Pitch Wars Mentor 2017 Blog Hop

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Hey guys! I’m Natasha Raulerson. I mentored in 2015, took off last year to have a baby, and now I return, fresh and ready for 2017!

Yay and Huzzah!

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Dear Future Mentee,

I am going to do my best to help you with your manuscript. There will be edits, there will be cuts, there will be sweat, there will be tears, and possibly blood. Okay, so hopefully the only blood drawn is in the novel. Still, it’s going to be hard work, on both of our parts. Everything I put into it, I expect you to put into it, and that means working on hard deadlines. That means sacrificing shows, extracurricular activities, and a lot of sleep.

Which, yes, that sucks, but ya know what? This is your dream and I hope I can help you achieve it.

My promise is to be here to listen to your concerns, help you with whatever I can, and cheer for you harder than anyone else. My promise is to help guide your manuscript, to give you the best advice I know, and do my damndest to take you to the next level.

Dare to do this. Dare to strive for your dream.

Sincerely,

Natasha Raulerson

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So, let me tell you a little bit more about why I might be your huckleberry.

I’m pretty eclectic. I love to write Urban Fantasy. I got picked up by my agent for dark romantic suspense. I enjoy literary fiction, thrillers, Sci-Fi and more. I love diversity, I love angst, and especially gritty, dark things. Some of my favorite novels:

  • Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
  • The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

So, let me tell you a little about me and be a little more specific about the things I want/don’t want.

As said, I’m a new mom, so if we Skype, probably expect a tiny little human to be an accessory a time or two. I graduate from FAU with a Bachelor’s in English with a focus in creative writing in Fall of 2017. The amazing Laura Bradford is my agent and she is absolutely the best, not only as an agent, but for dealing with my crazy.

I’m pretty easy going, drink whiskey on the weekends, live on coffee, and attempt to multitask like a boss. There will be multiple avenues you can get a hold of me and I’m pretty quick about responding, though it might be a bit delayed due to said tiny human. It’ll always be within the same day though.

In regards to submissions. I’m open to a lot of things, but I don’t want the same old thing, if that makes sense. If you’re writing Urban Fantasy, give me a new take on it. Not just vampires and werewolves. They can be in the novel, but I’d really like to see something outside the box for the protagonist and main characters–and something dark. If you send me a romance, I love dark romantic suspense. If you send me Scifi I prefer more plot and less mechanics. Meaning, I’m not going to be able to help if it’s riddled with high level science. I wish I could! My husband would be your Huckleberry at that point, but alas, he’s not a writer. I love compelling literary fiction with a unique plot. I’m  looking for some fresh, dynamic, versatile. Something that will evoke some kind of emotion.

Genres I’m accepting:

Urban Fantasy

Magical Realism

Literary

Romantic Suspense

Sci-Fi

Humor

Horror

Thriller

What don’t I want?

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I don’t want love triangles. Honestly, at this point, they are really overdone, and I’ve never been a huge fan of them anyway. As I said before, no vampires or werewolves as main plots for an Urban Fantasy. No damsel in distress stories. Even in romance, women can be capable.  No high or epic fantasy. I just won’t be able to help you with it. No rape for the sake of rape, even then I only want the physical scene if it’s pertinent to the plot. If it’s not necessary, then use your writer’s toolbox to make it more compelling without the gratuity of it. Don’t get me wrong, I like gratuitous violence. I love a good action novel, but when it comes to rape, it’s a little trickier. So, use your best judgement.

If you’re not sure if your novel would be something I like, just ask. I’m always happy to answer.

If you think that this might be a good fit, I hope you’ll submit to me.  I might just be your huckleberry.

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To check out the other mentors bios, follow the link back to Brenda’s blog! 

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Natasha Raulerson

America’s Next Reality Star

In AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR, Jen is cast on a reality show after she loses her job, her boyfriend, and her home. She hopes to win the cash prize but finds she also wants to win the heart of fellow contestant Justin. Fans of Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic won’t want to miss this charming, witty read published by Kensington’s Lyrical Shine.ANRS Final Cover

Rafflecopter for America’s Next Reality Star Virtual Blog Tour Giveaway:

Laura is offering one (1) lucky winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

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About America’s Next Reality Star:

Title: America’s Next Reality Star

Author: Laura Heffernan

Publisher: Lyrical Shine – Kensington

Series: Reality Star #1

Release Date: March 7, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

ISBN: 9781516101542

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SEEKING THE SMART ONE

Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV.

Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads


Available at:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

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Excerpt:

He touched my chin with two fingers, bringing my gaze up to meet his. Damn those green eyes. I searched them for answers, wishing I knew whether he was putting on an act for the audience. Even with the lights off, the cameras stationed in the yard would capture us. The producers filmed everything, day and night. Everyone in America would know if we kissed. For a moment, I struggled to remember why that was bad.

“I guess it’s not your fault, since I got the question right,” I said begrudgingly, shifting slightly backward.

“If that is the best I can get, I’ll take it. But I’m going to work on complete forgiveness. I’ll pay you double interest on our bet—six cents.”

“Well, then,” I laughed. “Maybe I’ll have to reconsider once I get my money. I’d hate to have to send Birdie to break your kneecaps.”

The image of five-foot-tall Birdie coming after Justin with a baseball bat cracked him up. I laughed, too, crossing my legs and settling more comfortably in the lounger. My knee practically touched Justin’s leg. He didn’t move.

We sat quietly for a few minutes. I wondered if he heard my heart pounding. Even not wanting to get caught kissing on national television with a near-stranger, I found something about Justin irresistible. Possibly his smile. Or his dimples. His brains. The ease of talking to him. His personality. The fact that he was practically perfect for me in every way.

That line of thinking wasn’t helping. I needed to change the subject before I started calling him Mary Poppins.

“It’s a beautiful night.” I gestured at the sky.PQ1_ANRS

“Yes, it is,” Justin said, his eyes never leaving my face. Did he lean forward slightly? Only inches separated our lips.

The warmth definitely wasn’t the beer. I licked my lips nervously and leaned in, closing the gap. If he moved the tiniest bit…

“So—”

Copyright © 2017 by Laura Heffernan

About Laura Heffernan:

Laura Heffernan.jpgLaura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the Northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

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Natasha Raulerson

Happy New Year!

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Did you exhale in relief when the clock struck midnight and 2016 became a thing of the past? With a new year comes new hopes, aspirations, and possibilities. It’s a fresh start as we leave 2016 behind us and hope that tomorrow brings with it something amazing. Something, at the very least, better than yesterday.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the good. To find something positive in a trashpile of negative, but usually, there is something. Don’t let the world beat you down, especially if you’re a writer trying to achieve your dream. This industry is hard, but it’s not impossible. It may take a while to get published, and you may have to rewrite your novel a dozen times, but while you’re in the trenches, you’ll find people going through the same thing. People willing to help pull you out and uplift you. You’ll find amazing critique partners, nuggets of knowledge, and just genuinely good people you want to be in your life.

No matter what, strive to do your best. Don’t be coplacent when you make a mistake. Learn from it so you do better. Don’t give up on your dreams, no matter how far away they may seem. Make goals, but remember, if you don’t achieve them all when you expect, that’s okay. Just keep trying to achieve them.

This world is full of too much negativity, judgement, and heartache. Don’t let that drag you down. Write your heart out. Learn to take constructive criticism. Always be open to learning new things about the craft.

Most of all, remember you’re not facing 2017 alone.

Happy 2017 everyone. May it be your best year yet!

Natasha Raulerson

Managing Time

I’d always admired parents who wrote. They managed to figure out how to manage the chaos of family with the discipline of writing. I say discipline because any one who writes jfPxJj.gifknows discipline is involved. If you don’t take the time to write every day, even if it’s for five minutes, then time often gets away from you.

Cronus is sneaky like that. Making time slip through our fingers and before we know it, a month has gone by and that W.I.P. has gone wayward in whatever writing processor is used. Lost in the files of the computer. Forgotten in the wasteland of unfinished stories.

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By the time we get back to it, so much has changed that the story may not seem like something we ever wrote at all. It might feel foreign, like the concept has warped, or you just plain don’t like it anymore.

I’m a new mom. I thought, “Ha! I’ll still write every day. I can do this!”

Well, that goal did not happen in the first month and a half of my sons life. It’s hard! I admire those parents even more now. They’ve been doing it a lot longer, with more than one kid to boot.

I was still writing, it just wasn’t every day. Most of the time it’s been on my phone, a sentence or two, maybe a paragraph, and it was while my son was breastfeeding or sleeping in my arms.

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It might just be snippets, ideas, thoughts, or stuff I know I’ll trash later, but the point was, I wrote.

Now, I don’t have time managed to a ‘T’. I’m also editing, and paying clients come first.

My own words, however, have somewhat taken a back seat. My son is almost two months old now, and things are falling into a rhythm. Now, when he sleeps, I can write. I know people say to sleep when he does, but he’s getting pretty good about sleeping long stretches through the night. Those day naps give me time to do things around the house, work, and write in between.

Even if it’s five words, even if it’s one. I’m back to writing every day. Whether by hand, on my phone, or if I manage to sit at my computer to do something other than edits. Writing is my passion. It’s my dream, and if nothing else, I’m making sure to produce words every day to provide an example for my son.

I want him to follow his dreams no matter how hard it might be.

Leading by example. Managing time. It’s not easy, and I tip my hat to all those parents who have been doing it far longer and better than I.raw (1).gif

Natasha Raulerson

FAITHFUL by MICHELLE HAUCK

The next volume in the Birth of Saints series is available now!

Following Grudging–and with a mix of Terry Goodkind and Bernard Cornwall–religion, witchcraft, and chivalry war in Faithful, the exciting next chapter in Michelle Hauck’s Birth of Saints series!


A world of Fear and death…and those trying to save it.

Colina Hermosa has burned to the ground. The Northern invaders continue their assault on the ciudades-estados. Terror has taken hold, and those that should be allies betray each other in hopes of their own survival. As the realities of this devastating and unprovoked war settles in, what can they do to fight back?

On a mission of hope, an unlikely group sets out to find a teacher for Claire, and a new weapon to use against the Northerners and their swelling army.

What they find instead is an old woman.

But she’s not a random crone—she’s Claire’s grandmother. She’s also a Woman of the Song, and her music is both strong and horrible. And while Claire has already seen the power of her own Song, she is scared of her inability to control it, having seen how her magic has brought evil to the world, killing without reason or remorse. To preserve a life of honor and light, Ramiro and Claire will need to convince the old woman to teach them a way so that the power of the Song can be used for good. Otherwise, they’ll just be destroyers themselves, no better than the Northerners and their false god, Dal. With the annihilation their enemy has planned, though, they may not have a choice.

A tale of fear and tragedy, hope and redemption, Faithful is the harrowing second entry in the Birth of Saints trilogy.
Faithful– November 15, 2016
Harper Voyager

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A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power. And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.



GRUDGING
November 17, 2015
Harper Voyager


Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads


Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two kids in college. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her Birth of Saints trilogy, starting with Grudging and Faithful (November 15, 2016), is available from Harper Voyager. Another epic fantasy, Kindar’s Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. She’s repped by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary.

Natasha Raulerson

FROSH 2: SECOND CHANCES

_FROSH2FINALHey guys! Welcome to the Blog Tour for FROSH 2: SECOND CHANGES by Monica B. Wagner. After reading the blurb, don’t forget to check out Monica’s amazing playlist!

Blurb:

In FROSH: First Blush, Ellie, Grant, Devon, and Charlie spent their welcome week falling head over heels for each other–before totally falling apart. Now, in FROSH: Second Chances, they’ll have to pick up the pieces.

After ruining Grant’s football career (and her own reputation), Ellie has been trying to lie low–which means not making more enemies. But some students still want her to pay for what she did, and now, Ellie’s determined to fight back–and fight for Grant.

Grant is adjusting to his new reality: no more football means no more free passes in class, and definitely no more distractions; especially from Ellie, whom he misses even after she destroyed his world. Can he find a way to move on without her–and without football?

Devon finally has it all: her brother’s sober and her boyfriend is an adorkable genius. But when her parents threaten to tear her and Charlie apart because he doesn’t ‘fit’ into their high society, she will go to dangerous lengths to prove that nothing–nothing–can defeat Devon Connors.

Charlie’s never questioned who he is: pre-med science geek, and now, Devon Connors’ boyfriend. But when he discovers a secret about his past, Charlie isn’t sure of anything–especially whether he can trust Devon with the truth.

Perfect for fans of Cora Carmack and Colleen Hoover, Monica B. Wagner’s sexy New Adult series follows these four characters all the way to winter break–when the only thing they’ll want more than first love is a second chance.

BUY LINKS

 

Hi! Thanks for inviting me to this blog today. : )

I’m here to share a playlist for each of the main POV characters on Frosh: Second Chances.

Ellie: Set Fire to The Rain and Rolling in the Deep – Adele. Can’t Remember to Forget You – Shakira ft. Rihanna.

Grant: The Scientist (Nobody Said it Was Easy) – Coldplay. Misery – Maroon 5.

Charlie: Are You Lonesome Tonight – Elvis Presley. I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons.

Devon: Fancy – Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX. Work Bitch – Britney Spears

Thanks so much for reading!

Mónica

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Mónica was born in a Peruvian city by a snow-capped volcano. Growing up, books were her constant companions as she traveled with her family to places like India (where she became a vegetarian), Thailand (where she *almost* met Leonardo di Caprio), France (where she pretended to learn French), and countless other places that inspired her to write. Now, Mónica lives in Chile with her husband, three boys, eleven hens, and stray dog. Keep up with Monica and follow her on Twitter @Monica_BW or visit her website: http://monibw.blogspot.com.

Natasha Raulerson

Back To The Future – On Writer’s Block & Editing

Sometimes finding that next word or that next sentence isn’t so easy. This can happen 10k or 50k words into that work-in-progress. If you’re lucky, it never happens, but for the majority, there is always that moment that catches us. That makes it hard for fingers to brush over the keyboard in fluid movements. Instead, it’s jagged tap-a-taps before hitting the backspace key–and somewhere in between is usually the overwhelming urge to throw said keyboard out the window. Not that the sudden block is the keyboards fault, but let’s face it, keyboards probably get more abuse from writers than anyone else. Mine has so much wear and tear that the letters have worn off the keys, and honestly, I’m surprised I haven’t cracked the damn thing. The keyboard is the medium from which we transport our thoughts to the screen–and sometimes, we’re very, very mean to it when we can’t make the correlation.

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So, what can we do to not only keep the words flowing, but to maybe not beat up the poor, innocent, and too-often abused keyboard?

Well there are some tactics. Maybe pushing forward works for you. Writing crap upon crap until finally it gives way to the diamonds in the rough that make the story flow again. Most times those original craptastic words are deleted and rewritten later, but if that’s the method that works, then that’s the method that works.

I tend to be the person who stares and stares and stares and wonders why my fingers aren’t moving. Then I note twenty-minutes have passed and the most I’ve achieved is three words and being mesmerized by the cursor blinking on the page.

Realizing that this method is not helping me get any work done, I’ve opted to try something new.

GOING BACK TO THE FUTURE!

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So what does that mean in writer terms exactly? Well, I was listening to K.M. Weiland’s podcast and she mentioned that about every third of her manuscript she goes back and edits. She also mentioned that some authors get caught in a sort of loophole where they forever edit what they already have and never continue on. I used to be that writer, so going back to edit while writing makes me reluctant. I don’t want to fall in that loophole again.

However, when I can’t push forward, it makes me wonder if something has gone wrong in what I already wrote, or rather, in the past of my manuscript. How have I wound up struggling so hard to write that next line? Well, the only way to figure that out is to go to the past–or what I’ve already written in the world I’m working on. To read over what I already have and see if I need to change something, or, what’s more likely, I may have forgotten a detail that’s meant to push the plot forward. Weaving together a plot is pretty damn hard. So by going back and rereading what’s already there, details that are forgotten in the whirlwind of the rough draft pop back out, and things are remembered, thus I can change the future of my manuscript. Making notes in the sidebar (I have Scrivener) can definitely help the process of not over editing–something that may keep you stuck in the past.

Instead of adding the actual detail that may be needed to enhance a scene, jot a note down so when you’re going through your first round of revisions, you remember what you need to do. Sure, fix a misspelled word, or maybe add a bit of dialogue if it comes to you, but don’t DO all the actual editing–at least if you’re like me and will get caught in that forever-editing-loop instead of finishing the manuscript.

By reading through the past, new ideas pop to mind. New avenues to take, paths to carves, 10_21_15_alison_greatscottcharacters to enhance or create. You may get through one chapter or four before that “GREAT SCOTT!” moment hits and you’re jumping back to the future of your manuscript to work on that scene with renewed vigor–and a safely intact keyboard.

I’ve learned this method keeps my mind in the manuscript, makes the gears spin in regards to the what has happened as well as what needs to happen, and helps me come up with ideas of where to take it based on where I’ve already been–and just like Marty and Doc, sometimes I wind up finding a nugget that with a little tweaking, lets me change the future into something much better than I originally imagined.

At the very least, I’ve got some notes jotted for when I actually start the full editing process.

Give it a shot. If nothing else, your keyboard will thank you.