Thursday, April 26, 2012

So.... Do you want to live? By Zach Sweets


It's a question I ask myself everyday, What if I ever fall in zombies' hands? Will I fight with all of the energy I have left to live or find a way to end my life right there? It's a challenge I put on Jake from Zombie Rain because he has lost his son to them. Naturally, it probably was the best if he could end his life and be with his son in the other world. Something has triggered inside his mind and body that he had to live for his son. He had a tough life. All people he knew died but he still fought to stay alive. All of it was for his son and soon Rex was added to his list reasons to stay alive at every cost.

Jake had a couple of near-death experiences with zombies and his desire to live was what saved him. Now, I'm putting myself in his shoes and facing the same losses he had in his life. I have no idea how I was able to live but in my head…I have a huge sense of adventure. I probably would do anything to increase my strengths and knowledge in surviving. I would remain hidden and make sure I was able to see everything around me. That means my back would frequently be against the wall. That was probably the safest way to escape if zombies appeared.

Now, if it were I as myself and not in anybody's head, I'd probably survive differently. I'd make sure I gathered all of the weapons that would protect myself from the flesh-eaters. The ideal weapons in my opinion would be the metal with the ending that was sharp and/or crossbow since they were quieter comparing to guns. Guns attracted attentions because it was loud. Sure, guns were the fastest way to get rid of zombies as long as you shoot them in their heads. Unfortunately, bullets were not returnable objects, while the arrows were. I've learned that from watching my favorite television show: The Walking Dead. So, I'd grabbed anything that was sharp enough to behead the zombies'. Swords are the best example.

Would I be brave enough to kill zombie the minute I first spot it? I don't think I'd have the guts to do that. I'd first think that they might still be human somewhere inside that zombie head. Maybe the human was fighting inside and hasn't  yet given up. That's why I have Jake being terrified of killing the zombies. He was very restricting at the beginning but eventually understood it was best to put them to rest. I have a feeling I'd react exactly the same way Jake did. I probably would just run for my life and hide until zombies gave up and left me. The only way I would end up killing them (or putting them to rest) is if they were on top of me. It's the scariest of thoughts, no questions about it.

Rex, on other hand, was different. He followed his brother's instruction and had no choice but to shoot the zombies in the head. Rex wanted to survive more than anything. If he didn't, he wouldn't meet Jake. J




Blurb: Jake's world is torn apart when his son dies, killed by a little girl who has infected him with a strange disease. Soon, Jake's entire hometown is overtaken by the disease. A disease that turns them into flesh-craving monsters. The combination of tragedy and horror is almost more than Jake can take, but then he meets Rex, a man who has been struggling through the horror in search of more survivors. The two men travel together, searching for answers and other survivors, the growing bond between them the only bright light in their dark world.

But then that light is taken brutally away, and Jake is left struggling to find it again, fighting against insurmountable odds and growing despair ...


About Me:
Zach, an army brat, was born in El Paso, TX, and has lived in North Carolina, Germany, Kansas, California, and the District of Columbia, before graduating from University of Baltimore in May 2010, with a degree in Applied Information Technology. He now resides in Arizona, where he moved to start a new adventure with his partner and dog.

In his spare time, Zach enjoys reading, mainly horror. He enjoys doing outdoor activities, and he runs on a daily basis. He participates in charitable running events, from 5k up to marathon distances.

Zach writes as often as he can and likes to push himself with writing challenges. Joining the M/M Romance group on Goodreads.com has immensely boosted his motivation to become a successful Deaf author, writing about man to man love, with some horror thrown in for good measure.

When he is not writing or reading, Zach likes to practice his web design and development skills. He loves to hang out with love of his life as often as he can, finding things to do inside and outside the house, whether it be yard work, hiking, bike riding, walking their dog, eating out at a cozy diner, or just loving.

You can find Zach at his website, share books with Zach on Goodreads, follow Zach on Twitter, or friend Zach on Facebook.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Some Really Exciting News!

Oh My Gosh! I have some really exciting news to share. I have had this friend for several years. Well, yesterday we had a business meeting. What for? To go over the details of a new project. Oh wow! But who is this friend? He is a scriptwriter and movie producer. Yep!! 


Matt and I decided to team up to write to a romantic comedy. This is amazing to me! I've often joked about one of my books to be made into a movie, but this is something I have really hoped for. I don't hold the rights to my current releases so it won't be one of those. We are going to write the script together while keeping goals in mind so Matt can hopefully produce the movie in Phoenix. 

I really believe in continuous growth as an author. This is one more thing that will enhance my writing skills. I have never worked on a creative project with another person outside of editing. I also have never written a script before. Matt has all of the technical experience, but I'm going to learn! We both write character driven stories so we have that going in our favor while each of our strengths help balance out our team. 



I plan on keeping you updated on this project of ours. So far we have things plotted out and last night I sent over the list of characters. He has to go over them and send back his notes. 


I'm so excited!! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Household disasters interrupted my weekend!

     As last weekend approached I developed some great weekend writing goals. My boyfriend works a lot over the weekend and I informed my kids that I would not be running them all of over town. I also didn't have any client's scheduled over the weekend. So why didn't I get much accomplished? 

First of all, it reached 105 in Phoenix over the weekend. I'm fine with the warmth. Usually. Not this past weekend because I found out that our a/c is broken. The sun is not friend when I can't turn the air on in the evening. We like to sleep with the a/c on so we can be all snuggled up in our beds, not kicking all the bedding off to grasp the smallest bit off cool air. We've also had to sleep with our windows open. This makes me so paranoid to do because of my over-active imagination. I woke up several times each night to make sure someone crazy person hadn't climbed in our window. I also had a dream that someone broke in to still my laptop. I was so mad over the idea that someone would steal my computer that I closed my window. My boyfriend had a great laugh over that one. Needless to say, our swimming pool is still cold so we have been swimming a lot. 

So then the toilet wouldn't stop running. My son had to go so he asked me to check out the toilet. I lifted the lid on the tank and the lid slipped out of my hand. The lid fell into the tank with a loud crash. I was like, "OMG! I hope I didn't break the lid." Nope. I cracked the bottom of the tank. My Scrubbing Bubbles blue-colored water rushed all over the bathroom, my feet, and made my hands all blue when I cleaned it up. 

Now I'm waiting for the landlord to show up to fix the toilet and the A/C people to grant us with cold air. My landlord swears to have both fixed today so... my misery won't last long. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

In a Cover Contest!











Good morning! My cover is in a cover contest and I'd love your votes.


Please for #10 Dreaming of Him! 
http://yougottaread.com/category/cover-contest/


Thank you so much!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

SWAT Guy and Guns, Oh My!



I was a guest at the Sisters in Crime, Desert Sleuths chapter meeting and I had the delight to meet a SWAT Team member. Michael Seemiller was so kind to come to the meeting to demonstrate his equipment and to inform us on what it is really like to be on the SWAT Team. 

These pictures are of Michael showing us his SWAT vest. Some of the items on the vest include; earpiece for communication, water bottle, ammo clips, radio, flashlight, door-stop called a wedge, cuffs and key, and a flash-bang. 

The vest is bullet proof, of course. We asked him if he'd be hurt if someone hit the clips of ammo on the front of the vest. He said, "no" and I was surprised. 

This is the other part of what he wears. It is a belt with more ammo, a pistol, an extra set of cuffs, and what he called a dump pouch where he can throw stuff when he doesn't have any other place for it. 


The vest and belt weighs about 65 lbs. 


They also wear a helmet, goggles, knee pads, some choose to wear elbow pads, and they have this winter-type mask that covers most of their face and neck. Maybe this would be a good time to remind you that we live in Arizona and they get the most calls during the summer months. Can you imagine wearing all of this during that time of year? When it averages 114 degrees?!?! 

Some other interesting facts: 



  • Most officers are in their careers for at least 4 years before trying out for the SWAT Team. 
  • There isn't an age limit for who can be on the SWAT Team. 
  • Females have the same requirements as the males. 
  • They are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most of them still hold their jobs on the police force as well as being on the SWAT Team. 



  • To get onto the SWAT Team, they have to go through an obstacle course test, a firearms qualification test, written exam, and then an oral board exam. This is all in one day. After they are done with the oral board, they are put in a room alone to wait until the person comes in to tell them if they passed or not. 
  • If they pass, they go to SWAT Basic School which lasts for two weeks. This school is on a pass or fail standard and you can fail out at any time. How crazy is that? 
  • If you fail, you have to wait until the next testing time which is 1 year in his department. 


He is demonstrating the flashlight on his Glock. This is the 
issued firearm for his department. 

I don't know about you, but I'm thankful we have outstandingly brave people like Michael protecting our community! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Finding Time to Write with Paulette Forshey

Recently our son and his two children ages 4 and 2 years had to move back in with us. I'd become accustom to having all day to write since my husband travels for his job Monday through Friday usually. My carefree, quiet time was shattered.

While it's fun having the 'grands' as I refer to them it's been a challenge finding time to write, but I have found the time, because I 'made' time to write. My schedule goes like this, get up around at four or five a.m. write until 7 or 7:30 a.m. when the first grand comes downstairs. Breakfast for him and me, then his sister the two year old comes scooting down the stairs about an hour later. Fix something for her, she's is the hungry one first thing in the morning so filling her up is a challenge. A quick wash off follows, she defines the meaning of 'digging into' your meal. Everyone gets dressed and the day begins, right now the grandson is in pre-school four days a week. Little sister stays home with me as our son takes him to school. Our granddaughter and I then have 'girl' time. Which either commences of us cuddling on the sofa watching her favorite show, or if she's happy on her own, I run to the computer getting a page or two in if I'm lucky, some days we have too many errands, and writing doesn't get done until later that night.

Once our son and grandson come home, our son takes over completely, and I work for another hour or two. Then its dinner time, bath time, t.v. time, then bedtime, I have one or two shows I might watch, until ten or eleven and then it's back to work. Depending on how tired I am I may only work one hour before bed, but I make that hour a 'good' hour getting in as much as possible.        

With all this jumping on and off my laptop it's hard getting back into the story sometimes. I use my mp3player, and a scented candle (when the grands aren't around since I work from our kitchen table) to help get me back in the writing mood each time. Reading the last two to five pages I worked on before to put myself back in the story helps also.  

Last year I had one novel, two novellas, and two short stories published. I hope to repeat those numbers and possible add on to them this year. If becoming an author is important to you, you have to 'make' the time yourself to write, because no one else will do it for you.
 
The Tarczal Alliance -
Logan Kincaid was trying to find the spy in his company when she walked in, - long blond hair, longer legs, and intelligent green eyes – damn, all his weaknesses rolled into one. He’d lived for 445 yrs. believing the Blood Witches and T’yhi√©ls of his vampiric childhood were nothing but myths until one walked into his life and all hell broke loose.

  Excerpt from The Tarczal Alliance
“You disagree the painting is showy?” He turned the subject back to the painting, and with practiced ease, he returned what he surmised was a compliment from the flush blooming on her cheeks. He indulged himself by allowing his gaze to rake over her. A whine like a mosquito’s settled in his ears.
 
“The artist captured Kandinsky’s style completely,” she sputtered. Logan didn’t give a damn about the painting or the artist. He wondered if the large, dark purple sweater that hung mid-thigh on her was an attempt to hide her body. If that was her goal, the tight black stretch pants, and thigh-high ebony suede boots were a poor choice. Any movement pulled the sweater tight like a second skin over her compact, lithe body.
 
“Absolutely. He copied a style. You wouldn’t have, Ms?” She fidgeted, and the movement caused the sweater to pull snug over her breasts making them stand out like ripened fruit and accented her flat stomach. Nice. Bet that stomach quivers when a tongue is run over it. Wonder what she’d do with a tongue in her belly button? She’s probably a giggler. He licked his lips. And a squirmer. It was apparent she had no idea what she did to him. He didn’t mind. Several parts of his anatomy were already stirring in response. Her front equaled the heart-shaped derriere he’d seen earlier while she browsed the competition.
 
“Weston. Allyson Weston. How did you know I paint?” The tiny frown across her brow made him want to laugh. So this was the estranged wife of his latest hire, Michael Weston. During the job interview Michael had constantly moaned and bitched about his soon-to-be-ex-wife. Guess Michael didn’t grasp he’d let go of an extraordinary woman. Logan let his gaze travel down to her legs, dancer’s legs, long and well-defined. Legs any man would enjoy wrapped around him.
 
Smoothly, Logan reached down, slipping his hand under hers bringing both up to eye level. “You have paint under your nails.” His thumb brushed the skin of her knuckles.
 
“Oh.”
 
Quickly, she withdrew her hand from his. Next, she folded her arms across her mid-section, lifting the orbs and tucking her hands safely under her arms.
 
Logan’s smile widened. “Do you have family in town?” His attention wandered back to the boots she wore. The way they encased her legs from toe to over the knee were a wonderful enticement, and his imagination flared to a deliciously wicked conclusion when she interrupted his assessment of her intriguing appendages by blurting out. “An STB.”
 
How fresh, honest, and naive she was. Logan bit back a chuckle. Heroes and bartenders: everyone trusted them, confiding intimate details of their lives they’d never reveal to anyone else, an interesting quirk of human nature. He arched an eyebrow in query, and she clarified. “Soon-to-be-ex-husband.”
 
He stopped himself before he could lick his lips. At the same time the essence of her blood rose from beneath her skin to mingle with the pungent leather of her boots. He inhaled more deeply, drawing it inside him, and swirled his tongue in his mouth to better experience the bouquet. Sweet, delicate, and exotic. Fit for the gods. He stopped his feeder teeth from slipping into place. A taste of her blood would never be enough, and an ocean too little for a man to quench his thirst. Stunned, he wondered where that thought come from, while trying to wish away the growing arousal in his groin. The whirr in his ears grew a little louder.
 J. Paulette can be found at:  www.jpauletteforshey
  Twitter @forsheyJ
 
 
bio:
Paulette lives in a small Ohio town with her husband, and a princess Basset Hound. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Central Ohio Fiction Writers, Southeastern Ohio Novel Writing Group, Northeast Ohio Romance Writers of America, and the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of RWA. She also writes under the name of Genevieve Delacroix.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Picture Writing Prompt



We haven't done a picture writing prompt lately so here you go! Be as creative as you can and feel free to post your scene/story in the comments or email them to me. I'd love to read what you write. I'll come back and post my own story in a little while. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Cover!

I love new covers! So here is my new one. The release date is May 2012. I will have a blurb for you soon.

Talk to you soon,
Wendy Ely

Friday, April 13, 2012

Did you say it’s a series? By Connie Wood


I love series in books, both as a reader and an author. I love that tingly little feeling of excitement when you are reading and a character from a previously read book makes an appearance. I love the interconnectivity of plots and characters and baddies. I love the inner-secrets, the past knowledge only you know....because you have read the other books and know what is going on.

As a writer, I have two lots of series. The first is my Fallen Angels series (the second book to be release in late May) and the second is my Dark series. In both sets of books, I have woven the characters and plots intricately throughout all the books, hoping to instil some of the feelings and love of series that I do too.

Some of my favourite books of all times have come in a series. Harry Potter, Twilight, the Dark Hunter series.....all have told stories and evolved before my eyes. A good series shows you the evolution of a character and the world they live in. Perhaps this is one reason why Sci-Fi and Fantasy have such a huge volume of series.

To escape into a book is one of the best pleasures in life I can imagine. And to be honest, sometimes I am quite sad when it finishes. But if I know there is another book on the way, it feels more like an interlude rather than a finale and I can dive into my fantasy world once more.

As an author, I am well aware of the dedication a series takes to write. But I also know that the readers know my world and characters better than I do. I have no doubt about that. I have read certain series, and know them well, then if a mistake is made, then as a reader, I know it (and I feel rather let down!!).

When I prepare to write another book, I not only read all the paperwork I have, but I also go back and read the other books in the series first. This makes me look at the next book not only from a technical standpoint, but also from a readers view.

One thing I must admit, I don’t like it when the main story or the focus characters don’t have their story dealt with in one book. I like to read the story of one set of people and have their plot come to a conclusion and then read the next book in the series. If the next book deals with the same characters, that’s great, but it had better be a new plot and set of issues they are dealing with, otherwise it feels a little like I have to wait a very long time to find out what happens. It is like watching a movie, and leaving the last twenty minutes and making you watch it six months from now.

The Twilight series dealt with the same people all throughout the books and the same themes, but the issues always came to a natural conclusion at the end of each book. The Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon deal with a main character, which comes to a conclusion, but main and secondary characters make appearances throughout the whole series. That is what I love, the excitement and knowledge of the characters and the unknown of what they will do next.

Anticipation is a key factor in a series because it can take a while for an author to get the next book out, I hope that my readers are patient with me....and I try to be patient with the series I read....though it can be hard sometimes.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog and thank you so much to Wendy for such a wonderful and varied blog and the opportunity to visit here.

If you would like to know a little more about me or my books, please feel free to check out my web site at www.conniewood.co.cc or email me at conniewood@bigpond.com

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dreaming of Him!

The sun had begun to sink behind the rippling water of the lake. My favorite time of the night had arrived, along with my favorite season--fall. The cool breeze made me snuggle deeper in my coat. I sat on the large rock, watching the moon glitter over the inky water. This place had been my favorite spot. Always the place I had gone when a problem chewed at my brain, since about age seven.

I felt him approach the rock, but didn’t turn toward him. My gaze stayed fixed on the grooves over the water’s surface. Even his sliding over the rock to sit next to me didn’t steal my attention. At that moment, he didn’t matter to me.

“Amber?”

“Mm hm?” My gaze remained on the lake before me. I had the sense that I had been in this exact situation before. But I didn’t know this man. I was certain of it, even though he felt familiar in a way I couldn’t put my finger on.

“What is bothering you?” He slid his arm around my shoulders and hugged me close, and I rested my head against his shoulder without hesitation.

“How do you know something is bothering me?” Tears of frustration threatened to spill.

“I know you, Amber.” He slid his fingers through my hair. “I can tell when you’re upset about something. What is it?”

I took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. Was he someone I could trust? He must be. Being in his arms felt so right, even without knowing his name. “I’m trying to be someone I’m not.”

“I see.” He really didn’t. He couldn’t possibly understand what a fake life I lived outside of this dream. But he washed away the tension that had been bundling my nerves into tight bands.

“I don’t know what to do about it. That’s why I came here.”

“Because this is your favorite spot to think. Right?”

I pulled from the comfort of his arms. “How do you know that?”

“Because I know you, Amber Michelle Addaire.” He turned to me and clasped my hands in his. “I wish you would realize that.”

“But do I know you? What’s your name?”

His eyes. In each dream, those rich chocolate brown eyes drew me in as though I had once looked into them. Not in the dreams, either. In real life. Had I? Would he tell me this time?

“You’ll know soon enough. Sometimes rushing things ruins the situation. Time, my dear, is everything in this case. Give it all the time warranted.” He stood. “And Amber?”

“Yes?”

“Don’t worry about trying to be someone you’re not. Everyone does that once in awhile. It helps us discover who we really are.” A piece of hair fell down against his tanned forehead as it had the first time he’d joined me at the lake.

The man of my dreams disappeared then, leaving me sitting alone on the rock.

I woke up with a start. Why had he just left willingly this time? It wasn’t as if I had somewhere to go. Saturday morning had arrived, meaning I could sleep in all day. And be with him in my dreams. But nope. He had to disappear, leaving me to wake up in the dreary bedroom, dreading the day ahead.
 
There really wasn’t any reason to dread the day, either. Things weren’t so bad in my life. Many people in the world had it a lot worse than me, so why couldn’t I see it like that? I tried, damn it, but couldn’t. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An Author's Day


When people learn that I'm an author they usually are amazed by the idea. They usually explain, "Wow! That is so exciting!" It is like I have turned into a super hero or something hehe. Responses like these often make me feel weird because I'm just me... I just have ideas pop into my head so I write them down so other people can read them! 

Being an author isn't all that glamorous. I promise you that. We work very hard for the money and recognition we receive. So today I am going take off my super hero cape and let you see what my life as an author is really like. 

I get up at 5:30 most mornings to begin my day. I do not get up this early to write. Heck no. My daughter has to be up for school so I start my day at this time. Promotion and marketing is a big part of being an author. No, publishers don't do most of this for the author. It rests on the author's shoulders. Being an author is a very solitude profession. During this time of day, I write emails, chat with my friends, do promo/marketing, and blog. I take a break for breakfast before starting my "day job" which I also do from my home. 

My day job happens to be editing manuscripts for other authors. I am swarmed by the craft of writing all day long. I love this! I edit a manuscript for several hours straight. When I need a break, I usually end up doing chores, running errands, or chatting with my boyfriend on the phone. After I take a break I'm back at the computer for several more hours of editing. I have  deadlines for these manuscripts so editing them takes a lot of time. 

In the early evening I'm ready for some outdoor activity and exercise. We have a pool so that is usually where you'll find me. Swimming lasts about an hour before I'm inside to do more chores and cook dinner. I hang out with the kids for a bit. They are teenagers so they only like so much "mom time" before they are off doing their own thing. 

Late evening is spent working on my own novels. If I have an editing deadline, I will focus on getting my edits finished and will not write any new material. Otherwise I balance it out... edit for awhile, write for awhile. Research is squeezed in there somewhere! I work on my book until my brain is numb. I talk to my boyfriend on the phone while a movie is playing and then I pass out. 

I do get to do fun author stuff occasionally. I belong to a writing association so the meetings help me feel all author-like. We also get to take fun workshops like How to Process a Crime Scene. I get to meet interesting people like homicide detectives, scientists, and male cover models! This stuff is the glamorous side of being an author but these are special events. 

Don't get me wrong. Being an author isn't a fancy job. It is hard on most days but there are so many rewards. Getting a good review, having a fan email you to say how much they love your book or to ask when the next one comes out, and seeing the final product of all work you put in is the best. 

I might not really wear a super hero cape and that is fine with me.... I just want to be an author. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Get Out of Your Way by Terri Austin

First of all, a big thanks to Wendy for letting me hop on her blog and yak at all of you.    

I started writing when my kids were very young—both to escape mountains of laundry, but also to keep my sanity.  After all, there’s only so much Barney a person can take and remain unmedicated.  But there was one problem.  There were too many voices in my head.  And I don’t mean my characters’ voices, because that’s a good thing.  No, I heard my mother’s voice—I knew she’d disapprove of anything above a G rating, my pastor’s voice—he’d question my saggy morals, and even—gasp—what if my kids someday saw that Mommy wrote all kinds of naughty words and shook their little heads in disappointment?  I was my own worst enemy and I censored myself constantly.

Eventually, my kids started school and I was in full time Mom mode.  I told myself there was no time for writing.  I also had a couple of foot surgeries thrown in for fun.  But I always thought someday…someday I’d go back to it.  I jotted my ideas down in a journal and wished I had more time.

Now, my kids are pretty much grown—at least chronologically.  So I decided to take the NaNoWriMo challenge and start writing again.  For real this time.  No censoring voices, no holding back.  No fear.

It felt strange, this new freedom.  I used dirty words with abandon and chortled the whole time.  I wrote about sexy bad guys and missing potheads and a harajuku loli-inspired girl.  The self-imposed rules were out the window and I loved every liberating minute of it.  Occasionally, I would stop and ask myself, should I write that?  Then I would ignore myself and continue.  And if my book didn’t sell, at least I had written what I wanted.

But who was I kidding?  Of course I wanted it to sell.  I wanted everyone (except my mother and pastor) to read my book and laugh along with the kooky characters I’d let myself create.  And it turns out that my eighteen-year-old son—who wasn’t at all shocked by four-letter words and sizzling sexual tension—was my biggest cheerleader.
 
I guess if I had one piece of advice to offer it would be stay true to who you are as a writer.  Let the characters speak for themselves and don’t hold back because of what people might think.  Remember—no fear.    

I’m so glad I got out of my own way and freed myself to write the crazy that was in my head.  Turns out my editor loved my characters as much as I did.  Diners, Dives and Dead Ends is coming out July 17th from HeneryPress.

Now I just have to break the news to my mom.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Balance across the page...

I started helping other authors with their novels in 2008 so I have seen many manuscripts. One of the biggest issues that stands out to me is the imbalance of the essential scene elements. For example: many writers will put a huge chunk of description and then follow that description with several lines of dialogue with no blocking. Such as the following from Midnight Secrets with parts deleted to use as an example:


The white letters spelling out “For Sale” glistened in the morning sunlight, causing Allison
to jerk the wheel quickly to avoid the corner stop sign. What the hell was going on? She pulled to
a stop into a parking spot and yanked her cell out of the center console. Why hadn’t anyone told
her the diner was going up for sale?

“Perry, why is there a for sale sign at the restaurant? Tell me it’s a practical joke,” she boomed
in the phone as soon as her boss answered.

“No joke, Allison. I can’t afford to run it anymore. It’s not bringing in enough income for
me to keep it open.”

“But I made some improvements. People bought stuff off the new menu to take home.” 

“It’s not enough. I’m sorry.”

“What the hell am I going to do? There aren’t any jobs here and working in the restaurant is
the only experience I have.” 


When we read the above passage without any description and actions to the scene, we are left with one big question: What is Allison doing? We don't get much insight on Allison based on this small exchange of dialogue she has with her boss. The problem with this kind of writing is that the readers can't "see" what is happening. They only know what is revealed through the dialogue. If I had left this scene this way the reader probably would've put the book down. To fix the scene it needs some of her internal dialogue and action.

Here is the actual scene:


The white letters spelling out “For Sale” glistened in the morning sunlight, causing Allison
to jerk the wheel quickly to avoid the corner stop sign. What the hell was going on? She pulled to
a stop into a parking spot and yanked her cell out of the center console. Why hadn’t anyone told
her the diner was going up for sale?


“Perry, why is there a for sale sign at the restaurant? Tell me it’s a practical joke,” she boomed
in the phone as soon as her boss answered.


“No joke, Allison. I can’t afford to run it anymore. It’s not bringing in enough income for
me to keep it open.”


Allison crossed her fingers as if she’d turned into a kid and hoped for some good luck. She
took a deep breath and slowly let it out. Here it goes. “But I made some improvements. People
bought stuff off the new menu to take home.” Okay, so it had just been the Carsons, but did Perry
need to know that part of it?


“It’s not enough. I’m sorry.”


“What the hell am I going to do? There aren’t any jobs here and working in the restaurant is
the only experience I have.” She slammed her hands onto the steering wheel. She’d probably have
to move the kids out of Wilson, something she didn’t want to do. New schools, work, neighbors,
and life. It was out of the question. Not only did the kids love it here in Wilson, but she did as well.
Even if her childhood had been a bit rough.

See the difference? In the fake scene, you learned that Allison's job is in jeopardy because her boss needs to sell the place. In the real scene you learned that Allison lives in a small town, working at the restaurant is her only job experience, she is a mother, she'd most likely have to move if the restaurant is sold, and that she is really angry. A few paragraphs of the story paints an ugly picture of a serious situation for Allison.

So how can you tell if your page has all of the elements needed? I suggest printing off your manuscript. Yep, on real paper! Don't use the computer for this technique. You need 4 colors of highlighters. On each page highlight the different elements with a designated color. For example: all of the dialogue will be pink, all the description blue, all of the emotion green, and all of the action will be orange. Go through the page with your highlighters. Do you have mostly orange? You might want to throw in some dialogue or description to help balance out the page. Some scenes will have more colors than others, but you should try to have it as equal as possible.

Thanks for stopping by. Want to find out what happens with Allison in Midnight Secrets? You can find the kindle version at http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Secrets-ebook/dp/B004GHN46U/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_3

Happy Easter!

I'm just stopping by to wish all of you a Happy Easter. The kids and I am hanging out at home. They are each doing their own thing while I work on a client't manuscript.

What are your plans for the holiday?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Need an editor?

I edit manuscripts! I have 2 spots left for April. Want one? Here is my editing information:

I started my writing and editing career in January of 2008. Since the start of my career my passion for the craft has only grown stronger in that time. Not only do I have the drive to perfect my own books but to help other busy authors as well. I have several years of freelance editing experience, have recently attended advanced grammar classes in college, and extensively study the craft of writing. I'm also an award winning, multi-published author.

I succeed when my client succeeds. Editing should be a creative and as enjoyable as possible so my goal is to provide fast, friendly, and efficient service while working with my clients. No author is the same so I can tailor your editing plan for you.

The areas of editing I cover are:

Story Structure

  • The flow of the story. 
  • Plot strengths, weaknesses, and inconsistencies. 
  • Point of view, tone, and voice flow.
  • Character development. 
  • Dialogue 
Line Editing 
  • Line by line editing for typos and grammatical errors. 
  • Page by page revision recommendations when applicable. 
  • Phone, email, or online chat time for brainstorming your manuscript.
  • A second read-through to go over "problem areas" of the manuscript with no extra charge.  
Rate: 

Editing services: $1.00 per page (double spaced). 

Email: creativemanuscripts@gmail.com 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Birthdays and win some prizes!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Carrie Ann Ryan! 


     Welcome to the blog hop for Carrie's birthday. I hope she has a fabulous day! My own birthday is on September 5th. Do you know what that means? It falls around Labor Day weekend. If you have a holiday birthday, you can relate. 


Birthday's were difficult for me when I was growing up. When I was a kid my mom always let me have a big party with lots of people invited. When I got to be the age to have slumber parties, I switched to those. So what was the problem? Since my birthday usually fell around the holiday, most of my friends were out of town. Nobody came to my party! Then at about age 10 my mom dropped a bomb on me. "We don't celebrate birthdays after you turn 13." Her reasoning was that birthday parties were for kids only. 
During my teen years my birthday dwindled down even more. I can't remember any birthday during those years except for my 16th when my parents took  me to the beach for the weekend. 


I loooove birthdays and have celebrated my birthday every year since I turned 18. Last year I had people doing stuff in honor of my birthday for the entire month of September. It was fabulous. People at work made me cards, brought me cupcakes, my friends took me out to several lunches and dinners... the list goes on. My favorite part of all of that was that I got to see friends who I don't visit with often. I was truly spoiled for the last one and I loved every moment of it.  I joked about seeing if I can stretch it out for two this year... hehe, I was only kidding though. 


I celebrate my son and daughter's birthdays with the same energy. My son never has a large group of friends so I usually ask him what he wants to do or where he wants to go. We usually end up at the water park for the day. My daughter is a social butterfly so she enjoys parties. BIG PARTIES! One year she had a carnival themed birthday. While she was asleep, I rented a helium tank and filled our entire house with balloons. She had about 50 kids attend and half the number of parents. Our house had carnival-type games set up all over, they won carnival prizes, and the kids wore clown hats. Another year she had a Hawaiian pool party. The kids had grass skirts and I made beautiful leis for each attendee. 


Birthdays should be a fun day to celebrate you. So on your next one, make it a blast! 


Thanks for stopping by! How do you win my surprise gift bag? It'll have something to read, something to wear, and whatever else I decide to add before I mail it off. Leave a comment with your email for one chance to win or follow my blog to be entered twice! 


The main prizes for the blog hop are: 


1. A Kindle Touch 
2. A $60 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card





Tuesday, April 3, 2012

H.D. Thomson interviews her hero today!

Readers, I have H.D. Thomson interviewing her hero on my blog today. How fun is that?! Character interviews are so surprising for the author because we always learn something new about the character. And H.D. brought a surprise for one of you! She giving away 1 ebook so leave a comment or ask a question of your own to be entered to win.

**

Hi, Wendy. Thanks for having me over at your blog today! I brought Jake Preston, the hero from Shrouded in Darkness, with me today. I thought I’d interview him for fun. I was a little surprised at some of his answers!

Hi, Jake. The first question I have for you is about Margot. What did you think of Margot when you first met her?
A hot mess. But then who am I to talk? My own life is a complete disaster.

So you were attracted to her from the beginning?
Yeah, but it bothered me thinking of her that way. This was John’s sister after all. He’d talked a lot about her over the course of our working relationship, but nothing about what she actually looked like. So when I eventually met her, I was shocked at just how attractive she was.

But there’s much more to Margot than her looks. There’s a vulnerability she tries so hard to hide. She cares about her friends, and the bond she had with her brother is something anyone would envy. Also, from the beginning, I felt this connection with her. Life’s hit both of us pretty hard. I was also a little surprised that our parents are very similar.

I know Margot found you equally sexy. Is it because you have a six-pack?
Definitely not! But I don’t have a gut either. I’ve been on the run for a while, so it’s forced me to get in top physical form. I think of myself as above average. At least that’s what I’ve been told from women.

So how do you keep in shape?
Before my life went down the toilet, I used to go to the gym and run. I’ve never done a marathon but maybe one day I’ll try it out. That is, if I live through this situation. I’m realizing just how much I’ve put off for the sake of science.

What do you see in the future?
I don’t know. My life has gone down a path I never thought it would ever take. I’m keeping away from any pharmaceutical company, I can tell you that much!

Have you learned anything during these last couple of months?
That life is very fragile and it can be taken away in an instant. To live each moment and never take anyone or anything for granted.

Thanks Jake!

Margot doesn’t particularly care if she ends up dead.  She’s lost everything she’s ever cared for.  A divorce and the loss of her job as a corporate lawyer has left her with little faith in herself or in anyone else.  Most importantly, she’s lost the one person on this earth she’s looked up to and cherished–her brother, Johnny.  His death in a car accident has devastated her, and she can’t find the willpower to pull herself from the chasm she’s fallen into.  Her only solace is at the bottom of a wineglass.  Having moved back to the small town in northern Arizona where she was raised, she’s made a point of isolating herself both mentally and physically from everyone other than a few chosen friends.  Little does she know that her life is going to explode into chaos and the person behind Johnny’s accident is coming after her.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I’m not on holiday; I’m researching a book...by Michelle Holman

I write women’s contemporary romance set in New Zealand with a strong emphasis on humour. I’d like to be able to say I plan my books but the truth is they tend to plan themselves, however there are benefits to this. I had to (had to) research professional basketball for my fourth book Barefoot which meant I had to sit and watch a lot of very tall, very fit men pound around the basketball court. My eyes were worn out keeping track of them all.

I usually run my ideas for plots past my husband first who listens patiently and invariably says, ‘Sounds great. What do you know about that industry/situation/theme?’ To which I invariably answer, ‘Nothing, I’ll do some research.’

My second book, Divine, was about a woman named Tara whose husband leaves her to become a woman, and Tara stumbles into a job as a dominatrix telephone sex worker. My husband was thrilled when I announced I was going to research the dominatrix telephone sex industry and kept offering to play the caller if I needed to practice. Whenever I mention this at publicity events it’s amazing how the men in the audience sit up straighter. When I ask: ‘So how would you research the telephone sex industry?’ they crane their necks to see who answers, and get an awful shock if their wife puts up her hand.

So where did I go for help? The New Zealand Prostitutes Collective, of course.

They were fabulous. I met a woman named Sue who used to manage a telephone sex service, and a transgender woman named Hana. The information I got from them was pure gold. I’m a lapsed emergency room nurse (you never stop being a nurse, you just lapse). I think I’m fairly unshockable but my jaw was on the floor while I listened to them. I ran through my version of what a dominatrix would say over the telephone. Sue said I was pathetic. ‘You’re too nice. TOUGHEN UP!’

I get to travel when I do research. A couple of years ago, I went to the South Island of New Zealand (think Lord Of The Rings territory), to visit a cherry orchard. There are few things prettier than a cherry orchard. There’s something very sexy about blossoms, fruit, and men and women fighting each other and the elements at two o’clock on a frosty morning while helicopters fly overhead. While I was there I entered the annual cherry pit spitting competition and got beaten by a six-year-old who took her nana with her when she went to “spit” because she was so shy. The overall winner posted a distance of thirteen metres (about 42 feet). I spat down my chin, managed one metre and retired.

More recently, I’ve visited a vineyard in Marlborough which is the setting for the book I’m writing at the moment, and the second of my soldier books (the first, Hand Me Down, is set in the cherry orchard).  Wandering along rows of vines in brilliant sunshine and being encouraged to sample Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay/Merlot/Pinot Gris/Pinot Noir grapes is no hardship. The difference between me and the professionals is I don’t spit the grapes out, I eat them. At no point was I on holiday, I had a job to do, and my research is ongoing. If you could see my wine rack, you’d understand I’m telling the truth.

In three of my books the male character has been American: Dan Brogan in Bonkers is a paediatric surgeon who wears mismatched socks; his brother, Glenn Brogan is the smartarse ex-NBA star in Barefoot, and Ross Fabello is a very successful author with a bad case of writer’s block who butts heads with a New Zealand ED nurse called Danny in Knotted.

I’ll be making a start on the last book in the Bonkers trilogy soon, which means I’ll be revisiting Dan and Glenn and their wives and babies. It’s a perfect excuse to do some research in the USA.
I’ll have to suggest it to my husband.

To find out more about my books or drop me a line visit: www.michelleholman.com

To purchase any of my books visit: