Monday, August 31, 2009

The Captain's Lady by Lorhainne Eckhart

Coming tomorrow - Lorhainne Eckhart, guest blogger! Be sure to stop back tomorrow to read her great guest post.
Here's a blurb for her new book, The Captain's Lady, available from The Wild Rose Press:

Blurb: The Captain’s Lady

Captain Eric Hamilton is a powerful force in the U.S. Navy, having earned himself a reputation of being a hard-nosed chauvinist. He’s commander of the USS Larsen, a destroyer, currently deployed in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Abby Carlton has just escaped from the man who held her captive for a year. Abducted while travelling in Paris, she was given to an Arab man as a gift, until one night she makes her desperate escape.

While on patrol one morning Captain Eric Hamilton discovers a dinghy floating aimlessly. Abby is found, battered and in an advanced state of pregnancy, lying in the bottom of the dinghy. From the moment she lay on the deck of his ship her innocence finds a way to penetrate his hardened heart. But time is running out. Eric is falsely accused of sexual assault and the CIA wants Abby and the baby for bait to flush out her captor.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Red Hot Reads - August Edition

In this month's edition of Red Hot Reads, I have a cross section of print and ebook selections. I love to haunt my local library. Sometimes you can find some real gems just by browsing the titles. Sometimes you can find some great titles simply by browsing ebook publishers as well. Here are my selections:

His Son’s Teacher, Kay Stockham
Harlequin Enterprises Ltd

Sometimes your deepest secret is the one thing you need revealed in order to live. Sound intriguing? Read His Son’s Teacher to learn more.

Ms.Stockham writes novels that tug at your heart because they are novels about people you could know. You can empathize with the struggles of the characters because the characters are people you could meet in your neighborhood. They could be you.

How Wicked-er Can She Go?, J. Morgan
Lyrical Press

She needs to prove she’s wicked. He wants to find his true love. Is that possible when she’s going against her goody-goody type? Read How Wicked-er Can She Go? and find out.

One Lucky Cowboy, Carolyn Brown
Sourcebooks, Inc.

She’s running from her past and what could be her future. He’s sure she’s not what she seems and puts a guard around his heart. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Neither and both. Want to know more? Read One Lucky Cowboy and find out. You won’t want to miss this novel.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Crystal Jordan
Samhain Publishing Ltd.

He’s determined to win her affections – on her terms. She’s determined to stay cool - except that his terms aren’t that evil. He’s darned irresistible. But that’s what happens when a Crazy Little Thing Called Love gets involved.

You can find all these titles through their respective publishers. Be sure to support writers because they are the ones who add color to your lives. Also, read an ebook - less impact on the environment and just as exciting as one that's in print!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Thanks to Clare Austin - my first blog guest!

I wanted to send out a thank you to Clare Austin for her great post yesterday. I can't wait to get a copy of her book, Butterfly. I also wanted to thank her because she was my first guest blogger - Ever! How cool is that?

I'll have my Red Hot Reads for August on Saturday and my Eye Candy on Sunday. Look for a guest blog from Lorhainne Eckhart coming September 1 and an interview with Kiss Carson coming soon!

I need to get back to my farmer. He's on stage with his guitar and ready to rock. Sometimes the best place to be famous is in a small town.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Guest Blogger - Clare Austin!

I'd like to welcome guest blogger Clare Austin, author of Butterfly. You can get your very own copy of her novel from the Wild Rose Press.
Stop by and say hi, we'd love to hear from you. Remember, the more you comment her and along the blog tour, the better your chances of winning! You can follow her tour at
Enjoy! I know I am. : )

Hi Wendi, thanks for having me on your blog today.
I’ve been thinking about heroes. Why do we need them? Where do they come from and what do they look like? What do women really want?
I’ve actually given this last question a great deal of thought. I’ve asked it of other women and the men they love. Here’s what I’ve come up with. People in general and women in particular want a hero. This hero doesn’t always materialize as a hot and handsome hunk with a gentle heart, all the cash in the universe and a corporate jet. In fact a hero can be in one’s own heart…a talent, a belief or a spiritual truth. But since we are talking about romance fiction today, I’m going to stick with the hero of our stories.
Does he have to be hot and handsome? No. Must he be beyond moral reproach? Not necessarily. How about rich, famous or unusually well endowed? Not on this planet.
He does though, beyond any question, have to be attractive in enough ways to endear not only our heroine, but the reader as well. In my novel, Butterfly, I have a secondary character who is someday going to be someone’s hero. Frequently readers tell me they “love Jamie.” Why? He’s a fellow who runs a bar, skinny, not very tall, can’t see without his glasses and has stringy blond hair that really needs a good cut. He has a penchant for putting his foot in his mouth and his hands on the backside of Flannery when she’s busy balancing pints on a tray. But, I know why they love him. He has a breakable heart, a sense of humor and he loves Flannery enough to let her go when he discovers she is in love with someone else. By the end of that book, you want Jamie to tell one more dumb joke and you really want some woman to love him.
I like a flawed hero. He can be far from perfect at the start. But, he has to be redeemable and must learn to have a capacity for love. He can even be outside the law if it is for a gallant cause. He doesn’t have to like her cat. In fact he doesn’t have to like anyone! And, here’s an interesting truth, the reader does not have to like the hero at the beginning of the story. He can wheedle his way into your heart and the heroine’s. That’s what makes a story…growth.
Where do I get these heroes? Honestly, they come out my imagination. They are not anyone I know in entirety. Little of this…little of that and a lot of make believe.
I will admit my heroes will never have certain characteristics that I personally find repugnant in a man. This is a place where I allow myself freedom of choice because I have to live with this character for the duration of the story. I have to get into bed with him. If I find him repulsive for some reason…it’s going to be a hard book to write. He will never hurt children or animals, for example. That’s not to say that he wants them in his life…he just isn’t mean or petty. And, okay, even if he is a cowboy, he doesn’t smoke or chew…eech…would you kiss him?
One of my heroes is a bad boy, one a wounded warrior and another a really nice man who never seems to get a break. They are foils for the heroine. The characters need to be able to clash and blend. I often think of this leaning in and pulling away as the Italian phrase…Vento nel vento. As it was explained to me by an Italian friend, it means a wind that comes from two directions of the compass, twists, spins and battles.
Thanks for letting me visit today. I hope you will read Butterfly. Let me know what you think. Does Jamie deserve his own book?
Butterfly, available in print and e-book from,, and Fictionwise.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tomorrow's Guest Blogger: Clare Austin!!!!

Want to meet a new author? Want to find that next great novel? Then get to know Clare Austin! She's the author of Butterfly. Be sure to check out her other stops on the tour and please do commment! We look forward to hearing form you!

Here's the back cover blurb:

Flannery Sloane is a free spirited bohemian with a soul blessed by Irish musical tradition. She doesn’t give a care for where she’s going or how she’ll get there. Joy and passion are her only map. And, though she’s not interested in falling in love, she wouldn’t mind a little fun with a fine looking man. Hunter Kincade looks like he could fill that bill and have a bit of change left over.
Flannery never wears a watch. She’s late for everything but the downbeat of a fiddle tune. She’s happy serving pints in the pub and playing for tips and smiles. Hunter thrives on punctuality. He is in the music business with his focus on the bottom line. The pretty fiddle player with the bright green eyes would make his next production worth the price of a CD.
Their only common ground is the belief that falling in love is a danger to health and sanity.
Will it take more than Irish magic to pull a man like Hunter into the spell of a woman like Flannery? They are all wrong for each other...and they are so right.

Here's a couple of excerpts:

Excerpt #1

He lost sight of the fiddler in the mobs of tourists enjoying the April sunshine.
No sooner had he decided to give up on his quest than he heard hands clapping in rhythm with the beat of the now familiar Irish drum.
Then he saw her.
She lifted her instrument and, with the surety of a bird’s wing slipping through the air, bow was laid to strings and life was breathed into melody.
He moved to the edge of the gathering where he could have an unobstructed view of the musicians. She looked up, and he thought she recognized him for an instant. Then her eyes turned and followed another. She smiled and nodded.
Cade had never thought of himself as the jealous type, but he did feel cheated out of that smile.
As soon as the last vibration of strings quieted, a man Cade recognized from O’Fallon’s came up behind the fiddler and, with disturbing familiarity, spoke in her ear. She responded with a hug and an adoring look in her eyes.
Cade had been raised to be competitive, in sports as well as in business, and the appearance of a rival on the field made him want to draw blood. He wanted the fiddler in his studio, and if she ended up in his bed, that might be as nice.
He stood and listened until the sun set and the air held a chill that thinned the throng. The musicians were packing it in.
He hadn’t realized he was staring, until she walked up to him and stood so
close he could smell the scent of her warm skin in the cool evening air. Her approach to introduction took Cade completely by surprise.
“Are you lookin’ at me or waitin’ for a bus?” she said, one hand on her hip and a sassy smile on her lips.

Excerpt #2
Flannery swung through the door into the dining room with a flourish but nearly tripped over a bar stool when she saw the now familiar profile, broad shoulders, and curly dark hair of the man who had come to see her sister.

“Sufferin’ ducks, and if it isn’t himself come to brighten the day at O’Fallon’s.” Cade was as
compelling as she remembered. Today he was dressed in jeans, a black knit shirt, leather bomber
jacket, and a slow smile that would stop a saint in her tracks.

“What can I get you?” She thought a couple of shots of good Irish whiskey would sort him out.

“I’d try the fish an’ chips if you would join me?”

She gave him one of her best smiles, turned toward the kitchen, and yelled, “Hey, Jamie, I’m
taking my break. Give us a one an’ one, a serving of the bangers and mushy peas, a couple o’ Harps, and an Inishowen, would you there?”

“Anything for the love of my life,” Jamie called from behind the door.

“Stow it, Jamie Mac!” Flannery shot back, then turned to Cade. “He’s always good fer craic, our

“Craic? Inishowen? One and one? Would you like to translate?”

“Whatta ya mean ‘translate’? You speak English don’tcha?” she teased. “Okay...I’m just giving you a time. ‘Craic’ is fun, ‘Inishowen’ is a whiskey from County Donegal, and a ‘one and one’ is what we, the feckin’ Irish, call fish ‘n chips.”

Flannery’s pulse quickened at the way his dark eyes, shaded by long lashes, swept lazily over her, undressing her, right here in a public place. Yes, as her girlfriends back home liked to say, “He was a ride.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How do you know when it's done?

One of my pals asked me, "When do you know the MS is done?"

I furrowed my brows. "What do you mean?"

She sighed. "When I finish my MS, I'm never sure that its done. It seems like there is always more I should do, more I should say or something I missed."

This made me think. When I submitted my novel Right Where I Need to Be, I just sent it. Okay, well I actually sent it, obsessed that I wasn't ready, and freaked that the editor would hate it. Yes, I obsess on my MS's.

What did I tell her? "It's never really done until you and the editor sign off on it and even then, you may go back and see things that needed fixed. It's a matter of what you feel comfortable with."

Once I told her this, I realized that it's a matter of opinion and a matter of quality. If you want quantity without quality, then you may breeze through changes that really need to be made. Then again, you can obsess on a change until you've run out of time. You have to find that balance that works for you.

What do you think? How would you have answered my friend's question? Let me know.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Where Do You Find Your Leading Men?

I wanted to post a short blog about where I find my leading men. Some get hung up on movie stars, others on television stars. Some find their man of the hour in music videos and up-and-coming bands.

Where do you get your ideas?

For me, my hero can come out of actors on television (Jeremy Sisto is a fave) and the occasional musician (Keith Anderson, anyone?). But I have found my heroes embodied in people I see on the street, like at the hardware store, at the Dairy Queen, or in the local hay field (did I mention my fondness for farmers?).

I use this rule, just because he looks yummy, doesn't mean his personality is. Just because his personality is stellar doesn't automatically cross him off the list of hero potentials.

Oh and one thing I love to do, is take the one character on a show or whatever and make him my hero. Is that odd? Probably, but sometimes the antagonist isn't the icky bad guy. I've seen some hunky baddies and I've seen some heroes that made me wonder how he got the job.

I guess what I mean is that a hero is who you make him into. One person can see the guy in a bad light and another can see him as a knight in shining armor. It's up to you to decide how you want to run with your hero.

How do you come up with your heroes? I'd love to hear your ideas and thoughts.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fill in the Blanks

I found this on Ashley Ladd's site and thought that if she was playing along, why couldn't I? It's for Friday, but this is Sunday, so bear with me.

1. I remember, I remember watching Field of Dreams during a free day at school and feeling really cool that we could watch a grown-up movie at school.

2. Dear Angeles I want you to know I look up to you as a writer and wish I could emote like you do.

3. Is that my bra!!??? (Okay, that was the first thing that came to mind... I have a dirty mind. I write romance... The next line would be, Why are you wearing it?

4. I'm trying to resist the temptation of Dove Chocolate.

5. I'm saving an hour of my time just for you!

6. If I made a birthday list, Jon Togo would definitely be on it!!!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to camping, tomorrow my plans include working on my farmer and vampire and Tuesday, I want to get my reviews done!

Well that's how I filled them in. Feel free to try it yourself and let me know how it goes. Visit Friday Fill Ins for more.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

So Now I'm a Camp Person

Okay, I know, I know. camp... Yes, I know the words to Time Warp and I've seen The Rutles. I remember watching and laughing at Pee Wee's Playhouse. So yeah, I know a bit about being campy (a bit).

But that's not the camp I refer to.

If you know me well, you'd know I'm not an outdoorsy kinda girl. Make me sleep on the ground and I will exhibit my princess tendencies. Make me pee in a port-o-pot and I may have a hissy fit.

But we have a camper. Dh is dying to spend time in the great outdoors. I'm not thrilled with this prospect, but I get to take the computer and can work on my WIP's. At least my farmer won't get left hanging and my vampire might get to move forward in his story too.

So all isn't lost.

Might even get a new story idea. Who knows, a short story might come out of this.

Well, off for now.


Friday, August 21, 2009


Yep, I'm waiting.

I subbed a new medium length work and I'm waiting.

I also resubbed a short work. Yes, I'm waiting.

To pass the time, I wrote a short and subbed that too. But that one is a recent sub, so I don't expect an immediate response.

But still...

Seems like I spend a lot of time waiting. Don't get me wrong, I don't JUST wait. That would be boring and silly.

I work on my cop and my vampire. I also am working on my farmer (I love my farmer). I can't still idle.

What do you do when you have to wait? How do you deal with the uncertainty and that feeling that maybe the MS wasn't all you thought it could be?

Let me know!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

When Life Hands You Lemons

When I quit teaching, I resigned. I knew when I left that it was my decision.

The other day, I found out that my father, a factory worker for over thirty years, got his notice of termination. Sigh...

I'm going to admit to something. When I was a kid, my family lived through the '80's recession. There were times when we lived on fried bologna sandwiches. Am I complaining? Not a bit. I learned the value of hard work, the agony of losing what you love, and the thrill of doing something on your own. There were a few Christmas mornings that weren't overflowing, but it makes the holidays more special now.

Still, it's a sad day when the laborers who keep this country running aren't able to .

Maybe I'll turn this into a story. Might make a poignant romance, how a couple can survive even when the chips are down.

Then again, I might just file this away for later.

It's raining pretty hard outside and I'm at a bit of a stuck point, so I might just turn up the tunes and think through my next story idea.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So what do YOU listen to?

A friend of mine posted that she has certain music she will listen to when she's in the mood to write. Then there are other songs that for her reasons, are just one big bust.

We all have them.

Another friend gave me nearly her entire playlist (which I love 95%). It's all good for her.

Man, I love variety.

I personally can't write when Shania Twain is on the radio. Sorry, if she's your fave, great, but she's not mine. Another biggie that trips me up is Mariah Carey. Great voice, just not my cup of tea.

What do I listen to? Let me pull up the old playlist on the iPod and I'll tell you.

Sappy stuff? Keith Urban, certain songs by Kenny Chesney, Keith Anderson, and my man, Billy Joel.

Emotional scenes, like fights or violence? Rock music like Oasis, Slipknot, Korn, and Godsmack. (Though I don't warrant violence, I do want to point out that the music doesn't make me do what I do. It's background noise. Even sappy music can make you want to rage... just sayin'.)

Love scenes (yes, those are different from sappy scenes)? One of my faves is Putting My Misery on Display by Gary Allan. It's very sensual and puts me in the mood to let my characters go. yes, I like raunchy guitar licks. Secret Garden by the Boss is another. And yes, I succumb to certain Bryan Adams songs (not Everything I Do... **shudder** reminds me of High School)

But those are my opinions. What do you listen to in order to get in the mood? What's that one song you just can't listen to if you want to write?

Let me know.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm Back!

Okay, I really didn't go too far, but I finally got back a bit of my groove. Yes, I figured out what my cop, my vampire, and my farmer want to do.


Oh yes, did I mention that to get out of my blue funk, I started a story about a farmer?

I did.

His name is Sullavan Tanner and he looks remarkably like AJ Buckley on CSI:NY. He's got tattoos covering his arms and shaggy hair - not long, just shaggy. Oh, and he's a burnt out rock and roll guitarist that lost his gig because of his alcoholism.

So who's my heroine? Her name is Marley Lockwood. She's been married once to the man who wasn't her dream. She's now divorced and working for her father on his farm since her mother passed from breast cancer. She's short, got naturally curly dark brown hair, curves, and can sling bales better than the guys she works with.

What's the conflict? He's back from a ten year absence. His career as a musician tanked and now he's picking up the pieces working with his baby sister and brother in law on the family farm.

Oh, and his BIL is his BFF and Marley's older brother. Sully's sister is Marley's BFF and next door neighbor.

To make the farms work, Sully and Marley have to work side by side, but when she gives him the chance he wants, he pushes her away. How can Sully prove that ten years has made him wiser and sure of who he wants -- her.

I love this story because my father is a farmer and I know about baling clover hay.

So now I have three hunks to switch between when I get stuck with one or the other.

Toodles for now. I'm on a roll! : )

Friday, August 14, 2009

What Do You Do When You Get Stuck?

Okay, I'll admit it.

I'm stuck.

I have a vampire stuck in his office with the wrong woman and a cop stuck in bed with the right woman. Two different stories.

Do you think I can get my brain in gear?


I know what the vampire wants to do, but I can't seem to get it out of my head. And the cop, well, he's not complaining, so I might just as well leave him where he is. No sense in making the man mad, yanno?

More later when my brain decompresses...


Thursday, August 13, 2009

When You're Stuck, You're Stuck...

I always tend to have more than one iron in the fire. In addition to my writing, I'm a mom (which is a full-time job), I'm a wife, and I'm an artist. Yep. I love a good box of oil crayons and a great subject, like my friend's Papillion pup, or my own precocious cats. But then I also like to create art with human subjects too.

Right now I'm trying to paint ornaments (fall pumpkins and Christmas things like gingerbread people and angels) for an upcoming craft show in October. Yes, its a bit early, but you have to remember, painting ceramics and crafts takes time and you have to wait for things to dry between coats.

In addition, I'm stuck. Yes, I have two stories going at the same time. The heroes are different - one's a vampire and the other's a cop. The heroine's are just as different. Yet, no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to make either gain a bit of speed.

I did work on a very short story to follow up Blaine's story on Whipped Cream. I plan to submit it this week. I love to do these shorts because I want to keep the characters going. They keep telling me they want to tell everyone their stories.

Ah well...

Any suggestions for getting past my writers block? The chocolate and movie theory (eat chocolate and see a great movie) isn't working...

I'd love to hear your ideas.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Now What Do You Do?

Okay, so the manuscript wasn't quite what the editor wanted. She's asked you to resubmit after you've worked "really hard". I know it's an ego crush to hear your baby isn't good enough.

But think about it this way: no one really gets it right on the first try.

Where would scientists be without experiments? Where would dancers be without practice? Do you really think actors just walk on set and get the scene in one take every time?

Ummm, no.

There are some out there who think writing is a get rich quick scheme. I hate to break it to you... it's not. Yes, there are writers out there who sell LOTS of books and there are those who make the NYTimes Bestseller list. They have also worked their behinds off to get there. And the book on the list, more than likely isn't their first ever book.

Now I'll be honest, there are some who do strike it rich on the first book. I'd be willing to bet that that book wasn't their first foray into writing. Many writers start out BLOGGING, writing articles for the newspaper, or in freelance journalism. In other words, they wrote before they wrote.

So back to the resubmission... I've been there a few times myself. It is frustrating, but if you get past the frustration and personal pain of rejection, you'll find that the changes are things that will HELP the work.

Are you worried that the editor will change the flavor of your work? Or change your voice? It might, but I doubt it. Your book will sound like the voice you gave it if you stay in command of the manuscript. A good editor will keep what you have built and help you to build on that foundation to make the work stronger. I promise.

Well, enough of my soapbox for today... I need to find some eye candy.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Here Comes the Big R - Rejection - But You Can Learn From It and Move On to Better Things

You've sent your best work to an editor. They can say one of three things: 1. Yes, we'd like to contract the manuscript, 2. the story is great, but please fix the aforementioned things and resubmit, or 3. thank you for your submission, but it's not what we are looking for/contracting at this time.

The first one is fabulous.

The second one... well, it hurts, but you have the option to resubmit.

The third one... yeah, that one hurts.

As a fellow writer, I can tell you I've felt the high of the first one, the tumult of the second one, and the sting of the third one firsthand.

If you get a rejection or suggestion for a resubmission, don't freak out. I know that sounds like the impossible. It's not. Trust me.

I always allow myself the time to wallow in pity. You almost need it. Your ego probably took a serious hit.

With a rejection, many companies won't tell you what was wrong with the MS, but some will. Those who do, take heed and READ, really read what they have to say. Chances are, the things they point out will sink you with any other editor. These are the big things, like telling not showing, too much passive voice, lack of details, too many details.

With an invitation to resubmit, most of the time the editor will tell you what the issues were and some will suggest how to fix them. If they ask for a resub, then you have something going for you in the story that they want to work with - they see the diamond in the rough. There is no guarantee that they will accept the work once you rework it, but you have that second chance you don't have with a simple rejection.

When I've resubmitted, I try to strike while the fire is hot, but that doesn't mean you can't take your time and do the reworking right. And yes, I've resubmitted and had the second go-round rejected.

One thing: don't automatically resubmit without doing changes. The editors do touch base with the head editor.

Another thing: don't shut down because the editor didn't want it. What one editor loves will be the bane of another editor's existence. What he/she might take on one day might be the thing she's sick of the next day. If you give up and let your bruised ego take over before you get a chance to really look at the comments, you're shortchanging yourself.

I always go back with a clear head and read what the editor says. When upset, the comments may seem overwhelming and personal, but when read in the light of a new day might make perfect sense - kind of an "oh, duh, that did need changed".

Last thing for now - even the multi-published authors get rejected once in a while. It's true. The editors don't have it out for you, but today might not be the day for your story. Who knows... tomorrow's hot hit might have to do with your story and you'll have it made.

Never give up.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

An Editor or Not?

Okay, so now you've sent the manuscript to your critique partners and gotten lots of feedback. You worked super hard to make sure you did the changes that needed made. It probably feels like you worked your hind end off.

Well, you did.

Now, you probably want to send it to a publisher. Here's the quandary: an editor or self?

My humble opinion, which is just that, is that you should go with an editor.

That being said, I have nothing against self-publishing. If SP works for you, then you should go that route. For me, going to an editor was the best thing (short of becoming a reviewer) that I could do.

Here's a secret: editors want to publish your work. Really, they do. They want to find that next big story, that story that touches their heart, or that one story they feel is special. They want to publish your work. The more work they send to be published, the more money they make. But that's not the only reason they do it. They want to help you succeed.

But you may be saying, editors only chop up your work. Depends on how you look at it. Some people write and edit their own work and feel its fine as is. Each writer does have a specific voice and too many "cooks" can change that voice, but there are occasions when you can be too close to your work. No, I don't mean your face is stuck to the computer screen or covered in ink from your hen scratching. I mean, you can know your work so well that you fill in words and meanings where they might not be clear. You know what's going to happen so you don't see the holes or wordiness.

That's where the editor comes in. Editors want you to shine, but they also know when to cut the wheat from the chaff. Some writers write very basically. Get the facts out and do it quick. Some writers write every little instance in the characters lives. Don't leave out a thing.

I can tell you, I've been guilty of both. I can also tell you that both can be detrimental to your story. If you leave out too many details, the reader can find the story disjointed and hard to follow. Editors will point that out. If you put in too much, the reader can get bogged down in the details and lose sight of the story. Editors will help you cut that down.

For me, my editor Cindy was a Godsend. She showed me where to cut little details that weren't needed and pointed out where the Point of View wasn't as strong. Let me tell you, it helped.

Another thing that she helped me with, is she pointed out where the reader might feel cheated by the story. If you recall, I wrote in a previous post that occasionally writers put characters in a "too stupid to live" situation. Editors will help you see that and correct it.

Now that I've preached today, tomorrow I'll touch on that painful thing called rejection: "it's an interesting story, but not what we want". It hurts but rejections and calls for resubmissions can be helpful in the long run.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Working with a Critique Partner

Thought I might share a few comments about working with critique partners. They are a necessary evil or a blessing depending upon who you ask. For me, they are a blessing. Even writers who are considered the big guns have CP's.

First, CP's are fabulous. Second, they will comment on parts of the manuscript and drive you nuts. Heck, they may suggest a complete rewrite in sections. Third, wouldn't you rather have a critique partner slash, burn, suggest, and help BEFORE you send to an editor and get the same, albeit blunter reaction?

I would.

I don't know anyone who likes hearing that the manuscript you just spent the last however many months working on has flaws. I have firsthand knowledge that it isn't the funnest feeling (don't shoot the poor grammar). BUT it will make the manuscript better.

Do you always have to agree with the CP? Not always. This is the rule I go by when it comes to objections to my CP's comments: if I don't agree, I sleep on it. What seems snarky one day just might make perfect sense the next day. Yes, I have had things I didn't agree on once I slept on it, and yes, there are things I won't change, but then there are the things that needed changed and I couldn't see it otherwise. yes, I had things I didn't want to change, but I did and it made the story stronger. Much stronger.

Remember, it may seem harsh to see the bubbles, red lines, or whatever means by which you choose (with your CP) to edit the work, but when those little issues are resolved, your work will be better.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Okay, so now you have the novel written - what do you do?

You have this great story written and can't wait to share it with the world. You should share it. It's probably a fabulous story, but I might hazard a word of caution:

Find a critique partner.

Sounds easy... doesn't it? Not really. I mean this in the best of ways, but your first draft, no matter who you are, is never perfect. Neither is your sixth or seventh. There will always be little tweaks.

But that aside, you want someone to look over your work. Who should critique your work? Not your best friend and not your mom. As much as they love you, they love you and their opinions have a good possibility of being towards the nice side. Okay, okay, so that sounds snarky. What I mean is, your mom should love whatever you do because she's your mom. Your best friend may tell you your work is great and really mean that its good with room for improvement, but because they don't want to hurt your feelings, they may color their comments accordingly.

That being said, your best friend may also be the bluntly honest point of view you need. If so, that's great, but you can always use another opinion. Would you believe even the editors sometimes use another person to look at your work? It's true. Why? Because what they may think is fab, may be with a little help. The second and third person may see things that will make the work smoother or (in my case) find the big one (that one mistake that's a big killer to the story, like that she had one piercing in her left brow in chapter three and then later in chapter ten you put it in her right brow... oops!).

Critique partners want to see you succeed, but they also want to help you make your work shine. It may make your stomach churn to read that your "baby" isn't the best you think it is, but when you make the changes and it BECOMES the story is should be, well, that's a heady feeling.

But enough of my soapbox. I'll touch on the importance of editors later. And yes, IMHO, editors are VERY necessary.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tips and Other Things

So yesterday I blogged about writing tips. I forgot one major thing...


If you want to write a great story, you need a little conflict to keep things moving. Now, I think conflict can be a cheating spouse, or it can be a difference of opinion. It can also be lying in order to get one's way and then taking it back when you decide you don't want what you thought you wanted. Or, it can be a crazy stalker with a gun or something like that.

There has to be something besides just a lot of hugging, kissing, and that sorta violence to keep the reader involved with the story and rooting for the hero/heroine.

One more thing about conflict: you need to make sure you keep your conflict straight in your own head. What I mean, is make sure that if the heroine is held as knife point in chapter three, make sure her recollection of incident in chapter ten matches. This sounds elementary, but it's not. Many writers have the story in their heads and once it makes it to the computer or paper, details can get a little mixed up.

Also: don't write your hero/heroine into a corner that only divine intervention can get them out of. This cheats the reader. I've read things where this has happened and, yes, I felt cheated. You want the hero/heroine to work their own way out by their cunning, intelligence, and might.

This is something I've been guilty of AND dislike now that I can spot it: putting a heroine (or even a hero) in a "Too Stupid To Live" situation. I heard this from an editor and agree wholly. If the heroine goes walking at night (which is something people do), you might not want to send her through a dark cemetery when there are known vampires roaming in said cemetery, that is, unless there's a burning reason for her to go into the cemetery (like she's saving a child or an elderly person or she's s super human fending off the vampires to save the child/old person).

I know there's more and if you have comments, by all means share.

I gotta go. I have two short stories I want to work on and daylight's wasting.


Lovely Blog Award!

My pal from Menagerie Authors, Kealie, gave me this lovely award for my lovely blog. How cool is that!

Here are the "rules":
1. Accept the award, along with the person's name who gave it to you and their blog link.
2. Pass the award to other blogs.
3. Remember to contact the other bloggers to let them know they've been chosen for the award.

So, now I get to pass it along. :-D My three choices for the One Lovely Blog Award are: Linda McMaken, Ashley Ladd, Three Wicked Writers.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Tips - Because You Asked for It

Okay, so yeah, I had a flash of that annoying TV announcer voice as I typed the title... Oh well.

I'm a cheeseball and I'm not afraid to admit it.

But onto the tips...

Someone asked me how to get into romance.
Good, yet vague question.
My take (and this is only my opinion, you'll have yours and please do share) is to first, READ. You can't write something you aren't familiar with. I'm not a widely read fantasy connoisseur, so I doubt I'll venture into fantasy romance (unless it's vampires... I'm all about the bite right now). But my point of interest (pardon the pun) is erotica and contemporary romance (the hotter, the better).
Once you start reading (or continue, because you should - my English teacher will gasp here - never not read. Even writers who are well established read the work of their peers and probably whatever else they can get their hands on.

Okay, so you've read a lot and feel ready to write that novel.

First, who are the characters? Whether you're a planner (you have the whole plot outlined to the finest detail) or a pantser (you have no idea where the story is going and let the characters drive), you need to know who is in control. I heard once that you need to know what's in the characters pockets. Now I can't remember who said it (it was a famous writer - for some reason Joyce sticks in my head - if you know, tell me) but I agree 100%. You can have some quirks, who doesn't, but you still have to know the characters you plan on letting take control of your life (Well, it may not be the case, but don't tell them.)

In my first novel, my writer Cass is meek, yet strong and determined. My hero, Logan is full of himself, cocky, and in need of an attitude check. I can tell you, he'd have loose change (pennies and dimes) in his pockets and a smirk on his lips.

Now you know the characters, what are they going to do? What's the plot going to be? If it's romance, well then it's boy meets girl (or vice-versa), boy falls for girl, something bad happens to split boy and girl up, and boy and girl must get back together. Is this a formula? No. A frame of reference... maybe.

Now I have more on this topic, but it's late and I'm getting long winded... so until tomorrow... back to the bat cave... I have blog awards to pass out.


Monday, August 3, 2009


I wanted to share with everyone that I have a release date for my first novel entitled Right Where I Need to Be.
Mark your calendars for May 28, 2010 and visit the Wild Rose Press website! How cool is that?
I know, I know... it seems like a long way off... well, it is, but Right is worth the wait.
Check out my website for the blurb and excerpt. You won't want to miss it.