Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welcome Julie Áuna

How Writing has Affected Me


Am I good at it?

The answer is in the eye of the reader, not in the creator.

My mystifying quest to write took me on a journey I never considered for myself. Growing up I never experienced the joy of reading a book, just for fun. So why do I have this drive to write? Where did it come from? Moreover, why me?

For me, words are the basic unit in society to paint one’s thoughts, to create a picture, a figment of imagination, a truth I need to cover up or one I need to expose. Either way I have an inner drive to put it on paper.

So far, I have never written a book as a source of income. I write for the mysterious need within me to laugh at life’s irregularities, and to cry at life’s tragedies.

Until now, my books have been my hidden joy. No one had ever read one of my books until my granddaughter came home for a sabbatical. It’s on her coaxing that I caved in to publishing my first book, Sisters-Six and One to Grow On, the first edition of my Sisters-Six series. My granddaughter is the encourager of reason and she had a listening ear, an incredible balance of good sense, and a calming attitude that won me over.

Authorship is a scary business. It forces one to step out of their comfort zone, to expose their frailties to the readers of the world. Not to mention, publishers, editors, agents, English majors, the list is endless of those who can strike terror in a new author on the block. “The chopping block,” awaits us fledging who have, just punched the save button on the computer after signing off, with the last sentence in our pride and joy, our books.

I have allowed the Sisters-Six series to build on the perplexing dilemmas of six foxy, retired, intelligent sisters with diverse interests. I added a pinch of spice and hysteria to the newly acquired run down plantation known as Kettering Wood, with a mascot, Buford, a goat, and his coconspirator Spats, a pet schnauzer. This odd blend rides a whirlwind of calamity and adventure, tempered with laughter and tears.

Upon the publishing of my first suspense, The Rat’s Tail Wore a Badge, my second series, my granddaughter called me an author one who has paid her dues. After the sixth rewrite, every author deserves recognition.

The Rat’s Tail Wore a badge series is a compelling drama, surrounding Elizabeth Dourseá, age twelve, born with a birth defect who lives with her paternal grandfather, Raymond Dourseá, on a small farm in Grippers Bluff, Oklahoma. Leroy Dourseá, Lizzy’s father is serving time in McNanna Penitentiary for the accidental deal of her mother. Lizzy’s resolve is tested to the brink upon hearing her father is being released early for good behavior.

The early release opens a Pandora’s box of hidden elicit sins of the family she loves.

The small town’s sheriff, Billy Woolker, harbors a big hat for the Dourseá family, especially Leroy Dourseá. For reasons unknown, Billy’s hate filled rivalry ignites a vengeance that turns into a raging inferno of foul play. It takes the town’s silent bag lady to squelch the flames of regret, distortion, and terror.

As an author, I can easily allow myself to wrap up in a blanket of self-pity on any given day, if I start thinking about the should-haves or the should-not-haves. For a writer, this is a wasted mindset; instead, I’ll pick up the Thesaurus and read the book filled with treasured words. This never fails to open new ideas and it’s perfect answer for the “woe is me” syndrome.

Thank you for listening to Julie Áuna, storyteller and author. Who will write till the day she dies!
 
http://julieauna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Welcome Jannine Corti Petska

Writing a Trilogy or a Series
Easy, right?

Whether you’re writing a trilogy or two or more books in a series, every writer knows she must keep meticulous notes, especially if secondary—or even minor—characters from one book get their own story to tell in another. Or if they make an appearance in book three or four. Organization was the key to keeping my Sisters of Destiny trilogy and my four-book Italian Medieval series on track—no guessing from one character to the other. At first, however, I was a bit daunted by trying to keep everything straight.

I’ve tried, but I simply cannot write a plot outline. Even my characters are bare-bones until I begin writing. I add their layers as I go. And I make certain to jot down every itty bitty thing, whether it’s a muscle tick in the hero’s jaw or my heroine biting her nails, or another character who constantly clears his throat. But what about keeping the details straight when you’re writing a series/trilogy that are connected? This is where a consistent timeline comes in handy.

For my Sisters of Destiny trilogy about three medieval psychic sisters separated at birth, I not only kept a chart of each sister for her story but also a central chart of all three on one page. This was important, especially when they all get pregnant—one twice! My chart consists of the date heroine meets the hero, date of conception, date each one travels to find her sister, and finally, date the baby is born. These headings go along the top of my chart. To the left are the sisters’ names. Below the chart, I note how each sister discovered she was pregnant: one faints, one has morning sickness and loses her food, and the other has a healthy appetite and can out eat a knight!

Because the sisters’ hair color, features and body type are very similar, I needed deciding factors to give them individuality. Hence another chart. This one has three columns, one for each sister, their names across the top. Now I can see side-by-side the slight difference in their eye color, their psychic abilities (each different), their temperament, and anything else they might share yet not share. For instance, all three have green eyes, but it’s the variation in the green that separates them.

You might be thinking that I do nothing but keep charts when writing. I don’t go overboard, but I also have a chapter-by-chapter chart, a monthly calendar, and a costume log. Okay, so I like charts.

What the sisters wear and their social upbringing come from their environment and do not beg for comparison. In book 1, CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN, the story is set in the Po Valley, Italy; book 2, CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY takes place mostly in a Gypsy camp in Andalusia; and book 3, CALLIE AND THE KNIGHT, is set in England. As you can see, they grew up in very different settings. Only the nuances that make them identical triplets are difficult to separate, unless you are lucky and have a photographic mind. I don’t.

In the end, each writer must do what is best for her in keeping track of characters’ personal details. I’m visual, so I need to see things drawn out for me, and a chart does just that. But what do you do when you have a series where the hero and heroine are not so biologically connected? Well, that’s for another article.

To learn more about Jannine and her books, check out her website: www.jcortipetska.com

 


CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY, book 2 Sisters of Destiny trilogy



Blurb:

Charlotte Nikolos was raised in a Gypsy camp, her pale hair and light skin in stark contrast from the darkness of her family. After she learns she has two sisters somewhere who share her looks and psychic powers, she's determined to search for them and learn why her birth mother sent her away. But where does she begin?
 
After three years of roaming, Rafael Cazares returns to his Andalusian Gypsy camp to pursue the woman he left behind in disgrace. He must win back Char's trust and recapture her heart. He insists on helping her find her true family but soon realizes someone is determined to keep them apart.  When Rafael's deep, dark secret is revealed, he will do everything in his power to protect the only woman he has ever loved. Even if it costs him his life.

If you missed the first book in the trilogy, CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN, it’s available here: www.eternalpress.ca


 



  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Welcome Agent, Jennifer Etherton

How to Find the Best Agent


There comes a point in every author’s career that he or she decides it is time to retain the services of an agent. This is a much more involved process than one may realize. To be successful it is vital that you do your research. More importantly, you need to know yourself and your own style intimately before you every attempt to look in any of the many databases. This is always the first step in retaining any professional, especially one that you will work so closely with for so long.

The first step to finding the perfect agent is trying to figure out exactly what you want to get out of the relationship. You need to know what you want before you can be the most successful. Take a few minutes and write down you ultimate goal, then write down the smaller goals that you need to meet to achieve your dreams. This may sound a ridiculous but it will actually allow you to achieve your goals quicker than you ever thought possible.

Once you have decided what you want out of your career, it is time to consult one of the professional databases available. The two best are The Writer’s Market and the Literary Market, both of these databases prescreen every professional that is on their list. This reduces the risk of finding a disreputable organization. Choose several agencies then do extra research on each one of the agents individually. While you are doing this research, consider the source that you are using and the motive behind their opinion. This way you will have a better understanding of the information that you find. Never wait to do this step until you receive an offer, not having all you information before you send out you query shows an agent that you are lazy and unprofessional.

When submitting your proposal packet to agents, be sure to read the submission guidelines carefully. Some agencies will not give an author a second chance if they do not provide the information that they request. A few will give you a second chance, but you will still not be viewed in a good light. You want to show an agent that you are the best choice out of their stack of submissions; not doing your research does not help you reach that goal.

Research is not the only thing that will make you the most attractive submission. Agents look at more than your talent when they consider contracting an author. They also look at the person behind the pen. You have to show that you are willing to work as hard as your agent does to achieve mutual success. If you come across as having a bad attitude or that you are high maintenance the agent will politely reject your submission.

If you want to reach the highest markets in the literary industry, it is mandatory to have an agent. The key to finding that perfect agent is doing your homework and knowing exactly where you want to go. This along with allowing a willingness to work as a team and following directions will make you look like the idea author. If you show an agent that you are the author they have been dreaming about they will snatch you up as quickly as they can, so you won’t slip through their hands.

Jennifer Etherton Literary Services
http://www.jeliteraryservices.wordpress.com/

Monday, June 27, 2011

Welcome Chris Redding

Artistes Vs Professionals

That’s probably not the right spelling, but you get what I am getting at. My oldest son is an aspiring filmmaker. We talk sometimes about craft and he is eager to learn how to write better scripts. I commend him for this. You have to learn the craft and then you have to learn the business.

One of the things I talk to him about is artistes vs those who really want to make a living doing something.

Artistes wait for the muse to strike. Professionals sit their butt down and write. Even if they only write a sentence or two today. They do it on a regular basis. They make time to do it on a regular basis.

Artistes think everything they do is gold. Professionals realize that revisions and edits are part of the process. Me, I love a good revision letter. It is a chance to take what may be a steaming pile and make it gold. Yes, editing can be like alchemy.

Artistes think that everyone should love their work and if someone doesn’t, well they just don’t understand. If you have to explain your work, then you haven’t made your point clearly. Revise it so we can all get what you are saying.

A professional will do research to get facts correct. An artiste will rely on poetic license.

It is perfectly okay to be an artiste. Just recognize that you are one. Me, I want to be a professional.

Thanks for having me today Ginger.





Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her one husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism with an English minor. When she isn’t writing, she works part time for her local hospital. Her latest book, A View to a Kilt will be out electronically July1 and print August 1, 2011.

To find her on the web:

http://www.chrisreddingauthor.com/

http://chrisredddingauthor.blogspot.com/

www.facebook.com/chrisreddingauthor

www.twitter.com/chrisredding

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Yep....it's SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY and I'm still in Alaska.  Having such a great time on vacation, we've extended our ten day stay until July 12th.  But, I couldn't imagine missing another Six Sentence Sunday, so I'm going to try my best to visit as many sites as I can with this slow-processing, snail-paced netbook of mine.  :)

This weeks installment is from my upcoming July release from Muse It Up Publishing, Masked Love.  I love this story...especially the humorous aspect, and I hope you will too.  Without further ado...here's my six:

As he pulled the contents out one-by-one, she eyed them with disdain while stuffing the gum wrapper in her pocket. If there was a bright spot to this whole apnea thing, maybe it would be rolling over one night and strangling herself to death with the length of flexible plastic hose.


“This,” he held up the mask, “is what fits over your face and feeds air up your nose so that you are always getting enough oxygen. I’ve already plugged in the settings from your sleep study, so you can start using it tonight.”

“Swell.” She exhaled in a huff. 
 
 
Now hurry back over to the Six Sentence Sunday site and sample tidbits from some of the other authors there.As he pulled the contents out one-by-one, she eyed them with disdain while stuffing the gum wrapper in her pocket. If there was a bright spot to this whole apnea thing, maybe it would be rolling over one night and strangling herself to death with the length of flexible plastic hose.


“This,” he held up the mask, “is what fits over your face and feeds air up your nose so that you are always getting enough oxygen. I’ve already plugged in the settings from your sleep study, so you can start using it tonight.”

“Swell.” She exhaled in a huff.
 
 
Now hurry back to the original Six Sentence Site and enjoy the tidbits from the other authors there.  Just follow the links and be entertained.  :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Welcome Paula Martin

Coming Back to Writing Fiction

Hi, I’m Paula Martin. I’ve lived in North West England all my life, and was a high school history teacher for more years than I care to count. 

In the 1960’s and 70’s, I had four romance novels published by Mills and Boon, and by Robert Hale here in the UK.  Two of them were also published by Harlequin.  I also had several short stories published in romance magazines.

Then I stopped writing romance fiction.  I thought my muse had deserted me.  This might have been because my teaching career plus bringing up two girls as a single parent demanded much of my time, as did my main interests in working as a Girl Guide leader and helping backstage at the local amateur musical theatre. In more recent years, since I retired from teaching, I’ve also travelled a lot, in Ireland, mainland Europe, USA and Canada and the Middle East. 
  
Coming back to writing fiction again after a 20+ year break was pure serendipity.

About 5 years ago I became completely hooked on the TV series, 'The West Wing' and also discovered the world of fan-fiction.  Egged on by another West Wing fan, I started a fan-fiction story which followed on from the very last scene of the series.  It was only intended to be a short story - but somehow it grew. It ended up with 40 chapters and 80,000 words.  My muse had returned and I was writing fiction again! But, at this stage, solely for my friend.

Fate intervened later in the year when another friend persuaded me to post the story on one of the yahoo groups devoted to ‘The West Wing’.  In November 2007 I started posting my 'instalments'. I must admit I was nervous because a lot of the members of the group were far more knowledgeable about TWW than I was. To my relief, everyone liked it, even when I shocked them with an unexpected twist in the story!

In June 2008, fate stepped in yet again when, during a Civil War battlefield tour in Virginia and Pennsylvania, I met a best-selling Harlequin author who was doing the tour of part of her research for a Civil War trilogy.  We got talking about writing and it was she who persuaded me to try writing novels again.

Back home again, I dug out a box which had languished in a cupboard for many years.  It contained several unfinished stories so, with new-found enthusiasm, I started to re-write one of them.  I wasn’t totally surprised when, after several months, this was rejected by Harlequin.

In the meantime, I had re-started another novel which only had about 3 chapters previously written.  I was then fortunate to find two fantastic critique partners who helped me to tighten up my writing (as well as get rid of some of my bad habits!)

This book was accepted by Whiskey Creek Press in May 2009 and is released this month.  The story is set in London's West End theatre world. I’ve always been interested in the theatre and have worked backstage at many amateur shows (usually musicals), as well as directing several shows with the Junior Group of my local amateur theatre society. I’ve also been backstage at two professional theatres (admittedly not in London) but I would imagine they can’t be much different from those in the West End!  So, hopefully, my background setting for the story sounds reasonably authentic!

His Leading Lady – available from Whiskey Creek Press http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/

Blurb: 
Jess Harper’s predictable life is turned upside down when she discovers that Lora, her twin sister, has disappeared.  It’s just a week before rehearsals are due to start for a new West End musical in which Lora has the lead role.  Jess decides to pose as her sister in order to save Lora's career.  This brings her into close contact with arrogant theatre director Kyle Drummond.  Attraction sparks between them but there’s also evidence that he had been dating Lora.  So is Jess simply a substitute – in real life as well as in the show?  And what will happen when Lora eventually returns?   

Excerpt:
(Jess is posing as her sister, and she and Kyle have returned to Lora’s apartment after having dinner, the night before they are due to do a TV interview together)

            He followed her across the landing and her nerves fluttered like a bird caught in a net.  Her hand shook as she started to put the key in the lock, then Kyle’s hand on her arm stopped her.  “I’ll pick you up at nine thirty tomorrow,” he said.
            She looked at him, genuinely taken aback.  “But – but aren’t you coming in?”
            The instant she said it, she could have kicked herself.  Amusement flashed across his face.  “What man could resist such an invitation?” he said with a quick grin.  “But no, tonight I really must resist.  You need a good night’s sleep and I –” He stopped and gave a half-laugh.  “Well, let’s just say that I have a few things to sort out before tomorrow.  I’ll see you at nine thirty.”
            Jess knew the feeling sweeping through her should be one of relief, knew she should say a casual goodnight to him and open the apartment door.  But the look in his eyes sent waves of heat rising inside her.  She couldn’t move, even when he put his hands on her arms and started to lower his head.  A warning bell shrilled in her head but by then Kyle’s mouth was against hers and it was too late.
            His mouth was soft at first but the feel of it, so warm and tantalising, sent her head into a spin.  A small gasp escaped from her lips and parted them slightly.  Kyle’s arms went round her, and he pulled her firmly against him.  His lips hardened and his tongue slid into her mouth. 
            She’d been kissed passionately before but nothing had prepared her for Kyle’s kiss.  His mouth took possession of her in a seductive demand for surrender.  As his tongue gently fondled hers, sensations that she had never known before scorched through her, ignited every nerve and melted every bone.  She gripped his shoulders, her head went back and involuntarily she arched towards him, thrilling exquisitely to the feel of his hard body against hers.  The surrender he demanded was complete as she responded with the same fervour, wanting more, still more.
            When he released her, her breathing was ragged and she looked up at him, dazed and disorientated.
            For a couple of seconds, Kyle looked just as stunned.  Then he took a deep breath and gave her a wry grin.  “You certainly know how to make a man regret his decision!”  He cupped her chin with his hand and even that burned through her and then gave her a tender smile.  “I’d better go, otherwise I never will.  Goodnight, beautiful lady.  Sleep well.  And don’t worry about tomorrow.  You’ll do just fine.”
            His lips brushed her mouth again in a brief parting kiss and then he turned to the lift.  The doors were still open and Jess watched as he went in and pressed the ground floor button.  Still totally numb, she raised her hand slightly.  Kyle smiled and tilted his head in farewell.
            Only when she was staring at the lift doors did she finally move.  The key was still in the lock and she let herself into the apartment.  She closed the door behind her, then caught sight of herself in the hallway mirror.  Her face was flushed and her blue eyes stared back at her wildly.
            “Oh God,” she whispered as she brought both her hands up to her cheeks.  For a few moments she couldn’t think straight.  All she could feel was Kyle’s mouth, his tongue, his whole body.  A quiver ran down to somewhere deep inside her.
            In the next moment her eyes widened with horror.  How could she have let him kiss her like that? 
            She looked at herself again in the mirror and tried to calm her thudding heart.  Lora’s clothes, Lora’s make-up, Lora’s hairstyle.  Of course, he’d thought that he was kissing Lora, not her.  And she’d responded as Lora.  Hadn’t she?
            So that was some damn good play-acting, Jess.  Except that it didn’t explain her own response.  Not just the way she’d responded to his kiss, but all those other feelings that she didn’t even want to think about.
            Relief, she told herself firmly.  All evening she’d been worrying about how the evening was going to end, and when he’d said that he wasn’t coming in, it was simply relief that swept through her   Wasn’t it?
            Underneath, she knew there had been far more than that, but already her mind frantically tried to deny what had happened to her emotions and to her body too.  Instead, she diverted her thoughts to the TV interview.  Once she got through that, this whole charade would be over.  She could go back to Ashfield and forget that Kyle Drummond even existed. 

Contact me at:
Writers Blog (with 4 other writers)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Welcome, Jane Toombs

What did I know about Special Op Agents, Central American jungles or AK47s?  Nothing--that is until I did research.  Have I ever seen or felt a ghost? No. But others have and some have written about their experiences, so I can learn about ghosts from research. 
  As many other authors do, I enjoy research,  It becomes a sort of painless learning because what one is researching is usually an interesting subject  even if it wasn’t needed for a story.  I’ve heard a few authors say they hated to do it, but it is necessary.  Many of us go the other way and have to force ourselves not to do far more than we need for the book.
   Another research plus is you have this raft of material you can use for another book--or more--in due time.    
   Once I had the research done, I only needed to use  dribs and drabs of it for the prologue of Shadow On the Floor, the first book in my DEADLY DARKNESS SERIES.  But those small added details were important. Why?  Because readers start out by believing what happens in a story.  So, if they find no glaring errors, then tend to trust the author has everything right for the rest of the book.
   So, obviously, at any story’s beginning, every author must be sure all the details are correct.  In other words, Yes, the USA has had at one time or another, Special Ops Agents, in the jungles of Central America.  Yes, the jungles there look and sound like the story says.  Yes, AK47 fire is deadly and the kill rate is high.
    When we get to the ghosts, the going is easier,  There are so many variations of ghost sightings that I was able  to pick and choose the ones that fit best for my story.
   As for  the other three books of the series: Watcher  At The Door,  Terror From Before and Stranger On The Shore, the prologues in each are in that same jungle, but differ since they’re told from each one of the hero’s point of view, so the same research could be used.      The paranormal element in each book differs, so some research was necessary there.  But  the first chapter in each book begins with all the heroes no longer in the Agency and back in civilian life, and all of the books are set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where I live, I pretty much knew the different areas each wound up in.  Only when I set a story somewhere I’ve never lived or visited do I do intensive research.
   As for paranormal, I enjoy reading and writing it, so I do know write a lot of it.  Which means I’ve created my own version. of shapeshifters, witches, and vampires.  Once I pick a version I tend to stick with it--sort of like a brand.
   So in the second book, I had to do minimal research, since the paranormal element is a shapeshifter. Third book--death bird.  Never wrote about it, but did the research long ago since I knew I’d need it someday.  Fourth book--nanabots.  Yes, they do exist but researchers are still working on refining.  Well, mine are refined, but even the mad-doctor-type who created the ones I use, has no idea they can replicate themselves as needed. Can’t wait to write this one.
         SHADOW ON  THE FLOOR comes out June 2, 2011 from Red Rose Publishing.  My website will have a buy button.
        
Blurb: A former special op agent turned lawyer, Dev's suspicious of Natalie, the young woman his cantankerous old uncle hires to help round the house. For one thing, how does she know how to step around, rather than on, the shadow that's
always stained the den floor?


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome Elaine Cantrell

If you’re an author, you hope to create memorable characters who will help your story come alive and captivate your readers.  Most authors, get to know their characters inside and out before they even begin a book, but how do they reveal their characters to the reader so that the reader understands the character too? 
First, we learn about characters through their speech.  What do you learn about Fred Emerson in this excerpt from A New Dream?
“Who brought you home?” demanded her father, Fred Emerson. “Where’s your car?”

“Alternator failure. It’s in the parking lot at work. The new manager, Matt McCallum, brought me home.” Violet hugged her mother Beth and her sister Jessie who both had a big pile of beans in front of them.

“You could have called me,” her father insisted.
Violet hung her purse on the coat rack near the door. “I knew you were busy with the garden stuff, Daddy. He offered, and I didn’t see any reason to turn him down.”

Fred snapped a bean with more vigor than necessary. “McCallum acted like a gentleman, I hope. Some of those pro-ball players don’t behave too well.”

Violet frowned. “He was a perfect gentleman, Daddy.”

“Good.” Fred tossed a handful of beans into a dishpan.  “He’d better continue to be. I won’t tolerate anybody messing with my daughters. I don’t know what the world’s coming to these
days.”
Right off the bat we know that Fred is an old-fashioned, maybe overly protective father.
We also learn about characters from their appearance.  What do you learn about my bad girl Stacey?  She’s also from A New Dream.
Her style hadn’t changed much since she ran out on him. She still dressed to attract attention, and judging from the expression on several nearby male faces, she hadn’t lost her touch. She was wearing a short skirt, knee boots, and a sweater that was probably half a size too small. She looked as chic, expensive, and sexy as she ever had, but the sultry, come-hither look he’d always loved didn’t do much for him now.

So, Stacey’s an extrovert, sexy, likes men, and probably uses her looks to get what she wants.

A character’s private thoughts also tell us what he/she is like.  What do you find out about my New Dream hero Matt McCallum?  Matt was a pro-football player who lost his career when he lost a leg in an accident.




He had worked like a dog on that leg, but he still limped, and it felt like knives stabbed him with every step he took. His career was over, and he had lost almost everything he had loved and valued. Yeah, he felt drained.

Nevertheless, he always kept such dark thought to himself. God forbid he should invite anyone’s pity! He’d rather be dead first.

We see that Matt is depressed over the changes in his life.  We also see that he’s a proud man who doesn’t want anyone’s pity.

We also learn about characters from the way others see him and react to him.  In this excerpt, my New Dream hero told my heroine that he won’t leave her porch until she talks to him even though the weather is icy.

Dinnertime came and went, and Matt still sat on the porch.  “I’m going to take him something to eat,” Beth declared. “He has to be starving.”

Violet guessed her mother was right. Matt had once told her that the effort of walking with a prosthesis burned additional calories, but the picture of Stacey etched in her brain hardened her heart. “He isn’t your problem, Mother. Leave him alone.”

Nerves on edge, Violet started to cry, and when she did Beth tackled Fred. “Fred Emerson, you do something right now! I’m not having it on my conscience if that young man freezes to death on my front porch, especially since I believe he’s telling the truth.”

“Mother! I thought you were on my side!”

Fred pounced on her statement like a cat on a catnip mouse.  “I knew it! You’ve always liked him.”

“Well, you do something, and I mean now!”

Don’t you think it says a lot about Matt’s character that Violet’s mother believes he’s innocent of betraying Violet with another woman? 

A character’s actions will reveal a lot about them too.  What do you think this excerpt says about Matt?

 Matt patted old Mrs. Watson on the arm. “I’m sorry for the confusion, ma’am.”

Bristling with indignation, the woman nodded her head.  “See to it that it doesn’t happen again.”

As she stalked away, the red-faced cashier blurted out. “I wasn’t wrong.”

“I know it, but she’s old. Make a note of the amount, and I’ll put it in the register.” He winked at the cashier who no longer looked upset.

He smiled when he turned around and saw Sam Dickson watching him. “Coffee in my office?”

“Well, we aren’t going to drink it in the produce section are we?” Sam quipped.

He’s kind to old ladies?  This is a nice guy!

And now, if you’re interested after reading so much about A New Dream, here’s the first part of the prologue.  The book is available at http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662249&mode=product&product=2676585


The red convertible cut a path through the moonlight, its headlights dancing along the arched limbs of the trees above the road.

“Oh, Matt, it’s such a beautiful night,” Stacey declared with a sigh. “I’m going to miss you when you leave tomorrow.”

Matt reached for her hand and brought it to his lips. “I’ll miss you too, but if I don’t report on time, I’m in trouble with the coach.”

“That’s what I get for falling in love with a pro football player,” Stacey teased, her blonde hair turned to frosted silver by the light of the full moon above them.

Matt squeezed her hand that wore his engagement ring. “It’s too late to back out now,” he teased. “You’re mine.”

“Mmm, do I like the sound of that!”

The car rounded a curve, and without warning a deer bounded across the road.
“Look out!” Stacey screamed.

Matt braked sharply to avoid the animal. The tires slid on a patch of loose gravel in the road, and he lost control of the convertible. It fishtailed and started to spin in the road.
Matt hauled the steering wheel to correct the slide, but it was useless. The car turned around once more and skidded backwards for a short distance before it charged off the road. It jumped a steep ditch and went airborne. All Matt could see was a blur of trees and darkness as the car careened into the woods. It made a lazy turn in the air and came to rest bottom side up.

The last thing he remembered was the sound of Stacey’s screams.

Thanks for reading!
Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life… Love





Monday, June 20, 2011

Welcome Tricia McGill

Thank you, Ginger, for allowing me the pleasure of being one of your guest bloggers today.
My name is Tricia McGill. I write romance under several sub-genres including historical, time-travel, modern and mainstream. I’ve even dabbled in the futuristic with Amaryllis. I think my favorite genres are time-travel and historical as the process of research fascinates me.
I have been writing for quite some time, and along the way made some amazing cyber friends; one of the most endurable being the indomitable Ginger. The internet is a wondrous thing where we become long-time friends with people we consider our best buddies, even though chances are we may never come face to face seeing as I live in Australia and she resides in the USA.
It was Ginger who introduced me to MuseItUp  where my next book, Remy, will be released in August this year.

Remy Blurb:

“Remy, a convicted man, is in love with Sara, the daughter of a wealthy property owner. Even in the prospering colony of New South Wales, it would be far fetched to think he could ever marry her. Sara’s father isn’t Remy’s biggest problem.
With his family and everyone else turned against him, Remy must leave his sister’s property. Sara despairs of ever seeing her love again, while Remy faces overwhelming odds and an ordeal that threatens to strip him of everything; his pride, his strength, his health—even his life. When Remy finally has Sara within his grasp, he is sent to a place where pain and suffering are everyday occurrences.
Will the lovers ever find the happiness they crave?”
On my Blog, Romantic Journeys, you can find out about the research journey I took to create this book.
This book was written as a tribute to all the pioneers who opened new frontiers in far flung corners of the world, especially the women who battled alongside their men. Women who were often torn away from the homeland they loved and forced to endure hardship and deprivation but faced it with fortitude and strength.
Here is a short excerpt from Remy:
“I love you with all my heart. And when I’m out of my term and a free man; then I’ll ask your father for your sweet hand.” He placed a kiss on her knuckle, and a tremor raced over her skin. He hoped it wasn’t just the cool air causing it.  He hoped she was as enamored of him as he was of her. “Will you wait for me?”
              Her eyes widened at his impudence, but he knew without being told, his words captured her interest. “What nonsense! How can you speak of love, Remy? You’ve only just met me. How can you possibly have such strong feelings for me on such a short acquaintance?”
              “Love knows no boundaries, of time or place. I’ll feel the same fifty years from now as I feel at this moment,” he proclaimed with fervor, cupping her chin with his palm. Strangely, he knew his words were true. He had felt a strong attraction for a few women before, but nothing like this all-encompassing devotion that seemed to fill all his senses.
              “I know not what to say,” she said in a low husky voice. She made no move to remove herself from his touch, and that thrilled him to the core.

Animals, especially horses and dogs have played a large part in my life. My current pet is Jessie. She’s getting a bit long in the tooth now—like her owner, and is deaf—luckily unlike her owner, and is the best company. She is never far from me and at this moment is snuggled comfortably in her little cubby beside me as I write.
If you would like to read excerpts from my books or see some of my book videos, perhaps you would like to visit my web page.

Romance Reviews

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Manic Readers

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Historical Fiction Books

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