Thursday, September 27, 2018

Author Spotlight: Toni Shiloh + GIVEAWAY

I'm going to assume that if you love inspirational romance, you know and love Toni Shiloh and her soulfully romantic stories. But if you haven't, you're in for a treat. We at The Writer's Alley are huge fans of her, her important work, and--of course--her books!

Meet Toni

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian contemporary romance author. Once she understood the powerful saving grace, thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

A member of the ACFW and president of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media, predominately Facebook. When she’s not spending time in imagination land, you’ll either find her with a book or an Xbox One controller to avoid the housework that never seems to end.

Toni Shiloh has made a commitment to do her part in bringing diversity into fiction. Her stories include a diverse group of characters with African Americans taking the spotlight. She is the founder of the blog, Diversity Between the Pages. When she’s not writing her own diverse stories, she assists authors giving critiques, feedback, or participating as a sensitivity reader.

Her Latest Book : Finally Accepted

There’s only one thing Chloe Smith has ever wanted: family. Yet the DNA results she’s received have thrown her life into a tailspin. Her utmost desire has ended up being the catalyst for shaking her faith. She doesn’t even know who she is anymore, and she’s certainly too messed up for her longtime crush to give her more than a second glance.
Darryl Jones is struggling between his past and the grace God so freely offers. His sins feel too big for him to handle, let alone expect the woman of his dreams to accept. Chloe is the only woman he’s ever wanted and the one he doesn’t deserve.
As they form a tentative relationship and examine their faith, Chloe and Darryl ache to know they are finally accepted and fully loved.
Get your copy here: AmazonB&NGooglePlayiBooksKobo

Connect with Toni



Leave a comment on this post for the chance to win a Kindle copy of Toni's latest, Finally Accepted!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Post Conference Calming Tips

#TipfulTuesday Lordy, Lordy, the conference is over! The laundry basket is piled to the ceiling and the home to-do list drips onto the thirtieth page. There isn't time to even begin thinking about what was learned, what was requested, or all the new friends that need connecting. 

We here at the Alley TOTALLY understand. We've been there. Done that. And...oddly enough have no desire to burn the tee shirt! No, we're not weird. We're writers!

Here are a few calming tips to hopefully de-stress your day. 

1. Instead of running the television/online programming in the background while going through your day, choose a session you attended and reflect on the teachings. I adapted a memory game for myself that has kept any teaching alive in my brain. I started using this for the Sunday sermon. On Monday, I quiz myself: what was the topic. I keep my questions basic. If in the hype of the day I can recall the Sunday sermon, I am ecstatic. 

So, right now. Think back to the last conference you attended. Now choose a class. It doesn't have to be your favorite, just the first one that pops into your mind. What was the topic? Picture the instructor and recall their name. Imagine the setting, oddly enough this will help you recall the instructions. Now, name as many points taught as you can. Take no more than about ten minutes at one time for this. It can be done while driving, loading the washer, vacuuming, preparing dinner.

The idea is to silence the extraneous sounds (not the kids of course) and focus, deeply focus on the setting of your class to help you recall what you learned.

On Tuesday, take the recall a step farther. List not only what you remembered Monday but new points. This is essential to moving forward as a writer. The more we recall and plant in our heads, the more these concepts will seep into our writing. Seriously. In the middle of a sentence, one of the conference principles will flash into my mind. I instantly apply the idea and POOF my writing is like--wow! I wrote that??? Is it okay to say I smile at those moments? That I feel supercharged to keep writing? That ideas flow? 

2. Connecting with your new friends, sorry to say, is not a number one priority. It is important but not this week. Trust me, all those great new friends are in the same boat as you. Yes, you need to friend them on FB and connect in hundreds of other ways, but your family needs you. God needs your attention. Your writing needs you. You need to remember what you learned. I find that the massive friend requests leap into my box one to two weeks later. No need to overextend this week.

3. If you received a request for material, a query, proposal, chapter, or full manuscript, congratulations!Does the agent or editor expect to receive these items today? NO! These individuals are wading through number one above like you. Also, they expect your absolute best. Take the time to edit, review, and ensure what you plan to send is the absolute best you can do. It is wise to work on this for about a week. Two weeks or more is not bad either. The agents and editors would much rather you gave them your best than to receive the material right away.

If you did not receive a request for material, no sweat. There are so many of us who have rowed in that boat. Deep down we knew it wasn't ready.

4. Breathe. God designed twenty-four hours for a reason. Cramming thirty-six hours into a twenty-four hour day--I am so guilty of this--is not quality anything. Hug your babies. Kiss your hubby. Call your mom. Sip a cup of tea. Enjoy and be productive. This is the day that the Lord Has Made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

You can do this!!
~Mary Vee

Photo by Mary Vee 
A Garden in Colmar, Germany

Mary Vee -  Mary Vee - Rock climbing, white-water rafting, and hiking top Mary’s list of ways to enjoy a day. She was homeless for a time, earned her MA in Counseling, and married an Air Force vet.  Mary has been a finalist in several writing contests and writes for her King.

Visit Mary at her websiteblog, and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter

Mary's new release, Daring to Live, is a new release on Amazon.