Tuesday, June 18, 2019

3T Writing Tidbit -- why romance don't get no respect

I write romance and humor because I love both happy endings and a good laugh.

But from movies to television to books, stories with comedy and happily-ever-afters get lower rankings, ratings, and are less esteemed compared to dramas of the same caliber.

As Rodney Dangerfield says, "I don't get no respect."

But why? That's one of the things I never understood. For years I beat my head against this one seemingly universal truth.

Dramas are more significant.

Then, many years ago when I was reading Hero with a Thousand Faces, I got a glimpse why. And also an understanding that drama's crown as highest art form was not always the case.

Modern literature, you see, is a courageous facing of the sickeningly broken life within and around us. It's heroic to face those disheartening facts, not with complaint (or sarcasm), but by turning it into art. A happily-ever-after is less courageous. Worse, it's not true and can't be taken seriously.

Thing is, HEAs in the ancient world were high art. Why? Because stories with a happily-ever-after represented the transcendence of the tragedy of man.

Take that, drama. :)

May you continue to laugh in the face of drama and may all your HEAs be transcendent.

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, June 11, 2019

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: 035/365: Valentine's Day
 via photopin (license)
The Story I Thought I'd Never Write--originally posted December 9, 2015.

Passion Bites released yesterday, and I couldn't be more thrilled to share Luke & Alexis's heartfelt story with you.

I have to admit, I wasn't sure if Luke's story would ever be written. I usually write first loves-- because I'm deeply committed to grand passion, to love that lasts an eternity. Luke, as Biting Love series readers know, has lost his wife. How did I deal with that, help him heal emotionally?

Strangely, it was a woman whose own emotions are clogged who finally emerged from the pages as Luke's savior. But just because Dr. Alexis Byornsson's emotionally frozen doesn't mean she doesn't have feelings, quite the opposite! ...although she does her darndest to deny them.

Bringing these two together was the hardest and yet most beautiful and fruitful thing I've ever attempted. The finished story still brings heartbreak and finally tears of joy to my eyes. And of course the usual Meiers Corners laughs and cold-drinks sex too.

Have I succeeded? Please read Passion Bites for yourself and let me know.

First there was Logan's story in Biting Me Softly, then Synnove's in Beauty Bites. Now meet his brother Luke and her sister Alexis as they struggle to find their way in Biting Love book 9 Passion Bites.  

A broken vampire and a driven doctor, seized by a passion neither can afford.

Dr. Alexis Byornsson has her hands full in the ER when her patient’s uncle blows into the exam room. Stitching up a five-year-old’s cut is hard enough without a blond god distracting her all to hell.

To say she’s furious is putting it mildly—not that anyone would notice. Not with the legendary control that’s earned her the nickname “Dr. Frozen”.

Luke Steel never knew a woman chastising him could be so sexy. But for the first time in three hundred years, passion stirs in his gut—along with panic. Since his wife was taken before his eyes in a brutal attack, he’s sworn he’d never feel that powerless again.

Almost before either Luke or Alexis realize what’s happening, they’re sharing a blazing kiss that shatters her logical armor and unleashes his wholly unwanted mating instinct. And spurs a closer-than-skin enemy to put into motion a devastating plan for revenge.

Warning: This book contains a hot doctor and a hotter vampire messing up sterile surfaces. The usual rogue shenanigans, but this time covering deeper motives. Hang on to your stethoscopes at what’s revealed!

Kindle | Nook | Samhain | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | UK Amazon

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

June 1T Status Update

Setting programming aside for a few weeks in favor of catching up on some writing.
  • Hot Chips and Sand is 99 cents this week only!
  • Next round of edits for Night's Kiss coming this month
  • New Vampire Vignette started that's frankly a hoot to write
  • Chicago's Chosen cover should be finalized soon
  • One-credit eight week summer class
  • Band starts
  • Getting back to Soul Mates 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

3T Writing Tidbit

One of my gurus is Michael Hauge of Story Mastery. I get his emails, which I highly encourage authors to consider.

He's a big proponent of storytelling as a means to connect with consumers. Does it work? All I can say is that his story he told about his book Storytelling Made Easy made me rush out and plunk down the cash to buy it.

After reading his latest newsletter, here's something I came up with about how to frame a blurb.

Your story is an emotion-driven story about people.
Your blurb is an emotion-driven story about your story.

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, May 14, 2019

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.

Overcoming fear--Guest Cheryl Yeko, Author and Acquiring Editor--originally posted November 12, 2015.

Cheryl is a wonderful inspiration with a great sense of humor. I'm thrilled to have her as my guest today. Please welcome her to Magical Musings!

Hi, Mary. Thank you for inviting me to visit with you at Magical Musings. I thought it’d be fun to talk about my editor experiences with Soul Mate Publishing, and how it led me to join Toastmasters to overcome my fear of public speaking.

I signed my debut novel with Soul Mate, Protecting Rose, in 2011 and it went on to win the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in Romantic Suspense.

Shortly after, Debby Gilbert, Senior Editor and founding member of Soul Mate, approached me and asked me to come onboard as an editor, which I agreed to. I started out as a copyeditor, but moved quickly to an acquiring editor.

Today, I’m a senior acquiring editor, and still occasionally take on a copyedit here and there, depending on my workload. I also have my hands in the administration side of Soul Mate, including Newsletter creation and Cover Art Coordinator. It all keeps me very busy!

I love what I do!

As an acquiring editor, I have attended conferences and taken pitches. Although I was at first very nervous, it became easier and I signed some really good authors from these pitch sessions. Here’s a photo of me at my first editor panel. I was so not prepared for this, and had no idea I was even on the editor panel until I walked into the room. Let’s just say I was scared shitless. But everyone told me I did okay. LOL. I’m taking them at their word.  {Mary says: She did great!}

I also routinely conduct pitch sessions on blogs and at Savvy Authors online pitching. Recently, Debby asked me and Senior Editor Char Chaffin to attend RT, to not only take pitches, but also hold a Soul Mate Spotlight. I decided it was time to perfect my public speaking skills (or lack thereof) and overcome my stage fright. So, I joined up. My first six months I just sorta sat there, too nervous to do any speeches. But I was learning nevertheless just listening to the wonderful speakers.

I felt totally out of my element in this setting with these highly trained business professionals who were looking to become more proficient in their careers. Before I quit my job to write and work full time with Soul Mate Publishing, I was a legal assistant. A great job, yes, but it required no public speaking. So, this was quite a change for me.

After a good, long while, my fellow members began to gently nudge me to step forward and take a chance. Although I’d completed some member rolls, such as vote counter or word master, small things that didn’t require me to stand in front of the group and talk, I hadn’t done any speaking per se. Unless you counted Table Topics. That’s where they ask you to stand, giving you a question you’re supposed to answer in a story format, lasting between 2-3 minutes. Well, let’s just say I did not excel in this role. LOL. I hated it, and was always nervous.

I continued to attend the meetings, determined to succeed. I even managed to walk away with the best Table Topics ribbon once. But, of course, the question was, “You’ve been given an award. Roleplay your acceptance speech for this award.”

This was easy. I just pretended I’d won the RITA. It was great!

After about eight months of sitting on the sidelines, learning, I finally gave my Ice Breaker Speech and walked away with my first Best Speaker Ribbon. I was super thrilled. It took a while before I worked up the courage to do another speech. But right before I went to the Romantic Times convention, I practiced the Soul Mate Spotlight presentation on them, with PowerPoint visuals, and it went very well. I received a lot of great feedback that helped me perfect the presentation for RT.

Then, just last month, I gave two more speeches, and again walked away with a Best Speaker Ribbon on one of them. Seems everyone loved my speech on Sentence Structure and Punctuation. Who knew English grammar could be so entertaining!

I’m feeling more comfortable now, and have actually begun to look forward to attending the meetings, instead of dreading it. Now it’s just a matter of finding the time to prepare the speeches. Oh, yeah, I forgot. Since I’m a writer they asked me to write the introduction for their website, and somehow that escalated, and now I’m Vice President of Public Relations for my club. They recently approached me and asked if I was interested in considering this position on a national level...I’m thinking about it.

So, I’ve gone from knee-knocking afraid of public speaking, to taking Best Speaker awards, and holding a leadership role with the club. How’d that happen? Crazy! But, I’m having fun...and isn’t that what life is really about.

When I’m not working for Soul Mate, I’m writing. I have two new releases coming up. A steamy short story, Christmas Eve Surprise, is due for release in November, along with seven other stories from outstanding Soul Mate authors titled, Sizzle In The Snow.

I created a fun little book trailer for this anthology and would love to share it with you.

I just completed my ninth novel, Between Midnight and Dawn, and it’s due for release in early 2016. So look for it! 

Where Love Always Wins: http://www.cherylyeko.com/ Soul Mate Publishing
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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

May 1T Status Update

This May brings the last few weeks of classes and final projects. After I'm done with the semester, it'll be summer!

Ah summer. When we can finally relax. I plan to hit the Vampire Vignettes, Soul Mates, and scope out the final Ancients book. Plus a few other summer projects. And yardwork. And American Legion Band. Oh, and one one-credit class... (so much for relaxing, lol).

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

3T Writing Tidbit

Show, don't tell. Sick of it yet?

I just have a little real-life illustration I thought I'd share.

Yesterday as I write this, a guy from our neighborhood knocked at our door. My husband answered.

"Hi," the guy said. "I'm a member of Your Local Church. Great news. We just opened a daycare and preschool! We take children from three months old to 3K, and--"

"I'm going to interrupt you right there," my husband said. "You see that big car in the driveway?"

"Y-es?" said the guy.

"That belongs to my younger son."

A beat. "Oh. Have a nice day!" The guy left.

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, April 9, 2019

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: victory shake via photopin (license)
What's your major? And other first-meet questions--originally posted October 14, 2015.

Ask any author what the hardest thing is about the business of telling and selling stories. They'll tell you...


All right, maybe not all authors. Maybe it's 4 out of 5 dentists and the gum they like.... But for me, talking about myself is as much fun as getting a root canal with a pile driver.

I'd rather hear about you than talk about me.

Probably odd, given that half the authoring job is getting the news out about my stories. But it is handy when it comes to developing characters.

Remember the questions we used to ask when meeting new people at school? What's your major, how's so-and-so for econ? Starting my career I learned to substitute "Where do you work?" and "What do you do for a living?"

Then I cut back to consulting to be available for the kids. Now my go-to questions changed. I met more people working as full-time caregivers or homemakers. One of the best conversation starters I learned was from the son of our pastor--what do you do with your free time? That question led to a lot of fascinating stories and interests.

It's one of the reasons I enjoy Amy R's So Many Questions posts so much. I get to meet all sorts of new people.

I think that's actually the reason I'm an author. I'm always interested in other people, and I love the stories they tell.

What are your go-to questions meeting a new person? What do you do with your free time?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April 1T Status Update

Happy April! A lot going on this month (but frankly, when isn't there? lol).

Night's Kiss is coming! #4 Biting Me Softly (hot!) Golden, deadly vampire meets a St.-Pauli-Girl-Next-Door. Books to Read universal link | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA 
  • Night's Kiss second round edits turned in!
  • First draft of Chicago's Chosen is done.
  • Cover requirements for April Fools For Love 2020 happens this month.
  • Orchestra started again, concert in May.
  • Big presentation for Systems Analysis today (plus a test plus a requirements document due).

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

3T Writing Tidbit

This is another in my 25 Ways You're Losing Readers (and what you can do about it) series.

Ignore your readers' expectations at your own peril.

As I write this,  I've just seen How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. I'm a big fan of the Netflix series How to Train Your Dragon: Race to the Edge, and was looking forward to the movie for several months.

The day before we went, I was baffled by the relatively low score on IMDb (and relatively high on Rotten Tomatoes).


If you haven't seen the movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and don't want any spoilers, don't read this post. I will discuss the ending.

If you don't know what the series is about, this is a DreamWorks animation series based on Cressida Cowell's children's books. There are three movies and a large number of shorter adventures that follow Viking chief's son Hiccup as he meets and befriends a dragon enemy. Hiccup starts as a young boy, but by The Hidden World he's a young adult and chief of his village, and all the Vikings there have befriended and work with dragons.

The basic plot is that Hiccup is looking for a way for humans and dragons to live together in peace. There are greedy human dragon-thieves and nefarious human dragon-hunters who keep trying to destroy Hiccup's dragon friend. There are further complications, but all you really need to know to understand my point is this:

  • Hiccup yearns to create a home for his people and their dragons.
  • And that's exactly what we want, too.

So when we get the more tragic (and adult) ending of Hiccup letting his dragons go instead, it's a resolution that's flat. Because Hiccup suffers, not to get his happy ending--he suffers to get nothing he wanted.

And by the sobbing of the little kids in our theater, his audience didn't get what they wanted, either.

Contrast other films. Once Dorothy suffers Oz, all she wants to do is go home--and she does. The Ghostbusters want to be taken seriously and to vanquish the ghosts--and they do. Luke wants to avenge his aunt and uncle, rescue the princess, and learn about the Force--and he does. Harry Potter wants to end the threat of Voldemort--and he does.

And these are all things we wanted, too. So when the protagonist accomplishes these things, it's satisfying.

Here's the big one. The Avengers are a bickering mess of would-be superheroes who need to give up their egos and learn to work together.
  • They don't want to be a team.
  • But we want them to be a team. (There's even an audience substitute, unabashed fanboy Agent Coulson.)
We're pulling for them to be a team, so when that epic moment comes and they circle back to back to back to fight together (can you hear that triumphant horn tune?) it's cathartic and jubilant and most of all deeply satisfying.

I understand now why the critics on Rotten Tomatoes love The Hidden World--and why the general public didn't. It's not satisfying. Not because it doesn't do things right, because it does. It does things wonderfully well--for an adult tragedy.

But the kids in the audience didn't go to see an adult tragedy. They went to see an uplifting kids' movie. The movie broke their hearts, and it broke mine a little, too, when what I went to the theater for was to be made whole.

Remember this when you write your next story. What are your readers expecting? If they're coming to you to be made whole, or even just to be entertained for a while, the best story in the world will fall flat if it doesn't fulfill their needs.

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. Click here to see all 25 Ways You're Losing Readers

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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: The Quest via photopin (license)
Readers--I need your help deciding something--originally posted September 16, 2015.

I've been re-reading one of my favorite mystery writers lately--Rex Stout. Stout began writing his 1/7 ton, orchid-loving gourmand genius detective Nero Wolfe in the thirties (just after the end of Prohibition, Wolfe's first recorded words are, "Where's the beer?"). But the stories are lively and readable for today's audiences, thanks to entertaining narrator Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's feet, eyes and ears on New York--and ours, too.

I admit that I was worried that I wouldn't enjoy reading Stout as much, since my author training means I see the puppet strings and the puppeteer behind the words.

photo credit: Puppet via photopin (license)
But no. I actually enjoy Archie and Nero more, because Stout's such a freaking great writer. There's an impact seeing a genius use the tools of writing that a teacher's telling (even with examples) doesn't have. Don't believe me? Think of any occupation where you've seen someone who blows you away. For me it's Brett Favre, whatever you might think about his career. I see anyone throw a football and it's caught and I think yay, amazing, because frankly I can't throw a ball a foot to a receiver dressed in two-sided tape. But Favre...when he threw the ball, the receiver didn't catch it so much as Favre seemed to place the ball directly into the receiver's hands. Artistry, poetry in motion.

Anyway, the point to all this is that Stout made me reconsider one aspect of writing that has plagued me my whole career. What makes something mysterious? Frankly, I always thought you had to write vague unsettling creepy stuff.

Here's what I now think is true, and this is what I need you to confirm or not: The way to be mysterious is to be crystal clear about your mystery.

Example: Which is more mysterious?
  • Jen thought she saw a shadowy figure in the dark bushes.
  • Jen saw the bushes stir. Not a cat-size stirring, but man-size.

Or this:
  • The victim wrote something in her own blood before dying.
  • The victim wrote "rache" in her own blood before dying.

So which is more mysterious to you? First or second point in each example? Please let me know!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

1T Status Update

The countdown continues! Only eight more months until Night's Kiss, second book in the Ancients trilogy and sixteenth book in the Biting Love Universe! Enter to win one of two copies of The Bite of Silence here.

Times Square. New Year’s Eve. This year, it’s a Countdown to Death.

Twyla Tafel has uncovered an insane plot to unleash vampires on the unsuspecting revelers. She’s armed only with her great admin skills, her useless art degree, and Nikos—a seriously hot vampire she’d love to paint as a Spartan king roaring his muscular challenge at the Persians.

This one's super-hot.  Adults only, please.

In other news:
  • Tentative release date for Night's Kiss is November 18, 2019!
  • I'm still anticipating Night's Kiss edits this month. They should hit just in time for spring break (no rest for the wicked--or authors, lol).
  • I've finished the first draft of the first novella in the NEW VAMPIRE filler project I mentioned last month. Super excited about these.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

3T Writing Tidbit

This is another in my 25 Ways You're Losing Readers (and what you can do about it) series.

Show, don't tell.

Not always.

In Biting Nixie, I showed the love develop between opposites Nixie and Julian. But one of the first criticisms was... "They never said 'I love you.'"

??? I showed it, right? Wasn't that enough?

Nope. Some readers need the words. But beware! Some readers hate the words. They already got it from the context.

A series I love recently had one character go through a traumatic separation. It was beautifully shown as the character, numb, pushed away the pain and anything to do with the situation. Some readers found her wooden and uncaring instead. ??? For those readers, throw in a quick, "She was numb, unable to deal with the horror her life had become. So she didn't. One day she would, but that time wasn't now." And move on.

For big changes, especially those that are emotionally fraught, it's safest to explicitly acknowledge the emotion before moving on.

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. Click here to see all 25 Ways You're Losing Readers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

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.

The Weird Disorder--Guest Elle J Rossi--originally posted September 3, 2015.

Author, artist, singer, extraordinary friend. Please help me welcome Elle J Rossi!

I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve heard that book people, in general, are weird. They talk about characters as if they’re real. They have book boyfriends. (I’ll admit to having three—okay, maybe five.) They debate book cover choices and cry over the end of a series. They believe in time travel and lore and second chances and happily ever afters. They plan their days around words.

If the people—book people—I’ve come to know over the last several years are considered weird, then I feel very fortunate to be amongst such an awesome crowd. Matter of fact, I wear the bookie label with pride. Someone get me a T-shirt!

Let’s take a few minutes to talk about one facet of the book world. Authors. Not only do authors have to have crazy levels of imaginations, they also need to have a head for business, a shiny personality that makes people want to interact with them, focus, determination, and above all, drive.

On any given day, an author can wake up and have no clue who they are. Will they be a young girl fighting her way through the streets of Chicago because her parents are too wrapped up in their own lives to care? Or, perhaps, a mother of three who’s put so much energy into her husband and children she’s forgotten who she is. Maybe she’s a badass huntress covered in demon guts or a thirsty vampire trying to control the urge. She is all these things and more. Becoming these characters is paramount to getting to the heart and soul of their story.

But wait! After the words (not to mention the blood, sweat and tears) are on the page, many deep breaths are taken and the gears are switched. Time to handle the business end—I won’t even get into the many details of that aspect. In between writing and business, maybe we take a few moments to peek in at the social media sites. Har-har. Peek? Yeah, right. We lurk, we scroll, we crack jokes, we interact. For many, this is our only interaction with people who don’t reside in our heads. Here, we can be whoever we want to be.

When I asked other authors if they ever feel like they have multiple personalities, I got a lot of awesome answers.

Kemberlee Shortland, author and CEO of Tirgearr Publishing, said, “I'm definitely a Sybil!! Three pen names plus my writer persona. Add to that my publisher persona, the 'me' who deals with authors, the 'me' who deals with frisky cover artists, the 'me' for business dealings, the 'me' when I'm promoting, the 'me' for family and the other 'me' for friends... I'm basically the one person and yet also a myriad of other people I drag out when situations arise.”

Author Peggy West said, “This morning I am a woman wearing a bathrobe, drinking a cup of coffee and wondering about the meaning of life yet am also a young woman in 1840 who takes a dangerous chance as she walks along the raging sea to the dark mansion where she will go through the hidden closet of a missing woman and will get stuck there. Writing day.”

Me? I am a reader, an author, a cover artist, a wife, a mother, a friend, and, depending on the day, Wonder Woman. These multiple personalities create the whole me. I’m weird. So what? I’d rather be weird than boring.

So, who are you today?

Check out the newest release in Elle's popular Josie Hawk Chronicles, Indigo Dawn.

IndigoDawnVampire Lust and Pixie Dust.

Josie Hawk is a Huntress. A killer devoted to protecting the humans of Nashville from the shadows that lurk in the night. But the shadows are gaining ground. When an infamous pixie tricks Josie into a drug-induced nightmare, Josie envisions the death of her vampire lover, Keller O'Leary. Was the vision a threat ... maybe even a promise? But from whom?

Desperate to track down the source of the toxic psychedelic pixie dust, Josie kicks and punches her way toward the truth. But her efforts backfire, provoking a deadly attack at Wolfie’s—the bar Josie co-owns with her sister-in-arms, Sage.

Tag. You’re it. Haunted by the threat to Keller, Josie scrambles to outwit her elusive opponent before the deadly game escalates and claims more lives. But in saving Nashville, will Josie lose those she loves? Or will she be too late to stop the deadly game of tag?

Amazon | BN | Kobo

Scarlet TearsAnd look for Scarlet Tears this fall!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

February 1T Status Update

One of the things that happened last year is I went back to school to update my programming skills. But as I sit here with school cancelled due to stupidly cold temperatures, I thought I'd catch up on some writerly things.

Night's Kiss Countdown. I'm doing a monthly giveaway to get ready for the upcoming second book in the Ancient's series and the sixteenth (!) story in the Biting Love universe. We're on month #2, Biting Nixie. If you haven't read it and you enjoy super steamy, super funny paranormal romance, be sure to enter this one.

In other news
  • we have a tentative release date for Night's Kiss! More on that next month. 
  • Night's Kiss second round edits coming in March.
  • I'm 25,000 words into the first draft of Soul Mates
  • I have another project in mind to better use the small bits of time I have between classes and studying. More on that later.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

3T Writing Tidbit

This is another in my 25 Ways You're Losing Readers (and what you can do about it) series.

 Readers. The most amazing people on the planet. New writers quail in their shoes when they hand over their babies to readers for the first time. They cheer when the readers respond positively.

That doesn't change. No matter how often you publish, an author will always want to throw a ticker-tape parade for each and every reader who loves her writing.

It's wonderful! The best feeling in the world. But you still have more work to do. As an author, you need to go further.

You want readers to tell you how much they love your writing? Take it to the next level.

Write stories to inspire readers to tell others how much they love your writing.

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. Click here to see all 25 Ways You're Losing Readers

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

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.

Taking up the (Unreasonable Obsession) Challenge--my Cool Stuff--originally posted August 29, 2015.

Leisha began this, and Zoe challenged us to continue it--whether it's a '68 Mustang or the perfect summer day, we all get a twinkle of delight at really cool stuff. Here are a few of mine.

1. GEMSTONES. Yeah, the shinier the better. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds...we toured the gems room at the Natural History Museum and I might have drooled a time or two. Strangely, I don't wear a lot of jewelry. I think I like to look at it more than I like to be weighed down by it.

2. MYSTERIES. Detective books like Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, a seventh-of-a-ton, orchid-growing, beer-swilling genius, and Elizabeth Peters's feisty 1900s archeologist Amelia Peabody; smart crime dramas with great characters like NCIS and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Sherlock (Holmes), who is so popular, he is in books, television, movies, and more!

3. SCENTS. Good smells, like roses, lilacs, perfume, soap, author Leigh Morgan's candles. New-mown grass and hay. Incense. Bakeries. Ooh, donuts...mmm. Bacon sizzling, even though I'm a vegetarian. Coffee...hmm, must be dinner time, lol.

4. PUZZLES. I do CrossSums every day and enjoy variety puzzles so much I bought a box of 40. The trick is getting the mechanical pencil to run out of lead at the same time the eraser is worn away to nothing.

5. Whose Line Is It Anyway? Scenes from a Hat. Colin doing his dinosaur imitation. Wayne singing anything. Other humor too, Stephanie Plum, DragonBall Z Abridged, Weird Al, Marx Brothers, Simon's Cat, xkcd.

6. SCIENCE FICTION. Again, from books to television to movies: Asimov, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel's Avengers. Many science fiction stories are about friendship and solid teamwork, which I adore. Others rejoice in grand adventure. Some have both! Who doesn't love the way Sarah Jane and the Doctor constantly rescued each other?

My niece knitted her own Tom Baker scarf and I'm just tickled every time I see it.

7. VISTAS. Not just on earth, but anything I can gaze at and breathe freer. Lakes, fields, forests, mountains. Even a big backyard satisfies something deep inside.

India Gala 2014 (32)8. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. If it bangs, blows, or bows, I love it! My earliest memories are of banging on a toy piano, and I loved visiting my aunt, thinking she was the coolest because she had a real one!

What's your coolest stuff?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

1T Status Update

Happy New Year! Have any of you made resolutions for 2019? I don't usually, but this year I have two: Eat More Protein (it's amazing how much better I feel) and Relax More (also amazing how much more energy I have for work if I've done some serious relaxing first).

What about you? What are you doing differently this year?

Oh, and I'm working on Soul Mates, the final book of the Pull of the Moon series. Just at the beginning stages right now, but the characters are developing nicely.

The big news is that I'm expecting second round edits shortly for Night's Kiss (the Ancients, book 2). I don't have a release date yet, but I figured with 10 books in the Biting Love Universe (14 if you count the Short Bites), a countdown reread would probably stretch until release day. *grin*

The Biting Love Universe. A cup of high-octane, steamy UF romance, a dollop of small-town mayhem and two (or three) lumps of sarcasm and geek culture references. Start from the beginning with Bite My Fire.

Get in on my giveaway! Two lucky winners will receive a copy of Bite My Fire. Steamy and sweary. Adults only, please.