Today I'm welcoming award winning author Em Petrova to my blog. I've been a huge fan and recently got to take a class with her where I learned a lot about editing. Not only is Em a wonderful author, but an inspiring person.
One of the most talked questions amongst writers is voice. What is it, where do I find it, how do I use it? When you receive the inevitable rejection letters, sometimes agents or editors will comment on its presence or lack thereof. If you’ve got it, readers flock to the shelves like children clambering to hear one of Grandma’s stories. Some of us have it naturally and others have to work for it. Out of eighty-some rejection letters, I was often told my voice was strong, but my story was not for them.
Luckily, like the craft of writing, your voice can be cultivated. When it comes to singing, a voice teacher might hone your pitch or help you work on your breathing techniques. You might practice for years, wailing your heart out, and chances are your singing will improve, but you’ll never become a contestant on American Idol. Here’s the good news! You don’t have to have the best voice to engage readers! But finding the true quality for you is important. So how do you do that?
A writer’s voice is the pitch and tone, a style that feeds your words a particular feel. When people read your words, they’ll hear a subconscious whisper in the back of their minds. The most important thing to remember is that your story is an interpretation of the world seen through your eyes.
Yes, your hero or heroine’s points of view are important, but first and foremost, you’re translating this story. No one can tell it but you. If your writing partner attempted to tell the same exact story with the same plot, characters, and conflicts, she’d tell it differently. Because the words are filtering through her brain. She’s giving it her stamp in new ways because she loves the color purple and she broke her arm rescuing a kitten from a tree
and she’s a mother. To create voice, your unique traits will shift into sound, beat, rhythm.
Here’s an exercise I often do to warm up, especially if I’m starting a new manuscript or I’ve been away from my work-in-progress too long. Block out ten minutes, get your booty in your chair and open a blank document. Then start typing. Don’t type with a direction in mind. Just let your muse wander. Talk about the curtains in your office, the damn phone that rings too
much, or the shirt tag that feels itchy on the back of your neck. Don’t you dare edit! And who cares about typos, run-ons or grammar? Just type. It will sound something like this:
The trees are black and icy with arms reaching toward the midnight sky. Tiny drops of need pulsing, racing, climaxing in the veins of a depressed elephant trainer who needs more money and more work. But there’s no work in the business for elephant trainers. She needs a home, a family, but will she get it? Probably not. She only has this big fat grey hide in front of her, and it’s a big block in her life. The biggest she can imagine. Like the gorilla in the room, she has an elephant. (this was impromptu and unedited).
See? Sounds crazy, huh? Where did the elephant trainer come from? No idea. My muse went off on a tangent. But that’s not the important part. Did you hear my voice in there? Voice helps set the mood and creates stronger characters. Often writers get nervous about voice because any scrutiny cuts us and feels like a personal attack. Don’t let that hold you back. If your voice is coming through, people will like it or not, but that’s the point. You’ve connected with a reader and given them strong emotion—she likes it or doesn’t.
Another thing to remember is there are many different sides of you. Your voice isn’t going to sound flat and one-dimensional because you aren’t. You’re a wife, mother, co-worker, sister, leader of the Benevolent Order of Basket Weavers. Whatever. As writers, we already have multiple personality disorder. Let those tones shine through the writing clouds and illuminate your words.
Also, though your POV’s and characters will change, your voice will stay pretty constant. Your evil rapist villain won’t sound the same as the cherubic child of your heroine, but we’ll still know it’s you telling the story.
Searching for voice takes some time for most people. Don’t get frustrated. Keep playing with your words until you find a rhythm. Exercises will help greatly, just as a vocalist practices scales. Write a scene of action and dialogue. The quick pace might unleash your inner tone. Write in an unconventional POV—a witness to a crime, an unseen narrator, or a minor character. Tell us about your heroine’s sexy encounter with her boss in the broom closet. And try that ten-minute sprint.
Unleash and let your mind go. Your voice is probably hidden beneath the rubble of rhetorical devices, punctuation, and formatting. Searching for it is very important, but I know it’s in there. And your readers are dying to hear it.
~where words mean so much more~
When my daughter was born, we had already spent two or three months thinking about baby names. We eliminated many from the baby book and had it narrowed down to a top ten of boy names and girl names. Can you see Letterman doing a top ten of your baby names? Trust me after being a teacher for years, there were some names eliminated right away.
I loved names that were from my favorite shows and embodied the unique nature I wanted for my child. Names like Jade, Rhiannon, or Sydney. I wanted strong names for my son. Names like Kane, Seth, and Wade.
Coming up with a name for my characters is often just as challenging. It's imporant to think carefully about the characters when you write the story. As an author, you decide everything from their hair color to their physical attributes. Their name has to "fit" the characters as much as their looks.
With my Wilder Sisters stories, I've already thought about the five girls' names. For me it was important that all the girls have the same beginning letter. Since Syndie's story was the first story, I realized that all her sisters must begin with the letter "S". I wrote down a list of names that started with "S" and have begun to write the other stories with those names. Syndie Wilder of Forever Love is the oldest sister. Stacey from Beach Desires is the fourth sister. I'm currently working on a third book in the series. What name would you choose? Stephanie? Shelby? Susan? Doesn't each one convey a different memory for you? Or a different picture of the charcter?
Syndie had to be unique. She was a girl who left town right after high school. She was SYN with a capital S, only in reality she was a 'good girl' who lost her boyfriend for not putting out. Her sister had to be just as important. Stacey was a girl who was hiding her true self her entire life. Stacey fit in and conformed. She didn't make waves. That is until she broke the chains of small town life and was free to be honest about her sexuality.
If you would like to read Stacey Wilder's story, check out the fun summer romance of Beach Desires, available now at Amazon, All Romance and Secret Cravings Publishing. http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-beachdesires-804335-149.html
Today I am welcoming David M. Brown to my blog to talk about his latest book and what is an Epiphany. David will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly chosen commenter at
the end of the tour.
~~What is Fezariu’s Epiphany?
The word “epiphany” has religious connotations as a Christian feast day on 6 January, which commemorates the baby Jesus as the manifestation of the son of God. “Epiphany” is also used to describe a sudden insight or revelation, something groundbreaking or life changing, such as a scientific discovery. I wanted that element where a character has many experiences in life and only at the end are they able to fully reconcile these conflicting thought and feelings into the epiphany of the title.
Fezariu’s Epiphany began life as a very different story to what it is now. Previously Fezariu was a young man, the son of a farming family, who dreamed of fame and fortune by joining the Merelax Mercenaries – a prestigious force of hired hands and among the most accomplished warriors in Elenchera. Years later, Fezariu has seen many wars, subdued many rebellions and had his hands bloodied and dirtied by his experiences. He is a shadow of his former self and in the end he realises there is nothing heroic or romantic about war and this is his epiphany that he embraced the death that comes with war over the life that comes with farming land. Only by near losing his humanity and having little of himself left does Fezariu eventually achieve this insight.
That was the original concept but it’s completely different now. In the finished novel, Fezariu suffers many tragedies in his childhood, including the abandonment of his mother and the murder of his stepfather. He comes to believe that he is accursed and to blame for all these terrible things that have happened. He chooses to save what little family he has left by running away and taking solace in the arms of the Merelax Mercenaries. This new life is the distance Fezariu needs from his past. He is anonymous and can live his life without having to look back. Though Fezariu excels as a mercenary the past simply will not let go.
In the end Fezariu realises he must go back and face his childhood and the reason his mother abandoned him before he can bury his past for good. What is Fezariu’s epiphany? That I can’t tell you as it will spoil the story! All I can say is that Fezariu endures many ups and downs in his life but only at the end of the novel does he have the epiphany of the title and it is a life changing moment for him. It tears apart all his previous perceptions and shapes a new future, but by the time this happens Fezariu’s life is in danger and whether he survives or not is not for me to say!
Epiphanies are rare occurrences, really key and significant moments in history and in the lives of individuals. I’ve had many insights and revelations in my time, but I don’t think any of these would constitute an epiphany. Through Fezariu’s story I have lived and shared his experiences and sat on his shoulder as he experienced his own epiphany. Whether I have an epiphany of my own in future doesn’t bother me. Sharing Fezariu’s epiphany has been more than enough.
12-year-old Fezariu thought his mother died when he was little, but when his beloved stepfather dies the boy discovers she is alive and well - and working at the most famous brothel in all of Elenchera. When she cruelly rejects him it's more than he can bear, and he runs away to join a band of ruthless soldiers for hire. The Merelax Mercenaries will fight for anyone who can pay them, no matter the justice of the cause.
Fezariu grows up among the soldiers and becomes one of them. He thinks his time with the mercenaries has hardened him. But a campaign in his old home town pushes him too far, and he discovers what really happened to his mother. Maybe there are some things money
shouldn't buy... and maybe it's time Fezariu took his revenge.
As the hours passed, Redemption slowly came back to life as families braved the streets and began the painful process of putting this latest display of insurgence to one side. Only when the last of the graves had been erected would the residents of the city be able to focus fully on maintaining the prosperous empire Eligantiar had built through its many colonies in the west. The dawn of a new day brought hope in the form of the Eligantians’ continued resilience. Many rebellions they had faced since first landing in Emeraldon but they still
remained to this day, defiant masters of the continent with the native valkayans the reluctant victims of relentless imperialism.
Only when Vintaro had exhausted his supply of Mizuansi did the trio stand and make their way back into the heart of the city. Their minds and bodies yearned for rest and the warm embrace of the nearest bed to assuage their fatigue. As the trio wandered along the streets they spoke of their first assignment, the adversities that they had faced and how together they had cemented the glowing reputation of the Merelax Mercenaries in completing their task with resounding success.
The trio parted ways when they reached the central square. Fezariu returned to the inn where General Bayard was staying and where Arshea had died. He settled in a vacant bed in General Bayard’s room, convinced he would not rest.
Fezariu thought over the choices he had made in getting to this point in his life, leaving Alycea and Edward, risking everything by pursuing his dream of becoming a mercenary, and now finding that his hopes of having no one to care for or to disappoint had failed to come to fruition. The Merelax Mercenaries, for so long Fezariu’s sanctuary and escape from the haunting memories of Clarendon, had now left him feeling vulnerable.
REVIEW SOUND BYTES
There are many plot twists and turns in this masterfully written book chronicling the life of a mercenary named Fezariu. Fezariu's Epiphany is a fantasy work on a grand scale in which you enter an imaginatively drawn world filled with many lands and spanning great periods of time.
Jason Sullivan - Different Outcomes and author of The Dark Yergall
When a reader that normally does not like fantasy novels set in world with unknown names falls in love with a book from that genre, then you know the author did a spectacular job of bringing their story to life for all to enjoy.
Talina Perkins - Bookin' It Reviews/Night Owl Reviews Night Owl Reviews "Top
You can almost smell the filth and corruption that permeates Clarendon, a true cesspool of a city. This is a story of how a boy grows into being a man and accepting his faults and redeeming his failures. I recommend it.
William Bentrim - Azure Dwarf and author of The Adventures of Hardy Belch
David Brown could be considered a fantasy fanatic, especially since he has spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera. When converting his obsession into literary form, David commits himself to a rigorous writing and editing process before his work can meet his approval. Combined with the critical eye of his wife and a BA Honors in History and English, David's dedication leads him to his goal of inspiring readers through heartfelt stories and characters.
Although David is inspired primarily by fantasy fiction, he also finds his muse in the form of anime, world cinema, history, and biographies. His own books, Fezariu's Epiphany and the in-progress A World Apart, combine aspects from worlds both old and new into compelling tales of a world not soon forgotten., David himself certainly does not lack a spirit of adventure; in fact, he left his job in 2007 in order to spend a month traveling. Second only to meeting and marrying his wife, David counts this as one of the most amazing experiences of his life.
The Elencheran Chronicles: http://elenchera.com
The World According to Dave: http://blog.elenchera.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11451305-fezariu-s-epiphany(book page)
Don't forget that David will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly chosen commenter at the end of the tour. You can follow the tour for more chances to win.
Stop by Goddess Fish on June 16th for a Rebel Ink Press Party. We will be featuring some wonderful new releases, including my own Protecting His Wolfe. I can't wait to share my story with you!
Memorial Day is a day to remember thos who gave their lives for our country. The men and women who fought bravely for freedom. I've been lucky to have many wonderful family members who have served our country. My great grandfather was in World War One. He came home safely and came into my fifth grade class to speak about the war. My grandfather was undergoing his physical when he found out that two of his brothers had just died in World War Two. So the military let him go home. They didn't want our family to give any more lives. My father was in the National Guard and while he never served in a war, he was very proud of the work he did. Currently my brother-in-law is serving in the Navy. He served in Iraq and used to write emails to me about his time over there and even volunteered to send my class some scorpions! He and my sister as well as their children have been in Japan for the last three years and are coming back to the United States. Our family has been a part of protecting our country and freedom but in a small way. On Memorial Day, I want to remember those men and women who didn't come back or who came back changed in a monumental way. They gave their everything so that we could have all that we have. Thank you!
Today fellow Rebel author Suzzanna C. Ryan stops by to sit in my interrogation... um... interview...chair. I'm so happy to have her here because she is an amazing author and inspiration to me.
Hello and Welcome ! Please tell us a little about
Hi Melissa, my name is
Suzzana C Ryan.
What song best fits your life? And
Somewhere Over the
If you were a cartoon character who would you be and
If you had to live without your car or your computer, which would you choose?
Do you have any funny stories from growing up that you can share?
Mmm…the Easter Bunny…deathly afraid of him…Now come one in order to deleiver all those damn eggs that rabbit had to be pretty big. I had nightmares…about the 50 foot Bunny. Finally my mother set me straight. Then I demanded all my chocolate…for over 5 years.
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
Gamble…drink…smoke….sex…not really…writing…is my solace
If you had to be one of your characters, which would you be and why?
Tracey Reagan, from my new release, A love Dipped in Blood…a half-breed with a drop dead gorgeous sex machine Vampire mate. (half-breed…two steps from transition, from being a full vampire. Still considered human, with the ability to live with a vampire mate for eons)
Your books have a wide range of genres, do they have any common themes?
I am a true erotic romance writer. Whether it be m/f m/m or f/f or any combination there will
always be an element of romance behind my stories. Love is such a wonderful thing, and I enjoy that HEA ending.
Did you always want to be an author?
Yes, or an archiologist
What is your favorite part about being an author? What is your least favorite?
The thrill of cover art and seeing my work in print…editing…
What has been your favorite part about getting published?
Realizing a dream, crying every time I see my name on a cover. Reading my own work and realizing wow I really wrote that.
Where do you write? Do you need anything to help you get in the mood for writing?
I have a guest room that we’ve set up as an office. It’s quiet and country French décor and I have an array of music…I love Gothic Rock, Xandria, Within temptation, Nightwish…then certain love songs from the Eagles, Led Zeppelin…I think u can see I love music.
Tell us about your latest release: (blurb, excerpt, cover)
Chance Harris is a powerful Grand Witch. Her obsession is one gorgeous vampire named Eric Clayton. She’s loved the vampire forever.
It’s time for Chance to take a mate, time for her to give up her promiscuity and settle down. She only sees one man, one vampire, that will suit her needs. But Eric Clayton can’t be caught that easily. He can only see the witch whose claim to fame is a very tight female anatomy. He can only see a woman with a tainted reputation.
One flower grows that can enchant a witch, the black rose. Will Chance ever see love and black roses in her future?
Their hearts will clash and ignite. A push and pull of emotions will ensue, ending in a love that will transcend time and last an eternity.
Here’s a very sexy excerpt from Black Roses:
I ran my body down his and kissed every inch of him. I got to his six packed abs then his dick. He was beautiful, thick and long, the head dark pink and perfectly shaped. The veins were engorged and the large vein running along the back beckoned my tongue. When I put him in my mouth, his girth stretched me wide, my teeth grazed his shaft. I sucked him in and let my tongue caress him then licked and sucked his cock using my saliva ridden hands to pump him. It was all so sexual and carnal, the tip of his cock secreting drops of semen as he was nearing his orgasm. I licked the head, tasting him, and my body convulsed, he was mine and now I would show him just how much he belonged to me. I ceased my pressure at the base of his dick and sucked him hard. It was my name he yelled out as he came. It was me he vowed his love for, and it was me who would love him for eternity.
Visit me http://www.suzzanacryanromanceauthor.blogspot.com
Barnes and Noble
How did you decide on your story plot?
The title Black Roses….then just began to write…that’s how it happens…I can’t even tell when the sceme is going to shift. Or a character is going to die.
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story?
Chance Harris and Eric Clayton? The names come…I guess writers call it muses…
Do you have a favorite scene? Why?
Yes...this Vampire’s a bit kinky….likes doing things in public…and he fingers Chance under the restaurant table…makes her come, call it his appetizer…
Do you have a character that you identify with?
I do believe there is a part of me in every character I write about. Though, my characters are not me. It’s fun to let’s say add the little tidbit of info that the main character doesn’t like Pineapple ( I don’t like Pinapple.)
Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you…
face Book, twitter,
Red Paint in the hair?
Blue paint on the jeans?
Sand in the shoes?
Peanut butter on your favorite shirt?
White socks look brown?
Sleeves or shirts a little bit damp?
Well, take heart because……………..
Your child probably……….
Worked with a friend
Solved a problem
Created a masterpiece
Negotiated a difference
Learned a new skill
Had a great time
Developed new language
Your child probably didn't………..
Do repetitive tasks that are too babyish
Do worksheet tasks that are too easy
Do sit down work that is discouraging
Paid good money for those clothes
Will have trouble getting the red paint out
Are concerned that your child's teacher isn't really paying attention to your child-
The Teacher probably……………………
Was aware of your child's needs and interests
Spent time planning a challenging activity for the children
Encouraged the children to try new things
Was worried that you might be concerned
But try to remember, if you will…………
What your favorite activity was when you were four years old? Was it outdoor play with water, mud, dress-up clothes? Young children really only learn when they are actively involved in play, not when someone is talking to them. There is a big difference between "Messy" and "lack of care".
Keep in mind, that most certainly the teacher made sure that your child was fed, warm, took a nap, washed hands after toileting, and before eating--and planned messy, fun things to do, because she knows, that's how young children learn!
Send your child to school in clothes that can get dirty. Keep extra clothes at school for when your child gets wet or really messy. If you need to take your child out somewhere after school, bring your "good" clothes and allow time to change when you pick up.
And finally…..remain calm, remembering that in a few years, teen-agers will use shampoo, mirrors and all of the clean towels--but for now, we’ll just give them time to be kids!
Can a summer fling last a lifetime? Stacey
Wilder escapes to the beach for a much needed vacation and meets a woman who tempts her passion. But Stacey hid her desires growing up because small town Catholic girls don’t fall in love with other women.
Mandy Kenzie is a Southern girl who also dealt with discrimination growing up over her choice of lovers.
When she meets Stacey, sparks fly and passion ignites. But will their beach fling become a forever match or just a vacation affair?
Can Stacey and Mandy make their long distance
relationship work? Or will they let the prejudices of their upbringing ruin their chance at happiness?
Today my guest is author Annette Bower who has graciously stopped by to share one of her favorite school memories. I love that her memory is more about life than just the lessons in school. Annette will also award a $25 GC to All Romance eBooks to one randomly drawn commenter, so be sure to follow her other blog stops for more chances to win! Tour information is found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/04/virtual-name-before-masses-tour-moving.html
Good morning Melissa. Thank you for hosting me today. My memories that often come to the forefront when I think of school are not about reading, writing or arithmetic but about life.
My family moved around our home city, Regina, Saskatchewan. I attended four elementary schools (one school twice) and two high schools, all of them parochial.
While in elementary school, I had learned a song during a school holiday that went something like this: “Oh you can’t get to heaven in an old Ford car cause an old Ford car won’t get you that far, I ain’t gonna grieve my Lord no more, I ain’t gonna grieve my Lord no more. Etc.” It went on for several verses and the last verse was: “Oh you can’t get to heaven in a rocking chair cause the Lord don’t want no lazy folks there, I ain’t gonna grieve my Lord no more.” Etc.
When I returned to school, I corralled a few select friends into the corner of the school grounds and sang this song to them because I thought it would be considered naughty, or sinful, or wrong but I sang it anyway. I don’t recall who taught me the song but I had learned it well because these words remain in my memory as well as the feelings of possible danger for challenging what I assumed would be considered contrary to our teachings.
Perhaps this is why Anna in chapter 1 of Moving On-A Prairie Romance can pick up and move to a new community. It was a risk, but not too risky but just enough to force her to change her world and question some of the expert advice she had encountered in her recent past.
“[Anna’s] mother had suggested a plane ticket from Toronto and rental car, a long weekend
vacation, check things out instead of rushing headlong into the unknown. But Anna couldn’t. She drove for four days. It was now or never. She turned off the engine, opened the door and pushed one sensibly soled foot over the edge and onto the stone path that led to the house.
The windows were dirty and the exterior paint cracked and flaked. This was just the place she needed if as they say, your environment reflects your state of mind. Maybe in this place they would get off her back.”
When I was in grade five, I was a member of a group of students who were not chosen for the baseball team. My family owned a bat and soft ball so I begged to take them to school. We leftovers made up our own team, scrounged a piece of playground, and played scrub. Our diamond must have been shorter. I remember, during one of our recess games, one of our team hit a line drive and one of the players was struck by the ball and her eyeglasses were broken. I was held responsible because I had provided the bat and ball. The principal wanted my family to pay for the glasses. We didn’t have that kind of money. I can’t
remember what happened. I know my father visited the school. Nevertheless, our baseball team was disbanded.
I like exploring what it feels like to be on the outside. This is what Nick experiences in Chapter 4 of Moving On-A Prairie Romance.
“Nick remained hidden. He wouldn’t interrupt but if they needed help, he’d be there. He welcomed Herman’s relaxed face flushed with life and Anna’s white limbs flailing against
black earth were a vision. Finally, she lay back and enjoyed her prone position. Her legs and arms splayed as if she were about to play one of the oldest games and create a winged snow or rather dust angel. His heart lurched. He longed to join them, but he knew that as soon as he emerged from the trees, everything would change. He felt the twinges of being an outsider, there to protect and observe, but in many ways powerless to do much else except provide hope like he does in his armed forces duties.”
I remember in Grade 7 a handsome substitute teacher taught us the proper technique to eat soup without dribbling. I still use this method today. In chapter 5 of Moving On-A Prairie Romance Nick introduces Anna to line dancing.
“Anna was no stranger to music but she was a stranger to the dance steps. However, the stomps, kicks and grapevines became less complicated with each repetition. She liked moving to the music. She watched the red boots and skirt of the woman in front of her. She saw the added swing of her hips and suggestive dips of her shoulder. Anna added these movements. When she glanced at Nick’s face, he smiled. She smiled back and tried harder to keep up with the line. During the next set, they held onto each other and swung in unison.”
Thank you, Melissa for asking me to share memories of my school years. I had not evaluated how these early interactions with real life influence my writing. As a writer I approach a story from who I have become by the experiences life has given me.
Moving On: A Prairie Romance
by Annette Bower
Anna is a mysterious woman that has just moved to Regina Beach. The residents of the small town know everyone’s business and they are very interested in discovering Anna’s secrets. Nick was a Sergeant in the Canadian Army, doing active duty until a horrific accident sent him home to recover. He helps Anna feel safe and comfortable in her new environment, just as he has always done for his men in strange, dangerous places. Meanwhile, he focuses on preparing for his future
physical endurance test to prove that he is capable of returning to active duty.
Anna doesn’t talk about her past, and Nick doesn’t talk about his future therefore she is shocked to discover that his greatest wish is to return to active duty. She won’t love a man who may die on the job again. Intellectually, she knows that all life cycles end, but emotionally, she doesn’t know if she has the strength to support Nick.
[Nick] hopped out, hurried around to her door, opened it, grasped her hand, and pulled her to her feet. He gently pushed against the small of her spine, propelling her forward. His breath fanned the tight fluff on the back of her neck as they reached the steel double doors. He reached around her and opened the door to music. Country music.
He pulled her onto the dance floor into a fast waltz. Her feet automatically followed his measured steps. He felt the tension ease out of her body. She looked around. She even leaned her head back in response to a spin, exposing a wonderful slender white neck. He quelled an urge to lean forward and kiss the column down to her seductively exposed collar bones. He felt himself react, again. Maybe he was the beast that she spoke of. Keeping track of his left lower limb became a non-issue while he focused on another part of his anatomy or he’d embarrass himself in front of his neighbors. The music ended. He kept his hand firmly around her waist as he propelled her to the makeshift bar.
“Yes.” She hesitated as if she was searching the jargon of a memory. “Draft?”
He handed her the dew-covered glass which she pushed into her lips. He clung to his bottle and tipped it evenly, watching her through half-closed eyes. She was an enigma. Pain and party. Her face had shown shadows of solemnity and joy of life.
He wanted to know her, but at the same time, not know her. Her pain both called to and repelled him.
Annette Bower lives and writes in Regina, SK Canada. She is an author of many short stories published in anthologies and magazines in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. She explores women in families, women in communities and women at the beginning and end of love and their quest for love.
She pursues the writing craft in workshops, conferences, Writing with Style, Banff Centre for the Arts, Victoria School of Writing, Sage Hill Writing Experience, the Surrey International Writing Conferences and the Romance Writing
of America Conferences.
When she isn’t writing she walks or bikes around the streets and parks in her neighborhood imagining complex worlds behind seemingly ordinary events.
Her first contemporary romance, Moving On A Prairie Romance is published by XoXo Publishing™ a division of Ninni Group Inc.
Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win the $25 GC to All Romance eBooks to one randomly drawn commenter, so be sure to follow her other blog stops for more chances to win! Tour information is found here:
I wanted to share with you a little about my life. But I wanted you to see my life through the camera's lens not through my words. My stories tell a little about my life but here are some never before seen photos!
These are just a few of the photos of my life. I hope they show you the person I am. I'd love to hear from you and see some of your photos! :)
I'm so excited today to have Desi Moon drop by to visit. Not only is she another Rebel Sister but she is quite the dog whisperer! Maybe she can help me with my little fur babies!
On March 17th, Rebel Ink Press took a leap of faith with my second novel, Accidental Intent. When I first sat down with AI, I had it in my head to write another contemporary romance much like my first, Summerland. It was going to have over the top characters, complex family dynamics, nosy friends and a smoking hot love interest for my
female lead. Well…I was sort of on the right track.
Lucy, my female lead, was a bit over the top. You see, Lucy had an opinion…ON EVERYTHING and frankly didn’t care who heard it. Her friends? I guess you could consider them nosy. The smoking hot love interest? Yep, Nicolai appeared in my head and I swooned before he spoke a word. Only one problem. This was intended to be a straight forward romance and I ended up with a body count.
So what kept me going? It was the dogs. I am a dog person by nature. Although I do love animals in general and share my home with three incredibly independent cats, it is the dogs I keep going back for to help and care for.
In Accidental Intent Lucy, a successful dog trainer found herself hanging out at a backwoods dog shelter. For her it was all about the dogs. It didn’t matter that there were people trying to kill her, but mess with her canines…well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty to write.
But I digress, as I said, for me it was all about the dogs. Rufus, the laid back Bloodhound was a fiction of my imagination. But Baloo, the affectionate St. Bernard and Tippy the happy go lucky Terrier mix are real dogs that stole a piece of my heart over the ten years I spent working in shelters. Capturing their personalities on paper was like having them with me again and I fondly remember playing fetch with Tippy and giving Baloo belly rubs. I miss
them, but can relieve many happy memories when I reread certain passages of Accidental Intent.
“Where over the top characters gather to create mayhem”
Accidental Intent Blurb:
When drugs and murder invade sleepy Longmont, Colorado, Lucy Lafferty, resident dog trainer, finds her quiet existence turned inside out with her name added to a rising body count. And that wouldn't be good for her four-legged furry family or her prized designer shoe collection.
During the rising heat of summer, Lucy Lafferty reaches the conclusion that men aren't worth the effort, especially with an ex-sex partner who pushes to revive a relationship that never existed. But when she's thrown together on a murder investigation with Detective Nicolai Petrovski, the mercury rises to dangerous levels that have nothing to do with the season. Investigating a backwoods dog rescue unknowingly puts them both into dangerous territory and Lucy, despite all her bravado, can't help falling for the magnetic cop.
Desi (D.B.) Moon lives in Boulder, CO with her husband Eben, two kids and an ever growing menagerie.
She has two full length books out right now. A contemporary romance, Summerlandand a romantic suspense, Accidental Intent. Desi also has a short romantic comedy in the Tempting Cupid Anthology titled "My Humiliating Valentine" and in June will be a part of the Dad Plan Anthology with a romantic short titled "For the Love of Mac". In October Nowhere to
Run, an erotic horror novella, will be released in time for Halloween.
An animal activist and a Project Runway junkie, Desi is also an avid Muay Thai kickboxer and loves to bake decadent "plant based" desserts.
Thanks for stopping by Desi! There is nothing like pets to make your life better! :) I bet that they do the same to books! Maybe it isn't the dogs that need training... maybe it's me!
My book Second Time's the Charm is up for Best Cover and Best First Chapter over at D. Renee's blog. This book is very special to me because it shows that even after a horrible divorce, love can be found again. I hope you will stop by and vote, show me some support and love! I really appreciate it!
Welcome Lila! Thank you for stopping by today to share with us a little bit of your behind the scenes. I've always been interested to hear about how you got into writing and the early beginnings of Rebel Ink Press. I can't wait to hear all about it!
Hi everyone! I’m Lila Munro, procurer of realmantica, and I’d like to thank Melissa for hosting me today. Are you wondering what realmantica is yet? Well, hang on…we’ll get to that part, as it’s part of the journey Melissa asked me to write about today. My journey to writing and how I came to be a part of Rebel…
Circa 1972—Lila is three years old and sits in her little wooden rocker “reading” The Little Red Hen. Ha! For the younger in the crowd, there was no Hooked on Phonics back then, so reading at three would have been considered a simply unfathomable trick. And a trick is exactly what it was. :) Poor old granny had raked my mother’s last nerve therefore I was the dog and pony set up to put her in her place. It seemed Mom was sick of hearing about what a genius one of my much older cousins was and since I had this children’s book memorized verbatim, I was in on the “take that” revenge. As you can see, I loved books before I could spell. And that’s where my yearning to write began…
Circa 1980—Lila goes to sixth grade and takes creative writing. I still owe Mr. Trokey a signed copy of my first published work for he was the prophet that predicted my success was impending. I’m sorry Mr. Trokey, I didn’t know it’d come in the form of naughty romance. And, being a bit prophetic myself, I’ve not sent it not wishing to be the cause of your…distress.
Circa 1986—Lila pens her first novel. A YA tale of angst, which was even then pretty dramatic. It ended up in a dumpster somewhere.
Circa 1989—Lila’s English professor humiliates her in front of the entire assemblage of sophomore candidates for the coveted advanced education degree having something to do with public relations or communications or some such thing. I changed majors like underwear back then. However, I will never forget the shame of having my “story” for English two hundred something or other read in front of everyone and disassembled in quick fashion, Prof determining it was nothing more than romantic smut of the highest order and I must be in love with the subject from which the inspiration came from. The worst part…I was…and the subject had no idea…
Circa 1990—Lila gives birth—to a human child not a manuscript. Explanation enough for the writing to go on the back burner for an extended period of time.
Circa 2009—Lila finds her nest empty and without a source of employment.
What’s a girl to do? For me the question of empty-nest syndrome was short lived at best. I adored my kids, but was proud of them for being out on their own and happy they were starting their own lives. I was a bit sad to see them go, but I still don’t get the falling down, needing therapy, my life is over attitude with which some mothers approach this phase in
life. I could do things I’d never been able to and the kids were getting their shot at the wide world. What’s the big deal? I did need something to occupy my time, however. It was the first time in twenty years I’d not worked outside the home and we’d just moved to a new duty station, the market helped squash my hunt for employment and I found myself with a spotless house and nothing left to do.
Good grief, how long had it been since I’d read a good book? Ummmm…as long as I’d had kids? Well, it hadn’t been quite that long, but my reading time had been seriously impeded since motherhood and wifing had taken up the majority of my time.
As a treat to myself, I made a trip to the local book store. My husband didn’t catch on fire, but the look on his face was priceless when he saw the bag I came home with and the receipt. J Have I mentioned he makes a good living and I’m the most spoiled princess wife on the planet? Vera Bradley hears my name and shudders.
I started to read, and found myself disappointed with overall content yet fascinated at how far we’d come insofar as hot, sweaty sex. Yeehaw! Then I remembered, the memory was fuzzy at first then coming clearer…I wrote this stuff long ago and far away. In another life.
One filled with hours of free time and professors that were less than enamored of my love story telling skills. Plug your ears here, folks. **** them!
“Huuuuusband! I want a home office.”
“I’m going to write.”
“I think that’s a fine idea.”
I so love my husband.
Six months later or so, The Executive Officer’s Wife was complete. ***cue the crickets*** Now what? I’d been out of the game so long, I wasn’t even familiar with electronic publishing and had no idea how to contact a publisher of that or traditional means. Well. Google seemed a decent place to start. It was on one of my searches that I stumbled across a small press and decided maybe it was the one. Believe it or not, it was the one and only press I submitted to and I was accepted storming out of the gate, first shot. Scary? Yes. Was it that good or that bad? Neither as it turned out, but I knew after a few weeks it wasn’t all I could have made it and discovered after my second house had a whack at Bound by Trust I had a lot to learn. I was embarrassed by The Executive Officers Wife and wanted it back posthaste, but it was too late for that. It was out there and nothing to be done.
It was through that first press I met my best friend. We became tied at the hip sight unseen and before my husband made his last deployment, he decided I needed to meet my soul sister face to face.
So, he made arrangements to take me to see her. It was while visiting her, she introduced me to some very important people who had a vision that I sort of dug. You know, I firmly believe in fate and destiny…I won’t tell the entire story of everyone’s part in that, but trust me when I say, we’ve been touched by the hand of something greater than ourselves in this. I digress…onward…
Four people that would change my life and direction. Those four people were Elizabeth, Rebel owner, her husband, a silent partner, Carl J Franklin, graphics guru, and the original, and only at the time, editor, Sherri. It was much later the other editors would come on board to
include a longtime friend of mine who was looking to slow down since her husband’s retirement.
Over pancakes and eggs one morning, I was asked if I would mind terribly joining their team in the undertaking of getting a new press up and running where the writer would come first. Well, that was a novel idea. One I sort of liked. It was my marketing skills they sought. I guess my best friend had played me up to them and they were somewhat impressed. It was
a few weeks later Elizabeth contacted me and told me my marketing talents were now needed as the first few Rebel titles would be rolling out fall of 2010, which included a couple of my titles which had been accepted.
Now, here’s where the realmantica notion comes into play. After the release of A Slower Lower Life, which is in fact one of my softer, more sensual works (see I’m not all whips and restraints), I was feeling a tad low. It seemed there wasn’t a market for that type thing and I’d not discovered my darker side yet. It seemed everyone had a“tag” of some sort, a claim to fame that caught a reader’s attention immediately. I wasn’t sure what mine was. It was in a long, late night talk with Elizabeth, she with her glass of dark red, me with my tumbler of Crown, she informed me I did in fact have something that few others possessed, my tag…She informed me the market was ripe for the realism my characters portray and the term realmantica was born.
I guess she was right for the reviews tell me so…Nearly every professional review I receive says something to the effect the reviewer was so taken in by my realistic players they felt they knew them by the end and could swear they were reading about a friend. A fine compliment indeed.
I hope Dante, Blake, and Julie don’t disappoint as Assumed Master has found its way to the
Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband and their two four-legged kids. She’s a military wife with an empty nest and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual to BDSM and
ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, Salvation, Three for Keeps, the Force Recon series, the Slower Lower series, and the Identity series.
She’s a member in good standing of RWA and Passionate Ink. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2012. And has a brand new line
scheduled for winter 2012-13. Ms. Munro loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted via her website http://realmanticmoments.blogspot.com; Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Lila_Munro; Pinterest at https://pinterest.com/lilamunro/ Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4200524.Lila_Munro. You can also
contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We may be born to the lifestyle,
Julie Stevens and Dante Larson always knew their tastes were a bit more eccentric than those of the average person, but acknowledgement of their chosen paths came at different times. While their lives have run parallel for the last twenty years, destiny always came knocking at the wrong time. Julie was a closeted edge player and before Dante could pull her free of her fears, Mason came along and dragged her kicking and screaming from her self-inflicted
darkness, leaving Dante wanting. Although Dante’s been in love with Julie since the day he first laid eyes on her, he's happily married to Blake. But the tides are turning.
But Lady Fate dictates how it should be lived…
Still mourning the death of the only Master she’s ever known, Julie finds herself forced to live with the one man she’s been terrified of for years, Dante. While she has to admit something between them feels right, just as many things feel very, very wrong, starting with the fact he’s married to her gay best friend. Before she even has time to sort out her current predicament, another man catches Julie's attention. But after losing her mother, her sister,
and her husband, can Julie come to grips with the fact that Keegan McKettrick jumps out of perfectly good helicopters for a living, rescue diving for the Coast Guard? And where exactly does that leave Dante, who knows for sure he needs a woman to complete his unconventional marriage? Quite frankly, he's tired of waiting.
Thank you for stopping by today! I loved the story of how Rebel Ink Press began and can't wait to get my hands on your upcoming releases!
Today Lynne Cantwell drops by to share her Most Slippery School Memory! And to one lucky person, Lynne will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter on the tour.
I grew up in northwest Indiana, five blocks from Lake Michigan. Winters there are not for the timid. In fact, I used to own a sweatshirt that said, “Indiana: spring, summer, fall, winter, winter, winter….” Often, we would get our first snow by Halloween – I vividly recall stepping over snowbanks to go trick-or-treating. Spring consisted of a couple of weeks of mud in May after all the snow melted; anybody in our town who dressed a kid for Easter in one of those pastel coats in the Sears catalog could have been arrested for child endangerment.
So I can deal with snow. I don’t like it now, because I live near Washington, DC, where the merest whisper of snow in the forecast sends everyone in a panic to the grocery store to buy bread, milk, and toilet paper. (Seriously, that’s what people here do. It’s like two inches of snow will sock them in for a week.) But snow and I go way back. I can walk in it, drive in it, and even enjoy it, if I don’t have anywhere to be that day.
Boy, was I surprised when I went off to college in southern Indiana and discovered there was something worse than snow.
It happened one morning during the second semester of my freshman year. When I walked to my 8:30 a.m. class, it was drizzling. When class let out an hour later, I noticed that people on the sidewalk were behaving oddly – they were tripping, sort of. Then I took one
unsuspecting step onto the sidewalk myself, and boom! I was on my butt. While I was in class, the drizzle had turned to this nasty stuff called freezing rain. Everything looked normal,
but it was covered in a thin, flat sheet of ice. I couldn’t get any traction. Not even walking on the grass helped – that was covered in ice, too.
Somehow, gingerly, using little teeny steps, I made it back to my dorm. I’ve apparently
blocked out the memory of that harrowing walk, but I’m sure my feet skidded out from under me at least once more.
In my four years of college, I experienced several more freezing rain events, and it got so I could manage to get around. But there was one other time the weather gods got me.
I was working at the record library in the music building and had just finished a shift. My preferred shortcut home included a dirt path down a wooded hill. While I was at work, that path had turned into a sheet of ice. Carefully, I picked my way down it, stepping sideways, wedging my feet against convenient rocks and clumps of dirt. I was pretty proud of myself
when I got to the bottom of the hill without mishap. Home free, I took a confident step, and boom! I was on my butt.
Since then, I’ve moved around a fair bit, and I’ve learned to deal with other unpleasant weather phenomena – tropical storms, ice storms, nor’easters. But to this day, some thirty-five years after our first acquaintance, I still hate freezing rain.
The winter solstice 2012 won't be the end of the world. It will be the beginning of the end....
Naomi has a pretty sweet life. Respected as a skilled mediator, she has an almost uncanny knack for getting people on both sides of a dispute to agree. And her handsome boyfriend Brock has just proposed to her. But a white buffalo calf is bowing to her in her dreams. And who is the Native American man who has been following her around?
Naomi doesn’t know it, but things are about to change....
Working my ginger Nissan Cube free of LoDo at last, I pulled up behind a car that was sitting at a stop sign...and sitting...and sitting. No traffic was coming in either direction that I could see, and my earlier ebullient mood was evaporating by the second. Finally, in frustration, I cried out, “Just go, already!”
The car ahead leaped into the intersection. A horn blared as another car shot into my range of vision from the left, narrowly missing the first car. As the driver on the cross street flew by, still honking, the other driver rocked to a halt on the other side of the intersection and just sat there.
I realized my hand was covering my mouth. I pulled it away with an effort and sat for a moment, glancing between the flaring brake lights across the road and my hands trembling on the steering wheel. Finally, the other car’s brake lights went out and he, or she, drove away. Slowly and carefully, I did the same.
Shannon met me at the door, her grin dissolving into a look of concern…. “What happened?”
I told her. About the other driver, and about the settlements.
As I talked, my brain began clicking things into place. It wasn’t just that I was getting really good at my job – it was too easy. People were far too suggestible around me. The client
had told Perry that I had a magic touch. That he couldn’t help agreeing with everything I said.
I could tell someone to get out of my way at an intersection, even if it put that person in danger.
“Something weird is going on,” I finished, rather lamely.
Lynne Cantwell has been writing fiction since the
second grade, when the kid who sat in front of her showed her a book he had written, and she thought, "I could do that." The result was Susie and the
Talking Doll, a picture book illustrated by the author about a girl who owned a doll that not only could talk, but could carry on conversations. The book had dialogue but no paragraph breaks. Today, after a twenty-year career in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University (or perhaps despite the master's degree), Lynne is still writing fantasy. Her third novel and her first urban fantasy, Seized: Book One of the Pipe Woman Chronicles, was released in March.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Lynne-Cantwell/e/B005JTP5NE/
Smashwords author page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lynnecantwell
Thank you Lynne Cantwell for dropping by! Don't forget to leave a comment! And to one lucky person, Lynne will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter on the tour.
This is a post that I wrote a couple of years ago for Mother's Day. It is perfect to share it again, especially because of the importance of the message. Happy Mother's Day Everyone!
It is fitting that I had this conversation with my son just recently since Mother’s Day is coming up. Often I hear other people tell me that being a parent means dealing with daily guilt and I suppose that is true. Since children don’t come with instruction manuals, we are on our own to know what we need to do to make them successful, happy, well-adjusted, and loved. “Did you give them enough attention? Did you listen to classical music while you were pregnant so that they will become the next Mozart?” “Were you too brisk with them when they brought you that snake as a
gift?” Some of these things are easier than others and of course, there are times when all those things are
very difficult. If you don’t believe me, just wait until your teenager tells you that they had a“small accident” in your new car!
As a divorced parent, you face even more guilt. No matter how wonderful the divorce is, or how necessary, your children’s lives are changed for good. You begin to question every decision that you made and wonder if you have somehow “damaged”your babies! “Is this
house good enough?” “Should I get mad if they act out or is it because of the divorce?” If you are lucky enough to find someone who you love and want to spend time with... and are even more lucky to find someone who wants to be with you (kids and all), you face guilt over juggling this fresh romance with the needs of your children. You might as well build a new garage to house your guilt! “Am I spending too much time with my new boyfriend?” “Do my children feel that they have been replaced?”
Add to this mix, being a teacher and you have a treacherous situation! Teachers look at children all day long and question what the parents did or didn’t do to produce these little wonders or little terrors! We also worry about our progenies acting like some of our little challenges when our own children get to school! “Will my daughter act up in class?” “Will my son turn in his homework?” And with the worry comes the conviction that if the child is a tribulation, it must be because of the parents! Just shovel the guilt on our shoulders!
Finally, I decided to call my almost 17 year old son to ask him this one question that had been on my mind all day - “With all that you had gone through in life, how did you turn out so trustworthy?” I think he was a little shocked that I thought he was such a dependable and honorable young man because it isn’t something that we have talked about before. He was probably also a little stunned that I wanted to hear his thoughts. But I thought for sure he had the answer that would help me be a better teacher and give me some perfect insight into what I must have done right!
Let me tell you a little about my son. He has a wonderful sarcastic sense of humor which hides a very caring nature. He used to cry if he thought that you were upset or sad as a child. He faced his share of childhood illnesses and accidents, yet came away not too scared to keep trying. He looks up to his older sister and admits a little competitiveness to be better than her! Nonetheless, she was his closest confidant and staunchest supporter when he faced bullies in middle school. Finally my son has the nature of a miser and will not spend money on things if he feels that they are too expensive. He would rather give up certain items (or now that he is older-get his own job) because he doesn’t want to hurt us (his parents) financially.
So this was the guy that I went to for some help. One of the biggest things that he felt was important was the nagging that we did as parents. He said that he did hear it. So don’t give up on the million reminders to do your homework or to just walk away when you are being picked on!! They do hear you!! Another factor was his personal determination to be a success. He doesn’t have an exact day or event that caused this but around 8th or 9thgrade; he realized that good grades were important to him and his future goals, career, and successes. And while the time and effort that he sometimes has to put into his school work is vast and the work that he has to do is tedious, the final outcome is worthwhile. My son’s final piece of advice was to have a good sense of humor, using this to be true to yourself and not let the world get you down. With humor, he has found that it is easier to stand up for yourself, avoid conflicts, and surround yourself with people who accept you as you are.
So after about an enjoyable hour on the phone, I thought, “Seems simple! Seems like something that we all can do!!” And I also was very glad that I had done something right throughout those almost 17 years! I have some pretty magnificent children! Even with all the things that we worry about and feel guilty over; our children really do appreciate what we have given them, the foundation that they need to become breathtaking adults.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Laugh a lot, live well, and love unconditionally!
Musings from Michigan