Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Debut author Tess Quinn




Today I welcome author Tess Quinn. Tess is an incrediablity talented writer and I'm so excited she has chosen me to throw her a kick off party for her blog tour featuring her new release, THE BEWITCHED COWBOY. So grab some cyber-bubbly, a party hat and a plate full of chocolate covered strawberries and let's welcome her.


Book release date: February 24, 2010
The Wild Rose Press: Faery Rose Line
Novella. You can purchase the book at:

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-bewitched-cowboy-p-3889.html?zenid=8305df24b5b6991feffd8aedd1f5ca2b


You’re a law student and a reader for an agent. How do you find time to write?

I actually give a workshop that involve Asian cultural and traditional techniques for better time management. In the workshop, I explain how it’s important to stick to a schedule, to write out everything you would like to achieve before the day begins, and attempt to cross off every item written on the list. I do this every day, but there are other reasons why I can do so many things. The first is, I’m single. Because I don’t have a family, juggling a lot of things is easier than if I had a child or husband. Second, I’m a stickler for the reward and punishment system. I’ll only reward myself with something, whether it be ordering Chinese food or buying a new pair of shoes, if I finish my word count for the week. Guilt and a hunger for Chinese take-out are strong motivators. Last but not least, I believe in a marathon writing day. Once a month, I’ll sit down and write for at least eight hours in one sitting. I’ll get up to use the bathroom and to grab food but that’s it. I call this my ‘catch up’ time if I wasn’t able to get as much done during the month as I would have wanted.

Recently, you submitted a workshop proposal for the RWA National conference and that proposal was accepted. Inquiring minds want to know what is the workshop’s topic and why are you the one to give this presentation?

The workshop topic is “Goal, Motivation, & Conflict in the YA Novel.” I write YA under my other pen name “Nisha Sharma” so I’m intricately entangled with the genre. The reason why the RWA workshop panel thought I was an appropriate speaker for the topic was first: I got approval from Debra Dixon who is the creator of the “GMC: Goal, Motivation & Conflict” structure, so I was legally allowed to talk about the subject. Second, I’m the national young adult book reviewer on Examiner.com so I have to read a lot of YA for my columns. Third, I was a remote reader for two literary agencies where I did a fair amount of YA reading whether it was queries or full manuscript requests. I was also a freelance editor and book doctor for YA authors. I recently stopped the freelance editing and the remote reading because I wanted to focus on my own writing more, but I gained a lot of experience through each job. Additionally, when I started writing YA, I decided to take Jennifer Crusie’s approach when attempting to write in a new genre: read 100 books. In one year, I think I read over 300 YA books in all different subgenres. In the process I created a chart where I wrote down in a few words what the goals, motivations & conflicts of the protagonists were. I read tons of psychology books and guides that talked about writing for the YA market. In the end, I had all this information which I was able to structure under Goal, Motivation, & Conflict along with research techniques and ways to get started with writing a YA novel. I applied it to my own writing and I landed a fabulous agent! Since it was a “tested” system so to speak, I decided to share the information and research I had done. Every three months I update the information in my workshop whether I’m speaking during that time or not, only because the genre is constantly evolving. I’m really excited to be giving the talk at RWA nationals!

You have a unique way of brainstorming which brought about the idea for your new release. Could you tell us about it?

Sure! I Googled.  I’m a law student so when I’m working on papers or legal research, I immediately go to Google because I’m able to get a general understanding of my subject and then find authors or articles, etc. that help narrow my focus even more. I use the same methodology when I’m brainstorming for a book. I start with a character, a very general premise, and I throw random words together in a Google search string. For my book ‘The Bewitched Cowboy,’ I knew I wanted to do something with a cowboy. I can’t remember exactly what my search string was, but it involved the words ‘cowboy’, ‘farmer,’ ‘romance,’ and ‘magic.’ I ended up with a bunch of hits for both wineries and Wiccan churches. Ding, ding, ding! The light bulb went off and after fooling around with Google a bit more, I ended up with a cowboy witch that controls the weather who lives on a vineyard.

The key to Googling is to keep an open mind and read everything. When I got hits for Wiccan churches and cowboys in Montana, I read it all, digested it, and didn’t discard a single idea or thought until I was completely saturated with information. It’s a great exercise I encourage everyone to try!



Book Blurb:

The last thing Matt expected his twin to tell him was that he had to marry the woman of his parents’ choice or suffer the loss of his powers.
Destiny, a PhD and successful parapsychology writer, certainly did not expect her mother to tell her that she would die if she didn’t get married to a man chosen for her in infancy.

The collision of two hardheaded, anti-marriage witches makes Destiny and Matt’s first encounter explosive. Now they have to figure out a way to get along for the two weeks they can’t be separated without doing the one thing that could change their fate forever…falling in love.

Excerpt:

Destiny’s voice was thick and sluggish with sleep. “How can you not believe I’m your other half after everything that happened today, cowboy?”
Matt smiled into the crown of her hair. Her question bothered him, but he didn’t think he could hide the truth from her. He didn’t want to. Despite everything, he wanted to be honest.

“It’s not that I don’t believe in bonding. I just don’t want anything to do with it or marriage. The last time I got involved with helping someone find the person they loved…bad things happened.”

Destiny looked up at him, her face close to his as she continued to rest against his chest. “Sometimes, you can’t stop life from going the way life was set to go.”

“You can’t stop ‘destiny,’ huh?” Matt knew he sounded rueful, but he couldn’t help respecting her for her answer. For someone who reacted so intensely to any reminder of her mother, she didn’t carry any guilt or blame anyone for her difficult life.

“What are we going to do for the next two weeks?” Destiny said, yawning. “We can’t be away from each other, apparently. Leaving you doesn’t feel…right.”

Matt knew saying that must have taken courage. He didn’t want her to know how close he already was to her. How panicked he felt. Was Destiny really the other half of his soul? He took a deep, ragged breath.

“Have you ever ridden a horse, Dr. Snow?”

“No.”

Matt smiled at the dry tone in her voice. “Well you’re going to have to get a crash course in riding, I guess.”

“In your dreams, cowboy.”

Matt smiled as he wrapped Destiny against him more firmly. Holding her this way calmed him, and that was what scared him the most.

****

Award-winning author Tess Quinn was raised in the countryside of northeast, Pennsylvania. With very little to do in a town where the local high school gym was a barn and the cow-human ratio was 2.5 to 1, Tess filled her spare time with eighties music and a lot of reading. Unfortunately there was only one bookstore and two libraries in the Valley while Tess was growing up, so she started writing sequels to her favorite novels. When she ran out of favorites to write about, she started creating her own stories, and she has been writing ever since. Tess graduated from Muhlenberg College with a B.A. in English. She continues her obsession with writing while she currently attends law school in New York.

Visit Tess at http://www.tessquinn.com

Check out Tess’s website tomorrow for her book birthday give away! She’ll be revealing her super secret contest information and the fabulous prize giveaway!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

OBSESSED BY WILDFIRE'S FIRST REVIEW


I'm so thrilled. Thank you, Fern at Long and Short Reviews for the totally awesome review S4Aa4JwviTIof Obsessed By Wildfire. I'm so happy you love it!

Here are some tidbits Fern said:

My-oh-my, do they make things hot in Wayback or what? This isn’t my first journey to the Texas town, and you can guarantee after reading the newest story, Obsessed By Wildfire, it won’t be my last.

Due to mind-blowing chemistry and fantastic dialogue, the sex scenes positively sizzle. You’ll laugh, you’ll wriggle and squirm, and when things get dangerously hot, you’ll hover on the edge of your seat.

To read the entire review go to: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/LASR/recentrev.htm

View the trailer below. Press arrow.

video


Please don't forget to follow me. WINK

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What I Know For Sure For Writers By Misty Evans

Today I welcome to my blog a great wonderful writer and a great friend, Misty Evans. I'm both thrilled and honored to have her joining me.

Misty Evans is an award-winning, multi-published author of romantic thrillers and paranormal comedy. She likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. Her debut novel, Operation Sheba, won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2008 and a CAPA nomination in 2009. Visit her at www.readmistyevans.com or www.twitter.com/readmistyevans .


Since the premiere issue of O Magazine, Oprah’s done a What I Know For Sure column on the last page. It’s usually the first thing I read in her magazine because it always gets me thinking about life and what I know for sure. When Autumn invited me to guest blog, I had just reread Oprah’s column from November 2008 – a collection of twenty of her all time Top 20. As a writer and published author, I have my own list of What I Know For Sure and thought I’d share a few of them with you.

No matter how many successes we’ve experienced, fear of failure can stop us dead in our tracks.
I have four stories published – my three-book Super Agent Series, and my Witch Lit novella, Witches Anonymous, which won a contest. All of my stories have hit My Bookstore and More’s Top Ten during their release week. I’ve received dozens of good reviews and even an award for Operation Sheba, the first book in my Super Agent Series. I’ve had pubbed authors and general readers alike email me after reading one of my books to rave about it.

But every time I sit down to work on my latest manuscript, the Doubt Demons snuggle up beside me. They fill my head with negative thoughts. They freeze my fingers on the keyboard. “You need to do more research,” they say. “Your muse is burned out. Give her a rest.” They tempt me with distractions. “Why don’t you check email/Twitter/writing groups? There’s a Ghosthunters marathon on today. You can write tomorrow.”

Fear is an ugly four-letter word. The Doubt Demons are in essence fear of failure, fear of rejection. Hard to face head on, so I sneak around them to give myself the courage to hit the keyboard. I light a candle, put on some relaxing background music and dangle a piece of chocolate in front of my laptop. I talk back to the Doubt Demons . “This is the first draft and I don’t have anything to prove.” If I make my writing goal on that day, I do reward myself with something other than the chocolate. An hour of Bravo or Twitter or lunch with a friend.


Being a successful writer is 10% inspiration and 90% determination.
I love my muse. She’s brilliant and wears fabulous shoes. However, she leaves me alone a lot, facing the Doubt Demons and the blank page on my lonesome. If I waited for her to show up in order to write, I’d still be working on my first story. A story I started in eighth grade.

But I’m determined if not brave. I love to spin stories and I’m completely, 100% on board with becoming a life-long, professional author. Goals and dreams are written in my journal. This year I’m writing YA and seeking new representation. I’ve given myself ten years to hit the New York Times Best Seller List but I’ve made a plan to do it in seven or less.

One caveat to this What I Know For Sure is that, like Alice, once I fall down the rabbit’s hole and immerse myself in a story, my muse usually shows up in her Laboutins with a brilliant plot device or line of dialogue that I would never have thought of. She touches me with her sparkly creative wand and, bam, the heavens open and words rain down.

What I know for sure is that when you most need the muse to show up is when you most need to force yourself to put hands on the keyboard and start typing. Don’t wait for her to guide you. Put on your own pair of fabulous shoes and start walking. Before you know it, she’ll be skipping along beside you.


No” doesn’t mean “never”. It just means “not right now”.
Remember that old saying about the only two sure things in life are death and taxes? Well, I’d like to add one more. Rejection. No matter who you are or what you do, rejection is part of life.

As a writer who’s lived through countless rejections, I can tell you they will not kill you, and to use another saying, they will make you stronger…IF you think of them as a tool and not a personal attack.

First, let your ego have a meltdown for a specified amount of time, say twenty-four hours. Rejection sucks, plain and simple, and denying it will only offset the emotional flooding you’ll feel at some later, openly embarrassing point in your life, like your kid’s parent-teacher conference. Better to open the gates, get it all out, and move one ready to face your writing again.

Next, take steps to rebuild your self-confidence, as a person and as a writer. Every small step, every goal you’ve achieved so far is an earned accomplishment. Every sentence, every chapter, is a hard-won masterpiece. Keep a “pride” list or “success” list on display where you can read it every day. Fill it with the goals you’ve achieved and compliments you’ve received. Over time, those successes will far outweigh the failures.

Last, but not least, find the positive in the negative. When I say use rejection as a tool, I mean glean anything you can from it to make yourself a better writer. Like author Suzanne Finnemore says, “Rejection can be like mulch: dirty, smelly and essential to growth.”

Rejections can give you perspective and help you overcome your writing weaknesses. They can push you to up your determination and cull the crap.
And the next time around, you’ll be one step closer to a “yes”.


No one else can walk your journey for you.
Expressing yourself is a fundamental human experience. Be true to the small voice within and remember that you have two selves. Your inward self that remains untouched by the world, which is your soul, and your outward self, which is your personality. Respect, understand and nurture both, and your writing will change lives. Including your own!

So tell me, what do you know for sure?

Thanks to Autumn for inviting me here today. To learn more about me and my stories, visit www.readmistyevans.com or chat with me at www.twitter.com/readmistyevans .

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

VALENTINE'S DAY WAYBACK STYLE

Welcome to my blog. I'm so excited. Today seven talented WayBack authors join me, and we're showcasing our cowboys and their ladies' special Valentine moments. We hope their stories bring warmth to your day and ideas to surprise your special valentine.

AJ





FINDING THEIR WAY BACK by Cindy Spencer Pape

“This is wonderful,” Freya Malone said as she leaned back on the picnic blanket and let the sun warm her cheeks.

“Well, it’s our first Valentine’s Day,” her husband Zane said, stretching out beside her. “I wanted it to be perfect.” As if to add emphasis, one of the horses tethered to a tree behind them nickered.

“And your mother is thrilled to babysit,” Free added. “I adore Daniel, but it is nice to have a little break.” Not that she was complaining. With Zane’s parents living on the Triple M ranch with them, she had all the help she needed with their three-month-old son.

“Nice to spend a little time alone with my wife,” Zane agreed, leaning down for a kiss. When he’d finished, they were both breathless. Then he pulled a small package from his pocket.

With trembling fingers, she unwrapped it, revealing a heart-shaped turquoise pendant on a heavy silver chain.

“This belonged to my grandmother,” Zane began as he took it from her to clasp the chain around her neck. “My grandfather was an Irish cowboy who saved up and bought some land. He fell in love with a Mexican waitress, and they took a lot of crap from local bigots. But they loved each other until the day they died.”

Tears welled up in Free’s eyes. She loved him so very much. “Thank you.”

His hand cupped her cheek as his dark eyes gazed lovingly into hers. “I know our romance was fast—we never dated, we got married in March, had baby in November. But I wanted to tell you the same thing my Grandad told his wife. I want you to know you’ll always have my heart.”

To order Finding Their Way Back go to :
http://www.thewildrosepress.com/anthologies-c-149.html


Cindy Spencer Pape
www.cindyspencerpape.com
www.cindyspencerpape.blogspot.com
Wayback titles: All the Way Back
& After the Rodeo in Finding Their Way Back


**********

FINDING THEIR WAY BACK by Stacy Dawn
One Starlit Valentines:

Hard to believe he’s really here.

Sometimes the unbelievable path her life had taken still amazed Elizabeth. She wiped at the blissful tear tickling her cheek as she watched the large cowboy brush their young daughter’s curls as he softly sang Gretal a lullaby.

The low timbre of his voice rumbled through her chest like the first roll of thunder on a cool spring night. Would there come a time she ever got used to this? She hoped not. These moments were all the more special because of the time they’d already wasted.

When finished, he turned and came to stand before her in the doorway.

“Keep looking at me like that, Lizzy, and I’ll forget about this Valentine’s Day dance and show you what I’d really rather be doing tonight.” His warm lips came down and showed her exactly what he had in mind. “Maybe we could work on giving Gretal a little brother or sister?” he suggested, now nuzzling her neck.

“Well, I planned to save this as your Valentine’s gift tonight,” she managed to sigh out. “But since we’re skipping the party—”

His head pulled back slightly; a roguish grin, curved beneath eyes dark with desire, left her breathless.

“Let’s just say we don’t have to work very hard at all.”

Link to buy: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/anthologies-c-149.html


www.stacydawn.com

***********
THE WRONG SIDE OF LOVE by Sylvie Kaye

Lili rolled her neck, weary from twelve hours on her feet in the beauty shop. Today was Valentine’s Day and every regular wanted her hair done for the big night of anticipated romance. From past experience, she knew some gals would be back next week bemoaning their big disappointments. In Lili’s opinion too much importance was placed on the day.

Love was every day. Love was the little things.

By the time she dragged herself home, propped up her aching feet and flicked on the TV, Luc drove up. He’d been out of town on business and looked as bone tired as she felt.

“Hi, beautiful.” He bent, kissed her slow and tender. “Mmm..I’ve missed you,” he said, pulling away to tug off his jacket. Before tossing it, he patted the pocket as if remembering something. “They set candy out at the meeting. Know how much you love a chocolate bar.”

Her heart warmed. Even with his hectic schedule he’d thought of her.

Just then a TV commercial blared. Something about saying it with jewelry, flowers, and greeting cards this Valentine’s Day.

Luc’s shoulders slumped. His dark eyes met hers. “I forgot.”

“No you didn’t.” She smiled at him, unwrapping the chocolate bar, breaking off a piece to savor while he sat down next to her and draped his arm around her shoulder.

To order THE WRONG SIDE OF LOVE go to:
http://www.thewildrosepress.com/books-in-series-wayback-texas-c-172_173.html?page=2&sort=7a

Slip under the covers with Sylvie Kaye
LOVING JILLY July 9, 2010 The Wild Rose Press

BANNED IN TEXAS~In Print at Amazon.com & Barnes&Noble
WRONG SIDE OF LOVE,Wayback, Tx~The Wild Rose Press
DEVIL IN COWBOY BOOTS ~Amazon and B&N
HER MAINE MAN~In ebook and print at TWRP
Contest and Excerpts at www.sylviekaye.com


*****************************

OBSESSED BY WILDFIRE
By Autumn Jordon


Isobel slipped out of Warner’s truck and was immediately trapped by his hard body. Her shawl fell from her shoulders and Warner’s warm lips caressed her exposed bare skin. The man’s maleness wrapped around her senses, crushing her defenses into dust. Her knees buckled as tingles followed his assault over her dress’s thin strap, up the cord of her neck to the sensitive area under her lobe.

Tilting her head toward the snow moon, Isobel’s eyes drifted close. “We’re together six months and you still can’t wait until we get inside?”

“Remember our first date?” He mumbled against her ear.

“I’ll never forget. You wanted me so bad.”

He pulled back and chuckled. “I wanted you. You ripped my shirt off before I made it up the porch steps.”

“I think all the smoke you’ve inhaled while investigating fires has affected your memory, Yankee.” With her hands splayed on his hard chest, she pushed him back. “Why don’t we head in and I’ll show exactly how you assaulted me.” She entwined her fingers with his and started toward the house only to be yanked back.

“I need to show you something first.” Grabbing both her hands, Warner backpedaled toward the barn.

“No. I’m not dressed for the loft.”

“Trust me.”

Isobel laughed. “I’m in trouble if I do that.”

Warner rolled back the barn door and hit the light switch.

Lizzy whinnied.

Isobel took a moment to give the mare now completely blind in her right eye a treat of winter apple. As the horse’s soft muzzle tickled her palm, Isobel wished she’d find another horse as great as Lizzy was at the barrels and as pretty as the Appaloosa she’d seen at auction last week.

“Come on.” Warner’s hot breath brushed her ear.

Her new dress would smell of straw and beast if Warner had his way. The gravel floor crunched as Isobel dug her FMN cowgirl boot heels into its firmness. “No way I’m going to make out—”

A nicker drew Isobel’s attention to a stall that should be empty. “What was that?

She peered through the bars at the handsome Appaloosa colt she’d lost to a higher bidder at the auction. Her heart thumped under her breast. “I don’t understand. How?”

Warner’s eyes danced with wicked joy. “I knew how much you wanted him. Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart.”

Isobel laced her fingers around Warner’s neck and pulled him closer. “Yankee, you’re going to get your shirt ripped off again.”

To order OBSESSED BY WILDFIRE visit The Wild Rose Press
http://www.thewildrosepress.com/obsessed-by-wildfire-p-3839.html

www.autumnjordon.com
2009 Golden Heart Finalist EVIL'S WITNESS coming June 18, 2010 TWRP




*****************


BLUEST HEART by Amber Lehigh WIllimas

Josie Brusky had been on her feet pretty much since dawn. Valentine’s Day made Josie’s Treasures—Wayback, Texas’s solo gift shop—the one-stop place for every cowboy with a sweetheart from a hundred miles around. Now she was finally home and her arches were screaming for some downtime.

As she walked into the house, she kicked off her heels then frowned. The jars of candles around the room were lit. A vase-full of bluebonnets overflowed with blooms on the coffee table. And the scent of something zesty tickled her nostrils. Following the sound of country music, she made her way back toward the kitchen.

Her jaw dropped. Standing at the counter, beer at his elbow, white Stetson pulled low over his eyes, Casey Ridge poured marinade over two thick, juicy-looking steaks.

It wasn’t the fact that the man was cooking that stopped her in her tracks. What astounded her was the fact that he wore a starched, white KISS THE COOK apron…and nothing else but the Stetson and cowboy boots.

Josie clapped a hand over her mouth as a wide grin broke over her face. Thoughts of a good glass of wine and a quick nap flitted out of her head as she stepped across the tile floor.

He turned his head and grinned, dimples digging into his sun-bronzed cheeks and blue eyes gleaming. “Hey there, pretty lady.”

“Well, well.” She shook her head, skimming her eyes from his hat to his boot-clad toes then back up again, enjoying the view. Sliding her hands up his chest and onto his shoulders, she beamed into his face. “You really know how to make a cowgirl happy on Valentine’s.”

He bent his head to kiss her. “Like the apron?”

“I’m thinking about untying it, actually.” She pursed her lips, considering. “You know, I think I’ll dress to match.”

“Ooh.” He smirked as she backed away, hand slipping from his. “Wear the red boots.”

She threw a suggestive wink over her shoulder. “You betcha.”


Amber Leigh Williams
URL: www.amberleighwilliams.com
amber@amberleighwilliams.com


See more of Casey and Josie in BLUEST HEART, available now from The Wild Rose Press. Meet the first hero of The Wayback Ridge trilogy, silent cowboy Judd Black in BLACKEST HEART—also available now from The Wild Rose Press. Look for BET IT ON MY HEART, the final story in the Ridge family saga, March 3, 2010!


************



Finding Their Way by Roni Adams

“Dusty?”

“Yeah, I’m in here.” He walked back down the barn aisle past the empty stalls. As he reached the doorway he stopped in his tracks. His wife held the reins of two of the most beautiful horses he had ever seen.

He frowned. “Who’s horses?” He reached out to touch them; his expert gaze roamed down the animals appreciating their muscular form.

“Their mine. I’d like to hire you to train them.” Her blue eyes sparkled.

“Car,” he startd. She knew how he felt about her spending any of her own money on his new horse training business.

She stepped forward. “You asked if I wanted candy or flowers for Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t decide.” She waved her arm towards the two matching horses. “This one is Candy and this one is Flowers.”

He tried to be mad at her but she was so damned cute thinking she’d outsmarted him. “It’s not a present if you paid for it yourself.”

“Oh you’ll pay, cowboy.” She slid her gaze down his body and wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.

He snaked his arm around her waist and pulled her hard into his arms. “Its probably going to take me a long time to work off that bill.”

She linked her arms around his neck. “Then I suggest you put my horses away, while I slip upstairs and wait for you to come to work.”

With a quick kiss she slipped from his arms and was gone. Dusty stared after her not entirely sure how on earth she managed to give him the best Valentine’s Day gift ever.

Link to buy: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/anthologies-c-149.html


Roni Adams
www.roniadams.blogspot.com
www.roniadams.com

Watch for the fourth in the Double B Series "The Cowboy's Duet" due out fall 2010

*************
Re-ride at the Rodeo
By Anne Carrole


Clay shoved his hands in the pockets of his worn and dusty jeans as he stared at the wide expanse of Texas land he called home. Would she like it, he wondered, not really sure what he’d do if she didn’t. Dusty was a small town girl, used to having lots of people around. He kicked at the hard earth. Dirt and pebbles sprayed against the tire of his pick-up.

In the distance a cloud of red dust barreled toward him. Her Silverado stopped a few feet from Clay and within a heartbeat Dusty was bounding out of the cab, her long blonde hair flying. Grabbing him around the neck, she planted a heart-stopping kiss on his lips. She still had that effect on him, months into their engagement. The June date for their wedding couldn’t come fast enough. And yet, he worried it might never happen.

“Your mom sent me out here.” She looked up at him with questions in her beautiful blue eyes. Clad in jeans and a t-shirt, this petite, fine-boned woman looked remarkably at home on his ranch. Today he’d find out if that was just wishful thinking.

“I’ve got your Valentine’s gift in the truck,” he said, taking a step back.

She looked into his pick-up’s cab. “Where?” she asked with the eagerness of a little girl looking for her surprise.

Clay reached into the truck’s flat bed. “Here.” He drew up a white picket section of fence, a bow tied on one of the boards.

She blinked, a puzzled expression on her face. “A fence?”

“Yup. A white picket fence. Which I was hoping you’d want to situate right about here.” He set the fence posts down in the holes he’d dug earlier.

The frown that had furrowed her brow gave way to a smile. “For our house?”

“I thought this wouldn’t be too far from the road or from the main house, but far enough we won’t have to worry about the kids playing in the yard or my mother dropping by too often. Developer said it could be done by May.”

Dusty laughed, the sunlight glinting in her eyes. “I can’t believe it. Our home.”

The pressure on his heart eased and Clay gathered her to him. “And with those two words, you just gave me my Valentine’s gift, honey.”

Buy Link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/reride-at-the-rodeo-wayback-texas-series-p-991.html
Re-ride at the Rodeo
By Anne Carrole
http://www.annecarrole.com



*************

SHADOW OF THE HAWK by Judith Rochelle



Maggie Riley walked into the living room, the twins finally asleep and the ranch settled for the night, and smiled at her husband. Hawk stood beside the stone fireplace, waiting for her, reaching out to take her hands as she neared him.

“Maggie, mine.” His eyes were dark with passion and love as he drew her near. “The day we met I would have died if not for you, You not only saved me that day but for always. You made me want to live again. And love. Oh, yes, definitely love. And I want you to remember every day of our lives how much you mean to me.”

He handed her the box. Maggie’s hands trembled as she opened it and tears gathered in her eyes as she lifted the necklace from its cotton nest. A silver heart with a hawk etched into its surface swung from a graceful chain.

“Oh, Hawk.” She was so overcome with emotion she couldn’t find the right words.

“It’s my heart, darlin’. It belongs to you and no one else. I wanted to give you a very special Valentine’s Day gift to show you just how much you mean to me.”

He took the chain from her shaking hands, fastened it around her neck and pulled her close for a passionate kiss. When he finally lifted his mouth from hers, Maggie lifted her hands and touched his cheeks.

“I love you so much, Hawk. And I have a special gift for you, too.”
He cocked one eyebrow, questioningly.

“You do? I don’t see any packages.”

She looked into his eyes, so full of love it nearly brought her to her knees.

“It won’t arrive for a few months yet. Happy Valentine’s Day, Hawk. We’re having another child.”

Link to buy Shadow Of The Hawk: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/books-in-series-wayback-texas-c-172_173.html?page=2&sort=7a

Judith Rochelle
www.judithrochelle.com
romantic suspense with a twist

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Welcome Margie Lawson

Hi, everyone and welcome to my blog. I'm totally honored to have Margie as my guest today. If you've taken any of her classes, you know you're going to learn a lot reading her post today. So get out your highlighters, red pens and notebooks and welcome her.

RHYTHM and CADENCE and BEATS. Oh my!

Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!

I can see Dorothy, the Scare Crow and the Tin Man skipping down the Yellow Brick Road. The cadence of their sing-song line is similar to the heading for this section.

Rhythm and cadence and beats. Oh my!

Rhythm, cadence, beats--no matter which term you choose--it’s an internal assessment. No real rules apply. You know what sounds right and what sounds wrong.

You only know how it sounds if you read your work out loud. Frequently.

Read the last two paragraphs out loud. How’d they sound?

I could have written:

It is important to pay attention to the rhythm inherent in your written work. You could refer to this rhythm as cadence or a beat. It does not matter which terms you use. Understanding the rhythm of writing is an internal assessment. There are no real rules that the author can apply. You can only tell if the rhythm is right by reading your work out loud. You will know if it sounds wrong.

OKAY – Read that wordy block (above) out loud.

Is there anything pleasing about the way the words and sentences are arranged?

It’s written in a textbook fashion. Bor-ring. Bor-ring. Bor-ring.

What are textbook authors thinking? They often do an excellent job obfuscating what could be interesting information in an obdurate style. And they use words like obfuscate (I’m thinking disguise) and obdurate (I’m thinking unyielding) which increase the snooze factor.

What about my next sentence (from above).

You only know how it sounds if you read your work out loud. Frequently.

That rhythm works for me. Even the sentence frag.

Read your work out loud. Trust your CADENCE EAR. Your cadence ear tells you if you got it right. Your cadence ear will smile.

Ha! Funny image.

Let’s look at what Dwight Swain, TECHNIQUES OF A SELLING AUTHOR, said about sentence structure in 1965.
Yep, that’s when that gem was published and it’s still a winner.

The following is from Swain’s TECHNIQUES OF A SELLING AUTHOR, page 32. It’s three paragraphs.

It demands little genius to recognize that too many short sentences, or long sentences, or simple, or complex, or periodic, or loose or what-have-you sentences are likely to grow tiresome.

The answer, obviously, is to introduce variety—variety of length, form, style, and so on. Many a tired old declarative sentence (He stalked off without a word) has been given a lift via rearrangement of its elements (Without a word, he stalked off) . . . rephrasing (Grim, wordless, he stalked off) . . . addition of some bit of action (Pivoting, he stalked off) . . . or of color (Face a cold mask of menace, he etc.), or the like.

On the other side of the fence, beware variety for variety’s own sake. The moment syntactical acrobatics attract attention to themselves, they also detract from your story; and that’s a sure road to disaster.

SWAIN MADE MY POINT FOR ME. Let’s look at that last sentence again.

The moment syntactical acrobatics attract attention to themselves, they also detract from your story; and that’s a sure road to disaster.

Note: Swain backloaded that sentence with his most important word, disaster.

SYNTACTICAL ACROBATICS. A power phrase for a power concept.

BEWARE of syntactical acrobatics. Any writing that creates a speedbump for the reader, writing that puts a hugs spotlight on the writing and away from the story – creates authorial intrusion by syntactical acrobatics.

Back to Rhythm and Cadence and Beats.

Do you read your work out loud?

How often?

Do you match the rhythm to the scene?

Brandilyn Collins, author of GETTING INTO CHARACTER: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn from Actors, shares important points about sentence rhythms. If you don’t have her how-to book, I strongly recommend getting it.

Here’s one of Brandilyn Collins’s points:

The rhythm of your sentences should match the “beat” of action in your scene.”

It’s MARGIE again. Brandilyn and I share a brain. I agree. :-)

Brandilyn Collins provides these guidelines (pages 147 and 148) on creating rhythm.

1. Past participles (past-tense verbs ending in ‘ing’) are best used in quiet, easy –rhythm scenes. When action or suspense begins, use regular past-tense verbs.

2. Complex sentences work better in quiet rhythm; simple sentences work better for action.

3. In general, the higher the action level, the shorter your sentences should be.

4. In high action sequences, such as fight scenes, divide the action and reaction into separate sentences or short phrases within the same sentence.

Great advice. You’ll find more discussion on these points in GETTING INTO CHARACTER: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn from Actors.

Challenge your Cadence Ear:

Check out the cadence in these excerpts.

Please take a couple of minutes, read them out loud, and consider the cadence.

Jodi Picoult, CHANGE OF HEART:

“Fletcher,” he said, testing the word in his mouth as if it were made of sharp stones.

Powerful cadence – and a powerful dialogue cue too.

Anna Campbell, UNTOUCHED:

I could feel his gaze on me as I walked to my car. It felt like a cape made of light, like the wings of the angels I’d never believed in.

Ah – Fresh writing that brushes your heart.

BLOG GUESTS: It’s your turn!

Analyze the cadence of one of these excerpts (above or below).

What did the author do that made the cadence work?


Harlan Coben, THE WOODS,

I knew they were watching me, studying my responses. I became aware of my steps, my posture, my facial expression. I aimed for neutral and then wondered why I bothered.
Allison Brennan, SPEAK NO EVIL
His heart continued to vibrate between his ears, a loud ringing, and he could hear anything but his internal organs working, working. Heart pumping blood through his veins, his head swelling, filing with certain knowledge that he would be discovered.

Lisa Gardner, HIDE, p. 9:

Matt took me to the movies. I don't remember what was playing. I was aware of his hand on my shoulder, the sweaty feel of my own palms, the hitch to my breath. After the
movies, we went for ice cream. It was raining. He held his coat over my head.
And then, tucked inside his cologne-scented jacket, he gave me my first kiss.
I floated home. Arms wrapped around my waist. Dreamy smile upon my face.
My father greeted me at the front door. Five suitcases loomed behind him.
"I know what you've been doing!" he declared.
"Shhhh," I said, and put a finger to his lips. "Shhhh."
I danced past my stunned father. I drifted into my tiny, windowless room. And for eight hours I lay on my bed and let myself be happy.
I still wonder about Matt Fisher sometimes. Is he married now? Has two-point-two kids?
Does he ever tell stories about the craziest girl he ever knew? Kissed her one night.
Never saw her again.

Sara Gruen , WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, From the Prologue:
That moment, the music screeched to a halt. There was an ungodly collision of brass, reed, and percussion—trombones and piccolos skidded into cacophony, a tuba farted, and the hollow clang of a cymbal wavered out of the big top, over our heads and into oblivion.
Grady froze, crouched over his burger with his pinkies extended and lips spread wide.

SECOND EXCERPT from the prologue of WATER FOR ELEPHANTS:
The concession stand in the center of the tent had been flattened, and in its place was a roiling mass of spots and stripes—of haunches, heels, tails, and claws, all of it roaring, screeching, bellowing, or whinnying. A polar bear towered above it all, slashing blindly with skillet-sized paws. It made contact with a llama and knocked it flat—BOOM. The llama hit the ground, its neck and legs splayed like the five points of a star. Chimps screamed and chattered, swinging on ropes to stay above the cats. A wild-eyed zebra zigzagged too close to a crouching lion, who swiped, missed, and darted away, his belly close to the ground.

BLOG GUESTS:

Please post your ideas regarding rhythm and cadence and beats.

Have you trained your Cadence Ear?

Does your work carry the power of cadence?

Do you work to create cadence that draws the reader deeper into the scene?

I’d love to hear from you!

I’ll respond as time allows during my work day. I’ll be on-line in the evening (Mountain Time).

POST A COMMENT – AND YOU MAY WIN A LECTURE PACKET!

I will draw a name for a Lecture Packet, a $22 value, at 10PM Mountain Time. Winners may choose a Lecture Packet from one of my six on-line courses. Lecture Packets are available for all my courses through Paypal from my website, www.MargieLawson.com.

1. Empowering Characters' Emotions

2. Deep Editing: The EDITS System, Rhetorical Devices, and More
3. Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist
4. Powering Up Body Language in Real Life:
Projecting a Professional Persona When Pitching and Presenting

5. Digging Deep into the EDITS System

6. Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors
Thank you for being here today. Please keep reading – you’ll learn about cool opportunities for writers!

FYI: BRENDA NOVAK’S DIABETES AUCTION!

NYT Bestseller, Brenda Novak, donates an amazing chunk of her life to fundraising for diabetes research. She selflessly gives months of her energy, creativity, and what would have been writing time, family time, self-time to her DIABETES AUCTION.

For writers – it’s a warm-your-heart win-win. Bid on one of the hundreds of items – support diabetes research and you may win an experience that changes your life. A plotting lunch with an agent or NYT bestseller at a national conference could contribute to a contract for you.

If you're not familiar with this auction -- it's a gold mine for writers!

My husband and I love to support the Diabetes Auction. With over 1000 donations, if I don’t mention them . . . you might miss them.

Yikes – a Missed Opportunity!

Margie’s Donations:

1. A set of six Lecture Packets

2. A 50 page Triple Pass Deep Edit Critique

3. Registration for a Write At Sea Master Class by Marge Lawson on Deep Editing Power, April 4 -8, 2011; donation by Margie Lawson and Julia Hunter

4. A FLYING GETAWAY FOR TWO

You select the destination – any place within 600 nautical miles from Denver.
A weekend, you and a friend, plus my pilot-husband flying our four-seater plane, me, and a two-hour deep editing consult. The consult is on the ground.

5. Registration for an IMMERSION MASTER CLASS session!

A $450 value . . .

The three-day Immersion Master Class sessions are designed as a personalized, hone-your-manuscript experience focusing on deep editing. The sessions are held in Margie’s log home at the top of a mountain west of Denver. Participants will concentrate on transforming their manuscript into a page-turner. The winner may attend a session in the fall of 2010 (depending on availability), or one of the four sessions offered in 2011.

THE DIABETES AUCTION runs from MAY 1ST to MAY 31ST. You can tour the
Diabetes Auction site now. http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/

Brenda Novak is my hero. What a way to give back.
Margie Lawson —psychotherapist, writer, and international presenter—developed innovative editing systems and deep editing techniques for writers.

Her Deep Editing tools are used by all writers, from newbies to NYT Bestsellers. She teaches writers how to edit for psychological power, how to hook the reader viscerally, how to create a page-turner.

Over four thousand writers have learned Margie’s psychologically-based deep editing material. In the last five years, she presented fifty-four full day Master Classes for writers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Lectures from each of Margie’s on-line courses are offered as Lecture Packets through PayPal from her web site. For more information on courses, lecture packets, master classes, and 3-day Immersion Master Class sessions, visit: www.MargieLawson.com .


Thank you for your time – and thank you again for joining us today!

All smiles…………Margie
www.MargieLawson.com


NEXT WEEK'S BLOG: VALENTINE'S DAY WAYBACK STYLE
Please join me and six other Wayback authors as we share special valentine moments featuring couples from our books on sale at THE WILD ROSE PRESS.