Book Reviews, Giveaways and More...
Life Is What It's Called Book Review:
"Brylee Hawkins left home five years ago when she felt her father did something unforgivable. Her new fiancè wants her to make peace with her father and fix their broken relationship before they make wedding plans. Brylee goes home to the Australian Outback to find more conflict than she could ever imagine and a tangled web of lies.
I found The Brylee Hawkins Saga: Secrets filled with drama as Brylee Hawkins returns home to find home not quite as she expected. Layers and layers of secrets and lies unfold as the story progresses. Brylee was a likeable character and it was interesting to see her outward reaction and her inward thoughts to various situations. The characters in this book are in nowise perfect and the foreshadowing not always trustworthy, which made the book seem realistic and kept me guessing. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the Australian Outback. To find out more about Secrets, click here.
The publisher, Books You Can Trust, has generously allowed me to giveaway an ebook version of Secrets.The giveaway on this blog post will run through rafflecopter until December 20, 2017 at 12 am. The giveaway is open to US residents only and 18+. The winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to respond."
Don't forget our Winter Wonderland Promotion. Happy Holidays fellow book lovers! (Click the link for the book promotion)
How Reading Improves Your Body and Mind
Are you one of those countless people who don’t make regular reading a priority? You are mostly likely missing out. This info-graphic provided by The Expert Editor might just inspire you to add another New Year resolution to your list!
If you aren't an avid reader at heart, our suggestion is to start small! Maybe set a goal to read a book every other month for 2018 and then bump it up monthly by 2019. You are mostly likely missing out. Let us help you with your goals and click the link below for a free ebook today. Happy Reading!
Click here to download your FREE ebook and get reading today!
Ten Mistakes That Prevent Writers from Being Authors
Every writer makes mistakes. By eliminating most common mistakes in your novel you will be an author, not just a writer. We accumulated a short list of the Top Ten most common mistakes in writing and what YOU can do to avoid them. Even established authors sometimes find themselves lost over these mistakes. Learn how to find them, changed them and write impeccable stories that will turn heads.
#1: Are you telling or showing?
When you write that a character saw, heard, smelled or felt something… reword it to SHOW what it is the character is seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling.
#2: Overusing “I” in First-Person Narrator
Don’t begin every sentence using “I.” Remember the first mistake? Show, don’t tell.
#3: Too Many Characters
Evaluate how essential your characters are. Do you really need all eleven characters? Is there a way you could combine two or more characters to condense your cast and organize the story? Perhaps call them “the twins” instead of Lucy and Lillian?
#4: Too Much Explaining
Be aware that you aren’t flooding your readers with explanations. Be aware of the reasons why you’re including an individual explanation, and evaluate its value and don’t be nervous to cut it if it’s interrupting the information that’s important to your story. Try not to insult your readers with over explanations.
#5: Not Enough Explaining
Authors know their stories so well they assume the readers do too. Circulate the information throughout different scenes giving readers a full visual of your characters. Show your readers what the narrator already knows. Find a good balance of sharing information. Enough, but not too much.
#6: “Suddenly” Ironic Tendencies
Overusing the word “suddenly” lessens the effect it’s trying to establish. If something is supposed to have a sudden effect then the act itself should show that. If you have to use the word to show its urgent action, then rewrite the paragraph without it.
#7: Opening Lines that Bore to Death
Boring lines fail to draw readers further into the story. It’s that simple. Reevaluate your opening lines to ensure your readers stick around to finish the book.
#8: Irrelevant Scenes
Irrelevant scenes will derail your story. How do we know if your readers will think they are unnecessary? Look for the loose ends in your novel and mentally delete them. This can be hard because sometimes the smaller scenes are the fun scenes to write. You will be doing your novel a favor by getting rid of them.
#9: Complex Plots That Go Too Far
The major pitfall with overly complex plots is that authors fail writing a story that they don’t fully understand themselves. We want our plots to be complex so they challenge our readers but we don’t want to get lost in those ideas. You’ll be able to tell if your plot to too complex if you’re telling more than one story. Pick the story you want to tell and go from there.
#10: Events That Don’t Move the Plot Forward
Sure it would be fun to add a scene you’ve been thinking about for sometime. Does it move the story forward? If so, I say do it! If not, save it for a novel it will. Adding events that don’t move the story forward will derail your readers.
Give Thanks and Be Happy
If you haven't read our Thanksgiving Gift you can! Click the link below for a FREE Ebook of our best seller.
We hope your Thanksgiving is full of family, food, travel and of course reading. In light of giving thanks to all our blessings, we want to give special thanks to books. Read the history on books HERE
Keep your friends and your family close this holiday season, count your many blessings and read lots of books! Check out our online bookshop and gift books this year. Happy Thanksgiving!
How Blogs Increase Sales
The Internet has changed everything in the world of marketing books. Authors can easily create a blog with hopes of increasing readership along with increasing sales, however, the task of doing so can be much more than expected. But why? Many times authors who know how to write go into creating a blog thinking that is all it takes. We are here to tell you, that is just simply not the case. Here are a few things to consider before jumping all into creating and running a blog.
Is blogging right for you?
Do you know how to start a blog?
What style of blog do you like?
How can you market yourself and your blog to gain fans?
How do you turn readers into customers?
Style, Content, and Readers
While starting a blog is great, it’s important to focus on what your blog is intended to do. This will help develop a style and help brand you and your books. What are you going to write about? An easy and great way to start writing blog posts is to write on the simple but important things. Who are you? What value do you hold to potential readers? Maybe write an overall FAQ post that will answer frequently asked questions. The reason authors decide to blog and find success really comes down to the dedication of yourself as an author and your book. To find success we have few tips. Get involved in your blogging community. Comment on posts of other similar blogs. Be genuinely interested in the people within your industry. You can also invite other bloggers to be guest on your blog and try engaging on social media. Readers who are interested in your industry will find your blog and enjoy it!
If you haven't download our FREE Ebook we are giving away for the month of November, you can do that here!
6 Steps To Writing Your Best Novel Yet
Writing a novel can be an emotional journey. With the figurative ups and downs in your novel as well as the literal ones you experience writing it. Talking with our authors we have been able to pin point a Six step process that is essential to writing a great novel.
1. Contemplating. Contemplate on your idea. Take notes and understand your main character. Secondary characters will come as you write and may even surprise you. However, you should know your main character and know what it is you want them to accomplish through out the story.
2. Create a Schedule. Writing a novel is made up of two different compartments. One compartment you have complete control over while the other you do not. The first compartment is mostly connected with step one, Creativity in which you have complete and utter control. On the contrary the other crucial compartment in novel writing is called The System. Included in The System category would be editing, formatting, cover design, more editing and so on and so fourth. (If you haven’t yet checked out our publishing services you can do so HERE )
So create a schedule that will help keep your goals on track. If you want to turn your manuscript in within six months you can start by diving the word count by the days you have to write and schedule writing into your calendar. It doesn’t matter how you create a schedule it only matters that you do.
3. Point of View: Who is reading your book? Decide this before diving in because changing the point of view can be not only difficult and timely but confusing enough to where you have a different story all said and done.
4. Plot and Conflict. Now that you understand your main character make a simple outline to help guide the main character through the story. This will lead right to the next step, character development, because conflict will arise as you introduce new characters.
5. Character Development. This process can be long and ever changing. As your novel unwinds so do your characters. Your first draft should be focused on the plot and dialogue making sure your story makes sense and you aren’t getting caught up in details. As you move through that first draft began to make decisions about each of your characters and as you go back as a second draft adding more characterization and details will take your writing from a story to a novel.
6. Starting. Now go back to your small outline you made for plot and conflict and start a scene. It doesn’t even need to be the beginning of the novel but have a clear understanding of what you would like to accomplish in that scene. Some scenes are fillers the give information to the audience while others tackle a bigger issue at hand. Knowing the purpose of the scene will help you stay on the right path during the writing process.
Using these six steps can help you through those ups and downs. Believe it or not next thing you know you’ll have one heck of a story!
P.S. Check out our BookShop for great examples of this 6 Step Process. Our authors are great and their books are better! :) CLICK HERE TO SHOP
Do It Right and "Know" Either Way
The question that has been debated for years...
To write what you know? Or to write what you don’t know?
No matter which way you argue, we believe it is most important to stay true to yourself. Now if that means you feel more confident writing about things that are familiar to you then write that. On the contrary… if you have the desire and the skills to research then roll with it. Whichever you choose, always stay true to yourself.
Side note: Did you know we are giving away a FREE Ebook the ENTIRE month of November? Click Here if you haven't downloaded it yet... Okay, back to the blog.
Reasons To Write What You Know
Reasons why it’s usually better to write what you already know:
Research What You Don’t Know
However, it is still important to check things. Verifying certain facts about the timeline, geography or anything you deem important should be double checked if you have any doubt your readers won’t buy it.
Researching is great break from writing. It can help bring your writing full circle for a perfect solution. Having issues where your story goes next? Do a little research and see if that helps the creative juices flow.
As writers, we have the access (legitimate sources from the internet) to get the facts straight and so we should. Going the extra mile will make your fictitious book REAL to your readers.
3 Gerunds That Change Literature
Our tagline here at BYCT is Entertaining. Uplifting. Inspiring. When we think of great novels these words must ring true. Think back to the first time you realized you loved to read. Even to those who maybe don’t love reading but have that one book that was the exception that took you out of this world… Why? What made that book great? Well we believe any book must have all three of these qualities to be great and that is why it is our tagline.
This one is a no brainer. Of course a book needs to be entertaining! But, we included it into our motto because raise your hand if you’ve ever that book you could just never get quite into… Okay so we all raised our hands. How as an author can we make sure to keep our readers entertained and how as readers can we choose novels best to entertain our personalities? As a reader, when choosing a novel, know your preference… If your preference is normally fantasy romance then a historical biography might not be up your ally. But, don’t forget to read outside your comfort zone because you might fall in love with more than one type! Okay now, to authors… Keep your books entertaining by sticking to the genre; develop interesting and relate-able characters; and understanding your audience.
Why is this characteristic so important to us? Novels that leave you feeling uplifted, have long lasting impacts in our lives. With so many bad things going on in the world today that we like to highlight all the good still left in the world. Does that mean all our books are rainbows and roses? No. Our books and the characters within still go through challenges and experience real life hardships. However, we want our readers to feel uplifted and wanting more after reading a book from our site.
Books that inspire us are the reason people read. How many times have we read a book about an amazing story that just flat out inspires us to doing something we would never think to do before? Or maybe just give us the extra push to do something we’ve been thinking about for a while? Great books inspire people. Period. No matter the genre or the plot if it’s a great book, it has to inspire someone.
Pick up one of our books today and let us know if we live up to our tagline. Or for a FREE ebook to one of our best sellers click here!
There has been a lot of buzz going around how there is no “right” way to write a novel. We disagree. One of the best things about writing is it is considered to be Objectively Subjective. What we mean by this is some writers work through structured outlines while others dive-in head first exploring the path. What is the “right” way to write a novel?
Understand yourself as a writer and perfect your methods.
Whether you are The Structurer, The Explorer or maybe somewhere in between you can create a masterpiece by being Objectively Subjective.
Before becoming an Objectively Subjective writer we need to understand where our methods fall on the spectrum…
The Structurer: Has a clear path of the story and uses a concise outline during the process. This process starts with the basics. Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Resolution. After finding initial direction The Structurer then adds smaller conflicts and climaxes that creates character development and the story. They have the direction of the novel in mind and execute accordingly.
The Explorer: Starts with a blank piece of paper and a lot of words. Explorers use their current moods and passions to develop characters and create conflicts. The story has no direction but also no limits to which direction the final draft will go. Depending on the day The Explores takes their writing wherever their mind will let them go.
Now on a scale of Structurer to Explorer where are you? It is common to be somewhere in the middle of the two. Understanding where you are on the scale as a writer helps the writing process go more smoothly and clears your mind for imagination and creativity.
In order to write a novel worth reading one needs to, “learn to be three people at once: writer, character, and reader.” - Nancy Kress (Author of Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpoints) Unless you’re writing a fictitious biography, a writer needs to get out of their own mind and into the minds’ of their characters and readers.
How can we do this?
Life is beautiful and messy all at the same time. BUT it’s the mess that makes life worth living. Without challenges, beauty becomes mundane living. As authors, how do we stay clear of the mundane within our novels? Before we jumped into the character’s mind… as the writer we first need to slip into the mind of our readers. Below we’ve mapped out FIVE easy steps to successfully morph the writer, character and reader into one.
1. Establish the Genre
Establishing the genre of your book is going to help develop true dynamic personalities within your writing. If your novel is Science fiction, no need to have the main characters focus on their intimate relationship with one another… Unless you determine the genre is a Science-fiction Romance* By understanding the genre of your novel you will be able to smoothly develop the characters without loosing the overall story.
2. Who Are Your Readers
Once you determine the genre… let’s say, Romance, decide who you will gear your book towards. I know, I know… we want EVERYONE to read our novels but having a group of people who understand you as a writer and your characters will make your novel a novel worth reading.
3. Give Characters Relevant Problems to Genre and Readers
Does it make sense to put a pop star meeting her father for the first time in outer space? Probably not. Relate your character’s problems to the genre and your readers.
4. Characters Should Solve Problems
Don’t let the plot solve the problem. Why didn’t J.K. Rowling shut down Hogwarts and force all the students to go home until next year while the professor took care of Voldemort? Take your characters and make them find the solutions within your novel.
5. Stay True to Yourself as an Author
Don’t forget whose writing the book. You are! Challenge the characters and the readers with your beliefs and thoughts and your novel will be a novel worth reading.