Showing posts from 2010

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…

Better Christmas Book Titles?


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 ea…

Live Nativity-Merry Christmas!

Live Creche At Morgan Farm, Nibley from Kimberly Slade on Vimeo.
Thanks to Kimberly Slade!

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.

A Gift To You

A gift.
For real.
Really you.
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.

Another Gift To My Followers

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

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.

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 b…

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

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.

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 blogtour will be entered into
a random drawing for a book.
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 (
1 point: retweet
2 points: blog about the blogtour
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:

Here are t…

Book Academy Conference-Brandon Mull

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

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

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.

As characters face trouble they make decisions.

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.

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.

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!

NaNoWriMo Finished


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?

Happy Thanksgiving!



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

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

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!

WINNERS of Gratitude Giveaway!


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!


May The Writing Be With You on Foto Friday

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

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, 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…

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...

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?

In Honor of Our Veterns and Military


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:
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?

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
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.

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?

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?

Foto Friday


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 …

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. image

LUW-Dialogue-Julie Wright


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? image

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 si…

Happy Halloween!

What are you going to be for Halloween?

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!

My Third NaNoWriMo

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 aga…

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! …

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!

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (US/Int)My Reading Room (US/Can)A Cozy Readers Corner (US/Can)Amusing Reviews (US)Why Not? (US/Can)The Elliott Review (US)ReaderGirls (US/Can)The Thoughts of a Book Junky! (US/Int)JDP NEWS (US)Little Squeed (US/Int)Ex Libris (US/Int)Melinda Jones Carroll (US)The Hob - A Tribute to the Hunger Games (US/Int)The Guardian Legacy (US/Can)OutnumberedMama @ Busy Moms Who Love to Read (US)WRITE WILD (US)i heart reading (US)The Bookish Snob (US)Book Infinit…


Next week.
Some sort of book giveaway.
Be there!

Foto Friday & Have A Great Weekend


Happy Writers Day!


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

Written in present tenseWritten in third personThree pages, double spacedTELL rather than SHOW-synopsis is an explanation of character arcs, not in chronological order.Proper MS format-First time you mention a characters name, CAP the whole name. Put POV in parenthesis after the name.May editorialize in synopsis. Use the first line to intro main character, issues, age, time period etc.Weighting-most important gets more space, usually the protagonist.Don't vamp-don't dramatizeTell the ending Pretend like your tell your MS to a divorce lawyer...

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 ma…

Foto Friday & May The Writing Be With You!

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

LUW-Josi Kilpack


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!

LUW-Josi Kilpack


Internal Characters:
MotivationGoalsEmotionsFearsInfluence on externalWhat 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?

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

External Character

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.

Foto Friday & Have a Great Weekend!

Um, wow??