Posted by: Susan Hanniford Crowley | July 29, 2014

Going to be in Germany Soon By Mandy Rosko

One of my books will be, anyway.

The Princess’s Dragon Lord is almost finished being translated, so I might see it up on the Amazon.de store by mid August as Der Drachenprinz. I’ll show off the cover that I get for it when it’s ready, but it will look exactly the same as the English version, with just different text.

MandyRosko_ThePrincessDragonLord_200px

I’m so excited, and nervous, getting a translator was something of a scary process, even though I already had a good idea of where to go to hire freelancers, but knowing whether or not they could actually do a good job was something else entirely. After all, I don’t know how to speak German, so how am I supposed to know whether it’s being translated properly?

Thank God for Google Translate :) Not that I plan to use that to check and see if the translations are any good or not. That would be both impossible and monumentally stupid on my part, especially considering how poorly Google Translate actually works when it comes to speech. What this worked out for, and what I would recommend for anyone who wants to try translating their books, is to use Google Translate to check the reviews left behind on books that were translated by the person you’re hiring.

Navigating Amazon.de was pretty simple, considering it looks pretty much the same as my English version of the store. All I had to do was ask my translator for references of other books that had been done, and then I went on over to Amazon.de, copy and pasted the reviews left behind, and read on the poorly translated German to English on Google Translate whether anyone thought the books were terrible.

I checked all the one and two star reviews, and while these were low key books like my own, not too many reviews at all, there were still enough for me to make a decision, and tell from those reviews that the people were not happy with the story itself, and not the way it was translated.

So far I’m loving my translator. I’ve got excellent communication with this person, and always love it when I see another chapter in my inbox. I’m excited and terrified of the day when the book will be live on Amazon.de, but more and more I’m thinking it’s going to be money well spent, and definitely something I want to do more of.

For now, however, I just wanted to share this little achievement I had since Dragon Lord, or Der DrachenPrinz, is one of my favorite self contained stories. Self contained for now ;)

If anyone wants to check the story out, here are some links for you to try

 

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

 

Cheers,

Mandy Rosko

Connect with me online:

Facebook

Twitter: @rizzorosko
Posted by: Susan Hanniford Crowley | July 28, 2014

Weekly Paranormal-Scope

Rain is like dancing!  I love the rain. It helps me write and gives me great dreams.

While I am not qualified in any way to read neither stars nor planets, I am intimately linked to the paranormal in the world in many ways. So are you.

The paranormal scope is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to guide your life by.

The week for:

Aries:
Sprites dance in the rain. Sprites are small and it’s the small things that are important for you this week.  Make small changes only.

Taurus:
Narwhales have survived by researching first before taking new opportunities.  Did you get the point?

Gemini:
Faeries sing your praises.  It’s time to act and show your stuff.

Cancer:
A vampire will give you balance and inspire you to new heights.

Leo:
Werewolves will fight over you like a bone.  Don’t choose between friends just organize your schedule better.

Virgo:
Shapeshifters don’t always fit well with others. Consider this before forming any collaborations.

Libra:
Pixies are sensitive.  A close one may need more hugging and hand holding to get through tough times.

Scorpio:
Vampires are good diplomats. Reinforce your good business relationships.  Listen and encourage others.

Sagittarius:
Mermaids like to reflect. As your star starts to shine, don’t ignore your personal growth.

Capricorn:
Dragons will fly above the storm to avoid crashing on the rocks.  Keep a low profile at work.  Avoid confrontations.

Aquarius:
Elves love reunions. An unexpected blast from the past is headed your way.

Pisces:
Dragons will give you a life if you are willing to take a risk of making a dream come true.  Let your friends help you.

-Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com

New release: Vampire King of New York now in print at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also in ebooks.
New release: Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room now in Amazon Kindle.

Posted by: Jenna Jaxon | July 27, 2014

RWA Nationals

RWA

I spent most of this week in San Antonio, Texas at the Romance Writers of America National Convention.  I have never been so busy! I am exhausted while  seeming to not have done anything!

There were book signings–I participated in two:  the Literacy signing and a Kensington signing.

KENSINGTON PARTY

KENSINGTON PARTY

Then there were parties–I went to three:  Kensington where I met awesome RITA winning writers from the Word Wenches blog Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney, and Nicola Cornick; Boroughs Publishing, where I met with my wonderful and dear CP Kary Rader, and Amazon, where I smoozed with fellow Kensington author A.C. Mason.

It wasn’t all play, however.  I went to workshops, such as Marketing:  Work with What You Have, The Hard and Fast Rules for the Kickass Query and Synopsis, English Titles and Usage and How to Write Hot Sex. :)  Great workshops!

Then there were the pitch sessions…I did much better than I expected to.  I tend to get very, VERY nervous when pitching to agents and editors, but this year for some reason I had turned off my nervous button and ended up pitching my new WIP, a Regency, to two agents and an editor, each of whom requested either partials or fulls!  I’m so psyched!  As soon as I get home, I’m dusting off those synopses, giving a last tweak to the manuscript, and sending them off. :)  Wish me luck!

And then last night, the gala event:  The RITAs and Golden Heart Award Ceremony.  This is the Oscars of the romance writer’s world.  We all dressed up in

THE RITAs 2014

THE RITAs 2014

our bling and congratulated our fellow writers on their achievements in writing for the past year.

Now I’m doing some last-minute packing before catching my plane back to Virginia.  I had an incredible week with roommates Collette Cameron, Gina Danna, and Ella Quinn.  Already looking forward to RWA 2015 in NYC!

Posted by: Susan Hanniford Crowley | July 26, 2014

Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room Is Live on Kindle! By Susan Hanniford Crowley

Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room is back and not in a hard to get anthology.  This time it’s as it’s own ebook.  It is Book 1 in a new series called Tales MrsBrightsCoverfrom the Tea Room.  Any minute now, Kindle will go live with it.  Yay, and it’s only $2.99.

In Alternative History Victorian London, dirigibles fill the sky, but one is the notorious Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room. The lavender dirigible is infamous as the place where wealthy men keep trysts with their mistresses, spies conduct covert activities and business men are entertained while conducting business. It’s know the tea servers serve more than tea.

For Euthalia James, she despairs that by working for Mrs. Bright is the only way she can earn enough to get her father out of debtor’s prison.  She doesn’t know that her life is going to change from horrible to exciting the moment Captain Travers walks in the door, and that excitement never ends. A swashbuckling steampunk tale of plots against the empire and the choices brave people must make.

I considered putting up a love scene but decided against it for this week.  So at any minute this weekend, this book comes available on Kindle.  Be sure to write a review on the book’s Kindle page.  This is one of my favorites and I keep coming back to that strange brothel in the sky with more tales percolating in my head.

I’ll add the Kindle link as soon as it become live.  It’s Live! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M4U4TKG

–Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowleyhttp://www.susanhannifordcrowley.com

Posted by: malanouette | July 25, 2014

Thoughts, emotions and writing

What are you reading? I’m reading the Inside Out Trilogy by Lisa Rene Jones. It’s not my normal reading genre but the writing had me turning the pages. I read all three in three days.

 

Recently, I was asked if I disguise people I know as characters in my books. The answer is no. I might take a part of this one, and a part of that one, but I never portray someone I know. My characters are created in my head and developed over time. While they’re developing, I might be standing in line at the DMV, or sitting on a beach people watching. I might like the twitch on this one, and the smile on that one.  Out clubbing is another good spot to watch interaction. Lots of drama there too.

It’s the same thing when it comes to emotions.

I’ve also been asked if I wrap my emotions or turmoil up in a story. The answer there is two fold: one, not intentionally, and two, I find it hard to write if I have things going on in my life. Yet, I know authors who thrive and embrace their drama and use it well.  This week I said good-bye to a friend of over forty years, and next week my brother Timothy who  passed away this winter will be placed in his final resting spot. Two special good-byes and ripping emotions that stop you in your tracks to reassess priorities.

Rest in peace, Mr. G.

Timothy, our last conversation filled with your humor is what’s in my head. Thank you and  I love you.

 

Posted by: Susan Hanniford Crowley | July 24, 2014

Favorite Form of Escape by Gerri Brousseau

I’m sitting here on Wednesday, thinking about what I’m going to share with you this week on the blog.  Today I can’t help but think about how HOT it is outside. I know some of you love this type of weather, but if you are a regular reader you already know I’m not a fan of hazy, hot, and humid. But since I can’t control the weather (oh that I could), I have to do whatever I can to escape the grip of this stifling heat. And here are some of the ways I get around it:

Air Conditioning is my number one choice. At my house, the a/c is turned to the “meat locker” setting. Yes, you can see your breath in my house (only kidding). When I have to leave the house, I generally rush from my front door to my car and blast the a/c there too. This is my number one escape.

My second choice is the pool. Luckily the complex I live in has one. It’s a lovely liver shaped pool and although I’m not a fan of getting wet, it is a great form of relief on a day like today. But since I have to work today, I won’t be spending the afternoon pool-side.

There is always a refreshing piece of cold fruit, such as watermelon which happens to be my favorite summer fruit. Ice CreamBut today, I may opt for an ice cream cone. I will head on over to the local Ice Cream Parlor and order up my favorite flavor. At this particular place they have your regular flavors, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, but they also happen to have my favorite, Pistachio. Here you can order a Sundae, a regular cone, a sugar cone, a cup, or a waffle cone with or without chocolate dip and the assorted toppings. I must confess that I am fond of the waffle cone and even though I know they are a lot more calories I order it anyway. Hey, if you are going to have ice cream, you have already fallen off the diet wagon, so what the heck – might as well go all the way . . . right? (There, I have now managed to convince myself)

Yep, I think today at lunch I will leave my air conditioned office, hop into my air conditioned car and head over to the air conditioned Ice Cream Parlor for a chocolate dipped waffle cone of Pistachio ice cream.

What’s your favorite way to escape the heat, and what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Posted by: Toni Kelly | July 23, 2014

Symbolism in Writing

As a follow up to last week’s blog on the moon, I wanted to write a bit today about symbols overall in writing. I know they aren’t always easily noticeable but I happen to love symbols and other meanings in the books I read and write, mostly because I feel like they add some sort of depth to our stories. The same goes for names of characters, which seems to be another area we authors spend a lot of time on. And this is with good reason. Each book is created with blood, sweat and tears (okay so I’m being a bit dramatic) and the characters within them are our “babies.” Having had a baby recently, I know that a lot of thought goes into those names as they must be just right. Most of us don’t want a name that will make our kid a pariah for years to come—and I stress most of us.

Okay, so back to the symbols. What exactly am I talking about? Well, it could be as blatant as in The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown where the main characters are looking for further meaning or as mysteriously symbolic as George Orwell’s Animal Farm, which was completely not what I expected at the time I read it (I also might have been a bit young to understand some of the concepts behind it).

My own release of Blood Eternal brings to the table more symbolism and I have to admit I’m interested to see if readers and reviewers will understand it. I’m not sure I planned it when I started writing the book, but I am Catholic and my background is a part of who I am and how I was raised so somehow glimpses of it seem to end up in my stories. This knowledge makes me wonder if a lot of symbolism and hidden meanings we discover were implanted there on purpose or more of a result of who we are. Perhaps both? What do you all think?

Happy Writing this week!

Posted by: Susan Hanniford Crowley | July 22, 2014

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Not really. There will be no spoilers here because I won’t be talking about any particular series or book. However, in my never ending quest to figure out what other people think on subjects that don’t really bother me, I want to know about spoilers, so some franchises will be brought up, though sparsely.

 

spoilers

Now, for the record, I’m weird in the sense that I like spoilers. I’ll often ask for them whenever someone is speaking to me about a tv series, or a game, or books, and they falter in their descriptions, not knowing if I’ll get angry or not if they spill that one thing that was so amazingly awesome that they just had to talk about it.

 

For the record, I’m the type of person who has seen movie trailers online, and then gone off and read the Wikipedia page to figure out what happened because I couldn’t be bothered to actually sit down and watch the movie. I used to read the last line of the books I’d bought before starting to read them. Sometimes I don’t want to be spoiled in my books or games or movies, but that’s rare, and though I’m sure it has happened a time or two, I can’t ever recall being upset over being spoiled.

 

Now, from the forums I’ve read online, I’m starting to think that I’m the only one with this sort of mellow attitude towards spoilers. People get downright angry if they come across spoilers in online forums, which leads to all kinds of arguing. The usual response to the backlash of spoilers is that, anyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled shouldn’t be in an online forum dedicated to the thing that had just been spoiled. Another comment I see a lot is that enough time passed since the release of the book or game or movie, that no warnings should be needed, since it’s assumed that most everyone would be familiar with the material.

 

Of course, the people who had been spoiled, who are then being told these things, are still none too impressed, and the arguing continues, with both sides believing themselves to be in the right.

 

When I think of this, the scene from the Simpson’s comes to mind, the one where Homer is coming out of the theatre, and accidentally spoils that Darth Vader is in fact (Spoiler) Luke Skywalker’s father.

 

spoiler-alert 9

 

I think of this because, number one, it’s funny, and number two, I imagine the people online are just like Homer. They didn’t spoil anything with the intent of being mean or rude or thoughtless. They’d just assumed that, being in a forum dedicated to the object of their affection meant that everyone had to be familiar with what was going on.

 

I’m willing to bet that a fair number of readers here read series books, or watch a few series shows on TV, whether it be Game of Thrones, or Supernatural (Which I asked my brother to tell me how it ended, by the way, which makes me want to start watching it again because it was that awesome). So for that reason, I’m genuinely curious and want to know, how many of you have been spoiled on something because someone online said something, or even a person in your day to day life. I imagine someone had to have been spoiled about the Red Wedding thing (I’m purposely being vague here). I mean, that book came out years before the actual episode was even being filmed.

 

How do you handle it? Does it make you angry? Or does it make you weary to look online about the thing you’re currently investing all your spare time into? This goes back to my curiosity over how someone would react in this situation, I think because, in part, it baffles me, and I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of someone who hates being spoiled.

 

I’m tempted to ask what the worst spoilers anyone ever got were in the books they’ve read, or the shows they’d watched, but then I think that might create problems in the comments section ;)

 

 

Cheers, and always beware of spoilers in fan forums,

 

-Mandy

Posted by: Susan Hanniford Crowley | July 21, 2014

Keeping Cool Weekly Paranormal-Scope

I’m in one of the parts of the USA that suffers during the summer.  I need my air conditioning and am grateful for it.  In my first apartment, I didn’t have a.c., so I went to the movies and the mall a lot.  Mainly for their air conditioning.  Heat can tire you out, and you need to drink lots of water or risk dehydration.  So remember the key here is water.

While I am not qualified in any way to read neither stars nor planets, I am intimately linked to the paranormal in the world in many ways. So are you.

The paranormal scope is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to guide your life by.

The week for:

Aries:
Mermaids call to you.  Remember it’s not to your benefit to follow every pretty face.

Taurus:
Whales have long memories.  Be kind to others, so their memories of you will be good ones.  It will help you in the long run.

Gemini:
Dolphins know the secrets of man.  That’s why they laugh so much.  Laughter is great medicine and has been helpful in assisting people to live longer.  Lengthen your life with laughter.

Cancer:
Sharks are nearby.  Keep family or friends close.  Keep the nose to the grindstone at work and lay low and out of trouble. Let it fall elsewhere.

Leo:
Jellyfish are like vampires.  They can still hurt you when they die washed up on the beach.   Give people with problems a wide berth.

Virgo:
Starfish smile at you, because you are a star.  This is your time to shine.

Libra:
Seahorses love to race.  Even though you do too, build in some “me” time and you’ll love life more.

Scorpio:
Puffer fish can be dangeous, not only the spines but also dangerous as food.  Be careful of what you eat this week.

Sagittarius:
Koi are the treasures of Japanese ponds.  Get a make over and think, “I am a treasure,” because you are.

Capricorn:
Seagulls are masters at opening the tough shells.  This is your time to show off your skills and break open some new opportunities.

Aquarius:
Inside each oyster is a pearl.  You’ve been hiding your worth.  Step up to the challenge and show everyone!

Pisces:
Mermen are hot stuff but they are also notorious flirts.  Still if you’re up for some fun, make new friends and have no expectations.  Just have fun.

-Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com

New release: Vampire King of New York now in print at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also in ebooks.

Posted by: Jenna Jaxon | July 20, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again…Querying

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

After over a year of respite, this week I finally began querying my current WIP.  It is an activity I approach with the same enthusiasm as a trip to the dentist.  Querying agents is part and parcel of being a writer if you desire to get your work in front of the Big 5 New York publishing houses.  So it’s a necessary evil.  Emphasis on the EVIL.

The beginning of the process, writing the query letter, is even fraught with perils.  You work for months creating a 90+K novel and then have to condense it down to 150 words.  And getting the wording and correct information in there is terribly stressful.  Because the book may be wonderful, but if you can’t convince the agent in 150 words that the book is wonderful, then you have a query that doesn’t work.  Unfortunately, the only way to tell if the query is working is to send it out.  And if it’s not working, you just blew your shot with that particular agent for that particular book.  There are no do-overs in querying.

The worst part of querying, for me, is putting the letter together with the specific requirements sited on the agent’s submissions page.  Some want only a letter.  Some want 5 or 10 pages in the body of the email.  Some request the first chapter and a synopsis.  Each agent is different.  And you have to get everything just right or your query just gets deleted.

The exacting nature of the query is what makes me crazy.  What makes it most difficult for me to press the SEND button.  I read and re-read the whole query letter.  Double check the spelling of  the agent’s name against what’s on her website. Double check the specifications.  And then check everything again.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I read the letter through five times before I screw my courage to the sticking point, take a deep breath, and click SEND.

I actually have gotten less paranoid about querying, believe it or not.  I have to tell myself that if the query is rejected it’s not the end of the world.  It doesn’t affect world peace.  It doesn’t mean children will go hungry at night.  It just means I have to work a little bit harder to get my work in front of the perfect agent who will love my pages and give me “the call” I’ve been waiting for for five years.

Wish me luck!

 

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