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Top 5 Must-Haves for An Author Website (from a reader's point of view)

 

Top 5 Must-Haves for An Author Website (from a reader's point of view)

Happy Friday, Seeker villagers! As an avid reader, reviewer, book blogger, and book marketer, I spend a lot of time on author websites. Like... a lot. Ninety-nine percent of the blog posts I publish on Reading Is My SuperPower require me to visit an author's website. And I would say at least fifty percent of what I do for JustRead Tours also finds me there too. 

Picture this all-too-common scenario with me: I am doing a review for your debut novel, so I don't know a lot about you as an author yet. I search for your name (plus the keyword 'author') on the interwebs, click the link it regurgitates at me, the website loads .... and .... I sigh with disappointment. I can find almost no helpful information that I need to finish building my blog post. In fact, it doesn't even look like you want readers to connect with you at all.

What does this mean for you? Well... if it's me on the other end of that click, it means that I'm going to scrounge up what I can find elsewhere because I'm stubborn. But an interested reader who looked up your website may get frustrated and go away, no longer invested in you or your books. 

So what are some basic, easy-peasy-to-do must-haves that every author should include on their website to tell readers & media everything they need to know?

1. Author Bio

Ideally, you should offer a short bio and a medium-length bio. Both bio options should be in third person (I cannot stress that enough!!!) Our very own Mindy Obenhaus has two perfect bios to choose from on her website. My recommendation would be one paragraph max for the short bio & no more than three paragraphs for the longer one. 

Oh - and please keep your bio updated! If I go to an author's website and their bio says something like "Her latest book releases in March 2017", but I am posting about her actual latest book that released in October 2021, I am going to be hesitant to use the bio on her website.

2. High Resolution Head Shot

You can have a variety of head shots to choose from or just the one - that's not as important as the fact that the photos you include should be high resolution and professional-looking. Note: I'm not saying you absolutely must invest in a professional head shot (though I do recommend it) but at least make sure it's high quality and cropped well. I also strongly suggest that you be looking at the camera and smiling. Look friendly and open and "buy my book & you'll have fun". But the most important thing is that it's high resolution and doesn't look like my six-year-old nephew took it and/or cropped it.

Why does this matter on a website and not just a book jacket or media interview? Well, because graphics matter to most book bloggers / marketers. See the two examples below. This a graphic template I use often on RimSP - I have lost count of how many times I've had to hunt down a higher resolution or more professional looking head shot because the one on the author's website looks more like the 'please, no' sample than the 'yes, please' one. 

Top 5 Must-Haves for An Author Website (from a reader's point of view)

Top 5 Must-Haves for An Author Website (from a reader's point of view)

I know I'm spending a lot of time on this point but can you see the difference a professional looking photo can make? It sets a first impression for readers that can reflect negatively (whether true or not) on the assumed quality of your writing. So if you're going to spend some time and money on one thing, let it be this!

3. Updated Book Information 

This is similar to the 'keep it updated' note I mentioned in the section on your author bio. Your latest release should be easily discoverable on your website with a high resolution front cover (don't only include the whole cover spread - book bloggers don't use those) and a variety of purchase links. It's also not a bad idea to link to your publisher's page for your book. In other words, make it a piece of cake for people to find your book. (And now I want cake. And to read a book.) The fabulous Becky Wade is a great example of putting this 'must-have' into practice. Her latest release is super simple to find, and she also has a book list in a separate tab, organized by series. You can click on each book cover for the blurb, ways to purchase, fun behind the scenes info, quote graphics and more. Super fun for readers & super helpful for book bloggers / marketers.

PS - Need to know how to tell whether an image file is high resolution or not? There are some very technical descriptions that go over my head but as a general rule of thumb, if it's under 1MB in file size then it's probably not high resolution enough.

4. Social Media Links 

Let readers know how to connect with you!!! If we love your books, we are definitely going to want to follow you on social media and learn more about you & your life & what you're reading too. And if we find that we have things in common, well then we're all the more invested in you as a person and as an author. Personal investment from readers makes you an 'auto buy author' for them ... which translates into consistent sales. If they're coming to your website, they want to know more about you. Don't miss those opportunities! Our dear Mary Connealy has the icons readily visible no matter where you click through on her website AND listed out in her media kit too. Super helpful!!

5. Mailing List Sign-Up

While we're talking about connecting with your readers, you really need to have a way for readers to sign up for new book alerts and other email newsletters you might send throughout the year. This should be - you can probably guess what I'm going to say - easy to find on your website, whether it's a separate tab or a pop-up or a prominent place on your landing page and/or media kit.

Which brings me to the part of this post where it all comes together. If you've clicked on any of the authors' websites I linked to above, you may have noticed that they all have one thing in common - their media kit pages. A media kit on your website is a godsend for bloggers / media / marketers because all the info they are looking for is all on one page - can I get an amen?! But again... keep it updated. It's useless to us if it's 5 books old. (By the way, the 2021 Christy Award finalist Erica Vetsch did a terrific post on media kits a while back.)

Optional Fun Things To Also Include

I polled some bookish friends (aka Beth & Rachel) for some other ideas of things that aren't must-haves but do also appeal to readers. These are optional, but they really are a lot of fun to have!

The possibilities of what you can do are endless... have fun with it & your readers will too! But don't get overwhelmed. As long as you have the top 5 must-haves I covered in this post, your website will be an incredibly useful tool to establish connections with the people who will read & promote your books.

~*~*~*~

Top 5 Must-Haves for An Author Website (from a reader's point of view)


Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers' Retreat and JustRead Publicity Tours, LLC, Carrie lives in Georgia with her husband Eric.

She can be found lurking at various blogs and websites (because she can't stop talking about books) but her main home is the blog she started in 2015 - ReadingIsMySuperPower.org.

 

What about you?
Authors, what questions do you have about your author website?
Readers, what makes you want to hang out on an author's website?

Comment below for a chance to win this super fun reading journal from Ink and Willow!
(US only)

Top 5 Must-Haves for An Author Website (from a reader's point of view)

Ten Clues You Are In a Cozy Mystery

 

Ten Clues You Are In a Cozy Mystery

Happy Friday! So, if you read the Weekend Edition from Saturday, you'll know I intended to write something about reviews for both authors & reviewers. However, it’s been an emotionally heavy week – several people I love going through tough stuff - and I just needed to talk about something a little lighter.

So let’s talk about cozy mysteries! While I didn’t start reading cozy mysteries until 2015, I basically grew up on them in television form - thank you, Jessica Fletcher. And one of the things I (and countless thousands of readers) love about cozy mysteries is that they follow a certain formula. After the upheaval of the past year, a little predictability is like comfort food. We want to know that justice is served, that the good guys win, that friendships matter, and that there’s something we can count on to remain pretty much unchanged. (Obviously God is unchanged. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. But I’m talking outside the spiritual realm for the moment) 

Agatha Christie set the standard for cozies, when the first of her Miss Marple books released in the 1930s, and while cozies have definitely adapted to the modern age, much of what makes them so beloved has stood the test of time. Cozy mysteries (even most general market ones) are great for Christian fiction readers because a true cozy is free of explicit language/scenes. There are of course some authors who choose to write a grittier cozy, but the majority stay true to the genre and abstain from anything above a PG rating. I’m really happy to see cozy mysteries beginning to be written by Christian fiction authors too (again, even with a general market publisher) – more on that later.

Before I share some of my fave cozy mystery authors and some new/upcoming cozies to look forward to, I thought I'd have a little tongue-in-cheek fun with that predictability I mentioned earlier. If you've never read a cozy mystery, but you have watched at least one episode of Murder She Wrote, you'll still be able to follow along easily. 

So without further ado (adieu?)... 

TEN CLUES YOU ARE IN A COZY MYSTERY

Ten Clues You Are In a Cozy Mystery
1. You live in a quaint small town with its share of quirky characters and an inordinately high homicide rate.

*Usually coastal, in the south, or in the mountains. There are also a lot of festivals.

2. Homicide rate notwithstanding, there’s always someone new moving into town & starting a new business.

*This is usually the person who will either die next or be accused of the next murder so maybe don’t get too close to them just yet.

3. If person A (probably someone in your close circle) threatens person B (newcomer), person B has less than 24 hours to live.

*Now is the time to find person A a good attorney… except there really aren’t any because this is a cozy mystery, not a suspense.

4. You like to ‘help’ the local law enforcement solve these murders. 

*After all, in a very meta twist, you read cozy mysteries in your free time and you always know whodunit before anyone else.

Ten Clues You Are In a Cozy Mystery
5. Local law enforcement lets you do this & even asks you for advice on occasion, however begrudgingly. Oh they tell you to stay out of it, to let them do their jobs, but they don’t really mean it. You know this because they thank you once you’ve handed over the culprit.

*One of them may even start dating you. Or your best friend.

6. You, your family, your friends, maybe even your pet, will all have your turn as the number one suspect in a murder investigation.

*You also usually find the body. Which doesn’t really help your defense.

7. The library or business or money-making hobby you own may only have 2 employees (including you) but it’s no problem at all for you to close up shop or leave your lone employee in charge indefinitely, at a moment’s notice, so you can chase down a lead.

*Don’t worry, your business still thrives, and all your regular customers understand & are happy to pitch in if needed. No charge.

Ten Clues You Are In a Cozy Mystery
8. Your most faithful companion is your pet who is full of personality & may even save the day – and your bacon – when necessary. At the least, your pet is your brainstorming partner and helps you process all the clues.

*Usually a dog or a cat … but it could be a snake or a parakeet or an iguana. A pet rock is probably pushing it though.

9. You have at least one endearingly eccentric older relative who doubles as a fount of wisdom.

*Bonus if he/she has hilarious friends.

10. Someone in your inner circle is a baker or pastry chef or gourmet chef so you’re always eating yummy food.

*Recipes included at the back.

Ten Clues You Are In a Cozy Mystery
I have several favorite cozy mystery series, encompassing a range of authors and publishers. If I started naming my faves, we would be here a while and I would inevitably leave one or more out. However, you can peruse my cozy mystery archives on ReadingIsMySuperPower to get an idea of which ones I recommend.

I'm super excited to see more Christian authors branching out into the cozy mystery genre. This is not to say that their books are overtly Christian (though some are) but it makes me so happy to see Jesus followers writing great books in this genre too. Some older series by Christian authors include Vannetta Chapman's Amish Village Mysteries, A.H. Gabhart's Hidden Springs Mysteries, and Julianna Deering's Drew Farthering Mysteries (that last one is more of a British cozy / Agatha Christie-esque & therefore slightly different from the formula we've been talking about).

Some new books coming out that I'm excited about are Pint of No Return by Dana Mentink (Poisoned Pen Press), On Skein of Death by Allie Pleiter (Berkley), and Dogged by Death by Laura Scott (Crooked Lane Books), and Trouble Brewing by Heather Day Gilbert (Woodhaven Press). The first three I mentioned start new series, too! Ahem - I've used their covers throughout the post to pique your interest (full disclosure) :)

There are also two cozies of particular interest on Seekerville that recently released: 

Ten Clues You Are In a Cozy Mystery

The Deeds of the Deceitful
(Hope Street Mysteries #6)
by Ellery Adams & Tina Radcliffe
Beyond the Page / November 2020

Ten Clues You Are In a Cozy Mystery

Patterns of Deception
(Savannah Secrets #11)
by Ruth Logan Herne
Guideposts

I hope you give cozy mysteries a try, if you haven't already. It's a great way to pass a few hours, guaranteed to put a smile on your face and make your heart a little lighter. Reading a cozy mystery with a mug of your favorite hot beverage (lemonade substitutes nicely in the summer), a comfy corner, and a snuggly dog or cat if one is available. 

Do you read cozy mysteries?
If so, who are some of your fave authors? What do you like most about this genre?
If you haven't read one yet, what intrigues you about this genre?

~*~*~*~*~


Ten Clues You Are In a Cozy Mystery
Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers' Retreat and JustRead Publicity Tours, LLC, Carrie lives in Georgia with her husband Eric. 

She can be found lurking at various blogs and websites (because she can't stop talking about books) but her main home is the blog she started in 2015 - ReadingIsMySuperPower.org.
 

 

Fabulous First Lines in Fiction

Fabulous First Lines in Fiction

Happy Friday, Seeker villagers! Every third month, when my Friday rolls around, I suffer from a serious case of imposter syndrome. Panic sets in over the dreaded questions - What will I write about? Do I HAVE anything to contribute that anyone will care about? Will this be the month that I turn in my Seekerville badge and slink off to the 'I'm not a writer' corner? 

As predicted, I talked myself off that same ledge this month too. I came up with - and rejected - several ideas and finally remembered this little tidbit: on my own blog, I recently celebrated completing 200 'First Line Friday' posts. That's 200 posts of potential Seekerville post material! Eureka! I'm saved to survive on Seekerville for another three months!

Now, I am admittedly not an author. So I can't talk a lot about the technique and craft of first lines, but I can share some of my favorite first lines in fiction and look at what they have in common. (And fortunately for me, Debby Giusti talked about first lines/chapters last year!)

Let's start out with a little game! Can you match these classic first lines to their books? (I'll post the answers in the comments) 

Fabulous First Lines in Fiction

The books you have to choose from for the above first lines are: 
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston 
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville

And here are some recent faves I've loved from the 200 'First Line Friday' posts I've done on my blog: 

Fabulous First Lines in Fiction Fabulous First Lines in Fiction


Fabulous First Lines in FictionFabulous First Lines in Fiction

Fabulous First Lines in Fiction    Fabulous First Lines in Fiction 

Aren't they great? What are some things they have in common (including the classic first lines in our little game)?

  • They immediately grab your attention. Maybe you're chuckling at some poor soul being voluntold for horrors unknown, unfortunate Eustace Clarence Scrubb of the almost-deserved name, or a crime-committing mama raccoon. Maybe you're captivated by the clever (or poetic) wordsmithing. Maybe you're just plain intrigued by what comes after that first line - where could it go from here? Regardless, each of these twelve first lines definitely (and immediately) has you committed to discovering the rest of the book. 
  • They are a bit vague. By that, I mean that a captivating first line raises more questions than it answers. Who was voluntold for what? Who is Ishmael & why do we care? (spoiler alert - we don't.) Why did poor Eustace almost deserve his name, and why only almost? What caused that 'swell of instant silence and intense heat'? This immediate need for more information again engages the reader's full attention & keeps them reading. 
  • They can be poetic. The first line from Pepper Basham's The Thorn Keeper is one of my very fave first lines because it's so beautiful and wistful and a bit sad, too. Reading a first line like that - or the one from Beth Troy's Lu or quote #5 in the game list above - tells me I must keep reading to discover what other poetically beautiful gems are tucked inside this book!
  • But they don't have to be. Lines like the ones from The Cupcake Dilemma by Jennifer Rodewald or More Than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson (and even #4 from our guessing game) are more humorous and maybe a little bit snarky. That doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the book is written in that tone - though it might - but yet again it keeps me reading to find out. 

Like I said, I don't claim to be an author. I don't know all the technical craft speak to tell you why these twelve first lines are so captivating. All I can tell you as an avid reader is 1) they are captivating and 2) they all kept me reading. Your first line doesn't have to look like these; it should reflect your style and your story. But a great question to ask as you re-read during edits or at some other point in your writing process is: "Would I want to keep reading this book if this is all I had to go on?" No cover. No back cover copy. No author interview. Just that first line. Would it intrigue you enough to want to know 'the rest of the story'?

If so, you've found your own fabulous first line! Go forth & write, dear authors. I am cheering you on! 

What do you find the most difficult about writing a first line?
What is one of your fave first lines? (either your own or another author's)
What intrigued you most about it?


 ~*~*~*~*~


Fabulous First Lines in Fiction
Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers' Retreat and JustRead Publicity Tours, LLC, Carrie lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric. 

She can be found lurking at various blogs and websites (because she can't stop talking about books) but her main home is the blog she started in 2015 - ReadingIsMySuperPower.org.
 


Book World Changes

Book World Changes as observed by Beth and Carrie of Seekerville

Hello, friends! Beth and Carrie here! Since our identities have frequently been mistaken for one another, and we practically live on the same brainwave to the extent that we might actually be sharing a brain, we’ve decided to join forces today and y’all can just use your imagination to figure out who says what.

Book World Changes
We mustache you... who is who? (see hint)
Stories have our hearts (well, Jesus AND stories but since He told stories it’s another reason to love them)! A life with books is far richer than one without them. Perhaps storytellers feel the same way about penning their tales. We’ve even read that avid fiction readers possess more empathy than the poor souls who don’t read (we truly feel awful for them, bless their hearts).

Perhaps we're feeling a bit sentimental since celebrating our blog birthdays last month on Faithfully Bookish and Reading Is My SuperPower (4 and 5 years, respectively) but now, more than ever, we realize life is always changing. We’re learning, we’re growing (older, stronger, wiser, softer, you name it), and we’re constantly, even subconsciously, adapting to the dynamics of the world around us.

We want to encourage y’all despite or perhaps because of the uncertainty surrounding us, to embrace the story. Good times, bad times, different times, make time to read (or write), and may the Holy Spirit minister to your story-loving heart no matter what season you find yourself in.

That said, we’re sharing some ways our reading/reviewing/blogging/publicity-ing worlds have changed over the last few weeks, some helpful workarounds if you’re in the same floating-aimlessly boat, and a bit of insight for authors who are wondering why certain formerly dependable readers seem to have fallen off the book planet. :)

Reading 


The world has shut down, we are staying home, we have endless reading time, right?! Unfortunately, no. Introverts have been social distancing since before it was celebrated as a life-saving act and those of us who work from home are literally professionals. Not only do we need to continue doing our work (more about that later) but we now have the added distraction of additional people or inevitable cabin fever to contend with. If you are reading more right now, we are delighted for you and if your reading time has taken a hit, know that you are not alone.

Life is Always ChangingWe recommend injecting stories into your day with audiobooks (these are also great for those “distracting other people” as well) or set aside time for a mental health break (yeah, that looks like reading for us). Need a family activity? Gather everyone around (on the couch or via video chat) and read aloud to each other!

There’s a binding of hearts and something healing about sharing stories during stressful times. Too tired for something new? Revisit a book on your “favorites shelf.” Give yourself permission to avoid certain titles due to emotional fatigue (or author pictures with poultry) or stinky binding adhesive.

Reviewing


Let’s be honest, writing reviews can be challenging under any circumstances. How do we find words to express the beauty of a reading experience? The swoofness is elusive, y’all! (btw, we’re talking about “Squeezing Words Out Of Feelings” if this is the first time y’all have heard of swoof) If a reader who shall not be named happened to be devouring books as a coping mechanism to diffuse stress caused by an inability to swoof, well… it’s a vicious cycle, friends. Heaven sakes, I’m stressing myself out just thinking about it! Talk me off the ledge, Carrie!

(Repeat after me, Beth. The swoof will return. Trust the swoof.)

Let’s all take a moment and just breathe deeply. We need to give ourselves permission to read a book and occasionally only leave a couple-sentence review on retail sites. Something like, “This book is so beautiful I can’t even put my feelings into words. Except to say, ‘Read it. You’ll thank me.’” Not every review has to be a full swoof, friends. If you’re reviewing on your blog and need to fill in more space than 2 sentences, talk about a couple of favorite quotes to flesh out a longer review. In other words, employ the Dory method - Just keep swoofing!

Blogging


We love to introduce our fellow readers to books and authors but it’s not as easy as Carrie makes it look! (Note from Carrie - ha! Not easy at all!) There’s so much to learn and consider with search engine optimization and social media promotion and giveaways and updating old posts and site navigation and newsletters and sometimes this introvert gets stuck in overload. Have you ever heard of stress paralysis? (Where are my Moms’ Night Out fans?!) It’s a thing.

Give yourself grace and permission to have fun or step back
One of the first things my big sister blogger taught me was the “my blog, my rules” principle, and years later, it’s still a good reminder. If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone and give yourself grace and permission to have fun or step back as needed. Throw together some spotlights or quick lists if you’re all out of creativity or time but still want to show love to some authors & books.

You may find, like our book sisters Rachel (@bookwormmama14) or Annie (@justcommonly), that bookstagramming will get your creative juices flowing. A little less writing, a little more space for artistic expression, and a whole lot of cover love, Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular platforms for spreading the book love! Whether you bookstagram as part of your book blogging or instead of (even for a season), we think you’ll continue to benefit and bless the bookish community with your enthusiasm.

JustRead Publicity-ing


Even the world of online book promotion is not immune to Covid19. At JustRead (and I’m sure other tour groups would say the same thing), we’ve had to cope with various shipping issues & delays in getting books to our instagram hosts. There have also been several delayed release dates which means long-ago-planned tour dates have to be shifted around and squeezed in on new weeks in an already-full calendar.

Communication snafus are inevitable in a world where everybody else is now adjusting to working from home too. All of these are necessary adjustments in this ‘new-for-now normal’ on top of all the ‘still normal’ to-do tasks involved with running a publicity company. And of course, we are willing to do whatever is needed right now to support the authors & books & publishers we love so much. But if we seem more frazzled than usual (because let’s face it, we’re always a bit frazzled), that’s why!

Here are a few tips which apply now more than ever! Schedule early and keep the lines of communication open. Please meet deadlines; publicity companies must juggle several tours in various stages of planning at once in a neverending cycle so the domino effect of not having what we need when we need it impacts your tour and other tours and our sanity in unattractive ways.

Play This or That with us! 

Let’s check your reader life pulse! Share your answers in the comments.

Book World Changes
Right now I want to read…
Nearly All the Time or At Least Regularly
Lighthearted with Laughing/Swooning or Deep Pondering/Suspense
Shorter Stories or Big Books
New Release or Old Favorite
Familiar Genre or Out of the Ordinary
Pandemic Reads or Anything But


What changes or challenges have y'all faced over the last several weeks? How have you made the best of these trying circumstances?



Book World Changes
Carrie and Beth
Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers' Retreat and JustRead Publicity Tours, Carrie lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric.
She can be found lurking at various blogs and websites (because she can't stop talking about books) but her main home is the blog she started in 2015 - ReadingIsMySuperPower.org.

Beth Erin is a Christian fiction enthusiast, book reviewer, blogger, and JustRead Publicity Tours co-owner. She strives to edify and connect with readers and authors at Faithfully Bookish and on social media.
Beth also contributes to the Seekerville, Hoarding Books, and Diversity Between the Pages blogs. She is passionate about promoting authors and their entertaining, encouraging, and redemptive stories.

Tips for a Successful Blog Tour: What Authors Need to Know


Happy January, dear Seekerville-ians! 

Carrie here.

I wear many hats in the book world. I'm a blogger, book reviewer, author interviewer, influencer, and speaker. I've reviewed for professional magazines, and I've had the privilege of co-founding the first major author-reader event specifically for Christian fiction. But lately most of my time has been spent as the co-owner of JustRead Publicity Tours (the irony of that is that I rarely have time anymore to 'just read'). 

At JustRead (and several other tour companies that I also blog for, including Singing Librarian Book Tours, Prism Book Tours, and Celebrate Lit), we help promote Christian and 'clean read' books through a coordinated network of blogs and social media hosts. We do the footwork and the managing of each tour so that you, the author, can focus less on marketing and more on writing new, yummy books for us to read. 

But while we do most of the heavy lifting, there are some things that authors can do to aid in achieving a successful blog tour from start to finish. 

Let's start by clearing up some common misconceptions: 

** "Blog tours & social media tours should result in more sales." 

Tips for a Successful Blog Tour: What Authors Need to KnowWhile that would certainly be ideal, there are multiple factors that affect and influence book sales. A successful blog or social media tour should result in more attention directed specifically toward your book.

The idea behind these tours is to get your book in front of people over and over and over again, so when they see it online or in a store they'll feel a connection to it and be more likely to buy it. But it won't happen overnight. It's a cumulative process, which I'll address more in a minute. 

** "Blog tours are outdated. Podcasts are where it's at." 

I would almost agree with that statement if it were for anything other than books. But books are for readers, and readers... well... read. Which means, while we might embrace a few podcasts that are relevant to our interests, we won't quit reading blogs or social media. Because reading is at the core of what we do. Therefore, a blog tour or social media tour continues to meet readers where they're at and reach potentially new audiences for your books.

So, what can authors do to help their blog or social tour to be successful? 

I'm so glad you asked :-) 

Plan ahead. 


Most tour companies that I work with - including JustRead Tours - are booked solid at least 4 months out. Chances are, if you wait until January to plan a tour for your book that will release in February (or heaven forbid, in January), you will be out of luck. At least when it comes to the established, reputable tour companies. Ideally, if you have a book releasing anytime this year and you want to book a blog or social media tour, you need to do so now. There's not really any such thing as planning too early when it comes to publicity and marketing, but there is definitely such a thing as planning too late. 

Don't put all your eggs in one basket. 


Ideally, you'll want to do a blog tour and a social media tour of some sort to keep the book popping up everywhere and staying on people's minds. BUT covers are key here. Some covers just don't work well on social media. It might be a great cover but there are some elements that seem to get less engagement on social media. So ask your tour coordinators for their recommendations and respect their expertise. 

You can also do what I call 'stacking' - where you book tours with more than one company. With the companies I mentioned above, we all have an overlap in hosts but we also have hosts that only work with our company (or one of the other tour groups). PLEASE NOTE: If you decide to stack tours, it's best to schedule different tour types with each company (for instance, a blog tour with one group and a social tour with another group, etc.). It's also best to stagger the dates when stacking tours - so each tour is separate from the other. This avoids confusing hosts who blog for more than one company, and it allows for maximum participation and a more focused campaign. It also takes host availability into consideration - even the 'overlap hosts' will have certain dates that work better than others (so maybe they can't participate in one company's tour but their schedule allows them to participate in the other) or maybe they can participate in both tours, especially if the tours are different types (i.e. one is a blog tour & the other is a social tour).


Have all your ducks in a row.


Tips for a Successful Blog Tour: What Authors Need to KnowI cannot emphasize enough how important this is: Make sure your book is up on Goodreads. If your book isn't on Goodreads, you are missing a vital free-to-you marketing tool. To take this one step further, make sure your book is on Goodreads at least three weeks before your tour starts. There must be a place for us to send readers who are interested in the book we're promoting. Retail site links are, of course, also vitally important but the timing on those sometimes doesn't match up with a promotional tour (with cover reveals, for instance).

Also, a media kit is hugely helpful for authors to send bloggers in general and especially for tour company hosts who are putting together your tour. It should have your website, social media links, headshot(s) and at least two versions of your bio - a short bio and a regular bio. Related to this, please make sure your bio and website are updated. It's also highly advisable to have an author Facebook page, separate from your personal timeline. 

 

Share and support.


Share the tour posts! Or at least the giveaway info with a link to the tour company's landing page for your book's tour. An engaged author leads to a more engaged tour all around.

 

Just Read. 


Thoroughly read the invoice and all materials that the tour company sends you. Important details and deadlines are often included in the invoice, terms/conditions, and 'next step' emails. If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask! That's what we're here for. But please do make sure you're aware of the terms you're agreeing to and the materials (and deadlines) that have been requested.

Blog tours and social media tours can be overwhelming, but these guidelines should ease some of the stress - for both you and the tour company - and help your promotional campaign be as smooth and productive as possible. 

(You can hear some more tips - and a bit more details on the ones I've mentioned here - on the Writer's Chat episode I recorded in December. Watch it HERE.)  

~*~*~*~*~*~ 

Tips for a Successful Blog Tour: What Authors Need to KnowCarrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers' Retreat and JustRead Publicity Tours, Carrie lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric. 

She can be found lurking at various blogs and websites (because she can't stop talking about books) but her main home is the blog she started in 2015 - ReadingIsMySuperPower.org.
 ~*~*~*~*~*~

I am giving away a FREE 1-Day Blog Blitz (a $65 value) with JustRead Tours to someone who leaves a comment on today's post!!  

(must be scheduled by Dec 31, 2020)

http://justreadtours.com

 What scares you the most about booking a blog tour or social media tour?
What questions do you have about the process? 

leave a comment below & be entered to win!


How to Keep the Romance in a Romance Novel with Guest Blogger Elaine Stock


Happy Fri-yay, Seekerville!! I am delighted to welcome Elaine Stock to the blog today - I love her heart & her books, and it's always a pleasure to hear from her. 

Before I turn it over to Elaine, let's take a look at her new book, When Love Blossoms... 

How to Keep the Romance in a Romance Novel with Guest Blogger Elaine Stock
The journeys in life take you to unexpected destinations. The love of a good person brings you home.

Kierra Madden, proprietor of the Kindred Lake Inn, struggles for stability after her engagement ends, family strife continues, and business slows. When her mom, sister and teenage niece move in with her, life becomes a lot more complicated. There’s certainly spare room…until one guest arrives…on his bicycle. Ryan Delaney is fit and trim…quite the eye candy.

Ryan, a TV news anchor on a leave of absence following a horrific incident, enjoys the peace long-distance biking offers. Only in town to mend his strained relationship with his teen daughter, he never expects to fall for Kierra fast and hard. Despite her policy of separating business and pleasure, mutual attraction pulls them closer until unforeseen consequences threaten to wedge between them.

Surrounded by springtime beauty, will the temptation of desire bloom into a more powerful and lasting love?
 

Won't you join me in giving her a big Seekerville welcome??

 

How to Keep the Romance in a Romance Novel
By Elaine Stock

 

Always a forever first: Thank you, Carrie Schmidt, for all things Seekerville related and especially for your utmost patience and confidence in me.

Hello, Seekerville! Thanks for welcoming me back!

Here are a few not necessarily random tidbits about me:

--I love Cole Porter songs
--As a child I paired up my Crayola Crayons in couples (the bright colors were girls, the dark colors boy)
--This July 4th will be my 37th wedding anniversary (I was a child bride—LOL!)
--When seeing a father carrying a child on his shoulders or a mom kneeling on a cement-hard store floor before her little girl to gently calm the child’s sobs—all complete strangers to me—I will break out in tears over the beauty of family love.

Why? Because in addition to uniting couples in my fictional worlds and tossing at them obstacles to challenge their budding love for each other, I’m Passionate about love’s dynamics between family members. And yes, that is a capital P in passionate!

Ah, but it’s a romance you want to read, huh? Maybe that’s where I’m a wee different…or not (I’d love to hear your take on this in the comment section), because I believe that for love to be strong and lasting for Jack and Janelle or Alex and Ariel the love must transcend past the point of immediate attraction and desire and encompass how this growing, heating relationship affects their loved ones, be it family or friends. The couple likely won’t hop into their private plane and fly off to a desert island to forever exclude all others from their lives. Love can only thrive when not in isolation.



Enough with the philosophy of love. You’re writers and readers. Are you wondering how to write/read romances that expand beyond the hero and heroine, yet at the story’s end you will sigh (hopefully) in joy? I could spend hours analyzing the authors who are stars at writing romances, but instead I will offer what works for me:

  1. Keep the hero and heroine in the limelight. This is their story. It helps to limit the Point of View to only his and her perspectives.
  2. Like descriptions of surroundings, sensory perceptions, and many other etceteras, all secondary characters are secondary including their premise, plot, turning points, and conflicts, yet…
  3. The hero and heroine must be seen engaging with these secondary characters (for me, it’s typically family, though you may have another association in mind). For instance, can your heroine ask for advice from an older brother? Will the hero’s aunt, the one who raised him but then disowned him, step back into the picture and wedge between him and this woman he’s falling madly in love with?
  4. If your secondary characters’ sub-story is strong enough to impact the hero and heroine then keep their plot line, descriptions (physical, emotional, likes, dislikes, the way they act) to a minimal. They must not take over the story and take away from the romance. Keep the romance in the reader’s mind at all times.

To paraphrase Cole Porter in his song, Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love): everyone and everything falls in love; love is what keeps us alive.

How to Keep the Romance in a Romance Novel with Guest Blogger Elaine Stock



How to Keep the Romance in a Romance Novel with Guest Blogger Elaine Stock
Elaine Stock is an award-winning author of Women's & Inspirational Fiction to uplift with hope of better tomorrows. Her novel, Her Good Girl, received the Outstanding Christian/Religious Fiction in the 2018 IAN Book of the Year Awards, 2018 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal in Christian Fiction and the 2018 American Fiction Awards in the Christian Inspirational category.

Elaine is a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Romance Writers of America. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Elaine has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a NYC gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.




Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1JYAwNy
 

How to Keep the Romance in a Romance Novel with Guest Blogger Elaine Stock
 



Elaine is giving away (1) Kindle edition of When Love Blossoms.
This is Book 2 of the Kindred Lake Series, however it is a standalone read.
US ONLY

Comment below for a chance to win! 

Which of Elaine's tips most resonated with you today?

 

 

Why I Love Fairy Tale Retellings


 

Why I Love Fairy Tale Retellings

by Carrie Schmidt

From the first time I watched Disney's Cinderella as a starry-eyed three-year-old (who watched it in an old theater with sweeping staircases... and became Cinderella as much as any one little girl can), I have loved fairy tales. 

I love the way they champion the power of love & kindness & courage.

I love the way they always end in happily ever after. 

I love the way they reflect the Gospel and my relationship with Jesus. 

But most of all, I just love everything they promise us about life and love. 

Why I Love Fairy Tale Retellings
Fairy Tale retellings continue to be a wildly popular subgenre in, particularly, Young Adult fiction but have a huge adult following as well. (It's been a long time since I've been a 'young' adult and this is still one of my very fave types of fiction to read) They can be historical or contemporary, a more literal retelling or a loose reimagining. Maybe all the details but one are changed to suit the author's purposes, or maybe all the details but one are the same. (Retellings are also crazy popular for classic literature - Austen & Dickens, etc. - and beloved stories from the Bible - Ruth & Esther tend to be the go-to stories to retell here.)

So why do I love them? 

Because they do everything that a fairy tale does (see list above) PLUS they remind me of my childhood, of that princess-wannabe who fell in love with story as Cinderella fell in love with Prince Charming. They remind me what it's like to discover the wonders and intricacies of a beloved plot and characters for the first time. 

Not only that, but retellings of any kind remind us that our stories are never really over. 

I will pretty much gravitate toward any book that claims to be a retelling (for all the reasons I've already mentioned) but allow me to take a moment to share some of my favorites. This can definitely act as a syllabus of sorts for anyone wanting to do more research!

CINDERELLA

The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson (medieval Germany)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (sci-fi)
Texas Cinderella by Winnie Griggs (historical/western)
Cowboy Charming by Lacy Williams (reverse Cinderella/contemporary/western) 
It Started With Goodbye by Christina June (YA contemporary retelling)

BEAUTY & THE BEAST

The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson (medieval England)
The Lady & The Lionheart by Joanne Bischof (turn of the century Appalachia/circus) 
Whispers In the Reading Room by Shelley Shepard Gray (Gilded Age mystery)
The Beastly Princess by Lacy Williams (reverse roles/contemporary/western)
The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson (medieval Germany) 

SNOW WHITE

The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson (medieval Germany)
Winter by Marissa Meyer (sci-fi)
Once Upon a Cowboy by Lacy Williams (contemporary/western)
The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine (YA fantasy)

Can't imagine a contemporary retelling of Little Red Riding Hood? You need Everywhere You Want to Be by Christina June.  

Intrigued by an allegorical retelling of The Wizard of Oz? Make sure you grab a copy of Emerald Illusion by J. Rodes.

And what about....

MULAN 

I'm so glad you asked!

Turns out that Seekerville's own Melanie Dickerson has a Mulan retelling releasing in just two weeks! 


Why I Love Fairy Tale Retellings
She knows women are expected to marry, cook, and have children, not go to war. Can she manage to stay alive, save her mother, and keep the handsome son of a duke from discovering her secret?


When Mulan takes her father’s place in battle against the besieging Teutonic Knights, she realizes she has been preparing for this journey her whole life—and that her life, and her mother’s, depends on her success. As the adopted daughter of poor parents, Mulan has little power in the world. If she can’t prove herself on the battlefield, she could face death—or, perhaps worse, marriage to the village butcher.

Disguised as a young man, Mulan meets the German duke’s son, Wolfgang, who is determined to save his people even if it means fighting against his own brother. Wolfgang is exasperated by the new soldier who seems to be one step away from disaster at all times—or showing him up in embarrassing ways.

From rivals to reluctant friends, Mulan and Wolfgang begin to share secrets. But war is an uncertain time and dreams can die as quickly as they are born. When Mulan receives word of danger back home, she must make the ultimate choice. Can she be the son her bitter father never had? Or will she become the strong young woman she was created to be?

This fresh reimagining of the classic tale takes us to fifteenth-century Lithuania where both love and war challenge the strongest of hearts. 

Preorder your copy HERE

⟸⟹⟸⟹⟸⟹

I'm giving away a copy of The Warrior Maiden (or a Melanie Dickerson retelling of your choice) to anyone who comments below. Open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your country.  

Do you like retellings? Why do you think they are so popular?

   ⟸⟹⟸⟹⟸⟹

Kiss and Tell (part two): Creating a Swoonilicious Kiss

Kiss and Tell (part two): Creating a Swoonilicious Kiss


Happy FRIDAY, Seekerville! Let's just ignore the fact that it's Friday the 13th and talk about something much more pleasant: KISSES. Specifically, KISSES in fiction. 

Ever since I fell in love with the story of Cinderella, I've been in love with "KissingBooks" (if you're a Princess Bride fan, you probably get the reference). When I started blogging about Christian and clean fiction, KissingBooks quickly became my most popular series of posts. Romance is still a hot genre (pardon the pun) and reading Christian & clean romance doesn't mean we have to sacrifice passion. After all, God created passion and romance and, when in the proper context, the expression of that passion glorifies him. Of course there are certain lines that we don't want to cross in fiction (or in life) but within these parameters Christian authors write a wide range of sweet kisses to smokin' smooches and everything in between!

Much like I did in my last Seekerville post (where I profiled my fave book boyfriends and what makes them swoonilicious), today I'm going to look at my four fave kissing scenes and analyze what they have in common and why they're so swoonilicious!

Let's look at the kisses first! 

(These are in no particular order, by the way)

Cue the romantic music ...

Kiss and Tell (part two): Creating a Swoonilicious Kiss  Kiss and Tell (part two): Creating a Swoonilicious Kiss

Fave Kiss #1: David & Catherine's first kiss in The Thorn Keeper by Pepper Basham - A storage closet, a reformed bad girl, and a dashing British doctor. "'Heaven help me, you taste like Christmas!' She breathed between them, keeping her mouth close enough to feel the warmth of his breath."

Fave Kiss #2: Carl & Annalisa's rain kiss in The Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund - "His gaze didn’t waver from her lips, even when he reached up both hands – one on either side of her face – and intertwined them into the long damp strands of her hair."

Fave Kiss #3: Katie & Luke's office kiss in A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman - "The taste of her lips was far more than he bargained for, and he drew her close with a raspy groan."

Fave Kiss #4: Vance & Violet's alcove kiss in The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall - "'Violet,' he repeated quickly, between kisses and labored breaths, his hands still pressed against the small of my back. 'Violet, you have no idea -'" 

Kiss and Tell (part two): Creating a Swoonilicious Kiss  Kiss and Tell (part two): Creating a Swoonilicious Kiss 

What do these four fave kisses have in common?

1. Emotion. Raspy voices, the inability to breathe, trembling hands. There is more driving these kisses than merely attraction. Something connects the two kissees (is that a word?) on an almost soul-deep level, and that emotion results in some pretty passionate kisses! The sense of knowing this person is different, this person is your person, this person is 'the one' - and the raw need to communicate that to him/her when words fail you

2. Worth the Wait. This often goes hand-in-hand (or lip-to-lip?) with 'emotion' but each of these kisses was fueled by a need that had been continually repressed for one reason or another. Whether it is because they've been kept apart by distance or misunderstanding, or because the hero (or heroine) is trying to do the noble thing and resist the relationship. Whatever the reason, once the decision to smooch has been made, there is no longer any holding back! (And when I say 'no holding back', I'm still just talking kisses here. No bedroom shenanigans!)

3. Cherished. Passion notwithstanding, these kisses come from a heart that cherishes the other person, the relationship, the emotion, the act of the kiss. It's not so much about taking as it is about giving, about somehow telling this person without words how much he/she means to you. Because you can't find the words to adequately describe your heart toward him/her (back to 'emotion' again)

4. Passion. Yep. I went there. These aren't mere brushes of the lips (although there's certainly a place for that too). These are 'pucker up and turn on the a/c' kinds of kisses. The kind that make you want to say "WOWZA" out loud while you're reading. (And sometimes you do and then you get funny looks.) Now, please don't misunderstand. A passionate kiss doesn't have to be hot n' heavy and full of sparks and sizzle. Sometimes, the most passionate kiss is the one that comes from a gentle heart full of more love than that heart can contain. But it still has passion, no matter how quiet.

Again, take my advice with a grain of salt. I'm just one reader with her own preferences. But I will say that these four kisses always come up in 'favorite kiss discussions' and not just from me haha! So there is something about them that appeals to a wide variety of readers, and I think these four characteristics (Emotion, Worth the Wait, Cherished, Passion) are a good start in figuring out what makes them so memorable.


Authors: What do you find most difficult about writing a swoony kiss?
Readers: What are some of your favorite book kisses?

Let me know in the comments & you'll be entered to win ONE BOOK of your choice from one of the four books I featured today in my fave kisses.

Giveaway is open internationally, provided Book Depository has the book of your choice and ships to your location. Void where prohibited by law.

Kiss and Tell (part one): Creating a Swoonlicious Book Boyfriend

Kiss and Tell (part one): Creating a Swoonlicious Book Boyfriend

Anyone who hangs around me for any length of time - online or in "real" life - learns pretty quickly that I'm an avid collector of book boyfriends. My husband has resigned himself to this collection, goodnaturedly tolerating my swoons over fictitious heroes and pretending not to notice that most of them are based on Henry Cavill or Chris Hemsworth.

(Now, before anyone starts clutching their pearls... He's not threatened because he knows I know they're fictional. After all, my husband is my very own Mr. Knightley and that's the best kind of hero anyway.)

Since I first met Prince Charming on the pages of Cinderella (a book I had memorized before I could technically read), I have been adding to my book boyfriend collection. And while Prince Charming joins Frank Hardy, Gilbert Blythe and Thane Andrews (Roses for Mama by Janette Oke) in my book boyfriends hall of fame (another way to say 'book boyfriends I've loved since middle school"), more recently I have amassed quite a swoonilicous collection of new book boyfriends. And don't tell Charming, Frank, Gilbert and Thane, but this new crop is even more swoonilicious! 

Of my reads from the past three years or so, there are five heroes that I have quite a crush on. See, I fall in love with book boyfriends while I'm reading their particular story but more often than not when I move on to a new book, I move on to a new book boyfriend as well. (It's not cheating if they're fictional! The internet says so!) However, these five guys made such an impression on me that a) I can't quit talking about them and b) I put them on a shirt. 

Kiss and Tell (part one): Creating a Swoonlicious Book Boyfriend

In case you haven't met them yet, let me introduce you! Meet James MacDonald (aka #myJames) from Carla Laureano's Five Days in Skye, Ty Porter from Becky Wade's Meant to be Mine, Charlie Lionheart from Joanne Bischof's The Lady and the Lionheart, Vance Everstone from Dawn Crandall's The Cautious Maiden, and Wes Harrison from Pepper Basham's Just the Way You Are. Ironically enough, three of these swoonlicious fellas look like Henry Cavill. For those of you taking notes, that's not a MUST but it certainly helps ;) 

Since I debuted my book boyfriends shirt, I've been asked this question more times than I can count: 

How do my heroes get on your shirt???

Now, aside from the potential awkwardness beget (begotten?) from a question such as this one, I have been mulling over a list of characteristics that make these five book boyfriends (and your future heroes) shirt-worthy.

  1. Falling in love hits HIM in all the feels. Obviously, it needs to hit me in the feels too (I still have not recovered from Vance's redemption or Charlie's sacrifice) but when it makes the hero's voice go husky, his throat tight, his control fray... these things are sure to have me swooning right off my fainting couch (also known as my trusty recliner). For example, watching tough, cocky, bullrider Ty Porter or smoldering, flirty James MacDonald fall hard in love is truly a swoonilicious pleasure.
  2. He's not afraid to share those feels, when appropriate. I'm all for macho heroes but there's something particularly yummy about a guy who isn't afraid to tell a girl how he feels. To tell her he's scared, too. To tell her that he's trying to rein in his desires because he respects her, but also to tell her that he has those intense desires to rein in. To let his voice get all raspy and his jaw tight. I'm all a'swoon just thinking about it! (But please, for the love of all things swoony, don't make him smarmy!! If a guy's every thought is some sort of innuendo, nope. He can express desire but right on its heels must be respect. Vance Everstone & Wes Harrison are great examples of this desire/respect balance.)
  3. He is a man of integrity and character...Eventually. He can be a bad boy at the start but the process of redemption must be a key element to his story. I'm telling you right now, there is nearly nothing as sexy (am I allowed to use that word??? Where's Julie Lessman when you need her? LOL) ... anyway, there is nothing quite so swoonilicious as a redeemed rogue. If you look at each of these 5 heroes, you'll find a bit (or more) of redeemed bad boy in each one of them.
  4. He is a protector at heart. A shirt-worthy book boyfriend doesn't have to be a Navy SEAL or an FBI agent or a First Responder (though, now I'm swooning at the thought) but he has to have some sort of protective instincts. If someone tells him to stay put when his woman is in danger, he better not stay put. And if he's forced to stay put because he's stuck in a hospital bed with a possibly-mortal injury of his own... well... then he at least needs to be growly about not being able to come to her rescue. Even if your book is not a suspense novel, this protective side can come out around kids, dogs, and the heroine in other ways that are just as meaningful. Worthy of note is that none of my 5 shirt-worthy book boyfriends are in a suspense novel. But if you've met Charlie Lionheart, you can't say he doesn't have protective instincts!
  5. He's a goooooood kisser! Ok, this last one isn't essential but y'all there is something to be said for a kiss that has you using your book as a swooning fan. (Please be cautious of using your kindle in the same manner... it doesn't have quite the same cool-air effect and a miscalculated swoosh could leave you a bit bruised. Don't ask me how I know this.) We'll talk more about what makes a gooooood kiss the next time I'm on Seekerville! (July 13th, if I did my math right.) 
Now, take this advice with a grain of salt because every reader has her own preferences. Some like flirty heroes. Some like brooding Mr. Darcy-types. Some go for the nerds. Some get weak-kneed over the bearded lumberjacks (I'm looking at you, Beth Erin!) and others prefer a scruffy cowboy or a dashing Brit. It also depends on what kind of chemistry the hero has with the heroine, and the overall quality of the story.

Dear readers, the stuff of fairy-tale romance and happily-ever-after is in our soul's DNA. God has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and I believe this is one reason we crave the Prince Charming who comes riding in on a white horse to defeat evil and whisk away as his bride. Sound familiar? Yes, that's basically the plot of every fairy-tale and nearly every romance ever written. But it's also THE plot. It's the story God has been telling from the beginning!

One day Jesus WILL come riding in on a white horse as our Prince of Peace to defeat evil and whisk us away as His bride (Rev 19) to the ultimate happily-ever-after (Rev 21). As we wait for it play out in reality, we read little reflections of it in the meantime. This is why we collect book boyfriends... and this is why certain heroes make it onto my shirt. Because in their stories, I see The Story. They remind me that THIS is love, that someday my Prince will come... in a tale as old as time.

Until then, I'll keep collecting book boyfriends and adding them to my shirts. I've already got a list going for the next one ;)

    Kiss and Tell (part one): Creating a Swoonlicious Book Boyfriend


    Authors: What do you find most difficult about writing a swoony hero?
    Readers: Who are some of your fave book boyfriends?

Let me know in the comments & you'll be entered to win ONE BOOK of your choice from ONE of my book boyfriend lists found here:

(I told you I talk them about them alot LOL)

Giveaway is open internationally, provided Book Depository has the book of your choice and ships to your location. Void where prohibited by law.
Top 5 Must-Haves for An Author Website (from a reader's point of view)Ten Clues You Are In a Cozy MysteryFabulous First Lines in FictionBook World ChangesTips for a Successful Blog Tour: What Authors Need to KnowAdvent Day 21 - When Christmas Takes A Snow Day How to Keep the Romance in a Romance Novel with Guest Blogger Elaine StockWhy I Love Fairy Tale RetellingsKiss and Tell (part two): Creating a Swoonilicious KissKiss and Tell (part one): Creating a Swoonlicious Book Boyfriend

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