When the World Unravels #BookHooks #scifi #romance

When the World Unravels #BookHooks #scifi #romance A snippet from BroBookHooks is a blog hop where authors share only a small snippet of a story, an enticement to read more.

Today’s snippet is from Bro, the Story Behind the Antonello Brothers. Other books in the series include At the Mercy of Her Pleasure and For Women Only. Bro is free on this website. The other two are free on Kindle Unlimited.

Khyff Antonello is off work for the day and heading for a well-earned rest. When his client mentions he knows someone with the same last name as Khyff, it gets his attention. Then he hears the person is a HalfKin like the brother he thought was dead.

“No, never mind. He wouldn’t be related to you. I just remembered. He’s a HalfKin.”

Half-human, half-feline humanoid Kin.

All the air left the room. Khyff fought to drag in a breath. “What’s his name?”

“Seth, I think. No, Senth. Yeah, that’s it. Senth Antonello.”

The light grayed around the edges.

The guy took a step forward, concern on his face. “Hey, Khyff, you okay? You look a little pale.”

Hearing the name Senth Antonello catapulted Khyff back into the past. To the point in his life when his world had unraveled, torn itself apart and dumped him into hell. He hit the floor with a smack that stung his hands and knees and he crumpled.


When the World Unravels #BookHooks #scifi #romanceBro, the Story Behind the Antonello Brothers
When you can make yourself invisible, invisible truths are revealed.
Senth and Khyff, the Antonello Brothers from At the Mercy of Her Pleasure and For Women Only, did not grow up together. They were separated at Senth’s birth. Bro shows how and why, and what event reunited them.
Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and get a free copy of Bro, the Story Behind the Antonello Brothers https://kayelleallen.com/bro plus three more books at the same time.

When you can make yourself invisible, invisible truths are revealed. Click To Tweet

At the Mercy of Her Pleasure
He’s a thief. She’s a soldier. Do opposites attract? Oh, mercy!
Amazon https://amzn.to/1f7FQ2h

For Women Only
His secret truth is her people’s darkest lie.
Amazon https://amzn.to/1f7Ge0P

JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS

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5 Exercises and 5 Excuses for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthor

5 Exercises and 5 Excuses for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthorYou might not be aware, but writing can be hazardous to your health. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome affects millions and is a serious threat to many writers. I had surgery (called a carpal tunnel release) on each hand, one after the other, many years ago. I’m completely recovered but it was a long haul. Here are some exercises that helped me recover.

These five exercises are ones my physical therapist taught me. After those, I’ll pass on five excuses for the author who likes less of a challenge. Any writer can do these hand exercises. They are pleasant, and simple. Performing warm up exercises for your hands can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other maladies.

I am not a doctor or a trained physical therapist, but I am a writer who has dealt with carpal tunnel and lived with the pain it causes. These are suggestions based on what I do myself and what my therapist gave me to do. As with any exercise program, check with a medical professional before beginning, or if you have concerns. I personally do all the exercises below and they work for me. I hope they’ll help you.

Exercises for Writers

Exercise 1

Spread your fingers as wide as possible, hold the stretch to a count of five. Make a tight fist and hold that to a count of five. Repeat. Do this at least twice per hand before beginning your day.

Exercise 2

With right hand open, place fingers in the palm of your left hand. Press with the right while resisting with the left. You might feel this all the way to your elbows. That’s okay. It means there’s a good stretch. Hold for a count of five. Reverse hands and repeat. Do this twice per hand. I credit my fast recovery from surgery with this kind of therapy.

Exercise 3

Holding your hand straight up, keep fingers together and bring your thumb across your palm. Try to touch the base of your little finger. Stretch for it. If this is difficult it likely means your hand is tight. Repeat five times. You can do both hands at once.

Exerci5 Exercises and 5 Excuses for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthorse 4

Use a small stress ball. Here’s one available on Amazon that is safe, non-sticky, and is said to last a lifetime. This one claims to be safe around children, but use your own judment.  http://amzn.to/2tEhEOi Place the ball on a firm surface and place the palm of your hand atop it. Keeping your fingers straight, roll the ball beneath your hand. Stress balls often come with their own suggested exercises.

Exercise 5

If you have twin sinks this is easy. If you don’t, try two deep bowls. Fill one with hot water. Make it cool enough to hold your hand in comfortably, but still be considered hot. Fill the other side with cold water. You can float a few ice cubes in it. Plunge your hands in the hot water and hold for 30 seconds. Then put them right into the cold water for 60 seconds. Repeat five times. This makes my hands feel wonderful! I hope you enjoy it too.

Excuses for Writers

We all have days where we just can’t seem to cope. Days when good enough is good enough. For those days, try these excuses. Because we’re writers, these are writing-related.

Excuse 1

You’ve worked hard on marketing and writing so take a break. Play Spider Solitaire, Mahjongg, a word search puzzle, or other game. Alternate option: read.

Excuse 2

The submission process is stressful, so write in a pre-formatted document. To create, open a blank document and save it as Chapter One. Double-check the formatting. Set a new format to indent automatically five spaces when starting a new paragraph, format it for double lines and name it Editing.

Excuse 3

You should be well hydrated before beginning any exercise. Fill your coffee cup, lift, sip, and put it back down. Repeat with the other hand. Do this until the cup is empty. Refill so you can repeat again later if needed.

Excuse 4

You should keep to your schedule as much as possible, so check your email and calendar for any upcoming events. Because these tasks fall under marketing, this is an acceptable writing activity.

Excuse 5

Writers should use good equipment, including things used for exercise. Double-check the exercise equipment you have on hand to be sure it’s high quality. You might try comparison shopping online. While you’re ordering new items, stock up on coffee, creamer, and sugar. This might be a good time to consider the meal plan for the week.


There you have it. Five exercises and five excuses. Which you use depends on you. Have you faced similar issues with pain when writing? How did you deal with it? Feel free to leave a comment.

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Joss and Pietas meet (from Forged in Fire, a sweet scifi romance) #excerpt #MFRWhooks

I’m writing the sequel to book one in the Bringer of Chaos series. The first was Origin of Pietas, the second is Forged in Fire. In it, we get a lovely flashback of his first love. When Joss and Pietas meet for the first time, he is young, isolated, and alone. This is from the work in progress. May have final edits before being released. Currently, it’s on track for Sept 2017.

Joss and Pietas Meet (Excerpt)

Joss and Pietas meet (from Forged in Fire, a sweet scifi romance) #excerpt #MFRWhooks @kayelleallen

Pietas didn’t sleep with Joss until he was twenty, but he fell in love with her at first sight.

He was sixteen. She was ageless.

The older woman had plucked him off the streets, fed and clothed him, given him a job and dignity. That wasn’t why he’d slept with her. It had taken several years to become her lover because he didn’t know how to ask. She told him later he’d been too young to know what he wanted and she’d promised herself she wouldn’t make the first move. This time, he knew how it was done, he had no intention of waiting, and he knew exactly what he wanted. Her.

As he hiked beside her, he recalled that first meeting. He’d been starving, standing in lines to join work crews. For days. No one would hire him. He had no identification. No money. His father had thrown him out with nothing. Obtaining his own weapons hadn’t been difficult. He’d wagered his skill to gain those. But a job? He had no war campaigns to claim and no ID to acquire passage for one. He was too proud to steal and far too proud to beg. He refused to buy falsified documents. He’d either earn his keep the right way or he’d starve.

Once you sell your honor, nothing else has value.

Once you sell your honor, nothing else has value. -- Pietas #Quotes Click To Tweet

The day had grown late and it had started raining. He ducked into a covered alley and huddled against the wall for protection from the wind. The greasy food cooking at the diner across the street had started smelling good two days ago. Skinny Ultras stopped by the diner’s back door every night and accepted a handful of scraps. A few picked through leavings. He would bear stomach cramps forever before he’d do that.

A female soldier passing by slowed, looked him up and down, and then stopped. She wore an officer’s uniform: simple black jacket, white blouse, black skirt, shiny shoes. “Hello.”

He stood taller. Finger-combing his hair, he smiled at her. “Hello.”

“Are you looking for work?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She entered the alley, gesturing for him to accompany her.

He turned to follow, staggering with dizziness. No matter what kind of work she needed done, he would find a way to do it, hungry or not. Once they reached the alley’s deepest end, she pulled up her skirt and held out paper money.

It took a moment for it to register what she expected him to do. He’d never been around any women other than his mother and sister. Did people…do that…in an alley? Surely not. He must be mistaken. Surely she needed something else and he had misunderstood.

When he just stood there, she gestured with the money. “I don’t have all day, do you want this or not?”

He turned and fled and didn’t slow down until he reached the Ultra’s union hall. There, he dropped onto the ground in the drizzling rain, back against the wall. Arms resting on upraised knees, he hung his head, sopping wet, cold and miserable.

“Hello?” called a gentle voice.

“I am not for sale!” He clenched his teeth and glared up at her.

“That’s good to know.” The woman looking down at him was not the one who’d offered to buy him earlier.

Pietas clambered to his feet.

Unlike his platinum blond, her hair held tones of gold. Kind blue eyes seemed to look right through him. The rain had ceased and a beam of sunlight illuminated her. Seeing her, a man could believe in angels.

He pushed hair out of his face. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be. Are you Pietas?”

“I am.” Was this someone who could hire him? It wouldn’t do to look sloppy in front of her. He drew back his sodden hair into a tail and tossed it over his shoulder. Wiping wet hands on wetter clothes, he held himself in militarily correct posture. “How do you know me?”

“From your mother’s description.”

“My mother?” A wave of homesickness arose in him so strong he lost his breath. He might be new to the greater Ultra world, but he hadn’t been raised a fool. He kept his distance. “How do you know her?”

“Helia and I were created at the same time. She was scientist class and I was warrior, but we became friends. I introduced her to Mahikos. Thankfully, she doesn’t hold that against me.” A wry smile tilted her mouth. “She called me, told me she had a son named Pietas and a daughter named Dessy. She said you and your father had a fight and asked me to look for you. She sends her love.”

“You must be Joss!”

Joss and Pietas meet #sweetromance #scifi #excerpt #MFRWhooks“That’s right.”

“Growing up, Mother told me all about you. She said you were the sister she never had.”

“Did she?” Her amusement came through the aether, as warm and embracing as his mother’s had ever been. “I’m glad to know that. I wish she’d told me about you.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. That isn’t your fault.”

“Is Mother here? Have you seen her?”

“No. But she was worried so I said I’d try to find you. Looks like I did. She said to try the work halls. This should have been the first place I looked.” Smiling, she spread her hands. “But I finally found you.”

Surely it wasn’t wrong to fall in love so fast. Mother had said not to trust strange women, and from his experience with the one earlier, she’d been right. But this was Joss. Her friend and sister. Pietas took two steps toward her, stopped himself and stuck his hands in his pockets.

Joss offered her hand. When he shook it, she clasped both of hers around his.

The moment she touched him he knew he would survive. He could do anything. His life was not over before it began. He’d had no idea then she was using her gift of Clarity to help him see his path. All he knew was this amazing woman cared about him.

“Thank you for looking for me. Finding me.”

“My pleasure.” She slid her fingertips down his jaw, out to the dimple in his chin and released him. “Now, let’s get you off these streets, into some dry clothes, and find you a meal. If you want to, you can call your mother.”

(download a pdf of the Joss and Pietas meet excerpt taken from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, sweet science fiction romance – coming soon)

Three ways to know when this book is released:

Get one email notification http://authoralarms.com/Kayelle_Allen
Follow on Amazon https://amazon.com/author/kayelleallen
Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group https://kayelleallen.com/bro


This post is part of the #MFRWbookhooks Blog hop! Join us by clicking the links below.


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Best Hashtags for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthor

Best Hashtags for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthor @kayelleallenWelcome to part two of a two-part series about using hashtags. Part one “What is a Hashtag” is found here. In this section, we’ll discuss the best hashtags for writers. Using hashtags to let readers know about the genres of our books is the #1 way writers use hashtags. In the banner on the left, notice the two embedded in the image: #ScifiRom and #KindleUnlimited. There are other ways to write those, including #SFR #SciFi #Romance and for the latter, #KU. It pays to know more than one and to know what is trending.

Best hashtags for writers

Find out which hashtag is being used most in your genre and use it. There are Twitter bots (legal) that pick up certain hashtags and retweet them to their followers. #SciFi is one of them. Make sure you’re using a hashtag that is actually in use already. If no one is searching for it, the hashtag is pointless. My favorite place to discover what the best hashtags for writers are at the moment is www.ritetag.com It’s free. I don’t use any hashtags till I’ve checked them out there.

Generally, use the single version of a word vs. the plural #book is better than #books for example. Check out this RiteTag listing of results for the word #romance:
https://ritetag.com/best-hashtags-for/romance

Other best hashtags for writers include #amwriting #amediting #MFRWauthor #writerslife #author — share yours in the comments.

A word about Triberr

First, let me say it’s Tri-berr not Tribb-er. It’s has 1 B and 2 Rs. Not Tribber – Triberr. Okay, stepping away from the soapbox…

The site Triberr is a blog amplifier. What that means is when you link your blog to the site, it allows other people to share your post with their social media. Try it for 30 days and you will not want to go back.

On Triberr, hashtags matter. You will gain a hundred-fold more readers with Triberr, so leverage that by using appropriate hashtags. Don’t add your own @name to the title. It will be included in every tweet that Triberr sends, even though you can’t see it on the site. Look at your mentions on Twitter and you will.

Should I use my name as a hashtag?

Is it better to write #KayelleAllen or @kayelleallen in a tweet? (fyi – the @kayelleallen is pronounced at-kayelleallen). These are referred to as mentions. (Mary mentioned you on Twitter means that Mary sent out a tweet that had your @name in it.

I don’t recommend using your name as a hashtag. Why not? You will get far more mileage from the @name because when anyone clicks that, it pops up a link so they can follow you. If they click it again, it takes them to your profile page. A hashtag with your name is only going to open a search for the name. It will not necessarily show your profile, which means it’s less likely to get you followers.

When you tweet, don’t add your own @name either. Obviously, if the tweet is from you, then the person can click your name since you are the sender. If your publicity person is talking about you, then yes, they should use your @name.

Don’t be afraid to use hashtags in your graphics. Especially branded graphics like the one below.

Best Hashtags for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthor @kayelleallen

Hashtag Research

Here are three good links to check out for hashtag dos and don’ts:

https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-hashtags/
https://www.tintup.com/blog/7-examples-of-successful-hashtag-campaigns/
http://www.adweek.com/digital/ethan-martin-bukwild-guest-post-hashtags/


Putting hashtags to work

Now that you know what a hashtags are and how they work, what are you going to do with them? Do you have suggestions? What do you think are the best hashtags for writers? Please share in the comments.

 

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What is a Hashtag? #writerslife #MFRWauthor

What is a Hashtag? #writerslife #MFRWauthor @kayelleallenWhat is a hashtag? I’ll share a simple definition in a moment, but to understand you need to know what they were created to accomplish. Do you know what the abbreviation “etc.” means? It’s the word et cetera which is Latin for “additional unspecified odds and ends; more of the same.” It’s intended to reduce the number of characters (or sentences) needed to explain an item.

That abbreviation is a perfect example of not wasting time. We don’t write an entire list, or even the entire word. Although, here’s a question: why is the word abbreviation so long? Hmmm. Another post for a different day.

Since 2012, I have hosted over 350 authors a year on my Romance Lives Forever blog, and I’ve seen trends come and go. One that’s endured is adding hashtags to the subject. Why is this valuable? Because when the post is shared on social media, those hashtags will enable people to find it. Here’s an analogy that might help you understand.

What is a Hashtag

This symbol: # is called a hashmark. It’s also the abbreviation (there’s that word again) for number. On Twitter (and most other social media) when you add that symbol in front of a word, it changes the word to a search program.

Let’s say you want to look up the word “tweet” on Twitter. In the Twitter search box, you type #tweet. The URL that pops up is this: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23tweet&src=typd and all the tweets with that hashtag are listed.

Why Do I Need Hashtags

I’m a busy person. I know you are too. Imagine if you needed to pick up something at the grocery store, so you run in, grab a cart, and head for the produce department. When you get there, you discover a case for milk next to the lettuce. Not the milk you buy, unfortunately. Then next to the milk is a shelf with bread, but the brand you prefer isn’t there either. Then comes oatmeal. The quick cooking type–but your kids like the instant version.

At this point, you stop, look around, and realize the entire store has been completely rearranged. There is no rhyme or reason to its layout. It’s just whatever the store received that day in the back went out onto the sales area. No more aisles with bread, or aisles with canned veggies, or aisles with cereal. You have to walk up and down every aisle hoping to find what you need. How fast would you push that cart back to the exit and go elsewhere? Yeah. Me too.

Twitter is a store for information, news and opinions. It puts out whatever comes in as the info arrives. There is no order. You get what you get. If you want to find something on Twitter, you either look for a person who interests you, or a hashtag that does.

Hashtags are to Twitter what aisles are to a store. They are the “departments” where you can find what you need and what you’re looking for. I recommend having 1-2 hashtags in the title of a blog post, near the end of the subject. Use 1-2 in a tweet also. Generally, using over 3 hashtags is considered “spammy.”

What is a hashtag that works well for certain genres? That depends on what you want. Are you looking for suspense books with romantic elements? Try #romanticsuspense #suspense and also #romance #suspense together. What is a hashtag you can use to find info on your favorite TV show? Many times it’s the name of the show. Try #BigBangTheory #TheFlash #Arrow or initials, such as #TVD for The Vampire Diaries.

You could just scroll on Twitter and read, but what if you went there to find out if others are watching the same TV show you are? What is the show’s hashtag? Enter that in the search box and pow! There are all the show’s tweets. How cool to discover the cast is live tweeting! You can interact with fans, actors, and writers. Without a hashtag, you’d be lucky to stumble across even one tweet.

In the banner above, I use the hashtags associated with my writing, so people can watch those and find my books. What do you use when you search for books? When you browse Twitter the next time, click on a few hashtags and see what you find.

If you’ve used specific hashtags to find info, what are they? I follow #Thranduil #ThranduilThursday #LeePace and #Fanart – what do you follow? Please share in the comments.


Want to hear about a new book every day? Visit Romance Lives Forever. Our hashtag is #RLFblog which means posts by our guest authors are easily found on Twitter and Facebook. Check it out!

Coming next week – Best Hashtags for Writers

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Popular PNR Themes #PNR #paranormal #romance #MFRWauthor

Popular PNR Themes (paranormal romance) #PNR #paranormal #romanceBefore we discuss popular PNR themes, let’s look at what PNR is. It’s also known as paranormal romance, which is a mix of romance and speculative fiction. It involves elements beyond scientific explanation and focuses on romantic love. On the MFRW (Marketing for Romance Writers) Yahoo Group and our Facebook page, this genre is discussed often. Here’s a look at categories and popular PNR themes.

Categories in PNR

Paranormal romance encompasses themes from fantasy, science fiction, horror, and speculative fiction subgenres such as urban fantasy, time travel, ghosts, witches, demons, vampires, were-creatures, and fairies (or fae). Although some say vampire romance is on its way out, the fascination for this subgenre is holding strong.

Popular PNR themes

In romance, as in filmmaking, a broad trend seems to be extensions of pre-existing properties. In other words, books that revolve around a universe peopled with specific characters or locations. If you read series romance or you like trilogies and boxed sets, this is likely your favorite. Sequels and prequels are the order of the day. If one story set in a specific world is popular, chances are another one will be too. When an audience already knows the “rules” of the universe (i.e., whether vampires sparkle), they are set for the next story to unfold.

Many popular PNR themes offer glimpses of paranoia, fantasies of power, and stories based in parody or satire. The themes involve scenarios that pit “us against them” and showcase heroes/heroines who protect the family, tribe, or world from outside threats. There are also “love overcomes” themes in which the love between two people (romantic love and/or love of a sister for sister, mother for child, etc.) drives the story. Another popular type shows how banding together wins the day by pitting society or a tribe or family against an individual threat such as a monster or demon. Sometimes, these types of stories involve quests to obtain an item of importance or to complete a ritual.

The forbidden fruit in PNR

One of the most enticing aspects of the paranormal romance realm is the forbidden. Falling in love with a blood-sucking vampire or a soul-sucking demon? Crazy! Or helping an otherworldly being defend those in this world? Scary! But that’s part of the charm.

Not so popular PNR themes

Overemphasis on supernatural aspects
If the character’s abilities or supernatural gifts are the most important part of the story instead of the plot, there is little to hold the interest of the reader.

Unwarranted gore
Why must a story open with a scene of horrific death or torture? There are surely better ways to establish the evil and/or dangerous aspects of a monster or villain.

Saving the World – Again
If every story puts saving the world (or tribe or family, etc.) at stake, then the stake becomes commonplace. Ho hum, world saved. Check.

Mary Sues
The perfect character. Mary Sues have no faults, but many talents. They are usually princesses, princes, or the children of powerful beings who hold such titles.

That’s quite a list. What did I leave out? What genre bending books have you read (or written)? What are you currently reading? And what are your least liked aspects in a paranormal romance? Please share it in the comments. Like this post? You’re welcome to share it on social media.

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