Weekend Update: Busy and Wonderful!

It was, I won’t lie, an exhausting weekend here. Mumfest happened in a big way! I had a chance to connect with a lot of readers and potential readers, a few aspiring writers, old and new friends. Fantastic!

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With the help of my friend Noel, my purple tent was transformed from this…

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…to this magical place!

I was lucky enough to be able to partner with a very talented artist, Noel McKelvey of Blissworks. (You can see some more of her lovely creations on her Facebook page.) Her artwork grabbed a lot of attention, and I’m thrilled to say she sold several of her lovely paintings! Yay, Noel! Added bonus, some of the folks who stopped to admire her art also took a moment to check out my books. So good for me, too, right? I sold a few, talked to lots of neat people and basically regained a little of my ambition, which can easily be lost when you sit in your office day after day writing words and wondering if anyone will ever read them.

Added added bonus, theater friends also stopped by. I reconnected with several cast and members of Anne of Green Gables and A Christmas Carol. Which was timely since Dickens Magic, which is set in Rivertowne Players’ Masonic Theatre, comes out in just over two weeks!! Though I swear I never base any of my books on actual events in my life, I will say that those two plays gave me the experience I needed to write a story from the point-of-view of an actor/director. Sort of intensive research, I suppose!

So, overall, a great experience. I hope “The Artist and the Author” will make another appearance at another location one day. Noel and I made a good team. Plus, we now have the banner and the tent!

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In other news, my virtual tour for Becoming Magic continues today. Check out my interview on Bookaholic where I discuss the difficulty of writing a romance with a #metoo theme—and why I wanted to do it in the first place.

I love interviews.

Just for the record. In case you were wondering if you could ask me questions. Because I actually love questions. Even my kids can only wear me down after asking the same question about ten times.

Seriously, though, interviews are fun. Like writing but you don’t have to come up with the idea yourself. I’ve done several interviews on my blog tour for Becoming Magic, and I’ve enjoyed all of them. Today I’m at the lovely Teresa Noel’s blog for another interview. You can find it here: T’s Stuff Interview.

One of the questions Teresa asked me was about my favorite part of the book. I had to think about it, and, I admit, I considered many different parts. I finally settled on one, but I won’t spoil it here. Go check out the interview!

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Music and the Writer

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

It’s a fact of life that music affects humans in a way that very little else does. Throughout the ages, music has developed with human beings. Today, the history of music is studied along with the psychology of music, musical therapy and ethnomusicology—and many other branches of music studies. All because we like to hear pretty sounds.

I’ve never met a writer who doesn’t have a playlist for writing. It varies, and sometimes one song is more strongly featured than others, but almost all of us have music playing in the background when we write. Why is this? Music can inspire and lift the spirits. Music can remind us so strongly of where we’ve been and make us long to go somewhere completely different. Music sets the mood.

Most of the time, my playlist is pretty eclectic. For six months after David Bowie died, I remember I only listened to his music. And then other songs began to sneak in. He’s still pretty heavily featured on my playlists, but it’s not all Bowie all the time like it was. I have some country, some pop, some classic rock, even a bit of classical. Recently, Enrique Iglesias has snuck onto my radar, possibly because of my most recent work-in-progress (more about that later).

Today, I’m over at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews promoting Becoming Magic with ten of my favorite playlist songs. Guaranteed, I listened to all ten while writing Becoming Magic. I’m probably listening to them today, too.  Join me over there and leave a comment with your favorite song. I’d love to know what inspires you!

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Blog Tour Stop: My Evolution as a Writer

Teaser_BecomingMagicToday  I’m promoting Becoming Magic over on Ally Swanson’s blog “Fabulous and Brunette.” Please stop by and say hello! I’m giving away a $50 gift certificate (Amazon or Barnes & Noble) to one random visitor to my tour, so make sure you register to win while you’re there!

Ally asked me to write a guest post about my evolution as a writer. This works perfectly for me, because Becoming Magic was a sort of turning point in my writing career. Time and again I’ve been asked if my books are like Fifty Shades. I can never tell or not if people are happy with my answer, either. Because they’re not and never have been, but I, like many in my genre, have fallen into other traps of our genre.

I’ve been guilty of glorifying alpha males. If you ever actually meet an alpha male, it’s unlikely you’d actually want to spend much time with him. Being demanding isn’t, in my book, very sexy.

I’ve also had themes like kidnapping (one was friendly and one was necessary, but still). No, guys, we don’t want to be kidnapped. Oh, and a couple of times the heroine could have claimed sexual harassment—and in one case, the hero!

On “Fabulous and Brunette” I talk about how it’s important to avoid these issues and how it is possible for a hero (and heroine) to be sexy without them. So join me over there to explore the “Evolution of a Writer”.

Blog Tour Winner Announcement!

As you may know, I’ve been touring the web over the past month talking about magic and writing and specifically, Close Up Magic. During the course of that tour, I’ve met some really great people, who’ve commented on my blog posts. Well, today, I get the happy job of awarding a Magic Basket to one of those commenters. The basket includes, among other things, a copy of Magic for Dummies, a mini magic kit and some magic tricks I picked up at Houdini’s Magic Shop in Las Vegas. I’d put up a picture, but I’m actually waiting on a couple of finishing touches to arrive. When they get here, I’ll put it all together and post a picture before I mail it to Rita.

Earlier today with the help of Random.org, I chose commenter Rita Wray as the winner of the magic basket! Congratulations, Rita! I’ll be emailing you in just a few minutes to get your mailing address.

Everybody else, thank you so much for your support during the tour. It meant a lot to hear from readers and potential readers. I’m planning another blog tour for my next book, Saturday Love, which comes out in January. Saturday Love, the sequel to Ducks in a Row, is set in a vineyard in Eastern NC and the heroine is Greek. Hmm. What kind of grand prize could I come up for that? I’m thinking it’ll be yummy!

Review Highlights from this Week

During the course of my blog tour for my contemporary romance Close Up Magic, I asked for reviews as well as traditional blog stops. When I did this, I knew there were no guarantees. In fact, at the time I booked my tour, very few people other than me had actually read Close Up Magic. But I believed in it enough to go ahead and do it.

Well, this week, I braced myself as the reviews started rolling in. Five brave reviewers took a stand and offered me their opinion on my book. Thankfully, they were positive, overall, and I drew a breath of relief. Here are the highlights:

“We have all read those books where the girl is infatuated with the guy, they both have been screwed over by someone close to them and they have trust issues. But what Michelle Garren Flye has done that not many authors are capable of is, she had created incredible characters with such depth that they evoke such true emotion from the reader that you find yourself yelling at your kindle even when you knew it was going to happen.” —We Love Kink

“Michelle Garren Flye is a wizard with words and I completely enjoyed her voice. Also, I always worry about self-published books, but this one was well edited and had no overt errors. If you love fun, sweet romances with a hero you’ll fall for just as hard as the heroine does, then I recommend Close Up Magic.” —Long and Short Reviews

Ahem, a short note here. I can’t help but point out the “wizard with words” thing. Seriously, that may be the greatest compliment I’ve ever gotten on my writing! You’re all going to get really tired of that “wizard with words” thing, I think. Especially if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

“It was hard for me to pick one genre for this story. It’s definitely a contemporary romance, but it leaves just a hint of magic, just a bit of imagination which makes me believe that it is a bit of a fantasy book too. You aren’t sure if it’s saying that magic is real or not, but I can tell you that the threads of story and character were woven together..dare I say it…magically 🙂 and I really enjoyed reading it.” —Unabridged Andra

“Ms. Flye is a new author to me and I can’t get over how well written Close Up Magic was for me. The characters had depth to them, the setting was perfect and even the secondary characters were fleshed out. Also, even though I was “reading” the magic tricks, I could picture them in my mind. Great job.” —Harlie’s Books

Another note: I really, really love a good magic show, so obviously I wanted to give my reader a little taste of what it’s like to be at one, and this review confirmed I accomplished that. I’m so glad it worked, and I hope to be a well-known author to Harlie before long. 🙂

“The author has a great way with words, painting a picture so clear I could see the scenes in my mind like a movie. The characters are well drawn and three dimensional – so much so, I loved some and hated some intensely. I was so invested in the well-being of those I enjoyed I wanted to smack those I didn’t, who were interfering with the HEA.” —Straight from the Library

Now, the course of my relationship with reviewers has not always been this smooth, so I’m still waiting for the fly to land in my chocolate pudding. However, I learn so much from competent, honest reviewers, whether what they tell is positive or negative, I’m still looking for more reviews of Close Up Magic. If you’re a reviewer who’d like to check out a copy of Close Up Magic, contact me at michellegflye at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to provide you a copy for your Kindle. And if you’re a reviewer who’s already checked out Close Up Magic and would be interested in reviewing one of my other books, let me know that too.

Thanks to all my book reviewers, and all the other hosts of my blog tour! Tomorrow I’ll be awarding a magic basket to one randomly drawn commenter from the tour and a $20 gift card to one of my hosts (again, randomly chosen)! So check back tomorrow afternoon when I’ve had a chance to compile my list and consult Random.org for the winners. 🙂

What a week! Time to give some stuff away…

Okay, it’s really, really good to be sitting here on THIS side of last week. I feel like it’s the first breather I’ve taken all week. In addition to returning home at 11 o’clock Sunday night from Las Vegas, this was the first week of my online book tour, the last week of school for two of my kids and the week I had to get the school library packed up. I’ve been up at six AM and going until I put my kids to bed all week.

To make it all the more fun, on Wednesday I got up to a fantastic email from Amazon telling me the Kindle version of my book had magically transformed into a string of letters and numbers that nobody could read. I’m not kidding, it was like it was in some sort of code or something. I swear that happened sometime SINCE I put it online. So I had to spend a fair amount of time Wednesday re-uploading the Kindle version, seething all the while because I was technically promoting a book that wasn’t even available for more than twenty-four hours–at least not available in the preferred format. I felt like I was on a speeding train going somewhere I really needed to be…but I’d left the luggage that would make the trip worth it.

Please understand, I’m not complaining, exactly. I’m EXplaining my absence from here.

And I want to make it up to you. I’ve been planning to give away copies of DUCKS IN A ROW and WEEDS AND FLOWERS for a while, and today seems like a great time to do it. So please, be my guest. Download my other two indie babies. And if you’re only interested in CLOSE UP MAGIC, I’ve got something for you there, as well. I’ve already posted Chapter One online. In a few minutes, Chapter Two will join it. You can find them here: CLOSE UP MAGIC.

Happy reading!