Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lisa Regan--Sh*t My Inner Critic Says

Finding Claire Fletcher

Down on his luck, Detective Connor Parks takes solace in the arms of a woman he meets at a local bar, but in the morning, Claire Fletcher is gone, leaving behind clues to a decade-old mystery. Abducted at age fifteen, no one has heard from Claire Fletcher in ten years.  Until now.  Driven by an unsettling need to see Claire again, Connor sets out to solve the mystery of her disappearance once and for all.

Amazon (e-book)
Barnes & Noble (e-book)

Today I have the honor of having Lisa Regan on my blog. She is amidst the launch of her book, Finding Claire Fletcher, but has graciously given herself over to do a guest post. Thanks Lisa! Now take it away . . . 


We all have an inner-critic. I think that is what Julie Cameron calls it in her book The Artist’s Way, which by the way is a fabulous book and well worth working through if you have the time and discipline. Anyway, your inner-critic is the voice in your head that says all the worst things at the absolute worst times. Your inner-critic is an eternal pessimist who believes only in doom, bad luck and catastrophe. Your inner-critic is an ugly, small, mean, petty little a-hole whose mission in life is to demoralize you and reduce you to tears at every turn. Your inner-critic has precisely zero faith in you and your abilities. Your inner-critic loves to kick you while you’re down. 

Here is an example of sh*t my inner-critic says: 

“That is the worst piece of writing anyone has produced in any language ever.” 

“You’re going to put that scene THERE?” 

“Your idea is crap. Your writing is crap.” 

“Your book makes no sense. You couldn’t string together a viable plot if your life depended on it.” 

“You need to give up. You suck. Your book sucks. Your writing sucks.” 

“You have no chance of being published ever.” 

“No one in their right mind would enjoy this.” 

“Your characters are flat and one-dimensional.” 

“Your characters are stupid and no reader will ever relate to them.” 

“That’s been done about a million times.” 

“Ugh. Just stop now. Stop writing. Now. I can’t take this suck-fest a minute longer.” 

“Mwah hah hah. That was atrocious! Good thing you kept your day job.” 

“Your book is too long.” 

“Your book is too short.” 

“Your query blows.” 

“You’ll never get an agent.” 

“You don’t have enough ‘credentials’.” 

“You’re worthless. Your writing is worthless.” 

“Why are you still writing stuff? You still don’t get it after all these years? You cannot write! You are the worst.” 

“You’re not smart enough to write this book.” 

“You didn’t do enough research. In fact if you spent the rest of your natural life researching, you’d still not have done enough research.” 

“You could write a thousand books. None of them will be published.” 

“Ouch, that passage is awkward and wooden. What is this? The first grade? Why don’t you just put it down on paper in crayon?” 

“You can keep writing but you’re never going to get any better.” 

“For the love of all that is holy, no one is ever going to want to read this crap.” 

“Your formatting is wrong.” 

“You’re just plain wrong.” 

“That’s not realistic—even if it is fiction.” 

“Seriously, this is so bad it’s making me nauseous. Please. Put. The. Pen. Down.” 

“Revise all you want, this book is not going to suck any less.” 

“You have too many characters.” 

“You don’t have enough characters.” 

“This is too simplistic.” 

“This is too complex.” 

“This is boring. Wait, tell me again why you continue to write?” 

“This is too fast-paced. There is no depth.” 

“Your plot is too convoluted. Your subplots barely qualify as subplots. Did I mention that you suck?” 

“You’re a horrible writer.” 

“What’s that? Another rejection? Reeeally? Well what did you expect? You’re terrible. Get used to rejection because that is all you’ll ever see.” 

“This is embarrassing. I’m embarrassed to even be your inner-critic.” 

You have to learn to shut him/her down! It’s not easy. The slightest misstep and your inner-critic thinks he/she has license to walk all over you immediately. They love to thumb their noses at you and yell, “I told you so!” Your inner-critic can turn you into a nervous wreck. You can ignore it. I’m sure many other writers—published and pre-published—have developed techniques for dealing with their inner-critics. 

For me, I let her have her five minutes. Right at the outset. I let her get it all out and then I say, “Are you done?” Because that’s all she gets. Five minutes. She can say whatever she wants for five minutes and then I’m finished listening to her. I’m moving on. Forging ahead. 

What does your inner-critic say and how do you shut him/her down?

Thank you, Lisa, for reminding us that even published authors have that relentless self-doubt monster to deal with too! Please go check out the . . .


As part of the Finding Claire Fletcher Blog Tour (12/6/12 through 12/21/12), Lisa Regan will be giving away the following items:

$25.00 Amazon Gift Card
1 signed copy of the paperback of Finding Claire Fletcher
1 e-book version of Finding Claire Fletcher

All you have to do is visit the Finding Claire Fletcher Blog Tour & Giveaway page on Lisa’s blog which you can find here and comment on that page letting Lisa know whose blog you’ve just come from.  Each commenter will be assigned a number and then the winners will be chosen using  Winners will be announced on 12/24/12!

Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member Sisters In Crime. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.  Her second novel, Aberration, is due out 6/6/13.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ocean Kills

It's a Cover Blitz and Blog Giveaway!!!

OCEAN KILLS, the first book of the Ocean Breeze Series by Jade Hart, will be released in early December 2012. In order to celebrate, free copies of Ocean Kills are available to be won, either by simply liking Jade Hart on Facebook, or finding the words "Ocean Breeze" in either the current book you're reading, a TV show, or on any item such as air-freshener, shampoo, or body-wash! When you start looking, those words are everywhere!

For example, this was found a few days ago:
A bottle of body-wash
Without further ado, here is what OCEAN KILLS, a sexy New Adult Urban Fantasy, is all about:

Around the world, murderers and rapists pick off the innocent. Killing loved ones, separating families, and ruining lives.

As an eight-year-old girl, Ocean witnessed her family’s massacre and something altered inside her. Twisting her genetic code… unlocking an ability to teleport.

Ocean Breeze was never destined to be normal, especially being named after air-freshener. She’s a shadow, a ghost—a dark saviour of the innocent. Armed with a switchblade in her bra, and a box-cutter in her pocket, she hunts the filth of the world.  

Callan Bliss is a Sydney Police Officer whose skill set is far above a normal cop. All his fellow officers see is a hard-worker who loves to catch perpetrators and surf, but that’s because they don’t know his past. When Callan arrests a suspicious looking prostitute, coming face to face with a self-confessed vigilante, his secrets aren’t that easy to keep silent anymore.

Ocean hates the police with a passion, and has no intention of being held captive by a cop, even if he is sexy as hell. Teleporting from under his nose, Ocean hunts her next target—a man responsible for the largest sex ring in South Africa—and he’s about to die. But she doesn’t count on Callan giving chase, nor the body-quaking lust which consumes them. However, Ocean's dark hobbies take precedence over what her heart wants—her thirst for murdering is killing her too, and not even Callan can save her.

You can TBR on GoodReads HERE

There are 10 free copies to be given away... so get searching :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wishing you . . .

a spooctacular Halloween . . .

a thoughtful Thanksgiving . . .

and oodles of ideas for NANO!

I look forward to hearing all about the brilliance flowing in November! But first, one more bit of magic to send out . . .

Congratulations Teresa! Another Falling For Fiction gal is now agented! Woohoo!

Happy writing :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Mistaken by Nancy S Thompson

I've been a follower of Nancy's for a while. I think I first stalked her after reading a sample of her writing on a blog hop and couldn't wait to read more of her stuff :) A bit ago, I saw her book trailer on Lisa L Regan's blog and was blown away. Here it is...

Tyler Karras is an honest man, a transplanted Brit living the American dream, but his charmed life takes an unexpected turn when his brother, Nick, is coerced into joining ranks with San Francisco’s Russian mafia. Ty intervenes to secure Nick’s freedom, yet only succeeds in incurring their wrath. With no choice but to accept Nick’s new life, Ty returns to his own, but his dreams are dashed when his wife—pregnant with their first child—is killed, the victim of a reckless crime.

Despondent and bitter, Ty macerates his grief in alcohol. From the depths of the bottle screams a voice, howling for vengeance. His target is a stranger, the woman who drew his wife toward her death. He doesn’t know her, but he’ll find her, and when he does, he will make her pay, for a deal has been struck with Nick’s Russian associates, enslaving her into a life of bondage. But as Ty moves forward in a cloud of alcohol, he mistakes the wrong woman for his intended victim and now all his plans have gone straight to hell.

With his eyes made clear by the stark reality of his mistake, Ty is driven, compelled by remorse and a relentless sense of guilt to make amends and protect Hannah Maguire, the innocent woman whose life he has derailed. He vows to keep her safe and out of the Russians’ hands, but they’re holding Nick as leverage to force Ty to complete their deal and turn over the girl. Once again, he must fight to free his brother, miring all three lives in further jeopardy. But Ty can’t do it all: Save the girl, his brother and his own soul. One of them must make the ultimate sacrifice.

AMAZING! I know you want to get your hands on Nancy's book right this second so here are the links where you can snag The Mistaken . . .

*The paperback link for B&N is down for unknown reasons & the paperback link on Amazon shows it out of stock. We are aware of the problems and are working on them.  In the mean time, you can buy the paperback directly from Sapphire Star Publishing by clicking on the last link above. Sorry for any inconvenience.*

Coming soon to SonyKoboiBooksDiesel Bookstore, and Baker & Taylor.

Early praise for The Mistaken:

“A deliciously slow burn that builds to a ferocious crescendo, Nancy S. Thompson's THE MISTAKEN kept me riveted until the very last page. Tyler Karras is a complex and flawed protagonist, and his redemptive journey makes him the perfect anti-hero. This psychological suspense is a standout, and I can't wait for Thompson's next book.”
~ Jennifer Hillier, author of CREEP and FREAK

“Nancy S. Thompson's debut novel, The Mistaken, is a first-rate thriller full of hair-raising twists and turns.  Pursued by the police and the Russian mafia in San Francisco, brothers Tyler and Nick Karras are fascinating, fully-drawn, desperate characters.  The action is non-stop.  Thompson's taut, intriguing tale of revenge, mistaken identity, kidnapping and murder will keep you enthralled and entertained.” 
~Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of DISTURBED and TERRIFIED

“Fast-paced and emotionally gripping - once the ride begins, you won't stop reading until it ends."  ~Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of CASSAFIRE and CASSASTAR

The Mistaken Blog tour:
10/18: Mark Koopmans
10/23:  Julie Musil
10/25:  Matthew MacNish
10/26:  LG Smith
10/27: Aimee Jodoin
10/31:  Jennifer Hillier
11/1:    Angela Peart & Livia Peterson
11/19:  Arlee Bird

Don't forget to visit Visit Nancy’s blog, follow, and leave a comment during her book tour for a chance to win an ARC of The Mistaken. Plus, 5 runner-up winners will each receive an ebook.

You can also find her on her publisher’s website, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Caught you! Now go wash your hands!

At the moment, I am at school, teaching a classroom of twenty-nine second graders probably reading them a story, giving them a spelling test or guiding a step-by-step drawing of a chameleon.                                     

More than likely, I'm asking one of them to get hand sanitizer because I just caught them with their finger up their nose.
My Photo

Anyhow, I'm "over" at Falling For Fiction today with the fabulous Emily R King. Come find out why she's so adored in the writing community :)

Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More Hopes

Thank you Alex, for giving us a chance to vent and commiserate :) 

I wonder how many of you feel like I do right now. Tired. Worn out. Still trying to handle all I'm given, even though my plate is full, heaping. No matter how much I clear, life continues to pile on the seconds, thirds, and fourths. I’ve already unbuttoned the top button of my pants, even changed into a pair like Joey’s turkey/maternity pants (I really hope someone knows what I’m talking about), and there’s no more room! I’m stuffed!

That movie Multiplicity is coming to mind, the one with all the Steves. I’d like a few more Hopes. And even if each copy of a copy isn’t as great as the original, it’d still be better than the current Hope giving less than 100% to a million different things simultaneously.

With my copies, I could send the 50% clone Hope to the grocery store, cause it’s okay if she messes up a bit there. I could have the 60% version made just for household chores, cause a 60% clean house is a heck of a lot better than the not 60% clean house I have right now. I could task the 70% clone to blogging. I know I should probably give more percentage to you guys, but really, if I was getting to 70% of the blogs I wanted to get to, I’d jump up and down for a job well done.
 That leaves the 80% Hope, the 90% Hope, and the 100% Hope to divvy up between momming/wifing, teaching, and writing. Depending on the day, I could pick and choose which me I get to send to which job.

With all these Hopes running around, I could accomplish so much! Obviously the idea behind the original Steve when he cloned the first version of himself in Multiplicity. And right now, I’m too tired to even try to remember what went wrong. I want to at least pretend my plan could work. J
So, imagine you could clone yourself. Pretend you could have your clones take care of all the things on your TO DO list. With all the laundry done, the job taken care of, the carpooling covered, the spouse pampered, the children fed, and the dog walked . . .

What would do with the 100% original version of you?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Reconnecting with Banana Slugs

For one month, our internet was on the fritz. Let me tell ya, not having an online connection could top the list at being the most annoying thing ever! Sure, I can live without it, but we're talking quality of life here. Not being able to email regularly, create blog posts, read blog comments, put books on hold at the library, update my Netflix queue, reply to birthday messages on Facebook, and the million other time-sucking-internet-things-I-do, was driving me insane!

I need this outlet! I need you guys!

Anyhow, after a dozen phone calls (none under 30 minutes), at least five "help tickets" (my ass they're help tickets), and three technicians, we have a new line drilled into our house and a solid green light on our wireless router! SO EXCITING! I can finally attempt to catch up with all of you and find out what you've been up to :)

Thumbnail for version as of 01:34, 2 March 2007And for those of you who read my What I Did Last Summer stories and weren't sure what a banana slug is, here you go . . .

Now, imagine one plopping onto your shoulder. GROSS! Do you have a slug story?

What have you been up to in September?

I'm over at FFF today too with the marvelous Melissa Maygrove. Come check us out :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

What I Did Last Summer part 3

What I Did Last Summer: Fact or Fiction? Blog Hop

Can you tell a great story, one that's so good, it's hard to tell if it's fact or fiction?

Story #1 told of a dad and his little boy in an aluminum boat, out to collect their crab traps when the son falls overboard.

Story #2 told of two sisters playing in the yard and woods when a banana slug falls on the smaller sister's shoulder ending all the fun.

And the FACT story is . . . the banana slug story! That was my sister and me when she was about 7 and I was close to 4. It's one of my few memories from the house we lived in Belfair, and an extremely traumatic one at that :) So gross! I also had a mouse run up my pant leg at that house, but that's another story, and another traumatic incident.

I apologize for not being around yet for this bloghop. I've been experiencing technical difficulties for a couple weeks (hoping those Frontier people will come to our house today--for the third time--to fix it correctly) and I'm long-term-subbing in a second grade class for the beginning part (two months) of the school year and I had two days to prepare--yikes! So, needless to say, I'm running around like a decapitated chicken one minute and dragging like a zombie the next, but I'll catch up soon ;)

Have a great weekend and I hope it's sunny wherever you are!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What I Did Last Summer--Fact or Fiction? Part 2

Can you tell a great story, one that's so good, it's hard to tell if it's fact or fiction?

Emily King and Melodie Wright are hosting this creative bloghop where we share a summer memory as well as one that's pure fiction. The stories do not have to happen this summer. 

Everyone else's job? To spot the fact from fiction. The writer who fools the most commentors wins the prize.

Here's the scoop:
  • Monday, Sept. 3: Post one summer story, true or false, it doesn't matter but it should be under 500 words.
  • Tuesday: Sept. 4: Hop to other participating blogs to check out your competition.
  • Wedesday, Sept. 5: Post your other summer story. If Monday's was your truth, have Wed. be your fiction story. Or vice versa. (Again, under 500 words.)
  • Thursday, Sept. 6: Hop to other participating blogs. Decide which one is true and which is false and put your vote in the comments of each entry.
  • Friday, Sept. 7: Your reveal. Tell us which story is true and which is false.

Here's my second story:

“You’re it!” the red head yells before racing her little sister across the yard.

“No fair!” the blonde girl speeds as fast as her little legs can carry her, but her older sister is almost to the trees and out of sight. She follows the trail up the embankment, under the cover of gigantic evergreens, to find a pair of blue eyes peaking around the silver garbage cans. “Found you!”

The red head pops up laughing. “Bet you can’t tag me!”

The two girls run circles around the three aluminum containers until the big one tires and the relentless little one hits her on the arm in victory. “You’re it now!”

“I don’t want to play anymore.” The red head climbs the other side of the dug-out area where the garbage cans sit, and drags her hand along the rough bark of the tree trunk as she walks around it. “How high do you think we can climb?”

The blonde one squats and launches herself toward the lower branch barely skimming the droopy green boughs. “I need a lift, Jennie!”

The red head walks over to her little sister and is about to pick her up when a blood curdling scream pierces her ears. “What’s wrong?”

The little blonde sister squirms and spins and hops around with one shoulder tilting to the ground. “Get it off! Get it off!”

When the younger sister spins once more, the red head’s eyes go wide and then she doubles over, laughing so hard she almost pees her pants, all the while the blonde sister is crying hysterically before running from the cover of the cedar trees.

Mom rushes out the slider onto the deck. “What’s the matter, girls?”

“Mommy! Mommy!” the blonde girl barely sputters between sobs. “Get it off!”

Mom holds her arms out to her daughter and pulls back when the little blonde girl nears. “Oh, dear, it’ll be okay, we’ll get it off,” she says, stifling a giggle and feeling slightly guilty for not embracing her traumatized child. “Jennie, run and get a stick.”

“M-o-m-m-y!” the little one wails, throwing herself on the ground.

The large banana slug that had plopped down from the tree landing perfectly on the shoulder of the little blonde girl, sails from its temporary perch, leaving an ooze of slime on her white-cotton t-shirt.

The red head returns, stick in hand, ready to whack her younger sibling, only pulling up short when she spots the slimy mollusk squinching in that disgusting way slugs shrivel after touched. Her mouth spreads into a smile. “Let’s get some salt!”

What do you think? Fact or fiction?

Monday, September 3, 2012

What I Did Last Summer--Fact or Fiction?

If you're looking for my GUTGAA meet 'n greet, click here or scroll down :)

Can you tell a great story, one that's so good, it's hard to tell if it's fact or fiction?

Emily King and Melodie Wright are hosting this creative bloghop where we share a summer memory as well as one that's pure fiction. The stories do not have to happen this summer. 

Everyone else's job? To spot the fact from fiction. The writer who fools the most commentors wins the prize.

Here's the scoop:
  • Monday, Sept. 3: Post one summer story, true or false, it doesn't matter but it should be under 500 words.
  • Tuesday: Sept. 4: Hop to other participating blogs to check out your competition.
  • Wedesday, Sept. 5: Post your other summer story. If Monday's was your truth, have Wed. be your fiction story. Or vice versa. (Again, under 500 words.)
  • Thursday, Sept. 6: Hop to other participating blogs. Decide which one is true and which is false and put your vote in the comments of each entry.
  • Friday, Sept. 7: Your reveal. Tell us which story is true and which is false.

Here's my first story:

Water ripples over barnacle covered rocks, lapping at the critters clinging to their stationary home. A tiny hand picks up the white speckled stone, inspecting the pokey crust before tossing it into the waves. A much larger rock flies high into the air, splashing down only feet from where they stand. Giggles follow the spray and a boy’s voice calls out, “Mine went farther than yours!”

He chuckles and musses the summer-streaked hair on his son’s head. “Ready to check the traps?”

A small gas engine putters, pushing the aluminum boat through the salt water toward the red buoy pointing to the blue sky above, promising loads of orange crab below.  With every Knott, the boy peers over the edge of their vessel, watching the cloudless sky reflect across the glassy sea speeding beneath them.

“Sit back, honey,” he reminds his son before easing up on the gas.

They glide into an arch around the painted Styrofoam marker. The boy hops up and over the seat to get a closer look. “Did we get any, Daddy?”

“Let’s bring it up to see, honey.” He grips the rope and pulls hand over hand until the metal cage scrapes the bottom of the craft.

The boy jumps up and down clapping his hands, excitement crinkling his cherubic face in anticipation for their haul.

He catches the action out the corner of his eye a second before he sends out another warning. “Sit down, son. You’re in a boat.” A wave slaps the side of the boat and his heart sinks. The rope slips from the man’s hands, skimming noisily along the metal as the weight of the crab trap pulls it to the bottom.  Against his own advice, he jolts up and reaches for the boy. But he’s too late.

Blonde hair, blue shorts, and sandaled feet flail over the edge and slip into the water.

Panic explodes in his chest propelling him into the deep blue-gray. Cold pricks his skin, salt burns his eyes, and he thrashes gracelessly one direction, then another, searching the water for his child.

Nothing. The man dives further, spinning all directions, only to find an empty sea surrounding him. His lungs burn, begging him to return to the surface, but his heart pleads to search more. He looks up to the brightness above, gauging how much longer he can push his body, and spots a small, dark figure moving between him and the sun.

He cuts through the water pops up next to his son bobbing a foot from the craft, a wide smile spread between his cherubic cheeks, clapping again in excitement. “Did we catch any crab, Daddy?”

The man hooks his hand beneath the orange and blue life vest and heaves his son back into the boat. Once aboard himself, he pulls his nine-year-old baby into his arms and his world ebbs regular once more. 

What do you think? Fact or fiction?

GUTGAA Meet 'n Greet

Deana Barnhart
Hello, my name is Hope, and I'm addicted to writing.

I've written a few WiPs now, but it wasn't until my latest I felt comfortable claiming the title of writer. Mostly, because I wrote Birds of a Feather in five weeks. But also (and probably more important) because I'm no longer afraid of not having another idea worth writing.

I've conquered the doubt!

Okay, maybe not entirely, but enough to say . . . Yes! I am a writer!

And now for the GUTGAA questions :) I should probably admit to my addiction with smiley faces too :) :) :)

-Where do you write?
My laptop sits on my desk in our loft. This is where I do most of my online stuff, edits, and quick bursts of writing. If I have time, I take my laptop to my bedroom, shut the doors and fall into whatever world I'm creating.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
Hmm, it's a bit messy and I don't like mess, I'll clean up soon :) Okay, there's a thesaurus and other writing-craft-books, pictures of my family (two from when my husband and I first got together--man do we look young!), my planner, a dry-erase calendar on the wall below the shelves of crafty stuff, silver nail polish and a pink pipe cleaner in the shape of a heart (thank you Quynn), a scratch-off lottery ticket (thank you Cort), a Mason jar (almost time to can peaches again), my phone, stackable filing tray-thingies, my scissors that don't belong there (thank you Harlan), and a my easel with a blank canvas waiting for me to paint a big pink horse on it for my niece's birthday :) Yep, I need to clean!

-Favorite time to write?
I'm sporadic, but I'm finding between 6pm and 9pm becoming the best time to hide away and get creative. It falls in line with husband getting home, finishing dinner, kids settling in, and all that jazz.

-Drink of choice while writing?
COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With peppermint or Italian sweet cream , mmmmmmm :) I need my third cup now, I'll be back in a sec...

-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
My last WiP, I had a soundtrack playing. My current WiP, it's silent. So I guess it depends on the story.

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
A rejection on a full request of my last WiP. I read the email, opened a Word document, and started typing. The first couple sentences were my own feelings, then a character was created and her story began. I had no idea what I was writing or what her journey would be until it showed up on the screen. 

-What's your most valuable writing tip?
Critique partners--can't live without them!! And I like the idea from Stephen King too--draft with the door closed, edit with the door open. I'm sure I'm botching that up pretty bad, but just get your thoughts down and your story out without worrying what it sounds like (door closed), then edit with input (door open). I think that's the gist of it :)

Hopefully you're all still awake and don't think I'm too Looney-tunes after stepping into my writing space :) I look forward to learning more about all of you!

THANK YOU DEANA for doing this blogfest! 
It's amazing and the amount of work you've put into it and continue to dedicate to GUTGAA is astounding! THANK YOU!

If you haven't signed up, hop over to Deana's blog and get on the linky list! And don't forget to meet and greet your fellow bloggers and GUTGAA participants below :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What do you like on a blog?

I'm quickly approaching the year mark for blogging and feel the need for some overhauling. I've played with format and layout, occasionally added a gadget or two, but mostly the changes have been small tweaks. I'm thinking I need to take a poll on what people like and don't like about blogs to help me improve Writing with Hope.

One thing that drives me nuts on other people's blogs (besides CAPTCHAS--if you have them, disable them NOW please--here's a post from JA Bennet on how to do that) is not being able to find the FOLLOW ME button. I hate it when I arrow up, down, up, down and can't figure out how to say, "YES, I want to read your stuff!" I feel so old and like a technical failure.

I know people have a preference on comment boxes (again, GET RID OF CAPTCHAS!) and I'd like to know your preference on that and all those other little things scrolling beside the post. I'm sure there are linky things and add-ons I have no clue about and maybe need on my blog.

Depending on comments, I might attempt one of those actual poll-gadget-thingies, then I can get statistical data and share what I learn :) So please, pretty please, let us know your druthers (my mom would be so proud that I just worked in a-man-you're-old word on here! Druthers = preferences to those of you who don't have a mom who says near-extinct words like that).

So here are my blogging questions for you :)

1. What is your favorite part on other people's blogs?

2. What are your pet peeves?

3. What makes you a follower?

4. What are the most important gadgets to have?

5. What page tabs/links do you enjoy?

**Have you seen something really cool lately?**

AND . . . after you tell me your blogging preferences, check out Cassie's interactive interview with her agent today :) Hop over to Reading, Writing, and Lovin' It! to get your questions answered by Brittany Booker of the Corvisiero Literary Agency!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Deana Barnhart is hosting another year of Gearing Up To Get An Agent! 

Deana Barnhart

There will be a meet-and-greet, a pitch polish, two contests with 11 agents and 7 small presses, prizes, agent/editor interviews, and much more! This month-long blogfest takes place in September, so get over to Deana's blog and sign up on the linky to take part in this awesome blogfest! 

Will you be one of the people who snag an agent this year during GUTGAA

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Team Love Story

Thank you Morgan ShamyMark Koopmans, Leigh Covington, and Cassie Mae for this twisted blogfest! Awesome idea! 

To enter:
Think of your favorite "well known" fairytale and ask "What If…!"
Then, pick one of these four categories:
· Best Plot Twist
· Best Love Story
· Best Tragedy
· Best Comic Relief
Finally, write a scene(s) illustrating a new detail of the fabled fairy tale that changes our perspective.
Post your flash fiction story (300 word max) any time this week (August 13 to 17).

Here is my twisted tale for TEAM LOVE STORY:

           “Who’s there?” a husky voice asks from the bedroom.
            She places the heavy basket near the door without a sound, tiptoeing to the threshold, peaking inside to find him lying beneath the quilts. Her heart weeps for what she must do.
            “Go away.” A guttural sound backs up the quiet warning.
            Removing her cloak, she strides to the chair and sets it down, stealing glances of him filling the bed. She breathes in the hurt and longing before stepping closer.
            He rolls to his side, grunting when her sleight weight ushers a squeak from the mattresses. “You shouldn’t be here.”
            “But I am.”
            With lightning quick speed, he flips to face her, using his best bone-chilling grimace meant to frighten her away. “Go!”
            “I can’t.” Her trembling hand reaches forward.
            He shies from her touch. “My eyes, they’re too big.”
            “Big enough to see into my soul.” Her finger smoothes his furrowing brow, traces the downy fur of his cheek to his full lips.
            He sinks into the pillows, turning his face from her. “My mouth is too large.”
            She hooks a thumb under his chin. “Better to kiss me with.” Her body leans into his chest, lips a moment from his.
            Massive hands grip her arms, pushing her away. “My hands.” He looks to where furry paws wrap around pale skin, anguish clawing his large features. “Too big for something so delicate.” He drops them to the bedspread, dark eyes following, anything to look away from the caring beauty in red.
            “Wolf,” she slips her palm over his, “Your hands are meant for me.”
            His too big eyes find hers, too big hands pulling her to him, and they meet—sweetness mixing with primal.
            A growl of pleasure echoes before the knife slides into his enormous heart.

Okay, so it started off as an intended tale of love. Maybe I should switch to team Tragedy, or twist them together to make team Tragic Love Story . . . 

Check out their blogs for more info on prizes and to read the other twisty-turny-retellings!

Blogfest with Cassie, Leigh, Mark, and Morgan!

Team Plot Twist – Cassie Mae
Team Love Story - Morgan Shamy
Team Tragedy - Leigh Covington
Team Comic Relief - Mark Koopmans

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yippeee! Yahooo!


Two more super talented writers, amazing cps, and dear friends--Jenny and Kelley--are agented! They'll be represented by Brittany Booker from the Corvisiero Literary Agency!

So excited for you, ladies! And for Already There!

Go congratulate them and hear more of their stories at Jenny's Imaginary World and Kelley Lynn's Adventures Between the Bookends!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Best of the Best--Flash Fiction

"So, you're telling me flash fiction is quick-paced, gripping, and twisted, just like flying, Goose?"
"Exactly, Mav. Plus, if you're inverted, that helps to add another unsuspected element."

I haven't done a Best of the Best for a while, and with the What if? Fairytale Madness blogfest going on this week with Cassie, Leigh, Mark, and Morgan, I thought I'd post some links for people to brush up on flash fiction writing skills to help with their 300 word tangled fairytale scene.

Best of the Best--Flash Fiction:

And to find out more on the WHAT IF? blogfest, click on any of the images to get to Cassie, Leigh, Mark, or Morgan's blogs.

I will post my fairytale flash fiction on Wednesday, hope to see you then!

Happy Writing :)