July 24th, 2020

A Midsummer Pimp and Promote

Summer

A few times a year we throw open the virtual doors of WITS and offer up the comments section for your shameless self-promotion. This delightful takeover usually doubles the size of our to-be-read piles with all the great books we find in the comments section. With this pandemic, more reading material is a great summer bonus.

Many years ago, we borrowed the name of this event from the glorious Chuck Wendig. Here's how it works:

  • Pimp out somebody else’s work – this can be a favorite author, blogger, post or book you’ve read, a wonderful teacher or just someone who had profound influence on you as a writer or a person. Please limit your comments to one work.
    AND
  • Promote one of your projects that you’re excited about – a hobby, a blog, a book, or a new direction your writing is taking you. You decide. Just tell us about it in the comments! (Please restrain your enthusiasm to just one of your WIPs.) The rest of us will jump in and “ooooh and ahh” at you, and likely promote your project even further because we’re just so darn excited today.

We'll start you off with some P&P from the WITS Team

From Ellen

Pimp: Eldred “Bob” Bird’s Karma series, introduces us to writer James McCarthy who evolves from a sheltered man into a sharp investigative journalist willing to put himself in harm’s way. The stories are page-turners with well-developed characters in settings that make you feel like you're right in the middle of the action. These books are a lot of fun to read.

This wonderful series is suspenseful with a sprinkling of humor. The series in order is: Killing Karma, Catching Karma and the soon-to-be released Cold Karma.

Promote: I'm working on my website and would love to get eyes on it: http://ellenbuikema.com/. Stop by and subscribe! I share on topics ranging from writing to recipes to help with children at home. One of the pages on my site is named Ask Frankie. Frankie the Fish is full of snark. People ask Frankie questions and he responds in character. This is great fun for kids.


From Jenny

My P&P's are actually tied together and I'm pretty excited about both sides of this coin.

Pimp: I've been taking some training through Mirasee, to teach me how to launch a successful online class series, and I can't say enough good things about them. Their knowledge, their hand-holding, their resources (I could build a shrine to their resources) are just top-notch. Founder, Danny Iny, also wrote a rockin' book called Teach Your Gift. (Available on Kindle Unlimited!)

Promote: I spend my days making people, companies and products look good. When this pandemic hit and so many of my pals got laid off, my side hustle became helping them power up their LinkedIn profiles. I've always done these for companies, but I had a blast helping people become more searchable, expand their networks, and get jobs.

Enter Mirasee. They're teaching me everything I need to know to create a "LinkedIn for Success" series of classes, starting with a pilot class. I'm in the research phase, so I'd love a 15 minute no-sales chat with any of you who have pain points with LinkedIn. Let me know down in the comments!


From Kris (KMaze)

Pimp: If you are looking for a young readers series of books, I recommend checking out Charlie Chameleon and his adventures. Our WITS team member, Ellen Buikema, writes this series which helps children ages 3-9 develop empathy and cultivate insight into their lives. The multicultural stories cover situations children typically encounter like getting lost, moving, starting a new school, making friends, family vacations, working in a team, and dealing with bullies using positive methods. Each chapter ends with one or more activities for children and parents or teachers to do together, related to the actions in the stories.

The first three chapter books in The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon Series are New BeginningsSchool Days, and Summertime.

Book Cover IMPACT by K Maze

Promote: If you enjoy a fast paced book with a girl protagonist who uses wit and moxy to survive an incoming asteroid, try my recent debut novel: IMPACT, A Young Adult Sci-fi Novel.  Nala Nightingale uses hidden talents beyond her broadcasting training to overcome her wily captor Edison and his mysterious underground world.

This book is written for teens or adult readers who would enjoy an optimistic book with lots of twists and turns. 

*  *  *  *  *  *

Happy Reading and Stay healthy, y'all...
Jenny and the WITS Crew

70 responses to “A Midsummer Pimp and Promote”

  1. Would like to take this opportunity to promote Suzanne Purvis, a writer, editor and instructor with legendary ability to tighten a chapter, scene, or sentence, and always, always make it stronger.

    Two months ago, I made the very difficult decision to leave my agent and move into the world of the indie writers. And because books don’t seem to sell themselves, I’ve focused on marketing. A new world filled with exhilarating highs and frustrating pull-yourself-out-of-the-mud lows. But I’m happy to say that my suspense novel, THE BLOOD GOLD ABDUCTION, has made the Amazon Hot New Release top 50 for a month running. And with a little fiddling with my marketing campaign, I’m seeing the numbers continue to improve.

    This WITS group continues to be a much appreciated inspiration!

  2. barbaralinnprobst says:

    PIMP: I’m in the midst of an online course taught by Laura Drake and all I can say is—WOW. Laura is incredibly smart, insightful, and generous. Her comments are detailed, spot-on, and always actionable—from small tweaks that make big differences to macro-level suggestions. If you ever have a chance to take a workshop with Laura, DO IT!

    PROMOTE: On Monday the 27th I’ll be giving FREE WORKSHOP on launching and promoting a book! I’ll be sharing tips and strategies for what I call marathons, sprints, and pounces on Girls Nite In Online—a wonderful platform for women. July 27 at 4:00 p.m. EST.
    It’s free, but you’ll need to register here: https://www.gnionline.com/workshops/barbaraprobst
    Hope to see many of you there!

  3. PIMP: I'm excited about M.C. Vaughn's newest book, Divorcing Mr. Right, part of her Charm City Series. She writes smart and sassy, set in our shared hometown of Baltimore.

    PROMOTE: I'm writing an online pandemic romance as a way to record how we have handled the covid-19 crisis. Sparks fly on the phone and online between two newshound who've never met while working from home. He considers her competition. She already has enough on her mind without romance. I publish a new chapter--printed and audio--every week. https://maryktilghmanwrites.com/blog/

    PS. I am a huge fan of this blog--advice here has helped my writing so much I share columns with fellow scribblers. Thank you

  4. riatalken says:

    PIMP: Not only has Lainey Cameron been a cheerleader of mine by encouraging me to write my memoirs, but she has had her first book release this month. THE EXIT STRATEGY is a great, quick read (you won't want to put it down) with a twist. Antagonists put their heads together rather than take revenge. And they get the best result. https://bookshop.org/books/the-exit-strategy-9781509231386/9781509231386

    PROMOTE: I began working on my memoirs in March and have a writer's blog to coincide with my project and my progress. My working title of the memoirs is "Becoming Content with a Scattered Mind" my journey from chaos to contentment with Bipolar 1 and ADHD. I am hoping to break down stereotypes and offer a different perspective on the challenges of living with a mental illness. Not a "poor me" book. I would appreciate eyes on the website and possible subscribers. https://www.riatalkenwrites.com

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I'm a fellow WFWA member and I adore Lainey - thanks so much for the link to her book. I've been waiting for it for a long time and I don't want to miss it. Her early drafts were so great.

      Congratulations on your memoir...that is a very important subject!

    • tremitchell1 says:

      Lainey is a fellow debuter and that book is getting rave reviews! Gonna pick it up myself! Thanks!

  5. thewriteedge says:

    PIMP: Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have done it again. They've brought us another amazing thesaurus. This one is _The Occupation Thesaurus_, and I was so fortunate to get an ARC of the book and also join its social media street team. This is definitely their best one yet. Check it out here!

    https://writershelpingwriters.net/2020/07/release-day-celebration-the-occupation-thesaurus-is-here/

    PROMOTE: I'm querying my first novel, a magical realism book for adults. I've sent my query materials to more than 50 agents and gotten really polite (and, in many cases, encouraging) rejections from more than a dozen. A few have done the "no response means no" or a form letter, but I'm still moving forward. Here's the quick summary of my book:

    The magic trees of the kingdom of Linden are dying, and only the young king, Christopher, can save them. His quest will bond him with old allies and new friends as they also try to save hostages and mend a heart broken into four pieces. It’s the only way to escape his late father’s shadow and convince his people—and himself—that he deserves the crown.

    I've learned so much from WITS and hope to do you all proud by getting an agent and a publishing contract. Fingers crossed!

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Fingers crossed on the agent and the contract!!! Your book sounds wonderful - good luck!

      p.s. I have the Occupation Thesaurus on my Kindle already and I can tell I will break down and get the paper copy too. Their books are just too marvelous to not be able to touch them. 🙂

      • thewriteedge says:

        Thanks, Jenny! The encouragement really means a lot. Also, yes to the thesaurus! When I started reading the ARC in PDF form, within, like, three pages I knew I had to have my own so it can live with its companions on my shelf. 😁

    • ecellenb says:

      Your novel sounds intriguing. I hope you do well. Querying is not fun.

    • tremitchell1 says:

      Those books are AMAZING. I have the emotional wound thesaurus one and it's been very helpful in my writing! Did not know they were coming out with yet another so thanks for the tip!

  6. Susan Dunn says:

    Pimp: Here's another call out to Laura Drake who has a new Cowboy book out next Tuesday. Laura has been an inspiration from when I met her at the RWA conference in Anaheim in 2012. She is fabulous writer and teacher and a wonderfully supportive friend.

    Promote: The first book of my new Danger in the Big Easy series is up for pre-order now on major retairlers. WALKING THE EDGE is about a ex-army sniper returning home and a French Quarter ghost tour guide. I had a chance to use my many years of experience living in New Orleans. Give my newly revamped website a look: http://www.SueWardDrake.com.

    And thanks for WITS for this opportunity.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Fist bump to another Laura fan! She's wonderful and encouraging and brilliant. I'm reading one a great book of hers on my Kindle right now.

      I like books set in New Orleans, so I'm heading to look at Walking The Edge right now. Thanks!

  7. Pimp: I'm in the woods at a cabin working on my WIP and every break I get/take I dive back into Gone With The Wind. I swear that book has a bewitching power. I can crack it open to any page and reconnect with the story. Someday, someday...someday...I hope a reader of mine will think the same thing!

    Promote: My WIP is a WWII romance set in Hiroshima. I know, talk about a doomed future for my lovers...but don't be too quick to jump to conclusions. Here's the current blurb:

    A heartbreaking—yet hopeful—story about the deceptions we hide behind, the desires we surrender to and the distances we’ll go to capture the truth. A perfect read for fans of Memoirs of a Geisha and The Bridges of Madison County. (sub-headline)

    Pearl Katayama knows how to keep a secret. She’s tight-lipped about her life before the Hiroshima bombing, though she’s spilled her powerful secrets and passions into a diary that’s lain hidden from prying eyes for decades.

    Vivienne Sheridan can’t keep a secret, not anymore. She’s been hurt by life one too many times. She hides behind her on-camera vlog series: The Ups and Downs of the Pasadena Pin-Up Girl. But even that isn’t holding back her distrust and pain anymore. When she uncovers Pearl’s precious diary, Vivienne clings to the thought that walking in the steps of her great-grandmother’s life in Japan would be a better choice. Her challenge: she has just 14 days to complete her task.

    When Vivienne arrives in Hiroshima she meets Ken Ito, a fascinating museum curator who’s enthralled with Pearl’s diary…and Vivienne. The pair try to piece together everything that’s been left unsaid by Pearl. But then Vivienne finds out Ken isn’t the charming man she thought. Dazed as truth after truth is uncovered, can Vivienne possibly find the courage to trust again? Will she listen to the words Pearl has written and once again put her heart in someone else’s care?

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I'm so glad you are at a remote cabin, and not here in Southern California with crazy Covid numbers! I love how your new book is shaping up. 🙂

    • Kris Maze says:

      Memoirs of a Geisha was a book that stayed with me and I enjoy the sweeping stories that span different worlds. I look forward to hearing when your book is finished.

  8. Eldred Bird says:

    Pimp:
    I'd like to return the favor to Ellen Biukema and pimp her her manuscript that is out for query right now. The Hobo Code is a YA historical fiction set in pre-1910 America. Three siblings, the oldest being fifteen, escape an orphanage and make their way across the country by riding the rails, hoping a better life waits at the end of their journey. Along the way they face many the dangers associated with their chosen mode of travel and receive help from unexpected sources. It's an exciting ride and a good coming of age story about three kids forced to grow up fast.

    If you're an agent or publisher seeking this genre, you need to snap this one up fast!

    Promote:
    First, I'd like to thank Ellen for using her post to promote my series. I was going to promote the new book, but she's already taken care of that. I could just copy and re-post everything she said above...but I won't. Instead, I'll just ask that you visit my website (http://www.eldredbird.com) and sign up for my newsletter. You'll get a free short story download (right now it's The Smell of Fear) and be the first to know when Cold Karma hits the streets.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I'm super interested to see The Hobo Code come out. The chapters I've read are great.

      On your website, I linked it so people can click and go. And how do you like the graphic I made for your books? You can have it if you like. It's LinkedIn size, cuz that's how I roll. 🙂

      • Eldred Bird says:

        Thanks for fixing the link, and thought I saw your touch on the graphic. I really need to make the leap and get on Linkedin if I'm going to get serious about looking at more speaking opportunities. I'll probably need to tap into your vast knowledge at some point.

        • Jenny Hansen says:

          I'm here for you, man! I look at LinkedIn this way:

          "Everyone knows at least 100 people. Most know double that number. And of those people you know, they know at least that many more. Become more searchable so you can bring your knowledge and creativity to that infinite audience."

    • ecellenb says:

      Thank you!! I made a final tweak at the end of the last chapter of The Hobo Code. It gets the blood pumping. Am working on the next in the series.

      We enjoy your Karma series, and really like the Nestor character. I'm excited to see what you'll have him do next.

      • Eldred Bird says:

        A lot of people seem to like Nestor. In fact they like him enough that I'm working on giving him his own series. That probably a book or two down the road.

  9. deleyna says:

    I'd love to Pimp the amazing courses at Margie Lawson's Writer's academy: margielawson.com including some new virtual Margie webinars and Immersions among classes from some of the teachers already mentioned like Suzanne Purvis and Laura Drake!

    For Promo, check out my latest fantasy, Dominion of Darkness, https://deleyna.com/dominion-of-darkness/

  10. Pimp: I'm a big fan of author and Amazon Marketing expert, Penny Sansevieri who I met in person at the Williamette Writer's Conference in Portland, OR. Her information is timeless and will help anyone in need of expert marketing advice for their books or podcasts. Have you heard... Amazon is getting into the podcast market? https://www.amarketingexpert.com/

    Promote: I turned my screenwriting passion to podcasting and found my muse with "Lizzie Borden Audio, The Inquest Episodes" 100% trial testimony with short musical interludes. Yes, I'm the first to resurrect this 128 year old masterpiece. Actors play the characters involved. No chit chat, no narration. What could be better than a spinster with an attitude? My latest episode is adapted from the witness statements. Take your research to the next level. https://www.buzzsprout.com/967225/4620350

  11. tremitchell1 says:

    Love this idea!

    Pimp:
    I'd like to pimp Kim Taylor Blakemore's newest historical novel After Alice Fell, coming from Lake Union Feb 16. Like Blakemore's The Companion, it looks full of the dark, gothic Victorian elements I so love. It's on preorder at the following link: https://amzn.to/3hw6CCr

    Promote:
    My own debut historical fiction, A Feigned Madness, is launching Oct. 6. Trade reviews are coming in now and look good! The book is about Nellie Bly, a young woman reporter who fakes insanity in order to report the atrocities going on inside a women's insane asylum in 1887. It was fun to write and I had so much fun digging up elements of Nellie's life, including a surprising love story I came upon through the course of reading between the lines of her personal letters in the sealed archives of the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh. For a limited time, the publisher is offering $5 off the cover price before it goes out into the wild. For links, see my website here: https://www.tonyamitchellauthor.com/tonyamitchellbooks

  12. How lovely and generous of you! I have been heads down on my second novel---a male midlife crisis in search of meaning. The first, The Sleeping Serpent is about a narcissistic yoga instructor who has a cult following. As you can imagine he is charismatic and coercive. I am writing the second the book as a stand-alone. If you are looking for psychological women's fiction I hope you will consider The Sleeping Serpent. Best to all of you during the "summer of Covid" and hope you are all getting a lot of writing done!

  13. A.R. Henle says:

    What a lovely invitation. I've followed this blog for sometime, but managed to miss earlier instances (or maybe I'm blocking them?). At any rate, here's a Promote: my book Water for Blood, which came out earlier this year (written while following this blog through Feedly). https://books2read.com/u/4AzeKJ

    Restore the spring of life!
    Family meant everything to Mara. After her father's untimely death in an airplane crash, she juggled jobs alongside schoolwork. Pinched pennies when shopping. Sacrificed hopes of attending college, as her mother struggled to make ends meet.
    Then Mara's estranged grandfather offered to help clear the family's debts—on one condition.
    She must help him search for the conquistador who, centuries earlier, stole the spring of life.
    Moving and powerful, Water for Blood features compelling, complex characters facing generations-old evil.

  14. barbdelong says:

    Love Pimp and Promote! I am pimping my friend Lorraine Gow's fabulous fiction book of short stories called "Black Women With Tamales." I can't say enough about this talented writer and her amazing turns of phrase. These stories are about the experiences of black, Spanish-speaking immigrant women "experiencing life on a tightrope" as they try to assimilate in America. The cover, by another friend Diana Huang, is frame-worthy! It's available on Amazon. As for me, I'm editing my first fantasy romance called The Witch Whisperer: A desperate witch with broken magic seeks help from the reclusive Witch Whisperer, but finding a cure together risks their hearts, their lives and the very existence of their secret witch society. My goal is to have the book completely edited by September and out on query.

  15. tracybrody says:

    Pimp: Christina Hovland has done my fabulous covers. She listens and does amazing work. https://christinahovland.com/covers-2/#pricing

    Also my copy editor, Jennifer Weingrad. She doesn't have a site, but if you need her contact info, hit me up.

    And can I pimp out Panera? 😉 My favorite writing hangout (pre-Covid) and they even put in electrical outlets to keep us charged and happy.

    Promoting my Bad Karma Special Ops series about an Army team who's love lives are as dangerous as their missions. https://www.amazon.com/Tracy-Brody/e/B083G9NHTL?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060

  16. LauraDrake says:

    Squeee! Love you guys! Thank you for mentioning my classes and my book!

    I want to tell you about a new craft book, the best book on editing (four-letter-word for me) I've ever read - it helps you see your own work objectively! Tiffany Yates Martin's, Intuitive Editing - trust me, buy a copy, and it'll be dog-eared in no time!

    Me? I'm teaching another class over at Lawson Writers Academy in August - The First Five Pages. You can check it out here: https://www.margielawson.com/product/august-2020-your-first-five-pages-reader-glue/

  17. Christy Hoss says:

    Hi Laura- I love getting my Write's in the Storm notices and this time, I get to post something exciting! My first book in The Rubber Band series is coming out in a couple of weeks. I'm still fine tuning it with my editor at Elk Lake Publishing. Although I always dreamed I'd be a romance writer, but, I've been inspired to write for kids (I am an elementary school teacher) and here I am on the verge of fulfilling my second grade dream. I want to encourage all the writers out there to keep doing what you love, keep learning the craft and never give up! I wish I had another author to pimp because I love helping other writers.

    • Christy Hoss says:

      In all my excitement- I forgot to proof read! UGH! Writer's in the Storm- Also, be sure to check out my brand new website! christyhoss.com put together by Laura Christianson of bloggingbistro.com I absolutely love my website! it makes me feel like an author!
      I wish I could post my book cover- Words can't express how happy it makes me feel to know my editor at Elk Lake Publishing Inc. captured the essence of the book. I believe it will get readers to pull it off the book shelf and open to chapter one- Isn't that what we want?

  18. Christy Hoss says:

    Thank you for this opportunity. I'm excited to announce my first middle grade novel has been hovering on the #1 Best Seller in its category. It changes HOURLY- but to see "Best Seller" on Amazon even for a short period of time, made me scream, cry, happy dance, and more. Here it is if you want to take a closer look: https://www.amazon.com/Rubber-Band-Christy-Hoss-ebook/dp/B08DZCXVYS/ref=zg_bs_155093011_25?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=HKAPVY9YD5Q31V6R723D

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