Thursday, 17 March 2016

Blog Tour + Guest Post - Playing Defense by Cate Cameron

Find the tour schedule here.

Book Title: Playing Defense (Corrigan Falls Raiders, #2)

Author: Cate Cameron

Release Date: March. 14, 2016

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, swoon-worthy kisses, and sexy hockey players. It may cause you to watch a hockey game...or ten.

Sixteen-year-old Claudia Waring has never kissed a boy. Never been popular. Never been to a hockey game. All that’s about to change. Assigned to tutor Chris Winslow, a prank-loving, gorgeous hockey player, Claudia’s perfectly planned life immediately veers off course. And she kind of likes it. But as fun as Chris is, she knows she'll never fit in his world.

After his latest prank lands him in hot water, Chris has to get serious about school or lose hockey. Not an easy thing for someone as carefree as the defenseman. The biggest problem, though, is how much he wants to help his cute, buttoned-up tutor loosen up a little. But while confidence has never been a problem for him, around Claudia, Chris is all nerves. Why would a girl as smart as her ever fall for a jock like him?

Purchase links:

Read Book One: 

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, underage drinking, sexual situations, and crazy squirrels. It may cause you to become a fan of hockey - or at least hot hockey players.
The hometown hockey hero won’t know what hit him…

Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a real human being is Tyler MacDonald.

But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler.

Corrigan Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the viselike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…

Purchase links:

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer

Here we go – it got a bit longer than I expected, but…

10) Question every piece of writing advice you’re given (yes, including these ten!). Who is giving the advice? What are their credentials? Have you read any of their writing, and if so, do you actually want to learn to write more like they do? Are they trying to set down rules, when really guidelines or suggestions would be more appropriate? Why are they offering the advice? Is it personalized to you or at least your genre? When you’re done with these questions, come up with some more!

9) While you’re in questioning mode, question every piece of publishing advice you get, too. That doesn’t mean reject it, but question it. If the person giving the advice has a career you admire, that’s great, but the publishing world has been flipped upside down about seven times in the last ten or fifteen years—is there any reason to believe that what worked for an author who started a decade ago will work for you now? And if the person giving advice doesn’t have a career you admire, then, obviously, then… why would you follow their advice?

8) If at all possible, be prolific. This helps in a lot of different ways and I’ll mention some of them below, but it’s not always easy to achieve. I think it’s worth working for, though. Stop watching TV (okay, okay, you can still watch a little, but cut back!) Stop wasting time on things you don’t really care about. Find the time to write, and during your writing time, keep your fingers moving on the keyboard. Get the words out and then you can work with them.

7) As a way to stay prolific, don’t be afraid to abandon projects that aren’t working… but don’t abandon every project. There’s no point beating your head against a brick wall. If a story has gone off the rails and you don’t know how to get it back, let it go, at least for a while. Write something else. But if you find that you’re never finishing anything, then you may need to look at what problems keep arising.

6) Thicken your skin. Think of your writing as a journey, not a destination. No project is your masterpiece, they’re all just steps along the trail. So if someone is critical of one of your steps, don’t take it personally—they’re not criticizing you, just pointing out possible issues with something you tried. This is way easier to do if you’re prolific; because you’ve taken so many steps, it’s easier to realize that they’re just steps, not parts of your soul.

5) Explore different avenues of publication. Big 5 publishers, big independents, small publishers, self-publishing—they can all be part of your publishing plan, and you can learn different things from each of them. And it’s good to not have all your eggs in one basket. Publishing contracts, especially with the big publishers, can last a long time. Locking all of your books into one publishing model, with the market changing as quickly as it is, probably doesn’t make sense. Unless that one model is giving you such sweet instant rewards (read: huge advance!) that you don’t need to care about the future. (This works best if you’re prolific, of course – the more eggs you have, the more baskets you can keep full).

4) Outline. And then don’t outline. Find an early reader for one book, and for the next, keep it all to yourself until it’s perfect. Write a book through without doing any editing as you go, and then write a book which you edit at the end of each paragraph. In other words, experiment, and figure out what works for you. (Again, this works best if you’re prolific…)

3) Read. Read everything. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, cereal boxes—feed the words into your brain and let them energize your writing.

2) Tell. Seriously, there are lots of times when “Tell” is the best way to get something across. “Show, don’t tell” is stupid advice. Tell when you should tell, and show when you should show. It sucks to have to use your judgment to figure out which is needed, but too bad—you have to use your judgment.

1) Enjoy your writing. I don’t mean every minute should be completely joyful, but write the stories you want to write, with the characters you want to explore. Everything else is beyond your control, but your story? Your story is yours, and you should do what you want with it.

And who is Cate Cameron to offer this advice? Between my Kate Sherwood penname and this one, I’ve written and published about twenty novels, mostly romance, and worked on my own, with small publishers, large independents, and the Big 5. But the most important point about me as an author and advice-giver, I’d say, is Tip #4—I’m still experimenting, still learning, still figuring out the best way, or if such a thing even exists. So absolutely question everything I’m saying—I’ll question along with you!

My most recent release is Playing Defense, a YA Romance from Entangled Publishing. If you check it out, let me what you think! You can find it listed at: Entangled Publishingand I can be reached by Twitter (@CCameron_Author) or on Facebook.

About the Author 

Cate Cameron grew up in the city but moved to the country in her mid-twenties and isn’t looking back. Most of her writing deals with people living and loving in small towns or right out in the sticks—when there aren’t entertainment options on every corner, other people get a lot more  interesting!

She likes to write stories about real people struggling with real issues. YA, NA, or contemporary  romance, her books are connected by their emphasis on subtle humor and characters who are trying to do the right thing, even when it would be a lot easier to do something wrong.


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