With one foot in the fantasy world.

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Link by Link, Chain by Chain

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I was invited to take part in the Writing Process Blog Chain by E.J. Russell. OMG! Not another blog tour. Which one of you out there mouthed that? Loosen up, this tour is different. For one thing, there are no free giveaways. That sucks! Hey, I read lips.

This is a blog chain where writers share information about their writing process by answering four questions.  Here are the questions and my answers.

1)  What am I working on?

First, let me hit the play button for a little backstory music. I was a finalist in two RWA contests, the 2013 Golden Rose and the 2013 Golden Palm. After getting near perfect scores in both competitions, I was Buffy and Homecoming Queen rolled into one.  It was my first time out and the response filled my veins with high octane. Zoom. Zoom.

Until, I learned I didn’t take first place.  My Buffy T-shirt, and my paper crown dissolved. Whoa, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I was left bare ass naked. My crit buds, Ellen and Laurel and hubby can attest to my boo hooing. So did Portia, my English Springer Spaniel, who would close her eyes, lift her chin up to me as if giving me a kiss, then place her head on my lap, and let out a long sigh. Dogs, you gotta love them. They make you laugh at your own silliness while not judging you for not being perfect.

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Kiss. Kiss.

Anyway, long story short, I took a whole day to meditate on my state of being, which was, holy moly, somewhere between dog poop and a pot of burned rabbit stew. Hey, just kidding, I don’t eat rabbits. Still, I wanted my happy face back.  Thank goodness the Universe heard me.  Turned me upside down, shaking out my self-pity. Rocked me like a baby, and then set me down in front of my laptop.  And surprise, surprise, the Universe said, “Keep the faith.”  I interpreted that to mean there was something with my name on it heading straight for me. Be ready echoed in the non-thinking part of me. Who am I to question the Universe? Heh.

So, I’m back to working on Dragon’s Gate, which is a young adult high/epic fantasy story about a teen who’s afraid of her magic, but must enter a magical fairy tale world of Ancient China to rescue her family.  The plan is to finish it, polish it and then polish it again. You know how that goes. Then send it out to the world.

2)  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Not many stories contain Asian fairy tales. I say Asian because in the series I’m working on, I have the heroine and friends invoking the myths of other cultures like Japan and India. Also the magic that’s in it, (this is a fantasy) is a blending of science and mysticism.  Of course, taking into consideration my own beliefs, background, and quirks the story is going to be different from another writer writing in the same genre, as long as we are true to our nature.

3)  Why do I write what I do?

I write stories that I can learn something about myself particularly what frightens me. I write stories about characters that do things I would never dare do. I write for answers to questions I have yet to ask.

4)  How does my writing process work?

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For the present story I’m working on, it started with a dream trance using techniques from Kelly Stone’s THINKING WRITE, and  Andy Couturer’s WRITING THE OPEN MIND: Tapping the Subconscious to Free the Writing and the Writer.

Then I started a diary of letters from the heroine to let her talk about anything. That’s how I found her voice. Then came the outline filled with characterizations, plot structure, and a scene list.  Then came the fast draft.

And then.

crying-child1 It was time for revisions and the second draft.

During that time, I took my first fifty pages to a week-long intensive workshop given by Free-Expressions in September 2013 with Donald Maass. During my one-on-one with the Donald, he said, “You’re almost there.” Then he smiled. I’m sure you know, I could have walked on water after that meeting. Since then, I have had moments when I think he meant like right around the corner.

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Other times, I think he might have meant a short climb up Kilimanjaro. Either way, I’m enjoying the ride to the asylum as I perfect my technique and my stories.

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I’ve tagged the following writers as the next links in the chain. Watch for their posts on January 20th on their blogs.

Jamie-Raintree-Author-Border Jamie Raintree writes Romantic Women’s Fiction about women searching for truth in life and love. She has completed her first novel and is seeking publication. In the meantime, she posts original fiction online, as well as motivational messages for all the other dreamers out there. She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two young daughters.  Learn more about Jamie here: http://jamieraintree.com






paula-millhouse-2012-2Paula Millhouse grew up in Savannah, Georgia where Spanish moss whispers tales in breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, and the Intracoastal Waterway. As a child Paula soaked in the sunshine and heritage of cobblestones, pirate lore, and stories steeped in savory mysteries of the south.

She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Writers specialty chapter, and the KOD Mystery and Suspense Writer’s specialty chapter. She achieved the distinguished RWA designation of PRO after submitting her first full-length romance novel for publication in 2013.

She lives with her hero, her husband of twenty-five years at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains with their pack and pride of furry babies.

In the southern tradition of storytellers, she loves sharing the lives of her characters with readers, and following her muse on the quest for happily-ever-afters. She writes fiction where fantasy romance meets romantic suspense.

Learn more about Paula and Dragonstone by clicking on either her book title or Paula’s name.

Dragonstone_FINAL+Cover   DRAGONSTONE: A Kingdom of Chalvaren Romance

Lunchbox Romance – Boroughs Publishing Group

Elf prince Kort Elias journeys to a new world in search of a stolen royal dragon egg and discovers a lost elven princess, a prophecy, and danger; and only true love–and an erotic magic he’s never experienced–will set them free.



603426_262041793908298_1528669129_aAn introvert since childhood, R.J. Garside’s first friend was books.  After opening her first “Fear Street” by R.L. Stine, she was hooked on spooky, non-human worlds and decided to try her hand at writing equally dark, gory and weird stories. She showed no mercy with horror-filled unhappily ever after. Since then R.J’s heart softened and she swapped horror for romance, but her fascination for the paranormal with a touch of gore remains. R.J. currently lives an hour outside of Toronto in Ontario, Canada with her hockey coach husband, two-year-old and four-month-old sons, extremely overweight cat and protective boxer, Rocky, that keeps the family house safe from lurking vamps, weres or ghosts.  RJ can be found in several places:

Website: http://www.rjgarsideauthor.com/
Blog: http://rjgarsideauthor.blogspot.ca/
Group Blog: http://www.speculativesalon.blogspot.ca/
Review Blog: http://www.romanceforeveryworld.blogspot.ca/


IMG_2532Melanie Hamilton is also known as MMV Hamilton, Meham and Meela.  She’s been writing all her life. She remembers writing something about a bunny in third grade, and writing stories and poems when asked. She started writing poems more seriously as a teen but circumstances intervened and she stopped writing except in journals.

By day, she works as a home-care LVN working in a family with a special needs child and her sister. OK let’s call it what it is—specialized babysitting!  Some days it’s just one long play date. Others it’s rescuing a family from stresses they were not expecting waiting for their first child.

She’s getting close to retirement and knows that some of what she received from half a lifetime of helping must go with her. She is hoping that writing and her writing communities will give her that. Meanwhile, she writes, with fellow Savvy members, on their group blog, The Speculative Salon. She is also getting her shorts portfolio ready for submissions.  She’s had micro success being published so far.  Micro Horror took her ZOMBIE WALK story and Apollo’s Lyre  received her shorter short, a six-word story both thanks to the tutelage of Jim Harrington.

She’s currently designing the book of her short fiction, Telling Tales. In the process, she’s discovered what has been driving her all these years. She want to make story books.  Words and pictures together.  Meanwhile, she keeps busy reviewing books for JD Jung’s Underrated Reads. Lots of adventures of the story kind.

You can find her messing about with books at:

http://mmvhamilton.com,
http://speculativesalon.blogspot.com/
http://underratedreads.jacquelinejung.com/.

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Thanks again to E. J. for including me in the chain.

ejr_websiteE.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer and business intelligence consultant. She returned to her childhood love of writing fiction after her twin sons learned to drive and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class.

Her daily commute now consists of walking from one side of her office to the other — from left-brain day job to right-brain author cave — where she’s perfected the fine art of typing with a cat draped across her wrists and a dog attached to her hip. Her stories include gay and straight characters because her life includes gay and straight characters (as does everyone’s).

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Learn more about Ellen by clicking on her name or NORTHERN LIGHT.

Northern-Light-200 NORTHERN LIGHT

Entangled Publisher

A destitute artist. His art investigator ex-lover. Two men haunted by more than the past.




Whoa, that was fun, at least for me.  I hope you enjoyed the read. If there was a single thing to say about your writing process, what would it be?

E. W.

PS: Did you notice Portia and I look alike. Heh!


Runes Trailer Launch Reveal and Giveaway

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Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.

Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.

Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only are she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.

 

What reviewers are saying:

HOLY RUNES!I really enjoyed this story especially Torin *swoon*. Ednah did a wonderful job on Runes! It is a must read for fans of YA books!…Breanna-http://two-tall-tales.blogspot.com/

Wow! I’ve got to start by saying that it takes something original and excellent to surprise me, and this book did just that! I found myself about 75% of the way through the book with my mouth hanging open… Carrie Williams (Goodreads)

Oh HOLY COW! This book was a mind blowing surprise! I loved the way it turned out and I am literally going crazy over the ending. I was not expecting it to turn out the way it did….Maida…full review May 23-http://loveaffairwithabookreviews.blogspot.ca/

 

Where to buy:

Amazon Pre-order link for print:  http://www.amazon.com/Runes-Ednah-Walters/dp/0983429766/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1367437599&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=Runes+ednah+walters

Amazon links:

Kindle (US): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CP4YKTG

Kindle (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00CP4YKTG

Kindle (CA): https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00CP4YKTG

Barnes&Noble link:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1115272293?ean=2940016613338&isbn=2940016613338

Smashwords:  Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=ednah+walters

About Ednah Walters:

EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she’s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.

Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, will be released April 2013. She’s working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN.

Ednah also writes New Adult paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. She is presently working on book 2, IMMORTALS.

Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published four more books in this series. She’s presently working on book six. You can visit her online at http://www.ednahwalters.com or www.ebwalters.com.

Contact Ednah:

Website:  http://www.ednahwalters.com/index.html

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4188120.Ednah_Walters

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/EdnahWalters

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ednahwalters

The Giveaway:

This is for US mailing addresses only.  Here are the prizes:

prizes for blog tour

Here is the Rafflecopter link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Till next time,

Elizabeth


M is for Marlowe

How lucky that today’s A to Z Challenge  letter is M.  And my friend, Beth Fred’s Book 2 of the Marlowe Girls comes out tomorrow.   Look at these covers!  Aren’t they beautiful.  They match the storyline with their romantic and vibrant images.

Meet Beth Fred.

Beth Fred 2

That’s me!  I’m a full time ELF keeper and part time writer/blogger/writing instructor.  I’m represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency.  I like my tea hot, my romance sweet, and my guys chivalrous.  Real men hold open doors, refer to you as ma’am, make promises they keep, and aren’t afraid to profess their undying love.  It’s not breakfast if there aren’t carbs(at least, not in the South).  Fajitas, carnitas, and churros are just few of my favorite things.  Bet you can’t guess where I’m from 😉 Wanna know more about me?

You can find out here:

Email me: bethfred08(at)gmail.com

Blogger:  bethfred.com

Tweet me: bethfred08 FB Author Page:

https://www.facebook.com/bethfred08

Marlow-girl-big-for-web

When twenty-four-year-old Tiffany escapes her sister Kammy’s too wild Cancun bachelorette party, she finds herself in a bar with the unwanted attention of a gorgeous local named Luke. Luke may be charming but Tiffany is leaving in two days and doesn’t need any complications. But complications are exactly what she gets when the cops show up to raid Kammy’s party. When Kammy is arrested, Tiffany agrees to have dinner with Luke, so he’ll help her get Kammy out of jail. Kammy’s arrest forces her to spend an extra day in Cancun, meaning she’ll miss a crucial meeting, and as an accountant in tax season, she is already drowning in work. Not to mention, every second she spends with Luke makes it harder to leave. With Luke, Tiffany can forget about work. But will the airport be their final goodbye?

Available at: Amazon & Smashwords

ebook, 42 pages

Published September 12th 2012 by Amazon

ASINB0096PWTUO

edition language: English

original title: Kismet

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When twenty-four-year-old dance school drop out Kammy Marlowe is evicted by her mother, she goes to her favorite bar. She finds an unlikely friend in the blunt eye candy, Enrique. But Kammy knows there is no way she and Enrique have a shot because he’s her brother-in-law’s brother and has been privy to her wild past. Enrique swears he’s only interested in the person she is today, but their relationship is tested when her ex-husband’s drug dealer attacks her, looking for money. With no options and a money hungry drug dealer on her back, Kammy accepts a position as a dancer at a strip club. But when Enrique shows up at the club, their relationship is over. With no reason to stay in Texas anymore, Kammy auditions for the Bolshevik Ballet and gets the opportunity to go to Russia. Only Enrique is determined to stop her. Will she give up the chance of a lifetime to stay with the man she still loves?

Available at: Amazon

Ebook: 107 pages

Published: April 5th 2013

edition language: English

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The premise of the Marlowe Girls is so intriguing, don’t you think so?

Before I go, I want to thank the guys who brought us the A to Z Challenge.

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Till next time,

Elizabeth


Today let Forbidden Enter Your Day

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The letter F has some juicy words I like to savor in my mouth. Forbidden is a word that calls forth the rebellious nature in me. Maybe you too? Just add the word to the object deemed undesirable and I would know doubt want it even more. Ah, would you pass me the triple dark chocolate while you’re here.

chocolate
Here are some serious F words in my  favorites quotes:

 
“Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”
Lloyd Alexander

 
Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”
Stephen King

 
“Write what should not be forgotten.”
Isabel Allende

 
“Writers fish for the right words like fishermen fish for, um, whatever those aquatic creatures with fins and gills are called. 
”
Jarod Kintz, This is the best book I’ve ever written, and it still sucks

 
“This fellow is wise enough to play the fool;
And to do that well craves a kind of wit:
He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
The quality of persons, and the time,
And, like the haggard, check at every feather
That comes before his eye. This is a practise
As full of labour as a wise man’s art
For folly that he wisely shows is fit;
But wise men, folly-fall’n, quite taint their wit.”
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

 

Thanks to the folks who brought us the A to Z challenge.

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Till next time,

Elizabeth


Today is the day for E’s

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“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of. ”
Joss Whedon

 
“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”
James A. Michener

 
I’m having a good day writing so this is a short post of quotes. Days like this are gems.

 

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Till next time,
Elizabeth


Today is Carpe Diem Day!

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I don’t think I know anyone who wasn’t profoundly moved by the film “The Dead Poet’s Society.”  This film gets high marks for characters and story.   I want to share with you that moment when Robin William’s character is expressing to his students the importance of seizing the day while we may.  Carpe Diem!

 

What are you doing to seize the day?  For me, I’m continuing on my journey of writing to reach my goal of 30,000 words by the end of the month.  So far, I have reached 2159.  On target.

The next video is long and maybe you can’t watch it now but try sometime to view it.  It will uplift your spirit and point you in the direction you may have thought impossible.  It’s the last lecture of Randy Pausch, a MIT Professor.  In this particular video, he talks about achieving your childhood dreams.  It’s funny, endearing and very profound.  After watching this wonderful man, I hope you will walk away with bounce to your step and a renewed passion in your heart.

 

Thanks to the A to Z challenge promoters for this challenge.

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There’s more…

Because it’s also the first Wednesday in the month and that means it’s IWSG day. Whew! I need a stiff drink or at least a chance to catch my breath.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Ahhhh.

How much passion fills your day?  Physical, mental or spiritual?  What has this to do with writing you ask?  I believe all the great books are written with great passion that comes pouring out from the writer’s soul.  The passionate writer is driven to say what’s in his heart.  I’m not talking about preaching because that’s a quick way to lose your reader.  The passion I’m talking about comes from your beliefs about the world and about showing your soul and your vulnerabilities to the world through your characters and their conflicts and how they transform.

How can you uncover this passion within you?  Well, because I’m a work in progress myself, I would say one of the first steps is discovering how amazing you really are.  Look at the things that block you from being your true authentic self.  Write about it in a journal.  Create a vision and look for those aha moments.  It’s a start.

Till next time,

Elizabeth

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for this challenge

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Review of Writing Active Setting Book 2 by Mary Buckham

Writing Active Setting Book 2Writing Active Setting:Book 2 by Mary Buckham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let’s be honest here, as a reader have you skipped over descriptions of settings because the passages seemed like they belong to another story or they were simply boring. But, most of all they took you out of the story. Those reasons could spell disaster for a writer and their story.

Are you writing settings merely to place your characters for your readers? I admit I have. But, I found a remedy with Mary Buckham’s Active Settings Book 1 and 2. Mary is spot on with her techniques and guides you with examples from recent popular authors. She makes you see the difference of a mediocre description of setting to one that’s holy moley is that how it’s done.

Here is the table of contents for Book 2:
1. Using setting to show emotion
2. Using setting to create complication
3. Using setting to show backstory.

With the techniques in this book and the first, I know how to make settings do double and triple duty.

I admit taking a class with Mary you are never the same as when you started. We’re talking about breakthroughs, here. She pushes you to be your best. But, if you can’t take her class get the book. I can’t get enough of her teaching so I got both.

View all my reviews