What Are You Reading?

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Hello, All! It’s the Monday before Christmas and I’m sure many of you are doing some last minute shopping (I need to be doing that as I type this!). Since I have some time off from work, I’m going to get caught up on my ever-growing TBR list. I thought I’d share some of what I’ll be reading during the holidays and I hope you’ll share some great recommendations with me as well!

 

Goddess of Legend by Erin Ashley Tanner.

Buy the book on Amazon. Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

GODDESS OF LEGEND

Cameryn Kane is a private investigator with a spirit problem. She can talk to spirits, solve any homicide, and has no love life. When an unexpected death sends her world into a tailspin, Cameryn finds comfort in the arms of a tall, dark and handsome stranger—Hades, god of the Underworld.

When Hades promises to bring her loved one back from the dead if she allows him the chance to woo her for six months in the dark Underworld, Cameryn readily agrees. While fighting her growing feelings for Hades, Cameryn must deal with the return of his ex-wife, Persephone, who is determined to get her husband back.

Cameryn will soon experience love and betrayal while discovering powers she never knew she had.

 

Can’t Stand the Heat by Shelly Ellis

Buy the book on Amazon. Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

CAN'T STAND THE HEAT

Over three generations, the Gibbons women of Chesterton, Virginia, have built their reputation as a family of shameless–but refined–gold diggers. They even have a strict set of rules by which they operate. But the rebellious, youngest Gibbons is about to break them all…

Lauren Gibbons is committing the ultimate family betrayal: abandoning the tradition of seducing men for money. Nothing is worth the abuse she’s endured from her sugar daddy. Now a sous chef, Lauren is hoping to break from the past for good. And when she meets hot former NFL player Crisanto Weaver, she even lets herself imagine a future. But the small-town rumor mill–and her own sisters–aren’t ready for a new Lauren. Between her conniving relatives, her vengeful ex, a mountain of debt, and a whole lot of haters, can she escape her old life, and create something new?

Quiver of the Pure Heart by Burnita Bluitt

Buy the book on Amazon. Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

QUIVER OF THE PURE HEART

Twenty-eight year old Blis Dumas’ peaceful life and sense of security becomes the target of a well-crafted scheme. The setting is 1989 San Francisco, and Blis fears a repeat of the 1950-60s, redevelopment that took place displacing primarily African-American residents from the Western Addition’s Fillmore District, their “Harlem of the West.” Her world crumbles as she is notified that her own Victorian home, inherited from her grandfather, is in jeopardy of demolition by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and she must sell to them…or so she thinks. She uncovers family secrets that reveal her problem is much closer to home.

Blis fights to save the home she adores; fights the temptation of an incorrigible former lover; and fights the threat to a tender, new, budding romance. Blis loves San Francisco, but like any love relationship, it is where her emotions will be tested, where passions will live and die, and where people are not always as they seem.

 

Finding Me by Dawn Brazil.

Buy the Book on Amazon. Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

FINDING ME

 

Sixteen-year-old Chloe Carmichael’s perfect world is in chaos.

It’s not because she has a vision of her boyfriend murdered. And then he’s found dead exactly as she saw. It’s not because she suddenly has the ability to move objects when she’s upset. It’s kinda cool to close a door without touching it. It’s not her overbearing mother who only cares about appearances. Chloe’s grown accustomed to her family’s distance.

So what has Chloe cringing in fear?

It’s a love that defies reason. It demands her attention. But Chloe struggles with a love that exposes the soul. What will her family think? What will her friends think? And is she worthy of his love.

It’s having to become another person for a new group of people. Chloe knows she’s not perfect but apparently she was when she was Amanda in another life. Her new friends won’t let her forget. It’s the stench of death that hoovers over her every move. It’s the threat of finality as she tries to acclimate to a life of super human proportions. It’s an enemy she can’t see and can be anyone she’s ever known. But her enemy knows her well. She’s the lone person with the ability to destroy him. But she doesn’t remember.

And it’s never discovering who she really is before finality meets reality.

 

What about all of you? What are you reading?

Happy Holidays and see you next year!

Peace and Blessings,

Quanie:)


Does Your Protagonist Have to Have a Love Interest?

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Recently, I was tossing around some ideas for a WIP, and when I went back and looked at the outline something dawned on me: the main character didn’t have a love interest. The main thread of the story was about the change that happens to this particular character as she searches for the identity of a killer. From beginning to end,  the search for the killer. And I wondered: how would readers react to this story if I didn’t give her a love interest?

I started thinking about some of my favorite novels. Even when the main story isn’t about the character finding love, the character is involved in some type of relationship. Maybe my memory fails me, but I can’t think of a single story I’ve read recently that didn’t involve people in the pursuit of love. Even people who have given up on love seem to find themselves in some sort of romantic situation.

Certainly, I can write the story and not have the character fall in love or even think about romantic relationships. But how would readers respond? Is there some part of a reader that expects every story to have a romance subplot?

So, I went back and reworked the story to include a love interest. I didn’t want it to seem superfluous so I really tried to make the love story integral to the plot. But it got me thinking: does the main character have to have a love interest? Can you think of any contemporary books where the main character didn’t? Am I driving myself crazy for nothing??? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


5 Ways to Build Your Author Platform – Guest Post by Christina C. Jones

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Happy Monday, All! Today I’m super excited because I’m handing my blog over to the uber talented Christina C. Jones! Today is release day for Christina’s latest novel, Catch Me If You Can, and I have to tell you folks: I cannot wait to read this novel! I recently read Finding Forever by Christina and it made me an instant fan. In fact, Christina is probably one of the most talented and prolific writers I have the pleasure of knowing, so if you haven’t read one of her books, do yourself a favor and get your copy of Catch Me If You Can. Yesterday.

Christina was kind enough to stop by and share a few tidbits with us about marketing. I hope you enjoy!

 

Hello!
Hi!
I’m Christina Jones.
I’m a self-published author with nine (pretty well-reviewed, might I add *dusts off shoulders*) books under my belt. I write contemporary romance/women’s fiction, with an intentional, specific focus on characters with various shades of brown skin. And african ancestry. So… I write about black people. 🙂

When the opportunity to write a post here on Quanie’s blog came about, I was very, very excited. And then I found out what she wanted me to write about (to be fair, I kinda begged her to come up with a topic for me, cause I’m terrible at that), and I got really, really scared. Cause I’m supposed to be writing about marketing.
Take a wild guess at what else, besides blog topics, I’m terrible at?
Yep.
You guessed it.
Marketing!
Well… maybe not terrible, but I’m certainly no marketing genius. What I can do is share the things that I feel have worked for me, and if you’re an indie author, they probably will for you too!

1. Make friends. This would probably be first on list for any topic. (even though I’m really not listing in particular order.) You need other author friends, and your pursuit of these friends should have nothing to do with marketing. You need people who understand the frustrations, understand the pressure, and understand you. Period. You need someone on your side to tell you to take down that subtweet about your negative review, someone to (jokingly)tell you when you make a grammar mistake on Facebook, etc. It matters, really.

2. See also: Be a friend. Genuine, sincere interaction with other authors is one of the best things you can do. It’s not about being, or phony, you have to really mean it. I share book releases, cover reveals, sales promotions, etc for other authors often, and it has nothing to do with waiting on reciprocity (although if someone does this for you, you should do it in return. Because manners.). I do this because I want to see other indies authors succeed. If you think another author in your genre is your competition, you’re thinking wrong. I’ve talked about this before with a friend, using vacuums as an example. When you buy a vacuum, you’ll have that thing for years. Won’t need another. There’s competition in vacuum sales. But with books? A person is gonna read it, and guess what… they’re gonna put it down and want to read another. You want that fire to keep burning, so absolutely put other other authors in their path, so they’ll still be in the mood to read when it comes back around to you.

3. Don’t be a jerk. This is self-explanatory, but don’t be mean to people. And if you’re naturally mean… do it somewhere else. Snark is cute until you’re trying to sell a product. There are a handful of authors I will never read (or read again) because of the way they treat/talk to to people. Everything you put forth publicly is a part of your brand as an author. Respect your brand, and more importantly, your readers, by at least trying not to be an asshole. (Can I say that Quanie? Is that okay?)

4. Social media posting. I’m definitely terrible in this area, but I know it’s important. You have to make your books visible to readers, and these days (especially for an indie) the way to reach those people is via social media. I post on my fan page, my personal page, my twitter account, my blog/website, and occasionally on instagram. These are the places your readers will go to connect with you, so you should make those available.
I do a lot of teasers, excerpts, etc in groups and on my personal page, because that’s what seems to get a good response. OH and a newsletter! I typically only email my subscribers when I have a new release, but that’s why they signed up! Take advantage of that by not forgetting to reach out when you have important news. Please don’t email your readers because you finally got that popcorn kernel that was stuck in your teeth.

5. Write more books. I know, I know, you’re sick of seeing this advice for indies, but SERIOUSLY. Write. More. Books. And I’ll even go one further and say: Publish more books. SERIOUSLY. Sitting around looking at your finished, formatted, edited book doesn’t do anything for you. (And neither does chasing down flaky, super-busy agents, waiting three months at a time for reject— wait a minute, this post isn’t about that.) Reading about publishing can only do so much. Reading about writing can only do so much. You need practice. You need critique. You need readers giving you their feedback. I firmly believe that in indie-publishing, experience is the best teacher.

So… there you have it! I sincerely hope that you were able to pull something good from my randomness. I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve done pretty well in the year that I’ve been publishing, and I’ve got a good solid fanbase that seems to be growing pretty steadily.

Obviously, there’s things I haven’t mentioned, like purchasing ads, and getting into one of those mega-newsletters, etc, and that’s because I haven’t had any real experience with those. Someday, maybe I will, but for now, I’m pretty happy with what my laid-back approach to marketing has done for me so far!

You can find me on my blog: Being Mrs. Jones
on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeingMrsJones
on Twitter: https://twitter.com/beingmrsjones
and if you feel so inclined, on Amazon:

Thank you so much to Quanie for having me, and thank YOU for reading! Have a great week!

 

cmcover

 

Diligence. Focus. Agility.

For Naomi Prescott, it’s not just a cute little saying. It’s a critical mantra, words to live by if she wants to retain her freedom, and more importantly, her life. Impeccable planning is the only way to ensure she sets off the small flutters that will trigger the big ripple she needs to pull off the score of a lifetime — no matter the stakes.

FBI Agent Marcus Calloway is a straight-shooter… if you overlook his sometimes unconventional, law-skirting, expensive ways of solving a case. A big arrest would do wonders to restore his reputation, and he has one woman in mind: Jolie Voleuse

Unforeseen circumstances force them into a closer proximity than either — especially Naomi — would like to be. Sparks fly, and as surely as fire ignites,eventually their undeniable chemistry combusts into a passion that neither expected as they join forces in the dangerous pursuit of a common bounty.

christinajonespicture

Author Bio:

Christina Jones is a budding author on a mission to show the beautiful — but not always pretty — journey of love in all stages, with a focus on people of color. When she’s not immersed in writing it, Christina is an avid reader of her favorite genre, African American romance.
Her first published work was released in November 2013, and since then, she has released nine titles:
Love and Other Things
Strictly Professional
Unfinished Business
The Trouble With Love
Finding Forever
Chasing Commitment
A Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Didn’t Mean To Love You
Catch Me If You Can


Should Authors Write in More than One Genre? Part 2

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InsecureWritersSupportGroup

It’s the first Wednesday of the month (woo-hoo!) and you know what that means: another installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. This month’s co-hosts are: Heather Gardner, T. Drecker from Kidbits, Eva E. Solar at Lilicasplace, and Patsy Collins! Please stop by their blogs and say hello:)

Okay, so…last year I wrote a blog post called “Should Authors Write in More Than one Genre?”.  At the time, I was concerned about branding and building an audience. For example, if I wrote something funny (and people liked it), should I consider writing another funny book for the sake of branding? Or, should I throw caution to the wind and mix it up, and write whatever my little ol’ heart desired since every book idea I have seems to be in a whole new genre? In the post, I also pondered writing different genres under different names (and I even pondered having different social media accounts to keep the “brands” separate. Yikes!) and all of you awesome folks chimed in and assured me that I could write what I want without worrying about branding because people would decide, based on the book cover and blurb alone, whether or not they wanted to read the book.

Well, here I am a year later, grappling with the same issue. I think it’s one of the reasons why I’ve been having such a hard time deciding what to write next. Seriously. My WIPs and other novel ideas are all over the place: one romantic comedy with a male lead, a paranormal story, a mystery that just might be a thriller, a dystopian novel, one book that’s freaking me out because it actually might be horror, and something that even feels like it might be science fiction (never mind the fact that I don’t even read science fiction. #problemswritershave).

So I’m sure you can see my dilemma. With all of these different stories in different genres running around my head, my concern is that I’ll never write enough stories in one genre to build an audience. Brenda Jackson? Romance. Stephen King? Horror. Gillian Flynn? Psychological Thrillers. Quanie Miller? Sometimes funny, other times scary, might just be a mystery, you might even get some paranormal thrown in there, rom coms on Tuesdays, thrillers on Fridays, jambalaya on Saturdays–do you see what I mean? I’ve been pulling my hair out over this issue. I’m trying to decide which book is going to be the best decision for moving my career forward, but of course, since my crystal ball is broken, I don’t know the answer.

What about others? Do you know of any other authors that successfully write in other genres? Do you read those authors and enjoy their work? And authors: what’s your take on writing in multiple genres? Have you done it successfully? How have readers responded?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Oh! And before you go, I have an announcement: The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is now available. And it’s free! (I’m looking at you, Faith Simone). Check it out!

Insecure_Cover

ISBN 9781939844088
235 pages, FREE
Find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads.