Friday, December 19, 2014

Free Audiobooks!

I have an audiobook giveaway for
White Lies - Book 1 of the Asher Blaine Mysteries
posted on Facebook

Click on the link to check it out!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dark Deeds Cover Reveal

Here it is!
The fabulous cover for the new book.
Dark Deeds will be on sale at the end of January.

Asher's in trouble, again.

He’s about to film his first big movie since he got sober. Messing up now will mean the end of his career. To get ready, he's rented a cottage in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where they will start filming in a few weeks. Although he’s thousands of miles from his family and friends, he’s looking forward to the challenge.

But on his first day there, the trouble started with a car crash. Then he found a body in the woods.

Or did he?

When the sheriff arrives, it’s nowhere to be seen. He worries that this was some sort of sick practical joke. And then he worries for his own life.

There are more dark deeds brewing in the mountains. An explosion starts a wildfire in the woods behind his cottage. Then a rockslide pushes his car off the road.

Is someone trying to kill him, again?

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dark Deeds Cover Reveal on Dec 15

On Monday, I will be revealing the cover for Dark Deeds here on the blog. I'm very pleased with the cover. It shows the danger and the whimsy of the Asher Blaine stories. Alex Storer is amazing at translating my incoherent babblings into beautiful artwork.

It was nice to go back and visit with Asher, Ellie, George and the gang. I was able to slide back into that world pretty easily. And I have to admit that it was nice to give him a happy ending. I'm not sure if there will be another book, it's always possible, but not in the immediate future. I have other stories that need to be told.

Next week I will be getting the feedback on the final round of readers. So far the reactions have all been favorable. I will be doing the final rewrite after that and it's off to line editing. Whew!

I am now shooting for a January 30 publication date. It should be available for presales by the beginning of January. The Dark Deeds ebook will be $2.99. I haven't sorted out the print version, yet.

Book 1 of the Asher Blaine series
The White Lies ebook will remain at 99cents at least through January, possibly longer.

Alex is also working on a trailer. More news on that soon. There will also be a giveaway coming up at Goodreads. Lots of things happening. Sign up for the newsletter to hear more about them.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Catching up with myself

I say that all the time - I need to catch up with myself. I'm not sure where it is that I have gotten to that I am apparently not all there...hmm. And I just wasted 15 minutes looking for some clipart to jazz up this post. Needless to say, nothing caught my eye.

Dark Deeds is going out to the third and final round of readers today. Whew.

There will be a cover reveal for Dark Deeds on December 15. Alex Storer has done another amazing job. I love the cover. It is the perfect combination of dire events and absurdity that the Asher Blaine books have.

Because of a variety of things, mostly life, I've pushed back the publication date to the end of January. As things come together and I can be sure of a date, I'll post it.

While I am waiting on readers, I started laying down the bones of Scattered Seeds, book 2 in the Changed World Series. It was fun to get back to Wisp and Nick and Angus. I've got about 15 chapters down in a quick and dirty form. That's just to lay out the action. I'll go back to add description, tighten the dialog and sprinkle in the foreshadowing. It's coming along nicely. I can see where I want it to go, but I'm not sure where it'll end, yet.

Lethal Seasons got a short but sweet, 5-star review on Goodreads - "Soooooo good." Gotta say that made my day. So glad to see someone liked it!

I haven't done a book review in awhile. The last few books I've read haven't tickled my fancy, shall we say. One that I read started out fine but then went seriously downhill. It came in a Story Bundle so I don't feel bad about the money spent, there're other goodies to make up for it. I went on Goodreads to see what others were saying. There was already a review that perfectly echoed my own problems with the story. It was nice to see someone else had the same reaction.

I have a pile on the Kindle that I need to get to, but there are only so many hours in a day! I'm rearranging the garden again. Only this time it involves building a wall. So that is taking up time on good-weather days. The family tree stuff snuck out and hijacked me a couple weeks ago. Man that stuff is addicting. I've found a whole new passel of relatives and a bunch of new sites with info. Dangerous! Lost a lot of time to that over Thanksgiving holiday. Oh, and I'm writing two books at the same time.

Have I mentioned my insomnia?

And now I need to get back to writing!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Thing About Writing a Series

This is my first series. As I get underway with book 2, I am learning a lot about planning. I do keep a "bible" of information about the world, the characters, etc. But there are things that I didn't foresee.

In thinking through a scene for book 2, I realized I already set the seeds in the first book. The published one. Which means that although it isn't set in stone, it's already out there. So I should stick with the initial hint. When I went back through book 1, I found that the seeds were vague enough that I could tweak my new scene in the direction I had hoped to go. Whew!

There are a lot of things that I blithely threw out in book 1 that now restricts what I can do in book 2.

I had a vague overview of how the series would proceed. I see now that I need to get a better handle on that before I write myself into the proverbial corner.

Over the past week I have been doing more world building, off the page. I had to do a lot  of research and translate that into my world. You can find the strangest things on the internet. I've been looking into the structure of government and food production factories and how satellites work. A lot of miscellaneous information that may never get on the page. But I need to know it to make educated extrapolations for the story.

I thought I was stuck. The scenes were rambling along aimlessly. Then I did my research. Now I have a whole new arsenal of ideas for shaping this story. I think my reader will appreciate the time spent away from writing.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

5 Tips on Improving Dialog

 Everyone has a strength - description, tension, humor. I've been told that my dialog is done well. It's something that comes more easily for me than other parts of the story. So I think I am a bit more sensitive to bad dialog.

"Because, Jim, bad dialog is sure to be the death of a story."
"What would you say that, Mary?"
"I have been around the world learning new skills and I know that although I have been gone for 10 years that you have waited for me to return and tell you my story."
"Yes, Mary. It has been a long, sad time here."

Ack, cough, blak, bak gak.

1. No one speaks in full sentences. Which sounds more realistic?

"Mike, will you be going out sometime today?"
"I am not sure, Tom. I think I might go out later."

"You going out?" Tom asked.
"Maybe," Mike said with a shrug.

2. Don't leave the emotion out. You can shape a sentence into a tirade or a seduction depending on the person.

"Take a hike," she grumbled, pushing past him.
"Take a hike," she purred, lifting the hem of her skirt.
"Take. A. Hike!" she spat, red faced and panting.

3. Don't repeat the character's name. We don't address people by their names in every sentence.

"Tom, are you seeing Susie today?"
"Nope, Mike, I saw her yesterday."
"I think she's expecting you, Tom."
"Well, I can't make it today, Mike."

4. Let the reader connect the dots. You don't have to lay out the entire scene in dialog.

"He hit me very hard with a baseball bat and broke my elbow," Tom said angrily.

"He had a baseball bat," Tom growled. He was white with pain, but his eyes burned with anger. "Broke my damn elbow."

5. A little accent goes a long way. And if it's an alien, watch the inverted structure.

"Too backwards as the form is, can be confusing reader it is."

Too much accent makes it hard to read. Bizarre sentence structure slows the pace of the story as the reader has to sort out what's being said. I gave up on a series I was enjoying because the sentence structure of one of the aliens was so odd that I couldn't figure out what it was saying. If that's important to the story, make sure someone is around to interpret.

And most important of all - have fun!