New and Future Happenings

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Hello out there! Long time no share. I do apologize but have been busy. Let me share some recent events.

First, I am pleased to announce that I was included in a wonderful anthology entitled Mirrored Voices: Best Contemporary Poetry, compiled by poet/author Paul Morabito. The anthology was ranked #1 on Amazon’s best new poetry anthologies. I’m pleased to be included with some of these quite extraordinary poets. If you are looking for a small compilation of current poets, you might consider this one. I do not get anything for this anthology (it all goes to the editor) but it is a good kindle present! Click here.

In case you missed it on Facebook, I’m delighted to announce that By Light Betrayed received a 5 Star Review from Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards AND I was named a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards. So, my vampires are happy.

Next, I’m delighted to announce that I have finished Midnight Assassin, the novella that was promised in the back of By Light Betrayed. Expect a release in 60 days or less! I’ll keep you posted.

While I work the publishing (and promotions and all that good stuff), I’m busy finishing some other works (a memoir, a fairy story, a vampire novel/series).

And of course, a part of me is thinking ahead to National Novel Writing Month because I am one of two Municipal Liaisons for the Charlotte region in North Carolina and it’s time to start planning for this month of hell. Seriously. Month of HELL. What to write? What novel can I get 75% finished in November? Oh the pain.

Finally, looking forward, I am going to appear on The Ron Shaw radio show on Oct 26 (more on that as we get closer) and then next year I am already planning on two author signings (on in NC and one in FL).

Whew!

Lots to keep up with and I promise you’ll be in the know going forward! Also, I’ll be publicizing some of my friends’ releases and I hope you’ll join me in helping them launch some terrific books.

If we haven’t connected on Facebook or Twitter, please lets do. I’m more often there than here for personal stuff but this is where the key events are happening.

Thank you for hanging in there. I’ll be back in a day or so to talk about more serious things.
Now, go back to your writing!

Yours Between the Lines,
Sherry

Bits and Pieces

Lots of little notes to cover today on this World Book Day!

First, you have until midnight TOMORROW (Apr 24) to enter my Goodreads Giveaway. See my previous post.  You can enter for one of two softback copies of Paper Bones and/or enter for one of two softback copies of By Light Betrayed.  Don’t miss out. This will be the last print giveaway for a while, so get a good poetry book for National Poetry Month!

I met Amanda B. last night, one of the winners in the Monster Giveaway. She thrilled me to no end with her “squee” as she opened her box of goodies — a canvas bag, a hard cover of Paper Bones and By Light Betrayed along with some swag. Big smiles as she tweeted her prize. Fun! Most of the time we don’t get to meet the people who win the giveaways, so this was a treat.

AND MORE GIVEAWAYS! Next week I will be giving away TWO ebooks of Paper Bones and gifting FOUR ebooks of By Light Betrayed. More details next week. Stay tuned!

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Update on Works in Progress:

The memoir I’ve been working on is one chapter away from being finished. That’s the first draft. I expect to do edits and get it to beta readers in just a couple weeks. I’m hoping for a late summer release.

My ebook, Midnight Assassin, is in second draft. I had to scuttle an entire section because, well, it sucked (no pun intended!). But I’ve worked it out and think I solved my problem. So I’m headed for a third draft before I go to final. I’m still expecting to do this this year as promised. Think I need to hit a friend of mine for some advice on ebooks. Never done one alone and not in a whole package. Hm.

Also about 30% complete is my four-part Faerie novel.

The vampire novel, Time and Blood,  sits in different drafts as I work on the first two projects. But things are progressing.

Truthfully, my “inspiration” took a nose-dive earlier this year and delayed my progress. But fortunately I know good people who helped me pull up my socks and now it is “Onward!” Writers do sometimes hit little bumps in the road. I admire those writers that do nothing but work and write. I probably would do that too if I weren’t married and interested in other things. But I wanted you to know the work continues.

A cool thing happened in a dream — I thought of an idea for this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I don’t know if it is a novel or a story yet, so I’m planning on fleshing and finalizing in July. Then we’ll see. But how cool is it when your dreams suggest who plots to you? Like, yes!

Finally time for another book report. Hope you are reading for World Book Day!  Catch you after the Goodreads Giveaway!

A Summoner's Tale: The Vampire's Confessor (Order of the Black Swan, #3)A Summoner’s Tale: The Vampire’s Confessor by Victoria Danann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book three in Victoria Danann’s series Order of the Black Swann was a slow starter for me. I didn’t like the way it opened, lacking the pizazz of her previous two volumes. In fact it was 40 pages or so in before I could say I was “hooked.”

First, let me say that Danann’s writing is dynamic and exemplary. She understands how to turn a phrase and uses her talent to tell a wonderful story. However, in this book there were way too many plots going on all at the same time. They weren’t even blended that well or made to look like subplots. Now this may be how Danann intended it but I didn’t like it. The book jerked too hard when the plots changed and (I speak from a print copy), there was little to distinguish the separation of tales while in the same chapter. Of course you figure it out, but not nearly as smooth as in her previous books. I rate this four stars instead of three because of the quality and caliber of the writing.

We get tales of all our old knights, the ones who we’ve met in the first two books. We continue to meet female characters meant to be introduced to our male characters and I have to say that it seems very obvious to me. I thought at first the book was YA but there are no teens here. So I hoped that the romances would be less contrived.

This tale is about our once vampire Baka and the trail he faces while at the same time Elora faces a real test of her survival as she meets enemies from her old dimension and all the while we meet a new talent in Heather who will be tasked to aid Baka. There is plenty of mystery and a good set up of adventures to come. But again, I felt the transitions could have been smoother.

A note. I don’t mind sex in books but this one seemed to have sex as filler, used in great detail when that was unnecessary. Oh I know it is titillating but unless it serves the plot (like Elora’s pregnancy) then I don’t find it useful. I would prefer my senses to be teased and skip the intimate details. I did not want to get an erotic novel in this series and though I love a good tight sex scene, I still want it necessary to the story and not for the readers to just have something to pant over.

Two things Danann does very well. One, she gives you well-executed and fully fleshed characters that you can identify and care about. Two, she sets you up going from one book to the next. And I already have book four. I hope that the dynamics I experienced in books one and two returns. I have read exceptional fiction from this author and I am eager to return to it.

View all my reviews

Here’s Your Giveaway!

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Photos of this MONSTER Giveaway posted 03/30. Have some fun with this! Winners will be announced on 04/16 and packages to be mailed immediately after confirming addresses with winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also click “Giveaway” on my Facebook Author Page and enter from there.

Spread the word! Tweet, Share, Reblog, Whisper, Phone a Friend.
Good Luck all!

And let’s celebrate National Poetry Month with actual poetry!

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Ready for a Monster Giveaway?

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In just two days it will be National Poetry Month!  I thought it was time to do a really HUGE giveaway to celebrate poetry and to show my appreciation for the support I’ve had along the way.

So on April 1, I will list an official Rafflecopter giveaway with two big prizes. The first picture is of the Monster of all Giveaways:

major goodie bag!

major goodie bag!

This above giveaway is special because it includes the rarely seen book,  I Wish You Joy, in hardback, and all kinds of cool goodies.

The second part of the giveaway is good, with just a little less offered. Here:

a mini monster goodie bag

a mini monster goodie bag

The total retail value of the combined giveaways with shipping is over $200!

If you don’t win either of these goodie bags, don’t despair. There will be yet more contests. You’ll be able to hit up Goodreads for a softbound copy of Paper Bones or By Light Betrayed (to be announced soon). And one more! Before the end of the month I will give away some ebook copies too. The other contests will be announced later.

April is National Poetry Month! Let’s read some poetry together. And if you don’t win anything this go ’round, consider buying my poetry or another Indie’s anyway. Your support of Indie authors like me is tremendously appreciated and very necessary!

Now, get ready for your giveaway starting on Wednesday, April 1 (no, that is not a joke)!

Oh — and I’m sorry, this monster giveaway is for US folks only (because of the size of each prize).

Get ahead of the game by following this blog or my Twitter or Facebook Author page. Spread the word, please! Good Luck!

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Just a note to say yesterday was my birthday.  I was pampered and stuffed with good food, good company and plenty of love and laughter. Even my sister called (I almost never hear from her), so that was extra nice.  And I didn’t write a word yesterday. And it was good.  No matter how hard you work at your craft, or how desperate you are to publish, remember that if you forget to enjoy your life, it really won’t matter how prolific you are.

Yours Between the Lines, always,
Sherry

News with Thanks

I want to begin with Thanks.

The Goodreads Giveaway was a success and I thank all 630 people who entered! I am humbled by so many interested parties. The winners were chosen and are from Florida, Texas and Minnesota. I’m mailing your books on Saturday!

The other great part about the giveaway is that I gained a lot of folks who added me to their “to read” list – over 250! That’s just amazing.

Overall, the giveaway experience was wonderful. I plan to add my name to others’ giveaways and see if I can’t win an autographed book or two myself!

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Now, the News!

I found out Monday that Paper Bones is a 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Finalist! Out of 1900 books of poetry, I am one of only 6 finalists! That’s just fantastic!

From the finalists, winners will be judged, based on possible scores. They give out gold/silver/bronze and honorable mentions. It all depends on the overall score I receive whether I win a medal or not. But I’m honored to have done so well!

I hear tell that there is a HUGE award ceremony in Miami in November that coincides with the big Miami International Book Fair. I’m told that Finalists are recognized, so no matter what happens, I plan on going. I just can’t believe it.

So there you go. Its a good day all around! Here’s the sticker for the Finalists!

Readers' Favorite Int'l Book Award Finalist

Finally, just a bit of business. My Author’s facebook url has changed. Having both my timeline and my page be the same name was confusing. So you can reach me at my author page: Facebook.com/AuthorSherryRentschler

Don’t forget I’m on Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn too!

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I haven’t forgotten my promise to you. Changes ARE coming. Soon now. I don’t want to move the furniture until I’m absolutely certain. You can sign up for notices and then you won’t miss out when it happens.

Thank you for your support!

We’ll call it Thank You Day

This is an odd day, the after-the-party-should-I-be-hung-over-now-what-do-I-do-how-about-clean-the-house day. For me, it is a day to begin clearing away Santa Claus, putting away the New Year’s Day dinner china, and tossing in a load of towels. It is a day to listen to the new music I received for Christmas while paying bills and writing any thank you notes.

That’s what I wanted to mention to you: thank you notes. I had company come by Dec 29, and our time was too short because these are folks we don’t know well but want to, whose company my husband and I have always enjoyed (he worked with her). We’ve gone on a cruise with them (and others) but never had the chance to know them well. Now, we’ve begun to expand that chance at friendship and we shared some wine and dessert at our house in that effort. Such fun!  When they arrived, they brought the most gorgeous bouquet of sunflowers. In winter! Sunflowers! Well that was awesomely original and I was delighted. Am delighted.

Barely two days later, on that following Monday, I got a thank you card. In the mail, handwritten. That was more awesome than the flowers and I’ll tell you why.

The way my parent raised me, a person never went to anyone’s home (on an invite) without a gift. Flowers, a plant, a bottle of wine (if you knew they drank), even a good bottle of Scotch, a box of chocolates — something. Mother always said it was the height of bad manners to show up at someone’s home empty-handed. So, I never do. And here was a couple who did the same thing — and were decidedly thoughtful doing it.

On the reverse side of the coin, Mother always said good manners said you always wrote thank you notes for gifts received, visits given, or anything nice done for you, birthdays, Christmas, special times. Actually, a thank you was right any time.

And there it was, this lovely, hand-written note, bringing a warmth and a smile. I rejoiced.

I think our society has become lazy. Our youth have forsaken good manners because they think no one really cares and that thought is simply wrong and not true. People in the generations behind me tend to think that a text message saying “thx!” is enough or an email can suffice for giving thanks. They would be wrong. It isn’t. (I’m not bashing technology here, merely the lack of effort or attention.)

Now you don’t have to be Emily Post and write gold, gilt-edged parchment notes. But you do have to make an effort and nothing says effort like a small hand-tooled note, mailed. Aren’t you worth 46 cents? I think you are. I hope I am as well. The Post Office hopes we both are, too. Really, is it so hard to take five minutes to appreciate someone’s goodness?

So I’m doing my thank you’s today and making an effort to include some extra special thoughts when I do them. I want to give the same smile I was given to those who will receive my cards. That’s priceless, to me.

So maybe today is the day we should call Thank You Day. A little effort can mean so much. Manners dusted off and used can often become a good habit. It sets a good example for youth, and tells people they matter. According to my Mother, you don’t need money to show that you have been “brought up well.” Manners. Simple.

Appreciated.

Moreover, you can’t hack a thank you card.
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On another note, the Mint Hill Writers’ Group gathers on Saturday. I’m hoping to get more folks to come. We tend to have but two or three every meeting. Time to rally the troops and get writers to find joy in togetherness. Know why?

Because it is NaNoEdMo! That’s National Novel Editing Month! Time to take what you wrote and start hacking on it. Oh joy. But it must be done.

Do you realize that a truly well-done manuscript usually needs at least THREE full revisions? Yes, and I have a new box of red pens!  Are you working your revisions?
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Let us begin the New Year by connecting on Goodreads. I enjoy reading what others are reading and discovering new adventures. Currently I’m reading “Bellman and Black” by Diane Setterfield and “Game of Thrones (Book 1 of Fire and Ice) by George R.R. Martin.

Last year I completed my goal of 50 books and this year I’ve scaled that goal back to 35 because I will be spending more time writing and I don’t want to over-extend myself. What are you reading and what are your reading goals?
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Brief Notes:  Thank you to my new followers! I do appreciate your joining the list. Let me hear your thoughts and suggestions as we move along, please.

Join me on Twitter for my #DailyTwitamin (a daily bite of healthy information in 140 characters or less!), and on Facebook for pictures and other more personal things!  I also have an Facebook Author page.

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of my new book, Paper Bones, at Authorhouse, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other online book retailers. If you are in the Charlotte area, you can also rent it from your local library! Just ask for it.

As always,
I’m Yours Between the Lines,
Sherry