Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's here! Chicken Soup for the Soul, Miraculous Messages from Heaven

Today is the day! A non-fiction short story I wrote is published in the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul book, released today. For more information, you can find Miraculous Messages from Heaven on Amazon or on Goodreads.

Happy day! :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Challenge #4, October Madness Write-a-Thon

My Challenge #4: Revision
For today's challenge on Britney Gulbrandsen's blog, we are supposed to pull out the last page we wrote and revise it, varying verb usage, eliminating adverbs and overused words. We were also asked to pick one sentence and work on it until it sparkles. This challenge was perfect for me because I have been hauling through word count with my limited writing time this week; it was good to go back and rework some of it! The sentence I picked to work on was plain, plain, plain. Now it shines and even includes a simile that also ties into the setting. Bonus!

Britney also pointed out a website called Wordle. You paste in your text and it tells you how many times you used each word. Sweet! I will have to remember this one whenever I want to check for overused words.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Challenge #3, October Madness Write-a-Thon

At first, I wasn't sure how this challenge would pan out for me. For challenge #3 of Britney Gulbrandsen's October Madness Write-a-Thon, we were instructed to take the main character from our current work in progress, set a timer for five minutes, and write our character into a scene from the book we are currently reading. Okay, so I cheated a bit. I took a character from a book I just finished and worked him into the setting of MY novel. And I liked it! I learned a couple of things about my character. Check it out below. :)

Challenge #3:
“For your girlfriend?” I ask as I place the lid over the chocolates.
Pretty boy practically turns red. “No, for me.”
The dude walks into the bakery and orders a dozen chocolates. What am I supposed to think?
“Maybe they should be for her though,” he says.
Ah, he does have a girlfriend. Figures. The guy is hot, I’ll hand him that much. Not my type, but I’ll bet a lot of girls would faint if he showed on their doorstep with these chocolates.
“Should be?” I prod.
He offers a half grin and shrugs. “She likes someone else.”
“Oh,” I say and start ringing the chocolates up at the register. “But you like her a lot?”
“How much?”
By the way his eyes suddenly widen, I can tell he wasn’t expecting my boldness. Get used to it, buddy.
“A lot,” he finally admits.
“Then tell her.”
He looks a little blown away at this idea. The he suddenly becomes interested in the formica counter, staring at it like he’s actually considering my suggestion. “Just…tell her? Just like that?”
“No, idiot,” I say. “Kiss her.”
At first, he thinks I’m pulling his arm. He laughs out loud, not taking me seriously. And I am serious.
His laughing dies down when he can tell I’m not joking. Lest he thinks I’m an imbecile in these matters, I add, “Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.”
He nods, his smile growing. “All right,” he says.
I’m not sure what will come of him and his girl, but this customer is leaving a whole lot happier than he was when he came in. Mission accomplished.

My Tuesday Progress: 1500 words written in my new YA! Woohoo!

Monday, October 7, 2013

October Madness Write-a-Thon Challenge #1

October Madness

I think today's write-a-thon brainstorming challenge on Britney Gulbrandsen's blog might have been just what I needed. The plot/scene I came up with and the characters I made up for it work perfectly for my new YA novel that I'm outlining. I needed an extra character to fill a certain role within my novel and I discovered who he is through this challenge!

Okay, so I rolled the dice and set a timer as instructed, and this is what I came up with:
Character #1: A Princess
Character #2: A Grandfather
Setting: Airplane
Object: A Piece of Paper

Sixteen-year-old Julianna used to be her grandfather's "little princess." Now, the two are at odds. To make matters worse, her grandfather is now flying in from California to live in a rest home in her neighborhood. A recent widdower and confined to a wheelchair, he is in need of constant care. Julianna's family's 2-story house won't accommodate him and her parents are too poor to even dream of buying another house. Especially after her brother, Vic, stole all of the family valuables and sold them for drug money.

At odds and nothing alike, Julianna and her grandfather stare each other down (Julianna with a courteous grin, Grandfather with a permanent scowl) as he arrives at the airoport. With an all-knowing smirk, Granfather holds up a piece of paper--a letter!--and says,"On second thought, I'm going to hold onto this. You're not ready for it."

Ah, I love it! Don't you? lol. Coming up with new writing material is always exciting. Thanks, Britney!

ANWA 2014 Writers Conference

It's here again! I really enjoy the American Night Writers Conference and I'm looking forward to attending again. There are some awesome instructors this year. I've already highlighted some of the classes I plan to attend! The 2014 conference is scheduled for February 20-22. Visit the ANWA conference website to learn more and register.

Will I see you there? Let me know in the comments! :)

October Madness Write-a-Thon Kickoff!

It's here! Today marks the beginning of a one-week stint of writing madness hosted by Britney Gulbrandsen (be sure to check out her blog!).

October Madness

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I'm happy to be a part of Cami Checkett's blog tour today for her latest novel, Blog This. Read a little more about Cami's book as well as an excerpt from her novel below!

Will protecting children throughout the world cost Natasha her own family?
Devastated by the loss of her brother, Natasha Senecot works to expose the dangers of Matthew Chrysler’s violent video games, succeeding in bankrupting and humiliating him.
Chrysler retaliates and sends a hit man after her. Natasha is forced to fake her own death to protect her children, but after witnessing another tragedy, Natasha won’t hide any longer.
In a race against time, can Natasha expose Matthew Chrysler before his assassin murders her family and shatters her world?

Praise for Blog This
From the very first chapter, Blog This grabs your gut and your heart with surprising action and touching moments. Cami Checketts blends suspense, humor, and good clean romance into a story that will stick with you.
Daniel Coleman, Author of Gifts and Consequences

Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Have read all of Cami’s books but Blog This is on the top of my list. Read it twice and enjoyed it just as much the second time. Just when you think you know what is going to happen you’re led into a different direction. Had a hard time putting the book down and was anxious to see how it was going to end.
Elsa Akinason

Blog This will be $2.99 during the blog tour - September 30th - October 16th. Click here to purchase or read the first few chapters.

About the author
Cami is a part-time author, part-time exercise consultant, part-time housekeeper, full-time wife, and overtime mother of four adorable boys. Sleep and relaxation are fond memories. She’s never been happier.
Please refer to her website – http://www.camichecketts.com for more information about her books. 

Excerpt from Blog This

     Natasha sighed. “You don’t need to stay until Detective Bentley comes.”
     His eyebrows rose. “You want to be alone with the detective?”
     Natasha grabbed a glass from the cupboard and filled it with water from the door of the fridge. “I just don’t want Jace and Lily to wait too long.” She turned to face him, taking a sip of the cold water.
     Tony held her gaze with his warm stare and edged a step closer. “I wanted to make sure that you’re okay.”
     “I’m fine.” Natasha clutched the glass in her palm. “I can take care of myself.” Why was she lying to him?      She tried to shoo him away, when she really wanted to beg him to stay until Alex was apprehended and maybe even after that.
     Tony set the water bottles on the counter. “Oh, I don’t doubt you can take care of yourself, but maybe it’s time to let someone else help.”
     He took two more steps toward her. She could smell his PS cologne. She’d given him a bottle the first year they were married and told him it was her favorite scent. The fragrance brought back tender memories she wanted to displace and plugging her nose right now might be a little awkward. Natasha raised the glass to her lips to try to block the tempting aroma and create some distance between them. Why was Tony still wearing the same brand?
     “What if I want to take care of you?” Tony asked.
     Sounds wonderful. She took a long drink, but it didn’t quench the heat in her face.
     Tony took the glass from her fingers and set it on the counter. “What if I want to take care of you?” he repeated quietly. He gently took hold of her palm and studied her face for the correct answer.
     “I think you’re too late,” Natasha whispered, studying his pressed cotton shirt to avoid his
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