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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Short Story Saturday: "Angel" Part 3

Read Part 1 & Part 2 to catch up.

Abigail Emsley's powerful uncle wants her "fixed" and ready to face the public, so he sends over Chad, a "guardian angel" of sorts to help her overcome her foggy past. In part two, Chad encourages Abigail to talk about the day her father died.

Angel: Part 3
Abigail tells of her father's death and stumbles over the details.

“Everything about that day was normal. I woke up early for class. I had breakfast with Mother.”
“What did you talk about?”

Sweet Saturday Sample: From my untitled WIP

Me. Historical romance. Yikes.

Me attempting to anyway.

Me making it revolve around time traveling so my heroine can screw up all she wants. 

The following sample is from my Untitle WIP about a girl who stumbles through her mirror to 1909 . . . or 1905 . . . I haven't quite worked that out yet.


By the time Ben escorted her to her room that evening, Clara was exhausted. She was also sincerely disillusioned of any ideas she ever entertained about the desirability of living out one of her beloved historical romances. She checked the room for any sign of Annabelle and collapsed into a couch when she found her temporary maid absent.

Friday, January 27, 2012

More on Music

I discovered this song and it is perfect for a scene in the second book of my supherhero series. And yes, I'm aware that Bruno Mars is the original artist. I just like the guy from Boyce Ave's voice better. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Variety Excerpt: "In God Is Our Trust" Volume 5 of Laurie LC Lewis' "Free Men and Dreamers"

Hi Ranee, and Ranee’s followers! Thanks for inviting me to guest blog about my FREE MEN and DREAMERS books.

I’m from Maryland, but about 14 years ago, I fell in love with historic Williamsburg. There is a sacred spirit there, one felt also in other places that welcomed the great patriots—Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin, Key, and others—cities like Philadelphia, Washington, and Georgetown; and places like Fort McHenry, Hampton, Craney Island, Fort Monroe, and dozens more.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: "Word & Deed" by Rachel Rossano

For those of you that stopped by and checked out my critique of the first chapter of Rachel Rossano's "Word and Deed" and loved it, you are in luck. It is now availiable on Amazon on Smashwords! For those of you who haven't read the critique, do so here and here. It's basically a free taste. (Which you could probably get at Amazon anyway. And on Rachel's blog ...) So the more important part of this post is my review. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 Writing Goals

I've never actually written down a goal for writing. Even after I joined ANWA and realized I wanted to get "serious" about writing, I didn't make them. This year, that has changed. I've voiced my goals, but perhaps I should jot them down so you all can hold me accountable.

My goal is this:

I will be published by the end of the year or have done everything I could to make that happen.

I intend to query until I've exhausted my list (courtesy of my awesome friend, Kristin. She might let you have the list too, but I also wouldn't put it past her to make you work for it. :D)

And since I have a high opinion of myself and MBFIAS (my latest acronym for the YA novel I'm going to be querying. It has a ridiculously long name "My Best Friend Is A Superhero." You've probably heard me refer to it simply as the "Superhero" book. Acronyms, especially long ones you can't make a pronounceable word out of are much more fun.)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Short Story Saturday: "Angel" Part 2

To catch up with Abigail's story, read Part 1 here.

In Part 1, Abigail Emsley has been living a shattered life and not questioning why. When her powerful uncle sends over a holographic "guardian angel" to "fix" her, her mother reacts mysteriously to the particular Angel chosen ...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Grammar Tip: Double Quotation Marks

(DQm) Double Quotation Marks

Up until recently this happened to be one of my frequently made mistakes. Using 'single quotes' on anything outside of people talking.
Double quotations marks should be used for:
* titles
* direct quotations
* "scare quotes" or "sneer quotes"--meaning the author is not "buying into the meaning." (Grammar Girl)

Ranee` asked, “How come everyone is going to the store?”
We read “Wuthering Heights” for book club.
She said she “loved” him.

Single Quotation Marks are most commonly used for:
*Quotations within a quote
*To save space in headlines

Example: Ranee` said, “I heard John say, ‘I hate going to the store.’ She’s right.”

(see http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/single-quotes-versus-double-quotes.aspx for more information)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Variety Article: "The Regency Townhouse or what living in London should be like" by David Wilkin

The Regency Townhouse or what living in London should be like

Our heroes and heroines of Regency Romances are members of the elite ton. The very top of society. In this instance that rung on the ladder below royalty, for the Crown Prince and his siblings did not lead lives that one generally wants to characterize with romance. (Though one does see that the sons of George III led lives often of steadfastness to their paramours. William IV was with Dorothea Bland-Mrs. Jordan for over 20 years, as an example.) A need for money often forced the issue of their affairs to come to a head.
 So the very top of the ladder, those who lived in Palaces, are not what we are concerned with. Though in the countryside, many of the great estates that the nobility and aristocracy lived in were as palatial as any home to a European Princeling. The Country was not Town (London) and when in Town one lived differently from how one lived at the ancestral mansion.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Friends & Foes" by Sarah M. Eden: This is Not So Much A Review ...

 ... As it is an Ode.

Let me start with a story. First kisses. They're usually awkward and, well, messy. At least in real life--not so much in fiction. And when it comes to my first kiss with Adam. It was early, early morning on January 1st, 2002. He'd just pulled up in front of my house to drop me off after the New Years Institute dance, at which I'd denied him a midnight kiss owing to the fact that my only recently-made ex was there. Instead, I'd given him a chocolate kiss and told him that would have to do. As we sat there in front of his house, preparing to say goodnight, he leaned toward me. In one expertly smooth motion he slipped the chocolate kiss into my hand and whispered, "Can I trade this for a real one?" Then he laid one on me. It was a mere brush of the lips and the slightest of touches. When I opened the door a minute later, I practically tumbled out. And I'll admit to the cliche. After I closed the door of my house, I leaned against it and grinned my face off. It was a magical moment.

Blast from the Past, Day 2

Untitled (Couldn't find the first page)
Publication date unknown
by Ranee` Savage

I remember the day after the rain started. I woke up and looked through the window prepared to see a sunshiny day. I was met with a drap gray sky. It was like that for several days after that. About 3 weeks ago it was kind of sunshiny. The rain was only a sprinkle we played on our swing set. But the next day it started raining. It's been raining ever sense. {I'm going to just ignore the rampant tense changing and the fact that I have no idea what is actually going on at this point.} Then it came. The flood.
It had been raining most of the fall we wear nearing the end of october. My birthday is in november. I'm hoping it will be a happy day for all of us. I will be turning twelve.
Well any way back to the flood. {Was I aware at this point in my life that commas existed? I haven't come across one yet!} It came 1 week ago. The rain had been pouring for 3 days then on sunday the banks of the Seiver River overflowed. My dad had seen it coming and sense we have a flat topped roof my dad had built a small 1 bedroom shack on top. It has a colemen cookstove my dad brought from the garage. We keep the boat nearby. We got all our sleeping bags and that's what we sleep in.
I had known it was a mistake when we moved from Geneva, Ohio. It was right near Lake Erie. We moved to Delta, Utah. {BTW I've never been to Delta ...} We live right outside of town on the banks of the Seiver River. My mother wanted to live closer to my Grandmother in Santaquin, Utah. So my dad got a job with a Car dealing company. {Anyone else wondering why it's a mistake to move from one flood-worthy place to another?}
Like I said. We keep the boat nearby my dad went into town to get some groceries this morning. He said ti had flooded the whole town of Delta. So he couldn't get groceries. Well we still have enough to feed an army. Luckily the house was sealed up when the flood came. Hopefully nothing is damaged. {Even back then I had trouble with anything bad happening to my characters.} Alisha, my cousin who lives in town, says that her mom said that Grandma is worried about us. But were okay.
The End
{What?? The end? ... Yeah, there's a total lack of plot here.}

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Variety Critique: From "Word and Deed" by Rachel

Rachel, who has offered us up some truly entertaining short stories for Variety, has agreed to run the gautlet and let me critique her current WIP. The excerpt is the first chapter of "Word and Deed," which she hopes to be able to release later this year.

Word and Deed
By Rachel Rossano

Chapter One
“You are weak, Verdon. You kill like a woman!”

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Blast from the Past

When my seven brothers and sisters and I (yup-seven) left my parent's house after Christmas this year, she sent us all home with a box of things she'd collected over the years. Among the report cards, honor roll certificates (that's me, overachiever!), and newspaper clippings, to my surprise, amusement, and horror, I found several stories I'd written throughout my life. Because I'm supremely confident that my writing has improved somewhat over the years, I'm actually posting some of these over the next few days. Go ahead--laugh it up. I know you guys have these in your closet too!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Short Story Saturday: "Angel" by ME!

It is my blog after all. Shouldn't there be some writing on here by me? I thought so. Thus begins my newest tradition. Short Story Saturday. But they're not going to be shorty-shorts, you know, those really cool, under 1,000 word gems. No, they'll be true short stories, all around 5,000 to 10,000 words, so I plan on feeding them to you in chunks, 'cause that's the sort of sadistic person I am. ;) 
The first set of segments come from a short story I wrote about a year ago to enter into a contest. I was inspired after reading a really cool story by my friend Tracy Astle, about a girl and her relationship with her guardian angel. After reading it I started to think about how I would write the story--as I do with most books I read. Not that I think I can improve upon the stories, but because it fascinates me to explore how writers are so different--how we could each sit down and have the same exact set of prompts and circumstances and come up with such different ideas! 
That's how "Angel" came to pass. Abigail Emsley's guardian angel morphed into a whole different type of animal. Please enjoy ...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Something worth checking out!

A few weeks ago I did an edit for Rachel Rossano for her short story "Word and Deed." (She's also another brave soul who offered up work to be publicly critiqued here, watch for it on Tuesday.) She released the book trailer today on Facebook:

I can definitely recommend Rachel's work (you've seen several examples here). Verity's story is addicting. (I read it all in one night ...)

Buy "Word and Deed" here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Music in Me

We all have them--well, a lot of us--those unofficial soundtrack songs you use to write or you envision on the movie that will be someday made from our best selling novel. So I wanted to share a few of those with you today.

First, "Brighter than the Sun" by Colbie Caillat. I picture this for the opening of "My Best Friend is a Super Hero," as Bek gets ready and tackles he new life as a Lincoln Academy student, and preferably just as she sees Adam for the first time in the movie.

Second, the music from Gladiator is always a "go to" for emotional scenes, especially this song "Elysium" and "Now We Are Free."

Elysium by Hans Zimmer on Grooveshark

Third, I write a lot of YA. A LOT. So I unashamedly admit to artists like Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and most other Disney Channel artists, especially when I need inspiration for drama and heartbreak. A couple of my favorites?


"Before the Storm"

Before the Storm (Feat Jonas Brothers) by Miley Cyrus on Grooveshark

And lastly, The Piano Guys are always good for some AMAZING background music for any type of scene--I've been using them a lot while trying to write a Regency Romance. :)

"Rolling in the Deep" cover

"The Cello Song"

It's hard to choose when it comes to The Piano Guys. They have an AWESOME and BREATHTAKING "Bring Him Home" cover and "Nearer My God To Thee." LOVE them.

And one more honorable mention: Lux Aeterna by Requim for a Dream Soundtrack on Grooveshark

That's my music. What's yours?

Variety Short Story: "Blond Stranger" by Rachel Rossano

In 2006, Rachel and seven other authors, two other veterans and five newbies, began an exciting venture. They resolved to write eight fantasy novels that begin and end in the same place. The characters would be a family of eight siblings. Each writer adopted a sibling for their own and wrote that character’s story, posting each completed chapter on a blog dedicated to that character.

Rachel novel following Wren Romany, one of the middle siblings, took over five years to write. Three years of that time she was not writing due to pregnancy or newborns. Pregnancy and sleep deprivation make her brain disconnect. However, once she finished Wren’s story, she realized she couldn’t leave the world or the characters alone. Blond Stranger is part one of a side story featuring a secondary character, Svhen Bejork.

Wren Romany is available free at http://wren-romany.blogspot.com/.  Currently in editing with the intention of publication, hopefully it will debut 2012 or 2013. For more information about the status of the other novels (also available online) go to http://romanyepistles.blogspot.com/.

Blond Stranger
By Rachel Rossano
The heavy tread of soldiers’ feet across the floor boards above rained debris on my hair. I didn’t care. Huddled between the almost empty flour barrel and a bin of eye-ridden potatoes, I was safe. Breathing the scents of dirt and darkness freshly disturbed, I prayed for the stranger stranded in our barn.
Where could he escape to?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Variety Critique: From "Cobalt" by Kristin

One of my very best writing friends, Kristin, bravely offered up the first two chapters of her steampunk WIP, "Cobalt" for me to shred in front of all of you in an effort to educate the world. In it's FIRST draft -- (I don't even like to read my first drafts...), yet as always Kristin is a bad example since she is an excellent writer. :) "Cobalt" is no exception; although with some work, I did find some things to criticize her about. You can enjoy her absolute hilarity at her blog, Fairies and Pirates, etc.


“Stay close, darling. This is no place to play.” Katerina's mother drew her close to her side. Wide-eyed, the little girl's gaze traveled up the rough plank walls of the multi-storied factory, framed from behind by gnarled branches which twisted slightly in the air despite the fact that there was no wind. Katerina pressed her hands to her ears. The staccato thock, thock, of woodcutters' axes, always a constant sound in the distance, had never sounded so close or loud. Helena tightened her arm around her daughter's shoulders and hurried them through the thick iron doors.

About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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