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Showing posts from January, 2012


Feeling the need to unplug and dip into the creative well and rejuvenate, refresh, renew. See you on the other side.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

"The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.
A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants - from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys - except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.
When Sydney …

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday

Every Tuesday, Diane of Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometimes two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening paragraph. Feel free to grab the banner and play along!

Before she became the Girl from Nowhere--the One Who Walked in, The First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years--she was just a little girl in Iowa named Amy. Amy Harper Bellafonte.
The day Amy was born, her mother, Jeanette, was nineteen years old.  Jeanette named her baby Amy for her own mother, who'd died when Jeanette was little, and gave her the middle name Harper for Harper Lee, the lady who'd written To Kill a Mockingbird, Jeanette's favorite book--truth be told, the only book she'd made it all the way through in high school.  She might have named her Scout, after the little girl in the story, because she wanted her little girl to grow up like that, tough and funny and wise, in a way that she, Jeanette, had never managed to be.  But Scout was a name for a bo…

Sunday Salon: Editing and emoting!

Books that make you think. Workshops that make you think.  Lessons that make you think.   Is it ever possible to think too much?   When my brain overloads, it's time to sit down and watch some mindless television show, let it all stew, then start over again. Last night, I had an epiphany with my story Blue Steel  while trying to sleep. So instead of sleeping, worked on the scene in my head.  I now have a new Mid Point Crisis which works quite well.

How are my fellow rowers doing?  Find out here

TheSavvy Authors Workshop Deep Story has been quite simply amazing.  Hubby say he thinks I'm learning more with this class than I did while finishing my Bachelor's degree.  Maybe. The thing is I can directly apply it to my manuscript and see results.  Finally figured out my 18 threshold scene structure once I quite trying to fit every single scene written into it and just deal with the main overall story throughline.  Which was the point of the whole exercise in the first place.  *f…

TLC Tour: The Silent Oligarch by Chris Morgan Jones

The Silent Oligarch
Chris Morgan Jones

Synopsis:  Deep in the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources sits a nondescript bureaucrat named Konstantin Malin. He draws a nominal government salary but from his shabby office controls half the nation's oil industry, making him one of the most wealthy and feared men in Russia. His public face is Richard Lock, a hapless money launderer bound to Malin by marriage, complacency, and greed. Lock takes the proceeds of his master's corruption, washes them abroad, and invests them back in Russia in a secret business empire. He knows little about Malin's true affairs, but still he knows too much.
Benjamin Webster is an investigator at a London corporate intelligence firm. Years before, as an idealistic young journalist in Russia, Webster saw a colleague murdered for asking too many hard questions of powerful people; her true killers have never been found. Hired to ruin Malin, Webster comes to realize that this shadowy figure mig…

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday

Every Tuesday, Diane of Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometimes two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening paragraph. Feel free to grab the banner and play along!

Readalong with 52 Books
Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund

Nook book
"Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last. Yet, looking up—into the clouds—I conjure him there: his gray-white hair; his gathered brow; and the zaggy mark; I saw it when lying with him by candlelight and, also, taking our bliss on the sunny moor among curly-cup gumweed and lamb's ear. I see a zaggy shadow in the rifting clouds. That mark started like lightning at Ahab's temple and ran not all the way to his heel (as some thought) but ended at Ahab's heart. 
That pull of cloud—tapered and blunt at one end and frayed at the other—seems the cottony representation of his ivory leg. But I will not see him all dismembered and scattered in heaven's blue—that would be no kind, reconstruc…

Sunday Salon: Disaster, complications, clues

Studying the craft:  Happy Sunday.  I'm still brain deep into analyzing Blue Steel and figuring out the scene structure.  I was having trouble with it since I hadn't finished typing up the story.  Managed to type up 20 pages yesterday and have 20 more to go.   It helped me remember parts of the story I had forgotten which helped with figuring out the scene structure.  Dominoes.   The workshop is more casual than expected and if you don't have the lessons completed by the end of the month, you can continue in the yahoo group loop. I'd rather push myself, stay on track and with the group.  I work better with structure and deadlines.  

Reading about craft:  I'm in the middle of chapter 3 sentence in Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose.  Between her and the 18 scene structure breakdown with Deep Story, I'm learning how to see stories in a whole new light.

See how everyone else is doing here and give them some encouragement

Exercise: Thanks to ChangeWriteNow and …

The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie

The Rose Labyrinth
Titania Hardie

"A single sheet of parchment and a silver key. A secret passed down through generations. A mystery waiting to be unlocked."

B&N Synopsis:  Before his death in 1609, Queen Elizabeth’s spiritual consultant, astrologer, and scientific adviser John Dee hid many of his most astonishing written works, believing that the world was not yet prepared to face the shocking truths that they revealed. For seventeen generations, his female descendants have carefully guarded the secret of his hiding place, waiting for the right moment to bring Dee’s ideas to light. That time is now.
In The Rose Labyrinth, popular British author Titania Hardie masterfully blends historical fact and fiction as she introduces readers to Lucy King, a beautiful, young documentary producer based in London. With the help of a brilliant group of friends, Lucy races through London, France, and New York to decipher the clues that will eventually lead her to the hidden…

Row80 1/11 Mid Week check in - 3 act structure

To see how the rest of my row buddies are doing, visit them here
I'm in the midst of Lesson 3 for Deep Story workshop through Savvy Authors and finally seeing the light.  Part one of building your story and it's all about the 3 act structure. Carol came up with the most awesome template showing the 18 mandatory scenes which includes the 12 stages of the Hero's Journey and how to weave in the  5  Character Arc scenes.  I'm a visual person and have been reading about the 3 act structure on another author's website but just not getting it.  Now I do and stoked about it.  While reading through the scene structure, different portions of my story kept coming to mind and it is also helping to see what was missing.  Loving this workshop.  Haven't gotten alot of writing done except for morning pages.  Yes, I'm back to doing those again.  Very helpful in working out story issues as well as clearing my brain of whatever's floating around bothering me.  Deep cleansi…

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday

Every Tuesday, Diane of Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometimes two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening paragraph. Feel free to grab the banner and play along!

A to Z Challenge book by title - paperback
"He was tall, about fifty, with darkly handsome, almost sinister features: a neatly trimmed mustache, hair turning sliver at the temples, and eyes so black they were like the tinted windows of a sleek limousine - he could see out, but you couldn't see in. We were sitting in the living room of his Victorian house. It was a mansion, really, with fifteen-foot ceilings and large, well-proportioned rooms. A graceful spiral stairway rose from the center hall toward a domed skylight.  There was a ballroom on the second floor. It was Mercer House, one of the last of Savannah's great houses still in private hands. Together with the walled garden and the carriage house in back, it occupied an entire city block. If Mercer House was not…

Sunday Salon: Pinch points and throughlines and subplots, Oh My!

Studying the Craft: Well, this has been an interesting week.   I'm taking an online workshop through savvy authors from Carol Hughes about Crafting your Deep Story.  It's making me analyze Blue Steel and helping me figure out how to edit the story.   Realized my bad guy was in the background for the majority of the story, plus it's supposed to be a romantic suspense story and there isn't a whole lot of romance happening.  Carol's  Deep Story workshop is teaching me all about the layers and throughlines in a story.  Did you know there are four throughlines to every story?  Makes sense now that I've heard about them.  
1) Overall  - which is your overall story line 2) Main Character - which is the protagonist's character arc 3) Obstacle Character - which follows your obstacle character such as my bad guy 4) Subjective - which follows the relationship between the protagonist and contagonist (my lovers)

Then she gets into how to figure out character arcs, plot point…

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday

Bibliophile by the Sea

Every Tuesday, Diane of Bibliophile by the Sea  posts the opening paragraph (sometimes two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening paragraph  Feel free to grab the banner and play along!   I've decided to start playing along
I'm reading two books - one relaxing book and another on my nook while doing the treadmill. "St. George's Day, April 1600 at a inn on the road to London:  A snow-bearded, elderly man is seated at the head of a refectory table, close to a fire, with his head bowed.  He grasps a dark, shiny object in the slender fingers of his right hand.  Blooms of Rosa Mundi--white petals streaked pink-red--carpet the table in front of him.  Thus, all those who are seated at the trestle know that what will unfold her is secret, a marriage of the spirit and the soul of everyone present, and the birth of something unique, which they await: the Philosopher's Child.  Against the bubbling din of other inn patrons behind closed doors …

ROW80 First quarter goals

A new year and another round of A Round of Words in 80 Days hosted by Kait Nolan begins today. The first round runs from today through March 22nd.  I already established my goals for the year, now just need to break them down in easy, manageable gulps.   One thing I've done is purchased my own name domain name (does that make sense?) and instead of moving everything lock, stock and barrel over there, I may just set it up as my writing site.  So I'll be playing around with the idea, the design and what not and see how it goes. 
Studying the Craft: I finished my first draft of the 2011 Nano story at the end of December so ready to start editing.  I'm great at editing correspondence and business documents but not so great with WIPs.  I started looking at the classes offered by Savvy Authors and signed up for two which hopefully will give me the guidance I need.  For January I'm taking "What Does Nora Robert Know That You Don't?"  which is all about story str…

Sunday Salon: 2011 Reading year wrap up and Mount TBR challenge

Happy New Year!  Like everyone else, I am looking back at what worked and didn't work in 2011 and what hope to change and accomplish for the new year!   I outdid myself this year and read 200 books.  Yep, 200.   

Out of those 200 books, 107 were e-books, 54 were new to me authors, and I read 23 series.  I only managed to review 37 out of which 20 were for author or book tours.  Kind of went on a Paranormal and paranormal romance bent this year when I discovered Laurel K. Hamilton and read the entire Anita Blake Vampire series and Merry Gentry Series. Which lead to Marjorie M Lui's Dirk and Steel series, Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter stories and Christine Feehan's Ghostwalkers. 

Besides the authors above, there are a few books that stood out this year and my top ten are:

1) Outlining Your Novel by K.M Weiland (non fiction - writing)

2) The Silver Eagle by Ben Kane (Historical fiction)

3) Murder in the Marais by Cara Black (parisian mystery)

4) Soulless by Gail Garriger (steamp…

2011 Reads

2011 Reads 
First Book in Series or Stand Alone

New to Me Authors

Alicia Dean - Heart of the Witch
Ann Patchett - State of Wonder
Anne Bronte - The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Anne Marsh - Bond with Me (ebook)
Ben Kane - The Silver Eagle
Bill Cameron - County Line (ebook)
Bram Stoker - Dracula
C.J. Darlington - Thicker than Blood (ebook)
C.J. Lyons - Warning Signs - (e-book)
Cara Black - Murder in the Marais
Claire Farrell - Verity (cursed 1) - (ebook)
Claudia - LeFeve The Fury (short story) - (ebook)
Danielle Trussoni - Angelology
Devon Monk - Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom series) - (ebook)
Eleanor Brown - The Weird Sisters
Elle Newmark - The Sandlewood Tree
Gail Carriger - Soulless
J.D. Rhoades - Safe and Sound
J.T. Ellison - The Immortals
Jody Hedlund - The Preacher's Bride
John Gilstrap - Hostage Zero
John Lutz - Mister X
Karen Harrington - Janeology
Kelley Armstrong - Waking the Witch
Kenneth Wishnia - The Fifth Servant
Kristen Hannah…