Writing Tips: Finding Time

Time is such a valuable commodity. We all have the same amount. None of us gets more hours in the day, unless you have one of those cool necklaces Hermione had. If you do, can you send me one?

So assuming you’re an ordinary person without magical powers, you have the same 24 hours I do. Most days it doesn’t feel like enough. Especially when I’m on a deadline and anxious to get a few more things done before the school bus gets home. Or before the kids wake up. Or before my favorite show comes on.

We have to have priorities, right?

If you’re adding writing in as one more thing to do in your day, you’re probably wondering where you can find the time to write.

Here’s the secret… you don’t need much!

Yes, a book is not something you can finish in a day. It’s going to take you a while. But you don’t have to kill yourself to make it happen.

Personally, I like to write in thirty minute blocks, or longer. But this is my full time job, so I have all day. If you’re looking for some time, you can find it in small places.

Can you get up thirty minutes earlier? Trust me, I hate this suggestion. It’s one I balked at for years and years and years. I’m not a morning person. At all. But I decided over the summer that I was going to do it because I wanted to. Because I wanted more time to dedicate to my work. I’m not as tired as I thought I would be, and I’m getting more done.

What about at night? Can you stay up a little later? Again, same rules apply. You don’t need much time, and if you think this could work for you, turn off the TV (my big issue with it because I never did) and write.

What about, you’re going to laugh, in the bathroom? Let’s face it, we all have longer breaks in the bathroom at one time or another through the day. Can you write on your phone? Not a whole book, but for five minutes? You won’t get much done, and you’ll take a really long time to finish a book if you only do this, but it’ll add up. Just make sure you don’t lose track of time!

Waiting, for anything. Just like above, there are going to be times in your day when you’re just waiting. Doctor’s offices, grocery lines, carpool, commute, anything. Can you, again, pull out your phone for a few minutes and write a hundred words or so?

Can you write on your lunch break? Some people can’t, but if you have access to a computer during your lunch break and your company will allow you to do something non-work related, write for thirty minutes. You’ll be shocked how much you can get done in that amount of time.

Try it!

I think the best thing is to give yourself a week or two and try a few different options. Try getting up early or staying up later for a week. Try sitting in your car on your lunch break with a notebook or a tablet and writing. Try five minute bathroom breaks. See what works for you, then keep doing it.

For me, I have to have a schedule. When I first get up, I check my email so I know there isn’t anything sitting there waiting for me to answer it. After the kids are on the bus, I start writing. I write until lunch, and then get back to it afterward. But if I need to do something during the day, like a doctor’s appointment, I like to schedule it in the morning so I don’t mess up my flow. Figure out what works for you and start writing!

What tips do you have for finding time to write?

If you have a question, about writing or anything else, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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#FiveOnFriday with Kryssie Fortune

Please welcome Kryssie Fortune back with us today! She’s got a sexy war hero to share with us. Break out the ice water!

Former soldiers make great heroes. They’ve fought for their country, they understand loyalty, and they come with solid muscle and faultless manners. That makes them perfect in my book. When Loose id requested submissions for three linked stories, I decided my heroes would be former soldiers who want to build a new life in the fictional North Carolina town of Westhorpe Ridge.  I fell in love with my heroes and needed to revisit Westhorpe Ridge.  Another stand-alone story beckoned.

Luke’s seen too many terrible things, and he’s suffered for it. His body’s scarred and his spirit’s crushed. Slowly, he’s clawing his way back to normal. It’s only natural that the other former military men in Westhorpe Ridge close ranks around him. The things PTSD sufferers go through can’t be underplayed.

The more I learned about Marines, SEALs, and Army Doctors, the more I respect them. Now I’ve added an Army trained mechanic to the list. While I’ve done all I can to bring Westhorpe Ridge to life, I need to thank my editor, Kierstin Cherry for “Americanizing” my very British expression. I hope my readers will love Westhopre Ridge and its heroes so much they’ll want to visit again and again.

Five Facts about my Luke Roberts, the hero of Submission, Secrets, and the Soldier

  1. Luke enlisted straight from high school so he could help fund his father’s medical care if the insurance didn’t cover it.
  2. Six years ago, while on a routine bullets and beans run, Luke got caught in the blast of IED. His injuries meant he was invalided out of the army. The blast left him with PTSD and flashbacks.
  3. A river of scars run down the left side of Luke’s body. He can barely look in the mirror, and he hates how people turn away when they see him.
  4. When Luke visits his old BDSM club, he meets Kathryn Johnson—an inexperienced sub—but once they are alone, he terrifies her when he has a flashback.
  5. Despite everything, circumstances force Kathryn and Luke into sharing an apartment—and she still craves the spanking she didn’t get at the BDSM club.

Submission, Secrets, and the Soldier

Published by Loose id

Release date 5th September

She’s given him her heart, but will he break it in two. 

#eroticromance #kryssiefortune #dominance #spanking #military #Romance #adventure #HEA

Approximately 63,500 words

Blurb

Luke Roberts, a former army mechanic, has a new sub. She’s shy and inexperienced, but willing. As he teaches her about sensation play, she fears he’ll really hurt her and screams her safewords at him. Her reaction causes Luke to have a flashback. Although he’s clawing his way back to normal, he suffers from PTSD. Determined to get well, he contacts a PTSD specialist in Westhorpe Ridge.

Kathryn Johnson has visited a BDSM club three times. When she hooks up with Luke Roberts, he unintentionally terrifies her. She swears off spankings and goes home to Westhorpe Ridge. The last person she expects to see there is Luke Roberts.

Circumstances force them to share an apartment. Can Luke protect her when danger threatens? Or is she just a temporary sub in residence?

Buy links

Loose id

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Kobo

Excerpt

Katherine parked outside the auto shop, lugged her suitcase from the trunk, and unlocked the door. The stairs were steep and seemingly endless. Once she’d manhandled her bag to the top, she leaned against the wall, panting and wishing she’d snatched something to eat earlier.

A noise from the back of the apartment had her spinning around. “Who’s there?”

Luke Roberts sauntered from the bathroom, fresh from the shower. He’d slicked back his hair, and a towel looped loosely around his waist. “Kathryn Johnson? What are you doing here? You still craving that spanking, maybe?”

She couldn’t take her eyes off his damp chest. And damn, that drop of water running down his pecs enthralled her. Even the red scars mottling the left side of his body seemed sexy, but she’d never seen anyone with so many. His legs were bare too, but the towel couldn’t hide his erection. Then he went and mentioned a spanking. Yes, please.

Her eyes glazed as she pictured herself naked, draped over his lap with her hands on the floor and her ass in the air. She imagined the sting of the first slap, and the way it would echo as his palm struck her bare flesh. Thoughts of him turning her ass red whetted her sensual appetite. God, after the confrontation with her mom, she really needed that spanking to settle her nerves.

She’d never known a few simple words and a sexy grin could make her pussy damp and turn her nipples into hard peaks. Her worries evaporated into a lust-fueled haze, but as she blinked back to normal, she stared at the naked man in her apartment. Her common sense told her to pull back, but she wanted to tug the towel from his waist, drop to her knees, and suck his cock. Even stopping herself from reaching out and stroking his massive chest took effort.

She felt her cheeks heat and knew she’d blushed. “That spanking? Oh! Not here, not now. Only… Damn it, I didn’t come to discuss my needs, but… No. What are you doing here?”

Her gaze dropped. The scars on his face paled to the wounds covering his left leg and the left side of his chest. Red and deep, they pitted every inch of flesh. Tiny patches of shiny skin, badly healed burns, shone between the scars.

Much as his injuries roused her sympathy, they added another layer to the sexy Dom teasing her about a spanking. His mental toughness must be amazing to have survived such severe injuries. No wonder he had flashbacks.

Kathryn yearned to reach out and run her hand down his scars and tell him they didn’t matter—but they clearly did to him. Unsure how to reassure him, she said nothing. Besides, her brain couldn’t move past that spanking he promised her. Maybe afterward, he’d take her to bed. Good grief, screwing a stranger? What am I thinking?

More about Kryssie Fortune

Kryssie is never seen without her kindle. She reads everything and anything she can get her hands on. When she discovered hot, sexy reads, she felt like she’d found her home. The only books she hates are the ones that end with a cliff hanger or have unhappy endings.

Kryssie tries to set her stories in places she’s explored. Hopefully, it adds color to her writing. Anything can spark a story idea. Sometimes she takes liberties though. The North Yorkshire town of Whitby is one of her favorite places. To keep the details of her imaginary town, Westhorpe Ridge consistent, she mentally shunted Whitby over the Atlantic and renamed it Westhorpe Ridge.

When not writing, Kryssie loves to walk on the beach of home town, Bridlington, or potter in her garden. Popping down to London to see her family is her favorite thing to do.

Kryssie currently has thirteen books on general release along with a boxed e-book of the first three Westhorpe Ridge stories. All her stories are M/ F or M/M/F. All are edited by publishing houses in either the UK or the USA. While her stories sizzle with sex, plot comes before bed. Life’s always an adventure going on in Kryssie’s world.

Kryssie loves to hear from readers. Here are her social media links:

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Website

Or you can email her direct on Kryssie.Fortune@aim.com

Introducing Too True To Be Good

There are always characters that make us smile. Characters that make us cry. Characters we want to strangle. Even characters we wish we could hug.

Zach is definitely one of those characters I know I won’t forget. He’s lived a life of fun. One without many cares or worries. That all changes when a little girl shows up claiming to be his daughter.

Too True To Be Good

What do you think of the cover?

Too True To Be Good

His life was good…

Zach Bennett was content to go to work, hang out with his family and friends, and entertain a woman once in a while. As his family found love all around him, he was content to stay single. Unattached. Happy.

Besides, he had enough to worry about with a new chef breathing down his neck for his job.

She faced the truth every day…

Gianna Brooks always wanted to work with people. She saw enough growing up to know kids need all the help they can get. They deserved to be safe. Loved. Happy.

Which is why she’s determined to get her new client into a forever home.

But the truth isn’t always good…

The last thing Zach needs is a little girl showing up on his doorstep claiming she’s his. Her social worker hot on her heels, and demanding a place to stay, definitely doesn’t make it any better. Especially with Gianna’s curvy body and bedroom eyes, and his daughter’s sad sweetness, making him consider keeping both of them.

Gianna knows she should run. Zach knows he should send them away. But neither of them can resist the pull toward the other.

Coming November 14

Preorder Now!

Ebook on Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N

Writing Tips: Find Your Niche

Welcome back for another tip for you as a writer!

I want to talk today about your niche. It’s common in business to look for a niche. A small section of a market you can serve. You want to be able to set yourself apart so people can find you.

Writing isn’t much different.

I write contemporary romance. That’s not very specific. There’s well over 100,000 contemporary romances available for sale.

I write small town contemporary romance. That’s not much better.

I write small town contemporary BBW romance. We’re getting a little better.

When I tell people what I write, I tell them I write small town contemporary romance based on ordinary people you’ll want to be friends with doing extraordinary things for love that will give you hope.

That’s kind of a mouthful, but it gets the point across.

When you write a book, you need to be able to tell people what you do quickly. You’d be surprised how many people lose interest when you say you are an author. They insist they don’t read, so you need to hook them before they assume your book isn’t for them.

Which goes back to your niche.

What books do you love? What books grab you? What books have you walked away from knowing they changed your life?

Harry Potter, all of them, were books that changed me. But I knew I didn’t want to craft an entire world.

Emily Giffin was one of my favorite authors when I was younger. There was something about the emotions and the way she drew me into a story that I loved.

Jill Shalvis is a favorite now. She’s basically my idol for romance novels. I taught myself what a good small town contemporary romance novel was by reading Jill Shalvis. I knew that was what I wanted to do.

The only problem was my niche was really a mansion. There’s nothing tiny about it, but I found my niche when I started writing about women I could relate to. Women who were overweight. Women who wanted love and friendship and cupcakes. Women I wanted to be friends with.

BBW romance is still a huge niche. But like I told a friend recently, if you go too small, you won’t have enough readers.

How do you find this though? How do you know when you’ve gone small enough? Or not small enough?

Unfortunately, I think you just have to keep trying.

Write a book. Write some more books. Never stop writing. Advertise, promote, and tell everyone you know. The right readers will find you. When you start to see that happening, you’ll know you’re in the right niche. That it’s the right size for you to be found.

Here’s my warning… Don’t go into a niche that you can’t get out of. You might love to write single dad romances, but you might not want to write them forever. Or food romances or military romances or any other different kind. It might be a niche that’s popular now, or that you like, but make sure it’s something you’ll still want to write if the popularity diminishes. Or in ten years. Maybe you won’t know, but at least think about it before you jump in.

If you want to write, at the end of the day, write. You will find your readers. They will find you. But make it easier on both of you by finding a niche that you love, and it’ll come across in your writing.

If you have a question, about writing or anything else, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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#FiveOnFriday with MJ Schiller

Please welcome MJ Schiller! She’s sharing five teasers with us today! You guys are going to love this!

I thought I’d do something a little different today. Writing is creating pictures with words. As much as I love doing that, I also enjoy creating pictures with…well, words and pictures. So today I wanted to share a few teasers from the first book in my chick lit DEVILISH DIVAS SERIES, TO HELL IN A COACH BAG!

Danielle (Dani), Samantha (Sam), Maxine (Max), and Alexis (Alex)- They are four lunch ladies on a wild cross-country trip. Will they find love? Or are they headed TO HELL IN A COACH BAG?

The first teaser is from the opening scene of TO HELL IN A COACH BAG. Dani and Samantha are on their way to a rock concert…

To Hell in a Coach Bag, teaser #1

The second teaser is from a love scene between Kyle and Sam. To give you an idea of what these two are like, in the third book, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, which I’m editing now, Tucker says that something is insane, but follows it up with, but so are Sam and Kyle…

To Hell in a Coach Bag, teaser #2

The third teaser is Kyle and Samantha again, but this time they’re not getting along as well. Sam is having a hard time admitting that she’s interested in Kyle, and claims to be at the hockey game because she’s a big fan…

To Hell in a Coach Bag, teaser #3

Teaser number four is from an intense tennis game that Dani and Tucker engage in…

To Hell in a Coach Bag, teaser #4

And number five, well, it’s Sam and Kyle again.

To Hell in a Coach Bag, teaser #5

To Hell in a Coach Bag

To Hell in a Coach BagThe first in the DEVILISH DIVAS SERIES ~ “Funny, sexy, emotionally deep, imaginative, well-written, addictive. Enjoyed it very much!” -Amazon reviewer

Four Midwest lunch ladies on a cross-country road trip…

DANIELLE~When a twist of fate reunites the widowed Dani with the hot roadie she met at a concert, will she have the guts to open up to Tucker and perhaps start a new relationship?

SAMANTHA~Wild divorcee Sam discovers Kyle, the Canadian referee she met at the same concert, is in town for a Colorado Avalanche game. Although Kyle’s logged some serious ice time, Sam’s cold shoulder may put his heart in perma-freeze.

ALEXIS~What can save Alex’s marriage when her unemployed hubby’s driving her crazy?

MAXINE~When mid-life hormones make Max a sex-starved loon, can she ever feel close to her man again when he doesn’t put out?

Two women whose marriages are on the rocks~Will time apart from their spouses help them weather their matrimonial storms?

Two single women who equate love with pain~Will they open themselves up to new possibilities?

Four friends~Could their destination be Love? Or are they simply headed to Hell in a Coach bag?

Excerpt (from Tucker’s point of view) ~

Well, this is working up to be one hell of a morning. I stared at Sam’s door. First, Dani’s acting strangely. Then Kyle’s throwing a gasket. Why not go for the crazy trifecta?

I knocked on Sam’s door. “Sam? It’s me, Tucker. Can I come in?”

Maxine and Alex stood with their mouths wide open. I waited several seconds, but received no reply. Fed up, I went back into Dani’s room—luckily, the door hadn’t shut all the way. I knew there was an adjoining door to Sam’s room in there, so I went for it. I knocked on it. Probably thinking it was Dani, Sam opened right away.

“Oh, Tucker, I-I—”

Her eyes were red and puffy. She held a Kleenex in her hand and other used tissues were wadded on the bed and nightstand. Why was I suddenly starting to feel like I checked into the Hotel California instead of a resort in Colorado? You can check out, but you can never leave.

“Sam, what’s going on? Did Kyle do something?”

Her chin started to quiver, and then she wailed, “No!” She flung herself on my chest, sobbing. I patted her awkwardly on the back and wondered if I clicked my heels three times, could I just go home. On second thought, maybe this hotel was really located in Beverly Hills 90210, because the drama was epic.

“Okay, okay. If Kyle didn’t do anything, why are you mad at him?”

“I’m not mad at him, damn it.”

A throbbing began in my right temple. “You’re not? Well, it sure sounded like it.”

“That’s because I wanted him to go away,” she said, blubbering.

I knew I was going to regret asking the next question, but I guess I felt compelled. “But, why did you want him to go away, sweetheart?”

“Because,” she answered, as if the answer was obvious, “I think I might be falling in love with him.”

I stared at her, dumbfounded. “MAXINE! ALEX! GET IN HERE!” Obviously, I did not speak girl, because this conversation made absolutely no sense to me.

Buy Now

Amazon:  http://mybook.to/ToHellInACoachBag

Barnes and Noble, paperback:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-mj-schiller/1126065861

Nook book: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-mj-schiller/1126065861?ean=9781614179542

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-the-devilish-divas-series-book-1

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-the-devilish-divas-series-book-1/id1220690386

Thank you for having me! I’ll be back soon to share more from TO HELL IN A COACH BAG!

Author Bio ~

M.J. Schiller is a lunch lady/romance-romantic suspense writer. She enjoys writing novels whose characters include rock stars, desert princes, teachers, futuristic Knights, construction workers, cops, and a wide variety of others. In her mind everybody has a romance. She is the mother of a twenty-two-year-old and three twenty-year-olds. That’s right, triplets! So having recently taught four children to drive, she likes to escape from life on occasion by pretending to be a rock star at karaoke. However…you won’t be seeing her name on any record labels soon.

Website: http://www.mjschillerauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MJ-Schiller-Romance-Author/286382241460365?ref=hl

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mjschiller/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjschiller

Tumblr: http://mjschilz.tumblr.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mjschiller

Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/110797684036386240402/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6479377.M_J_Schiller

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.J.-Schiller/e/B009JOQFQQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1