Thursday, December 30, 2010 | By: Taffy

Human Blend by Lori Pescatore GIVEAWAY

Marion, Virginia seemed like a nice place to live a normal life, but she is not a normal girl. Laney has special abilities that keep her looking over her shoulder as she makes her escape from the men who had kidnapped her. A young doctor's interest is piqued when he witnesses her mysteriously curing a young child's illness. He befriends her due to his growing fascination with uncovering the true nature of her abilities, but not without harboring secrets of his own. Laney's budding relationship with a local boy puts both of them in danger when the men she was hiding from find her. All of their lives will change forever as ancient secrets become unearthed.

Laney is used and abused from the time she was little. She runs away but is caught and pays for her escapes. The people who help her also pay, usually by dying.
This time she escapes she is careful, gets a new identity and moves to a small town, hoping for a 'normal' life.
Right away, normal seems to be what she gets: she becomes a volunteer at the hospital using her special healing powers, gets an apartment and a boyfriend. There is also doctor who isn't what he seems to be; he is also attracted to Laney.
But trouble has a way of rearing its ugly head...
This is the first book in a trilogy.


I'm not sure how to review this book. I don't usually read/review adult romance. Some of the scenes made me uncomfortable but they weren't graphic, just very suggestive.
I enjoyed the storyline and wanted to keep reading to find out what happened to the three main characters.  I must confess I shut the book several times and vowed not to continue reading only to open it again because I wanted to know the ending.
Why did I shut the book you ask? One reason: Lori really needed an editor/proofreader/critique group. There were many grammar and editing errors that took me out of the story.
Self-publishing is hard and I applaud Lori for getting her book written and published. Authors need to believe in their work and Lori does.
The characters were interesting. They had unique abilities that were uplifting but sometimes used for bad things. I enjoyed reading how they worked through their trials.
I would recommend this book as an adult romance. 


 *GIVEAWAY*
Would you like to win this book? Just leave a comment and your email address and your entered!
GOOD LUCK!

Rating: PG 17
L: Swear words sprinkled throughout
V: Young girl beat up; people killed; nothing bloody or gory but sad
S: Yes but not graphic

Page 69 test:

"...that he does, she is unable to resist telling him what he wants to know.
"Ready to do this?" he asked her.
"Yes," she replied. "I'm going to go change first," she said.
"Meet me in my office," he said, and started off down the hall.
After changing, Julie made a quick call to the laundromat. she couldn't remember if she had made plans with Austin or not. "Hey, how's that washer coming?" she asked when she recognized his voice.
"Hey, Jules. It's all fixed actually. I picked up the part it needed after school, and she is up and running. Are you done work?" he asked.
"Yes and no. I am gonna hang out here. there is a little girl that is undergoing a procedure, and I kinda want to be here when she comes through it," she explained.
"Want me to come wait with you?" Austin asked.
"No, that's okay. I'm not sure how late it will run. Oh hey, I got some good news. I found an ad for an apartment, like one block from the hospital. I have an appointment to see it tomorrow morning," she said, changing the subject.
That's great, Jules," Austin said, sounding genuinely happy. "Maybe tomorrow night will have something to celebrate," he said.
"I'd like that," Julie said.
"Me too," Austin replied.
"Have a good night, then," Julie wished him.
"Sweet dreams," he said. Julie hung up and made her way to the doctor's office.
"All set?" Eli asked, when she entered.
"Ready when you are," she replied. Julie and Eli walked down to the room next door. it was a small, private, patient's room. Michele was there, still curled into her fetal position. The quiet, steady beeping of machines was the only sound.
"Before you begin," Eli said. "I want you to describe what you feel when you touch her," he said. Julie nodded and walked over to the child's sleeping form. She reached under the covers and..."
Monday, December 27, 2010 | By: Taffy

Goals, Resolutions and No Soda For A Year?

What are your goals for 2011?
Have you made any? Or thought about them yet?

I had a friend in high school who made one GINORMOUS New Year's Resolution every year. Sometimes I did it with her (we went without gum for the year) and sometimes I looked at her like she was insane (no sugar for a year??). One time we vowed to go without soda for the year; I was successful! Okay. I hate soda so it wasn't so hard to do. 
But that made me think.
Why can't we work on easy goals too?
For instance:
  • I will make my bed everyday (except Sunday because I will, at some point, crawl back into it for a nap).
  • I will eat at least one salad a week :)
  • I will finish AND send out my query letter. Wait. That one is really hard...
You understand what I mean, right?
Make a few easy goals that you can accomplish. It will empower you to move to the next goal.
Make the next one a little harder. And harder. And harder.
A funny thing will happen. Your goals won't be as hard as you thought.

What is an easy goal you can check off your list right now?

And now a little off the subject:
What do you want to learn this next year?
What would you like to see on this blog?
Has anything been helpful to you in the past?
What can I do for you?
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | By: Taffy

Reading Gifts

Give yourself a gift today.
Read a good article.
Sit for thirty minutes and read a book.
Snuggle with your child and listen to him read to you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010 | By: Taffy

A Gift To You

A gift.
For real.
Reality.
Really you.
Authenticity.
You are real, authentic.
You can live with failure because you are strong. And failing makes you stronger.
You can see beauty, even when it's not evident.
You feel the truth. Sometimes the truth sets you free. Sometimes it make you unpopular.
You can be alone with yourself and like the company you keep.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | By: Taffy

Another Gift To My Followers

Success!You are amazing.
You can reach your goals.
You can realize your dreams.
*HUGS*

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | By: Taffy

Book Lover Christmas Gift

Don't know what to get the book lover/reader for Christmas?
Never fear! I'm here.
I found the perfect gift.

A Page Book Wreath. 


Living With Lindsay has instructions and a video on how to turn a trashy paperback into a lovely wreath.
Monday, December 13, 2010 | By: Taffy

Inexpensive Neighbor Christmas Gifts

We are always looking for creative and inexpensive gift ideas for our neighbors and friends. We found clever sayings on everyday items a fun way to spread holiday cheer.
Many of the gifts we bought the day after Christmas for even more savings.

Stuck on what to get your friends and/or neighbors? Here's a few ideas:

  • "Here's to a REaDing Christmas!"-Give a Christmas book or bookmarks.
  • "Hope your holidays are wrap up in love!"- Give a throw or roll of wrapping paper.
  • "May your holidays sparkle!"-Give a box of tinsel.
  • "May the light of Christmas shine on you!"-Give a box of lights.
  • "We Whisk you a Merry Kissmas!"-Give a whisk with a bag of kisses
  • "Our friends are our angels"-Give a tree topper angel or a small one for a nativity
  • "Remember the Reason for the Season"-Give a baby Jesus or a nativity.
  • "Merry Kissmas"-Give mistletoe.
  • "A baby changes everything"-Give baby Jesus or something for a new baby.
  • "Hope your holidays are hot"-Give homemade Salsa and chips
  • "Wrap up your holidays in love" - Give wrapping paper

What ideas do you have to share? What fun gifts have you received?

    Book Academy Conference-Lisa Magnum

    Query Letters

    Query Letter-First letter sent is one page-an intro to your book and self
    Cover Letter-Sent with requested manuscript & reminder of you and your book
    Summary Letter-Two pages of outline of whole book.

    Query is a professional, business letter of three paragraphs.
    1st paragraph is the hook. When the character encounters difficulty, chaos ensues
    2nd paragraph is the mini summary
    3rd paragraph is who you are
    Sunday, December 12, 2010 | By: Taffy

    My Gift To You, Dear Followers

    I give you peace.
    Writers can use a little time off to refocus, recenter themselves.
    Sometimes I need nothing more than beautiful music and photos.
    I give you seven minutes of beauty.
    If you don't have time to look at the pictures, turn up your speakers and listen to the soothing music.
    Enjoy!

    Friday, December 10, 2010 | By: Taffy

    Perilous by Tamara Heiner Blog Tour AND Giveaways!

    First of all: The goods!
    Someone will win Tamara's book.
    And another person will get to win a KINDLE!

    Book giveaway: The winner of this contest will be randomly chosen. Every
    person who comments on any post during the blog tour will be entered into
    a random drawing for a book.
    The
    contest begins on Nov. 16 and ends on Dec. 15.

    Kindle giveaway: This contest is point-based and begins Oct. 15 and ends
    Dec. 15. Whoever has the most points wins the Kindle. There will only be
    one Kindle given away. Here are the points:

    1 point: blog comment (can comment on all the blogs, multiple times, on
    the tour)
    1 point: follow Tamara's blog (http://tamarahartheiner.blogspot.com)
    1 point: retweet
    2 points: blog about the blog tour
    5 points: purchase the book (ebook or paperback, must email Tamara the
    confirmation email).
    Add up all their points as well as their proof (links, etc).
    People can earn an infinite number of points!

    Here is the ebook link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0045JLQCI

    Here are the book links:
    http://www.amazon.com/Perilous-Tamara-Hart-Heiner/dp/0979607086,
    http://tamarahartheiner.com/books.html
     


    What a ride! This book had me in knots from beginning to end! What was going to happen to the girls? Would they get rescued before someone died? What about the bad guys?
    The settings were good and easy to "see" as the story went along.
    The characters were good, bad and ugly. Tamara's descriptions were excellent.
    The only part of this story I don't like isn't a big deal except to me: it's a trilogy! Which means I won't know what happens until the next two books come out! Argh! I've made a promise not to read trilogies until all three books are published. Just sayin'.
    I would've still done this review though.


    Perilous by Tamara Hart Heiner
    Perilous cover-V-01.jpgJaci Rivera has plans for her sophomore year: go to regionals with the track team, make the honor roll, and eat too much pizza with her best friends, Callie and Sara. Her biggest concern is Amanda, the pushy girl who moved in a few months ago.

    What she doesn't plan for is catching a robber red-handed, or being kidnapped. The desperate thief drags her
    and her friends 2,000 miles across the Canadian border. They escape from his lair, only to find that he has spies and agents watching their path home, waiting to intercept them and take them back.

    Then Jaci finds something out about her family. Something which irrevocably connects her to their kidnapper, and makes her question their chances of escape.

      

    Here's the trailer:



    And here’s the opening page to the book:

    Detective Carl Hamilton shielded his eyes against the blaring blue lights
    and flashed his badge at the police officer. The man moved aside. Hamilton
    stepped off the paved, two-lane highway just outside of Havre, Montana.
    Orange tape blocked off the crime scene, hidden by the darkness of early
    morning. He ducked under the tape and pushed his way into the dry
    shrubbery.

    A sergeant shone a flashlight on his face and asked, “Are you Detective
    Hamilton?”

    He gave a short nod.

    “I’m Shirley White.” Pressing her hand to her nose, she turned her
    attention back to the ground.

    The stench of rotting flesh was strong. “Ma’m. What have we found?”

    “It’s a girl. We think it’s one of the four you’ve been looking for.”

    Carl’s stomach knotted. “Cause of death?”

    “We’ll have to perform an autopsy, of course, but it appears to be a
    gunshot wound. Is it one of them?”

    “Where is she?”

    “Under the bushes.”

    He crouched down and moved the bushes aside, breathing through his mouth.
    This never got any easier. The branches parted to reveal a young girl,
    features distorted by death but still recognizable. The open eyes stared
    blankly up at him. He released the branches and stood up, giving a nod.
    “Yes. It’s one of them.”

    The case had just gone from a kidnapping to a homicide. And there were
    three girls still missing.

    ***

    Tamaraheiner_headshot.jpgAbout Tamara: Perilous is my first published novel, and I wrote it many years
    ago when I was bored in study hall. We’ve both come a long ways since
    then. I now spend my time running around my house chasing three kids and
    trying to sneak to the computer when they’re not looking. I have a
    wonderful, supportive husband who appreciates the fact that I enjoy
    cooking as much as I enjoy writing. Not that I have time for that, either.



    The rest of the blog tour roll:
    Oct. 15 David J. West
    Oct. 18 Nichole Giles
    Oct. 19 Talli Roland
    Oct. 20 Guinevere Rowell
    Oct. 21 Mary Gray
    Oct. 22 Frankie
    Oct. 25 Mary Greathouse
    Oct. 26 RaShelle Workman (interview)
    Oct. 27 T. Anne Adams
    Oct. 28 Valerie Ipson
    Oct. 29 Ann Best
    Nov. 1 Christy Dorrity
    Nov. 2 Chrstine Bryant
    Nov. 3 Rebecca Blevins
    Nov. 5 Annette Lyon
    Nov. 8 Jennifer Daiker
    Nov. 9 Carolina Valdez and Jaime Theler
    Nov. 10 Elizabeth Mueller
    Nov. 11 Christine Danek
    Nov. 12 Elle Strauss
    Nov. 15 Niki
    Nov. 16 Lynn Parsons
    Nov. 17 Danyelle Ferguson
    Nov. 18 Elana Johnson
    Nov. 19 Sarah McClung
    Nov. 22 Suzanne Hartmann
    Nov. 23 Marsha Ward
    Nov. 24 Tara McClendon
    Nov. 29 Courtney Barr
    Nov. 30 Tristi Pinkston
    Dec. 1 Cheri Chesley
    Dec. 2 Karen Gowen
    Dec. 3 Melanie Jacobson http://readandwritestuff.blogspot.com/
    Dec. 6 Kristie Ballard
    Dec. 7 Melissa Cunningham http://melissajcunningham.blogspot.com/
    Dec. 8 Arlee Bird http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/
    Dec. 9 Debbie Davis www.debbiesinkspectations.blogspot.com
    Dec. 10 Taffy Lovell http://taffyscandy.blogspot.com
    Dec. 13 Sheri Larsen http://writersally.blogspot.com
    Dec. 14 Joyce DiPastena http://jdp-news.blogspot.com/
    Dec.15 Diana Miezcan http://diana212m.blogspot.com/
    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 | By: Taffy

    Book Academy Conference-Brandon Mull


    Readers need to feel your characters.
    Bring your characters to life!


    Relationships
    Relationships matter. Friends, family, schoolmates, rivals, pets, all matter.
    Stories should be full of relationships.

    Trouble
    Change, problems, conflict, danger, murder, being lonely etc, are all trouble.
    Story is interesting because of the trouble characters get into. The action has to be earned.

    Decisions
    As characters face trouble they make decisions.

    Consequences
    The character meets trouble, makes decisions, then deals with consequences, which may lead to more trouble and/or decisions.

    Create characters we care about in relationships with trouble that intrigues us and decisions and consequences that satisfy us.
    Monday, December 6, 2010 | By: Taffy

    The League of Extraordinary Writers Giveaway!

    Have any of you been over to the League of Extraordinary Writers? Great authors with great advice!

    From their blog: "The League of Extraordinary Writers is a group of debut YA authors who write science fiction and dystopian works. The five of us have works that run the gamut of near-future mind control to far-future space travel, but they do have one thing in common: a future where the Earth we know now is twisted, gone."


    AND NOW! They are having an amazing giveaway. Click here and find out more.
    Friday, December 3, 2010 | By: Taffy

    Foto Friday Contest

    I was walking a few months ago and found this gem:


    Can you tell it's ski season here?? Where's the snow?

    What caption would you give this photo? Leave your ideas in the comments along w/ your email.
    I'll pick a winner on the 9th. If I chicken out and can't pick a winner for fear of virtual tomatoes and such, I'll draw the names from a hat.
    And I'll send a Christmas book to the winner!
    Monday, November 29, 2010 | By: Taffy

    Goals and Whatnot

    I set a few goals this month. I just knew I could accomplish all of them.
    Then I got sick and stayed in bed a few days. I didn't even want to read.
    But then I got better. So I got working on my goals again.
    Then I got sick again.
    Today I'm feeling the stress of not getting my goals done.
    Should I feel badly?
    I'm trying not to. I think I bit off more than I can handle. It's a lesson I need to learn.
    And really, my unfinished goals won't break me or hurt me or anything like that.
    It's all good.
    I need to get back to editing my WIP. That is a goal I plan on finishing this year!
    I have to admit I love the rush of finished my goals.

    How about you? How are you coming along with your goals? And how was your Thanksgiving?

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 | By: Taffy

    FINDING ROSE Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY!

    It's blog tour time for Whitney Nominee
    Finding Rose by Stephanie Humphreys
    .

    We're excited because we've got some fabulous reviewers on board,
    not to mention that we'll be giving away THREE copies!
    The tour runs from November 22-December 3.



    Want to win a copy of Finding Rose? It's easy. 
    Check out the fabulous reviews and leave a comment letting us know why you're excited to read Finding Rose
    Remember to include your email address. 
    If you tweet about the blog tour, or post about it on your blog or facebook, leave the link in the comments section and you'll receive an additional entry.

    November 22
    Tristi Pinkston--Tristi Pinkston

    November 23
    Alison Palmer--Tangled Words and
    Dreams


    November 24
    Taffy Lovell--Taffy's Writing

    November 29
    Jenn Wilks--Jenn Wilks
    Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen--The
    Write Blocks


    November 30
    Amanda Thomson--Maybe Mandi

    December 1
    Sheila Staley--Why Not?
    Because I Said So


    December 2
    Valerie Ipson--Valerie Ipson

    December 3
    Christine Bryant--Day
    Dreamer



    MY REVIEW!
    I don't know if I've ever read a book about this time in LDS history. The settings were done well and I understood what time period we were in.
    I like Rose. I just wish she would get over the chip on her shoulder about Miles. Stephanie has created good characters.
    A good, clean romance like FINDING ROSE would be a great Christmas gift!
    I love when a first time author gets published and has a good book! Go Stephanie!


    Will Rose honor her father's last wish?

    Rose stood and dropped her father's hand. "You're tired, Papa." She pulled
    the quilt over his thin shoulders and kissed him on the cheek. . . .

    "Think about what I said." He gently squeezed her hand. "I wish you would
    consider giving Miles a chance."

    "Miles! I wish Sean had never brought him here. He's so serious. In all the
    time he's been here, he's hardly ever smiled. . . . He annoys me and I wish
    he would go home." Still, Rose couldn't help but think of his gentleness
    when he cared for her father.

    On his deathbed, Rose Sterling's father asks her to consider Miles Crandall
    as a suitor. Then Rose is sent to live with an uncle in Spring Creek,
    Montana, far from her carefree life with her family in Utah. Miles is
    returning to his hometown of Spring Creek to set up a medical practice, so
    Rose is certain her being sent there is a setup. Yet Miles doesn¹t seem
    interested in her, and after Rose falls ill in Montana, he seems content to
    act as her physician and friend. When Rose captures the attention of Miles¹s
    younger, flamboyant brother as well as the town sheriff, Miles retreats even
    further from any attempt at courtship.

    How can Rose honor her father's last wish if Miles doesn't even try to court
    her? Will she have the courage to put her heart on the line and fight for
    the one she really loves?


    I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.  This did not influence my opinion of the book. 
    Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | By: Taffy

    BUMPY LANDINGS Book Trailer & Contest



    Don Carey, author of Bumpy Landings, is holding a contest on his website. I just had to show the book trailer. Isn't it cute? Love the use of Legos!
    Monday, November 22, 2010 | By: Taffy

    WINNERS of Gratitude Giveaway!

    CONGRATS to

    Adelina Priddis who loves turkey and won OUTLIVE YOUR LIFE!
    Wall-to-wall Books who loves stuffing and won RISE UP AND SING!

    Thank you to those who entered!

    HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING!
    Friday, November 19, 2010 | By: Taffy

    May The Writing Be With You on Foto Friday

    What is her name again?? (What would you name her? What is her story?)

    girl25keret.jpg
    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | By: Taffy

    Writerly Advice-Brandon Mull

    Write what you know.
    Write what you love.
    Write what you love to read.

    Gratitude Giveaway!

    I want to thank all the followers of this blog!
    You. Are. Awesome.

    Thanks for your time and comments. I really appreciate your insights and ideas.
    You. Are. Awesome.


    I'm part of a blog hop/giveaway thanks to I'm A Reader, Not A Writer.
    The Gratitude Giveaway runs from today, November 17th through Sunday November 21st.
    There are OVER 175 blogs on this hop! Visit all of them for a chance to win something cool.

    I'm giving away two books so I get to choose two winners (well, Random.org gets to choose).

    Rise Up and Sing by Lex Buckley

    An essential, practical handbook that equips female worshippers to lead worship, work with musicians, pastor a worship team, write songs, and work effectively with their pastor.   For women who are called to lead worship—or think they might be—worship leader Lex Buckley offers this essential handbook






     Outlive Your Live by Max Lucado
    These are difficult days in our world's history. 1.75 billion people are desperately poor, natural disasters are gouging entire nations, and economic uncertainty still reigns across the globe. But you and I have been given an opportunity to make a big difference. 








    I thought those two books sounded like thankful, uplifting gifts. I hope you enjoy them!

    To enter:

    Tell me your favorite Thanksgiving food.
    Which book you want to win.
    Your email address.
    (U.S. Only. Sorry.)

    THAT'S IT! Easy, easy, lemon squeezey.
    Good luck.
    AND THANK YOU AGAIN!
    You. Are. Awesome.

    Other blogs to hop:

    Monday, November 15, 2010 | By: Taffy

    Back to NaNo??



    I was gone over the weekend. Girls only weekend.

    I left the laptop with hubby so he could do his homework. (He's working on his MBA online.)
    So I took a legal pad and a few pens with me in case I have time to write in between talking, gut-bursting laughter and nummy food. I also took a couple of Christmas books to read for a review.

    I surprised myself by writing SIX pages, front and back! So like 12 pages on legal sized paper. Whoopie! Most of what I wrote was based on Josi Kilpack's character sheets. I feel like I know my characters very well now. Plus Storyfix suggested stepping back and writing out bullets of my story. I only got a half page on that because I'm not an outliner especially when it comes to NaNo.

    How are you all doing with your writing?
    If you're doing NaNo, how's your story coming along?

    AND! Do you have a favorite Christmas I can read and review?? I'm stuck. Maybe I'll just read Dickens again...
    Friday, November 12, 2010 | By: Taffy

    Foto Friday

    Here is an interesting object I walked by the other day. I couldn't help but take a picture with my phone.
    So many funny captions/ideas/stories were running through my head I almost forgot I was out doing something as mundane as exercising.


    I realize many people are cleaning for the holidays, but this is going a little too far, don't ya think? heehee


    What caption would you give this photo??

    Foto Friday & May The Writing Be With You!

    Does your character live here or visit? 
    Is this place magical or just plain cold?



    http://opentravel.com/blogs/fairytale-destinations/


    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | By: Taffy

    LUW-Heather Moore 2-Query & NY Times Advice

    Advice from NY Times:
    No background on first page.
    No scenic descriptions.
    Start at the moment where something major happens.
    End chapters with a cliffhanger.

    Readers want to be caught up in drama.
    Readers want to be entertained.
    Readers dont' want to be told or lectured.

    Writer must find balance between exposition, which is slowest to a car chase, which is fastest.

    Finding An Agent:
    Writers DO need an agent even if they find a publisher first.
    Agents help negotiate.

    Mailing Query Letter:
    To gain interest of an editor or agent.
    Standard submission package should include:
    Query
    One-page synopsis
    Sample page of writing
    Unless on publishers website it is stated differently.

    Emailing Query:
    Put "query" in heading
    Keep letter professional
    Use standard letter
    Proofread before emailing!
    Research agent & agency
    Find out recent sales, client list, etc
    Should have no reading fees
    Junior or new agents are awesome!

    Have you sent a query letter out recently? How did it go?
    Monday, November 8, 2010 | By: Taffy

    What's Your NaNo Stat?

    What's your numbers?
    25225 which is about 50% done!!
    How is everyone doing today?
    I did well Monday-Friday then had a busy weekend. I didn't get to NaNo today either. I might not even tonight because a hot bath and flannel sheets sound good to me right now.
    Were you able to get tons of words typed over the weekend?
    *sigh* no. But I am happy about getting ahead last week.

    LUW-Heather Moore- Show Don't Tell

    Show, Don't Tell
    Telling-Exposition/Narrative
    Showing-Creating scenes
    Describe actions of character
    Reveling character through dialogue
    Use five senses

    Using "were" and "was" a lot means your are telling , not showing.

    Don't begin book with lengthy description.
    Make setting scene short.

    When beginning a book, use dialogue, action or thought.

    Description:
    When you read, what do you skim?  Cut out what you skim.
    What description is necessary and interesting?
    How can you make it so?
    What description ups the ante of the conflict?


    Hooks:
    There are three hooks:
    First Sentence/first paragraph- How will you make the reader turn the page?
    End of chapter-Why should the reader read the next chapter?
    Overall hook-Why should the reader finish the book?


    Is show don't tell hard for you?
    What do you feel is your writing weakness?
    Friday, November 5, 2010 | By: Taffy

    Foto Friday


    http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/22/17077/17077_1232376121_large.jpg
    Thursday, November 4, 2010 | By: Taffy

    What Is Your Genre?

    Do you have one genre you write in? I have, let me think, sci-fi, historical romance, YA, dystopian, and uh, I think I'll end there.


    What is genre?
    It is literary technique, tone, content, length etc.
    Fiction is the hardest genre to break into.
    • Realism-Plausible story about people and events that could really happen. Romance, thriller, historical, sports all fit under realism.
    • Fantasy-Fantastical elements in traditional or modern fantasy.
      • Traditional fantasy follows the quest. 
      • Modern fantasy has elements of magic in the human world. Horror and sci/fi are sub genres of modern fantasy.
    Elements in Fiction:
    Plot-Plot is the backbone of the story. In fiction plot is the action that grows out of conflict.
    Conflict-is the obstacle, the problem
    Initial Conflict-First event that starts the quest, the hook. Only needs one page (sometimes a chapter) to establish. It creates the next cause & effect (conflict) then moves the character to the next conflict. Initial conflict will predict the climax.
    Exposition-Back story weaves through out the story.
    Rising Action-Series of at least three conflicts
    Climax-The most intense part of the story. Everything in the story moves the story to this point and the main character has an Epiphany to the resolution. Needs only one chapter.
    Resolution-Is the outcome. Needs only one chapter
    Non-fiction SELLS THE MOST (by the end of the conference I was ready to change. I'm keeping ideas in the back of my mind and notebook).
    • Biography-needs more factual support.
    • Autobiography-Bigger piece of time
    • Memoirs-Small part of life
    • General non-fiction (Dewey decimal)-Different stories from life in one book
    Elements in Non-Fiction
    All non-fiction needs:
    Plot
    Conflict
    Hook
    Exposition
    Climax-lesson learned
    Resolution-reader says "I can do that!"
    What are the target audiences?
    Picture book: 1-3 pages
    Chapter book: Max 100 pages
    Middle grade: 100-200 pages
    Young Adult: 150-300 pages
    Adult: 150-several hundred pages, 70,000-90,000 words max
    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 | By: Taffy

    LUW-Dialogue-Julie Wright

     Emotion in Dialogue:

    Readers want an emotional pay off.
    You are promising your readers an emotional experience.  Don't cheat them with unearned emotions like starting a book with a dream.

    Use emotion when you are showing motivation and catalyst.

    Get reader emotionally invested:
    • Make emotions credible.
    • Evoke some sort of emotional response.
    • Emotions can be present anywhere in plot.
    Emotions are especially important:
    •  Introducing and maintaining a characters motivation.
    • Creating a catalyst for a story's turning point.
    • Showing characters growth.
     Use the five senses.


    eftspain.com image
    Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | By: Taffy

    LUW-Dialogue-Julie Wright

    Dialogue

    The dialogue must:
    Move plot forward
    Reveal characters
    Set the tone
    Alter relationships
    Can provide the back story

    The dialogue must do at least one of the above or you should take it out.
    Do not info dump in dialogue.
    Don't need names in dialogue.

    Watch out for adverbs.
    Use "said" in tag lines.

    Make your dialogue real.
    Use action with dialogue.

    Who is your character?
    How do they speak? Can you "hear" the gender, area they grew up, job held, etc through speech?
    What do they want?
    How does it cause conflict?


    What is your writing strength? Is it dialogue?


    holisticstressmanagement.com image
    Monday, November 1, 2010 | By: Taffy

    WINNER of Spooktacular!

    Congrats to AUTUMN on winning "The Skin Map!"

    Autumn said:
    "One of my new favorites is Horns by Joe Hill!"

    Thanks to everyone who came by my blog this week and especially to those who are new followers!
    I might be doing another giveaway in November, so check back often.
    And a big shout out and THANKS to I'm A Reader, Not A Writer for hosting another great giveaway.

    LUW-Hero's Journey-Annette Lyon

    Now we are going on the journey:

    Refusal of the call
    Hero refuses because of fear or other excuses.
    Threshold Guardians can prevent the hero from going also.
    The mentor gives the hero a kick in the pants
    I.E. Dursley destroys Harry's letters

    Meeting With the Mentor
    This meeting usually (but not always) takes place before the hero commits.
    This gets the story moving and provides the hero with training and/or helpful object for quest.
    I.E. Gandolf give Frodo ring w/ instructions on how to destroy it.

    Crossing the First Threshold
    This is the point of no return, leaving the ordinary world behind and entering the new world
    Shows hero's commitment to the quest.
    With the reluctant hero the quest is pushed on him.
    Guardian often appears.
    I.E. Frodo and Sam leave the Shire; Dorothy lands in Oz

    Tests, Allies and Enemies
    Hero adjusts to new world.
    S/He is tested in many, progressively harder ways.
    The hero meets people along the way and must determine if they are enemies or allies.
    Gets a sidekick.
    Gets a rival.
    I.E. Bennett girls meet men like Darcy, Bingley and Wickham

    Approach the Inner Most Cave
    Hero prepares for this test, which will get him ready for the final ordeal.
    Hero uses lessons learned to get thorough.
    Often enters new special world.
    I.E. Toys make a plan to escape--they come alive and freak out Sid.

    The Ordeal or The Climax
    Hero's final exam
    S/he battles shadow, facing greatest fear.
    Must be willing to sacrifice something or their own life.
    I.E. Luke fights Darth Vader

    Reward--Seizing the Sword
    Hero captures or finds the treasure, elixir or accomplishes the point of the quest.
    Celebration or 'campfire scene
    Hero understands something about himself, has grown
    I.E. Finding Nemo- they escape the aquarium

    The Road Back
    hero returns back tot he ordinary world
    Shadow may not be defeated.
    Common time for chase scenes.

    The Resurrection
    Hero has a physical ordeal that pushes him to the limit.
    Often showdowns with villain.
    Hero is changed forever
    I.E. Buzz loses an arm and despairs. Luke appears to die in trash compactor

    Return with the Elixir
    Story wraps up
    Receive rewards of punishment
    Wrap up all plot threads
    Hero may leave their world.
    Elixir may be knowledge and share it.
    I.E. Frodo leaves Shire

    Books for Hero's Journey ideas:
    WRITER JOURNEY
    HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES

    maryloukasyer.com image 

    Were you aware of the hero's journey in books before today?
    Do you recognize it in your writings?
    Saturday, October 30, 2010 | By: Taffy

    Happy Halloween!


    What are you going to be for Halloween?

    http://www.liveforgardening.com/siteimage/scale/800/600/54770.png
    Friday, October 29, 2010 | By: Taffy

    I Need Friends Friday Interview

    Sarah Eden interviewed little ol' me for her "I Need Friends Friday" post.
    Head over there and see what is up with Hwch ddu gwta, the tail-less black sow. :)
    P.S. If you leave a comment one the interview, Sarah will enter you in the October contest!

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010 | By: Taffy

    My Third NaNoWriMo


    Yup.
    I'm going there again this year.
    National Novel Writing Month.
    Writing 50,000 words in 30 days.
    Insanity unleashed.
    Can't be done, you say?
    I beg to differ.
    And so do all those who wrote feverishly during November, edited their work and published it.


    My method the last two years consisted of not thinking, just writing. Turning off the inner critic. Typing without thinking.

    My first story was over 50,000. It was about an African village. A young girl was told by the medicine man whom she had to marry. The intended groom was old. The girl's mother helped her run away. She made it to America, learned and grew up, returned to Africa to find her village slowly dying. She gave them a way to live again.
    I have no idea where that story came from. Seriously. It wasn't ANYWHERE on my radar. The MC has a very distinctive voice. I haven't written a strong voice in any of my other stories so far. It's my next story to be edited.

    Last year I typed without thinking again. The story that evolved was a dystopian story. One day the moon shifted in its orbit, causing tidal waves and earthquakes. A group of teens learned they would find a sort of "Eden" in the "big crack" that runs down the middle of the earth. Many people seek it and many are taking advantage of these people. They are led to a prison instead. The teens must find Eden and figure out how to free all humanity.

    Once again, how did that story come out? No idea. I had NEVER read dystopian before.
    This year I want to try writing with an outline in mind. I have no idea if it will work.

    What about you? 
    Are you signed up for NaNoWriMo?
    If you've written like crazy in November, what was your method? Was it successful?
    Monday, October 25, 2010 | By: Taffy

    LUW-Hero's Journey-Annette Lyon


    The Hero:

    The audience can identify with him or her.
    The hero has to grow through out the story.
    The hero is involved in most of the action.
    S/He has a character flaw which is sometimes opposite of their strength.
    At some point in the story, The hero must make a sacrifice, even their own life.

    There is a Mentor in the hero's life.

    The Mentor:

    Teaches the hero.
    Gives the hero a gift.
    Motivates the hero
    Can be a shape shifter-may not be who the appear to be.
    I.E. Obi-Wan (taught Luke, gave him a light saber etc)

    Along the journey there are Threshold Guardians.

    Threshold Guardians:
    Block the hero's way.
    Can be a human or object.
    Test the hero-can the hero get through the obstacle? Is he worthy?
    Can be working for the good or bad side.
    I.E. Fluffy from Harry Potter (literally guarded a door), Stormtroopers, poppy field.

    The journey needs a herald.

    The Herald:
    Shows up about 1/4 of the way through the story.
    Issues the hero a challenge
    Announces coming changes-"All is not well! The world is changing!"
    Gives the hero motivation to go on adventure.
    Can be a person or object.
    I.E. Buzz Lightyear (Andy is changing), Gandolf (giving ring to Frodo), Harry's first letter from Hogwarts.

    Every story needs a shape shifter.

    The Shape Shifter:
    Not what he/she appears to be.
    Revealing their "real" self can create big change in the story.
    Can be good or evil.
    Can be combined with another character type like a herald who is a shape shifter.
    I.E. Anakin who shifts into Darth Vader, Mr. Darcy, Wizard of Oz

    And every hero needs a nemesis or shadow.

    The Shadow:
    The villain.
    Tests the hero's true abilities and worthiness.
    Forces hero to rise to challenge.
    Often beautiful, elegant or good.
    I.E. Darth Vader, bigotry, natural disasters, The Joker

    What hero would be complete without a trickster or sidekick?

    The Trickster:
    The sidekick.
    Helps balance out the drama with a little humor.
    Brings things into perspective.
    I.E. Bugs Bunny, Merry & Pippin

    Wednesday: The hero's actual journey

    Read any books recently where the people in the hero's journey were evident? Which book? Which characters?

    Spooktacular Book Giveaway/Blog Hop! Oct 25-31


    I LOVE Halloween!
    My family LOVES Halloween!
    So to celebrate how cool we are, the wonderful holiday, I'm giving away a book!


    "He had a sensation of being told a secret he knew to be true, but which would be far, far easier--and much safer--to ignore; all the more so since he strongly suspected that acknowledging the truth meant his life would change utterly."




    Just tell me in the comments if you have a favorite scary book.
    Leave me your email too.



    Now head over to all the blogs below to win more!

    1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (US/Int)
    2. My Reading Room (US/Can)
    3. A Cozy Readers Corner (US/Can)
    4. Amusing Reviews (US)
    5. Why Not? (US/Can)
    6. The Elliott Review (US)
    7. ReaderGirls (US/Can)
    8. The Thoughts of a Book Junky! (US/Int)
    9. JDP NEWS (US)
    10. Little Squeed (US/Int)
    11. Ex Libris (US/Int)
    12. Melinda Jones Carroll (US)
    13. The Hob - A Tribute to the Hunger Games (US/Int)
    14. The Guardian Legacy (US/Can)
    15. OutnumberedMama @ Busy Moms Who Love to Read (US)
    16. WRITE WILD (US)
    17. i heart reading (US)
    18. The Bookish Snob (US)
    19. Book Infinity (US)
    20. Y. A. Love (US)
    21. Crafting Insights (US/Int)
    22. Looking Out My Backdoor (US/Int)
    23. Taffys Writings (US)
    24. Beas Nook Nook (US/Int)
    25. Mina Burrows (US)
    26. Eves Fan Garden (US)
    27. Missy Reads And Reviews (US/Int)
    28. Bitsy Bling Books (US/Int)
    29. Genre Reviews (US/Can)
    30. Colloquium (US)
    31. Marcia Lynn McClure Fans (US)
    32. Dragonflowers And Books (US)
    33. Belinda Kroll, Worderella (US)
    34. Murphys Library (US/Int)
    35. Down The Rabbit Hole (US/Int)
    36. Curling Up By The Fire (US/Int)
    37. Dark Wyrm Reads (US)
    38. Book'd Out (Us/Intn'l)
    39. Acting Balanced (US/Can)
    40. What All The Kids Are Reading (US/Can)
    41. Book Noise (US)
    42. Reader Recommended (US/Int)
    43. Layers of Thought (US/Int)
    44. The Fiction Enthusiast (US/Int)
    45. Roots In Myth (US/Int)
    46. resugo reads (US/Can)
    1. Bookworm Lisa (US/Can)
    2. Walnut Springs Press (US/Int)
    3. jennifersmusings (US/Can)
    4. IceyBooks (US)
    5. Haunts Haven (US)
    6. Read for Your Future (US/Int)
    7. The Hob (US/Int)
    8. Nikkis Starbucks Reviews (US/Int)
    9. Pure Imagination (US/Int)
    10. Candaces Book Blog (US)
    11. Literary Obsession (US/Int)
    12. Reading is Dreamy (US/Int)
    13. Curious Minds (US)
    14. Book-Savvy (US)
    15. Spooktacular Geek Girl Giveaway (US)
    16. The Happy Booker (US/Can)
    17. TheDiaryofaBookworm. com (US/Int)
    18. BookKids (US)
    19. The Noble Pirates (US/Can)
    20. Escapade through Egypt (US/Int)
    21. KC Randall Wrote A Book (US)
    22. Shell's Stories (US)
    23. The Creative Well (US)
    24. Soap Box in My Mind (US)
    25. Musings from "Old" Paradise (US/Can)
    26. Sharons Garden of Book Reviews (US)
    27. Sarah's Book Reviews (US/Int)
    28. There's A Book (US/Int)
    29. Stiletto Storytime (US)
    30. Star Metal Oak Book Blog (US/Can)
    31. Urban Girl Reader (US)
    32. Simply Stacie (US/Int)
    33. The Book Tree (US/Int)
    34. Emeraldfire's Bookmark (US)
    35. Simply Ali (US/Int)
    36. The Bluebookcase (US/Int)
    37. YA Enthusiast : : Romance Lover Anonymous (US/Can)
    38. Two Little Cavaliers (US/Int)
    39. Just Joan (US/Int)
    40. My Neurotic Book Affair (US/Can)
    41. Reading Angel (US/Int)
    42. Literatis Literary Library (US/Can)
    43. A Novel Idea (US)
    Friday, October 22, 2010 | By: Taffy
    Monday, October 18, 2010 | By: Taffy

    Write a Synopsis? I‘d Rather Gouge My Eyes Out by Caleb Warnock

    Synopsis:
    1. Written in present tense
    2. Written in third person
    3. Three pages, double spaced
    4. TELL rather than SHOW-synopsis is an explanation of character arcs, not in chronological order.
    5. Proper MS format-First time you mention a characters name, CAP the whole name. Put POV in parenthesis after the name.
    6. May editorialize in synopsis. Use the first line to intro main character, issues, age, time period etc.
    7. Weighting-most important gets more space, usually the protagonist.
    8. Don't vamp-don't dramatize
    9. Tell the ending 
    Pretend like your tell your MS to a divorce lawyer...
    Friday, October 15, 2010 | By: Taffy

    Emotinal Intensity in Gifted Students by Christine Fonseca

    Designed to provide support for the difficult job of parenting and teaching gifted children, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings provides the resource parents and teachers need to not only understand why gifted children are so extreme in their behavior, but also learn specific strategies to teach gifted children how to live with their intensity.

    Presented in an easy-to-read, conversational style, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students uses real-world examples through case studies and role-plays that show parents and teachers how to interact with gifted children in a way that teaches them how to recognize, monitor, and adjust their behavior. Worksheets, tip sheets, and checklists are included to help parents, teachers, and the students themselves learn to cope with the explosive feelings that often accompany giftedness. Specific strategies for stress management, underperformance in school, perfectionism, and social anxiety make this a must read for anyone wishing to make a positive lasting impact on the lives of gifted children.


    This book is great for any parent but especially for those who parent and teach gifted children. It wouldn't hurt all teachers and principals to read this book!

    What I loved: Christine starts at the beginning by educating the reader what a gifted child is and why they are more emotional. She goes over the mislabels, myths, diagnosis, etc. that often accompany a gift child's emotions.
    Every chapter is short and doesn't read like a college text book. Christine uses understandable terms.  At the end of each chapter, she has extra help/ ideas for teachers.
    I LOVE case studies and stories. Every chapter has them and really helped me to ingrain what I was reading. She has tips, worksheets and checklists to help. This book was a great help to me. It was well written, concise, understandable.
    What I didn't like: Nothing!

    Thanks for trusting me with your book, Christine! It was a great read.
    I received this book for my unbiased review.



    Find me on Facebook or Twitter
    Want an e-reader version? Order here.

    Foto Friday & May The Writing Be With You!


    This reminds me of a book I read called, "The Last book In The Universe."

    http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/22-incredible-photos-of
    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | By: Taffy

    LUW-Josi Kilpack

    Characters

    External Characters:
    Contrast vs. compliment
    Reflect internal
    Deflect Internal
    Consider how others will percieve
    Name characters wisely
    Obstacle vs. Asset
    Is the name, physical self, external self an obstacle or assest?

    What is the stand out feature of your character? Is it good or bad? Does it reflect the internal??
    What is the physical flaw of your character? Use it toward conflict, it can be the same as the stand out feature.
    Does the flaw reflect the internal? This can be very powerful!
    How is the flaw a strength? It can be a strength for others as well.
    What is the characters perception of their physical self? Do they use it to their advantage or try and hie it? Do they feel burdened or blessed?

    What is your characters special ability? What makes them worthy of their story?

    Now go forth and write!
    Monday, October 11, 2010 | By: Taffy

    LUW-Josi Kilpack

    Characters

    Internal Characters:
    • Motivation
    • Goals
    • Emotions
    • Fears
    • Influence on external
    What is the primary internal goal of your character? Love? Power? Security? Revenge?
    What is the secondary goal of your character? Love? Power? etc.

    What is the motivating fear? The character is equally driven by fear and goals. FEAR fuels action toward Primary goal.

    What is the point of change? The goal changed OR the character realizes they were wrong OR they act against their nature to accomplish goal.

    What is the conclusion? Goal is achieved OR goal is not achieved.

    What did the character learn? About themselves or someone else or the world? It all reflects on the characters growth.
    How is the character stronger in the end?

    NOW!
    Make a thirty word summary of the internal character THEN a two hundred word summary and see where you are in your story.


    Wednesday:
    External Character
    Saturday, October 9, 2010 | By: Taffy

    WINNER of Emotional Intensity!


    KRISTA!
    Has won a SIGNED copy of Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students!
    Please send me your address (you can email me if you want) and I will send it on to Christine.
    Friday, October 8, 2010 | By: Taffy