Friday, July 21, 2017

Christmas in July Sale & Giveaway

Make your summer magical
with books!

There's nothing like sitting in the shade with a good book. Fantasy Book Giveaways is hosting a big romance sale and giveaway. All books are 99 cents or free. It's Christmas in July!

As if that isn't awesome on its own, you can enter for a chance to win a prize pack of over twenty fabulous books! Just click on the image above.

For the next week, you can get my paranormal romance book, The 13th Floor Complete Collection for only 99 cents. (That's 80% off!) The first novella in the series, The Marquis, is always free. And once you're hooked, you can get the entire series in one ebook.

Buy the book: Amazon *B&N * Kobo * Smashwords

Fill your ereader like you're stuffing a stocking!

Monday, July 17, 2017

#IWSG Guide To Writing For Profit Still Open For Submissions

The IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit 
This will be a non-fiction book like our Guide to Publishing and Beyond. 
What to write: Share experiences about making a profit as an author, what it takes to become a successful writer, the many skills a writer needs to learn other than writing, share the experience going from hobby writer to published author (without making it a self-promotion piece), the fallacies behind writing for profit, the little known facts learned along the way, what you wished you knew when you first started writing, or marketing tips based on experience of what has worked and what hasn't.

If you gave any questions, email us at admin AT 
Word limit: 500-1000 words.
Submission eligibility: All members of the IWSG Blog Hop, IWSG Facebook group and/or members of our IWSG Goodreads Book Club. It's free to join any of these groups and a great benefit to be a part of these communities.

Deadline: July 31, 2017

Send your piece to admin AT as an attached Word document and note which IWSG group you belong to. Please include your name, a one line bio, and one website link.

***The BEST 100 articles will be included in the book!***
And don't forget the Twitter Pitch Party on July 27th!
Click on the image below for more info.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Word Witch Wednesday - endings

Finding a book with a fantastic ending is difficult. Most of the time, I know what to expect. The hero will triumph, hope and light will pull them through, and romance will deliver a happily ever after/happy for now. Hopefully it ties up all loose ends and circles around to link with the beginning. Knowing how stories will end doesn't stop me from reading them, but I do get frustrated when I come across horribly done endings and love it when I discover a marvelous ending.

No writer is flawless. Even some of my idols like Stephen King have books with endings I dislike. I won't name any off as not to give spoilers, but even certain classics have bad endings.

Endings are difficult. I know many writers that spend a lot of time on beginnings, and those are important too. Yet so many just give the expected ending without any twist or flair. I try to add in exciting twists, and there have been a few times I've created such a great villain, I don't see how the heroes can defeat her. Then it's back to rewrites.

I recently finished the final book in my Totem series. I worried a lot because, as a pantser, I had no idea how it would happen. When I finally wrote it, I sat back in my chair and stared at the screen in awe. Yes, this is one of those amazing endings. Circular, emotional, thrilling, and elegant. (I might be a bit biased. We'll see what my readers think once it's released.)

Stories and characters stay with me. Few endings have ever wowed me. One that stands out in my head is the spectacular climax of the fantasy series, The Troy Game by Sara Douglass. It came together in such a tension-filled, complex, and beautiful way.

What are your favorite endings from books? What are some of your most frustrating ones?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Shadows Fall (Totem #7) and Descending Moon (Totem #8) coming soon!

The end of the series is near! I'm so excited the complete Totem series will soon be available.

Sometimes it isn't what lurks in the shadows we must fear, but the shadows themselves.
Ametta Dorn is hosting her first family Thanksgiving feast. Everything must be flawless from the appetizers to the desserts. But the totem quest weighs heavily on her and her family. If she can’t even fold a perfect crane napkin, then how can she help her family find the next token?

That totem is closer than any of them realize. The Shadowmen have opened a door to their world, and they’ve targeted Ametta as the weak link in her family. She will show everyone she's just as capable as they are. Except her daring might be the very thing that loses not only the raven totem but also her life.

Release date: July 25th, 2017

Some say the moon is for lovers, but wise folks know to fear it.

Kinley Dorn must be strong for her family in these dark times. Sometimes she feels she's all that's holding them together. But when the frightening Moon Man attacks and bestows a burdensome gift upon her, Kinley might have to do more than simply help her family. She will have to battle a god but which one? If it's the sly man hunting her in the astral plane Kinley might not make it out alive.

Release date: August 8th, 2017

The final book has been written, and I'm eagerly waiting to hear back from my CPs about it. I have a tentative release date for it, but I'm not going to set anything for certain until I have it done exactly as I want it. I'm aiming for the end of August, though!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

#IWSG for July 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan!

The July IWSG Question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

I've always been writing. So I can't say there's a starting point for that. Yet I haven't always been seeking publication. That I seriously started pursuing over ten years ago.

The most valuable lesson I've learned is to not be afraid to ask for help. I had been determined it was a journey which I would do everything alone. I was stubborn about it. I thought I was doing all the right research, but it wasn't enough. How lost I would have been without all the amazing people I met along the way.

I was stubborn, hesitant, and shy. What if people thought I was an idiot? What if no one offers to help? What if people do offer to help?

Learning that it was okay to ask for help was a big hurdle for me to overcome. And now I wonder why I held back!

I have awesome critique partners and beta readers, a tough and wise local critique group, a terrific promo group that shares info and support, a wonderful blogging community, and the fabulous members of the IWSG. All these people help me so much. I would not have made it this far without them.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Taming A Jackaroo Tour - excerpt

Title: Taming a Jackaroo
Genre: Aussie Cowboy Romance
Release Date: June 10, 2017
Cover Designer: Claire Smith

 Add to TBR


City girl and serial non-dater, Affrica Clarke travels to Boulia, Australia, to investigate the environmental impacts of the local mining company. Unless she proves herself and wins that promotion, she’ll lose so much more than a pay rise. Yet everything goes wrong the moment she lands in the outback. With no research equipment, only skimpy clothes packed by her best friend to help her score a date, and a tight deadline to submit her report, she’s screwed. So when a sexy cowboy offers to play chauffeur, she’s all over it. But she’s there to shut down the mining activities, not fawn over the guy who’s supporting them, no matter how sizzling the attraction between them.

Billionaire jackaroo, Sam Preston tempts fate as an adrenaline junkie, living each day as if it were his last. Angry and wounded, he’s in town to sell his cattle ranch to the local mining company and be done with his past—until he meets hapless city-chick Affrica, who has no clue about surviving in the desert. Sam doesn’t know how to stop being a daredevil even though Affrica reminds him of the happiness he once had.

Can Sam let go of the past before he loses the one person who's finally breathed new life into him, or is it not possible to truly tame a jackaroo?

Affrica lounged on a wooden bench in the mechanic’s garage, fanning herself with the map and batting away flies. Sweat dripped at her nape, and each inhale of burning air stung her nostrils. Everything smelled stale.

Brian approached and handed her a can of fly repellent. “The buggers here have teeth.” He chuckled.

“Thanks.” After spraying herself, she reconsidered her decision to accept a ride in Sam’s car. 
Yesterday, he’d turned her down when she’d pleaded to inspect the well on his property, and now he acted sheepishly, offering her a ride. Maybe she could use the situation in her favour? A grin spread her lips. Oh geez, I sound more like Meebe every day.

She shifted in her seat and her cheeks warmed. Maybe a little bit of humiliation wouldn’t kill her if it meant getting the promotion she needed so desperately.

Sam might be a hunk, but that didn’t make him safe. She remembered Trevor saying that Sam hadn’t been around for the past year. Where had he gone? What guy left his cattle station for such a long time? Probably more interested in spending his fortune than leaving it for his kids. The complete opposite of the kind of guy she imagined herself settling down with one day.

Fine dust particles outside the mechanic’s carport blew inside, whipping around her legs. Old oil containers, tires, a car seat, and half an engine littered the room. It resembled a typical garage, grease and thick layers of grime coating every object. She wouldn’t be surprised if the back of her white shorts turned black.

A faint clip-clop sounded in the distance, and she stared at the road where waves of heat distorted the houses. She imagined the simple lives of the residents of Boulia. Few people, and no traffic or pollution, if you excluded Brian’s garage. However, simplicity came at the cost of scorching heat, few job prospects, and no gourmet corner coffee shops. What she wouldn’t give for an iced caramel latte right now.

She checked her phone for the hundredth time. No message from the courier about her equipment.

Something snorted nearby and she jolted. At the garage opening stood a large chestnut horse. Sam sat atop the animal, and they were both backlit by the daylight. He dipped the front of his hat with his hand, wearing a confident grin. “At your service, miss.”

Amazon US: 

Sidney Valentine is an Aussie girl who loves everything about traveling. She lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and spends her time exploring the wild outdoors. But she always carries with her a writing pad in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. While she works in marketing during the day, she never stops writing her romance stories set in Australia as a way to rejuvenate from the bustle of the real world. She is often found at local coffee shops with her laptop, writing about people falling in love.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

An interview with me over at WildMind Creative

(Image from Pixabay)

This is what I hope to be doing for the rest of June.

But today I'm pleased to be hosted by WildMind Creative. They're a wonderful new resource for authors. Pop on over and learn a little more about me. I offer a little advice and try to be somewhat professional!