Using a Blurb to Shape Your Novel

Excellent commentary and tips on the dreaded “book blurb!” 😉

T. M. White

When I finished the first draft of the final version of TEROH that I’m sharing with beta readers now, I decided to write a blurb (a short, intriguing description) about it. Since then, I’ve edited it countless times as I seek to balance how I want readers to view my novel along with their actual perceptions of the story they end up reading. It’s not so much the plot that changes in the blurb so much as how I pitch it.

There are so many ways to turn a thought or phrase, and each way holds a slightly different meaning.

This also pertains to the other novels I’m planning for my series. Unlike TEROH, I’m actually starting with a preliminary blurb before developing the novels themselves. (I’ve talked a bit about this before as well as how I’m using music playlists to shape the direction that my stories will take.) Looking back…

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Fibromyalgia and Varicose Veins

Fibro Cloud

A lot of people find themselves suffering from varicose veins at some point in their lives. Statistics show that around 50% of the US population over the age of fifty has them. In most cases, the veins aren’t a serious problem. But as with many conditions, fibromyalgia can make them worse.

So, what exactly causes them? How are they affected by fibromyalgia? And what can you do to treat them?

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Your muscles and the chambers of the heart act like pumps, pushing blood through the arteries. Valves in the veins control the flow of blood down into the body and back up into the heart. When these valves stop functioning properly, the blood can pool in the veins. As a result, they become engorged as they swell with blood.

They engorged veins develop most commonly in the legs and look like bulging cords across the skin. This usually makes them easy to diagnose, as they’re often very noticeable with the naked eye. But there are a few symptoms that also indicate that you may have varicose veins.

Often, they are painless. But they can cause a tingling or burning sensation along the course of the vein. They may also cause a sort of dull, throbbing pain through the legs, or a feeling of heaviness in the limbs. The pain may also be worse after standing up as the blood moves into the legs. And you may also experience cramping in the legs from time to time.

But varicose veins can also cause more serious health problems. The veins can burst and begin to bleed, especially if you bump or accidentally cut them. And the extra blood pressure in the veins can cause fluid to build up in the tissue, leading to painful ulcers or sores. Finally, blood clots can easily form when they develop deep in the tissue of the legs. These blood clots can cause the leg to swell up and can potentially lead to life-threatening complications.

There are a number of things that can lead to weakened valves and varicose veins. Age is the single biggest factor. As our bodies get older, the valves naturally begin to weaken. Genetics play a serious role as well. People with a family history are significantly more likely to develop them themselves. Finally, a sedentary lifestyle or being overweight can put pressure on the veins and weaken the valves.

These risk factors also tend to play a role in fibromyalgia, which makes varicose veins a serious concern for people with the condition.

Varicose Veins And Fibromyalgia

It wouldn’t be accurate to say that having fibromyalgia causes you to develop varicose veins. Instead, the sorts of people who tend to develop fibromyalgia also tend to have a higher risk of vein problems. Women are significantly more likely to develop them. And women also have the highest risk of developing fibromyalgia.

And the difficulties that people with fibromyalgia face in getting enough exercise also means that they have a higher risk of becoming obese, which increases the odds of developing vein problems.

But there’s also evidence that people with fibromyalgia tend to be more sensitive to pain. So the pain of varicose veins may be more intense in people with fibromyalgia.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to treat them.

What Are Your Treatment Options?

The condition usually doesn’t require treatment unless you’re experiencing significant pain or other complications. But if you just want to reduce mild pain, you can usually do so with compression socks. These are widely available in drug stores and work by helping to push the blood out of the legs. And elevating the legs above the head can also help relieve some of the pressure.

For more serious cases, there are a number of surgical options available. The basic idea behind all of them is to remove the veins that are causing trouble. Surgeons can do this by injecting chemicals into the vein that shut off the flow of blood, or by using lasers that destroy the veins through the skin. Once the veins are dead, they naturally wither away and become scar tissue.

For veins that are deep in the leg, or don’t respond to treatment, doctors can surgically remove them. But it’s usually best to exhaust the less invasive options first.


The preceding article is from and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional information, please visit their website or consult your personal physician.

“This Piece of Our Being: Tampa Suns Hockey (Clearing the Ice Book 3)” by Robyn M. Ryan #BlogTour


Title: This Piece of Our Being (Clearing the Ice Book Three)
Author: Robyn M. Ryan
Genre: Sports Romance

Release Date: December 5, 2017
Cover Designer: K. Fouts Designs
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

From the author of This Piece of My Heart and This Piece of My Soul,
the conclusion to Andrew and Caryn’s journey,
and to the Clearing the Ice trilogy.
She no longer believes that love conquers all.
He questions his convictions.
Alone, each faces an uncertain future.
However, Fate has other ideas.
Just as Fate placed their lives on a collision course five years ago, Andrew and Caryn Chadwick’s paths cross once again in Toronto after a four-month separation. Despite Andrew’s assurances that he wants to repair their marriage, Caryn is wary, not certain she can trust him, and struggles with doubts and questions about his relationship with a member of his Rehab Team. Wracked with guilt, Andrew questions his determination to return to the Tampa Suns hockey team, and he seeks to convince Caryn their marriage will survive.
Fate intervenes with a gift at the worst possible moment.
Caryn can hide this secret for only a short time, but is Andrew capable of pushing his needs aside when he discovers the truth? Can she risk her heart and soul once again? This Piece of Our Being follows Andrew’s and Caryn’s journeys through a fragile reconciliation. Both vow to place honesty at the center of their future. But, will the secrets revealed heal their marriage or drive them further apart?
The conclusion to the Clearing the Ice trilogy, This Piece of Our Being delivers Andrew and Caryn’s Happily Ever After, but the path to reconciliation is rocky and missteps prove costly.

**Please note: For your best enjoyment please be sure to read THIS OF MY HEART and THIS PIECE OF MY SOUL before this book. Check your favorite ebook site for special offers on the first two books in the series during THIS PIECE OF OUR BEING’s preorder period.**
PRE-ORDER SPECIAL—Just .99 through December 9 release week

“Have you seen your brother lately?” Caryn asked as she and Andrew enjoyed lunch in the Rehab Center’s courtyard.
Andrew nodded as he took a long drink of water. “Just for a few minutes. He looks like shit.”
“I’d say sleep-walking. He arrived just as I was leaving. How do they manage those long shifts?”
“No idea, Caryn.” He reached for a second sandwich. “He’ll revive if you saved some of this chicken salad. I guess doctors get used to long shifts. It’s worse for new residents, from what Tom says. Second and third-year residents get first chance at the on-call beds. Seniority rules, even if you’re napping.”
Caryn made a face. “Poor Tom.”
“He signed on for this. He’s tough…had experience with long shifts when he was an intern. Now, he’s expected to make decisions for patients he sees. I think that adrenaline spike will keep him focused when needed.”
Caryn set her sandwich on the paper plate. “Did Tom mention counseling as a way for us to start working things out?”
“Yeah, he did. What do you think about it?”
Caryn met his eyes, she couldn’t read his thoughts. “It might help us in the beginning. I’m not sure where to start.”
“I can make a list of all the shitty things I’ve done to push you away. But, that would take longer than I hope to be separated from you.” Now his eyes betrayed his thoughts, and Caryn felt herself grow wary.
“I have my own list of things I’d change if we had a do-over.” She averted her eyes and tore off a small piece of her sandwich to eat.
“We could try a counselor.” His voice lacked conviction. “If you think it’ll help.”
Caryn’s temper flared. “Unless you have a better idea? Exchange our lists and take turns choosing topics?”
“I have no idea. I want what we had yesterday…”
“Just pretend nothing happened? Forget the last four months? I wish we could, Drew. I truly do.”
His eyes met hers and she saw the resignation in his expression before he sighed. “I know we can’t. Maybe Tom’s right. A neutral counselor could start the conversation. I can get a recommendation and set up an appointment.”
Caryn nodded, a lump suddenly forming in her throat. Talking about all this will bring up the feelings I’ve tried to bury. It will hurt as much as it did at that time. Andrew reached across the table and brushed a tear aside.
“It’s hard for me to think about discussing everything with a stranger,” he admitted.
“But easy to tell Kristen everything?” Caryn blurted the accusation before she could think, sarcasm lacing her words. Andrew didn’t respond, his eyes holding hers steadily. “She made sure I knew you ‘shared everything’ with her—even personal stuff between you and me. She got it right, so you don’t need to deny it.”
“I’m not,” Andrew said quietly. “We talked during therapy, especially when I was in a shitty mood. She was a good listener.”
“I’m sure.” Caryn crossed her arms over her chest and nodded for him to continue.
“You want to talk about this here? Right now?” Andrew glanced at his watch. “We don’t have much time.”
Caryn didn’t respond for a moment, her mind flashing back to Kristen’s comments and innuendoes, and of course, the subject of Andrew’s return to hockey. Should I tell him? How she wanted me to prepare him for a career that did not include hockey. Once again, a flicker of guilt pricked her conscience. Finally, she spoke quietly. “She isn’t your friend, Andrew. She was never your friend.”
“Caryn, we had a professional relationship until that massage I told you about. We were friendly, but I never counted her as one of my friends.” Caryn nodded slowly. How can we ever discuss this, even with a counselor? What explanation can he offer? If he’s truthful and tells me about that kiss?
Andrew’s eyes pierced hers with intensity. “Are you trying to tell me something, Cary?”
She hesitated just a beat. “You’re right, Andrew. We don’t have time for this right now. And I don’t want to unravel everything that happened without someone to guide us. I don’t want to take the chance we slip back into the…abyss…I can’t go through that again.”


By the time she was an eight-year-old tomboy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Robyn M. Ryan definitely knew what she wanted to do when she grew up—play major league baseball or write. She wrote throughout elementary and high school, first composing novels featuring favorite TV and music personalities, and then venturing into sports writing.

Attending UGA’s journalism school launched her career in public relations, which included an internship with the Atlanta Flames NHL hockey team. This Piece of My Heart, a hockey romance and the first book in Robyn’s hockey trilogy Clearing the Ice was published May 2016. The second book in the series, This Piece of My Soul, was published January, 2017, and the final book, This Piece of Our Soul concludes the trilogy with a December, 2017 release.

Besides writing, Robyn’s passions include following the New York Rangers, NASCAR, and the Atlanta Braves; splitting time between homes in Atlanta and Palm Coast, and visiting Paris as often as possible. Two brilliant Westies rule both homes.

As do many writers, Robyn chooses to write using a pseudonym—hers is a combination of her sons’ names, a contribution from her youngest nephew.

She wasn’t looking for love.
Struggling to live up to the high expectations of overprotective parents and a hefty family name, Caryn Stevens only wants one Summer of Fun before focusing on finishing her college degree. She knows her destiny: to follow her dad as CEO of his multi-million dollar business. But that plan changes forever one day when she runs into—literally—sexy and single professional hockey player, Andrew Chadwick.
But love came looking for her.
Sparks instantly fly between the two, and Caryn can’t resist his charms as she discovers that Andrew has a reputation of winning – both on and off the ice. One of the most eligible singles in Toronto Andrew could have any woman he wants, and he’s got Caryn in sights. But, when Caryn’s parents disapprove of the match and threaten to disinherit her and his hockey team trades him to a new city, it make take more than love for the couple to survive this penalty play

They believe love conquers all…
Pro hockey’s golden couple, Andrew and Caryn Chadwick bask in their love, and the limelight reserved for elite professional athlete. An opportunity leads them to a new team in a new city. Neither foresees an event that challenges their love and threatens their marriage.
Until it doesn’t…
A life-threatening accident rocks their very core. Shattered by the incident, paralyzed with fear, Caryn can’t provide the support Andrew needs. Distrust, fears, and secrets construct walls. Each makes choices that take them further apart.
This Piece of My Soul follows the joint and separate paths the couple navigate as each hopes to rediscover the love that can conquer all.

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“The One Apart” by Justine Avery #Excerpt

The One Apart cover

The One Apart coverTitle: The One Apart

Author: Justine Avery

Genre: Paranormal

Only one obstacle stands in his way of enjoying a normal life. He remembers—every life he’s lived before.

Tres is about to be born… with the biggest burden any has ever had to bear. He is beginning again—as an ageless adult trapped in an infant body.

He and his teenage mother face life filled with extraordinary challenges as they strive to protect, nurture, and hide how truly different he is. But Tres alone must solve the greatest mystery of all: who is he? The answer is linked to the one question he’s too afraid to ask: why am I?

In his quest, Tres discovers that all is considerably more interconnected and dynamic than he could ever imagine—and fraught with far more danger. He cannot hide from the unseen threat stalking him since his birth.

Life as he knows it—as all know it—is in peril. And Tres is the only one aware.

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The One Apart by Justine Avery – Excerpt 3

“He needs a name,” Maria said, pouring scrambled eggs onto the plate decorated with a face of bacon strips.

Sancha stared at her plate. “He has one,” she said.

The hot iron skillet slipped from Maria’s hand; she sighed her relief as it landing safely on the stove burner. “What… did you decide?”

“I didn’t.” Sancha prodded at her eggs, recovering her bacon art one eye at a time.

“I thought you—”

“He has one already. I just don’t know what it is.”

Maria’s subconscious almost recognized the truth in the statement before it was buried by her conscious again. “Don’t be silly. Did you choose a name? If not, I will have—”

“No, you will not,” Sancha ended the conversation.

* * *

In the fenced back yard Maria referred to as “the garden,” sat a rusting swing set for two: Sancha’s favorite spot in the whole world. Swinging there—in and out of the shade of the broad-reaching maple tree—seemed to slow time and shoo away all teenage troubles.

“I have to name you,” she called out to her bright-eyed baby resting in a basket nestled in the grass below her. She swung her pale legs to propel herself higher into the morning sunlight, her glittering hair swirling around her. “But you won’t tell me what yours is,” she pouted.

Her polka-dotted summer dress fluttered in the breeze as her legs scooped up another pocket of air. “I guess you can’t,” she concluded on a downswing. “Yet,” she shouted into the air.


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Enter for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or a digital copy of The One Apart!


~ Author Bio ~

Justine AveryJustine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.

Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final “job”—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.

Aside from her native English, Avery speaks a bit of Japanese and a bit more Spanish, her accent is an ever-evolving mixture of Midwestern American with notes of the Deep South and indiscriminate British vocabulary and rhythm, and she says “eh”—like the Kiwis, not the Canadians. She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.

Avery loves to connect with fellow readers and creatives, explorers and imaginers, and cordially invites you to say “hello”—or konnichiwa.

Twitter: @Justine_Avery

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#Review “Haunted” by Kiru Taye

5/5 Stars!

Somma Orji still carries the burdens of loss and grief more than a year after losing her husband. Besties Lade and Efe provide the emotional support—and some comic relief—that keeps Somma from losing her sanity.

The nights are always most difficult for Somma. Hazy memories of her beloved David consume her dreams causing her to wake each morning exhausted and depressed.

The story shifts when Somma awakens one morning feeling as though her husband was with her in bed the night before ravaging her body.

She questions her own sanity because dead men don’t have sex, right?

Uh, apparently, they do, and this short read takes a LONG walk on Supernatural Street!

Weeks… yes, I said WEEKS later, Somma inadvertently spills the beans to her besties during a girls’ night out and they goad her into having… an exorcism performed!

That’s when this read makes a right turn to Paranormal Parkway and a GREAT plot twist I didn’t see coming!

Thoroughly enjoyed this read! Even in a short story, this author delivers realistic characters who feel like old friends after only a few pages.

Somma is my kind of female lead. Even in mourning, she has strength; when confused, she thinks it through; and when pushed… she pushes back.

David as the ghost-lover… I have no words, but this author ‘gets’ erotica. It’s not simply sweaty sex and f-bombs for fifty-seven paragraphs. The intimate connection of the couple is the catalyst, not the result.

Efe and Lade are the perfect besties. Despite the routine and drama in their own lives, they’re able to put it aside when one of them is in need.

True, I wanted to smack them both when the word ‘exorcism’ got tossed around, but I love how there were no secrets or judgment between them. And Fola? Well, #sorrynotsorry.

It’s five stars WAAAAY up for Haunted! Download this one today!


Haunted cover


Genre: African-American/Paranormal/Erotica

Release Date: November 13, 2017

In life, he loved her. In death, he craved her.

Somma and David were in love and happily married until David was killed in a tragic accident. Somma is heartbroken, and even a year after David’s death she is struggling to move on, especially since she swears he is haunting her dreams.

But when friends convince her to get rid of David’s possessions, things only seem to get worse, and she isn’t so sure he’s dead anymore. Not with the sexy stuff he does to her every night.

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