Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Memories with Kathryn Meyer Griffith



Halloween Memories
Treat or Treat, Robots and Candy Corn
By author Kathryn Meyer Griffith

I believe I’m lucky. I grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Halloween was so different back then. Simpler. More innocent. Exciting. A true holiday for children. And I have memories I’ll cherish my whole life.
 
My family was large. I had six siblings, three sisters and three brothers, and we never had much money. My dad was a salesman and my mother, like a lot of women during that time, didn’t work outside the home…she was busy enough raising seven children. We were the poor family down the street with too many kids living in the shabby two-story spooky looking house. Our neighbors shunned us or felt sorry for us. But I didn’t care, I had my family to love me. I had Grandmother Fehrt, my mother’s mother, to fill our bellies with food when the table was a little too bare. I had my ambitions and dreams, science fiction and scary library books to read and pictures to draw (I wanted to be an artist from the age of nine). I frolicked in the empty fields riddled with deep gullies beside our house with my brothers and sisters or ran the dark streets and woods playing hide-and-go-seek. Sang to the moon on our rusty swing set in the backyard with my brother, Jim. Or, on a black and white TV set, watched Zorro, the Twilight Zone or The Lone Ranger on swelteringly hot nights in a house with no air-conditioning. Sweet days and nights. Poignant memories now that many of my family are gone.
Halloween was my favorite holiday, next to Christmas. I remember one, when I was about ten or so, vividly. It was cold and raining, but nothing stopped us four older children (the rest were too young that year) from going out into the neighborhood and collecting big brown bags of free candy. No, not when candy was so rare for us. My parents could hardly keep enough food in the house, much less buy us sweets. So Halloween meant a windfall of treats. Nothing kept us home on that night. We’d quickly eat the bowls of chili Mom would insist we eat as the sun went down. Another tradition. So we had some real food in our stomachs before the glut of candy came.
My mother, money being sparse as always, dressed us two girls up as gypsies, using her old costume jewelry and tying bright scarfs around our heads and waists. My younger brother Jon, wore an old sheet with cut out eye slots. A ghost. My other brother, Jim, had outdone himself that year and, out of two cardboard boxes and paint, had fashioned himself a robot. Wasn’t bad for an eight year old, either. Made it hard for him to walk, though. He stumbled a lot.
That night we traipsed through the wet woods, a short cut, to the rich subdivision down the road that – oh, my – gave out those huge candy bars at each door, enormous homemade popcorn balls or bags of candy corn, my favorite. My grandmother had taught Jim and I a catchy song…G-i-n-g-a, G-i-n-g-a, G-i-n-g-a…Ginga was his name. Never understood that song but I think it was about a pet dog or something. Jim and I got so much good feedback, so many treats for belting it out, though, that at Christmas we were performing The Little Drummer Boy for anyone we could corner and sing to. The beginning of our later singing folk duo (so big in the 60’s) and then my short (my brother kept singing out as I began writing my novels) singing career, no doubt.
We had a great haul that night. Cold and rainy as it was. Frozen as our faces and fingers became. Maybe got even more goodies because it was so inclement. We went to all the houses, collected our booty, and ecstatic at our bulging bags, at the end of the night, ran through the trees toward home. Trying to beat the rain, which had become a deluge, worst of the night. With noisy thunder, and spectacular lightning. It was sooo spooky. In the spirit of the night, we were sure something bad was following us. We ran faster. Our paper bags getting soaked as we cradled them against our shivering bodies.
Then, clumsy in his robot disguise (he kept bumping into trees because he couldn’t see) Jim fell over a tree limb and spilled his candy everywhere. As he cried, we scurried around trying to salvage what we could. Didn’t do much good. Too dark. The rain was too heavy. So the three of us promised to share our booty with him and we led him home.
As we were drying off and warming up, Mom and Dad smiled at our stories of singing for our candy and all the strange ghouls and monsters we’d met on the way; laughed over Jim’s mishap and gave us hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows to drink.
Then there was a knock at the front door and when we looked, there was Grandma Fehrt, dressed as a wicked witch, complete with tall black hat and long dress, cackling at us. Trying to fool us. But we all knew it was her. She dressed up every year and knocked at our door. Always a witch.
We kids hugged her and laughed, then sat at the table counting out (and oohing and aahing with glee) over our candy haul. We shared it with Jim, of course.
To this day I remember that Halloween with a wistful smile. Such good times from so long ago. I see my brothers and sisters young faces through the mists of time, remember the thrill of singing with my brother for the first time and the delight of the people giving us the candy in exchange for the song. I remember my parents and the love in that drafty old house we scampered back to. I remember my grandmother with her smiling witch eyes and painted face. Remember going to bed with a stomach ache because I’d eaten too much candy. Heck, I always did. And I remember those no longer with us. My father, my mother, one of my brothers and all of my grandparents.
My childhood, when I think of nights like that, is just a moment away. The dead are with me again. Ah, I’d give anything to go back in time and be with all of them once more. The way we were. Young and hopeful and with our lives ahead of us. Enjoying each other’s company…and all that good candy.
Anything.

***************************************************************************
About Kathryn Meyer Griffith...
Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had sixteen (nine romantic horror, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.
I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-four years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha, live cats Cleo and Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.
                                                                                                            
Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith:
Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure, 1984; Damnation Books, 2012)
The Heart of the Rose (Leisure, 1985; Eternal Press Author’s Revised Edition 2010) Eternal Press Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615722327
Blood Forge (Leisure, 1989; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2012)
Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011)
The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2010) Damnation Books Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615722075
Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2011)
The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) Damnation Books Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615723201
The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011)
Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003…soon to be an Amazon Kindle Direct ebook)
All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006…soon an Amazon Kindle Direct ebook)
Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)  Eternal Press buy link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615724437  My self-made
Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) Eternal Press Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615724604)
You Tube Book Trailer address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZYCs2DVhHg
The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)
Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella & bonus short story: In This House (2008; ghostly romantic short story out; Eternal Press 2012)
BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (Damnation Books 2010) 
Damnation Books buy link: httphttp://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615721313
You Tube self-made Book trailer with original song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0-U9c2Lwfo
The Woman in Crimson (Damnation Books 2010)
You Tube Book Trailer Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcRBvDI5G4Y
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction)
Dinosaur Lake (from Amazon Kindle Direct 2012)
4 SPOOKY SHORT STORIES (Amazon Kindle 2012)

My Websites:
http://www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

LET YOUR CHARACTERS WRITE YOUR LOVE SCENES/PART TWO



Revised and updated from a workshop I did several years ago, this post is all about using your characters to make your love scenes unique and intricate to your story. This is the second installment, with more to be posted over the next few months. If you’re a writer, this may help inspire you to write some of the most difficult scenes in your book: your sensual encounters. If you’re a reader, you will get lots of sneak peeks into the Relics of Merlin series, which is being re-released by Sourcebooks over the next few years.

The Relics of Merlin series of books are whimsical romances set in a magical Victorian London of sexy shape-shifters, enchanted tea, wicked spells and loose corsets. Since I’ll be using excerpts from several of the books in the series, I thought it might be helpful to have a quick overview of each:

Enchanting the Lady:  In a world where magic rules everything, two misfits--Felicity Seymore, a Victorian beauty unable to perform even the simplest spell, and Sir Terence Blackwell, a were-lion searching for Merlin's relics--form a passionate alliance.

Double Enchantment:  When Lady Jasmina accidentally creates a double of herself using a relic, the mix-up brings her real self into a compromising position with sexy were-stallion, Sir Sterling Thorn.

Enchanting the Beast: In the third book of the Relics of Merlin series, ghost-hunter Philomena Radcliff comes to Grimspell castle to rid the residence of spirits, but she finds most haunting of all a reclusive were-wolf suspected of murder.

Everlasting Enchantment: In this brand-new fourth book, Sir Gareth Solimere has been trapped inside of one of Merlin’s relics for centuries, and only true love will set him free. But when were-panther Lady Millicent Pantere steals the relic, will she be his salvation or his doom?

So why am I doing a post on (gasp) sex scenes? Because several friends of mine said it was the hardest thing for them to write. Since they are my favorite part of the book to write, I thought I’d share how I do it and hopefully it will be helpful to others. Since I always seem to learn better by example, I’ll be giving examples from all my books to show how my love scenes are a development of my characters, plot and setting. I’m sure there are many other ways to develop a love scene, so let this be an inspiration and not a rule. If you’ve read any of my other posts on writing, you know my favorite motto is: there are no rules in writing, just guidelines.

(Read my previous posts on this subject by searching for the title in the LABELS or CATEGORIES in the far right sidebar.)


TWO: USING YOUR CHARACTERS’ STRENGTHS

This excerpt is from Double Enchantment. Jasmina is determined to show Sterling that she is a passionate woman, and fortunately for her, our hero understands that:

One black brow went up. “Are you sure?” he said through gritted teeth. He knew. He knew she wanted control, and his voice said it would probably kill him.
“Yes." 
He nodded. He would allow it anyway. 
Jasmina gave him a wicked smile and stood up between his legs. Her wet chemise molded to her skin; she could feel it sticking between the folds of her legs and across her breasts. Sir Sterling groaned.   
“Stand,” she instructed, and he came out of the water so fast it poured over the sides of the tub and raced across the wooden floor. Jasmina rescued the bar of soap and started lathering her hands again. He closed his eyes and seemed to whisper some fervent prayer, but Jasmina was too busy studying every inch of his magnificent body to pay much notice. She ran her hands across his chest again, this time continuing down the sides of his waist to his slim hips, feeling the bone and muscle. A part of her felt she was discovering new territory, but another part of her seemed to know exactly what she would find. She shook off the confusion and concentrated on her task.            Lady Jasmina leaned forward and curved her hands over the small dips in the sides of his bottom, to the full, round back of it. She ran her slick hands over the twin mounds, feeling him tremble from the effort it took not to move. She refused to pity him. Her fingertips swept up the curves to his lower back, and she felt two more very small dips there. How absolutely wonderful.

What are your characters’ strengths?  How can you use them to guide their romantic encounter?  In the above scene, the heroine’s strengths are obvious, but the hero is even stronger.  He understands why Jasmina needs control and he allows her to have it, not always an easy thing to do. Try exploring the strengths of your characters and how they can inspire your love scene. Think about their hidden strengths as well, like Sterling’s understanding of Jasmina, and how you can use those to lead readers through a romantic encounter.


Until Next Time,
Kathryne

Friday, October 26, 2012

Author Spotlight on Savanna Fox

 Or author spotlight is on Savanna Fox this week. Let's give her a Much Cheaper Than Therapy welcome.


Don’t you wish your book club read “dirty” books? That’s the premise that led Savanna Fox to write The Dirty Girls Book Club (published by Berkley Heat).

When Georgia Malone’s book club makes their first erotic selection, The Sexual Education of Lady Emma Whitehead, the marketing executive is surprised to find herself identifying with the main character. Like Emma, Georgia is a widow who has never truly experienced the joys of sex. When she meets the spokesman for her newest campaign, Georgia’s long-buried libido is awakened. Hockey star Woody Hanrahan is supremely masculine, with rough edges and cocky charm—exactly the sort of man she usually avoids. But while her mind says stay away, Georgia’s body tells her to give in.

As the book club explores the tantalizing extremes of fiction, Georgia experiences first hand, and for the first time, the real pleasures of the flesh, and fulfills the desires that—chapter by chapter—are getting delightfully dirty. Woody is hers to command in a hundred deliciously wicked ways, but an a newly minted dirty girl write her own happy ending—and win not just Woody’s body, but his heart?

This is the first book in a series, which will feature other members of the book club. The Dirty Girls Book Club has also been published in the UK by Penguin. Take a look at the UK cover compared to the American one!


 Award-winning author Savanna Fox (also writing as Susan Lyons and Susan Fox) writes “emotionally compelling, sexy contemporary romance” (Publishers Weekly) for Berkley and for Kensington. Susan is a Pacific Northwester with homes in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. She has degrees in law and psychology, and has had a variety of careers, including perennial student, computer consultant, and legal editor. Fiction writer is by far her favorite, giving her an outlet to demonstrate her belief in the power of love, friendship, and a sense of humor. Visit http://www.susanlyons.ca for information about all her books.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

November Writer U On-Line Classes

Scene and Sequel
by Patricia Kay
November 5-30, 2012
$30 at www.WriterUniv.com

Are you finding it hard to understand and apply the principles of story construction using Scene and Sequel? If you are, you're not alone. Many writers, even multi-published veterans, find the concept a difficult one. But now help is at hand. By utilizing a combination of fourteen lessons, homework, class discussion, and feedback on your written work, this class on building blocks to great fiction will take the mystery out of Scene and Sequel. You'll learn:

* What a scene is and isn't
* Planning and revising scenes for maximum effect
* How and when to use sequels
* Controlling pace with scene and sequel
* Choosing the best point of view
* Writing for the strongest emotional impact
* Flashbacks: when and how to use them
* How to write a unique love scene

Patricia Kay is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 50 novels of romance and women's fiction. An acclaimed teacher, she formerly taught writing classes at the University of Houston and has given workshops all over the country. She now limits her teaching to online classes. You can learn more about her on her website at www.patriciakay.com.

~ ~ ~

Master Class: Cops, One on One -- How Your Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Relates to His or Her World
by M.A. Taylor
November 12-23, 2012
$55 at www.WriterUniv.com

Prerequisite: Must have a story (at any stage of completion) featuring a law enforcement officer.

There's a reason the divorce rate among law enforcement officers is so high. Most of it is due to the manner in which the officer relates to, or expresses himself to, the people in his life.  Why is the spouse the last person to know about a particularly nasty day? What makes some LEOs so unreasonable with their children? How can any LEO be friendly with a convicted pedophile? During this in-depth look at how LEOs relate to the people around them, M.A. Taylor's lectures and scene discussions will explore:

* Personal relationships with family, friends and off-duty acquaintances
* Relationships with criminals, from informants to targets
* Working relationships with partners and supervisors
* The balance between law enforcement and non-sworn officers
* Professional relationships with other agencies and departments
* Relationships with the public and people LEOs meet through work

M.A. Taylor spent more than twenty years in law enforcement. After seven years with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), she became a Special Agent for the California Department of Justice (DOJ), spending over a decade in Narcotics...including assignment to a Federal DEA-HIDTA Task Force. Margaret's areas of expertise range from surveillance to wiretaps to tribal gaming, sexual predators, investigations and more.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Add Emotion to Your Synopsis




This month we are discussing synopsis writing. Last week, I mentioned you should add the goal, motivation, and conflict of your characters. Along these lines, I want to add advice given by Agent Evan Marshall in his book, The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing, published by Writer's Digest Books.

Mr. Marshall says you need to add motivation and emotion. Some of the worst synopses he's seen are the ones that leave out these key elements. On page 198, he writes, "Tell us that when Brandon tells Carla he's accepted the job in Sydney, Carla sees her happy life collapsing around her, that she is devastated by this news. The next morning over coffee she pours her heart out to Tanya."

No matter how many years I write, I find it helpful to review what the experts have to say.

Until next Sunday,
happy writing!

Tina Swayzee McCright

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Love Gypsy




On this Friday's Author Spotlight, I would like to introduce Mariah Lynne. Her book, The Love Gypsy, is a Wild Rose Press release.

Florida homicide detective Brianna Breeze can’t seem to catch a man unless she handcuffs him.
So her best friend decides to take matters into her own hands and tricks Brianna into seeing the
Love Gypsy, a time traveler’s friend noted for her extraordinary matchmaking skills.
When a tall, muscular man wearing jeans, a black leather jacket, and slicked-back 50s hair bursts
in on her first visit, Brianna is bewitched. Despite the gypsy’s warning not to get involved with
him, Brianna can’t get him out of her mind—even though she, more than anyone, knows the
pitfalls of romancing a stranger.

A present-day murder, a mysterious vintage car registered in the distant past, and a smoking gun
complicate the puzzle. Brianna doesn’t know if her lover from the past is a murderer, or a savior,
but she’s willing to risk time travel to find out.

To find out more about Mariah and her book visit
MariahLynne.com

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Plotting... What that?


I would love to say I plot my story out from beginning to end, but alas, I don’t do anything like that. At least not with the book I’m currently working on. Usually I have some plotting points written out. Not this time.

I know I have to worry about the sagging middle, climax and resolution, but my focus is pretty much in developing the scene I’m in right now. I know there’s got to be action and conflict in each scene. I start letting the characters do their thing and shove obstacles at them they don’t expect. Most of the time I don’t’ know where they are going the week before. At other times, a character appears who I never planned, but 99 percent of the time I do find out the reason why they show up in the book. The other 1 percent, I realize that the character is dead weight and I pitch.

]I probably have to do more rewriting because I don’t have each scene or plot point mapped out, but that’s fine. Granted, I get really excited that I really don’t know where my story is going. Yes, I’ve got an idea someone is going to end up dead, my main character is going to grow from point A to point B, but I don’t know the how. At the same time, there’s periods where I do get a little panicky thinking what the heck am I doing flying by the seat of my pants. Then I get my trusted tape recorder from my smart phone and keep it by my pillow at night. Right before I fall asleep or when I’m just waking up, ideas hit me from my subconscious. And I’ve got my next scene. And yes, I’m one that writes all over the place. I’ll do a scene near the end, and then another near the middle and then move into the beginning the book, and from there who knows?

I’ve always liked a mystery, so being a panster works for me.

H. D. Thomson
www.hdthomson.com

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The stranger in Chapter One

Sometimes I wonder that I'm ever able to finish a book.  I talk to other writers and they seem to come at it from a totally different angle.  They know their stories before they start to write.  They can tell you what's in their heroine's purse, her medicine cabinet and her past at any point in the process.

They KNOW stuff.

Me, I never do.  I seriously start out with a keyboard, a blank screen and a blindfold and I fumble and and I stumble and I run face first into the wall a few dozen times before I begin to understand the landscape I'm working with and the people I am creating.

I've tried the other methods--truly I have.  I've done the character interviews.  I've made the charts, the sticky notes, the vision boards.  But until I see my characters in action, until I watch them maneuvering in their unknown world, I don't get to know them.

I guess it's like a first date, for me.  I really don't want to know everything about them before we've even ordered cocktails.  Where's the fun in that?  I want to be surprised, intrigued and totally amazed by what they say.  I want to decide if I can fall in love with them or if I'm going to hate them along the way.

Like I said, it's a wonder that I ever finish a book with so much ambiguity in my beginning.  But I guess that's what keeps me coming back for more.

How about you?  Do you know where you're going and who you're taking along before you start writing?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Dreaded Synopsis



They don't call it the dreaded synopsis for nothing. Many writers find it difficult to narrow the many facets of their story down to five pages. First, let me say, you will need to do some research to determine the length of your synopsis. Check the websites of the agents and editors you are targeting. I find five pages double-spaced to be a safe bet.

You will want to include the goal, motivation, and conflict of your characters and each of the main turning points. I've heard repeatedly that your writing voice should show in your synopsis, but I find that difficult to accomplish.

I usually write the synopsis after writing the manuscript, but my agent requested I write one for the third book in a series I had written yet. I went to bed asking the heavens for an idea. Not only did I wake up with one, I wrote the synopsis and it turned out to be the best idea in the series. I hope to repeat that event many times to come.

Don't worry, a synopsis is not set in stone. You can adjust it, and I often do, as you alter your story.

Until next Sunday,
happy writing!

Tina Swayzee McCright




Friday, October 12, 2012

SPOTLIGHTING: Cathy McDavid & Free Books Too

An Author Spotlight
by Connie Flynn

It's my pleasure this month to spotlight my good friend and critique partner, Cathy McDavid,  who, over these past few years, has managed to build a quietly spectacular career writing terrific unforgettable stories about modern day cowboys in the American West.  Today, she's not only going to share a little about herself and her writing journey, she's got some FREE eBOOKS to give away: Cowboy Dad and Wyatt: Return of the Cowboy.

About Cathy:
Cathy had no idea when she opened that first Walter Farley book in third grade, it would be a defining moment in her life. Bonanza and Big Valley reruns every day after school enforced her love of all things western as well as a fascination with "cowboy" history.

Always an avid reader, she penned her first novel in 1995, enjoying some success with smaller publisher. It wasn't until 2005 when she finally got to see her first mass market paperback on bookstore shelves. After that, there was no going back. In 2006, she began writing contemporary westerns for Harlequin American and is currently completing her twenty-fifth published novel.

Who knew all those years of reading every horse book ever written and watching old western TV shows would eventually pay off?


This month's in the spotlight question for Cathy is :What question have you never been asked but are dying to answer?

Cathy's response?
Why do you enjoy writing cowboy heroes?

Free Book
Free Book

Answer:  For me, it goes back to all those old TV and movie westerns I grew up watching. Cowboys are one of the original big and small screen heroes. This handsome, hard-edged guy with a mysterious or troubled past rides in one day, takes on the bad guy(s), saves the town folk, and wins the girl's heart. How romantic is that? I believe romance readers are drawn to that kind of hero. One who's a little dangerous, possibly walking the line between good and bad, yet strong and capable and who does the right thing in the end. While my series heroes are perhaps a bit tamer than those portrayed in the old shows and movies, they still pretty much fit that description.

99c eBook
Still romance, but not so Western, is Extreme Dating for 99c. It's a terrific romance with high tension.
What happens when Survivor meets The Love Connection? Park Evenson is about to find out. She's agreed to be a contestant on X- treme Dating, a hot new reality TV dating show.
Don't miss out on this great read.


Contact Cathy:
Check out Cathy's WEBSITE, where you'll learn more about the Harts of the Rodeo and other project and can sign up for her newsletter. 






Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Release by Linda Andrews


So I finally found out the print book came out this last weekend.

Love, lies, and an ancient Egyptian curse… Brianna Grey holds the key to mankind's destruction. Brianna spent most of her life dying until one man's kiss resurrected her desire to live. However, before she can get on with life, she must return an ancient artifact to Egypt before someone willing to commit murder gets it away from her. For aspiring US Treasury Agent Duncan Stuart, love means death. He works alone, lives alone and plans to die alone…until he meets Brianna again. Under the harsh Egyptian sun, he will break all his rules to save her. But will that be enough, given the secret Brianna knows that could get them both killed?
Coming soon to kindle and nook

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Recharge Your Batteries






Writing is often referred to as a business. I believe this to be true, and as a business, we need to sometimes take a break to recharge our batteries. One of my four brothers, along with his lovely wife, are in town this week. My brother and I celebrated at our joint birthday party last night and today we will continue to spend time with our rather large family. I call us The Swayzee Clan. I hope that you, too, will find moments to recharge your batteries. When you return to the computer you will be refreshed and ready to tackle your story.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Tina Swayzee McCright

Friday, October 5, 2012

Author Spotlight: Kenra Daniels

Presented by Caris Roane

Today, I'd like to welcome, Kenra Daniels, who will happily heat up your world with her wonderful tales of Paranormal Romance and Erotic Romance.  We're catching up with Kenra on her current blog tour, celebrating the release of her erotic romance, TIGHT SPACES.
 


Tight Spaces is the first story in The Double Dare Club series of Erotic Romances. All the stories will be connected in some way to the Double Dare Night Club. The couple might meet there, work there, or even have a fender bender in the parking lot.

You can check out http://kenradaniels.com/double-dare/, for more info about the series as it becomes available. The itinerary for this blog tour will be there, as well, so you can check out some other great blogs.
GIVEAWAYS:  To celebrate, she's giving away some Kindle copies of Tight Spaces and $10 Amazon Gift Cards. Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chances to win. Keep watch on http://kenradaniels.com for more giveaway and contest opportunities, and news about upcoming projects.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT TIGHT SPACES...
A lonely woman goes dancing with friends to kick the Bad Breakup Anniversary Blues. Her fantasy-man is willing to help, until her lowlife ex ambushes him.

With the first anniversary of the messy break up of a long-term relationship bearing down, Amy has the blues. When her friends suggest an evening at the Double Dare, she reluctantly agrees to go along. She doesn't do the casual sex thing, but it'll be good to spend time with her friends.

Seeing Jesse at the Double Dare immediately cheers her up. She's fantasized over him for months. The evening gets more pleasant as they heat up the dance floor. Things go from hot to sizzling, until her ex shows up and confronts Amy in a low blow. Will his interference deter Jesse and Amy from continuing what could be the start of something wonderful?

AUTHOR'S BIO:
Kenra Daniels lives in a tiny rural community in north eastern Kentucky with her very own Romance Novel Hero. In addition to Erotic Romance, Kenra writes Paranormal Romance, and has plans for Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and a few other things. She has a completely new paranormal being in development and will soon start those stories. With multiple other projects in the works, time and energy are her only limits.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

22 Rules of Storytelling

. . . According to Pixar storyboard artist, Emma Coats, who has tweeted nuggets of narrative wisdom she's received working for the animation studio over the years. It's some sage stuff, although there's nothing here about defending yourself from your childhood toys when they inevitably come to life with murder in their hearts. A truly glaring omission.
  •     #1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
  •     #2: You gotta keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be different.
  •     #3: Trying for theme is important, but you won't see what the story is actually about till you're at the end of it. Now rewrite.
  •     #4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
  •     #5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You'll feel like you're losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
  •     #6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
  •     #7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
  •     #8: Finish your story, let go even if it's not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
  •     #9: When you're stuck, make a list of what WOULDN'T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
  •     #10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you. You've got to recognize it before you can use it.
  •     #11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you'll never share it with anyone.
  •     #12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
  •     #13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it's poison to the audience.
  •     #14: Why must you tell THIS story? What's the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That's the heart of it.
  •     #15: If you were your character in this situation how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
  •     #16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don't succeed? Stack the odds against.
  •     #17: No work is ever wasted. If it's not working, let go and move on - it'll come back around to be useful later.
  •     #18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
  •     #19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
  •     #20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d'you rearrange them into what you DO like?
  •     #21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can't just write ‘cool'. What would make YOU act that way?
  •     #22: What's the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.
Most of us already kinda know this stuff, but it's easy to forget and it's so valuable to take time to get reminded. Plus, this is synopsis week for the blog, and I'm not so good at writing them, but I think suggestion #4 is one of the best guides I've seen for writing a simple synopsis.

Till next month,
Connie
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