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Who’s On Your Team?

August 5, 2022 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , ,

Happy August. It’s hard to believe we are in the middle of summer. I’ll keep it brief.

I did something a little presumptive or not very smart. The past two years have been a lot different. Most of us probably didn’t stick to our writing schedules. In an attempt to get back on track this year, I set up three preorders. What was I thinking? Since I’m being transparent, I changed the release date on all three preorders.

I could expound on the many things that contributed to the changes, but I won’t. However, the reasons and changes opened my eyes to something…I needed help…a team.

I’ve been doing well with my intimate production team.…a proof reader (my mom) and an editor. After my last release, my editor and I amended our arrangement. This new arrangement left me in a lurch…she wasn’t exactly on board with the new tone of my books. I like working with her. She understood my stories and she spoke French, which I needed for my series,The Good Girl. However, now she stated she would prefer to only edit sweet, non-sexual content books. Occasionally, I write sweet books and will keep her for those projects.

I freaked out about having to replace my editor. After all, she was half of my team. After my last release, I reached out to a friend who helped me find another editor who is on board with my writing style.

The other thing I realized was I was writing up to the deadline and trying to fit marketing in between craft and graphic design. I booked a few Facebook and BookBub ads. I also booked some newsletter swaps. However, I knew I could do more.

The past several years, I’ve heard other writers talk about their PAs. I longed for a PA, but figured that wasn’t in my budget just yet. But during lockdown, it seemed like more and more writers were talking about their PAs and how helpful they were. Pre-lockdown I reached out to a few PAs and felt as amazing as it sounded to have one, at that time it wasn’t an expense I was ready to take on.

Fast forward to lockdown and an author business workshop and a business book…”We Should All Be Millionaires”…by Rachel Rodgers, I realized not having help was costing me money.

I reached out and asked what an author PA did. I was ignorant. I thought all PAs did was schedule FB parties, newsletter swaps, send out prizes and organize ARC teams. I apologize to every PA out there because I was unaware of the value a good PA offers. I also think one of the issues I had with using a PA was control. I like to or rather I’m use to doing pretty much everything myself. I do my own covers, promotional graphics and ad graphics. I write my own newsletters and social media posts. I have an editor, a proof reader and a couple of beta readers.

If I was going to do this, I needed to know what a PA could do for me. Imagine my shock when I saw the list of things a PA could do that weren’t even on my list…book formatting, managing my social media and GoodReads page, update mailing list, arrange promotions and giveaways. I was intrigued.

I reached out to one of my FB groups for feedback and referrals. However, my friend A.M. Roark hit me up and recommended her PA…Praise Ikeme. We chatted and about an hour later, I knew she would be a good fit for me. I told Praise I wanted to take things slow and once I’ve come to grips with letting go of a few tasks, I’ll hand them off to her.

My dip into the PA water has been very good. I have my PA working with me on newsletter swaps. Within the first twenty-four hours of our arrangement, she had my first two months of swaps scheduled. I like that she sends me reminders, verifies the links on my site for the books I’m swapping. She proofs my newsletter and sends me reminders at the beginning of Newsletter Week.

I have to admit, I wasn’t very consistent when it came to sending out my newsletter. Since hiring my PA, I have a newsletter schedule…twice a month…which I’ve been sticking to. I also use the newsletter copy as blog copy. Thanks to my PA, I’m blogging again…something I hadn’t done in quite a while.

Now my team consists of three people…a proof reader, an editor and a PA. I’m excited and look forward to expanding my team when the time comes.

If you’re looking for a PA, I recommend Praise Ikeme (praiseikeme@gmail.com).

Who’s on your team?
Next month I’ll do a goals update.
Enjoy your summer and happy writing and reading.

Tracy

A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

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A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

DESPERATE DESIRE

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DESPERATE DESIRE

FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

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FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

GENERATIONAL CURSE

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GENERATIONAL CURSE

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

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GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS
GOD’S BOMBSHELL: LIVING A BEAUTIFUL SINGLE LIFE

INTENTIONAL CURSE

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INTENTIONAL CURSE

LOVE NOTES

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LOVE NOTES

MISS MATCH

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MISS MATCH

THE FIX UP

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THE FIX UP

THE FLING

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THE FLING

THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

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THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

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THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

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THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

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THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

UNEXPECTED LOVE

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UNEXPECTED LOVE

WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

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WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

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WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

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THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR

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THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR
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HE SAID, SHE SAID: HOW WE MADE TWO WRITERS SOUND LIKE ONE

August 3, 2022 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , , ,
HE SAID, SHE SAID

My wife, Janet Elizabeth Lynn, and I have been crime writing fiction for several years. In the beginning, Janet was the first to take a of couple classes and workshops. That was after we discovered we didn’t know what we were doing. I was a bit reluctant because the whole writing thing was foreign to me.  But she came home with tools and information that opened my eyes.

When Janet was writing solo, she would often ask me to read some of her work. I’d make comments like, “A guy wouldn’t care what brand of shoes a woman was wearing” or “A guy wouldn’t say/think that.” It got to the point where one day Janet was writing and said to me—“Will, if you were a guy…” to which I replied, “What?”

Thus began our co-writing partnership. I would tweak many of the male characters’ voice styles while Janet handled the female roles.  We’d brainstorm the plots, discuss our characters’ quirks and make sure the characters’ voices sounded different enough while maintaining the voice of the story. Next, we read aloud to each other. Sometimes one of us would fall asleep during the reading, but that just meant we had to fix that part. If it bored us, it would surely bore our readers.

The result is that our writing had become a true partnership in authorship and our stories sparkled (in our eyes). We now take turns polishing and refining our work before handing the manuscript over to our editor.

And after all that… we’re still married.

Will

Janet’s Website    

Will’s Website


Janet’s and Will’s Skylar Drake Novels

DESERT ICE

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DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

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GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

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SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

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SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

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STRANGE MARKINGS

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Neetu Malik: August Featured Author

August 1, 2022 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,
picture of Neetu Malik

Neetu Malik’s poetry is an expression of life’s rhythms and the beat of the human spirit. She draws upon diverse multicultural experiences and observations across three continents in which she has lived. She has contributed to The Australia Times Poetry Magazine, October Hill Magazine, Prachya Review, among others. Her poems have appeared in The Poetic Bond Anthology V and VI published by Willowdown Books, UK,  NY Literary Magazine’s Tears Anthology  and Poetic Imagination Anthology (Canada).

Her poem, “Soaring Flames”, was awarded First-Place by the NY Literary Magazine (2017). She has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, 2019 for her poem “Sacred Figs” published by Kallisto Gaia Press in their Ocotillo Review in May, 2018.

Neetu lives in Pennsylvania, USA.


You can find Neetu’s poetry in these volumes.

Hover on the cover for buy links. Click on the cover for more information.

THE OCOTILLO REVIEW SUMMER 2018 VOL 2.2

THE POETIC BOND V

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THE POETIC BOND V

THE POETIC BOND VI

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THE POETIC BOND VI

THE POETIC BOND X

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THE POETIC BOND X

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Striking Distance

July 30, 2022 by in category Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic tagged as , ,
title graphic
Photo by Sagar Kulkarni on Unsplash

It’s about noon, my eleventh day on the trail. My feet hurt, and the blisters have begot more blisters. So much for the overpriced, cushioned socks I thought I had to have. I’m tempted to walk barefoot, but that would last maybe a quarter mile and then I’d have to put these blasted boots on again. 

I’m tired of the crowds. I stopped counting this morning after logging twenty other hikers. The one person I wish was here can’t be—ever again. Josh would have found a way to love this. Yet his absence is the reason I’m hiking, to prove that I can make it solo from here on out.

Actually, I’m not positive it’s noon. I’m not wearing a watch and my phone is turned off—I’m doing the back-to-nature thing. But it’s July, and the sun is overhead. And I’m hungry—although I seem to be perpetually hungry on this trek. It’s an emptiness I just can’t fill.

Ahead lies a boulder field. Whoever said the AT was a walk in the woods was lying. At least in Pennsylvania, it’s loaded with rocks. Behind me, before me, I’m alone with the boulders, not a soul around for once, and I see a snake. Timber rattler; I’ve done my research. It’s coiled in a pocket of rock. I look at it, and it looks at me. I am about 1,500 feet up the mountain—glorious view if I wasn’t so frozen with fear. 

Don’t look down, the snake says. 

I’m not imagining this, as ridiculous as it seems. The snake spoke to me. Not out loud; in my head. And sarcastically.

“I’m not afraid of heights,” I shoot back. “But I am terrified of you.”

Its unblinking eyes hold me. Don’t rattle me, and I’ll leave you alone.

Who knew snakes were comedians? But, I think, you don’t know why I’m panicked. 

When I was growing up, a boy named Robert lived next door. One day, with a crazy giggle, he threw a milk snake around my neck. I was nine, and he was the bully of the block. That innocent, orange-and-white snake gave me nightmares for months afterward. 

And each old Western I watched where a character dies from snakebite increased my ophidiophobia. I am deathly afraid of any snake. And this one is a pit viper.

If I could persuade my feet to move, I would backpedal my way back down the mountain. But minutes tick past. Sweat dampens my shirt and drips from my forehead. 

If only I were Harry Potter, I think. He was most unafraid of snakes, even giant basilisks. 

What would Josh do? The snake’s tongue flickers.

“Leave Josh out of this,” I shout. My eyes smart, but I will not cry in front of a smart-ass snake. 

Still, part of me calls out to my partner. His ashes are scattered to the winds, but I want desperately to believe that I still have his ear—wherever cosmically it now is. So, I think, what would Josh have counseled?

Wait out the snake. The answer seems to rise on the breeze. He’s right: I’m not in any hurry, no deadline to meet, and the valley below is breathtaking. 

And so I sit on a chunk of granite overlooking a leafy wilderness in the Poconos. I focus on the scent of pine and the kettle of vultures spiraling in an afternoon thermal, and I feel myself relax. 

It may be five minutes or fifteen when I glance back to the rattler.

You’re tougher than you look. The snake uncoils and slips out of its rocky hollow. The trail’s all yours. It vanishes into another crevice.

Hoisting my pack, I set off once again over the rocks. But my feet hurt a bit less and there is a spring in my step.

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Linda O. Johnston Featured Author of the Month

July 28, 2022 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , , ,

Linda O. Johnston enjoys writing, romance, puzzles, and dogs.

A former lawyer, Linda is now a full-time writer and has published 57 books so far, including mysteries and romantic novels. She has written several cozy mystery series including the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries and Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries and Pet Rescue Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. She also writes romances for Harlequin, including Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Writing as Lark O. Jensen, her latest release is Bear Witness from Crooked Lane Books. No matter what name she uses, nearly all Linda’s current stories involve dogs!

In addition to blogging for A Slice of Orange on the 6th of every month, Linda blogs at Killer HobbiesKiller Characters, and Writerspace. Linda was interviewed by Jann Ryan, you can read all about it in Linda O. Johnston—Mysteries, Romantic Suspense and So Much More!

Linda enjoys hearing from readers. Visit her website at www.LindaOJohnston.com or friend her on Facebook.


A Few of Linda’s Many Books

BAD TO THE BONE

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BAD TO THE BONE

BEAR WITNESS

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BEAR WITNESS
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
COLTON FIRST RESPONDER (The Coltons of Mustang Valley)

COVERT ALLIANCE

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COVERT ALLIANCE

FOR A GOOD PAWS

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FOR A GOOD PAWS

GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

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GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

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HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

PICK AND CHEWS

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PICK AND CHEWS

PROTECTOR WOLF

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PROTECTOR WOLF

SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

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SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

TO CATCH A TREAT

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TO CATCH A TREAT

TRAINED TO PROTECT

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TRAINED TO PROTECT
UNDERCOVERING COLTON’S FAMILY SECRETS

UNLUCKY CHARMS

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UNLUCKY CHARMS

VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)

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VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)

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