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Author Spotlight and Interview: CHASM by Lynette Kuhl

  Posted by Lora Palmer in Lora Palmer's Blog, 22 June 2016 · 31 views

Today I'd like to welcome the fabulous Lynette Kuhl, with an interview and a spotlight on her new novel, CHASM. Thanks so much, Lynette! It's great to have you on the blog today :)



Title: Chasm
Genre: Adult Suspense
Published by Clean Reads Publishing

Tag Line: What happens when you’re in love with your children’s abductor?

Blurb:
Taylor Vine thinks she can fight off the demons of her past when she moves back home to Estill Springs, Tennessee, but it doesn’t take long to see that things aren’t quite that easy. The bumps she hears in the night soon escalate, keeping her up at nights, and it isn’t long before her most precious possessions, her children, get abducted. She finds herself in a race against time to try to find them before it’s too late. One wrong move and the outcome could be disastrous.  

Excerpt:
Her heart picked up its pace, and she reached for the phone. She hesitated, unsure whether to even answer it. But she plucked it from its receiver. “Hello?” Her voice slid out rickety and unsure.
The male voice on the other end was dark and deeply plagued with distress. It broke, and she struggled to make out what he was saying.
What she heard next was unimaginable; it didn’t sound human. The grief penetrated through the voice—through the phone—flanking it with wretched wails and sobs. “I’ve killed the children. Heaven…help me…I’ve killed the children.” The phone went silent.
Taylor’s knees buckled. “What?” The hyper pitch in her voice strained out. “Goodness gracious, who is this? What happened? Whose children?” Her knees about took her down again. She caught the edge of the counter, catching herself before she fell. “Answer me, for crying out loud! Don’t hang up on me!”
She listened desperately, plastering the phone to her ear. But the phone was silent. “Hello, hello? Answer me!” Frantically clicking the telephone cradle button, she tried to bring him back, but there was only a dial tone.
She pounded the phone on the counter so forcefully that the plastic mouthpiece broke into a million tiny pieces. She let it fall, left it dangling by its cord. Swiftly making her way to the hall closet, she rummaged through the plastic totes for a flashlight. “There has to be one in here somewhere,” she mumbled to herself. Extension cords and old Christmas lights spilled over onto the floor.
Finally finding a flashlight, she clicked it on. It was dim, but it would do. She ran back to the hall, to the children’s rooms, feeling no pain in her swollen ankle.
Flinging Cody’s door wide, she flashed the light toward the wall where his bed sat. In slow motion, the lonely, empty, disheveled bed yanked a horrifying scream from her gut, reverberating through the house. The earth quit spinning, and she was lost to oblivion. “NO! Not my children! Please, God…not my children.” She needed life support, couldn’t breathe; the air was being sucked from her body in rapid swells. She dropped to the floor, her world going black—closing in—smothering.
Not knowing how long she’d been out, Taylor struggled to her feet, she was sure it wasn’t long; it was still black outside, flashes of lightning still cracking in through the window. She raced to check on Nora. Her room was the same: deserted, hollow, puncturing a bleeding, oozing hole in Taylor’s chest the size of a large, bottomless chasm.
“For crying out loud, no…please, no.” The tears coursed down her face. She staggered numbly to Nora’s empty bed, collapsing on it, her hand reaching, groping—trying to find the warmth of her baby girl. But the only thing the tangled blankets and sheets offered her was a bleak and disgusting coldness. It shocked her through her hand. How long had they been gone? Time couldn’t wait, she needed to find them.


Buy Links:



Author Bio:
L.K. Kuhl lives in Nebraska with her husband of twenty-nine years, young son, Nathan, and Greg, their Black Lab dog. She has two older daughters, Morgan and Brittani and son-in-law, Trevor. L.K. has been writing for over twenty years. She first began writing children’s books and poetry, moved on to writing music, and is now writing Young Adult and Adult novels. Her first book, Everlasting, a Young Adult Paranormal Romance, was published in February, 2016. She loves spending time with her family, vacationing, writing, reading, and taking long walks. It’s the characters who write their own stories in her novels, and she is just their messenger, sharing it with the world.

                                                                                                                      
Author Links:
Website: https://kuhlreads.com/     
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kuhlreads



And now, onto the interview! 

First of all I would like to thank Lora for having me on her blog today! She is awesome!! What inspired me to write Chasm was that it was basically based on a true story and I love to incorporate things that have happened in my life into my stories. 

I got the idea to write Chasm because my husband used to be an engineer for the railroad. Although my husband never worked with this gentleman directly, one of the engineers on the railroad hit and killed his wife and children with the train he was driving. It was no fault of the engineer. The wife did it deliberately to get back at her husband, the engineer. The engineer said the last thing he saw was his children looking up at him from the windows of the car.
Although this is a work of fiction, and this is just a story between two, make believe people, I felt compelled to tell his story about how utterly and completely devastating this would be. The engineer was never able to return to work after this. 
1. What are your favorite genres to read/write? My favorite genre to both read and write would have to be Young Adult. I love the growing up and learning process that young teens go through and I love being able to help them solve problems in everyday life. My next favorite genres to both read and write are romances and adult novels. I love the ups and downs in relationships and most of my adult novels are based on real life experiences.
2. Besides writing, what are some of your other hobbies? Family!! That is my biggest one yet! I love vacationing with family, playing games with family, sitting around chatting with family and just doing everything with them!! My next hobby is making candles. I make scented ones that I take to craft fairs in the fall. I love reading and going for walks, too.
3. Which Character in Chasm is most like you, and why? Hum, I would have to say the main character, Taylor. Taylor loves her children unconditionally and would do anything to protect them, just as I would mine. Taylor has her flaws and has made a ton of wrong decisions in her life. But in the end, she has learned from her mistakes and has turned her life around to become a better person, just as I feel I have.
4. What projects are you currently working on? I have just started the third and last book in The Everlasting Trilogy. It is called Finished Business and is moving much slower than the first two books. I don't know if it's just getting harder for me to continue it on, coming up with new adventures and such, or if I just don't want to say goodbye to my characters. It's a bittersweet feeling. I just finished up with the Pre-Edits to the second book in the series and am waiting for that to go through the editing phases. That book is the second book in The Everlasting Trilogy and is called The Decision.
5. In your writing process, are you a plotter or a pantser? I think I am a little bit of both. I get most of the story plotted out before I start on it, but pants a lot of it as I go along, filling in the parts I haven't plotted lol.
6. Share with us a favorite book quote! My favorite quote is from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. Noah is telling Allie "It's not over...it'll never be over." Then they share a passionate kiss!! Love that part!
7. Any advice for other writers? My advice would be to never give up! Sometimes the fears and rejections can really get to you. You have to have tough skin in this business. But if you persevere, you will make it!
8. Any tips for breaking through writer's block? Writer's block does get hard for me, at times. The best thing I can do to try to combat it, is just take a break from writing for a while. Get up and take a break, go for a walk, or play with your children.
9. If you could choose anywhere in the world to visit, where would it be? I think I would have to say Australia. I have always loved wildlife and nature and I would love to take a safari tour to see some of the exotic animals out in the wild.

What a great interview! Thanks again, Lynette! This book sounds amazing, a definite must-read, and the story behind it is so heartbreaking and compelling. 



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Just playin' with preview.

  Posted by Rick Pieters in Room to Wonder, 22 June 2016 · 30 views



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Robin Gianna & Research Your Way to a More Believable Book

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 20 June 2016 · 47 views

Please welcome Robin Gianna back to the blog today!
***
RESEARCH YOUR WAY TO A MORE BELIEVABLE BOOK

Research is one of those things some writers love and others hate, but no matter which camp you belong to, most stories require at least a little information-gathering. The trick to research is to learn enough to enrich your story with believable detail, but not to spend so much time on it that you never get the book written, or even started!  

Give yourself a set period of time for the first sweep of research.

Avoiding the pitfall of researching in place of writing is fairly easy. Give yourself a set period of time, maybe a week, to get important research done.  Information about your setting, for example, or details about your characters’ professions, or the time period you’ve set the story in.  After a week, get going on the book.  When you’re writing and come to a place in the story where you realize you need to look something up, don’t stop to do it!  Instead, put a bracket there and keep going.  When you’ve hit your word count goal, put on your research hat again, search for the brackets in the manuscript, then spend time finding out all you need to know for those particular scenes.

The Internet

Where and how to research will depend a bit on what you’re writing, but the easiest place to get started in on the Internet. The Web is, of course, an amazing resource, making our lives as writers so much easier than it used to be.  What’s the average temperature in Italy in April?  What do Parisians usually eat for breakfast?  What do houses in Guatemala look like?  Ask most any question, and you can find an answer.  

The library

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I still stop into the library when I’m starting a book. While there are plenty of images to be found online, I love having a book with photos of where I’m setting my story, filled with information that often is easier to look through than surfing dozens of Internet sites.  I’ve also had a few occasions where I was able to find a memoir or biography that enriched my story in ways I couldn’t have foreseen.

Talk to people who know

But nothing beats talking to people who are experts on whatever you’re researching.  For my medical romances, I talk to family, friends, and acquaintances in the medical field for ideas, details, and sometimes even dialogue so I’ll know how characters would really talk in a trauma situation, for example, or in the OR.  I hear you saying, “Well, that’s nice for you, Robin, because you know people in the field, but I don’t know any police officers to interview for my suspense story.”  In my experience, people enjoy talking about their work and what they do, or what it was like growing up in New York City, or their work travels to foreign countries.  I’ll bet you know people who’ve had interesting experiences that might trigger a story idea.  And if for your current WIP you need to learn about police procedure or what the life of an EMT is like or what an archaeologist does on a dig, a phone call will likely get you invited to the police station or firehouse or university to talk to one or more people about it all.  I promise you’ll be glad you did.

Research your way to new ideas

And that brings me to my last, but more important, point about research! Often, we don’t even know what we need to know for a story until we talk with people who have a deep understanding of what we want to learn, or study a book on the subject in-depth. A number of times, research has given me insight I would never have found on my own, and which gave me a new scene or even sent my story in a direction I hadn’t planned on. Sometimes that happens through Internet research, but it occurs more often when I’m talking one-to-one with someone. And those scenes and new directions always have enriched my stories for the better. For this reason, I believe writers should research more deeply than we think we need to, even if we only use 20% of what we learn in the actual book. Knowing a lot about a setting or time period or career gives us a deep understanding of the world our characters live in, which shines through when we’re writing from their perspective. It’s one of the things that brings a character to life for the reader, which is so important.

So remember—research isn’t just about those little details like average temperatures or popular foods in Venezuela or trendy places to live in San Francisco. Digging deep will truly inspire new ideas and directions that will make your characters more believable, your story stronger, and maybe even make it easier to writer.  And isn’t that always a great thing?

How about you?  How do you go about researching your stories?  Any interesting things that have happened to you along the way that brought a book to life?  I’d love to hear about it.

***

Robin Gianna on the web:

Website             Facebook         Twitter



His Cinderella midwife 

Gabriella Cain prides herself on the exemplary service she provides to her celebrity moms-to-be. So she certainly doesn't appreciate Dr. Rafael Moreno suddenly taking over her department…even if he is royalty—and gorgeous! 

But distrust soon turns to secrets shared as irresistible Rafe proves dangerously easy to fall for. With a painful past behind her, can Gabriella dare hope for a fairy-tale ending with her prince?


Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle             Amazon UK           Amazon Aust

B&N            Harlequin US

M&B UK            M&B Aus

iBooks               Kobo               Book Depository



One Kindle Copy Giveaway of The Prince and the Midwife to one commenter!       

Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win a signed copy of The Prince and the Midwife.

***
Thanks Robin!
It sure is easy to disappear into a research cave - love the idea of setting a timeline to avoid staying there too long.

Anyone have interesting research stories? I know I've found out more about branding cattle than I ever thought I'd know! 


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iBooks Galore WEEK THREE! Ebook a Day Giveaway

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Love Bug Blog, 18 June 2016 · 62 views

Giving away romance ebooks through ibooks june 2016. One book a day with over 50 participating authors including Jean oram with Blueberry Springs and the summer sisters.


WEEK THREE!

Have you won some iBooks romance ebooks yet? Well, guess what? The iBooks ebook a day giveaway isn’t over yet! There’s still plenty of time to bring home a great novel for the beach.

What can you win from me? Check out the rafflecopter entry form in the post below.

Some great prizes include my Blueberry Springs box set and the wonderful, highly rated Summer Sisters novels.

Here is the fine print:


  • You must have the iBooks app–it’s completely free! The only catch? You can only get the app for Apple products (Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch. That means no android or Kindle, unfortunately).

  • Winners receive a free download code that will ONLY work on iBooks–the coupon will expire after 28 days and codes will not be reissued.

  • One email notification will be given to winners via the email address used to log into the entry form below. (If you use Facebook to enter, check the email account you use to sign in to Facebook!)


How I’ll do my giveaways:

Everyone can enter below for a chance to win and I will choose 1 winner for a total of 30 winners in June! Please check the email address you use to enter the giveaway!

iBooks is not affiliated with this giveaway. No cash value or exchanges.

Ready?

I have lots of books to giveaway! Over a dozen! Which one will you enter to win?

WEEK THREE GIVEAWAY (June 18-25)




***Tell me in the comment section which book you’re wishing for!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


The post iBooks Galore WEEK THREE! Ebook a Day Giveaway appeared first on Jean Oram.


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Hope To See You June 25!

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 18 June 2016 · 50 views

I'm glad to be back in Parkersburg, though I really enjoyed my week in Louisville. I met some new friends and had a lot of fun. I hope Kansas City is just as fun next year. But now that I'm back, I can start promoting my new book in earnest.

Toward that end, my first big event is a signing next Saturday, June 25 at the new location of J&M's Used Bookstore on Division Street. It's just a few doors down from Kroger, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding it at all. I'll be there from 11am to 2pm, and I hope to see you there.

I'm also planning to do signings at all the local libraries and anywhere else that would be interested. I'll let you know when I get those set in stone.

I also plan to have an online launch party in the next couple weeks. That's where you come by and visit me cyber-style. It'll be on Facebook and you just drop by my author page during the designated time and check in. There will be trivia games and giveaways. Unfortunately, the only refreshments will be holographic meatloaf, but you can show up in your underwear and no one will care.

Finally, I want to share that I've figured out the general outline of my next book. The big news on that is that it will not be a Shalan Adventure. It won't be a detective book at all. It's all about a 16-year-old girl name Elizabeth Janeway, known as EJ to her friends, who loses her mother in a freak accident, only to discover that, despite what her mother had told her all her life, her dad is not only alive, but he is a powerful businessman and the mayor of a nearby city. I worked out the plot last week and I have to say I'm excited. I think it has potential to be a book of note--if I can just write it. I will definitely be shopping it to agents and publishers rather than publishing it independently, as I do with Harry and Dee. For Shalan fans, have no fear--I plan to continue their story. I'm just taking a break to work on something a little more literary in nature.

So what can you expect from Harry and Dee? Well, the plan is to release a new e-book-only novella. I believe this will be a second prequel that tells the story of their wedding and his hanging up his shingle in Parkersburg. It will pick up where "Harry and the Redheaded Angel" left off and tie into the beginning of Harsh Prey. After that, I have a vague idea for a spinoff series for Jenn.

So that's all the news that fits from here in the land of Joe. I hope to see you on June 25 or some other venue soon. I'd love to sign your copy of Dawn of Grace.

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FIRST FIVE FRENZY with Caitie Flum of Liza Dawson Associates

  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Amy Trueblood's Blog, 17 June 2016 · 69 views

            If you’re like me, you toil for hours editing and fine-tuning the first pages of your manuscript. You look at the first lines to make sure they are compelling and tight. You examine the next few paragraphs hoping your MC’s voice is already taking hold of the reader.     […]

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Winners Of The NOT A DROP TO DRINK Resource Kits!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 13 June 2016 · 48 views

The five winners for the NOT A DROP TO DRINK classroom resource kits are:

Kim Chance
Chris Perkins
Melissa Engels
Rebecca Swartz
Betsy Carpenter

Thank you to everyone who entered!



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Celebrating the Release of SKIN by Brenda Corey Dunn

  Posted by LucidDreamer in LucidDreamer's Blog, 02 June 2016 · 85 views

Today I am thrilled to feature a new Young Adult fantasy novel by Brenda Corey Dunn.  SKIN releases today, June 2nd! It’s a tale that includes selkies — always something I find fascinating. To celebrate, I asked Brenda to respond to the question —  How has your military lifestyle affected your writing and come into play […]

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9 Simple Ways to Get Outdoors as a Family

  Posted by Jean Oram in It's All Kid's Play Blog, 23 May 2016 · 41 views

Posted ImageSo many schools are reducing recess–outdoor play–due to budget cuts and hopes of boosting test scores. However, studies show that increased recess time results in better test scores compared to increasing time in the classroom. Yikes!
But here’s something you may not have heard about in the argument for keeping recess. Outdoor play–and specifically, recess–helps our kids eyesight. I know! Wow, right?
On the website All About Vision, they quote several studies that found all sorts of interesting results. Here are a few quotes I found particularly interesting:

The researchers calculated a 2 percent drop in the risk of developing myopia for each additional hour children spend outdoors per week. “This is equivalent to an 18 percent reduction for every additional hour of exposure per day,” they said.
Compared with children with normal eyesight or farsightedness, children with myopia spent an average of 3.7 fewer hours per week outside.

In other words, more time outside means you’re increasing your child’s chance they WON’T need glasses. Think of all the money you’ll save!
In favour of recess:

The study authors concluded that outdoor activities during recess in elementary school have a significant protective effect on myopia risk among children that are not yet nearsighted and reduce the progression of myopia among nearsighted schoolchildren.

The 12-year-old children who spent more time outdoors had less myopia at the end of the two-year study period than others in the study.

There you have it.
Let’s get outside and play! What do we do in the Oram household? Well, first of all we got a dog. Why? Because not only does it teach our kids empathy and responsibility for others, but our dog gets us outside daily. We walk the dog, the kids ride their bikes alongside or walk too. It’s great exercise for all of us!

The brain is better able to pay attention, hold things in memory, and show self-control after it has been outdoors.
–Gabrielle Principe, Your Brain on Childhood

Getting a dog isn’t your thing? It doesn’t have to be complicated or strenuous. How about these simple activities that will get you outdoors:
9 Ways To Get Outside as a Family

Watch the Sunrise / Sunset
Does the world seem different at this time of day? What colors do you see in the sky?
Find Cloud Animals
Lie on your back and look at the clouds—whoa! Is that a giraffe?
Draw on the Sidewalk with Chalk
Try and Catch Your Shadow
Can you catch it?
Water Fights
Ring Toss
Make your own rings out of plastic container lids. Then shove a stick into the ground to toss them onto!
Hopscotch
Play CatchPosted Image
Eat Outside
Picnic, BBQ, simply taking your meal out on the deck–it’s still outdoors and you’ll still get the benefits of being out in nature. Both for your soul and your eyesight.

Thanks for playing! See you next time. And if you need more activity ideas don’t forget to check out my book, 1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas. It’s reasonably priced so everyone can play.

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BOSTON KNIGHTS - A Story About A Little Gold And A Little Love

Posted by AK Paladin in AK Paladin's Blog, 29 April 2016 · 101 views
Love Gold Treasure

This story was inspired from two directions. The first was the discovery of two unusual keys at the Flinder's Market in Adelaide. The second was two ladies that I have known for many years that do everything together. And no, there is nothing of me in this story. Well, very little that I will admit to anyway.

This story practically wrote itself. The keys were discovered the first weekend in February, the story was finished and through the first critical editing by the second week in March.

The teaser for Boston Knights follows:

-------------------

The discovery that some ancient stories handed down in the families had more truth to them than fiction sparks a hunt for the real truth of the stories. Told as bedtime stories, three individuals find themselves working together to find out more about their ancestors and where they might have hidden some gold, or if it was after all, nothing but a hoax.

The adventure begins with Steve, whose elder brothers work in construction. Having found an old desk amidst some demolition work of theirs, they call their brother to salvage it and see if perhaps he might want to restore it and some other bits and pieces.

As Steve is an antiquities restoration expert, he is definitely interested. Within the desk, behind some well locked drawers, he eventually finds hints that the stories he was told as a kid, may have been more than just stories. In his pursuit of answers, he finds members of two other families that heard the same stories when they were children.

This begins a delightful adventure that finds the three of them embroiled in more and more details that lead them further and further from their homes.

Eventually, the puzzle pieces begin to come together in Ayr, Scottland when they make the acquaintance of some more members of the extended families, only to find their hopes dashed when they discover any gold that may have existed was quickly squandered. Moreover, any additional clues seem to have been destroyed.

-----------------------------------

This is what I would call a light romance and adventure. At a somewhere over 63,000 words, it is a quick and easy read aimed at young adults and romantics looking for something a little different.

I will 'clean up' my teaser as I get this book through its final editing. It is, by the way, a finished manuscript ready for presentation to an agent/publisher.

I'm still looking.


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Batman v. Superman A Movie review

  Posted by Utsav M in Pineapple Lightning, 16 April 2016 · 65 views



Wassup peeps. Last week has been a bit busy, so this is a little late. I meant to watch and review this movie earlier than this but even though I did manage to do the watching part, I did not feel like reviewing it. Why you ask? Because they messed up a potentially epic movie.

Starting off Batman as a seasoned crime-fighter is great. It gives us a perspective few super-hero movies do. However, even though they make him a grizzled veteran, they cannot but help show his origin story of parents dying and falling into a cave of bats. Make that the first scene and we are already into 15 minutes of logos (yeah, call out to cinema sins) and a story shown in a much better and detailed manner in Batman Begins a decade ago. Batman is portrayed decently by Ben Affleck, who has found his acting chops since the horror known as Daredevil- the movie. Thankfully both Affleck and Daredevil seem to have moved on to bigger and better things.

As far as Superman goes, I have never liked Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel and I did not like the movie either. I am glad they kept continuity from the movie and turned the mass destruction of Metropolis into a plot point but the story feels hollow even with the bone-structure of a great movie. Superman is conflicted but not conflicted enough to hang up his cape. Lois is ever present and irritating (I cannot believe I said that about Amy Adams) and is supposed to be his human anchor but again feels forced.

Luthor - well...sigh. While they alluded to the fact that this is Alexander Luthor not Lex Luthor, I wonder why they would not pull the trigger on one of the most iconic villains of all time. With the story backdrop, he would have been perfect as a foil to bring down Superman. Instead, we get a Joker ripoff trying to build Doomsday and kidnapping Superman's mother to goad him into a fight with Batman. Talk about lame and cliched.

As far as the fight is concerned, it is a good fight but the end of the fight is contrived and feels...you guessed it...forced. I mean, who in their right mind would say, "Save Martha", instead of  "Save my mother"? I want to slap the guy who came up with the cool realization that both Batman's and Superman's mother share a name and would be a cool plot point to use that to stop their fight.

The only breath of fresh air is Wonder Woman who is mysterious and understated and her reveal is very well done. She looks every bit Superman's equal in the fight against Doomsday. The fight was well done and Superman sacrificing himself was a good twist...except that it wasn't.

Everyone and their three next generations know a Justice League movie is coming and Justice League cannot not have a live and flying Supes. Ending the movie without showing his casket move would have been brave for the new Justice League. Let it be formed without Superman. Let him join in a dire hour. Make his return monumental. But nah...DC has no cojones.

And as far as the random teasers for the Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman sprinkled throughout the movie, they feel ...gah...yes ...forced and unnecessary. They could have just mentioned their names without having video trailers for each of them. Learn from Marvel, Thordamnit!!

Anyhow, I am disappointed even though I never had much hope to begin with, which shows how poor a job they have done. And I am forced to stop myself from ranting.

Signing off,

Utsav



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Query Kombat Submission Instructions 2016

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 15 April 2016 · 60 views









Bloggers Laura, Michael, and Michelle are back again to bring you the fourth annual Query Kombat tournament.

The Basics

Query Kombat will host 64 kombatants in a single-elimination, tournament style query-off. Entries will go head to head(one on one) with one another until only ONE entry remains. There will be a total of six rounds in Query Kombat. 64 entries in round one, 32 in round two,16 in round three, 8 in round four, 4 in round five, and 2 in round six.

Unlike traditional tournaments, we won't be using tournament brackets. Entries will be matched up based on target audience and genre. We'll continue grouping that way until it's no longer possible.

If you secure a spot in the tournament, your query and the first 250 words of your manuscript (to the end of a complete sentence) will be pitted against another query and first 250 words. Judges will read each match-up and vote 'Victory' on the best entry. Remember, this is subjective. Considering last year, votes may come down to personal tastes.

The entry with the most ‘victories’ at the end of the round will advance to the next round until only one champion remains.

The agent round will be held after the first round. That mean the top 32 entries will make it to the agent round.


Of course, there's a twist!

The agent round will be conducted in secret. And by secret, we mean TOP SECRET. Entrants won't know who requested what—or how much—until that entrant has been eliminated from the contest.

On the plus side, winners of the first round will be able to submit and updated entry prior to the agent round. So, any feedback the judges give can be implemented before the agents see your work.

Who’s Invited to Submit:


The Query Kombat tournament is open only to unagented writers seeking representation. Your manuscript must be complete, polished, and ready to submit.

If your manuscript has already been in the agent round of another contest in the last six months, you are not eligible to participate in Query Kombat. Please don’t try to sneak in. The QK team includes about fifty people and a few hundreds of spectators. Someone will notice and inform us. Submissions for MG, YA, NA, and Adult works will be accepted. (Sorry no picture books or chapter books this year.) Only one entry per person. Do not attempt to submit more than one entry by using different email accounts. Again, the QK family is huge. Someone will notice.



Submission


The submission window will open May 16th at 9:00 AM Eastern time and close on May 20th at Noon.

We will have email confirmation. If you don't receive it within an hour of submitting your entry, contact us via twitter and let us know. Kontestants will be revealed on May 27th, and the tournament will kick off on June 1st.

IMPORTANT: The Query Kombat team reserves the right to disqualify any entrant at any time for any reason.If an entrant is disqualified before the agent round, an alternate will take its place. If an entrant is disqualified after the agent round, the opposing entry will automatically advance to the next round. The only time we will ever disqualify an applicant is if you say or do something to blemish the spirit of query contests. Query Kombat is supposed to be fun… 

http://mylittlefacewhen.com/media/f/img/mlfw903_1318180342933722.gif

So none of this!


In order to enter the contest you MUST follow formatting guidelines, and submit during the contest window. All entries that follow said guidelines will be considered. 

In the event that we receive more than the available 64 spots (this is highly expected), Michelle, Laura, and I will savagely attack the slush pile in attempts to build the best team. We will pick (and announce) three alternates in case a submission is disqualified.

Entries should be sent to:  QueryKombat (at) gmail (dot) com.

Formatting Guidelines:


Font: Times New Roman (or an equivalent), 12pt font, single-spaced with spaces between each paragraph. No (I repeat: NO!) indentations.
 
Subject line of the Email: A short, unique nickname for your entry [colon] your genre (audience included). Do not skip this step or your entry will be deleted. (ex. I Fell in Love with a
Ken Doll: Adult Erotica)

For the nickname, make it as unique as possible so that there are no duplicates. These will be the names used in the tournament (or an abbreviated version if it's too long) so keep it PG-13 and try to have it relate to your story in some way.

In the body of the email (with examples):

Title: Eunuchs and Politics
Name: Michael Anthony
Email address: myboyfriendwasbittenbyashark (at) gmail (dot) com.
Twitter Handle: @Michelle4Laughs


Entry Nickname: I Fell in Love with a Ken Doll
Word count: 68K
Genre: Adult Erotica

Query: 

I FELL IN LOVE WITH A KEN DOLL tells the harrowing story of Barbra B. Doll, a US senator who goes against country, family, and the Illumaniti to be with an amateur surfer with no genitalia. 

First 250 words:

Words, words, and more words.


Don't include the chapter title and please, don't stop in the middle of a. Do not include a bio or comp title.

All queries submitted are FINAL.
We will not edit them in any way, shape, or form. Please read, reread, and rereread your submission before you hit send. You have several weeks to polish your work. Take advantage of it. Competition will be fierce.


Host Blogs:

Because the immense amount of work ahead of us, the tournament will be hosted on three separate blogs. In order to enter the contest, you MUST following Michael, Michelle, and Laura's blogs (Twitter is cool too). All three blogs will host the first round and agent round. The second round will be hosted by Michelle and Laura. The third round will be hosted by Michael. The fourth round will be hosted by Laura. The fifth round will be hosted by Michelle. The final round will be hosted by Michael. Have no fear, each blog will have links to all rounds so you will not get lost.

Agents and judges will be revealed soon. (As of now we have 22 agents and 34 judges!)

Questions can be left in the comments and I'll answer them as quickly as possible.



One last thing and this is new: 

Contests are very time-consuming (we've already spent hours of time), and in order to continue hosting each year, we’re asking everyone who enters to give a $5-$10 donation when submitting. Asking for donations is one way to ensure we’re able to give you the time needed to carefully consider every entry. Chosen Kontestants receive feedback from up to 30 agented/published writers on their query and first page, plus the ability to query agents they otherwise may not have connected with. Some agents even read requested contest entries before the rest of their slush pile! Everyone, chosen or not, receives free slush tips from the hosts and the camaraderie that develops from entering contests together. Many writers find life long critique partners and good friends from these contests (I did).


Because of this, we are holding the sub window open much longer and no longer restricting the number of entries.

Donating this year is strictly voluntary. Giving a donation
does not increase your chances of being picked. Giving less than $5 or more than $10 will also have no impact on your chances. Donating will not affect how many rounds a person makes it through if chosen. People who are not able to donate will not be disqualified.


Please see the blog sidebar for the link to donate. Also note that a percentage of the donations will be given to Flint Kids to help the children of Flint. 

Thanks for your understanding.
Best of luck in the tournament!




If anyone finds this Easter Egg, contact me on twitter and I will send you a free paperback of GRUDGING. 






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Query Review Request

Posted by KellyMoore in KellyMoore's Blog, 12 April 2016 · 128 views

AS IT SHOULD BE, a women’s fiction novel of 81,000 words. Emily’s marriage crumbles when she discovers her husband’s secret love nest – filled with the furnishings she has carefully stored away for their future vacation home; and on the heels of their divorce, due to an unexpected night of passion during their estrangement, she finds herself expecting the child she has always longed for. When her ex-husband, Tom, marries his new lover, Emily escapes her heartache by making a new life for herself and her child in a place that stole her heart long ago - the captivating village town of Seaside.

As It Should Be is the story of a woman who finds herself with the chance to redirect her path from that of one who is tossed aside and struggling against bitterness, to a woman with new hope - and fresh new purpose for her life. It is a tale of transition: from a seemingly secure marriage, to the awkwardness and uncertainties of singledom; from a life without the responsibilities of children, to the wonders and challenges of pregnancy and motherhood; from the familiar comforts of home - to the possibilities of life and love in a bright new place.

I am happy to forward all or a portion of my manuscript for your review if you are interested. Thank you sincerely for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
Warm regards,
Kelly Moore

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The Short Story Process

Posted by Terence Park in T.P. Archie's Blog, 12 April 2016 · 131 views
Short Stories and 6 more...

Short Stories.
We've all done them.

I started just after my first novel, The Insertion, had reached draft – hopefully that's a book that'll never see the light of day. This was back in 2009. I was on Litarena, a site over at http://www.litarena.com/discussion/ I did 4 pieces there - essentially spin-off tales from The Insertion (all I could think of). My biggest problem: I was thinking 'novel'. That site was difficult to navigate and I headed over to Creative Writers on My Telegraph where I became a regular contributor to their monthly contest. It took me about six months to get the hang of trimming the story to size. Things started to click when I based my story model on American comic book monster tales - these were panel drawn art work, 4 and 5 pages in length as published in 1960s titles such as Monsters on the Prowl, Creatures on the Loose, Tales of the Unexpected.

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In all, I reckon I must have submitted over 40 stories to them. CWG as it's known, is hosted on the blogging platform of the Daily Telegraph and membership is free. Up to recently it was still going strong and can be found at http://my.telegraph....-writing/forum/ If you go there, look for Bleda or Atiller (username handles) and say 'Archie sent me'. Later I joined the Short Story Club, also on My Telegraph. Our hostess was author, Louise, Doughty and I got stuck into the exercises she set, producing a few promising novel starts in the process.

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Outside the net, I go to local writing groups in and around Rossendale, in the North of England. Hasiwriters, based at Haslingden Library, are largely to blame for the many unfinished pieces in my collection - as many as 40. By definition an unfinished piece is a minus – of course on the plus side, it had to have had something to interest me - I don't start unless my imagination is triggered. I think of unfinished stories as a back-catalogue of ideas to pick up and develop when my creativity is all worn out :-).
Other groups I attend vary; Irwell Writers (The Mosses Centre, Bury) does idea generation, read-around and feedback, whereas Manchester Speculative Fiction (MadLabs, Manchester) does pure feedback - they use the Milford Method. Burnley Writers were competition geared last time I looked in. Holmfirth Writers (over the Pennines in Yorkshire) does idea generation, writing + read around. The trick is keeping a focus on your personal writing projects. In my head, I've enough unfinished stories (40) and unfinished novels (10) to keep me going to Doomsday.

Detailed stats – these change all the time. Typically I write around 300 words in a session. Recently I started a piece called Fickleday – it's now at 1,000 and when it's done it'll come to between 5k and 10k words. The setting is the Earth's lithosphere (underground) — I might have Nazis in! Before I do more work on it, I have to get back to Dragonshard, two thirds done. Dragonshard will come in around 10k. Both these pieces are a take on pulp themes - updated with bits of fresh science.


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First Things First!

  Posted by mlebleek in Bleeker Street, 04 April 2016 · 84 views

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Today I am sharing a guest blog post I shared on Books a la mode this past week. It is on the importance of first lines. I’ll post the beginning of the piece here and you can finish reading it on the Books a la Mode website. Also, add a comment in the comments section to be entered to win a copy of WHEN I’M GONE!

 

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Excerpt from Books a la Mode:

 

Sometimes when you are writing a book you feel incredibly powerful. “I, authoress Emily Bleeker, created this world…these people…these emotions and lives!!!” And then other times you feel completely at the whim of outside forces. “I, secret writer EmilyB, wrestle with writer’s block…plot holes…rebellious characters and self-doubt….” Both of these personas are there, living inside of me (in the healthiest possible way for multiple personalities to exist). But, moments of great power and weakness aside, there is one part of the creative process that I refuse to leave to the whim of my power/humility struggle and that is—the opening line.

I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to first lines in books. I always take special note of which sentence an author chooses to share with the world. All my favorite books have my favorite first lines: Pride and Prejudice, Tale of Two Cities, Gone With the Wind…I could go on. Before I became an author I don’t think I even noticed those first words, at least not in a conscious way. I’d jump into a book and not really understand why it pulled me in, called to me. But now I understand how those first glimpses of your story, your tone, your characters—are incredibly significant and honestly quite fun to create.

For both Wreckage and When I’m Gone I knew the first lines of these stories before I had even worked out all of the major plot points……READ THE REST AT: Books a la Mode! 




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Must read 'Pursued'

Posted by arielle99 in AuthorGSW, 12 March 2016 · 218 views
love, romance, thriller, fiction and 3 more...

Must read 'Pursued' Attached Image

It's finally here! At last, I know the wait must've been very crucial and long but it is done. Just want to thank my AgentQuery FAM for making this dream come true, thank you so much for your kind DM and loving words, it was much appreciated! Could not have done it without you all! ❤️😭🙈❤️ *** Did not know where to post this,, but wanted to thank everyone for their everlasting support and kinds words*** Being a new author is difficult, props to all authors, but I would really appreciate if you all could spread the love, word around social media !! Thanks a million AgentQuery FAM


SUMMARY: Arielle Platinum, CEO of Gregory Industry, has everything she ever asked for–until she witnessed the death of an exotic dancer. Thought to be a liability by the mob, a hit is placed on Arielle. Now on the run, Arielle finds herself alone and scared. Her life was nearing its end. About to give up, she is rescued by the last person she ever thought of, Jason Hampton-a man she had not seen since he dropped out of high school. Jason, now a wanted criminal for previous crimes, asks her to trust him and together they will defeat the mob.


Blog with the first 3 chapters: Whisperingit.wordpress.com


Lulu link: http://www.lulu.com/...t-22602699.html


Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...C/ref=r_soa_w_d


iBooks: Coming soon


social media insta: @authorgsw


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Claiming the Katana

  Posted by Professor VJ Duke in The Punchy Lands!, 03 March 2016 · 92 views

Birds of a feather don’t flock together because birds of a feather tend to be jealous of that feather.

V. Shnodgrate, Renowned PL Poet

Untitled“Hehaha!” Salami laughed triumphantly.

And he jumped up on a stool for added height. Daddy Salami isn’t too tall, you know. And the stool didn’t add too much to his height. It was a 3-inch stool, if that.

Salami scowled and became decidedly more cranky.

The stool had betrayed him, see.

“Ya cur-belly!” he shouted from his perch. “Ya think ya won? Ya just lost!” And then he belted forth in a strained voice: “Ya just lost evvvvvvvvvverything!

The professor really wished he hadn’t said that. After all, we were the ones that lost. Well, sorta. Must always keep in the warrior frame of mind, see.

Warrior Frame of Mind:

How are we? Solid.

Chance of success? 100%.

What to fear? Nothing.

I am the reaper.

See. Double-see. And a triple-see, just to make sure you saw.

King Arthur shook his head.

“You think you won?” he asked. “Yeah, no. Not even close.”

Arthur strode further into the room, his regal cape flapping in the breeze behind him.

There was no breeze since we were in a castle. But any time a cape is described in writing, there’s always a breeze, I find. So, I added one for kicks, giggles, and whatnot.

Arthur stopped inches from Ruber Salami.

The ant had met the bear. That was the size difference anyway.

See what I mean? You can't even see the ant.

See what I mean? You can’t even see the ant.

“I’ll enjoy seeing you suffer,” Arthur said.

“Me?” Ruber asked, aghast. “It was his plan.” Ruber stuck a thumb out in Salami’s direction. “Why come and pick on me? And, look, there’s PVJ, too!”

“Ruber,” I said, “don’t bring me up. I’d rather not be brought up; I’d rather not be here; I’d rather just not be–at this special moment.”

Arthur looked at me with a scowl and shook his head.

Then to his soldiers: “Off to the dungeons with them.”

“Didn’t ya hear me?” Salami screamed, frantic from his perch. “I’ve won, cur-face!”

Arthur spun. “Really? You think that by saying that you’re going to win?” He sighed.

And that’s when it happened: Salami propelled himself from his perch, towards the katana. He scooped it up and tossed it to his son. Ruber grabbed it but was immediately torpedo-ed (new word) by Arthur. The katana hit the ground.

This professor scooped it up; the soldiers charged in, and the battle begin.

I traded thrust for thrust, slash for slash. Their broadswords and this professor’s katana lit up the night sky.

Figuratively speaking.

Like this.

Like this.

Ruber and Salami were also fighting.

Somehow this professor ended up fighting Arthur. The king was holding a katana–it looked exactly like the Jeweled Katana, in fact, save for one significant characteristic: It was way smaller, to fit a person of Arthur’s size.

But still.

Why make a copy of the sword?

We traded blows.

Crack!

Arthur’s katana split in half.

He stepped back, and this professor made towards the exit.

Like an giant anteater running from a jaguar.

Only I don't have a tail like that.

Only I don’t have a tail like that.

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How to Create a Successful Writing Habit

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Helpful Writer, 29 February 2016 · 119 views

I assume you are a writer if you are reading this and that you want to take your game up to A-Game level. You want to create a writing habit that is efficient, effective, and ultimately successful.

Being within the first few weeks of the new year, some of us have grand and lofty writing goals and resolutions such as: I will write every day. Or: I will finish this story draft by summer holidays.

But how do you create a habit? Or flipping that around, how do you break bad habits in order to form good ones?

I was listening to a podcast on Social Triggers the other day while driving across the frosty prairie and Derek Halpern was interviewing Charles Duhigg, the author of “The Power of Habit.” He had some interesting things to say about habits. Namely that there is a cue that pops us into a reward system that creates a routine or habit.


For me, the cue is my son’s morning nap. He’s in his crib and that is my cue to ‘reward’ myself with a big cup of green tea and sit down and write (also a reward). If I don’t have that big cup of tea I begin thinking about it instead of writing. Drinking tea while I write in the morning while my son naps is my routine. It is a habit that works for me. I have even managed to transform a less efficient time of day into an efficient one with this habit.

But what if you don’t have a good writing habit? How can you make one? Well, I suggest you check out this awesome flowchart of Charles Duhigg’s. (Used with permission.) As well, you can get more background on this by checking out Derek Halpern’s podcast–you can listen to it straight from your computer–or reading Charles’ book “The Power of Habit.”


How to Change a Habit Flowchart by Charles Duhrigg

How to Change a Habit from Charles Duhrigg–click to enlarge. (Then click again until you get the ‘+’ button on your cursor.)


So how about you? Do you have a cue that signals that it is time to write? Do you have a routine that makes you successful? Think about it. If you do, share what works for you. If not, share what you think you might be able to do. Let’s make 2013 our best writing year yet!

 



*Originally posted on jeanoram.com in 2013

The post How to Create a Successful Writing Habit appeared first on The Helpful Writer.


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Hay House has some videos for anyone new to publishing.

Posted by CartoonistWriter in CartoonistWriter's Blog, 18 February 2016 · 142 views
new authors, new to publishing and 2 more...

My wife had forwarded this free information released by Hay House for new authors about the publishing process.

http://www.learn.hay...tm_content=6550

http://www.learn.hay...tm_content=6550

http://www.learn.hay...tm_content=6550

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Secrets Unveil- Synopsis

Posted by PamH in PamH's Blog, 16 February 2016 · 134 views
fictionSecrets Unveil and 1 more...

(This is NOT an actual synopsis for my book when inquiring an editor/agent.)



Synopsis of Secrets Unveil

In this novel, the main female character, Paris is torn between two best friends. Although, she loves one, her heart belongs to another, Trent. Paris is a college student majoring in nursing. She's ambitious, bit of an introvert, and open-minded. When her best friend snags Trent before Paris can say Rumperstiltskin, her best friend is pregnant by him.

Trent is also a college student who comes from a wealthy family from Jamaica. He's attractive, muscular build, a lover at heart. Nothing stands in his way to what he fights for as is his undying love for Paris.
Trent's heart is with Paris as well. She's his soul mate. He will do anything for her. They click on a level that no one can understand.

They have this dignified bond to a point where they aren't ashamed of their love. With his baby mama (Paris' friend) constantly in his pockets and treating him like he's nothing more than a meal ticket, it only pushes Trent closer to Paris who only wants him for him.

As time goes on for Paris and Trent, she meets a new female friend who turns out to be major trouble. Drugs, sex, extortion, a whole new world finds Paris. But, when she is brutally attack by a gang, Trent gets revenge. Their love for each other is being tested. How far will Trent go to get vengeance for his beloved?

All the characters harbor their own secrets. But can one tell and/or keep one from one another?



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