Tag Archives: blog fest

Indie author resources blog fest!

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Today is the day! Link up here!

When you publish your own works, everything comes down to you. You have to find and hire the editors, proofreaders, cover designer, interior designer, e-book formatter . . . it can be daunting to line up all those other professionals to make your book come to life at last.

I read many great blogs on self-publishing, and I’m not looking to change the overall focus of my blog. However, I do really want to acknowledge the amazing support staff I’ve worked with in producing my books. So I’m putting together the . . . Indie Author Resources Blog Fest!

indie resources blog fest

Today, Monday, January 20, if you’re an indie author—or if you just happen to know of an editor, cover designer or other publishing professional who does quality work—post about them on your blog, and come back here to link up below!

How to participate

Indie author resources blog fest1. The theme is Indie author resources. It’s all about showing some love for all those people who helped make your book great. So who do you put in your post?

  • Editors—content, copy, line, and proof
  • Designers—cover, interior, e-book, and other promotional graphics
  • Formatters—e-book, print
  • Printers—print-on-demand, short run, long run, promotional materials
  • Any other professionals who helped make your book the best it could be!

Be sure to include links to their websites!

2. If you’re not (yet?) an indie author, but you know exactly who you’d hire, please join in!

3. If you wouldn’t recommend their work, don’t include the person in your post.

4. Post your resources on your blog January 20, 2014, and add it to the Mr. Linky here. Link your post back to the blogfest on here so your readers can read other entries, too. (The best link is http://JordanMcCollum.com/indie-resources/ )

5. Read, enjoy, and comment on other entries!

6. The index! After the blog fest, I’ll be compiling a list of the recommended professionals for ease of use. I’ll link back to all posts, of course!

So, in short: on January 20, write a blog post about an e-book professional, link back here in your post, and sign up on the linky.

Join in now!

Thank you to everyone who signed up in advance (you can find that list here). Please be sure to link up today with the link DIRECTLY TO YOUR POST, i.e. http://yourblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/indie-author-resources.html.

Again, DO NOT PUT IN YOUR PLAIN BLOG URL (http://yourblog.blogspot.com). If someone comes back to click on your link in a month, they won’t be able to find your post and they will leave your blog frustrated and disappointed!!

FULL URLs, PLEASE!!!

(Sorry for the difficulty; the linky’s host crashed. It’s back now, but if we’ve lost your link, please re-enter!

Spread the word

Tell your friends! To share the badge, copy this code and paste it in the HTML of a blog post or your sidebar:

<a href="http://jordanmccollum.com/indie-resources/" title="Indie author resources blog fest. Photo by Phossil via Flickr/CC" alt="Indie author blog festbadge. Photo by Phossil via Flickr/CC" style="text-decoration: none;"><img src="http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z41/MamaBlogga/indieresourcesblogfest.png" width="300" /></a>

Want it bigger or smaller? Change the number at width="300" to adjust the size.

Original Yellow Pages photo by Phossil via Flickr/CC

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Indie resources blog fest & other news!

Pinterest

When you publish your own works, everything comes down to you. You have to find and hire the editors, proofreaders, cover designer, interior designer, e-book formatter . . . it can be daunting to line up all those other professionals to make your book come to life at last.

I read many great blogs on self-publishing, and I’m not looking to change the overall focus of my blog. However, I do really want to acknowledge the amazing support staff I’ve worked with in producing my books. So I’m putting together the . . . Indie Author Resources Blog Fest!

indie resources blog fest

On Monday, January 20, if you’re an indie author—or if you just happen to know of an editor, cover designer or other publishing professional who does quality work—post about them on your blog, and come back here to link up!

Spread the word

Tell your friends! Copy this and paste it in the HTML of a blog post or your sidebar:

<a href="http://jordanmccollum.com/indie-resources/" title="Indie author resources blog fest. Photo by Phossil via Flickr/CC" alt="Indie author blog festbadge. Photo by Phossil via Flickr/CC" style="text-decoration: none;"><img src="http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z41/MamaBlogga/indieresourcesblogfest.png" width="300" /></a>

Want it bigger or smaller? Change the number at width="300" to adjust the size.

How to participate

Indie author resources blog fest1. The theme is Indie author resources. It’s all about showing some love for all those people who helped make your book great. So who do you put in your post?

  • Editors—content, copy, line, and proof
  • Designers—cover, interior, e-book, and other promotional graphics
  • Formatters—e-book, print
  • Printers—print-on-demand, short run, long run, promotional materials
  • Any other professionals who helped make your book the best it could be!

Be sure to include links to their websites!

2. If you’re not (yet?) an indie author, but you know exactly who you’d hire, please join in!

3. If you wouldn’t recommend their work, don’t include the person in your post.

4. Post your resources on your blog January 20, 2014, and add it to the Mr. Linky here. Link your post back to the blogfest on here so your readers can read other entries, too. (The link will be http://JordanMcCollum.com/indie-resources/ )

5. Read, enjoy, and comment on other entries!

6. The index! After the blog fest, I’ll be compiling a list of the recommended professionals for ease of use. I’ll link back to all posts, of course!

So, in short: on January 20, write a blog post about an e-book professional, link back here in your post, and sign up on the linkie.

Sign up in advance!

Original Yellow Pages photo by Phossil via Flickr/CC

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I Spy a Secret blogfest!

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If you had trouble seeing the linky before, it has been fixed! (I hope!)

Could you keep a secret from someone you loved? A big one? In my book I, Spy, Talia keeps a pretty big secret from her boyfriend Danny: the fact that she’s actually a CIA operative.

While it’s obviously not fun to live, it was a lot of fun to write someone keeping that kind of secret. So I thought we could share the fun! That’s right, it’s a BLOGFEST with FABULOUS PRIZES—TODAY!

How to participate (and rules)
I Spy a Secret blogfest1. The theme is I Spy . . . a secret. It’s all about keeping a secret from someone you love. So what do you put in your post?

  • Write a scene with one character keeping a secret from someone s/he loves
  • Post a scene from one of your books (WIP, published, draft, whatever) with one character keeping a secret from someone s/he loves
  • Tell about a time in real life where you kept a secret from someone you love(d)

2. You may share a story from your life, OR write a new scene on the topic, OR you may post a scene from your WIP. [This doesn’t preclude completed works. Because, after all, no work of art is ever finished, only abandoned.]

3. Please keep all scenes clean , without sex, or gratuitous violence or foul language. (Like PG, PG-13 here, ‘kay?)

4. Post your scene TODAY, July 19, 2013, and add it to the Mr. Linky. Link your post back to the blogfest on here so your readers can read other entries, too.

5. Read, enjoy, and comment on other entries!

6. Fabulous prizes! I’ll be giving away Amazon gift cards (number of prizes based on the number of entries winners drawn at random from entries received on the linkie by midnight MDT 19 July 2013 and announced here on JordanMcCollum.com Monday, 22 July 2013. YOU SHOULD CHECK BACK BECAUSE YOU MUST EMAIL ME TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE), plus a freebie for anybody who participates (even if you’re only reading!).

So, again: write a blog post about one of those things, link back here in your post, and sign up on the linkie.

Tell your friends! Copy this and paste it in the HTML of a blog post or your sidebar:

<a href="http://jordanmccollum.com/secret-blogfest/" title="I Spy a secret Blogfest. Photo by Catherine, wheat_in_your_hair via Flickr/CC" alt="I Spy a Secret blogfest badge. Photo by Catherine, wheat_in_your_hair via Flickr/CC" style="text-decoration: none;"><img src="http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z41/MamaBlogga/secretblogfest-1.png" width="300" /></a>

Want it bigger or smaller? Change the number at width="300" to adjust the size.

Sign up here & visit the other participants!

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL THOSE WHO SIGNED UP IN ADVANCE! Your links are still on the signup post, but please be sure to share your actual POST for the blogfest (not just a link to your main blog address) below.

Share your blog post here! Use your name (or your name@your blog’s name, or your blog’s name), and the complete permalink to your post—i.e. http://yourblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/this-goes-to-my-post.html, NOT JUST http://yourblog.blogspot.com!

This blogfest is closed.

Please visit, read, link & comment!

The freebie!

MrNiceSpy_CVR_SML(All participants are welcome to share this in their blog posts as well!)

Just for reading a blog fest post, you can get a free e-copy of the novella Mr. Nice Spy, a prequel to I, Spy! Use the coupon code SECRET on my site store here! (Coupon code good through July 26, 2013.)

 
 

Blogfest badge photo by Catherine

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Yet another blogfest

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Okay, this’ll be the last for a while. Today I’m participating in Secret Story’s Bar Scene Blogfest.

Set up: Special Agent Zach Saint is undercover as a Catholic priest after the parish mob murdered the last priest. This is his first week in the parish, and he’s joined one of the parish mobsters (Cally Lonegan) at the local bar. Zach doesn’t drink. Ever.


The bartender placed fresh glasses in front of Zach and Cally Lonegan. Zach took a tentative sip of his; it was bitter and alcohol-free as his last four drinks. Lonegan had guzzled 90-proof gin as fast as Zach could down his tonic and limes.

Lonegan reached for his tumbler, but looked away at the last second. The momentary distraction was timed perfectly for Lonegan to knock the glass over and spill the juniper-based spirit in Zach’s lap.

Great. Sighing, Zach grabbed a towel from across the bar to mop up the mess. Oblivious, Lonegan was busy flagging down a friend. “Doyle!” Even with the crowd, his shout was twenty decibels too loud. But it wasn’t the shouting that had Zach’s attention—was this Murphy?

Before he looked around, the full case file flashed through Zach’s mind. The crime scene photos of the last underling Murphy had had executed sprang to the forefront. He turned to follow Lonegan’s gaze.

Eyeing Zach, a man who carried his weight like he was used to being obeyed approached the bar. He looked just like his file photo: tall, hefty, and subtly menacing. “What kind of company you keeping now, Cal?”

“Who, this?” He punched Zach in the shoulder harder than necessary. “This is Father Tim. Salt of the Earth, that’s for sure!” Lonegan roared with laughter.

“Doyle Murphy.” The newcomer—the resident mob boss—settled at Zach’s left. Well, that was easier than he expected.

As long as he didn’t end up like the last guy who Murphy didn’t trust. The blood spatter on the sedate floral sofa hung in his mind. The Bureau believed the guy had been an hour late to deliver a shipment.

And then there was Father Patrick.

Zach fought back his racing pulse and shook the mobster’s hand. He’d been this close to vicious killers before. Worked with them, even. But a nagging feeling in his gut said ingratiating himself to this control freak over the next weeks—months, maybe—would be the most dangerous assignment he’d faced yet.


Yes, there’s more to the scene—but that’s where the chapter ends.

As always, read, participate and comment here!

Photo by Silus Grok

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Murder Scene Blogfest

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I’m still on a blogfest kick, with one for today and one for tomorrow. Today is the Murder Scene Blogfest, hosted by Anne Riley, and here’s my entry! (Note: it’s been trimmed here.)


In ten hours, they would be married. A mix of anxiety and adrenaline surged through Scott as he turned on to Abby’s street.

Squad cars idled in front of her building. His stomach turned cold. She was all right—she had to be. It could be anyone. It could be the building next door. It could be a traffic stop.

A traffic stop with three sets of flashing lights?

Scott sped up, scanning for a parking space. He’d missed her call last night thanks to his dad and his dreaded pre-wedding lecture. She hadn’t left a message. Was something wrong?

No. They wouldn’t keep three cars with flashing lights on the street overnight, unless—

He pulled alongside one of the squad cars, got his badge from the glove box and sprinted to the nearest uniform.

“What’s going on?”

“You’ll have to move along, sir.”

Scott shook his head. He flashed his badge. “What’s going on?”

“Murder.” The officer looked back toward the entrance to the parking garage beneath Abby’s building.

Fear grabbed his heart. “Who?”

“The guy who called it in couldn’t ID the body.”

“I know some people in the building. I’ll take a look.”

The officer glanced back at the ramp that led to the shadowed basement. “Don’t tell ’em I was the one that let you in.”

Scott nodded and started down the ramp. Each step tightened dread’s grip on his chest. By the time he reached the first level, he was almost sprinting.

He’d come here for an early morning run, but this wasn’t what he’d intended.

The plainclothes detectives clustered near Abby’s parking spot, and a darkening blood pool on the asphalt. A black body bag—full—sat on a gurney, waiting to be loaded into the coroner’s van. Scott stopped short, the fear freezing in his veins.

No. This couldn’t be happening. Not on their wedding day.

“Who let you down here?” one of the detectives demanded.

Scott kept his eyes on the body bag as he approached and pulled out his badge. “FBI.” Normally, he said it with force, but his voice sounded like a hollow echo ringing in his ears.

A grizzled detective threw up his hands in mock-joy. “Tell me the feds want this one. I have three hours till my shift’s supposed to start.”

“Have you IDed the body?”

The graying detective shook his head. “You live here?”

He nodded. Close enough.

The coroner’s assistant nodded at the detective’s signal and unzipped the body bag. He pulled back the flap before Scott could even brace himself.


(I think I should clarify here that when I hear the words “murder scene,” I automatically think of a crime scene, not a scene in which we watch someone be murdered. The murder here actually does take place “on screen” in the scene before this, but I have to rewrite that, so I went with this.)

Read, participate and comment here!

Photo by Mac

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Alternate Version Blogfest

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The writing blogosphere seems to be on a blogfest kick, and since the first one up is the Alternate Version Blogfest hosted by Livia Blackburne, I just had to join in. In honor of April Fool’s day, we’re posting the original and “alternate” versions of scenes from our works—and you know how I love to do that.

This is from an old MS (beyond repair, sadly). In this, Margaux is working with her ex-boyfriend, Fredrick, to pull off what she thought was a practical joke. Once things go badly (chapter 2), he ships her off to stay with her parents for a week while he irons out the mess. At her parents’, she sees a news report about a pair of scam artists who cheated little old ladies out of their life savings.

Original:

“I’ve always thought that [police] sketch looked like Sherry,” her father commented after a moment.

Margaux looked at the screen—it did look like her old friend, although it bore the name “Maryanne Walters.” Then the image changed, showing the police sketch of the accomplice.

It was Fredrick.

Chapter 3

Was that even possible?

Margaux shut her bedroom door behind her. Sure, it was possible–they’d met while Margaux and Fredrick dated–but it just didn’t make any sense.

Margaux sank onto her bed.

Her shock (which is always hard to convey, of course), wasn’t explicit enough for at least one of my CPs. So I wrote the alternate version:

It was Fredrick. Fredrick? FREDRICK?! Margaux rent her socks, writhing on the floor in the agony of her own poor choices. Her father looked at her as though she were crazy–and she must be, she MUST be, for how else could she have so foolishly involved herself with Fredrick again when he was, as is abundantly clear from the character sketch, a lie and a cheat and a scoundrel and a murderer?

Margaux threw the television set across the room, taking out her frustrations with herself on the messenger. The medium is the message, after all, just as Marshall McLuhan had said in 1964, just ten short years before this scene unfolded.

“Margaux,” began her father in a warning tone. Margaux cut him off with a look that made it clear she was prepared to strangle him with her socks to silence his censure. If she hadn’t just rent them into small pieces of knit fabric, of course.

I’m so happy with this alternate version. It really clears up a number of issues this CP had—I obviously needed constant reminders that this story was set 30+ years ago, and after only ten pages, this CP already knew my characters better than I did. One of the many ways I learned about how to be such a helpful CP myself!

(My second choice: rewrite the opening to the MS I’m revising right now to have the heroine flirting with the hero over her priest’s dead body. I think that’ll really draw the readers in and make them feel for her, don’t you?)

Feel free to join in—or to add more ways I could push the alternate version even further over the top!

Photo by splityarn

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