Moore Delivers Smexy

Brittany Carter must choose either to live in the present or in 1765. She cannot have both.

In her present, she is finally starting to reach her goals of fame, success and money. Her romance novels are bestsellers! But success does come at a price.

And that price is Mitchell Killgower.

Drop dead gorgeous and with a heart to boot. The man of her dreams, the love of her life, THE ONE she’s been waiting for her entire life.

But can she trust him?

Does she want to live in 1765 with all its inconveniences which she takes for granted in the present?

Is she willing to give up fame, success and money?

Moore is delightfully good at historical romances. With wit and intelligence she takes the reader back to Georgian England where bad-boy Mitchell is in the midst of an inheritance row when Brittany Carter  literally drops into his life.

With the romance between Brittany and Mitchell as veneer, Shehanne Moore smoothly makes her way through the power struggles between men and women – using as backdrop a feisty, strong protagonist with present day relationship values trying to apply them to the relationship values of a man living in 1765.

One of Buddha’s famous quotes is

Happiness is a journey not a destination.

The journey to arrive at the ending of The Writer and The Rake is complex, entertaining, amusing, reflective, smexy and made me happy as well.

 The Writer and the Rake is the latest in Shehanne Moore’s Time Mutant series.

 

 

https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Shehanne-Moore/e/B00CMBK7BW

Have you ever had to choose between a career and romance?

HAPPY SOLSTICE

 

https://mollylarkin.com/a-native-american-prayer-to-manifest-your-hearts-desire/

manifest

 

 

To find an answer to a problem, Bear Heart taught to face east and think about the problem, saying: “Grandfather Sun, you come each day to dispel the darkness. In that same way I ask you to shed your light so that I may see where to take the next step.”

https://www.mollylarkin.com/expressing-gratitude-on-the-summer-solstice/

Jacqui Murray’s Blog Hop

I am extremely proud to be part of Jacqui Murray’s amazing Blog Hop for  Twenty-four Days, the latest in her Rowe-Delamagente tech-thriller series.

I first got to know Jacqui through her tips for writers on her blog – which, btw, I am envious of its clean and easy to navigate interface. https://worddreams.wordpress.com/

Jacqui Murray, as far as I can tell, is a techy and – dare I say – a little bit of a geek?

 So, it’s no surprise that her novel is heavily heavenly sprinkled with – in her own words – “edgy science.”

In this novel you’ll encounter a robot that’s capable of self-awareness and expressing emotions. You’ll get a front row seat to invisible warships and dive into the inner workings of the warship cruiser, the USS Bunker Hill ( a cruiser which Jacqui’s daughter served on as an officer – talk about having a great research connection!).

I have a lot of admiration for Jacqui’s accomplishment in writing this series, not only because of the authenticity of the technology detailed in the novel but also because of her talent in putting together believable characters in an intriguing plot about a subject reflective of our times.

Synopsis of Twenty-four Days:

A former SEAL, a brilliant scientist, a love-besotted nerd, and a quirky AI have twenty-four days to stop a terrorist attack. The problems: They don’t know what it is, where it is, or who’s involved.

Twenty-four Days

 

http://twitter.com/worddreams

http://facebook.com/kali.delamagente

http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

https://plus.google.com/u/0/102387213454808379775/posts

Available at: Kindle USKindle UKKindle Canada

Using a Pen Name

Do you write under a pen name? And if so, why?

An article in Writer’s Relief  lists reasons why writers choose to adopt pen names. It could be, as they point out, that another author “owns” your name. For example, it would be difficult for someone named Agatha Christie to write under her real name.

Or, as a high school teacher who writes erotica, you’d want to conceal your identity. I hope.

Or maybe, you write in a genre that has basically a male audience and you are a woman. Joanne Rowling used the initials J.K. (K after her grandmother Katherine) because she feared that boys would not want to read Harry Potter if it was written by (horror!) a girl.  Similarly, Mary Ann Evans used a male name because she wanted to be taken seriously and wrote under the name of George Eliot. Of course, that was in the 1860’s and that doesn’t happen anymore, right?

Should you be interested in using a pen name you might want to consult Ellen Sedwick’s Self-Publishers Legal handbook for the legal aspects on using a pen name .

Here are some well known pen names:

Amanda Cross: Carolyn Gold Heilbrun

Isak Dinesen: Karen Christenze von Blixen-Finecke

Ann Rice: Howard Allen Frances O’Brien

John le Carré: David Cornwell

And pen names that hide more famous real names:

Rosamond Smith: Joyce Carol Oates

Richard Backman: Stephen King

And there are authors who write under several pen names.

 

Kathryne layne               A Hint of Scandle 2

 

 

 

 

 

upon-your-love-final-cover    Heather Crouse

Click to read an excerpt from Marie Lavender’s latest book.

What are your thoughts on a pen name for yourself?

 

 

 

Least Useful Writing Advice

 This morning, in browsing the internet, I came across Stacey May Fowles’ latest book.

 staceymayfowles-380

I loved Fowles’ novel Infidelity and so I was naturally curious and eager to read about her new book, which, in turn, led me to Stacey May’s answer to

 

What is the least useful writing advice you ever received?

You see, CBC Books runs a series titled Magic 8:

We ask our favourite Canadian authors for the questions they always wish they were asked. We put those questions into a hat, randomly pull out 8, and send them to other Canadian authors.

So it was writer Patrick deWitt who asked Fowles the question. This was her answer:

“Write every day.” There’s no better way to hate or become frustrated with a thing than to force yourself to do it when you just can’t or really don’t want to. I do think sometimes you have to work through writing difficulties but it’s also so important and necessary to take breaks when your gut tells you to. Sometimes simply not writing is actually good for your writing.

Fowles’ latest book? It’s about baseball.

Fowles is an avid Toronto Blue Jays fan and is editor of Best Canadian Sports Writing, baseball for Jays Nation and The Athletic, and is author of the popular weekly Baseball Life Advice e-newsletter. She has also won tons of writing awards.

Sounds like a fun read. Just in time for the baseball season.

Not Another: A story by Ann Fields

Ann Fields’ short story, Not Another, is part of Voices from the Block – a Legacy of African-American Literature.

voices-from-the-block-ebook-november-2016

 

Ann Fields transports us into another world where her protagonist, The Young Wife, is determined to make her community a safe place for the children by fighting The Great White – a monster who demands, every so often, the sacrifice of a child as protection for the village.

The nameless Young Wife is the kind of character that one reads fiction for. She brazenly and stubbornly puts aside her own needs in order to fight for a better world where peace dominates evil. Hers is an altruistic world. She is brave and strong and refuses to be defeated. And as all good protagonists, The Young Wife brings us to question our own weaknesses: would we, like her, be willing to give up our cozy lives in order to defeat a malice that does not personally touch us?

In her opening of Not Another Ann Fields writes this dedication:

To the people of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria,

Ivory Coast and others…

America, where is your revolution?

In this world of increasing intolerance Not Another offers inspiration and hope. What more can we ask of literature?

Besides this poignant and relevant story, Ann Fields played a significant role in bringing together this inspiring collection of essays, poetry, short stories and fiction starts by talented and gifted writers.

As a tribute to Black History Month, Voices from the Block is a book you’ll want to read any month, especially in March when Ann is planning to spotlight some of the writers whose works appear in this anthology.

 

The Writing Job Description

It’s been ages since I’ve posted and it feels great to flex these muscles again. But, like any activity, it’s best to go easy at the beginning of a routine. So, I’m going to start off by re-blogging Belinda Williams’ witty and spot-on article on The Writing Job Description.
See if you have what it takes to be a writer.
Please leave all comments on Belinda’s blog. I’m still not 100% back!

Belinda Williams

Whether you’re a writer or not, you’ve probably come across one of these memes:

What writers do

While you chuckle, there is an element of truth to some of these. And that truth is:

Writing is about a hell of a lot more than just writing.

When I started writing, I had a vague idea of what I was getting myself in for. With the release of my latest contemporary romance, The Pitch, later this month, I’ve got a much clearer idea. It’s the third book I’ve released (with two more due for release late this year and next).

A writing job description (Or, if only someone had told me all this earlier . . .)

Here’s all those things I’ve discovered are part of the job description for ‘writing’ but are not actually writing:

  • Editing. That’s writing, you say! Huh. To a writer, editing is not writing. Editing is the…

View original post 745 more words

TWO RISING STARS

Judy Penz Sheluk and Kristina Stanley have both been featured in my series How I Got Published when they were both starting out – before they established themselves as the respectful mystery writers they have become.

Both are Canadian. Judy Penz Sheluk writing about a small town community outside of Toronto and Kristina Stanley writing about the mountain resorts of British Columbia.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime – Guppies, Sisters in Crime – Toronto, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers, Inc. and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. She lives in a small town northwest of Toronto, Ontario. Read more here.

Skeletons in the Attic

 

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house  she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.

 

 

Skeleton’s in the Attic is the first of Judy’s series but not her first mystery.

I found myself immediately drawn into Skeleton’s in the Attic not only because of the suspense but because of the wonderfully quirky characters inhabiting this novel. The author does a fantastic job managing her characters and making them all come alive with their own distinct personalities and secrets, adding layers to the novel’s core suspense.

As Callie moves into her father’s house and gets to know her eccentric neigbours, clues to her mother’s disappearance begin to emerge. The problem is that the more clues appear the more nothing is what it appears to be and Callie can’t quite trust those providing these clues.

Although warned that the truth can break your heart, Callie can’t stop her relentless quest to discover the truth behind her mother’s disappearance. I particularly enjoyed the protagonist’s search for a mother who abandoned her when she was six and in trying to put together the pieces of her mother’s past she dips into memories of her own childhood.

Skeleton’s in the Attic is a cozy, enjoyable read.

 

Kristina is the author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series.

Her books have garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. Crime Writers of Canada nominated her first novel for the Unhanged Arthur award. The Crime Writers’ Association nominated her second novel for the Debut Dagger. She is published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. click here for more.

Avalanche

 

On a cold winter morning, the safe at Stone Mountain Resort is robbed, and Kalin Thompson’s brother, Roy, suspiciously disappears. As Director of Security, Kalin would normally lead the investigation, but when her brother becomes the prime suspect, she is ordered to stay clear.

 

 

 

In her third installment of The Stone Mountain Mystery Series, Kristina Stanley begins the novel with her signature nail-biting tension. She immediately plunges the reader into the middle of an avalanche and we find out very quickly that “…Roy’s headlamp burst to life, eerily illuminating his surrounding snow coffin.”

Lovely sentence.

Kristina Stanley maintains tension and suspense throughout the novel, whether it has to do with the protagonist’s decision to take an appealing job offer that might tear apart her newly married relationship with Ben, or, this being a mystery, on solving a murder.

I’ve had Avalanche on my Kindle since last June. When the weather started to turn cold and snow covered the ground I pulled up the novel. Avalanche is perfect to take on a ski holiday or to sit by a fireplace, sipping hot cocoa or tea and getting lost in the tangles of relationships.

In the category of Women’s Sleuth Mysteries, Avalanche was an Amazon Hot New Release.

I’ve now read all three of the Stone Mountain Mysteries and this is my favourite.

The First Ten Percent Of Your Novel

In my last post I wrote about an article written by Jane Smiley, the acclaimed American novelist, on the Purpose and Practice of Revision This led me to her book 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel.

Front Cover

This is what Jane Smiley said about her book in We Wanted To Be Writers. com :

13 Ways of Looking at the Novel, (which) is a book about the anatomy and the history of the novel. And there are two chapters in there called “A Novel of Your Own Part I” and “A Novel of Your Own Part II.” Half of the book is about analyzing the form of the novel and half of the book is a sort of lengthy bibliography of about 105 or 6 novels that I read in order to write the book. (Jane Smiley on teaching writing)

Smiley, has a distinguished teaching record in the department of Creative Writing at the University of California so it’s no surprise that in reading her book I fell into the student role with Smiley as my teacher.

With clarity and generous spirit Smiley shares her insights on what makes a good writer. 

Because I am in the middle of editing a draft of my own, I was most interested in how she approaches “bettering” her rough drafts, specifically the first ten percent.

You, as the author, have about 10 percent of your novel to show the reader “who”, “what”, “where”, and “when.” “How” is for the rising action… You have only a certain number of pages to get the reader used to you as a writer. The more you pack into those pages, the more likely the reader will trust you and be willing to go on to the rising action.

So, what about this first 10 percent? What exactly does Jane Smiley suggest one pack into these pages?

PLACE: Where is everyone? When is the action taking place?

TIME: How is time going to be organized? Straight, continuous chronology? Chronological but in forward jumps? Some sort of looping structure?  Backward?

What makes your protagonist worth writing about?

These are the kind of interesting questions which Smiley throws at you, the writer, to help you go deeper. Another question which made me sit up had to do with the last 10 or 15 percent of the novel:

THE CLIMAX.

So the first thing you are going to do is turn to whatever page comes 90 percent of the way in your rough draft…That one page of the climax of your novel can tell you a lot about both what you have done and what you want to do, if you let it. Reading it, and a couple of pages around it, is your first diagnostic. (p.233)

There is so much that I got out of reading studying 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel.

If you are in the process of editing a novel, I highly recommend that you have a look at this book, particularly parts I and II of the chapters titled A Novel of Your Own.

 

The Purpose and Practice of Revision

These past few months I have been submerged in revising one of my novels. It has been sluggish, at times arduous and discouraging, taking up a good chunk of my energy, which partly explains why I have been less present on this blog.

I tend to approach revision of my work like a ten year old might approach having to clean her room on a Saturday morning.

Image result for girl cleaning bedroom

There are so many more interesting things to do, right? After all, the sun is shining and I really should take advantage of one of the few nice days left before winter settles in.

When it comes to editing my work I need all the help I can get not only to get my brain cells functioning out of slumber but also to once again get excited about my work.

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This week, to help boost my enthusiasm over my novel, one of the members of the writing group I belong to forwarded to the gang this article on revising by Jane Smiley. Her essay titled The Purpose and Practice of Revision was published in  Creating Fiction, edited by Julie Checkoway.

 

 

 

So, I was gleefully pleased when I read this passage in Smiley’s essay:

A good revision should involve you more deeply in your work and make you more eager to get at it. As a good reviser, you will gain two boons. First, your work will get better, and so will  be more likely to get published. Second, you will like doing it so much that you will care less and less about whether it ever gets published.

Hmm. Like doing it so much. That sounds like an enticing promise to me. Somewhere between first draft and God only knows how many more drafts I lost interest. What was the point of going on when I already knew the story? Obviously, the point was to keep improving. We’ve all heard some form of this: a real writer writes.

The first idea you need to give up when you begin to revise is that you know what this story is about.

Sue Miller

 

If you’re in revision mode, Jane Smiley’s article is a guiding light to shine on your process. In less than a dozen pages, Smiley has managed to capture the soul of revision, not a small feat when you consider that many books attempt to do so in hundreds of pages.

Her advice is precise, concrete and uplifting.

You can read the entire article here.