Winter: A Few of my Favorite Things

Some of the items in the set below are my own, others I covet while window shopping...either way, these are my favorite things this winter that represent my style, my desire to be warm, and my favorite things to do. 

favorite things

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Perfect Pitch (*And how to write a great fiction query letter)




The whirlwind writing contest season is (kinda) over, with a few exceptions I've seen popping up around the internetes. As I discussed in this post, I'm taking a break from contest entry and concentrating on honing my queries, pitches, and revising my most recent project (after letting it marinate for a while over the holidays.) 

If you're gearing up to participate in contests or are thinking about entering in the future, here are a five posts/blogs that have made my life easier, my heart softer, and my eyes open a bit wider. This is all solid advice from fellow writers for before, during, and after writing contests. 

  • To start: If you've written a pitch and it's not drawing attention, try this formula I saw credited to Naomi Hughes (though I can't find where I came across it originally. *Frowns.*) This can also be adapted to apply to a query letter, but of course include more details.

When [character] discovers [catalyst] she must [over come] before [deadline] or else [stakes]

I know. Brilliant! It's important to tailor this to apply to your own project, written in your own voice, but having a reminder of the key notes to hit is invaluable. I read so many (my own included) that missed one or more of these and the pitch fell flat. Just remember that although I referred to this as a formula, it really serves as a guide. A dry/formulaic pitch usually doesn't have the oomph that an original, voice-y pitch has. Keep in mind.  

  • Pitching tips: what to avoid and what to include from YA Misfits
  • This query post hits all the right notes from setting the foundation, what to avoid, and what to include from query vet Michelle, author of Kindar's Cure. 
  • Pretty much everything. Now and again I come across a blog/fellow writer that speaks to me so clearly as a writer. I find myself nodding, yeah, yeah, exactly! Or, huh, I never thought about that *tucks tip into back pocket or furiously scribbles down note.* If you're new to this game, think you have it all figured out, but still no agent/publishing contract (and you're not alone!) check out Bleeding Ink by Rae Huffaker Chang. Check our her posts, read them ALL. I guarantee you will glean at least a nugget of wisdom. There's an abundance of advice for querying and finding your footing as a professional writer. Seriously.
  • The morning after: How to handle no requests or a simple, no, by moi

There are many more articles and tips to help us writers improve our queries and pitches, by all means, please leave any you know of in the comments below. And wherever you are on the road to publication continue to write with confidence, courage, and authenticity. 

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Valentine's Day Giveaway --- To the Sea



Happy love day!

Warm up this Valentine's Day with a giveaway to win a Kindle version of To the Sea, a new adult contemporary novel and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.




About the Book: 

Fresh out of college and newly married, twenty-something Kira plans the perfect future with a house in the suburbs, ski getaways, and fancy dinners. When her husband Jeremy dies in a car accident, loss casts her adrift, but her heart cracks wide open when she uncovers the secrets he left behind.

Despite her dislike for the ocean with the whipping wind and itchy sand, Kira seeks solace in salt: tears, sweat, and the sea, helping her move beyond the myth of perfection, and guiding her toward the truth of who she really is.

She takes surf lessons to overcome her fear of the water and her well of grief. In the local surf scene, she meets sultry Jamie, with a hot Australian accent. He’s eager to spend time with her, but mostly between the sheets. Then there’s soulful Ian, her surf instructor, who helps her get on her feet and ride the waves.

During a transformative trip to South Africa on surfari, she learns the best way to be loved, yet when she returns to the shores of New England, grief continues to haunt her. She must let go, but how? Torn between the tides, Kira discovers strength and courage, navigates loss, lust, and love, taking readers along for the plunge.



About the Author:

Deirdre Riordan Hall writes upper young adult and new adult fiction. She spends her days with her family, at the custom-made desk her husband crafted—writing (what else?) or seaside, pretending she's a mermaid.


If you just can't wait to see if you win, click to buy on Amazon

For more To the Sea surf swag, please visit my Etsy Shop: Words, Waves & Wonder

Please enter below. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is only for residents of the United States. Sorry my international friends!

Good Luck!



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To the Sea --- Releases Today

Click here to buy on Amazon...and I'd LOVE for you to leave a review (please & thank you :)


I'm not sure what to say or how to say it, and that dear friends, may be a first coming from me; I'm long-winded and a writer. I always have a lot to say, but today I think I will let the book do the talking, insofar as  a book can talk. (Feel free to discuss thatconcept among yourselves, in the comments below, or heck, we could have a multi-social-media* extravaganza *see below. If not, we could just discuss To the Sea, that'd be great too.) 

After a long writing journey that started with stories about shoes, that shifted into screenplays, and landed in the emerging YA and NA categories, my writing voice has found a home. I am beyond thrilled to share it with all of you. 

I present, To the Sea, available on Amazon and other booksellers in paperback and as an ebook.
I hope you enjoy and would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for you to connect with me on 


Thank you for your support and kindness. 



Okay, now I have to go eat a burrito with EXTRA guacamole (and maybe take a *Deep Breath.*)
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To the Sea MEGA Giveaway


Notice that there's a check mark missing? Yup. So you know what that means? 

This is the epic giveaway post. As you may or may not know (if not, hop aboard!) my new adult contemporary fiction novel (*clears throat* that's modern romance for the uninitiated) will be released on Tuesday February 11. 
Can you hear me cheering? In addition to writing a smexy tale of love lost and then found again, I designed several items to tie-into the book's content and am excited to share them with you. 

Without further ado...




By entering below you could win a To the Sea tote bag, perfect to bring to the beach or for around town, a Golden State of Mind trucker hat in that classic surf-skate style, a gold shell necklace with a sea glass pendant and a paperback copy of To the Sea.

***

About the Book: 

Fresh out of college and newly married, twenty-something Kira plans the perfect future with a house in the suburbs, ski getaways, and fancy dinners. When her husband Jeremy dies in a car accident, loss casts her adrift, but her heart cracks wide open when she uncovers the secrets he left behind.
Despite her dislike for the ocean with the whipping wind and itchy sand, Kira seeks solace in salt: tears, sweat, and the sea, helping her move beyond the myth of perfection, and guiding her toward the truth of who she really is.
She takes surf lessons to overcome her fear of the water and her well of grief. In the local surf scene, she meets sultry Jamie, with a hot Australian accent. He’s eager to spend time with her, but mostly between the sheets. Then there’s soulful Ian, her surf instructor, who helps her get on her feet and ride the waves.
During a transformative trip to South Africa on surfari, she learns the best way to be loved, yet when she returns to the shores of New England, grief continues to haunt her. She must let go, but how? Torn between the tides, Kira discovers strength and courage, navigates loss, lust, and love, taking readers along for the plunge.

About the Author: 

Deirdre Riordan Hall writes upper young adult and new adult fiction. She spends her days with her family, at the custom-made desk her husband crafted—writing (what else?) or seaside, pretending she's a mermaid.

***

Please enter below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


My apologies, but this contest is open to US residents only. 

Please check out my Etsy Shop: Words, Waves & Wonder --- Treasures inspired by the ocean and fiction.

Good Luck!


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To the Sea has a Shop



Because I love to be extravagant (actually, only my husband would claim this is true, I deny it! Deny it!) I got all crafty and created several items to complement the novel, To the Sea (coming soon, like really soon! Stay tuned :)

Okay, I also really wanted this stuff for myself, because well, my other half would also claim I love stuff—the shinier, prettier, beachier the better! (Although my kids might disagree when I make them clean their rooms...anyway, I digress. I do that alot, and I admit it.)

I also thought readers would love to have access to these lovely goodies so I created a 'lil shop on Etsy. 



If clicking the banner doesn't work, please click here to link up with Words, Waves & Wonder


I'd love for you to check it out, add as a favorite, and I'm all ears for feedback!



Enjoy!


P.S. And if you've read this far, there's going to be a BIG surprise tomorrow regarding all those things you saw at the shop AND more!


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To the Sea --- Book Trailer


Presenting...

The book trailer for To the Sea available Tuesday, February 11, 2014






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