Monday, October 28, 2013

WITCHIN' Book Party Giveaway: Test your Witch knowledge for a chance to win!

{This blog hop and contest are now closed, but feel free to take the Witch Quiz and test your knowledge!)

As my newest book deals with a WITCH, let's test your WITCH-y knowledge.

Take my 5 Question WITCH TEST ...then enter my WITCHIN' DRAWING to win 1 of 5 signed copies of ANY WITCH WAY, sent free to your door (US only), plus a little surprise...

1. YOU may be a WITCH...Do any of the following apply to you?
A. Are you female?
B. Do you live alone?
C. Do you own any pets (especially cats or dogs)
D. Have you ever argued with your neighbor?
E. Do you have any moles on your body?
    ANSWER: If you answered yes to any of the above, at one point in history, this could have placed you under suspicion of witchcraft!

    2. Followers of what religion might refer to themselves as 'witches'?
    A. Christianity
    B. Wicca 
    C. Muslim

    ANSWER: B--Wicca. Wicca is a religion based, in part, on ancient, northern European Pagan beliefs in a fertility Goddess and her consort, a horned God. My heroine, Lily, in ANY WITCH WAY, found out many of the notions she had about witches were wrong...lucky for her, she had an ancient, sexy hero for a tutor! Click here to see my book trailer in a new window.

    3. TRUE/FALSE: 
    The super sexy ritual "The Five-Fold Kiss" that appears in your book isn't a real thing in Wicca. You made it up to create a steamy love scene!

    ANSWER: False. 
    The Five Fold Kiss ritual does exist..but in practise, it's not as in ANY WITCH WAY. It's more of a dedication ritual, and conducted with more pure intentions. Discovering the ritual during my research, I absolutely KNEW it would have to be a love scene in my novel--and so I took the real ritual and...well, steamed it up some. ;)

    4. A male witch is called a:
    A. Sorcerer
    B. Warlock
    C. Witch

    ANSWER: C--Witch.  The term 'warlock' is an insult from its original definition as "oath breaker."

    5. If a Wiccan performs magick to harm someone else (like a curse), what are the consequences?
    A. Since Wiccans are taught to do no wrong, they believe their evil curse will come back on them threefold.
    B. They get beheaded by their Goddess.
    C. Nothing. A Wiccan can use spells for good or evil without consequence.

    ANSWER: A--The curse will rebound on them threefold. My ancient hero, Joshua, was cursed because of an impulsive, ill-intended spell he cast. Part of his penance involves righting that wrong with Lily, who suffers from something far darker than a curse. Click here for my WICCAN-LY good book trailer!

    How'd you do? Post a comment below and be one of my winners for a brand, spanking new copy of ANY WITCH WAY, autographed and sent to you (US shipping only) with one of these adorable pens!

    Oh, don't forget to follow the Snarkology Paranormal Hop at the top of this blog for some amazinngly spooky fun and giveaways, plus you could WIN A $60 AMAZON GIFTCARD! Complete the rafflecopter below to enter for the Amazon gift card, and don't forget to comment to win a copy of my book!
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thanks for stopping by--hope you had a WITCHIN' time...
    Happily My Ever After,

    P.S. Want to see my trailer for ANY WITCH WAY? Check it out here.

    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    WIN IT before you can BUY IT giveaway today!

    Come on over and check out my interview at Juli D. Revezzo's blog here as Mistress and I chat about Witches and Halloween parties. 

    In addition to winning this FREAKING ADORABLE WITCH PEN, you can also be entered to win a paperback copy of my novella ANY WITCH WAY when it releases in a few weeks! :)

    Enjoy a Witchin'...
    Happily My Ever After,

    P.S. That link again for a chance to win is:

    Sunday, October 6, 2013

    I'm a Conference Pitch VIRGIN NO MORE!

    I'm still punch-drunk from a day of incredible learning and opportunity at yesterday's "Super Saturday" workshop, presented by RWA's sister chapters, CFRW and VCRW.

    First, before I pee my pants, I have to tell you...I pitched for the very first time to one of my A-list/dream agents, The Knight Agency's Lucienne Diver...AND SHE ASKED FOR my YA novel, CASSANDRA'S AWAKENING! :)
    Dylan and C.T. Charles with Lucienne
    Diver's card...the GOLDEN WONKA
    TICKET to submit to her! :)
    While I have three paranormal romances published with my amazing publisher, The Wild Rose Press, they don't handle the Young Adult genre. When I heard The Knight Agency's, Lucienne Diver was accepting pitches at the conference, I knew I had to pitch my YA. I barely remember the pitch and it felt like I was in there for 30-seconds, but my writer friend, CT Charles, assured me I was in there for at least 4 minutes. It's all a blur. And I wasn't even drinking.

    Agent Lucienne Diver
    speaking at "Super Saturday"
    Ms. Diver might have known it was my first time, and she was very gentle with me. ;) Seriously, what a professional, kind and honest woman. I feel so honored to have the opportunity to send her my YA, and truly enjoyed her talk yesterday on the "Role of Agents in the Modern Publishing World." In a nutshell, despite the burgeoning trend for self-pub and hybrid authors, agents are as important as ever in ensuring that the author's best interests are represented. Her q&a was insightful and I have pages of notes from that and the one-page critique session she hosted. If you have the opportunity to see Lucienne Diver speak in the future, I highly recommend the experience.

    The featured speaker was the effervescent and entertaining Roxanne St. Claire. I adored her energy and her honesty, and she gave some incredible tips for how to take your manuscript from "Sleeper to Keeper." Totally inspiring and what a truly nice woman!

    Finally, took 3 hand-cramping pages of notes on Lorena Streeter's presentation on "Social Media." As the head of marketing in her day-job, Lorena really knows her stuff! Had several 'a-ha' moments on utilizing my time and my interests to reach readers (vs. just other writers!) and can't wait to try out my new skills!

    Came home with a bunch of new SIGNED books to read from the fabulous authors at CFRW and VCRW. In particular, looking forward to Caro Carson's "Doctor, Soldier, Daddy," Roxanne St. Claire's first novel in the Barefoot Series, "Barefoot in the Sand," Connie Mann's "Angel Falls," and Lucienne Diver's Latter-Day Olympian Series, "Bad Blood" and "Crazy in the Blood." books always make for a 
    Happily My Ever After!

    P.S. Did you know my NEWSLETTER subscribers get all the goodies first from me FIRST? Enter your email into the box under "Subscribe to Dylan's Newsletter" on the right. Who doesn't love Author SWAG???

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

    Query Letter Writing...the Dreaded Hook

    I'll be honest. I like writing the hook for my books and my query letters as much as I enjoy removing the eye crusties out of my poor Shiz Tsu's eyes. *bleck*

    But it has to be done.

    Today's Writers Paying it Forward Friday is the first of a two-part series to cover ways to write the dreaded query letter hook. Follow enough editor and agent blogs and you'll discover just how many times they hit the 'delete' key in their query letter queue. It's depressing, but unless you have something that's fresh, original and that'll tempt them out of their Starbucks-induced buzz, your baby will end up in the cyber-junkyard.

    So let's put on our big girl panties and get to it.

    Your first, your first LINE should be a grabber. There are a bunch of ways to do this, but here are the most common hooks for query letters, and their definition.

    The "You Met Me" hook--For Pete's sake, if you've met the agent/editor, LEAD with this information! Time is money, and you need to grab that agent's attention quickly (as they're scrolling through their in-box on their smart phone during their commute, or while waiting in line for lunch). If you pitched to this agent at a conference, or had a rejection letter in which the agent nicely rejected you, yet offered to read something in the future, THIS IS YOUR GOLDEN WONKA TICKET!

    Example: Dear Ms. Agent, I really enjoyed meeting with you at the Desperate Writer's Convention in Tampa last month, and per your request, I am sending you the first three chapter of NOVEL TITLE here. 

    The One-Liner Hook--Is exactly what it sounds like. Do a one-liner that summarizes your novel and make it fun. Check out the Actual Query Letter that Got Results hook from YA paranormal author, Heather Brewer, from the first book of her Vladimir Tod series, "Eighth Grade Bites: The Chronicles of Vladmir Tod" (Heather Brewer's actual query is HERE,and it rocks, so check it out!).

    "If you thought eighth grade was tough, try it with fangs and a fear of garlic."
    With one line, Ms. Brewer has conveyed three things: her novel is  YA, paranormal and has an undercurrent of humor. (And it does. I'm a big fan of Heather Brewer's work--great example of YA).

    Stay tuned next week, when I will give you two other popular hook types to try and snag that agent with your very first sentence. Click on "FOLLOW (my) HAPPILY EVER AFTER" link to the right to follow my blog so you don't miss a thing!

    Happily My Ever After,

    P.S. Just joining the query letter party? Don't worry; you can catch up. Check out my Anatomy of a Query Letter post for the basics, and be sure to read the Top 10 Do's and Don'ts for Query Letters as well.

    P.P.S. Want another example of a query letter that resulted in a contract? Read mine for my first paranormal romance, DESPITE THE GHOSTS, on my post here.