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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rik Stone Shares Practical Writing Advice Writers @Stone_Rik #AmWriting #Authors #WriteTip

The truth of the matter is a full length manuscript is nothing more than an expanded short story. And a short story is a blown up account of something that interested you over coffee, or in a pub, or a musing on the way to work, a joke, an anecdote, a newspaper article, an idea of what you might have done if you’d won the latest lottery (we’ve all been there). The source is endless. But whatever it is you come up with, it should have a beginning, middle and an ending. Obvious maybe, but having a complete idea of what you want before putting pen to paper is important.
The Story: A writer formulates a tale from a basic idea and helps it grow; no one sees every word, line, or chapter of their text in the preamble of thought. At some point it might take on a life of its own where you feel your hand is merely being guided, but that can’t happen until you’ve made a start. Write your idea down in its simplest form. As I said, it needs a beginning, middle and an ending. Beginning; Tom falls for Mary and she likes him too. But Mary is seeing a boy called Harry. Middle: Harry is a bully and Mary has been afraid to break up with him for as long as she can remember. Tom is no hero but feels compelled to be with Mary. Ending: Tom is forced to stand up to Harry. Things go wrong; Harry gives Tom a good thrashing. But this gives Mary the strength to dump Harry and go off into the sunset with Tom… Not a blockbuster in the making, I’m sure, but you can see where I’m going. Those few short sentences provide a skeleton to put flesh on. Now you have your own idea written down, think about it before going further. It’s better to rearrange the bare bones before you have to start pulling flesh out the way to get at them.
Research: Okay, the words flowed, your ideas were brilliant – but were they accurate? Unless you’re writing something like Sci-fi or fantasy there is a high probability that your narrative will incorporate real events – make sure what you write is correct else the reader will lose belief in your ability: try to use more than one source to verify your work.
Patience equals quality: You finish your tale, great, you’re excited, the world of readers must see it, and they must see it now. Nope! From my own standing, you must complete at least 4 drafts – up to you, but that’s my unwritten rule. Done it, good, but you’re not finished. The work should be edited by a pro, and that even goes for the pro editor who writes; it is too easy to overlook your own mistakes. You’ve got it back from your editor – rewrite. Do not look at it and say they were wrong. They might be, but their interpretation is how they understood your written word, so if they didn’t get what you meant then you probably didn’t make it clear. Accept the criticism, that’s what you paid for.
Finished: Not yet, you’ve rewritten the book and you love it. It couldn’t be better. So how come it isn’t finished? Well, it might be, but you’ve just messed about with work that has been professionally edited and the quality might have taken a dip. Pay out to have it copy-edited/proof read. The few extra pennies you spend will be worth it.
Done it all? Great, you’re finished – good luck with the next steps.

Set against the backdrop of Soviet, post-war Russia, Birth of an Assassin follows the transformation of Jez Kornfeld from wide-eyed recruit to avenging outlaw. Amidst a murky underworld of flesh-trafficking, prostitution and institutionalized corruption, the elite Jewish soldier is thrown into a world where nothing is what it seems, nobody can be trusted, and everything can be violently torn from him.
Buy Now @ AmazonB&NKobo & Waterstones
Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, November 27, 2014

LUCIFER & THE INDIGO KIDS by Lord Ra Krishna EL @Lord_Ra_Krishna #Excerpt #Poetry #TBR

Geronimo... (and the ones with religion)

Dear Geronimo...
My Great, Great grand Father

They took you from us
And our people were slaughtered...

They didn't break your spirit
You passed it unto me

And I will spark the movement
As soon as I get free...

They hunted and chased you
I clearly remember
They would have never caught you
They're lucky you surrendered...

They tricked you and stole your land
and we even have the audacity to celebrate Thanksgiving...

They used you for mascots
the Red Skins
and the Chiefs

Your great land was stolen
By the ones with religion...

"This “new age” book of poetry reflects the diverse views and philosophies of it’s author Ra Krishna EL. It’s an intimate, humorous and thought provoking group of poems intended to evoke strong emotion. To quote the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, this style of poetry can be called “Zukunfts poesie“ which translates into “Poetry of the future”, where truly original ideas are presented thru poetry. Also known as post Nietzschean poetry.

It’s subjects include society, pop culture, love, religious dogma, God and the new age of Aquarius. This book was written and published during the false incarceration of its author in Chicago’s notorious Cook County Jail, the largest jail in the country."

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Poetry, Philosophy
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lord Ra Krishna EL on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

#Excerpt from WITNESS TO MY HEART by Loni Flowers @LoniFlowers #AmReading #Romance #TBR

“Do you know how great that bathing suit fits you?” he commented.

I was surprised by the unexpected compliment. “Thanks. It’s definitely not the bikini I should have been wearing, according to Caroline.”

“You can see just as much in a bra and panties, which I’ve already seen.”

“Only the bra,” I corrected him.

“Personally, I’ve always preferred a woman in a one-piece. The way it molds to the skin… perfectly outlining every delectable curve on her body. There’s only one thing sexier than that.”

“Oh yeah? And what is that?”


When I didn’t respond to his answer, Max plucked my empty bottle from my hand and set both bottles on the on top ledge of the pool behind my shoulder as he moved in closer. “Shall I get you another?”

I shifted back a bit. “No, I’m good. I hope you’re not trying to get me drunk so you can have your way with me?”

He took another step closer. “You accepted the beers. I didn’t make you drink them, or ask you to get in the pool. And I would never force myself on a woman just to get what I want.”

“Is that because alcohol makes it so much easier for you?” I retreated another step and my back reached the tiled side, indicating I had nowhere else to go.

“The alcohol means nothing; and the fact that you brought it up tells me you’re trying to find an excuse. What I’m trying to figure out is: do you want me more right now? Or that day I pushed you against the wall? Or was it when you came out of the bathroom last night, dressed in a tight, little tank top and shorts?”

My heart started racing at his sudden forwardness, but I couldn’t let him get to me. “I see the decent conversation we enjoyed tonight has ended. Now you’re full of delusional assumptions.”

“Your eyes give you away.”

As soon as he said that, I stared into the water. There was only about an inch of space between us.

“And so does your breathing. I affect you more than you realize, or will admit.”

“You’re so full of yourself. I just met you. I don’t even know you.”

“I’m only stating the facts. You want me and you can’t even admit you do.”

“I do not! I’m not sure what gave you that idea.”

“The gaze in your eyes, your increased breathing, your mouth, hell your whole body reacts to me when I’m around. I can even smell it on you!” Max raised his arms and put them on each side of my head as he gripped the ledge with each hand. Water trickled down his arms and dripped back into the pool. “When I’m this close, your body sends out pheromones and signals, like it is calling me. Your hands find their way to my skin… like now.”

My hands were pressed against his chest. Like a magnet, they were drawn to him over and over again without any forethought on my part. Closing the gap between us, Max pressed his body against mine and I found it hard to resist the moan that nearly escaped my mouth.

Leaning down, his lips barely brushed mine when he spoke. “And right now, you’re wondering what it would feel like to have my lips tasting yours. Possessing you. But I won’t take what I want, Abi. So, tell me… what do you want?”

Witness to my Heart

Keep a low profile. That's what Abigale Peterson was supposed to do, especially when the person she was being protected from was one of the world's worst crime lords. After seven years in the Witness Protection Program, she felt no safer now than she did when she was seventeen. Revenge was rarely forgotten when it came to a professional criminal like Zerilli.

Low profiles meant no social life and definitely no love life.

Paranoia and lies became daily habits, going against everything Abigale believed in, but they kept her safe. They kept everyone safe.

Until a house fire puts her out of that safety and into the arms of a stranger. Max Smith is sexy, smart, and has major attitude. He’s the only one who seems to get her. He calms her fears and comforts her from her nightmares. But he also sees right through her lies.

Before Abigale can stop, she’s in too deep; confiding too much and breaking the one rule she promised herself to uphold: Never fall in love.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – R
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Connect with Loni Flowers through Facebook & Twitter

Hank Quense on Using Scene Settings to Develop the Rest of the Story @hanque99 #AmWriting

Why choosing your setting is important

A setting for a new story is one of the earliest attributes I assign. I need the setting on order to develop the rest of the story design elements. More about the story design elements later. There are two separate types of setting in a story. One is the overall setting such as a Medieval kingdom or Victorian London or an alien planet. The second type of setting is a subset of the overall setting and this second tip is used in scenes. Thus, scenes set in Victorian London could include a private men’s club, a private home, the docks on the Thames, and the London Bridge. All of these are readily identified as part of the London overall setting. It is an essential requirement of the story that the scene settings be consistent with the overall setting. For instance, if the scene on London Bridge includes modern automobiles, the reader will have a difficult time suspending belief.

In other words, choosing a setting limits what the writer can do and it also limits the characters. Likewise, a character in the Medieval kingdom setting can’t use Kung Fu to disarm an opponent. Using Victorian London as the story setting will require research in order to write convincingly about it. However, since no one is alive who lived during that era, the author has a bit of leeway in describing the setting. That’s not true if the writer uses a modern setting. If the writer gets the details wrong, some readers will call him on the mistakes.

I live outside New York City and I love to visit Central Park. I’ve used the Park as a scene setting in a few stories. In one story, the climax took place in the Park at a spot that includes Cleopatria’s Needle, an Egyptian obelisk. The story called for characters to be dropped off on the east side of the Park (5th Avenue) and go through the Park to get to the obelisk. To ensure accuracy, I went to the Park and walked the route my characters would take. I also took pictures to ensure I wrote the details correctly.

If you haven’t been to Central Park, don’t try to use it in a scene, it’s unique. In similar fashion, don’t write about San Francisco’s Chinatown unless you’ve been there and are familiar with the area.

I’ve written a number of scenes in a fantasy city called Dun Hythe. I picture the seaport as resembling Quebec City. This city has two parts called the Lower and Upper towns. The Lower Town is along the St. Laurence River and extends back a few hundred yards. The Upper Town is atop a rock palisade a hundred feet or more high. My Dun Hythe is constructed similarly and I have photos to took while in Quebec so I get the details correct.

Moxie's Problem

Do you enjoy untypical coming-of-age stories? Well, you won’t find one more untypical than Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outside her father’s castle. Until now. The real world is quite different and she struggles to come to grips with reality. The story takes place against a backdrop of Camelot. But it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe. So, all bets are off!

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy, Sci-fi
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Hank Quense through Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A LIFE LESS ORDINARY #Excerpt by Victoria Bernadine @VicBernadine #AmReading #ChickLit

Manny laid in bed, staring up at the ceiling and waiting for sleep. She plucked restlessly at the blanket and wished she could relax. Tomorrow was Steph’s first staff meeting. Today she’d reacquainted herself with everyone in the office then spent the rest of the day with Manny being briefed on the details of the work of the branch and any current issues she’d need to resolve within the next few days. That meant Manny’s own work had been delayed, and tomorrow it would be delayed again–and Manny would have to leave early in order to meet Rebecca and Daisy at the lounge for drinks before heading to the club.
Manny took a deep breath and slowly let it out. It wouldn’t be too bad, she staunchly told herself. Steph was young, energetic, and had a shrewd intelligence almost obscured by the cleavage-revealing shirts, short skirts and a figure that could stop traffic–and probably did. Manny wondered if Craig truly understood what he’d gotten himself in for by promoting Steph rather than Manny.
Cleavage and legs.
She mentally rolled her eyes at Harvey’s dry, cynical tones.
Maybe–but that’s not really fair to him, is it? He’s not a bad guy.
But he is just a guy.
She does bring a new perspective–a new way of thinking about things. She’s not a bad choice–and I can’t argue with Craig’s idea that shaking things up could make things better.
And where does that leave you?
No worse off than I was before.
And no better.
If you’re not going to be helpful…
Harvey glanced down at his suddenly ruffled shirt opened to the middle of his muscled chest and skin-tight breeches. He glanced back at her with a ruefully amused smile.
Watched the Ice Pirates again, did you?
Oh, shut up–it’s a classic no matter what anybody else thinks!
I’m just sayin’–if I was real and regularly wore pants this tight, I’m not sure I’d be of any use to you. If you know what I mean.
Manny groaned and shook her head, and Harvey blinked out of existence. She wondered when she’d managed to lose control of a figment of her imagination–one she’d eventually felt compelled to name after an invisible rabbit.
She groaned again, rolled over and pulled the covers over her head. It was going to be another long day tomorrow.
Complete with dancing.

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – ChickLit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with Victoria Bernadine on Twitter

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cheryl Rice Shares How #Poetry Was an Outlet for Sorrow @RiceonLife #AmReading #Women

Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy

If someone asked me what three things I’d take if I were stranded on a desert island I would say, my dog Gracie for love and companionship, dark chocolate as my drug of choice, and a very large, spiral bound, unlined journal with an attached Paper Mate InkJoy pen for therapy.

Writing has always been a safe haven for me. Through it I have found a sanctuary of comfort, clarity and sanity. I remember writing my first poem, which I spelled “pome,” in Mrs. Hilderman’s second grade class. It was about a mouse with tickly prickly whiskers. Mrs. Hilderman chuckled when she read it and gave me the ultimate compliment when she hung it with a clothespin on a strand of twine that stretched the length of her classroom supply closet.

It didn’t take long for my poetry to grow in depth and drama as I grew into my awkward adolescence. Most of it was fairly melodramatic and maudlin but it provided a needed outlet for the loneliness and longing that suffused my days. My grandfather used to take fistfuls of poems that I had written into the bathroom with him and emerge with tears in his eyes and arms wide open. “Sherry,” he would say (my grandfather was the only person in the world I let call me anything other than Cheryl), “Please don’t tell me you’re as sad as these poems. I can’t bear it. Come here. Let me give you a hug.”

While my poetry served as an adequate outlet for my sorrows at the time, it was the daily journals I kept throughout most of my life that served as my gateway to self-knowledge and eventually self-compassion. In my late twenties I kept a journal addressed to my imagined future husband. It was a way for me to feel a hopeful connection to my eventual life partner and also to clarify for myself who and what I wanted in a partner. It’s amazing how many of the qualities and even characteristics – like being a lawyer and having two sisters – my real-life husband shares with the imaginary man I wrote to all those years ago.

Writing became most therapeutic for me in the wake of losing my mother. When I was mired in unprecedented grief I could bring my sorrow and anguish to the page without worrying I was burdening anybody else. I would write my feelings of course, but I also would write letters both to my mom and from my mom to me. I even wrote a letter from me to my unborn child. I cried as I wrote many of these letters but that cascade of words and tears provided tender comfort and healing to my wounded heart.

Another powerful writing experience was when I gave myself permission to write in an unlined journal. At first I was reticent and kept trying to write in straight imagined lines – as if someone would strike my hand with a ruler if my words weren’t straight. But once I got over that I found the experience quite liberating. I could write in circles, I could turn the page on its side or upside down, I could add drawings if I liked. The freedom was indeed therapeutic as it lessened my self-imposed rigidity and broke me free from rules I didn’t even know I had been following – ultimately allowing for a catharsis and clarity I hadn’t even known I was seeking.

Writing was even therapeutic for me when I was actually in therapy and wanted to take what I was learning in sessions deeper. I wish I could say my journal didn’t talk back but the amazing thing is it did! It would offer a fresh realization – like maybe it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t heal my father – or some much needed self-compassion when I was grieving my mother.

So, yes – I’m sure that if I was indeed stranded on a desert island I’d find meaning and a therapeutic sanctuary in my journal. I may even discover a way off the island.

Where Have I Been All My Life

Where Have I Been All My Life? is a compelling memoir recounting one woman’s journey through grief and a profound feeling of unworthiness to wholeness and healing. It begins with the chillingly sudden death of Rice’s mother, and is followed by her foray into the center of mourning.

With wisdom, grace, and humor, Rice recounts the grief games she plays in an effort to resurrect her mother; her efforts to get her therapist, who she falls desperately in love with, to run away with her; and the transformation of her husband from fantasy man to ordinary guy to superhero. In the process, she experiences aching revelations about her family and her past—and realizes what she must leave behind, and what she can carry forward with her.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
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Connect with Cheryl Rice through Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, November 6, 2014

@KirstenWriter on the Ingredients for a Satisfying Reading Experience #AmReading #TBR #Suspense

Eeek! She’s Gonna Crash! The Joys and Perils of a Towering TBR Pile
By Kirsten Mortensen

The leaning tower of Pisa? Ha. That’s nothing. You should see my To Be Read pile!

I can’t help it, I guess. I love books so much, and I’m interested in so many different types of books and so many authors, that I always end up buying more books than I could possibly read.

And, to make it worse, I’m one of those people who reads multiple books at once. At any given moment, I’ve got a half dozen books piled up next to my bed with bookmarks stuck in them. I’ve got another half dozen in my Kindle that I’ve started, then set aside.

But you know what? I’ve made peace with it. I know that some of the books in my TBR pile will remain unread on the day I breathe my last.

And is there anything wrong with that!

No, I say!

Oh, sure, it’s satisfying to finish a book. It’s like finishing any project. You close the cover—or click past the last page on the e-reader—and sit back, and you get this marvelous feeling of accomplishment. Even aside from the pleasure of a well-realized plot, there’s a sense that you did it. You completed the journey. You crossed something important off your to-do list.

But I’m also of the opinion that guilt is never a very helpful emotion. So why torture yourself needlessly if you have books you don’t get to? Or books you start but don’t finish?

They still serve a purpose. Maybe that indie title you bought helped push a book onto a best seller list. Maybe the classic sitting on your shelf will one day spark the interest of a young family member, and start him or her on a reading journey.

And in the meantime, having a generous TBR pile is a bit like having a well-stocked pantry.

No matter what you’re in the mood for, chances are you’ll find the exact book you need at that moment. You have all the ingredients on hand for a satisfying reading experience: your own personal library, there for the sampling.

So to me, my leaning pile of to-be-reads is never a burden. It’s a blessing—it’s a towering stack of  riches.

How about you? Do you ever feel anxious or stressed about your TBR pile? Or does the pleasure of knowing you have plenty of books in your reading queue make you feel good?


A woman's worst nightmare

Drugged by something...that makes her think she's fallen in love.

All Haley Dubose has ever known is beaches and malls, clubs and cocktail dresses.

But now her father is dead.

And if she wants to inherit her father's fortune, she has to leave sunny Southern California
for a backwater little town near Syracuse, New York. She has to run RMB, the multimillion dollar
chemical company her father founded. And she has to run it well.

Keep RMB on track, and she'll be rich. Grow it, and she'll be even richer. But mess it up, and her inheritance will shrink away before she gets a chance to spend a dime.

Donavon Todde is her true love. But is it too late?

He's RMB's head of sales – and the more Donavon sees of Haley, the more he's smitten.
Sure, she comes across at first as naïve and superficial. But Donavon knew Haley's father. He can see the man's better qualities stirring to life in her eyes. And Donavon senses something else: Haley's father left her a legacy more important than money. He left her the chance to discover her true self.

Donavon has demons of his own.
He's reeling from a heartbreak that's taking far too long to heal. But he's captivated by this blond Californian, and not only because of her beauty. It's chemistry. They're right for each other. But has Donavon waited too long to woo this woman of his dreams? Because to his horror, his beautiful Haley falls under another spell. Gerad's spell.

A web of evil.

Gerad Picket was second-in-command at RMB when Haley's father was alive. And with Haley on the scene, he's in charge of her training. But there are things about RMB that Gerad doesn't want Haley to know.

And he must control her. Any way he can.

Romantic suspense for your Kindle

Will Haley realize that her feelings are not her TRUE feelings?
Does Donavon have the strength left to fight for the woman he loves?
Will the two of them uncover Gerad's plot to use RMB pheromones to enslave the world?
And even if they do – can they stop it?

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Romantic suspense
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kirsten Mortensen through Facebook Twitter