Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Goodreads Giveaway for STAINED GLASS SUMMER

There is a Goodreads Giveaway to win a signed copy of STAINED GLASS SUMMER. This is the newly released version which contains the bonus story, ELF SHOES.  The giveaway runs until April 30, 2015.

You can click below and it will take you to the giveaway.

Good luck!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Stained Glass Summer by Mindy Hardwick

Stained Glass Summer

by Mindy Hardwick

Giveaway ends April 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

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Winner of Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

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The winner of the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop is Rhianona!

Congratulations! I will be contacting you to find out your mailing address to send a signed copy of ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS.

 

Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

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Stained Glass Summer PRINT Available

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I’m very pleased to announce that STAINED GLASS SUMMER can be purchased in PRINT. The new version includes the bonus short story ELF SHOES. You can buy the PRINT version here.

 

STAINED GLASS SUMMER is also available in ebook format here.

Happy reading!

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Weaving Magic Cover

WEAVING MAGIC is getting a new cover this month. The three-year contract with MuseItUp is over and all the rights have reverted back to me, so like STAINED GLASS SUMMER, Eagle Bay Press will be reissuing the book in both an ebook and print version.

I hired Director Tamara Thompson at Serious Take Productions to design the cover for WEAVING MAGIC. Tamara was my very first student when I did student-teaching years ago. We have stayed in contact and I’m thrilled to have her company design the new cover.

One of my struggles with WEAVING MAGIC has been the marketing and the cover. The original cover painted a tone of being a dark and sinister book, almost paranormal in feel, and targeted an audience that was too old. The cover also used stock image of a girl who showed up on multiple other YA book covers that spring–something the bloggers didn’t fail to mention.

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The second cover which I used for WEAVING MAGIC print was targeted so boys might pick up the book. The problem with this is that the book really is targeted to girls, ages 13-15. It is a PG 13 story about falling in love.

 

Weaving Magic - Front cover 72 dpi

So for this version, I focused on targeting the correct audience in both feel and images. I’m not quite ready to reveal the cover yet…but later this week…

 

In the meantime, here are some of the photos Tamara at Serious Take Productions shot in the tulip fields of Skagit Valley as well as photos of two models who posed on a bench which will be used on the cover–the water will be photoshopped out, and the bench will appear as if it’s in the tulip fields. There is also a photo of Tamara and I having a great time at the tulip fields!

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Tulips April 2015

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Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

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Happy Spring! I’m participating in the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop which includes ten-days of gardening tips, recipes and chances to win books and other swag at blogs!

But the best part of this giveaway is there is a Grand Prize of an e-reader of your choice. (Up to $200 in value) as well as a second place prize of a $25 gift card to your e-book seller of choice. In order to be entered for the Grand Prize, you must visit every blog on the blog hop.  You can find the entire list of blogs participating in the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop here.

Now…on to a fun spring recipe….

For years, I played a monthly Bunko game with the same group of people. It was hosted on a Thursday night at a gal’s old farmhouse and we all enjoyed bringing different appetizers to devour while playing the game.

One of my favorite appetizers was Cucumber Dip. This recipe comes from a cookbook called Applehood and Motherpie Handpicked Recipes from Upstate New York and I bought the book while living in Rochester during the early 1990’s. It is very appropriate as my sweet contemporary romance stories are all set this area of the country.

Cucumber Dip

The recipe should be done a day ahead as it needs to be refrigerated overnight. It also makes quite a bit (4 Cups), so be sure to freeze some)

2 Large Cucumbers

1/2 C Vinegar

2 teaspoons of salt

2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese

3/4 cup of mayonnaise

1/2 clove garlic, minced or 1.2 tsp garlic salt

Peel and grate the cucumbers. Mix cucumber with vinegar and salt and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, blend cream cheese, mayonnaise and garlic. Press all liquid from the marinated cucumber. Discard the liquid and stir the cucumber into the cream cheese mixture. Serve with fresh vegetables or a thin corn chip.

Now, for that giveaway….sticking with the upstate New York theme, I am giving away one signed copy of my sweet contemporary romance, ROMANCE FOR ALL SEASONS. The book is a collection of six novellas, all taking place during the holidays. The characters connect to each other in each story and three of the stories are set in the old Elmheart Hotel once located on the shores of Lake Ontario.

In order to be entered to win, please leave a comment telling me what is your favorite appetizer to make and be sure to leave your email address so I can contact the winner. (Sorry US mailing addresses only. One comment per person). I will select and announce a winner on April 18, 2015.  Good luck!

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Cover Reveal STAINED GLASS SUMMER

STAINED GLASS SUMMER in print format is coming soon as well as a reissued ebook which will include the bonus short story, ELF SHOES.  The book is being reissued by Eagle Bay Press.

I’m happy to reveal the new cover for STAINED GLASS SUMMER created by Kelly Shorten at KMD Webdesigns.

 

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Winner of Clear Your Shelves Giveaway Hop

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The winner of the Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop is Grace B! Thanks for stopping by everyone!

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Editing Your Manuscript

I’ve spent the last couple months working on three different manuscripts–a middle grade, a memoir and a contemporary romance. Two of those were edited by freelance editors and I was working off their notes. The other one I was drafting and is now with a freelance editor.

I’m a big believer in using freelance editors for my work when I’ve reached the stage where I simply cannot take the story any farther.

There was a great article posted on Ink Deep Editing about the experience of being edited, and you can read that here.

However, before I reach the stage of hiring someone else to look at my work, I do my own editing and revisions. But, editing our own work takes a little bit of practice and skills in knowing how to edit a full manuscript.

If you’re looking to learn more about the process of editing your own work–and/or critiquing someone else’s manuscript, there is a great Developmental Edit class being taught at Margie Lawson’s Academy. Rhay Christou is teaching the class and she’s one of Margie’s fabulous teachers (she also teaches the deep point of view class as well as a class on character and giving chapters a pulse)

Here is a bit of the description:

Digging Deep into Developmental Edits

Your words shine and each line glisten. But you’re still getting rejections!

Pansters and plotters, at some point you’re going to have to step back from the words, the lines, and even the paragraphs, and look at the big picture issues.

Diving deep into developmental edits is an intense fourteen lecture course for those writers who have finished at least one draft of a novel.

This course is all about seeing your work as an editor, and learning how to analyze what you have on the page, so you can make the big decisions that will take your novel from fine to powerful.

This two-month course is packed full of tips, ideas, and learning opportunities not only aimed at helping writers make their current work in progress shine, but also teaching writers how to make future novels stronger.

This is a two-month class which uses a three-pass system on your manuscript. To find out more details and how to register go here.

 

 

 

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Clear Your Shelves Blog Hop

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It’s spring and time to do some spring cleaning! This week, I’m participating in the Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop sponsored by I Am a Reader Not A Writer.

The hop is all about clearing out those books shelves of books we are not going to read or books we are giving away. So, what am I giving away? I am giving away two books to one lucky winner.

To Scotland with Love

To Scotland with Love is a Kilts and Quilts Novel by Patience Griffin.

Blurb: Cait leaves Chicago for the birthplace she hasn’t seen since she was a child. She’s hoping to heal and to reconnect with her gran.
Graham Buchanan is a movie star with many secrets. A Gandiegow native, he frequently hides out in his hometown between films. He also has a son he’ll do anything to protect. But Cait Macleod is too appealing—even if she is a journalist. Quilting with her gran and the other women of the village brings Cait a peace she hasn’t known in years. But if she turns in the story about Graham, Gandiegow will never forgive her for betraying one of its own. Should she suffer the consequences to resurrect her career? Or listen to her battered and bruised heart and give love another chance?

 

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A Bride for the Season by Jennifer Delamere

Lucinda Cardington doesn’t care that she is close to being “on the shelf.” She has more serious pursuits in mind and is perfectly content to leave dreams of romance to silly young ladies like her sister. Yet when her sister places herself in a compromising situation with London’s most scandalous bachelor, the entire family’s reputation comes perilously close to ruin. Suddenly Lucinda is in the limelight . . . and in need of a husband.

James Simpson’s rakish ways have finally caught up with him. Snared in a scandal that for once is not his doing, he is forced to do the honorable thing and offer marriage to the lady. But her father won’t agree to a dowry unless James can also find a suitable husband for the lady’s elder sister-quiet, reserved Lucinda Cardington. As James gets to know the vibrant, charming, and passionate woman behind Lucinda’s shy exterior, he comes to the distressing realization that he doesn’t want her in anyone’s arms but his own . . .

In order to be entered in the giveaway, please leave me a comment telling me one place you would like to travel. Be sure to leave your email address with your name if you’d like to be entered in the giveaway. (Sorry, U.S. addresses only). I will draw a name and announce on March 27, 2015.

You can find the other blogs participating in the Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop here.

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Writing Craft Links

For the last month, I’ve been revising two of my manuscripts–a middle grade novel and a memoir. Both of them went out to freelance editors for critique and I’ve been working from the editor’s notes. This is the last stage for me before I send out my work for submission. I am a firm believer in having a professional eye look over my books before I start the submission process. It’s not that I don’t know how to do a manuscript critique–I do and often do them for other writers. The problem is that in my own writing, I am too close to the story to see objectively after a certain point.

Both manuscripts were at the place where I needed to dot a few “i’s” and cross a few “t’s” as well as do a lot of line edits. The manuscripts are now finished and ready to go out on submission later this spring along with the first story in a chapter book series.

My other large writing project is a multi-book contemporary romance series. I drafted the story in January–after using plot boards, a twenty-five page series bible, and other character work that I did in the fall. That manuscript is going to a freelance editor at the end of next week and then I will work on revisions for it. It also will go out on submission later this spring.

All of this writing in the last two months has put my focus more on the craft of writing rather than the business side. The business side will return soon and look for a new release in STAINED GLASS SUMMER both PRINT and ebook as well as a reissue of my YA, WEAVING MAGIC in both PRINT and ebook. Both of those books have had the rights returned to me and I am taking them out under my own imprint. However, I am still targeting traditional publishing with my other mentioned stories–I am a firm believing in the hybrid author these days!

But with all this writing, I was particular excited to see some writing craft blog postings come across my email in the last couple weeks.

In particular:

The Secret to Creating a Really Good Bad Guy

At Home: Revise Your Novel in 31 Days–This is updated daily during the month of March and has great tips and ideas for revision. Even if you don’t follow the whole 31 days, there is a wealth of information here.

Organize Your Novel with Excel–This is a good way to look at a chapter or novel to see how your point of view, plot and other elements balance in a visual lay-out.

Writing Believable Children in Romance–This is a topic I proposed as a workshop for the fall Seattle RWA Conference and there are lots of good tips here.

Let us know if you’ve seen any great craft related blog postings lately in the comments below!

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