Kim Turner: Path to Publication

Today I’m excited to have Kim Turner hosting my blog and sharing her Path to Publication story. Without further ado, here’s Kim…

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IMG_0025[1]In 2001 I attended Georgia Romance Writers Moonlight and Magnolias conference so I could spend time with a friend of mine from childhood, Sherrilyn Kenyon. I had often thought about writing a novel but at that time a lot was going on in my life but I did go home thinking I would start on an idea for a story that I had been tossing around in my head for a long time. So I got home and started writing like a maniac…all three chapters and then it sat there.

 

Fast forward ten years and I had completed my Masters, got married, had a daughter, adopted a daughter from China, and life was rolling right along. But somehow that story continued to build inside my head and so in 2011 I pulled it back out determined to finish. And in eight months I had completed not only one story but three and they were all over 160,000 words each…little did I know about writing romance at that time.
So I called up Sherri and said , “Hey? Guess what? I have written three novels, a series of old west brothers. What do I do next?” I mean I was ready to take the world by storm…I had completed three stories and it had been great fun.
Well when I think of it now, she should have laughed at me but she didn’t. She listened to my ideas and what I had to tell her and then she suggested I join Romance Writer’s of America and Georgia Romance Writers so I could network and learn the craft. “Oh.” I remember saying but I was gonna take the world by surprise.
So I did what she said and joined and began going to meetings and taking notes and learning. And it didn’t take me long to realize those three stories were all right but in no way would be what romance editors would want. I knew this partly because when I attended M&M once more in 2012 I pitched the first story to two editors, one who bit my head clean off and handed it back to me and another who was incredibly nice–both of who asked for the manuscript that I never sent.
The reason was I had learned enough at GRW meetings to know my stories weren’t what they needed to be. So I opened a new word document and started on a mail-order-bride meets sheriff story with intentions of writing within the little box that romance editors preferred. I also went to meetings and conferences and learned from other writers and authors and I paid attention and studied the craft. I was determined to make it happen. That story is what is now Sawyer’s Rose.
I pitched that story about 13 times with the typical “we could not identify with your voice” rejections coming in one by one over the next two years.
But then on Jan. 12, 2015 I was at work on my lunch break glancing at emails…and there was one from The Wild Rose Press. I ignored it at first not sure I wanted the rest of my day suck because it was another rejection. But curiosity and wondering if there was an inkling of a chance got the better of me. I remember sitting there and reading the email over and over as it just would not compute in this brain of mine. I was being offered a contract on the story and no the rest of my day did not suck. Imagine my joy at being able to share this news with Sherri and thank her for pointing me in the right direction.
And after starting a new story and rewriting it nine times with three major story changes I was getting published. So dreams do come true but not without giving it all you have. I read and studied and listened and learned and pitched even when it scared the daylights out of me. I tell aspiring writers there are a few things I have learned along this road to getting published. The first thing is to never give up. The second is to listen and learn and study. The third one is to write what you write. Too many opinions on Sawyer’s Rose made it not even my story…so I went back and started over at an earlier point and did the story the way I wanted to–the contract came right after that. The last bit of advice I would like to offer is to keep learning and hang on tight because publication itself is quite a ride of its own!
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Kim’s books can be found as ebooks at most book sellers and in print on Amazon and with The Wild Rose Press!
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As if he doesn’t have enough to handle between running outlaws out of Cheyenne, keeping his brothers out of trouble, and avenging his father’s death, Sheriff Sawyer McCade’s meddling mother just dumped a mysterious mail-order bride on his doorstep. One woman can be more trouble than a band of renegades, and while this one has him all stirred up, he’d rather get to the bottom of the story she isn’t telling.

Rose Parker had it all—until a web of danger and deceit sends her running to Cheyenne posing as a mail-order bride. Escaping the evils of New York seems sensible until she meets the unsuspecting sheriff who didn’t ask for her, has no intention of marrying her, and won’t rest until he uncovers her secret and sends her back home.

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Bounty hunter Wyatt McCade is taking down outlaws one at a time. He’s been in love with Tess Sullivan for years, but she refuses to give in to her feelings. Reeling from the rejection of his marriage proposal, he chases bounties with little concern for his own safety. When word reaches him that Tess never left for Boston, he rides for Cheyenne to confront her. Instead, he is ambushed and left for dead.

Doctor Tess Sullivan shattered her heart by refusing Wyatt McCade’s marriage proposal and making the biggest mistake of her life, by holding onto a secret. Pining for his return, she blames herself when he arrives in Cheyenne near death. Forgiveness comes quickly in his arms, but she finds herself a pawn in a deadly game of revenge.

When McCade lands are threatened, Tess is caught in the balance. On the bounty hunt of his life, Wyatt will risk everything to rescue the woman he loves.

Author Bio:

Kim Turner writes western historical romance, and discovered her passion of writing at the age of eight by writing poems, short stories and journals. Kim graduated from Clayton State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and holds a Master’s Degree in Adult Education from Central Michigan University.

Working as a registered nurse educator for over twenty-seven years, she enjoys studying the medical treatments of the old west as well as keeping up with the latest western movies and television series. While she loves reading anything from highlanders to pirates, she claims to have an unquenchable thirst for the American Cowboy when choosing her reads.

Kim lives south of Atlanta with her husband and calls her greatest accomplishment the birth of one daughter and the adoption of another from China-neither of which came easy. Kim is a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers. Kim’s Motto: It’s All About A Cowboy and the Woman He Loves.

Social Media:

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Path to Publication: Jessica Rachel Kreger

Today I’m welcoming fellow Clean Reads author, Jessica Rachel Kreger, to share her Path to Publication story. And, I had the pleasure of working with Jessica on this as her content editor. I really liked this one! Without further ado, here’s Jessica…

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headshot_P7_amazonWhen I worked as the director of research communications at the University of Miami medical school, on evenings I would I work out at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center. There, I saw good-looking personal trainers coaching plus-sized clients. Many of the clients struggled through the fitness routines, but with lots of encouragement, they returned again and again. They needed to have both external motivation, as well as the inner strength to complete their killer circuits.

During my job, I attended a symposium on obesity research, and was moved by the statistics. Beyond the numbers and case studies, each mother, father, sister, and brother has a story, and often their stories are intertwined with complications. Being overweight can put your health at risk, and obesity is even more serious. Obesity has been linked to diabetes and other illnesses. In addition, many researchers believe it has a genetic component.

In between riding the elliptical at the gym and listening to research showing obesity rates skyrocketing, the seeds for my heroine were planted in my mind. I wondered what would happen if a woman who was motivated to get fit after her mother’s tragic death from diabetes ended up in the studio of a handsome personal trainer?

Of course, the hunk would already have a girlfriend. I named him Eric. And his girlfriend would be a model at that. I named her Star. But maybe Star wasn’t exactly right for Eric. Perhaps inner beauty was what he was truly looking for, and a plus-sized woman could also be beautiful to him. Cue in my heroine, Daisy, and poof! The idea for Fit to Love sprouted into my first novel.

It took about five years to write, research, edit, and find the perfect publisher to bring my debut novel to you. After finishing my book, I searched for a publisher that would connect with my inspirational message of faith, family, healing, and hope. When I finally signed with Clean Reads, it was a dream come true!

Christi Corbett, who is so graciously hosting me on her blog, was one of my amazing editors. The book launched in February and is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Smashwords, and Kobo. If you’re looking for a little inspiration to achieve your own dreams, you just might find it in Fit to Love.

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For any woman who has ever battled with their weight, debut author Jessica Rachel Kreger tells a heartwarming tale of a woman whose struggle for fitness leads her into the studio of an irresistible trainer who needs her more than she knows…

After her mother’s tragic death from diabetes, mousy Daisy Day embarks on her own life-saving mission to lose a hundred and fifty pounds. Handsome personal trainer and Army veteran, Eric Anderson, seems like the answer to her prayers, but he’s way out of her league…not to mention taken by a picture-perfect model almost half her age.

When Daisy lends her marketing acumen to launch Eric’s personal training business and helps him overcome his grief from losing his brother in Afghanistan, he realizes he has more in common with her than his own girlfriend. Yet when the hours of training pay off, and Daisy is transformed into a head-turning beauty, he’s not the only man to notice.

Daisy Day is fit to love and she’s already fallen for Eric… but with his now ex-girlfriend chasing after him, and another man in Daisy’s arms, is it too late for him to catch her?

 

Author Bio: 

Jessica Rachel Kreger’s love of fitness, Florida, and respect for military veterans like her father spawned the idea for her first novel. While working as the research communications director at the University of Miami’s medical school, Jessica learned about our country’s obesity epidemic, and came up with the plot for Fit to Love.

At an early age, Jessica developed a passion for reading from her mother, and continues to find inspiration in her family, friends, and faith. When not writing, Jessica enjoys hitting the gym, snorkeling the South Florida waters, and predicting what is going to happen on her favorite TV shows.

A member of the Romance Writers of America and the South Florida Romance Writers, she has over seventeen years of experience as a professional writer, and earned a B.A. in English from Penn State University and an M.A. in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Buy Links: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fit-Love-Jessica-Rachel-Kreger-ebook/dp/B01N9VMOHK

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fit-to-love-jessica-rachel-kreger/1125556723?ean=2940157621452

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fit-to-love/id1198888606?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/702438

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fit-to-love

 

Online Links for Jessica:

Website: http://www.jessicarachelkreger.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/jessicarachelkreger/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaRKreger

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/jessicarachelkreger

Medium: https://medium.com/@JessicaRKreger

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16410360.Jessica_Rachel_Kreger

Julie Fugate’s Path to Publication

Today I welcome fellow Clean Reads author, Julie Fugate, to the blog to share her Path to Publication story.

Without further ado, here’s Julie…

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IMG_0531Thank you Christi, fellow writer and CleanReads author, for having me on your blog.

I’ve loved to read since I was little, and it was definitely my strong suit in school, to the point, I would be chosen to leave class and read stories to younger kids. Stories came natural and writing had always been a hobby . . . something fun to do.

I’d been involved in a creative writing class in High School but I don’t think the teacher cared for my fantasy stories. With college looming, becoming a Writer didn’t seem practical when it came to paying the bills. Yet, I would continue to weave stories and create characters in my head.

Left with the choice to try and fail, or not try at all, I started doling out books to family and friends with mixed results. The stories played out like a movie in my head, but my problem was getting that story down on paper and across to a reader. I was also discovering what kind of writer I wanted to be. Young adult was a given since I enjoyed reading that genre. I wanted to write about characters with issues, problems, and hard circumstances, which included anti-heroes and underdogs. I also wanted to show a God who is alive and active in people’s lives, but with that said my characters (as well as readers) may not accept or even believe along those lines. As you probably already guessed my faith in God runs deep. Once I found myself sleeping, eating, dreaming . . . overwhelmed with these stories I knew I had no choice but to push myself.

In 2013, I joined the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writer) and began entering my contemporary books in a few contests. I quickly found contests were not my forte and again I seemed to be lacking (especially with grammar). I got involved with their general critique group and began learning about action beats, adverbs, white space, and showing vs. telling, etc. Every spare moment I wrote and re-wrote. The first conference I attended that same year I had some interest from a small publisher and agent. It bolstered my confidence, but knew in my heart I wasn’t ready.

Also in 2013, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, and picked the most fun story concept that had been rattling around in my head. Teen, Angels, Human-Angel Hybrids, and most of all I wanted to show an involved God. I succeeded and out of that Kings of Renown was born.

In 2014, I joined RWA (Romance Writers Association) so I could be part of YARWA, their young adult group. At every turn I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I again participated in NaNoWriMo and succeeded in writing the next installment of the Kings of Renown series.

I’m now involved in a permanent critique group I trust with writing and life. I’ve learned a lot since beginning this journey. I discovered I wasn’t writing Christian fiction but Inspirational fiction since I dealt with life’s harder themes yet still had religious elements. Not everyone will like what I write. I’ll always be learning and growing as a Writer and a Believer. Writing wasn’t about me, but a way to provide readers entertainment and hope through Christ if they face dark circumstances.

In 2015, I had prepped Query’s and a Proposal to start sending out. At that same time I participated in a YARWA online party, which is where I met Stephanie, the owner of CleanReads. She asked for a copy of my story and I was honored when she asked me to join her family of authors. A dream came true when BETRAYAL, Book One in the Kings of Renown series was published in November, 2015.

Love and prayers,

Julie Fugate

http://www.juliefugatebooks.com

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A seraphim angel joins the fallen and uses his abilities to enhance the human race. After re-pledging his allegiance to God, centuries later his mission collides with the lives of three human-angel hybrid teens.

High school outcast Tara Cox hates her career criminal dad. Despite her reluctance she’s as talented at deception and secrecy as him. When new friends, including the guy she has a crush on, shows her kindness, she dreams of a different life that doesn’t involve violence and solitude.

Sixteen year-old Inara Mason desires to break away from her controlling dad. She develops a supernatural bond with a real angel who shows her monstrous mermaids and offers the illusion of love.

Former juvenile delinquent Leo Price struggles with the stigma of being a killer and keeping his love for Inara secret. He takes comfort in his dedication to God and the support of his mentor, Inara’s father. As evil closes in, they will fight for their lives, love, and the future of their souls.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1YkskdB

Barnes&Noble: http://bit.ly/1jb6xVS

iTunes: http://apple.co/1MrGlku

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Sl0N8f

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/596156

OverDrive: https://www.overdrive.com/media/2553182/betrayal

Author Bio:  JULIE FUGATE writes young adult fiction where danger, suspense, romance and God collide. Her nicknames include Jay, Juju, Jules, Lizzie and Julio. A tomboy and girly-girl all wrapped into one. Growing up she would spend one hundred percent of her meager allowance on books. You could find her in the library, the porch swing, or in her room reading and listening to music. She fights off two German Shepherds and a snarky Maltese who try to take over her keyboard when she’s writing.

Social Media Links:

Website: juliefugatebooks.com

Instagram: jfugatewrites

Twitter: @jfugatewrites

GoodReads: Julie Fugate

Facebook: julie.e.fugate