Sunday, September 29, 2013

Time to Change Our Way of Thinking







My husband and I recently watched the 3-D version of The Wizard of Oz. I'm not a huge fan of 3-D because it bothers my eyes and head after awhile, but this version was subtle. I enjoyed the movie because I noticed details I never paid attention to in the original version. I found myself studying fabrics and objects on tables.3-D brought the images closer for me to inspect.

3-D is altering our moving going experience, just as ebooks are changing our reading experience. There is a lot to be said about holding a book, but then I don't keep books that aren't signed when I'm finished. I also don't need three bookcases. One bookcase of signed books and reference material is enough. I'm currently down to two bookcases. I also enjoy traveling with a collection of books on my Kindle. I'm not saying 3-D will replace all movies, but I am saying technology is getting better and we should embrace the change. It will be interesting to see what our world will look like twenty years from now.

There is positive and negative aspects to both traditional publishing and ebooks, but ebooks are here to stay. My husband sometimes speaks about Kodak and how they should have embraced digital technology and who would have ever thought the Ma Bell monopoly (or near monopoly) would be replaced by many cell phone companies? Writers would be smart to sell their books in as many formats as possible: traditional, epubs, independent... Like they say, "Don't put all of your eggs in one basket."


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


Friday, September 27, 2013

Author Spotlight on Kim Watters

A Season of Love
Kim Watters
Harlequin's Love Inspired. 
ISBN-13 978-0-373-87845-1



The Soldier’s Gift

Just in time for Christmas, a tall, dark and handsome Scrooge visits Holly Stanwyck’s holiday shop, threatening eviction. But once landlord Ethan Pellegrino sees the single mom’s plight, the former soldier becomes her protector instead. Suddenly he’s helping her with her struggling business and bounding with her troubled son. A wounded veteran come home to heal, Ethan is no stranger to sorrow. But something about the pretty widow fills him with hope. Will Holly be able to let go of her own painful past to see her future by his side? 


Excerpt: 

Ethan momentarily lost himself in Holly’s presence. Her swept back locks exposed her long, elegant neck and straight, slightly upturned nose. But it was her vulnerability that got to him.
Despite her attempts to keep it all together, he sensed just below the surface she suffered and struggled with her son, the shop, everyday life.
He should step away. Instead, when she turned her head toward him, he found himself staring into her deep green eyes that had seen so much pain. A pain he could identify with. He’d lost his father at a young age, and several of his friends in Afghanistan. But even that couldn’t compare to losing one’s partner, one’s soul mate.
He had no experience with that sort of loss, yet he felt the need to comfort. Protect. He wanted to draw Holly into his arms and absorb her pain and blend it with his own. 

Buy:  http://www.amazon.com/Season-Love-Inspired/dp/0373878451/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379887036&sr=1-1&keywords=a+season+of+love+kim+watters
 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Can you guess what these photos all have in common? By Kathryne Kennedy

Well, unless you've read my Casablanca Group blog post from a few weeks ago, I think you might have a hard time believing what these photos have in common. I took them at the Phoenix Art Museum, hoping to have some royalty-free pictures to use for marketing (you are welcome to copy these and use them as well).
















Got it? Well, I was surprised myself when I saw the photos and realized you couldn't tell they were all...miniatures. That's right. Even the chandelier and painting...both are about the size of my thumb. The Phoenix Art Museum has a miniatures exhibit, where each room is a replica of what you would see in that particular era/country. The pictures above are all around the 1800's, a few are French, but most are American/English (whose drawing rooms did not display a whole lot of difference, since Americans tried very hard to copy the English.) Since every item in the rooms are accurate to the Victorian era, you're welcome to use these to decorate your blog or whatever (I'm thinking I may use a few for my next video.)
Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did!
My Magical Best,
Kathryne

Sunday, September 22, 2013

New Reviewer in Town




As many writers know, we rely on reviews to achieve better numbers on sites like Amazon. Some sites are wonderful and some are not. Some reviewers are not biased against self-pubbed authors and some are not. Many epresses have a list of sites they send your book to for reviews and don't want you do so as well. You don't always know which ones they have sent to from their long list.

Well, there is a new reviewer in town who is doing an amazing job. Check out her recent reviews and if you like what you see, send her your romance. thepageprincess.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Adding Props to your Story to Convey Mood

I was working on a post for another site and our theme for the week was 'moon'. I did a quick search and found an excerpt where the moonlight played a role in conveying the scene. As an author, I didn't realize how much I've added props to my scenes to convey a certain mood. Moonlight can portray a specific emotion to the reader, be it loneliness, terror or romance. Add the night and a dark house, and I hope I conveyed the mood in the following excerpt from Shrouded in Darkness.

Moonlight pierced through the one window across from the desk, illuminating the tables, equipment and enough of the laboratory floor for him to cross the room without banging a foot or shin. At the window, he rested a hand against its edge as he peered outside. The night greeted him, the only time he felt comfortable since the explosion. He welcomed the shadows, which clung to the pines and rolling snow, camouflaging the mice, owls, and other small creatures he knew were out there.
A storm was due in tonight, but he didn’t see any signs. Stars winked from above, and a stillness, a hushed sense of expectation washed over the night, or it could be his own imagination, his own hopes that he might find the key to unlocking the formula.  
He glanced up at Margot’s house. It sat on the hill, darker, thicker than the other shadows. Even though the sun had long since dipped behind the barren trees, the windows were absent of light. She was up there, though. Somewhere.
But what was she doing? Working? Drinking? Or staring off into some nameless space. He’d caught her doing that a number of times, thinking of God knew what as the house darkened around her. Was she remembering what had happened between them last night? She must have felt the same passion, the same hunger that still burned through his body. God, she’d been so soft and supple in his arms. The scent of her had driven him insane.
He’d been on her like a rutting dog and so damned close to going up those stairs after her. And he still wanted to, wanted to walk out of here and up the snow covered hill to her house. He wanted her hot, whimpering for him.
He placed his brow against the glass. The chilled pane soothed his burning skin. From past experience, he knew he had a temperature. Even though mild, dangerous nonetheless.
Disgusted with his lack of self-control, he pushed away from the window. He had no time for sex. If he wanted to live long enough to have a good time in bed, he needed to get back to the computer and work. The answer had to be somewhere. He knew John had safeguarded a copy of the formula for him, but the question was where. It wasn’t anywhere on John’s computer or in the lab. Jake had made a thorough sweep, while he’d also searched every room in Margot’s house. As for the idea of it being destroyed in the car crash with John—Jake didn’t even want to think about it.
Sinking down in his chair, he focused on the numbers and equations in front of him. Concentration and determination were critical to unraveling Miracell. He’d get his answer or die trying. He laughed bitterly. That last thought came too damn close to the truth.
As he reached for another breath mint, a frigid breeze brushed against his skin. He stilled, his hand suspended in mid-air. The heater was on. He’d made sure, keeping the room regulated for the experiments he had to conduct. Shivering, he pushed away from the desk with a foot. The chair rolled and swiveled over the hard, linoleum floor as he turned.
A man in a bulky, down jacket stood in front of the laboratory’s closed door. Malcolm. He’d slipped inside without Jake realizing.
“Hello, Jake.”
The air locked in Jake’s lungs for one, two...three seconds. Then he expelled it into one harsh sigh. He sat unmoving, as frozen and brittle as the trees outside.

Malcolm stepped further into the lab, and a beam of moonlight glittered off a gun. “Shocked? You shouldn’t be. You knew I’d catch up to you.” 
AmazonBarnes & NobleKOBO

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chasing Dreams, Autobots and I-Deers


From a cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona, I'm trying to wrangle my muse into writing my latest and greatest idea for a book. But she has other interests, like autobots and chasing deer. The chatter around me is interesting and wildly distracting.

"Oh wait! There's a deer in the yard!" See how easily I can be distracted? Well, how often do you see a deer in the backyard?

I jump up to get some bread. But of course, the poor frightened deer has fled by the time I return. I have this crazy urge to hand-feed wild deer like my friend in Montana whose home backs up to a forest. There is a small group (herd?) of deer that trust her and rest frequently in the woods within sight. They have even taken food from her hand. It's a beautiful thing to watch wild creatures reaching across the invisible barrier of distrust. My friend says the trick is to remain still; be quiet; let the deer come to you.

I realize it's like nursing an idea for a book or doing something entirely new and different that you want to do. There's the risk, the doubt, then maybe, the moment of trust and reaching out.

People say to me, "I have this great idea for a book…" Unfortunately, an idea isn't a book, story, plot, or characters that interact. An idea takes time and needs to be nurtured and developed, like earning a wild deer's trust. You must shut out the chatter and distractions, get quiet, and let the idea come to you. Let it develop and mature. Visualize your dream for this idea. Maybe it's not a book but a painting, a creation, something to build or generate, or perhaps teaching a special class – anything new and different that  you want to create and do.

My Yoga teacher begins and ends every practice with a meditation, a silent time to shut out the chatter and think, "What is my intention today?" Try it. Think positively about your dream. Call it to you. Wait for it to come to you.

In EMBRACEABLE YOU, Claire is a minor character. I wanted her to be skeptical of my protagonist, Siena, to reflect her own self-doubts. But Claire liked Siena and considered her misguided, but clever. I thought, "Who is this Claire with a mind of her own?" I hushed the chatter of the story and visualized Claire, a girl in Ireland in the 1960's. Her father arranges a marriage against her free will and… what happens next? And just like that, CLAIRE'S EMBRACE was born, full of love and conflict and dreams and magical lace. All I had to do was write it.

So if you have an idea, get quiet, hush the chatter, and let your muse do his or her work. Mine is currently feeding an i-deer… while I'm chasing autobots away. "What are autobots?" you ask. They're just about the biggest, noisiest things around. Find out about them on the web. Then, turn them all off along with the chatter from the TV, movies, social media, even family. What happens is almost magical.

Have you ever visualized an idea and found it fun and easy to develop? Visualize me next time, here on 3rd Tuesday from the Sun. Meantime, I have this idea, set in France… about a woman who… oops, the story is still in the quiet, creative stage. Come along and follow my journey on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marytateengels


Au Revoir for now,
 Mary Tate

Friday, September 13, 2013

Spotlighting: Debut Romance Author Jennifer Hayward

Presented by
Connie Flynn
  
It is my pleasure to introduce my friend and former student to readers as she launches her debut novel.  Her story theme is gutsy and compelling and I think you'll discover an amazing writer with stories very much worth reading. Like me, I suspect you'll become a fan. Read on to discover what she has to say about THE DIVORCE PARTY.

JENNIFER HAYWARD has been a fan of romance and adventure since filching her sister’s Harlequin Presents novels to escape her teenaged angst. She penned her first romance at nineteen. When it was rejected, she bristled at her mother’s suggestion that she needed more life experience. She went on to complete a journalism degree and intern as a sports broadcaster before settling into a career in public relations. Years of working alongside powerful, charismatic CEOs and traveling the world provided perfect fodder for the arrogant alpha males she loves to write, and free research on the some of the world’s most glamorous locales.

A suitable amount of life experience under her belt, she sat down and conjured up the sexiest, most delicious Italian wine magnate she could imagine, had him make his biggest mistake and gave him a wife on the run. That story, The Divorce Party, won her Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest and a book contract. The second installement in the De Campo brothers triology, An Exquisite Challenge, will be published with Harlequin Presents in Feb 2014.

Keeping within the 'what question' theme MCTT asked Jennifer what question she'd never been asked, but wished someone would? Her answer?

What was the inspiration behind The Divorce Party?

The Divorce Party was inspired by the real-life story of a Manhattan billionaire who threw a million-dollar divorce party to celebrate the end of his three-year marriage. The embossed invitations, the civilized approach to the end of a union fascinated me. Why would anyone want to detonate a marriage in front of family and friends?

I started to think, perhaps my hero didn’t actually want a divorce. Perhaps it was the only way he could get his wife in the same room with him. But why?

I have always been fascinated by the subject of infidelity. Marriages are a complex beast. Two people can love each other beyond reason but still become strangers in the same house because of who they are, the baggage they carry, the pressures of their daily lives. They can do things they never thought themselves capable of.

Thus my hero, Riccardo De Campo, came to be. We, as the reader, didn’t just think he stepped across the line, he did step across the line. The Divorce Party is the story after the love story. About what happens when the truth behind the headlines comes out.

I truly believe you can never fully understand what someone else has gone through until you walk a day in their shoes. By the end of the book I wanted the reader to know what is was to stand in Riccardo’s shoes. In Lilly’s. And I hope, in the end, they do.

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I loved writing it!

The American Cover - Click Here to Buy
The UK Cover
The Divorce Party
"You threw your fifty-thousand-dollar engagement ring off the Brooklyn Bridge?" 

Lilly shows up to her lavish divorce party with one goal in mind—to leave as quickly as possible minus a husband! Except he has other plans…and Riccardo De Campo isn't easy to say "no" to. 

Forced back into Riccardo's glittering, gossip-fueled world, the price of perfection is still too high and Lilly's old insecurities resurface. An unexpected consequence of their reunion raises the stakes even higher, and the media's golden couple must finally confront the truth behind the headlines.





Contact Jennifer
 
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferhaywardromance
Find Jennifer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jenhayward_

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Music to Write By

I've started a new book recently and everytime I start a new book, I need music to write by.

This time I'm writing an historical set during the Great War. While I bought some vintage music,my last   shopping spree  saw me purchase 3 albums-one by Irving Berlin, one by George Gershwin, and the last by Cole Porter.

My friend says they're jazz albums. I thought they were show tunes. I love show tunes, an entire story in a few stanzas.

The best part was that when I bought them from amazon they allowed me to download the albums as soon as they shipped. No waiting!

So now I can write, I just need to find the time.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Season of Love-October 2013



Kim Watters here.  I can only think of a few things for an author that are better than getting your author copies in the mail. No, make that one. I think getting "The Call" tops the list, but after that, it would be the box filled with copies of your baby to cradle and hold and cherish. Then of course the next best thing is seeing your book on the shelf. Hmmm...... Maybe that is better.......I may have to rethink this. What do you other authors think? What about you readers?

The Soldier’s Gift

Just in time for Christmas, a tall, dark and handsome Scrooge visits Holly Stanwyck’s holiday shop, threatening eviction. But once landlord Ethan Pellegrino sees the single mom’s plight, the former soldier becomes her protector instead. Suddenly he’s helping her with her struggling business and bounding with her troubled son. A wounded veteran come home to heal, Ethan is no stranger to sorrow. But something about the pretty widow fills him with hope. Will Holly be able to let go of her own painful past to see her future by his side?

Excerpt:
Ethan momentarily lost himself in Holly’s presence. Her swept back locks exposed her long, elegant neck and straight, slightly upturned nose. But it was her vulnerability that got to him.
Despite her attempts to keep it all together, he sensed just below the surface she suffered and struggled with her son, the shop, everyday life. 

He should step away. Instead, when she turned her head toward him, he found himself staring into her deep green eyes that had seen so much pain. A pain he could identify with. He’d lost his father at a young age, and several of his friends in Afghanistan. But even that couldn’t compare to losing one’s partner, one’s soul mate. 

He had no experience with that sort of loss, yet he felt the need to comfort. Protect. He wanted to draw Holly into his arms and absorb her pain and blend it with his own.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Life Is Stranger Than Fiction



You would think that anything that happened in real life could be written about and accepted by a New York publisher in a fiction novel. There are so many strange news reports that you would think the field of fiction would be wider, but it isn't the case.

For example, my family has recently suffered one blow after another. Last April may Uncle John died of cancer. He wasn't even 60 years old yet. The next month my cousin's grandson was born and immediately taken to Phoenix Children's Hospital. His fight for life was featured on several news channels in Phoenix. Trenton has had two heart surgeries and twenty-nine blood transfusions to top the list of treatments. A week ago last Sunday, I gave blood at one of the blood drives sponsored in his name. The next day, my cousin Jeff Randall, died in a small plane crash while working for First Solar. There were a couple of articles written about that tragedy. Five days later, my grandmother, Paula, pictured above, passed away. We held her memorial yesterday,

All of this happened within a five month period. If I created a heroine and she had to face these tragedies, an editor would probably tell me it felt contrived. As writers, we are supposed to create tragic circumstances for our characters to face and endure; but keep in mind, reality is stranger than fiction. If your gut tells you your heroine is facing too many, your editor might think so too. On the other hand, we can do anything we like to our characters if we ;publish the book ourselves. In self-publishing fiction can always be stranger than reality.

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

Friday, September 6, 2013

Author Spotlight: Candice Stauffer, by Caris Roane

Hi, Everyone!
Today, I'm spotlighting fellow Indie Romance Convention Author, Candice Stauffer!  We're both attending the convention in early October and look forward to seeing some of our wonderful fans there.  For more information:  INDIE ROMANCE CONVENTION!!!

 


AND NOW, MEET CANDICE!

I live in Zeeland, Michigan where half of the year is winter and the other, much shorter half, is summer. Yippy summer! It’s a wonderful place to live as long as you own a four wheel drive vehicle and you happen to get a kick out of measuring the snow fall in feet rather than inches.

I write paranormal romance because I love to explore and manipulate the limitless possibilities of the genre. To be completely honest, I’m also very fond of taking a totally hot, powerful immortal hero and using a strong, confident, beautiful heroine to turn his world upside down and make him fight like hell for a victory that seems impossible to achieve. Some might call it torture. I call it entertainment and character building. Regardless, it’s great fun!  read more...

LATEST RELEASE:  EXQUISITE BREATH OF DARKNESS

Being a nearly invincible immortal warrior, Joseph Payne had never paid attention to time, but now time consumes his every thought because he is running out of it.

Fate is about to rip Mia Harte, the only woman he will ever love, out of his arms because she belongs to Eli Thomas, the relentless alpha male of one of the strongest lycan packs in the Pacific Northwest.
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Excerpt from EXQUISITE BREATH OF DARKNESS...
...She rushed him and, with a burst of lycan strength, took him down onto the floor.
For a few seconds, she sat motionless, her gaze not once wavering from his. He’d never even imagined a more exquisite woman. From the moment he’d first taken her hand at the cemetery six months ago, she’d become as essential to him as the air he breathed. For many years he thought he would never find a love as strong and as pure as her love. Now, he couldn’t fathom a life without her. He never wanted to try.

Too afraid to move, to touch her, to do anything that might stop her, he kept his fists clenched as his sides. He watched. He waited. He hoped for more. The sight of her on top of him, looking down at him with so much love and lust in her eyes, stole his breath away. It was his perfect fantasy made reality. He’d never experienced anything nearly as glorious until she reached down to touch him.

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at author Candice Stauffer and if you can join us at the Indie Romance Convention, we'll see you there!!!  more info...

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000030_00040] Caris Roane is the author of thirteen paranormal novels.  Writing as Valerie King, she has published fifty novels and novellas in Regency Romance.  She has also launched her first contemporary romance, A SEDUCTIVE PROPOSITION.  Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, really doesn’t like scorpions, and has two cats, Gizzy and Sebastien.


Now Available:  EMBRACE THE MAGIC
 
5 Amazon Buy Now At Amazon6 Barnes & Noble Buy Now



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