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Friday, October 28, 2011

Head Off To Pitch University

Happy Friday All,

Yep, you read that right, it's Friday! It's also almost the end of October--where did the time go?

Today I want to talk about pitching. Writers know that they have to be prepared to talk about our work--whether to friends and family, or to professionals. It can be nerve-wrecking. Especially if you don't know where to begin.

Diane with Pitch University is the answer to  writers' nerves and uncertainity about their pitching and query letters. In fact, I got her to help me with my pitch for the Lone Star Conference and I'm glad I did!

She has a lot of articles/materials and information to prep authors to talk about their work to the agents and editors who will decide whether or not to request pages from them. She also has opportunities to video-pitch to real agents and editors who are guests on the website.

A whole team of "minions" work with Diane and the site is just amazing.

If you're preparing to pitch and/or send a query letter, I urge you to go check out Pitch University and say hi to my pal, Diane, while you're there :-)

Have A Fantastic Friday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mood Music

Happy Tuesday Everyone,

As I type this I'm listening to The Cure's Friday I'm In Love. Before that (to wake up), I listened to Ramones' Rock N' Roll Radio (which is really good when you want to rock out, toss your hair around, and get dizzy from doing that LOL).

I think I've talked about this before...but there's something interesting about music. It can affect your mood. Sometimes a song can make you really happy (AH-HA's Take On Me) or it can make you sad (the hymn, How Great Thou Art or The Old Rugged Cross both played at my Grandfather's Memorial Service), or it can remind  you of falling in love (Toby Keith's Rock You Baby--first dance at my wedding reception).

One of the novels I've written I listened to a lot of Chris De Burgh's music because it was very romantic (you can see it in the margin of this blog). It put me in the right mindset to create the "prince charming" for my heroine (he's not actually Prince Charming, and he's not actually a prince either, but he is like Prince Charming in a lot of ways).

Some songs give me flashbacks (Fastball's The Way)--they take me back to a time and place where I can make out the outline of what was going on when I heard a particular song.

I don't know what it is about music, but it elicits emotions much like a story will.

What songs affect you? (Can be positive or negative).

Have A Tune-full Tuesday!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Books, Events, And Fairy Tales

Happy Monday All,

How many of you all caught ABC's Once Upon A Time on Sunday evening? I did! I love fairy tale stuff and I can already tell this is going to be a show for me. It's great to see the fairy tale people sort of in the "real" world. Wondering how every body is going to be rescued but it's still fun to see each character come across and introduced. The back and forth between fairy tale land and the real world is pretty seamless and I didn't mind it. Show comes on Sundays on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern and 7 p.m. Central times.

I finished reading Awake At Dawn (book 2 in Shadow Falls series) by C.C. Hunter. VERY good. I'm still a Lucas fan, folks! He's got my vote. Kylie's learning more and developing her many talents--and I can't wait to see where this is gonna lead. Taken At Dusk will be out April 2012--looking forward to it!

I also finished reading Don't Let It Show by Tess St. John. Tess is my critique partner (awesome person and writer, by the way). I really enjoyed it. Sam's a great hero. I'm looking forward to seeing Jake in Eyes Of Jade. I got to read/critique the first 3 chapters of that one and I want to see what happens to him and the heroine. It was cutting out to be a really good novel.

Wonder About More Events on here? Oh folks, I've got a really cool thing in the works. We haven't ever done this on Write By Bethany (okay, not quite THIS way, though) and I'm excited. An author friend of mine and I are plotting something really fun for this blog. You'll just have to come back and keep checking up for what and when!

Plus I got some other things going on...so don't be a stranger!

What are you reading these days?

Have A Magical Monday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Winner Of Copy Of AWAKE AT DAWN...

Happy Friday-Saturday,

I know I'm tardy posting for a Friday post, but I with C.C. Hunter about the winner for AWAKE AT DAWN (Thursday's give away prize) plus I had some other things going on during the day.

But now that I finally have a winner I can announce it...

The winner of a signed copy of Pam (Pamsta) and her favorite paranormal creature is lion shape shifters.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kylie From SHADOWFALLS Celebrates My Birthday

Happy Thursday Everyone,

****THE CONTEST IS NOW OFFICIALLY CLOSED*****


The last of my belated birthday celebration give away is today. Because of my health and other things going on, I'm going to have to close this give away earlier than I did the previous one. I'm doing okay, just need to close the contest out earlier so that I can get to bed earlier.

The awesome C.C. Hunter has agreed to give away a signed copy of her YA Paranormal novel, book 2 in the Shadowfalls series, Awake At Dawn.

I haven't finished reading Awake At Dawn, yet (I received it as a birthday gift from one of my relatives and C.C. graciously signed it) but I'm enjoying it so far. A friend of mine has finished reading it and told me it's very good. 

If you wish to own a signed copy of this new release (and read it, of course) please read the following rules and instructions carefully:

1.   One winner will be chosen after the contest is closed out. The Contest will close at 10:00 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, October 20, 2011. I will not accept entries after that point.

2.  Choose ONE way of entering this give away (I only take ONE entry per person):

By Blog Comment:  If you choose to enter by leaving a comment here:  Please include your FIRST NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS---please also include your favorite type of paranormal creature (anything from witches to vampires to shapeshifters to nymphs to warlocks to centaurs and everything in between).  If you leave a comment here keep in mind that ALL comments are moderated by me before they are published in the comment section. This isn't to dictate who can say what, on the contrary, I have yet to find a comment I can't post (unless it's a duplicate), however, given the blog problems I've had in the past with people having trouble posting comments, I changed up things and so far it's proven to have helped.

Entering By Email:  If you decide to enter by email, please email me your entry at this email address ONLYPlease include your FIRST NAME and what paranormal creature is your favorite (whether that's a vampire, witch, warlock, nymph, shapeshifter, centaur or anything in between--I just want to know what your favorite is).

As I said, I will be closing the contest/give away out at 10:00 p.m. Central Time today, Thursday, October 20, 2011.

Enjoy the give away!

Have A Tantalizing Thursday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Lone Star Experience

Happy Wednesday All,

Tuesday's give away was a HUGE success! We had a ton of entries--I think probably over 60? 

The winner of Kerrelyn Sparks' signed copy of Sexiest Vampire Alive is Debra G. (she emailed in her entry to me) and Debra's favorite vampire is Roman Dragnesti (whose story can be found in the first Love At Stake novel, How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire).

Thank you to everyone who entered. I noticed that Angus, Ian, Roman, and Robby were extremely popular. I saw a lot of Gregori and Phineas fans as well. Maybe I'll run a poll one day and find out which one wins.

As you all know, on my birthday (Oct. 15th--this past Saturday) I attended the Northwest Houston RWA's Lone Star Conference. Alexandra Sokoloff was the keynote speaker and from what I heard (I wasn't in the conference room the whole time) she was really good. She seemed really nice--I met her briefly at the Meet & Greet party the night before.

 A big round of applause, kudos, thanks, hugs, toasting and the crowd cheering wildly goes to Jenn (President of NWHRWA) and Stacey (1st V.P. of NWHRWA). These two spearheaded the Conference and were incredible hostesses.

I know they had a lot of help and those people were incredible, too. Everyone involved worked hard to make the conference the success it was and the deserve so much credit and a standing ovation!

The great and awesome Christie Craig gave a wonderful lunch talk on being a writer and working hard. I admire this woman so much. She's such an inspiration to me. If you haven't read her books, please do. Her Romance novels are pure comic genius in my opinion. And, if you get to meet her in person, consider yourself blessed. She's a sweetheart.
 
I also got to hang out with chapter-mate and published author, Tea Trelawny. She is another sweetheart who is fun to hang out with. I sat next to her through part of the Conference. She's so encouraging and kind. I count myself lucky to know her.


We had three really nice agents and one really nice editor come to the conference. One of the agents, Taylor Martindale (of Full Circle Literary Agency) and I got to talk some at the Meet & Greet Party the night before and she's so much fun! She made me feel very much at ease during my pitch. I also had a nice conversation with Pam Hopkins of Hopkins Literary Associates and a good conversation with Natalie M. Lakosil from the Bradford Literary Agency. I didn't pitch to editor Kelli Collins of Ellora's Cave, but I've heard very good things about her and she seemed very nice, too.

I don't have a picture of Alexandra Sokoloff (keynote speaker) Here's a photo I took of the conference room (it's bigger than it looks):

Lone Star Conference with Alexandra Sokoloff

Like I said, the quality isn't so great, but that's basically how it was set up. We were in one of the ballrooms at a hotel--it was a big room (this picture doesn't do it justice) and the whole staff and everyone was extremely nice to us.

Maybe next year some of you other writers who weren't able to come this year will join us. It's truly a wonderful experience!

Hope you enjoyed this little taste of the Lone Star.

Have A Whimsical Wednesday!

Gregori Celebrates My Birthday

Happy Tuesday All,

****CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED****

In honor of my birthday (that was on Oct. 15th) I am doing TWO give aways! The FIRST one is TODAY! 

Today's give away is a copy of Kerrelyn Sparks' Sexiest Vampire Alive. Kerrelyn, being the awesome person that she is, has agreed to give a signed copy of the novel to ONE lucky commenter on my blog.

Here's how it's going to work and please read all instructions CAREFULLY. ONE entry PER person:

If you choose to email in your entry:

Email to this email ONLYYour email should state who your favorite vampire is. And no, it does NOT have to be one of Kerrelyn Sparks' characters, but that would be really cool if you DID mention one of hers.

If you choose to enter by commenting on my blog:

Leave your FIRST name, email address, and what vampire is your favorite. It can be ANY vampire--but like I said, it would be really cool if you mention a Kerrelyn Sparks' vampire.

You don't know Kerrelyn Sparks' vampire? Well just go here to her book list and have a look-see. Or mention a vampire you particularly like.

Contest will close at 11:00 p.m. Central Time today (October 18th).

Questions or comments, please email me at this email address.

Thank you, Gregori & Kerrelyn for helping me celebrate my birthday!

EDIT (11:55 a.m.):  Please note that ALL comments go through moderation from me before they are published. I'm receiving some double posts. Posts don't appear on my comment section UNTIL they are approved. Sorry for the confusion!

Have A Thrilling Tuesday!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rockin' Good Conference And Birthday Celebration

Happy Monday Everybody!

While I'm trying to use up the rest of the pictures on the camera I got for the Lone Star Conference (my husband took the digital camera to the outing he took offspring on so I don't have the photos, yet). I'll tell you a bit about the Conference, then I've got a special announcement that has to do with a blog give away and my birthday.

First of all, the Lone Star Conference was a blast. All the agents were very nice, and while I didn't talk to the editor much, she seemed like she was very nice, too.

Alexandra Sokoloff gave some great advice, and she was very nice, too. She seemed like a really approachable person.

I must give a lot of credit to the president and first vice president. They worked extremely hard figuring out who to have out and how to set it up. They were great at recruiting people to help them and those people did a fantastic job--so I give them all a round of applause.

AND...

I have an announcement:




Have A Merry Monday!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Welcome Back To ShadowFalls!

Happy Tuesday Everyone,

I'm jazzed on java AND also jazzed by the fact that I remembered today is C.C. Hunter's release of book 2 in the ShadowFalls series, Awake At Dawn.

It's time to return to ShadowFalls and see what Kylie's up to, now. In Born At Midnight she learned not everything is what it seems, and that she doesn't know herself as well as she thought she did, but not for the ordinary reasons!

Now, it's time for her to learn more about her powers, deal with more ghosts, and the agonizing question nearly every teenage girl goes through--which guy to go for!

You never know what C.C.'s gonna throw at you next and I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!

So hurry over to Barnes & Noble or Amazon (Or you can get them on Barnes & Noble Nook and/or Amazon Kindle) before all the copies are snatched up!

Have A Thrilling Tuesday!

Monday, October 10, 2011

NEW RELEASES ALERT!!!

Happy Monday Everybody,

PLEASE NOTE:  In the margin of this blog I've supplied a post regarding the problems some people have been with trying to comment on this blog. I'm going to be implementing a new thing for posting comments on here to see if that cuts down on some of the problems. The post in the margin has information on what to do if, for some reason, Blogger won't let you comment.

Whew! There are new releases popping out all over the place...

Not too long ago, Rick Riordan put out book 2 in his Heroes Of Olympus series, Son Of Neptune (which I gotta pick up, soon!)

Apparently Vanish by Sophie Jordan (book 2 in her dragon series) has come out (yet another one I need to get my hands on--I loved Firelight). (It came out in September).



Tess St. John's second Romantic Suspense, Eyes Of Jade is now available on Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook for your reading pleasure! (Interesting trivia for y'all:  I critiqued the first 3 chapters of this one...and I fell in love with it! I've been begging to read more for awhile now and it's FINALLY out!) Be sure to visit her site, and see the cover for her upcoming release, Angel Eyes. Very cool!

*EDIT 10/10/2011 at 11:12 a.m. (Central Time):  I forgot to mention that Tess St. John is offering on Kindle and Nook for a LIMITED TIME ONLY her previously released Romantic Suspense, Don't Let It Show for 99 cents! So don't miss out on this sale...she said it's a limited time only and I don't know how long that means.



Tomorrow C.C. Hunter releases her second Shadow Falls book, Awake At Dawn.

Folks, these are books that will take you on an adventure...they're certainly not to be missed!

On a side note, I've purchased a paperback copy of Syrie James' Nocturne. I just loved that book so much. I even was asked by Syrie to write a blog review of the book, which I did a few days ago and you can read here.

What books are you reading right now?

Have A Monumental Monday!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Having Trouble Commenting On This Blog?

Blog Service Announcement from Write By Bethany:

I need to address this issue, because now it's affecting people who didn't have problems with posting comments before.

Here's the deal:  I don't know precisely why it's happening on THIS blog...however, there FINALLY is a Q&A forum where people with similar issues have posted and gotten some answers.

I'm doing my best to do what I can on my end to help you, but I don't know everything.

One suggestion was to go to this blog and read up on what they say about "cookies".

There's 2 other things you can do:

1.  Post anonymously and leave your first name in the body of the comment.

2.  Email me at this email address and I will post your comments for you.

I'm very sorry this happens/keeps happening. I'm going to continue to try and get to the bottom of the issue.

Thank you for your patience and for following my blog!

If anyone has ANY suggestions, please send me an email.

Thank you for your time :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Snowbound With A Vampire

Happy Wednesday All,

What a treat, two official blog reviews in one week! Syrie James especially asked me to review her book, Nocturne, on my blog. It's a beautiful novel and I'm delighted to tell you about it:

Michael Tyler didn't ask to be a vampire. In fact, it was the very last thing he ever wanted in his life. Tired of the bodies stacking up around him, he's shut himself off from the world--inside a huge house on a mountain in Colorado. He finds a way to exist, and limits contact with humans to telephone calls and the Internet.

That is...until Nicole blows through his part of the world.

Nicole's running from a past so painful she didn't even go back to the job she loved. Now she merely exists--thinking it's enough. Colorado struck her fancy for the skiing and meeting up with her college friends for a wedding. But it's time to get back to her cat and her responsibilities.

In an attempt to outrun a blizzard, Nicole suffers a car accident and gets knocked unconscious. When she comes to she finds herself being tended by Michael in his home. He keeps the fact he's a vampire secret and sidesteps her by being short-tempered.

At first it seems being stuck with Michael while the blizzard blows over is going to be a trial. Until Nicole uncovers his secrets.

Can two people really fall in love in less than a week? And, if they do give in and let themselves fall in love...will it last?

I loved this book! I'm still under it's spell and you can fall under the spell of Nocturne by picking it up at Barnes & Noble or Amazon...also available on Barnes& Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle. Go ahead! Colorado is waiting...and so are Michael and Nicole!

Have A Wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Romance, Mystery, & Author Support

Happy Tuesday Everyone,

I'm so excited! An author, whose story I recently read, has asked me to do a blog review of the book on my blog. So I promised the author I'd put it up this week.

If you haven't heard, Tea Trelawny has put out a new Erotic Romance that's available. We're talking motorcycle riding vampires...which I haven't heard of, before, but it's an intriguing idea. Start Your Engines is available on Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook and also available on Smashwords.

Today is release day for Laura Childs' new Scrapbooking Mystery, which I did an official blog review on yesterday. Skeleton Letters is now available for your reading pleasure!

**I mentioned this yesterday, and I've Tweeted about it and put it up on my Facebook. There's a write-in campaign for author Christie Craig. Please check out Suzan Harden's and Melissa Ohnoutka's blogs for further information.**

So, what's going on in your life?

Have A Terrific Tuesday!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How Mysterious!

Happy Monday Everybody,

Wow, it's been a long time since I've had an official blog review to do on a novel, but when I'm asked specifically by an author (or I beg them--Okay I ask very politely and they generously agree) I generally get an ARC (Advanced Readers' Copy) of their novel so that I can read it and review it before it comes out. And TA-DA! That happened, so you, my darling readers, get to hear about it before this even hits the sale shelves...

The newest addition to Laura Childs' Scrapbooking Mystery series is just about to hit stores and you better be ready for one wild ride. (And when doesn't Carmela and Ava NOT take you on a wild ride? After all, they do live and work in New Orleans, dahling!)

In Skeleton Letters we find Carmela and Ava witnesses of their friend, Byrle's death.

While taking care of some volunteer business of Ava's at St. Tristan's Church, Carmela and Ava have the horrifying experience of witnessing a murder. Unfortunately, they didn't exactly see how everything went down, and nor did they get a good look at the murderer. After all, what can you see when a person is swathed in a brown cloak?

A quick call to Carmela's boyfriend (and definite hero material) Dectective Babock sets Carmela smack into the middle of a murder investigation.

Worse still, Baby, Carmela's friend and regular customer at Carmela's scrapbooking shop, Memory Mine, begs Carmela to "look into things". Which, is expressly against Babcock's edict that Carmela keep herself out of the investigation, period the end.

Does she listen? Of course not! How can she when Baby specifically asked her and Byrle was her friend? So, with the help of another friend, and fellow witness, the very exuberant Ava, Carmela launches her own investigations...

Only to be nearly pushed off the road by a car following her...


and come across another dead body...

and stalked by some psycho leaving her a message in blood!


Who could be behind these heinous acts and why can't Carmela and the police pinpoint a good suspect?

The only way, you, my readers can find out and solve the case with Carmela and Ava is to run off and pick up a copy of Skeleton Letters available tomorrow (October 4, 2011) at Amazon and Barnes & Noble also available on Amazon Kindle and available on Barnes & Noble Nook.

P.S. Please look on my Twitter feed on how to support author Christie Craig--I'll have details through Twitter and my Facebook page. THANKS :-)

Have A Merry Monday!