Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sandy Wolters, today's Friday Friend

 Sandy Wolters is a prolific writer with five other novels to date. Soul Mates, her steamy time travel romance, won first place in the Paranormal Romance Guild’s 2013 Reviewer Choice Awards for Paranormal Romance-Novella.    She shares her:

                                   Dos And Don’ts Of Editing By A Don’ts Expert

I am now the proud mother of six novels, each word of which was ripped from my heart and put on paper for the world to see.

[Don’t #1.]
With my first novel, Maggie Mae, I allowed my oldest daughter to give it to her friends at work, all of whom love romance novels, to beta read. I figured I was letting my family off the hook from lying to my face if they didn't like it. My daughter could just pass on the comments from her co-workers without fear of any repercussions. Besides, my family members can't spell any better than I can, so I wasn't sure how much help they would be. I thought unfamiliar beta readers would give me the advantage I needed to make sure my novel was the very best it could be, completely error-free. Of course, I assumed that because I had read and re-read the thing at least 8,000 times, there was no way a misspelled word or misplaced comma had slipped through my intense scrutiny. But, sending it through one more pass with beta readers sounded like a good idea. WRONG!

After nothing but great reviews from beta readers, and I might add, no issue with any misspelled words or punctuation, I published my book. A friend contacted me after she had read it. This friend happened  to be a professional editor. She loved the story but had found quite a few errors and offered her services to edit the manuscript. At first, I was heartbroken and then mortified. My baby had flaws, and they needed to be fixed before any other copies were sold. I jumped at her offer.

[Don’t #2.]
With my next two books, I felt very confident about the stories, all puffed up, knowing my books couldn't possibly be any better than they were. WRONG!

Curious about how my work stood against other author’s manuscripts, I contacted my friend Dannye Williamsen with Your Editing Partner and asked her to take a look at all my books, including Maggie Mae.  Ms. Williamsen had earlier suggested some ways I could improve my writing in general and draw the reader in. As it turned out, my last two books for the most part didn’t have grammatical errors, but all three books needed refining.

Once I received her feedback, I hired her on the spot. I quickly realized that the difference between someone being a line editor and someone being a professional fiction editor is that the professional knows when to rein an author in and when to make her expand a scene. They know how to enrich the author’s writing. Ms. Williamsen has now edited every single book I’ve written, and she’s the only editor I trust touching my work. She’s helped me grow as an author, and I couldn’t be more thankful for our professional and personal relationship. She has no problem telling me straight out if she believes my book needs work, and I appreciate every nugget of knowledge she’s given me.

Over the years, we’ve come to love each other like sisters. When it comes to writing, we think alike. We’ve even started a project together, collaborating on a new series. It, of course, has the paranormal element but is a mystery series rather than romance.

The moral of this story is—save yourself some agony. Spend the money and hire yourself a professional editor, preferably one who has experience in your genre of choice, one who has your best interests at heart and one you can trust with your offspring.

When One Door Closes: 

Purchase Links: ($1.99 digital)
Amazon Geo URL:
(Available in Print - $7.99)

            Her marriage a disaster, Lilly closes the door to her personal life. Can meeting Bruce open a door to a new life or will her fear shut her off from love?

            All Lilly has ever wanted to do is sing, but being an internationally famous superstar has turned her life into a living nightmare. Closing the door on her destructive marriage, she runs to her best friend's rural home in northern Arizona, hoping to stay out of the public's eye and sort out her life.

            Bruce Silk, a Flagstaff police officer, doesn't approve of his brother's rakish rock star lifestyle but still keeps an eye on his remote home when he's out on tour. More than once he's had to arrest groupies who invaded the property to steal some small memento from the famous Clay Silk. So why does he feel sucker-punched when he slaps the cuffs on this latest trespasser?

Excerpt: (414 words)
            Curiosity gripped him. Who was this woman his philandering brother seemed to care so much about? Bruce watched from the kitchen doorway as she finished preparing their hot cocoa. Her small size seemed incongruent with the amount of sensuality exuding from her. No wonder she's Clay's favorite, he thought as a pang of jealousy swept over him.
            Dominating the room, her sensuous presence relaxed his cop perceptions and stimulated his male senses to a full appreciation for the view in front of him. Looking at her feet, he realized that despite the six-inch heels, the top of her head had only come up to his chest while he was handcuffing her. Damn, he thought, she is one fine woman. Who the hell wears those kinds of shoes sitting on a back deck all by themselves?
            Observing her skintight, leather-clad legs, lust filled him as his eyes and his imagination quickly moved to gaze at her curvaceous southern regions. Staring at her beautifully rounded bottom, his mind swiftly moved to a destination that he had not been fortunate enough to visit lately, even though it wasn’t for lack of opportunity. A lascivious grin, coveted by most of the women around these parts, crept across his face.
            Lilly turned to find him leering at her, locked away in his own private daydream. Still it was a look she would recognize anywhere. She'd seen it countless times but never really appreciated it until tonight. Too bad, she thought, that I'm not the type of person to have a one-night stand, unlike my husband. A stab of fresh pain hit her in the chest, and she had to catch the sorrowful moan before it left her lips. No. I'm not going to do that to myself—not anymore. She had an inkling that if she let him, this man could make her feel better for a while at least. Letting these dangerous thoughts slip away, she cleared her throat to get his attention.
            He came back from wherever his imagination had just taken him to find her smiling sweetly at him. As she moved toward him with the mugs in hand, he was grateful she had let him off the hook so easily. There was no way in hell he wanted to explain where his daydream had taken the two of them. It was bad enough that she obviously knew that his thoughts were lustful—no need for her to know how much further they had taken him.

Read entire first chapter excerpt:
Another Door Opens

Purchase Links: ($1.99 digital)
Amazon Geo URL:
(Available in Print - $7.99)

Can a man who has never lacked for women in his life meet the challenge when the woman he truly desires wants nothing to do with him?

Clayton Silk has reveled in the attention he receives as a rock star. His only close friend is Lilly, another international rock star, but she has chosen to step back from the spotlight and enjoy her relationship with his brother Bruce, which has started Clay thinking about his life.

When he decides to take a break from touring and spend some time with Bruce and Lilly, he meets a woman who drives him to distraction, a woman who resists all his usual charms, and makes him wonder what it will take to break down her resistance before he loses his mind. As he discovers, it may just cost him her life.

Excerpt: (554 words)
They were both startled when Barney picked that moment to come running through the house. He moved back and forth in front of them with urgency. When all he got was curious looks, he stopped and gave them both an inquisitive stare.
Nancy reached for the dog. "What is it, boy?"
Barney started to whine quietly, his big blue eyes almost hidden from view because of his wrinkles, but still able to convey his consternation through his expressive face. Nancy set her beer on the table and moved forward so her knees were almost touching the mammoth-sized dog. "He looks like he’s in distress, Clay. What’s wrong with him?"
At that moment, both Nancy and Clay heard a faint voice. "Help! Help!"
Nancy jumped back and practically landed on Clay’s lap. She grabbed his leg and held on for dear life. Never taking her eyes from the dog, she yelled, "Did you hear that? Clay, did you hear that? Did Barney just actually say help?"
Something akin to terror sparked in Clay’s eyes as he looked at the enormous dog in front of him. Shit, he thought, this can’t be happening! Did the damn dog actually find the spooks and get himself possessed? Unnerved because he no longer knew what to expect with the disembodied voices and where they were coming from, Clay’s voice broke when he spoke. "Barney?"
Panic set in, and Nancy’s fight or flight instinct raised its ugly head as the dog moved slowly toward her with a look of desperation in his expressive eyes. The death grip she had on Clay’s leg would definitely leave bruises.
The beast gradually opened his mouth and spit a slimy, mucous-covered, green mass of feathers out on her cozy, white bathrobe. Nancy jumped and gasped for air at the sight of the unmoving bird covered in goo and lying limply in her lap, its bony little legs straight up in the air with talons clinched tight in a death grip.
Nancy and Clay, stunned at the gift Barney had brought them, stayed perfectly still, not knowing what to do next or how to react.
Barney nudged the bird with his cold nose and whined. The bird chose that moment to move as fast as possible to get away from its captor. It turned quickly, gained its footing, and ran as fast as its little legs would carry it up the bathrobe. With determination, it dove down the front opening of the robe and found respite between the warmth of Nancy’s bare breasts.
Jumping up, Nancy stood there, stunned, not knowing what to do, arms spread wide, fists clenched and chest heaving, her body stiffened with pure panic. Her eyes, filled with hysteria, darted toward Clay, whose eyes crinkled with humor. He had his fist pressed against his mouth to stop the laughter, but one look at her standing there, ready to freak out, and he burst out laughing.
The bird chose that same moment to stick its head out of the opening of the bathrobe. "Help," it yelled once again. She felt it shaking with fear and realized the poor thing was only trying to protect itself. Barney tried to reach out with his nose to comfort his newfound toy, but the bird quickly retreated back into the warmth and safety of Nancy’s breasts.

Author Links:
Sandy’s Spotlight Blog:
Amazon Author Page:
Twitter @SandyWolters:

Maggie Mae – Steamy contemporary romance with a ghostly paranormal twist
Justice For Emily – Steamy romantic suspense/crime drama with a ghostly paranormal twist
A Brother’s Love – Contemporary romantic suspense
Soul Mates – Award winning, steamy time travel romance


  1. Good advice, Sandy. It obviously works from the books you've published. Keep them coming!

  2. Sandy, welcome to HWH! Great advice-thanks for sharing it with us. And I think it's great when an author recognizes they need assistance. It's so easy for us to live in our bubble and assume everything is perfect (I'm guilty too!). Good luck with your books.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer. It's nice to meet you. Hopefully people can learn from my mistakes.

  3. Ana, Thanks so much for hosting me today! The blog is beautiful.

  4. Hi, Sandy, and welcome to HWH. Agree that every author needs honest critiques of their work, and definitely not from family! It's almost impossible to be objective about our own work, and equally impossible (it seems!) to catch every error, however many times we think we've caught everything!

  5. Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for joining us at HWH today! It is indeed difficult to step outside of our own work and see it objectively. It's also tough to spot mistakes in a mss you've read dozens of times. After all, you know what it's supposed to say, so that's what your eyes often see.

    I thank God for my editor and critique sessions. Writing can sometimes be a lonely endeavor, but it's important to get other people involved in order to make our work the best it can be.

  6. I agree with you wholeheartedly, Debra.