier—a stranger whose soul is heartbreakingly familiar from a time gone by.

Reinier helps Lin unravel the mystery of her past life as Hannah, a girl who sacrificed herself for her true love, Matthew. As Lin falls hopelessly in love with Reinier, her memories of her life as Hannah sharpen and she finds herself unable to let go of Matthew.

With her heart torn in two, Lin must decide whether she should stand by Reinier’s side or track down Matthew and fight for his love. What she doesn’t know is that her decision will ripple across our troubled planet, affecting far more lives than just her own.

Winner of Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award, The Soulweaver is a story that will change the way you see the world.

 

Here are five fun things you may not know about me, by Heidi Catherine!

1. I am a vegetarian who used to work in a delicatessen. You’d think that coming home with shoes filled with chicken blood might have been what tipped me over the vegetarian edge, but almost 20 years passed between me leaving work at the deli and deciding to no longer eat meat. My decision also had nothing to do with the tray of ham I threw at my boss’s feet when I resigned… I promise.
2. When I was growing up, my father was a forensic scientist with the police. My sister and I were strictly forbidden to look in his briefcase, which of course meant that we looked in it every chance we got. Until one day we found a jar with a human finger floating in it (nail polish perfectly intact). Scarred for life!
3. I recently had a Soul Reading, where I was told that in my past lives I’ve been a trapped miner, a dancer and a famous male actor in black and white movies. Apparently I was a very dapper and had a lovely moustache. Those were the days…
4. In my early 20s I was talked into doing a bungy jump. I was so petrified that I refused to jump so the guy working there picked me up by my hands and dropped me straight over the edge. It was one of the worst things I’ve ever done.
5. In celebration of signing my first publishing deal, I got a tattoo on the inside of my left wrist that says ‘BELIEVE’. A few minutes before the tattoo artist began he confessed to me that he’s dyslexic. Not exactly what I wanted to hear!

The Emerald Pro award is an annual competition run by Romance Writers of Australia for the best unpublished manuscript written by a published author. 

 
The Soulweaver won first place in the Emerald Pro awards in 2015. 
 
 
Emerald Pro judges’ comments:

‘This entry had me transfixed from the very first sentence and the intrigue continued throughout the whole book. Amazingly well written, fantastic use of poetic language, unusual story line that made sense even though it transposed time and characters. Thought it was wonderful.’

`I would describe it as really beautiful, clever and interesting story about love (not just romantic) and connections.’

‘The story, it’s amazing! Loved it! I love the concept and the storyline.’

‘The writing is beautiful, and I think this story has been very carefully crafted for the target readership. I think it will really appeal to young female readers (and older ones too).’

‘This was a very compelling novel opening. I shivered a few times while reading it— always the sign of a good story, I think! I thought the plot was well structured and well paced. The tone of the opening drew me in, and the writing was expressive without being overly flowery. The supernatural part of the story was also dealt with beautifully.’

‘The opening lines are very powerful and would definitely grab the intended audience. There was a feeling of intense emotion straightaway and I was captivated by what might have happened.’ 

 

Book Title: The Soulweaver

Author: Heidi Catherine

Release date: 19 January 2018

Available for Sale at: TBC

ISBN: TBC

Retail Price: TBC

Publisher website: www.crookedcatbooks.com

Author website: www.heidicatherine.com

Author Twitter: www.twitter.com/heidicatherine

Author Facebook: www.facebook.com/heidicatherineauthor

Making a book trailer.

Hello everyone. Today’s Marketing post is about book trailers.

Here is the latest trailer I have made for my latest book Ninja School Mum.

 

The problem I came across when creating this video, is that I work from a Mac computer.  This threw up all sorts of issues when I tried to save the file as a movie to publish on Youtube. Transitions were lost and the music disappeared. I searched the internet and there are not many solutions unless you download new programs onto your computer. I managed to get around the problem this way:

  1. I designed my sides and added transitions.
  2. I added music. This must be WAV and not MP3, as MP3 will not register on Youtube correctly.
  3. I also checked that the music was added to each slide by clicking the transitions tab, then clicking the sound tab, this is found under the duration tab. On the sound tab, scroll down until you find your uploaded music file and click to add.
  4. Make sure your timings and music match. If they don’t you can click the format audio tab and select ‘loop until stopped,’ on the playback tab.
  5. Next you need to convert the file.
  6. I downloaded a free version of Quick Time Player.
  7. Keeping your powerpoint presentation open to the slideshow tab, click on your Quick Time file tab and go to ‘New screen recording. A small recording icon appears in the window.
  8. Selected the tiny arrow next to  the red record button and add your sound. This is the third option.
  9. Click the red record button.
  10.  A box appears to tell you to click the screen to record. As soon as you click the play button on Powerpoint presentation, Quick Time Player records it.
  11. Play your whole book trailer.
  12. Click exit at the end, as you would to end the slideshow.
  13. Click on Quick Time Player and it will ask you to save the file.
  14. On Quick Time Player, open recent file and find your new file.
  15. You can trim the beginning and end of your video here. Click ‘edit and ‘trim’.
  16. You will be shown the video in still form.
  17. Drag the slider at the bottom across the video and click trim to take out the bits you don’t need at the start or end.
  18. Save your video and upload to Youtube.
  19. You will lose some fluidity, but this is the best result I had from the different practices I tried. I hope it helps!

 

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Ninja School Mum Book buy link: Click here.

Meet Author Rose McClelland.

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I’m thrilled to introduce you to author Rose McClelland, who is published by Crooked Cat.

Rose writes women’s fiction with a splash of romance and comedy. She writes about dating and relationships in a humorous fashion, placing plenty of twists and turns along the way. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes or Sophie Kinsella.

Rose lives in Belfast but divides her time between the sofa and bubble bath. When she’s not writing, she’s reading. It’s a bit of an addiction actually. That, and the chocolate Freddos. She can often be found on Facebook posting photos and stories about her cat, her cooking or book reviews.

She has written a few short plays and finds it a buzz to see actors performing her words on stage.

Please follow her on Facebook or Twitter – she’d love to hear from you!

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Author Q&A:

  1. What made you decide to be a writer?

I always had my head stuck in a book as a child. I loved our weekly library trips and would have gobbled the books up by the time we had drove home! I remember at the age of ten telling my mum that I’d like to be a writer. But the book that really made me want to write was “Rachel’s Holiday” by Marian Keyes. I loved the style of writing – the raw honesty mixed with humour.

  1. Tell us about your latest book and how long did it take you to write? 

My latest book is called “The Year of No Rules”. It took me between 9 months to a year to write. It’s about a couple and their relationship. Believe it or not, he gives her a list of rules to follow and for a while, she goes along with it. Needless to say, this tests her patience to the max. Throwing the rulebook away, she then takes matters into her own hands and plays the game her way.

  1. Do you want each of your books to stand alone, or become a series? 

My three published books are all stand alone. I am writing my fourth novel at the moment and because of the setting and the characters involved, I can see possibility for a series. This would be great as the characters are firmly lodged in my head.

  1. How did publishing your first book change your writing process?

It made me read even more and think more about what I want from books as a reader.

  1. What excites you most about being an author?

I still love reading and find the best way to relax is by being engrossed in good book. I love the process of tucking myself away and putting pen to paper. It is so much fun watching what the characters will get up to and recording the story as it unfolds.

  1. What is the best money you ever spent as a writer?

A laptop. I used it to write my morning pages and do an online writing course with my friends in Brighton. That was the course that really helped me get started on my first novel.

  1. How do you balance writing and marketing your work?

With great difficulty! I love the writing side of things, however I struggle with the marketing. If I had my way, I’d tuck myself away in an ivory tower and write to my heart’s content. However, there’s not much point in writing a novel if you’re not willing to share the finished product!

  1. Have you become friends with any other authors and has this helped or hindered your writing journey?

Yes, I have be-friended lots of other authors – in particular fellow Crooked Cat authors. It’s a massive help to chat with other authors and motivate each other.

  1. What did you edit out of your current book?

My editor helped me to edit the minor characters by writing a bit more of a back story about them. I had a tendency to just make small parts appear out of nowhere to move the story along.

  1. What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Becoming overwhelmed by the endless amount of marketing jobs that could be done. That is when I tend to bury my head in the sand!

 

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“The Year of No Rules”

BOOK BLURB

When Sasha falls in love with Kirk, she can’t believe her luck. He’s gorgeous, charismatic and charming. Within months he’s even discussing the ‘M’ word – marriage.

But there’s one problem – he’s given her a list of rules to sign.

Blindly led by her infatuation (and the fact that she’s been single forever) – she agrees to sign it and abide by them until everything goes horribly wrong.

Picking herself up and boldly moving on as a ‘No Rules’ girl, Sasha goes on a string of disastrous dates, and eventually meets Sam through mutual friends. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, she keeps him at arm’s length.

Can he tame her independent streak? Or will she be able to make Kirk come crawling back?

 

Contact Rose:
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