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Shy Town Girls Review Book 2

14 Jan

Shy Town Girls by Katie Leimkuehler, Jennifer Yih, and M.G. Wilson

Four Shy Girls, Four Big Dreams, One Awesome City:  Book 2 in the Shy-Town Girls Four Novel Series

 

In the same way as book 1 followed Bobbie Bertucci,

Book-Cover-21

Book 2 of the Shy Town Girls 4 part series follows Ivy and her hilarious antics.

 

Ivy Westin is fierce, fiery, and outspoken. She uses these qualities to hide her insecurities and the fact that she is shy, although she’d never let anyone know it.

 

Ivy has a stellar career in PR, boys lined up around  the block, and the best friends anyone could ever ask for. On the surface, Ivy appears to have everything she ever wanted.

 

But as the story unfolds and you dig deeper into Ivy’s tale, she’s actually missing out on some key parts to her life. Her father leaving when she was just ten-years-old left Ivy broken and fears of abandonment rule her relationships. Through Ivy’s experiences in the book, you watch her perspective on life, love, and friendship change as she learns what is truly important.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Ivy is a fun loving girl who is the life of the party. I felt Ivy’s pain as her father pushed his way into her life even though he was unwanted. I laughed at her shenanigans, and truly felt her joy when she resolved some unsettling issues in her life.

 

Again, as with Book 1 the descriptions of the Chicago landmarks are impeccable. Being a midwesterner myself I’ve come to know the Chicago area very well. The characterization of the Chicago seasons made me feel as if I was really there. The history behind the names of buildings and the Chicago Fire held an interesting sentiment in the midst of Ivy’s dramas.

Shy Town Girls Book 2: Ivy, is definitely a page turner. I read the book in one day, never wanting to put it down. It is a book that many millennial women will relate to immediately. I would recommend this book highly to any fun loving girl looking for love and friendship in the midst of finding herself along the way.

Shy Town Girls Review Book 1

28 Oct

Shy Town Girls by Jennifer Yih, M.G. Wilson, and Katie Leimkuehler

 

Four Shy Girls, Four Big Dreams, One Awesome City:  Book 1 in the Shy-Town Girls Four Novel Series

If Chic Lit is your genre. If you loved Sex and the City and Gossip Girl. If you want to explore Chicago’s historic Gold Coast neighborhood, this book, and the series, is for you!

 

Bobbie Bertucci, 24-years-old, shy, and being pulled in a myriad of different directions, has many decisions to make. Torn between an old unhealthy relationship, and a new romance, balancing a job she isn’t satisfied with, and trying to discover who she really is, Bobbie is lost in a whirlwind of confusion.

 

Deciding to leave her old life in the Chicago suburbs behind, Bobbie moves into an old brownstone in Chicago’s Gold Coast to start a new chapter in her life; one that includes new friends with a new perspective, leading her to a new life she never expected.

Bobbie’s new friends help her to overcome her shyness and pursue her true passions. She learns the true meaning of love and friendship while bonding at night on the rooftop deck with wine, friends, laughter, and tears.

I loved this book because it’s a true tale of love, friendship, and the meaning of happiness. It is a feel good story that can build you up, giving you hope in times of sadness, and reinforce times of joy. Millennial women will find themselves relating to Bobbie from the first page of the book until the last. You can feel Bobbie’s pain, and her confusion. As you read about Bobbie discovering her self-worth and potential, you’ll gain a new appreciation for your own!

 

The descriptions of Chicago’s landmarks are so precise, you’ll feel as though you’re roaming the streets right along with Bobbie, no matter where you are!

The only downside to the book, if you can even call it a downside, is that the other characters have much smaller roles, and the book doesn’t offer a lot of information on Bobbie’s friends, Ivy, Ella, and Meryl. However, that’s because it is a four part series and each girl gets their own story!

 

I would highly recommend this series to anyone, especially girls who are shy, or trying to find their way in the world.

You can get book 1 right now on Amazon for 99 cents on Kindle! http://ow.ly/q4g1n

Once you’ve finished reading book 1, which in my case was the same day I got it, you’ll want to dive right into book 2; Ivy.

Stay tuned for my next review!

 

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The Chick-Lit 50: Leading Influential Authors

8 Oct

Social Media has become the norm for sharing opinions, beliefs, and ideas in our society. CEOs, marketing gurus, newscasters, college students, and bored housewives all have jumped on board with the social media frenzy.

Cover of "Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, ...

Cover of Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea

We used to determine someone’s influence based on their charitable contributions and how powerful their careers were. Now, influence can be based on how high one’s Klout score is or how many ‘likes’ received on Facebook.

Social media has made a world of difference in corporations. They say word-of-mouth is the best advertising, and social media has allowed millions of people to discuss millions of products in the open for anyone to observe. This allows marketing and public relations professionals the opportunity to address customer concerns and discover if the product they’re selling is really something that consumers want.

It’s easy to see how social media would benefit corporate America, but what about other professions and industries?  Does social media really play an important role? It certainly is a good question.

Take, for instance, the book publishing circuit. Self published writers and publishing companies thrive because of social media. Authors can connect with other authors and publishers to get the word out about their books.

Shakespeare can be considered a very influential author, even without the help of social media. Theatre and movies are bursting with Shakespeare’s writings and quotes and have been for many years. Now, a mock Twitter account with the handle @Wwm_Shakespeare has almost 50,000 followers and a Klout score of 65. Over 400 years later, Shakespeare continues to be influential through the use of social media!

Current authors and their publishers can also connect with fans to hear what readers would like to read and get others interested in things they’ve already written. To showcase this finding, I searched goodreads.com for the most popular books in the Chick-Lit genre. Then I used Twitter and Hootsuite to identify 50 fiction authors from the goodreads.com list with high Klout scores and a mass of followers.

 

Here’s the list my research generated.

The Chick-Lit 50: Leading Influential Authors

Cecily von Zeigesar Gossip Girl

Candace Bushnell Sex and the City

Judy Blume Tiger Eyes

Jodi Picoult My Sister’s Keeper

Lauren Weisberger The Devil Wears Prada

Amy Tan The Joy Luck Club

Philippa Gregory The Other Boleyn Girl

Ann Brashares Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Cecelia Ahern P.S. I Love You

Meg Cabot Princess Diaries

Janet Evanovich One for the Money

James Patterson Suzanne’s Diary for Nicolas

Chelsea Handler Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea

Sarah Dessen Someone Like You

Jessica Sorensen The Coincidence

Joanne Harris Chocolat

Joyce Carol Oates We Were the Mulvaneys

Joan Swan Phoenix Rising

Lindsey Leavitt Princess For Hire

Paige Edward Dare Me Forever

Tess Thompson Riversong

Liv Morris Drunk & Disorderly

Stephen Kiernan The Curiosity

Brad Taylor Enemy of Mine

Nicole Mcgehee Regret Not A Moment

Nicolas Sparks Dear John

Wendy Cartmell Steps to Heaven

Melissa Walker Unbreak My Heart

Marie Astor This Tangled Thing Called Love

Sara Palacios Love In Translation

Jamie Blair Leap of Faith

Allie Larkin Why Can’t I Be You

Colleen Oakes Ellie in Bloom

Luann Robinson Hull Happily Ever After Right Now

Jason Mott The Returned

Chris Kuhn Muse Unlocked

Glen Hepker A Glimpse of Heaven

Rick Bylina One Promise Too Many

Laura Miller Butterfly Weeds

R.M. James Love’s Second Chance

Tyler Compton The Poisonous Ten

Carlie Sexton Fallen For You

C. Lee McKenzie Sliding on the Edge

Teresa Mummert White Trash Beautiful

Anna Jeffrey The Tycoon

Cara Rosalie Olsen Awakening Foster Kelly

Kathryne Arnold The Fear of Things to Come

Stephanie Zia The Widow’s To Do List

Tobin Elliot Vanishing Hope

Michael Hooper Man of Discovery

Terri Giuliano Long In Leah’s Wake

 

After viewing this list, it is clear that social media is just as important to the book publishing circuit as the corporate world. The authors in the above list have created a following and developed a strategy to stay connected with fans, publishers, and other authors to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and get their works recognized.

By taking advantage of this list of authors, observing their social media approach, and connecting with them, other self published authors can develop their own social media strategy to have their publications viewed by masses of fans as well. The more people an author can connect with, the easier it will be to have her works known, and hopefully one day being included in a list of influential authors.

–Bailey Allen, Cub Reporter for Networlding and Networlding Publishing
Connect with me on Twitter @BaileyeAllen

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The Benefits of Collaborative Writing

8 Oct

Writing has always been my passion. When I was 8-years-old I started a poetry club with my cousin and was convinced it was the world’s coolest thing–so obviously we had to keep it top secret it. Well, secret’s out, we were nerds.

I’ve been a writer my whole life. I love it and always have, but there is one aspect of writing that no one enjoys: it’s a solo job. The best friends of most writers are a cup of coffee and their laptop. It’s not a very social career, which has always been difficult for me because I love being social!

This is why writing Shy Town Girls with Melissa, Jen and Kate has been so exciting. The process of sharing and collaborating on ideas and then running with them is much more invigorating than sitting alone in coffee shop wondering if this scene will work or not.  Now, I have a team of amazing women who know the core values of story and how to bring that out in a book series.

The biggest advantage of collaborative publishing is that you don’t have days or weeks to mull over 684 outcomes and scenarios for your characters.  The process is much faster and easier when you can share your thoughts and get inspired by your co-writers. We have a certain rhythm together where creative ideas are at an all time high and I look forward to seeing the outcome!

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Shy Town Girls and Collaborative Publishing

25 Sep

I want to make sure I introduce the whole team of writers on what we are calling a “collaborative publishing” initiative. We are defining collaborative publishing as an effort that starts with multiple authors who then publish, in our case, a series of books. Following is more detail as to what exactly our process involves. That’s Kate on the far left, Katie in the middle and Jennifer to the far right. That leaves me upfront in the middle.

Overview of the Shy Town Girls’ Novel Series

I met Jennifer Yih about three years ago through her aunt who told me about her “amazing” niece who could assist me with support with the publishing and social media efforts I have been involved with. Through the years as Jen has been finishing up college at The University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, she has brought so much to my process. Later, in the last couple of years, Katie Leimkuehler approached me to learn more about publishing and its connection to social media followed by Kate Clinesmith who also wanted to learn.

As I heard these three, very talented young women share their common passions, I thought, “Gee, it would be even more relevant and beneficial for these three talented women to learn writing and publishing up close and personal.” With this thought I reached out and offered each of them the request to join me in a collaborative writing and publishing process with the focus on a book series. From that moment on, everything just “clicked.”

Within four weeks we have:

  • decided on the title: “Shy Town Girls.”
  • decided on the number of books we would write: four.
  • decided on who would write each book: Jennifer, book 1, Katie, book 2, Kate  book 3 and me, book 4.
  • created detailed descriptions of each of our characters.
  • wrote out the plot to all four books.
  • are now in the process of choosing the cover.
  • set our publication date: December 1st of this year.

What do you think? Any suggestions? We will keep sharing the process as we go along.

Best,

MG Wilson

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The Not-So-Typical Brainstorm

24 Sep

Why do they call it brainstorming? We had our first “brainstorming” session, and unlike any storm I’ve experienced it was calm, productive and enjoyable to watch Shy-Town Girls unfold. Melissa, Jen, Katie and myself have begun what we call collaborative publishing. As the gals and myself sat down to discuss each of our characters- we all developed a character that we wanted to include in the stories- the excitement rose as we shared ideas of funny encounters and dramatic events.

The collaborative publishing process is unique in that instead of passing a story along for review we, from the start, write and publish the story together. We work through our character developments, “how would Ella react in this situation?” or “does the absence of Ivy’s father cause emotional issues and if so, how?” and we do this thorough examination of each of the characters.  This allows each of our characters to have dimension, just as each person is impacted by the people they meet in their life so are these characters. It is truly spectacular to experience the evolution of our characters through events they have had in their life to the people that have hurt them or who they have loved in to the characters they are today. There is an attachment that comes with writing, you find yourself spending time with the characters as if they are your friends- laughing as you write in the bad date, hurting while they hurt and feeling joy when they kiss the crush. To take this intimate writing process and open it up to work with others for collaborative publishing is no short of a challenge, a process that takes cooperation, understanding and the most key- the ability to speak our creative insights with each other.

As we, the four original Shy-Town Girls, draw out our books together we want to share our process. There is bound to be disagreements resulting from passion, and laughter resulting from real-life anecdotes and  pure excitement as we watch four shy girls brave through the twists and triumphs of life in Chicago. We feel that with any experimental process there will be some failures in collaborative writing- how do we keep story developments organized? Who writes what? But when crossing the finish line we are sure the depths of Shy-Town Girls will be worth any of the bumps obtained along with way.

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