Showing posts from April, 2012

Amazon Shout Out Feature: Blog & Twitter Crossover

NOTE: This feature is being redesigned, so until that time, I'm not accepting new books. It should open back up soon. Stay tuned.

I'm implementing promotional features faster than I probably should, but there is a master plan ... sort of. I've been tweeting about people's books on Amazon for a while now. Sometimes I ask my followers if they want a shout out; other times I see a tweet and do it myself.

When I was first putting this book review idea together, I thought of having an Amazon feature on the site. It took a little while to figure out how I wanted to do it. I think I have figured it out, but it is still sort of trial and error. So, bear with me some.

Z is for Zest #AtoZChallenge

Post by Guest Blogger
Donna B. McNicol

We're writers. We often have a love hate relationship with blogs. We put words together to create something with meaning, something we hope others will want to read. That means we sometimes take ourselves too seriously. We write about our books. We write about others books. We write about writing. We write about others writing. We report news of interest to writers. We interview authors. We write about interviewing authors. Oh, and sometimes we even write stories/articles/poems.

Book Trailer: "Saving Peace" by @moha_doha


Y is for Yikes #AtoZChallenge

Common Errors Writers Make
Post by Guest Blogger
Elizabeth C.

The most common mistake I see writers making is substituting one homonym for another. English is full of pairs of words (sometimes three or even, very rarely, four words) that sound the same but have different meanings. The most common set is two, too, and to (meaning a pair, also, and towards).

#Follow @2girlsonabench: 2 women who like to have fun while writing.

Featured Follower: 2 Girls on a Bench
In their own words:

We’re two semi-young women (o.k., young at heart) working on screenplays, theatrical plays and books in between snacking, distracting ourselves and working regular jobs. If there's a glass of wine and a snack, we are there, usually putting off finishing some writing, and we promise we do eventually finish some things...especially if it's a huge bowl of popcorn.

X is for Xylophones #AtoZChallenge

Post by Guest Blogger
Ian Roberts

Xylophones—simple instruments that parents dread their children getting but can't resist trying for themselves—bear comparison with the process of plotting, characterising and writing a book. All of these require a willingness to release the inner child's curiosity and risk making something interesting from it. Whether the way you write is carefully planned or not—and I've tried both approaches—researching a possible framework provides an instrument and the keys to what might become a story.

"I was surprised by the ending and how Nero figures it out."

The Silent Speaker
Written by Rex Stout
Genre: Mystery
Book Synopsis A Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin WhoDunIt.

A man is murdered, and Inspector Ash was not enchanted at the idea of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin being involved. As if this case wasn't enough of a mess already, all it needed to make it a carnival was Nero Wolfe, and here he is. He worked his jaw, regarding Archie sourly.

"Who's your client?"

I shook my head. "I have no information about any client. As far as I know it's just Mr. Wolfe's scientific curiosity. He's interested in crime."

W is for Writer's Block #AtoZChallenge

A Novelist's Nightmare
Written by Charlotte Parr

Don't you just hate that fuzzy feeling you get with writer's block? The feeling like you're scrambling around in your brain for ideas but your fingers touch nothing but soft fluffy nothingness. Me too. There are loads of ways people tell me how to get rid of writer's block. Some of them make sense; others are just stupid. Here are my ways for getting rid of writer's block. Try them and see if they work for you!

What if writing doesn't work out?

Humor for Writers – The Writer’s Golf Balls Collection (via ePublish a Book) Humor for Writers – The Writer’s Golf Balls Collection A young couple gets married, and the groom asks his bride if he can have a dresser drawer of his own that she will never open. The bride agrees. For 30 years, he spent most evenings bend over his typewriter, then over his computer keyboard,…

V is for Voice #AtoZChallenge

Glen is the only one to write two posts for this series, so to thank him for all his hard work, I encourage you to check out his links at the bottom of this page.

A guest post by Glen Robinson

I belong to a group of Adventist Authors on Facebook, and someone recently brought up the question: "How do you go about finding your voice as a writer?" As the others discussed it, I will have to admit that I wasn't quite sure what they were talking about. Were they talking about point of view? Perspective? Writing style?

Wordless Wednesday: Libraries

All of these and more can be found on our Tumblr blog.

U is for Unfulfilled #AtoZChallenge

Post by Guest Blogger
Eric Sipple

It sucks when you don’t get what you want, doesn’t it?

You know what else sucks? Reading about characters getting everything they want. No, no! Don’t feel selfish admitting it. It’s true. You might not want to see the characters you love being denied their desires, but most of the time? It’s way better than the alternative.

A disclaimer: I’m not being a grump about stories writing happy endings. In fact, I’m not talking about endings at all. Don’t get me wrong. I could go on for hours about endings. Why do you think I’m not talking about endings? So I can be brief.

Book Trailer: "Shadows of Destiny" by @galeminchew


#Follow @kenra_daniels: Paranormal Romance writer working toward getting published.

Featured Follower: Kenra Daniels
In her own words:

I write steamy Paranormal Romance featuring weredragons and daywalking vampires. I blog about a variety of topics, mostly related to writing/books/authors. I'm not published yet, but I work toward it daily, and am very optimistic that one or more of my books will find publishers in 2012. In the meantime, I'm learning everything I can about writing and the publishing industry.

T is for Tyops #AtoZChallenge

Post by Guest Blogger
Katie Anderson

“I typed fish instead of fist and the scene just went downhill from there.”

That’s a real quote from my housemate. She was merrily typing along when one character slammed his fish into another character’s jaw. The second character wondered aloud where the first character had gotten such a large salmon, especially since they were standing in the bowels of a castle in the middle of a land-locked nation. The first character replied that their story’s plot no longer held water. More aquatic puns ensued, and the writing project never really recovered.

Celebrate Indie!

We're happy to promote this giveaway hop, mainly because they represent what we want to strive for: helping Indie authors.

"Bruthas is a book that I would recommend whole heartedly to adult readers."

Written by J.L. Whitehead
Genre: Mystery, Urban Crime
Book Synopsis What would you do if you were indirectly responsible for the deaths of several women in your neighborhood? What if a psychopath used your neighborhood as his stalking ground?

This is the story of three brothers: Jai, the successful attorney in one of Philadelphia’s top law firms, Ryan, the IT Professional that is struggling with his sexual identity and Nate, the dealer that has risen to one of the highest ranks in drug distribution ring based in a North Philadelphia neighborhood known as The Block.

A series of murders takes place in The Block, and nothing is being done about it because the women that are being killed are addicted to the product that Nate sells. “Bruthas” deals with family, loyalty, trust, honesty as well as police corruption and murder. Much like the winding streets of Philadelphia, “Bruthas” takes you on a roller coaster ride exploring the depths of addiction to the heights of family l…

S is for Self-Publishing #AtoZChallenge

Post by Guest Blogger
Rachel Lynn Brody

Writing this blog has been killing me, because I don’t feel like I have the authority to tell an audience “This is self-publishing.” What I can do, having just self-published Hot Mess: speculative fiction about climate change, is tell you the things I wish somebody had told me at the beginning:

R is for Repeating "O" #AtoZChallenge

Due to mismanagement on my part, I did not get an R post, but thankfully I received two "O" posts. This one was going to be originally run in May. I bring it in early as a REPEAT.

"O" is for OMG
Will This Never End?
Post by Guest Blogger Susie Moloney

I’ve been a writer all my life. My first novel, “Blackie the Beetle,” was written when I was just seven. It’s not my best work. For one thing, it’s derivative, very much like what I was reading at the time--things like Dick and Jane Go To The Store--so the characterization is simplistic, with little layering. The ending was probably too short and abrupt.

Should Authors Comment On Reviews?

This post is part of a blog hop; check out some other blogger responses after you read my answer. Or, at least come back if you choose to read the others first. (Links at the bottom of this post)

There seems to be some confusion about the answer to this question. I think it’s fairly simple and straightforward. Use comments to thank the reviewer and interact with their readers.Remember, though, your reputation. Rants do not help you; they simply bring attention to the negative review.

Would you like to read your next book on a brand new iPad?

Justin, from, is hosting an awesome giveaway. The one product that everyone wishes to own: the all new iPad 3rd generation tablet. With the great retina display with 2048×1536 resolution, the A5X quad core processor, 5MP camera having a 1080P video recording and Bluetooth, who wouldn’t want this awesome piece?

Q is for Quack #AtoZChallenge

A guest post by Donan Berg

Walter Hunt’s repeating rifle replaced the single-shot musket. While it became a model for the Winchester lever-action rifle said to have won the American West, word repetition has never single-handedly enhanced fiction writing and can figuratively “kill” sales, if one visualizes a hand tossing aside a boring book unread. Stand on a United States urban street corner today and you may hear: “Stop quacking about it!” The root-word “Quack” is slang meaning: “to talk rubbish” or “drive a point home unnecessarily.”

Giftcard from Cisco Athletic

All the details can be found HERE.

View Giveaway Details Herea Rafflecopter giveawayYou need javascript enabled to see this giveaway.Giveaway by Cisco Athletic

Video: Obstacles to writing a novel

So You Want to Write a Novel … (via ePublish a Book) We are all convinced our book is the best thing that could possibly happen on this planet, aren’t we? Seems we are not the only ones. In the US alone, a mere 200 million people are considering writing and then, of course, publishing a book. Here is what most of them sound like : So we still have…

P is for Plot #AtoZChallenge

A guest post by Heaven O'Shey

In the literary world, the plot is the sequence of events of the story. When mapping out your story, you should have an idea of the direction in which you want to take the reader. Your story should entice the reader to keep reading and having a well-thought out plot will accomplish this goal.

O is for Outline #AtoZChallenge

How an Annoying Task Can Save Your Butt Many Times Over
A guest post by Glen Robinson

I once told a writing student that: “Writing is easy. You just have to know where to start, where to stop, and what to put in between.” In essence, what I was talking about was the outline.

Now I can already hear many of you groaning, thinking back to your junior high days when you had to learn to diagram a sentence as well as learn to outline in preparation for writing essays. Those outlines were pretty highly structured, with Capital A, followed by #1, followed by lower case a, etc. under each section and subsection. The outline I am going to talk to you about is a little more free flowing, but the purpose is basically the same.

We've been invited to participate in a Goodreads event. You can too!

A Giveaway Sponsored By...
Pages From My Thoughts

These are the two books up for grabs. The first winner will receive a signed hardback of Lacrimosa and ebook of Dies Irae. The second winner will receive both books in ebook format of his/her choice.

To enter to win, visit this page.

N is for Novel #AtoZChallenge

Reflections on Novels and Novelty
A guest post by Bill Throwsnaill

When I started working on my first novel (Hemlock and the Wizard Tower), I had just stopped reading a particularly disappointing fantasy novel. A sudden and unexpected sense of pride built in my chest, and I proclaimed to myself that I could do better. Another inner voice responded. "Prove it!" And so my adventures as an indie novelist began.

"It’s a good read that gets your mental gears turning."

Hot Mess
speculative fiction about climate change
RJ Astruc
Rachel Lynn Brody
Miranda Doerfler
Sare Liz Gordy
Eric Sipple

Genre: Science Fiction Short Stories
Book Synopsis Hot Mess: speculative fiction about climate change is an collaborative anthology. Short stories include:

"She Says Goodbye Tomorrow" by Eric Sipple. As microclimates shift and a once-abundant vineyard withers away, its owner fights to keep her family’s winery and memories alive. How long can she put off moving on?

"Haute Mess" by Rachel Lynn Brody Even Fashionistas get the climate change blues.

"In Between the Dark and the Light" by Miranda Doerfler When state-sponsored executions threaten to claim his only daughter, Brett Zerum does everything he can to save her and escape to a new, otherworldly paradise.

"Traditionibus ne Copulate" by Sare Liz Gordy The Way of the Geonome will eventually call everyone home. But with humans wiped out in the apocalypse, w…

M is for Metaphor #AtoZChallenge

A guest post by LJ Cohen

If there's one phrase that every writer has heard ad nauseum, it's "show, don't tell." When I first came across that advice, I understood it in a very narrow context: that I had to describe every aspect of scene, character, and plot, avoiding the use of any sort of exposition.

Eventually, I realized that doing so would result in a very tedious, overwritten story. A more nuanced view of "show, don't tell," is in making sure that the story's language conveys emotion and action without the writer telegraphing it or summarizing it for the reader.

L is for Language #AtoZChallenge

Creating a Believable Sense of Place
A guest post by Luke Wortley

I once attended a lecture on a graduate school visit that centered on place as a veritable character. This got me thinking…how in the world does “place” become a character? My B.A. is in Spanish and so I got to thinking that it could have something to do with language. After all, characters become people by speaking to each other, right? Why could language not transcend the conventional barriers of being able to “speak”?

K is for Kids #AtoZChallenge

Involving Kids in Book Writing & Promotion
A guest post by Henry Herz

Nimpentoad is the fantasy story of a courageous and resourceful little Nibling who leads his tribe through the perilous Grunwald forest, overcoming obstacles and encountering strange creatures along the way. This post is about the creative journey of Nimpentoad by a father and his two young sons.

When my sons were five and seven years old, I wanted to share my love of fantasy with them. They were too young for watching most of the fantasy and sci-fi movie classics, and there are only so many good fantasy books available for that age range. Struck by inspiration one day, I came up with a way to share the joy of entering the magical realms of fantasy. I would write a fantasy book for them!

J is for Jargon #AtoZChallenge

How much is too much?
A guest post by Vijaya Schartz

Jargon is a fact of life. We use it without noticing because it’s convenient. then after much abuse it gradually becomes part of the everyday vocabulary and finally enters the most prestigious editions of the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY and the AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, to name only two on my shelf.

Would you like to join the Crew as a reviewer? #amreading

Our waiting list is growing by the day, and as we expand our reach online, it grows faster than we can keep up. Bec is an incredibly fast reader, and I read as much as I can. But we are still getting behind. The other members of the crew are not active in the review area. Except for Sharon, and her schedule doesn't allow for constant reading either. So for that reason, we are looking to expand our reading force. Are you interested?

I is for Irony #AtoZChallenge

A guest post by Leigh M. Lane

While irony has a place in many genres, it is a fundamental element in satire. When properly used, it can enrich and add necessary depth to a work, offering commentary in ways that few other literary elements can present. Irony expounds a premise through that which is not said, but rather implied by exclusion, creating a deconstructionist venue that might show more than simple description might tell. With that in mind, I offer the reader an exposition of irony through a close reading of a couple of choice excerpts from my dramatic satire and dystopia, World-Mart.

H is for Hook, Line and Sinker! #AtoZChallenge

A guest post by Stacey James

Obviously this is not a blog about fishing. But you are, in essence, “fishing” for readers. That is, you will want to use the correct kind of “bait” to “lure” your readers into reading the rest of your “tale”.

"I highly recommend this book for any lover of science fiction."

The Anarchists
by Brian Thompson
Genre: Science Fiction Book Synopsis After a failed coup, a revolutionary named Noor is exiled and sentenced to die as a lowly earthling. Vowing to rule earth, but separated from his lieutenants, he is forced to use human beings instead.

In the year 2050, tragedy strikes. Harper Lowe loses her son’s father to a last-minute decision. A drunk Damario Coley is maimed in a freak accident. Quinne Ruiz is assaulted and arrested, and Teanna Kirkwood witnesses the death of her daughter.

Weeks later, the alluring Kareza Noor, CEO of the Genesis Institute, pilots a psychological experiment, the “Begin Again” initiative. It affords Harper, Damario, Quinne and Teanna the opportunity to erase a past regret. One of them must be forced into it.

All solve their former problems but create new ones. Noor, now the Prime Minister of Italy, is plotting a dangerous end-game – if they try to stop him, they will be treated as terrorists.

G is for Genre #AtoZChallenge

A guest post by Rob Blackwell

Aside from a book’s title and cover, its genre is the most important factor in how it is marketed to and discovered by readers.

Of course I never considered this when I wrote my novel. When I started A Soul to Steal, I thought I was writing a horror novel. That’s about as much thought as I put into it. I never considered that horror meant different things to different people. I was quite comfortable being in the same category as Stephen King, my literary hero, and that’s all there was to it.

This was a mistake, one I didn’t realize until I had actually published the book.

Looking back, I had unnecessarily pigeon-holed my book, sticking it in a category that it belonged in, but also limiting its reach and marketability at the same time. Here’s why:

Calling all Book Bloggers: Join our book blogger blog hop!

We're participating in the A to Z Challenge this month, which is a wonderful blog hop. I'm meeting some new bloggers, making connections, and seeing some great content. Networking is one of the biggest goals of The Masquerade Crew. What better way to help self-publishers than to all join together and support one another. With that in mind, I've created an InLinkz list for Book Bloggers.

If you maintain a book review blog (and especially if you review Indie or the Self-Published), add your site to the list below. Below the list is a link to add this very same list to your site.

F is for Figurative Language #AtoZChallenge

F is for Figurative: Show, Don’t Tell A guest post by Susie Kline

As writers, we are told over and over again that we need to show, not tell our story. That can get confusing! Sometimes, a green tree is just a green tree, right?

Wrong! Fiction writing is our time to tell a tale. We want to engage and entertain our readers. We want them to remember our story, long after the words have been read. We need that green tree to be oh so much more!

E is for Editing #AtoZChallenge

E is for Editing: 5 Tips for Self-EditingA guest post by Natalie Wright

Whether we submit our manuscripts to agents and editors, or take them directly to readers by self-publishing, writers need to be ruthless self-editors. Editing is just as much a part of writing as that initial burst of creative energy. Before you query that manuscript or hit the upload button to self-publish, try out these five editing tips to improve your manuscript:

Book Trailer: "Hot Fun in the Summertime" by @Chicki663


Congrats to these 3. They have 8 new books coming.

Five Star Review
Mega Giveaway