Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meet My Character Book Blog

         Meet My Character Book Blog
This is quite an unexpected journey. I am very lucky to have found a great group of bloggers that really enjoys helping other authors. Carol Malone found me and I'm so glad she did . 

It's always a lot of fun talking about our characters and if any of you authors that are reading this would like to join us please let me know.
Meet Carol Malone 
Carol’s bio:  Carol Malone has found a magical key for successfully combining her three passions – romance, sports, and writing in her highly rated book, “Fight Card Romance: Ladies Night.” 
With “Ladies Night,” she became the first woman to punch her way into the suspenseful, male-dominated genre of pulp boxing with a tender love story. Since then she has written numerous stories to entice readers to scramble into a front row seat for a power-packed thrill-ride of romance and sports action.
Look for her novella “Hot Corner Magic” to be published in a pulp sports anthology. If not hammering out new tales, Carol is reading, watching sports or the Food Network on TV, or hanging with her sci-fi author husband on the Coast of California. Come visit her website and chat with her about sports and amour.

Meet Virginia Templeton

What is the name of your character? 
 VirginiaTempleton  is a fictional character but the more I write about her the more real she becomes. I introduced her in a screenplay that hasn't been produced yet but she was always one of my favorite characters.Virginia loves men, sex, power and shoes! She has a heart but rarely lets anyone see that side of her. She had to fight for everything so she rarely let her guard down until the Templeton Corporation was her responsibility.  

 Where is the story set?

The story is set in Chicago and later on in this series she will be in different cities and countries. Her husband Slater is a well-known Chicago born and bred successful businessman and she is very ambitious woman from a small town. Together they like to think they are a very significant part of Chicago’s social scene and when they are in the public eye people watch them. Virginia is the power behind her man but he doesn't view it that way. Their marriage has had many ups and downs and they each keep their secrets private and that's what makes them so very interesting and their stories leave their readers wanting more! 

 What should we know about Virginia?  
Virginia is a very interesting highly intelligent woman but most see her as a glamorous sexy woman who loves shoes and a good time. Virginia does enjoy the fact that she is not known for her brains because she’s quite a bit smarter than those that do not see her as the powerhouse she is .

What is the main conflict in the story?
When Virginia realizes the Templeton Corporation is in financial trouble she uses everything including her money trying to uncover the truth as to why her husband’s company, a financially sound corporation, could be losing money so quickly. She knew there were secrets but what she didn’t know was how deeply rooted this investigation would become.  

What is the personal goal for Virginia Templeton?
Virginia’s goal was to come to terms with her husband’s reasons for the problems he left his company with. She had no idea why such a smart businessman would let this happen or why. And why did he leave her with absolutely no information unless he was hoping she could do what he could not, that being bring his company back on top!    

You can find Marsha at :

 Meet Kelly

I would like you to meet Kelly Abell.She is a wonderful author. Not only have we been sharing our characters and talking  about writing and marketing but Kelly has done many of my banners and some of my book covers not to mention how helpful she has been helping me market my work. She is the owner of SELECT-O GRAFIX.  

Kelly is an international bestselling author with novels with two different publishers. She writes romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance. Her aim is to write about gripping characters in tense situations that keep a reader turning the pages. She also spends a great deal of time helping other writers through her Writing Tips on her website and as a member of the Florida Writer's Association.

When not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband of 30 years and her two college age children, when they find the time. She lives in Florida and enjoys all that living in the sunshine state brings, boating, fishing, beaches, theme parks, and more. Her favorite pass time is reading (what a surprise!) She likes Thrillers, Romantic Suspense, and Romantic Comedy.
Stop by and visit her website for current events
And connect with Kelly on Facebook and Twitter

Part of the proceeds of this book will be donated to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. Hoping to raise awareness of this Silent Killer and how important early testing is. Visit this site for more information on Ovarian Cancer

 Buy- Meg's Secret

Link to fundraiser event

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jaspar's War - Review by FranLewis


Jaspar’s War: Cym Lowell

How far would you go to avenge the death of your husband? Would you kill? Would you become a warrior and seek out those that not only killed your husband but separated you from your children too. When Jaspar Moran learns of the death of her husband Trevor, the Secretary of the Treasury, her mind and body take a huge hit. Lost over the North Atlantic, Trevor’s body is shark bait. But, minutes pass as she learns that the same people behind his death just kidnapped her two children. What is her first move? What can she do to get them back? Simple enough! Keep silent about her husband’s work with the President’s economic stimulus plan. Say nothing! Do not comment and she will see her son and daughter again. Numb, lost and feeling alone she contacts the Attorney General hoping for some answers.

What happens when it finally sets in that he is gone? At a birthday party on the grounds of her own home in Connecticut, security in place, how could her two children disappear right in front of her. The scene is quite compelling and the message a blunt and harsh warning not to dare divulge anything concerning the President’s economic plan or her children’s lives will end.
ohn Purvis
Unsure of what to do yet still somewhat focused Jaspar begins searching through her husband’s documents and finds a memory stick with encrypted information that might hold the key to why he was killed. Holding on to it would be the wrong move instead she manages to send this stick to a friend’s dad who whose financial skills are equal to that of many working in Wall Street today. Chief Bearstrike of an Indian Tribe in Oklahoma is her only hope. Understanding the international market and an investor, Trevor placed his name on a post it on the memory stick. This is just the tip of the cold iceberg as Jaspar learns that her husband was the subject of an investigation and she herself has now become a prime target too. Seeking help from Father Michael to find her children she dons the costume of a nun in order to save her life and find her children. Aiding her out of the country she meets a trusted man named Nulandi whose past will touch her heart, whose knowledge of combat and war will aid her in becoming a warrior, soldier and assassin in order to fight a battle that only she can win. Nulandi was saved as a child soldier and assassin and is rich and has the resources to help her. Hearing his story and meeting Alice his dog and a Sister, we begin to understand why he’s agreed to help Jaspar. Training her in martial arts, combat and then teaching her the definition of Lures, we learn just what part she will play to bait those who have her children. Learning to kill, not feeling any remorse, guilt or pain she begins will slaughter some innocent Kangaroos. But, how far will she go to get those that have taken her children? Will she sleep with the enemy to gain information? How does she justify her actions and what happens when things between her and the killer heat up?

From a warm and loving mother and wife Jasper becomes a coldhearted killer who will fight to the death to find her children no matter what it takes or whose lives she takes. But, second but equally paramount is the financial aspect of this novel, the economic stimulus plan as outlined by her husbands predecessor Copper Starr and the race to save the economy and her children. Is she connected to her husband’s job? With the training that she is provided by Nulandi, can she handle the bloodshed, the deaths and the murder before time runs out?

Can a rich woman, a female Asian Commando, Native American Indian Chief and Nulandi a man without an identity and an assassin find a dangerous killer and end the plot to ruin the global economy? Security in place but who are the men guarding her children and pretending to protect them as we meet Chrissy and Theo two innocent victims in this diabolical plot.

Thinking that her husband was involved in the economic collapse of our economy, not believing that to be true and hoping to find her children, Jaspar along with Nulandi, Alice a special dog with acute senses, Anloc and Jason Brontus a US Attorney Journal plus one financial wizard and Indian Chief uncover a plot that travels all the way to the White House. Scenes that are graphic, violent, bombs explode near the Vatican, Monte Carlo Grand Prix and race car driver Tremont, the mafia and an actor/artist named Paulo, all lend to the suspense, fire and explosive plot that will keep you on edge. Did Trevor manipulate the financial market? Did he hope to gain from the President’s economic stimulus plans? Why would someone want to create a world financial disaster?

Risking her own life, putting everything she has on the line including her faith in herself as the author shares her inner most thoughts, feelings, questioning herself and her ability to handle what she must face, Jaspar is not the only one fighting a private and public war. As Nulandi shares his past and Chief Bearstrike explains his connection to Jaspar each one is fighting something from his/her own past and each one must fight his own war in order to succeed. Will Jason understand the documents placed in front of him by the Chief? Will he figure out what he’s being shown before it’s too late? What about Chrissy and Theo? Why is one powerful mafia don holding them and what does he hope to gain? Will they wind up dead?

Enter the room with the Chief and the Attorney General and hear their voices echoing the plan that they think has unfolded. What would happen if the truth comes out and is the sovereign trust of the Queen of England really behind the financial collapse?

When Jason brings the information in black and white to the President of the United States what they put in motion will change lives, the dynamics of the government’s financial stimulus plan and explain why Chief Bearstrike is on board. Financial security for his tribe is at risk due to the conspiracy that has been brought to light. Added it threatened the collective security of both the U.S. and his tribe. A company that was run by Trevor Moran and made to look corrupt. West Mad business exploded, Moran needed to be disposed of and one memory stick that was entrusted to the Chief to get the ball rolling. A Catholic priest contacted his sister getting Jaspar to safety and the rest you will learn when you read the startling information, the plan that Jason comes to understand and the reality behind what someone is planning when you read Chapters 27-30.
Greed, power, lust, hate and just to prove he is right was one man’s goal to take down the President’s stimulus plan and make it his own. With Nulandi and Jaspar fighting a ground war, Jason dealing with those in the government that are involved and the Chief making contact with the Queen’s Sovereign Trust the main players are there but just who is pulling the strings, why and how does this link to a racecar driver, the mafia, someone connected to the Queen and corruption in the police department, author Cym Lowell takes us deep inside the minds of criminals that are hiding right in plain sight, a woman fearing for the life of her children, an Aborigine assassin holding her life in the balance and many others leading to an ending that you won’t see coming, a conclusion that will surprise you as the death of the Secretary of Treasury, the role of someone close to him, her disappearance of two innocent children will give readers in total darkness until the veil is lifted but not until you learn the final fate of so many, whose wars are won, whose are lost and what might happen if Jaspar does not win hers.

Traitors, double crosses, betrayals at all levels, going up against a woman that has become a dangerous commando warrior, an Aborigine, a Wall Street prosecutor, an Indian Chief and a dog that can outsmart them all: Alice. Bump up your adrenaline, get ready to take the curves, turns, twists and runs along the racecar track, be there at the explosive end and read the surprise twist at the end. Author Cym Lowell created and crafted an ending so dramatic, so filled with emotions and emotional upheavals that the reader will wonder just what he has in store for Jaspar, will her life be with her children or will she continue to wage war against those who deem to bring down our country. Jaspar: Peace or War: What will she decide?
Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Monday, August 18, 2014

Kelli Abell's Writing tips!



Tip #38 - How to Tighten UP That Writing

Posted on January 25, 2012 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)
When you are writing a novel one of the most important things you can do before you submit to an agent or editor is tighten up your writing and make it be the absolute best it can be and avoid really long run on sentences that don’t add much value and really drag your story down.
(Whew) See what I mean? Many times it’s the simple things that keep your book from being read by an agent or an editor. Here are some tips…
  • You’ve got to have a HOOK! In the first few paragraphs, or at the very minimum, within the first page, give your reader a reason to keep going. Set something in motion that draws in your audience. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic fight scene or a bomb that blows up, although that could be interesting. It can be something very simple that makes your readers want to know more about your story. Without it, you’ve lost before you’ve even started. Many agents have told me, “If I don’t find the hook in that first sentence then I’m done. I read so many submissions that the work must stand out right away.”
  • Clean up your basic writing skills. Use correct punctuation and spelling. Avoid run on sentences with three or more conjunctions and really try to avoid adverbs. Choose more active verbs to keep your story moving. For example, He cried loudly. Change to He wailed. See how easy that was? Many times it’s all about word choice. A good editor can help with this.
  • Avoid unnecessary details. You don’t need to spend paragraphs describing a scene. It can drag your reader out of the story and bore them to tears.
  • Remember whose head you’re in. I can’t tell you the times I’ve read books where I’m seeing the story through one set of eyes then I get yanked into someone else’s head in the same paragraph. Even worse is getting yanked from a person’s head to an omniscient (see all) point of view. The reader can feel completely removed from the story and find it difficult to dig back in.
  • Spend some time with your synopsis and your thirty second pitch. A talented writer can say what their book is about in two sentences at the most. Work on this. It can be used at conferences for agents, or in your submissions to publishers. Stay tuned for more on this topic.
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Tip #37 - A Look at Third Person Point of View

Posted on December 11, 2011 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (2)
Third person POV can be quite confusing and take on many forms. A writer needs to be cognizant of their utilization of those forms. In this blog entry I will attempt to help you as a writer distinguish between the types of third person POV and how to successfully use them in your writing.
The first method of third person narration is the Dramatic or Objective Point of View. This method is used most often by writers and involves rendering action and speech that all the points of view share. You are not in a particular person’s head from a narrator’s standpoint. The presentation is limited to only what is spoken and what happens. There is no presentation of inner thoughts of the characters. This leaves readers the freedom to react on their own accord, much like a jury in a trial.
Next let’s discuss the Omniscient Point of View. Omniscient means all-knowing. This narrator can see all, know all and potentially disclose all. Here the speaker of the novel presents not only action and dialogue but also reports the inner thoughts and reactions of the character. In reality we can never know what is in another person’s mind, but we make assumptions and that is the purpose of the omniscient point of view. This can add dimension to the characters in a novel.
Within the omniscient POV you may have the Limited or Limited-Omniscient POV and this focuses on the thoughts and deeds of the main character in a story. Personally this style works well for me. Here I can present my character’s thoughts and motivations. The reactions and emotions of my characters take on a depth I can’t accomplish with dramatic point of view. It gives a story richness without limiting whose eyes a reader can view a story through.
Limited-Omniscient POV leads many editors criticize writers for “head hopping”. With head hopping a writer adjusts this Limited-Omniscient POV too quickly and without a scene break. It can be utterly confusing for a reader when a writer presents a scene from two limited-omniscient points of view. That is not to say that you can’t use more than one Limited-Omniscient POV but it is easier on your reader if you have an obvious scene break or chapter break prior to changing which character’s thoughts and emotions you are presenting. This is particularly important in love scenes or arguments. You can illustrate what your POV character is observing and that will give you the ability to show your reader what is happening without getting into the other character’s head.
Third Person POV can be an easy way to tell a story and give a writer the ability to richly describe the events and actions of a story as well as demonstrate the deepening of all the writer’s character’s development. Write on my friends and enjoy exploring many different points of view for the depth they can add to your stories.

Writing Tip #36 - When Trimming the Fat Don't Cut the Muscle

Posted on November 13, 2011 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)
Many new writers travel around the internet reading various writing tips like these and a vast majority of them all boil down to someone's opinion, and I guess mine are no different.  But I do want to comment on something I've seen recently in my editing.  Many writers read the advice - Trim the Fat - If your manuscript has unnecessary scenes, cut them out.  Don't bore the reader with meaningless detail.  They also read - "A publisher won't publish work over 100,000 words so you should keep your manuscript tight and clean."
I don't disagree with the above advice, just don't trim too deep.  As you are going over your manuscript don't cut details that do the following:
1.  Help the reader get to know your character better.  If there is a scene that portrays something critical to helping your reader "feel" who your main character is, or gives them a little more insight to the plot then leave it in.
2.  Blend in your backstory.  Don't overload it all at once, but in the editing process don't trim those things that are necessary for your reader to understand what's going on.
3. Don't cut a scene that builds upon another scene.  If it is important to the future leave it in and make sure the link comes sooner rather than later
As you review your first draft and decide on making changes, don't think about word count as much as thinking about what scenes are critical to moving your story and your character forward.  If it doesn't, it's fat and can be trimmed.  If you've got a tight story that draws the reader in and rolls all the way to the end then leave it alone. 
Want a good example of what I mean?  Read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  It is a very thick book and a long read, but each scene trickles in a little more and a little more until you get to the end and BAM.  That's what you want to do.  Don't bore your reader, but don't cut so deep that they look up suddenly scratching their head, saying "Something's missing here."
Trim the fat but don't cut the muscle.
Until next time...

Writing Tip #35 - Three Dimensional Characters

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (2)
I'm working on editing a few books and I just wanted to share some thoughts for aspiring writers. Take a look at your characters and make sure you make them three dimensional for your readers. Readers do not like flat characters. They want to know what makes your character tick. Sprinkle in some background, NOT too much at once, but as your character becomes involved in more situations throughout your plot, reveal things you want your reader to know. Are they afraid of spiders, a germophobe, wish they'd never moved to where they live now. Little things make a difference.
You can also accomplish a well rounded character through your dialogue. You can show emotions that make your character real and build their personality for your reader. When your character gets angry, what does he/she do? Stamp their feet, turn purple in the face, scream?? Or do they silently brood until they explode. Do they have a laugh like a donkey when they are extremely happy? You get the picture.
Another thing to remember is to make sure your character has purpose for their actions and that they are in sync with what is going on around them. Really stop and think about your characters motivation. What do they want? How are they going to get it? What obstacles will they face on their journey?
Don't make your reader suffer through a character with no pizazz and personality. Round them out and make them come alive. Breathe breath into them and help them jump off the page, grab your reader's hand and yank them right into the pages!
Other writers? How do you make your characters less flat? Please share.

Writing Tip #34 - More on Showing vs. Telling

Posted on June 19, 2011 at 7:32 AM Comments comments (2)
As I've gone through the editing process with Jewels of Hera, I can assure you that a GOOD editor is more valuable than any precious gem.  Worth more than twice their weight in gold!  Always be willing to improve your craft and a great editor can help you do that.  They will enhance your voice!

I digress.  My topic in this entry is about Showing vs. Telling, another one of my weaknesses and a very easy trap to fall into when writing a lengthy novel.  It is SO SO boring to a reader.  I'm just going to deal with one word here that has turned into a crutch word for me, and for those of you with more experience in the craft, this may be old news, but for me it's been a true learning experience.

The word is...Felt!  This word sucks you right into the "telling" trap.  Allow me to share a few "out takes" from my recent editing experience.
My Sentence: She didn’t know if she felt relief or terror.
My Editor's Comment:  Describe what she is feeling - don't tell us
My Revision:  Relief flooded her. The door latch held firm, but eventually she'd have to face him.  There was no other way out of the room.  Sweat trickled down her back and dampened her palms.  Her heart raced. She had no other options.

My Sentence:  I got dizzy and felt sick
My Editor's Comment:  "Felt is telling.  Revise"
My Revision:  My world spun out of control.  The car rolled over and over, rattling my brain against my skull, and churning  my stomach.  I fought the nausea but lost. 

I think you get the idea.  No more "felt"  show us!
Until next time...

Writing Tip #33 - Recognizing Passive Voice and Tense Issues

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 8:17 PM Comments comments (1)
In working with my fantastic editor for Jewels of Hera she gave me another cool tip I'd like to share.  I've always had trouble recognizing passive voice and this tip made it very easy for me.  For passive voice, Laura recommends looking for the word was + a verb ending in "ing".  If you find that you've got passive voice.
For tense issues check out the following:
It's all about when the action happend.
He will buy it. (future)
He bought it. (present)
He'd bought it. (past)
Hope these quick little tips help you as you work through your own edits. 
Until next time...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How the Seattle Public Library is helping authors overcome the Internet’s big lie

An early and persistent myth of the web is that the Internet levels the playing field for commerce and content. Does the Internet democratize access? Yes. But does it guarantee attention? No.
In a small way, the Seattle Public Library is tackling that attention gap – while at the same time giving budding authors a way to put their words into eBook form and at least get them onto the playing field.
575x225_seattlewrites2As part of its ongoing Seattle Writes initiative, the library has partnered with self-publishing and distribution platform Smashwords to encourage local writers to package their writing for an audience. The eyeball icing on the finger-typing cake? A contest, open until midnight on October 15, in which up to three entrants who publish via Smashwords will have their eBooks included for circulation in the SPL eBook collection.
The fine print is hardly daunting. Have an SPL library card. Be 18 or older. Publish your eBook (for free) with Smashwords on its website. Enter the contest.
Oh. And write the eBook.
At least it can be any genre (even a short-story collection or poetry) and any length. But it must be original and unpublished.
Librarian Andrea Gough, who is part of SPL’s Millennial Factor Project group, says this is one of a handful of pilots funded through a grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to reach out to 18-30 year olds. When they were asked, millennials told the library they were interested in literary and creative writing classes. “Since the Library already offers creative writing classes,” Gough explains, “We felt the addition of an eBook publishing platform was an exciting and natural extension.”
Smashwords was selected, Gough says, “because of their expertise – they are one of the only self-publishing platforms that has worked with public libraries.”
smashwords-logo“Our collaboration with libraries started with our local library, Los Gatos (CA) Library,” confirms Smashwords founder Mark Coker. After a presentation on eBooks several years ago, despite some predictions that eBooks would lead to the death of libraries, “we realized there was a natural opportunity for libraries to expand their mission, and secure an even more important place in the community by helping to promote a culture of authorship.”
This led to the first partnership. It also turned out that the Los Gatos Library preferred to receive donations of eBooks from local authors instead of physical books, which were “a lot of work for them to accept, catalog and shelve” – as long as the eBook procurement tools were there. So Smashwords built its first co-branded publishing portal for the library, a precursor of the one used by Seattle Public Library.
As a result of the SPL deal, “We get writers who want to publish books,” Coker states.
Yes, Smashwords takes a cut of eBook sales through its distribution network (Coker says authors keep between 45% and 60%, depending on the type of distribution sale, and Smashwords gets 10%). But there’s also a new relationship with OverDrive, which supplies eBooks to public libraries including the SPL. “With OverDrive,” Coker says, “We’re now this much closer to closing the loop. A writer can come to the library, ask how to publish a book, get pointed to our publishing portal, publish a book, and then that book can be purchased by the library.”
And, he adds, “ Our indie authors are pro-library and want to support libraries.”
kindletouchSeattle has a long history of encouraging writers. The Clarion West Writers Workshop, which has been held continuously in Seattle for 30 years, just wrapped up its traditional summer run. Amazon was founded in Seattle and authors are attracted to it like a magnet or a flame, depending on the relationship. And eBooks themselves continue on the upswing (as they continue to coexist with ink embedded into pressed dead trees). The latest Association of American Publishers stats show consumer eBook – what the industry calls “trade publishing” – revenue increased 5.1% in the first quarter of 2014, driven by kids’ and young adult eBooks, while hardcover and paperback sales grew more.
Now to that big lie. For his part, Coker finds the contest to be a great incentive. “Writers want readers. Libraries are engines of book discovery.” SPL’s Gough, while not directly addressing the access-attention gap, says “It represents something else for us: a way to build a unique digital collection of local authors. The Seattle Public Library also offers a slate of creative writing classes, so being able to publish through the Library is bringing it full circle.”
So is this columnist and one-time book author going to get the pithy last word in here? No.
“Libraries,” Coker concludes, “can help writers publish locally and distribute globally.”
Frank Catalano (@FrankCatalano) is an independent industry consultant, author and veteran analyst of digital education and consumer technologies whose regular GeekWire columns take a practical nerd’s approach to tech. He has no eBooks in print.