Friday, June 29, 2012

Welcome Caller, This is Chloe

 Welcome Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Corielle

Chloe Camden has a big heart and an even bigger collection of vintage shoes. Life is good…until her best friend turns the entire school against her and her counselor axes her junior independent study project. Forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass her Junior year, Chloe joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t always appreciate her unique style. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe tackles love, loneliness, and painful life lessons as she gives her big heart to the radio station and the misfits who call it home.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where Do My Ideas Come From? by Caris Roane


Developing ideas for my novels has four facets.  First, I need an inspiration and for me that has always started with a specific genre and the authors I love who write in that genre.  Second, I need to know the requirements of the genre, those elements the readers will expect.  Third,  I play a very long ‘what-if’ game.  And, finally, new ideas always emerge when I put words on the page.

I have to say that more than any other source, reading fiction seems to fill my well.  When I first contemplated writing as a vocation, I was in my twenties and had been reading the Regency works of Georgette Heyer.  Perusing a bookstore, I found, much to my surprise, that an entire genre had emerged, essentially based on her work, called the Regency Romance.  Looking at all those books, I had the thought:  I could do this.  I was inspired by all these stories and the genre itself became the place from which all the other ideas would flow.   I’ve always worked this way, considering genre first to narrow down what kind of story I would write.

More recently, when the paranormal genre really took off, I devoured the works of Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, Christine Feehan, Gena Showalter, Lara Adrian and several others.  I couldn’t get enough, so that by the time I’d read a bunch of these books I knew I had to create my own brotherhood book of uber-powerful vampires.  From being inspired by authors I love, came a wonderful contract, six books published with St. Martin’s Press, and fan-messages from all over the world, the latest from Nairobi, Kenya!

Once I’ve been inspired by a genre, I turn to examining the requirements of that genre.  Because I always have an eye to selling and marketing, I think it’s important to know what the readers expects from the genre.  At this point in the formation of my story idea, I usually make a list of common elements for that genre.  For instance, in my Regency work I know that readers will want to see a round of social events typical of the period, whether the book is set in the country or in London.  In my paranormal work, my hero will probably be facing some nasty villains and during their struggles be struck down by his need to bond with a woman.  I’ll take time to consider the books that I’ve read so that I don’t repeat what’s already been done while at the same time figuring out how I can do something different.

Now that I’ve been inspired by various genre authors and have considered the requirements of the genre, then I get to the really fun part and start my very long ‘what if’ game.   What if instead of the story taking place in London it takes place in Bath, in the summer?  How would the summer change what happens?  What kinds of events would take place in a watering hole like Bath?  What if the hero is a Peer of the Realm who happens to spend two days in Bath and stumbles on a lady of quality roaming the streets but who can’t even remember her name?  And so on… 

Or what if, in the case of the paranormal genre, instead of the story being set in one world, it takes place in two worlds, maybe more, with dimensional borderlands between?  What if the hero has to battle at these borderlands?  What if the villain sends his fiercest warriors to the borderlands every night to keep my hero in a constant state of exhaustion?  And so forth…  This ‘what if’ process can go on for weeks as I make notes and turn the emerging idea on its head a few times, until at last a solid concept for the story arrives.

Finally—and this is the most surprising part of my overall idea-getting process—at least half of the concepts that show up in my books occur during the actual writing process.  One of the biggest shockers I ever received was how I came to create my vampires-with-wings because the whole concept came from putting words on paper. 

Here’s how it happened.  I was writing one of the first scenes of ASCENSION, the first book of my Guardians of Ascension series, and suddenly a very bad death vampire appeared floating in midair.  I was stunned!  But how was he floating?  Well, it turned out that he had the most magnificent, huge, glossy black wings.  As soon as I saw them, I was hooked from that moment on.  My vampires would have wings.    

Here’s how the float-and-spin scene unfolded:

A winged creature drifted slowly in a circle about ten feet away from Alison.  He was very beautiful, extraordinarily so.  His dark brown hair was long, well past his shoulders.  He was muscled like a bodybuilder and wore only black cargos, no shoes, no shirt.  He sported a massive pair of glossy black wings, the feathers barely moving but keeping him both aloft and spinning very slowly.  His chin and chest were streaked with blood, his feet—oh, God—at least two yards off the ground.  His eyes were closed and he looked euphoric, like a drug addict who’d just taken a hit of his favorite supply. 

And there you have it!  From genre inspiration to genre elements, then a long road down the ‘what if’ game, to finally putting words together to spawn even more ideas.  The writing process for me is exhilarating and at times pure magic.  I can’t imagine a better way to spend my life. 

Many blessings,
Caris


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Presents: The 2012Write Now! Conference

Dana Kaye


“Criminal Minds: Investigating Today’s Writing Scene”

When:
  August 11, 2012  8am to 5pm

Where:  Millennium Resort & Villas, 7401 North Scottsdale Road Scottsdale, AZ 85258.

Why:  To sharpen your skills — creatively, mentally, and business-wise. Come early, leave smarter.

How Much: DESERT SLEUTHS MEMBERS: $80.00 – May through July 11, 2012, $85.00 – July 11-August 11, 2012  NON-MEMBERS: – (includes Desert Sleuths Membership through 2012) $90.00 – May through July 11, 2012 $95.00 – July 11-August 11, 2012

OUR FEATURED SPEAKER:

Dana Kaye – Publicity Guru

Powerhouse publicist, Dana Kaye, owner of Kaye Publicity, received her B.A. in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. After college, she worked as a freelance writer and book critic. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out Chicago, Crimespree Magazine, Windy City Times, and on GapersBlock.com. This experience has been crucial to her publicity career: she has the contacts and necessary industry insight to form pertinent, widespread media campaigns. For more  information about Dana, go to her website at http://kayepublicity.com/about/

Other speakers are mystery writer and psychologist to the stars, Dennis Palumbo; award-winning thriller author  Sean Chercover;  Denise Dietz, Senior Editor for Five Star Publishing, who will be taking a limited number of appointments.  Plus an FBI profiler is being added to the speaker lineup.  Future speaker announcements may soon be coming.

 For more details go to http://desertsleuths.com/conference  or  Register Here.  I’ve attended nearly all of the Desert Sleuth conferences and they are fun, educational, and small enough you feel totally at ease. Give them a whirl. You won’t be disappointed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

PAINTING PICTURES WITH WORDS, by Kathryne Kennedy


A reader once told me “You paint pictures with words.” It surprised me, for I had never thought of my writing that way before, and I had to give some thought as to how I managed to do that for her.

So I talked to several of my writer friends, asking them their process. I was amazed to find that we all did it differently (okay, keep in mind, this was years ago when I was still new to even being around other writers). One gal told me she would write during commercials of her favorite TV show. Another other said she wrote while her kids were at ballet or ball practice. Another said she’d hide in her bedroom and bar the door to write. One used a very detailed outline, knowing each step her character would take. Another said she wrote up pages of character charts, outlining the way they would speak, the decisions they would make, the choices that would propel them toward the resolution of the plot.

Knowing other methods helped me to understand my own writing process. And that I did it the hard way. Not out of choice, mind you, but just because it was the only way I could tell a story. I do start with a general outline, but the magic for me is in the process itself. In getting to know my characters through the story. In immersing myself in the world and fully visualizing being there. And so I have to have complete focus in order to write.

Many of my friends can teach other writers how to write. Me, I’m not so good at teaching. I just write. And it’s difficult for me to explain exactly how, because it’s such an organic process for me.

In THE LADY OF THE STORM, I wrote a scene involving a magical mountain, and in order to get it on paper, I had to be standing there myself, in that very moment:

   Gray clouds moved over the skies, covering the brief
morning sunshine, but even in that dimness the mountain
of crystal blazed, as if it possessed some inner light.
It sat in the middle of a field of tall grass, the enormous
base of it a cluster of square-shaped stones angling
inward toward the top into four-sided capped spires.
   “Oh, dear,” muttered Cecily.
   A river ran straight to the base of it, and they rode
parallel alongside. Belle snorted at the tall grass that
swished against her belly, the much taller Apollo
eyeing her with a merry gleam as he stepped lightly
over the growth.
   “Do you hear that?” asked Giles.
   Cecily cocked her head. The river gurgled beside
them, the grass rustled in the rising wind of the coming
storm, the leather of their saddles creaked, and from far
away, she could hear the faint sounds of the city. And
between and betwixt those soft noises shivered a song
that she couldn’t quite catch the tune of.
   “It’s the mountain,” she replied. “The crystal is
singing.”

There’s no right or wrong way to write. It’s just whatever works for you. And for me, I don’t have a prayer of getting my reader to see what I’m writing unless I actually can see it myself. And even then, there’s no guarantee that I can connect with everyone’s inner vision.

Until Next Time,
Kathryne

PS. I was just notified that THE LADY OF THE STORM took first place in The Golden Quill contest. I’m honored to be chosen among such talented writers!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Wandering Mind


This month, and next, many of us on the blog will share our secrets for writing. The first topic is
IDEAS.

An idea for a book can come from anywhere. I suspect I’m not alone when I say it is easier for me to come up ideas when I don’t feel rushed.

The ideas for my first published works came to me as a result of letting my mind wander while in a relaxed setting, with no deadlines.

When I wrote Liquid Hypnosis, I had already decided to write about a female DEA agent. I knew an agent who would answer any questions I might have. He had worked undercover in nightclubs, so I let my mind wander… what was he looking for while seated at the bar?… drug deals… date rape drugs…. are scientists trying to find an antidote?... brain research… the accidental discovery of a hypnosis drug…who would want it?... what would they do with it?

I now had my heroine, the female agent, and liquid hypnosis, the means and motive for several crimes. From there I needed a hero. The greater the conflict the better. I had already decided the scientist, who came up with liquid hypnosis, would be kidnapped, so I decided to make the hero his brother. Since both the agent and the brother are looking for the same man, they would have reason to cross paths often. You can’t have a romantic suspense unless the couple spends time together. I also decided to up the conflict by making the hero a criminal, but he has to be likable, so his crimes had to help others. I also had to map out the major turning points in the story. At each turning point, if an idea didn’t come to me immediately, I wrote a list of possibilities until I found one I liked.

I also let my mind wander with my short story Once Upon a Weekend. A friend intended to put together an anthology of fairytale type stories to raise money for another friend’s surgery. I decided a fractured fairytale would be fun. I let my mind wander… Cinderella… Rapunzel… his hair grows instead… need a castle… a man built a small castle home in Tucson… he could build a small castle for a hair salon… for his sister… need a heroine… she needs a reason to be there… the sister owns the shop… she could be the manager… he’s cursed… how?... a witch… how will he break the curse?

Many writers have little tricks to tell their mind it is time to write. I find I am more creative when I spend time outside or near water. If I can’t go outside, I burn incense. Also, a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks helps jump-start my creative side. Try various ways to pamper yourself and find what works for you.


Friday, June 22, 2012

And Father Makes Three


Now Available
And Father Makes Three by Kim Watters
ISBN-13: 978-0373877560

“Your Daughter Needs You.”

She’s saved countless lives, yet there’s one person emergency room doctor Elizabeth Randall can’t rescue—her adopted daughter, Jordan. Perhaps meeting her biological father, Blake Crawford, will be the lifeline Jordan needs. The handsome, guarded firefighter takes risks every day. But facing the daughter he never knew—along with lovely Elizabeth—has him thinking about family. With fatherhood thrust suddenly upon him, there’s no way he can turn his back on his sick child. Will working together to give Jordan a second chance at life also lead them to a second chance at love?

My first review: Romantic Times

4.5 Stars. Leslie McKee


Dr. Elizabeth Randall is used to successfully treating her patients, but she is unable to keep her daughter Jordan's leukemia in remission. Though her faith has not waned, she feels that her world is caving in when she meets Blake Crawford--who happens to be Jordan's biological father. He just learned about Jordan after her biological mother died. Blake had a strained relationship with his father and had always felt rejected by him. Jordan has prayed for a new daddy, but can Blake be that man? Blake must learn to let go of the past in this emotional tale.

Buy:  http://www.amazon.com/Father-Makes-Three-Love-Inspired/dp/0373877560/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1335020601&sr=1-1-catcorr

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/and-father-makes-three-kim-watters/1108266759?ean=9780373877560



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shades of Gray: A Short Story Now Available

I have a new short paranormal romance out right now.  It's on sale now for only 99 cents on Amazon.

Kennedy Sinclair is given a pair of simple sunglasses. Or so she thinks. Within twenty-four hours, she discovers they are far from simple or normal. The lenses open a door to the dark side of her personality and a serial killer, who turns his focus on her. Can she outwit, outrun a murderer? And if she survives the night, does she have the strength to become the person destiny has created for her?

Yes, I'm aware of the title. lol. I actually had it in my head months before the 'other' Shades of Gray came out. I thought of changing the title but then if you read the story you'll understand why I didn't.

I also have my other two ebooks, Shrouded in Darkness and Protecting Katie on sale right now but only until the 22nd. Both are also 99 cents.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Dance of Plot & Character

CONNIE FLYNN

Bootcamp: The Dance of Plot and Character
Saturday, June 23rd/30th
10am-­‐5:30pm (full day)
Location: Vision Quest Bookstore,
2225 N.Scottsdale Rd,
Scottsdale, AZ

When we study novel writing, we are forced to break its many
elements into smaller chunks in order to master each of them
well enough to write the powerful stories that are in us. Never
is that truer than in the study of plot and character. It's a delicate
dance that takes place between plot and character and there
are techniques that make the dance easier to choreograph.

This course deals with some of the techniques. This is a
hand-­‐on seminar so come prepared to work.

Contact Connie for more details: bootcamp4novelists@cox.net

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Story Gift

I've heard of it happening to other writers, but until last year, it had never happened to me. What am I talking about?  The Story Gift.

Just like the surprise package your mom sends just to cheer you up, the Story Gift comes without warning.  One day your slogging through pages, trying to meet a deadline, convinced you're a hack who is never going to find success (let alone find an cohesive ending for current WIP) when BAM!  There it is.  A complete, fleshed out idea.  Better than that, it had dimensions and characters and theme ingrained in its concept.

When my delivery came, I was in the midst of meltdown.  Literally, figuratively, and mentally.  I'd just turned in Haunting Desire which I'd finished late.  Because I had back to back contracts, that meant my next book was already late as well and I was afraid I'd never get caught up.  I did not have time for any new ideas, fleshed out or otherwise.  I had to write the book I'd committed to write.

But there it was, all shiny and new and complete.  I told myself I'd just jot down the notes so I didn't forget but then, within days--DAYS--I had a finished synopsis, a series proposal and the first 50 pages written.  I had to tear myself away from it to get back to Haunting Embrace.

I finished my contracted back (only a little bit late despite my delayed start) and finished up a few other projects I had on the fire, and still my Gift waited, unopened.  Almost a year has passed since it was delivered, but a few weeks ago I finally pulled out those 50 pages and synopsis and looked at it.  A part of me was afraid that absence had made me remember it as much better than it actually was.

The reverse was true.  And, turns out, it's a gift that keeps on giving.  The pages are flying out of me and I can't wait for my writing time when I get to work on it.

All this has made me wonder.  Have you ever had a Story Gift?  I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day



During the recession, I noticed my friends and family became less focused on money and more focused on helping one another. It warmed my heart. Of course, there will always be those teenagers who feel entitled. I hope one day they will learn life is more about the special moments we share.

So this Father's Day, I'm sure many of you struggled with what to buy the man in your life. If you haven't already found the perfect gift, it isn't too late. If money is a problem, and even if it isn't, I suggest you find ways to touch his heart rather than giving him a toy to play with. I plan to write in a card all of the reasons I fell in love with my husband. I know he'll keep it on display in our home for the next year. Perhaps you can give Dad a day without chores, a day to sleep in, a day to golf, etc. You can make a coupon book filled with Good for one _______ (hug, kiss, take out the trash pass - use your imagination.) Remember, the day is about him and not us. Think about what he would enjoy. And ladies, when you look at the man in your today, look at him through the eyes of the woman who fell in love with him. Being cherished and loved is the greatest gift of all.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Love Finds You in Sunflower Kansas by Pamela Tracy

Will Annie find treasure in her field of sunflowers?


Annie Jamison is the sister who keeps the peace. So when her mother goes missing, Annie’s the one sent to retrieve her.

There’s one problem.

It seems the town Willa Jamison (willingly) ran off to—Sunflower, Kansas— doesn’t exist.
Sure, it’s on the map, but when Annie drives there, she finds herself in the middle of a field.

Of sunflowers.

In nearby Bonner Springs, Kansas, Annie finds her errant mother…and Joe Kelly, a handsome veterinarian who thinks Annie is part of a team of con artists out to swindle his father. It takes some time, but eventually, Joe’s working with Annie instead of against her to bring their wacky parents to their senses.

When this unlikely team turns into an unlikely couple, Annie no longer wants to leave her field of sunflowers.
She wants happily-ever-after with Joe Kelly.

But when evidence of the con resurfaces, will Joe have enough faith in Annie to recognize the truth?

Buy: http://www.amazon.com/LOVE-FINDS-YOU-IN-SUNFLOWER/dp/1609365941

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Heat Up Your Summer with Free Ebooks



Announcing
Summer Sizzler Free Par-Tay
June 13th – 14th!

Let’s celebrate summer: time to kick back, relax, and read!!!
There’s no better way to ease into it
than with Dozens of Great books that are FREE!
TWO DAYS ONLY
Find romances from sweet to suspenseful to humorous and hot,
Thrillers, Mysteries, Sci-Fi, Historical, Contemporary, YA, Children’s and more!
All FREE!!
Fantastic eBooks, many by award-winning and best-selling authors.

Visit www.freepartay.com for all the titles, Kindle & gift card
raffle entries, and links!
Join in the Par-Tay! Let’s sizzle!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Free Kindle Book
Two Days Only 
Announcing
Summer Sizzler Free Par-Tay
June 13th – 14th!

Let’s celebrate summer: time to kick back, relax, and read!!!
There’s no better way to ease into it
than with Dozens of Great books that are FREE!
TWO DAYS ONLY
Find romances from sweet to suspenseful to humorous and hot,
Thrillers, Mysteries, Sci-Fi, Historical, Contemporary, YA, Children’s and more!
All FREE!!
Fantastic eBooks, many by award-winning and best-selling authors.

Visit www.freepartay.com for all the titles, Kindle & gift card
raffle entries, and links!
Join in the Par-Tay! Let’s sizzle!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Bird Whisperer

Kim Watter here, the other day I was riding my bike, a real bike, not the stationary one that doubles as a purse and belt holder, enjoying the morning before the summer heat set in in Phoenix. As the slight breeze with a hint of refreshing coolness danced across my skin, and the enjoyable scent of night still lingered, I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye--a baby quail running along the curb trying to jump the concrete barrier to join his family.


Poor thing. Now keep in mind that I don’t particularly like birds—long story that stems from a childhood incident…but if I didn’t intervene, Junior was going to exhaust himself, get hit by a car, or eaten. None of his options looked good. I scanned the area looking for his family, but they were long gone. This is the reason quail have so many eggs at a time. Most of them don’t survive until adulthood. But they are so cute and fluffy as they form a line and trail between momma and papa bird.

So I had a choice to make. Intervene, catch the little bugger, and take him to the local bird lady to raise, or leave him where he was. Actually, there wasn’t a choice adn I told him so. Let me tell you though, for such a small thing, this guy was quick despitemy words, but determination finally won over exhaustion. Of course getting home on my bike riding one handed, worrying if the little guy or gal was going to peck at my hand, or escape, was a challenge.

So how does this relate to writing?

A lot. Well for one, I like to use real life stories in my writing, so don’t be surprised if this incident appears in an upcoming book. For another, it demonstrates overcoming fear.

A necessary thing if an author is going to make in the publishing world today. I was not going to let the baby quail die, so I had to overcome my fear of birds for a moment. I’d say this fear is similar to how I felt when I sent out my first manuscript to an editor. I eventually got over it, just as I got through the ride back to my house carrying the baby quail in my hand. He survived and so did I.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Learning From Movies



I often reflect on my own writing after watching a movie. Last night, my husband and I watched Prometheus with friends. It is being called the prequel to Aliens, which was also directed by Ridley Scott. I rarely pay money to watch science fiction movies, but when I do, I want them to be different. For the most part, Prometheus was a blend of what has been done in the past. I did appreciate the fact the action scenes were exciting.

On the ride home, I looked up the reviews for the movie. One caught my attention. The author, I don't remember who, thought the writer spent too much time setting up the second half of the movie. His comment reminded me of books I have read. In one mystery, the author spent three chapters setting the scene before the murder took place. The fun of reading mysteries is solving the crime, so I want to know who dies right away. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. An agent who read the first scene of my manuscript said he liked the fact the murder takes place at the end of the first scene.

Authors of series should take care not to spend too much time setting the background for the next book as well. It can take away from the tension building in the first book. If the love story in the first book is a modern day Romeo and Juliet, I don't want to spend pages reading about her cousin Harriet and the man she's after. If Harriet is a good friend to Juliet, I'll like her and want to read her story later.

Until next Sunday,
happy writing!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Socialite Scorned By Kerrie Droban


The victim was Gary Triano, a Tucson real estate developer with influential friends—and enemies. After finishing a round of golf at a country club, he went to the parking lot and found a gift in his car: a crudely made pipe-bomb that blew him to pieces.


The bomb-maker was Ron Young, a Colorado “bad guy” wanted on weapons and fraud charges. The prosecution claimed that the woman he was dating at the time promised to pay him $400,000 to murder her ex-husband.

Her name was Pamela Phillips, an Aspen socialite, divorcĂ©e, and mother of Triano’s two children. She received two million dollars upon his death but evaded suspicion for more than a decade. Finally, halfway across the globe in Austria, authorities caught up with the blonde bombshell—igniting one of the most explosive cases in Arizona history.


A Socialite Scorned is a classic “Who Done It” tale with a twist. In what has been touted as one of the “most complicated, difficult investigations of our time,” Gary Triano’s case has garnered media attention precisely because of its “story behind the story” of greed, power, and intrigue. Dateline NBC, America’s Most Wanted and countless local and national television news shows have featured Triano’s bombing fascinated not only by the sheer brutality of the crime but also the dangerous ways people love each other.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

BootCamp Face to Face Seminar


THE DANCE OF PLOT AND CHARACTER
. . . a full day seminar, taught by Bootcamp for Novelists co-founder and instructor Connie Flynn

WHEN: Saturday, June 23 30, 2012 10am to 5:30pm Doors Open at 9:30am

WHERE
: Vision Quest Bookstore, 2225 N. Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
When we study novel writing we are forced to break its many elements
into smaller chunks in order to master each of them well enough to write
the powerful stories that are in us. Never is that truer than in the
study of plot and character. You hear writers say things like "I'm a
plot driven writer," or "My stories are driven by character." In the
long run this is impossible. Plots are boring unless we care about the
characters who live them. Characters never show their whole selves
unless pressured by strong plot events. It's a delicate dance that takes
place between plot and character and there are techniques that make the
dance easier to choreograph. This course deals with some of the techniques.

This is a hand-on seminar so come prepared to work. During the day, you
will learn how and why plot and characters move through a story and how
to intertwine them so that the people and events appear real and
natural. At the end of the seminar you will be able to block out a novel
in which characters create plot and plot pressures the characters to
bring about a story resolution that is almost inevitable, but not
necessarily predictable.

The morning session will cover the basics of building the focal
character and discovering how they will drive your story. Next, we'll
learn a four-act structure of loose boxes that define the story and
build its plot arc (defined as the change occurring within a story due
to the characters' decisions). And finally you'll be introduced to the
eight major scenes that will guide your story.

The afternoon session is about techniques to add credibility to your
focal character. You'll study what makes people tick and assign your
character attitudes, perspectives, opinions, and concerns that will help
you know them so well you'll know exactly how they'd react in any situation.

We'll end the day by aligning the eight major scenes to the focal
character's arc (defined as the change in their perspective caused by
the story events). We'll see how events that seem to change the
character are actually a result of the character's decision and how
plot/character integration is a delicate dance between these two.

FEES: $65 prior to June 10 and $80 after June 10. You can remit by
Paypal or contact me for address for mail payment.

THE DAY'S SCHEDULE:

9:30 Doors open/check in. Seminar begins.
Module 1: Characters Discovered Module 2: Boxes to Put Them In

1:00 Lunch --- Off-Site

2:30 Seminar resumes.
Module 3: The 8 Major Story Events Module 4: The Glorious Dance

5:30 Seminar Complete

For more information about Bootcamp for Novelists or to register, go to
bootcampfornovelists.com  or contact Connie directly at bootcamp4novelists@cox.net
--Connie Flynn

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Seduction to the Altar by Tia Dani


We are excited to announce that Seduction to the Altar is now on the forthcoming list, and available for pre order, at Breathless Press.
Blurb:

Maria Tortorici needs a husband. Her high-school reunion is imminent, and awaiting her is a bet she made long ago. Bring a husband or face the music. Determined not to be the victim of her mischievous girlfriends, Maria devises a plan...enchant her younger assistant with a birthday present he’ll never forget.
Sexual attraction isn’t the only thing Edward Russell has for his boss. She’s everything he wants in a woman. The hang-up? How to convince her he’s man enough to handle a strong-minded woman like her.
But will he still want her once he learns of her conniving plan?
More good news for Tia Dani. We signed a contract with Breathless Press for a second book with them. We'll talk about that book next time.
Until next month happy writing.
Tia Dani
Death Unseen
Available now from The Wild Rose Press
Come Fly With Me
Available now from Amazon

Another June Writer U Class

MASTER CLASS: "Body Language and Emotion"

by Mary Buckham

June 18-29, 2012

$55 at www.WriterUniv.com


Prerequisite: Must have a manuscript that you are actively working on.

If you think you have a good handle on the intentional body language your characters use on the page but want to create more depth, greater subtext, clearer messages for your readers, then consider EMOTIONAL BODY LANGUAGE. Along with fascinating material like non-verbal greetings and some of the subtle (but oh so fun) differences between the body language of men and that of women, you’ll also learn:


* The differences between aggressive and defensive body language

* Dominant and Submissive body signals

* Negative and positive body messages

* Open, closed or relaxed positions

* Power body language and leadership body messages

* Reading deception through body language



Mary Buckham is co-author of BREAK INTO FICTION: 11 Steps to Building a Story That Sells and an award-winning romantic suspense author. She has a non-fiction book and hundreds of freelance articles to her credit, and is a former magazine editor. Currently she presents writing workshops online and nationwide. Mary encourages you to visit her website at www.MaryBuckham.com for more information about her and her current writing projects including her newest release coming in June!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

To Comma or Not to Comma

Old School Letter
One of the most controversial areas of writing conventions is punctuation.  If you learned to punctuate in the old school days you probably go nuts every time you read a paper, a magazine of a book because the punctuation now seems to be a matter of opinion instead of rules.

That's because, well, I hate to break it to you, but punctuation actually is largely a matter of opinion.  Except that's not totally true.   We still for the most part follow rules of capitalization.  Proper nouns get initial caps, although that honor often goes to nouns that haven't earned it.  As in, the Captain walked into the room, when actually it was the captain who did the walking. 

We also use periods correctly, most of the time, although we seemed to throw them around a lot when they'd often serve no function, for instance in p.m. instead of pm, but in most cases they work just the way they should.  I'm quite fond of the period and will choose it most every time over the semi-colon (which I irrationally hate) and the colon (unless, you're using it to offset a subsequent series).  I think the dash and the period perform these functions very well.

I also can't wait for whom, the word, to disappear from the English language.  Rumor has it that it will happen soon.  Few people actually know how to use whom correctly and many times its sounds awkward even when it is used properly.   How about lay, lie, laid and lain.  I've never been able to keep that straight, an unfortunate lack for a romance writer.

But these are opinions, don't you know.   My opinions.  I think everyone should share them.  Honestly, not really, but sometimes I sure wish they would.   Have you ever gotten into a heated discussion with a critique partner, an agent or an editor about whether a certain passage needs a comma, a semi-colon or colon?  About whether the comma goes after the next to the last item in a series or not?  About whether to unfailingly use a comma in a compound sentence?  About whether semi-colons should separate the two halves of a compound sentence or whether a comma splice sometimes works just as well?

Okay, okay.  I know I'm getting carried away with examples.  But they show the wide variation of choices available to writers and they highlight the real problem with punctuation.  To a large degree it truly is a matter of personal choice.  The trouble with that is that most of us think ours is the right choice.  That only becomes a problem when your choice interferes with my choice.  For instance, have you ever had a copy editor totally tear apart your punctuation style.  Personally, I'm fond of the comma splice because it can create a mood setting rhythm.  I sometimes use very short sentences to create tense scenes.  Copy editors are often the worst in thinking it's their way or the highway.

The other one is contest judges.  Have you ever had your entry get knocked out of the running only because some judge decided you used wrong punctuation?  Even worse, you think everything they changed was wrong!

Okay, I made my point.  And the only reason I'm blogging about it is to expose how flexible the rules of punctuation are.  They change all the time and for various reasons.  For fiction writers, punctuation provides clarity.  More important, it control the pace at which your reader experiences your story.  And that's what really counts.  Is it clear?  Does it have impact?  If I can answer both those questions with a yes, then I think I've done a fine job even is someone out there doesn't like that I belong to the when in doubt, leave it out school of comma use. 

What rules of punctuation do you use?  What do you never fail to do?  What do you think is totally stupid? Have you ever had an argument with someone about punctuation?
Let us know.

And, while I'm here, let me tell you about the Indie Book Collective Free Par-Tay on June 13th and 14th.  Dozens of books, many from authors you know like Rebecca York and Stephanie Bond, will be participating.  Me, too, with SHADOW ON THE MOON, and if you haven't read it this will be an easy-on-your-pocketbook time to add it to your Kindle.  Stop by the website to register for the free Kindle and free gift cards giveaway. 


Connie Flynn
http://connieflynn.com

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Years in June



Like millions of others, you might have made resolutions On New Year's Eve. Mine was to improve my life. Yes, I made it vague intentionally so that I might actually, for once, keep a resolution. Now that June has rolled around, and I am out of school for the summer, I have decided to revisit that resolution and make it more specific. I'm not one for making a long list of life changes and keeping them. I did organize parts of my home and, for the most part, they have remained cleaned. I also cut down on the amount of coffee I drink in the morning. Now I am ready for the next step.

My top priority is to drink more water. I admit, I hate water. I would rather drink coffee, soda, green tea, etc. In order for this to stick, I have to make it part of my routine. I decided I'll drink a bottle/glass during lunch, when I'm in the car, and then again with dinner. They say it takes three weeks to create a habit, so we'll  test that theory.

I hope you too will revisit your New Year's resolutions and tweak one or two.

Until next Sunday,
happy reading or writing.

Tina Swayzee McCright

Friday, June 1, 2012

Culture Clash By Linda Andrews

Culture Clash

One world. Two alien races. And a secret that threatens to destroy everything.

The new colony on Terra Dos is fracturing. A band of civilians have rejected technology and the Syn-Ens--cyborg soldiers that protect them. Syn-En Admiral Beijing York knows it's his job to protect the civilians but his human wife, Nell Stafford convinces him to resettle the troublemakers before they destabilize the new civilization.

Yet, humanity is not alone on the planet.

Under the skin of the planet, an ancient race of aliens is beginning to wake from a century long slumber. The Skaterians will do anything to reclaim Terra Dos and enslave the humans crawling on the surface. Their mastery of technology quickly defeats Bei and his Syn-En army.

Alone on a hostile world, Nell forges a treacherous alliance to save her husband and people. But will it be enough to prevent this Culture Clash from turning into genocide?

Available now at amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords