Monday, May 2, 2016

A Blog Post 65 Million Years in the Making (oh, oops, that's Jurassic Park) Still, we're talking Taglines, it'll be fun

An author twenty years in the making!

I've written about taglines before but this week we are having a special guest on Thursday who is talking blurbs.
If we talk about tag lines today and blurbs on Thursday you'll be a long stride closer to pitching your book to an agent or editor.

Great Taglines--these are from movies mostly but I was looking for movies based on books
When you can live forever what do you live for? Twilight

Let The Magic Begin.  Harry Potter

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Animal Farm

Evil is inherent in the human mind, whatever innocence may cloak it... Lord of the Flies

The end of the world is just the beginning…The Stand by Stephen King


From the moment he first saw the stallion, he knew it would either destroy him, or carry him where no one had ever been before...The Black Stallion

Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, was the law…the Call of the Wild

One Ring to Rule them all…Lord of the Rings

Pig Tales...Charlotte’s Web

Today let's see if we can get a tag line for your book and that will get us ready for The Blurb Queen

We’ve talked about 30 word pitches or one sentence pitches—this is a blurb. Although a blurb can be longer, too. Depends what you want. I'll let The Blurb Queen work on that.

But a tagline is different. It's a hook.

A tagline is going for your emotions.

The idea is to sum up the tone…to brand the book. And do it well enough that people will remember.

Let’s try out some taglines for our own work. And if we want to revise and play with each others, punch up the tagline of other commenters, let's have at it and see if we can come up with lots of great taglines.

I don't know if this is exactly a tagline, but for The Boden Birthright, currently free FREE FREE on Amazon, I've been using this:

A Boston businessman on the run.
A frontier woman who wants the son and may have to take the city slicker father to get him. 
A little boy who needs a home.

What do you think? Is that too long to be a tagline?

She wants the son, but the father is a package deal.

Ummm... The dangerous frontier is his chance to be safe.That's sorta cool.

Run from civilization to save his son.

(I feel like I'm almost on to it here, make the dangerous west the safe place)

A place of danger where he'll be safe.

1000 ways to die in the west...the only place he can live.

(except he's not really in deadly danger, he's just in danger of losing his son to his powerful, manipulative in-laws---yeesh most people can't even get their in-laws to babysit!!!!)

His family is safe only where it's most dangerous.

Frontier romance with a side of buckshot. (okay that means nothing but I kind of like it--and really do taglines really MEAN anything? A movie 65 million years in the making? What does that mean, huh?????)

Let's come up with taglines for your book. Mine, too. Toss out what you're thinking of and if you want, we can brainstorm it. And anyone with a better idea for my tagline please please please jump in!

The Boden Birthright is releasing TODAY. It's FREE in all ebook formats. Go grab a copy and get a glimpse of the upcoming Cimarron Legacy Series.

I have a SECOND book releasing today, too. Runaway Bride, from the novella collection With This Ring? A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry.
Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for an ecopy. Two drawings. Two winners! 

The Boden Birthright

After the death of his wife, prosperous businessman Chance Boden barely escapes the powerful, controlling hands of his in-laws.

Chance doesn't want to work for anyone, but Frank Chastain's beautiful daughter Veronica gives him reason to delay buying his own holdings while he learns the ways of the west on the vast land grant known as the Cimarron Ranch. 

For Veronica it's love at first sight--love that is--for precious little Cole Boden. But Chance almost lost his son before and won't risk it again.

If he can resist the gentle hand and sweet generosity of Veronica Chastain.
A second book releasing today!
from With This Ring? Novella Collection
A Kincaid Brides and Trouble in Texas novella
Hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he's promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises. 


Cimarron Legacy Bk #1
Coming in June
New Western Romance Series from Bestselling Author Mary ConnealyWhen Cimarron ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Badly injured, Chance demands that his will be read and its conditions be enforced immediately.

Without anyone else to serve as a witness, Heath is pressed into reading the will. If Justin, Sadie, and Cole Boden don't live and work at home for the entire year, the ranch will go to their low-down cousin Mike.

Then Heath discovers the avalanche was a murder attempt, and more danger might follow. Deeply involved with the family, Heath's desire to protect Sadie goes far beyond friendship. The danger keeps them close together, and their feelings grow until being apart is the last thing on their minds.

A Seeker Novella Collection

His Mail Order Family
by Mary Connealy
'The Husband Tree' characters ride again

Silas Harden, Jr. orders a mail order bride and after the vows are spoken, she 'surprises' him with her three little brothers.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Weekend Edition

This weekend we're Springing into Love with the release of the 9th Seeker collection, featuring some of your favorite Seeker authors. Leave a comment today for the chance to win your own ecopy. Five winners will be announced in the next Weekend Edition.

We Have Winners

 Giveaway rules can be found here. Drop us a line to claim your giveaway at Please allow us the 6-8 weeks per our legal page to get your prizes sent out. 

All prizes not claimed in 8 weeks go back into the prize vault. We wish we could contact all our winners individually, but we'd rather write books! 

 Here Comes the Bride! Toss the Bouquet, with Ruth Logan Herne. Helen Gray, Caryl Kane and Annie Sturt are winners of this romantic collection.

Monday: Former police officer turned writer, Janice Cantore is our special guest today. Her post is "Ripped from the Headlines—Current Events and Fictional Stories." Sharee Stover, Jennifer Rumberger and Tanya Agler are the winners of Burning Proof. Jackie Layton is the winner of a Janice Cantore book of choice. Thanks, Janice!!

Tuesday Sandra Leesmith talked about the importance of using what you know in setting your scenes. Wilani, Jeanne T., Sue Anne Mason and Crystal are winners of an audible book by Sandra. Please go to and select which of the three you want before you email us. Renee McBride is the winner of one of Sandra's books. Since there were only four winners for Audible and five were promised, Sandra is giving away a children's book to DebH. for the Gupster.

Seeker Glynna Kaye was your hostess Wednesday with her post "The Golden Age of Reading" -- Does It Still Impact You Today?  Jill Weatherholt and Tracey Hagwood are winners of Claiming the Single Mom's Heart.

Thursday we joined Cara Lynn James with her post,"The End of the Road — how to keep your story's ending exciting and satisfying." Sandy Smith is the winner of a $10 Starbucks gift card.

 Next Week in Seekerville 

Monday: Mary Connealy revisits "Taglines." What is a tagline? Can you create a tantalizing tagline for your manuscript? Two commenters will receive a copy of Mary's May 4th release,  Runaway Bride.

Tuesday: So excited to bring you the May Contest Update today. Each edition gets bigger and better. We have a contest diva/divo to introduce you to as well. The prize vault is open.

Wednesday: Barbara White Daille returns to Seekerville today with her post " 7 Secrets to Writing While Stressed." Stop by to meet this author of heartwarming characters and hometown charm.

Thursday: Seekerville is rolling out the red carpet for yet another royal visit. This time it's The Blurb Queen! Time to give your blurb the royal treatment. Bring your blurb questions for her majesty to address. A $25 Amazon gift card is up for grabs in honor of her highness!

Friday: Best of the Archives: Today we feature a post by Ruth Logan HerneComments are closed each Friday so we can achieve our reading and writing goals.

Spring into Love

Seeker Sightings

Glynna Kaye, Claiming the Single Mom's Heart , sighting in Glendale, AZ. (Also spotted in Indiana, Georgia and Nebraska!) Have you spotted it? You can also find Glynna Kay on Harlequin blog sharing her thoughts on Mother’s Day and her series The Hearts of Hunter Ridge.

Join Seeker bestselling author Debby Giusti in the Craftie Ladies of Romance Garden of Books Match Game! The fun lasts all weekend. Winner announced on Monday.

Christian Fiction Reader's Retreat Facebook Party. Christian Fiction Reader’s Retreat is having their first Facebook Party on Monday, May 2, from 6 to 9 PM. Mary Connealy hosts the 7 to 7:15 PM time slot, and Debby Giusti is live from 8 to 8:15 PM, EST. Don’t miss this night of fun. Also check out the CFRR to be held in Nashville, AUG 23. It’s an event you won’t want to miss.  

Order Your Copy Here!

Random News and Information

Thanks for sending links!

The May Calendar is UP!

Attention Writers! Your input is needed. We are compiling a list of your recommended conferences, annual workshops and retreats for fiction writers. Please send your suggestions to Thank you!

Today is Independent Bookstore Day. 
Support your Indies.

The Grammar Queen Recommends: 24 of the Most Basic Grammar Rules (Grammarly)

 Amazon Giveth, Amazon Taketh Away and Now… Amazon Giveth Again! (The Book Designer) ***

 Have the Courts Given Google a License to Steal from Authors? (Helen Sedwick)***

What Is Your Potential? (Writer Unboxed) 

 Amazon Sales Rank: Taming the Algorithm (ALLi) ***

Stephen King Used These 8 Writing Strategies to Sell 350 Million Books (Inc.)

Facebook Basics for Writers (The Write Conversation)

Best Use of Story Flashbacks (Books & Such Literary Mgmt) 

 Amazon Files Suit Against Sellers of Fake Reviews (The Digital Reader)

 What Type Of Book Editing Do You Need? And When? (Bookbaby Blog)

Is Book Perfection in Your Midst? (The Book Designer) 

You Can Go Home Again: The Transformative Joy Of Rereading (NPR)

Why the Right Book Reviews are So Important to Authors (The Write Way) 

Getting to The End: How to FINISH a Book (Writer Unboxed) 

 The Closing of Harlequin Blaze / Harlequin Historical (Passive Voice)

How To Weave a Message Without Pummeling Your Readers (Writer Unboxed)***

 ***Highly Recommended Read!*** 

Have a great reading and writing weekend! 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Best of the Archives:The Unauthorized Cheat Sheet of Self-Editing Tips for Writers

 You've finished your manuscript. Now it's time for self-editing.

This is a simple checklist for what I think of as a surface editing of your manuscript.

1.  Hooks. While you should treat every chapter beginning and ending as being equally important, there is none as important as the opening hook. This was covered in my post, Gotcha!

And remember, avoid ending a chapter with a character falling asleep. Your goal is to make the reader stay up well past their bedtime because there is no good place to stop.

2.  Sentence Starts: Do a visual of your manuscript, training your eye to look for repetitious sentence starts and sentences that are similar in structure. Vary your sentences.

3.  Pump up weak sentences. Weak sentences include the following: Overuse of adverbs ending in LY.  Overuse of the word IT, especially to end a sentence. Overuse of prepositional phrases to start or end a sentence.

 Resources on topics 2 & 3: Renni Browne and Dave King's Self Editing for Fiction Writers-Chapter 11, Sophistication.

Make Your Words Work by Gary Provost: Chapter 2, Style.

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V Swain: Chapter 2, The Words You Write.

4. Weasel Words: Common weasel words include empty transition words. So, -Well,- Just,- But, and However. Develop your own weasel word list. Your list should include your personal darling phrases that are overused. Use the 'find' option to evaluate if you have indeed overused that word or phrase. 

My personal rule of thumb is to allow myself one of each weasel word per chapter. Melissa Jagears shares thoroughly on the topic here.

5. Action/Reaction.  If you can master this, you will effortlessly create emotion on every page. 

"Your goal is to elicit the maximum amount of emotion. Emotionally involve the reader and force them to turn the page." The Hero's Two Journeys, Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler.

"A story is a succession of motivation-reaction units.

"Motivating stimulus-> Reaction  ( Feeling-not stated, action and speech)" Dwight V Swain, Techniques of the Selling Writer, Chapter 3, Plain facts about feelings.

Additionally, a guaranteed way to prevent episodic writing to provide MRs that:

-have meaning to your character/s
- have relevance to your story 
-provide forward story momentum 

6. Scenes.  Remember that scenes are live. It's in sequels that you can alter the passage of time. Scenes must have a Goal, Motivation and Conflict and propel the story forward. Scenes are only as important as how they relate to the hero and heroine. A favorite book on Scenes is Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes by Raymond Obstfeld. It's out of print so you'll need to hunt down a used copy on Amazon or Half-Price Books.


7.  White Space: Evaluate your white space. Seek a balance of narrative and dialogue to keep the story moving. If you have long blocks with no white space assess for back story dumps, long introspection and long internal monologues, all which slow the pacing and encourage the reader to skim.

 Another excellent resource for evaluating your scenes re # 6 & 7 is of course, Debra Dixon's Goal, Motivation & Conflict. Don't overlook Randy Ingermanson's excellent article from his Advanced Fiction Writing Series- Writing the Perfect Scene. 

Also Chapter 6 of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Browne and King, Interior Monologue.

8. Write Tight: There's nothing wrong with beginning or ending with a prepositional phrase, but if it's not needed leave it off.  Writing tight also refers to redundancy, repetition and passive writing. In fact, Write Tight by William Brohaugh, Chapter 2, lists sixteen types of wordiness to trim.

But, find a balance when you tighten.  "Cut fat, not muscle. Don't destroy clarity as you seek to tighten your prose."  Remove anything ..."that impedes the flow of words or sentences."

9. Show don't Tell. Showing instead of telling covers a lot of territory:

  • Deep POV
  • Sensory layering
  • Active writing
  • Showing emotional responses
  • Eliminating distancing the reader
 If this area confuses you or if the feedback you are getting is that you are showing instead of telling, or showing and telling, brush up with Jill Elizabeth Nelson's Rivet Your Reader with Deep Point of View.

10.  Spell Check and other easy fixes: We all know the horrors of spell check, but don't ignore spell check to verify the simple red lined and blue lined errors. Do a complete spell check of your document. You have to pay attention to avoid adding errors. Questions about grammar? Grammarly and The Chicago Manual of Style Online are excellent investments.

 Author Diana Cosby has shared the most conclusive self editing worksheet ever. You can find it here: Writing Tight: Editing for Impact.

 All done? Now create a paperback version of your book and read it again. See this great tip detailed on the blog of Molly Greene: Writer.

Once your surface edits are complete it's time for your Beta reader or critique partner to dig in for those deep edits that lead to revisions.

My print craft books.

Ever wonder why there are so many craft books/tools for writers?

Two reasons:

1. Writers are always looking for the magical secret to writing an amazing book.

2. We all learn differently.

We all have different areas of strength and weakness, and we process information differently. These are my current favorite craft books, including those mentioned above.

The Creative Writer's Phrase Finder by Edward Prestwood

When You're the Only Cop in Town by Jack Berry and Debra Dixon

And, I am currently reading and absorbing, Writing with Emotion, Tension & Conflict by Cheryl St. John.  St. John shares a warning about writing advice:

"There are a lot of books and articles on writing. Always look at the source. Study the instructor's work. Don't write by anyone else's rules without knowing that the concept behind a rule works and is proven to work. Find out why the rule came into being. Rules you don't understand are restrictive. Knowing why rules exist sets you free to follow or break them with wisdom and expertise. You have to learn the rules  to know when to break them to your advantage and to the story's advantage."
This post first appeared in Seekerville December 13, 2013.

Rocky Mountain Reunion
Tina Radcliffe is hiding in Arizona where she writes sweet and inspirational romance.