Thursday, April 28, 2016

Romance Readers Want to Know Series: Author Penny Estelle

Romance Readers Want to Know Series
Every Thursday on the J.Q. Rose Blog

Welcome to the Romance Readers Want to Know series on the J.Q. Rose blog. Check in every Thursday to meet new authors and re-connect with favorite romance authors.

This week's guest is Penny Estelle, a prolific writer who enjoys penning tales for all ages from picture books through adult romances. Penny is ready to answer questions you may have about ALL of her books and her writing process. Leave a comment or question for Penny because you may be the lucky commenter to win an e-book of Jesse's Heartbreak! Drawing will be held after 9 pm EDST, Sunday, May 1.

Hello Penny!

Good morning, JQ! I want to thank you for allowing me to barge in on your blog today.
 
My readers often ask me where I get ideas for my stories.
Several years ago the hubby and I were watching the history channel and a documentary about Abilene, Kansas, and how it became one of the first railroad hubs to ship cattle to different parts of the country. It was so interesting and a TINY idea for a book settled into my brain using this information.

Well as it turned out, the next week my sister and I were driving my mom back to Iowa for her
high school reunion, so we stopped in Abilene – and I was hooked. This little city (actually the
whole state) is bursting with western history!

I have quite a few books under my belt, but The Jesse Series (all centered around Abilene) hold a
special spot in my heart. There are three stories – Jesse’s Find, Jesse’s Nightmare, and I just
released Jesse’s Heartbreak.

Below is just a taste of Book Three of The Jesse Series – Jesse’s Heartbreak!
Jesse's Heartbreak by P.A. Estelle
Sweet Christian Romance
Back of the Book: Jesse's Heartbreak by P.Q Estelle
Jesse and Ginny Mason’s world is shattered when Amanda Hill comes to Abilene, Kansas to try and take three-year old Sarah away from them.  Little Sarah’s father died before she was born and his family wants the girl to come to Pennsylvania and live with them, and they have the all the money and expertise they need to make that happen! 
The Hills can offer the little girl prominence and station in life, while all Jesse and Ginny have to give is their complete devotion.  Which will the Judge choose – money or love?
Jesse’s Heartbreak is a sweet Christian romance that will make you smile and shed a few tears!

Excerpt
“Mrs. Mason.”  Ginny turned to see Amanda Hill standing next to the wagon.  Ginny shot back around, face forward and back ramrod straight!  “Please hear me out for just a few minutes.”  Ginny still didn’t turn her way.  “If Judge Horn grants me custody,” Ginny sucked in her breath, “or even partial custody, do you want Sarah having to leave with a woman she doesn’t even know?  I’m a stranger to her.  She never knew her father, so even though I’m an aunt, that will mean nothing to her.  Only that a strange woman is taking her away.  If I come out for a few days we can at least get to know each other.  If he decides in your favor, I have at least gotten to know my niece for a few days.”
Ginny put her hands in her face and her shoulders shook with sobs. Jesse rounded the wagon, furious.  Amanda gasped and took a step back.  “You listen to me.  I don’t…”
“Jesse,” Ginny said, stopping him.  “She’s right in what she is saying. I can’t have Sarah being taken by some strange lady she has never met.  That would destroy me.”  Ginny wiped her eyes.  “We have a new bunkhouse and the men won’t be moving in for a month or so.  You can sleep there.”
Ginny watched as Jesse’s whole demeanor deflated.  He got back up on the wagon seat.  Ginny gave the woman one last look.  “You can come out in a few days.”
Jesse put his arm around Ginny as they started down the road.  Neither heard the whispered “I’m sorry” or saw the sympathy in her eyes.

About Penny:
I write for all ages, from the early reader to adults.  My books range from pictures books for the little ones, to fantasy, time-travel adventures for ages 9 to 13.
Author Penny Estelle
I also write adult stories, including a family drama and contemporary, paranormal and historical westerns romances, under P. A. Estelle.
I was a school secretary for 21 years.  My husband and I moved to our retirement home in Kingman, AZ, on very rural 54 acres, living on solar and wind only. 
More about my books can be found in the following links:


Thank you for stopping by to visit.



Monday, April 25, 2016

Learn How to Write by Reading Book Classics by J. Q Rose, This Week

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog!
Stack of books
I bet you're visiting today because you're a reader and/or a writer. I've been reading and writing since second grade. I still have a love affair with words. So powerful when words on the page transport you to a different world, allow you to fall in love with characters, or open your mind to information that makes you think or wonder about the possibilities.

Learn How to Write from Book Classics by J. Q Rose

Writers are readers. Not only for the enjoyment of reading a good story, but also for the opportunity to study the art of writing. Do you read the current books or do you read books popular in the past? In Mary Karr's book, The Art of Memoir, she suggests authors read "through history because it cultivates in a writer a standard of quality higher than the marketplace." 

Reading the older books with their unusual phrases of the time--think Shakespeare-can be more difficult but Mary maintains "the books are better because they've been culled over time."

She also points out the works of writers today who write in the current trends will not endure for future readers. If you're a writer and have the mindset to leave a legacy filled with stories that will last through the ages, you will be a better writer.

When I received a FB challenge to list my top ten books, I realized many were old standards/classics like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, Black Beauty, and Charlotte's Web. Time has treated them well. 
The Art of Memoir was a Christmas gift from my daughter.
Purchased at Bradley Exchange in Tampa.

How about your stories? Will they stand the test of time? What are some of your favorite books?

If you are a writer, memoirist or not, I recommend reading Karr's book. A lot of food for thought.
If you are interested in Mary Karr's, The Art of Memoir, click the book cover below.





This Week--
Romance Readers Want to Know
Every Thursday on the J.Q. Rose blog


Thursday, April 28--Penny Estelle joins in on the grilling--This multi-genre writer will be here to answer your questions about her writing. Please join us!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Romance Readers Want to Know Series: Multi-genre Author Sandra Cox, Giveaway

Romance Readers Want to Know Series
Every Thursday on the J.Q. Rose Blog
I'm b-a-a-ck and anxious to share multi-genre author Sandra Cox's questions from her readers. I met Sandra online and wanted to make her acquaintance because our families share a family name, Cox. Trying to figure out if her hubby could be related to my mom. I have my cousin who has traced the family tree working on it. 

Isn't the Internet fantastic for so many good things? Like the opportunity to introduce you to Sandra. Sandra has one of her Backlist Print Books to give away this week, so leave a comment or ask her a question about her writing process to enter the drawing. Drawing will take place on Sunday, April 24 after 9 pm EDST. 

Sandra has sent in short sweet answers to her readers questions.  Feel free to ask her more!
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My Most Frequently Asked Questions by Sandra Cox

1. Who is your favorite author?
Norah Roberts/J.D. Robb, closely followed by Lee Child, Suzanne Collins and Mae Clair.
2. Where do your ideas come from?
I leave that up to my muse. Whenever she whispers in my ear, I act on it.
3. Do you prefer paper or E?
I love paper and  digital. I'm an equal opportunity reader:)



Love, Lattes and Angel by Sandra Cox
YA Fantasy
Third Book in the Mutant Series


Some teens go to the Caribbean on spring break. Piper goes to save the world.

 Piper Dunn isn’t who you would call a normal teenager. For one thing, she doesn’t want anyone to know she was born with a blowhole. Even stranger, she has two love interests. Joel, a fellow dolphin-human hybrid, and Tyler, a human.

It’s hard to choose when a mad scientist is hot on Piper’s trail. Worse, she’s trapped in the Bermuda Triangle. And . . . wait for it . . . Angel, her test-tube daughter, is apparently a real-deal reincarnation. It all adds up to an impossible situation, with happy endings all but lost at sea. Unless, of course, a voodoo high priestess casts a spell or two . . .

About Sandra Cox:
Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband,
Author Sandra Cox
a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte, and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.

To find out more about Sandra and her books visit this link:


Please leave a comment or ask her a question to enter the drawing for Sandra's print book!

Thanks for stopping by.
Next week author Penny Estelle will be in the hot seat!





Sunday, April 10, 2016

Taking a Break

This snowbird is flying north!
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com by domdeen
Hello Readers.

Thanks for dropping in today. But as you see, I have flown the coop, so to speak. This snow bird is taking a break to fly back home for the summer. 

I'll be back online next week with romance author Sandra Cox as my guest on Romance Readers Want to Know on Thursday, April 21.




Thursday, April 7, 2016

Romance Readers Want to Know: Sweet Romance Author Joselyn Vaughn, Giveaway

Romance Readers Want to Know Series
On the J.Q. Rose blog every Thursday
Hello and welcome to the J. Q. Rose blog. Today my friend, critique partner, and talented sweet romance writer, Joselyn Vaughn is my guest author. I have the popcorn ready and the lemonade, so grab a bag and a glass and be ready to ask Joselyn questions. You may want to ask her about the Meddlesome Matchmakers series. Her writing will certainly elicit a giggle from you and, perhaps, a tear too. Thanks to Joselyn, a lucky commenter will win an e-copy of her witty and warm romance, Sucker for a Hot Rod. Deadline to enter is noon on Saturday, April 9.


Questions People Ask Me as a Writer by Joselyn Vaughn 

The question I am most often asked is “I’ve got a great idea for a book. How do I write it?” Sometimes it’s varied with ‘you should write it.’ Well. If you have a great idea for a book, no one else is going to make it happen like you can.

If you have a great idea, what can you do with it? There are as many ways to start writing a book as there are writers. There are probably actually more because no book writes in the same way.
Here are some things you can try:
  • Start writing. Get a paper and pen and see where your main character is, have them do something. Start asking yourself questions about the character is doing and why.
  • Create an outline. Make some notes about who your main character is, what they want, why they want it, and how they are going to go about getting it. Outline some pivotal scenes to develop the story.
  • Join a writers’ group. A good writers’ group can be a great way to bounce ideas around and develop them. Another brain can help you connect gaps in your story or build stronger motivation for your characters. Writers’ groups can be at your local coffee shop or library, or online.
  • Sometimes once the story gets rolling, it snowballs on its own. Other times, you need to step back and revisit one of these options.
What story has been knocking around in your head itching to get out?
# # #
Sucker for a Hot Rod by Joselyn Vaughn
Sweet Romance
Back of the Book:
Bryce Halloway only dates a woman once. No exceptions.
It gives him the reputation of a heart-breaker, but he can handle that as long as it keeps his mother, Dinah, from trying to marry him off. Judi Montgomery and her tempting ponytail finagle their way around official dates with car problems and driving lessons. She worms her way into his heart and entices him to want more from his life.
When health issues cause his father to retire, Bryce inherits the family-owned tractor repair shop. Can Judi’s love and encouragement give him the courage to break tradition and pursue his dreams of owning a custom hot rod shop?

Buy Links:
Amazon
iBooks

About Joselyn:
I am a stay at home mom who has walked on the dark side of potty training. When not traversing that valley of shadow, I write, run, and sew. Sometimes with successful results.
I love writing romance because I enjoy stories where everything works out all right in the end and the main characters have a happily ever after. My stories are set in small towns with quirky characters that take on a life of their own.



Thanks for stopping in. Feel free to ask Joselyn a question in the comment box. You could win her ebook!

Are you a sucker for a hot rod? If you could have any vehicle in the world, what would you choose? I bet you know my favorite.


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My Mustang!
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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Self-publish to KDP Select or All Markets? by J.Q Rose

Hello and welcome to the April meeting of 
the Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! The sun is shining, spring's around the corner, and we have the opportunity to get-together to discuss all things writerly. 
What a great time to be a writer.
Join us!
Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop
First Wednesday of every month.

What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month.  The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page
# # # 
Self-publish to KDP Select or All Markets? by J.Q Rose

Last Friday I revised and re-published my non-fiction e-book for girls, Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. The first
Girls Succeed! by J.Q. Rose
To inspire and empower girls.
version was published in 2012 when I was just learning about writing and publishing. Now that I have some books behind me both trad and self-pubbed, I'm even more insecure about marketing! 

You know how a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing? Well now that I've dipped not only my toe, but my whole torso into this book business, I know enough to see how many marketing possibilities there are out in the cyberworld AND realize how many books are available for readers to peruse. 

What are the best avenues to get a reader's eyes on a book? Recently I discovered, in a survey run by Smashwords' Mark Coker, a reader chooses books simply by browsing through the online and brick and mortar stores. Word-of-mouth is not the #1 choice. That surprised me.  

Girls Succeed! is at amazon and smashwords so it can be distributed to many booksellers, but with the advent of KDP Select, a huge promotion tool for amazon, I wonder if it is better to yank GS from Smashwords for a few months and try to market it through KDP.  I would appreciate you sharing your experiences or a friend's experience in using KDP Select.

Dream BIG!
The small business person in me fights the idea of amazon becoming a monopoly and squeezing out the other booksellers. But I must reveal that Girls Succeed!, while great for getting coupons to send to readers, has had few sales at Smashwords in the past four years. 

This book is a "heartwork." Maybe it's because I have two daughters and a granddaughter, but I feel the e-book is a wonderful way to inspire and empower girls to dream big. So I want to get it into the hands of readers, not for the money, but for the message.

Thank you in advance for any input you have to help me reduce my insecurity!
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Romance Readers Want to Know series
Every Thursday on the J.Q. Rose blog

Come back tomorrow when we put sweet romance author, Joselyn Vaughn,  in the hot seat to answer questions from readers on the Romance Readers Want to Know series at the J.Q Rose blog. Also a lucky commenter will win her witty and warm romance, Sucker for a Hot Rod.




Monday, April 4, 2016

The Positive Side of Publishing E-books, Tiny Tidbits on Writing and Living,This Week

Girl reading an e-book
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com by patrisyu
The new technology never ceases to amaze me. I seem to adapt to it well. For instance reading e-books on my Kindle reader has become a part of my daily life.

According to guru Jim Edwards, amazon has the lion's share, 75%, of the sales of e-books in the world market. Every day more and more fiction and non-fiction is loaded into this powerful bookseller.

The e-book was a curiosity when I first self-pubbed my non-fiction e-book for girls in 2012. In fact, I was a bit ahead of the game in 2011 when I included links to the websites of the amazing women I interviewed and to sites about their careers. I didn't realize the technology for making them active links in e-books hadn't been developed yet. In order to visit the website, the reader would have to type it into the browser. I was thrilled when the technology was later developed so I could add hyperlinks to the pages to enrich the reader's experience.

Talk about the Positive Side of Publishing E-books! Being able to change the book and re-publish a better version is the biggest advantage for the publisher. I've done a third version of Girls Succeed! and just released it on Friday. This version has a completely different book cover that illustrates the energy and enthusiasm exuded by 9-14 year old girls, the target audience (and their moms).

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Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women
To inspire and empower girls
I also added new hyperlinks and deleted broken ones. Gurus are suggesting adding videos to ebooks. I loved the idea of a welcoming video at the front of the book, so I added this one to introduce the women interviewed in the book. Okay, the music is pretty spunky, but remember my target audience!!!



In  addition to all these changes, I included a Reader's Guide at the end of the book making it an excellent resource for the home school curriculum and classrooms. 

These "extras" would not be available in a print book. Now you see why I am so positive about e-publishing.

Revising your word doc and uploading it again to the KDP book page is simple. After I uploaded my new doc, the new version was live on amazon within eight hours. Be patient for the new book cover to appear. It took about two days to replace the old cover. While you're at it, take the time to check your copy for the description. Maybe you can improve it to increase the interest in the book. And re-think your price for the book. All these are simple changes--just remember to tick the box to the publishing agreement again and hit PUBLISH!

Have you self-pubbed an e-book? Have you revised and re-published it again with the changes? What was your experience?
# # #
Tidy Tidbits on Writing and Living
  • Thank you to Shelley Hitz for this tip--An easy way to create the link for your book on amazon is to use this formula http://amazon.com/dp/ASIN number Here's what the link to Girls Succeed looks like 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009NY6ZASTry it for your books.
  • A simple way to kick up the flavor of ham and bean soup is to add ketchup to the pot.
  • Use dryer sheets to wash windows and polish the car.
This Week:

Wednesday, April 6--Join in The Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. Visit  100's of writers' blogs for inspiration, fun and wise advice.

Romamce Readers Want to Know
Every Thursday on the J.Q. Rose blog

Thursday, April 7--Sweet romance author Joselyn Vaughn answers reader's questions. Come back and ask her about her writing process.