Thursday, September 4, 2014

Alison Pensy on writing #amwriting

Thank you, Carlyle, for inviting me to guest on your blog today, it's great to be here.




My name is Alison Pensy and I am the author of the Custodian Novels series, a young adult urban fantasy series set in England (and several other realms). I also write New Adult romance under the pen name of Adrianna Blakeley. I chose to use a pen name for my adult books because I didn't want my younger readers accidentally downloading a book that was inappropriate for them. I'm originally from England but now live in the Mid West United States with my hubby and various four-legged friends.
I started my writing journey back in 2006, although, the idea that I wanted to write a book stemmed all the way back to 1989 after I had backpacked around Australia for nine months at the age of twenty. I wanted to write a book about my adventures in Oz but didn't want it to be a memoir, who would want to read that? So, the idea was shelved for a long time until I had a light bulb moment and realized I could write a romance novel using my adventures as a back drop…which I did.
I self-pubbed that book back in 2006 and sold a few paper copies (it was just before the e-book revolution) but soon after, I took the book off sale and filed it in the back of a draw. In 2012, I re-wrote it, gave it a new title and published it as an e-book. By this time, I had been bitten by the writing bug. In 2009, I had the idea to write a fantasy novel, drawing the inspiration from an urban legend surrounding an old church in the village where I grew up. From this blossomed four books, so far, and another is in the works.
From what I have read, I'm not your typical author. I have read so many articles and blogs by authors and 'professionals' who say you have to write every day. At first I tried to do this, feeling incredibly guilty and lazy if I didn't, but after a while I realized that this way of writing just wasn't working for me. If I tried to force it, nothing came and what did transfer to the page sounded forced. Also, I was writing as a hobby, something to get me out of the real world, not put me under even more pressure…running my own tax & accounting business was capable of doing that all by itself.

I decided to give myself permission to write when I wanted to write and not force myself to put words on a page every day. There have been times when I've gone months without writing a word in my WIP, then I will get a spark of inspiration and my fingers will fly across the keyboard for days. As with a lot of authors, my writing is helped along by music. I have a huge playlist of songs I've downloaded over the years to help me write various scenes, everything from light pop to heavy classical depending on what I'm writing.
One of the craziest things that has happened on my author journey is that the characters I created have taken on lives of their own. If I weren't an author, I'm sure the men in white coats would have taken me away by now. I find myself thinking about them as if they are real people. They talk to each other in my head, so much so, I sometimes feel bad for eavesdropping. Mostly though, I just grab a pad and pencil and jot it all down to be used in a scene later.

Another thing I have learned in my journey is to create a series bible. I didn't realize how important this was until book 3. It gets complicated after adding more characters as the story progressed and then trying to remember what eye color a certain character had or whether a certain character had facial hair or not. I found myself having to read through my own books to figure out who did what and when so I could keep everything consistent. This was not something I'd thought to do in the beginning and I paid the price by book 3.
This is just a glimpse into my writing world. Every author has a slightly different way that works for them and I have to admit to being a tad envious of the author who can sit her bum in a chair and write every day. Maybe, one day, that will be me, too.

If you would like to know more about me and my books, please check out my website

My books are available at most e-book retailers including these:


THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book Spotlight: WITCH HUNTER OLIVIA by T.A. Kunz

Here's what New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors are saying about Witch Hunter Olivia by T.A. Kunz:

 

"Witch hunters and sexy tattoo artists? This New Adult Paranormal is EVERYTHING fans of romance and action are looking for."
- #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

"A fun, action-packed, enjoyable read!"
- New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack

"The perfect blend of New Adult and Paranormal. It's absolutely fantastic!" - New York Times bestselling author Nichole Chase

~ ~ ~

Reviewers are calling Witch Hunter Olivia "amazing, fun, well-written, and entertaining." You don't want to miss the hottest New Adult paranormal romance of the summer!

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In the town of Piedmont Pointe, where paranormal is the norm, a girl can easily get herself in over her head with a single wrong move. Unfortunately for Olivia Adams, she's about to make several.

Starting over is never easy, but it seemed like the only option to Olivia. The decision to turn her back on the Guild of Witch Hunters, the very group she devoted her entire life to, was one of the hardest things she ever did. It meant leaving her family, her friends, and her old identity behind forever. Coming to terms with what caused her to abandon her duties in the first place was even harder.

While trying to lay low and stay off the Guild's radar, Olivia finds herself thrust back into her old ways after unknowingly interrupting an assassination hit on a powerful witch. What follows is the last thing she ever thought she'd agree to do--protect the very thing she was groomed to hunt.

To complicate things even further, Olivia begins to develop feelings for a tattoo artist who also happens to be half warlock, and no matter how hard she tries to fight it, she can't resist her inescapable draw to him. Olivia's forbidden relationship isn't her only issue though, because once the mystery behind the assassination attempt starts to unravel, she's forced to choose sides when the loyalties still tied to her past life are tested again.

So much for the idea of a fresh start.

BUY THE BOOK NOW:

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon AUS ~ B&N ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author T.A. Kunz has always had a fondness for reading thrilling mysteries and action-packed urban fantasies. So, it was no surprise when T.A. decided to write stories that they’d fall into one of those two genres. T.A. lives in Central Florida with two fur babies and a mechanical engineer who also happens to be quite the culinary badass, which there are no complaints about. Being a self-diagnosed caffeine addict, many joke that T.A.’s addiction to Starbucks coffee will likely be their downfall later in life.

STALK THE AUTHOR:

Website ~ Twitter

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Author NL Greene shares some writing tips with us



Hi everyone! I'm Nichole ~Author N.L. Greene~.

I have a series (The Deadly Flower Series) through a small press publisher and I am also an Indie Author who has self-published 3 books so far (Twisted, Illusions Begin, and Magic Unfolds).
I've been writing for over 3 years now and my writing style has probably changed over a 100 times! I went from co-writing, to writing solo, then I went from outlining and planning meticulously to just sitting down to a blank screen and writing what I feel. What I've found works best for me is the solo writing and letting the story write itself. I usually start with an idea, maybe a few paragraphs of basic outline, but that’s it. Then I sit down and let my mind run with the idea and wait to see what happens. This writing style works for me because then I don’t feel like I have rules to follow or guidelines I need to stick too. Sometimes when we first come up with an idea, we have this plan of where it should go but as we write, it starts to veer off in another direction. I like the freedom to follow that path and see what happens. Because I'm an Indie Author I've also done all the marketing and promo for those books. I'll be honest, when I first started writing, I didn't realize all the work AFTER the book was published that I'd have to do. Thankfully, the Indie world is full of some amazing people that are willing to help out and give tips. 

So, here are my marketing tips…
1- Get to know other authors and be supportive of them. Promoting and supporting others in the author world is not only a really nice thing to do but it actually helps with your own marketing. We like to help each other out so when we see someone willing to go that extra step for us, we tend to return the favor.
2- Find good promo sites, like BookBub, to advertise your book on. These sites reach tens of thousands of readers in one day which can be priceless. It's more than worth the investment!
3- Spend hours on social media! My husband always teases me and says "Are you Facebooking again?" and the answer is always "Yes!" If you have a good cover and blurb for your book, it'll probably sell. But in order to make fans, people that will not only buy your book but that will also tell all their friends to buy your book, are fans. In order to have them, you need to talk to them, build a relationship with them, and let them know how much you appreciate them by taking the time to read and share your book.
4- Share photos, quotes, passages, or whatever little snippets of your book with your fans. It builds the anticipation of new books coming out and makes new readers curious about already published books.
5- Never stop doing any of the above! As long as you want to sell books, you have to do marketing. There are so many people in the world; it takes a long and a lot of work to reach them all!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my tips, I hope some of them are helpful!! Feel free to follow me on FB or friend request me and check out my Amazon Author page!! XOXO





Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blog Hop - Killing Me Softly



Blog Hop!
Keep Reading to get to the Rafflecopter

For The Writer's Voice, I'm giving away this handmade rose that I made from one of my books. There's a separate Rafflecopter for the rose.



July 15 - August 3, 2014

Fabulous Prizes!

 Guitar Pick Necklace













Killing Me Softly Blog Hop Schedule

July 15 – August 3, 2014

July 15
Michelle Muto                                                    www.michellemuto.wordpress.com
Candy Smith                                                       www.purpleshadowhunter.blogspot.com

July 16
Amber Clark                                                       www.bookloveramber.blogspot.com

July 17
TBA

July 18
Brea Essex                                                         www.breaessex.com

July 19
Kendall McCubban                                            www.bookcrazy123.blogspot.com
Erin Danzer                                                        http://www.authorerindanzer.com/

July 20
Melissa Stickney                                                www.crazybeautifulreviews.blogspot.com

July 21
Kristi Strong                                                        www.strongnovels.blogspot.com

July 22
Amy Jones                                                           www.amyjonesyaff.blogspot.com


July 23
Kris Kendall                                                        www.ireadselfies.com
Mandy Anderson                                                www.twimom101bookblog.blogspot.com

July 24
Tiffany Perry                                                      http://strreviews.blogspot.com/

July 25
Amy Stogner Avid Reader Amy                         www.avidreaderamy.blogspot.com

July 26
Lisa Hines                                                           www.heffroberts.blogspot.com

July 27
The Writer's Voice

July 28
Trish Davy
So Many Books So Little Time                       http://manybooksnotime.blogspot.com//

July 29
Tia Bach                                                             http://www.depressioncookies.com/                                                       

July 30
Carlyle                                                                www.worldsawaybookblog.blogspot.com

July 31
Devyn Dawson

August 1
Raine Thomas                                  http://rainethomas.com/blog/






Clean New Adult Military Romance

 

Killing Me Softly

By Devyn Dawson

Preface


   I glance down at my black pointy-toed high heels and realize they’re the most uncomfortable shoes I’ve ever worn.  Andy’s mom let me borrow a pair of Andy’s shoes since we wear the same size.  It will take me a while to think of her in the past tense.  Looking around the room all I see are strangers.  None of these people knew her like I did.  No one knew the way she loved soft furry blankets and in the summer she loved softy silky pajamas.  They didn’t know that she spent more time praying for her friends and animals than she did for herself.  No, they didn’t know those things, and they never will.

   My best friend, Andy, died four days ago in a car accident with her boyfriend Doug.  A car crossed over the center lane and hit them head on.  The police say they died instantly.  I talked to her exactly ten minutes before the crash, she told me she was going to stop by on her way home.  We’ve always done that; stop by on our way home from shopping to show what we bought.   Doug took her to Dallas to pick up a guitar and to go shopping. Andy’s parents have money. They spoiled her, but she never acted spoiled.  She was kind and giving.  For her birthday, her dad gave her a prepaid credit card.  She had to keep her grades up, if she did, he’d load a thousand dollars on the card every month for a year.  That’s more money than I make at my job. When I go shopping, I hit the thrift stores and yard sales.  Just because I don’t spend tons of money on clothes, doesn’t mean I don’t look like I do.  There’s a thrift shop not too far from here that I find the best deals.  If the outfit doesn’t fit me, I do the alterations myself.   My money is from my job at the vitamin store in the mall. Eight dollars an hour doesn’t go far when you’re the bread winner in your family. 

  Andy didn’t spend the money on things just for her, no, she would buy things for an after school program she worked for as a volunteer. She would give you every dime she had if you needed help. When she went shopping for herself, she would buy a matching outfit for me.  She would always say that I was the sister she always wanted.

  Linda, Andy’s mom, is making her way over to me, her grief is written all over her face.  I stand up and wrap my arms around her thin body and in that moment the magnitude of what happened hits me like a brick wall.  I start to tremble, but I force myself to keep it together until I get home.  That’s when I’ll have the luxury of breaking down.

   “Sugar, how are you holding up?” Linda asks.  One of her friends leans over and hands her a fresh martini.

  “I don’t know,” I shrug my shoulders.  “It doesn’t seem real, does it?”

   “She loved you so much,” I smell the alcohol on her breath as she kisses me on the cheek.  “You’re welcome here any time, you’re part of our family.  If that daddy of yours gives you any trouble, you come over and you can sleep in Andy’s room.  She’d want you to be here with us, you know that.”

   “I know.  If you don’t mind, I need to go home and check on my dad.  They changed his meds this week.  As usual, he’s been in one of his moods.  Never mind all that, if you need anything, I’m number five on your speed dial.  I’ll drop off the shoes later this week.”

   “Holland, keep the shoes, I don’t need them back.  Go check on your dad, I’m going to try to get everyone out of here at a decent hour.  My head hurts too much to deal with so many people.  I love you, Holly, don’t you forget it either.” Andy’s the only person who ever called me by my childhood nickname.  When I started high school, I went back to my given name, Holland. Linda pulls me in for another hug, this one is tighter and longer than the last one.  In my head I can hear Andy complaining that her mom is getting mushy.  I smile at the thought. 

  “I love you too.  I’ll be by soon.”  She’s hugging me as if she’s holding onto a piece of her daughter for dear life.

   Most everyone here are family or friends of the family.  A few people from high school came to the funeral, but everyone bailed before the graveside service.  If it were anyone other than Andy, I would have done the same.   My heart is heavy in my chest and tears threaten to come, but I suppress them so I can get home before I start the water works.

   My street is ten streets away from Andy’s house, but the neighborhoods are polar opposites.  Her street is lined with manicured lawns and matching brick mailboxes at the end of each driveway.  Several people on our street have taken their mailbox down because some kids drove by with a baseball bat and dented in the metal mailboxes.  A couple of the neighbors have cars parked in their yard and many of the houses have some type of car up on car ramps or a jack.  Andy’s neighborhood is filled with houses with three bedrooms and two or more bathrooms.  Ours isn’t. 

  I pull into the driveway that is cracked from neglect and hot Oklahoma summers.  Our small two bedroom house is dark red brick with white trim that could use a new paint job.

  The screen door bangs closed as I step into the living room.  Dad is right where he was when I left this morning, asleep on the couch.

   “Dad, it’s after two.”  I say it loud enough for him to hear me. 

   He pushes himself up to a sitting position.  “How was it?  Is her mom holding up okay?”

   “It was as nice as a funeral can be for an eighteen year old girl.  Her mom’s okay, she’s a strong woman,” I say harsher than intended. 

  “When will you go to the store to buy groceries?”

   The only question he cares about……food.  He doesn’t give a crap about the funeral, he’s been sitting on the couch all day.  He sits around and feels sorry for himself.  “Dad, I told you I don’t get paid until Tuesday.  Your Social Security check paid the bills.  I have thirty dollars for gas.  That’s all the money we have in the bank.  There’s stuff to eat, just not what you want.   Give me a few minutes to change for work and I’ll make you some supper.”

   “You’re working on the day of your best friend’s funeral?”  He asks, posing as the concerned father.

   “Yes, I’m working on the day Andy was buried.  I have to pay the bills, so working isn’t an option. Your prescriptions will be running out this week, I need money for your co-pays.  Look, I don’t want to talk about this right now.”  I set my stuff down as I head down the short hall to my bedroom.

   “Holland, I’m getting better!  Don’t you worry, before long, I’ll be able to go back to work!”  He shouts out to me.

   He’s told me a thousand times how he’s getting better.  Per Dr. Paul, his regular doctor, he’s never going to be fit to work again if he doesn’t go to therapy on a regular basis.  He’s two steps away from being placed in an institution.  He was involuntarily committed last October, it lasted for five days.  Being the selfish person I am, it was the most sleep I’ve had in years.  He was safely behind locked doors, and I didn’t have to worry about which side of him I was going to come home to.

   My little room is large enough for my full-size bed and a small desk I found at a garage sale.  Most of my clothes are folded up inside big plastic bins.  Andy teased me about my organization skills.  She said I’m the only teenager who puts away their clothes on their own.   I found it easier to strap a bin of dirty laundry to my skateboard and pull it the two blocks to the Laundromat than to carry it that far.  I’ve been doing our laundry since my mom left when I was thirteen.  That was the year my dad lost his job with the advertising firm and everything spiraled out of control.

   I bend over to tie my shoes and pick up my keys that fell to the floor.  I double check my reflection in the mirror before rushing out of my room to make a quick dinner for my dad.  Crap!  I think to myself as I realize I got more bleach splatters on the hems of my khakis.  Thankfully, Gerrie won’t be working tonight to gripe at me about buying a new pair of pants.  She find a way to complain about me at every opportunity she finds.  She hates it when I wear my long hair down, she says I shed it all over the store. Last year she got upset with me for not being tan like all the other girls in the mall.  She told me guys would come in to buy vitamins if I had a tan and wore make-up.

   Andy and I would dream up crazy come-backs to Gerrie’s insults, but I never used them. 

Andy.

   How can I face another day without her humor?  How am I going to deal with my dad without her encouragement?  How will I carry on?

***

 

Chapter One.  Cheeky


Six months later.

   “Yes Aunt Laney, I know his birthday is Saturday.  Dad won’t show up for dinner, he never does.  He hates surprises and apparently he hates showers too.  I know you don’t like to come to our neighborhood, so you can drop it off at the mall.  I’m working tonight and tomorrow morning.” 

   “Okay, I’ll bring it to you at the mall.  I’ve reloaded that Visa for you to get some groceries.  Holland, you can come live with me, no one would blame you,” Aunt Laney says for the hundredth time.  She’s my dad’s older sister and the only family member who still checks in on us.  Her husband is a big corporate lawyer who represents every big company in Oklahoma.  She was his paralegal, until they fell in love and got married.  To ease her conscience she loads a prepaid Visa so I can buy groceries and gas.  She paid off the mortgage last Christmas.  She has no idea how much easier she made my life when I didn’t have to worry about that bill anymore.

   Things have been looking better this year.  June moved away and I was promoted to assistant-manager, which included a two dollar an hour raise.  “Okay, I’ll see you then….and thank you for helping us by loading the Visa.”

   “Oh honey, you’re a doll.  I’m proud of you for being such a good daughter to my baby brother.  I hope you’ve been able to keep your flawless GPA.  You’ve been working so many days a week, it must be hard to keep up your grades.”

   I can picture her admiring her fingernails as she talks.  She’s always struck me as a superficial person by the clothes she wears and the people in her life.  “Thanks, I don’t have any choice, he’s my dad.”  I state the obvious.  “I’m taking online classes, so it works around my schedule.  Not to be rude, but I need to go; I have to be at work in fifteen minutes.”

  “I’ll see you later.” 

   “Okay, I’ll see you this evening,” I click my cell phone off and close my bedroom door behind me.
   
   “Dad, your dinner is in the fridge in the purple container, heat it up for one minute.”  I turn the corner and see my dad sitting up for a change.

   “You’re going to work early, you should eat breakfast,” he suggests.

   “Dad, it’s four in the afternoon.  I have to do laundry tomorrow, so it would be nice if you took a shower and put your dirty clothes in the hamper.”  He won’t.  He’ll give me excuses why he couldn’t shower before I got home.   Recently, he developed a fear of showering in an empty house.  His therapist called in a new medication, but it only seems to make him more of a zombie and has done nothing for his fear of cleanliness. 

   “Four?  The days sure go by so fast.”  He rubs his hand across his unshaven face.  He’s not even forty, but you’d never know by the amount of grey in his beard.

   “Gotta go, Dad,” I hold my breath and give him a peck on his head.

---­

   Friday evening at Darby Springs Mall is crowded as usual, leaving the only parking spaces ridiculously far from the doors.  During my lunch period I’ll move my car closer so I don’t have to get security to walk me to my car after work.  I ease the Charger between two SUVs, barely clearing the one on my right.  Aunt Laney gave me her old one as a graduation gift during my senior year.  Old to her is anything older than two years old.  She had only owned this one for a year before giving it to me.  She even covers the car insurance so it wouldn’t be a burden on me and my dad.

   “Hey Sam, can you stay until close?  It’s the fifteenth which means payday for the military, and they love to come stock up on the protein powder.  This is usually the busiest day of the month.”  I glance around the store to make sure everything is in order.

   “Is that what’s going on?  I had to restock the powder a couple of times already today.  One guy wanted to return something, but I told him to come when you’re working.  He said he’d come back tonight,” Sam says.

  “Will you straighten up the display of Vitamin C?  Someone turned all the bottles backwards, it was probably a kid.” Sam’s a quirky guy who spends all of his paycheck on body building powder and his spare time in the gym.  He dates a girl I went to high school with, she’s rumored to have appeared in a couple of adult films.  She’s a pretty girl but she can’t carry on a conversation without talking about kinky sex. “I’m going to the back to place some orders, if you need me just call,” I say as I turn to the back of the store.

   “Holland?” Sam’s voice booms over the phone intercom causing me to jump. 

   “Yes, Sam.”

***
   “That guy is here with the return.”

   “I’ll be right there.” 
   There’s a guy at the register dressed in jeans and a black t-shirt talking to Sam.  His short light brown hair is definitely Air Force the way it is perfectly squared off on the back of his neck.

    I remind myself that I’m the assistant manager and not to be intimidated. 

   “Hi, I’m Holland, what can I help you with,” I ask as I step behind the cashier counter.  Another pretty-boy airman with his deep dimple and flawless skin.  There’s no way he’s much older than I am, that’s good because I don’t typically back down to people my age.  Older guys in the military scare me, they seem so hard and angry. 

   “Hey Holland, Sam here told me to come back when you’re here to refund this powder.”

   The first thing I notice are his eyes, pale blue eyes…incredibly pretty blue eyes and smile.  The manager-in-training classes I took told me to always hold the customer’s gaze.  They obviously never looked into eyes like his.  It takes everything in me not to shift my eyes away from him.  It makes me feel exposed as if he is literally looking into my soul. 

“Yes sir, is there a problem with the powder?” 

  He’s first to avert his eyes and look down at the jug of Mega Muscle Protein Powder.  “It gave me a rash,” he replies without looking up at me.

  Most of the guys who come in are embarrassed to admit they ended up with a rash. “A rash?  Do you have a photo of the rash?”  Our return policy on store-brand products are if it gives you a rash, you have to provide a photo.  There’s nothing more disgusting than looking at a rash on a stranger. 

  “That rule on your policy is pretty intrusive.  When I read it, I was floored that it was a real rule.”

   Here we go, he’ll turn off the charm and turn into a douche.  I’m sure Sam is doing the countdown in his head.  “Yes sir, we must turn in the photo along with the explanation in to our corporate office.  Our policy is for quality control and has nothing to do with being intrusive.  May I see the picture?”
He pulls out his cell phone and scrolls through his pictures before holding it up for me to see.  Sure enough, it’s a rash… on his ass!  He took a selfie of his ass rash in the mirror. He is standing in his boxers and holding one side of them down and taking a picture with his other hand.  I need to call Andy and tell her about this, she’s going to die laughing.  Dammit!  I can’t call her, because she’s dead. 

   “I need a print of the picture,” I snap.  My mood has gone from good to pissed in two seconds.

   “You really need a picture of my ass to give me a thirty-five dollar refund?”

   I cock my head to the side, my go-to defense pose when I’m hiding my feelings from the world.  “I didn’t write the rules, but I follow them.”  This is the look Andy called my bitch-face.

   “Look, I’m not going to go print off a picture of my ass to get a thirty-five dollar refund.  You can keep the powder and the money.”  He shakes his head back and forth before taking his receipt and folding it up neatly before returning it to his wallet.

   I stand at the register and watch him walk out of the store.

   “What happened?”  Sam asks.

   “Nothing, I’m following policy,” I reply nonchalantly.

   Sam looks at me like he wasn’t buying it for an instant.  “Holland, one minute you were okay and the next you flipped and were pissed off.”

   “I didn’t flip.”  I gather up my paperwork to tally out our sales for the day.  My dad flips, I just get pissed.

   “I think there’s Pamprin in the office, if you need it,” Sam says sarcastically.  Good thing I like him or I’d write him up just because I can.

   “I’m not PMSing and just for that, you get to mop the floor tonight.”  Without turning around, I head back to the office.  When memories of Andy pop into my head, I’m reminded how lonely life is without her.  I’ve been going to her grave and sitting there for hours.   She was always my sounding board when it came to my dad, now I feel guilty for all the times I made her listen to me complain.  We should have spent more time doing pranks and laughing at stupid movies.  Now, I’ll never be able to do those things with someone.  Lately, everything reminds me of her and I’ll either cry or get angry.  It isn’t that I’m mad at her, it’s I don’t know when the pain will stop.  My therapist says dumb things like, time heals all wounds, or everyone grieves differently.  The therapist was Aunt Laney’s idea since the health insurance policy she bought for me covers the visits. 

   “Knock, knock,” Sam’s voice brings me back to reality.  “Hey, do I really have to mop the floor?  I have plans after work and I don’t want to smell like bleach and dirty mop water.”

   “I told you to mop not take a bath.  I’ll let it slide this time, but don’t ever hint for me to take Pamprin again, okay?”

   “Deal.  Your Aunt Laney is in the store, do you want me to send her back here?”

   “No, I’ll go out there.”





DEVYN DAWSON

   I've thought of myself as a writer for as long as I can remember.  I played grown-up with my family, until everyone grew up and left me to figure out what I really wanted to be.  Jumping over the cliff, I took a leap of faith and wrote my first full length novel, The Legacy of Kilkenny.  My love of young adult books, helped mold me into the writer I am today.  The books I write, reflect the types of books I enjoy reading.  Every story I write will have a huge twist at the end, one that often leaves the reader in shock (no pun intended, if you know me, you know why I say that, LOL).  Thank you for considering to read my books.  Happy reading!

Thank you for having me on your blog!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Award Winning Author Christina Mercer talks writing

CHRISTINA MERCER – GUEST POST ON THE WRITER’S VOICE






Hello, super glad to be guest-posting here! I’ve been asked to share a little about my WRITING RITUALS and to give a couple TIPS FOR NEW AUTHORS. So, starting with my ritual . . . It always, always, ALWAYS begins with a large mug of honey. Oh, I mean tea with honey (and cream). I drink this elixir all day long, hot or cold. And yes, it IS an elixir of the most magical kind. Tea is wonderful and honey is a miracle food (not lying!) that keeps my part-bee-self buzzin’. Along with honeyed tea at my side, I prefer writing when it’s quiet. Some people enjoy music or “white noise” like in a coffee shop, but I do better with uninterrupted quiet. My writing canvas, so to speak, is good old Word on my laptop. I’ve tried other writing programs and have author friends who love Scrivener and such, but I always end up back on Word where I am most comfortable. I also use actual paper for outlining/storyboarding purposes. The pitfall of writing a manuscript on any computer, however, is the distraction of the internet. It’s oh-so-easy to click onto email or Facebook or Twitter tabs when struggling with a thought or muddling through a scene. The web serves for quickly looking up a fact or word, etc., but “quickly” doesn’t always happen. Internet research can suck me in like a black hole, and before I know it, I’m surfing random things while losing valuable time and momentum. So, tip for myself and for new authors: 

DO NOT LET THE INTERNET SUCK AWAY WRITING TIME.
As an aside, you could replace “internet” with all sorts of potential distractions. 
TIME carved out for WRITING is precious. Respect it! Otherwise, you’ll never finish those masterpieces.] Okay, that being said, in your Non-Dedicated-Writing-Time 
THE INTERNET IS YOUR BEST FRIEND for interacting with other writers, as well as many readers. Some of my best writer-ly relationships started with social media. Author collectives, bloggers, critique groups, beta readers, editors, publicists, book artists, reviewers, etc. can be found there. And it opens doors for person-to-person contact, too. I’ve attended fantastic in-person events that I would never have known about had it not been for the interactions with fellow writers on Facebook, for instance. Being naturally shy, it took me awhile longer than most, but after a few years and a few published books, I’ve grown my visibility to others and made life-long relationships for which I am eternally grateful.


In short:
DRINK LOTS OF HONEY WITH TEA (optional, but recommended)
WRITE IN YOUR MOST COMFORTABLE ZONE
AVOID BLACK HOLES
USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO BROADEN YOUR VISIBILITY
& TO CREATE/NURTURE RELATIONSHIPS


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  Christina Mercer is an award-winning author of fiction for children and young adults. Honored titles include Tween Fantasy ARROW OF THE MIST and its sequel ARMS OF ANU, and YA Fantasy/Romance HONEY QUEEN. Christina enjoys life in the foothills of Northern California with her husband and sons, a pack of large dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees. For more about her and her writing,

 visit: WebSite | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads
 
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