Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

I thought I'd venture out from underneath my writing holiday rock to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. For those of you who wished for a literary agent, I hope there's one under the tree when you get up in the morning, and for your sake, I hope they were willing to be under your tree. If not I'm afraid the new year may be looking a little dismal for you. Anyhoo best of wishes to everyone!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Errrmiiigaaawd!!!!

 The Next Big Blog Hop!

I've been tagged, people. The lovely cheese eating, hoarding, composing goddess, Crystal Collier has taken time out of her busy day to whop me on the blog. So, now I get to do something uber-amazing and answer a few questions about my WIP then I'll be whopping a few bloggers back so they can tell us all about theirs. Itchy fingers...

Okay, just because I need major motivation, and because I have contemplated self-publishing for many reasons (that's another blog), I actually have a cover for my WIP. It's slightly unfinished but I loves it!

Cover design by: Amanda Mathews of AMD Design Studios. Go check out what she can do for you! Amanda just rocks!

Now on with the rest of this: 

1. What is the working title of your book?    THE BONE TREATY (Subject as always to change).

2. Where did the idea come from?    I haven't the foggiest. I was shampooing my hair I think, and bam, I had three chapters before the end of the night. Freaking scary. 

3. What genre does your WIP fall under?   I'm going with YA Paranormal Romance. 

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?     Ooh, let the casting calls begin....taps fingers.

                           Meet Alexia Fast playing the part of Addie.
                                                      
                                    And now for the love triangle. 


                              Alex Pettyfur as Conal Reed Grrr...                 
                


                                                                   And


                                                  Chace Crawford as Griffin 
 Now all we need is a vote for Team Conal or Team Griffin.  NO They are so not ready for T-shirts people ;)

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?   

When a stranger shows up ready to kill, an orphaned girl must unlock the mysteries of her heritage after her body reacts to him in supernatural ways. (Okay, its not perfect but it will have to do for now)

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  

I'm still on the fence with this one. I guess I'll know when I know, right?

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 

About nine months for the first draft. 

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  

Hm...no pressure. I always hate this question. I'll just name one. Maybe the Premonition Series by Amy Bartol. Although I'd hate to even put myself in that category. If you haven't read the series yet, do so right this minute. It's amazing and completely swoon-worthy. My story differs from hers, there are no angels in The Bone Treaty. But my MC must come to grips with a supernatural ability she has no idea she has, and it leads her on a quest for survival, discovery, and inevitably torn between Conal and Griffin. (There have been worse days)

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book? 

Hm...not sure on this one. Since I was shampooing my hair, I might have to say Kenra since that was the shampoo. (Chuckles)

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 

There's a new kind of shapeshifter breaking onto the scene and you'll just have to read The Bone Treaty to find out more. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until the revisions are done, the agent is landed, and the book deal is complete, or until I can launch this baby onto Amazon, whatever I end up doing. (Sighs)

P.S. I have no idea why some of this is showing up with the white background. (shakes head)

Okay, now enough about me and The Bone Treaty. Now I get to whop 5 people.


Time to spill it people! What is your WIP about?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Feeling the love and support.

It's been a long month and I cannot believe we're a day away from October. Where has the summer gone? I spotted a nutcracker at the mall last week. Yes, Belk has already decorated for Christmas and I fear Macy's is next. That confirms it! Christmas is just around the corner. Truthfully, I wanted to find the mall manager, shake his bow-tie loose and demand to know why we have to look at nutcrackers for three freaking months. But that would have been wrong and it probably would have gotten me on the, no-shop list. Nobody needs that.

Don't worry, I'm not opposed to Christmas. I love it. And I've no objections to the mall managers bow-tie. It suits his frame quite well. It was the nutcracker and what he represented in my little bubble. My goal for the summer had not been completed. Sighs. I'd hoped by the end of summer, my MS would be ready to submit. Well, its not. Not by a long shot. I guess when its ready its ready and when its not, its just not. I was bummed for part of the week.

Then...

The hubs looked at me and said the most inspiring three words: "Do this thing!"

Um...well...okay. So, after sulking over my missed, personal deadline, I dove into my MS and really started working on it, not that I wasn't already, but maybe I wasn't as into it as I should have been. We should not write or revise when we're bummed, people. No! That never ends well. Knowing what to do, I reached out for the support of my CP's. One of them could not be reached due to computer issues, but fortunately, one of my CP's IM'd me with some uplifting thoughts, and support. She then offered me a new beta prospect, and then I spotted the hubs walking down the hall carrying the laundry.  I spun my chair around to help him, but he pointed to the computer screen, demanding I keep writing.  It may have been the hottest thing ever. Swoon...

So...I perked up and decided to use the nutcracker as my next goal. I may even go out to Belk today and pick one up to set on my desk. When I get irritated, I'll flick him in the eye. Evil, I know. But I'm doing this thing. I am. So help me and that damn nutcracker, this is happening!

How about you? Have you missed a personal deadline? Does anyone want to see the nutcracker?

Do tell...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Would you date me?

Happy middle of the week, people! I hope your week is going better than mine. I caught a summer cold from a carrier monkey disguised as my nephew. Worry not! He is safe. I could not be mad at the little primate. It was me that opened the door and allowed him to regenerate his cooties all over my house for the entire weekend. On top of that, I'm disappointed in my portfolio at the moment and its absence of Kleenex stock (I'm kind of bummed at the absence of a lot of other stock too...whimpers). I shall not be bitter (whimpers again). I shall be strong, eat lots of soup, and resist the temptation to whine. I think I'm off to a good start. Chuckles.

Is this a bad time to post a, 'Would you date me, Wednesday?' Heck no! I'm not up for grabs. I'm married and contagious... That sounded so bad. 

Moving on...

Today we have the lovely Jennifer M. Hartsock with us. She has been willing to entrust us with the fist few pages of her manuscript, BATTLEGROUND. And no, it has nothing to do with my ex-hasbend. Please help Jennifer out and leave her some honest feedback. And Thanks for stopping by!


Jennifer M. Hartsock
Battleground

Chapter 1
CURE A DISEASE BY AVOIDING ITS SYMPTOMS


In the city of Kinhedge, California, surrounded by the loud buzz of party chatter, horns and cheers boomed from outside in celebration of the New Year. With the last few days of Christmas vacation drawing near, everyone was eager to have a bit of fun before sophomore year started again. People in party hats with whistles and streamers gathered in clusters throughout the house—smiles and laughter galore—guzzling down alcohol. I remained seated in the kitchen corner, imagining myself somewhere different.
Samantha Withnell stood across the kitchen island from her friends, Ping-Pong ball in hand. She had teased her blond-streaked chestnut hair, but from the humidity of many people in a small space, it looked like a sticky mess of styling product. Her eyes peaked over her shoulder, and my hands shielded my face.
“Lilly, quit pouting and help me.”
“I’m not here.”
The stern look in her eyes confirmed her impatience with my attitude. Sam abandoned the island, catching me up in her whirlwind, and plummeted into the armchair with me. “Young lady, we’re getting down to the wire!”
The small crucifix around my neck rested at my collar, and I gripped it in my hand, making sure the pendent was tightly secured to the chain. If I was stranded in a pit of drunken classmates, I needed the best guidance possible.
 “I’ll play only if we go home early.”
Sam furrowed her eyebrows. “Deal.”
We rose from the chair to take our places at the island. There were only two cups left in the game and, because I hadn’t drank tonight, I helped Sam toss the ball across the table. We managed to miss the cup.
Corbin Burke lifted his eyebrows at the disaster on the island. “You better bump up your game, ladies. Sober Island, hand me one of those shot glasses, will you? Standing here between drinks is less exciting than dropping a potato chip.”
I filled a shot glass and pushed it across the island. Corbin took it to his mouth and threw it back. “Hello, Lolly-bean. One more term to go until you’re a junior, yeah?”
“That’s right.”
“Well, you see, I’ll be a senior, so we havta hang out before the war!”
“I forgot about you joining the Army. One year to go, right?”
“Unfortunately.”
Corbin wrapped an arm around my neck, administering a nice, long noogie. Locked against his chest, I could only peek into the living room through the crook in his elbow. From under the hood of a jacket, blond hair curled around a stranger’s ears and neck, framing a pale face, a hint of freckles dappled across his nose. He played a guitar that no one, perhaps not even he, could hear.
“Corbin, let me go.”
“You can’t rush art.”
“Corbin!” I urged, and he released me, my lungs sucking down air.
Amid the chaos of fifteen partygoers, playing his music, there was a peculiar uneasiness in the boy’s eyes. Sad and longing, they seemed to ask for my help.
“Who’s that?” I asked.
Corbin looked over his shoulder. “Lilly Rosalie Dawson,” he said, patting me on the back. “Go find out.”
Should I? I didn’t want to wander too far from my friends, but what, in those strange eyes, could possibly compel my attention? I grabbed a bottle of something and took a shot. It warmed my agitated stomach.
Corbin crossed his arms, inspecting my impulsive drink. “Damn, Lolly. Right on.”
“Congratulations,” Sam announced, draping her arm across my shoulders. She handed over a cup of something that looked thick and sweet. “You’ve finally crossed to the dark side.”
Corbin snorted. “All for Parker.”
“Parker,” I said.
“Here.” Sam exchanged my cup for one with water. “It’s almost the new year. Try something new, okay?”
The crucifix felt comfortable and familiar in my hand. This was enough to ease me into the living room and sit across from the stranger. Even as the party raged around him, those eyes were distant in thought.
At just that moment—this picture perfect opportunity—a gangly albino sat next to Parker. He drunkenly leered at me. “Who are you?”
“Lilly,” I answered.
To my surprise, he jumped in his seat, almost knocking Parker in the face with his flailing right arm. “Chuck Norris doesn’t wear a condom because there’s no such thing as protection from Chuck Norris!”
“Ha, ha,” I said dryly. I could smell the beer on his breath and wished he would join the keggers in the kitchen. I tilted my water cup to him. “It was nice meeting you.”
He stared at me for several seconds, but ultimately took off down the hall. I laughed pitiably.
“Chuck Norris isn’t the best way to get a girl to like you,” Parker said.
He was speaking to me. “No, it’s not. Um, I’m—”
“Lilly, right? Gabriel Parker” —and finally I had a real name— “but call me Parker.”
He tucked a hand into his jacket and pulled out a plastic baggy of marijuana and papers. This boy was more lost than I’d thought. Was this why I was lured over? He peeped up at the right time to catch my pained expression.
“There sure are a lot of older people here,” I said.
“Just turned sixteen, so most people here are older than me.” Parker rolled his fingertips over a joint, puffed it, and exhaled the musty smell of pot. “Let’s toast to lost causes.”
Did he mean himself? “Who?”
“Uh, good question.” He exhaled again, and I watched the thick plume of smoke. “How about Kinhedge.”
“I don’t understand.”
 “Everyone here is Christian,” he continued, “and every scumbag is Christian and every unintelligent person, too.”
The crucifix burned on my chest. Heat flushed my face, but with a quick prayer to keep my anger in check, I said, “I can’t believe you just said that.”
“I bet you’re Christian.”
“Of course I’m a Christian.”
His blue eyes flickered with interest. “Why’s that?”
Another explosion went off outside, and we watched a shower of light through the bay window. In the kitchen, one guy had a fistful of his puking girlfriend’s hair, while cheering for his buddy sucking down beer through a funnel. Something good would eventually come out of this. I was here for a reason.
But what was that reason?
Think.
Think of something.
With insecurity stinging my cheeks, I spit out something my pastor had said: “God has a plan for everyone, and although I might not know what it is, He doesn’t throw a situation at you that you can’t handle. I just need to know I’ll be a better person afterward.”
“Why does He need us to prove anything?” Parker leaned forward, elbows on his knees, and I knew to pay close attention. “Look, if God is real, He breaks His own rules. He sets up a game in which we begin as the losers, and if we do indeed win, He rewards us with an eternity of praising Him and nothing else.”
My brain became thick with disbelief. “Adam chose to eat the forbidden fruit. God’s mercy gives us a chance to be with Him again.”
“Assuming that God is showing mercy by allowing us to exist is completely illogical.” Parker palmed a bottle from under the coffee table and poured whiskey into a couple of shot glasses. He handed one to me, but I didn’t want to drink it. I set it on the table, and Parker only shuddered from the sting in his throat. “You’re just repeating what we’ve both heard in church every Sunday.”
The conviction of my beliefs flared in my heart, but just for a second. His awful convictions spat on my very being, but what hurt deeper than the tightness in my throat, or the tension in my stomach, was that he was right. These words were not my own. Someone else had inspired what I thought to be wisdom, what I thought to be true.
I could leave. If I really wanted to, I could leave.
“Why is it bad to repeat someone else if it’s the truth?” I asked.
“The truth?” Parker set the half-inch end of the joint in a discarded cup. “Okay, sure, but it’s your truth.” He gulped down the rest of the whiskey in a rush. “God, I say, is you, me, this bottle of whiskey, everything, and nothing. What you say God is, is true—as an idea, that is. God is whatever we say He is.”
“That’s not true!” When Parker began rolling another joint, I’d finally had enough. “You shouldn’t even be doing drugs!”
He set down the marijuana and picked up his guitar. He strummed the strings, a melody I couldn’t hear over the loud chatter. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
“But—”
There was a quick flash of motion—Sam jumping over a pile of plastic cups—and then she was on the couch next to me. “We’re ready to leave.”
“Sure, okay.” I helped my friend from the couch, but didn’t yet follow her to the front door.  I turned to Parker. “Would you—” I began, and lost the moment when he waved me off with his empty bottle. It was as easy as that for him to dismiss this discussion, inviting a pain in my gut, and a small hole of curiosity in my faith.
Why, when this stranger denied everything I believed in, was I hungry for more?

Monday, August 27, 2012

BLOOD FUGUE COVER REVEAL

Today is an exciting day, people! Scratch that. This whole week is exciting! Blog-friend E. J. Wesley, is releasing his babe into the world. How cool is that? I can only imagine what he might be feeling right now. I can just picture him sitting in front of his computer screen, the very place where the magic happens. He's probably wearing that uber-cool hat of his, and chewing his fingernails into nonexistence? Just be careful how far you go with that, E. J. Fingernails can be suspect. Just saying.

And now for the cover reveal:



Some folks treated the past like an old friend. The memories warmed them with fondness for what was, and hope for what was to come. Not me. When I thought of long ago, my insides curdled, and I was left feeling sour and wasted.”

Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn’t fit in. Not that she has ever tried. She wears loneliness like a comfy sweatshirt. By the age of twenty-one, she was the last living member of her immediate family. Or so she thought…

“We found my ‘grandfather’ sitting at his dining room table. An entire scorched pot of coffee dangled from his shaky hand. His skin was the ashen gray shade of thunderclouds, not the rich mocha from the photo I’d seen. There were dark blue circles under each swollen red eye. A halo of white hair skirted his bald head, a crown of tangles and mats. Corpses had more life in them.”

Suddenly, instead of burying her history with the dead, Jenny is forced to confront the past. Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, she must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it.

BLOOD FUGUE by E.J. Wesley, is the first of the MOONSONGS books, a series of paranormal-action novelettes. At fewer than 13k words, BLOOD FUGUE is the perfect snack for adventurous readers who aren’t afraid of stories with bite. Available wherever fine eBooks are sold September 2012. 

Nice job! 

Cover work by Sketcher Girl, LLC - http://sketchergirlstudios.com/


But wait, there's more! There's a party....


Blood Fugue, Moonsongs Book 1 by E.J. Wesley Cover Reveal Party
Author E.J. Wesley is throwing a blog party to celebrate the release of his new book cover and wants you to join in the fun. Jump over to his blog to learn about how you can win some awesome prizes, including $50 toward a cover of your own and advance reader copies of Blood Fugue.

Join the Party!

The Open Vein, E.J.'s blog - http://the-open-vein-ejwesley.blogspot.com/

E.J. Wesley on the Twitter - https://twitter.com/EJWesley


Um...why are you still here? You can come back to my awesomeness later, like on Wednesday when we post another, Would you date me, Day? Go see E. J. Wish him lots of luck. Go buy Blood Fugue! Send him scary links about why he shouldn't chew on his fingernails. Go! Go now! But come back. I will miss you. 

And thank you for stopping by.














Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Hermit Goes Out!


Okay, so I ventured out. I'd been holed up in my office, working on revisions for far too long. Nothing like a little mountain retreat with the hubs and some of his co-workers to lure me out of my shell. We had wine. Listened to a great band at an outside stage in the mountains of Pennsylvania, and watched a glorious fireworks display. It was epic! 

I ended up with that feather thingy around my neck. You can't tell it from the picture but it was blinking with tiny red lights. Nice! It was much worse for the others. A few people had balloon helmets made, and one co-worker actually looked like a court jester. Too funny. I have pictures, but no disclosers for the wall of shame. 

Now its back to real life. No balloon helmets for me. But I did keep the feather thingy. It may lead to something awesome while I'm writing. I can just see the kids faces as they pass by my office door. Nothing like seeing your mom, typing away on the computer, wearing Old Navy Pj's, and a blinking feather thingy. Ah, good times! They have no idea how much coolness I possess;) 

Speaking of coolness, please head over to Fiona's Blog today or tomorrow for: Yeah, but would you date me? This weeks feature is by, Rachel Pudelek. It's the first 2000 words of her WIP, DARK WATERS. Go check it out and leave her a constructive comment. I know she'll appreciate it. 

Happy Hump Day and all that!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It's Official! I'm a Hermit.

Good lord! This is getting ridiculous! I hardly want to leave the house anymore. Between writing, running a business from my home, and reading the wonderful goodies my CP partners send me, I never want to leave. I actually strategize when I go out. I make lists of every possible thing I may need from the store. I make excuses when its cloudy. The car's clean. The hubs just waxed it. No need to chance it. I even try to incorporate trips to Sams Club into date night. Nothing says romance like a gazillion grapes, and enough laundry detergent to last a month. I know. Swoon-worthy. Am I not?

It gets worse. Apparently I'm turning into an introvert. People talk to me in public and I just glaze over. I read so much, I think I'm forgetting how to talk out loud. This is not good. If I ever come face to face with an agent, I'll be mush mouth. Maybe I could just skip the pitch, offer them a grape and gather their laundry. Win!

Either way, I gotta come out of the box :}

Hope you're having a fabulous Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Yeah but would you date me.....Wednesday?

Love Pictures, Images and Photos

Happy Wednesday people! Fiona  and I are so excited about our next submission! The lovely, Mary Waibel from over at Waibel's World, has dropped off her MC, and we're hoping you'll let her know if she's hook-up-able or not??? The MC, not Mary. Mary's really married, so don't get any ideas. As for her MC, I say Heck to the YES! Honestly, I found myself wanting to hold Mary's MC after reading this excerpt. But I'm slightly biased, considering Mary is one of my CP's and I love her already. But you can be the judge. Be brutally honest. CP's are one of the most important parts of the writing process. Their encouragement, and second set of eyes, are simply invaluable. But honesty is key. We can't fix things unless we know they're broken. I know this personally. If my WIP ever sees the light of day, it will be because of my CP's and the butt kicking they were willing to give me from time to time. So fire away. And thank you for participating!


                                                             ANGEL OF JUSTICE
                                                                   By: Mary Waibel




            Tapping my foot in time with the rock tune playing from the clock radio, I tucked the phone between my shoulder and ear and pushed through the clothes hanging in my closet, searching for the perfect outfit.
            “Yes, I'll be ready on time, Liz. You ever know me to be late?”
            “No, you're always on time.” Liz laughed across the line. “Remember, there's always a first for everything, Danielle.”
            “Not this time.” I smiled as I pulled out a short, raspberry-pink skirt. Digging through my tops, I found a sexy, yet modest, black tank top. “There's no way I'm going to be late for my first girls night out.”
            “What did your parents say?”
            “Have fun. Be responsible. You know.” I shrugged and tossed the clothes on the bed.
            Turning to my vanity, I picked through the bottles of perfume, looking for a scent that said sexy, yet fun.
            “Yeah, the usual parent advice. What are they and Shawn doing tonight?”
            “They're going to dinner and a ball game.” I made a face in the mirror as I pulled the elastic out of my hair, the long, caramel tresses tumbling over my shoulder. “Up or down?”
            “What?”
            “My hair. Up or down?”
            “Down. Definitely. With hair like yours, I don't see why you ever put it up.”
            “Because if I leave it down, it hangs in my face while I'm studying.”
            “Well, you won't be studying tonight, so leave it down.”
            I ran a brush through my hair and was just about to hang up the phone when a chime pealed through the empty house. Groaning, I looked at my clock. The bright red numbers read five thirty.
            “What?”
            “Amy's half an hour early.” I dashed out of my room. “Hang on while I let her in.”
            I ran down the stairs and into the living room, my steps faltering as I stared at the man standing on the other side of the glass door.
            “It's not Amy. It's a cop.”
            “Make sure you ask for his badge, it could be a fake.”
            A chill danced down my spine at Liz's warning. Why would a cop be here? Most likely he was lost, mixing up the house numbers. Brushing the odd fears aside, I fumbled with the lock, opening the door a crack, the phone still at my ear.
            “Can I help you?”
            “Miss Church? I'm Investigator Smith from the Hudson City Police Department.” He held his badge out against the glass. “May I come in?”
            “Just a minute, please.” I pushed the door shut and spoke into the phone. “Liz, does your dad know an Investigator Smith?”
            “Hang on a second.”
            My heart pounded while I waited for Liz's answer, unsure whether I wanted the officer to be legitimate or not. It wasn't like I'd done anything wrong, and there was no way my parent's would have, so what could he possibly want?
            “Dani? Dad said if he has bright red hair and green eyes, he's legit. You want me to hang up?”
            “No. Give me a minute to see what he wants. I'd feel better knowing you can get help if I need it.”
            “Alright.”
            I opened the door and motioned the officer to come in to the entryway.
            “Sorry, I just needed to ask my friend about you.” I twisted a strand of hair around my finger.
            His eyebrows rose in surprise. “Actually, that's a good thing to do. How did you know I was for real?”
            “Her father's description of you.”
            “Her father?”
            “Mmm hmm. Mr. Powers. He's an attorney.”
            “Ah, yes. I know Mark.” He smiled for a moment, then his lips turned down, a look of seriousness taking its place. “Maybe you should have him come over before we talk.”
            My stomach jumped. What could he possibly want to talk to me about that would require an attorney?
            “Umm. Sure. Let me see if he can.” I lifted the receiver up. “Liz? Can your dad come over? The Investigator wants him here.”
            “What'd you do?” Liz asked, giggling. “We'll be right over.”
            “Okay. Thanks.” I clicked the phone off and waived a hand toward the living room. “They'll be right over. You can have a seat while we wait.”
            He perched on the edge of the couch, hands dangling between his knees. I hovered in the doorway, wringing my hands, uncertain what to do. Fortunately, my wait was short. Liz lived just across the street, and in minutes, she and her dad were knocking at the door.
            “Hi, Dani. What seems to be the problem?” Mr. Powers asked as I opened the door.
            “I'm not sure, Mr. Powers. Investigator Smith wanted you to be here before he would say anything.”
            Mr. Powers walked into the living room and held out a hand. “James. Good to see you. What brings you to our neighborhood on this lovely day?”
            “I'm afraid it isn't anything good, Mark.”
            I sat on the couch beside Liz, linking my arm through hers. “I swear I didn't do anything wrong.”
            “I know,” the Investigator said. “I'm here because I have bad news.”
            “What is it?”
            “There was a . . . bombing today at a local bank.”
            “I heard about that at lunch. It was quite terrible,” Mr. Powers said. “But what does that have to do with Dani? I mean, I realize she's a gifted student, finishing her second year of college at eighteen, but she isn't a criminal mastermind.”
            “Miss Church isn't a subject of the investigation,” Investigator Smith said.
            I shivered at the strained tone in his voice. “What? Do you think my brother did it?”
            “No.” He leaned forward, and I shifted away, fighting a sudden desire to close my eyes and shield myself from what he was about to say. “Miss Church, your parents and brother were at the bank when the bomb went off.” He paused and looked me in the eye. “I am so sorry, but they didn't survive.”
            I stared at him, but saw nothing. Heard nothing. The room began to dim, and I was vaguely aware of Liz holding me, her father rushing to my side, pushing my head between my knees and telling me to breathe.
            My body shuddered as I took a deep breath. I shook my head, tears streaming down my face.
            “No. That isn't possible. They can't be gone.” I looked at Liz. “What am I going to do? This is all my fault. I should have been with them.”
            “No, Dani,” Liz said, framing my face with her hands, forcing me to look at her. “This is not your fault. You didn't do anything.”
            I nodded, my face crumbling as a sob wailed up from deep inside. She pulled me close, holding me as I wept until the tears dried up and there was nothing left.
            What seemed like a lifetime later, we wandered up to my room where I sat on my bed while Liz put clothes in my overnight bag. I heard a knock on the door to my room and looked up, tears coming again as I looked into the eyes of Liz's brother Jake.
            “Dani, I'm so sorry,” he said as he crouched before me.
            I swiped a hand over my cheek and whispered, “I know.”
            He squeezed my hand then stood and looked at Liz. “All set?” She nodded. “Here, let me take that.”
            He shouldered the bag, then held out a hand to me. I stared at it for a moment, then took it and stood, the room spinning slightly. Jake wrapped an arm around my waist, and I leaned into him.
            “I got you.”
            Together we made our way out of my house and across the street to theirs. Liz took over, ushering me into her room and tucking me into bed as though I were a sick child. I closed my eyes, my fingers clenching the bedspread she had pulled over me. This was the beginning of my worst nightmare.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First Victim

Today, you can catch me, the first victim of the: Yeah but would you date me, Wednesday? Actually, you can catch my character, Addie Heaton over at Fiona Claire's Blog. Please stop by, read a few lines and leave a comment or two. And then, if you're game, send us your first chapter. Let us get to know your character, see if he or she is datable, lovable. Feedback is always beneficial. Comment away. 


Disclaimer: My family, like everyone was present during this post. Everyone was also talking at one time about everything. So, I hardly know what this says or if it even makes sense. Just go see Fiona. For me, for Addie. And thank you.  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Yeah, but Would You Date Me?

                                                      


(Match.com for your main character)

Your manuscript is complete.  You’ve got a killer plot.  Your pacing is fabulous.  The dialogue is pithy, yet realistic, the setting great, and the story is a completely imaginative idea.  But your MC's voice sucks!


That means you’re out of the game. 

“I’m much more likely to keep reading if I know from that perfectly-executed first page that this character is someone who interests me, someone whose story I’d like to get lost in.”
– Holly Root, Waxman Literary

“We must admit a fondness for novels with memorable characters and a unique voice.”
– Josh Adams, Adams Literary

“What I look for is a strong voice that immediately sweeps me away, a strong sense of character.”
– Danielle Chiotti, Upstart Crow

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve heard/read it a million times.  They wanna fall in love with your main character.  If they don’t, your in-box will have more rejections than Viagra ads. 

So, how do you find out if your MC is boring as cardboard, or someone the whole world would want to date?  More importantly, if your MC’s voice isn’t quite right, how do you fix it? 

You come to the party! 

The first and third Wednesday of every month, Tammy and Fiona are throwing a MC speed dating party.  First Wednesday on Tammy’s blog (http://tcmckeewriter.blogspot.com/), third Wednesday on Fiona’s blog (http://agelessdruids.blogspot.com/).  You send us the first chapter of your ms (no more than 2000 words), and we’ll post it here for comments specifically directed toward your MC’s voice.  Is it believable? Engaging? Provocative?  If not, why?  What will you have to change to make your MC someone we all want to date (or at least read more about)? 

Starting today, we’re accepting submissions of up to 2000 words.  We’ll post the first submission next Wednesday, July 18th for helpful comments.  So send us something.  Hurry! Who knows?  We might even help you meet your dream agent/date. 

Submissions to:   eponamacroi at yahoo dot ie  AND  tmckee34 at gmail dot com

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Devil Made me do It!

Allow me to set the stage. This one is long but trust me, it's worth it. It's the fourth of July. Yes. I'm way late in writing this but its taken me this long to stop staring into space completely dumbfounded. My family had a cookout. Same as the rest of America or most of it. BUT mine was way better. I promise. 


My aunt Er...Gladys heard I'd been writing a "story." She welcomed me with cake and a warm smile. I should have seen it coming. My mother had gossiped to the family. I was writing a book. Not just any book but one of those "devil worshiping" books. 


"They're called paranormal romance's, aunt Gladys, and it has nothing to do with the devil."


"That's what you think. You don't hear him whispering to you like he did that lady over in England that wrote that trash about Harry Potter."


"J.K. Rowlings did not write trash. She wrote fiction. I can assure you there was no whispers coming from the devil. Harry Potter was just a story. It's make believe," I argued.


Her eyes narrowed. "Are you saying the devil is make believe?"


"No. I'm saying he wasn't a part of Harry Potter."


At this point my uncle started messing with the grill. There was fire potential and I won't lie. I got a little nervous. Witches were once burned at the stake. I wasn't ruling anything out. 


"The devil's a part of everything. That is what's wrong with the world. All you writers, them actors and actresses, running around talking about paranormal things. It's not of God. They're trying to keep him out of everything. It's going to be the death of us all."


"I'm sure it will, aunt Gladys."


"Don't you worry though, honey. We are going to pray for you and you can keep on writing. We will love you anyway. The lord will chase that devil away."


"That he will, aunt Gladys."


"Now, tell me. Have you heard anything about when that next movie's coming out for Twilight? What's it called, Breaking Dawn?"


Mouth dropped.


"Um...yes aunt Gladys. I think it comes out in like November."


"Oh good. I can't wait to see it. I hope this ones better than the last one. It was gross."


"Aunt Gladys?"


"Hum?"


"You do know that Twilight is a paranormal romance, right?"


"No its' not. It's a love story."


"But there are vampires and werewolves," I said, totally stunned. 


"Yes honey, but that's not in real life. I checked. They're not real. You do know that don't you? Oh dear. That devil's got you believing in vampires and werewolves. Who made these deviled eggs? They're to die for," she said eyeing one she'd harpooned with a tiny fork. 


I ate cake. 


Mouth, currently still agape. 









Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hiding Out

Oh my gosh. I have just gained a whole new respect for people who live in Tornado regions. Our state was hit with the worst wind storm I've ever experienced on Friday night. I'd say it came out of nowhere but the hubs claims it came out Chicago. Definitely somewhere.

I was at the grocery store, minding my own business. Wait. That's a lie. I was actually watching in dismay as this guy who'd spent way too much time at the gym, curled an avocado. Embarrassing. Anyhoo, I walk out of the grocery store and the entire street goes dark, like all of it. That was new. I'd seen power outages before but nothing like this. On my way home, I dodged fallen trees, and power lines. Scary! Later, I learned the wind reached excesses of 80 miles an hour. We still have no electricity at our house (now abandoned). We're at a hotel. Yep, that's us. Roughing it. Hey, it was like 101 inside the house this morning. I know the settlers lived without AC and refrigeration but that was long ago. On the cool side, I stood in the breakfast line this morning and watched (mouth agape) as a waffle machine oozed out enough batter for the waffle iron. Icksville. I opted for cereal.

Joking aside, so far the storm has killed 13 people. There's no feeling like feeling helpless against mother nature and her furry. My family was very lucky. It could have been worse and it certainly was for a lot of people. Please keep the residents of West Virginia, and my home state, Virginia, in your thoughts and prayers this week. If you happen to be one of those people affected by the storm, just shout if you need anything. The one great thing that has come from all this, is seeing people helping each other. I wish it didn't take moments of crisis for acts of kindness, but these days, sometimes it does. Thanks for stopping by.