Social Media Mixer by Heather Novak

According to the highly educational and never incorrect* website known as Wikipedia, a “cocktail party mixer” is defined as:

A cocktail party organized for purposes of social or business networking is called a mixer.


That sounds a lot like what social media is…one, giant, malignant, cocktail mixer. What does that mean for you, especially if you’re using your page as an author/for a business? It means you should treat your social media page like a cocktail party. Same etiquette rules apply.

Heather, what are these rules you speak about?

According to Etiquette International, my favorite cocktail party rules are as follows:

Keep conversation clean, avoiding any sexual innuendos. Excessive flirting is not appropriate, especially at a business-related affair. Also, steer clear of taboo topics like dieting, health (yours or theirs), the cost of anything, malicious gossip (yes, you do know when it’s malicious), religion and politics.

Don’t fill your plate to overflowing. People seldom notice you going back for seconds at large cocktail functions; they will notice the mountainous heap on your plate. And, claiming it’s for the table sounds like an excuse, not the truth. A pertinent example comes to mind: while on a three-day promotional cruise several years ago, a businessman reached for a cookie on a large silver tray heaped with a generous assortment when a woman yelled to him not to touch; the cookies were all hers. The businessman remembered her months later when she tried to solicit his firm’s business.

Let’s pull both of these examples apart and discuss how they apply to your social media presence. Because right now, I can tell you’re pulling away thinking I’m a crazy person. My therapist says I’m not “crazy,” I’m “creative.” We’ll go with that.

Social media is like the damp towel in the corner that is super soft and fluffy but starts to smell and acquire bugs after a few days. How do you keep that towel soft and fluffy? By keeping it clean and taking care of it.

As an author, I have a brand to uphold. While I want to comment on everything I feel strongly about — politics, violent current events, race issues, women issues, how dumb Kanye is (no, really, I can’t help myself), I can’t post about everything. Nor should I. So what do I post about? 

1) Things that make me relatable – fun with friends, generalized family stories, hilarious stories, one-liners.
2) Subjects that relate to my books
3) Reviews on something I bought/read/listened to/saw
4) The weather
5) Playoff sports (come on, friends! I’m a Red Wings girl.)

For instance, in my story Hunting Witch Hazel, I have a gay couple who help at Billy’s Blues and BBQ. I’m a HUGE support of equal rights for all genders and sexual orientations. Therefore, I will sometimes share posts related to diversity. Because, quite frankly, if you don’t like me posting about equal rights, you won’t like my books. That’s part of my branding.

What I chose, with difficultly, not to post about are my opinions on things like $15 minimum wage and the upcoming election, for the most part (it’s an ongoing struggle). I discuss these topics offline with my trusted friends. Why? Because my social media sites are part of my business personality. If I won’t talk about it at work, I won’t talk about it on Facebook. (But sometimes I can’t help myself…)

That party I went to last weekend where the bachelorette got an extra spicy surprise? Not going on my twitter, sorry folks. Me in a bikini? BAHAHAHA. No one is seeing that. Anything I don’t want my bosses to see, I don’t put social media.

My latest movie review? That IS going on social media. So are fun life events and books I’m currently reading. Book club outings? Hell yeah. These draw readers in and make them feel like they know you.

What about health issues? This, I find, is a fine line to walk. I recently announced on my social media sites that book two in The Lynch Brothers Series, When It Raines, has been pushed to late fall due to health issues.

This was an important announcement to make so my readers know where we stand. I’ve heard so many complaints from readers about how an author they love disappeared! Readers are what keep writers published. Be upfront and honest, but respectful all at the same time. 

Things I NEVER talk about: 
– Anything personal about my boss/job
– Anything specific/confidential about my job
– Complaints about my day job 
– Personal attacks
– Financial information

It’s all about protecting your image while being yourself. One wrong post can ruin your career. Don’t believe me? Read about these unfortunate tweets! And who can forget Justine Sacco?

If you’re not sure if you should put it on social media, don’t. Once it’s on the internet, someone is bound to scoop it up when you least expect it…

Did you know August 27 is known for:

  • Global Forgiveness Day
  • Just Because Day


Oh yeah…I totally believe in global forgiveness…

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

Find me at:
Twitter: authorheathern
Facebook: authorheathernovak

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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Our Personal Hamster Wheel

We are going through a transformation at my day job. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that before but in case you’ve missed it, there you have it. The purpose of this transformation is to help us specialize further in helping our clients and on a broader scale, stay competitive with our clients.

Despite all the changes this year (in my day job and outside of it), I have to say that this year has been one of the best when it comes to progress and learning. I have had more “threats” to my little safe bubble of a world (we all live in some bubble to a degree whether we want to admit it or not) and yet for the first time in years I can feel myself growing in knowledge, understanding, maturity… I can keep going. Admittedly, all this learning hasn’t been fun, but I wanted change it.

So what does this all have to do with a hamster wheel? Seeing as I personally have grown this year, I can’t help but look back at the past couple years as years on a hamster’s wheel. I was working harder, not smarter. I was hitting walls but couldn’t necessarily see the right path in front of me. Simply put, I felt lost. And while I don’t claim to know all the answers now (certainly not!), I do feel like I have a few new paths to try, I can see where I’ve made mistakes (and noticed trends on them) and I’m confident I can move forward. Honestly, it feels really great.

What about you all? Ever been stuck in the hamster’s wheel? What did you do to get out of it?

Happy writing this week!

Posted in A writer's life, Toni Kelly | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Taming The Monster Box Set by Mandy Rosko

I am so excited for this I can hardly contain myself, and when I’m on the tail end of a cold, that might not look like a lot, but trust me that it is :D

This time last year I was in my very first box set Captured, and this year I will be in my third, Taming the Monster with 17 super awesome authors who were really nice to have me along when I asked to join the group :3 So, naturally, because I don’t have a very big organic reach, I have to post these cool pics wherever I can now that this baby is up for pre-order for 99 cents ;) Oh yeah, here’s the hashtag for anyone wanting to help out with this super cool project on Twitter: #TTMonster


There are 17 brand new stories in this box set, many by NYT and USAToday Bestsellers like Mandy Roth, Michelle Pillow, Carina Wilder, Christina Rayne and many more!!

See why I’m so excited?

Also, look at those claws! I love that image :) If you look carefully on the cover, you can see that the man the heroine is holding onto has a tentacle monster tattoo on his back, and it seems to be coming alive O.o The one I got up on my website‘s got the tentacle monster around the box set, and maybe I should’ve showed that one here, but so far the two images are switching between favorites. Here are the links if anyone wants to check out the set while it’s still on sale, or if you could just share the pages on your social media, that would be awesomesauce, too :D





Basically, until the release of this set on Oct 13, my posts will be all about how cool this box set is. For those of you following my Dangerous Creatures series and are impatient for the next installment, my story included is a novella set in that world.

Here’s the blurb:

Mina Swanson is a hunter, charged with defending the weak and helpless against the monsters of the world, but she and her partners will be on the lunch menu for a pack of wild werewolves if something doesn’t happen, like, right now!

Just as she’s being stuck over a bonfire to become barbecue, an old flame (the kind that won’t cook her alive) rushes to her rescue. Gabriel. The man she thought had been killed by werewolves. He’s back. He’s alive.

And he’s an alpha.

Gabriel Lyall lived through hell when he was changed. Forced to do things in order to survive that will haunt him forever, he thought Mina, the love of his life, would rather he had died than come back as the man he is now. He has no choice though, it’s either stop the wild pack and reveal himself, or leave her to die, and the second one isn’t even close to being an option.

Now she’s in his pack, and he needs to convince a couple of hunters that with the right guidance, werewolves can have control, that they can live peacefully away from the humans. She and her friends cannot leave until he’s satisfied they believe him, though he doesn’t want to let Mina go at all.

Here are the links once again for anyone interested in supporting this box set :) I’ll have to wait for permission, but I’ll see about getting blurbs to post every week until release :)







Posted in romance | 2 Comments

It’s A Downpour Paranormal-Scope

Life is about to downpour on all of us. Do you have an umbrella?

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:

Elves duck for cover under broad leaves. Time to make your home cozy to withstand any storm in comfort.

When there’s a downpour of opportunities, goblins evaluate the pros and cons. Do the same.

Dragons love a downpour. It’s time for great home cooking. Gazing out at the rain slows everything down, which is good for you.

Vampires find the rain soothes them and helps them forget the hurts of the past. Let the past wash away. It’s holding you down.

Mermaids float just below the surface to watch the pattern the rain leaves. Get a new perspective on things before making decisions that matter.

The Faery folk dance in the rain. Do you? Free your heart to adventure this week!

Shapeshifters carry umbrellas knowing that a downpour can be good, bad or just a cleansing. They prepare for trouble and are pleasantly surprised.

Downpours clean the dirt off of houses and cars. Isn’t that handy! Hobbits look at downpours as work savers.

Zombies don’t mind a downpour. To them it’s the same as a sunny day. Try to see things in a balanced context.

Werewolves don’t like even a drizzle. It’s time to shake all the negative off and focus on the positive.

A downpour of great things are coming your well. Werebunnies hold their umbrellas down to catch all the good luck.

Downpours and mummies don’t mix. Plan a vacation where it’s dry and warm.

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

Reviews: To Read or Not to Read?

reading woman

by Andrés Nieto Porras

Last week I asked the question, “Do you write reviews?” And it seemed to me that many authors don’t, in fact, write reviews, although readers seemed to want to share their thoughts on books somewhat more consistently.

This week I’m kind of asking the flip side: Do you read reviews?

I’m very interested in the answer to this one because it has different meanings for readers and writers.

As a reader I don’t usually read reviews. And if I do, I’m not usually swayed by them (for the same reason I expressed about not agreeing with critics last week, i.e. my evaluation of Jewel of the Nile vs. critics’ view). An intriguing blurb will get me to buy the book quicker than glowing reviews. The only exception is if a review or word of mouth comments that there are historical inaccuracies or if it’s generally poorly written. Then I steer clear because those things make me crazy as a reader.

As a writer I don’t usually read reviews of my works, not because I can’t take criticism—I’ve been directing plays for many years and have had my share of bad reviews—but because I don’t want to dwell on the negative ones. And that’s the same reaction I’ve found with several authors who’ve told me they don’t read their reviews. I could have six glowing reviews and one bad one and the bad one is going to be the one I think about constantly. I love the good reviews (I have read reviews in the past, you see) but when a bad one comes in, I can’t help asking myself, “What did I miss? What could I have done to make that reader love my book instead?”

And even though I know, with certainty, that 100% of readers are not going to like my books, I still obsess over why they didn’t.

So to keep from going crazy (again), I don’t usually read the reviews. I will look at ratings to keep an eye on how my books are doing, but I do steer away from the reviews.

For readers, however, I’m very interested to see how many of you use reviews to guide your purchases in romance. Do you read them all? Do you read some good, some bad? Do you not read them at all? And if you read them, do they sway you one way or another?

Inquiring authors really want to know!

Posted in Jenna Jaxon, Reviews | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Nearing the End of A Manuscript and The Story-in-Waiting

I’m working on the most important scene in the book. So many pieces come together here. BellaEverything hinges on a decision that the hero must make. It makes me shake and pace. I have paced a lot doing this one scene. I’ve written it and crossed it out and written it again. Finally it has arrived.  I am amazed, gratified, and a little sad. Not for the characters but because the book is ending.

It’s at this point, where I have to push harder. Get the words out and done. Finish and write “The End.”  89iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii55555555555555555rtttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

I left my seat for a moment, and my cat Bella decided to do some writing. She was right, of course. I’m so close to the end and I got distracted by an intriguing movie called “Miss Meadows.” It’s not your standard fare at all.  It’s a strange film starring Katie Holmes in a very unexpected character. Yesterday, my husband tried to distract me with a movie called “Zombeavers.” It’s dreadful. Truly don’t see it.

I think that distractions are one of the obstacles as you write the final pages. Since I’m writing a series, I’m not really going to miss my characters. I’ll see most of them again in the next book. When I was on a radio show, the host asked me if I could write a particular type of vampire. I considered that I probably could. I told him that if I dreamt of the character then there would be a book for him. So I have my challenge all ready waiting for me and tons of notes about the story-in-waiting.

What do I mean by the story-in-waiting? I’ve already dreamed most of it. My typing now has to play a catch-up game with my mind. I have maps of the place, a story line that is more like a list, the lists of characters in attendance, names and their meanings, and details about the place. So this next book waits patiently while I wrap up this one.

I’m back to writing. No matter how much you may not want the story to end, it calls you to finish. I guess every story must come to an end, so something more can happen.

Waves!  See you next week!

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

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Truckin’ by Stacy Hoff


I’m hauling around quite a load lately. Not a physical one—it’s nothing that can actually be loaded onto a truck. No, the way I would send this load won’t even require a full tank of gas. In fact, my delivery vehicle doesn’t have any wheels. It has buttons.

But it is one that still has to be delivered on time. Yes, that’s right, folks—I’m talking about my new manuscript.

It seems so easy to just hit “send.” If only I didn’t have to write the darn things in the first place. Geez, writing is a love/hate affair. Followed by a need to edit the heck out of them. And then agonizing endlessly about them.

It’s only after all this hard stuff is done that the “send” button can be hit. One tiny, little digital transmission—and yet these shipments manage to be the biggest deliveries of my life.

I keep writing every day in an attempt to hit “send” as often as I can. In fact, I have been on a streak of new releases lately. My second full length romance novel, LAWFULLY YOURS, came out on March 11, 2015. My short story, “Love Delights,” came out on May 6, 2015, in the romance box set SEASON OF LOVE. Next month (September, 2015) brings the release of my first dark romance, ART AND SEDUCTION in yet another anthology, HOT SEDUCTION, SIX SIZZLING TALES. And this is on top of all this, DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC, the sequel to  debut novel DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES, will be released this November.

Will I stop writing? Take a break? Claim exhaustion? Heck no! It looks like I’m in this for the long haul. Guess I’ll have to keep on truckin’.

What’s your delivery schedule look like?






Sol cover new

Find Stacy on Social Media: Twitter: Web:





Posted in A writer's life, romance, romance novels, Stacy Hoff, Writer's life, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments