GIRL ON THE VERGE BY PINTIP DUNN RELEASE WEEK BLITZ

Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn!

Check out the excerpt below, and
be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Congratulations Pintip!!

 

 

 

From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Kensington

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A fish swims beneath the open staircase in my Khun Yai’s house. A real live fish, with its translucent fins fluttering in the water, its belly gold-scaled and bloated from regular feedings. If I part my knees, I can catch long glimpses of its lazy swimming through the gap in the stairs.

Of course, I’m not supposed to part my knees. It’s not ladylike for a twelve-year-old girl, not here, not in Thailand. The land where my parents grew up; the place that’s supposed to be my home, too. That’s what the banner said, when my relatives came to pick us up at the airport. “Welcome home, Kanchana.”

Never mind that I only come to Thailand every couple years. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone else here, with my American build and my frizzy, out-of-control hair. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone in my hometown, either, since I’m the only Asian girl in school. Never mind that the only reason we’re here now is because my father’s dead and my mom can’t keep it together.

For a moment, pain lances through me, so sharp and severe that it might as well slice my heart in half, like in one of those video games my friends like to play. I squeeze my eyes shut, but that doesn’t keep the tears from spilling out. Neither do the glasses sliding down my nose. And so the tears drip down, down, down, past my unladylike knees, through the gap in the stairs, into the fish basin below.

The drops scare the fish, who swims away with its tail swishing in the water, no longer languid, no longer lazy. So, even this creature wants to get away from me—from my grief, from my strangeness—as quickly as possible.

“There you are, luk lak,” Khun Yai says in Thai, coming down the stairs. She is my mother’s mother, and since we arrived, she’s used the endearment—child that I love—more often than my name.

“You’re up early.” She pats her forehead with a handkerchief. It’s only seven a.m., and already sweat drenches my skin like I’ve taken a dip in the basin. No wonder they take two or three showers a day here.

“Couldn’t sleep. Jet lag.”

“I’ve been up for a couple hours myself.” She eases onto the step next to me, her knees pressed together, her legs folded demurely to one side.

Immediately, I try to rearrange my body to look like hers and then give up. My legs just don’t go that way.

“What do you want to do today?” Khun Yai asks. “More shopping?”

“Um, no thanks.” I make a face. “Didn’t you hear those salesgirls at Siam Square yesterday? They rushed up as soon as we entered and said they didn’t have anything in my size.” My cheeks still burn when I think about their haughty expressions.

She sighs. “The clothes there are just ridiculously small. We’ll go to the mall today. They should have something that will fit you.”

I stare at her diminutive frame and her chopstick legs. “One of the salesgirls asked how much I weighed. Another grabbed my arm and said I felt like a side pillow.”

“They didn’t mean any harm. It is just the Thai way to be blunt.” She catches my chin and tilts up my face. “You are so beautiful. I wish you could see that.”

I could say so many things. I could tell her that I’m ugly not only in Thailand but also in the United States. Even though I’m not big by American standards—far from it—I could confess how the boys call me Squinty. How those Thai salesgirls snickered at my poodle-fuzz hair. I could explain how I’m from two worlds but fit in neither.

But I don’t. Because my words will only make her sad, and there have been enough tears in our family.

 

 

 

 

Pintip is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip’s first novel, FORGET TOMORROW won the RWA RITA® award for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella, BEFORE TOMORROW. She is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

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New Markets

New Markets or How to Reach Readers Who Feel Left Out

We all know that the market is fickle and fluctuates all the time. For example, dystopian was huge just a couple of years ago but now agents will not touch it with a ten-foot pole. In the romance genre we are lucky because romance has been a steady market for as long as the genre has been around (don’t believe me? Shakespeare wrote romance and so did Austen and the Bronte sisters).

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It’s the sub-genres that fluctuate a lot. Right now it appears there is a huge market demand for cowboy romance (don’t look at me. The only thing I know about cowboys is that they herd cows, wear boots to bed, and you can never see their faces because of those damn Stetson hats), M/M romance (hot right now), and in the paranormal sub-genre, shifter romance (I’m not even sure I know what a shifter is. Will have to read on that).

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So what’s the real new markets out there? Something that has never before been explored because the publishers and agents were not interested? I was surprised and pleased all at once to find out that some of the big romance publishers are currently interested in later-life romance.

I sat through a panel hosted by Entangled, a small-going-big romance publisher, and was floored when they told us that the publishing house is opening a new imprint called August which will target romances for women who are anywhere between 30-50 years old.

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They want to see no stereotypes (divorcees looking for a husband) but strong women who have put off love in favor of careers, or for whatever other reasons, and stumble upon love late in life. They are asking for 45-60K word manuscripts and, according to the spokesperson, they are rather anxious to test the waters. Their reps at RT told us their market analysis shows there is a huge demand for these stories. So there you go. What are you waiting for? Get busy writing that story you’ve always wanted to write and prove that older women can still cut it in romantic pursuits.

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Branding Yourself- Or How To Endear Yourself To Readers

Branding Yourself

Or How To Endear Yourself To Readers

Branding does not–contrary to popular belief–include a hot iron, but sometimes it can feel kind of like that.

Tara Lain and Poppy Dennison made it sound so simple. I suppose for some writers it really is. Not for this writer who cannot figure out what exactly to pick as the one thing her readers will remember and recognize her for. You know, the thing that will make a reader one-click anything that carries her name.

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In a previous blog I’ve mentioned shoes and I kid you not, there are a couple of romance writers out there that have done well with this thing. A writer I know added a really cute and catchy tagline as her brand and I can guarantee you people remember her–I know I do and not because we’re FB friends.

No one remembers me. Not only I have a name that no English speaking reader can pronounce (it’s pronounced like rice but you have to roll and emphasize the R, sort of like a cat purring) but I write across many sub-genres. I’m sure my books have something in common but I’m still not sure what that is. Not in a way that I can use it for my commercial benefit.

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The two speakers suggested a couple of exercises to help find your thing. One of them in particular resonated with me. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get anyone to help me with that. My friends are all too busy and my family either doesn’t read fiction or can’t read English. I hope you have better luck with this because I thinks it’s pure genius, lol.

  1. Have a couple friends read the reviews you have so far and jot down common words, feelings or reactions. For example I know that several of my reviewers say my stories are sweet and have twists and turns. If that seems to be a common thing across most of the reviews, that’s what you want to use to brand yourself. Lately I’ve began using the tagline of sweet and sexy when I speak of my books because they kind of fall between those two characteristics.

  2. Make a list of everything you identify with you and your writing. Then post it by your computer and look at it often. Eventually you will see a pattern of some kind that you can use as your brand. Easier said than done. My list include everything from coffee to humor but only a couple of things seem to be even remotely fit for branding. Thus my recent brush with the tagline “Romance with a touch of magic”. Catchy? No idea.

Before I leave you today I want to tell you what these great ladies shared about their own brand and how they pinpointed it. One of them said that her readers identify her with T-Rex arms–I know, right?– because one time she made a joke during a book signing or workshop about her short arms and, much to her surprise, it stuck. The other said that even though she writes M/M romance with a lot of hot sex, her readers kept referring to her stories as sweet. Even though she didn’t see it that way, she went with it and that became part of her brand.

Last but not least, foster those relationships with readers–yes, even if they haven’t read any of your books. Use social media to share and interact, go to signings and talk to people–yes, even if they don’t buy any of your books. Someone at work the other day told me she was so excited to meet a real author. She had never met anyone famous. I giggled–actually I metaphorically rolled on the floor laughing my heart out–since I am not even in the same galaxy of  any one famous, but thanked her and handed her my card. I may just have won a new reader.

If you have any tagline, motto or any kind of branding examples, share them here. I would love to hear from you guys.

Next week we will talk about new markets you may have never thought of. I know the publishers didn’t until very recently. See you then.

Magic Romance

Never Again – New Release

*** New Release! ***



Her faith is tested as she tries to survive the Hell her life has become.



 
Blessed with a good life and the perfect love, Sam couldn’t be happier. On vacation with her adoring husband, she is convinced that everything is exactly as it should be…until it’s not. One accident sets off a string of events that forces Sam to watch her life fall apart piece by piece. Loss, grief, betrayal—and the revelation of a long-kept secret have Sam questioning whether she will ever be able to find the happiness she once had. She’s broken, her heart shattered, her trust ruined, and her faith is tested as she tries to survive the hell her life has become. Now Sam needs to decide if she’s brave enough to move on, or if she’ll never again find a love worth living for.
 
Jamie Lynn Boothe is from the south and will always be a southerner at heart. He currently lives in Connecticut. Jamie loves to write stories that will touch someones heart and soul to the depths and at the same time have them sitting on the edge of their seat. He is currently with Limitless Publishing and is excited about what the future holds. Along with writing he also enjoys reading, art, music, movies, cats, naps on occasion, coffee and time with friends and watching sports. His favorite teams are the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees.

Marketing Vs. Selling-The Non-Identical Twins

Marketing Vs. Selling-The Non-Identical Twins

One of the best panels I attended was led by Tara Lain and Poppy Dennison, “You Only Think You’re Marketing”. These two bestselling romance writers and marketing experts led an over-flowing room (several people were asked to leave by the fire marshal) in an eye-opening session where they debunked some very prevalent myths about marketing. I cannot possible do it credit (even though I took notes) but I would like to highlight some of the most important things I learned in this session.

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  • Even though marketing and selling go hand in hand, they are NOT identical twins. In fact they are pretty different.  In the words of these two amazing ladies, marketing is all the steps to get a product to the market. Marketing is the bow and selling is the arrow. Marketing is an overtime process while selling is immediate.
  • An author MUST determine her/his market before considering how to market herself/himself. For romance writers like me the audience is a very wide range of people: mostly (but not exclusively) female, aged between eighteen and sixty-five, voracious readers who will read at an average of three to four books a week.

Things to consider in marketing yourself to such an audience: pricing (if a reader goes through that many books weekly she/he won’t be able to afford to pay too much for the books), availability of e-books (cheaper both for writer and reader), speed to the market (how fast can you get your book in the hands of your readers?) and (this is a huge plus) there is no competition. Romance readers go through books so fast there is room enough for every author.

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  •   In such a fast market a writer must consider the product design. What will the book look like because, let’s face it, how many of us have bought books because you like the title or the cover? Guilty as charged 🙂 But it goes beyond that. The choices a writer (if you do have a choice) makes in the design of her books can help (or destroy) her branding and ultimately sales.

Titles are very important. You must be careful not to start with a “The” or an “A” because those will make it harder for a reader to search and find your book. Also avoid “funny” characters.

Cover design must reflect the content of the book. One of my books has been criticized for having an amazing cover that unfortunately (for me in terms of sales) that doesn’t hint at romance at all (I still love it, lol).

The type font you use for your name on each cover should be uniform across all books so that readers will recognize it immediately.

I also learned (after this panel) that a good blurb can make or kill a sale.

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  • Build your platform (how many times have you heard this one?) by interacting, not only with potential readers but also with authors that write similar romances (especially with those authors who are doing well in the charts).
  • Build a newsletter email list. This one is a tough one for me because not only I lose subscribers weekly but because the large majority of the ones I have haven’t even read my books. So why stick with the newsletter? Because even if there is only a handful of readers that follow you, that is worth its weight in gold. Those readers will talk about your books to their friends or help promote your books online (this is true. I have a couple of very faithful, amazing followers). So nurture that list no matter how useless it seems to be.

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  • Branding yourself. Tough one. If you like high heels, apparently is a big thing in romance writing. Just kidding. Sort of. I’m always jealous of writers who seem to have it all together. I’ve been trying to brand myself but I’m too over the place, I think.  I will come back to this one in a future blog since Lain and Dennison suggested a few interesting things on how to find your thing, the one thing readers will identify you with (other than your books).
  • Finally–and apparently a big surprise to some writers–you have to read. Writers are readers. I heard a young writer claim he didn’t read at all because he always took on the tone or the style of writing of the author he was reading. Come on! Really? I wish I could do that actually. Who wouldn’t want to write like Jane Austen or J.K. Rowlings? I don’t have much time to read due to a full time day job and writing afterwards, but I make a conscious effort to do it at least a few times a week, even if it’s only a few pages at a time. I love reading just as I love writing. The two are like two peas in a pod. Besides when you write those reviews for other authors, you’re making friends and gaining allies in the field of publishing.

And there you have it in a nutshell. I hope this can help you a little. I know it helped me. If nothing else it made some things a lot clearer, less of a mystery. After all, unless you’re one of the lucky ones who have a mentor, writing and publishing are pretty much a learn-as-you-go experience.

Good luck to you all and comment with suggestions and/or questions you may have. Until next time.

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Loving Her Scars

Loving Her Scars

by B.M. Griffin

Loving Her Scars

**On sale from June 10-15th for $0.99.**

 

Shayla’s scars run deeper than those on her body. Being beaten by a man you loved can do that to you. Shayla barely survived her first love, Eric. He left her broken and scarred in more ways than one.

Her best friend Adam is the only man she has been able to trust since. Friends since childhood, Adam has been in love with Shayla for as long as he can remember. He couldn’t save her from Eric, but he is determined never to fail her again. There’s just one little thing she doesn’t know—Adam is a werewolf.

Shayla gets sucked into a world of werewolves and finds herself opening up to Adam’s love, but there is one alpha wolf who threatens to take it all away. If they are going to survive they’ll need to come together to fight for each other and their pack. Can Shayla find the strength to leave her past behind and fight for the future she

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Dead End Road – Cover Reveal

We are very excited to reveal with you all the stunning cover of DEAD END ROAD by Lori Whitwam designed by Deranged Doctor Designs! This Romantic Suspense is set to release July 4th from Limitless Publishing!

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DEAD END ROAD
by Lori Whitwam
A writer, a musician, an unexpected love…and a killer who wants to destroy it all.
Reclusive author Abby Delaney never dreamed she’d meet her rock-n-roll fantasy Seth Caldwell in her quaint, lakeside town…or that his love might be deadly.
Seth is weary of road trips, endless parties, and dead-end relationships, but what choice does he have? Songwriting and performing are all he knows. Then he meets Abby and finally finds a heart he can’t stand to break.
But forget small-town tranquility. An attempt is made on Seth’s life, and another mysterious death hits eerily close to home. Everyone’s a suspect, he’s taunted with ominous messages, and it’s only a matter of time until the killer finds his mark.
What if the only way to keep Abby safe is to do the one thing she can never forgive—walk away?

As the noose tightens, one thing becomes clear…

If the killer isn’t found soon, Seth and Abby will take their love to the grave.
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MEET LORI WHITWAM
Lori spent her early years reading books in a tree in northern West Virginia. The 1980s and 90s found her and her husband moving around the Midwest, mainly because it was easier to move than clean the apartment. After seventeen frigid years in Minnesota, she fled to coastal North Carolina in 2013. She will never leave, and if you try to make her, she will hurt you.

 

She has worked in public libraries, written advertising copy for wastewater treatment equipment, and managed a holistic veterinary clinic. Her current day job, conducted from her World Headquarters and Petting Zoo (her couch) is as the Managing Editor for Limitless Publishing, as well as editing for a select group of indie authors.

 

Her dogs are a big part of her life, and she has served or held offices in Golden Retriever and Great Pyrenees rescues, a humane society, a county kennel club, and her own chapter of Therapy Dogs International.

 

She has been a columnist and feature writer for auto racing and pet publications, and won the Dog Writers Association of America’s Maxwell Award for a series of humor essays.

 

Parents of a grown son, Lori and her husband were high school sweethearts, and he manages to love her in spite of herself. Some of his duties include making sure she always has fresh coffee and safe tires, trying to teach her to use coupons, and convincing the state police to spring her from house arrest in her hotel room in time for a very important concert. That last one only happened once—so far—but she still really, really appreciates it.

 

** WEBSITE ** FACEBOOK ** TWITTER **

 

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The Next Best Thing or Color Me Hybrid

The Next Best Thing

(Color Me Hybrid)

Today we will tackle the vexing issue of hybridness (I know that’s not a word) in the writing profession.

When I think about hybrids several things come to mind: animals who were unfortunate enough to be part of some weird experiment reminiscent of Dr. Moreau’s Island, the ever-so-energy-efficient cars of today or–and I realize this is probably due to my second language issues–Hydra of Marvel fame.

I don’t know about you but I really don’t want to be anything like the poor Dr. Moreau’s hybrids and I’m not interested in looking like a car either.

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With all of that said, one of the lessons learned at RT was that being a hybrid author is the place to be right now. Think of it as getting the best of both worlds or finding a balance in a profession where this is so hard to find.

Take me for example. I’ve been published traditionally for about a year and a half. In spite of having a very supportive publisher, who does a lot more for her authors than most, I still spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find ways to market myself and create an audience who is anxiously waiting for my next book. Because I’m not well known–but totally expect to be in the future–I don’t sell very much. My books sell at a very modest rate which means that by the time everybody gets their cut, I end up with peanuts. And I mean one or two peanuts, not a bag.

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As a self-published author (which is in my future as well) I would at least be getting the full profit. If my book is selling for $3.99 I would get almost all of that back for each book I sold since I wouldn’t be sharing the profits with anyone but myself.

Like in everything else in life there is a reverse to this coin. As a traditionally published author I technically don’t have to spend any money of my own to get the book out into the world. The publisher supplies the art work, the formatting, etc… As a self-published author you have to dig deep into your pockets for all of these things. There is no way around it.

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So why hybrid? It’s the middle point, the one thing that balances the scale, the best–and conversely the worst–of both worlds. I have a novel that I finished writing a while back and I just can’t get anyone to publish it because it will be hard to market.  But I have a special love for this one for many different reasons and none of them is vanity (okay maybe a little bit) and I want to see it published. So I’ve already lined up a cover artist (a real good one) and I will be editing, revising, and formatting it during the summer for a possible release at the end of the year or beginning of next. I will officially be a hybrid writer and will have benefited from two of the advantages of such label–being and not being in control at the same time.

By the same token, the audience/followers you gather with your publisher will help you sell your self-published books and the opposite holds true as well. It’s like having two engines instead of just one–more power for better results.

As to my Hydra reference it really has nothing to do with writing. Hydra Grant Ward (played by Brett Dalton) of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is so hot I wanted to reward you for reading my post by including him in this post 🙂  Enjoy.brettdalton