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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Entering the Cosmos?

See You in the Cosmos Book Cover See You in the Cosmos
Jack Cheng
Juvenile Fiction
Penguin
February 28, 2017
320

"Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski, along with his dog, Carl Sagan, makes big discoveries about his family on a road trip and he records it all on a golden iPod he intends to launch into space"--

 

Initially I was not invested in this story – I skip read the pages and got the gist but then the story hit and I couldn’t put the book down. I read it in less than 3 hours.

At times the story pulls at your heart strings. At other times it challenges your perceptions. There is a story underneath the story. The search for meaning and truth.

Love, truth, bravery. ‘the more I think about them the more it feels like they’re all talking about a lot of different things put together’ ‘the more I think about them and say them over, the less sense they make’

The wonder of Gaia and Terra (pun) and is there more to the universe than we can conceive us? The tesseract of life. The sounds  of a boy from earth trying to be brave and trying to find the truth’

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Why Dean writes

Dean Murray talks about how he became an author.
I discovered a love of reading in the second grade and never really looked back. Over the years, I devoured everything from mysteries to science fiction, fantasy, and westerns. Unsurprisingly enough, during all of that I had the idea in the back of my mind that it would be neat someday if I could write something as entertaining as the books I was enjoying so much.
  
 I made a couple of half-hearted attempts in grade school—all of which were quite terrible—and more or less gave up on the idea until I stumbled onto some shockingly good fanfiction in college in which the author challenged his readers to write stories of their own.
  
 I accepted his challenge and proceeded to write two short novels which garnered positive responses from the people who read them, and by the time I graduated with my accounting degree I had decided that I would work in the field of accounting for just long enough to write something I could publish.
  
 An old dream had been revived, but the next two years didn't work out quite the way I'd envisioned. My drive to exceed expectations at work—combined with the need to study for the CPA exams—resulted in a lot less free time in the evenings than I'd hoped, and I made very little progress on the book that I started during that period. All of that changed when I was fired (the first and only time that's ever happened to me) from my second accounting job, and the experience left a bad enough taste in my mouth that I never wanted to go back to an accounting job.

When I left behind my decade-long career in accounting back in August of 2012 to write full-time, and people asked me why I was making such a drastic change, I often told them that I've been an avid reader ('story addict') since the second grade, and this was just something I'd always wanted to do.
  
 It wasn't a lie—I really do love stories (in fact I get myself in trouble on a regular basis by binge-watching TV shows because I'm so desperate to find out what happens next in a new series I've just discovered), but it also wasn't the full truth, but that's probably a story best left for another time.
  
 Instead, I'd like to focus on exceeding expectations. I spent nearly ten years as an accountant and six years before that in school studying, and at every step of the way I tried to exceed the expectations of first my professors and then my managers. It usually wasn't easy, and I didn't always succeed, but there was just something inside of me that cringed at the thought of merely coasting along, and that hasn't changed now that I make my living writing stories full-time.
  
 Gifted then with a surplus of time, and a renewed determination to make it as a writer, I wrote Frozen Prospects and The Greater Darkness (along with most of the sequel to Frozen Prospects, a book that would be titled Thawed Fortunes) in a white-hot burst of creativity that lasted for three or four months. I racked up three or four thousand words a day, six days a week, and then after what I can see in hindsight was an insufficient editing effort, I started submitting my manuscripts to agents.
  
 That process was surprisingly difficult. It wasn't just the rejection—which I'm sure you've all experienced in some way or another—it was the fact that so often I never heard anything at all back from the people I was submitting to.
  
 To make a long story short, I eventually realized that writing wasn't going to pay my bills soon enough and accepted another accounting job. Somewhere along the way I realized that I no longer really believed I was ever going to get published. That was a pretty soul-crushing realization given just how unhappy I was at that third job, but fate intervened shortly after that when a co-worker said that her friend wouldn't shut up about some 'Twilight' book.
  
 I still loved to read, and upon finding myself in the bookstore without anything else that was catching my eye, I hunted down Twilight and purchased it—all without any idea of what I was getting myself into. I devoured both Twilight and New Moon in less than twenty-four hours and then went online to find out when the next book would be out.
  
 More than just the story of a normal girl thrust into a dangerous world that lurked just beneath the surface of the one that everyday people see, the story of how Stephenie Meyer published Twilight sparked my imagination. The idea of someone having a dream, writing it down, and then going on to expand on that initial scene until she had a completed manuscript which sold for what was being reported at the time as the first million-dollar advance in the field of young adult fiction rekindled my hope that someday I could make a living entertaining people.
  
 My day job hadn't gotten any less difficult, but even before Eclipse came out, I sat down to write my next novel, the first in a new series that I knew almost from the start needed to be set in the same world as The Greater Darkness.
  
 I tried to capture some of the same elements that had sucked me in so completely with Twilight. I wanted to take a normal girl—Adri—and thrust her into a world nobody else knew about, one where she had a chance at finding true love, but one that was much more obviously dangerous than Bella Swan's world. I added in an element of uncertainty regarding who Adri could trust, pushed her into the middle of a war that had been going on for nearly half a decade, and then created a new mythos for an old supernatural group, complete with legends of their own and a big chunk of things that wouldn't become important until much later in the series and mixed it all together until I had Broken.
  
 Broken is a lot of things, but more than anything else—for me at least—it's the book that got me started writing again after I'd given up. Without Broken, I'm fairly sure that I would have given up on writing altogether and I never would have met so many amazing readers who love Adri, the Sanctuary Pack, and all of the rest of my characters just as much as I do.
  
 I'm incredibly grateful that Twilight came into my life when it did, and that I stumbled onto the story of how it came about, because it's one of the key reasons that I am where I am today. It really did change the course of my life.
  
 Looking at the way small events can sometimes have a big impact on someone's future is actually one of the things I love most about writing.broken

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dean-Murray/e/B004F8CC7W

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Is White Good or Bad?

How many auras can you see? Unless you are a magician, probably none. But if you are a magician well…  White is a colour not seen before so the paranormal elders have no idea just who or what a person with a white aura is, except that she is exceptional and different.

Here we have a coming of age into powers story of a young girl who just doesn’t know who she really is and what can be expected of her.

A debut novel for the author and thus one can forgive the story-line being similar to many others, but I expect this author to develop as she writes more.

I received this free book in exchange for an honest review

 

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Writing a diary helps history

Precocious Ruby really wants to be a boy and to play cricket. On the Oval Maiden in Bombay – or Mumbai as some call it now, where there are always several games underway. Boys I India play the great game as soon as they can walk, on any piece of roughly flat ground, with anything that they can imagine is a bat. No wonder they are so good at it. It is a national obsession.

This prequel novel tells us about how Ruby grew up between the ages of 10-16. The formative age for young girls as they turn into grumpy and rebellious  teenagers.

The Upper Middle Class way of Indian life is described in this novel – the rigid behaviours expected of  the females and the way their social life is prescribed and limited. Here we also find out about the servants, the car drivers – in India, you employ a driver as soon as possibly can – driving on their roads is hazardous and difficult and full of traffic jams and pollution, so you really need to be in the back of, preferably – an air-conditioned car. 

But if you are a tourist like I have been (several times), or a local with little money, of course you hire the the small taxis aka tuk-tuks -and are very well exposed to the dirt, smells and pollution, but at a very cheap money rate! However, you also get to see all the scenery and buildings and life that is happening at the side of the road. However, sometimes, the drivers are a little crazy, such as the time when I have been driven on the pavement instead of the road as the jams are too big and these little ... can fit on a –wider – pavement – beware if you are a pedestrian as they will take no notice of you!

In the diaries we also find out about the match-making aunties – who may not be really related to you at all – all older women who are not related but who visit your mother are usually referred to as Aunties out of politeness, but they are usually interfering and often snobbish, but with no ill intent. They will comment on your behaviour, your appearance, your dress, your attitudes and on you generally and will attempt to corral you into a limited version of the life that boys can lead. 

And Ruby doesn’t want to be a ‘girl’ in the Indian sense. She wants more freedom than is being offered especially in a male oriented and male worshipping way of life where girls are largely ignored until they can form alliances that assist the family.

This story told me nothing new about the Indian way of life, or Mumbai, but for someone unfamiliar with this culture it would be enlightening. So for me it was 3.5 stars but for readers new to the culture it would be 4, maybe even 4.5 stars.

An honest review for Laxmi’s Street Team.

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