Thursday, February 23, 2017 | By: Cafe

Working a Writing Plan by Boone Brux

The Write Way Café welcomes Boone Brux, who discusses working smarter, not harder.

Word count might be the most common phrase used by writers. Word count defines our workday, our release schedule, and let’s face it, our mood at times. If you write by the seat of your pants, or don’t stick to a plan, you may have muttered these words, “If I write _____(fill in the blank) words every day for the next week I’ll make my deadline.” Or the dreaded, “Okay, now I have to write _____ words a day to make my deadline.” And when you don’t hit that mark, you start to panic. “Okay, seriously, I have got to write twice as many as yesterday so I can hit my deadline.”

That was how I used to write until I burned out and realized I needed to work smarter, not harder, which was easier said than done. It took time, but I came up with a couple of key practices for over-estimating, under-performing writers like me.

The first step is changing your mindset. Unless you are a crazy fast writer, or have the luxury of writing all day, you’ll need to switch your thinking from block writing to continuous writing. Block writing is writing only when you have a book due or an approaching deadline. A lot of times it’s frantic. All life around you stops, laundry goes unwashed, family and friends are ignored, and personal hygiene becomes sporadic. Once the book is finished, you collapse on the couch for a couple of days, binge watching eleven seasons of Supernatural.

Continuous writing means you hit a specific word count almost every day. I try for two thousand. If it’s more, great, if it’s less, I don’t sweat it. Missing one day doesn’t derail my writing and is easily made up over time. I am able to knock out my words in the morning and have the rest of the day to live life. It sounds easy, right?

Well, if you’ve been a block writer this might be more difficult than you think. First, since you’re used to a do or die writing style, stopping once you reach your daily word count might seem counterintuitive. You might be tempted to continue writing, but it’s important to set a habit that will build on itself and gives you freedom.

Look at it this way, you can write 2,000 words a day for 200 days out of the year, and end up with 400,000 words. That’s four full-length novels, or three full-length novels and three to five novellas. That’s a book release every three months or more, with time to spare for marketing and having a life.

The second thing to realize is that in the beginning, you’ll need a few months to get this practice running effectively. Not only will you need the allotted time to finish the book, you’ll need lead time for edits, covers, marketing, and planning your releases. The idea is to avoid panic mode, so be sure to factor that into your initial planning stage, and accept that you might need anywhere from six months to a year, depending on what your daily word count is.

Here are a few ideas to bring a workable writing plan to fruition.

1.  Set a realistic word count. What is your life like, hectic, lots of free-time? Plan accordingly.

2.  How many books a year do you want to publish? Is one or two good, or are you going big with one a month? Consider book bundles as a release option. Combining a series can give you a release without much effort or the need for new content.

3.  Where and when will you write? Set this as a habit. You know yourself best. What do you need to get the words done? Make your word count a priority. There will be days when you won’t be able to write, but there will be days when you might have to say no to a lunch date or reschedule.

4.  Keep an In Production notebook. These are upcoming projects you haven’t written, but are in the queue. Jot down ideas so when the time comes to write the story, it has already had time to percolate. Also, start a general plot during this phase. Having a basic outline of the story will allow it to form organically.

5.  Start a marketing notebook. When the time comes to market your book, where will you place it? How much time and money will you need? Take ten minutes a day to jot down ideas. Decide when you’ll need to line up your promotion, and then stick it on your calendar.

6.  Which brings me to the last thing. Get a planner or calendar. I use a two-year planner that only has months. It allows me to pencil in my book releases, marketing, holidays, or events that will disrupt my writing. I can see months ahead and plan for any pitfalls. I can also see if I’m overscheduling my life and adjust accordingly.

Being a writer is a journey. I will never finish all the books I want to write, and I doubt if I’ll wake up one day and say, “Okay, I’m done.” I hope to be writing for decades to come. Having a balanced life and continuous productivity is key to success for the overstressed author.

About Boone:  Boone's stories range from high fantasy to humorous paranormal.
     Having lived all over the world, and finally settling in the icy region of Alaska, she's always looking for the next adventure. It's not unusual to find Boone traversing the remotest parts of the Alaskan bush, gathering information for her stories. No person or escapade is off limits when it comes to weaving real life experiences into her books or blogs.
     Join Boone's V.I.P. Club and be first to hear about new releases, events, free read, contests and giveaways, and so much more. Sign up for her newsletter and stay informed.

Website      Facebook Page      Pinterest      Twitter     Instagram

Once I was an angel, which I loved. Now I’m a demon, which I hate. And might I add that my fall was totally not my fault despite what those heavenly douchebags believe. Anyway, I’m stuck with this gig, working for one of the head demons of Hell. And to be frank, I’m rather good at tempting souls and avoiding the boss man. That is until Camuel, my former angelic partner, arrives on the scene. All I want is to tempt my mark to the dark side, and then enjoy a nice glass of wine and a good book. Unfortunately, tall, blond, and feathery has other things in mind.

After radio silence for a couple thousand years, BAM, there she is, my old partner Mara. I thought I was over the anger of her joining Lucifer’s entourage, but clearly, I’m not. And damned if she isn’t smack dab in the middle of trouble, messing with the soul I’ve been assigned to save. Things are about to get ugly, because there’s no way I’m letting my client be swayed by a minion of Hell. And no doubt I’ll do something stupid like try to save Mara’s soul. I just hope I can do it without losing my own.

Buy Links:
Amazon        Barnes & Noble        KOBO       iTunes

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 | By: Cafe

You're Most Alive When? by @lcrandallwriter

What makes you feel alive? The answer to that is probably different for different people. It can be simple, as I suspect it is for two of my sons as they sail down a snowy mountain on their boards.
But it also can be complex, because humans are complex and carry around old patterns that dictate how we live our lives.

I have often said that I like to put my characters in danger, push them to an edge and see how they manage to not only survive but thrive. I do not want to go through what my characters do. I feel alive when I take a sip of my morning coffee. I do not want to stand toe to toe with a killer or mob boss. But the heroine in my first Crimson Romance title, Dancing with Detective Danger, does. 

Heroine Sterling Aegar is not afraid of danger; in fact, she loves the thrill of it. Working as a private investigator with her sister Lacey, she can hold her own. When a gun is pointed at her, she breaths in more air and her heart pumps hard. The thrill is what lets her know she’s alive. The more peril, the better.

But she mistakes numbness for fearlessness. Too many deaths and losses early in life have convinced her that everyone leaves. Instead of accepting the risk of loving Detective Ben Kirby, her former lover, she has put him and any possibility of true love safely behind her emotional walls.

However, numbness of the spirit does not allow spontaneous, joy-producing living. Sterling has to confront old wounds and learn that “alive” changes when healing takes place. And at that point she can make genuine decisions, not follow patterns she believes keep her safe.

Sterling’s journey of facing inner conflict is a common aspect of living people face or ignore. But on a more lighthearted level, we can all finish the statement, You know you’re alive when… For myself, I feel most alive when I see a pattern for what it is and make a choice. It’s a rush I enjoy. But I also enjoy the rush of diving into the brisk waters of Lake Michigan. I know I’m alive when I slice through the water and every sense is touched. I know I’m alive when I watch kindness between people and can pause and admire it fullheartedly. (Yes, I made up that word.) I know I’m alive when I feel the wind and sun on my skin as I ride my bike. I could go on and on but I’d rather learn how you would finish the sentence.

You know you’re alive when…

Dancing with Detective Danger is on sale on Amazon for the month of February for $1.99

Friday, February 17, 2017 | By: Cafe
A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.
- William Styron
Thursday, February 16, 2017 | By: Cafe

Courage by Ane Ryan Walker

The Write Way Café welcomes Ane Ryan Walker, who knows first-hand about ghostly encounters.

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”

― Theodore Roosevelt
So I am beginning to ask myself if Indie publishing is a better thing. I am not sure.

I have been writing for a long time. I do have a distinctive voice, and I read across many genres. Fortunately, both of my parents were avid readers and I could read long before I went to school. This kind of thing can really turn you off to education, but I was fortunate, that is not what happened to me.

My Dad used to let me read the newspapers with him, every day. Moreover, I still have an order for reading the newspaper: Horoscope first, comics second, and then the news. My Dad used to tell me, it is a good thing to have a positive outlook, (horoscope first) try to never lose your sense of humor, (comics second) and finally yet importantly, be informed (news).

This might not seem like great advice to give a four year old who is not yet in school, but it was not only great advice, but it served me well most of my adult life. I still read every day, and still read the newspaper in that order.

People often ask me what influences my stories. Those folks who know me well understand I grew up in a large family, in an old Victorian house with an odd reputation. People in my hometown believed it was haunted.

Truth be told, it was.

When my family acquired the house, I was given the back bedroom on the second floor. The house still had gaslights in each room although these lights had not been in use for many years. You see, the house sat vacant for a number of years and that is probably why people believed it to be haunted.

I did not think much about it at the time, until one night I woke up to the sound of someone opening the door to my room. There was a full moon, and the light streaming in my window allowed the average person to read a newspaper. I knew this because I read every night. Moreover, earlier I used the moonlight to exceed my reading time.

So the knob rattled and turned and a man, youngish—about in his early thirties, stuck his head in the door and surveyed the room. He moved into the room from the hall, and took off his jacket, which he hung in the closet. He closed the closet door, walked past my bed to the window opposite me, and opened it wide. He then climbed out the window and was gone.

The first night I screamed bloody murder, but my mother did not believe me. She said I was dreaming. This happened often over the next few months and finally, I started to pay more attention to the ghostly images.

You see, the room would change with the nightly apparition. Once the visitor finished his trip across my room, things returned to normal. One night my best friend spent the night and she witnessed what I’d been seeing for several months. Only this time, when the room returned to “normal” the window remained open. I also had a witness.

Keep in mind, as a young girl, I was not likely to share a story my parents told me would make me seem crazy to my friends. But, now . . . my best friend knew exactly what was happening.

Those early encounters, better explained by my Irish grandfather, became more of an adventure that a frightening encounters. They happened on and off through the years of adolescence. None was truly frightening or hostile, but when people do not believe you or make you think you are crazy. Well, that is just wrong.

Highly likely you will encounter ghosts in many of my stories. I know how ghosts can catch you off guard, and sometimes frighten you when they only mean to help. Look for ghosts in my next book, The Covenant, about a white witch fresh from college with a brand-new MBA who returns home to revive the family business and learns secrets that may destroy her future.

Better yet, read the two free short stories on my website,  Sign up for the newsletter for notice of new releases and free short stories.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: I Love You More by Josie Riviera

Josie Riviera

A billionaire and a single mother have more in common than they know.
He’s a billionaire businessman …

Luciano Donati, entrepreneur and eligible bachelor, lost his first wife to cancer. So though he lives in romantic Charleston, SC, he has every intention of ignoring the upcoming holiday for lovers … at least until he sets eyes again on his younger sister’s best friend.

He remembers Anastasia as a teenager who idolized him, not this lovely, fragile woman with heartbreak in her eyes. Heartbreak that he finds himself wanting to cure. Her smile warms his soul, her touch ignites his desire, and her little girl Soo-Min melts his frozen heart. Adopted internationally himself at a young age, Luciano understands all too well the strong need to belong somewhere.

She’s a single mom …

Anastasia Markow, cancer survivor and divorced mother, didn’t come to Charleston, SC, for romance. She's here to make sure she has custody of her adopted daughter, Soo-Min. But when she encounters the first man she ever loved, here in the city of horse-drawn carriages and candlelight, her battered heart can’t help but bloom again. And when Luciano and Soo-Min take to each other, resisting his charm becomes even harder.

Handsome, self-assured, every inch the successful billionaire, Luciano is out of Anastasia's reach. But when a hurricane strands them together and they must trust each other to survive … things heat up despite the driving rain and gale winds.

Can Valentine’s Day bring this unlikely pair together … this time for good?


Author's Note: Thousands of families around the world have opened their homes and hearts through international adoption. Soo-Min is the embodiment of many, many fortunate adoptive children and parents who’ve together created forever families.

Don’t miss this poignant story of love, loss and renewed hope—get your copy of the novella today!

Amazon Ebook or Paperback

Universal buy link for Itunes, Nook, etc.

Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

Check out her website and subscribe to her newsletter for a free ebook.

Find Josie on Social Media:
“Like” her Author Facebook Page

Connect with her on Facebook

Follow her on twitter: @josieriviera

Instagram          Pinterest          Youtube

Friday, February 10, 2017 | By: Cafe
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
– Neil Gaiman
Thursday, February 9, 2017 | By: Cafe

Valentine Rejection by Kizzie Waller

The Write Way Café welcomes Kizzie Waller, who celebrates Valentines's Day with a sense of humor and wisdom.

Every teenaged girl has a tale of woe.

It’s hard to be the new girl in school. Add the awkward tweeny-to-teenager stage and you’ve got the makings for a Disney XD series. The plot would go something like this… New girl is super shy and super awkward. She makes one or two friends who instantly tell her that life at middle school is all about finding the right boyfriend. They point out that New Girl should immediately profess her love for a boy of their choosing. New Girl falls for it and on Valentine’s Day gives Cute Boy a card that suggests they be more than friends. 

Then Cute Boy makes a big production of twisting and ripping up the card in front of New Girl and the rest of the class. He then drops it in the trash and decides that New Girl will forever be his mortal enemy.

Okay, maybe this isn’t the greatest coming of age story idea and Disney producers probably won’t be calling me any time soon for a screenplay, but it is a true story. A story I can laugh at now when I’m many years removed. That Cute Boy tore up my Valentine and decided he hated me without even really knowing me. And you know what? That’s okay. It didn’t destroy me or make me swear off trying again. It taught me some perspective. Not every Cute Boy (Cute Girl) who crosses our path is meant to be our happily ever after. Rejection is okay and actually helps us grow. Too much time is spent on how to avoid rejection, which I find is a necessary element in meeting The One. I learned to like Cute Boys because I liked them, not because friends told me to like them. Even with this philosophy, I’ve still had my fair share of rejections that stung. And I’ve handed out some too.

Then I met my husband—see, there is hope for shy, awkward girls—and we’ve been married 19 years. So why am I sharing my sob story from long ago so close to Valentine’s Day? It’s to encourage everyone to hand out that Valentine’s Day Card even in the face of rejection. Your intended could tear it up or they could be the person who walks you down the aisle.

Do you have tweeny stories of rejection? If so, I’d love to commiserate with you on them. Happy Valentine’s Day!

P.S. While I was dating my husband, I found a card I’d given him in the trash. Let’s just say that never happened again.

The lines of friendship and loyalty are blurred when two shifters are snowed in on Valentine's Day.

Payne Stepanov needs to prove that not everyone in her family sucks, and Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity. An outcast since her brother created havoc with the townsfolk of Foxhollow, Alaska, she is determined to regain integrity in her family's name.

Not easy to achieve when her brother is on the run from the mysterious Council, and a pack of werewolves are blackmailing her, and the man she wants more than anything sees her as nothing more than a friend. But when love is in the air, anything is possible.

Kel Hargrove is in Foxhollow for one reason--find Gregor Stepanov for the Council so he can exchange the escaped werebear for his own misguided brother. Kel knows all too well that family comes first for shifters, and he has no doubt Gregor will eventually seek the help of his sister, Payne.

So what if Payne is innocent, or that she's the closest friend Kel's had in years, or that at night he dreams of pleasing her like no other man could. Kel's loyalty must remain with his brother and the Council. But when his growing attraction for Payne interferes with his mission, can he find a solution where he secures his brother's release and wins the heart of his Valentine?


Author note: This is a romance novella, and while it is a complete story, it is the fourth in a connected series about the Wright,Taylor, and Stepanov families of Alaska. The story may be more enjoyable if read in order:

Bearly Living: Foxhollow Den #1 Grant and Bobbie's story
Bearly Loving: Foxhollow Den #2 Carter and Samantha's story
Bearly Gone: Foxhollow Den #3 Caroline and Smoke's story

About Kizzie:  Kizzie enjoys writing about strong men and the feisty women who bring them to their knees. When she's not writing, you can find her curled up with her cat and a good comic book. Discover more about Kizzie at her Website and on Facebook.