Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Guest Post: The 4-1-1 on Writer's Block by Sonia Chopra

I've been working with Sonis Chopra on getting set up on a new writer's platform called Penned (you can download the app through your iPhone/iPad. It looks like a great app, though I haven't had much time to play around on it yet. Sonia offered to write a guest post for writers who follow my blog and since I'm always happy to get insight from other writers, I'm excited to share this with you...

The 4-1-1 on Writer’s Block
by Sonia Chopra

If you’re a writer, you’re no stranger to writer’s block. In fact, he may be your best friend. It happens to the best of us, and can be rather frustrating… Only making things worse.

So how can we politely ask this friend to leave? What are some ways to prevent him from staying too long? From personal experience, I have found some of the most effective ways to combat the enemy, are seemingly silly and even more frustrating. But in reality, I can promise you that at least one of these will ease the writing woes and kick your friend onto the curb of uninvited house-guests.

1.     Step away… Step away from your work. Put it out of sight, and out of mind for a mere fifteen minutes.  Try to direct your attention to another project or task that involves creativity.. Get those creative wheels oiled up again!
2.     Just Dance. It’ll Be Okay. Doo-doo-doo. Just Dance. I’m serious. Yes this is a famous lyric from Lady Gaga… but it’s the truth. Crank up some music (maybe “Just Dance” perhaps?), and get your body moving. This helps ease the stress and frustration of writer’s block, while allowing your mind to have fun in a creative and active way.. You never know.. A song lyric could even inspire you!
3.     Desk. Bed. Desk. Do you always write in the same place? It’s time to switch it up!!! The normal routine setting may just be inspiring normal and routine thoughts.. But no anymore! Go sit outside at your local park, coffee shop, or even in a different room of your house (if you are that lazy).  The change of scenery sparks a change of ideas within our brain.
4.     Exchange Ideas. View Other’s Work. Get inspired by the thoughts and feedback of others. Post your ideas or what you have so far on forums or apps such as PennedApp (a social media platform for writers, that allows readers to like, comment, and share their work). View what professionals and everyday writers are working on… Humans live to inspire other humans!
Whatever you do, just remember that writer’s block is temporary. It’s a mal-function, like when wheels run out of oil and must come to a halt. All that is needed is a little oil (these tips), and they’ll get to spinning again, promise! 


About the Author: Sonia Chopra is a newly graduated student from UCLA, working with founder Brian Sanders on Penned: The new platform for writers. While she spends most of her time working for a startup in Hollywood, she also enjoys reading up on aspiring indie authors, modeling, freelance writing, and being a celebrity publicist. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

YA Book Trailers

I admit, I love trailers, whether for new movies or new books. My husband and I try to get to the theater early so we won't miss the previews. I love a trailer that properly sets the mood for a movie or a book.

Here's a trailer for one of my GCC mate's new book:



Like I said, the most important thing for me is that a trailer properly sets the mood. I'm busy working on a trailer for FOREIGN EXCHANGE. I love working on my own trailers to try and capture the mood I'm looking for. I'm curious, what is the most important thing for you when watching a trailer for a movie or book?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Out Today: My Soon-To-Be Sex Life by @judithtewes !

About the Book:
Charlie is down to her absolute. Total. Last. Resort.

Despite a thoroughly comprehensive list of potential cherry poppers, er…suitors, and careful plotting, Charlie is three weeks into her devirginzation campaign, still untouched, and getting desperate. In the movie of her life, this aspiring screenwriter is giving herself a PG, for please, get some.

Her project goes into freeze frame when her mom checks herself into rehab and packs Charlie off to live with her estranged, or just plain strange, grandfather, Monty. How is she supposed to get a date when she has to go pick up his Depends? 

Enter Eric, a hot rehab grad on the road to redemption, and the only one who can make Charlie rethink her strategy. The more she gets to know him, the more convinced she becomes that is the one, and not just another to add to the list of people who will abandon her.

In this hilarious and heartbreaking story of one girl’s detoured road to womanhood, Charlie’s list develops a life of its own – right when she realizes there’s so much more to lose. 

Find the book on...

Barnes and Noble - http://bit.ly/1pr42Mw
Chapters/Indigo - http://bit.ly/1kIxJ9q

About Judith: Judith Tewes resides in small town northern Alberta, where she: writes, sings, plays bass guitar in an all-woman band, walks her three crazy labs, and suspects she's living the life of a superhero's alias.

Follow Judith:


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Introducing LUCKY ME by Cindy Callaghan!

I wanted to wish a happy release day to my friend and fellow writer Cindy Callaghan's.  Her newest tween book LUCKY ME is now available everywhere.  It already got a stellar early review from School Library Journal.

You can check out all the cool 411 from Cindy Callaghan on her website  www.cindycallaghan.com.


From School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Middle-schooler Meghan McGlinchey, third daughter in a large, Irish-American family is extremely superstitious. Upon receiving a chain letter in the mail from an Irish relative, she plans to respond quickly so as not to break the chain. In the interest of getting the letter's promised good luck to begin for her even faster, Meghan emails it to the next recipients rather than the mandated way. After a day filled with one calamity after another, she realizes the error of her ways and, with the help of her friend Carissa, she discovers a way to neutralize her bad luck. A family trip to Ireland ensues, complete with a stay at a genuine, if decaying, castle, plenty of unlucky mishaps, and a host of adventures populated with quirky characters. By novel's end, Meghan is able to see that events first thought of as unlucky may have had a silver lining after all. This humorous novel has elements of mystery, sibling drama, Irish history and geography, and a bit of light tween romance. Readers will want to stick around to see if Meghan's luck takes a turn for the better.—Sara-Jo Lupo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY

Monday, July 14, 2014

And the Advanced Copy of ISLA goes to...

Thanks to everyone who entered my cover reveal contest and celebrated my new cover for FOREIGN EXCHANGE with me. If you haven't seen it yet, here it is! I'm thrilled with it.


Sadly, I only have one advance copy of ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER to give away, but I'm excited that the copy goes to...

Clara Song!

Congratulations, Clara. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And thanks again to everyone who entered!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Introducing HEART & SOUL by @leestraussbooks





Introducing 


Heart & Soul





Heart & Soul is the third book in The Minstrel Series 

(This is a connected book series - while each book can stand alone, they are best enjoyed in sequence.)

ROMANCE. SUSPENSE. MUSIC. DANGER. HOT BRITISH GUY

She's heartbroken. He's heartless.

Gabriele Baumann-Smith is deliriously in love with her young husband Lennon.
Except, it turns out that Lennon Smith isn't his real name. In fact, he's full of secrets: a cottage on the southern British coast, an old girlfriend and... an identical twin brother.

Callum Jones—not his real name—can't believe his brother's widow came to England. He'd warned Mick—Lennon—that an inheritance could put the girl's life in danger, and he was right.

“Mrs. Smith” is the last thing Callum needs to worry about right now. She's beautiful, sure, takes his breath away at times. But when she looks at him, who does she see?

Gabriele's heart is battered and bruised. Can one brother fix what the other left behind? And will they live long enough to find out?


BUZZ for Heart & Soul
"...this took a turn for the spy/thriller genre, which surprised me, but still carried thestrong romantic flavor and wonderful accompanying music, like the first two books. I think this is a great series and would recommend it to contemporary romance fans." Denise Jaden, author of Foreign Exchange

"Another great book by Lee! This one had action, wit and a forbidden love! Love the characters and their interaction with each other! Can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!" Tressa Sager, Amazon reviewer

"I don't want to give away what the danger is, but suffice it to say, it's a real and plausible threat. Gabrielle is a good leading lady. She doesn't back down from anything or anyone in this book, but she's still vulnerable, making her well-rounded and likable." J Harrell, Amazon reviewer

AMAZON | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | itunes | Google Play

Heart & Soul in Print

The Music from The Minstrel Series Volume 3 Heart & Soul



Featuring the author's daughter, Tasia Strauss!

Lee Strauss' thoughts on The Minstrel Series and Heart & Soul:

"My musician husband and I just randomly started talking about the idea of working on a project together - wouldn't it be great if we could collaborate and merge our two artistic worlds? Writing and Music? That was the seed that started the muse talking, and soon afterward The Minstrel Series was born!

For Heart & Soul, I knew I wanted to move the series from Germany to England (next to Ireland and Boston!) and that I needed a small coastal town not far from London. I used Google Earth to examine the British coastline to search for the perfect town and found it in Emsworth. Living in Germany part-time has its advantages and one of them is its proximity to England. My husband and I did a quick five day research trip. (It also came in handy for the next book, a Christmas novella set in London - stay tuned!) 

Because of the musical aspect of this series, I'm always on the prowl for songs and singers. My connection to the singer-songwriter world via my musical husband has been a big advantage. My husband's musical genes have also been down to our kids, so it's exciting to involve my daughter Tasia in the project to be the singing voice of Gabriele."

Click HERE to read the first chapter of Heart & Soul. 

**One of the entry options will ask a question from the above chapter.


About The Minstrel Series:

The Minstrel Series is a collection of contemporary romance novels set in the singer/songwriter world. The books are companion novels, with shared settings and characters, but each is a complete stand-alone story with a HEA (happily ever after) and no cliffhangers!

The books include MP3 links to original music by talented Indie Artists, so you can hear the characters sing!

#1     Sun & Moon
#2     Flesh & Bone 
#3     Heart & Soul 
#3.5  Peace & Goodwill (Christmas Novella coming Fall 2014)

It also has its own FACEBOOK (link) page and its own BANDCAMP (link) page where you can listen to the original music associated with the books. Albums are also available on AMAZON.


About Lee Strauss:

Lee Strauss is the author of The Minstrel Series (contemporary romance), The Perception Series (young adult dystopian) and young adult historical fiction. She is the married mother of four grown children, three boys and a girl, and divides her time between British Columbia, Canada and Dresden, Germany. When she's not writing or reading she likes to cycle, hike and do yoga. She enjoys traveling (but not jet lag >0), soy lattes, red wine and dark chocolate.






EASY TWEETS:


New Release! HEART & SOUL, bk3 in a connected series by @leestrauss #Romance #Thriller #suspense #music #musicians http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Soul-contemporary-romance-Minstrel-ebook/dp/B00LBFETFU/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=ellestra-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=3D6K75PVF2Y62FBT&creativeASIN=B00LBFETFU

Love #Romance and #Suspense? #Music? HEART & SOUL, bk3 in a connected series by @leestraussbooks 
http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Soul-contemporary-romance-Minstrel-ebook/dp/B00LBFETFU/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=ellestra-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=3D6K75PVF2Y62FBT&creativeASIN=B00LBFETFU















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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Celebrating the new Cover for FOREIGN EXCHANGE!

I'm so excited to show you my beautiful new cover of FOREIGN EXCHANGE!!!

But unfortunately you won't find it here (yet). Rather than displaying my cover on my own blog, a few of my awesome friends are doing the unveiling around the Internet. AND... I'm giving away an advanced copy of ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins.

You can enter just by stopping by one of the following blogs and taking a peek at my new cover!

Go enter now! This baby could be yours...


Or...if you don't have time to hop around and really want to enter...

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