Friday, June 28, 2013

Author Spotlight on Marin Thomas

The Cowboy Next Door
Cash Brothers Series

July 2013

Hard-working cowboy Johnny Cash has always been a protector to his little sister's best friend, sweet but tough cowgirl Shannon Douglas. It's pretty crazy for girls to ride bulls-yet it's her life to live. Then he realizes he's got some purely male instincts toward her, too. But absolutely no way can he fall for his boss's daughter-if he loses his job, there'll be hell to pay at home....

Shannon was raised to be strong and independent. She wants a national title so bad she can taste it-and she needs Johnny's help. His protectiveness drives her crazy... the same way his kisses do. But she's not about to hang up her bull rope because of him! Her heart says he's the one-but her own stubborn streak might push away the only man who might actually understand her.

Marin Thomas grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. She left the Midwest to attend college at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she played basketball for the Lady Wildcats and earned a B.A. in Radio-TV. Following graduation she married her college sweetheart in a five-minute ceremony at the historical Little Chapel of the West in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the years she and her family have lived in seven different states but have now come full circle and returned to Arizona where the rugged desert and breathtaking sunsets provide plenty of inspiration for Marin's cowboy books. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kathryne Kennedy shares Awards, News, and Foreign Covers!

Dear Readers,
Today I'd like to just share some exciting news! The third book in THE ELVEN LORDS series, THE LORD OF ILLUSION, won first place in the P/F/SF/F category of the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors' Contest!

THE LORD OF ILLUSION also finalled in the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence P/F/F/TT category.

I saw the cover for the Thai version of THE LADY OF THE STORM. It's a little grainy in the image here, but it truly is lovely. It's always fascinating to see how a different culture interprets the story and uses their own vision to create a new cover.

I also received a copy of the German Edition of My Unfair Lady. They used the same cover, but it's thrilling to see my books published in a different language.

And on the personal front, I saw Cyndi Lauper in concert this weekend. She talked to the audience quite a bit, was wackily wonderful as usual, and she sang like a dream. It happened to be her birthday, and her fans knew it, and one of my favorite moments in the concert was when the audience spontaneously broke out into song, singing her Happy Birthday, and making her cry. Here's a shot my sister took with the camera, so it's not the best, but will still help me remember the enchanting evening.

Thanks so much for letting me share my news!
Until Next Time,
My Magical Best,

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cover Reveal of paranormal romance Shrouded in Illusion!

Shrouded in Illusion, the third and final book in my Shrouded series, is scheduled for mass release on July 15th. I finally have the cover and I'm so excited the book is soon to be out and about on the net!

Shrouded in Illusion

Someone wants Skye Hunter’s son and they’re willing to kill her or anyone else to get to him. One the run for her life, she is forced to turn to the only person who can help her—a complete stranger with a shared past—David Bishop, a renowned illusionist.

David’s life is also an illusion, built of smoke and little else. He meets Skye, a woman filled with passion and conviction, and the pain he sees in her eyes is a mirror to his own soul. But when he realizes she has the same strange, telekinetic phenomenon inside her body that he does, he is forced to question his life, his childhood and the father who raised him. Can these two lost souls uncover the mystery behind their powers and save Skye’s son and themselves in the process?

Preorders are available at KOBO.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pantsing My Way

When other writers ask, and they usually do, my preferred method of writing, I always answer I'm a pantser.

A panster are those folks who write stories by the seat of their pants.

Ahh, how many rewrites do you have on a manuscript?

Just one—where I have to fix punctuation, add emphasis and just plain explain something so everyone else but me understands. My edits at the publisher are copy edits. I've never NEVER had to rewrite scene or a novel. EVER.

Of course, part of that is my publishing houses and their editors. Another part is my process of pantsing. Yep, writing by the seat of the pants starts with a process.

I vaguely knew what I did, such as end, a few great twists, and my characters, the theme (which makes me break out in hives just consciously thinking about the word) is there too. None of it is written down, expect those character traits like eye, hair and height. You know the stuff that seems to magically change when you're not paying attention.

I like my process. It works well for me, but I also have this thing about learning. I love to learn new things and I want to be the best writer I can be.

So I signed up for an all day workshop put on by my local writing chapter. I really, really, really, REALLY didn't want to go. I was in the middle of a book sprinting toward the finish line and didn't want my process screwed up by something that sounded intriguing but needed time lots of time to be incorporated into my process.

The workshop start and the speaker started asking questions that had me staring at the exit and trying to figure out how to escape. A headache was brewing and it promised to be a humdinger.

As I worked on the pressure points in my hand to relieve the throbbing in my head, I contemplated excuses for running out as well as how to pass the time until I could escape.

Then he began to explain a process that screenwriters and nearly all successful modern books adhere to. He was describing my process.

My pantsing process.

To hear it laid out with the over abundance of analogies and liberally sprinkled with anti-pantsing propaganda was amazing to me.  Once I understand his language, I could answer every question about my current WIP without  hesitation and see the ripples through my manuscripts. But they were raw and now I had a stone to sharpen them.

The speakers was Larry Brooks. After I got home from the workshop, I returned home and ordered his books—Story Engineering and Story Physics. I read them after I finished my last manuscript and will use the 7/9 points to bracket out my current book and see if my daily writing page count goes up since I'm consciously thinking of everything that I used to take for granted was in place.

I look forward to the adventure, I need someone to tell me an easy way to get the write.

I would definitely recommend both books, but with this caveat. The Romance genre has significant plot points that are not covered in either book. That in no way invalidates the process, it just means Romance specific workshops must be attended by those targeting the genre.

Happy writing

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Twelve Essential Questions That Turn New Ideas Into Finished Novels

Connie Flynn and Bootcamp for Novelists 
are back with a Face-to-Face Bootcamp

On the Spot Feedback         
Student Interaction         
Door Prizes — books, writing tools, $25 VISA card         

WHAT: Twelve Essential Questions That Turn New Ideas Into Finished Novels. An all-day fiction writer's workshop that begins with your idea and guides you through your story to the end using a series of questions that when fully answered provide the basic structure on which to write your novel. This Bootcamp is as totally suitable for the first-time never-finished-a-book writer as it is for the multi-published novelist.

WHEN: July 27, 2013

TIME: 10:00am - 6:00pm

WHO: Taught by multi-published author and Bootcamp founder, Connie Flynn

FOR: Anyone who wants to write a novel, from first timers to writers who are working on their tenth or eleventh or hundredth book.

WHERE: Vision Quest Bookstore 2225 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257 Cross streets: Scottsdale Road and Oak (SE side)

WHY: You've always wanted to write a novel and don't know where to start. You have a blockbuster idea that you can't quite pull together. You've written several books that you haven't been able to sell. Connie Flynn can help. Whether you've never written a word or are a multi-published author working on your kajillionth novel, this workshop will fill the bill because the material and exercises are tailored to apply to the individual writer's needs. They focus on YOUR story content, YOUR story flow, and as YOU answer each question you'll find the the unique circumstances of the novel YOU want to write.


  • By June 22 — $76
  • After June 23 — $85
  • After July 20 & at the Door — $95 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Stake Your Claim re-released

Kim Watters here. I'm proud to announce that Amazon has re-released my former Avalon book Stake Your Claim. I love the new cover. How about you?

Eden Delgado holds Charles Kipling personally responsible for her father's death in a mining accident twenty years ago. There's no way she'll allow his smooth-talking, good-looking grandson, Jake, to resume operations.

Jake Kipling has his own agenda and wants to restore the family mining tradition in Arizona. As a Kipling, he wants to prove he can provide jobs and services as his ancestors once had. As a man, he wants to connect with his past and discover the life of a father he never knew. His father was also one of the men killed.

Eden, this passionate, loyal woman--a woman, who weaves her way into his heart and his soul--fascinates Jake. But when it comes to love, can Jake walk away from his obligations and his heritage? Can Eden, who is attracted to his strength and protectiveness, betray the cherished memories of her father by falling for him?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Once Again Fate Interferes with Ahab's Well-Laid Plan
I noticed a week back that the MCTT theme this month seems to have gravitated toward writing about books. As I was thinking about what to write I came across this wonderful cartoon lampooning Moby Dick. This book is a classic, as if I have to say. Written a century and a half ago, the language is as smooth and easy to follow as a modern book.

Somehow, in all my education I managed to avoid reading Moby Dick although I did pick up a copy once and got hung up on the first famous line — Call me Ishmael. Really, I had a neighbor with that name once (not). I just had no interest in reading a story about a stupid man who wanted to kill a whale. Never mind that less than ten years later I was enthralled by a movie called Jaws, which was a rip off of Moby Dick if I ever saw it. Except I didn't know it was a rip off because I'd never read the book.

It wasn't my intention to download a copy when I decided on this blog, but that's what I ended up doing. And then to confirm the utter righteousness of my lifelong impression, I read the first several pages. Well, I haven't read any further than that yet but my new impression is quite different than the one I got as a teenager.

Ishmael has a strong compelling voice, much stronger than the characters of many top bestselling authors of today.   And, oh heck, shucks, mercy me, I'm going to read it through, even though I already know I'll be reading thousands of words of prose describing places and object that don't interest me. But how can I turn away from a story about a man with a self-destructive obsession that eventually kills him. It's the stuff powerful stories are made of.

You may have noticed that I have Sue Grafton's cover in this blog and may be wondering what she has to do with Moby Dick. Well, she has an obsession, too. Hers is  an absolute refusal to allow herself to be pushed around. It's self-destructive and causes her to be combative when she should be strategic and often puts her life in danger.

But why, you may still be asking, is she here with Herman Melville?

Because her books are classics. We already know Moby Dick is a classic. But T is for Trespass? But it is, the whole series is, just like Moby Dick, because they're classic examples of the best of their century. Melville the nineteenth and Grafton the twentieth century. And their books will remain around a long time, that's what classics do.

It's been a long time since I've read Sue Grafton. It has nothing to do with her books, it's more of a 'so many books, so little time' thing. Because of the years between reads it was almost like I was reading her fresh. What I noticed right off was the smooth voice that let the story roll like honey. Melville has the same.

What I noticed next was how slow her story was. Me, I like my stories quick and to the point. Crisp writing, crisp movements. Grafton doesn't have that. She meanders through Kinsey Millhone and her friend's life and neighborhood at a leisurely pace that should have driven me wild. It didn't and I was aware it should, so I asked myself why.

I came up with an answer. It was Grafton's (actually Kinsey's) voice. It pulled me on because each sentence was skillfully attached to the next. This was also true of the excerpt I read from Moby Dick, and both books are in first person with a quirky narrator. So voice it had to be. But then I realized that, while engaging, voice wasn't enough to pull me the impatient reader through the sections of heavy description or introspection.

What pulled me along was the author's use of cause and effect. That is, this happens and it causes a reaction which then creates an effect that causes another reaction and so forth. Cause and effect are the powerhouses of the fictional throughline.

These books had strong cause and effect with no breaks in the story thread or the connection to the character's greatest concerns. Is it possible that meticulous management of cause and effect is what creates classics?

I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that from now on I'll have this question somewhere in my mind every time I read a book. Plus, I still have to read the rest of Moby Dick and who knows if somewhere in there I might change my mind.

So how about you? What do you think keeps you reading a book that you've already judged as flawed? If an answer comes to mind as you're reading this blog, please leave a comment so we can expand the conversation. We may in the long run answer that age old fiction writer's question: What creates a page turner?

Learn More About It
A Scottish paradise lost in time is invaded by 21st century thugs. It was a robbery gone terribly wrong, ending in Luke Slade and his wounded cousin being swept through a window in time, with  killers chasing in behind them, trapping them all in 1672.

Caryn McLaughlin rules Lochlorraine and when Luke appears she knows her worries will soon be over. He is Luke the Dragon Slayer, none other, and his duty is clear. Her duty is to convince him.

Connie Flynn, bestselling, award-winning author of ten published novels and three published short stories covering fantasy, mystery and romance also writes mysteries as K.C. Flynn and teaches fiction writing at Mesa Community College  Look for several new releases from Connie/K.C. in 2013.

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