Heather Christie gives advice

What The Valley Knows
Heather Christie
Romance, Young Adult
January 25th 2018

Millington Valley is a quintessential small Pennsylvania town: families go back generations. Football rules. Kids drink while adults look the other way. High school is a whirlwind of aspiration and rivalry, friendship and jealousy.

When smart and pretty Molly Hanover moves to town and attracts the attention of the football team’s hero, Wade Thornton—a nice guy with a bad drinking habit—longtime friendships are threatened and a popular cheerleader tries to turn the school against Molly.

The young couple’s future is shattered when Wade, drunk, wrecks his truck and Molly is thrown through the windshield. She wakes from a coma to find her beauty marred and her memory full of holes. As she struggles to heal, she becomes sure that something terrible happened before the accident. And there is somebody in the valley who doesn’t want her to remember.

Platform-Building

guest post

by Heather Christie

I thought the hardest part of writing a book was going to be writing a book. During my MFA program, I remember toiling through revisions, attempting to create perfect sentences, craft fast-paced scenes, and nuanced characters. I believed my huge publishing contract was just around the corner. There were fantasies of agents fighting over my novel. My book would go to auction and I’d have to quit my job as a real estate agent because I’d have a new career as an author. Oh, how naïve I was.

As I was crafting my novel, I should have been spending equal amounts of time building my writer’s platform. Little did I know how important it would be in my search for an agent/publisher search.

My advice to budding authors is to build an audience BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE! Even if you are considering self-publishing, you would be wise to first create a rabid group of readers who can’t wait for you’re next word. If you can boast a true following, and you’ve written a wonderful book, your quest to secure an agent or a publisher, OR launch a successful self-published novel, becomes increasingly more attainable.

Here’s a list of simple, first-steps,  platform-building MUST DO LIST to get started:

  1. Create your writer identity/pen name and claim it across cyberspace. Heather Christie wasn’t available (apparently there’s a famous model with the same name), so I chose Heather Christie Books. (HeatherChristieBooks.com)
  2. Set up a writer page on Facebook, not a profile, which caps your followers at 5000. You can find me on Facebook @
  3. Pick two other social media platforms (three is about the maximum most people can manage without becoming overwhelmed) and create writer accounts. For me it’s Twitter (@hchristiebooks) and Instagram (@heatherchristiebooks).
  4. Now, post regularly . . . even it’s only once a week. Pick a schedule and stick to it. Share writerly meme, poems, inspirational quotes, excerpts from your WIP, recipes, word puzzles, riddles, anything that will engage people and reflects who you are.
  5. Start a blog. Write about anything (parenting, your pets, your job, your favorite books, politics)—show people you can write and what you have to say is interesting. Your blog readers will be the people who will line up to BUY your book one day!
  6. Connect with other authors. Join Facebook groups, follow other writers on Twitter, figure out who the Bookstgrammers are in your genre and then—ENGAGE. Write reviews for other authors on Goodreads and Amazon (5 stars), comment on their posts, share, tweets, build up other writers . . . create lots of good, sincere mojo—the kind of stuff you want coming back at you when your book is published.
Giveaway:

Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)

A signed copy of What the Valley Knows, a 30″ inch sterling silver necklace, and a What the Valley Knows mini book charm

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232263/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36198199-what-the-valley-knows

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZbVwGmysDI

Purchase:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/What-Valley-Knows-Heather-Christie/dp/1612969402/

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-the-valley-knows-heather-christie/1127052493?ean=978161

AUTHOR BIO

Heather Christie grew up in rural Pennsylvania and, at age seventeen, took off for New York City in hopes of becoming a movie star. Flash forward several decades, a couple degrees, a bunch of cats, two kids and one husband later, she’s back in Pennsylvania writing her heart out and chasing dreams again. She loves to read, run, drink tea, and make Sunday dinner. Follow her blog at www.HeatherChristieBooks.com and say “hello” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Author links:

https://www.facebook.com/heatherchristiebooks/

https://twitter.com/hchristiebooks

https://www.instagram.com/heatherchristiebooks/

www.heatherchristiebooks.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17148513.Heather_Christie

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Guest Blog: Failures?

The Amy Binegar-Kimmes-Lyle Book of Failures
Amy Lyle
Funny Memoir, family, marriage
Amy Lyle
(3 May 2017)

THE AMY BINEGAR-KIMMES-LYLE BOOK OF FAILURES is a humor memoir. If you have ever failed at love, finances, been fired, not fit in, self-diagnosed yourself with disorders and conditions and/or said, "I really need to get my s*** together," this is the book for you.

You may appreciate your own dysfunction a little more as you take a journey through Amy’s debacles including: “I Was Not Talking to You,” where Amy mistakes a handsome man waving at her as a potential suitor but in reality, he was only trying to inform her that her belt was dragging on the freeway and “In the Neighborhood,” where members of a cult moving in concurred with a suspicious decline in the cat population. You will relish the chapters entitled “Calls from Sharon,” where Amy’s best friend rants about her kids not getting a fair shot because public schools are ‘so political,’ as her OB/GYN reported her vagina was ‘too clean’ and how the most eligible bachelor from 1982 married a whore. Enjoy “I’m Going to Kill You,” where Amy compares her lack of sleep from her husband’s snoring to CIA agents extracting secrets from a POW. Feel 20-32% better about your own life after reading “Getting Divorced Sucks,” where 911 was called after Amy had an adverse reaction from taking Xanax.

The book has been featured in Scoop OTP, Georgia Followers, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Points North Atlanta Magazine, Just4Fun Radio and the WXIA-TV morning show, "Atlanta & Company.”

Ten percent of book proceeds are donated to The Place of Forsyth County, a non-profit helping people to become self-sufficient.

Now That’s Love
My book begins “I’ve been married for twenty years, not to the same people but regardless….”
I’m very pro-love and relationships. However, if you’ve never tied the knot, let me share a little of what happens AFTER you are supposed to be living your happily ever after.
That euphoric feeling of new love has similar qualities of a drug addiction: including heart palpitations, wild fantasies, lack of sleep and the vacillation between euphoria and misery eventually calms down. After being married for ten years what makes my heart race is when my
husband surprises me with a giant, gluten-filled, pack of brownies and lets me pick the Netflix movie.
It’s a challenge sleeping in the same bed and frankly, sharing a sink with another human being.
I started to ask questions I never dreamed would need to be asked:

Are those your pubic hairs in the shower soap, did you not see the pubic hairs?

Why in the world did you not rinse the soap off?

Haven’t I asked you not to chomp? You know I have misophonia (become
enraged at chomping sounds) stop chomping.

Is that oatmeal? For the love of God how does a person chomp oatmeal?

You bought a reciprocating saw and you’re upset that I bought strappy sandals?
Would you not agree that both are useful?

Did you just put sauce on my fish? That’s adding one million calories, why would you do that?

I told kid number two NOT to go out; she has a D in psychology. Why did you allow her to go out? I’m always the bad cop. Do you think that’s fair?

Do you? Do you? Do you?

Even when you love a person, the day to day responsibilities and routines can wear on your last nerves. But, having someone you trust and know in and out has its advantages.
You no longer freak out if he/she doesn’t reply to your text in less than three seconds.
In social settings, you have a secret language and understand what it means when your husband/wife says “Excuse me for a minute, I must have left my glasses at the table.” It’s code for “The guy talking is full of dog s*** “ so I need to exit immediately, or I will stab him with the tiny umbrella from your pina colada.
If a serial killer came crashing into your bedroom, they would do everything possible to save you over saving themselves.
If you’re lucky, you find a person that thinks you’re attractive in the morning, offers you ice water when you’re sick and laughs at all of your jokes.

These are the reasons people stay married. Now you know.

About the Author

Amy Lyle is an author, comedienne, actor and screenwriter who works as a playwright for a large nonprofit in Alpharetta, Ga. Obsessed with fellow female comedians, Amy developed a writing style that is self-deprecating, hilarious and slightly neurotic.

Although she describes her book, The Amy Binegar-Kimmes-Lyle Book of Failures, as a “how not to” book, her message of “You are not a failure, you’re just having a little bit of trouble right now” is prompting people to share how the book made them feel (#bookoffailures), including the relief of knowing they are not alone in the world of missteps. Fan posts of people reading the book have been popping up from all over the world, including Lake Como, Italy, Amsterdam and The Great Wall of China.

The funny memoir, dealing with everything from getting fired to trying to blend a family, has been described as relatable and authentic, while sparking conversations about how we all handle failure.

The author has been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Points North magazine and the WXIA-TV morning show, “Atlanta & Company,” in addition to writing a monthly column for My Forsyth magazine.

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More about Crows

Crows of Beara
Julie Christine Johnson
Ashland Creek Press
(1 Sept. 2017)

Nature as Cultural Artifact

A guest post by:

 Julie Christine Johnson 

I didn’t set out to write an eco-lit novel, to make a political statement with my story. I am a writer of landscapes that transport readers from their worlds into those of my imagination and of characters whose conflicts and choices are urgent and relevant to my readers’ souls. I don’t write with a genre in mind; I’m a storyteller who often discovers her themes many drafts later, when the bones of a story have been fleshed out and its heart is beating strongly.

THE CROWS OF BEARA was meant to be my love song to Ireland. A place was all I had in my pocket when I sat down with my notebook to begin sketching characters. I set the place aside and focused on the who, for it is from the characters that my stories are built. WHERE gives me a foundation; WHO is the framework. I discovered a protagonist and a main character linked by the same weakness and the same strength: addiction and art. Bringing them to stand before each other on a dividing line was a third “character” which I met by chance in my research: the Red-billed chough, a species of crow which cycles on and off the endangered list as one nesting ground thrives and another is threatened. It is found along the southwest coast of Ireland, where cliff meets pasture on one end and ocean on the other. In CROWS, a copper mine would bring needed jobs to a struggling community; it would also destroy the habitat of this beloved small black bird with a crimson beak and feet. The chough became the book’s touchstone.

Deep into revisions, months after CROWS had been accepted for publication by Ashland Creek Press, I met an artist-anthropologist using 3-D photography in a breathtaking marriage of art and science to preserve natural artifacts gathered from manned and unmanned space missions. Through her art, she shows that our cultural heritage is alive in these rocks gathered from places so distant, the mind bends in trying to comprehend. In talking with her, I realized I had been dancing around but unable to name the central core of my characters’ artistic drive. Nature is a cultural artifact that we have the power to preserve, and art can be a unifying force when politics threaten to tear us apart.

There’s a scene midway through THE CROWS OF BEARA where Annie sees Daniel’s art for the first time. And in observing his own work through her eyes, he realizes the power of what he does, how his art can change minds, perspectives, lives. Art as an act of resistance and healing is one of the major themes of the book and it’s very much how I feel about what I do as an artist. Words are my voice, my sword, my hand out to the universe. Art, whether it’s visual, literary, musical, or of the body, connects us to ourselves, to each other, to the greater world. It’s what keeps us moving forward toward light in times of greatest darkness.

 

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