So you’ve written a book. Congratulations! 


Assuming you want to take it to the next step and not leave your characters locked away in your computer for only a few of your close friends or family members to meet, you’re probably wondering what to do next with your new masterpiece. Publication may be your dream, but how do you get there? It might seem like an overwhelming process.
I’ve been there too! Here are some suggestions and resources that have helped me, and that I hope will be just as helpful to you, in your journey into publication as a new author. (For your convenience, all links open in new tabs.) I’ve tried to list them in an order that makes sense, but in some cases, you may prefer to skip around or just plain skip some that might not apply to you.

1.) Banish those Assumptions

Maybe you already know how publication works and what being a published author is like. Or maybe you just think you do ….

Ten Things That Might Surprise an Unpublished Author

This little article by Denise Moncrief may burst your bubble. But it’s always better to know the truth so we can figure out how best to deal with the reality, right?

2.) Outline and Structure Your Novel

If you really have finished writing the book, this step probably won’t be necessary. But if you’re wondering if all your scenes are truly in the best order or whether the progression of your plot makes sense, here are a few helpful links you’ll want to check out. (Or bookmark them for when you’re ready to start planning the sequel!)

A Quick-Start Guide to Story Structure Methods

Janeen Ippolito lists and explains a number of different ways to outline a story’s structure. She includes diagrams and links to books that go into more detail about the different methods.

6 Ways to Outline Your Novel Faster

K.M. Weiland presents six quick suggestions for story outlining. Unlike the ones in Ippolito’s list, they aren’t really complete methods as such. They’re more like possible angles of approach.

Personally, I can highly recommend two books about plot outlining that I now use with every novel I write. Clicking on the pictures below will take you to the Amazon pages where you can find out more about the books and order them if you’d like to. I promise, they’re worth it!


3.) Choose a Title

Perhaps you already have a title for your book. But if you haven’t decided on one yet, here are some suggestions to consider.

How to Choose a Book Title That’s Perfect for Your Story AND Good Marketing!

K.M. Weiland explains why the right title matters so much and puts forth three ways to pick a good one.

How to Choose the Right Book Title

Anne R. Allen presents three different ways to choose the right title. (She also has an interesting list of famous books and their little-known original titles.)

20 Book-Title Hacks for Any Genre

David H. Safford suggests a whopping twenty different ways to come up with a good book title: everything from making it a story symbol to using a famous quotation.

3 Book Title Mistakes that will Murder Your Marketing Efforts

Using the right or wrong kind of title can have a big impact on how many people buy your book. Dave Durden explains how. 

4.) Start Building a Platform

An author platform is important for anyone who wants to sell books to more than just their personal friends and family. Even if your book isn’t ready for publication yet, it’s never too early to start building your platform through your website/blog, on social media, etc.

Building an Online Presence: Websites, Blogs, and Social Media for Authors

This is a collection of information about starting a website or a blog, along with different types of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube, and LinkedIn) and how authors can use each one. There’s even a link to an article about what to do if you don’t have (or want) a social media presence at all.

5.) Join an Author Group
I cannot overemphasize how much this will help you. If you don’t have a physical group of local authors to be a part of (or even if you do), find an online one (or two, or three, or four …). Try searching Facebook for “authors” or “author group _____” (your genre). If you end up in a group without much interaction, or where people spend most of their time just advertising their books to each other, find a new group. Joining some excellent Facebook author groups has helped me more than anything else as an author. They are a great place to share ideas, ask questions, and support each other in our journeys as writers. You can also ask around in author groups for beta readers, editors, cover artists, etc.

The following groups may or may not be a fit for you and your books, but here are a few that I have personally found helpful. Below each one, I’ve included excerpts from the group’s description on Facebook. If nothing else, they’ll show you some examples of what’s out there.

Clean Indie Reads

Finally! A book / author group that isn’t just a post-and-run! We are here to offer real, useful support. Welcome to the workplace that feels like home.
CIR is a group for INDIE AUTHORS of FLINCH-FREE FICTION (no explicit sex or violence and limited swearing). We’re here to support each other in the whole process of writing/publishing/marketing quality indie books.
Use this Google spreadsheet of service options to see if we’re a good venue for you. 

Iron Sharpening Iron

This group is a place for open exchange for authors, would-be authors, or just fans of Christian speculative fiction. Here we exchange ideas, brainstorm, swap experience and advice about navigating the difficult road of being a Christian author in a predominantly secular genre.

Before requesting to join, please be aware we have three requirements for joining, which you will be asked to affirm:1) That you are a Bible-believing Christian2) That you are (or are working to become) a Christian Author, or are an enthusiastic fan and reader, in the Speculative Fiction genre3) That you are willing to try and be an ACTIVE member.
This is a CHRISTIAN group run by biblical principles. The idea behind the group: Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.” It is not by placation and empty praise that we learn and grow, but it is by godly brothers and sisters, practicing “truth in love” that we can learn and grow together to improve our collective witness for Christ in the literary world. May the Lord bless you all in your work.

Christian Indie Authors
Christian writers with works not openly Christian are welcome! Please alert us to language, sex, or violence when sharing or asking for a review. Liberty in Christ can give different standards. Share what you can.
Please don’t post and run. Take a moment; offer assistance to a fellow Indie. Share a book; answer a question. We are a family.
To share blogs etc you must be an active member. What is active? It’s talking. It’s taking a few seconds to share a post. It’s being a part of our family. Not everyone is going to post. We have members 
who just read.

Christian Indie Authors Tweet Exchange

There will be a daily thread for you to post a direct link to your tweet (promoting your book). If you need directions on how to do this, please see the file titled “Directions.” After you have posted your link for the day in the thread, please follow everyone else’s link that they have posted and re-tweet for them. You will have to be logged into Twitter to do this. Please check back during the day so you have re-tweeted for everyone. Please limit your links to 2 per day. Happy retweeting! Hashtag is #CIANCW

This might be helpful, too:

60+ Facebook Groups for Authors – Promote Your Books, Blogs, and More
Shelley Hitz lists groups of readers, groups of writers, groups specifically for sharing discounted books, etc.

6.) Enlist Beta Readers

Beta readers are people who read through your book before it is published for the purpose of giving constructive feedback.

All About Beta Readers: 7 Ways They Can Improve Your Book

In this thorough article, Anne R. Allen talks all about why beta readers are necessary, where to find them, what kinds of people are likely to make good beta readers, etc.

Revise It! Recruiting and Using Reader Feedback

Janeen Ippolito lists different types of readers, along with suggestions for recruiting the most helpful ones and utilizing their feedback.

What to Ask Your Beta Reader

It’s helpful to give beta readers questions to answer as they read your manuscript. Author Valerie Comer has a great list of questions. You’ll want to add to them with specific questions about your own story and characters.

5 Steps to a Thorough Book Edit

Once you hear back from your beta readers, try implementing Liberty Spiedel’s suggestions for how to utilize their feedback.

7.) Edit and Proofread
There’s way too much to say about these essential steps to put it all here. 

Editing and Proofreading: DIY Tips and Professional Resources

This blog post is a compilation of the best editing and proofreading advice I’ve found, along with links to some professional editors’ and proofreaders’ sites. DO NOT EVEN THINK OF SKIPPING THESE STEPS! No matter how good a writer you are, your manuscript still needs to be edited and proofread.

8.) Decide if You Want Illustrations
I don’t mean a cover picture (we’ll “cover” that separately, pun intended). Not all books need inside art, but if you’re writing certain genres (like children’s fiction or some types of nonfiction), you’ll probably want some. Many authors also like to have pictures of their characters to use in blog posts and promotional materials, even if they don’t end up in the book itself. 

Awesome Illustrators: A Collection of Artistic Resources for Authors

Here’s a list of some illustrators who have been personally recommended by authors I know. You can see some samples of their artwork under their names, along with links to their websites. Of course, a web search with your specific genre will turn up many more.

9.) Decide Whether Your Book Needs a Map

Most books don’t. But if you’re writing historical fiction, fantasy, or science fiction, it might be helpful (and fun) to include one at the beginning. Several of the illustrators at the link above also do maps. If you prefer to make your own, check out the links below.

Fantasy MapMaking Tutorial

In this video, Jessica Khoury shows how to make your own map. It’s part 1 of 5, so don’t forget to go on to her other 4 videos when you’re done.

10 Rules for Making Better Fantasy Maps

Lauren Davis has some great points that you should keep in mind before you start.

10.) Create a Cover (or Hire a Cover Artist)

Obviously, every published book (ebook or paperback) needs a cover. 

The Perfect Cover for Your Book

In this blog post, I include links to dozens of helpful resources about cover design. Whether you plan to make your own cover or hire a professional, you should be certain you know these basic principles. Do you have an artistic friend you hope will help you out? Don’t assume they’ll be awesome at making book covers just because they’re an awesome artist. Pass on this info to them to make sure they know what’s expected in book cover design. I’ve also included a list of professional cover artists and the websites where you can check out their services and contact them.

11.) Decide How to Publish Your Book

Do you plan to self-publish, or do you hope to have your book traditionally published by a major publishing company or small press? Warning: for a new author, landing a contract with a major publisher is almost impossible. Getting a small press interested is a little more likely but can still be quite difficult. Self-publishing is easy, as long as you’re willing to put in the work. 

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing: Which is Better?

This article by Gary Smailes is long but well worth the read. Basically, it tells everything you need to know about how both options work, including their pros and cons. It also talks about agents. I highly recommend reading it before you make your choice.

Whatever you do, DON’T fall prey to a “vanity press” promising to publish your book for you! These are organizations that charge unsuspecting newbie authors huge amounts of money – often thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars – and in return may provide them with an ebook and hundreds or thousands of paperback copies that the author is usually responsible for selling. Most authors only make a fraction of their money back and end up with a basement full of unsold books gradually yellowing with age. If in doubt about whether a publishing company is reputable or not, it’s a good rule of thumb not ever to go with anyone who makes you pay upfront for their “services”. Reputable publishers make their money by taking a percentage of what you make in sales after the book is published, not by charging you for their work.

Beware of Sharks in Publisher’s Clothing

Judith Briles explains how to spot and avoid such publishing predators.

12.) Write a Blurb

You will need a blurb to go on the back cover of your book. Even if you only plan to publish an ebook, the blurb is the description that will go on Amazon or other retailers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a blurb is simply a summary of the story – there’s much more (and in some ways, much less) to it than that!

How to Write a Book Blurb (and a Synopsis, Logline, and Tagline)

In this blog post, I’ve compiled a list of resources for blurb writing. You’ll need to have your blurb ready before you go on to the next two steps, so these should be helpful.

13.) Format and Publish Your Book as an eBook

There are a number of platforms out there for publishing ebooks. To start with, you’ll definitely want to make your book available on Amazon, since it’s the biggest by far. (However, I suggest not actually completing the publishing process until you’ve considered the “wide vs. narrow” issue discussed a couple of links down in this list.)

How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Sale on Kindle without Hyperventilating

Hey, it can be a stressful process! When I was new to indie publishing, I couldn’t find a single list of all the steps to take for formatting an ebook. I had to scour the web for each step, and it wasn’t easy! So I combined everything I eventually figured out into one list, which I still refer to every time I publish a new book. I hope it’s as helpful to you as it is to me.

Wide vs… Narrow?

Amazon offers various incentives to authors who agree to make their books exclusively available on its site. Choosing to also sell one’s books elsewhere (such as such as through Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Google Play, or Apple iBooks) is known as “going wide”. In this article, J Philip Horne discusses the pros and cons of each choice, along with more information about what’s involved.

Distributing Your Books

You can go wide by distributing your book individually to each retailer, or you can upload them to a distributor that will send them everywhere for you and consolidate your earnings. Here, J Philip Horne talks about the pros and cons of both methods.

Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital

Smashwords and Draft2Digital are the two biggest ebook distributors. Dave Chesson compares them with a handy chart and links

Aggregation without Aggravation: Pronoun and PublishDrive

Pronoun and PublishDrive are two more major ebook distributors. David Kudler compares them here and also includes links to both sites.

Smashwords has a short ebook that you can download for free with information about how to format your manuscript before uploading it to their site for distribution. Clicking on the picture below will take you to the book’s Amazon page.

Depending on where you want to upload and sell your ebook, you may first have to save the file as a mobi or an epub. 

To save your file as a mobi (needed for publishing as a Kindle book) or an epub (needed for publishing on most other platforms), I recommend using Calibre. Simply click on the link above and download the program (for free). You’ll need to save your Word doc as a PDF first, then use Calibre to change it to a mobi or epub. There are places online to convert documents similarly, but some of them mess up the formatting, title, etc. Calibre is reliable and highly recommended by many professionals.

14.) Format and Publish Your Book as a Paperback

There are several POD (print on demand) companies out there that are easy for authors to use, but you’ll want to pick just one. KDP Print and Ingram Spark are the main ones. (Again, I suggest not actually completing the publishing process until you’ve considered item #13 on this list.)

DIY: Print on Demand 101

Daniel Lefferts and Alex Daniel talk about 6 POD companies and the differences between them.

How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Paperback Publication through KDP Print

My personal experience is with KDP Print (formerly CreateSpace). In this blog post, I offer step-by-step instructions for how to format your manuscript to make a professional-looking paperback, and then how to upload and publish it through the KDP website.

15.) Plan Your Book Launch

Sending a new book out there into the world is a big deal! But don’t plan on just clicking the final “publish” button and sit back waiting for the sales to roll in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You have to put the word out about your book, and ideally, that process should start before the book is published.

You should try to get people to review your book as soon as possible after it’s available for purchase (the day of, if possible). To do this, you will need to contact possible reviewers beforehand and offer them a free (yes, free!) copy of your book in exchange for an honest review. (I recommend offering digital copies only if you’re on a tight budget, but be aware that some reviewers will only accept paperbacks.) Asking around in your author groups often works, but for long lists of book bloggers, check out these two links (of course, make sure you only contact reviewers who have expressed an interest in your genre):

The Book Blogger List

The Indie Reviewers List

5 Steps for Crafting the Perfect Book Review Pitch

In this article “BookGal” has some great tips for actually contacting reviewers.

Book Review Banzai
Jason B. Ladd offers an entire course on how to get far more book reviews than you would get just by contacting reviewers the normal way. I’ve taken the course myself, and I can recommend it. Or, if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you could just read his book by the same title and apply the principles he explains. (Clicking on the picture below will take you to the Amazon page where you can read more about the book or purchase it.)

Creative Book Launches that Command Attention
In this article, author Angela Ackerman suggests a number of fun approaches and strategies to launching a book in a way that will attract attention and generate sales.

Ten Tips to Have a Successful Book Release Party on Facebook

Many authors use Facebook to hold fun events on their book’s release day. Victoria Holt gives a clear and succinct list for how to make that work, and work well.

Marketing Your Book with Press Releases

Another book launch strategy some authors use is to send press releases to newspapers and other publications. Connie Dunn explains how it works, where to find periodicals’ contact information, and how to compose a good press release.

How I Put Together My Great Big Blog Tour and Giveaway

Personally, I like setting up blog tours for my new books. This method works best if you already have connections with bloggers who write about book-related topics. If you have joined any author groups, as suggested in step 5 above, some of your fellow authors will probably be willing to host your book. In this post, I explain the method I used to put together one particular blog tour, which I combined with a giveaway to attract more interest.

How to Create a Global URL for Your Book

When you start sending your book’s Amazon link to newspapers, reviewers, potential buyers, etc., there’s an important point to consider. Amazon has different stores for different countries. When you make your book available on Amazon, it will automatically show up in Amazon’s online store in Italy, Japan, Australia, and Brazil (to name a few), along with the one in America. But your book’s page in each of those stores requires a different link. So if you’re in the US and you give your link to someone in, say, Canada; and if that person clicks on it to take a look at your book, they will see an error message that tells them to log into the Amazon Canada site instead of the Amazon US site. But once they log in, they will no longer be on the page where they can see your book. Of course they can still find it by searching, but not everyone will bother to do that, and you may lose sales to international readers. To solve the problem, you can create a “global URL” that will take anyone who clicks on it to your book’s page in the Amazon store that matches their geographical location. I have included screenshots with these step-by-step instructions to show you how to do that.

16.) Celebrate! But Keep Marketing

If you’ve made it through this list (or even most of it), congratulations! That’s an amazing accomplishment! You have brought a book into the world and worked hard to achieve a goal that to many people is only a distant dream. Now go out and treat yourself to something special. You deserve it!

But … don’t rest on your laurels. In order to get consistent sales, you will need to continue marketing your book indefinitely. Make a plan and keep following it!

71 Ways to Promote and Market Your Book

Kimberley Grabas has a great list here. Many of her suggestions don’t cost anything.

Author Marketing Checklist

The Author Marketing Club has a great list of things you can try. Some of them are ones I’ve already mentioned in this post, but there are plenty of new ones. Best of all, each item on their list comes with a little video that shows you how to do it.

The Ultimate Guide to Book Marketing

Diana Urban has a very thorough list here. Like this blog post, it’s made up mainly of links to helpful articles and resources. Hers are divided into categories like “before you publish”, “after the book launch”, etc. Again, some of them have been covered here, but not all.

Wooing Book Buyers to Get Your Book Into Stores

Want to see your paperback for sale in actual brick-and-mortar bookstores? Amy Collins explains how to make it happen.

Working with Bookstores
Once your book is in a brick-and-mortar bookstore, how do you get customers to notice it and buy it? Amy Collins offers some great suggestions.

Free Promo Sites for 99 Cent Books

One of the best ways to get potential buyers to notice your ebook is to temporarily discount it (or even to make it free for a few days at a time). You can do this on your KDP Bookshelf. But you’ll want to make sure to advertise your discounted or free book to some of the sites that alert readers of good deals. In this post, I list (to the best of my knowledge) every single book promo site out there that will promote your discounted ebook at no cost to you. I have created three more posts with similar lists for free books and for sites that charge for their services; you’ll find them at the top when you click on the link. (I update the lists often, so keep checking back!) 

I hope this post has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or additional suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments. 
I wish you all the best in your journey as an author!

Do you need interior illustrations for your book? What about pictures of your characters for your blog or social media? Or a map for that historical fiction, sci-fi, or fantasy novel? I’ve compiled a list of artists that have been personally recommended by authors I know. I’m sure you’ll find some here who will meet your authorly needs! (Some may also be willing to design book covers as well, but if you’re looking for a list specifically of book cover designers, click here.) Clicking on the illustrators’ names or the pictures will take you to their websites, where you can see many more samples of their work.

Michael Adams

“Michael Adams is a free-lance illustrator, designer and a fine artist. He has illustrated numerous children’s books with traditional publishers and self-published authors and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. His illustration subject matter and mediums vary from realistic to humorous and painted in watercolor and digitally.”
from As Proud as a Peacock … a book of similes by Michael Adams

TessaKay Illustrations

“I consider it my job to make ideas come to life. So I generally blend several different mediums to make sure the author’s project comes out perfectly. A lot of my work is done as a mix of watercolor and digital painting…that might be anything from a book cover, to a fantasy map as an interior illustration. Nothing is out of the question!”

“Lack of Focus” by TessaKay
Raw Spoon
I do digital art made to look like natural mediums. I do a lot of pen and ink with watercolor coloring. Also rough texture paper cutouts.”

a sampling of Raw Spoon’s work in book illustrations, band posters, and other pieces

Maps and More
When I have time to do freelance work, I create digital maps and floorplans for games and books. My main tool is the mapping software Campaign Cartographer, but I also use Photoshop and Illustrator as needed.”

The World of Edyn from “Mythborn: Fate of the Sovereign” (Book 1 of the Mythborn Saga) by Vijay Lakshman

Polina Gortman
“If you are looking for warm and fuzzy illustrations brimming with love and set in magical worlds, then Polina Gortman is the one to help you. Polina renders her adorable creatures in watercolor and colored pencil.”

An illustration from “Mommies and babies” illustration series
Joanna Marie Art
“Joanna Marie Art provides custom pen and ink drawings of maps and interior art for novels. Her illustrations are clean lines of varying thickness with an artsy and whimsical feel.”
“Jenny”, illustration for K.M. Weiland’s Storming
Mikey Brooks
I’m an award winning illustrator that loves to explore all genres of art but I specialize in children’s art. I do anything from chapter headers to fully illustrated books, even maps. I believe words and art together tell the best stories. Let’s create one together.”

Mikey Brooks Brings Life to Words with Art
Elk Jerky for the Soul
“I create children’s book illustrations using PhotoImpact. It allows for the application of many textures, metallics, colors, to 2 dimensional and raised shapes. They can be modified and reshaped into all kinds of people, animals, and objects, and incorporated with painted or photographic images.”

From Archibald and the Giant Philistine by Laura J. Marshall, created by Mary C. Findley with textures and images in PhotoImpact

Karmada Arts
“A manga-styled (Japanese comics) artist, who specializes in traditional materials such as pencil, ink, and art markers. Also versed in watercolors as well as some digital art, and often is found working on comic projects or illustrative works.”

The Pumpkin Witch

Bright’s Wanderings
I love to create complete and polished maps for people. You can send in the rough sketch for your book, or any place you’re fond of, and I will turn it into a detailed piece of art. Materials: Pen and white paper for a digital copy and/or I can create a hard copy to send to you (for which I use thick paper I dye with coffee and tea).”
Middle Earth on Dyed Paper

“I enjoy doing children book illustrations, cartooning, pet portraits, and animation. I am currently developing my own children book series and comics.”
cover for To Swim with Dolphins

Mythspinner Studios
I’m a fan of science fiction, space opera, dystopian fiction, fantasy (light and dark), steampunk, dieselpunk, atompunk, cozy mysteries, well-written ghost-stories, and all things mythological. My eclectic tastes reflect not only in my work but play a role in deciding what commissions I take.”

Cold Night on the Mountain

Authors, can you recommend any other artists you know who do maps or illustrations for books? Feel free to mention them in the comments, and be sure to include a link to their site!
Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

So you’ve written a book, and you’re asking yourself, “Do I really need an editor? I’m pretty good at writing, after all. I caught a few mistakes as I went through, and I don’t think there are any more. Maybe I should just save money and publish the book as is.”


Sorry to burst your bubble, but, to put it bluntly, you’re wrong. We ALL need editors! That is, certainly you can and should go through your own manuscript and search for errors. But as authors, we’re just too close to our own stories to catch everything. Trust me! It doesn’t matter if you’ve earned an “A” on every English assignment through elementary, middle school, high school, and college. It doesn’t matter if you’re a full-time writer or an English professor. NOBODY gets it all right all of the time, and that’s why professional proofreaders and editors are absolutely essential for authors.

First, some definitions. There’s more than one type of editing, after all

What’s the Difference between Line, Copy, and Content Editing?

I recommend taking a look at the article at this link. Pavarti K. Tyler explains what each kind involves and why your manuscript needs them.

At the end of this post, I’ve compiled a list of professionals you can contact for your editing and proofreading needs. In the meantime, let’s go over some tips for improving your own writing as much as you can. The more problems you find and fix, the less your editor will have to do, which will probably make the editing process cheaper, quicker, and simpler.

The following posts and articles are ones that I’ve collected from all over the internet and can highly recommend for their useful content. I recommend checking them out, bookmarking them, and referring back often throughout your writing and editing process.

19 Best Titles for Self-Editing

Corina Koch MacLeod and Carla Douglas have compiled a list of helpful books that would make great additions to your library. Best of all, they’ve organized them in categories according to the level of writing they are intended to help with: big picture, paragraph level, sentence level, word level, and some designed to provide inspiration for writers.

100 Editing and Proofreading Tips for Writers

Duncan Koerber has a lot of useful ideas here, including some on how to even approach the whole process.

The Hard Cut

These are big-picture tips relating to story structure, conflict, character motivation, etc.

How to Edit Description

Do you have too many details in your descriptions? Not enough? Jill Williamson will help you see what to do about either problem.

Hunting Down Story Holes Using a Novel Journal

David Stafford has a unique idea for how to keep track of seasons, location layout, character traits, etc. You don’t want to be inconsistent in your story!

How to Strengthen the Theme of Your Book During Edits

Does your book have a theme? Should it? Did you mean to give it one but not start thinking about it until halfway through your first draft? Stephanie Morrill will help you fix that in the editing stage.

Self-Editing Tips

Susan Uhlig has some helpful suggestions, many of which deal with the big picture of your story as opposed to tiny details.

How to Write Well: 10 Essential Self-Editing Tips

C.S. Lakin has some great tips for punctuation, grammar, and a few other issues. Each one is quick to read and easy to understand, but you’ll want to go back through your manuscript slowly and carefully to check that you’re applying them as well as you can.


We all have words and phrases we tend to use too often without realizing it. Sporkforge will tell you what they are, along with a number of other nifty functions.

20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes

In this article, Jon Gingerich lists some common errors, especially between pairs of words that are commonly mixed up (like “continually” vs “continuously”). Better yet, he explains why the right one is the right one for each certain context. It would be a good idea to read through the list, and if anything there surprises you, search for that word in your manuscript and make sure you’ve used it correctly.

Grammar Girl’s Editing Checklist

Another great list of types of mistakes to look for in your writing. You may even want to print this one out and keep it by your computer for reference.

ProWritingAid Review: Is It Worth It?

ProWritingAid is similar to Grammarly, but many authors and editors feel it’s better. Check out this review by Kindlepreneur’s Dave Chesson, whose valuable insights into many aspects of writing, editing, and publishing have helped me a lot in my own self-publishing journey. You might find that ProWritingAid is just what you need to take your own editing to the next level.

So, what happens after you’ve done everything you can to edit your own manuscript? Time to turn to the professionals.

Choosing the Right Book Editor

How do you know which editor will work best for you? ChatEBooks has some great suggestions. After you read them, scroll down and browse the list of editors, and check out some of their websites to see what services they offer and who might be right for you.

5 Questions Every Indie Author Must Ask Before Hiring an Editor

Once you’ve found a few editors who look like a good fit for your book, A. Denefield Jones has some good suggestions about things to ask them before you sign a contract.

And now for the list! Without further ado, here are way more editors than anyone would ever need. 🙂 Just click on their names to visit their websites. (Disclaimer: yes, the first name there is mine. 🙂 I mainly do line editing, but you can check out a full description of my services at the link.)

Annie Douglass Lima

Elise Sherman Abram

Marlene Adelstein

Kate Angelella

Blake Atwood

Judy Beatty

Jennifer Blanchard

Richard Bradburn

Keanan Brand

Grace Bridges

Ellen Campbell

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt

Sherry Kaye Chamblee

Sea Chapman

Laura Chasen

Dario Ciriello

Karen Conlin

Charity Singleton Craig

Karrie Crawford

Nat Davis

Rochelle Deans

Harry DeWulf

Christy Distler

Jill Domschot

Cathi-Lyn Dyck

Elizabeth Easter

Meredith Efken

Joshua Essoe

Elizabeth Evans

Rebecca Faith

Lorna Fergusson

Lindsay A. Franklin

Jonathan Garner

Laurel Garver

Dori Harrell

Jeffrey Hite

Jon Hudspith

Caroline Kaiser

Teresa Kennedy

Nicole Klungle

Mary Kole

Ann Kroeker

C.S. Lakin

Erin Liles

Dave Malone

Steve Mathisen

Megan Maxwell

Andrea Merrell

Katie Morford

Alex McGilvery

Leslie McKee

Fiona McLaren

Victoria Mixon

Roz Morris

Robin Patchen

Anastasia Poirier

Erin Potter

Anne Pottinger

Arlene Prunkl

Jesse Rebock

Ray Rhamey

Elizabeth Ridley

Janell E. Robish

Lauren I. Ruiz

Kevin Salveson

Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Rachelle M.N. Shaw

Lauren Spieller

Judith Keefer Tingley

Rachel Starr Thomson

Heather Turner

Amanda Valentine

Katie Vorreiter

Stephanie Aspasia Marshall Ward

Crystal Watanabe

Brenda Wilbee

Lara Willard

Ben Wolf

Linda Yezak

Carla Young

Ginny Ytrrup

Do you know any other editors you’d like to recommend? Can you think of some great self-editing tips not mentioned here? Feel free to tell us in the comments!

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels! And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name:

Hope Ann
Title of book and/or series:
Legends of Light:
Prequel: Rose of the Night
1.     Rose of the Oath
2.     Song of the Sword
3.     Shadows of the Hersweald
Brief summary of the story:
A war, founded in ancient legends, changes the lives of those it touches forever.
Elissa, a villager from the northern mountains, attempts to save her brother and ends up trapped in a hidden valley with a strange host and a treacherous enemy.
Evrard, the Wingmaster of the Prince’s army, races against his own weakening powers to discover the location of his twin and save her from deadly mistbenders.
Haydn, a pardoned rebel from Tauscher’s army, confronts shadows of myth and former comrades in his struggle to keep his sister safe and find the stolen Stormestone.
Each Legends of Light novella focuses on one of the nine aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit while also following the conflict between the Prince and Tauscher and retelling popular fairy tales in a clean, exciting, and inspiring manner.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Mountains and deserts, glittering cities and quiet villages, Aslaria has it all. From the Hersweald Forest stretching into the mountains in the north, to the Shadowfen in the south and the Silver Sea to the west, this is a world rift with unique objects such as stormestones, fen serpents, mirror dimensions, and dangerous draigynos.
If we were to visit Aslaria as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Go to Zahava, definitely. It’s a great city, the largest in Aslaria, with a huge wall separating a peninsula from the mainland. The Aber River runs through its center and spills into the Sea. It’s this exit that is the coolest part of the city, mainly due to the the King’s palace rising over the river and sprawling on either side. Great arches and pillars and cool courtyards. Battlements cast the river in a deep shade and colored draperies and narrow walkways cross the river high above. Spending an afternoon traveling down the river, then making your way to the top of the castle for the view is well worth the effort and expenditure.
What dangers should we avoid in Aslaria?
Many things—it depends where you are. To the south, one of the most treacherous dangers is the fen serpent. A nocturnal hunter, it can grow to be twenty feet in length and has a very venomous bite. In the woods to the north, you have draigynos to deal with. About ten feet long, these lithe, wingless dragons live in the treetops. Once they catch a scent and start a hunt, few things besides death can sway them. Oh, and wolves. They aren’t as bad as they used to be, but packs still roam the wilds and can be very dangerous indeed.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Aslaria?
Swords and daggers are common weapons, along with the bow. The definition of a fair fight will shift depending on where you travel, however. City-folk tend to expect an announcement of hostility and a chance to prepare themselves. Out in the villages and mountains, the victor will win his cause by stealth, treachery, smoke powder, or all-out strength—whatever happens to be handy.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Aslaria?
Horses or feet, normally. And small boats, of course, for those who dare brave the rivers. I have heard rumors of griffins to the east but have yet to discover if there really are any still alive or if they are only legend.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Aslarai that we don’t see on Earth?
I’ve already mentioned the fen serpents and draigynos. There are also the dragoss reeds to the south. A leathery, yellowish plant, the fibers can be shredded and woven into a sturdy rope.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Aslaria?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic… ehhh. It depends how one uses the word. There are certainly things we can’t do or don’t have in this world. Take Stormestones. These glowing rocks are the heart of a select number of mountains. A Keeper can break off pieces of this stone, fill them with rain, and carry them elsewhere to provide rain where there is none. At least that is what they were made to do, but many men have turned them into weapons and now they have almost vanished.
There is also the Melody Realm. An alternate mirror dimension, the Wingmaster can view the undercurrent of light and darkness that most Aslarians can sense, but not see. Using his song, he can hold the darkness at bay, fighting invisible battles that can affect the whole land.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Aslaria?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
Some. Take smoke power. An unoriginal name, I grant you, but sprinkle and light a pile of this and soon you’ll have enough smoke to veil your movements. Some men have even claimed to be able to combine it with a flash powder, allowing one to throw a handful in the air and envelope themselves in a cloud of smoke.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Aslaria as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
The days are numbered from first to seventh, and the months are numbered according to their season. They run similar to earth’s months, however. Oath Day is celebrated each year near the beginning of spring—an event that recognizes the King’s Oath to save those of Aslaria from Tauscher’s hold.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Aslaria?  Please describe what it involves.
The religion isn’t very structured—it is more in the larger cities than in the villages. Those who follow the King meet to speak of His writings and to remember His promise in the King’s Oath. They trust that the Prince will come and defeat Tauscher, destroying the Stieg der, and they try to follow the King’s law as best they are able.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit?
Betrothal is done in the form of exchanging bracelets. Silver is most common, though the materials might be cheaper if one is poor or quite lavished if you are a nobleman. A young man wanting to court a lady will leave a ribbon in her hair or tucked in her glove, normally at some dance. If she accepts him, she’ll tie it around her wrist, at which point he’ll come and replace it with a bracelet. Otherwise she might return it or (as some girls are known to do) keep the ribbon in a collection of their own.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
Mist. I love mist, so I used it quite a bit in Song of the Sword. I also like to take the names and a very slight tint of a culture for my books. Rose of the Oath has a German/Saxon slant. With Song of the Sword, I went with French and when I got to Shadows of the Hersweald, I delved into Welsh names and a rougher type of feel.
Author Autobiography:
Hope Ann is a speculative fiction writer who lives on a small farm in northern Indiana. She has self-published three Legend of Light novellas and writes regular articles for Kingdom Pen as the Writing Team Captain. Reading since the age of five, and introducing herself to writing at age eight, she never had a question that the author’s life was the life for her. Her goal is to write thrilling Christian fantasy and futuristic fiction — stories she longed for while growing up. After graduating from homeschool, Hope now teaches writing to several of her eight younger siblings. She loves climbing trees, archery, photography, Lord of the Rings, chocolate, and collecting shiny things she claims are useful for story inspiration.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?  Please include links.
All three of my books are in Kindle format. They will be available in one print book this fall. You can find the various formats below:
Where can readers connect with you online? 
Visit my website at, or follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Aslaria.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Renegade’s Redemption
By Stacy Henrie

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops

you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch – Note from the Author
Ever since sharing some of Tex’s story in my last Love Inspired Historical book about his twin brother Tate, I’ve eagerly anticipated the chance for readers to get to know Tex better—through his own story this time. A legendary, charismatic outlaw, Tex was a fun and complex character to write. So, too, was his reunion with the girl he left behind eight years ago Ravena Reid.
Hearts & Scribbles – Character Descriptions 
An identical twin, Tex looks just like his brother Tate with their matching blue eyes and brown hair, but their similarities end there. Tex is charming, fun-loving, and never in one place for long. But when he realizes Ravena needs help with her farm, he offers to stay and help, if only to atone for leaving her behind years ago. In the process, he comes to face-to-face with his past, his mistakes, and his long buried faith. Before long he’ll have to make the toughest decision of his life—to stop running or not from everyone, including himself. 
“This story was such an amazing journey for me. Filled with rich characters, precious children, a wounded past, and best of all…forgiveness and a second chance at love.
THE RENEGADE’S REDEMPTION was impossible to put down. I read the entire book in one sitting, it’s that good. “
Heidi Reads… – Review
“I loved the various personalities of the orphans that Ravena cares for and how it shows her compassionate nature. She struggles with her long-held feelings for Tex and forgiveness of others and self is a big theme in the story. There is some action as Tex’s outlaw background catches up with him but I appreciated that he came to terms with it of his own volition before he was forced to by circumstances. Lovely romance between a stalwart young woman and a charming rogue!”
I Am A Reader – Excerpt
“Ravena,” Tex called as she reached the door.

She blew out a sigh and turned to face him. “Yes?”

“Thank you for this. But you said one night and I won’t stay longer than that.”

Gripping the edges of the tray until they dug into her palms, she willed the words she wanted to say to reach her lips. Yes, Tex, you have to leave. I have enough concerns right now, without worrying about you and the fragileness of my heart. – An Old Flame
Can past hurts be overcome and forgiven in order to have a second chance at love? In my newest Love Inspired Historical book, that’s what Tex Beckett and Ravena Reid must decide.
Tex and Ravena grew up together on neighboring farms in Idaho. They were inseparable friends, though Tex’s twin brother Tate often tagged along with them. As they grew older, Tex and Ravena realized their friendship had developed into something more. Though different in temperament—Ravena is far more serious, and Tex is fun-loving and eager for adventure—they complemented each other and shared a deep love.
“This Historical fiction is full of action, suspense, drama and romance. The reader will be unsure of the ending until the last pages. The characters are defined well and the reader feels very endeared to them. The background scenes are portrayed well. The story steadily flows smoothly until the very end. The reader’s interest is held throughout the tale.”
“Vivid characters with lots of personality join forces with swoony romance, adorable children, and a heartfelt message of redemption and restoration. Stacy Henrie is skilled at knowing the right combination of each of those elements to achieve a ‘just right’ balance and a smooth story. If you’re a fan of stories set in the late 1800s West then you need to definitely make time to read Stacy Henrie’s books as well!'”
“Stacy Henrie has done it again! Her novel Renegade’s Redemption is simply splendid!! This western romance is filled with plenty of adventure and romance that readers will not want to miss. In addition there are themes of inspiration, forgiveness, and redemption that will tug at the heartstrings of readers. . . . This sweet historical romance novel is a fantastic sequel to The Outlaw’s Secret that readers will adore.”
“I enjoyed the gentle chemistry between these two and the way they each worked through trust issues. I love the descriptions of their every day lives and the way the past and present fit together. There are many things to be resolved and through journeys of self-discovery and responsibility, a satisfying conclusion resulted.”
Mel’s Shelves – Review
” I devoured it quickly and love the way it all came together! I love Stacy Henrie’s writing style and she is quickly becoming a favorite author! If you enjoy clean historical romance, you will want to read both of these books!”
“Tex and Ravena were great characters. The book flowed gently and easily, weaving in daily life events with the rekindling of friendship and love. The children in this book were a fantastic addition and really gave the story a feeling of family and love.”
Wishful Endings – Excerpt
For one moment, Tex knew the familiar thrill of a clean escape. Then the sheriff shot at him again. This time the bullet found purchase. It struck Tex in his right side, and his body jerked hard to the left in reflexive response. He clung to the horse with trembling arms to keep from falling as searing fire registered through his shock.
Paulette’s Papers – Five Fun Facts about The Renegade’s Redemption
1. The final scenes of this book take place on Independence Day. And while I knew the release date for the book was in July 2017, I didn’t pay much attention to which day. So it was serendipitous and lots of fun when I realized it was releasing on Independence Day.
“The road for this unlikely pair seemed impossible, and I loved how everything was resolved. . . . I enjoyed The Renegade’s Redemption very much and look forward to much more from Stacy Henrie.”
“The Renegade’s Redemption is a sweet historical romance with strong themes of forgiveness and trusting in God. The story begins and pretty much ends with a bang, and the pages in between are sure to keep readers anxiously turning them to find out what happens with Tex, Ravena, and the orphans.”
Cafinated Reads – Review
“This is a truly wonderful story of seeking one’s faith, relying on God, forgiveness and redemption. Ms. Hernie will steal you away with this book and leave you wanting more instantly! This 5 star book is the second in a series, and while I wasn’t confused and it could be easily read as a stand alone, I do plan to go back and read book 1 and see where it all began with Tex. Hats off to this talented author who is now on my favorites list!!”
Brooke Blogs – Review
“I really enjoyed this sweet story. I quickly found myself attached to the characters and immersed in the setting. I loved this story so much. The setting and time period was just perfect. The Renegade’s Redemption is well-written and a quick read. If you are looking for a sweet, clean romance, give this one a try. You won’t regret it.”
And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven’t already…

The Renegade’s Redemption
by Stacy Henrie
Inspirational Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 288 pages
July 1st 2017 by Love Inspired Historical

Refuge for the Outlaw
When Tex Beckett arrives at Ravena Reid’s farm, he’s eight years too late for the elopement they’d once planned—and it’s far too early to win her forgiveness. He’s seriously wounded, though, and she can’t turn him away, though she knows better than to trust him. Yes, it’s wonderful having help with the farm, and with the orphans she fosters, but if she opens her heart, she’ll get hurt again when he leaves. And Tex always leaves.
As a notorious bank robber, Tex is used to danger. Yet reuniting with the only woman he’s ever loved is the riskiest thing he’s ever done. All he wants is to stay with Ravena and the children. But can he build a new start before his past catches up with him?

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
Other Books in the Series
The Outlaw’s Secret
by Stacy Henrie
Christian Historical RomancePaperback & ebook, 288 pages
February 7th 2017 by Love Inspired Historical
Lawman in Disguise 
Getting taken hostage by a gang of train robbers wasn’t in dime novelist Essie Vanderfair’s plans, but interviewing these men could make her career soar. Especially since the gang includes legendary outlaw Tex Beckett, better known as the Texas Titan. Tex is famed for his protection of women and children, so she’ll be fine…right? 
Keeping the gang in line was hard enough before a stubborn, beautiful writer interfered. Now Tex is scrambling to keep Essie safe, to gather evidence against the gang and most of all to hide his dangerous secrets. First, that he’s a detective working undercover. And second, that he’s not the Texas Titan at all, but Tex’s twin brother, Tate Beckett.
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances and the Of Love and War series, which includes Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids.


Tour Giveaway

– 1 winner will receive  copies of The Express Rider’s Lady and The Outlaw’s Secret, and a $10 Amazon e-gift card (US only)
1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon e-gift card (open internationally)
– Ends July 22nd

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An online platform is important for any author who wants to sell books to more than just their personal friends and family. Even if your book isn’t ready for publication yet, it’s never too early to start building your platform through your website/blog, on social media, etc. 
I’ve collected some links to articles on those topics that I hope will be helpful. Enjoy!

So You’re an Author Without a Social Media Presence: Now What?
Jane Friedman talks about how to get started. She includes a number of links to other helpful articles on specific related topics.

14 Must-Do Social Media Tips for Authors
Laurence O’Bryan gives some quick and simple general tips, many of which are applicable to more than one type of social media.

Note that you certainly don’t need to be active on every possible form of social media (and most authors don’t have the time for that, anyway)! It’s best to pick a few and focus your efforts on those. Here are some options to choose from, along with more articles you’ll find useful when it comes to your online presence as an author. I think the titles speak for themselves. 

     a.) Website

How to Build the Ultimate Author Website (in 1 Hour)

Website Tips for Authors

Author Website Templates

     b.) Blog

Blogs: Elements and Design

140 Tools and Resources for Building Your Author Website and/or Blog

13 Blog Post Ideas for Novelists

10 Ways to Promote Your Book on Your Blog

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan for Your Blog

     c.) Facebook

How to Optimize Your Facebook Author Page to Sell Books

14 Ways to Promote your eBook on Facebook

     d.) Twitter

Twitter 101 for Authors: Hashtags, Dos and Don’ts

8 Twitter Resources for Authors

5 Things for Authors to Tweet About (That Aren’t “Buy my Book!”)

     e.) Pinterest

34 Strategic Ways You Can Use Pinterest to Market Your Book and Your Author Brand

From Fun to Serious: How I Use Pinterest Differently Now

     f.) Instagram

Simple Instagram Tips for Authors

Top 7 Ways Authors are Using Instagram

How to Use Instagram as an Author Plus 10 Ways to Grow Your Account Organically

     h.) Tumblr

Tumblr for Authors: How to Get Started

Tumblr 101 for Authors

Tumblr Tips for Writers

     i.) YouTube

Video Marketing and YouTube Tips for Authors

Beyond Book Trailers: 4 YouTube Strategies for Authors

     j.) LinkedIn

The REAL Power of LinkedIn for Authors

12 Ways to Leverage LinkedIn for Book Promotion

6 Top Tips on How to Make LinkedIn Work for Authors

Authors, tell me what you think about these social media options. Do you have any tips of your own or links to other resources you’d like to share? Feel free to tell us in the comments!
BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the children’s historical fiction book written by Cheryl Carpinello, Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend. The tour will run from July 17 – August 7, 2017.


About the Book

Guinevere Dawn of Legend Cover FINAL Apple & B&N 
Title: Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend Book Two
Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Publisher: Beyond Today Educator 
Publication Date: June 21, 2017 
Number of Pages: 121 Genre: Children’s Historical Fiction 
Summary: “ Think before acting,” her father always warned. But Princess Guinevere is ruled by her heart. Her betrothal to King Arthur has not changed this. 
When Guinevere and Cedwyn’s latest adventure takes a dangerous turn, they find themselves embroiled in a life-or-death struggle as foretold by Merlyn’s Goddess of the Stones. 
Renegades—foiled in their attempt to kidnap the princess—steal the children of Cadbury Castle to sell as slaves. Guinevere and Cedwyn vow to rescue the children, but a miscalculation puts them all in more danger. The plan quickly unravels, and Guinevere’s impassioned decisions come crashing down as Cedwyn chooses to turn his dream of becoming a knight into reality. Will their courage be strong enough to survive, or will one make the ultimate sacrifice?

5-Star Review from Readers’ Favorite Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite

Children are attracted to adventure and they don’t see the risks that adults do, refusing to accept many of the limitations and rules enforced for the sole purpose of keeping children safe. Guinevere and Cedwyn are close friends and Cedwyn, although still very young, has pledged his life to protect the princess who will one day be his queen when she marries King Arthur. Being children, they have their adventures. And one such adventure to the mysterious standing stones results in magical visions and then a race for their lives. There are people intent on kidnapping Guinevere. When she out-foxes their intentions, they take the castle children instead to be sold into slavery. Guinevere insists on chasing after the kidnappers and rescuing the children. The adventure intensifies as they risk their lives and become heroes. But are they totally successful in rescuing the children? Or do they just manage to create more problems in the process.

Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend is the sequel to Cheryl Carpinello’s first Guinevere story, Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend. Both books take the fascinating Arthurian legends and create stories that will entice even the most reluctant of readers. With realistic characters and an exciting plot full of adventure, the reader will be pulled along to an unexpected conclusion, one that demands another book to complete the series. Young readers will certainly easily associate with Guinevere and Cedwyn, who, at their young age, take risks and disobey their parents, while at the same time they reach out to help others and become heroes. A great way to entice readers, even reluctant ones, to follow the adventures found in legends.

Book One – Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend


 At the dawn of Camelot, one young girl is about to take her place beside the greatest king in England’s history…. She is a mere child of twelve. But in these medieval days, this is the age when childish things must be put away and greater responsibilities accepted—all in preparation for a betrothal of marriage. For young Lady Guinevere, on the advent of her thirteenth Birth Day, the whole idea is quite unbearable. After all, what could be better than spending her youth playing with her best friend Cedwyn, roaming the grounds around the castle looking for mythical creatures or hunting rabbits? However, the wizard Merlyn—her teacher and friend—knows that destiny has a way of catching up with a person. His arrival sets in motion a series of events that will lead Guinevere to her destiny whether she is ready for it or not.


About the Author


I’m a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds.

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Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice Giveaway ends: August 7, 11:59 pm, 2017 Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Cheryl Carpinello and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to [email protected].

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Book Tour Grand Finale for
Home to Stay
By Kate James
We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch – Note from the Author
This promises to be a fun-packed tour with lots of stops along the way. Heartfelt thanks to all the bloggers who signed up for this tour. I put together a special prize-pack to recognize the terrific response. I’m looking forward to all the stops, and I hope to see you along the way!
— Kate

Heidi Reads… – Excerpt
Sawyer rolled onto his side and tucked an arm under his head. He considered drifting back to sleep for a few more minutes as he listened to the sounds of nature and the gentle flapping of canvas…

Flapping of canvas?

That wasn’t right.

He bolted up and stared at the tent flap, unzipped and fluttering in the light breeze. He immediately shifted his gaze to Dylan’s cot. From this angle and with Dylan’s form as slight as it was, he couldn’t tell if his son was in his sleeping bag. Sawyer wasn’t taking any chances. He scrambled out of his own bedroll and hurried over to Dylan’s.

The adrenaline rush had him gasping for air.

The sleeping bag was empty.
Becky on Books – Excerpt

“What are you doing here?” Sawyer demanded.

“Shannon called me.”

“What? Why?”

“She thought you shouldn’t be alone right now. But she didn’t say why. Let me bring Dylan in. We’ll get him settled in his room and then you can explain.”


His voice was hoarse from shouting his son’s name. Occasionally, he heard Meg or his father calling out, too, but without response.

Never a response.

They had to find Dylan.

Tripping over an exposed tree root, Sawyer landed hard on his hands and knees. He pushed back up to his feet, absently brushed at the grime and the blood, and moved on.
“Kate James has an impressive descriptive writing style. She makes her stories come to life in a beautiful emotional way. I love her empathy and her great skill to explore what her characters are feeling through and through. It gives all of her stories a strong foundation. True love can surprise people at the most unexpected moments, which is a subject I’m a big fan of. Home to Stay is a terrific story about this topic and the story kept surprising me. It has plenty of unexpected twists and turns and it’s captivating and really well written. I highly recommend this special book.”
“Just like in the earlier books of the series, the action and suspense happens right from the beginning and it doesn’t ease up until it’s all over. It was almost over-the-top, crazy drama–the kind that you wonder if it ever happens in real life. There’s a mystery angle that really kept me reading because I couldn’t figure out the who-done-it and what the motive was. I devoured the story and came away feeling a little emotionally exhausted and heart wrenched, yet satisfied with how the events finalized.”
Hearts & Scribbles – The Inspiration for the Story and Some Fun Research
I’m frequently asked about how I come up with my story ideas and how much of what I write is based on my own knowledge and experiences rather than research. Writing about what I know or have experienced leads to a more genuine, believable story, in my opinion. But to write convincing, diverse stories, there is always an element of research that is necessary. I’m fortunate to have a network of fascinating subject-matter experts I can draw on directly for research purposes, or to assist me in making connections to those who can.
Slice of Life – Review
“Kate James is a master of intrigue, and Home to Stay will keep you on the edge of your seat as she brings to light the agony of kidnappings and steps that can be taken to solve these crimes. Revealing much knowledge concerning the police department and canine search-and-rescue, she skillfully weaves it into her complex plot. For a romantic mystery that’s difficult to put down, pick up a copy of Kate James’s Home to Stay.”
She bent down beside them. “Ready to go home?”

“To Daddy?” he asked in a subdued voice.


His lower lip quivered and Shannon sensed he was about to start crying. “You’ll get to ride in a police car, and Darwin and I will be right there with you. Is that okay?”
Mel’s Shelves – Review
“Kate James is one of my favorite authors! This book is a great addition to her San Diego K-9 series. It wasn’t easy to figure out who took Dylan and what their motive was. I enjoyed the mystery aspect, as well as the sweet romance. I also loved catching up with characters we’ve met in other books and getting a glimpse of what they’re currently doing. Each of the books stand well on their own, but it’s definitely more fun to read them all! This is a great series for anyone that enjoys clean, contemporary romance!”
“ALL of Kate James books are very well written but I feel this one is among the best story lines. The reader is never quite sure “who did it” until the very end. The actio0on steadily “flow” as does the reader’s emotions! The characters are al very real and the scenes easily visualized. The tale of loss, grief, “moving forward”, faith, hope and forgiveness is complete.”

underneath the covers – Character Descriptions
The heroine of Home to Stay is Shannon Clemens. Shannon is a rookie officer in the San Diego Police Department K-9 Unit. Shannon had wanted to be in law enforcement since she tragically lost her little brother when she was only fourteen. The K-9 Unit is one of the hardest to get into in the police department, and Shannon is thrilled that she finally made it.
“Kate James is one of my favorite Harlequin Heartwarming authors and I love her K-9 Unit series. The dogs in these books are such a fantastic addition to the stories. This is the fourth book in the series but it can stand alone. . . . The mystery kept me interested and wondering all the way through the book. There were twists I didn’t see coming and that always makes a book more fun.”
Sawyer was rubbing his wet hair with a towel when he walked out of his bedroom, wearing dress pants, a white shirt and a sports jacket. He strode down the hall toward the living room—and stopped dead in his tracks.

Dylan was kneeling by the coffee table, a coloring book open in front of him. He had a crayon in his hand. The tip of his tongue was caught between his teeth, a sure sign that he was concentrating.

Shannon sat cross-legged at the end of the table, her back to him. Her shorts were hiked up and her slim legs glowed with her light tan. She was leaning toward Dylan and his drawing. Rufus lay stretched out on the carpet next to them, snoring softly.
Cafinated Reads – Review
“This book is filled with a little mystery, a lot of fun, and just the right amount of love. This story of letting go of the past and moving on to a new future really will pull you in. It’s a rollercoaster ride that you don’t want to miss! “
“Kate James has weaved a wonderful story, filled with heartache and fear…and love. When these two wounded people come together to bring Dylan home, they will have you cheering for them to have a happy ending of their own throughout the entire book. I would highly recommend HOME TO STAY and the rest of the K-9 series.”
Wishful Endings – Review
“HOME TO STAY is a good mix of light suspense and romance. The characters are endearing and the story emotional, with a very sweet ending. An enjoyable read from the first to the last page.”
“This book had a lot going on emotionally, so brace yourself for a roller coaster ride of emotions! Love, respect, fear, suspense, worry, excitement, happiness, sorrow, and surprise. And don’t forget there are dogs involved!! . . . Overall I felt it was a good book. It has a little bit of something for everyone. Just make sure you have your tissues nearby.”
Paulette’s Papers – Sawyer’s Single-Father Tips
Authors often incorporate topics in their books that they don’t know much about. To make their stories credible, they do research. When I was asked to write this post about Sawyer’s single-father tips, not being a single father, I naturally thought to research the topic and ask some men who are.
First, let’s acknowledge that being a single dad—or mom—is hard. So here are the top ten tips (try saying that fast ten times!! ) I came up with.
“This romantic suspense book moves very quickly, and you’ll want to keep reading to find out what happens! There are some great twists and turns that will keep you guessing. I loved the ending, and you will too! Add Home to Stay to your must-read pile of books!”
SHANNON TRIED ONE more time with Darwin, but he kept wanting to run down the road. Dylan couldn’t have walked down that road barefoot. That thought had her considering that she and Darwin had run a good two miles. How likely was it that a four-year-old could’ve walked that far, and without shoes?
Remembrancy – Review
“A sweet and enjoyable read with a strong story line filled with moments of tension and others of heart. While this is part of a series, it is easy to follow on its own. But if you’re anything like me and get invested in characters, you’ll probably want to go back and read the other books in the K-9 series. I know they’re now on my TBR list!”
” I just love how Kate James knows how to tell a great story, brings the characters to life and really love books with dogs and children in them. This is great series that each book is a stand alone, I have read one other one that is in the series and loved it too.”
“This story will not only tug at your heartstrings, but is full of twists and turns that will keep readers coming back for more. Along with the mystery there is also a bit of romance that readers will enjoy. This is an excellent addition to the K-9 series and is one readers will not want to miss!”
“Suspense, action, romance, DOGS – Home to Stay has something for everyone. The theme of rescue – adopting rescue dogs, the search-and-rescue-team, the way Sawyer and Dylan really rescued Shannon from life- was subtly woven throughout the fabric of the story. This well-crafted novel brims with personality and warmth, and readers will fall in love with the masterfully-trained canines!”
“But you think someone put him in a vehicle and…took him?” Sawyer couldn’t believe what he was hearing. If someone had found Dylan, lost and alone, surely that person would have taken him to the rangers’ office or the police by now. And if not? As he realized what she was saying, the horror of it threatened to overwhelm him. “You think he’s been…kidnapped?” he asked, his voice raw.
“This book had a lot of twist and turns that I did not expect. I was shocked yet relieved at the ending of this book. I had suspected another suspect. The caring nature of the San Diego Unit is beyond reproach and they hunt for suspects and leads till they close the case. They also care about the people in which they are trying to help. I really enjoyed this read.”

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven’t already…

Home to Stay

by Kate James
Contemporary Romance

Paperback & ebook, 312 pages
July 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She’s bringing his son home

A missing little boy triggers San Diego K-9 officer Shannon Clemens and her canine search-and-rescue partner into instant action. For the rookie cop haunted by a childhood tragedy, bringing Sawyer Evans’s son safely home is more than a job. It’s a mission she can’t fail… But forging a friendship with the father is a tactical error that could compromise her first solo assignment. Yet the deepening bond between them is almost impossible to resist…

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Other Books in the Series


About the Author

Kate spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result, Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word.

Kate’s goal is to entertain her readers with engaging stories featuring strong, likable characters. Kate has been honored with numerous awards for her writing. She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors, with their beloved Labrador Retrievers, Harley and Logan.

Kate would love to hear from you! You can connect with her by email, through her website, her Facebook pageTwitter, or mail at PO Box 446, Schomberg, ON, L0G 1T0, Canada.
Tour Giveaway

Prize Pack:
· A gorgeous aqua cross-body bag;
· “Dreamer Extraordinaire” charm bookmark;
· signed copy of When Love Matters Most, the second book in the San Diego K-9 Unit series);
· signed copy of When I Found You, the third book in the San Diego K-9 Unit series;
· an assortment of bookmarks and bookplates; and
· a $20 Amazon gift card.
· (US/CAN – if winner lives elsewhere, will receive ebooks & gift card instead)

Signed Books:

· Six winners who comment on any of the blog posts, will receive a signed book (US/CAN) of their choice from the first three books in the San Diego K-9 Unit series, When the Right One Comes Along, When Love Matters Most, or When I Found You.

Ends July 18th

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BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the beautiful children’s book written by Cat Michaels and Illustrated by Irene A. Johns, Sweet T and the Turtle Team. The tour will run from July 12 – August 9, 2017.

 About the Book



Title:  Sweet T and the Turtle Team
Author:  Cat Michaels
Illustrator: Irene A. Jahns
Publication Date: July 2017
Publisher: 2101 Ink
Number of Pages: 72
Recommended Ages: 6 to 11
Summary: It’s nesting season for loggerhead sea turtles on North Carolina’s Gull Island. Nine-year old Tara (or Sweet T as her family sometimes calls her) is determined to see hatchlings make it safely from their nests to their ocean home.Summering on Gull Island with Great Aunt Mae could be tons of fun, but T is having a hard time making new friends with island children, let alone finding kids to help her monitor a sea turtle nest.There’s little sister Jenna, but Jenna is, well, little.  Fuzzy is around, too, but Jenna’s blue stuffy rabbit gets lost all the time.  Besides,a toy bunny can’t help protect turtle nests. Tara befriends Billy, a moody island child.  He teaches her skimboarding and shows her the best shelling spots. But Billy stomps away when she asks him to read the “Turtle Team Guide” and join her in saving baby sea turtles. What’s up with Billy?  He’s nice one minute and grumpy the next.  And why does he refuse to join T’s Turtle Team?  T can’t figure him out. A tropical storm threatens Gull Island just as the sea turtle nest is ready to hatch. T must abandon the nest and prepare for bad weather.

  • Will Sweet T and her friends keep safe from the storm?
  • Will the sea turtle nest survive angry ocean waves?
  • Will Billy reveal his secret?

Dive into adventure, fun and secrets on Gull Island with“Sweet T and the Turtle Team”to find out! “Sweet T and the Turtle Team” is the third book of the Sweet T Tales Series of chapter books for early and reluctant readers by Cat Michaels, MS., Ed.  With a glossary, comprehension quiz, sea turtle hatch photo gallery, and discussion questions, “Turtle Team” delivers powerful messages about protecting marine life while helping young readers empathize with children who struggle to read.

Pre-order Now ~ Available July 21, 2017

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Take a peek inside the book…
Click here to watch the book video…

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About the Book

After duty as an ambulance driver in World War I, Ellie Morgan returns to Chicago to take up her share of the work in her grandparents’ department store. Ellie doesn’t want to alienate her family or disappoint them, but despite a six year effort to settle in, she feels increasingly trapped in store routine. Meanwhile, her grandmother urges her to marry a local politician and help him succeed in his chosen field. Ellie’s grandfather, however, wants to see her happy and independent. “Go West, young woman, go west,” he advises paraphrasing a popular quotation of the day. So with Granddad’s help, Ellie secures a job on a ranch in Colorado and sets out to prove that she has the necessary character to succeed at a third vocation.
When Aldon Leitzinger meets Ellie’s train in Clifton Colorado, he introduces himself as the foreman of the ranch. But the more people Ellie meets in the community, the more apparent it becomes that she is in demand to fill a number of roles for which she is not prepared. Desperate to prove herself, she settles in to please everyone, a task that puts her at risk of failure in every attempt at finding a new and happier life.
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About the Author

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”


DiVoran has five prizes for five people! First to go will be the beautiful art cards and then we’ll have the two eBooks. Enter below:

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At the Train Station

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She looked up into the eyes of a tall man with silver-blond hair. He held her carpetbag in one hand and a deep brown Boss of the Prairie Stetson in the other. She didn’t know yet who he was, but she knew from working in her grandparent’s department store back home, that he had good taste in hats. His frayed khaki shirt, however, looked as if it were part of a uniform from the Great War.

Tour Schedule

 July 10
Bookish Orchestrations – Tour introduction
Rebekah Lyn Books – Author Interview
Janice’s book reviews – Review
July 11
Frances Hoelsma – Book Spotlight
Rachel Rossano’s Words – Author Interview
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections – Character Interview
July 12
Shout Outs – Book Spotlight
July 13
Laurel’s Leaves – Author Interview
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae – Book Spotlight
Old Things R New – Book Spotlight
July 14
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – Book Spotlight
Stephany’s BLOG Snippets – Character Interview
July 15
Bookish Orchestrations – Giveaway Winners