SUMMER NIGHTS All Romance Giveaway July 24 – August 13
Enter for Your Chance to Win! https://bookwrapt.com/summer-nights-giveaway/ Imagine lazing in a hammock under the stars this summer with your favorite new book boyfriend. That could be you if you’re the lucky winner of a Kindle Fire 7 or one of 3 ebook prize packs! Perhaps you’ll nab an Amazon gift card or a big ole box of chocolate. Enter for your chance to win. The possibilities are delicious. (Sponsored by the 54 authors listed below) Allyson R. Abbott • Amy Sumida • Ann Everett • Anne Stone • April Fire • Ashlee Price • Avery Rae • Bethany-Kris • Brenda Whiteside • Caia Daniels • Carrie Pulkinen • Cate Tayler • CB Samet • Chiquita Dennie • Christa Bedwin • Delphine Dryden • Donna R. Mercer • Elizabeth Rose • Gayle Parness • Holly Cortelyou • J. L. Lora • Ja'Nese Dixon • Jacquie Biggar • Jami Denise • Jennifer Vester • Karen Michelle Nutt • Kat Drennan • Kathryn Knight • Kim Petersen • Lilith Darville • Lisa Chalmers • Lisa Swallow • Liz Durano • M.R. Leahy • Mari Carr • Melissa Belle • Mia McKimmy • Michelle Jo Quinn • Nancy C. Weeks • Nina Crespo • Priscilla Oliveras • Quinn • Renee Ann Miller • S. R. Mallery • S.L. Sterling • Selena Kitt • Sherrie Lea Morgan • Suzanne Jenkins • Sydney Aaliyah Michelle • Tara Sheets • Tara Wyatt • Tena Stetler • Traci Hall
Plus, you’ll find the latest book bargains from our sponsoring authors when you shop our book fair, including some FREE exclusive downloads. Be sure to play the bonus scavenger hunt for a chance at a $32 gold ballotin of Godiva chocolate! bookwrapt.com/summer-nights-fair/
Yes, I know that title could be misleading if you didn’t catch the last word as initials and not a word. However, for the sake of being completely honest, I will admit through my dad’s ancestry research, I have an uncle who worked with the mafia. His name is mentioned in a famous mob boss book. That’s another tale to tell.
For this, I am talking about having the honor of being a mother of the bride this year! My daughter’s fiancé proposed to her last fall during comic convention. A very shy man who took several dinners before he held an entire conversation with me, secretly arranged with a photographer for the whole thing. Not any photographer, mind you, the main photographer taking photo-ops for the entire event.
Right there in front of hundreds of folks signing in, entering the convention and lining up for photo-ops watched as this sweetheart got done on one knee and proposed. Now, that is so romantic, don’t you agree?
My future son-in-law (who I’ll refer to as Mario) made my daughter’s (who I’ll refer to as Angel) dream come true. Deep in the hearts of all romantics is the idea of having their one true love go on bent knee and propose…or something similarly romantic.
Ergo, I earn the title of M.O.B. for the next eight months. Their wedding is set for the first of November. I’d like you to join me on this journey while I prepare for the wedding, as it is my first time. I love first time experiences. First and foremost, Angel informed me her wedding will have a theme. I think, after seeing many social media posts of weddings this is not as rare of an idea as I initially believed.
Several folks utilize a theme for their weddings from Star Wars to Disney. What is the theme for Angel’s wedding you ask? Day of the Dead celebration since their wedding will immediately follow the actual celebration period October 31-November 4 in the U.S.). Imagine a wedding with bright sugar skull colors. I’m excited. (See picture below of the colors we'll be using.) If you have ever participated, attended or heard of a unique wedding theme, I’d love to hear about it!
Which paranormal romance or urban fantasy authors are your favorites? Which new books have you been waiting to buy? Enter our giveaway from November 1-18 and could be one of 7 lucking winners to choose the book prizes you want! Plus two winners will also take home a Kindle!
(Sponsored by the 40 authors listed below)
Aldrea Alien • Amanda Uhl • Ari Thatcher • B. Brumley • Bec McMaster • Beth Caudill • Calinda B • Carrie Pulkinen • Casi McLean • Crystal Dawn • D.N. Erikson • Dani Haviland • Jennifer Hilt • Jina Bacarr • Jo-Ann Carson • Joynell Schultz • Karen Michelle Nutt • Kel Carpenter • Kim Petersen • L.D. Rose • Leigh Anderson • Linda Nightingale • Lisa Blackwood • LJ Swallow (Anna Hub) • Marilyn Peake • Marsha A. Moore • Mary Abshire • Mary E. Twomey • Pauline Creeden • PG Forte • Rachel Medhurst • Sedona Venez • Shereen Vedam • Sherrie Lea Morgan • Stella Marie Alden • Tena Stetler • Tmonique Stephens • Traci Douglass • Aileen Harkwood
Shop Our Book Fair
And while you’re at it, shop our awesome book fair with 38 fantastic PNR/UF titles, many FREE, but none priced above $2.99.
Who says Halloween is just for kids? Paranormal romance and fantasy lovers, here’s your chance to grab some sweet, sweet loot! Enter the Halloween giveaway October 10–31 and you could take home one of four prize packages, including the top prize, a Kindle Fire HD 8 and winner’s choice of $35 in ebooks from Amazon. Second through fourth prizes offer more kindle/ebook prizes.
Alicia Montgomery • Alyssa Drake • Amanda Uhl • Anna Durand • Bianca D’Arc • Carrie Whitethorne • Crystal Dawn • Helen Scott • Ivy Quinn • J. Rose Allister • Jody A. Kessler • Karen Michelle Nutt • L.D. Rose • Laura Greenwood • Leigh Anderson • Lianne Cotton • Linda Nightingale • Lisa Chalmers • LJ Swallow • Lynda Haviland • Marsha A. Moore • Mary Abshire • Maureen L. Bonatch • Mia McKimmy • ND Jones • PG Forte • S.A. Larsen • Shelique Lize • Sherrie Lea Morgan • Tena Stetler • Tmonique Stephens • Traci Douglass • Vella Day • Aileen Harkwood
Once again – Noodle’s name. Don’t forget. As with most authors, our general idea does get changed and twisted around before and during the writing process. Suddenly, on this road trip I mentioned in my last blog, the name “Noodle” came to mind. Noodle is my dog’s name. It’s quirky and endearing. How on earth he got that name, I haven’t figure out yet. That’s another backstory I’ll need to create. I already have some of my heroine Jamison’s backstory. It’s not complete. But, I’ll need to know more about her before I hit this class. If nothing else, I must know her GMC (Goal, Motivation and Conflict). That will be key in helping me through this class I’m scheduled to take. By the way, the class I mentioned in my first blog…the whole reason I’m doing this new novel idea is for that turning point class which started May 1, 2017. My next post will wrap up this chat about Noodles and how his story is prepared to be written.
Hello everyone! This is my journey continuation regarding my creative process on a new book. If you read my last blog post, you know I have one character sort of fleshed out. The dog. He’s a perceptually lazy, overweight, half-breed, cadaver dog. Next, my heroine. The dog’s human. They say to write what you know, or at least do some research. I need to get out more since I quit my regular day job. I also wanted to find something I could be passionate about that wouldn’t require me to leave my writing for really long periods of time. I chose volunteer work. I wanted something local. Since my book’s dog needed a human, I decided my heroine would be that human. I haven’t decided if I’ll do this from first person POV or third. That’s a decision for later.
Once again, I’m back to the internet. I find a local Search and Rescue group that is close enough to me to allow little time to get to the training classes. I chose the Hall County EMA Services. I made contact via their website to find out how to become a volunteer member. There is a lot of information on this site of theirs and I read voraciously, knowing I won’t be able to memorize it all. But, I can get a good idea on what will be expected and how to begin. I receive a very quick response (same day) letting me know when the next training class will be, what form I need to bring with me and how the process works.
There is a once a month in-class training day and once a month field training day. Sounds reasonable. I commit myself to doing this. I notify my family members. My daughter is thrilled that her “hermit author” mother will be going out and making new friends. Right. Here is their site: http://www.hallcountysar.org/. Check out the pictures on what is carried in those backpacks they carry. Wow. Now my heroine’s name is going to be Jamison. I love that it’s a twist on a masculine name for a woman. I’m driving to a friend’s house and thinking about this story. Jamison will be new to the local Search and Rescue group. But, she and her dog have gone through training in a very small town four states away. She feels more training is needed. Plus, she has a gift. She can see “ghosts”. When she goes out, her dog is not thrilled that she finds the general area of the body before he does. Therefore, he will usually wait until she gets them in the general area before he does his thing. Not too bad, so far. I’m liking this! Let me know what you think so far.
Let me tell you a story about how Noodle came about.
The next several blogs will be about my creative process on a new novel and my journey for this special dog.
A good friend and critique partner strongly recommended a course taught by Laura Baker at the Writer’s University site (https://writeruniv.wordpress.com/). The title of the class is: MASTER CLASS: Turning Points. It’s a two-week long course and Carrie said it really helped her plan her novel. It’s been my experience that although I have had published four novellas and a full-length novel, I can never learn enough. I think it comes from my days in a corporate job where continuous education is required. In many jobs, it is and in others, it’s strongly recommended. Because I am by own boss, I have declared it a requirement. The reason is that no matter how many workshops, on-line courses, books and discussions I’ve been in, I always either learn something new, or am reminded of something I’ve forgotten.
It never hurts to improve your handle on the craft anytime, anywhere possible. That’s my own opinion. So, Carrie suggested that I come up with a new idea for a novel to use in this class. Since she knows I’m one of those <gasp> plotters, she didn’t think it would be as rich of an experience if I used a novel I have already plotted. “It’s a turning point class, you see?” I saw. But, I’m currently working on a novella series, as well as a four book novel series. And yes, most of them are already plotted out.
Ergo, my dilemma. Come up with a new idea for this class. I have one month. Since I write paranormal, there must be a ghost. I love my ghosts. Okay, one character done: Ghost. Hero and Heroine make the other two. But, then, who are they? Where do they come from? What is the basic story idea? I need to tell you that I have four-legged family members. Both cats and dogs are included in my household. There we go, a dog. I’ll have a dog in the book.
I’m watching television one night and the show includes a scene where a cadaver dog is called in to help locate a body. The FBI agent snickers about the dog being too heavyweight and slow to do a good job. Well, lo and behold, the dog finds the body and the FBI agent must apologize. I cheered. It was all about perception, which is another term that my old day job impressed upon me. This got me thinking that I’d like my novel’s cadaver dog to be the same way, or very similar. I researched what training was involved for canines to be cadaver dogs and which breed worked best. I came up with the breed mix. I don’t care for perfect people or animals. Ha! Now, I have my imperfect, perceptually lazy, overweight half breed cadaver dog for my book. That part is done. By the way, the picture is of a bloodhound. Which is 1/2 of Noodle's bloodline.
The other day, I visited a writer friend of mine and we had lunch. Afterwards, we headed over to Stonehaven Metaphysical shop on Broad Street. I love this place as they have such a large variety of stones and gems available. As I peered into the cases and drooled over the various items for sale, I looked up and noticed this sign.
I laughed and asked the sales woman if I could take a photo. She gave me permission. I had to share. I love this idea and if I had young kids, this would definitely terrify me into making them behave.
Muse: a. A guiding spirit. b. A source of inspiration.
One of the first things I thought of when I saw a class offering to help writer’s connect with their “Muse” faster…or easier was this: “What muse?” Or worse: “What if I don’t have a muse. Does that mean I’m not a good writer?!” Panic set in. I needed to find my muse. As a beginning writer, I would have taken any muse. Your muse…the neighbor’s muse…even my cat’s muse! Someone had to have a muse I could borrow. Because, really? I didn’t have a muse…or so I thought.
As I wrote my stories, I would get caught up in the story. To me, writing was like putting down on paper the movie I would see in my head. It was awesome. One day, during a scene I had plotted out in detail (I mean, every detail…who stood where, which hand was lifted…well, you get my meaning), something really wild happened. The hero did something totally unplanned. I was typing away and… BAM! He did something totally unexpected. I was so surprised, that I actually lifted my hands from the keyboard, sat back and spoke out loud to nobody. “Wow, what did you do that for?” This was quickly followed by: “Wow…that really works. I love it!”
Towards the end of the story, a secondary character started trying to take over scenes. He really did try to make the story about him. It got to be very frustrating. So, one day, I stopped typing and spoke out loud (Really? Don’t all writers do this at one point or another?). I said “Hey! Stop that! This story isn’t about you.”
That’s when it happened. This secondary character stepped out of my story and crossed his arms and looked right at me (in my head, of course…I’m not THAT…well…never mind.). He heaved a deep breath and said “Fine. I’ll step back, for now. But, the next story will be mine. I need my own story.”
Then it began…he just had to give me his opinion on nearly everything I wrote. When I decided to genre hop to historical, he miraculously changed his clothes to reflect the period I wrote in and continued with his opinions. His ideas…they were good. Sometimes, he’d snicker at me. Other times, he’d give me his wicked sexy grin and nod, confirming I was on the right track.
I’d found my muse. His name is a secret. But, for this blog, let’s call him Mr. N, and he’s a very alpha male, which makes his presence extra nice to have around. He helped me figure out problem areas in my stories. He’d even talk to my other characters and give me insight on their motives.
Then…a year ago he got mad at me. I think it’s because I had some major personal events that I allowed to keep me from writing. He left in a huff. He’s waiting for me to grovel and beg him to return. I resisted for six months. Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t written anything new in six months!
I did what I’d heard writers should do. I put my hands on the keyboard and JUST KEPT WRITING…anything. One day, out of the blue, Mr. N returned. I missed my muse. But his absence taught me determination. Irritating man.
As I’ve stated in my website and bio’s, I’ve participated in the National Novel Writing Month for five years now. Any chance I get, I recommend this program to others. Why? Because, I believe it challenges the writer to do what is called “free writing”. The official challenge of this program is to write a novel in a month. 55,000. They are very supportive in their forums as well as local support groups. They encourage the participants to just write or type without fear of criticism, without editing, without worrying about someone reading their story. I love it.
When I did my first year, I had to fight the urge to stop and edit as I went along. I also found that when I had a momentary mind dump on a word, I’d sit there staring at my computer screen, wasting valuable minutes trying to come up with the word that I was looking for to fit my current sentence. It was frustrating, to say the least. Each minute I sat staring was less words I was typing. Or worse, I’d get up and move away from the computer to get a book to find the word I wanted…or “gasp”, close my manuscript to get on the internet to do a thesaurus search. Well, by then I’m sure you can guess…the writing was over. That internet is addictive!
How could I break this vicious cycle? Then it hit me: I used brackets around an idea…or if I couldn’t think of it, I’d use brackets around something as simple as [insert idea here] or, when desperate [YUCK]. This technique allowed me to continue typing and not break my rhythm in the story. When I completed my manuscript, I simply did a search for the brackets and revised accordingly.
My best friend and fellow writer, now an author, used a triple x: XXX to mark her momentary stops. Recently, a fellow Georgia Romance Writer noted on her face book page that she uses a key word that she made up and would never, ever use in her stories. Then, when done with her manuscript, she’d do a search for that word. I am an advocate on using this method. It’s a time saver, stress reliever and, most important of all, it allows me to continue to write. I know I’m not the first to use this method…nor do I own this idea. I’m sure other writers have thought of it and used it often. Some may even be embarrassed to say what word and/or symbol they use. I dare you to share. If you use this method, what is your “marker”?