Monthly Archives: February 2017

Wordless Wednesday ~ Winter

A post…without words? Never! Anyway, I just wanted to note that, despite the photos that depict a clear image of the great white north, we usually don’t get much snow on Vancouver Island. It’s generally rain, rain, some wind and more rain. In fact, the kids have more ‘flood’ days than snow days. But this year… this was the year of the 100-year-snow storm. So…enjoy the winter wonderland and some images of the days just before. Oh, and it’s raining now. Lots. As in 50mm, lol. So, back to the usual for us.

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Check out how winter is with the others…

Bronwyn Green  |  Deelylah Mullin  |  Kellie St. James

Gwendolyn Cease  |    Torrance Sené

Picture Flash Fiction ~ February

It’s the second round of picture flash fiction. As usual, I’m staring at it and wondering what to write 😉 Only one thing pops to mind. A piece out of the my on-going serial or trilogy. I haven’t really decided how it’s going to progress, yet. It’s epic in my mind, so…

Anyway, we’re taking a jump into Red Sky Dawning. Sorry, it’s going to be just a snippet out of the blue , but it’s more of an aside to the novel. You can read the first four chapters by clicking on the link to Free Reads in the nav bar it you wish. Otherwise, here’s a bit with Aelwyn…

44148085 - mysterious woman in red cloak

44148085 – mysterious woman in red cloak

“Princess Aelwyn.”

Aelwyn looked up from the pages she’d been scouring and glanced at the door to her chambers as the thick, wooden slab swung inwards. Her brother’s personal guard, Captain Tarn, stood in the opening, his armour gleaming in the bright light. His distorted shadow stretched out across the floor, reaching towards her like a wraith.

She placed the tome down on the small table beside her, then slowly rose. She nodded, glancing over the man’s shoulder. “Captain Tarn.”

The man shifted on his feet, gazing around the small room as if expecting something to leap out at him. “Cane has requested your presence in the throne room. If you’d please come with me.” He motioned to the corridor and adjoining staircase.

“Aern is King of Aldhaven, not Cane. I don’t take orders from him.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “If my father wises to see me, he can summon me, himself.”

Colour rose high on the man’s cheeks as his hands fisted at his sides. “Your father is ill. His time here is quickly diminishing. Besides, you know that Cane speaks for him.”

“What I know is that my father is currently dying from a disease I could cure if he’d only ask.”

Tarn glared at her, pursing his lips together as if simply being in her presence sickened him. “You know you are forbidden to use your dark arts.”

“Since when is healing someone evil?”

“Since it was abolished centuries ago.”

Aelwyn shook her head. “You mean since my grandfather had every healer within the kingdom killed. If my mother were alive—”

“Your mother died bringing you into this world.” Tarn took a step forward, one hand lifting to rest on the hilt of his sword. “That should be proof enough that you weren’t meant to survive.”

Guilt and pain settled unforgivingly in her core as tears stung her eyes. Why she even bothered to try and reason with anyone was a mystery. Only her brother had ever seen her as anything other than a monster. As someone worthy of love.

She forced herself to swallow around the ball of emotion stuck in her throat. “Are you so sure I’m the reason she’s dead?”

Tarn frowned. “How could there be any other reason?”

“Perhaps you only see what others want you to.”

“I see perfectly fine.” He motioned to the cloak lying across the back of a chair. “I suggest you wear your cloak. It’s quite cool outside. I’ll wait for you in the Keep. Don’t keep me waiting, Princess.”

Aelwyn sneered at the man’s back as he marched out of her chambers, not bothering to close the door behind him. Not that she’d expected him to. Respect wasn’t a virtue many bestowed upon her. And she’d only be wasting her energy if she lamented that fact.

She walked over to the chair, gathering the red fabric in her hands. A gift from her brother. One of the few possessions she actually coveted. The soft garment eased some of the tension bunching her shoulders as she wrapped it around her, lifting the hood to cover her head. Not that it would hide her identity. Her father’s soldiers would recognize the cloak—know it was her. But at least it would spare her having to see their reactions as she walked down the corridor. Shield her from the blatant hatred that would follow her every step. And all because she was different. Because she’d been born with a gift long since condemned.

“Enough.”

She was bigger than this. Stronger. And when Aelrik finally became king, she’d show everyone how wrong they’d been. How Cane was the monster who dwelled with the castle walls, not her.

She sighed. It was a dream at best. Even if Aelrik freed her from her tower, she knew her people would never embrace her power. Never trust her or see her as anything other than an abomination. That regardless of where she slept, she’d never truly be free.

The sides of her cloak fluttered in the wind as she walked along the stone path. Tarn waited at the entrance to the Keep, his face pulled tight, his back stiff. She paused just long enough to draw herself up—mask any pain that still lingered inside her. She’d play her part. Bide her time so Aelrik didn’t have to suffer on her behalf. But it wasn’t a role she’d play forever.

 

And that’s it for me. I seriously have nothing else. But go visit the other ladies.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Deelylah Mullin  |  Kayleigh Jones

 

A TOP 10 COUNTDOWN

Hey all…It’s time for another top ten list. This month it’s Ways to Hook Me as a Reader. Now, I’m not sure if this will solely be ways to hook me or might end up having points of how NOT to hook me,  or lose me, lol. But I’ll try to stay on topic. Soooo, here we go.

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10 — I hate to put this in here, because as an author, I hate writing them, but…. a good blurb will get me to buy your book in the first place. That and an interesting cover. If neither of these are done well, I probably won’t even pick up the book, either literally or virtually, and you won’t have a chance to hook me. So, ensure you put your best foot forward here.

9 — Likeable characters. I know this seems silly, but if the guy is a total douchbag, with no redeeming qualities… I’m probably not going to continue to read the book. This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a bad boy or a guy who’s a bit of an ass—adorable asses are one of my faves. But if he’s going to be a jerk, he’d best redeem himself along the way or the book will end up hitting the wall.

8 — Words I can actually read. Okay, this might need a bit of explaining. I don’t mean you have to use the vocabulary of a 5th grader. I mean more along the lines of not using too much dialect. I read a book once with a Scottish hero and I swear it took me twice as long to try and puzzle out his dialogue because it was all super deep brogue that was more frustrating than anything to read. I ended up skipping parts because it just wasn’t worth trying to figure out the accent. I mean, tell me he’s Scottish.. toss a few common Scottish words in there, and I’m good. Don’t make me wade through pages of horrible, awkward dialect. The same goes with super ‘big’ words. Don’t use obscure meanings from a thesaurus that will make me feel like I truly am a fifth grader. I don’t mind some unusual words sprinkled throughout, but if I to check my dictionary every other page… I’ll be putting that book down.

7 — Ensuring your book actually fits the genre you’re writing in. If it’s a suspense book, there’d better be some suspense in it, lol. My old classic saying is when I used to edit, I was given an erotic novel to edit that had absolutely no erotic content. Which is fine, except then it’s not an erotic romance. There will be sex in this sex book, lol. So, don’t call it a romance then hand me a straight paranormal where the couple barely acknowledge each other. Stay true to what you’re marketing.

6 — Good editing. I can overlook the odd forgotten word, wrong word or spelling mistake. Hell, shit happens and I know that pretty much every book has an error in it somewhere. This isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about those books where the author didn’t think they even needed an editor or it was a sad attempt at best. If the book is riddled with errors. If the characters continually sit down twice or go from being dressed to miraculously naked in every scene… then you’ll lose me. Also along with this is good formatting. JUSTIFY PRINT BOOKS PEOPLE. It seems silly but that jagged right edge in a print book enrages me.

5 — A action packed or dramatically strong opening. It’s an old saying but it’s true. I’m more apt to keep reading if something happens in the first chapter or two to grab my attention. If you make me wait too long, I might get too distracted and stop reading. The first book in the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan is an example. It’s a great book and I’m glad I toughed it out, but it was nearly 100 pages before I was truly invested. Well over 50 before anything happened and I was ready to put it down. So… shock me early and I’ll forgive some dull periods later.

4 — Not too many descriptions. Okay, I know some folks like to have things detailed down to what kind of swirls are on the wallpaper, but I’m not one of those folks. Just give me enough so I can picture the scene in my head. Besides, I like to picture the hero in my own head. If you detail too much, I can’t create them to be to my liking. So… tall, dark-haired with blue eyes that rival the sea is great. I don’t need to know how many freckles he has or what kind of hair products he uses.

3 — Good plot. I’ll read lots of different genres, but if you want me to keep turning the pages, there has to be something more than just Sally met Harry… and never had an argument or that restaurant scene… I like a few detours in my books. That doesn’t mean you have to follow a formula. It just means if there are a few different ideas running through the book, I’m more likely to get hooked and keep reading when I should be doing other things… Stephen King is a wizard at this. He’s unnatural in his ability to weave all sorts of threads together.

2 — Strong female characters. Okay, not every heroine has to have a black belt in Muay Ti, or be some kind of crack shot, or a Marshal, spy, cop, etc. But… and this is huge for me, if they’re a doormat. If they do things that are too stupid to live. If they just sit there crying waiting to be rescued… or as Sydney would say from Scream…. if the bitch is running up the stairs when she should be running out the door… I won’t finish the story. So… let’s celebrate strong heroines, who hold their heads high and aren’t afraid to get a bit dirty.

1 — Snappy and realistic dialogue. I’m not sure why this is my number one. Maybe it’s because it makes everything feel far more real to me. So, please….don’t use character’s names every other line. Don’t forget to use contractions… and no, just because it’s historical doesn’t mean they didn’t speak in contractions. Trust me, humans are lazy by nature. We’ve been shortening EVERYTHING since the dawn of time.

 

And there you have it. Now jump on over to the other ladies and see what keeps them turning those pages.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman |  Deelylah Mullin

 Gwendolyn Cease   |  Kellie St. James