Tuesday, September 18, 2018

3T Writing Tidbit

Three steps to kickstart your novel's success.

Blurbs. What if there was an easier way?

Aaand... I'm just going to leave this here.


Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

2T Repeat Performance

In December 2016, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. This is another of those posts.

photo credit: Writing = Breathing via photopin (license)
Come to the dark side...recognizing tropes--originally posted May 27, 2015.

My husband and I were watching an hour mystery on television the other day--I think it was Castle--and the detectives had just brought in the killer for questioning, when out of the blue my husband says, "That can't be the killer. It's too early. The show's only halfway in."

I sniffed back a tear of pleasure. "I have trained you well, grasshopper."

One of the secrets I've learned through being an author is how to craft a believable story: tools to not reveal the killer too quickly but still keep tensions high; ways to make the supernatural, like vampires, seem perfectly natural (humor works really well there. Like the pain the poor thing feels getting a fang root canal).

The problem is, knowing the craft behind the story, the bones if you will, now gets in the way of my completely enjoying television, movies and books.

I was reading one of my go-to authors when in an early chapter, the heroine was told not to worry about the murderer, because Constable Reliable (spoiler--not his real name! lol) was watching for baddies, on patrol outside her house.

I knew...I knew Constable Reliable was going to get knocked unconscious in the Chapter Crisis. The reason I was so certain is that the heroine must always face the villain in the climax. Better yet if she does so alone. So somehow, the heroine was going to lose her protector, poor Constable Reliable, so the villain and the heroine could have their face time.

Another tell is when Stuck-at-the-hips Buddies separate. Buddy and Buddy have been together throughout the whole movie and then suddenly for some "reason" they have to go in different directions. Well, sure as anything, one of them is gonna have some bad thing happen.

Apparently DH has listen to me
complainsearch for new ways to enjoy stories despite meme and tropes for long enough that he's also started seeing the hands inside the puppets and the man behind the curtain.

What about you? What tropes or factors make storytelling a little too predictable for you?

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

1T Status Update

Good news! Night's Kiss is in the hands of my brand-new editor, the incomparable Candace Havens!

More good news--BookBub SALE coming September 12. Grab your copy of Passion Bites while it's 99 cents.

I'm also excited to be heading back to school to brush up on my computer programming skills. First up--Java Script and SQL.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Author Interview VIDEO - Vivi Andrews on Workshops

Besides being an awesome writer, Vivi is one of the most incredibly talented bloggers I have ever read. I laugh, I think, I learn something in every post. So you're in for a real treat! (Two versions, two musical tracks, twice the fun!)

Original post: http://maryhughesbooks.blogspot.com/2009/10/welcome-guest-blogger-vivi-andrews.html

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

50 stories, 100% donated

Somewhere Out There (A Charity Anthology)

Experience sizzling romances, journey through fantastic magical realms, and solve engaging mysteries in this collection encompassing all genres. Bestselling authors and new voices come together to deliver incredible, exciting stories to keep you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages.

Best of all, know every cent of your purchase is going to a child who needs it. 100% of all net proceeds will go to non-profit organizations that will reunite immigrant families.

Includes a slightly less steamy version of Hunt Mates!

Click your favorite--
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Get in on the GIVEAWAY. You can win a Nook, a Kindle, Gift Certificates, ebooks and help us spread the news about this set that is 100% for charity as well as check out an amazing special offer from the authors in this set! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

3T Writing Tidbit

Stuck on where to go next? A long time ago I heard a sage word of advice on what to do if your plot stalls out. Conflict, excitement, surprise, delight is the goal--so just throw in ninjas!

Not literal ninjas, though those work too. But if you're stalled on what happens next, clowns or ninjas or waltzing elephants will certainly shake things up.

NEW! If you don't want to get utterly absurd, there's still a way to shake things up. This article gives you over 100 writing prompts to get things moving. Things like "Tomorrow is a bad day for..." and "I woke at 3 am and realized..." are wonderful ways to not only get that plot moving, but get your creative juices flowing.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

2T Repeat Performance

In December 2016, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. This is another of those posts.

Aahz sees the vacuum cleaner coming...
Spring cleaning--new release--originally posted April 29, 2015.

As I write this I look around my house and think it's time to give it a good thorough cleaning. And it reminded me of four years ago, when we were selling our old house and I had to keep it in Show Room Condition. It was then I first discovered something called Cleaning Mode.

Everything I looked at needed cleaning. Even if I'd just cleaned it. I saw every mote of dust, even the single cat hair marring the pristine surface of the underside of the toilet bowl.

Yeah, it was almost a fever.

Thankfully, that's mostly worn off. Now I enjoy life a little more, if living a little less orderly.

But I've kept some of the habits from Cleaning Mode, including never bringing something into the house without something else going out. The biggest obstacle to a clean house is clutter, at least in my case.

This does not apply to books! I'm thrilled to announce I have a new book to add to my shelf, the first in a new series, just released yesterday. May I introduce you to Sophia--a Witch Princess who only wants to be mundane.

Heart Mates (Pull of the Moon, Book 1)

Witch plus wolf? They’re allergic. Except no one told their hearts.

Shifters and witches? Forbidden on pain of death. Might as well stick a fork in a light socket. Yet those are the kind of sparks witch princess Sophia Blue feels when she meets wolf shifter Noah in her aunt’s bookstore.

But Sophia is stuck. Her aunt is missing and Noah, the last person to see her, is Sophia’s only hope. If not for that and her aunt’s new, cute little doggie, Sophia would run as far as she could from the sexy, hard-hewn alpha.

Noah’s stuck too. Before disappearing, the aunt hit him with a hex gone horribly wrong—he’s the doggie. By day he’s fifteen pounds of yippity-yip, and with five anti-alpha wolves nipping at his heels, that’s deadly dangerous. Only Sophia can help him, but she has lost her magic.

Then an evil mage from Sophia’s past shows up with murder on his mind, and all Noah’s instincts shout to protect the woman his misguided heart thinks is his mate.

Warning: Sinfully sexy alpha thrown together with a hot witch in a small town. Sass, sparkle, a meddling aunt, snafus, growling, fighting, and oh yeah, sex. Might want to get up to date on your shots.

AB SKG AppleAUK