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?”
            “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.
            “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.”
            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?"


"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.