Thursday, November 28, 2013

The 24 Days of Christmas first five days of Awesome Authors

Get your shopping carts ready facebook! Here is the first group of Awesome Authors and there wonderful books, ALL at under a dollar at The 24 Days of Christmas Virtual Book Store!
Birthright by Willow Cross
Hearth, Holly, & Honor by Aliyah Burke
Tempted:The Dark Hart Chronicles by Alexandra Anthony
Council Courtship by Constance Phillips
Fall from Grace by Christine Zolendz
Curtain Call: A Death Metal Novel by Nathan Squiers
In It To Win It by Morgan Kearns
Dying To Live/Fighting To Live By CM Wright
Creatura by Nely Cab
Loving Liberty by Belinda Boring

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The 24 Days of Christmas Star Studded Cast


It’s almost here!!!! The 24 Days of Christmas Virtual Book Store will be open in just a few days. Here is a list of the  wonderful authors who were kind enough to be a part of this huge event. Come by, browse, talk to your favorite authors, and meet some new favorites. You won’t be disappointed:
(not in any particular order)

1~CM Stunich
2~Patti Roberts
3~Morgan Kearns
4~Poppet
5~Reba Ponder Weiss
6~Karli Rush
7~Shea MacLeod
8~Patricia Macias
9~Tracee Ford
10~Tara Rose
11~Dionne Lister
12~Lizzy Ford
13~CM Wright
14~Mary Moriarity
15~Deborah Gafford
16~Christine Zolendz
17~Gabrielle Bissett
18~Airika Phoenix
19~Jamie Salisbury
20~Darlene Kuncytes
21~Alexandra Anthony
22~Willow Cross
23~Nely Cab
24~Kristine Cayne
25~JD Nelson
26~RM Gilmore
27~Julie Cassar
28~Constance Phillips
29~Megan Parker
30~Nathan Squires
31~Amy O Neil
32~Gracen Miller
33~Jennifer Howard
34~Becket
35~Danielle James
36~C. L. Pardington
37~Cameo Renae
38~Erica Stevens
39~Marian Lanouette
40~Cynthia Lucas
41~Tonya Brown
42~Richard Long
43~LaVerne Thompson
44~Reba Ponder Weiss
45~Aliyah Burke
46~R M Gilmore
47~Virginia McKevitt
47~Laura Howard
48~Belinda Boring
49~Krystal Shannon
51~Sherry Foley
52~Angela Orlowski Peart

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Keeping Sane with Createspace (editing your manuscript made easy)

Hello everyone. Today I am posting an article on getting your manuscript ready for Createspace (you can stop pulling your hair out now, lol). I hope this information will help make it a little easier for you in transitioning from e-book to paperback.
Formatting a book for print with Createspace using Microsoft Word
First, I format my work using Microsoft Word 2007/Word 2010, but there are similar programs out there. There are several sizes but we are talking today about formatting a 6x9 paperback, one of the most popular sizes. I hope I can shed some light on this process because it doesn’t have to be as frustrating and confusing as it seems.
The first thing we will discuss is setting margins:
If you do not set your margins correctly your book will print too far into the gutter or too near an edge, (the gutter is where the books is bound together by glue).  So let’s set your margins; go to the Page Layout tab in word, and select the Margins drop-down.  Next chose ‘Custom Margins’. A margin dialog will appear. Set your margins like the image shown:


Keep the margins at .75″ except the outside margin, which is set at .5 to give you a little more room towards the outside edge. Set Multiple pages to “mirror margins”.  This means that the left gutter ‘mirrors’ the right gutter when the book is printed. Now that the margins are set, click the Paper tab. We are working on a 6×9 size paperback so we will set the paper size to “custom” and the Width to 6″ and Height to 9″. Easy peasy, lol.

Now click on the Layout tab. This is where we set up the header and footer (book titles and page numbers go here).


Next comes font choices. Go with a simple, easy to read font. Times New Roman is the number one choice in the publishing industry, but things are changing. I use Garamond because it is an easy to read font but don’t stop there. Try something nice for things like titles and chapter headings. There are a lot of pretty fonts out there but try not to use anything that will distract your readers from your story. Also a note; use a ‘serif’ font instead of sans-serif font, they are more appealing to the eye.
Now comes paragraph set up. Under the home heading look for the paragraph tab and find the arrow to the right bottom and click there and set up the paragraph indents and spacing. A note here; never, ever, never, use the tab key to indent. It confuses the program Createspace uses and it gets real ugly (pulling out your hair ugly). Paragraphs are justified so that all of the words line up on both the left and right margins.
Next under the Indentation heading, set to “First line” and “0.3 inches” to set your paragraph indents. If you use 0.5″ as suggested, in most style books, it tends to look funny but you can experiment here and judge for yourself.
Next set ‘Before’ spacing to 6 points between paragraphs. This will help your paragraphs seem cleaner. Also, you want about 1.15 on the line spacing section so you don’t wear out your reader
Next, right click on the box that says ‘Normal’ in the styles box and choose “Update Normal to Match Selection”. This will ‘set’ your font, size, justification, indentation, and your entire body of text should reformat itself instantly.


Next stop, chapters.  Your chapters should always start on an odd-numbered page, and please, never use page breaks to do this. If you do and later in the story you change something, the page count changes, causing your chapter headings to move and you back tracking to find your chapter headings and moving them to the odd page setting again. Can you say ‘headache’?  To keep this from happening use ‘Section breaks’. In the Page Layout tab click on ‘Odd Page’. When you use this kind of break, Word will automatically format it so that there is a blank page between chapters, making your life a little easier. 

Now, how do we get those perfect chapter headings and white space we see in every nicely formatted book?  Your chapter header should start a few lines down from the top, and you should also use a bold font. You could hit enter a few times but what a pain in the you-know-what.  Go to your first chapter heading and right-click on the text and choose the “Paragraph” option. You should see this box:

See the ‘Spacing Before’ section? This is where the program defines how much white space is needed for your chapter headings, and the ‘Spacing After’ is the amount of space between the heading and the start of your chapter.  Format your chapter and set the font size. Use a bold font for chapter headings in 14-size font.  Go back to the home tab, locate the ‘Heading 1’ style, and right click to select ‘Update Heading 1 to Match Selection’.

Now, all you have to do is click the ‘Heading 1’ style, and presto, a perfectly formatted chapter heading, every time. 
Here is what Fracture The Secret Enemy Looks like:

A note here~Pick up a paperback and open it to the title page. Notice the “Title Page” is on the right, flip it and you see the “Copyright Page” on the left, “Dedication” on the right, then often a “Blank” page on the left and “Table of Contents” on the right,” (sometimes, not all books use contents pages these days) and a “Blank” page on the left with Chapter 1 beginning on the right.
Now comes the real fun; headers and footers.
Page Numbers go in the Footer, or bottom of your work and the Author Name and Title go in the Header, or top of your work. Begin numbering as 1 on first page of Chapter 1 and begin Author Name in Header on Page 2 (Left side) with the Title in the Header on Page 3 (Right side), or you can style your Header in this way, Title/author where it will appear the same on both left and right pages.

To set up a header and footer for your document, click on the Insert tab at the top of Word. Now locate the Header & Footer panel. Click on the Header item and you'll see a drop down list appear:

There are several choices but I use the first item on the list, Blank. The top of your page will then look like this:

A new tab appears called the Design tab. The panels on the tab are: Header & Footer, Insert, Navigation, Options, Position, and Close.
The thin, dashed blue line is the bottom of your header, and everything above is the area where you can type your header text. There is already a selected area with the words "Type text" in it but this is the first page in the story. You don't want a header on the first page. We want the headers to start on page two. Look at the Design tab, and locate the Options panel. Check box next to Different First Page:

Now locate the Navigation panel, and click the Next Section button:

The header text on page 2 will now be selected. Now type your title of the story again. Choose a font and font size (I suggest keeping it simple). For the font you choose, click back on the Home ribbon. The Design ribbon will stay open but if you accidentally click outside of the header, and lose the Design tab, just double click anywhere inside of the Header area to get back to it. Now click back on the Design tab when you're done. Your header will then look like the above copy of my book Fracture The Secret Enemy Saga.
Numbering your pages using Footers: You can do the same things with the Footer as you can with the Header. Select the Design tab at the top of Word and click on "Go to Footer":

Word will take you to the bottom of the page and to the Footer area and because you checked "Different First Page", your cursor should be on page 2 of your story. To insert page numbers, locate the Header & Footer panel on your Design tab. Click the Page Number item and a drop down list will appear. Select "Bottom of page".

These are built-in page number formatting. Scroll down and find one that you like. Then click it with your left mouse button. In most books, page numbers are centered at the bottom of the page but there are variances and the choice is yours.

Now if you are satisfied with your headers and footers, you can close the Design tab. To do that, click the Close button:

.

I hope this information was helpful to you on your journey in getting your book ready for publishing. There is lots of free information out there to help you keep your sanity on your way and I wish you the best of  luck!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Review for The Immortal Scrolls by Kristin Secorsky

4.0 out of 5 stars Roman society meets vampires, werewolves, and the fae, July 14, 2013
By virginia mckevitt (Georgia, USA) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Immortal Scrolls (Kindle Edition)
Roman society meets vampires, werewolves, and fairies in this easy read book. The story line has original ideas and great characters. If you love paranormal romance books, this book is for you.
Lots of action and love scenes will keep the pages turning with the well described scenes and fleshed out characters that are done in great detail. It is a short read and a little choppy at times but overall I give Kristin Secorsky 4 stars and am waiting for book two.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review for Katie Jennings~When Empires Fall

5.0 out of 5 stars Family feud with a twistJune 15, 2013
By 
virginia mckevitt (Geogia, USA)




Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a great read! Money, murder, power, and greed. It has it all. It's a story that spans several generations of a family who own a high end hotel empire, but the main story is about the New York part of the family. Four siblings who are dealing with relationships, a socialite mother, a grandfather who murdered his own father to gain power, plus a self-destructive dad.

Jennings character development and story arc is excellent. You find yourself in visual contact with each character, either urging them onward or telling them to get a life. This is a character driven story with many individuals, but you won't be confused. Each character has been laid out in full flesh and bone, unique personalities and motives. "When Empires Fall" is not a disappointment. I give it 5 stars


Sunday, June 9, 2013

review for Deborah Gafford's~You're in Good Hands With Al Tate

Laugh out loud funny!June 8, 2013
By 
virginia mckevitt (Geogia, USA)





This review is from: You're in Good Hands with Al Tate (Kindle Edition)
I decided to take a break and and do something different, and I'm glad I did. This is a laugh out loud romantic comedy that will make you feel good from beginning to end. Deborah Gafford gives you tons of passion and humor. It is well written and enjoyable.

Al Tate, is a stockbroker who is tired of the city life and dreams of moving to the country. Susan is a small town girl who writes steamy romance for a magazine and dreams of the big city. She moves into her new apartment where leaky faucets and loud noises outside are an aggravating distraction. She goes to check out the loud noises outside and that is when all the fun begins. No spoilers, I will just say, you will not be disappointed.


Ms. Gafford's characters are well fleshed out and the humor will have your sides hurting from laughing so hard. It is fun to watch Al and Susan as they trip and fall over themselves and each other until...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A review of Captured Lies by author Maggie Thom

Suspenseful and keep you on your toes read!, January 25, 2013
By 
virginia mckevitt (Geogia, USA)

 
This review is from: Captured Lies (Kindle Edition)
Capture Lies is a story full of twist and turns. Maggie Thom's characters are well fleshed out and believable. The shear will of Bailey to overcome and survive everything that is thrown at her is admirable, to say the least.
The twist and turns throughout the book keep you on your toes and turning the pages. The humor between Bailey and Guy, the PI hired to find her, is a welcome break in the sometimes violent moments of the book.
Although this is not my normal read, I thoroughly enjoyed Captured Lies and give it 5 stars.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review of Birthright (The Dark Gifts Series)

5.0 out of 5 stars A great start to the Dark Gifts Series, May 4, 2013
By Virginia McKevitt

... This review is from: Birthright (The Dark Gifts) (Kindle Edition)
Birthright~ The Dark Gifts Series by Willow Cross
This is a vampire series full of action and adventure. Liz is turned by Michael by accident which plunges them into a chain of events that causes them to be on the run. The chemistry between the two keeps the pages turning and new characters coming. It is an in your face ride from the beginning to the end, and an enjoyable one at that.
This is not your average vamp romance. It is full of aggression, blood and conflict. With a spot of romance for balance. If you are into vampires (and who isn't), you will love this first in the Dark Gifts Series. I give it 5 stars.

http://www.amazon.com/Birthright-The-Dark-Gifts-ebook/dp/B0052F7IHQ/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Liebster Award is for Bloggers


Thank you Dayna at  http://vonthaer.blogspot.com/2013/04/liebster-award-and-books-galore.html for nominating me for the Liebster Award. What a pleasant surprise to find this in my inbox J
 

So what is the Liebster Award?

"The Liebster Award is for bloggers with under 300 followers and the rules of the award is that the nominee must link back to whoever awarded them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find some blogs that they want to follow."

 

11 random facts about me:

 

1. I was a landscape architect for over twenty years before Hurricane Katrina.

2. I raised registered Quarter Horses for ten years of that time.

3. I love the outdoors, especially water.

4. I was a native of New Orleans, LA. For most of my life, but was born in Long Beach, CA.

5. I draw and paint also and would love to master photo shop.

6. I hate folding clothes and putting them away.

7. I am part Creek Indian and you would never know it by looking at me.

8. I put an oil pump in a car once because my husband laughed and said I couldn’t do it.

9.  I have many friends but most of them don’t come out and play ;)

10. If I could go anywhere in the world it would be Italy.

11. I am married to the love of my life for 39 years this past March (damn, we’re old).

 

My answers to the 11 questions:

1. Tea or coffee?

Definitely coffee.

2. What is your favorite quote? 

Beware gentle knight. There is no greater monster than reason.

All the Pretty Horses by Cormack McCarthy

3. Who is your all-time favorite author? 

Stephen King followed by Dean Koontz, but there are many more, a lot who are Indy.

4. What is your favorite game? 

Football-Geaux Saints!

5. Who was your favorite president of the United States and why? 

John F. Kennedy. He never backed down from a fight.

6. Which Simpson would you compare yourself to? 

I don’t watch the Simpsons.

7. iPhone or Windows phone? 

Nada.

8. Who would be your dream literary agent?  

Do you want the long list, or the short list, lol?

9. What was the last thing you gambled on? 

Slot machine. Ten bucks and I’m out of here.

10. If you had to spend the night in a haunted house, what would you take with you? 

The Ghost Busters.

11. And finally, what gives you the most satisfaction about writing?  Listening to someone who just finished my book talking about the characters like they are real people. What am I thinking? Sorry guys. You are real people. Don’t get mad.

 

My 11 questions to pass on:

1. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

 
2. Who has inspires you the most?

 
3. Where do you like to sit and write or read the most?

 
4. Who is your favorite author?

 
5. The beach or the mountains?

 
6. Favorite comfort food?

 
7. The best movie you ave saw? Why?

 
8. The best book you ever read? Why?

 
9. What do you enjoy most about your work?

 
10. What is you favorite music?

 
11. If you review an authors book, what is the most important reason you rate it?

 
11 Blogs that I would like to pass the Liebster Award onto:




 









 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Can I Change Your Mind About Fantasy?



  • FRACTURE The Secret Enemy Saga on March 02, 2013
    star star star
    *I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review* I’ll admit when I started reading the very first chapter I wasn’t sure how much I would like this book. It was my first fantasy novel, but I wanted to expand my reading base so I continued to read on and I am very pleased that I did. It started off a little slow but I believe it was building up to the action half way through the book. There was so much detail packed into the pages. The author cleverly combines the fantasy world of Patwain with earth. There is a fracture between the two, leaving both worlds vulnerable and accessible. I really liked the idea of The Couton- beautiful alluring women with the ability to steal memories. This was original and unlike anything I had ever read before. Tegrin, the lion-esque man is sent from Patwain to stop these women. It is then that he meets Kristina and they soon realise that their worlds are entwined beyond what they could have ever imagined. I enjoyed learning about the true identity of Kristina’s heritage and her quest for revenge after the death of her parents. It took me a little longer to connect with Tegrin but once I opened myself up to accept the fantasy element, I enjoyed his story and his own quest. This was a really good book, like no other I have read. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the rich descriptions she created. After knowing how it ends I can’t wait to read the second book!
  • The Hunted Fracture The Secret Enemy Saga Book Two on March 02, 2013
    star star star star
    *I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review* This is the second instalment in the Secret Enemy Saga. The Couton- a dangerous race of women who drain people of their memories are back and invading the city of New Orleans. It is up to Tegrin and Kristina to put a stop to them and their killing spree. Tegrin and Kristina are joined on their mission by their friends, Sissy and Jimmy. I liked these two supporting characters in this book and how they added another dimension to the story. I felt the action was kicked up a notch in this instalment and the content was a little grittier than the first book. This was to be expected as the number of murders increased as did their descriptions. This was not a bad thing as I enjoyed the authors writing. Being the romance fangirl that I am, I did enjoy the progression of the relationship between Tegrin and Kristina. No matter the circumstance or danger they faced, I was a sucker for the romance weaved through this book of action and suspense. I enjoyed this story perhaps more than I expected to. I fully immersed myself in the journey and was rooting for Tegrin and Kristina to triumph. I am hooked on these characters and must read any future quests they will have.

  • Sunday, February 24, 2013

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    FREE LOVE EXTRAVAGANZA!!! VALENTINE’S DAY ONLY!!!!!

    FREE LOVE EXTRAVAGANZA

    Facebook Event – Thursday All Day – https://www.facebook.com/events/578243022204643/
    A day dedicated to Love and Romance. Over 40 authors have joined together to create a day and night of devotion, and desire, bliss and delight. With our hearts open we wish to share our love with you through our writings.
    Our free collection for Valentine’s Day books stretche across several genres. Please browse below and click on as many as you wish for a free download. Happy Valentine’s Day!
    Click any book cover to go to the download page for each.
    Having Nice Things (Code CG99W)
    Angus Day – Having Nice Things
    (Download code – CG99W)
    Beverly Preston – No More Wasted Time
    Blak Rayne – The Ideal Side of Love
    Christina's book cover
    Christina Moore – Fire Born
    Karli Rush – Crescent Bound
    Dina Rae – Bad JuJu
    Elaine Raco Chase – Best Laid Plans
    Emily Walker – Long Road Full Speed Ahead
    J. M. Zungia – TDMS Collection
    Jennifer Cowsert – This Time Forever
    Fly Birdie
    Jo Robinson – Fly Birdie
    Jo Robinson - The Visitation
    Kym's book cover
    Kym Grosso – Kade’s Dark Embrace
    Linda Bolton – Take 2
    Michelle Matkins – Beautiful Beginnings
    Michelle Matkins – Awakened Within
    Mina J Moore – The Dom Prize
    Nickie Asher – Blood Judgement
    Nicole Hill – Legacy Forgotten
    Nicole Hill – A Gentleman’s Luck
    Karli Rush – Prelude to Death
    RaeAnne Hadley – Love’s Everlasting Song
    Sapphire Kandle – Making Her Feel
    Karli Rush – Seducing A Mermaid
    Shayne McClendon – In The Service of Women
    Summer Daniels – Summer’s Journey: Volume One – Losing Control
    Victoria Danann – My Familiar Stranger
    Victoria Danann – The Witch’s Dream
    Virginia McKevitt – FRACTURE The Secret Enemy Saga
    Download code – EH73P
    Candy's book cover
    Candy Wilder – Doing it in New Delhi
    Allison Cosgrove – Sacrifice of Innocence
    Tawdra Kandle – Fearless
    Gena D. Lutz – Ember’s Curse
    Kristin Secorsky – Immortal Scrolls
    Kristin Michelle Adams – Temptaions box set (book 1 & 2)
    Patricia's book cover
    P. Macias – Hot & Wild (De La Cruz Saga)
    Ian Dalton's cover for event
    Ian Dalton – Desperate Thoughts: The Gift (Victoria Wilde #O)
    Julie Crane's book cover
    Julie Crane – Lauren (Keegan’s Chronicles Spin Off)
    Rachel A. Olson's cover
    Rachel A. Olsen and Jessica Humphrey – Love During Death
    Janiera Eldridge's cover for the event
    Janiera Eldridge – Soul Sisters
    LIvia's cover
    Livia Ellis – Memoirs of a Gigolo Volume One
    Livia Ellia's cover
    Livia Ellis – Memoirs of a Gigolo Happy Valentine’s Day Oliver
    Vickie's cover
    Vickie McKeehan – Promise Cove (A Pelican Pointe Novel)
    Julie P's cover
    Julie Prestsater - Against The Wall
    Brandi K's cover
    Brandi Kennedy – Fat Chance (The Kingsley Series)
    Christina's cover 2
    Christina Moore – Chasing Shadows (A Shadow Chronicles Novel)
    Jim's cover
    Jim Henry – Universal Life Force Series
    DeAnna's cover
    DeAnna Kinney – Charity Moon (Charity Series Book 1)
    Cat Miller's cover
    Cat Miller – Unbound (The Forbidden Bond Series)
    RJ's cover
    RJ Parker – Doctors Who Killed