Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Legend of the Pumpkin-Head Costume - Halloween Ride by Elaine Kaye


You can find my Author Toolbox Blog Hop post here


***

Please welcome my mom Elaine Kaye to Write with Fey!

The pumpkin-head costume is legendary in my family…

It all began on one Halloween night many years ago when my son wore the pumpkin-head costume. There were many tears. And screaming. And flat-out refusal. My son did not want to be a pumpkin! I don’t know why. I handmade the costume. It’s silky-soft and adorable. But my son wasn’t having any part of it.

My son in the pumpkin-head costume.

Having five kids, it’s tough to get a new costume for each of them every year, so many Halloweens they wore the same costume or a costume was handed down from one to the next.

And that is how the pumpkin-head costume struck again…

This time, my youngest daughter was the victim. There were many tears and the saddest face you ever saw. I couldn’t even get her to smile when I was putting red lipstick on her. Just imagine that smeared work! My daughter did not want to be the pumpkin. She wanted to be the princess, the costume my oldest daughter wore that was too big for her. So, she was stuck, trapped, destined to be the pumpkin.

Chrys Fey in the pumpkin-head costume.

As a matter of fact, my youngest daughter still has that pumpkin-head costume. Now, she thinks it’s adorable. Will the pumpkin-head strike again…?

Well, in Halloween Ride, Sammy wears a pumpkin costume, inspired by this legendary outfit. There were no tears, no screams, no flat-out refusal, just a happy little bear in a pumpkin costume.


NEW RELEASE:


BLURB: One Halloween night, Gregory and his teddy bear Sammy go trick-or-treating, hoping for lots and lots of candy. But Sammy is scared of everything and is constantly asking, “What’s that?” Gregory gets annoyed until one of those things turns out to be a flying broomstick. And this broom wants them to go for a ride. Where will it take them? 

*Story picture book Ages 4-8.

EBOOK 99 CENTS:

Print:



ALSO ON SALE FOR 99 CENTS!

Pea Soup Disaster: Amazon / Nook / Kobo

Doctor Mom: Amazon / Nook / Kobo


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Elaine Kaye is the author of A Gregory Green Adventure series. She first created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup.
Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home.
She is a grandmother of three boys.



GIVEAWAY:

Enter here to win a signed paperback copy of Pea Soup Disaster, a hand-stitched bookmark, and a pea pod key chain! Open to all from September 16, 2018 – October 1, 2018!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 17, 2018

Organization Tip: Email Folders #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop
Join HERE


I like to be organized. It’s true, especially when it comes to being a writer/author. I am my boss. I am the manager of my business. Organization is key when you’re running a business, and that’s precisely what you’re doing.

Previously I mentioned how I keep track of my expenses and earnings. I’ve also hinted at how I use email folders to save receipts and blog tour emails.

Well, I have a lot more email folders than that.

As a matter of fact, I have email folders for each of my published works. Whenever I send or receive an email regarding one of my books, I move it into that book’s email folder. Every email from my editor and publisher is put into these folders. Emails for promos that are in the works, including blog tours, are also added.

I also have folders for the works I am querying. The emails I send out are moved to these folders. When I receive a rejection, I have a folder marked as “Rejections.”

What other folders do I have?

-      Book Club (emails to the moderators for the IWSG book club)
-      Comments (lovely emails or blog comments I’ve received)
-      Editing (client emails)
-      Fey’s Sparklers (my street team)
-      Giveaways (emails I send to giveaway winners)
-      Guest Posts (for guests of my blog)
-      IWSG
-      Mom (these are the emails regarding my mom’s children’s books)
-      My Newsletter (my newsletters that go out)
-      Promo Info
-      Receipts (online receipts and PayPal emails)
-      Rejections
-      Reviews
-      SAVE (works-in-progress I have put on the back burner)

Once or twice a year, I delete emails I don’t need anymore, such as for completed blog tours and review requests that weren’t answered.

I return to these emails a lot if I need to recall or double-check something, find a document I received or sent, and make sure I sent an email. These emails also make a great record and can provide "proof" of a conversation or confirmation if you ever need it. 

I love my email folders, and I add to them every day.


QUESTION: Do you organize your email folders? How?


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Bactine for Writer’s Burnout Part 1 (Speak) / IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


Flaming Crimes (Disaster Crimes #4) is on sale for 99 cents!

Amidst a criminal mind game, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight to keep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither of them expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.

Their lives may just go up in flames…

Sale ends on September 14th!


***

Long Post Alert! 
***I broke this article up to help you skim if you don’t have time to read it all.***


What is writer’s burnout?

Burnout is very different from writer’s block. It’s worse. Many years ago, I experienced a bad case of writer’s block that stopped my writing for 2 or 3 months. I’ve also experienced the normal day-to-day writer’s block, as well as weeks of writer’s block. And, yes, writer’s block can last a year.

But writer’s burnout is not writer’s block. Writer’s burnout is something you feel deep down…bone-deep. It’s just like when athletes burnout from working themselves too hard and too much for too long. They can lose their love of the sport, physically and mentally.


My Story:

I had been writing since I was twelve, and I mean seriously writing with the goal of publication. I wrote nearly every single day. Of course, as I got older and started publishing, I couldn’t write every day, but I still wrote most of the time.

September 2016, I fell headfirst into a spiraling abyss of depression. This depression went on for nine months. I couldn’t write. I struggled to even want to blog. In the beginning, I could hardly eat. April 2017, I finally felt like my old self, but something was still wrong…I wasn’t writing.

I did experience one week of great writing in August. And I did write during the last few days of 2017 and the first two days of 2018, but then…nothing. I tried. I did everything I could possibly do, but I couldn’t focus on a single project longer than a day or two. Writing a paragraph was a mental and physical challenge. For months I had a scary thought but didn’t want to admit it. And then, one night, I knew it was true…I was burned out as a writer.

The next day, I took to Facebook to confess the struggle I’ve had for so long. I got lovely support from many writer friends.

I ended up having to add an update to my post saying I wasn’t looking for advice. I just wanted to be honest and to share my problem with writers who may also be facing burnout. And all the advice I was getting, I had tried. Several times. I did all the things I tell others who suffer from writer’s block to do, but again…I didn’t have writer’s block. The normal tricks were falling. Although the advice was given out of love, they were given by writers who didn’t quite understand, which is not their fault. It was their support that really boosted me, and I did get messages from a couple of writers who did know just what I was talking about and also dealt with extreme depression. It was nice to know I wasn't alone.


3 Tips to START Reversing Burnout:

It was thanks to all of the comments I got that I realized a big step to hopefully reversing my burnout was what I had just done and didn’t realize…

I spoke my truth.

I shared my personal struggle.

I let others in.

BACTINE #1: If you are afraid you’re facing writer’s burnout, or if you have writer’s block, or even if you’re not sure…share your struggle with others.

A lightbulb went off in my head. From then on, I shared my journey back to writing on my author Facebook page.

Why?

1. Accountability

Sharing each and every day how I did was a great way to be accountable, to at least try so I had share something with my supporters. And knowing that made me want to try harder.

2. It’s a journey.

I may be doing the journey alone, but by sharing it I am including others…I’m not alone anymore.

3. Daily Log/Progress Meter

I posted in the evening to share how I did that day, like a daily log. It was an update for the people who wanted to know how I was fairing, but it was also a journal for me, something I could look back on to see my progress. That in itself was motivating.


BACTINE #2: Post daily progress reports on a social media platform of your choice. In my updates, I shared my word count, if I wrote that day, or what I did that was writing related that was a step out of my comfort zone or was new and inspiring. I also shared how I reward myself each day, even on the days I didn't write.


BACTINE #3: Reward yourself, too. Whatever you accomplish that day, whatever you do, reward yourself.

Did you write? Reward!

Did you go to a writer’s meeting? Reward!

Did you start reading a writing book? Reward!

Did you do things on your to-do list that prevented you from writing? Reward!

I’ve talked about rewarding yourself in two other blog posts (for submitting stories/queries and seeing rejections as badges of honor), so I really do believe in this practice.

I’ve rewarded myself with hot baths, chocolate, and binge-watching Charmed. It can be anything, and it helps me to relax, which is a big reason why I burned out in the first place. I was working myself too hard and not rewarding myself enough. Don’t make my mistake.



More Bactine posts for Writer’s Burnout coming soon!


QUESTIONS: Have you ever been burned out? How'd you get over it?



Monday, August 27, 2018

99 Cents Picture Books!!!



My mom's picture story books are now available in eBook!

And they are currently only 99 cents! 

This price won't last long, though, so snag it now for you, your children, your grandchildren, and your nieces and nephews.



My mom's newest release for autumn:

HALLOWEEN RIDE

PRE-ORDER FOR 99 CENTS!

One Halloween night, Gregory and his teddy bear Sammy go trick-or-treating, hoping for lots and lots of candy. But Sammy is scared of everything and is constantly asking, “What’s that?” Gregory gets annoyed until one of those things turns out to be a flying broomstick. And this broom wants them to go for a ride. Where will it take them?

PRE-ORDER 99 CENTS:





PEA SOUP DISASTER

ONLY 99 CENTS!

Gregory Green loves his mom’s pea soup, but when he eats it at school, all of his friends make fun of how it looks. He doesn’t think it looks like bugs, and it tastes good! Then at recess, his friends run from him, screaming, “He’s a monster!” Gregory doesn’t know why his friends are being mean until he sees his skin is green. The teasing gets worse until an unlikely friend comes to the rescue—his teddy bear, Sammy. Sammy usually only comes to life for Gregory and his family, but Sammy has an important lesson to teach Gregory and his classmates.

EBOOK 99 CENTS: Amazon / Nook / Kobo



DOCTOR MOM

ONLY 99 CENTS!

It’s Saturday, and Gregory Green can’t wait to have fun with his dad on the riding lawnmower, but something is wrong. Sammy, his teddy bear and best friend, won’t get out of bed. Gregory is worried when he sees Sammy’s left leg is torn. This is a case for Doctor Mom! Can they fix Sammy? And just how did Sammy get hurt in the first place?

EBOOK 99 CENTS: Amazon / Nook / Kobo









We hope these stories bring many smiles and laughs during your precious reading time with the little ones in your life.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Organization Tip: Writing Backpack #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop
Join HERE


Being a Floridian, I am no stranger to the dangers of brush fires. When I was a kid, a fire surrounded my house on all sides. I had to run inside and grab what I wanted to save. All I remember saving was my blanket and school backpack.

Ever since that day, I’ve had a very real fear of fires. More specifically, a fear of losing my home to one. This worry resulted in something that has come in handy during hurricane season and severe thunderstorms, too.

So, what is it?

A backpack full of all of my writing stuff, including folders of ideas, notebooks for stories I’ve started, a Ziplock bag with a few old floppy disks, a couple of old planners, and anything else I would not want to lose to a natural disaster.

I’ve had this backpack (well, not the exact backpack…I recently got a new one) for years. As a matter of fact, I started doing this when I was a teen and started seriously writing with the goal of publication.

This backpack holds my world…or, I should say, my books’ worlds and my characters.

If a fire ever threatens my home, I will grab this backpack and put it by the door to snatch on my way out with my cats.

I even grab it and bring it wherever I am during a severe thunderstorm.

Any other time, this backpack is in a plastic container in my walk-in closet. During hurricane season, the things I want safe are inside my closet with this backpack. There is even an empty bucket in there for my computer.

Not only does this help for an evacuation, but it keeps all of my writing stuff together in one place 24/7, so I know where to look when I need to find an old story or idea.

If you don’t do anything else that I share on my blog for organization, I highly recommend all writers to do this.


QUESTION: Do you put your writing notebooks/folders in a safe place?


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

My #IWSGPit Experience + Bactine for Writer's Depression - Part 2


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.



NOTE: If you're not interested in #IWSGPit, scroll down to my Bactine for Writer's Depression post. This part is long.

#IWSGPit - This was my first time actually participating in #IWSGPit by sending out pitches, so I want to share my experience.

The book I'm shopping around is urban fantasy, but urban fantasy wasn't listed as a genre for participants to use or agents/publishers to look for. I was told I could use #UF in my tweets, BUT I forgot to include #F (fantasy) until the last couple of tweets at the very end of the time frame. By then, not many people were around, so I don't have much faith that my tweets were seen by agents who accept urban fantasy (or just plain fantasy).

Despite that, I did get 3 likes. However...

1. The first like was from a publisher who helps you self-publish for a steep flat fee of almost $4,000. That's not what I'm looking for (even if I had that kind of money), and I'm pretty sure that the other participants aren't looking for that, either. Otherwise, why join a pitch party?

2. The other publisher that showed interest doesn't actually seem to take my genre. They have a paranormal romance line, so I guess that's what they'd classify my book as?

3. This one came the day after. Their covers are amateurish, the only fantasy book they've published was written by the editor-in-chief, and there's not much info on their site.

Pitches for My Mom - I also helped my mom create tweets for her historical western romance and her children's fantasy chapter book. There wasn't a hashtag for western, only historical and romance, and also no hashtag for chapter books.

Here's How That Went:

For her children's chapter book, she got one like...from that publisher who self-publishes your books. Actually, this book got the first like out of all of our books, and I was so excited...until I looked deeper. The disappointment was swift.

For her historical western romance she got 5 likes! However...

1. The first was from the second publisher who had liked one of my tweets. The good thing is I know a few of their authors. The not-so-good? They don't really seem to take her genre, either, but more regency. But we may try them anyway.

2. One publisher only had two authors listed on their site. And when I looked them up, neither of them were on Amazon, not even the book they said was published...

3. The third like came from a small press set up last year. They have a handful of authors, and many of them have several books. The romance category is full of books by one author, which is a lesbian romance series. Perhaps they want to add historical to their romance side?

4. Another one is an imprint for a publisher, and this imprint is for steamy books in sci-fi and fantasy. Since when does historical romance mean sci-fi/f?

5. Finally, the last like came from an interesting-looking independent publisher with an intriguing approach to really help authors, including free marketing training, platform development, and partnering them with a publicist while under contract. They do have historical romance under women's fiction, though the books they have out are regency, but we'll try anyway because of how neat this company sounds.

Lesson for All: That's why it's important to research each publisher/agent who likes a tweet. They may not be right for you after all.

Will I participate in the next #IWSGPit? If #UF is added and I'm still shopping this book around, then I may give it a try again. No harm in sending out tweets, right? (Other than emotional. lol) My decision to join in the future will depend on the response I get next time (if I only get likes from that self-publishing publisher or publishers that don't fit). 


Suggestions for Genre Hashtags:
#UF - Urban Fantasy
#W - Western
#CB - Chapter Book (Children's)
#RS - Romantic-Suspense 
(or at least #S for suspense)


****

Bactine for Writer's Depression - Part 2


I’ve been open about my depression these past couple of years. My IWSG post in July was Bactine for Writer's Depression - Part 1. Blogging saved me during a three-year-long stretch of depression.

Each attack is different, though. What helped once may not help again.

From September 2016 to April 2017, I experienced my worst depression to date. Blogging didn’t help me then. Blogging had actually become part of the problem.

This time, something else helped…reading.

Usually, when depression hits, your favorite activities and hobbies lose their attractiveness. But I hadn’t read for fun in a long time, so when I couldn’t write and didn’t have motivation to do anything, I picked up books. Not fiction books, though, which is what I read for enjoyment. I read non-fiction books—memoirs, feminism-related books, how-to books for authors, and books about Wicca, a beautiful faith.

I read.

I learned.

I believed.

And I found myself.

Read to pull yourself our of depression. Read children's books, books about nature, travel guides, poetry, memoirs, history, myths, anything, especially if it's different from what you'd usually read. New interests are key when depression steals all of your usual interests.


IWSG BOOK CLUB:


Our book selection for August/September is:

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

This one is for our memoir writers and anyone who has ever thought of writing a memoir. The discussion will start September 19th and will go to the end of the month, but it will be up indefinitely, so you can hop in whenever you're able. Join Us.


GIVEAWAY!

Book club members have the chance to win a paperback copy of Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. This is a used copy, but it’s in great condition.

To enter, go to this Rafflecopter Form. It’s free to enter, but you have to be a book club member. We will verify this, so join us on Goodreads

One winner will be randomly selected on August 8th, and Chrys Fey will email the winner to get mailing details. All info will be kept private.



QUESTIONS: How has reading helped you? Have you participated in #IWSGPit? What was your outcome? Have you ever thought of writing a memoir?


Friday, July 27, 2018

Real Life Inspirations in Tempting Friendship by Patricia Josephine


Please welcome Patricia Josephine for her release bash!


Real Life Inspirations in Tempting Friendship

by Patricia Josephine

When it comes to my writing, I enjoy slipping little details from my real life into the story. It may be a name for a character mentioned in passing or somewhere the main character went that I’ve been to. They’re like little Easter eggs that people in my life may recognize. Here are seven that I slipped into Tempting Friendship.

Gerry the Beer Snob

Okay, so my husband isn’t exactly a beer snob, but he likes to try different beers and judge them. He would get along with Gerry great because they could discuss the different flavors of beer and he could trust Gerry to give him a good recommendation. Also, it’s a joke between hubby and I that any spilled alcohol is alcohol abuse.

Grand Taqua Falls

GT Falls is a mash up of Grand Rapids, where I have family, and Tahquamenon Falls which is a huge waterfall and tourist trap near me. Other things in GT Falls that I pulled from real life is 28th Boulevard. There’s a street in Grand Rapids called 28th Street and it’s so busy that any construction has to be done at night. My grandma used to live on Hazel Street, and my last job was on Spruce Street.

The Crown’s Inn

The restaurant is based on one I worked at called Weber’s Rustic Inn, but Adira’s office is based on the office at my last job, Penny’s Kitchen. It was tiny and cramped with a filing cabinet that had stuff piled on it.

Rum and Light Coke

No, I’ve never heard of a customer saying this, but working in restaurants since I was 18 I have heard some pretty weird requests. Like the fish tastes too fishy. That did actually happen. Cajun spice is too spicy. A friend once asked for pasta primavera without the veggies. That’s the point of the dish. Otherwise, you’re just having alfredo. Then there’s the customers who order an item and when you bring it out say, “I didn’t order that.” That one happened a lot.

Quinn and Gerry Wanting to Kick Out Customers

That happened to me a lot during summer time. Restaurants are crazy busy where I live then because of tourists, and after four hours of non-stop cooking, you just want them all to GO AWAY. More than once I begged waitresses to make it stop or to lock the door. If I was cranky, I’d swear about customers.

Keane Not Wanting to No-Show.

You know what really sucks? When your coworker doesn’t show up for their freaking shift! Yeah, there’s a reason Keane doesn’t do it because I’ve had it happen to me countless times and would never dream of doing it to another person. You’d think this would just happen with slackers, but no, I once had a professionally trained chef no-show.

Quinn and Keane

I had real people in mind when I was imagining them. YouTubers, Liana Kerzer and Jeff Holiday where kind of who I pictured when writing. Of course, when it came to the cover, I couldn’t find a model with long dread locks and no shirt, so I had to make do.

Other Easter eggs are: Geralt is a reference to The Witcher games, as is Witch Hunter 3, GTA, and Street Rage are references to real games.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the Easter eggs I threw in the story.



Genre: Urban Fantasy / New Adult


BLURB:

At first, Quinn isn’t impressed by Keane. He’s cocky and has sex on the brain. The polar opposite of her. Despite their differences, something blossoms between the two. 

Never one to take things seriously, Keane is an incubus coasting through life without a care. When he meets Quinn, her lack of reaction to him piques his interest. No human has ever been able to resist him. 

As Keane and Quinn struggle to understand what is going on between them, something sinister rocks their world. Young incubi are vanishing, and Keane's friends go missing. Someone is after his kind. When Quinn is kidnapped, Keane must uncover who is behind the abductions and get to her before it's too late.

BUY LINKS:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Patricia never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was more of an art and band geek. Some stories are meant to be told, and now she can't stop writing.

She writes New Adult under the name Patricia Josephine and Young Adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Social Media Links:


GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Please show Patricia some love and leave a comment!


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