Thursday, March 23, 2017

Slowing Down to Write Second Draft by @lcrandallwriter

I’ve routinely written books in twelve to sixteen weeks. But the book I’m working on now is taking longer. I’ve finished the first draft, but I’m moving through it again slowly and deliberately, seeking something more this time around.

I’m eager to complete the book, tentatively titled Touch My Soul. But I can’t rush my writing, and I hope it pays off to be very measured and intentional with this story. The hero and heroine are people born with a mission. They’re Aeons. They’re humans with high-level psychic skills that other people could have if they’d develop them, but they haven’t. The Aeons are born with these heightened abilities, and know they are here on Earth to help the planet’s population evolve. But they face the problems of being different and managing their dual-edge abilities while the threat of darkness manifests in their city of Auralia. Payson has psychometry and is able to gather information from touch. Braden has a kind of mind control.
     
I’m a panster, so though I’ve loosely plotted the story, it continues to develop as I write it the second time around. Here’s an excerpt. It is part of a scene in which heroine Payson Silver must confront a growing darkness in the hero, her life-long friend, fellow Aeon, and lover, Braden Powers.

Distance stretched between them, palpable. Loneliness bit at her heart. “You’re changing. I feel it, Braden. Something is different about you and it think it’s your inner balance.” Reflex told her to drop her gaze, look away from the impact of her words on Braden. But she resisted, knowing he needed to see the truth.
He knitted his brow and a telltale shadow flitted in his eyes. He stepped back. “Payson, what are you saying? Nothing has changed. Don’t judge me.”
The dissonance in his energy sharpened. “I’m sorry. That’s not what I’m doing.” She steadied her voice. “I’m not against you, I love you.” Her love wrapped in white light spilled out to him and she focused on that, trying to overwhelm the growing darkness in him while her heart split into pieces.
“If you love me, don’t accuse me. Are you suggesting what I think you are? Are you saying I’m going Dark Aspect?” He spit the question at her.
“No, not suggesting, Braden, saying. You’re not yourself. Something happened to shift your balance today. Can’t we please, please look at that? Could you contain the possibility and not take this as my condemnation?” She had to make him see. Not seeing would prevent him from accepting the light she was offering. This couldn’t be happening!
Braden turned away. She reached out and touched his shoulder. Instantly, images flashed of Braden leaning across a table and talking in earnest with Diane.
You’re not alone, Diane. I’m your friend.
Prove you care about me.
The image closed. “Oh my God, Braden. Diane used her power on you.”
He turned back to her. “Stop it. What is this? Another accusation, only this time against Diane? She’s my friend and she didn’t use her power against me.” His eyes flashed, sinking her hope.
“She’s mesmerized you, just a little bit. Just enough to mess with your balance between dark and light. She’s used your open heart to get inside you. She needs help, but right now I’m concerned about you.” She swiped away tears brimming. “Please, you have to see what’s happened.”
He rubbed his fingers against his temples. “So you feel my imbalance.” He sighed heavily. “Maybe you’re right.”
Payson held her breath. She couldn’t breathe, waiting for Braden to make a choice and not knowing if he was already gone.
“It’s the police work, not Diane. Diane wouldn’t hurt me. Yes, she’s having problems, but she wouldn’t drag me down into the muck.”
The vibe from Braden thrummed heavily in Payson’s brain. Her legs wobbled. “I see. Something with work troubled you today?”
“Just the same old, same old.” He faced her directly. “I’m so sick of the damage inflicted by criminals on the families of Auralia. It hit me hard today how much I hate it, but that hate felt powerful. It wasn’t wrong, Payson, it was fuel.” A tiny muscle in his cheek clenched.
“When did that hit you?” She concentrated harder on allowing light to flow out from her to Braden.
He ran his thumb over his chin. “Hmm…I don’t remember.”
Braden’s nostrils flared, a dead give-away of the anger inside him, and she wanted to puke. “So you had this moment of disgust and you believe it helped you follow the thread of clues to a break in the case. Is that right?” Maybe she was only stalling, hoping something, anything, she could say would bring him back from the edge of falling into darkness.
“Yes. See? It has nothing to do with Diane.” He spread his hands wide. He hadn’t moved farther away but he also hadn’t kissed her yet.
She nodded. “Okay.” He couldn’t see past what Diane had done. He’d been vulnerable and she’d mesmerized him. Why, Payson didn’t know, but it had to have been on purpose. Frustration and fear braided together, closing her throat. It wouldn’t do any good to argue with him. Still, she couldn’t leave him like this. “The police work is having a negative effect on you.”
He scratched his head. “Maybe. I don’t know. I feel powerful, not darker.”
The tears she’d been trying to ignore misted her eyes. “You have to see what’s happening and take action to stop the encroaching darkness. If you don’t see it, I can’t be around you.” Words stuck in her throat.
Confusion flamed in his eyes. He took another step away. “I…I can’t believe what you’re saying. It’s you, Payson. You’re the one changing. See that!”
“Just this morning you reminded me to stay balanced.” She pulled out the yin and yang pendant from beneath her shirt. “Remember this?”
He grabbed her shoulders and the darkness expanding in him pounded her like an ocean wave. “Of course I remember. Apparently, you haven’t realized your work as a bounty hunter is coloring your perception. Don’t do this.”
She had to be strong. But she ached for him to take her in his arms and hold her so tightly all the fear would drain away in his light.
But he didn’t. He couldn’t. “I’m not doing anything. You have to grasp what has happened to you.” She cupped his face in her hands. "You have to make a choice to move away from the distortion. It’s not me. It’s you.”
He jerked away. “You want me to give up my work? You know I can’t do that. It’s what I do. I can handle the threats inherent in the work. I’m an Aeon, too. I’m filled with light and love.”
“Are you?” she whispered.
“I’m the same as always.” His eyes slitted. “Don’t leave. We can talk through this.”
“I have to go. I don’t want to, but our mission is too important.” She couldn’t look at him. Couldn’t believe the unthinkable had happened to him, her Braden. “I’ll always be yours. But I have to go.”
It took every bit of strength she could muster to open the door and walk out.
“Payson!”

Thanks for taking time to read a peek at my WIP. If you’d like to get updates on how the book is unfolding, as well get in on giveaways and head's up about sales, subscribe to my newsletter http://eepurl.com/ctilVH . Follow my blog at http://lynn-crandall.com/ .

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Luck of the Draw by @BonnieEdwards



Recently I was invited quite by surprise to come up with a "good fortune changes lives" story. A romance, of course, because that's all I write. At the time I was on the road touring Arizona, getting some sunshine and warmer temperatures.

My first thought was "What fun!" My second was "How can I get a novella written in such a short time?" I'm not a fast writer and I don't plot a lot. But my third thought was "What series of mine is appropriate for a good luck story?"

My Tales of Perdition wouldn't work because it's a paranormal series about ghosts in a haunted former bordello. Far too sexy and more about the past stories of the hookers' spirits than a happy good luck story.

My Christmas Collection wouldn't work because I'm already working on Book 3 and I was, in fact, writing on the road. One Crazy Christmas would have to wait...

Then I lighted on my short series, The Brantons and knew I'd hit the jackpot. The Branton family has roots in the La La Land Trailer Park and most of them were raised by hardworking single moms. Perfect fodder for a good luck story, don't you think?

Coincidentally Body Work (The Brantons Book 1) is currently FREE and can be downloaded here.

https://books2read.com/Body-Work   - Free until the end of March!

And Whole Lot o' Love was born in a mad rush of plotting while on the road between Yuma and San Diego (a pretty stretch of countryside). The book is already in the hands of my editor and I'll be doing those edits ASAP and preparing for the release on May 11.

Luck of the Draw is now available for pre-order on Amazon only. If you don't use a Kindle, it's easy to download a Kindle app.

Feeling Lucky? Check out LUCK OF THE DRAW - 13 lucky stories EXCLUSIVE to this boxset available for a LIMITED time! 13 tales of unimaginable luck - 13 fascinating novellas of love, loss, and mystery. From lotteries to sweepstakes, poker to roulette and horse racing to wishes, these 13 stories will make you wish you’d been the winner! These 13 novellas are BRAND NEW and have never been published. By USA Today Bestselling, International, and Bestselling authors.

More information on my story: Whole Lot o' Love which is exclusive to this boxset...that's right...you can't buy this one as a single until later this year.

Ashlee Branton’s stroke of luck is giving her and her son a new, settled life back home.

Except that returning to Blaine, Washington means facing her son’s father, Brick Harcourt, in a most unsettling way.

But Ashlee has two pasts now, one with Brick and one with an ex who wants to crash their reunion. Will she run again or stay and sacrifice money for love?



Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Has Officially Arrived !!!

It's official ... as of 6 a.m. this morning, we have a new season.

I don't know about you, but I'm so tired of winter I could scream! Spring, preferably late spring, is my favorite time of year. I celebrate the last patches of melting snow the way some people celebrate their birthday, or Fourth of July. I look forward to being able to sit on my condo balcony, a lightweight blanket around my shoulders and a steamy cup of coffee cradled in my grasp.

Spring cleaning is on the horizon, not just for my home but for my electronic devices. I spring-clean my hard drive with the same tenacity I do my three linen closets. Gone are the scraps of notes, the book-related memes I've created for media blitzes, the collections of blurbs and excerpts I've saved to include in each individual book's media kit.

I keep separate thumb drives for each of my four publishers and everything related to a published book from the previous fall and winter gets saved in the appropriate place, clearing even more space for new projects, more scrapes and memes.

I also clear out my e-reader, stashing books I've read onto a final thumb drive. I find my e-reader loads better when it's cleared of clutter.

As does my creative mind.

My final spring-clean is an update of my work-in-progress chart...a wonderful spreadsheet where I keep track of not only my contracted work but also my plans for upcoming projects not yet realized.

Then, when the muse slows down as it sometimes does, I can pull up my spreadsheet and see where I've been, what I should be doing and, most importantly, where I still have to go. Just the act of reviewing the project diary jump starts any writer's block I may have.

My upcoming release is for The Wild Rose Press' new historical "stranded" line. Set in the 1960s (vintage is a favorite of mine) and titled Waking Up in Oz, it's a retelling of the classic movie. I look forward to sharing more as I get closer to a late summer release.

I don't have a cover yet, but...as always...I've created a meme to use as a teaser.

I hope everyone is as excited for spring and summer as I am. Now if I can only ignore the warm sunlight coming through my office window and stay focused at my desk!

Until next month, stay happy, stay healthy, stay well read.

Nancy


Friday, March 17, 2017

Jan Scarbrough & the Lucky 7 by @JoanReeves #GemsInAttic

Today is the 3rd Friday so it's time for another Lucky 7 Interview with one of the fabulous authors of Gems in the Attic.

Today, inquiring minds will learn all about author Jan Scarbrough, author of My Lord Raven and many other wonderful romance novels. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and let's talk to Jan!

About Jan Scarbrough

Jan is the author of the popular Bluegrass Reunion series,. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances about family and second chances, and if the plot allows—horses.

Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a competitive horse show.

A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press.

Find Jan Online

Website * Amazon Author Page * Twitter * Goodreads.

Sign up for Jan’s Newsletter.

About My Lord Raven

To protect what little family she has left, Lady Catrin Fitzalan switches places with her cousin when King Edward orders the pious girl to wed his royal champion, a vicious knight called the King’s Raven. Rumors abound that this savage is responsible for the deaths of Lady Catrin’s father and brother. How can she allow her sweet cousin to wed a murderer?

Bran ap Madog, bastard son of a Welsh prince, has devoted his life to serving the English king. His badge is the raven, a creature that feeds off rotting spoils, just as Bran feeds off the spoils of war. Now he wants a reward for his service: a wealthy wife, and the land and power she can bring him.

But there’s another side to the rapacious black birds Bran has chosen for his badge. Social and family-oriented, ravens mate for life. Which gives them something Bran never had—a family, a sense of belonging, and a rightful place in the world. Bran has fought for everything he’s ever had. But his last battle, with his new wife, may cost him the one thing he isn’t prepared to lose: his heart.

You'll find My Lord Raven at Kobo * Amazon * and iBooks.

Lucky 7 with Jan Scarbrough

1. When you were 18, what did you want to do with your life?

Jan: Seriously, I probably wanted to get married. I was a freshman in college and had just met my [future] children’s father.

2. When you hit 40, what did you want most in life?

Jan: To be married to someone who loved me for me. It took me until I was 50 to find that person.

3. What is a character name you have always wanted to use but haven’t?

Jan: Brenna – it’s my daughter’s name

4. What genre would you like to try but haven’t?

Jan: A thriller

5. Let's go to fantasy land. If time, distance, and other conditions of reality were no problem, where would you go for dinner tonight and with whom?

Jan: Scotland with Sam Heughan [Scottish actor best known for his role as Jamie Fraser in the Starz hit series Outlander.]

6. Still in fantasy land, in the book shown above, who would you cast as the heroine and hero to star in the movie version of the book?

Jan: Caitriona Balfe [Irish actress and model best known for her role as Claire Fraser in the Starz series Outlander.]

7. Last question before we leave fantasy land. When the movie based on your book wins the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, what will you wear to the Oscars?

Jan: Blue jeans, cowboy boots, black turtleneck and leather jacket

Thanks, Jan, for talking to us today and good luck with your romance, My Lord Raven.

Joan Reeves is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of sassy, sexy Contemporary Romance. Readers, sign up for WordPlay her mailing list/free NL with giveaway alerts and new book news and receive a free ebook. Writers, sign up for Writing Hacks with tips to help authors with their writing business and also receive a free ebook.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

On your mark, get set... @LizFlaherty

Usually, when I hear ideas about how to get productive, my eyes kind of glaze over. I've been writing
since I was nine years old (on my aunt's Royal typewriter in those days; I don't know how it survived) and I've tried every trick of the trade there is. Some work and some don't. Some work for a while before fading to the wayside. Sometimes I'll read what a very successful author does and I'll think, Yes! That's what I need to do! Only I'm not Nora or Kristan or Maddie or Joan or... Nope, as Popeye said, "I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam."

Which is all very pompous and righteous and all that other good stuff, but it doesn't get words on the screen. So, just occasionally, mind you, I pay attention.

Lately, the last week or so, I've been "sprinting." RITA winner Alicia Rasley started a Facebook group called "Sprintwriters." There are two daily sprints, at 11:00 AM and 8:30 PM (I never make that one.) Better than that, though, any member can call a sprint whenever she likes as long as she gives a little warning so people can jump on the trolley with her. When you're done, you report back on what you're working on and how you've done.

It has been fun. And productive. My writing speed has slowed exponentially with my age--which I understand but still regret--but I've been able to do a full day's word count in a half-hour sprint more than once. I'm still writing outside the sprint, and I admit the lack of control in sprinting gets a little scary. Yesterday, at the panting end of my half-hour, I said in a post, "Who ARE these people?" and I wasn't kidding at all. When I write that fast, the characters tend to take off on their own. This can be good; it can also mean I have to fix things I never intended to have happen in the first place.

Messing around with Nora Roberts' famous quote, though, it beats the heck out of a blank page.

If you'd like to join the sprinters, just ask me either here or on Facebook and I'll invite you. There are no rules nor even that much conversation. Accountability is by choice. But it's a good time. Hope to see you there.

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