DLC: Never Ask a Published Writer to Read Your Work

Website Posts by Dayna.

The temptation is there, and it’s oh-so very hard to resist.  But, resist, you must.

You’re in a bookstore when a well-known writer enters. You say ‘Hi, nice day out’, and now you’re awe-struck as he stops to chat for a moment.  Then, without warning, you blurt out, “I’m a writer, too. I‘d love it if you’d read my book?”

How does this writer handle your question?   Have you noticed how this is about you?  YOU’RE a writer and YOU’D love it …  How does this writer feel about this?

Consider yourself lucky if she politely extracts herself from the conversation, leaving you scratching your head and wondering what happened.
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Or, maybe you’ve discovered the young man coaching your son’s football team is a sports writer for a big newspaper.

Or, maybe your church secretary has published a book.

There are many ways to meet a writer by chance, especially since the publishing revolution that enables everyone to be a writer should they so desire.

Before you blurt out that ‘read my book’ question is exactly the time think about what you’re doing.  In short, you’re putting the writer into a no-win situation.

The well-known writer in the bookstore may write fantasy for teens.  Your ‘How to Fix Your Dodge Dart’ manual … well, it won’t fly with her.

The coach of your son’s football team is into sports … he’ll cringe at the thought of reading your science fiction romance.

The church secretary writes inspirational guides so forget about your hot, urban memoir.

Even if you happen to write the same genre as a writer you’ve just met, unless she happens to also be a publisher and is familiar with the inner workings of the business, she won’t be up to date on current publishing trends, and what makes a manuscript saleable.

The hapless writer is left with either explaining to you why she can’t give you what you hoping for, or flat out lying to you, neither of which is acceptable to her.  What you’re hoping for, of course, is to hear her say your book is the best book since Harry Potter and will sell like hotcakes.  More likely, she’ll politely ask if you’ve hired an editor.  If you haven’t, she’ll recommend you do so, and if you have, it wouldn’t surprise me if she recommends you find an agent.  Those are easy responses, especially if you’re a new writer and unfamiliar with the industry.  While she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, she isn’t able to fix your needs.

And, by asking that question, you’ve blown any chance at a friendship you may have had.  It’s a no-win situation for the writer.

So, if you find someone in your circle of acquaintances is a writer, by all means, strike up a conversation with him about his work.  He’ll be thrilled to talk with you about how much you enjoyed his recent release, and how you have a copy of everything he’s written.  And, be sure to gracefully accept an invitation to his next author event and the class he’ll teach there on his genre.  But, do not ask him to read your book.

And, don’t ask him for his agent or publisher’s contact information either.  Do your research and due diligence, then find your own agent/publisher (they’re not a one-size-fits-all commodity).  What works for him, more likely than not, won’t suit your needs.
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Going back to the writer in the bookstore, put……….
yourself into his shoes. 
How would you react……….
if someone were to ask you to read his book?……….
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So, what’s the best solution to your problem?

There are situations where asking a knowledgeable writer to read your book is acceptable, even encouraged.  Find a critique partner, or join a writer’s group.  You’ll find people there who have volunteered to help new or struggling writers.  You can count on good advice from those writers in these instances.

Even reaching out to a fellow writer via social media is acceptable.  Find a writer who works in the same genre you do, and start what could become a life-long friendship.

One day in the future, you could be one of those special
writers
who volunteer to help other writers.  It’s a great
feeling
to help and perhaps, you’ll gain a new friend for life. 
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Would you like to read and review Logan’s Time?
Email me at Dayna@DaynaLCheser.com
I’ll provide a free copy for an honest review.

Read a Free Chapter HERE

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BOOKS by Dayna Leigh Cheser
‘Janelle’s Time’, ‘Moria’s Time’
‘Adelle’s Time’,
Logan’s Time’
Clarissa’s Time’ – 2018

Janelle’s Time’ (2nd Edition) – 2017

 

Send to Kindle

RBD: Book Review – ‘I Close My Eyes’ – Regina Puckett

I Close My Eyes
Regina Puckett
Regency Historical Romance
Punk and Sissy Publications
January 18, 2017
Print and Kindle
131

Amazon Best Sellers Rank (as of 4-5-2017): #46,486 Paid in Kindle Store
#242 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Regency
#926 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Historical Romance > Regency
#1027 in Books > Romance > Historical > Regency

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I Close My Eyes
Regina Puckett

The last thing The Duke of Greystone wants is a wife, until The Lady Jane Blackmore seeks out his quiet corner of Earl Braxton’s ballroom. But there she stands, attempting to shut out the rest of the world by simply closing her eyes, but the duke understands better than most that life is never that simple.

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Review – ‘I Close My Eyes’ – written by Regina Puckett

Lady Jane Blackmore, attending the Earl of Braxton’s ball, searches for a place to hide, her gown ruined by drink stains, caused by her nemesis, Violet.  To her dismay, she discovers she is sharing her hiding place with a very handsome man, save a scar on his face.  As they’ve not been properly introduced, Lady Jane is scandalized, and fears for her future on the social scene.

The man quickly calls in a mutual friend to arrange for them to properly meet.  Lady Jane knew the friend, Robert, the Viscount of Worthington, but doubted he recalled her.  She soon found herself introduced to Phillip, the Duke of Greystone.

Then, things get worse.  Lady Jane’s father, His Grace Stratton Blackmore, the Duke of Rutherford, levels unfounded accusations against the Duke of Greystone, but to Phillip’s surprise, he also berates his lovely daughter without mercy.

But, Lady Jane is aghast when Phillip declines to defend himself against the most serious of the charges leveled by Stratton Blackmore – that Phillip killed his father.

The evening continued downhill from there.  Suddenly, Lady Jane finds herself betrothed to a complete stranger, Phillip, the Duke of Greystone.

Will Phillip rescue Lady Jane from her uncaring father and her devious, hateful step-mother?  Her hopes are dashed when she discovers Phillip doesn’t want children.  Was she to be a wife in name only, well provided for, but otherwise on her own? 

But, all is not as it seems.  Can there be happiness amid the pain?  Does Lady Jane’s step-mother succeed in murder?  And, what of the nemesis, Violet?  Does she get what’s due her?

This delightful short story, with its equally delightful surprise ending, is a wonderful read.  There is nothing ordinary or routine about Phillip and Jane’s relationship.  I give Ms. Puckett’s offering a well-deserved 5-stars.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book. All thoughts, opinions, and ratings are my own.

Author Dayna Leigh Cheser

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Author Bio

Regina Puckett has been writing for over forty-eight years, and lives in Tennessee with her husband of over forty years. She has two grown daughters and four grandchildren.

She writes sweet romances, horror, inspirational, steampunk, picture books, and poetry. There are always projects in various stages of completion and characters and stories waiting in the wings for their chance to finally get out of her head and onto paper.

Regina Puckett is a 2014 Readers’ Favorite Award winning author for her sweet romance, ‘Concealed in My Heart’. Her steampunk book, ‘I Will Breathe’, and her children’s picture book, ‘Borrowed Wings’, both received the Children’s Literary Classic Seal of Approval. ‘I Will Breathe’ was selected as a Science Fiction Finalist in the 2015 IAN Book of the Year Awards. Her boxed set, ‘A Touch of Passion’, is the 2016 Winner of The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards.

‘Memories’, won first place in the 1st WSBR International Poetry Contest, and her collection of poetry, ‘Fireflies’, won the 2013 Turning Pages Poetry Book of the Year.

Contact Information
Web Site Facebook
Goodreads Twitter
Amazon Author Page

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Would you like to read and review Logan’s Time?
Email me at Dayna@DaynaLCheser.com
I’ll provide a free copy for an honest review.

Read a Free Chapter HERE

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BOOKS by Dayna Leigh Cheser
‘Janelle’s Time’, ‘Moria’s Time’
‘Adelle’s Time’,
Logan’s Time’
Clarissa’s Time’ – 2018

Janelle’s Time’ (2nd Edition) – 2017

Send to Kindle

DLC: ‘Adelle’s Time’ and ‘Moria’s Time’ Each Win 5-Stars at “Readers’ Favorites”

Reviewed by Michelle Mollohan for Readers’ Favorite

Adelle’s Time: Book Three – The Willow Tree by Dayna Leigh Cheser is a captivating tale of romance and family, taking place across both America and England. The story covers the life of Adelle, an American farmer’s daughter who has her sights set on marrying a duke, despite the unlikelihood that her dream will come true. Suffering heartbreak at the hands of Theo, she nurses her broken heart, then hatches a plan to infiltrate high society in disguise. “Lady Mysterious” turns heads as she envisioned, but her plan proves too risky an endeavor so she abandons the alter ego. Adelle enlists the assistance of Uncle Sinjin, the Duke of Devonwood, to properly introduce her to society in hopes of meeting the duke of her dreams. Along her journey, she remembers her “troubled” past and the life lessons she’s learned. Adelle’s Time intermingles with the lives of her family; from her parents in America to her twin Moria’s travels with Florence Nightingale to Uncle Sinjin’s Devonwood horses.

If you’re looking for a historical romance with flair and drama, look no further than Adelle’s Time: Book Three – The Willow Tree by Dayna Leigh Cheser. Dayna Leigh Cheser intricately weaves a web full of intrigue, drama, and love mixed with just a little magic. Adelle’s tale is well written, the additional points of view of the other characters throughout the book make it that much more beguiling. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading the first two books in the series.

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Reviewed by Michelle Mollohan for Readers’ Favorite

Moria’s Time: Book 2 of the TIME Series by Dayna Leigh Cheser is a captivating historical romance. The sequel to Janelle’s Time focuses on the life of one of her daughter: Moria Grayson.

A vision foretells of Moria using her natural healing abilities to help others in a dangerous, far away locale, at the risk of peril to herself. Taught from an early age to hone her skills, Moria grows into an independent and driven young lady. Mentored by Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America and England, she is determined to become a doctor as well. Moria finds she is unwelcome in medical school, regardless of her qualifications, simply because she is a woman.

Through Elizabeth, she meets Florence Nightingale and embarks on a mission with her and other nurses to tend to wounded soldiers in Turkey. Dr. Simon Hensley is so enamored with Moria that he follows her to Turkey, despite her telling him they cannot pursue a relationship until after she becomes a doctor. Will Moria discover that she can have both a career AND a husband?

Moria’s Time: Book 2 of the TIME Series by Dayna Leigh Cheser does an excellent job telling the tale of Moria learning to hone her craft and detailing her travels as she works diligently to attain her goals. Dayna Leigh Cheser performed thorough research, incorporating a wealth of historical information regarding slavery and war into Moria’s Time. I have now read both Moria’s Time and Adelle’s Time, the second and third books in Dayna Leigh Cheser’s TIME series. I cannot recommend these books highly enough; they are a delightful escape.

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Would you like to read and review Logan’s Time?
Email me at Dayna@DaynaLCheser.com
I’ll provide a free copy for an honest review.

Read a Free Chapter HERE

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BOOKS by Dayna Leigh Cheser
‘Janelle’s Time’, ‘Moria’s Time’
‘Adelle’s Time’,
Logan’s Time’
Clarissa’s Time’ – 2018

Janelle’s Time’ (2nd Edition) – 2017

 

Send to Kindle

DLC: Announcing a Delightful, Spectacular, Colossal Surprise!

Website Posts by Dayna.

IT’S A BRAND NEW COVER &
BOOK BLURB REVEAL!

But, first a little history. 

Almost 15 years ago, I left one position and purposefully took a position as a security officer, well outside my usual employment realm.  This afforded me almost every night – all night – to write, which is something I’d wanted to do since learning to read as a young child.

The results became my first book, Janelle’s Time.  This is the story of a young New Hampshire woman’s journey from being her father’s favorite daughter to the wife of the youngest son of an English Duke.  This project was a huge learning experience.  I remember being so proud when I finished the book. 

The timing was all wrong.  The publishing industry was in the throes of a ‘revolution’.  A few agents were accepting email queries, but much of the process was still largely via the USPS.  All manuscripts had to be printed and shipped – and if you wanted the manuscript returned to you, self-addressed, stamped packaging had to be included with the submission.  Doing it this way proved itself costly and time-consuming.

For this reason, and others, I shelved Janelle’s Time.

Years later, the Internet grew up, and the publishing industry followed along.  Now, all communications with agents/publishers occurred via email making the process cheaper, faster, and a lot easier to handle. 

Janelle’s Time had come.

I found a small publisher and signed on (sans agent).  The relationship with this publisher didn’t fulfill my expectations as he felt threatened by my many years in small commercial printing (which meant my basic skills far exceeded his, but I had zero experience in actual book publishing).  I soon realized this publisher would not be the one to publish my series.  But, this is a story for another time.

Janelle’s Time published without fanfare – with precious little assistance from the publisher (a single Facebook announcement).  Being a newbie, I didn’t know what to do next, so the book didn’t go anywhere.

Looking back, it was probably for the best.

I persevered and kept on learning.

Before long, I found a great editor who not only edits but also teaches writing skills.  I learned so much from him, and in the three books since Janelle’s Time, my writing skills have skyrocketed.  Each book in the series is better than the one before, leaving poor Janelle’s Time far behind.

I also left the first publisher in the dust.

As publishing time approached for Logan’s Time (book four of the series), and my skills had increased, I now knew what I needed to do.  About a year ago, my husband, who is better at this sort of thing than I am, negotiated a price for me to buy back the rights to Janelle’s Time. 

I’ve spent a great deal of time re-writing and improving Janelle’s Time, shedding over 11,000 words from the original, while only making the story so much better.  I’m now in the final stages of editing.  The publication will happen soon. 

Janelle’s Time, Second Edition, will rejoin its series mates – Moria’s Time, Adelle’s Time, and Logan’s Time.  Only Clarissa’s Time remains incomplete.

Without further ado, I am proud to present, the cover of the new and improved:

In 1830, Janelle LeDuc’s father dies in an unfortunate lumbering accident on the family farm, leaving her alone in south-central New Hampshire. Her older siblings have their own families and businesses. Only Maura, her long-time companion, and the farm staff remain.

During her first outing, months after her father’s death, Janelle visits her parents’ graves. Overcome by her grief, she collapses. Richard Grayson, the youngest son of an English duke, happens by the cemetery on an errand, and gallantly delivers her home to Maura. Before leaving, he asks if he can see her again soon.

Thus starts a courtship sure to test the couple’s mettle.

Soon, Janelle discovers she possesses certain ‘skills’ which are handed down through the female line of her family. One such skill is time travel. Finding themselves on Devonwood, Richard’s childhood home, but five-hundred years in the past, the couple uncovers shocking secrets about his ancestors they wish they’d never learned.

Now, they have to live with the knowledge, and not let it destroy their fledgling love.

With this situation and others averted, they hope their glorious wedding heralds the end of the difficulties that plagued their courtship but even the much-talked-about wedding doesn’t go off without a hitch.

Their ill-fated wedding trip to England, including attempted kidnapping and murder, plus Richard falling victim to robbery, separates the couple for months.

The problems keep coming … will they ever get it right. Everyone knows Richard and Janelle are perfect for each other, and that they love each other with all their hearts, yet happiness together remains elusive.

For Richard and Janelle, will their love win out in the end? Do they overcome the obstacles life throws their way? Or, do their problems continue to threaten their love?

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Would you like to read and review Logan’s Time?
Email me at Dayna@DaynaLCheser.com
I’ll provide a free copy for an honest review.

Read a Free Chapter HERE

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

BOOKS by Dayna Leigh Cheser
‘Janelle’s Time’, ‘Moria’s Time’
‘Adelle’s Time’,
Logan’s Time’
Clarissa’s Time’ – 2018

Janelle’s Time’ (2nd Edition) – 2017

 

Send to Kindle

DLC: The Truth About Great Romance Novel Characters

Website Posts by Dayna.

The Romance genre continues to rate high among reader’s favorites.  They can’t get enough of the characters and the conflicts that make their lives so challenging.

While many will argue the point, romance novels are actually fantasies, allowing the reader to escape to an often wonderful, love-filled world where characters will go to great extremes to earn the love of another character.

The world between the covers of a romance novel is escapism, pure and simple.

The reality of this fantasy world

There are certain commonalities within all romance novels.  First, the writer does her best to create a believable world that’s as close to reality as possible.

Then, perhaps, more importantly, writers of the romance genre, particularly the historical romance sub-genre, spend many long hours researching the time and place of the locale, plus clothing, eating habits, the society, and more.  They especially strive to have the most believable characters.

Author Jean Auel took ‘research’ to a whole new level with many years of visiting archeological digs to understand how prehistoric people lived for her ‘Earth’s Children’ series (which included the first book, ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’).  She published her 6-book series between 1980 and 2011 – 31 years!

Writers never strive to write characters who are perfect people.  But, one must never say never.  ‘The Stepford Wives’, written by Ira Levin is an exception to this rule.  It’s a satirical thriller published in 1972, followed by a film adaptation in 1975.   For this story where wives become robots, perfect characters are required, but most romance novels are not satirical thrillers.

The carefully created characters who are anything but perfect is what makes the genre so endearing.  While the setting (time and place) must be as true-to-life as possible, the characters are a never-ending source of entertainment in the conflicts that arise, and how they deal with them.

But, surprisingly, in polls of romance readers, having characters who are physically attractive barely moves the needle while intelligence and humor come out on top.  So, Plain Jane and Nerdy Norm as viable characters could well become an award-winning story if the writer does her job well.

So, what’s important in creating great characters for a winning romance novel?

Effective characteristics for romance novel characters

Clearly, not all the characteristics listed below will be utilized in all your characters.  As in real life, characters have failings, often more than one.  A character without failings is too perfect, and not believable as a person.

‘Good’ characters need these traits in abundance, while the ‘bad-boys’ will come up short.  To consider traits for your ‘bad-boys’, you only need to think of traits that are the opposite of the traits below.

Characteristics of Great Romance Novel Characters

Has a great capacity to love

Has positive traits/talents

Tolerates faults in others

Is well-liked/respected

Classy/sophisticated

Good caretaker/protective

Honest/keeps a secret

Has a social cause of note

Conscientious/observant

Can change/grow

Has endearing idiosyncrasies

Resourceful under stress

Handles challenges well

Optimistic, seldom negative

Respects/admires others

Has a great smile

Generous towards everyone

Shows kindness/compassion

Think of the scenes you can build if a character can’t keep a secret.  How many times, in real life, has someone you know failed to keep your secrets safe?

And what about a character who has ‘endearing idiosyncrasies’ that occasionally drive the antagonist crazy.  Can he or she ‘change and grow’ to make the other happy?  Or does this become a deal-breaker?

Is the ‘great smile’ important in the overall scope of things?  Will the relationship fail if that ‘great smile’ is missing?  How many OTHER women will think your man has a ‘great smile’?

Does your character ‘change and grow’ to the point where the relationship is no longer viable, at least without some additional ‘changes’?

Is the heroine too ‘trusting’ of others and is taken advantage of by those unscrupulous cads?  The hero, knowing this, keeps his lady in sight at all times, which creates friction. Can she learn to be more ‘observant’ of the actions of others?

Maybe your hero is too good a ‘caretaker’.  He smothers the heroine with his attention.  Can this be worked out with the ‘can change and grow’ trait?  Maybe he’s so besotted he doesn’t realize what he’s doing.

It’s always a good idea to ask questions of your characters and note whatever characteristics the cast of your book has on their character charts.

When you’re building your characters, give them some of the traits of great romance characters, but don’t go overboard and create ‘perfect’ characters.  Make sure your characters are imperfect enough so your story can capitalize on the failings they have.  Your story will almost write itself if you have the right mix.  The conflict that the good and the bad creates in your characters will mean a winning story your readers will love.

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Would you like to read and review Logan’s Time?
Email me at Dayna@DaynaLCheser.com
I’ll provide a free copy for an honest review.

Read a Free Chapter HERE

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

BOOKS by Dayna Leigh Cheser
‘Janelle’s Time’, ‘Moria’s Time’
‘Adelle’s Time’,
Logan’s Time’
Clarissa’s Time’ – 2018

Janelle’s Time’ (2nd Edition) – 2017

 

Send to Kindle