Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lost Colony Series Book Tour September 15 - October 13

Dear Readers,

For all of you historical romance lovers out there, my book tour is just around the corner. We'll be featuring the first two novels in the LOST COLONY SERIES:

  • BREAKING TIES (already available in eBook and paperback at all major online retailers)
  • TRAIL OF CROSSES (releasing September 9)

Stay tuned to www.JoGrafford.com for daily announcements about games, festivities and giveaways to include a Lost Colony t-shirt, signed copy of BREAKING TIES, free eBooks by SIX amazing authors, signed bookmarks, and much more. You are cordially invited to join us for this fun event! Bring your booklover friends as well. :-)


The tour is hosted by Bewitching Book Tours. A BIG THANK YOU to Roxanne Rhoads for coordinating the following awesome lineup of blog stops:

September 15 Spotlight
Deb Sanders

September 16 Spotlight
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!

September 17 Guest blog
Lisa’s World of Books

September 18 Interview
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

September 19 Interview
Darkest Cravings

September 22 Spotlight
Theresa Stillwagon

September 23 Character Interview
Author Karen Swart

September 25 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books

September 26 Spotlight

September 29 Guest blog
More Romance Please

September 30 Guest blog
Roxanne’s Realm

October 1 Interview
Author Anita Cox

October 2 Spotlight
Sizzling Book Blog 

October 3 Spotlight
CBY Book Club

October 6 Guest Blog (review later)
Historical Fiction Obsession

October 7 Interview
Deal Sharing Aunt

October 8 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.  

October 9 Spotlight
Booklover Sue 

October 10 Spotlight and review
Illuminite Caliginosus

October 13 Review
Brooke Blogs

The book trailer for TRAIL OF CROSSES will be pre-released in my September newsletter and posted across social media outlets a few days later in time for the September 9 book release. You are welcome to subscribe at www.JoGrafford.com if you want a sneak peak. :-)

Here is one of my favorite "Jane moments" at the beginning of the book:


See you on tour. Blowing kisses!

Jo

Website: www.JoGrafford.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/JoGraffordAuthor
Twitter: @jografford
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360736.Jo_Grafford
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JoGrafford
YouTube Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nBB8_qcG-9I
Highlighted Author: www.HighlightedAuthor.com
Amazon.com Author Page: amazon.com/author/jografford
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/JoGrafford/

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Writing Muscle

I'm having my first meeting with a personal trainer today. I used to do this years ago, and it helped me get into some awesome physical shape. Because so much of my day is spent on a chair in front of a big screen, and due to my age (for some reason the years don't stop flowing past), I need this now more than ever.

I plan to babysit grandkids tomorrow. If my new personal trainer doesn't kick my butt, I'm sure my grandkids will polish me off nicely.

So this reminded me of what we have to do to stay sticky, relevant and unstoppable as a writer. Certainly the excited fans who love our books helps. The community of other authors who enthusiastically travel along the same path, and the collection of shared associates to help us do what we do can spur us on and keep us motivated. But, ultimately, the writer has to do the basics every day. I'm going to outline some of them here today.

1. Develop a daily writing routine. I recently read Manage Your Day-To-Day, a collection of essays edited by Jocelyn Glei, which discusses setting up a routine each day based on your own body's most creative rhythms. I recently began leaving the mornings open to write first thing. I've stopped scheduling Dr. appts, critique groups or other meetings during that most productive time for me. I try to stay off the internet until so many words have been placed on the pages, or until so many pages of edits are completed. My mind just works better creatively in the morning. There are actual physical reasons why this just makes sense. Everyone is different.

2. Write even when I don't feel like it. Here is where the amateur is separated from professional writers. The professional trains every day. We used to say in the other coaching and training field I was in for nearly three decades Tiger Woods knows how to golf, yet he trains intensely every day. Only way that muscle is developed is to push it a little. Do it when it doesn't feel good. Most writers underestimate how important this is. The public thinks the writer gets "inspiration" and then writes. Most of us doing this with any kind of success know that the inspiration comes later, in the polishing or editing.



3. Slow and steady wins the race. Ever watch chickens lay eggs? They have a routine set up to support this activity and they rarely deviate from it for good production. In sales, a few routines things can propel an average seller into a mega seller. In writing, we are talking about turning out a volume of quality work. Some people write fast but have no quality. Some have high quality but no volume. No matter what end of the spectrum you fall, learning to stretch and develop slowly in the areas we need improvement works.

4. Occasionally push hard to blow out all the carbon. Like cleaning clogged drains, I find having deadlines is good. Sprinting, working hard and fast brings more intensity to my writing life. Sitting back and waiting for the muse to descend upon me is like waiting for a 3 year old to want to be potty trained. A good kind of stress is actually healthy. If it wasn't, we'd never enjoy sex, raising a family, maintaining long-term friendships or relationships. We'd never run marathons compete in contests, play games.

5. Occasionally do something stupid, or something new. I don't think it matters which we do, as long as we mess with our own routine now and then. Kind of like sprinting or pressing through a deadline, learning to be flexible and well rounded is a healthy trait to develop, and it doesn't happen on it's own. Practicing randomness, even foolishness, can be a good thing. I've got several things on my bucket list I want to accomplish that will probably not make any sense to anyone but myself, and have nothing to do with writing. But they are part of the person inside me who likes to break out of boxes, throw caution to the wind, and experience (healthy things mind you) just for the experience of it.

6. Ask for help. As has been recently written about in the news, if you are struggling, don't be so closed you can't ask for help. This is probably the hardest part for an independent, creative thinker to do. Stay plugged into your community. Get people to help you through the rough patches so you don't have to go there alone. Get advice from those you trust, always. Never think that you stop learning and know that needing others around you is actually a healthy thing. You don't have to trudge through the ice and sleet and pain, especially alone.

I'm sure you could add one or two things onto this list. I'd love to hear about them. Everyone who comments on today's post will receive the kindle version of Game For Love: SEAL's Goal, if they leave their coded email in the body of their response. Life is a game, afterall. We never really win or lose, we just run out of time.




Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.





Friday, August 8, 2014

Steaming Into August

Autographed Books are Awesome!


I'm still working my way through the awesome pile of autographed books I brought back from the RT Booklovers Convention 2014. Today's hot pick is...drumroll...WRECKED by Shiloh Walker. I was hooked beyond the point of no return when I read heroine Abigale's revised life plan after her fiancé Roger dumps her:

1. Stop worrying so much about the future.
2. Call Roger and tell him off.
3. Flip off the next photographer you see.
4. Get a tattoo.
5. Have a torrid affair with a hot guy.

If you're not smiling, that's just wrong. If you've never had at least three out of five of these items on your own to-do list, that's even more wrong. There was just no way I could put the book down after reading that list. :-) Here's the back of the book blurb:


WRECKED by Shiloh Walker


"Friends make the best lovers and soul mates in WRECKED. A beautiful look into true and enduring love..." Carly Phillips, NYT Bestselling Author


In the nineties, Abigale Applegate and Zach Barnes were the most beloved sitcom child stars in the world. Then they grew up and left Hollywood behind...


Whatever happened to Abigale Applegate?

She's been wondering the same thing.

With her Hollywood dreams long gone, Abigale now has a nice, neat, uncomplicated life--until the day her perfect fiancĂ© needs to talk. Dumped, a little more than shattered, and totally confused, Abigale turns to Zach, her best friend since forever, to help her pick up the pieces. He does it with a gift--a copy of Wreck This Journal. She can vent her frustrations, and sketch out a new plan. Zach just hopes he's part of it. Because he's been in love with Abigale his entire life.

When the journal falls into Zach's hands, he discovers Abigale wants a new man. And fast. Nothing more than a hot distraction. Zach has a strategy, too. He's going to be that man. It's his last chance. Abigale might be out to shake up her life, but Zach's out to reinvent it. Now, all he has to do is convince Abigale that life can go as planned.
Available now on Amazon!


What I'm Writing

I'm also excited to announce that I just returned the galleys edits to my publisher for TRAIL OF CROSSES, book two in the Lost Colony Series.
TRAIL OF CROSSES is a smokin' hot historical romance based on the Lost Colonists of Roanoke Island. Scheduled to release September 9, this book is all about our knife-toting Jane the huntress who is sick to death of the London social whirl and its colorful array of dandies. Don't even get her started on the deplorable fashion of wearing cod pieces.  
Jane is hell bent on changing her stars as a working class spinster to something better in the New World. If only the Roanoke Chief Wanchese -- fierce warrior and sometimes renegade -- wouldn't keep interfering with her plans. On top of everything else, why does the blasted man have to be the most gorgeous creature she's ever laid eyes on?
Bewitching Book Tours is hosting the launch festivities and blog tour. Stay tuned for details! In the meantime, you may stalk, follow, befriend, like, or otherwise engage me at:


Website: www.JoGrafford.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/JoGraffordAuthor
Twitter: @jografford
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360736.Jo_Grafford
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JoGrafford
YouTube Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nBB8_qcG-9I
Highlighted Author: www.HighlightedAuthor.com
Amazon.com Author Page: amazon.com/author/jografford
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/JoGrafford/

Happy August, y'all!!
Jo Grafford