Saturday, November 15, 2014

Merry Wishes #Cover #Reveal

Merry Wishes  - By Karen Pokras   

Genre – Romance
Sub Genre – Sweet Romance
Intended Audience – adult
Type ‑ Novella

About Merry Wishes

An ugly divorce behind her, Carly Cater is looking forward to a truly Merry Christmas. With interest for her art from a high-powered fashion designer and a new romance with her handsome contractor, Jason Hardy, her life is finally heading in the right direction. That is, until her ex-husband suddenly returns to interfere, and mysterious texts draw Jason away. Is this another holiday disaster in the making, or will an offer to create a mural for the brain-injury patients at Greenbriar Manor bring her the Christmas joy she’d been seeking?

About Karen Pokras

Karen Pokras writes adult contemporary and middle grade fiction under the names Karen Pokras and Karen Pokras Toz. Her books have won several awards including two Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, the Grand Prize in the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, as well as placing first for two Global E-Book Awards for Pre-Teen Literature. For children, her books include the Nate Rocks series, Millicent Marie is Not My Name, and Pie and Other Brilliant Ideas. For adult readers, Karen’s books include Chasing Invisible, and her newly released, Whispered Wishes series. A native of Connecticut, Karen now lives outside of Philadelphia with her family.


Isn't it gorgeous?

Connect with Karen Online:

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Anabel Divided #Giveaway and excerpt

Find Anabel Divided here on Amazon

Thank you so much to Alison for hosting me today on your blog! Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of ANABEL DIVIDED:
I pulled my bathrobe around me and I tiptoed down the creaky stairs, careful to not do anything that might wake up sleeping baby.
I was so not in the mood to deal with sleeping baby. She had kept me up the entire previous night, and then had had the audacity to resist napping. Yes. She needed to sleep.
I flopped down on the cushy couch and flipped on the lamp, blinking into the light. I felt a pang for my house in Mclean; there, I could have gone into the library to read, but instead, I was here, in the house I had insisted we needed. The one with the creaky steps and the small downstairs and the hardwood floors which gave the place some incredible acoustics.
Oh, I should have just gone to school at American, and not here.
I was wide awake now. Matt was right ̧ as he often was; I would have tossed and turned for a long time up there.
So I might as well read, right?
I opened the book to the ladybug bookmark and considered the handwritten pages. Most of the information that the volume contained was mundane: “Tennis date with Alicia this morning—I wish she wasn’t at work all the time!” and “Took A to the pediatrician today—the girl is growing like a weed!” But I still perused the pages, looking for something, anything . . . I needed a clue, a hint as to who she was.
After years of unconcern, I was trying to figure out my mother.
I wasn’t sure why this was so important to me now. Maybe it was Emma? I was struggling to figure out my daughter, so perhaps I thought she would make more sense to me if I could understand my mother?
Miss Marilyn had told me I had cried for my mother for days on end when she had first arrived on Caereon, but then, as time had gone by, I had stopped asking for her. It was like I had erased Cassidy from my memory, and instead transferred my affection to Miss Marilyn. Now that she and I were finally speaking again, I had asked her to fill in the holes . . . but she had had precious little information to give.
So I had given up . . . until I had found the box of papers and diaries in the library. My mother’s sloppy script filled each page, and each word gave me hope of figuring out why she had never fought for me.
Why had she let Jonathan take me away? I mean, didn’t most places give the mother the child?
Had she not wanted me? I couldn’t even fathom that. I mean, I had wanted Emma so much, and the thought of being away from her tore at my soul . . . even after a sleepless night.
Maybe this was stupid—an exercise in futility. I had read through three volumes of diaries, and none of them were particularly revealing.
But, considering everything, there was probably a good reason for that. He was, I was sure, spying on her every chance he got.
I sighed. What was I doing? It was now well past four, and I was tired, and Emma would be up at some point in the next two hours.
So then I did something that I never did. I skipped to the end.
And the words I read on the last page made me gasp.
Blurb: Anabel Martin thought that the resolution of her father's murder would bring a resolution to her problems. After all, she was starting life over in a new place, with new friends, and new adventures, focusing on attending college and raising her daughter free from the distractions of Washington, DC. She was ready to move on.
But a trip back to the District for Meghan's wedding stirs up old feelings and brings new life to old relationships. Matt is cold and distant, while Jared is caring and attentive. A woman from Matt's past, a bold public flirtation, and Anabel's desire to be truly loved lead her to a crossroads...and her final decision leaves her with more questions than answers.
Amanda Romine Lynch

Amanda Romine Lynch is a writer, editor, and blogger who grew up in Florida knowing she belonged somewhere else. She now lives in the DC Metro Area with her husband and three amazing little boys. She is the Eco-Friendly/Green Living Contributor over at the Prime Parents’ Club and strives to live earth friendly in a world of disposable diapers. When not writing about Anabel and Jared or chasing around a curly-haired boy, she cheers for the Gators (in all kinds of weather) and occasionally remembers to sleep.

You can find Amanda on her website, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Importance of a Good Beta-Reader

From wiki commons, labeled for reuse
This week I'm sorting through feedback I got from three wonderful beta-readers. Betas are people who take my self-edited manuscript, read it, and respond with detailed notes about the current manuscript. I use a worksheet provided by my dear friend and fellow author Connie Jasperson, and it works wonders in eliciting honest opinions about my current work-in-progress.

Because that's what I need at this point: complete honesty. Glowing reviews are lovely, but in this creator's journey I desperately need signs and guideposts to help me to the next level as I develop this tangled mess that will, once day, be a somewhat polished book.

Luckily, I have those amazing betas to help. None of them held back in offering opinions, and it's an incredible thing to get inside their heads a bit while they detail what bored or turned them off as they read. All three are very intelligent, and they were quick to point out a huge section that has to be completely re-researched and rewritten.

Naturally, it would be great if the feedback was "Amazing! Ready to go to the publisher!" And of course, each time I open a beta's feedback form I'm secretly hoping for that. Instead, I always get a series of little reality checks to show me where I somehow lost my mind while I wrote. Characters 'appear' in rooms without explanation. Entire plot points make no sense. It's impossible to tell who's speaking in a scene. One character's ethnicity isn't described well enough. 
from, labelled for reuse

It's as though I got the chance to go inside those readers' brains and look through their eyeholes, like a mad scientist. And what an amazing view it is! The feedback suggests entirely new journeys for my main character, for the antagonist, and I can't wait to get started.

I have an extremely tough job ahead of me, but it's going to be fascinating - like untangling a huge knot while simultaneously fighting a hydra and taming a pack of wolves. I really can't wait to get started.

As I do, I just want to say a huge thank you to my wonderful betas. You make writing my books possible. Cheers!
The beast SHALL be tamed. (wikipedia, labeled for reuse)