Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Rival: A Rare, 3 Gem Novel

I know. I posted just yesterday, so I apologize. But, I must post this today! Why? Because I just finished The Rival: The Legend of Victor Standish last night, and I want to share it with you. I posted my review on Amazon, where you too, can pick up your copy of the book and review it. ; )

Buy it here on Amazon!
The Rival: The Legend of Victor Standish

Sometimes a book comes along that strikes me as rare, a gem, if you will. The Rival: The Legend of Victor Standish is one of those books. 

#1 gem: A fast-paced, urban fantasy filled with historical figures, ingeniously woven throughout. And, take a gander at the fabulous cover...don't you want to know who she is??? Not to give anything away, but readers won't be disappointed. In fact, as the main character time travels to 1834 New Orleans, I had hundreds of moments where I found myself smirking (and giggling) at Victor Standish, and the way he handles himself when in the most precarious situations. Prepare to face many creepy supernaturals, and by creepy, I mean way beyond sparkly monsters.

Speaking of Victor, the #2 gem of the novel, one cannot help but adore him! A literary legend, hell yeah. His dry, witty humor will crack the face of the stoniest of souls. Victor and I have a special bond, as he helped me through a tough surgery last month by telling me the most ridiculous jokes. He will remain in my mind for years to come. If he'd allow me, I'd adopt him. His unworldly love for his classy, Victorian ghoulfriend, Alice, brought me to tears more than once. "I wasn't an orphan anymore. In her arms, I was home." ~Victor Standish, The Rival.

And, as for Victor's authentic character, well, that brings me to the #3 gem, the author.

Many applause go out to Roland Yeomans, the amazing author of The Rival. His creation of Victor Standish is a superlative example of authentic characterization. Roland achieves the ultimate with his writing, he types, allowing Victor to tell his story. Thank you, Roland, for sharing your literary worlds with your readers.

Note to Roland: I didn't want to come off sounding like dripping soup on Amazon, but I adore you, your writing, your passion for the written word, and your undying love for your own craft. ;~)

So folks, if you're up to an action-packed jaunt with amazing characters, and a protagonist to root for, you must check out, The Rival: The Legend of Victor Standish.

*Remember, next week's post will be about creating YOUR own balance, as we all know, everyone has to find their own. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yours Truly Led a SCBWI Presentation!

I'm not kidding! I really did.

On what subject you may be asking? The Writer's Life: It's a Balancing Act Omg, I had a blast, but then again, I love talking, especially about things I love, like writing. :)

We've all seen great articles and blog posts about juggling our everyday life with our writing life, right? So, I won't get all know-it-all on you, because I don't know-it-all. In fact, I readily offered how I do NOT balance the two lives well. 

Such as last Friday evening when my daughter wanted supper and I told her to fix a pot pie in the microwave. I'll also mention here, that I worked on revisions all day long, without eating anything myself. Did I kick butt in my writing life? Heck yeah. Was I taking care of my real life? Uh, no.

Balance is the key. And, only you can find the right amount of balance for your own world.

Next week, I'll break down some of the ideas on balancing from my handout and post them for you. The members present at the monthly meeting seemed quite pleased with the information. I'll pick some things we don't hear often.

I'll also be including the wonderful blogs I visited to gather some facts, so you too can enjoy their information. 

On another note, March Madness is almost over, and I want to cry! I've had such a blast with the #wipmadness group, I don't want it to ever end. I've accomplished all of my goals this month. *Pats own back*

And a huge OH! if you are a GH fan, did you see yesterday's episode? Robin is NOT dead. I was so mad. Not that I don't want her to be alive, because I DO. But, do you mean to tell me that I cried my eyes out for two weeks and she isn't really dead??? I should've known. Ugh.

Look for some interesting & creative balancing tips for finding harmony in your lives next week!

I'll end with a couple of quotes about finding time to write.

"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." ~Stephen King

"You must write every day of your must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like hats upon your crazy heads...may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." ~Ray Bradbury

Source for Quotes:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What Writers Can Learn From Soap Operas

I know I might be going out on a limb here...

But...writers can learn about

--Compelling Characterization

Most of you may snicker at this post, but I am a closet General Hospital watcher, have been since I was five (it's my only soap, I pinky swear). I don't recall much about GH back then, besides sneaking a peek at "Mommy's Show," while I was supposed to be napping after half a day at kindergarten. What I do remember, was my mother laughing, crying, cheering, and being held captive for a complete hour of her day. 

Soap Operas give us characters we love to adore, despise (but secretly love!), need to know, crave to date, rise from the dead and characters we never, ever want to lose. 

Antonio Sabato Jr.
Anyone recall the great love of Luke & Laura? Frisco & Felicia? How about lusting after Dr. Noah Drake (Rick Springfield) or Jagger Cates, the hot gangster with a golden heart (Antonio Sabato Jr.)?

The lovely Kimberly Anne McCullough is an actress, singer, and dancer. She is best known for her longtime role as Robin Scorpio on the show since she was seven years old. It's rare in the Land of Soaps for the same actor / actress to remain on a show for the majority of their lives. 27 years, Kimberly played the character, Robin. The actress performed an outstanding role, in which she won many awards.

Soap Opera characters die every day. But, GH's Robin was different. She loved fiercely. She forgave everyone (most everyone). She battled being HIV positive heroically. She mothered little Emma like there was no tomorrow. Gentle, kind, giving, courageous, caring, dedicated, shall I go on?? 

We writers could learn a thing or two when creating our next character. Seriously, no more laughing at me. :-)

The writers of GH and Kimberly gave us a raw, compelling character. (Some of you are still laughing, aren't you???) I was so saddened by her "tragic death" on the show two weeks ago, I couldn't even finish the episode with her funeral service on Friday. I gave myself a tension headache from crying!

As writers, we strive to create believable characters, right? Anyone else inspired by a soap star? 

Check out what this Southern Belle View writer, Beth Webb Hart has to say about what she's learned from soap operas here .

Here's a bit about creating compelling characters over at Divine Secrets of the Writing Sisterhood. 
Stephanie's post begins with..." So her dog died and her husband is leaving her and her teenage son is peddling meth and now she’s fallen into a viper- and rat- infested mineshaft..."   You must check it out...great post!!!

And now, for you soap opera fans who cannot get enough from daytime shows, here's an episode from Gatonovela - Cat Soap Opera 

~A story of betrayal and loyalty, love and hate, support and jealousy and life and death. share with us the joy and sadness in the life of simple cats who are destined for greatness.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lucky Me, I've Been Tagged!

Thank you to Jaye Robin Brown over at Hanging on to Wonder . She tagged me with the Lucky 7 Meme & answering her 10 questions. Also,  Angela Orlowski-Peart tagged me with the Lucky 7 Meme, too! I'm cheating and combining the tags. :)) Here are the rules for Lucky 7 Meme:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines - sentences or paragraphs - and post them as they're written. No cheating
4. Tag 7 authors
5. Let them know

*Please keep in mind, this is my current wip I'm revising / rewriting. I am yet to reach page 77 with rewrites, so it is in raw form. Seriously raw form.*Characters, Josey and Mae, from two different eras (literally) are speaking for the first time since an awful dispute...
“Would you mind helping me bathe the children? They have not had a proper bath in over a week,” Mae said, her voice gentle, much different from the tongue-lashing she'd given me earlier.

“Yes,” I said, setting Lizzie down on the ground. I hiked my dress up, pulled it to the side, and tied a large knot in the skirt. Mae watched me intently.

“Good idea,” she said, bending to tie her skirt up like mine.

Mae smiled. She took out a bar of soap from the bag and a torn piece of cloth to use as a washcloth. I was startled by a high-pitched shriek behind me. I turned to see Albert buck naked running full speed towards me and the water.

“Albert, no!” 

Albert ran into the water, splashing me. I shut my eyes, wincing from the icy cold water on my hot skin. He hooted and hollered, scooping up water, splashing around.

I laughed. “You little stinker!” I cupped a handful of water and tossed it at him. He squealed in delight.

Now, onto JRo's questions:
1. What is your dream vacation? A two-week journey to Ireland, seeing the sights, visiting Irish pubs, and kissing the Blarney Stone. You've heard before that anyone who kisses the Blarney is gifted with the knack for storytelling, right?

2. Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan? Oh, I'm a strict by-the-list girl. Definitely a planner. Almost to the point of driving my family insane.

3. Tell us one thing you want to do, but don't dare do. Join a ghost hunting or paranormal group. Watch out Jay and Grant!

4. What's your biggest phobia? Being abducted by aliens, seriously.

5. If you were stranded on a desert island--what 3 things would you want with you (not including laptop or family)? A hugemongo notebook, large bottle of ink, and an endless supply of coffee grounds.

6. Name 3 blessings in your life. Family, friends, and home.

7. What was your nickname in high school? Bubbles. Don't ask, I'll never tell!

8. If you could meet the President of the US, what would you say to him? Oh, that's a tough one. I'm not exactly sure, but it would start with, "Let's talk about change..."

9. If you could be any literary character for a day, who would you be? Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. Mostly because she's real. She says what's on her mind. She stands up for what she believes is right, regardless of the consequences. 

10. What is your favorite quote? "Be the change you want to see in the world." ~ Mahatma Gandhi 

Now, for my Lucky 7 *she says, rubbing her hands slyly*...Oh, and it won't hurt my feelings a bit, if you don't want to participate! I know how very busy we all can be. If anything, just enjoy the blog visits. :-) 

I always have a super hard time picking people. This time around, I decided to pick out 7 new members of the wonderful
 Please take the opportunity to visit these 7 fellow writers on the trail!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

SCBWI Bulletin in Print Form...Please!
There is one area in my life where I'm not so good at being green. I'm a SCBWI Bulletin-monger. Yup, the paper copy, mailed by snail mail. 

What? I tried signing up to read it online, but it wasn't the same. It wasn't even close to being the same for me. 

When I realize it's just about time for the new Bulletin to come out, I race to the mailbox daily, just hoping it'll be there. This morning, it was there! All 39 pages of wealthy writerly information and spectacular artwork had finally arrived. My fingers tingled with inspiration and excitement, as I flipped through it quickly walking into the house. For the next few days, I'll read each article, savoring every word and illustration.

All the covers are delightfully illustrated, and of course, always showcase a kite. The March / April 2012 issue features artwork of the talented Author & Illustrator, Sophie Blackall .

Bunches of thanks go out to the Editors, Stephen Mooser & Lin Oliver and everyone else on board with the Bulletin. ^_^

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March's IWSG Post

My Insecure Writer's Support Group post for March is all about GRATITUDE. Check out the headquarters for the IWSG at Alex J. Cavanaugh's Blog

Checking in monthly with our IWSG serves many purposes, but most importantly for me, it's about support and community. Through support from other writers, I not only receive, but I have to opportunity to give support and encourage others. 

Quick story. One of our fellow IWSG members checked in with me as much as his schedule would allow. He commented, shared stories and passed on much needed support. On the day before my surgery, he sent me a message containing a joke, a paralysis joke of all things! I giggled until my eyes filled up with tears, and I knew at that point, it was all going to work out.

I even told the surgeon the joke (courtesy of Victor Standish, from The Legend of Victor Standish, Author-Roland Yeomans). The doc cracked up, wheeling me into the operating room. Actually, thanks to the sedative in my IV, we both chuckled until I quickly zonked out. In the end, it all worked out.

Thank you, Roland. And, I'm so glad I now have the opportunity to read for you. I'm honored.

Thank you to everyone who visited here while I was away. Thank you to my much-loved CP, friend, and writing partner, Nisha, who brought my family dinner the day after I got home from St. Luke's. Thank you to my fellow writer pals at She Writes. Thanks to those of you on Twitter who shouted out well wishes. I was reminded numerous times by all the sweet comments, prayers, well wishes, good vibes and silly jokes that I am where I need to be. Right here, at my computer, writing.

What is it that drives YOU to belong to a community such as IWSG?

Looking for support? Need some encouragement? Head on over and join us for IWSG! 


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Belated CassaFire Blog Party Post & Check Out Oppression, Too!

Will y'all ever forgive me, Alex...Jessica??? Gosh, I hope so. I'm five days late to the CassaFire Release Party and Blog Tour...and three days late to Oppression's release party. Shame on me. 

(Yes, my spine surgery went well, am on the mend. But this post is for Alex & Jessica!) 

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting these two amazingly-awesome authors in Rach Harrie's 3rd Campaigner Challenge last fall.

So, check out Alex's Blog and catch fire!  Alex J. Cavanaugh 
There are great prizes and all sorts of fun stuff on his blog!

Here's CassaFire's cool book trailer... 

 Alex, I wish you all the best with the new release. You rock!!!


 Also, Jessica Therrien's Oppression was released as well!! Jessica Therrien's Blog

Today is day three after Oppression's release. I've heard it's doing amazing already!!! Congrats and have a super blast at your B & N signing today, Jessica!!!

Please check out both of these fantastic author blogs. I'm just sorry I missed out on day one of both parties. I wish y'all the best and looking forward to checking both books out!!!