Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Which Dress did Fantasy Author Kathryne Kennedy Choose?

A while back I posted photos of four dresses I could choose to wear to an upcoming wedding, and had people vote on them. I was asked to post which dress I finally wore, and I'm sorry to say it wasn't any one of the original four I had chosen! (Here's the original post: http://kathrynekennedy.blogspot.com/2014/03/fantasy-author-kathrynekennedy-needs.html )All except the black one was out of stock (and beware as well when a site says the dress is 'returnable', when they actually mean 'exchangeable'. Learn from my mistake!) I did manage to order the black one, but it was enormous. The entire bodice flopped down. So, measurements don't help a lot when ordering a dress either! The sizes vary from one designer to another, and don't be sad...ALL the dresses run small, so you'll be ordering much larger than your regular size. Anyway, I did manage to get a dress in time, as I went through another ten or so choices that were all out of stock (or couldn't be ordered in time for my wear-date. So another tip, order early. I started six months out, figuring that would be plenty of time. Silly me.) Anyway, it's with a sigh of relief that I'm sharing the photos of the dress I finally chose. I went from fairy princess to a goddess sort of look, and I'm happy to also report that I had many compliments on the dress. And that it was a lovely wedding. Since the dress was so 'flowy' my husband made me sit in the swing to take this photo, and I think he chose well.

And of course, I have to share one of the bride and groom, as that is the most beautiful, important dress!

Thank you for all your help, everyone!
My Magical Best,
Kathryne

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Writing Contest



2014 Hot Prospects Contest

2014 Hot Prospects Contest
Sponsor: Valley of the Sun Romance Writers


Looking to sign your first book contract, switch from a small press to a large publisher or simply explore another genre of romantic fiction? Turn up the heat on your writing career with the Hot Prospects Contest.
PRIZES
Grand Prize Winner
  • The grand prize winner of the contest will have their entire manuscript (400 pages, Courier, 12pt, Double spaced) reviewed by two professional editors at Novel Needs http://novelneeds.com
Finalists
  • All finalists in each category will receive a certificate, a graphic for their website and an acknowledgement in the Romance Writers Report. Approximate date of winner notification is December 15th, 2014.
ENTRY FEE
Valley of the Sun RW Members
  • $25
Non-Chapter Members
  • $30
Payment Options
Refunds
  • Valley of the Sun RW reserves the right to return all entries and fees if the minimum entry number for each category (5) is not received. Entrants will be contracted to see if they wish to place their entry in another category before entries are returned.
DEADLINE INFORMATION
Postmark Deadline: September 1st, 2014
E-Submit Deadline: September 1st, 2014
ELIGIBILITY
The Hot Prospects Contest is open to any work uncontracted and unpublished at the time of entry.
CATEGORIES / JUDGES
Trained judges for preliminary round, Editors for final round.
Single Title Contemporary-
Romantic novels released as individual titles, not usually part of a series. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.
  • Editor – Sue Grimshaw, Random House
  • Assistant Editor – Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks, Inc
Romantic Suspense-
a suspense/mystery/thriller plot is integrated within a romantic novel. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.
  • Editor – Associate Editor- Lauren Plude, Grand Central Publishing
  • Editor -Tera Cuskaden, Samhain
Historical/Regency-
Romantic novels set in a time period prior to 1945. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.
  • Senior Editor – Esi Sogah, Kensington
Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal-
futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal elements are integrated within the love story. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.
  • Editor – Editorial Assistant –Kristine Swartz, The Berkley Publishing Group
  • Editor – Amy Stapp, Tor /Forge
Those entries that do not final will be returned approximately October 30th, 2014 to help those who plan to enter RWA’s Golden Heart.
ENTRY CONTENTS
Synopsis
  • Your synopsis should be between 3-5 pages.
Manuscript
  • Up to 25 pages of your manuscript.
Total Submission
  • Entry should be 30 pages max.  Entry or synopsis may be shorter, but neither may be longer than specified.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I Swear My Roommate Is a Vampire

















It is my pleasure to introduce writer Arabella Thorne and her novella:

I Swear My Roommate Is a Vampire
Ever declare bankruptcy? Don’t. It sucks…. Okay, really bad joke. Anyway, after my bankruptcy, my home equity line payment took a jump into the ozone layer and I needed extra money, fast. So, I decided it was time for a roommate.
After screening lots of potential candidates (let me tell you, what a real life horror story that was), I became desperate and did something I never thought I’d ever do. I rented my master suite to a vampire.
I know, what you’re thinking: Dracula, fangs, blood, hot, sexy, the whole package. Well, this one’s different. He’s the perfect renter—quiet, neat, tidy, pays on time. In fact he reminds me of my high school algebra teacher.
All was going well, until things started to happen—nasty things. Apparently, not everyone likes vampires and has no intention of letting people live and let live. Especially with a human as a roommate.
Reality…. Now that really bites!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

So You Want To Write A Book.


Want to be a writer and not sure you have what it takes? I attended a conference workshop taught by Martha Alderson, who has been dubbed The Plot Whisperer. (Pictured above) In her book, Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, she says, "Anyone can write a book. The trick is to write a good book. So long as you are honest and true to yourself, you have what it takes to write a good book."

Until next week,
happy reading and writing.
Tina Swayzee McCright

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Best Two Words

As a writer, my favorite two words are 'the end.'

As a reader.... Well, that's another post.

Writing for me is a struggle. A contest of my will and determination versus the desire to veg out and do nothing. To get the words right is like pulling teeth. That blinking cursor is a minion of the devil.

I know of writers who script their books and then write away.

I know of folks who write disconnected scenes then stitch them together into a book.

I know folks who type what they're thinking and edit the words into a book.

For me, writing is possession by the characters. The tell me to shut up and do what they say. That's difficult as I like to be in control of myself since I know I don't control anything else in the universe. So we battle across the sentences, paragraphs and pages. When I'm tired and give in, the process is smoother. Eventually, my appositionally defiant personality kicks in and the characters and I go back to grappling.

I've heard legends, that some folks pick up speed as they approach those two magic words. I'm  hoping I experience that before I see my first unicorn.

Until then, I'll continue on as I have been. After all, I still arrive at the same place.

The end:D

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Writing Advice From Janet Evanovich



Writers should continue to study their craft. You can join writing organizations and listen to speeches, or you can simply pick up a book and read the advice given by experts. I enjoy reading novels by Janet Evanovich (pictured above) so I picked up a copy of How I Write - Secrets of a Bestselling Author by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalof.

In the section on characterization, Janet gives three tips.

1. The main character must want something.
2. Someone or something (nature, money, distance) must stand in the way of his getting what he wants.
3. The choices that a character makes in his efforts to overcome obstacles and ultimately get what he wants define the character.

For more advice, you can pick up this title in ebook, paperback, or audiobook.

Until next week,
happy reading and writing.

Tina Swayzee McCright


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meet Were-Snake Sarah in ENCHANTING THE BEAST, By Kathryne Kennedy



A letter from Sarah Pluckett, companion to the infamous ghost-hunter Lady Philomena Radcliff, dated August 2, 1861:


Dearest Mama:

We have arrived at Grimspell castle without too many misadventures, which as you know is the usual case when my mistress travels.  Despite having to walk from the village of Trollersby and a stickman attaching itself to my lady’s skirts, we arrived to find the baronet, Sir Nicodemus Wulfson, frolicking with his hounds.  My protective instincts could not be denied, and I found myself shifting to my were-form to protect my mistress from the beasts, although in hindsight, it proved to be quite unnecessary. 

Sir Nico appears to be a gentleman, despite his predatory nature, and much to my surprise, dearest Mama, he does not abhor my were-shape.  Indeed, his entire staff consists of shape-shifters, which is quite unusual, and despite their instincts to fear my snake-form, I feel more accepted here than I have ever felt before.

I do not want you to worry, but I must confess that Grimspell castle is a queer, haunted place, and the members of Sir Nico’s family are perhaps a touch…eccentric.  But as you know, this is exactly why the baronet hired my mistress and I have the most absolute confidence that she will ferret out the mystery behind this family and their ghostly visitations.

Indeed, Mama, my only worry is that Sir Nico--despite the disparity of their ages--is intensely attracted to Lady Philomena.  I feel it my duty to discourage the handsome young man, and I fear that I will have to rely on all of my were-senses to stay one slither ahead of him in his pursuit of my mistress.

Despite the strangeness that surrounds me (or perhaps because of it?) I find myself most content here, and have even made friends with many of the staff.  So rest assured that I am safe and well, and will protect and serve my mistress as faithfully as I ever have.

Your Loving Daughter,
Sarah

PS. I should mention that there is a footman named Cheevers, who, despite being a were-duck (do not laugh, Mama) is quite an extraordinarily charming young man. 



Read more about Sarah and her mistress in ENCHANTING THE BEAST, which earned a Top Pick rating from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, Night Owl Reviews, and Romance Reader at Heart! http://www.KathryneKennedy.com