Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Five Ways to Meet A Guy and a giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 9 comments
by Erin Bevan

Erin told me she had a Novella called Text Me coming out in time for Valentines Day. I knew I wanted to read it because she's a very funny writer. I asked her to write a post.
Displaying Erin2.jpgWhen Susan asked me to write a post about five ways to meet a guy that doesn’t involve bars or Starbucks I had to laugh out loud. One, because I haven’t “met” a guy in over ten years now. I met him and kept him.

Two, because I have an obsession for Starbucks, but I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen too many guys there I would be interested in dating, or that would be interested in dating me if you get my drift.

However, if I were going to look for a man, I do know a few places I would start with. So, to all of you single ladies out there, listen up.

My top five places:

1.      The gym. Yep, nothing like finding your stud muffin amongst the treadmills and the free weights. Not a gym rat, fake it. Get a membership, get a few training session with a hotty, or ask one to spot you. Guys like girls who are confident and fit. A gym helps with both of those things, and maybe you two could find other ways to get fit together. wink, wink!

2.      The dog store, dog park, dog anything. My pup attends a dog school a couple of times during the week. I see you rolling your eyes. She’s a German Shepherd who has entirely too much energy for me, so to save my house and my nerves she goes to puppy play. Anyway, while at pup school, I have seen some hotties drop their “babies” off for play as well. Not that I was looking or anything. Strike up conversation. Tell him how big his dog is. Get your mind out of the gutter. I was talking about his four-legged one!

3.      The home stores. Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, a paint store, anywhere you can go that men congregate. This is one place to be a damsel in distress. If there’s a cute guy standing next to you, act like you don’t know what a zip tie is even though you totally do. Who cares! You’ve got hotties attention, now act like he’s teaching you something, sit back and enjoy!

4.      Buffies not your thing? More of a nerd girl? Then go to the office supply stores. Nothing get’s a nerd more excited than three ring binders, post it notes and Excel.

5.      And, if you still haven’t found love in all the “right” places, you can do what my heroine did in my latest release and reach for the classifieds. Let Match, E-Harmony, Craigs list, or just the good ol’ newspaper help you find a date. And if all of that still fails, well, set your house on fire and pray for a hot fireman! Just kidding! Well, sort of!

Happy Valentine’s Day ya’ll! 

Thank you, Erin. Erin's giving away an e-copy of Text Me to one lucky reader. Enter below. Here's the blurb and a sample.
 When Erika’s ex becomes her boss less than a year after dumping her by text, she gets desperate to find a date to the corporate Valentine’s dance so he doesn’t suspect she still has feelings for him. Though not a fan of texting for the obvious reason, she doesn’t have much choice but to tap the keypad in order to gain the attention of the only viable candidate from the classified ads.

Grayson made the mistake of listening to his brother a year ago and has regretted what he did to Erika ever since. But his brother’s next suggestion just might be his salvation when he takes out an ad for a Valentine’s date…and Erika answers.

Using a pseudo name and keeping contact to text messages only, Grayson’s plans to make Erika fall back in love with him appears to be working…until the date of the dance draws near, and she pushes a meeting—face to face.


Valentine’s Day.

She sank deeper into the couch. What was she going to do? She couldn’t show up alone to the company dance. Not with the chance of Grayson being there. No way.

“Maybe go to another speed dating session?” She grabbed a tissue off the coffee table and wiped the excess slime from her fingers.

“My hairdresser’s single. You want me to ask him?”

“Your hairdresser’s gay. I don’t think he’d be interested in me.”

“Really?” Megan gave her a funny stare.

“Really.” Erika snorted. “Have you not seen the picture of him and his ex-partner at his station?”

“That was his partner?” Her friend’s mouth gapped open. “I thought it was his brother.”

She shook her head. Her friend was one of the smartest people she knew, but common sense eluded the girl.

Megan popped more hearts in her mouth. “That explains so much now,” she mumbled around the candy. “No wonder my hair always looks good.”

“Yes, it does.” Erika sipped her wine.

Her friend swallowed. “Well, I’m sorry, honey. I don’t know any single guys. If I did, I’d try to date them myself.”

“That’s okay.” She sighed and slumped back onto the sofa.

“Is Grayson single?”

“I don’t know. Why are you asking?” She narrowed her gaze. “You want to date him?”

“No.” Her friend said “no” as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.
“I’m thinking about you. You wouldn’t go back out with Grayson again, would you? Please say no.” Megan’s shoulders sagged.

Go back out with Grayson. She never thought she’d be given another chance. Would she go back out with him after the way he treated her? Of course not. She deserved better, despite how wonderful he had been.

“I don’t think so. He really hurt me. I can’t give him that privilege again.”

“Good for you.” Her roommate perked up and patted her on the back. “Stay strong. You’ll find someone.”

“You’re right. I’m going to have a date for that corporate Valentine’s dance, even if I have to search the classifieds.”

“Surely, it won’t come to that.” Megan held up her glass for a toast.

Erika clinked hers with her friend’s. “Yeah, surely.”

Her roommate sat her glass down on the table and reached for more hearts.

“Here, give me one of those.”

“I love reading the little sayings.” Megan passed her a heart and tossed her dark hair behind her shoulder. “What’s yours say?”

She flipped over the candy to see the phrase. Bright pink letters stared back at her. Oh, you can’t be serious. “‘Text me’. Seriously?”

Megan burst out laughing.

“You would find that funny.” Erika popped the heart in her mouth and obliterated the little saying she had grown to hate so much.

Erin Bevan is a wife and mother of three. An avid reader, one day she decided to try her luck in writing stories of her own, and the idea paid off. She spends her days deep in the heart of Texas, fighting mosquitoes, cleaning dirty faces, and writing when the kids nap. If it's a really good day, she even finds time to brush her hair.

Twitter @ErinBevan

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

News and a Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 8 comments
I have more than one career. I am an actor - as Susan Berger. and a children's book writer as Susan J Berger. I also bookkeep and prepare taxes.
This week they all collided. 
I had a novel to finish as Susan James, a picture book to revise for my picture book critique group, Tax training as a VITA Tax volunteer, an Upright Citizen's Brigade, Musical Improv class show, and an all night shoot for Dad is Dead, an AFI Thesis film.
And some of last year's work is showing up on TV for the first time this week and next.

My 2 Broke Girls episode "And the Basketball Jones" is on Wednesday, Jan 20th at 8:00 PM (EST or PST)   
And my Episode of Crazy Ex Girlfriend airs Monday, January 25 on the CW network (which is channel 5, on the east and west coasts.) 
Rachel Bloom the amazing creator and star of Crazy Ex Girlfriend won the 2016 Golden Globe for best actress in a musical/comedy TV series. If you haven t seen it, here is a link to the trailer for the series: It is a comedy with full blown musical numbers. (I don't sing in this.)
But a clip of me singing from  Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories  Sauce Boy episode, which already aired in November on the Cartoon Network is available if you Google search Mama Pantone. I have fans! Here’s a link to the singing clip:  https://vid.me/pRQj

I feel like such an ACTOR!!!  It's an awesome feeling. Now to get more work.
And get more writing done. 
This weeks giveaway is a 5.00 Amazon or iTunes gift card. Winner chooses.
Have a lovely week.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Beta readers anyone?

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 3 comments
If you're looking to be one, I want to meet you.

You’ve honed your manuscript. Been through the revision process more than once. You’ve possibly been through a critique group. (I personally love feedback from my critique group.) Now it’s time to look for a beta reader or three. 
A Beta reader is a person who test drives your book. Unlike a critique group which gives feedback in small bites, a beta reader reads the whole thing.
The term beta is derived from the software industry where beta versions of a program are sent to users to test.
I am sure we’ve all been through beta versions of software. With the best will in the world the software industry has put out some real doozies in the first version. They didn’t put in bugs on purpose They thought they had a saleable finished product.

As writers, we too are capable of being blind to errors. Why?
We know our work too well.
We describe events or a world in a way that is clear to us, but not clear to an outside reader.
We’ve lived with the characters so long, some of what is clear to us about our characters did not make it onto the printed page.
They are plot holes we fail to catch.

A beta reader reads a finished manuscript and tells the author about the bugs so the author can improve its readability, and saleability. Ideally, a beta reader finds your glitches. I think an author needs at least three readers, because they may pick up on different things.

For Time and Forever, I had five, including one beta reader who gave me a line edit. That was above and beyond the call of duty. She improved my book immeasurably. 
Hey, maybe the manuscript doesn't have any bugs. I have not personally experienced this, but it can happen. An author I did not know who was a member of one of my Yahoo groups posted a YA novel for "last looks." I adored it. I was fully caught up in her world and characters. I ended up sending her a fan letter. Wouldn’t it be nice to get that from a reader before it’s sent to an editor?
What do you want from your beta reader? Here is a great link to beta leader questionnaire: http://beta-readers.deviantart.com/art/My-Beta-Readers-Questionnaire-152568362

Where to find your beta reader?
It goes without saying that we all want the crème de la crème of betas. I know it takes time and trials to find a good fit.
You want one who regularly reads in your genre.
It’s best if they are not related to you. I find my friends are perhaps kinder than they should be because they love me.
If you belong to a writing chapter, you can possible arrange a beta swap. Check their listserv.
Sometimes you get lucky. I met a beta reader in an airport waiting for a delayed flight. We swapped manuscripts and I just finished another revision based on her amazingly helpful feedback.
You can search the web – Key word beta reader.
Yahoo groups You could search Yahoo Groups or start a new topic within your group.
Goodreads: I found, among others, a YA group. https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/129339-aspiring-ya-novelists

And a general Beta group where you post your genre. https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/50920-beta-reader-group
Facebook. Search beta readers followed by your genre. I see some people looking to find beta readers. Perhaps a swap could be arranged.
Next I tried Twitter. Lots of hits with beta reader. Found this wonderful blog. https://thebetareaderblog.wordpress.com/

 I need a beta or two myself. 
Kate's Hero is a romantic comedy. Approximately 207 pages.
 One four leaf clover. Two stubborn People. A leprechaun with a mission. What could possibly go wrong?
Any takers?
If you are an author I'd be happy to swap. Leave a comment with a way to reach you.

Thanks you for stopping by.
This week's giveaway is one of the books I wish I'd written. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  It's a well thumbed paperback. (I have two.)

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016