Tag Archives: help

Help! I Need Someone #atozchallenge


Help? Who needs help?

Authors need help.

There’s the critique partners, the beta readers. The editors, the formatters, the cover artists. The publicists, book tour companies. Street teams. Agents, acquiring editors, the staff of the publisher, if the author goes that route.

I’m sure I forgot someone. Because these days, it takes a village.

And don’t forget the IT people! Whether you write on a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, or a phone (true story, that one. I once edited for an author who wrote an entire novel on her iPhone. She sold that sucker the night I sent it back with the typos corrected out), you need IT people these days if you’re gonna write a book.


There’s another type of help you can give an author. Yes, YOU. Doesn’t matter if you’re a fellow author or just a reader (and really, there’s no just about being a reader because without readers, who are we writing for?). YOU are an important player in the success of an author.

Sounds all high-falutin’, I know. But it’s not. Nope. Not even close.

You can leave a review online. You can buy a copy of the book and give it as a gift. You can talk about the book on social media and encourage your friends to read it.

It’s word of mouth, and of all the crazy promotions and schticks that authors resort to as they try to get more eyeballs on their books, word of mouth is the ONLY proven method. That gives you, the reader, the consumer, an awful lot of power.

Reviews help. Many sites consider a book’s worth not by its ranking but by the number of reviews — so even if you want to leave one star because the story was an utter failure and even dinosaur porn would be better than THAT, you are helping! (obviously, as long as the review is constructive in its 1- and 2- star discussion). Yeah, four- and five-star reviews are good, but there are plenty of people (like me!) who only read the 1- and 2-star reviews as we decide if a book is worth our time. Like I said: it’s a numbers game. The more reviews, the better.

It’s a nice and easy way to help an author.

And if you’re feeling unsure about a review you’ve written, drop me a note. I offer a service over here that’s super cheap and will help your review shine as much as the book you’re helping out.


If you like Lisa Gardner…


Help a reader out!

I was chatting with a woman at the Hoity Toity Health Club because I noticed her Kindle. She said she doesn’t read much because of school, but when she does, she likes Lisa Gardner.

I went to suggest other authors to her and … my mind went blank.

Now, as soon as we started talking 50 Shades, I immediately was able to suggest Tilly Greene, Lorelei James, Megan Hart, and Lauren Dane.

But romantic suspense?

Help us both out, will ya? The only parameter is that is has to be available in e-book format. That’s it. Being publisher-blind is a good thing, so long as the books themselves are good.

(This is particularly embarrassing, as I READ Romantic Suspense and really like it… but I still blank on authors who write it!)


Trevor Fiction: Under the trailer


My friend Candy requested some Trevor. I doubt this is what she had in mind, though. It’s pretty dark.

Getting away was the immediate need. Getting away, getting safe. Helping Eliza and HJ get away, too. Jeremy would take care of himself. He always did. He’d stay there and taunt Hank for awhile, give the rest of them time to get away, and then somehow escape without too much damage to himself.

He’d turned it into an art form.

It had to be something like that. It sure as shit wasn’t a gesture of kindness on Jeremy’s part. Fucker had no kindness in him. In his own way, he was worse than Hank.

He gave HJ a shove to help him get further under the trailer faster, then held out a hand to Eliza. Of all of them, it bugged Trevor the most that she had to face this shit. She was the only girl. She was the family treasure. Even Hank said so. He cried before he whaled on her.

But he’d started doing it anyway.

Trevor figured it sucked, but not so bad if the fucktard never found Eliza’s bedroom. He and Jeremy slept in there sometimes on nights when Hank wasn’t needing some exercise, taking turns, keeping her company and guarding her from things that went bump in the night. Or worse.

Eliza took his hand and turned her face to his. She was biting her lip, but it trembled anyway. Her eyes were big, huge, scared.

Trevor knew the feeling.

“C’mon,” he whispered to her. “The faster we get safe, the sooner Hank gives up looking for us.”

A tear leaked out of one eye. “Trevor.” Her whisper started to get loud, to turn into one of those whines that wound up sounding like a fucking air raid siren from those old movies his mom would watch sometimes.

Trevor tried to shush Eliza, whipping his head around to look for people in the window and door of their trailer. Hank didn’t know about this hiding place, right under his stupid fucking nose. He figured sympathetic neighbors were hiding his kids, even though he’d put fears worse than God into them and now, none of ’em would even so much as look at the Wolff kids.

Trev bent down so he was closer to Eliza’s eye level. “It’s okay. We gotta get under there for awhile and then when Hank passes the fuck out, we’ll come back in. Come on, Eliza. You’ll like it under here. Me and HJ fixed it up. We got bottled water and maybe there’s some cookies left, too.”

“When I grow up,” Eliza said, her voice rising again. Trevor waved it down. She whispered, “I’m gonna play the violin. I’m gonna go all over the world. And I’m never gonna be scared again.”

Trevor swallowed down the impulse to cry. She was fucking eight years old. That was too fucking young to want to run away.

Then again, HJ was nine. He was eleven. Jeremy was twelve. They were all too fucking young to have to face this shit.

A crash came from inside the trailer. With a terrified squeak, Eliza dove for the hiding space. Trevor followed on her heels, not wanting to know if that had been Jeremy or their mother who’d just gone flying.

He let Eliza climb onto his lap, let HJ snuggle up against his side and cling to his arm like it alone was the only thing that would save him. He’d figure out a way to get them out of this mess. He would. After all, he was Trevor Wolff, and Trevor Wolff could do anything he set his mind to.


More Three Word Wednesday for you (immediate, treasure, gesture), and some Friday Flash as well. Remember, too, that 50% of my reported royalties in November and December are being donated to charity, to help fund music programs in schools. Join in — and if you already have my books (and so do your friends; autographed books make great gifts!), remember that if you use my donation link on the contests page, you’ll be entered to win… more books!)

Yep, I’ve also linked this at Weekend Writer’s Retreat and Writer’s Island. What can I say? I like maximum coverage. Which is a dangerous thing to say when Trevor’s around…