Rafflecopter Contest for Book Release (Erotic Romance)

Want to win a $20 Amazon gift card? A silver belt bracelet? Or a new release book, signed by the authors? Sure you do! So enter the drawing in honor of Finding Master Right. Good luck!

Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MzBiMzIyZGExNzMwZDdhODE2OTBlYWM2YzAxNGE1OjI=/?


Book blurb:

Dominant men are all Kate dreams about, but how far is she willing to go? 

Kate wants a man who will take charge—she just needs to find the right guy. Fortunately, her friend is throwing a Halloween party with a guest list loaded with sexy, available men. That’s where she meets Banner.

Dark and intense, Banner’s not just a Dominant, he’s a Master looking for a slave. Kate isn’t interested in something that extreme, but when he offers to help her find the perfect Dom, while training her to be a flawless submissive, she’s glad to have a matchmaker and protector.

Banner knows they’re not compatible, yet something about Kate is impossible to resist. Once he finds her the right Dom, will he be able let her go?



Two writers in two countries transform into the super writing duo, Sparrow Beckett, each night after wrangling their housefuls of children and pets. They trade the cape and colorful tights for tattoos and cups of coffee then set out to create a world where readers fall in love with heroes.


“Snappy dialogue and great pacing make for a breathless, glorious ride in Sparrow Beckett’s Finding Master Right! Provocative, sassy and dangerous—a sensually lethal combination!”—New York Times bestselling author Eden Bradley

Finding Master Right is an engaging, page-turning read. I was rooting for Banner and Kate’s happily ever after.”Sierra Cartwright, international bestselling author

“The writing duo Sparrow Beckett has a winner in their opening entry in the Masters Unleashed series. It’s a pleasure to watch as Kate and Banner grow together and adapt to each other’s needs. A family tragedy tests their mettle and the strength of their connection.”—RT Book Reviews (4 Stars)


Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/bW_GFRRbB-E

Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MzBiMzIyZGExNzMwZDdhODE2OTBlYWM2YzAxNGE1OjI=/?

Website: http://www.sparrowbeckett.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SparrowBeckett

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SparrowBeckett

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Master-Right-Masters-Unleashed-ebook/dp/B00NGZOH1E

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-master-right-sparrow-beckett/1120921387?ean=9780698198524\

Google books: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9780698198524&c=books

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/finding-master-right-2

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/finding-master-right/id917826078?mt=11




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Stop, Collaborate, and Listen! (part 2) by Heather Novak

Welcome to part 2 of book review discussion! Part 1 explained what part readers play by leaving reviews (read here). Now, I want to focus on how to take those reviews as an author! And mock a few people who could have benefited from my words of awesome.

Reviews Colorful Stripes

What is the most important advice I have for writers?


Repeat after me.


Don’t even reference it on your social media, nothing.

Why not?
Because it never turns out well. 

In fact, I stopped reading my reviews completely (for now, anyway. There’s a bet seeing how long I can go!) I have trusted friends and editors who I bribe to do it for me. Let’s face it, it’s really hard (giggles. hard.)


So why should I never respond to a bad review?

Because you don’t want to make a mockery of your career.

1) Not everyone has the same taste in books. Some of the most loved books of all time are also the most hated. (Twilight. Need I say more? You either love this book or you hate it.) I’ve gotten one star reviews, I’ve gotten five star reviews. My sense of humor is not for everyone. But I refuse to devalue what I did by trying to justify it to someone who didn’t appreciate it to begin with.

2) Would you do put a video of you crying on YouTube if your co-worker didn’t like an email/letter/analysis you wrote? No. So why screw with your writing career the same way? There are far too many “Leave Britney Alone!” videos out there of authors upset over bad reviews. I’m not even going to link you to them because they’re too heart wrenching.

Do not force others to give you external validation. It’s not good for your health.

3) Your own peace of mind!  Truly, if you get devastatingly upset by bad reviews, you may want to seek professional help (check out Cognitive Behavioral Therapy here.) Therapists are magnificent. Make sure you find one who you connect with and they will help you build your tough skin.

Please give me a good review! PLEASE!

Whatever, Heather. Who’s gonna know?

One of my favorite websites: Authors. Behaving. Badly.

This website is the epitome of what NOT to do. 

Spoiler alert! I’m going to talk about the first author on the list, Jacqueline Howett. I have never read this author and therefore have no comment on the quality of her work. However, I do have a very negative strong opinion about how she conducted herself in a public forum.

There are 308 comments on the thread. THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHT! They’re mostly of the author arguing the reviewer’s ineptitude followed by comments about people who are embarrassed/never going to read the author. Quite frankly, I’m not rushing out to buy the book no matter how good it is.

Those 308 comments are now etched forever in the seedy underbelly of the Interweb. The author tried to delete several of her own comments, but the responses make the picture pretty clear. This thread has been shared, blogged about, talked about in writer groups, and is still actively hanging around online. Every time someone googles that author, she’ll come up under “Authors Behaving Badly.”

Cautionary tale, my friends. Cautionary tale.

Remember how I mentioned in the last installment that I used to get paid to search people on social media when they applied for jobs? I was really good. Don’t put anything online you wouldn’t want your future boss to read because I guarantee you I’m not the only one who looks.

But what if the reader doesn’t know what they’re talking about?! I should respond, right?


Listen, readers don’t know everything. Authors don’t know everything. I mean, who does?

Here’s an example that was very hard to not respond to:

One of my dearest author friends, MK Schiller, is Indian and wrote an absolutely beautiful Romeo & Juliet type story called Variables of Love with an Indian heroine. As all great authors do, MK researched her culture extensively and even had proofreaders currently living in India confirm her details. (Side note: No matter how familiar you are with something, from cultures to cities to diseases, you should always get a second and third opinion after doing your own research. But I digress…)

She received the following Goodreads review (shortened for blog purposes):

I was very eager to read this book since it has an indian heroine. but i was very disappointed.The author i felt didnt do a lot of research into indian culture i felt. it was small details but it still she should have looked into it while writing. for example the heroine is a punjabi supposedly and punjabis in my knowledge loves non veg food. but in the book she and her family are hard core vegetarians and it was said they became so because of the indian culture which is not true. also the heroine was said to ba a hindu but punjabis follow sikhism which is a completely different religion. it was small small things like these but it still made it hard to enjoy the book…

The reader’s life experience is clearly different than MK’s, so what is true for MK is not true for the reader. 

The point? Just because your life experience is different, it does NOT invalidate someone else’s experience.

My opinion on how she should have worded the review:
“I’m unfamiliar with MK’s background, but my life experience lends itself more toward this-this-and-this, which is different than what was represented in the book.” 

I’m going to level with you. This review still irks me. I really want to respond! (KEEP ME STRONG INTERNET! KEEP ME STRONG!) I’ve literally responded and deleted the comment twice. Why? Because I remember this blog post. 

You take all my fun away. What can I do instead?

  • Call your bestie!
  • Cry your eyes out over Ben & Jerry’s.
  • Watch your favorite movie. 
  • And my all time favorite: Read the bad reviews of your favorite authors! It will put everything in perspective. It truly works. Even Jane Austen gets terrible reviews.
  • Know that this feeling will pass. It will make you feel like absolutely crap, no doubt about it. But acknowledge it happened, accept that it happened, and Shake it Off!

So now the million dollar question: Is it ever okay to respond to a bad review?
Definitely consult with your agent/publicist/lawyer first. Also, report any personal attacks immediately! You’re going too need to respond, not react. Read and reread your answer. Read it to your family, your critique group, your agent/publicist/lawyer. 

The best example I have of a classy response to an accusation – albeit not a review – was from the amazing, wonderful, can-I-please-be-your-best-friend John Green. (I swear I’m not creepy…)

You can read about it here. Paraphrasing here – a woman accused him of being a pedophile for writing books that appeal to teenage girls.

His response?

“Throwing that kind of accusation around is sick and libelous and most importantly damages the discourse around the actual sexual abuse of children…When you use accusations of pedophilia as a way of insulting people whose work you don’t like, you trivialize abuse.”

Well done, John Green. Well done.

So, enough of my lecture for the day. I hope you read this and remember – Reviews can be used for good! Spread that love, ignore the hate. Make sure to ask me any questions in the comments that I didn’t answer.

Keep in mind, all this is just my own opinion from my own experience. Take it with a grain of salt! (And maybe a lime…)

Fun fact alert! July 23, 2015 is known for:

  • Vanilla Ice Cream Day
  • National Hot Dog Day

Sounds like a fun combination, AmIRight?!





Want to be a part of a future blog post or Wine Time interview? I’m looking for pictures of author’s writing caves by August 6 for a fun contest. Also looking for author/editor/industry interviews for my monthly Wine Time post! Email me at heathernovak.author at gmail dot com if you’re interested.

Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,
Heather Novak
Bold. Bewitching. Breathtaking. 

Find me at:
Twitter: authorheathern
Facebook: authorheathernovak
Website: Heathernovak.net

Author of Hunting Witch Hazel featured in Falling Hard (A New Adult Anthology).

Heather 2D FallingHardAnthology_2500px

Hunting Witch Hazel Trailer

Available Now!
Amazon U.S.
Amazon UK


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Nurture Those Imaginations

Kids imaginations astound me. I was recently listing to a Freakanomics podcast (I am an absolute podcast junkie!) episode called Think Like a Child that talked about kids and their ability to see through magic versus adults who tend to overthink everything. Sounding vaguely familiar? It happens to me at work all the time. And yet perhaps this is why it is such a concern for us as we think about kids and technology and not going outside and using these imaginations, etc. I’m stating this as I’ve seen a gazillion articles or heard podcasts/radio shows/tv shows referencing children and the generational changes. Then again, I’ve also heard it is too soon to tell exactly how some of these changes are affecting our children.

But I digress… Where I’m going with this is how we hold on to this imagination as we get older to write amazing books/series out there like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Outlander, etc. I truly believe it is a matter of cultivating this imagination. Let me give another example…

Netflix recently came out with this series called Chef’s Table. Besides the fact that this series is just really nicely done (I love the opening scene/music, etc.), the one thing I noticed about a lot of these top chefs is their closeness to nature, to food, their interest in cultivating and nurturing a natural curiosity. Some of them were supported by families and some not as much, but there always seemed to be something about their environment that really pushed them in the direction of exploring their curiosity of food.

Sometimes, I wonder if our evolving world will lead to even greater fantastical explorations in literature and other times I wonder if we are moving away from it. The truth is the pendulum probably swings back and forth on a day to day basis, but I will say I’m an absolute proponent of letting the imagination take over (I imagine many authors are). Have fun with it. Each night my three-year-old and I head up to bed amidst the Hallelujah mountains (remember Avatar?) or Mt. Taranaki. It makes for some fun “exploring” and creativity and it’s just plain fun. How about you all, how do you nurture those imaginations?

Happy writing this week!

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Another Week Down and My First Youtube Video by Mandy Rosko

Okay, time to take a breather. I got through another week of work and I feel like a champ. I still can’t believe I suckered myself into this workload, but as the days go by and a little more of that load is chipped away at each time, I feel better.

I need to get a checklist for these things. I know there’s an app out there or something. I should probably just go with a regular pen and paper, but I think I’d like this more if I could cross off several things from a list. That always made me feel awesome, like I was back in school or something and getting the checklist worked through.

Got next to no reading done except for a couple of Red Hood and the Outlaws comics, a manga, and another chapter of The Billionaire’s Bid on Wattpad. Aside from the manga, it’s nothing I can really tick off on my Goodreads challenge, and I never know if those are technically cheating or not. Oh well.

Also! On my list of things to get done, I finally put up my first Youtube video :3 It was an unboxing, and as much fun as it was, I kind of doubt that I’ll be doing a video every week. At least not until I get Internet with a better upload speed. It takes *forever* to upload videos to Youtube. Gotta fix that. Until then, I like that video, and I definitely want to do more, maybe putting my book reviews on there for sure, or just talking about the swag I’ll be getting for next year’s RTC :) I already got some ideas and want to show them off.

Anyway, the video is nothing special, the lighting sucks, but it’s a first, and until I get paid, the camera I use will have to be from my laptop. I already have a camera in mind that I want, and I just recently bought a tripod from Amazon’s Prime day or whatever, so here’s hoping that the next video will look better. And that maybe I’ll know how to edit it better, too :D

Here’s the link for anyone who wants to check it out. Finally see what I look like I suppose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS3iTIFBSYE

Pretty sure that’s the proper link. Does it bother anyone else that, when you record yourself, your voice never sounds the same on the recording as it does in your own head?



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Summer Thunder Paranormal-Scope

Storm’s a coming. I can feel it. Can’t you?

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:

Goblins always gather a lot of data to make an informed decision, even when it comes to love. Don’t be hasty.

Shapeshifters are starting to firm up their relationships. Those still single are free to chase their dreams.

Dragons know it’s serves them well to listen to others. Finish important business and then turn to your creative side.

Are you feeling like a werewolf’s chew toy, torn in two directions? Your mind tells you one thing and your heart tells you another. You will find the balance.

Vampires have a knack for clearing away obstacles to focus on what’s really important. Free up your schedule for the important people in your life.

Mermaids listen as what they hear serves them well in the future. It’s time to follow your heart.

Elves never press on matters. They watch to see how things so. Let go of the stress you’re carrying. Have tea.

Dragons have great timing. They know it’s time to sit back and enjoy your accomplishments. Spend more time with those you care for.

Just as unicorns clear water of pollutants, you need to rest and clear your mind before making important decisions. Give yourself the time.

Faeries have gifted you with love. Love is coming your way. Be open to the form it takes.

Hobbits are expert in sitting back and surveying the lay of the land. See how far you’ve come. Make time for loved ones.

Vampires enjoy evening get-togethers with family and friends. Plan a party. Be laid back  and don’t stress anything.

Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
Vampire King of New York available at Amazon Kindle and print, Barnes and Noble Nook and print and in Kobo
A Vampire for Christmas in Kindle

Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, romance novels, Susan Hanniford Crowley, The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, Weekly Paranormal-Scope, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Off To Nationals!

Ny-marriott-marquisI am leaving on Tuesday for the RWA National convention at the Mariott Marquis in New York. This will be my third national convention and looking back on it, I’ve come a very long way in three years. The first one I attended I was overawed the entire time. I attended a lot of workshops, I met my hero Jo Beverley and had a fan girl moment, and I pitched for the first time ever. I seriously did not think I would survive that, I almost had a meltdown, but I got through it and got requests.

Last year I was much more laid back. I attended some workshops, I was part of the Literacy signing and a signing by my publisher, Kensington. I attended a lot of parties, got a meeting with an agent at a party, and pitched again without the nervous meltdown. I drank a lot in the bar. LOL

This year I believe will also be completely different. First of all, I won’t be staying at the conference hotel, but with an author friend on her boat berthed at a marina in mid-town Manhattan. Logistics will be challenging. Then I have Kensington activities again, including a luncheon with major Kensington administrators. Can’t wait for that! I’m attending the General Meeting to report back to my chapter, as I’m the president. And I’m giving a workshop on Swag for the Romance Author.

At the moment I’ve got swag coming out of my ears because I’m taking chapter books, notepads, signature cards with favors on them, and lavender sachets. And that’s just the stuff I’m taking for the Goody Room. I’m also taking bags with swag for my workshop, and a couple of friends’ swag for my workshop and the Goody room. I hope if any of you are going to RWA, you’ll come to my workshop. Unfortunately, it’s on Saturday at 4:30 when everyone will be burnt out on workshops and getting ready for the RITA’s. But I hope you’ll be able to check it out.

I’ll also be pitching again, hopefully not only at the two arranged pitch sessions—RWA is a fantastic place for meeting agents and editors just about everywhere.

Throughout the week, I’ll be catching up with author friends and making new ones as well. Usually in the bar. I drink more at RWA than at any other time during the year. Not that I’m complaining. :)

I’m really looking forward to my week at the conference. If you see me, please come up and say, “Hey!”

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How to Pack for A Convention When You Drive to It by Susan Hanniford Crowley

Whether you go to RWA National, Pi-Con 9, or another convention, packing is key.

You have probably heard that I’m going to Pi-Con 9, July 31-Aug.2, which starts off with the Friday Writers Workshops and then dives into the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Convention. How do you pack for such a combination of events?

First, I’m not flying so I’m not packing light. I’m packing my car and driving. This can be confusing even to me, so I do it by category first.

    I break it down by outfits! I make a checklist. Here is a sample:
    __Thurs.: Move-in: jeans and top, sneaks…later dress for cocktail party
    __Fri.: Business dress for panels and presentation
    __Sat.: Business ensemble for panels and presentation…costume for Steampunk Tea
    __Sun.: Dressy but comfortable for reading, saying goodbye, and then moving out
    __Swimwear (optional)

I always pack my costume separately from my clothes and hang it up as soon as I get in the room. I hang up my formal clothes next.

I have found that packing by outfits which includes accessories and shoes eliminates trying to decide what you’re going to wear when. I also bring an emergency formal attire in the event of flying speghetti, but that’s a story for another day.

It’s a funny thing with me but I always bring a pair of slippers to conventions with me. Usually I only wear them in the room, but I’ve been known to walk around in them if my feet hurt. I put shoes in the bottom of my bag.

    This could be a bag for devices, notebooks, pencils, extra cords, batteries, index cards, notes.
  • TOILETRIES (I put shampoo and other liquids in seal-able plastic bags to protect everything else.)
    This could be a bag for books that you intend on collecting at the conference or gifts you’re are bringing to friends or gifts you’re buying to bring home. I might also have snacks and portable food for the room in this bag.

Of course, if I was flying to a convention, my packing would be lighter and somewhat different. So have I forgotten anything?  Please, put it in the comment box so we can added it to the list.

Thanks.  Hope to see you at Pi-Con.

Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
Vampire King of New York available at Amazon Kindle and print, Barnes and Noble Nook and print and in Kobo
A Vampire for Christmas in Kindle

Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, Readers Conference, romance, romance novels, Susan Hanniford Crowley, The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, Writer Workshops, Writer's Life, Writers Conferences, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment