Thursday, April 24, 2014

Guest Post by Jennifer Burrows / Into The Light

Starting Out As A Writer-5 Things You Should Know

I love this topic! Everybody wants to know the secret to becoming a successful writer.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a set road map for everyone.  If there was, it would be much easier.  It’s different for each individual based on the genre, networking capabilities, and if your story is what people are wanting.  With that said, let’s dive in. 
Number Five: The chances you’re going to become mega successful are slim to none. My husband always says, “I can’t wait for you to make it big so I can quit my job.”  I just smile and nod at him.  Of course it would be amazing.  I’m going to do everything I can to get there.  But in the back of my mind, I continue to focus on what I love—writing. I get the opportunity to do what I am passionate about.  That’s the reward and I’m lucky. 
Number Four: You don’t need a publisher to publish your book.  I had a publisher for my first book and I self-published my second.  I’ve been more successful with my second book than I ever was with my first.  My publisher didn’t do a lot for me except create headaches.  I’ve done all the marketing and networking on my own.  Oh, and self-publishing is incredibly easy!
Number Three: Find a good group of beta readers.  Your friends and family are not an asset where this is concerned.  My husband is a lit major.  No help there. My best friend is an avid reader and is very critical when it comes to books.  Not really a lot of help there. These people are too close.  You need someone who is objective and doesn’t give a crap about hurting your feelings.  These are the people who will tell you honestly if your story sucks.
Number two.  Networking is your best friend.  Go to writers conferences, join an online group, become a part of a writing club, etc.  Make friends.  Share your experiences. That support group is so necessary. Writing can be a lonely profession.  If you find a person to share your ideas, fan bases, and tips, it will make things easier for you.  One of my author friends did a giveaway of my book on her website.  I got almost 100 new likes on Facebook in one day. 
The number one thing you should do is make friends with the bloggers.  People told me this over and over.  Common sense told me I needed to.  The problem I had is I’m no one.  I’m a new author.  The bloggers get tons of inquiries a day to read and review books. One by one, I was shot down.  Most didn’t even write back.
In order to get their attention, I started giving them things to give away on their page. Mostly is ecopies of my books.   They love this.  It gets you exposure while making their fans happy trying to win free items.  It’s a win-win.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Across Great Divides by Monique Roy

Book Synopsis

Across Great Divides is a timeless story of the upheavals of war, the power of family, and the resiliency of human spirit. When Hitler came to power in 1933, one Jewish family refused to be destroyed and defied the Nazis only to come up against another struggle—confronting apartheid in South Africa.

Sixteen-year-old Eva and her twin sister, Inge, witness their lives in Berlin change before their eyes. Their best friend, Trudy, betrays them when she becomes a member of the Hitler Youth. A valuable family heirloom, a beautiful emerald and diamond pendant necklace, is confiscated by the Nazis as they continue to harass Jewish families and businesses. The family is conflicted whether they should leave home. But after the devastation of Kristallnacht in 1938, they finally flee Germany with the help of the underground resistance after hiding many diamonds. They seek refuge in Antwerp, but war follows them as Belgium is occupied by the Germans.

After they escape Europe - hiking over the Pyrenees Mountains while eluding German patrols and Spanish informers - they spend agonizing days on a ship bound for Rio de Janeiro that is targeted by a German U-boat. As Rio’s diamond business is corrupt, they decide to go to South Africa, another diamond market. In Cape Town, Eva encounters an impoverished colored woman, Zoe, who is in need of work. The family hires Zoe as their maid and shields her and her daughter, Zola, from the dangers they face in the slums of District Six and from the horrors of apartheid, which are all too reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

But, when Max gets into trouble with the South African police over his participation in an anti-apartheid march, will he be subject to imprisonment?

In a thrilling conclusion, the family comes to terms with the evils of society, both in their memories and current situation in South Africa.

Book Details
Across Great Divides
Monique Roy
Historical Fiction - WWII
ISBN: 0615846688

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About the Author
Monique loves writing that twitches her smiling muscles or transports her to another time or place. Her passion for writing began as a young girl while penning stories in a journal. Now she looks forward to deepening her passion by creating many unique stories that do nothing less than intrigue her readers.

Monique was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and her grandparents were European Jews who fled their home as Hitler rose to power. It's their story that inspired her to write Across Great Divides, her debut, historical fiction novel.

Monique holds a degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is also the author of a children's book Once Upon a Time in Venice. In her free time, she loves to travel, play tennis, pursue her passion for writing, and read historical fiction. In 2008, she was chosen by the American Jewish Committee's ACCESS program to travel to Berlin, Germany, on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, to explore German and Israeli relations along with 20 other Jewish professionals from across the U.S.