Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Writers Groups A.K.A. Critique Groups Points to Ponder, New Release

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog!

I'm doin' a happy dance today with my friend and critique partner, author Tess Grant. Books We Love just re-released her YA novel, Hunter's Moon, first book in the Full Moon Book Trilogy. AND you can purchase it at amazon TODAY for 99 cents. Grab it now.

Hunter's Moon by Tess Grant
17-year-old Kitty Irish is going werewolf hunting. Disaster is only a bite away.
Available today for 99 cents at Amazon

Tess and I are in a writer's group along with two other published authors, WS Gager and Joselyn Vaughn. When we began meeting about six years ago, none of us were published. But with the encouragement and the "fresh eyes" of each member, we felt brave enough to submit the stories we dreamed up. 

Join the group!

Writers--Don't be put off by calling it a "critique group." Critique sounds too much like criticism and that has a scary connotation. A good critique will not criticize in a mean-spirited way. The critique will find the good points in a submission and help to strengthen areas that may need some help. Always remember the suggestions made by the group are only suggestions. You can take away what you feel will add to your story and throw out anything that doesn't feel right.

Are you thinking of joining or starting a group? Here are a few tips to consider about writer/critique groups. 
  • First and most important is for YOU to submit your best piece of writing. Don't scribble out something and never critique it yourself before having someone else look at it. Edit and revise it thoroughly before any other eyes fall on the page. You may advise the group if it is the first draft or the finished piece before they read it.
  • The number of members in the group will determine the length of the meeting. Keep the group to a reasonable size so that each member will have a chance to share the writing at the meeting and have time to receive feedback on his/her piece. 
  • Remember the reason for the meeting is to critique stories. Of course, it's fun to socialize, but don't forget the focus is on writing.
  • Let the group know what kind of critique you are looking for--simple proofreading, the arc of the story, if more or less scenes are needed, if the piece could be used in a certain magazine or genre, etc.
  • Each member should give feedback on the piece individually. (Sometimes by the time it is your turn to offer your input, every point may have already been discussed and that's okay.)
  • If you are receiving the suggestions, do not defend/argue what you did unless the person critiquing your story asks for clarification of your intent or wants you to explain something. 
  • Always begin with encouraging words for the writer. 
  • Gently offer suggestions on how to improve the writing. Never point out a paragraph or idea you don't like without offering some ways to make it clearer writing or more active storytelling, etc.
  • Writer's groups can help you become a better writer both by having your writing critiqued by members and also by critiquing member's submissions.
  • Other writerly topics are important too e.g. help with publishing, marketing and technology. 
  • Groups can plan writing retreats, book-signing events, presentations to their communities, and promotions e.g. blogging together or blog hops and online Facebook events.
 If you haven't joined a group or found a writing partner, I encourage you to do so. A good group can be inspiring, encouraging, and a great way to keep you accountable on your writing projects.

Do you have any more points to add about writing groups? Do you attend a critique group? Please share your answers in the comment area below.

Thank you!

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Week, FREE e-Book by J.Q. Rose, Mystery Thriller Week

Valentine's Day is a reminder for us to remember all those folks we love. 
Hug someone you love this week and tell them you love them!! 
Have a great Valentine's Week!!
💓 💓💓💓💓
My publisher, Books We Love, and I are spreading love this week to our readers by offering a FREE e-copy of Dangerous Sanctuary. Yes, FREE!! February 13 and 14, 18, 19, and 20!!!

Dangerous Sanctuary, romantic suspense, by J.Q. Rose
FREE February 13, 14, 18,19, 20
💓 💓💓💓💓 5 Star Review--Murder and Romance
So, who committed the murder? No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t guess who he or she was. A florist, an orphan, a cat that needs a new home, an intelligent pot-bellied pig, a blind wallaby and a homeless man added amusement, interest and suspicion to the story. I liked all the characters in the close-knit congregation until I found out ‘who done it’.
I enjoyed this well-written, enjoyable detective story, and look forward to reading more of Rose’s novels.Review by Rosemary Morris

Mystery Thriller Week
February 12-22, 2017
ATTENTION Mystery Lovers, this week is not only Valentine's Week. Mystery Thriller Week is in full swing. Now through February 22 you can win books, prizes, and enjoy meeting new and favorite authors during guest interviews. 
Click here for the Mystery Thriller Calendar of Events.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Someone Hacked My Facebook Page, Now What Do I Do?, 99 cent Ebook, Mystery Thriller Week

Has your Facebook page been hacked?
This wasn't fiction! My Facebook account had been hacked! My blood ran cold. Chills coursed through my body. What did the hacker get? Why would he pick me? Friends upon friends warned me my account was hacked. How thoughtful of them, but the only advice I received on how to stop it was to change my password.

Have you had this experience? I found help on the Facebook Community Help page from Peter Lawrence on what to do to prevent this from happening again. 

What is it?
Your account isn't hacked, it's a trick known as account cloning.
Someone creates a copy of your account by using your name and photos which they copied from your account. They block you so you can't see them or report them. Then they start sending friend requests to your friends.

Why does anyone do such a mean thing?
The people doing this are scammers. Once your friends accept the requests, thinking it's you, the scammer will try to con them out of money using your identity to gain their trust.

What do I do?
Post on your timeline that you have been "hacked", actually cloned. Tell your friends not to friend you. Post this several times during the day and over the next few days. You may want to message friends in case they miss the post or your post doesn't show on their timeline. 

Check to make sure your friends list is set to private, not public. If possible, set photos to private too.

The advice did not say to change your password since the scammer is not really "into" your account. But I think frequent password changes on all types of sites help to make it more difficult for the bad guys to break into your data. 
Store passwords in a safe place, a vault
I hate to keep track of all those passwords, so I use Last Pass. You only have to remember one password to get into your "vault" to find the passwords stored there. Yes, I know. I wonder if a scammer can figure out my master password to get in or a hacker could break into the Last Pass site. But you know, you can't spin your wheels about what may happen. If you research Last Pass, they have a great record of keeping information safe. There are other sites too. If you would like to recommend  a site for storing passwords, please leave the name in the comments below. Last Pass is a free service and they offer a premium service too.

Password Protection
I love this analogy in PCMag--"Passwords are like underwear. You should change them often (okay, maybe not every day). Don't share them. Don't leave them out for others to see (no sticky notes!). Oh, and they should be sexy. Wait, sorry, I mean they should be mysterious. In other words, make your password a total mystery to others."

This article has other reminders about passwords too like don't use common words, especially NOT "password" for your password, no birthdays or anniversaries dates in the password, no pet names, kids names, etc. Nothing related to your life. Get creative and make up something that's way out there. Even spell the word backwards!! 

Check out the article at PCMag for more help with protecting passwords.
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Spreading some love....

February is the month of love, so my publisher, Books We Love, is spreading love this month by offering my romantic suspense e-book, Dangerous Sanctuary, for only 99 cents! The discounted price starts this Sunday, February 12 and continues through Saturday, February 18. Schedule a reminder on your calendar.
Books We Love Author J.Q. Rose
If you have read Dangerous Sanctuary, can you please take a minute to leave a review on my amazon page? Reviews really create more "buzz" on amazon and allow readers to find the book. Thank you!

I'm looking forward to Mystery Thriller Week February 12-22. Lots of prizes, great mysteries, and interviews with authors all over cyberspace. I hope you'l join in on the fun.
Mystery Thriller Week
February 12-22, 2017

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG Blog Hop: My Reading Experience, the KDP Countdown Promotion for Girls Succeed!

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog. 
Today is the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! 

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.
IWSG Question for the Month

How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?
Yes, I've noticed a few things have changed in my reading experience because I am an author.

1. Reading a book a few nights ago, instead of concentrating on the story, I caught myself checking to see if the author was head-hopping (changing Point of View).  Only a writer would even think about that. I never really noticed POV as a reader. And to be honest, when I first wrote fiction, I had a very difficult time discerning if I could be guilty of writing a story with changing POV's. Sometimes just a simple word changes the POV. Now that tiny word slip jumps out at me! 

2. I notice book covers more now too. I never studied what artistic elements made the book cover attractive to me. But now I usually study them and figure what catches the eye, the font used, the placement of the font on the cover, the colors...Oh my, it goes on and on.

3. I never checked the publisher on the book I was reading until I wrote my own books. I don't care if my reading choices are published traditionally (the major New York publishers or not) or independently. Just curiosity I guess. I don't think readers really care who the publisher is.

4. I choose books by authors I have met online through groups and authors in my publisher groups. 

With that said, I still enjoy reading whether fiction or non-fiction. That has not changed at all.

Kindle e-book
Do you prefer print or e-books?

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Girls Succeed! by J.Q. Rose
To inspire and empower girls

Trying Out the KDP Countdown Promotion 
This Weekend

I'm insecure today about scheduling the KDP Countdown Promotion for my non-fiction book for girls, Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. I start the countdown of the regularly priced book for $3.99 on Friday, Feb. 3 for 99 cents, Saturday. $1.99, Sunday $2.99, and finally on Monday $3.99. 

Have you tried this promo? If so, did you find weekend sales are better than mid-week? Do you think you need more than one day to offer the book at the reduced prices? Any words of wisdom you have to offer after trying this out? Thanks!!

Thank you for stopping by today. Be sure to come back every Wednesday for blog posts, guest interviews, giveaways, and more on the J. Q. Rose blog. Sign up to follow by leaving your email address in the Follow by Email at the top of the page. Thanks.
Hop on over to discover links to the participating bloggers at Alex's IWSG page

Connect online with J.Q. Rose