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Self Promoting AKA Publishing 2019

self-promotion

My mind is racing with too many cooks in the literary kitchen. I want to be a great writer and I’m learning to get any traction at all I have to make my presence known to the reader sphere by contributing regularly (daily) to social media outposts. Facebook, Instagram (Bookstagram), Twitter, Goodreads, and WordPress are all outlets that I have started to build as a platform and it is more exhausting than I thought it would be.

Long forgotten were my dreams of sitting in a cafe wearing a barret opening my acceptance letter with a full traditional publishing contract. (With an advance with enough money to put a dent in my student loans.) I feel nostalgic just reminiscing of those false memories of being a diamond in the rough. Now, I just feel rough. Publishing companies offer less and less opportunities for new writers to be traditionally published without putting up a large sum of money to kick-start your own career. Sure, I can see the practicality behind the business model but it takes away from the authenticity of the writing.

I know this because I have read so many posts and comments from other writers that clearly show they didn’t read their own blog but feel the need to say something in order to solicit their own blog or social media brand. Hell, I have been guilty of this myself while feeling the urge to grow my views and likes. I post and share and comment on things more than ever before but sometimes I feel more behind than I should on this whole self-promoting market that we live in. Hashtags and abbreviations I can understand but long and complex threads subjected to a response of 280 characters or less is a new beast that I am unprepared to battle. All of this communication and I feel like most people are saying the same thing. Like me. Befriend me. Support me.

It wasn’t until I took a step back from all of the social media and blogging to realize that I have spent so much of my time and energy gaining a media presence that I have not had time or energy to write new material. I didn’t even realize that my creative energy was dying in the weeds until I took the time to give myself a break and realize that I can’t post and blog and tweet without new material being cultivated and created. Otherwise, I’m just reviewing other people’s writing with no time to regard my own.

The point is this, there has to be a balance in this new-aged way of marketing and self-promotion that allows writers to feel encouraged about continuing to fight the good fight. Social media is important and it isn’t going anywhere. Let’s be real, I’m complaining about having to have a social presence on a blog. My blog. The same blog that gives me a rush when someone likes my reviews or views my page for the first time. The same blog where I’ve read and shared ideas with others to further my career and others careers as literary Jedi’s of the 22nd century. The same blog where I now promise to myself that I will put more focus on my writing and encouraging others to write then promoting myself. I can’t promote if I have no material to promote and I can’t encourage others if I can’t encourage myself. So, self, this is the pat on the back that I have laid the seedwork but it’s time to get back to doing what I love the most. Writing.

Happy Writing,
L. R. Rutherford

26 Calls for Submissions in August 2018 – Paying Markets — authorkdrose

There are more than two dozen calls for submissions in August. As always, anything you can think of is wanted – flash fiction, speculative fiction and poetry, creative nonfiction, children’s stories, along with several interesting themed issues. All of these literary magazines pay, and none charge submission fees. Make sure to follow submission requirements […]

via 26 Calls for Submissions in August 2018 – Paying Markets — authorkdrose

Review: The Bastard by Lisa Renee Jones

The Bastard (Filthy Duet, #1; Dirty Rich, #6)The Bastard by Lisa Renee Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Bastard by Lisa Renee Jones

I have problems saying that I quote, unquote “like” this book because I do and I don’t. This was a fun and fast read with steamy intimate moments but it bordered the realm of unrealistic to man-you’ve-got-to-be-f**king-kidding-me. For example, the lead character is a billionaire, a Navy SEAL, and a genius/ savant. Sure. Yeah. That could happen. Harper, his love interest, is his stepsister who works for his father that doesn’t love him because he is a bastard, and she is harboring a secret after they hooked up at a formal event six years ago in a cottage… I’m not sure which layer of this plot lasagna is the hardest to digest.

This being said, I did enjoy reading this book and I look forward to the before mentioned sequel coming out, The Princess.

Critique:
The author does a great job of grabbing the reader’s attention and investing their attention in the plot of the story. However, the critiques I have about this novel are not to be ignored. The story is told from the point of view of Eric and Harper as they navigate the thin ice a new relationship is starting to form from. Overall this is well done but throughout the book, the main frustration between the two characters seems unfounded because they just met after not seeing each other for 6 years. Everything about their build-up is forced and Harper’s emotions that hold her back are beaten to death in the prose. He left six years ago after a hookup, he didn’t owe you anything, do we really have to hear about it the ENTIRE book?

Harper has the foundation to be a solid female character and there are elements of her that I adored in the beginning. I think readers will agree that the chemistry set up between Harper and Eric is undeniable, and a joy to read. I would suggest that the writer take a look at the inner monologues and cut out about half of the times she refers to Eric as “this man.” Unless you are Jodi Ellen Malpas I think this term of endearment has been exhausted. The novel ends on a cliffhanger that will lead into the next novel and I feel that this was strategically done because I don’t think I would continue to read if I wasn’t invested into the ending of the first novel.

This is my first time reading Lisa Renee Jones and I feel like I will be looking out for more of her novels in the future. I rate this a three and a half stars but I mark it at four because I think this is a novel readers will enjoy overall.

Summary (with no spoilers):
Eric is the bastard son of the head of the Kingston Motors company in Denver. His mother, sick with cancer, made sure that he was claimed before she died giving him a gift that will curse him forever as the bastard son of an empire. After dropping out of Harvard Law and joining the Navy SEALs he goes to a family party to prove to himself once and for all that he doesn’t need to gain his father’s approval as more than a bastard son. Feeling the animosity for blood that won’t claim him he is just about to leave until he sees her, the Princess. Standing apart from the crowd she looks like royalty in a ballgown and Eric knows he has to make her his, if only for a night.

Issac, the legitimate heir taunts him by explaining the truth behind this wondrous creature, their new stepsister Harper. Before he leaves the family for good she follows him for a cottage for a night they both don’t forget. She is enough to make him think about staying but after seeing her making a speech with his family he turns his back on all of them for good.

Six years later..

Eric teamed up with a friend Bennett from Law School that believed in him and together they started an investment company worth billions. His past is kept behind him until the princess of his dreams walks in a steals his breath away all over again. The business is in trouble, his father and brother are up to something that will ruin the company and take her biological father’s legacy down with it. Helping her means helping them, something he vowed never to do.

Will he come to the rescue and save the family that has forsaken him? Or will he be there just in time to claim the princess and wash his hands of Kingston Motors for good?

View all my reviews

Her Guilty SecretHer Guilty Secret by Clare Connelly

Her Guilty Secret by Clare Connelly

Underwhelming. This book was underwhelming and hard to finish. Although this is a book that is meant to be a quick read, character development was not there and the absurdity of the “connection” between Conner and Olivia was repetitive and lackluster. I don’t like giving bad reviews because I believe there were some good qualities about this novel. For example, the intimate scenes were hot and have the potential to be well-written.

I think this author has a unique and bright voice, however, they need to refine the story behind the characters. In my opinion, the beginning is very rudimentary and dull because it is the stereotypical fireworks off the bat, no pretense or background explanation, just BAM the characters want to bang and have the same thoughts. Saying that I do feel like the story picks up in the middle and the ending is a lot better than the beginning. I don’t want to give away spoilers but if you do read to the end you will feel more connected to the characters right before they slip from your fingers forever. I wish that feeling could have been present in the beginning.

Critique:
I would not recommend this novel for purchase until major structural elements are corrected and refined. These elements include making sure the point of view is clear to the reader instead of jumping around multiple times in one chapter. Explaining more about the Donovan case at the beginning of the story so that the reader isn’t pressed for information midway through. Perhaps being more subtle about the fact that Conner is staring at her (or appearing to) the entire time of his lecture. -If I were a student I would know 100% they are hooking up without needing confirmation. Also, giving his lectures some depth and detail that would play into the ending would help by leaps and bounds to establish his status in the legal world. Sure you say he is a top-lawyer in Ireland, but where is the proof he has a brain when he isn’t baiting Olivia?

Summary (with no spoilers): Available February 1st, 2019
Olivia Amerelli is a senior law student at uni in London with dreams of making a name of herself as one of the UK’s top prosecutors. Nothing is going to stop this shining legal star until guest lecturer and top criminal attorney Conner Connelly gets in her way. This Irish barrister uses the law to free the prosecuted and upturn legal proceeding for the mega-rich. The energy between them is electric but acting on their feelings would put both of their careers in jeopardy. Can they fight the heat growing between them? Or will his sinister job be her undoing?

View all my reviews

My Top 5 Romance Genre Pet Peeves

It’s easy to forget about a plot hole or repeat the same phrase twice when you are writing a novel but there are some mistakes that bother me more than any others. Here are my Top 5 Romance Genre Pet Peeves of 2018.

 

  1. ONE. The word wanton used to describe every physical interaction between the two main characters.

 

I am guilty of using this adjective myself but I try to be as sparse about it as I can be. It’s not that it is a bad descriptive word, however, romance authors use this way too much! I call it a “bandwagon” adjective because once one author has a successful book with a off-road word then other writers start to overuse it in order to give their book the same feel. The same could be said about other words such as moot, insatiable, and musk. Musk alone makes me want to gag; it’s almost as bad a moist but with a slightly better aftertaste? I don’t know.

 

Plus, every time I read the word wanton I want a wonton soup. Kind of a mood killer if you ask me… Or is it? Bun, dun, dun!

 

  1. TWO. Saying the main female character is strong and independent until she meets the main character and suddenly becomes insecure and obedient.

 

Character X is an independent lawyer/ doctor/ manager/ nurse/ insert job here that is fine with being single because she doesn’t take BS from anyone. Until… tall, dark, and handsome walks in and tells her how to dress, what to say, who to see, where to go, all because he is what? He’s attractive? Rich? Authoritative? … How about no.

 

Why do so many authors go to so much trouble to make a female character appear confident in the beginning and then tear it all apart without admitting it? It’s okay for the character to change or to become “dickmatized” but don’t act like this dynamic shift isn’t occurring. Own it. Change it. Take back control. I understand that all women have an underlying deep-seated need to be cared for by someone that will love and protect them (don’t we all), and it is okay for a dominant character to become submissive in the bedroom but quit allowing characters to lose who they are outside of the bedroom! Let’s have a little emotional backbone stay in tact, please.

 

  1. THREE. Body image. She is thin but has a big butt, natural boobs, long hair,  with crystal eyes and plump lips, and she still can’t find a man? Boo, hoo. I feel so bad for her

 

There is nothing wrong about the girl I just described, but please don’t write like she has no idea how attractive she is. It’s hurtful to the integrity of the author and also the body image projected onto the reader. If someone that is described as socially perfect with no ulterior flaws really can’t see their worth than there is no help for the rest of us. A little confidence in a character goes a long way to me when I am reading a novel. Maybe she looks perfectly fine but is a pyromaniac, or maybe she is OCD to the point of no return. She is the girl that all the guys want but she will burn your shit to dust and then organize it into small equal piles. I don’t care what it is but please quit writing characters that have no physical flaws to everyone else but then all of a sudden when she meets the guy she turns into the white swan. This is not Swan Lake, we don’t all turn into vixens once we catch the eye of a bad boy (maybe we feel that way but let’s be real, we don’t go from plain to daymn overnight).

 

  1. FOUR. The two meet and everything starts progressing but what happened to their jobs??

Is there some unwritten romance rule that I’m not privileged to that states once the main characters start interacting that work ceases. I’m not saying I want to read a bunch of boardroom scenes but a little subplot here and there only makes the story that more addicting.

 

Maybe I’m just bitter on this one but how are their bills getting paid or companies being run? You can’t have a workaholic male just up and quit his job out of nowhere! And without discussing taking a leave of absence. Is the reader supposed to assume that all obligations prior to sex are null and void once they hook up? And for that matter don’t take away the success of a female character building a name for herself and then put it on hold because she met someone new.  

 

  1. FIVE. The over exaggeration of animal attraction in the air between character x and y, then pretending that other people can’t notice it.

 

“He looked into my eyes and I could feel him pouring over my body with his lingering gaze. No one in class saw his visceral need to take me on his desk but me as he talked about statistical risk and reward. I noticed his lip quiver when I bit my own in shame. I felt so dirty being in the middle of the lecture hall and all I wanted to do was push him to his limit the same as he was pushing me.”

 

  • Okay, honestly I just came up with that and it wasn’t that bad, however, it stands to remain that this is illogical and completely ridiculous. If my professor was staring at some girl intently I would notice, especially if he is cute.

 

The same goes for any person looking intently at another person in general. Flirting is flirting and if you want to write about being your characters being stealthy when it comes to showing admiration for another then at least have it be less socially evident. Don’t rely on the characters staring at each other because it is creepy. Don’t be that person that writes a stalker and not a lover. It’s not a good look.