Do you learn from your mistakes? #ROW80 #IWSG

My book tour is still going on so I’m keeping the tour list etc up on this post, for anyone who’s interested. ūüėÄ Read on for insecurities galore, a late ROWer update and a few pieces of advice.

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Finding Esta (The Supes Series #1)

New Adult, Paranormal / Urban Fantasy Series
WordsinSync Publishing (Indie)
Released on December 16, 2012
Heat Level: Sweet
Word Count: 120,000


An unusual young woman and fledgling journalist, Luna has various restrictive oddities, all of which prevent any kind of physical intimacy. Abusive parents take pleasure in Luna‚Äôs misery and isolation, yet Luna strives to make them proud, to finally earn their elusive love ‚Äď something she craves almost as much as the painless touch of a lover.

When she learns of a tragic story involving the kidnap of baby Esta, she jumps at the chance to investigate, dragging her Shadows along for the ride within the murky depths of her mind.

Meanwhile, a dark stranger visits Luna‚Äôs dreams and stalks her reality. In lieu of the real thing, their intimate moments excite rather than terrify. Nestled within his presence, she begins to sense an urgent message of danger ‚Äď a message she struggles to interpret, until they finally meet‚Ķ.¬†

Her investigations lead Luna to a vibrant seaside town, hiding copycat aliens and an underworld of Supernaturals. Here, she comes face-to-face with her own, terrifying identity. Confronted with life-changing decisions and the harshest of truths, Luna questions her sanity, searching for logic, feeling deceived by both.

Is Luna trapped in a newfound supernatural world, or within her own delusions? And will anyone care enough to save her?


Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)


  Amazon Author Page (US) | Amazon Author Page (UK) | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Google+

VBT Schedule

Feb 4:¬†Brianna’s Bookshelf
Feb 6: Danita Minnis
Feb 7: Pink Fluffy Hearts: Diary of a Coffee Addict
Feb 7: Veiled Secrets Reviews
Feb 8: Aspired Writer (Review)
Feb 8: Coffee Beans & Love Scenes
Feb 13: Deep In The Heart Romance
Feb 13:¬†Sweet n’ Sassi¬†(Review)
Feb 15:¬†Janna Shay’s Fair Play
Feb 16: Musings of a Writing Reader
Feb 17: The Avid Reader
Feb 18: Kristy Centeno (Review)
Feb 18: Salacious Reads (Review)
Feb 18: Triad Literary

Follow this VBT (virtual book tour) to enter a contest at each participating stop for a chance to win an

eBook copy of¬†Finding Esta.”

More entries = more chances to win!

Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Feb 23.

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.



CBLS Promotions, Virtual Book Tour Organization and Promotion Services for Romance Authors

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

#ROW80 Updates

Shah the Willing Writer

I’ve written tow guest posts, completed two interviews, and wrote one review! But nothing on Finding Luna :( Well, Like said before, I did say next week. :)

Shah the Marketing Wizz

ROW80LogoWell, I’m participating in the Virtual Blog Tour! (See above) but also setting another up for next month (hence all the guest posts/interviews) with Bards & Sages. Been in touch with lots of potential reviewers with the latest files. Many haven’t started reading yet so it’s no biggy. I also suspended Book Rooster from giving out the file they have until I can replace it. Almost there.

Shah the Imperfect Publisher

Still haven’t gotten around to sorting the tax issue out. *sigh!* All the¬†draft2digital sellers are coming online quickly, just waiting on iBook I think.

Shah the Pro Blogger

Not so flaming pro-blogger. I missed todays ROW80 post and this months ISWG post too! This is late, but at least it’s here. ūüėÄ I have a few things lined up, but need more effort in writing good content. I’m thinking book tours and ROW80 post are insufficient now, and I would rather write one or two great posts a month (not including my ROW80) rather than a book tour post every day. What are your thoughts?

Still reading this book – I Love You to Death¬†shocking! But I’ve just¬†received the eagerly awaited¬†Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne,, Plot and Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot that Grips Readers from Start to Finish (Write Great Fiction)¬†for some much needed¬†guidance¬†– you can never know too much (and I sure as hell don’t)! And for fun,¬†Deadlocked: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse 12)¬†&¬†Dead Reckoning: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse 11)¬†I now own the whole collection of True Blood novels!

Shah the Fitness Superhero (or not?)

I’ve done little at all of this, apart from taking meds and walking Bobby. We plan on venturing down to the gym tomorrow. Whether it’ll happen or not is largely down to my hubs, I admit. If he goes, I’ll go. If he says, bleh, I’ll smile and say it with him ūüėÄ

Please click the link to find fabulous #Row80 participants HERE


Now, for the Insecure Writers Support Group (#IWSG) post


Well, it’s been one hellish month for learning lessons the hard way. All my nightmares came at once (okay, not all, but a big fat juicy one) when a dear reviewer/blogger buddy emailed to tell me she was enjoying my book, but did I mean for the story to flip ahead, then back so much? I didn’t. It didn’t. Did it?

It did!

By some stupid movement of my hand I had inadvertently switched Scrivener files around, so that chapters were out of line – in the book which had been up for sale on Amazon for a while MONTH! *SCREAMING*

I blogged about this nightmare on one of my ROW80 posts, and received excellent encouragement and support (Thanks so much to all who came to help) and set about remedying this nightmare. Like retrieving all the many review copies I handed out, putting an announcement on my FB page and Twitter account, asking anyone who bought is to get in touch. (No one did btw Рcringe!) Then I had to tackle the actual MS issue. While reading through it to find where the chapters needed to go, I noticed Рto my absolute horror Рstupid errors. Like missing letters or punctuation, homophones, a confusing sentence or two.

But how? It had been critiqued by beta readers, an editor and myself (I cannot count how many times I checked before take-off), yet here were errors, staring at me, each wearing a spiteful grin. *SCREAMING LOUDER*

Another friend of mine said she’d proof it for me, claiming to relish the challenge and what it might teach her (how incredible is that? How lucky am I?) so she got to work on it. I read through it twice myself and it was as if the blind could see again. I mean, where had these little cretins been hiding? Why hadn’t we seen them? It made (still makes) no sense?

What I learned:

Leave at least one month between applying final edits to the MS, and your final read through. You have a better chance of seeing the errors which escaped all other critiques this way. This is the most important lesson ever, in the history of lessons!

Watch your tools, they may help in so many ways, but they may also swap your chapters around while you are left oblivious, causing huge dollops of humiliation.

Now, a list of ideas to help your edit that peskey MS:

(reposted from an earlier blog post I wrote, here)

1. Keep a list of the most commonly misspelled words by you while editing/writing. Especially if you know you have a tendency to misspell the same words.

2. Avoid using commas to separate two independent phrases. This is comma splicing and is another pain in my bottom!

3. Avoid using the¬†verb¬†to be.¬†This signifies passive voice, which although not always¬†inappropriate,¬†is clunky if used¬†throughout¬†your MS. Try to stick to active voice for a majority of the text. I have to work at this, it doesn’t come natural.

4. Clarity is key, so unless dialogue requires it, avoid over-complicated words. You don’t want readers frowning while they try to follow your story. They may pick up a dictionary and get distracted (unless they’re reading on a Kindle where they can use the online dictionary).

5. Vary sentence length, otherwise it‚Äôs just alarmingly boring to read. I‚Äôm quite good at this one ‚Äď I naturally have good¬†rhythm¬†ūüėÄ

6. Remember a paragraph should discuss only one idea.

7. When possible, let someone else read your work aloud to you, and comment on your work.

8. Scour the MS for basic errors such as spelling mistakes, improper punctuation,  missing letters, letter capitalization, spacing etc. But instead of doing this via a read-through (where you’ll miss things) try doing it from bottom to top of your pages, or attempt to correct each paragraph out of order. This should prevent the brain from filling in the gaps


 Do you learn from your mistakes? Would you add to this list? What are your insecurities? Keep writing, and have a great day.

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  1. says

    Hi Shah! First off, congrats on Finding Esta and best of luck with it! Sounds like the start of great series. Learning from my mistakes is something I’m trying to do more of, I admit I often tend to just wallow in them instead!
    Great to meet you through the IWSG!

  2. says

    I’m an indie author who has emerged from under a rock. I’m seeking good blogs and help from my peers. I found your blog on Girl Who Reads.

    I so can appreciate your entry here. Fortunately, I forced myself into the situation you learned. By virtue of my wedding, I put off getting my final draft to readers. Now everyone is extra fres – including me! However, I have experienced an emtional melt-down over my cover. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

    Glad to find your blog and good luck!

    • says

      We can help each other, then. And please take a peek at my Links page, or my blog roll. There are supremo advisors, authors, bloggers, professionals just a click away. ūüėÄ I do love the internet X

  3. says

    Sometimes it seems that things just can’t get any worse–that’s when I worry….
    Not really, but knowing all the possible issues that can occur with publishing (traditional or self-pub), I am reminded of Murphy’s Law–daily. It’s good that we’re writers. We’re used to rewriting history and making the story work.

    I do have to ask you a favor, Shah…. Go and take care of yourself, please? I know how much this has been stressing you out, and you can’t deal with the stress well if you aren’t healthy. Do some good things for yourself, and relax. One mistake does not destroy your career, especially given how fast you’ve been trying to mend the damage. Just keep writing and researching and learning.

    It’ll be just fine.

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