A Writer’s Magic – as close as fingertips!

Harry Potter used a wand. Bewitched twitched her nose. Harry Dresden wielded a staff. Writers come with their own special form of magic. Whether it’s pen to pad, stylus to tablet, or keyboard to PC . . . a writer’s magic is as close as fingertips. New writers often feel that they must pursue fiction writing as they don’t carry a bag of non-fiction writing tricks. Don’t allow the concept of non-fiction writing to intimidate. Consider the 3 easily defined categories: Educating: How-to-manuals, directions, historical explanations, or scientific explorations fall into this category. Influencing or persuasive: Every sales brochure, each editorial, even academic critiques are designed to persuade the reader to a certain conclusion. Narrative: […]

Grey’s Lady by Natasha Blackthorne – Book Review

Grey’s Lady (Wild, Wicked and Wanton – Book 1) by Natasha Blackthorne 1st Spoiler Alert – this novel is Book 1 in a series. While there is a Resolution, there is NOT a conclusion to the story or with these characters. But no grousing! Author Natasha Blackthorne has this as a current KindleUnlimited download, and has the book marked as a ‘Prequel’. While historical, author Natasha Blackthorne offers readers a more unique setting as this story line takes place in Philadelphia, PA, spring 1812, where the Port of Philadelphia is blooming. Attic-borne, Elizabeth (Beth) McConnell and wealthy merchant and shipping owner, Grey Sexton set the sheets on fire with their torrid meetings. If readers are […]

Chasing Destiny – The Donovan Legacy, Book 2

As I’m currently working through edits — CHASING DESTINY — and always on the look-out for snippets to share during release, here are a few that caught my Tuesday morning muse. My favorites for the day . . . 1) Garrick glanced toward the unopened bottle and glasses. She seemed far too at home, too at ease in his house. How long had this lovely stranger been living here—alone—with his father? “Enough of the cat and mouse game. Who are you?” Some strange woman, with endless mahogany eyes, was making herself quite comfortable. He would have his answer, and now. Sultry voice and cooking skills included, she could be a dangerous distraction for any guy, […]

Teaching an Old Dog (writer) New Tricks. Secrets to Better Writing.

The Donovan Legacy (HARM’S WAY – current release) actually started with a prequel. CHASING DESTINY CHASING DESTINY was written a year in front of HARM’S WAY and then promptly buried among all my floppy disks. Yep, that long ago.  Having recovered my earlier works, I realized the characters of CHASING DESTINY (Garrick & Jaycee) deserved their own release. To that end, the rewrites began. The process has been enlightening: good & bad. And that tenuous, often painful, process deserved to be shared as well. Producing better writing is hard work. Short cuts are not generally the answer, but you can learn to be a smarter writer by following some of these writing tips. New eyes […]

Writing It Right with Wordle.net

Breathing new life into an older manuscript (Chasing Destiny) brought me to Wordle.net Writers . . . do you want to know your most commonly used words in a chapter? Writers . . . Do you know your most common words in your blogs, newsletters, query letters? Here’s how to find out: DIRECTLY FROM THE WORDLE WEBSITE: ‘WORDLE is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, […]

Texas Jewel Series: Book 1 by Melissa Alexia

Author, Melissa Alexia, sets her series: Texas Jewel, in the heart of West Texas. Filled with snakes — real and human-like — Julia (Jewels) Starling navigates unknown terrain after returning to bury her grandfather. A long estrangement between the two of them leaves Jewels with a whole heap of problems as she tries to determine why the old man left her the land. Between her past history with the ‘Big Douche’, the local sheriff who wants to play hanky-spanky, the sleazy drug lord, and the current man who ‘needs’ her to say ‘I do’, Jewels has way too many men vying for her attention. For a gal who just felt the need to show up […]

The Language Garden: The Apostrophe Hummingbird

I have been re-reading ‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves’ by Lynne Truss. Glutton for punishment? Hardly. Like the majority of authors, I constantly hone and refine my skills. There is no ‘quick grow’ method to sound writing. No short-cut or easy season. Study time, butt-in-chair effort to learn basic and advance grammar is still the most effective method for a good crop of sentences. As to EATS, SHOOTS, AND LEAVES: if you haven’t read Lynne’s witty take on grammar and its sad decline, you are in for a treat. She entertains and educates – no easy feat. If you’re new to writing, then best advice: learn the grammar rules. A past critique partner, albeit a brilliant […]

Marketing: 13 Tips for building TEXT TEASERS

TEXT TEASERS are a fabulous way to entice readers to purchase your newest release. Today’s author must write a great book . . . and then seduce the reader to opening the cover. I’ve highlighted Paint for the purpose of this blog, but other numerous options for image-compiling Text Teaser are available. However, the process is what is crucial. Discipline yourself through these steps, and then whatever program you employ will work more effectively. STEP 1 for building Text Teasers: Resize book cover to several different sizes. SAVE with actual pixel count in the title of each save. This pixel count is 392 X 460. The original size from my design team was 1600 X […]

Summer Memories

Special shout-out to my writing friend, Marsha R. West. She put on my thinking cap for summer end. What are you favorite/not so favorite summer time ends? Marsha mentioned her first summer job and memories flooded back. 1st summer a bit over 16 and I went to work for Leonard’s (now Dillards) in the cosmetic department. Three strong memories: 1) All women department – even in the men’s cologne. 2) Old-styled cash registers – counting change a requirement (loads of folks used cash for purchases. At least once a shift, I’d get some lady who dumped all her change on the glass counter-top and counted pennies/nickels/dimes until she made up the odd amount.) OLD fashioned […]