BIG Announcement: Services!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019



Drumroll, please?
I am pleased to announce that on the last week of May 2019, I will be launching my own business.  What you see above is my shiny new logo!  What will I be offering, you ask?


* Free and paid "how-to" videos for writing, including topics such as self-editing, character creation, the ins-and-outs of self-publishing, marketing, formatting, and a lot more.  Seriously, I have an entire page filled with ideas.  Some videos will be free, while others will be available for a small fee.  

* Affordable editing packages for line, developmental, copy, and content.  I'll also take on blog/websites, theatrical scripts, and articles for editing.  

* Information sessions in which I can help you develop your characters from a psychological level (i.e. if you're writing a character with a mental disability, illness, etc. or even a character that has been severely abused; even some forensic psychology involving the police and criminal procedures).  

* I may also offer graphic packages or "media packets" for individuals who need them for book launches, etc. 

* Book reviews (these will be free, though).

I am starting this business because I know how hard it can be to "go it on your own" in the self-publishing process, especially when you aren't very experienced - or even brand-new to the trade.  Since I love sharing my knowledge and passion with others, I originally began my college career with the plan of becoming a secondary-education teacher.  However, when I learned more about teaching, I decided that the traditional path of teaching was not necessarily the best fit for me.  I enjoy providing a more "one-on-one," individualized approach to learning, which is what I was accustomed to during my years in school.  Something that challenges the status quo and allows people to break out of the gross cookie-cutter mold we're held to in society and become more than 'average.' (What is average, anyway?  Haven't figured that out yet.)

Self-publishing has also exploded in popularity with the increasing pickiness of traditional publishing.  People who have a great book can now get that to the public within a few months instead of begging agents to take a chance on their book for years.  A lot of Christian self-publishers can get their book to the masses without having to deviate or strip their book down (or be refused) simply because their beliefs don't mesh with publishing companies that seek secular views - and these are the people that I want to help the most.  

That's why I decided to deviate off-course from my life plan and begin this business.

I want to help fellow writers succeed, whether they're teens or in their sixties.  I want to help you, reader, learn all that you can about the business so that you can translate the dreams in your head to something tangible.  The feeling of holding your book for the first time is awe-inspiring.  My services will be affordable whether it's your first publication or your hundredth.  I'm hoping to use my (future, as of May 4, 2019) Bachelor of Arts in English / Minor in Psychology to serve you and help you achieve your dreams.

This is my manifesto - I believe....

* That we learn from mistakes.  If your first draft is horrible and messy, it's the best place to start for learning and improvement.  

* Being unique is the beauty in being an artist - you needn't fit a mold to succeed. 

* A good, sweet, pure story is good for the head and the heart.

* Today is a blessing.  If you weren't here tomorrow, what would you regret not having done?

* That we shouldn't let our dreams die.  We've been given them for a reason.

* That if we have an idea, we should foster it.  Even if it touches just one person, it's worth it.

* Nothing feels quite as nice than a job well done. 


In the coming weeks, you'll be hearing quite a bit about the business.  I'm also thinking about a blog tour.  I don't have any specific details up on here yet due to busyness-  but I'll let you know when more info is available!  If you have a book that you think will be ready for editing after NaNo April, though, feel free to contact me (there's a little envelope button above my profile picture, which you can click to send an email) and I'll iron out the details for you!  

If you're interested in keeping abreast with updates from this blog as well as the new biz, make sure to follow my business account on Instagram (it's different than my personal one and is public for all to see -- Tangled Up In Writing).

Does this sound interesting to you?  Are there any services you'd like to see offered later on?  

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW: "Live Without You" by Sarah Grace Grzy!

Thursday, January 31, 2019


Hey everyone!  Today, I have a review of a fantastic romance by Sarah Grace Grzy.  I had the privilege of reviewing a copy of Live Without You and it's just so, so sweet.  

Synopsis:


Piper Redding is a loner, but lonely. Everyone she loves has abandoned her and opening her heart to others is just asking for more pain. She can’t help but blame herself for her brother’s tragic death six years ago, and in her guilt, she shuts herself off from the world. No one could love her—not even the God who promised to be there for her but wasn’t.

For paramedic Ezra Bryant, failure is not an option. He’s had enough of it, and only by God’s grace is he able to put it behind him. But when a traumatic event brings Piper’s greatest fear and Ezra’s failures to light, can they use that event to allow God to mend their broken pieces? Can love triumph over fear, and grace over guilt?

About the Author:


Sarah Grace Grzy is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called 'Life,' she’d be tempted to spend all her days in front of a wood stove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other.


A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things and has more hobbies than she knows what to do with. Sarah Grace is a freelance web and graphic designer, and when not working, spending time with her ever-growing family, or reading, she can be found painting, playing the piano, or fangirling with her sisters and friends. She inhabits the State of Great Lakes, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else—unless it meant she could have a baby penguin, in which case, she’d gladly move to the South Pole.

Make sure to follow her through these links:
Newsletter
Instagram
Twitter
Goodreads
Goodreads (Author page)
(I promise that there are links, even if they show up as black...just click 'em and see! Having some technical difficulties today...)

My Review


This book is a very sweet novella. The main characters are extremely realistic and relatable, which makes it easy to like them and become absorbed in the story.  Piper and Ezra have sad backgrounds, linked by disaster, and have to learn how to overcome that in order to move on in their lives...together.  I love the aesthetic collages that Ms. Grzy made for them.  I think it really captures the characters and their backgrounds.  If you want to get a feel for the characters, they're just below: 

Live Without You starts out like a suspense, and is a very easy read.  I was immediately drawn into the story, and once I was done with it, I wished that I had read it a little more slowly, because I didn't want it to be over!  I read it in a few hours, but like I said - it's hard to put down!  The first and last few chapters had my jaw hanging, and that isn't a common occurrence when I'm reading!  I can't even begin to tell you how suspenseful those were, you'll just have to see for yourself! It was very nice to see a book mix suspense and sweet, clean romance together; very refreshing!  


It also has a lot of Christian elements, which was very uplifting.  I think these characters can teach a reader many, many things.  I felt like I needed to be writing down some of the lines within the book so I could remind myself of such themes!  
Overall, this is a fantastic read, and if you're a fan of Christian romance, you'll want to pick up a copy!  I just ordered a signed copy from the author, which you can do HERE.  It's a pretty good deal and a pretty amazing book.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be staring out the window waiting for the mailman.

You can also buy copies from Amazon (Kindle and paperback) HERE.  Make sure to add it on Goodreads HERE!

However, if you want to take your chances on a giveaway first, she's also offering some pretty fantastic prizes!  






Giveaway Information:

Grand Prize ~ $20 Amazon gift card, Signed Paperback of Live Without You, Specialty designed mug.
Second Prize ~ $5 Amazon gift card, ebook copy of Live Without You

3 Third Prize Winners ~ Ebook copy of Live Without You


Grand prize open to US entrants only, 2nd and 3rd prizes available internationally. Giveaway runs from 12AM 1.21.19 - 12AM 1.23.19. Victoria Lynn Designs retains the right to disregard any entries that they deem bogus or spam. Good luck to the entrants!

Make sure to enter below!





For more information on the blog tour as well as Live Without You, make sure to check out this blog post from Victoria Lynn HERE. 

Have you ordered a copy of Live Without You yet (or do you plan to)?  Anyone excited for this release?  

Also, feel free to check out some of the older blog tour posts, and make sure to keep an eye out for new ones!  This party's lasting through February 22nd!  



Schedule:


Jan. 22
Abby // Spotlight @the_book_worms_bookshelf


Jan. 23
Libby May // Review and @libbymay117


Jan. 24


Jan. 25


Jan. 26


Jan. 28


Jan. 29


Jan. 30


Jan. 31
Michaela Bush // Review  @mj_writer98 on Instagram


Feb. 1


Feb. 2



Feb. 4


Feb. 5


Feb. 6


Feb. 7


Feb. 8


Feb. 9
Ashley // Review Spotlight?


Feb. 10


Feb. 11


Feb. 12
Rose K. // Review  https://www.instagram.com/adventurous.bookworm/


Feb 13


Feb. 14 ~ Valentine’s Day
Tammy Lash // Spotlight  http://instagram.com/tamlash5  


Feb. 15


Feb. 16


Feb. 18


Feb. 19


Feb. 20


Feb. 21


Feb. 22 ~ Sarah Grace’s Birthday



Blog Tour: SHADOWKEEPER by Hope Ann!

Friday, January 25, 2019


Hey everyone! Today there's a super-special release that you won't want to miss!  The fantastic author Hope Ann is releasing her newest book, which is inspired by Greek mythology.  It's a great concept and it's sure to be a captivating story!  And have you seen the cover?  It's gorgeous!




Blurb: 

Death can die as easily as any other man. Cedra has kept her sister safe for years. None of that changes just because Pethra got herself kidnapped by Death himself. Claiming the questionable aid of Death’s weary older brother, the Shadowkeeper, Cedra forces her way through mist and shadows in pursuit of her hapless sister. But Death wants much more than he has revealed.
A wish that will splinter her and Pethra’s world no matter what she chooses: death, or a chain.

Loosely inspired by the stories of Hades and Persephone and Castor and Pollux, Shadowkeeper will sweep you into a world of wavering mists, shadowy passages, and the love of two siblings fastening them with ties stronger than Death himself.

 Buy it from Amazon HERE
 Add it on Goodreads HERE


This ebook is available on Amazon NOW for only 0.99 - so now's a great chance to buy it.  Hope Ann's goal is to sell at least 100 copies in 48 hours, so make sure to share the news and snag a copy for yourself!

 About Hope Ann: 


Hope Ann uses chocolate to bribe a wide ring of spies, from the realm leapers of Aslaria to the double agents of Elkbend, for their stories. Based in Indiana, she is the self-published author of the Legends of Light series, personal writing coach, and the Communications Coordinator for Story Embers. You can find out more about her at authorhopeann.com 

A New Story Arises...Faith, Hope, And Love: Guide Me Home

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Mark your calendars (...ish) - Guide Me Home should be making an appearance sometime this summer!  This will be the third installment of the Faith, Hope, and Love collection.  What's going on in #3?


"Cortland may as well have been turned upside-down.

Morgan Barnes is watching her cousins grow up and get married - left and right, it seems! Feeling like she's losing time fast, she signs up for Internet dating that quickly turns sour. When she meets Martin, she's struck by the opportunity to help him. New to Christianity and Cortland, Martin's grateful for a friend...but a girlfriend? Maybe not so much.

Meanwhile, Lucy and Spencer's comfortable little world gets upended - and then flipped sideways to boot. Where there was only part of a story, now the other half unfolds. Where there were once childish dreams now resides knowledge unimaginable. And now resides faith, hope, and love - but will the Barnes and Clarkson families see God's plan for the lattermost of all?"


This book focuses on Morgan and Martin, two characters who were introduced in the first two books of the series (Welcome Home and My Compass Home).  Pairing the bubbly Morgan with the brooding Martin seemed to be an odd match at first, but the longer I thought about it, the more excited I got about the concept.  I'm really excited to share their story with you, but I also have a lot more of Spencer and Lucy's story to cover in this one.  So much, in fact, that I may even have to put together a fourth novel in order to finish their story, but I haven't decided yet.  We'll see how fat this book becomes!  I'm already a few thousand words into the story, which may not be that impressive - but I have a lot of other things going on behind-the-scenes, so I'd say I'm ahead of the game right now.  If you want to take a look at my Pinterest board for the series as a whole, I've been adding fresh pins and inspiration for this third book.

What are you working on?  Anyone looking forward to Guide Me Home?

Week In Review: The Weather Outside Is Frightful

Saturday, January 19, 2019

As I'm typing this, we're about 15 minutes away from the expected arrival of the end of the world.  Er, I mean, snow.  If you ask the masses that are going out to stock up on milk, bread, and toilet paper, though, they'll say it's the end of the world.  The weather forecasts have suggested that we'll either get feet of snow or hardly any snow at all.  We'll see. 

On the plus side (I think), I survived the first week of college.  With a full class-load this semester, I knew I'd be busy, but I'm still in the fog of "I just did 10 discussion board posts of substance before Wednesday, totaling about 4-5000 words if I calculated correctly, then had to do two replies to classmates for every one board -probably another 1000 words.  And then wrote 6 poems and an essay on poems and read a lot of stories and wrote a 900 word essay on those stories and then read a lot more and then cried myself to sleep twice and then did my Spanish." 

Fun, right? 

I can only hope to settle into my classes as quickly as Chuck Bartowski learned kung-fu from the Intersect.  (If you understood that reference, lemme know.  I will love you forever and probably harass you with Chuck references and gifs constantly because that's just how I roll.)
Related image
Credit: Chuck // Gifsoup.com
In case you missed it, make sure to check out my last post HERE, for some freebies that will be going out with the newsletter Monday (unless that huge snowstorm actually comes and I'm without power).  

You may have also noticed something else: the blog looks radically different.  I got an awesome template from an Etsy shop called BitestoBrand and I LOVE it.  What do you guys think?  I definitely don't miss the glaring pink.  

Currently Reading: Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio, The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Current Projects: Guide Me Home and Keeping Cassie.  Since I'll be writing over 100 poems this semester (I think) I'll probably have another book of poems and short stories for you guys.  Might as well do something with all that work, right?  

Current Bible Verse:  "Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?" (Luke 14:34 NKJV) What can you do today that will ensure you don't become stagnant in your work for God?  

Sometime before the end of January, I'll be posting a special blog about human trafficking.  I just wrote an article about it for my college's newspaper, since it's Human Trafficking Awareness month.  I think it's a very important thing that everyone needs to become aware of, and the more I researched articles for my opinion article, the angrier I got that this even happens and none of the major advocate groups speak out against it.  

As far as upcoming blog posts - I'll have something for you guys on Wednesday and Friday (one post is about Guide Me Home and the other is about Hope Ann's Shadowkeeper launch!) As well as my normal Saturday post.  Then the week after that, I'll have a review on Thursday for Sarah Grace Grzy's Live Without You, which you can preorder for Kindle now (click HERE.  You need it.)  Sometime soon, I'll also be writing a review of Code of Valor by Lynette Eason as well.    

So I'll see you guys soon!  

What are your plans for this weekend?  Anyone affected by this huge snowstorm that will either bury everyone or no one at all?  

My Novel Planning Guide + Freebie Alert!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Hey everyone!  Since it's the new year and everyone's getting their planners/to-do-lists fired up for the year, I decided to write a post about my process for planning novels, which I've been utilizing lately.  If you're interested in downloading some free sheets to use for planning your own novel, make sure to sign up for my newsletter before January 21st: I'll be sending them out with that email, so make sure you're on the list!


I always try to start a Pinterest "mood board" before I actually begin writing anything, especially if it's a new series or book that I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about.  I have boards for Mount Sterling as well as the Faith, Hope, and Love collection and some standalone novels I'm still planning.  I've found that, especially if you're a visual person, this can provide inspiration as well as a guide to remember certain features or where you got a quote or inspiration from.  Locations, quotes, videos, reference photos...so on!  It's important to make sure you limit your time on there, though.  It's a black hole of time-wasting if you let it!  I try to limit myself to two hours of "Pinterest research" before I get onto the next portion of planning.

My next portion is creating my "cast list" or the characters and their basic traits.  I have a handy little sheet in one of my planner, which outlines each of my characters, physical traits, mannerisms, any diagnoses I need to remember, and any specific events that will be pivotal to the plot.  I also include family members, if there are any.  Even minor characters get squares, and I also write down  clothing preferences and hobbies so I can remember what my characters are up to and into.

Once I'm in the "head space" of my main characters, I like to make a playlist on Windows Media Player, Amazon Music, or whatever free service has been installed on my computer.  Then I'll fill it up with music from my library, whether it's from a movie score or a song from a singer (mostly For King & Country...). I'll even go so far as to make different playlists titled "Beginning," "Mid," or "Ending" if there are different moods that need to be conveyed for the majority of that section.  It really helps me get the moods right for character emotions, etc.

I also like to print out a sheet specifically to write down places that the characters are at or visit frequently.  In my Faith, Hope, and Love collection pages, I have the defining features of the diner, Italian restaurant, Lucy and Spencer's home, the cafe, the made-up VA hospital, Barnes' Books, the seedy apartment complex on the "bad side of town," and the Barnes family homes as well as their distance to and from each of these locations.  This one is definitely helpful, since I have no sense of direction in real life and the same thing happens with my made-up places too.  East is West and North is...wherever-ville.  Actually, I'll shamefully admit that I have a better idea of where my characters live than where I live, but it's helpful to keep track of everything anyway.

Finally, I like to write down all the major plot points and how much time elapses between them.  I do not write books in a linear fashion; usually, I'll start at the middle or end and work my way through as I please, and writing down events and then crossing them off as I go along helps keep track of everything I need to include in any particular book.  I'll have something like this:

MARCH: BOOK STARTS
  • Event A 
  • Event B (add fluff or 'easy' chapter between A &  B)
  • Event C or dialogue prompt that hints at event C
APRIL: 
  • Event C resolution
  • Hint at climax 
  • Etc etc etc
And I'll keep going until I reach the desired amount of time or months.  Alternately, I'll write down how many chapters I want in each month and I'll scribble down a little prompt or idea to remind myself of what needs to happen during that chapter, even if it's something little.  

I always allow room for expansion and deletion of certain events because my characters tend to take the reins about 1/1000th of the way into writing the story, but keeping these key points down helps me keep track of their progress towards the ultimate resolution of the book.  

If this helps you or gives you fresh ideas in any way, please let me know in the comments!  What are some of your tips for novel planning?  

If you're interested in grabbing some free printables to help you organize your novel (8 1/2" x 11" copy paper size for printing or use on your computer), please sign up for the monthly newsletter HERE!



Week in Review: Back to the Grind

Sunday, January 13, 2019



Hey everyone!  This is the last day before heading back to class.  I'm hoping to keep up with writing blog posts, especially ones in advance, but we'll see how the semester unfolds.  Gulp.

I only have access to a couple of classes so far, but from what I'm seeing, it's going to be a L O N G 16-17 weeks.  In one class, I have to write a poem every single day (and turn them in for grading/critique), which should be interesting.  I'll have a ton of poems written, if nothing else.  Oof.

There's an interesting post I have scheduled for Wednesday, so make sure to stay tuned for that.  Somethin' about writing and a chance for some freebies. 

Currently Reading: Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio and The Warrior Maiden  by Melanie Dickerson. This week, I read the Blue Justice series by Lynette Eason (and now have to wait until August for the next one...) and Live Without You by Sarah Grace Grzy, which I'll be posting a review for...stay tuned! 

Current Projects: I only wrote about 3k between Guide Me Home and Keeping Cassie but since this was my "get everything done before school starts" week, I daresay that's fine. Except I want to write more and my eye is currently twitching just thinking about my schedule. (No seriously. It is.)

Credit: Disney's Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure // Wikia

Current Bible verse: Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? (Luke 12:25 NIV). In Sunday school today, we had a lesson on being still and listening instead of constantly fretting over everything and what needs done. (The story of Mary and Martha.) I know this verse doesn't pertain to that story, but it kind of ties in (at least, in my weird mind). We can't worry a problem away, so if we spend more quiet time with God giving those problems up to Him, we're bound to be better off. 

How are you guys doing in these January ides?  Any projects you're working on, or new releases you're anticipating?